|Posted by Chef Linda on September 29, 2011 at 12:15 AM||comments (2)|
Paleo Pulled Pork Wraps
Paleo Zesty BBQ Sauce
Well it just so happens that I created a delicious Paleo barbecue sauce last week when I made some BBQ Pulled Pork for my Paleo Pulled Pork Wraps. I wanted to make BBQ Pulled Pork but I wanted it Paleo, so I researched a bunch, to make sure all ingredients would go along with the Paleo Diet. I ended up getting a nice lean range feed pork roast putting it in a Crockpot and pouring this sauce all over it and slow cooking for 8 hours. It was just delicious and my clients are asking for more. Hey, some of them don’t even know that it is good for them and made with healthy ingredients.
Zesty Barbecue Sauce
3 large cloves Garlic, minced
1 6oz can tomato paste (preferableorganic)
1 to 1 1/2 cups of beef stock (I made my own but if you buy, you want it without salt and No MSG - Organic is best)
1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons hot sauce or ½ teaspoonof cayenne pepper
1. Blend in food processor garlic and onion until minced. You want your BBQsauce a little chunky but the more fine you dice these, the better the flavorwill spread through the entire sauce.
2. Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan. Start with 1 cup beef stock and addmore depend on how thick you want your sauce.
3. Bring sauce to heat on stove with a low setting.
4. Cover and simmer. Stir frequently and taste regularly. The longer yousimmer, the more consistent your flavor will be. I simmered for 20-30 minutes.
Extra can be stored in refrigerator.
|Posted by Chef Linda on August 8, 2011 at 1:23 PM||comments (0)|
Temperature Guide to Get the Best Out of the Best Types of Oil
Newest Client Question is "What's the best type of oil to cook with?"
With so many different types of oils available today, it can be hard to know which ones are the best for your health… Certain oils high in omega 6 fatty acids are not beneficial to us, causing an imbalance of anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids and inflammatory omega 6′s. When you cook oils that have high omega 3 OR 6 content, you damage them and they become oxidized and transform into free radicals, which harm the cells in our bodies.
Certain oils are better for you when heated and others should be eaten at room temperature on salads, etc. Among the best oils to cook with and to enhance your meals:
Here’s an easy-to-follow temperature guide to help you cook with any type of oil:
Oils that tolerate very high temperatures, frying, or browning
The following oils can be used to cook at high temperatures because their good properties will not be lost with the heat.
Oils that are great for cooking at medium temperature or lightly sautéed
To get the best out of the following oils, you can cook with them at medium temperatures.
Oils that should only be exposed to low temperatures or for baking
The following oils should not be heated at all before eating them. If you apply any heat to them, their properties will be lost and will become harmful to your health.
In addition to these, all the other oils mentioned above can also be used at room temperature, providing many health benefits and much needed beneficial fats.
Keeping Olive Oil and Other Oils Fresher Longer:
Moving then off the kitchen counter is only the first step. Here's how to prolong the life of the oils in your kitchen.
Unopened: 1 year, Open: 3 months
Do check the harvest date printed on the label of high-end oils to ensure the freshest bottle possible. (Some labels cite an expiration date, which producers typically calculate as 18 months from harvesting. We think unopened olive oil can go rancid 1 year after the harvest date.)
Do move olive oil from the countertop or windowsill to a dark pantry or cupboard. Strong sunlight will oxidize the chlorophyll in the oil, producing stale, harsh flavors.
Don't buy olive oil in bulk. Unless you are me. I use so much with my cooking that I go though a very large Costco or Sam's Extra Virgin in a few months. But I am cooking for hundreds of people. Just note that once opened, it has a very short shelf life.
Checking for Freshness
Heat a little olive oil in a skillet. If it smells rancid, throw out the bottle. (This test works for all vegetable oils.)
Here's a quick guide to storing open bottles of oil in your kitchen. For optimal flavor, replace these oils 6 months after opening.
Store in Pantry
I don't fry very much but I get this question often too.
Here's a trick that takes the guesswork out of determining when frying oil is hot. Simply place a kernel of popcorn in the oil as it heats up. The kernel will pop when the oil is between 350 and 365 degrees, just the right temperature for deep-frying.
Another Good Cooking Tip:
I had this question a couple years ago and posted the answer. I will repost it with this blog.
"Even when stored in an airtight container in a dark cupboard, used frying oil can taste fishy and stale after more than a month. Is there a better way to store it for re-use?"
A cool dark cupboard is fine for the short term, since exposure to air and light hastens oil’s rate of oxidative rancidification and the creation of off-flavors and odors. But for long-term storage (beyond one month), the cooler the storage temperature the better. We fried chicken in vegetable oil and then divided the oil (strained first) among three containers and stored them in various locations: in a cool, dark cupboard; in the refrigerator; and in the freezer. Two months later, we sautéed chunks of white bread in each sample and took a taste. Sure enough, the oil from the cupboard had turned fishy and unpleasant and the refrigerated sample only somewhat less so, while the oil kept in the freezer tasted remarkably clean. Why? Though an absence of light is important, very cold temperatures are most effective at slowing oxidation and the production of peroxides, which are the source of rancid oil’s unpleasant taste and smell. That’s why storing oil in the super-cold, dark freezer is your best bet for keeping it fresh.
Thank you for reading my blog.
Happy Healthy Cooking,
|Posted by Chef Linda on June 29, 2011 at 2:51 PM||comments (1)|
I have been baking up a storm.
I have been baking several pies and cakes for local business and customers. When a client orders food they can request a desert for addtional cost. Here is what I have been baking lately and some of my clients favorite treats.
Southern Banana Cream Pie, Dutch Apple Pie, Strawberry Blueberry Pie
Chocolate Mousse Cake
Chocolate with White Buttercream Frosting and Yellow Roses
Strawberry Birthday Cake
Chocholate Truffle Mousse Cake
Bridal Shower Cake
Baby Shower - Cutie Baby Cupcakes
Tea Party Hat Cake
I love baking but don't do it as often as I like too because of the time involved with it. I am too busy cooking healthy meals to make healthy deserts or unhealthy ones, but once a month I have local business that have me cater and I get to show off my baking talents. Email me if you would like some good cake recipes or if you have any questions on how to make them healthier. Some recipes I can help you with and some I cannot, because it wouldn't be the same recipe if we changed it to be healthy.
Have a great day,
|Posted by Chef Linda on June 19, 2011 at 5:13 PM||comments (0)|
HOW TO COOK TIP OF THE WEEK: Bell Pepper Color and Flavor
We conducted a blind tasting to find out if those cheerfully colored bellpeppers taste as different from one another as they look, or if they have simply been cultivated for eye appeal. Wearing blindfolds, our staff tasted both raw and blanched samples of red, yellow, orange, green, and purple peppers fresh from the market and some from the garden.
Do different-colored peppers taste different?
We conducted a blind tasting to find out if those cheerfully colored bell peppers taste as different from one another as they look or have simply been cultivated for eye appeal. Wearing blindfolds, our staff tasted both raw and blanched samples of red, yellow, orange, green, and purple peppers fresh from the market.
No one guessed all of the colors correctly, but the differences in taste were dramatic. The favorite colors turned out to be red and orange; without exhibiting much of a pungent pepper flavor, both were pleasantly sweet. The yellow pepper, with its mildly sweet and slightly tannic flavor, was also well liked. The green pepper, the most easily recognized, was universally disliked for its unripe bitterness. The absolute worst entry, however, was the thin-skinned purple pepper. Its slimy texture and singularly unpleasant flavor elicited comments such as, "Did I just eat a slug?"
As it turned out, these comments weren't far off the mark. As a bell pepper ripens, it turns from green to yellow, orange, or red, depending on the variety. These bright peppers are sweeter simply because they are ripe, whereas the bitter green pepper is unripe. Purple peppers, too, are harvested when immature and would turn an uncommonly dark green if allowed to ripen fully. So unless you're fond of the tannic bitterness of the common green and the purple varieties, we suggest sticking with yellow, orange, or red.
|Posted by Chef Linda on June 5, 2011 at 4:49 PM||comments (0)|
Don't Put Away Your Slow Cooker or Crockpot!
Slow cooked pulled chicken sandwich. As easy as just cooking chicken in BBQ sauce in the Crockpot.
The slow cooker/crockpot is a great way to prepare winter stews, soups, and chilis. But did you know the slow cooker is just as useful when it comes to summer cooking? In the The Art of Cuisine's kitchen, we use the crockpot to "barbecue" everything from brisket to pulled chicken. You can enjoy summer classics like ribs without having to tend the grill all day. And because the slow cooker doesn't heat up your kitchen, it's the best way to prepare summer sides like baked beans and creamed corn. This is a great way to save on energy and save on time. This easy tip will make your next BBQ a relaxing event. Invite people over and have them bring the side dishes and all you have to do is "Set it and Forget It for 6 to 8 hours!" Start in the morning and by dinner it is ready. You can have the house all cleaned up and look like a pro. before your guest arive. See below easy recipe.This would make an easy father's day dinner.
Baby Back Ribs (Slow Cooker)
These baby back ribs might not be bathed in smoke, but they still a lot of flavor. This slow cooked recipe will give you a great set of ribs even if can't prepare it outdoors.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours, 20 minutes
Yield: Serves 4
4 pounds pork baby back ribs
1/2 cup of barbecue sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
11/2 teaspoons chili powder
3/4 teaspoon ground oregano
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or 1 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Hot sauce is (optional)
Preparation: Trim excess fat from ribs. Combine dry ingredients and rub over the surface of the ribs. Place ribs in slow cooker or Crock-Pot standing on their edge with the meaty side out. Cook for about 8 hours on lowest setting. Remove ribs from Crockpot and brush with barbecue sauce. Easy dish!! Don't have to stand over a hot BBQ. Just set it and forget it for 8 hours.
|Posted by Chef Linda on May 22, 2011 at 1:24 PM||comments (1)|
KITCHEN TIP: Trimming Tough Ends From Asparagus
The tough, woody part of the stem is easy to break off in just the right place if you hold the spear the right way. Hold the asparagus halfway down the stalk. With the other hand, hold the cut end between the thumb and index finger about an inch or so up from the bottom, then bend the stalk and snap. The stalks will naturally break at the spot where it has become tough and stringy.
Recipe: Grilled Asparagus
Why this recipe works:To determine the best and easiest asparagus recipe for jumbo or medium spears, we tried boiling and microwaving. But in the end, steaming got our vote as the best asparagus recipe. Not only was it faster than boiling, it resulted in a more healthful plate of asparagus, peeled or not. And forget about microwaving asparagus entirely: It shriveled and dried the spears out. For the best grilled asparagus, we steamed the spears first, and then grilled them briefly to give them some smoky flavor.
For really great-tasting asparagus you should grill it over charcoal or wood. A gas grill will do in a pinch but, unfortunately, a broiler doesn't do the trick.
1. Bring 1 inch water to boil in a soup kettle. Put asparagus in steamer basket, then carefully place steamer basket in kettle; cover and steam over medium-high heat until asparagus spears are slightly undercooked, about 4 minutes for medium spears. Drain and plunge spears immediately into ice water to stop the cooking process.
2. Heat grill. Remove asparagus from ice water and pat dry with paper towels. Toss asparagus in oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Grill asparagus until marked, about 2 minutes on each side. Serve hot or at room temperature, unadorned or with a vinaigrette.
Technique Snapping off the Tough Ends
Hold the asparagus about halfway down the stalk; with the other hand, hold the cut end between the thumb and index finger about an inch or so up from the bottom and bend the stalk until it snaps.
|Posted by Chef Linda on May 2, 2011 at 3:20 PM||comments (1)|
Spring Entertaining Guide Brunch Idea's
Frittata with Asparagus, Tomato, and Fontina
Inactive Prep Time:2 min
Cook Time:10 min
Eggs Benedict with English Muffin, recipe follows Poached Eggs, recipe follows Hollandaise Sauce, recipe follows 8 slices Canadian bacon, julienned
- 4 quarts water 1/4 cup white vinegar 1 teaspoon kosher salt 8 large eggs Put 4 (6-ounce) custard cups in a 6-quart deep, straight-sided saute pan or rondeau. Add 4 quarts of water or enough to cover the cups by at least 1/4-inch. Add the vinegar and salt to the water and put the pan over high heat. Heat just until the water begins to boil and the cups clatter against the bottom of the pan, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Adjust the heat to maintain a water temperature of 205 degrees F outside the cups. Break the eggs, 1 at a time, into another custard cup or ladle. Pour the eggs slowly into each of the cups, timing them about 10 seconds apart. Cook for 5 minutes each.
- Serve immediately or remove eggs from cups and transfer to an ice bath to stop cooking. Refrigerate for up to 6 hours in the ice bath.
- To reheat, bring water to a simmer, turn off the heat and add the eggs. Wait 1 to 2 minutes or until warmed through.
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne, divided
- 3 to 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice strained, divided
- 8 ounces cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar Whisk together the egg yolks, water, salt and
- 1/4 teaspoon of the cayenne in a 2 quart saucier for 1 minute.
- Put the saucier over low heat and whisk vigorously, moving the pan on and off the heat every 10 to 15 seconds, bringing the mixture to 140 to 145 degrees F, on an instant-read thermometer, approximately 3 minutes.
- Add 1 piece of butter at a time, every 30 seconds, while continually whisking and moving the saucier on and off the heat. Maintain temperature around 120 to 130 degrees F throughout the remainder of the cooking process. Once half of the butter, or 8 pieces, have been added, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Add the remaining 8 pieces of butter, 1 at a time, every 30 seconds, while continuing to move the saucier on and off the heat and maintaining 120 to 130 degrees F. After the last piece of butter has been added, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, and the sugar and whisk for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Taste and add more lemon juice, as desired. Move immediately to a short, wide-mouthed thermos to hold for up to 2 hours. Reheat over low heat for 45 seconds.
Yield: 1 1/4 cups sauce
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 to 20 minutes
To build Eggs Benedict:
Put the julienned Canadian bacon in 10-inch saute pan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until heated through and beginning to turn lightly brown around the edges, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, but leave the bacon in the pan to keep warm until serving.
For each serving, put 2 small dollops of hollandaise on a plate and set 1/2 an English muffin on top of each dollop. Put a small amount of Canadian bacon on top of each half and top with 1 warm poached egg and drizzle with hollandaise. Repeat with remaining ingredients and serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings
Source Food Network
|Posted by Chef Linda on May 2, 2011 at 1:05 PM||comments (0)|
KITCHEN TIP: Getting the Most Juice Out of Lemons
Is there a way to get the most juice out alemon? We squeezed a dozen lemons—cold lemons, lemons rolled on a hard surface,room-temperature lemons, and warm lemons—and found that although each yieldedthe same amount of juice, warm and room-temperature lemons were softer andtherefore easier to squeeze than the cold lemons. To quickly warm a cold lemon,you can heat it in the microwave until it is warm to the touch.
|Posted by Chef Linda on January 7, 2011 at 4:00 PM||comments (0)|
Do you need to save time and money?
One of the best ways to save time, money, energy cost and have a healthy meal is using a Slow Cooker. People all the time say they don't have time to cook and eat healthy. Well, here is a healthy tip that works great. I use my slowcooker all year long.
Cooking with a Slow Cooker
There are many slow cooker recipes available, but when you will have some food for which you do not have a slow cooker recipe, you can still cook it in the slow cooker by using some basic slow cooking guidelines and cooking times for slow cooking.
You can also use traditional recipes and adapt them to be used as slow cooker recipes. The cooking times will vary according to the type of food, amount of food being cooked, the size of pieces, and the type of other ingredients cooked with the food. The information below contains tips and advice on how to adapt traditional recipes and cooking times, along with other slow cooking tips.
Basic Slow Cooking Information:
Many different types of food and recipes can be cooked in a slow cooker. There are some cooking basics that should be followed for successful slow cooking. The basic information below should be followed most often when slow cooking but always follow special instructions included in the slow cooking recipe.
Cooking TimesThe chart below provides some basic cooking times for some general types of food that can be cooked in a slow cooker. Because different models of slow cookers cook at slightly different temperatures, the cooking times below are given in a range. If a slow cooker cooks at a slightly higher temperature, it will require a cooking time on the lower end of the range and if it cooks at a slightly lower temperature, it will require a cooking time on the higher end of the range. Start checking for doneness at the low end of the time range when you are first using the slow cooker. After using the slow cooker a few times, you will be able to determine where in the cooking range you should be.
I will try to have several slow cooking recipes in my newsletter this month.Make sure you are signed up
|Posted by Chef Linda on December 3, 2010 at 12:17 PM||comments (0)|
How to Cook Tip of the Week Garlic Substitutions
Fresh garlic is a staple in most kitchens, but if you don't have any on hand and need it for a recipe, is there an acceptable substitution? We compared garlic powder and dehydrated minced garlic to the real thing in our recipes for pasta with garlic and oil, Caesar salad, and garlic bread. The results revealed that neither substitute is ideal, but fortunately one is acceptable in some applications
What is the difference between dehydrated garlic and garlic powder? Are they ever an acceptable replacement for fresh garlic?
Dehydrated garlic is simply minced fresh garlic that is dehydrated before packaging. Garlic powder is made from dehydrated garlic that’s been pulverized and, unless you buy a high-quality brand, often in cludes a slew of artificial ingredients and flavorings meant to improve flavor and extend shelf life.
We compared garlic powder and dehydrated minced garlic to the real thing in our recipes for pasta with garlic and oil, Caesar salad, and garlic bread. In the Caesar dressing, flavor differences were minimal; the assertive flavors of lemon, anchovies, and Worcestershire sauce masked any processed garlic taste. In the pasta and garlic bread, however, tasters preferred the unmistakable bite of real garlic.
Our opinion? In most instances, nothing compares to fresh cloves, especially when garlic is the predominant flavor in the recipe. We don’t recommend dehydrated garlic, which takes a while to rehydrate and is quite mild. However, there are a few cases in which garlic powder makes sense. We like its mild roasted flavor in spice rubs for meat or in dishes such as roasted potatoes.(Unlike minced fresh garlic, garlic powder will not burn in the oven.) Substitute ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder for each clove of fresh garlic.
Source: Published July 1, 2009. From Cook's Illustrated.