Get the Most from Your Cast Iron Cookware

Cast iron cookware is an old fashioned form of cookware that still has a place in today’s world of modern cooking. You will find all types of cast iron pots, pans, skillets, tea kettles, and even large dutch ovens. Those who routinely use cast iron swear by it’s versatility and durability. I personally think that a good set of cast iron cookware is hard to beat. There are a few conditions that you do have to meet when using cast iron. One of these is seasoning the new cast iron items that you buy or maintaining the seasoning of the ones you already own. Seasoning of cast iron is required to promote a non-stick surface on the cookware and make …

Marinades, Sauces And Dressings: Balsamic Vinegar Compliments More Than You May Realize

A balsamic vinaigrette dressing can turn a nominal green salad into a refreshing mixed fresh Spring salad with a zest of Italian flair. Using aged balsamic adds a bit of gourmet into anyone’s kitchen. Send a bottle to a friend for a gift and you may turn their culinary world upside down. “The keynote to happiness within the four walls that make any home is plain, wholesome, well cooked food, attractively served.” — Louis P. De Gouy Balsamic Vinegar has an almost other worldly flavor that enhances nearly any food it touches. You can see a visible change on the face of someone who is trying Italian balsamico for the first time. Their face is transformed by awe and delight. …

Make Grilling A Healthy Experience

Without a doubt there is something very relaxing and pleasurable about cooking and eating grilled food. There are countless ways you can turn your grilling not only into a flavorful and enjoyable way to cook, but there are also many healthy and tasty alternatives. Like anything else in life, what you put on your grill is a choice. Grilling healthy first means that you have decided to eat healthy. Cooking on a grill can be a great way to reduce fats on while adding wonderful flavor however we must also be careful when grilling as there can be certain risks if precautions are not taken. Eating healthy always begins with choosing healthy foods that are low in fat and using …

Microwave Cooking is the Wave of the Future

When it comes to cooking there are few tools that are more versatile in the kitchen than the microwave. This device offers so many functions when it comes to cooking that most people never bother to utilize. It’s sad really. In most homes, the microwave has been relegated to doing duty as a meat defroster, popcorn popper, and coffee warmer rather than using is as the fabulous device for actual food preparation that it really is capable of being. Before you set up to change your ways, you need to understand that when it comes to microwave cooking, not all microwaves were created equal. Wattage is vitally important as is the quality of your microwave. The average el cheapo microwave …

Metallic Cookware

The two essential features of a cookware are that it should have good thermal conductivity and that it should be chemically unreactive with the ingredients that are cooked in it. Metallic cookware are found to possess these essential features and hence are the most widely used forms of cookware across the globe. They are generally made from a narrow range of metals. Most metals that exhibit good thermal conductivity are too reactive to be used in food preparation. Hence selection of the right type of metal for cookware is crucial. The most popular metals that find usage in cookware are: Aluminium Aluminium is a lightweight metal which exhibits very good thermal conductivity. The main characteristics of aluminium are that it …

Mongolian Hot Pot – More Uses For Your Fondue Pot

As much as you love your fondue pot, you can’t dunk bread cubes into hot melted cheese every night. On those nights when you need a break from cheese fondue, why not use the fondue pot for something else. Mongolian Hot Pot is a great meal that can be cooked in an electric fondue pot. It is said that Mongolian Hot Pot was originated by the ancient Mongols who would cook their food in boiling water. They would season the water with the dry spices that they carried along with them on their many journeys and battles. Those Mongols probably would not recognize this Mongolian Hot Pot recipe but it’s easy to make and delicious. To make Mongolian Hot Pot …

Olive Oil, An Ancient Gift For Health.

Scientists are always looking to plants to find medicinal and therapeutic secrets. Discoveries of natural compounds within the olive tree and olives, provide promising health and medical benefits. Organic olive oil has significant health related properties that have spanned centuries and cultures in the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean olive dates back 6000 years and was native to Iran, Syria and Palestine (Asia Minor). From there it spread to the Mediterranean basin. It is one of the earliest known cultivated trees. According to the Bible, an olive leaf was that which a dove brought back to Noah, as an indication the great flood waters were abating. The olive tree thrives best in a sunny position and climate. A rocky subsoil suits it …

North America Gets Cheesy with Raclette Grills

Yes, the fondue pot of the 70’s was pretty cheesy, but in this century, nothing is more cheesy than raclette. In recent years fondue pots have experienced a resurgence in popularity, and with them has come the raclette grill. Though not traditionally well known in the US and Canada, raclette is suddenly experiencing a boom in popularity. Raclette is a semi-soft, relatively mild, easily melted cheese from Switzerland. The term also refers to the cooking method of melting cheese at a tabletop grill and serving with a variety of accompaniments. Legend has it that the original method for melting the raclette cheese began when Swiss herdsmen settled down for the night in their camps. They placed a hunk of cheese …

Elegant Entertaining Without Breaking The Bank

Good news for the next time you’re considering hosting a party. You don’t have to feel dizzy, overwhelmed and full of questions: I don’t have a creative bone in my body-how will I decorate without spending a fortune? What will I serve? You can relax and take a deep breath. Here are a few hints on how to create an affordable elegance that you can enjoy just as much as your guests. How will I decorate without spending a fortune? You don’t have to spend huge amounts of money on anything that will only be used once. Start by looking around your home and see what you can use to complement a specific theme. For example, if you’re hosting a …

Dill: The Most Important Culinary Herb in Scandinavia

The ancient herb, Anethum graveolens or Fernleaf dill as it is commonly known, was mentioned some 5,000 years ago in early Egyptian writings. It is the most important culinary herb in Scandinavia, as popular as parsley is in other parts of the world. The word ‘dill’ stems from the Old Norse word dilla, meaning “to lull,” and can be grown indoors and out. The feathery leaves make dill a pretty foliage plant, which is lovely as a green foil for the flowers in your garden. The fragrance of dill on fingers evokes a ‘comfort smell’ for many people as the leaves smell of homemade dill pickles. Old-fashioned dill water or gripe water as it is commonly known (made by infusing …

DIFFERENT WAYS TO COOK RICE.

Rice needs to be thoroughly washed. A good way to do this is to put it into a colander, in a deep pan of water. Rub the rice well with the hands, lifting the colander in and out the water, and changing the water until it is clear; then drain. In this way the grit is deposited in the water, and the rice left thoroughly clean. The best method of cooking rice is by steaming it. If boiled in much water, it loses a portion of its already small percentage of nitrogenous elements. It requires much less time for cooking than any of the other grains. Like all the dried grains and seeds, rice swells in cooking to several times …

Deep Fryer – Pieces of Wisdom

For a time I worked in a convenience store as a clerk and cook and I used a deep fryer quite a bit for cooking battered chicken and French fried potatoes. Of course the chicken doesn’t start out battered. It comes delivered frozen in big cardboard boxes. Before the chicken is ready for the cooking part it must be prepared and time to thaw out. Each piece of chicken is rinsed in cold water, then put in a vat of tenderising, salty water to soak for several hours in a refrigerated area. It is again rinsed and kept cold, until needed for cooking. When needed for cooking the chicken is breaded in a special spicy flour mix, dipped in spice …

Deciding To Go To Chef School

If you enjoy cooking and want a job that doesn’t seem so much like work, perhaps a chef school can give you the skills and experience you need to cook in top notch restaurants around the country or even the world. Every restaurant has several cooks on staff, but the curriculum at a chef school will elevate you and your paycheck well beyond the level of any common short-order cook. Also, a quality chef school can prepare you for a number of prestigious positions in the food service industry. Many chef school campuses also teach the business side of the culinary arts. Many graduates of chef school go on to own their own restaurant, which gives them the freedom to …

Culinary Training Isn’t A Cakewalk

A career as a chef can be fulfilling and challenging, and if you have a passion for food culinary training may be a perfect fit. However, it isn’t easy. Anyone who has attended a culinary institute can tell you that the education you receive goes far beyond simply learning how to throw together a few meals. In fact, you learn much more than just cooking. Being a successful chef also involves being able to manage your kitchen properly, work well with your staff and understand nutrition, food purchasing and plenty of other things that go beyond the stove or oven. Culinary training can be an eye-opening experience for many students as they prepare for their career in the food and …

Culinary Traditions Of The Caribbean Islands

Authentic Caribbean cuisine is truly an excellent representation of all the cultural influences the Caribbean Islands have experienced since Christopher Columbus’ landing in the late 1400’s. With a fine mixture of French Island and African recipes, Caribbean cuisine is widely prepared and enjoyed by people of all nationalities, in many areas of the United States and the world. Caribbean food and culture was forever changed when the European traders brought African slaves into the region. The slaves ate mostly the scrap leftovers of the slave owners, so not unlike the slaves in the United States they had to make do with what they had. This was the birth of the more contemporary Caribbean Cuisine. The African slaves blended the knowledge …

Culinary Traditions Of South America: Argentina

Argentina is South America’s second largest country, snugly situated between the Andes mountain range, the Pacific Ocean, and the South American countries of Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil, and Chile. Being situated in such a manner, Argentina is exposed to many different cultural influences from all directions, including countries all the way across the Pacific. Spain took it upon themselves to permanently settle in the country in the late 1500s, and remained there until Buenos Aires formally emancipated themselves in 1853. One of the most remarkable differences between Argentine Cuisine and exotic cuisines from around the world is the heavy influence that the cuisine of the Italian and Spanish cultures had on it. Startlingly enough, due to the influence of the …