Category Archives: How To

How to Roast Garlic

Source:  http://www.tablespoon.com/ -By BS in the Kitchen

A delicious addition to any dish and incredibly easy to make.

Not only will roasted garlic make your whole house smell good, you’ll want to eat it all the time!

How to Roast Garlic

Forget about all the culinary uses for roasted garlic – I’m just going to roast it every day because it smells so darn good!

There are really no tricks to roasting it either: Just slice off the top, toss it in some aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and pop it in the oven at 400°F for about 30 minutes – and you’re on your way to garlic transformation! If you need to roast a large amount of garlic, rather than wrapping each head in aluminum foil, you can fill a roasting dish, drizzle them all with olive oil, add your salt & pepper, cover the whole roasting dish with aluminum foil and roast away!

How to Roast Garlic

Aside from smelling really good, roasted garlic has multiple uses, whether it be spreading on toast, adding to a sauce, creating a roasted garlic butter, and more. It’s a great way to add additional flavors to your cooking.

Roasting removes much of the pungency of raw garlic since it caramelizes in the oven, resulting in a sweeter, more mellow garlic flavor. If you have some favorite recipes that use a fair bit of garlic (who doesn’t?), substitute some of your roasted garlic in there for an extra oomph of flavor! Not to mention everything sounds better when you add “Roasted Garlic” in front of the name. (At least I think it does!)

How to Roast Garlic

Happy roasting!

Need help figuring out how to use your roasted garlic? Check out these tasty recipes!

1 Comment

Filed under How To

15 Foods you’ve been cooking all wrong

Source:  http://www.sheknows.com – Claire Gallam 

Stop Ruining Your Food

You’ve probably been cooking these foods all wrong — and today, it needs to stop. Friends don’t let friends eat crunchy rice.

We don’t want you to suffer through chewy eggplant ever again. Use these tips and your kitchen will be fail-proof and flavor-filled.

1 The food: Scrambled eggs

Scrambled eggs

What you’re doing wrong: A lot! You’re adding liquids, not whisking enough, cooking on high heat and overcooking.

Do this instead: To get perfect scrambled eggs, let air in by beating the eggs with a whisk just before you scramble. Also, you don’t have to add milk or water. We know you’ve been doing this your whole life, but you’ve probably had wet eggs your whole life, too. Scramble the eggs over low heat to avoid overcooking, and be sure to stir. Get the full rundown on how to make fluffy scrambled eggs here.

Bonus egg tip: For perfectly peeled hard-boiled eggs, add one teaspoon of baking soda to the boiling water. This helps release the shell from the egg, creating an effortlessly easy removal.

2 The food: Dry beans

Dry beans

What you’re doing wrong: Rushing

Do this instead: If you’re a lover of canned beans but you want to master the dry-to-cooked method, you’re going to have to be patient. Soak the beans overnight for at least 12 hours and rinse and drain them several times in the morning. Add salt and other seasonings only once the beans are cooked all the way through. Make sure to keep beans cooking at a simmer so they cook evenly. The cooking time will depend on the bean variety. If you like your beans soupy, add a pinch of baking soda to the water when you start cooking. Another must: Make sure you’re using fresh dried beans, and throw away the ones you’ve been storing in the pantry for the last five years. Try these slow cooker refried beans using dry pintos.

3 The food: Homemade hash browns

Homemade hash browns

What you’re doing wrong: Leaving them wet and cooking on a skillet

Do this instead: To make crispy hash browns, squeeze the shredded potatoes to get rid of excess liquid. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Take a baking sheet and cover it lightly with your choice of oil, spread the shredded potatoes in a thin layer and top with a dash of olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook to your desired crispness, for about 15 minutes. Get your fill of crispy potatoes with this quiche with hash brown crust.

4 The food: Eggplant

Eggplant

What you’re doing wrong: Cooking it like every other vegetable

Do this instead: Eggplant needs special treatment. The most important steps are making sure to salt your cubed or sliced eggplant and then leaving it in a colander to drain. This pulls out excess moisture and creates a palatable texture. After 30 minutes, rinse the salt off, pat the eggplant dry and roast, saute or bake it — cook it in whatever way you love. Voilà! No more chewy eggplant. Making these oven-baked eggplant fries is a perfect way to introduce eggplant to picky eaters.

5 The food: Caramelized onions

smothered cheese fries

What you’re doing wrong: Crowding the pan, rushing and, therefore, burning

Do this instead: Use a large pan and keep your heat on medium. Do not be tempted to speed up this process by using high heat. You will only guarantee one thing: burned onions. Scrape all that gorgeous brown buildup off the bottom of the pan and incorporate it back into the onions. And just be patient — depending on how many onions you’re caramelizing, this could take up to an hour. Making these decadent smothered cheese fries is a great way to use those amazingly flavorful onions.

6 The food: Frozen vegetables

couscous and vegetable soup

What you’re doing wrong: Microwaving on high and getting soggy, limp veggies

Do this instead: For crispy, fresh and perfectly cooked frozen vegetables every time, skip the microwave and use a steamer. It takes only a few minutes longer, and you’ll seal in the freshness (and flavor) without adding any fats. We used frozen veggies in this hearty couscous and vegetable soup.

7 The food: Fresh herbs

hearty vegetable and fresh herb dumplings

What you’re doing wrong: Not using enough and adding them at the wrong time

Do this instead: Dried herbs are fine, but there’s nothing quite like fresh. Since dried herbs are more potent, you’ll need more of the fresh stuff when you substitute it in a recipe. Generally, you’ll need three times the amount of fresh herbs as dry. When adding fresh herbs to your dishes, heartier herbs like rosemary can handle a longer cooking time, but more delicate herbs like basil and cilantro are typically added at the end. Try this recipe for hearty vegetable and fresh herb dumplings.

8 The food: Chicken

easy and delicious flavor-packed marinades

What you’re doing wrong: Overcooking and underseasoning

Do this instead: The only thing that’s worse than salmonella is dry, overcooked chicken. Pay attention to your meat by investing in a meat thermometer or measuring doneness by touch. This guide is super-handy, whether you’re cooking chicken or any other meat, and once you know your meat temps, you’ll never go back. As far as flavor goes, the biggest thing is this: Don’t forget it! Add salt, pepper or oregano, or soak beforehand in one of these easy and delicious flavor-packed marinades.

9 The food: Fresh mushrooms

Mushroom bruschetta on crunchy cheese toast

What you’re doing wrong: Crowding the pan and getting slimy ‘shrooms — yuck!

Do this instead: Take a tip from the master, Julia Child, on this one. Her method produces beautifully browned mushrooms every time. Heat a pan on high with some butter and oil. When it’s good and hot, add the mushrooms in a single layer. Let them cook, stirring and shaking the pan so they absorb the oil. Then sear to perfection, giving you slightly chewy but never slimy or rubbery mushrooms. Making mushroom bruschetta on crunchy cheese toast is a delicious way to showcase your seared ‘shrooms.

10 The food: Baked goods

lemon loaf cake

What you’re doing wrong: Overmixing the batter and using cold ingredients

Do this instead: Whisk those wet ingredients all you want, but as soon as you add the flour, dial it back. You want to just incorporate the flour or risk getting tough baked goods. Don’t be tempted to eschew the room-temperature ingredient recommendations. Cold ingredients won’t blend as well into your batter.

Bonus cupcake tips: Don’t overfill the liners — they will rise! Reduce the baking temperature to 325 degrees F halfway through for extra-fluffy batter. Wait until they cool completely before frosting. Show off your baking chops with this lemon loaf cake.

11 The food:  Baked goods

roasted veggies in meatless tacos

What you’re doing wrong: Pretty much everything

Do this instead: For an even cook, chop heartier vegetables (like potatoes and carrots) into smaller pieces while leaving less-dense vegetables (like broccoli) in larger chunks. If you really want “roasted” vegetables, your oven should be set at no less than 500 degrees F. Make sure to coat your vegetables thoroughly in an oil with a high smoke point, like safflower. Lastly, if you’ve been cooking vegetables in a glass pan, move away! A baking sheet does a much better job of producing that delicious brown sear that makes roasted vegetables so tasty. Just be sure to keep the vegetables in a single layer to avoid steaming them. When you’re done, use those roasted veggies in meatless tacos.

12 The food: Pasta

cheesy lobster spaghetti

What you’re doing wrong: Throwing away the water and putting sauce on top

Do this instead: You should already know that you should be salting, not oiling, your pasta water. But after you take the pasta out, you should also save half a cup of the starchy water and mix it into your sauce, followed by the pasta. This helps the sauce cling to and seep into the pasta, meaning that the whole dish will be coated deliciously. Try this cheesy lobster spaghetti for a showstopping meal.

13 The food: Crispy sweet potato oven fries

coconut sweet potato fries with tahini dip

What you’re doing wrong: Cooking them like normal potatoes

Do this instead: Make sure your fry sizes are consistent, and after you slice them, toss them in a little bit of corn starch and spices. Try black pepper, garlic powder, oregano, paprika or chili powder — the possibilities are endless! This makes the fries bake up to crispy perfection, and it adds an extra flavor. We love these coconut sweet potato fries with tahini dip.

14 The food: Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, barley and farro

quinoa veggie

What you’re doing wrong: Measuring the water incorrectly and removing the lid

Do this instead: With all these grains in our kitchen, it’s hard to remember how to cook each one. It’s not always a 1-to-2 ratio. For 1 cup of brown rice and farro, use 2-1/2 cups of water. For 1 cup of barley, use 3 cups of water. For 1 cup of quinoa, use 2 cups of water. Combine the grains and water, bring the mixture to a boil and then cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. And remember, no peeking! Use this guide to cooking times and test your new grain knowledge with this quinoa veggie “fried” rice.

15 The food: Low-fat ground meats like turkey, goat and buffalo

Asian turkey skillet

What you’re doing wrong: Using high heat, overcooking and draining the fat

Do this instead: Cooking lean meat is different from throwing that pound of fattier beef in a hot pan. Use a lower temperature for lower-fat meats. The name of the game is low and slow. And while it goes against everything we know, don’t drain the small amount of fat out of the pan after cooking. This helps keep your meat tender and moist. Try this easy Asian turkey skillet for a lower-fat version of a stir-fry.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under How To

Herb Ice Cubes | Edible Crafts — Country Woman Magazine

Food - Herb Ice Cubes

Click here to read the whole article: Herb Ice Cubes | Edible Crafts — Country Woman Magazine.

Leave a comment

Filed under Herbs, How To

How to Make Tamales

Source: www.tasteofhome.com

Use these steps to learn how to make tamales, plus find a delicious tamale recipe. 
 
Making tamales is a holiday custom for many families of Mexican heritage. Our test kitchen experts show you how to join in the fun.

Tamales are a celebratory food served during the Christmas season and other special occasions. While they’re a treat to eat, the art of preparing them is just as special. Friends and family come together for tamaladas, a party-like gathering centered around preparing and feasting on these savory stuffed delicacies cooked in corn husks.

Tamale fillings vary—fillings can include roasted peppers, shredded pork, chicken, vegetables, cheese and more. No matter how you fill them, tamales make a festive addition to any celebration.

Step 1

Whip dough (masa) until light and fluffy. It should be very thick and well combined.

Step 2

Properly beaten dough will float when dropped into cold water.

Step 3

Pat dough to within 1-in. of edges of each corn husk. Top with chicken mixture and olives.

Step 4

Roll corn husk around the filling. Fold top and bottom edges under; tie with kitchen string.

Step 5

Arrange tied tamales in an upright position in a steamer basket.

Did You Know?

Masa harina, Spanish for “dough flour,” is the traditional flour used to make tortillas, tamales and other Mexican dishes. Although it is made from ground corn, masa harina is not like cornmeal. You cannot substitute one for the other in recipes.

Note: Look for dried corn husks and masa harina in the ethnic aisle.

Chicken Tamales Recipe

Chicken Tamales RecipeChicken Tamales Recipe photo by Taste of Home

“I love making tamales. They’re a little more time- consuming but worth the effort. I usually make them for Christmas, but my family demands them more often.” —Cindy Pruitt, Grove, Oklahoma

Chicken Tamales Recipe

  • Prep: 2-1/2 hours + soaking
  • Cook: 45 min.
  • Yield: 10 Servings

Ingredients

  • 20 dried corn husks
  • 1 broiler/fryer chicken (3 to 4 pounds), cut up
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • DOUGH:
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 3 cups masa harina
  • CHICKEN CHILI FILLING:
  • 6 tablespoons canola oil
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cans (2-1/4 ounces each) sliced ripe olives, drained

Directions

  • Place corn husks in a large bowl; cover with cold water and soak for at least 2 hours.
  • Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, combine the chicken, water, onion, salt and garlic. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45-60 minutes or until meat is tender. Remove chicken from broth; set aside until cool enough to handle. Strain broth; skim fat. Finely chop or shred chicken.
  •  For dough, in a large bowl, beat the shortening until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add small amounts of masa harina alternately with 2 cups reserved broth, beating until well blended.
  •  Drop a small amount of dough into a cup of cold water; dough should float to the top. If dough does not float, continue beating until dough is light enough to float.
  • In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat; stir in flour until blended. Cook and stir for 7-9 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in the spices, chicken and 4 cups reserved broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes or until filling is thickened, stirring occasionally.
  • Drain corn husks and pat dry. Place a corn husk on a work surface with the small end pointing away from you. On large end, spread 3 tablespoons dough to within 1 in. of edges. Top with 2 tablespoons chicken mixture and 2 teaspoons olives. Fold long sides of husk over filling, overlapping slightly. Fold over ends of husk; tie with string to secure. Repeat.
  • In a large steamer basket, position tamales upright. Place basket in a Dutch oven over 1 in. of water. Bring to a boil; cover and steam for 45-50 minutes or until dough peels away from husk, adding additional hot water to pan as needed. Yield: 20 tamales.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ethnic Foods, How To, Mexican

7 Unexpected Uses for Your Microwave

7 Unexpected Uses for Your MicrowaveMicrowave Potato Chips

Chances are you have a microwave sitting somewhere in your kitchen. They’ve gotten smaller over the years, but even the most svelte version takes up precious real estate. It’s time to put that baby to work. 

Here are 7 unexpected uses for your microwave: 

1. Cook fish – Cook a steak in the microwave and you’ll end up with shoe leather. Fish, on the other hand, can be cooked perfectly in the microwave. Simply wrap your fish in microwave-safe plastic with a little seasoning (salt and pepper and some lemon, perhaps) and cook for about 2 minutes on high. (The time for doneness will vary depending on the strength of your microwave and the size and shape of your fillet. Watch it closely to prevent overcooking.)
Don’t Miss: 7-Layer Southwestern Bean Dip & More Easy Recipes You Can Make In Your Microwave 

2. Sanitize your kitchen sponge – Sponges are a breeding ground for germs. It’s easy to just throw them away, but they’re not cheap, so extend the use of your sponge by zapping away harmful bacteria in your microwave daily! Just place your (wet) sponge in the microwave and nuke it for 2 minutes on High. That should be enough to kill 99% of the harmful bacteria that set up camp there. 

3. Make potato chips – It’s hard to believe anything can get as crispy as a potato chip in the microwave, but believe it! Thinly sliced potatoes crisp up beautifully in the microwave (see the recipe below) and since these crispy chips aren’t fried, they’re healthier for you, too, with around 8 grams less fat per serving than regular chips. Who knew? 

4. Steam vegetables – Put that annoying steamer basket away and cook your veggies in the microwave. Not only is it easier, but it’s better for you. The longer and hotter you cook a food, the more you’ll lose certain heat- and water-sensitive nutrients, especially vitamin C and thiamin ­- a B vitamin. Because microwave cooking often cooks foods more quickly, it can actually help to minimize nutrient losses.  Don’t Miss: How to Microwave 20 Vegetables 

5. Soften brown sugar – Ever go to make cookies and find your brown sugar is as hard as a rock? Put down your chisel, moisten some paper towels and place them on top of your brick of brown sugar. Microwave in 30-second increments and your brown sugar will loosen up. Crisis averted. 

6. Cook bacon – No room for another pan on your stove to cook bacon in for breakfast? No worries. You can get crispy bacon in your microwave. (With less mess!) Cover a microwave-safe dish with a couple of paper towels. Add bacon in a single layer. Cover the bacon with a couple more paper towels and cook in 2-minute increments until crispy. 

7. Use it as a proofer – Calling all bakers! Need a warm, moist place for your dough to rise? The microwave is the perfect place to set up a temporary proofer (for nonbakers, a proofer is a contraption that creates ideal conditions, i.e., warm and moist, for yeast breads to rise.) The sealed environment of your microwave will keep the moisture and heat in. Just heat a cup of water in your microwave until it’s steaming, then put your dough in along with it, shut the door and let it do its thing. 

Microwave Potato Chips
Active time: 30 minutes | Total: 30 minutes | To make ahead: Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 

You don’t need a deep fryer to make crispy potato chips. We toss thinly sliced potatoes with just a touch of olive oil, pop them in the microwave and voilà! Crispy, crunchy homemade potato chips with 8 grams less fat per serving than regular chips. 

1 1/3 pounds Yukon Gold or red potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt 

1. Slice potatoes into thin (1/8-inch) rounds. Toss the slices in a medium bowl with oil and salt to coat evenly.
2. Coat a large microwave-proof plate with cooking spray. Arrange some potato slices in a single layer on the plate. Microwave, uncovered, on High until some slices start to brown, 2 to 3 minutes (depending on potato thickness and microwave power). Turn the slices over and continue microwaving until they start to crisp and brown around the edges, 2 to 4 minutes more. Check frequently and rearrange slices as needed to prevent scorching. Transfer the chips to another plate and allow to cool completely. (They will crisp more as they cool.) Repeat with the remaining potato slices. 

Makes 4 servings, 12-14 chips each.

Per serving: 141 calories; 2 g fat (0 g sat, 2 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 26 g carbohydrate; 3 g protein; 2 g fiber; 291 mg sodium; 807 mg potassium.

Source: EatingWell Associate Food Editor Hilary Meyer  – The Editors of EatingWell Magazine | Shine Food 

Leave a comment

Filed under How To

How to Makes Eggs Sunny Side Up

Sunny-side-up eggs are an excellent way to start the day and just take a smidgen of practice to get right.

Eggs are tasty, full of protein and can be used in any number of dishes — including the popular “breakfast for dinner” meal. If you’re tired of the same old scrambled or fried varieties, follow these steps to learn how to make sunny-side-up eggs.

How to Make Eggs Sunny Side Up

Your Equipment

Having a good non-stick pan may be the easiest way to make sunny-side up-eggs, but you can also use a well-seasoned cast-iron pan or a sturdy skillet. The key to making these eggs look good is how easily they are going to slide out of the pan without tearing the yolk.

Your pan will be one of the main ingredients in the success of this dish. A pan that is all dented up or scorched will not do a great job cooking anything, let alone eggs. All cooks should have one decent fry pan in their possession. If you are lacking this tool, do yourself (and your guests) a favor and invest in a new skillet.

Prepare the Pan

Heat the skillet on medium heat. Don’t let the pan get so hot that it scorches the eggs the minute they hit the pan. This is a sure-fire way to get unevenly cooked eggs, so bring the heat up relatively slowly. Add a little butter both for flavor and to further help the eggs from sticking to the pan. If you don’t want to add any extra fat to your meal, opt for a cooking spray instead.

Cook the Eggs

Crack the egg on the counter, not on the side of the pan. This prevents any wayward eggshell from getting into your pan. You don’t need to get fancy and make a big display of cracking them, just open the shell up over the pan and allow the egg to drop gently into the heat. Take a spatula and work around the edges of the egg to prevent the white from sticking to the bottom. Keep an eye on the heat and make sure the egg doesn’t start cooking any harder than a gentle simmer. You can season them now or after they’re plated.

Watch for the egg white to turn a solid opaque color. No clear liquid should be visible anywhere on the egg. If the outside edges are thoroughly cooked, but the inside still needs a minute, you can speed up the process by covering the pan with a lid, steaming the egg just a little.

Serve the Eggs

Do not try to scoop the eggs out with a spatula as you risk breaking the yolks in the process, ruining all of your perfect work. Instead, grab the pan and tilt it just slightly over the plate you are serving on, letting the egg slide gently out on its own and on to the plate. If you have an excellent pan or have used enough butter or nonstick spray, they should come out without any resistance at all. Season to taste and you’re all done!

Now you know how to make sunny-side-up eggs — a perfect complement to buttered toast and bacon.

Source:  http://quick-dish.tablespoon.com

Leave a comment

Filed under How To