Archive for August, 2011
If you live in Cajun country then you will know how the citizens treat cooking. It is an art form and also believed to be sacred. Cajun food is famous all around the globe and most of them know that cooking Cajun food has got more to offer than the pantrys lagniappe or the spicy cabinet. But the fact that Cajun cooking is mimicked in and around the country is very depressing. This is plainly because Cajun recipes do not exist in their true form.
However, the good part of the story is that there are a few Cajun recipes that are intact and accurate too. Many of these recipes exists on the truth that preparing Cajun cooking for taste and not to understand the measuring. Another astounding fact is that the same dish can taste slightly different every time you make it with the same ingredient and in the same atmosphere. Experts simply state that the taste variation is nothing to with the ingredients but is to do with the cooks feelings and mood that can actually change a moderate cooking to a tantalizer or vice versa.
Many of us quite familiar with Emeril Lagasses TV show where she makes unique blends and that is what makes Cajun cooking and food special over other cuisines. It is still under debate whether it is the ingredients or something else that makes Cajun food touch the heart and soul of the person eating it. Did you know that dishes cooked in the south Cajun is also known as soul food? This is probably because of the fact that New Orleans is in the core of Deep South.
People who try and experiment on Cajun foods have difficulty in finding the appropriate ingredients, especially if they do not reside in the New Orleans locality. This is because you can get the best and fresh seasonings and spices that form the main ingredients in Cajun cooking, only in the local streets of the old south. This is not it; getting fresh crawfish and andouille sausage is slightly tricky especially in the mid winter in Michigan!
If you are one of those enthusiasts who are fond of learning Cajun food, then the first thing you will have to find is good ingredients. Probably you can try your luck with specialty food stores in your locality or by ordering these special ingredients from the makers. Try some of the good grocery shops that have a special section for international food and that offers Cajun seasonings as well. Remember, that these stores stock only the minimum of such foods and that you should immediately grab them as soon as you decide to cook Cajun foods.
Another main thing you will have to dedicate is your time and skill because all the Cajun dishes will need some good time to cook its ingredients. Never ever rush when cooking Cajun food. Cajun dishes take their time to get ready and you should have all the patience to serve a good delicacy. The most wonderful experience most of the cook love to share is the way these dishes let the cook know that it is ready to be served and that is like a cooking secret that almost all chefs preserve.
Cooking Cajun food is the best way to test your patience, skills and also your stamina but for many it is an emotional experience to many. However, you will never regret these exhaustions once you look at the final end product which is not only rich but also mouth watering. Believe me, once you master cooking Cajun foods you will for add it into your daily cooking menu.
Method of Preparation
Chop eggs finely. Mix all the ingredients together. Yummy and healthy egg salad is ready to eat. Makes lunch for two. This is very good on sandwich with tomato. Vary seasoning to suit your taste.
Holiday Party Food Recipes – Gourmet Cook:
It is great fun, during holidays to enjoy the spirit of the season and throw a party. If you resemble me you will surely take rest to enjoy your own party along with your guest and not exhaust yourself throughout the day and join the fun and catch up on the latest chat. At the same time you want to provide a sumptuous party and be proud to serve your guest. Right party food recipes can do both.
Do ahead strategy and planning is the secret of success. Buffet style service makes it easy when the guest can get according to their wish without any inhibition. Sit down dinners can only be a nightmare for the host. Only a few minutes of last minute attention is required to oversee the lovely repast and there will be a lot of time for you to soak in the bath before party time.
It is very easy to find specific party food recipes on time. The rating system of most cooking sites guides you in the choice of a particular recipe over another. Probably you may have your own favorite recipes for a few of our more conventional suggestions. It is not easy, some times, to come up with effective ides rather than recipes. Here are a few mouth watering ides that offer exotic tastes, textures and plenty of varieties.
No doubt, chips and dips are appetizers, have not spoiled party through they are overdone as a party food recipe. I have never attended an informal gathering where this pair was not seen. Almost every deli has spinach and crab dips that are so delicious that you dont even realize you are eating a potato chip.
If you want better appetizers than these party staple you should go outside the box. The best party food recipes are small bites of complex flavors which surprise the palate.
Empanadas, small flaky pastries full of savory mixture of meats and rice are a great fun to make freeze well. Fondue makes a comeback and is easily made with a mix, Swiss cheese and a dash of kirsch. Arrange your fondue pot out a few hours, before your guests arrive. Cube a loaf of French bread in the after noon and store in a zip bag to keep it fresh till the party time.
Antipasto platters received well always. Comb the antipasto party food recipes for your favorite ingredients and arrange them fittingly. There is no set recipe for antipasto Prosciutto, Nicoline or kalmata olives, marinated artichokes and mushrooms which can mix in harmony. Recipes that can be assembled ahead of time and broiled minutes are Bay scallops, or quartered sea scallops, skewered to a square of bacon with a tooth pick. A flavor full addition to your appetizer like up are Bruschetta, containing finely diced Roma tomatoes, sliced black olives, minced garlic, fresh snips of basil and parmesan. In the morning mix your toppings and store in the fridge. Spread the goodies on your bread and boil until the cheese melts. Keep a bread knife in the bread basket and allow people to cut a chunk according to their appetite. Brush larger sized raw shrimp in teriyaki basting sauce and make kabobs alternating shrimp, pineapple, chunks of onion, and whole white mushrooms which broil in just minutes.
The side dishes are baby carrots served in an orange ginger sauce. Pearl onions in a creamy sauce spiked with a touch of nutmeg, steamed fresh snow peas with minced water chest nuts, Au gratins made with Swiss, jack, smoked cheddar, thinly sliced onions and potatoes. Alternately a bowl of white and wild rice pilaf spiffed up with thinly sliced celery and sliced mushrooms.
You are always right in main dish entries. A nice juicy roast, pineapple and clove studded ham or succulent turkey are eligible as centre pieces of your party food recipes. Casserole style dishes have returned in culinary vogue and are cool party food. Recipes like lasagna, manicotti stuffed with rice and chicken in a rich Alfredo sauce are good do ahead dishes that are a hit at the party table. Dolmas the renowned Greek dish of lamb and rice covered up in grape leaves are show arresting dishes to delight your guests.
All these party food recipes can be in a single menu if they are for a hundred guests. Choose those which are most appealing and can be prepared in good time frozen and ready for party.
Regarding the dessert approach what is available at that lovely local French bakery. This best party ever will quench your hunger surely.
The art of combining the raw vegetables/fish or meat along with the necessary spices and salt to add flavor at the proper heat and temperature to bring about an edible end product is called Cooking. This process includes a number of techniques along with many variants which alter the food to make it tasty and digestible to the human body. It is not always necessary to cook food with heat but when cooked with heat and temperature the food chemically changes which in turn brings a flavor, color, texture and also adds to the nutritive value of the food.
The Effects Of Cooking
This art of cooking helps the human body to keep away from infections and bad health which otherwise would have taken place on the consumption of raw food. Cereals and food grains which are very raw are made soft and digestible with the help of cooking. But care should be taken while cooking as bad cooking can make the palate totally forbidden by the person as it loses its appearance and necessary flavor along with the nutrients.
Some of the foods have amino acids within themselves. When proteins are heated they change their original property and nature. This at times helps the food to become light which is good for health. In some cases the change can be different as it happens with the white of the egg which curdles. But the same gives a proper shapes and acts as an important factor like it happens when you prepare cake with the white of the egg which acts as a medium. This same medium is also used in many a sweets preparation depending on the topping of the dessert.
Food Safety Should Be A Matter Of Our Concern
The cutting boards used should be kept clean as they are the base ground for breeding bacteria. It has been found that plastic cutting boards are more reliable as they tend to have fewer holes which can cultivate bacteria. There has been a controversy and some still believe that wooden cutting boards are better. Whether it is wooden or plastic cutting board it is always better to wash and keep it dry after use for hygienic purposes especially after cutting meat, seafood or a domestic fowl.
To keep the board clean use hot water with some soap and finally rinsing it with some antibacterial cleanser. A tablespoon of dilute bleach mixed with a gallon of water is said to be safe but some experts believe it can spoil some food and avoid using it. All these are basically done to keep the cooking equipments with hygiene so as to avoid sickness as far as possible.
The Science of Cooking
Molecular Gastronomy is the name given to the scientific experience of cooking and gastronomy. This is another branch of food science. Many a scientists, cooks and writers have given their contribution in this field. Here are to name a few – HerveThis (chemist), NicholasKurti(physicist), PeterBarham (physicist), Harold Mc Gee(writers), Shirley Cohrieer(biochemist, writers), Heston Bluemental(cooks), Ferran Adria (cooks), Robert Wolke (chemist, writers) and Pierre Gagnaire (cooks).
Method of Preparation
Cut pear into wedges. Blend cottage cheese and orange juice in blender. Blending them well until it is smooth by adding milk as needed. Blend well until the mixture thickens. Pour the mixture into small dish. Use pear wedges to scoop up cottage cheese mixture. Healthy and yummy dippin peas salad is ready to serve. Makes about 1 salad.
The Ongoing Weight Loss or OWL is the second phase of the Atkins diet. Following the rapid weight loss of the 2-week Induction phase, the weight loss procedure is slowed down a bit and certain carbohydrates that makes the diet a bit easier is added and the process of weight loss becomes a little slower. But, the weight loss will continue at a steady pace without any difficulty.
The fats are encouraged to burn during the OWL process, though the carbohydrates are added slowly it is still retained as ketosis and the excess fat is used as fuel for the body and the pounds and inches will break off.
You can choose better in the OWL phase and the recipes given are guidelines for OWL which provide knowledge about foods that are nutritious. The new and good choices are good replacement for the poor carbohydrate ones which you trusted earlier.
The amount of carbohydrates to be taken till weight lost is also learnt as this process of OWL is an examination of what your particular body does with the carbs, and the level of carb everyday is increased by 20 than that was followed in the induction stage. A raise of 5 grams is done every week to check what changes takes place. An excess of your personal carb limit is indicated when the loss in weight is slowed down considerably.
A permanent weight management program (called maintenance) is also prepared by OWL. The habits and patterns that you have adapted during OWL helps you in future and a long term achievement. This stage of your diet should be undertaken as the training for the actual test for the diet in your future life.
Most of the carbohydrates are got from the vegetables ( like the Induction phase) during the OWL phase and it is necessary to consume a lot a varied vegetables as they are very good and healthy and help in maintaining a good intestinal health when you are on Atkins diet. You will be allowed to have more of vegetables and slowly nuts and seeds and even berries will be added on slowly. But the diet mainly consists of proteins.
For some reasons, the Induction phase is considered east than the other phases of Atkins as the proper planning in this, benefits well in loss of weight. As you start with the OWL phase you should be very careful about the carbohydrate count and check your weight as the number of choices is more and you may be tempted towards it which could cause a delay in the loss of weight or even cause gain in the weight.
To find out your OWL achievement and counting carbohydrate grams is vital, as otherwise you may consume excess of carbohydrates than recommended and there are a number of handy tools and portable books to check the counting and let you know the grams of carbohydrate in some foods and in the long run you will know the carb count for your favorite foods immediately.
Investigation is done during the OWL phase by counting the carbs which is necessary by which we decide the amount of carbohydrate grams that you can consume day to day to lose weight. About 20 to 25 carbohydrate grams is to be displaced during the first week of OWL and can be replaced with vegetables, like asparagus or cauliflower, the 25 gram level is continued for a week and then made to 30 grams a day.
The weight should be checked properly when there is an increase in the level of the carbohydrate gram and when you see too much of a slowdown, it shows your intake has gone very high and there is total stop of weight loss when the carbohydrate gram level is the maximum, and this means you have touched your limit and to lose weight you have to drop your personal carb count below it.
You would be wonderstruck when you come to know the various easy cooking light appetizers recipes. Many kinds of cheese recipes make a good appetizers & finger foods. However, there are many recipes that supplement the main food and are also great appetizers. Some of the well liked cheese appetizers are beer cheese, brie, cheese ball, gouger, goat cheese and pimento cheese. There are many other hot, continent-wide & regular appetizer recipes too that are made of cheese and if you wish to know more about them, internet is the right source to find easy cooking light appetizer recipes.
Types of Appetizer Recipes
There is a range of easy cooking light appetizer recipes available of which cold appetizers recipes are then next best one. There are a number of supporting types of appetizers available in this category too. Starters, like the finger sandwich, are one of the best examples of cold appetizers. The other unusual varieties are tapas, pinwheels, deviled eggs, roll ups and marinade mushrooms. The recipes of these cold appetizers are available at online cookery websites for those who wish to try it out at home.
The next type of easy cooking light appetizer recipes is the dip and cover recipes. This variant has extra recipes like the cheesecake, layer dip, artichoke spinach dip, artichoke crab dip, bean and cheese dip, black bean dip, bread dip and many more dishes add to the list. Next is the hot starter dish that is also easy cooking light appetizer. Bacon appetizers, appetizer meatballs, artichoke appetizers, asparagus appetizers and appetizer quiche are some of the popular types of hot starter liked by people all over the world.
Another category of easy cooking light appetite recipes is the pickle & relish recipes. THe recipes of this category focus more on saving food. Pickles chow chow, fried pickles, corn relish, freezer pickles (prepared from green tomato, eggs, ginger, mustard pickles, pickled beans, radish & vegetables) are some of the pickle appetizers. Did you know that most of the pickled recipes are stored in freezer to preserve the food?
The easy cooking light appetite pickle recipes are simple starters and are mainly made from fresh vegetables like beats, corn, onion, garlic and tomatoes. If you need to spice up your pickle recipe add a few spices making it a pickled appetite.
Chicken wings recipes are the next best easy cooking light appetizers. Buffalo wings, chicken wings, drummies & oriental wings form major ingredients for chicken wings dishes. Cajun Chicken Wings, Honey Chicken Wings, Barbecue Chicken Wings, Mexican Chicken Wings, and Parmesan Chicken Wing are other sorts of chicken wings dishes.
If you wish to learn the various easy cooking light appetizer precipes, you can signup in any of the E-Cook communities. You can be an active member by sharing and receiving recipes or by posting various tips and techniques to make easy cooking light appetizer recipes.
Method of Preparation
Extract pineapple reserving 2 tablespoons of juice. Mix all the ingredients except dill seed. Line salad bowl with crisp salad greens. Add the above mixed ingredients. Sprinkle with dill seed. Healthy dilly tuna salad is ready to serve.
All of us are aware about the foods we consume to improve our health, though how we prepare it, is more important. The number of oils and butter products available in the
market each one claiming about their quality it is very confusing which ones to buy and the ones to be prevented.
1. Canola Oil
Canola oil is a famous oil and many doctors advise that it can reduce the risk of heart disease. This oil has low saturated fat and high monounsaturated fat and gives the best fatty acid composition than other oils.
This oil can be used for frying, and marinating in stir frying on low flame. It is flavorless and goes well with spicy foods and does not alter the taste of the food too.
2. Olive oil
Olive has a clear flavor with lot of ingredients to have a healthy heart. It has lots of monosaturated fat to prevent low cholesterol levels and prevent cancer. It has a long storage and rich n antioxidants too.
Although this oil is used in cooking it is very unhealthy. When used raw in a salad or dipping sauce. It should be cooked in low heat in a medium temperature and never in a high flame.
Butter is a favorite food of the many for a long time. It tastes very good and is a source of Vitamin A and the other fat soluble vitamins like E, K and D. It is prepared in not chemically or artificially processed and prepared from natural ingredients.
Butter is used in cooking baking and also as a spread. It can also be used with creamy sauces, marinades, baked dishes and bread.
Margarine was first used to replace butter with high fat. When it was first brought out it was filled with trans fat, an element that we are aware and increases the blood cholesterol.
When used in cooking it tastes good and has a low content of fat than oil and butter. It is available in a number of products, very rich in Vitamin E and also a good spread.
When we talk about cooking oil there are a number of them than mentioned above, to eat healthy means cooking healthy food and this largely depends on the oil we use.
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 tbsp. lemon juice
6 drops red food color
2 pkg. frozen strawberries, thawed and drained
1 14-oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
3 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 cup heavy cream
Mix gelatin, sugar and salt and put them in the top of a double boiler. Add strawberry syrup and well whisked eggs and again put them over boiling water and cook the mixture for five minutes and keep on stirring once in a while. Add vanilla essence, lemon peel and food coloring after removing the mixture from heat. The whole mixture will be dark red in color. Whisk cream cheese till flossy. Now add gelatin mixture to the cheese little by little and beating it till it is fully mixed. Now mix slowly drained pineapple and strawberries. Take a 9 inch spring form pan and pour the batter over the crumb crust. Refrigerate and keep it to chill overnight. It can be garnished as per ones preference.
Useful tip: It is better to keep the cream chilled and cold which is an easy way to whip it. Begin with your beaters and as bubbles come add your mixer speed. This way you can whip the cream faster and also avoid its splatter.
Facts: Heavy cream has more of butterfat around 36 to 40%.
No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.