July 2, 2013

Prawn Buying Secrets – Have You Mastered Them?

I have posted this prawn tips awhile back. Have you already mastered it?

Prawns are among the most wonderful seafood and there is nothing like mastering the best way to thaw frozen shrimp/prawn and the best ways to prepare them. You must already know how good this seafood is for you for its being high in protein, and eating them is a great way for the family to get enough iron, zinc and vitamin E. Prawns also contain heart-friendly omega-3 fatty acids. Cooked using healthy methods such as grilling, steaming and stir-frying, and with “good” fats such as olive oil, they’re also very low in fat and saturated fat.


Let’s go back to basics. The best way to buy prawns is through a reputable retailer. Green prawns come both fresh and frozen (but most commonly frozen and thawed for your convenience) ask your retailer if these are fresh or frozen as it is not recommended to re-freeze thawed prawns. Always make sure the seafood is covered appropriately and do not allow it to sit in its own juice. If possible, make sure you have the seafood draining and tip out the drained juices frequently.

However, buying prawns can also be complex and should be given attention. With the vast range or chilled and frozen seafood products these days, there are seafood secrets just essential for consumers to know about. A few secrets of selecting from a mix and match matrix of seafood varieties and flavors, will bring you to the magic of delicate seafood salads, or transform green (uncooked) prawns into flavorsome dishes in minutes. It will discover you which between peeled prawn meat or prawn mince you’d be buying if you are planning to cook Asian-style dumplings, patties and skewers.

It pays to be well-informed and with experts that put rigorous attention to stocks and quality of prawns, fishermen, government organization, chefs and consumers can all be confident we have the best prawns available anywhere. Have you mastered all the secrets? I also have gathered the best tips for your lobsters, learn the tricks here.


May 16, 2013

After Pies – Think of Toasted Snack Ideas

For busy people like you and me, I think one of the greatest advantages of a toasted snack is it’s being quick and so convenient to prepare. It’s so versatile that can be ideal for mid-day break, an afternoon snack, to make speedy sophisticated starters, lunches or suppers, and even for midnight munchies. Let me share two fantastic toasted-bread snack recipes which you too can enjoy whether you go for bread, bun or bagel.


Lemony Tuna Toasts with Capers


200g ( 7oz) tuna brine, flaked
2 teaspoons small capers, rinsed and drained well
21/2 teaspoons lemon rind, finely-grated
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Salt to taste
Freshly-milled black pepper
10cm (4 in) length cucumber, thinly sliced
2 slices white bread
2 teaspoons softened butter or margarine
75g (21/2 oz) Mozarella cheese, sliced
Lemon balm or parsley, to garnish


Stir flaked tuna in capers, lemon rind and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toast the bread and spread with butter or margarine. Cover with cucumber slices then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Divide tuna mixture between toast slices then cover centers with mozzarella. Transfer to foil-lined grill pan and heat under a hot grill until cheese melts. Garnish with lemon balm or parsley. Serve right away while cheese is still warm.

Tip: You can pile tuna mixture on slices of toasted French bread, grill as instructed and serve on a bed of mixed salad leaves.

This is an example of a decent griddle pan toasted sandwich prepared with a couple of patience.

Avocado Mexicali Toasts


1 ripe avocado
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 samll onion
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
Pinched dried thyme
1 egg, beaten
4 tablespoons fresh white breadcrumbs
3-4 drops Tabasco sauce or to taste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 large slices white bread
Freshly-milled black pepper


Line a baking sheet with foil. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cut avocado into halves and scoop flesh into a mixing bowl. Add lemon juice and mash finely. Grate onion and crush garlic, then add both to avocado with parsley, thyme, egg, breadcrumbs, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce. Adjust the quantity of Tabasco to personal taste, mixing well.

Toast the bread. Spread slices with avocado mixture then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer topped toast slices to baking sheet. Heat through in the oven for 5 to 6 minutes. Garnish with flat parsley and red chilies if liked. Serve at once.

panini with sweet potatoe fries sml

In the case that you would want something heavier than plain toasted sandwiches, you also can prepare something like roast beef onion with Dijon mustard on 2 thick slices of bread, pressed and cooked in a panini grill until golden; or make Caprese with sliced Italian bread filled with slices of fresh mozzarella and tomato, and a few basil leaves, pressed until golden.

Certainly you don’t need a panini press to make toasted snacks, but if you happen to have a panini grill at home, it can do much more. It drain away fats from your snacks subtracting calories everyday. So probably another interesting thing for summer quick-to-do snack recipes. Find a panini grill here.


May 14, 2013

Tips for Smoked Fish Dinners, Dips, Cakes and Omelets

Today’s cook has a variety of smokers from which to choose, and all can be used to prepare excellent smoked fish. Today’s cures are lighter, so most forms of fish smoked at home need to be refrigerated until use. You can freeze smoked fish for even longer storage. Fish smoking methods vary, the following are very generic steps you can use to smoke your own fish. You may want to experiment a little with some different ingredients to create your own brine.



May 9, 2013

Creamy Bitter Sweet Coffee Cocktails

For the best dessert adventurer, you should already know by now why Bourbon is famous when it comes to making after meal treats, or why master chefs use notes of wine or liqueur to make fabulous desserts.


This may not be something that you would want to have on your menu, but to booze up even the simplest coffee and cream or milkshake, combining chocolate, coffee, cream and whatever you have in hand with drops of Port or Sherry wine, can already be a cocktail entry. For today’s weekend surprise, I picked some Bourbon revelations for you. I thought the idea of a simple bourbon or any wine pour-over could also begin to gravitate in your list of homemade desserts, drinks and ice-creams.


Coffee and brandy blended in a whiff of creaminess makes for great food and good times. Like coffee cocktails containing notes of chocolate, almonds, citrus, pomegranate, and even jasmine, drops of brandy can enhance any single three-in-one cuppa. But because coffee cocktail is a little complex with the bitter flavor, acids and sugars in the coffee, it is as well important to know various brew methods, bean qualities and basic formula. Equipping your kitchen with basic know-how, and getting a good coffee grinder, coffeemaker, or a blender; even the simplest coffee drink ideas from Folgers will be feast.

Caffeine and alcohol makes among the most interesting blends of flavors. When making coffee cocktails, the more natural the flavor of coffee the more it makes a difference; remember that coffee is freshest within 4 to 6 days of roast. Once coffee is ground, oils begin to go rancid and push to the surface of your cup, which is why it is ideal to only grind beans at home immediately before use. The fresher your coffee, the fabulous coffee cocktail you can serve. Don’t forget to balance the flavors, each should compliment each other. Brandy, rums, cognacs as well as fortified wines are top choices when it comes to coffee pairings. This coffee bourbon milkshake can be the easiest and best you will ever have.

If you’re new to the world of fancy coffee drinks, coffee drinks illustrated is a must read. It will teach you about preparing one and how adding extra ‘shots’ of espresso can make your drink stronger. Even without alcohol, iced-coffee treats are fabulous. Click here.


Don’t Let a bad Wine Ruin Your Wedding Day

While Cabernet Sauvignon is the most popular red wine in America that’s best for hearty meats, Sauvignon Blanc, a super-versatile white that goes splendidly with seafood, chicken, eggs, vegetables, and salads, should not be overlooked. These two wines stand out for their exceptional value especially for wedding banquets.

But many of today’s brides and grooms seek more sophistication in the beverages they wish to serve at their reception, with wine playing an increasingly large role. If you’re not in a rush, you should have time to take a few of the recommended wines home, taste them, and, if they’re delicious, go back for more. Don’t let a bad wine ruin your wedding day.



May 3, 2013

Let’s Eat Flowers!

Do you know sage blossoms? People are skeptical about even trying flowers for a dish. I for one. But in all honesty and with this story, I think eating flowers can bring a delightful taste that can be introduced to family and friends. Preparing this chilled cauliflower soup, the result can be a dish that is well received by the eye as well as the palate. The big surprise is that the flowers pack a lot of flavor, you bite in and there’s a sudden burst of sweetness of the sage.

Read the full article here:
Let’s Eat Flowers!



April 26, 2013

Brewing Your Own Beer – A Mother Earth News

Home brew may seem to be shrouded in mystique and entirely too complicated, but when you separate the nonsense from the useful information, you’ll discover how good grade home brew beer starts with good amount of bubbles. Brewing your own beer, rather than participating in the shelling out $20 or $30 a case for a product of often questionable quality, has long been a favorite for MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers.

Want to brew an American pale ale? or a chocolate cherry ancho pepper-flavored porter? While the initial cash outlay, though minimal, can be intimidating, it is far cheaper in the long run to brew your own beer than to buy micro-brewed beer. Speaking of which, the craft brew industry is so strong right now, you may wonder, “why even bother trying to brew my own beer?”

What Mother Earth has to say about brewing your own beer can be thoughts to ponder upon. Read here.

Beer1 (1)


April 8, 2013

One Way to Cook Like a Gourmet

Gourmets love fresh herbs. They believe it can awaken a normal dish into something extraordinary. Examples of cooking with herbs are, pairing basil with tomatoes, rosemary with roasts, and chives with butter, or cream cheese. Another one is oregano. It is an indispensable ingredient that adds flavor to salads, soups, and sauces. Oregano is the secret ingredient of the famous Greek salad. It can also accompany many fish or meat barbecues and some casseroles.


I find fresh parsley very versatile with just about any dish, I cut off a few sprigs, diced them up and topped the dish with the fresh parsley. Actually, different kinds of herbs create different tastes in foods. Imagine how the freshest of them can make great in soups, stews, vegetables, pasta, salads and breads. Although these herbs are not limited to these items, they are often use these ways. From them that the simplest meal can turn out a gourmet delight. From them that gourmets became masters in creating marvelously-tasting dishes.

If you wish to learn using herbs by heart, embrace the art of using herbs in your cooking. It provides an opportunity to learn changing flavors in your dishes in different ways and in which particular food. Even French sauces use herbs. What makes the the simplest soups fabulous? Herbs. None of these fine sauces are actually difficult to make, just follow the instructions, mince your herbs properly to bring out flavors, and you’re good to go.

soups with herbs

I suggest that to begin using herbs, work on them slowly by adding just a little at a time until you have it just right. A great way to have a continuous supply of herbs for cooking is to grow them. Fresh herbs are one of the greatest ways to increase the taste in your food. They can add a punch even to drinks or create intensely flavorful crusts for roasted meats. While fresh herbs are now regularly available at grocery stores year round, growing your own is still the best way to discover them better. Once you know the wonders of herbs, a baked potato can come out alive. Even the simplest chives can make them great.


April 7, 2013

I Can Cook Too

Adam Roberts on the Amateur Gourmet website offers a video of Lea Delaria performing I Can Cook Too. Comedic and well sung, she gives a first-class performance. Reporting that he was about to cook when he decided to Google Leonard Bernstein?s ?On the Town? musical production and discovered the video, and then decided to share it.

Read the full article here:
I Can Cook Too

lea delara


March 18, 2013

Cheesy Enchilada Casserole

For a cheese dish that people calls something as out of this world, it must be something really cheesy-unique. Could it be the taste or the method? If you look at it, the casserole is easier to prepare than individual enchiladas; that’s because no rolling of the tortillas is necessary. You can change things up by adding black beans, chicken, beef, or even something like green onions. So you get the homemade taste of Cheese Enchiladas without the long process of preparing them. Ready to try?

Read the full article here:
Cheesy Enchilada Casserole