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Category Archives: Foods

Cooking Pasta Well Tricks

Do not be sufficient water in the pan: in this way the dough will not stick and be well hydrated.

Eye salt: water cooking pasta should be salty, but not excessively. To calculate well, remember that you have to put a tablespoon for every two liters of water. If you cannot measure it by eyes, check the water bottle.

Add salt at the right time: to cook it well, you should put it when the water has broken to boil. Never before.

Oil to cook pasta? No, no to put it. No butter either. We tend to think that, in this way, the dough will not stick, but the real secret to prevent sticking is that there is enough water volume to cook pasta.

Time to toss the pasta to cook: you will do after putting salt and boiling water. It is the best way to not have to leave cooking longer runs the account and going.

And what if much stir the pasta? Well, besides make her dizzy, we can make it stick, deform, break or not cooked through. The pasta just has to remove it once, after having put in the pot.

The final trick: When the pasta is al dente (ie, with the center slightly without completely and retaining its shape), cooking will break pouring a glass of cold water.

Wait a little longer: we have the cooked pasta. Now… what do we do? Then turn off heat and wait a few seconds before straining. Of course, passing it under running cold water, or speak.

A round with the sauce: the touch of grace and taste when it comes to pasta and it depends on the dish is round. If it is hot, it should be ready for when we finish cooking the pasta and sauté in skillet 30 second. If it is warm or cold, it must always be tempered to the pasta.

And the cheese… what? Well cheese in question, the fact is we can do whatever we want. Of course, we must remember that strong flavors cheeses like Parmesan clogged everyone else, so if we want the role you have or pasta sauce and garnish, we should do without it and opt for other more neutral.

Information of Potato Leek Soup

Ever had a generous amount of potatoes on-hand, and at a loss for innovative ideas to create for making a new, different, yet delightful dish? I know that leeks are NOT the first vegetable to come to mind; though, please know, leeks when added with other vegetables and spices can really make a smooth, easy to digest soup when cooked and flavored properly.

Leeks are an uncommon vegetable; not regularly purchased or utilized for everyday cooking in America.

The history of leeks is said to possibly date back to Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt.

It is rumored that Egyptian Emperor Nero ate leeks- His believed that by eating leeks often, that he could improve the quality of his voice. It is not really clear what part of his voice he wanted to enhance, though voice enhancement is what he sought, no less.

Suggested Ingredients;
One large stalk of leeks; cleaned and chopped discarding most of the bitter darker green parts, which are less tasty and more bitter, as well as cutting the roots and the parts that came directly from the ground.
sea salt —- 4 teaspoons
white pepper— 2 teaspoons
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
three cups of low-sodium beef, chicken or vegetable broth or stock
1 to 1/2 cups heavy cream or non-dairy cream of your choice, to taste-* Almond milk or coconut milk are also great alternatives to milk, or cream products.
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese topper; or Mozzarella cheese—- added at the end and sprinkled, sparingly in your individually served cup or soup bowl
3 to 4 starchy IDAHO potatoes
two stalks of celery, add the leaves too, full of powerful antioxidants and loaded with flavor when cooked in porridge, broth, soups or stews.

Begin:

Start by sauteing chopped leaks, and celery. Season with sea salt and white pepper let rest.

In another stock pot or pressure cooker, to save time, add your stock and more sea salt and sliced medium-sized potatoes, cutting in rounded slices for less cooking time. Add all ingredients and bring to a boil; let simmer an additional 20 minutes, do not over cook potatoes.

Upon cooked potato, leek, and celery mixture puree in an electric blender when blended to soup consistency return to stock pan and add heavy cream; cooking on medium-low heat.

Season with additional salt,and ground nutmeg finish by adding a teaspoon of smoky cumin.

Serve topped with Parmesan cheese or any other grated, rich cheese of your choice and top with dry parsley flakes for color! Serve with oyster crackers or sliced bread

The leek (porrum), like the Welsh onion, forms only a cylindrical instead of a rounded bulb. The leaf of the leek, however, is flattened and solid, while the leaf of the onion is cylindrical and hollow.

Fried Japanese Tofu

Now that he is home I search recipe blogs for yummy vegan dishes for him.

The other night I made something tasty on my own with what we had available – tofu, sriracha sauce, and soy sauce without a recipe.

I squished all the water out trying not to break the tofu. The paper towels were soaking wet. Once it was as dry as I could get it I sliced it into cubes – probably 2 inches each.

In a separate bowl I put sriracha sauce, soy sauce, garlic flakes, and some seasoning. After mixing it and putting some gloves on I placed the tofu cubes into the sauce. I gently moved the pieces in the bowl to make sure I covered each piece.

While I let this sit I heated some olive oil in a frying pan on low heat. Once heated I added the pieces one by one placing a lid on top.

After about 3 – 6 minutes I flipped them – they were brown on one side. Be careful and keep the heat low or use protective gloves because the grease does splatter.

I removed them from the fire a few minutes later.

Next, I reheated some rice with soy sauce and sriracha along with scallions, thinly sliced carrots, and broccoli.

Finally, I placed the rice on the plate with the fried tofu on top. I tried a bit myself and my mouth did a happy dance. I actually made something yummy.

My son ate his meal with enjoyment.

What did I just make? I know from eating at Japanese restaurants that they have something like this so I searched online.

It’s called Agedashi Tofu. You make in a similar way except you add a coating to it.

1. Agedashi Tofu by Nami of Just One Cook Book

She uses soft tofu in her recipe along with vegetable oil, potato starch, dashi (kombu dashi for vegetarian – she has a homemade recipe on her blog), mirin, soy sauce, scallion, daikon radish and Japanese seven spice.

Included is a step-by-by step photo tutorial as well as video tutorial.

She suggest squeezing the liquid out of the tofu for 15-minutes. I think I may have done 5-minutes so I’ll have to try getting more of the water out next time.

After chopping the onions and grating the radish (and making the sauce) she deep fries the tofu. Agedashi is crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Read the rest of her tutorial as well as some interesting tidbits about this appetizer on her blog Just One Cook Book.

2. Deep Fried Tofu by Bebe Love Okazu

This recipe looks very simple.

– drain the tofu

– coat it with potato starch

– fry it

– make sauce and cut up vegetables

– serve

Vegetarian Lunch Box Ideas

Sandwiches and rolls

Sandwiches are such an easy choice. However it doesn’t have to be cheese and tomato sandwiched between two slices of white bread. There are many, many ways you can make this simple option more interesting. Begin by varying the bread you use. There are an abundance of different breads out there these days. Think wholegrain, rye, spelt, pumpernickel, sourdough – to name just a few. Furthermore, it doesn’t just have to be sliced bread. You can have rolls, baguettes, pitas, wraps and all the different variations that come from these options.

Now to choose your filling. Mix and match to make some tasty combinations. There’s cheese and all its varieties – including cream cheese and spreadable cheese. Don’t forget cheeses such as halloumi and feta, which work so well in wraps and pitas. Then there’s egg – mash or slice, add some curry powder or mustard, or just salt and pepper. Beans and chickpeas go really well – you can mash them up for a roll or sandwich or keep whole for pitas and wraps. Cannellini or butter beans are great as you can mash them up and then add herbs or spices to transform them. You can pad out your sandwich with your favourite vegetables – salad leaves, grated carrot, sliced tomato, corn kernels. Things like broccoli and cauliflower go well in wraps – raw or roasted. If you like, you can finish off your sandwich with some relish or mayonnaise.

Salads

A salad is not just some lettuce, cucumber and tomato. Really it is a combination of ingredients, mixed together to make something delicious and perfect for your lunch box. To make your lunches more filling you could add a base to your salad. Things like couscous, bulghar wheat, pasta, brown rice and quinoa are good options. Couscous is a great option as it is so quick to prepare. Whilst your base is cooking you can prepare the rest of your salad.

Add whatever vegetables you fancy. Onion (whether, spring, brown, red or even pickled), baby kale, spinach, cherry tomatoes, carrot, broccoli, avocado, rocket are some options. You can add them raw or roast or fry them if you like. Your vegetables can also come from a tin or jar. Things like artichoke hearts, olives, capers and sundried tomatoes work really well and their flavour goes a long way. You can even add some nuts – I love toasted pine nuts, but cashews and almonds are good or just whatever takes your fancy. Don’t forget beans – just rinse and drain and stir them in.

To enhance your salad further, make a simple dressing. Simply combine extra virgin olive oil with your choice of vinegar or lemon juice (or lime). For a salad for two, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil mixed with 1 tablespoon of vinegar is the quantities you need. You can add spices and herbs, even mustard if you choose. Then stir the dressing into the salad.

Spreads and dips

This is a fun way of eating lunch. Add some crispbread or similar to your lunch box, pop some spread in a container, remember a knife and you’re good to go. Instead of crispbread, you could always make up some polenta. Cook the polenta, pop into a pan and leave it to firm up. Slice it up and serve with your choice of spread or topping. Alternatively you can cut the polenta into fingers and serve them with a dip. Try cutting up some raw vegetables such as carrot and bell pepper. These are perfect with dips along with button mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and radishes.

What works as a dip generally also works well as a spread. Cream cheese is a good choice and can be enhanced with herbs, spices, mustard. I like to blitz up chargrilled peppers and mix them into the cream cheese. You can also blitz up beetroot, artichoke hearts, any type of canned bean or chickpeas. Try adding horseradish sauce and some blue cheese to beetroot – it’s lovely. Raid your pantry and don’t be afraid to experiment.

To add even more variety to your lunch you could add a hard boiled egg, some cubes of cheese, raw nuts, olives, sundried tomatoes or pickles. Grapes also go well, as does dried fruit.

About Paleo Tomato Soup

You may want cream if you don’t like the natural texture of tomatoes in your soup. This can be cream made with dairy so if you don’t mind dairy products then it’s a good one to use. There are a few to choose from at your local market so look carefully to see what you want.

Another option for cream if you wish to stay away from dairy products would be coconut milk witch isn’t a bad alternative. Coconut milk has many health benefits and can give your tomato soup a unique taste. Coconut milk also can give your body a lot of hydration witch is good your skin and body and general. If you need a healthier alternative then coconut milk is a good option for anyone.

Just adding water can also be a viable option. It’s really up to you if you think you need cream or not. Some people just decide to forget the cream all together and go with the natural ingredients that are already in the soup. If you have a good soup then the cream may not even be necessary. It really depends on witch recipe you are using and how you are making your tomato soup. If you feel like the cream doesn’t need to be there then it doesn’t because there doesn’t always need to be cream.

So soup cream is really a personal thing and it’s up to your taste buds to decide if you need it or not. If you feel the need to add cream then add it and see what you think and if not then just add a bit of water and forget the cream. Each is a good option and has it’s own unique taste. The more you cook tomato soups the more you’ll get a feel for it and develop your own style of tomato soup. In the long run your taste buds need to get honed in and trusted.

Fondant Icing

For you to achieve a perfect cake covering you need to consider some tips. These tips include:

Have a perfect ganache: There is no way your cake will have a perfect finish if it has a crude ganache.

Roll a thin fondant: To achieve a perfect finish you should roll your fondant thin. You should roll it 3-4 mm or even thinner if your fondant allows you. To have an easy time you should make use of rolling pins with spacers.

Cut your cake neatly: To keep the bottom edge clean you should neatly cut your fondant. To achieve ideal results, you should make use of a pizza wheel. Also, use a super sharp knife or scalpel to trim the seam at the back of the cake. This plays a significant role in making the seam neat.

Add color: To give your cake an interesting look, it’s wise to add color to it. For ideal results, you should add one drop of food color at a time and knead the color into your fondant. It’s common for the icing to feel tacky. When it does, you should sprinkle a little powdered sugar into it. All you need to do is to gently rub it over the sticky area with the palm of your hand.

Seal the cracks: When you are applying the icing, it can break. When this happens, you shouldn’t worry as all you need to do, is patch the cracks using little water and your finger.

This is what you need to know about fondant icing. You should apply your preferred color and shape the unit in a design that you are proud of.

Cold Soup Recipes For Refreshing Meal

The Cool Cucumber

What you need:

  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/3 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 1/3 cups sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped dill
  • 1/2 cup chopped mint

In a large bowl, mix together cucumber, garlic, vegetable broth, yogurt and sour cream. Blend ingredients together until smooth using an immersion blender. Add dill and mint to the mixture and blend again. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until soup is chilled.

Beet the Heat

What you need:

  • 2 cups sliced beets
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 4 cups fat-free buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste

Combine beets, cucumber, onions, buttermilk, vinegar, dill and salt in a large bowl. Stir to mix ingredients well. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve chilled.

Coco Citrus Cold Carrot Soup

What you need:

  • 6 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 7 cups coconut milk
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons chili paste
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

In a large pot over medium heat, heat oil then cook 1 tablespoon cilantro, chili paste and cumin for 1 minute. Stir in onion, garlic and ginger and cook until onion is tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add carrots and potatoes to the pot and cook for 5 minutes more. Add coconut milk and vegetable broth to the pot. Increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Lower heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 45 minutes or until carrots and potatoes are tender. Remove soup from heat then stir in lime juice. Puree the mixture in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth. Transfer soup to a bowl and allow to cool for a few minutes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Garnish with remaining cilantro before serving.

Cook Fresh Pasta

Storing Handmade Fresh Pasta

If you’ve made it yourself and you’ve already cut it, then you can either choose to refrigerate it for later use, or you can cook it right away. If you aren’t going to be cooking your noodles immediately after having made them, then you will want to give them 1 to 2 minutes of drying time on a baking sheet.

Next, give them a generous dusting with flour so that when you store them together, they won’t stick and form a solid clump. Gather them together into small bunches and either fold them in half or wrap them into small nests. Allow them to dry for an additional thirty minutes and then wrap them up and place them into the refrigerator. Fresh pasta will remain good for up to 2 days in the fridge. If you think that it will take you longer to consume the noodles, freeze them for up to 2 weeks.

Cooking Handmade Fresh Pasta

If you can cook dry noodles, then you can cook fresh pasta. The reason is that freshly made noodles are far easier and faster to prepare! Use a large pot of water and bring it to a boil. For about 4 nests, you’ll need around 8 cups of water. That may seem like a lot, but it is good to have a lot more water than pasta. This helps to ensure that the noodles will be able to move freely in the water instead of cooking to each other.

Once they’re in, bring the water back to a boil, and after a minute and a half (yes, that’s all!) of gentle simmering, you’re all set! Drain the water off in a strainer and serve right away with your favorite sauce. Don’t overcook it or you won’t be happy with the texture it produces. Al dente should be your goal. If you aren’t sure, just take a noodle out of the pot, let it cool for a couple of seconds, and take a bite!

Pepperoni Casserole

You can eat it by itself or add some meat to it to create a meal. I needed a meal idea and had several boxes of macaroni noodles. Since my daughter has a love thing for pepperoni, I came up with the idea of baked pepperoni casserole. Here’s my daughter inspired meal for you to try.

Ingredients

1 lb bag/box of elbow macaroni

1 package of sliced pepperoni

1 onion

1 jar spaghetti sauce

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 can black olives

1 8 oz package of mozzarella cheese

¼ cup parmesan cheese

Cook elbow macaroni according to package directions or until al dente which is firm. Please do not overcook noodles in water since you will put the pasta in the oven to cook. Drain the noodles and add in a casserole dish. Chop up the onion and add to a skillet with the olive oil to sauté for a few minutes then put in the casserole dish. Drain the can of olives and add to the casserole. Add the entire package of pepperoni. Use your favorite jar of spaghetti sauce or you can make a homemade sauce if you choose. I like the brand Ragu. Add the spaghetti sauce to the pepperoni casserole. Mix in half the package of cheese to the dish and mix well. Use the rest of the cheese to sprinkle all over the top of the casserole. Then sprinkle the parmesan cheese over of the dish. Add the casserole to a 350 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes or until nice and bubbly. Remove from oven and serve with buttered garlic toast.

Buttered Garlic toast

4 slices of Texas toast

½ stick butter (room temperature)

4 cloves garlic

2 Tbsp parmesan cheese

Warming Winter Soups and Stews

Stock

Using a home made or good quality fresh stock is always going to give you a better quality soup than using stock cubes or flavour enhancers.

If you don’t have the time or inclination to make your own stock then there are some good quality stocks available form specialty food stores.

Also consider carefully which stock you use for which dish. It is better to use chicken or vegetable stock for light soups and darker stocks such as beef for heartier soups and stews.

Seasoning

Season your ingredients moderately as you go along. This will enhance the flavours of the individual ingredients without making the soup salty.

Use sea salt flakes instead of table salt for a better flavour.

Once the soup is cooked out adjust the seasoning as necessary. Taste the soup add a little salt at a time until the full depth of the ingredients can be tasted.

Such a simple step but so often the difference between flavour-some soups and bland ones.

Consider Texture

Different elements of your dish will need to be cooked differently to produce the desired texture. A carrot for example takes a lot longer to cook than a pea.

Texture comes down to selecting the right ingredients and adding them to the dish at the right time so they are all cooked through at the same time.

Consider from the start if you want a smooth blended soup or one with lots of body and different components.

Add green and leafy veg such as spinach right at the end to avoid it becoming over-cooked.

Croutons, cheeses, crackers, nuts, bean shoots or even pork rinds can be used to add texture and flavour.

Cut to size

Pay attention to the size you are cutting your vegetables and meat. Too big and it may be difficult to eat or take a long time to cook while other components over cook. Too small and it may break down completely.