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Easy Recipe: Homemade Ricotta

 

Homemade Ricotta CheeseThe name Ricotta comes from the Latin word “recocta” meaning “recooked”, is an Italian whey cheese made from goat, sheep, cow, or water buffalo milk left over from the production of cheese. It is creamy white in appearance. The taste is semi-sweet.

History of Ricotta

In eHow, Shelley Moore says: “Ricotta is generally believed to have originated with Jewish people in Rome or Sicily. Historians speculate that this type of cheese first appears in documents by the Greek author Athenaeus, who wrote a great deal about food in the second and third centuries B.C.E,

In History of Food Processing, it stated that “Originally, ricotta cheese was produced from whey derived from mozzarella or provolone cheese production, Ricotta now prepared from whole milk or without addition of whey.”

[Read more…]

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Pupusas from El Salvador – Worth Every Calorie

Pupusas from El Salvador are thick, disc-shaped cornmeal pancakes with cheese, and meat all in one sinfully delicious package. Pupusas have been described as “corn flour quesadillas, only sealed around the edges”. Eating a pupusa means suspending all attempts to count calories, but your first few bites of this traditional delicacy will convince you that this treat is worth every calorie.
pupusas

What is so wonderful about pupusas?

Pupusas are not only delicious, they are easily available and budget friendly as well. In 10 Best Pupusas in Los Angeles, Rachael Narin of LA Weekly says, “Pupusas are cheap and cheerful, exceptionally hearty, stuffed and griddled disks of slaked cornmeal or rice flour that originated in El Salvador. They invariably cost less than $3 in even the most stylish restaurants, and are most likely available somewhere near you.” [Read more…]

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Dressing up the Potato

PotatoThe common potato is a commonplace ingredient for meals throughout the year. Food and Wine several amazing potato recipes from its contributing cooks. Here are three of those recipes. Try them and give your old side dish a lift.

Chantilly Potatoes with a Parmesan Crust

Maria Guarnaschelli gives a sinfully rich twist to potatoes with her recipe for Chantilly Potatoes with a Parmesan Crust .  Maria Guarnaschelli likes to joke that when you cook French food on a regular basis, you need a cow in the backyard to provide enough butter and cream. This dairy-rich recipe calls for whipped cream and cheese.”

Her recipe calls for two pounds of potatoes (Yukon Gold), half a cup of cold milk, seven tablespoons of softened butter (unsalted), a cup of heavy cream, half a cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste. [Read more…]

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Mediterranean Chicken Stew – Glamorous yet Filling

Chicken stewChicken stew is frequently perceived as daily fare or as comfort food, but Emerill Lagasse’s version makes this dish truly fit for company. It is flavorful and robust, with just the right exotic Mediterranean touch.

Emerill Lagasse’s Version

You will see that Emerill Lagasse’s version of this stew adheres quite well to the Mediterranean diet. Based on his recipe for Mediterranean Chicken Stew posted in Food.com, to prepare this dish you will need two whole chicken breasts, (skinless, bone in, cut in quarters), two medium onions (sliced), two cloves garlic, one yellow or one red bell pepper (seeded and chopped), a teaspoon of turmeric, half a teaspoon each of ground cinnamon and ground ginger, two pounds sweet potatoes (peeled and cut into cubes), one can unsalted diced tomatoes (drained), two tablespoons golden raisins, and two cups low sodium chicken. [Read more…]

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Shifting to Lamb

LambTurkey and ham are not the only meats fit for your holiday table. Lamb can be just as festive, and it has the added benefit of bringing new flavors to your celebration. Take a look at this lamb recipe and see how it can give your menu a welcome lift.

Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb

In the Serious Eats website, Managing Culinary Director J. Kenji López-Alt shares a truly scrumptious recipe for Slow-Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb with Garlic, Rosemary, and Lemon. He says the recipe works because: “Slow-roasted boneless leg of lamb comes out extra tender with a crisp, well-browned crust and juicy pink meat flavored with garlic, rosemary, and lemon zest.

“Cooking at very low temperatures followed by a blast at high heat creates the ultimate contrast with pink meat that extends from edge to edge and a crisp brown crust. It also enhances tenderness.

“Par-cooking a rub made with garlic, rosemary, lemon zest, and anchovies ensures that raw, steamed flavors don’t last. Anchovies in the marinade bring out the meatiness of the lamb without overwhelming with any kind of fishy aroma.”

[Read more…]

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Simple and Sophisticated Compotes: Saving the Day

Compote

Photo Credit: motko_fujita https://goo.gl/jmFRJc

The compote is one of the simplest desserts you can ever prepare, and yet it lends itself well to the most sophisticated dinners. Some food historians believe compotes originated from Europe, and the earliest records of their existence hail from the Middle Ages. However, a good many food historians also say that the art of processing whole fruits in syrup may have originated in the Mediterranean.

Made of whole fruits stewed in water, spices, and sugar, this dessert’s cooking syrup can be flavored with nutmeg, vanilla, cloves, candied fruit, raisins, or orange peel. Because it can be served either warm or cold, a compote can be used to crown a meal no matter what the weather or the season is.

Compotes to Save the Day

If you are expecting guests for dinner, or if you just want to be ready for people unexpectedly dropping by, take a look at Ina Garten’s recipes for compotes. Because you can cook this dessert way ahead of time and just store it in the refrigerator, serving something sweet and homemade will be a breeze for you. [Read more…]

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A Festive but Healthy Holiday Table

Healthy HolidayHolidays are times for merrymaking and good food, but it is good to find ways to have your cake and eat it – without the unnecessary calories. Here is a menu that is fit for any occasion without wreaking havoc on your attempts to stick to a healthy diet.

Good Food without Regrets

Yes, it can be done. You can have a satisfying holiday party menu while making sure everything is healthy. You can start your meal with a healthy vegetable soup and make sure you try this recipe for yam and kale salad to add color and texture to your menu. For your main dish, you can serve Ina Garten’s herb-marinated pork tenderloins, a sure winner with meat lovers. A holiday meal is not complete without dessert, so do serve strawberries dip in chocolate if you are pressed for time, or pineapple-raspberry parfaits. [Read more…]

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The Challenges in Making a Crown of Roast Lamb

Crown of Roast Lamb

Photo Credit: Artizone https://goo.gl/gtwrtf

Crown of roast lamb is one of the most delicious and elegant dishes you can serve as the centerpiece of a celebratory meal. It is a dish that can stymie the ordinary cook, but a second look at how it is created will show that it is not all that difficult to prepare.

In the Foolproof Way to Cook Crown Roast of Lamb posted in Serious Eats, Daniel Gritze says, “Regal. I think that may be the best word for a crown roast of lamb—lamb racks that are tied together end-to-end into the shape of a crown. And just like the crowns that grace the heads of monarchs, crown roast of lamb is all about presentation.”

Creating the Crown: Ask the butcher to do it!

Possibly the first major challenge in creating a crown of roast is getting the ribs into that lovely shape. Daniel Gritze says: “…A lamb crown roast is formed by connecting at least two racks, usually with seven or eight bones each, end-to-end. The racks themselves come from the loins that run on either side of the lamb’s spine, with the rib bones attached (for presentation, those rib bones are frenched, or cleaned of meat and sinew). To get the normally straight racks into a curved shape, the butcher makes slits between each of the rib bones on the back sides of the racks (the sides that form the outer wall of the crown roast), allowing them to be flexed like an accordion…” The good news is, the butcher should be able to do that for you.

[Read more…]

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Light Cooking With Wine

Cooking With WineCooking with wine can wonderfully transform a simple fare into a rich and elegant gourmet. If you are not so adept at using wine when cooking, however, you may find the exercise a bit daunting. What rules must you remember to make a decent start? If you want your dish to burst with complex layers of flavors, start with a good wine. Julia Child once said, “If you do not have a good wine to use, it is far better to omit it, for a poor one can spoil a simple dish and utterly debase a noble one.”  

Aside from the flavors it can render your dish, wine is good to use because it is one ingredient that can make it less fattening. Elaine Magee, MPH, RD of WebMD Weight Loss Clinic shares some great insights in her post 6 Secrets of Cooking With Wine. She writes: [Read more…]

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Eggnog – A Drink for Christmas Fellowship

EggnogApart from the celebratory glass of champagne on New Year’s Eve, eggnog is the other drink that deserves a traditional place during the holidays. To the uninitiated, eggnog can seem like a strange drink; it is a rather sweet concoction that combines milk, cream, whipped cream, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and spirits.  For many, however, frothy eggnog served in a punchbowl represents the fellowship that friends and family enjoy every time the Yuletide season comes around.

The Eggnog Tradition

Eggnog is traditionally served in Canada during the Christmas season; in the United States some kitchens begin serving it from Thanksgiving till New Year. Although not all food historians agree on exactly where and when the tradition began, most concur that today’s drink probably had its beginnings in the medieval British drink called “posset”. This was an ale-like beverage commonly taken with eggs, and it was used mainly used for toasts. [Read more…]

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