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Where to find ethnic food recipes

Where to Find Ethnic Food Recipes

Most home cooks at some time or another find themselves getting interested in ethnic cuisine. The impetus might come from their heritage … maybe grandma was a German immigrant or grandpa came from Vietnam. Or it could just be simple cook’s curiosity. All of us get tired of cooking the same old recipes over and over, and decide to move beyond, frequently into ethnic food recipes.

However, and this is especially important if you don’t already know anything about the particular cuisine you’re after, it can be hard to figure out if the recipes you’re cooking are authentic, or are even worth trying. You might pick an Asian recipe that sends you out hunting exotic ingredients for three days only to find that either the recipe was written poorly or the flavor is something you just can’t stomach.

Unless you want to sink a lot of money into cookbooks, your best source of recipe information is going to be the Internet. However, searching for Internet recipes can be fraught with peril. How do you know this recipe will work? Do you have any clue what it tastes like? Do you maybe have a picture of what the finished dish should look like?

This is where sites that allow user reviews of recipes are invaluable. We foodies are a verbose bunch, forever ready to share good recipes and tips and warn others away from the bad ones. On sites such as Allrecipes or Cooks.com, you’ll find ethnic food recipes with hundreds of reviews from users. Often, these reviews will include possible ingredient substitutions, problems inherent in the preparation and possible solutions and all sorts of other great information. It’s very similar to having a kitchen full of cooks ready to teach and advise you at all times.

While you might not want to trust just one or two reviews, you can feel fairly safe when you see certain ethnic food recipes have been cooked successfully by dozens of people. Pick the recipe, read the comments and forge ahead!

Putting delicious finishing touches on popcorn

Putting Delicious Finishing Touches On Popcorn

Perhaps you associate caramel corn with something you have enjoyed at carnivals and fairs. Perhaps you recall having chocolate popcorn at Halloween or on another holiday. Whatever your associations, you have the opportunity to enjoy these exquisite treats in your own house any time you want with just a little preparation!
Closely follow the steps in the following recipes, and you’ll be on your way to making a great break. Don’t hesitate to make one of these presents for a party ; you will find them a reasonably cheap treat and fairly easy to produce.
This succulent treat includes three different nuts, and it’s certain to please you and anybody you know who likes the wealthy flavour and crunch of caramel corn!
Nutty Caramel Corn
Preparation time : 20 to 30 minutes and 20 to half an hour for cooling
Yield : 8 servings
10 cups popped corn
11?2 cups granulated sugar
1?2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1?2 cup corn syrup
1?2 cup water
2 large spoons butter
one cup raw entire almonds
1?2 cup whole raw cashews
3?4 cup raw pecan halves
two little spoons salt
two teaspoons baking soda
1 wash a large stainless steel bowl with hot water and dry well ( this step is to heat the bowl ). Put the popped corn in a bowl.
2 mix the granulated sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, and water in a heavy 6-quart frying pan and cook on middle heat with occasional stirring till the batch comes to boiling point ; place a lid on the pot for one minute to allow the sugar crystals to bathe down within the pan. Remove the lid, and clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot without permitting the tip to touch the base of the pot. Continue cooking and stirring.
three When the temperature reaches 240 degrees, add the butter and almonds and continue stirring. At 270 degrees, add the cashews and continue stirring. At 285 degrees, add the pecans and cook to 300 degrees. Take away the mixture from the heat.
4 mix in the salt and baking soda ; then decant the mix over the popcorn in a stainless steel bowl and mix thoroughly with two hard rubber spatulas to cover absolutely. Spread the popcorn mix over aluminum foil, and break the clumps apart with your hands while wearing leather application gloves.

A extra deep pie packed full of pecans and mini chocolate chips

A 9″ Extra Deep Pie Packed Full of Pecans and Mini Chocolate Chips

Pecan pie is a type of pie made with pecans as the main ingredient. Conventional pecan pie is thick, very rich, and fairly sticky and can be extremely sweet. There are several ways to make a pecan pie and many people take pleasure in experimenting, to discover their perfect recipe. This dessert is closely linked with the American South, where the pie is very popular, particularly during the winter season.
The origin of the pecan pie is vague, but various people say that this dessert began in New Orleans and where it is popular today. Other people imply that it may be from farther south than that. Pecan pie might even be a completely invented creation, selected to promote a brand of corn syrup, as one such company claims. Wherever it originated, pecan pie did not start appearing in cook books until the 1920s.
The addition of corn syrup in a pecan pie is still a debate. Many people say that in order to make an authentic pecan pie, this dish should always have corn syrup, and several recipes include different brands. Other people argue that the presence of corn syrup makes the pecan pie much sweeter and somewhat distasteful, so they use alternatives, such as brown sugar combined with water or maple syrup with a bit of molasses. The option of course is yours, but if you have tried pecan pie and found it to be too sweet, you might try to exclude the corn syrup.
Typically, pecan pie has a conventionally flaky light crust, almost like shortbread. Usually the crust is sweetened just a bit, since the pecan, pie is already sweet enough and the faintly savory flavor offers another dimension to the sugary dish. This kind of crust is known as pate brisee fine or pate brisee, and it is very versatile.
To create a typical pecan pie, take a cup of sugar, combine that with two thirds cup of maple syrup or corn syrup, together with one tablespoon of rum and 4 tablespoons of butter. These ingredients should be boiled, then permitted to cool before one-quarter teaspoon of salt, one-quarter cup of cream and three beaten eggs are added to the mixture. Two cups of lightly chopped, roasted pecans may be added to this mixture, or can be used to cover the base of the baked piecrust, and then pour the filling over them. You then bake it at three hundred degrees Fahrenheit or one hundred eighty degrees Celsius, for about forty-five minutes, then allow the pie to cool.
Pecan pie can be served with shaved chocolate or whipped cream, flavored whipped cream, with some added maple syrup, rum or whiskey. This will make a very pleasant and decadent pecan pie.
For an alternative, without using corn syrup, you could take one-teaspoon rum, which you add to the filling, consisting of a half cup melted butter, three eggs and one pound of brown sugar. Whip this together with a cup of chopped roasted pecans, place it in a piecrust, and bake in the oven the same as before.

How to properly enjoy bizarre meats

How To Properly Enjoy Bizarre Meats

I have always had a penchant for the unusual, especially when it comes to food. I have no idea where it comes from, but I take adventurous eating to a new level. Over the past few years, I have made it a personal goal of mine to eat as many strange animals as possible. I pride myself on having eaten more weird animals than most people I know.

One of the issues I initially had when I began on my quest to eat strange things was how to prepare them. Here are my top 10 favorite unusual animals that I have eaten and some tips on how to prepare them. Granted, some of the entries on the list might not seem weird at all to some, but I bet the average American would not touch the delicacies on the list.

1. Alligator
Alligator actually has a rather mild taste, like the dark meat on a chicken. Think of it as poultry but with more heft. Alligator meat is rather difficult to come by, but if you get your hands on it, try it in an etouffee recipe.

2. Wild Boar
While related to pig, they do not taste the same. Boar tastes like a cross between pork and beef. Wild boar works well in any recipe where you want more heft than pork can provide. First time I tried wild boar it was in jerky form.

3. Shark
To be honest, shark is rather bland. I thought it tasted like swordfish or any other bland white fish. However, amongst the meats on this list, shark is one of the easier meats to come by. I see it every now and then at my local supermarket. Prepare shark just like you would prepare any white fish. I personally enjoy grilled shark.

4. Eel
OK, so if any of you eat sushi, chances are you’ve eaten eel. Eel, or unagi as it’s known in Japanese, is a fairly common sushi topping and one of my personal favorites. I always thought eel had a distinctly smoky flavor that paired nicely with the saltiness of soy sauce.

5. Kangaroo
While some may have trouble eating Roo’s cousin, kangaroo is hands down the most delicious cut of meat I’ve eaten. Seriously, it’s that good. For a red meat, it’s lean and tender with a touch of natural sweetness. I had no trouble finding some when I was in Australia, but it might be a bit difficult to get in America. If you find some, buy it immediately.

6. Bison
Increasingly, bison is becoming easier to obtain, but it’s still delicious nonetheless. You might need to go to a specialty butcher to find it, but its lean, rich, beefy taste is worth it. Bison with cumin is delicious.

7. Cricket
Cricket, surprisingly enough, is delicious. Not terribly meaty, it tastes like a cross between a peanut and a potato chip, crunchy, flaky and salty. The only time I had cricket was in my eighth grade Spanish class. My teacher brought in fried crickets and I was one of the only ones brave enough to try them. Freak out your friends and family by putting crickets into chocolate chip cookies.

8. Ostrich
I thought it tasted almost exactly like beef. Ostrich, although a bird, tastes like a red meat, but is actually far leaner than beef. If you love beef and the taste of burgers, but worry about fat and cholesterol intake, then ostrich is a perfect choice. Take the beef out of the classic recipe and make Ostrich Bourguignon instead.

9. Frog
Yes, it really does taste like chicken, in fact almost exactly like it. Frogs, as you can imagine, are not terribly meaty and you can only eat the legs really. I find frog legs substitute perfectly with chicken wings.

10. Camel
Of all the supposedly bizarre meats that I’ve eaten, camel is the most disappointing one. It tastes exactly like a cheap steak, only with a funky and almost bitter aftertaste. My camel steak was not a pleasant dining experience. If you must try it, at least smother it in your favorite marinade.

For more great cooking tips and recipes, check out RecipeLion.com

Baking tips for novice chefs

Baking Tips for Novice Chefs

Baking can be an intimidating process when one is first learning. Images of smoke pouring out of the oven and rock hard rolls can haunt thoughts of preparing a Thanksgiving dinner. But have no fear; there are a few simple ways to avoid the confusion and stress that comes with baking. The first key is to gain a basic understanding of what you are looking to make such as ingredients, and the baking process.
Read the recipe thoroughly before turning on the oven. Make sure you understand the process and ingredients involved in what you are looking to make. It will not be enough to simply know the recipe; you need to understand the recipe as well. Keep a basic dictionary of baking terms handy to look up anything that confuses you about the recipe. A good dictionary can explain the differences between chopping, dicing and other methods of cutting fruits and vegetables. It will inform you about the types of pans you will be instructed to use. Beyond all of that, it can explain the different techniques that may be required by some recipes. This resource is vital when you are learning to bake. It can guide you through just about anything.
Once you have figured the recipe out, the actual cooking is often fairly easy. But there is a little more to the process then simply pre-heating the oven, putting in your baked good and getting back in time to take it out. Be sure to check on things every once and a while to make sure everything is cooking properly. Some ovens tend to work at temperatures slightly higher or lower then those listed on the dial. This can be disastrous if you stick too closely to the timer. Look closely at the recipe so that you know how things are meant to turn out, and you will be able to take your baked good out of the oven with perfect timing.
If you are still nervous about baking, there is a simple way to build confidence. Begin by baking cookies. These delights are perhaps the easiest baked good to create, but are challenging enough to serve as building blocks to more complex recipes. Many cookie recipes can be produced in a relatively short amount of time, making them perfect to fit into your busy schedule. Mixing the dough is pretty basic. Another advantage is that most cookies use similar ingredients. This makes them simple and easy to make. When you have made your dough, you should keep it chilled in between batches. It can also benefit the process if you cool your baking sheets by running water over the back of them before placing them in the oven. If you like to make your cookies softer, use less butter or margarine. All in all cookies are a perfect place to begin and experiment.
Once your cookies are completed things can get a bit tricky. Storage can be quite the predicament. If your cookies are soft you will want to put them in a container with a tight lid and a slice of apple. Having the apple in the container will help keep the cookies from drying out so they will stay nice and soft. If your final product is meant to stay crispy you will want a loose lid. This will keep air moving and prevent the cookies from taking in moisture from the air. If it is especially humid you can add a piece of bread to the jar. The bread will take in the moisture and prevent your crispy cookies from becoming stale. When all of this has been taken care of you are free to enjoy your delicious dessert.
One of the frustrations with baking is what to do after finishing your recipe. Cakes, cookies and breads need to be kept fresh, and sometimes this can be a difficult task. Many baked goods can be stored in a freezer for long periods of time. There are a few easy steps to ensure that your baked good will handle freezing. Having plastic wrap, heavy aluminum foil and heavy plastic containers handy is very important if you are going to freeze your product. If your recipe has a topping of some sort, place it on a cookie sheet and wrap it. Be sure to unwrap it again before defrosting. It is also helpful to double wrap everything to make sure it stays sealed. You should also make sure to mark your product with the date that you placed it into the freezer in case you forget about it at any point. Not all baked goods can be frozen, so be sure to experiment before you depend too heavily on freezing.
Yes, baking can sometime be difficult and intimidating, but the reward of learning to bake is well worth the time and effort. If you take the time to learn the terminology, give yourself room to experiment a little and make a few mistakes you can come out of the learning process with the skills needed to create desserts that the whole family can enjoy.

What are some easy italian recipes

What are Some Easy Italian Recipes?

A lot of the cuisine of Italy can be intimidating, with multiple techniques used to produce a dish, expensive ingredients and complex construction. Many new cooks take a look at some of the more classic «gourmet» Italian recipes and decide such cooking is better left to Olive Garden or Macaroni Grill. This is a mistake, as there are plenty of easy Italian recipes around.

In every ethnic cuisine, the basic cooking is simple. Remember that for most of human history cooking tools were very simple and the availability of complex cooking tools was unknown. There was only heat, a simple pan or two and some basic ingredients.

Take, for example, Shrimp Scampi, one of the most popular Italian restaurant dishes. Done right, it is a marvel of balance, with the richness of butter and the taste of garlic, green onions and white wine. Actually, it’s a very, very simple dish! You just saut? the garlic and onions in olive oil; add the wine, then the butter, then and the shrimp. It’s not hard at all, and the results are fantastic.

Lasagna, believe it or not, is another amazingly simple dish. The layers can look intimidating in the finished product, but it’s basically just a matter of making simple meat and cheese mixtures, then ladling them into a dish in layers separated by noodles. The great thing about lasagna is that it’s fairly foolproof. Get your layers out of order? Forget to put the cheese in one layer? It really won’t matter all that much once everything’s baked together.

And, for dessert, don’t forget the cannoli (hey, it was good enough for «The Godfather,» right?) You can buy cannoli shells at most bakeries, which removes what for most people is the tough part. The filling is simply a mixture of cheeses and flavorings, which is then piped into the shells and decorated. You won’t believe how simple it can be!

There are hundreds of easy Italian recipes out there. All you have to do is get cooking.

Cooking indian food at home where to start

Cooking Indian Food at Home — Where to Start?

I then discovered “real” Indian cookery and decided that as I couldn’t afford to eat out that much, I needed to learn how to cook the stuff myself.

My first stop then, was a local bookshop, where the choice of books on Indian cookery was somewhat limited.  However, I struck lucky and discovered a book called Indian Cookery by Madhur Jaffrey — what a find.  Written in simple language but with lovely descriptive text and recommendations on what to serve with what, it was just what I had been looking for.

There was a stumbling block, however, which was the endless list of spices, seasonings and flavourings  I didn’t know where to start — I’d heard of quite a lot of them, having watched a few TV programmes on Indian cooking but, “help” I thought,  “buying that many all at once is going to cost a fortune”.  If you’re thinking the same, don’t panic.  Check in your store cupboard.  You probably already have some of the items you will need.  For example, look for black peppercorns, bay leaves, chilli powder (if you’re already a fan of chilli con carne), ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon if you bake cakes or apple pies.  Maybe you’ll find mustard seeds if you do your own pickling and sesame seeds if you make rolls or cook Chinese food.  That only leaves a few basic ingredients which appear in a lot of Indian recipes — cumin, coriander, turmeric and cardamom.  Often you need ground cumin and coriander but if you buy the whole spices, you can grind them as necessary (and they keep longer that way too).

The other thing I did was to choose a fairly simple recipe to start with and I just bought the spices I needed for that.  The next time I want to cook an Indian meal, I chose another recipe with similar ingredients so I had to just buy a couple more things.  Soon enough I built up a whole store cupboard of the things I needed and it didn’t have had such a drastic effect on my wallet.

Then there was no stopping me — I even know some recipes by heart now and you can do the same if you want to.

You don’t need special equipment for Indian cookery, although I wouldn’t be without my electric coffee grinder (to grind spices) and it’s nice (but not necessary) to have the traditional dishes to serve your meal in.  Other than that, you need a bit of patience and it’s fun to cook with a friend so that you can share the chopping and grinding or have someone read the recipe out to you step by step so you don’t go wrong in the middle.

The flavours are great, a curry evening is really sociable, so go on, give it a try.