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Архив за месяц: Январь 2011

What is the scoville scale

What is the Scoville Scale?

Capsicum fruits concentrate special substances that give their intensity. These are called capsacinoids which is the ingredient that causes different heat level when they are ingested.

Capsicum peppers are measured under the Scoville scale, named after its creator Wilbur Scoville. This American scientist developed in 1912 the “Scoville Organoleptic Test” which consists in a method to measure the rating of pungency in units, depending on the quantity of capsaicin.

Pure capsaicin, which is a hydrophobic, colorless, odorless and a crystalline waxy substance, measures around 16,000,000 scoville units (SHU). habanero chiles rank at around 300.000 SHU meanwhile Jalape?o rank at about 3000-6000 SHU.

It is important to know that chili pepper powder is hotter than chili mash. People who like spicy food should know some information about capsicum peppers.

Even if the consumption of habanero chili peppers is good for health, it is also important to know about possible risks of eating or touching them. Here are some recommendations:

  • The consumption of capsicum products do not cause stomach aches, but it is better that people with irritable bowel syndrome do not include them in their diary diet.
  • Never swallow whole habanero chiles! Some cases has shown that unchewed capsicum peppers can cause a bowel obstruction and perforation.
  • The consumption of habanero chili peppers after anal fissure surgery like hemorroids should be forbidden to avoid postoperative symptoms.
  • After touching a capsicum chile, people must always wash their hands and use milk instead of water. It is really important not to have contact with eyes.
  • Even if hands are clean, the heat produced by the capsicum ingredient stays impregnated in the skin and may cause some irritation, so people should wash their hands continually during the day.
  • In case someone ingests habanero chiles in any form that could cause pain, relief may come with:
    1. A tomato juice or a fresh lemon.
    2. Milk instead of water, rinsing the mouth with it.
    3. Rice or bread which absorb the effect of capsicum.
  • Once people get accustomed to heat level, it will become more tolerant to habanero chiles and they will be able to eat hotter and hotter chillis without having to resort to these cures.

Using and storing olive oil

Using and Storing Olive Oil

Like all fats, olive oil is a delicate product. It becomes rancid very easily and needs  to be
stored carefully to preserve its flavor and health-giving properties. It should be stored in a
clean, dry place at temperatures between 15-20?C.
There are two main problems to bear in mind when storing olive oil: it is easily «polluted»
by other odors and goes off relatively quickly. It absorbs other aromas and odors and this
makes it an excellent base for essences and perfumes. However, in the same way that is
absorbs perfumes it will also take on any bad smell to which it is exposed. For this reason
oil should always kept in clean, odorless containers and stored in cupboards or rooms
where it is not exposed to strong smells, such as smoke, paint, mold or fuels.
Like many natural products, olive oil passes through a series of life stages. Newly pressed
extra virgin olive oil is often not well balanced and can be aggressive and disorganized in
aroma and flavor. It stabilizes about a month after production, acquiring harmony and its
own special character. Month-old oil is at its peak, from then on it gradually loses aroma
and intensity. After two years it is flat and tired and should be thrown away.
Before you bring olive oil home, pay attention to where it has been shelved in the
Make sure it is stored in cans or tinted glass bottles and pass on those stored
under bright lights or close to window. Look for the harvest and expiration date.
Bottles of olive oil should not be refrigerated.
Condensation can occur on the lid and
drip water back into the oil, which could spoil the oil’s flavor and cause rancidity.

Learn more about olive oil at www.OlioAndOlive.com

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Babrecue brisket

Babrecue Brisket

A perfectly cooked brisket starts with the perfect cut. When purchasing get first grade untrimmed brisket, pork or beef whichever you prefer. Don’t trim off any excess fat as this adds flavour while the brisket is being cooked.

Brisket is one of the easiest and at the same time one of the hardest dishes to prepare on the barbecue.

One of the easiest because brisket doesn’t need much in the way of flavouring and seasoning. The hardest because it requires time and patience.

Brisket is natural a tough piece off meat so to get it tender can be quite a challenge.

Preparing and Grilling Brisket

Start by rinsing the brisket under a cold running tap and dry with a paper towel. You may add a few dry rub ingredients if you want to but it isn’t required.

Pork or beef brisket has a delicious natural flavour to it so spices are optional. Pre-heat the grill to a low to medium heat and use an in-direct grilling techniques (Heat is not directly under the meat). Place your brisket in an aluminum foil tray.

Grilling Brisket

The trick with grilling brisket is to slow cook it so it turns out nice and tender. The grilling time can be up to 6 hours. Place the brisket with the foil tray on the grill grid away from the direct heat.

When using a charcoal grill you will need to keep adding charcoal every two hours to keep the heat constant. Add damp wood chips to create smoke while you are grilling. Close the lid and wait patiently.

Every hour or so open the lid and coat the brisket with the excess oil and fat that accumulates in the tray. After 6 hours it should be done, slice a piece down to the middle and make sure it is cooked through.

Once done leave brisket to rest for fifteen minutes to let the juices settle.

When serving slice up the brisket into thin slices and pour over the left over juice from the tray. You don’t need any other sauces or marinades.

Once you have tried brisket once on the grill you will be having it more and more.


We got endless new dinner ideas last night did you

We Got Endless New Dinner Ideas Last Night, Did You?

If you missed the live cooking webcast last night, you missed a tremendous evening of fun, food, entertainment and education in basic cooking methods…a virtual cooking guide. In fact, I showed everyone watching how basic cooking methods can help you make dinner quick every night and still have endless dinner ideas.
Here’s a bit of what went on last night:
As always, knife skills were an important part of the evening and the chef’s knife made an appearance. Being able to cut items consistently assures that they cook consistently. In addition, they have similar texture and appearance in the final dish.
Proper knife skills also assures your safety and boosts your confidence in the kitchen. Why? Because with the correct knife skills, you know you won’t cut yourself and you will be more aware of a wide variety of ways to cut everyday items for attractive plate appeal.
How you use heat is the essence of cooking. And if you want dinner quick, then the basic saut? method is the best way to go. The basic saut? method can also help to increase the number of dinner ideas that you have, as well as create a great meal in your kitchen faster than take-out food. When you’re able to control the direct, intense heat of a stove-top saut? method, you can create moist, flavorful items that have wonderful color and are appetizing to the eye as well as the palate.
I’ve pulled out one of my 5 chef secrets during the live webcast and made a quick pan sauce. Because I understand the basic principles of thickening agents, I can make any liquid into a thickened gravy or pan sauce. Talk about a great addition to your dinner idea! This is a great skill in the kitchen that adds flavor, texture, and color to your plated meals so that your dinners is not only quick, but tasty as well.
Cooking is a wonderful lifelong journey that is very easy to explore and enjoy. Searching for recipes is an annoyance that never has you progress. You always have to search for a new recipe and relearn a new meal every evening.
I want to be your cooking guide and eventually help you to have enough confidence and knowledge that you can become your own cooking guide. You can be full of great dinner ideas and make dinner quick. Last night, I proved to the world that you can cook healthier and better tasting meals faster than take out and I’ll prove it to you as well.

How to bbq turkey

How to BBQ Turkey

How to BBQ Turkey

Turkey has become very popular to do on the barbecue. Turkey pieces are great and come out very tasty on the grill. More and more grillers are preparing whole turkeys on the barbecue.

Follow these techniques to get great tasting turkey right off your grill. You can add your own unique taste and texture, just follow these tips as guide lines.

Purchasing — Turkey

Buy smaller to medium sized turkeys when you doing them on the barbecue. When buying turkey pieces make sure they are broad and flat, so they will cook evenly on the barbecue.

When purchasing look for turkey with a darker skin pigment, as the darker meat can stand up to the high temperature of the grill. Darker meats also tend to hold sauces and flavours better.

Preparation — BBQ Turkey

To prevent the turkey from drying out, lightly coat it with some olive oil.

When preparing a whole turkey you will need to apply an in-direct grilling technique to fully cook the turkey without burning it. When grilling turkey pieces use a direct grilling method.

Smaller pieces like the thigh need to be seared to lock in the natural juices. Do this by using a high heat to crisp the outer layer and then a lower heat to slow cook the inside.

Don’t put stuffing in your turkey before you grill it, rather cook it fully and then place in the stuffing.

Grilling Turkey

Charcoal should be your first choice when grilling turkey as turkey the smoke texture works well with the meat. When using a gas grill use wood chippings to produce a little smoke while grilling.

Lightly grease the grill grid to prevent any meat sticking. When grilling larger sized turkey portions, close the lid to create an even heat distribution.

Here are some grilling time guidelines:

— BBQ Turkey tenderloins/cutlets: 10 — 15 minutes (direct medium heat)

— Grilling Turkey breast: 1 — 2 hours (medium in-direct heat)

— Turkey drumsticks or thighs: 1 hour (in-direct medium heat)

— Whole medium turkeys: 2 — 3 hours (in-direct medium heat)


How to barbecue fish

How to Barbecue Fish

Cooking and Grilling Fish

Fish is a healthy alternative to the regular red meat dishes you used to having on the barbecue. Grilling it is easier than you think.

Most types of fish have a high fat content, so it can stand up to the high heat of the barbecue.

Preparation — BBQ

Fish The fresher the fish is, the better it is for the barbecue. Once you have purchased your fish try grilling it within 24 hours. Fish tends to loose flavour the longer it has been frozen.

Don’t defrost fish in the microwave rather leave it over night in the refrigerator. Fish looses flavour when it is placed in the microwave.

Clean your fish before you grill it. Rinse the fish under a cold running tap and pat dry it with a paper towel.

Marinate with simple ingredients like a bit of garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper to enhance the natural flavour.

Barbecue Fish

The trick with fish is to sear the outside with a high heat and then with a lower heat slow cook the inside. This locks in the juices and makes the fish easier to grill.

Grilling whole fishes or thick sized fillets too quickly will cause it dry out. You want to grill it slowly and keep it moist.

You can use foil to make the grilling process easier. The foil protects the meat from burning and prevents it from drying out. The foil allows you to cook the fish in its natural juices.

An inch thick piece of fish will be done in 8 — 10 minutes. Grilling time will depend on the heat of the grill.


Quick and easy dinner recipes

Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes

Sometimes getting dinner on the table seems like a daunting task, but with a little preplanning, it can be quick and easy and even save you money. These quick and easy dinner recipes make getting dinner on the table faster than ordering take-out!
This first recipe is great for the Mexican food lover. The soup and sour cream combine with the taco sauce and chilies to create a creamy but flavor filled sauce. The chips add a simple but nice contrast. You can control the spiciness of this dish by using either a hot or mild taco sauce.
Chicken n’ Chips
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 ounces sour cream
2 tablespoons taco sauce
1/4 cup chopped green chilies
3 cups cubed chicken
12 slices American cheese slices
4 cups broken tortilla chips
Stir together the soup, sour cream, taco sauce and chopped chilies.
In a shallow 2 qt baking dish layer 1/2 of the chicken, soup mixture, cheese and tortilla chips. Repeat Layers.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly.
Serve the Chicken n’ Chips with Spanish rice, refried beans and a fresh, crisp salad.
The second recipe is an easy spin on the traditional comfort food of Beef Stroganoff. The aroma of the garlic cooking is fabulous. The flavors meld together very nicely.
Quick and Easy Beef Stroganoff
1 pound beef round steaks — cubed
1 onion chopped
1 4-ounce can mushrooms do not drain
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 teaspoons beef bouillon
3 cups water
4 cups medium egg noodles
1 cup sour cream
Spray a large pot with cooking spray. Cook beef, onions, mushrooms and garlic over medium high heat. Stir occasionally until meat is cooked through.
Add water, beef bouillon, egg noodles and sour cream to the meat mixture. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, turn heat down to low (do not cover). Cook on low for 5-7 minutes until pasta is desired doneness, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat. Let sit 4-5 minutes before serving. Sauce will thicken as it stands.
To round out this meal, serve with fresh rolls that are warmed in the oven and canned or frozen peas.
This third recipe is a stick to your ribs kind of meal. The stuffing gives this recipe a nice change of pace from your tradition meat and potatoes type dinner. This recipe is also very budget friendly.
Hearty Hamburger Casserole
1 pound ground beef
1 19-ounce can chunky vegetable soup
1 6-ounce package instant stuffing mix
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Brown beef in a large skillet until no longer pink. Drain any fat and stir in soup. Set aside.
Prepare stuffing mix according to package directions while beef is cooking.
Spray a 2 qt baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon half of the stuffing into baking dish. Layer with beef mixture, cheese and remaining stuffing.
Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until heated through.
This is pretty close to a one-dish meal, but to make it complete, serve with fresh, warmed rolls and a side salad.
These quick and easy dinner recipes should provide some variety to your dinner repertoire and at the same time get dinner on the table fast!