NYC Cooking Tips: Steak and Lobster advice from Michael Jordan's Executive Chef - Albany Times Union (blog)
Barbequing, a Fun and Convenient Way to Make Dinner
"There's nothing more enjoyable than having friends and family gathered around amidst the wonderful smells of charcoal-grilled prawns, vegetables and selected favorites. Barbecuing is one of those time- honored rituals that go hand in hand with summertime. Whether you're in your backyard or at you're favorite camping site, barbecuing is a pleasure to be enjoyed by the whole family." Barbecuing has never been more exciting; with the endless designs of barbecues available and the myriad of barbecue cookbooks and cooking shows it really does take barbecuing into a whole new realm. With recipes for everything from grilled bananas to peaches and dry rubs for ribs, barbecues aren't just for cooking steaks and burgers anymore. With all the available barbecuing options it helps to know a few of the barbecuing terms and barbecuing utensils that are used. Firstly, barbecues come in a wide variety of options; there are propane, natural gas and the standard barbecues for use with charcoal. Barbecues can come with range style one, two and four burner options along with rotisseries. There are even barbecues that have coolers built right into the bottom! Barbecuing has never been quite so convenient. Accessories When you're using your barbecue it really helps to have the right utensils and barbeque accessories, this will make your barbecuing experience easier and more enjoyable. Long handled tongs, basting brushes and spatulas are quite helpful. Heavy-duty oven mitts can also be useful. Of course you don't want to forget the proper wire brushes and scrubbers (crumpled foil even works well) to remove build-up, keeping your grill racks clean. Foods that are tender such as fish, vegetables and some burgers can benefit from cooking in a special grill basket (this way you aren't loosing any of your meal into the barbecue). There are also special racks available to be used with corn, potatoes, ribs and meat. An excellent barbecue accessory is the grill wok, with this you can make you're favorite stir fries and vegetable dishes; the wok has small holes throughout that allow heat and smoke to penetrate the food. Another great grill accessory is the grill pizza tray used mostly for grilled pizza. Other grill accessories include; the grill topper used for fish and vegetables providing an even cooking surface, which prevents foods from falling through the grill rack; you can never have too many skewers in assorted lengths which can be used with a skewer rack for grilling your favorite marinated vegetables and meats; smoker boxes for gas grills filled with soaked wood chips add a wonderful smoked flavor to foods. Lastly foil packets are available or simple tin foil to wrap foods, just remember that you may be sacrificing the grill and smoke flavors when foods are wrapped tightly. Grilling Processes After you have the utensils and proper grilling accessories needed for you're barbeque experience you'll want to familiarize yourself on the different types of grilling processes and terms to find the ones that work best for you and to know exactly what has to be done. To start, basting is probably the most familiar of barbecuing terms, a simple brushing with a seasoned liquid adding both flavor and moisture to your food. A brochette is just French for a kabob, or simply food cooked on a skewer. A glaze is a glossy, flavorful coating on food as it cooks as a result of regular basting. Three very popular methods of barbecuing are the direct grilling, dry smoking and indirect grilling methods. Direct grilling is probably the most popular grilling used, it is when food is placed directly over the flame. It is a fast method because of the intense heat and allows for browning on the outside of foods. This process works best for food requiring short cooking times such as burgers and steaks, you must remember to turn food over to allow cooking on both sides. The dry smoking method is achieved by placing a grill rack indirectly over the heat source with the barbecue lid down, this allows the flame to burn thus creating smoke which covers the food, giving you a smoky flavor. Lastly the indirect grilling is a slow process of cooking because of less heat, it is done by surrounding a drip pan with the coals and putting the food over the pan, so the hot air circulates around the food (similar to a convection oven). It is wise to check with your barbecue owner manual for indirect grilling specific to your barbecue, roasts work well with this method. After you've acquired the barbecue and all the necessary cooking utensils and accessories you're ready for the best part of barbecuing and that is the cooking of the food. Sauces, marinades and rubs are popular cooking ideas when barbecuing. Barbecue sauce can be said to define a great barbecue. Whether you use a little or a lot is a matter of preference. A sauce often includes sugar, honey or preserves, which can cause the sauce to burn when cooking; a suggestion is to brush your sauce on in the last five to ten minutes of cooking. There are a wide variety of sauces and glazes to be made ranging from apple butter barbecue sauce to raspberry piquant sauce. Marinades are used for soaking your choice of meat, tofu or vegetables. The marinating both tenderizes and permeates the food with flavor, adding flavor and promoting crisp brown exteriors, changing an otherwise average dinner into a great one. Marinades are virtually fool proof and can be made in advance refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week. The three basic ingredients in a marinade are; flavorings such as herbs, spices, sweeteners; oils which keep the food pliable and give a crispy crust; acids such as citrus juices, wines, vinegars and yogurts used to balance the sweetness. It is suggested to use the acids sparingly on fish and poultry, as they will soften the flesh when used. A virtually fat free and easy way to add flavor to food is by using a variety of bold seasonings in a rub. The food is rubbed with spices prior to grilling, the rub transforms into a crunchy brown crust that seals in the juices and enhances the flavors of the food. The spices should be generously applied coating the entire surface of the food; the food should then be covered and put in the fridge for 15 minutes to 2 hours. Simplicity is the key for making rubs, salt and sugar are two of the main ingredients and the rest are up to you. In summary, whatever your barbecuing specialty might be barbecues can be both a fun and convenient way to make dinner. Summertime needn't be the only time of year that you're barbecuing, if weather allows you can barbecue all year round. The options have never been more exciting, and the variety of foods and recipes never more abundant.
Baking Perfect Breads, Cookies, and Desserts
We're all looking for that perfect pie, or cookies, or loaf of bread. It doesn't always happen. In our experience, there are four reasons that account for most of the less than perfect products.
Dutch Oven Cooking Basics
Pyrex Mixing Bowls ? A Kitchen Favorite
Pyrex mixing bowls typically come in sets of 3 with a small, medium and large bowl that sits snuggly inside each other. Pyrex has been around for almost 90 years. Over 75 percent of households in America own at least one piece of Pyrex.
10 Simple Kitchen Organizing Tips
A lot of the times we mean to get in there and finally organize the kitchen, but once things get out of control the job can seem so daunting and you just don't know where to start. These top 10 kitchen organizing tips will help make your kitchen pleasant and welcoming.
Better Breakfasts Ideas
Nutritionists tell us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. With breakfast, we are replenishing our bodies from the night before and charging them for the day ahead. How we will perform during the day is affected by what we eat in the morning. Yet, breakfast tends to be rushed and routine--more so than any other meal. Here are dozens of ideas to help you build better breakfasts.
Rice Cookers - Perfect Rice Every Time
Love fluffy cooked rice but dislike the preparation time and clean up? Then rice cookers maybe just what you need. Today's rice cooker is a thrifty time saving device for anyone's kitchen. Also eating rice weekly has many health benefits. With so many rice cookers to choose from how does one decide? Let's take a look at the many features and sizes of a rice cooker and determine which is right for you and your family.
Season Your Pans for Non Stick Cooking
Nothing is more frustrating than trying to cook a delicious meal and having it stick to the bottom of the pan. A well season or cured pan will make cooking more fun, easier to clean and create better tasting food. There is a saying in the restaurant business; Hot pan ? Cold oil. Meaning never put the oil in a cold pan and then heat it up. By heating the pan first and then adding the oil, then immediately the food, you'll have much less sticking. Furthermore if you season the pan when you first purchase it, you will have even better results.
Wok this Way! (Part 3 of 5) Seasoning Your New Wok
Seasoning is the most important thing you can do to your wok. Only carbon steel and iron woks need to be seasoned. The purpose of seasoning is to remove the manufacturer's protective coating and coat it with a thin layer of oil. This creates a smooth cooking surface which enables food to shift and glide easily, thus preventing your food from sticking, discoloring, and picking up a metallic taste.
Whisk Your Way To a Perfect Meal Every Time!
The whisk. A true versatile cooking utensil. Whisks come in all shapes and sizes and surprisingly accomplish far more then what most think they do. One of the dictionary definitions for a whisk is--A kitchen utensil usually in the form of stiff thin wire loops attached to a handle, used for whipping foodstuffs. We shall see that the whisks of today can do a lot more.
Once-A-Month-Cooking: How to Make Your Plan Work
As one of the oldest children in a family of nine, I know that cooking for a crowd can almost be a full-time job. Once-a-month-cooking has been a lifesaver for our family. In the beginning though, when we first heard of cooking 30 meals in one day, it sounded rather impossible. It was not until we had tried it, though, that we found it is not only possible, but it can even be quite simple and fun!
Vegetarian Cooking - Three Basics
For any of the many reasons people choose to eat vegetarian food - religion, politics, finances, or health - one thing in common is that everyone prefers food that tastes delicious and provides good nutrition. There are some basic techniques to vegetarian cooking which will accomplish that.
How to Prepare the Best Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Would you like to prepare the best Garlic Mashed Potatoes that you enjoy at your favorite restaurant, but have no idea where to start to achieve that wonderful and delightful flavor?
6 Steps to Grill the Perfect Steak
There's nothing better than a nicely grilled juicy steak.
Peppercorns & Ways To Use Them
New and exciting varieties of peppercorns are becoming available to chefs everywhere. Pre-ground pepper out of the tin no longer provides the complex flavors and versatility that great cooks everywhere are looking for. A small collection of different types of peppercorns provides fine cooks with just the right pepper flavors and colors to create perfect culinary creations. Peppercorns crusts, rubs, marinades, dressings, and sauces are just a few of the creative ways these unique flavors and colors can be utilized.
Must Haves for Any At-Home Chef
With the holidays on their way soon, many people will be beefing up kitchens to handle the increased demand for 'fit for a king' meals. Not being a professional Chef shouldn't stop you from being able to cook like one. But, you'll need the right tools to create those tantalizing dishes. Read on and find out the five tools that no kitchen cook should be without.
Working with Eggs
Bad eggs are rare but they do occur. Crack eggs into a separate bowl before mixing with other ingredients. If the egg is bad it will have an unmistakeable odor.
Wok this Way! (Part 1 of 5)
The Wonderful Wok: Stir Frying Basics
Want to enjoy the tantalizing taste of Asian food at home? Invest in a wok! Stir-frying is one of the easiest ways to create a delicious, healthy dinner in minutes. Learn to prepare meals the Asian way: light on meat, heavy on the vegetables, and quick-cooked on high heat to retain vitamins and flavors. A few basics is all you need to get cooking!
How To Eat Fresh Vegetables ? Ideas for Working More Veggies Into Your Diet
Fresh, uncooked veggies are so healthy and it's important to work them into your meal plan somewhere. The majority of American's don't eat enough vegetables and most vegetables consumed in the American diet are cooked potatoes in the form of french fries. American's need more vegetables in their diet ? and not in the form of crispy fries.
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