June 25, 2013

Chilled Fennel and Cucumber Soup

Chilled dishes in the summer; how to make them work? Chilled Fennel and Cucumber Soup will satisfy the need for a cool plate during a hot season. However, preparing a cold soup that is tasty is a bit of a challenge, in other words, cold soups usually don’t taste good. There was one instance where excited food tasters got disappointed that the soup dish just tasted like cream.

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Chilled Fennel and Cucumber Soup

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June 19, 2013

High-End, Classic Chili

There are some 500 chili competitions held every year across the world. Add to that the large selection of questionable chili powders and low quality meats, and this classic American dish has developed an identity crisis. In an attempt to bring back the original chili dish, three chefs with chili expertise are interviewed.

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High-End, Classic Chili

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June 11, 2013

Preparing for a Summer Berry Pudding

I find this recipe the best thing for my family, friends and followers and I’ve thought of sharing this that no one’s going to miss a mouth-watering Dutch Oven pudding delight with a full pitch of sugary-berry taste.

Slice strawberries into 1/4 thick pieces, the raspberries in halves, but leave the blueberries whole. You can sprinkle a little sugar on them if you want your pudding sweeter, or add a couple tablespoons of raspberry liqueur, for a more robust-tasting treat. Allow the mixture to macerate in the fridge overnight.

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The next day, bring the macerated mixture up to a boil and adjust the flavor with sugar and some lemon juice. Boil the mixture until berries are softened. Cook just until they start to soften and take them off from heat immediately after cooking so they would stay intact in the final product. For the bread, I made Peter Reinhart’s BBA poor man’s brioche. You could use an even richer bread, but I’m not sure the extra fat would make this fruit-based dessert much better. My 3-quart round dutch oven was the closest cross sectional size I could get the small circular mold I used to assemble the pudding. This way you will spring up a nice brioche.

Slice the megamuffin into five round layers and use the bottom of the mold as a guide to trim the rounds to the right size. The trimmings were perfect for a small savory bread pudding. Then the fun part, layering. Make a generous layer of the berry liquid (at least enough to soak the layer of bread underneath through), followed by bread, and then berries, etc. The top layer should be the last piece of bread, with just liquid spooned on top. You can have some berries on top if you’d like, but they make the next step more difficult.

After stacking the layers, cover the top with a layer of cling film. Fill a small round saucepan with water and place it on top of the pudding to weigh it down. This compresses the layers and helps the liquid soak through evenly. After a couple of hours, here’s the result:

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This summer berry pudding may not the prettiest or the most refined thing the world, but it bursts with berry flavor and tastes like summer. All it needs is a dollop of whipped cream, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream if that’s the way you feel it.

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June 10, 2013

Potatoes and Salmon Cakes

Giangi has created a new recipe by combining salmon into her potato cakes. She prepared mashed potatoes and skinless salmon fillets separately and then added with scallions, lemon juice, parmesan, panko, marjoram, and bread crumbs. While baking them in the oven at 350 degrees, she prepared a lemon mayonnaise sauce to use as a dip. .

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Potatoes and Salmon Cakes

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June 5, 2013

Mussels in Smoky Poblano-Cilantro Broth

Composing an excellent mussel dish must consist of great flavors. This recipe is a smoky mussel poblano cilantro broth, a good broth start with a good white wine. Garlic, shallots, lime, paprika, diced chilies, add pizzazz to the mussels. Cooking Light showcases this recipe in it’s magazine for a favorite of 2011. An excellent blend of flavors that the mussels just soak up.

Read the full article here:
Mussels in Smoky Poblano-Cilantro Broth

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May 26, 2013

Reviewing Stew Pots – A May Special

You want each and every stew stewed…overflowing with great chunks, intense flavors and a large helping of appetite! What’s more, homemade one pot meals like these are endless! Stock pots or stew pots are a necessary tool to make all this possible. It’s the type of cookware with a multitude of uses from making soup stock, of course, to preparing stews, tomato sauces and chili.

The best thing about a stock pot is the possibility of cooking just about anything on it. A larger stock pot will be able to better serve larger recipes and a wider variety of entrees for your friends and family. Stock pots are the predecessor to crock pots and provide a handy implement for slow cooking and wonderful winter meals and dinners.

Fissler Solea Stockpot

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Our Solea high stew pot (click here to see product video) produces a stock pot that can cook perfect meals in a busy household. The stainless steel construction ensures durability and long life. An aluminum core allows for even heat distribution and even cooking over the surface area. This Solea high stew pot has a fully encapsulated cookstar all-stove base which is comprised of a pure aluminum core and high-quality 18/10 stainless steel, ensures that the base will never separate or warp. The energy-saving base also provides quick optimal heat distribution and diffusion without any hot spots. Safe for use on any kind of stove, including induction.

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Chef Batali’s extremely versatile cast iron Dutch oven is another great addition to your kitchen. When used for slow simmering stews or roasts your meat will come out fork tender. It also is excellent for frying and searing at high heat. It’s unique lid with interior spikes insures a continuous natural basting. Mario Batali cast iron Dutch oven collection are great for starter cooks and experienced chefs. Experiment with some new recipes and discover the joys of stock pot cooking. Stocks are not only used for soups but can be incorporated into sauces and roasts to keep in moisture and add a new dimension to your entrees and recipes.

If a 12-qt stock pot is too large for your needs in the kitchen then get an 8-qt capacity featuring the same construction and heat retention. Regardless of size, these stockpots are highly polished and designed for the aesthetic beauty of your kitchen. Remember presentation is very important. They are also oven proof; meaning you can place the stock pots directly in the oven to create new and exciting entrees and recipes at home. Not to mention they are ergonomically designed to provide greater comfort during preparation.

From the very beginning, my kids wanted every pot of stewed meals. It makes them feel so homemade; delicious, full of proper chunks and really gratifying.

At Your Smart Kitchen we are trying to think a bit beyond normal to make every day a bit easier in the kitchen. In addition, for our newsletter readers we are make it 13% off the discounted price through the use of a coupon available only for you.

Before deciding to buy your next cookware, I think this is a good read to help you decide. Basic Tips When Buying a New Cookware for Your Home

Good luck!

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May 23, 2013

Cast Iron Biscuits Can Be Fluppy

Soda biscuits are a different breed from the canned dough these days due to the traditional flavor that tasted like a biscuit/pancake hybrid. Well, an overwhelming trick to a fluffy biscuit is to PREHEAT the Dutch oven.  While you are cutting up your biscuits, start heating up the oven and lid over the fire and when its hot then you can place the biscuits in.

This is a neat recipe that is fun to create; be prepared for some heavy lifting though. But by the time you turn the biscuits and then get brown tops, there’s the masterpiece to bring you joy. The recipe is in this link.

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Well-seasoned “Cookie” Shares Dutch oven Cooking Secrets at Workshop

During the long trail drives, the chuckwagon became the headquarters of every cattle outfit on the range, and the chuckwagon cook was almost royalty. Good food was key to the cowboys’ morale, and they soon learned that following Cookie’s rules made their lives a whole lot easier.

It wasn’t necessarily the trail boss who was the king of the cattle drive. More often than not, it was “Cookie,” the resident chef-of-the-trail who manned the outfit’s chuckwagon and used his trusty Dutch oven to “rustle up some grub.” You’ll love to reminisce.

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May 22, 2013

Dutch Oven Cherry Clafouti

Clafoutis are among the simplest and easy to make pies. The fun part is because you don’t need to make crusts. Most clafouti recipe will require too much flour leaving a pasty, unappealing mouth feel to the custard. This is when you find an inappropriate ratio of eggs to dairy. Simply reduce the flour and balance the eggs to dairy.

Dutch Oven Cherry Clafouti, is a recipe adapted from Alton Brown. Just load a pan or Dutch oven with the filling and bake. Follow these easy steps.

clafouti

Ingredients

• 12 ounces fresh (pitted, stems removed and rinsed) or frozen cherries (thawed)
• 2 large eggs
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup whole milk
• 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• Butter, for the Dutch oven

Directions

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 5-quart Dutch oven. Spread the cherries evenly over the bottom of the Dutch oven.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the milk, lemon juice, vanilla and flour and whisk to combine. Then pour the batter over the cherries.

Place the Dutch oven on the middle rack of the oven, bake uncovered, for 30 minutes or until golden on top and a knife comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before removing from the Dutch oven. Then slice and serve warm, sprinkled with powder sugar (optional). Serve with vanilla ice cream or Greek yogurt if desired.

This recipe can be used for other fruits as well as blueberries. If you use apples, slice and sauté them lightly so they are more tender. Of course, a touch of cinnamon always goes well with apples.

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May 7, 2013

Chilly Dilly Cucumber Soup for Mothers Month

It’s always best for Mom! Do you think a seductive taste in a soup would impress her on Mother’s day? The recipes says both the broth and the yogurt garnish are loaded with fresh (never dried) dill and chives, which makes a light lunch entree. The secret is a “handfuls” of herbs.

Love is in the air as families across the country show their affection to mom with heartfelt celebrations, and families begin thinking of a meal that can wow the most special woman of the house. If you consider omelets and fresh waffles with Dijon and Herb de Provence Crusted Prime Rib, Blackened Salmon and Roasted Chicken Breast perhaps, why not include a soup that’s chilly dilly? Here’s the recipe.

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