Cooking Roasts – Cooking Time For Prime Rib Roast

A Prime Rib Roast which is often referred to as a Standing Roast is the cut between the area of the chunk and the loin. It is taken from the rib primal which is very rare, expensive, tender, succulent and flavorful. The belief that the word prime is already the highest grade quality of beef as per United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) standards doesn’t necessarily mean it, it is just a label because it is expensive as compared to other cuts. The cut comprises the ribs from 6 to 12. A full prime rib roast contains 7 ribs enough to feed more than 14 people, a generous serving of 2 persons per rib. Having the best prime rib roast won’t guarantee that you’ll end up serving the perfect dish that can satisfy your palate. One most important factor in cooking this, is the time element. A required cooking time is one assurance for the best end-product.

To begin with, a reliable and an accurate meat thermometer is needed. Whether it is rare, medium-rare, or well-done an instant- read cooking or meat thermometer should be used to cook it properly. Internal temperature for rare starts at 120°F and going to 125-130°F for medium-rare. Here’s a guide to follow when cooking prime rib roast but remember to always check oven temperature as this affects greatly the baking time of the rib roast. Oven temperatures are not always correct so be sure to check it by placing an oven thermometer at the center of the rack and heat for 15 minutes at 350° F. If the temperature of the oven reads lower or higher than the oven setting after 15 minutes,then have it adjusted.

Cooking Time Chart (Estimate) For Rare Prime Rib

For 2 ribs:

Approximate Weight: 4 – 5 lbs

Oven Temperature: 450/350 deg. F

Total Time (Estimated): 60 – 70 min.

Meat Thermometer Reading ( Rare): 120 deg F

For 3 ribs:

Approximate Weight: 7 – 8.5 lbs

Oven Temperature: 450/350 deg. F

Total Time (Estimated): 1 hr. and 30 min. – 1 hr. and 45 minutes

Meat Thermometer Reading (Rare): 120 deg. F

For 4 ribs:

Approximate Weight: 9 – 10.5 lbs.

Oven Temperature: 450/350 deg. F

Total Time (Estimated); 1 hr. 45 min.- 2 h and 15 min.

Meat Thermometer Reading(Rare): 120 deg. F

For 5 ribs:

Approximate Weight: 11 – 13.5 lbs.

Oven Temperature: 450/350 deg. F

Total Time (Estimated): 2 h and 15 min.- 2 h and 45 min.

Meat Thermometer Reading: 120 deg. F

For 6 ribs:

Approximate Weight: 14 – 16 lbs.

Oven Temperature: 450/350 deg. F

Total Time (Estimated): 3 h – 3 h and 15 min.

Meat Thermometer Reading: 120 deg. F

For 7 ribs:

Approximate Weight: 16 – 18.5 lbs

Oven Temperature: 450/350 deg. F

Total Time (Estimated): 3 h and 15 min. – 4 h

Meat Thermometer Reading: 120 deg. F

Chart for Prime Rib Doneness

Rare: 120 – 125°F – Center is bright red, pinkish towards the exterior portion.

Medium Rare: 130 – 135°F – Center is very pink, slightly brown towards the exterior portion.

Medium: 140 – 145°F – Center is light pink, outer portion is brown.

Medium Well: 150 – 155°F – Not pink

Well Done: 160°F and above – Steak is uniformly brown throughout.

Additional cooking time is allowed when baking at a high altitude because there’s less oxygen and atmospheric pressure making cooking time longer and atmosphere drier. Food thermometer is the only way to check whether an internal temperature is safely reached.

Other time element that should be considered when cooking prime rib roast:

Always let the roast to come to room temperature when it is previously frozen. Completely thaw in the refrigerator and remove it from the refrigerator about 2 to 4 hours (depending on its size), before cooking to let it settle at room temperature. It is important to have it come at room temperature before cooking to avoid longer cooking time, uneven cooking, raw at the center and well-done at the end.

Take also into consideration the carry-over cooking or the residual heat. This is caused by the residual heat transferred from the hotter exterior to the cooler center of the meat. The roast must be removed from the heat at an internal temperature lower than the temperature desired. The time for letting it sit down will cause the temperature to rise.

So here it is,no guessing- game but simply follow the cooking chart time to the last for a perfect, great tasting, and succulent prime rib roast looking so good on the dinner table. After all, it seemed to be a small investment as it is pricey so, why not have the most of it and enjoy.



Source by Marichu Coning

Cooking Frozen Packaged Meals in a Toaster Oven

Many people buy a toaster oven so that they don’t have to turn on their energy hogging full-sized oven for small meals. Then, to their dismay, they notice that most prepackaged frozen meals have this warning: “Do not cook in a toaster oven.” These countertop ovens are just smaller versions of normal ovens, so is it really a bad idea to cook frozen meals in them?

First, lets look at the differences between toaster ovens and full-sized conventional ovens. Both produce dry heat and in general, both have the same temperature range. The method of heating varies from oven to oven, with conventional models using either gas or electricity as the primary energy source. Toaster ovens rely solely on electric heat, but this is no different from many regular ovens out there. So why would you not be able to cook a frozen meal in a toaster oven?

I had some idea of why this would be, but rather than rely on conjecture I went straight to the source. I contacted four major companies whose products warned against using a toaster oven. All four gave me the same answer: uneven and unpredictable heating could lead to improperly cooked food. This can lead to food poisoning.

I have tested many toaster ovens throughout the years and I can tell you that they do not all have uneven and unpredictable heating, but many do. The issue with many is a discrepancy between the heat setting and actual internal oven temperature. You may have set the oven to 375 degrees F as directed by the package instructions but have an actual temperature of much less than that. This is especially true with cheap models that are poorly insulated. This can lead to undercooked foods which can be dangerous to consume.

Is there a way around this problem? There certainly is! Accurate instant-read thermometers are easy to find and inexpensive. Many have probes that can be left inside the oven while it is in use. This will allow you to ensure the internal oven temperature is where it needs to be. This will take care of any issues regarding unpredictable heating or temperature.

Uneven heating is much more difficult to overcome. Many inexpensive toaster ovens cook food very unevenly, leaving some portions of the food burnt while others are raw or undercooked. This isn’t just a problem with frozen meals; it is problematic with anything you cook. The problem is just amplified when you start with a product that is frozen rather than room temperature or close to it. I would never attempt to cook a frozen meal in an appliance that has issues with uneven heating. I would also not want to use that appliance for any of my other cooking needs.

So is it safe to cook a frozen meal in a toaster oven? I would say the answer to that is “maybe.” You probably should not risk it unless you are absolutely sure the appliance you are using cooks things evenly and accurately. Use a thermometer to monitor your actual temperature and check the internal temperature of the food once it is done. Most packaged foods will tell you what the internal temperature of the food needs to be for that food to be safe. There are also temperature guidelines provided by most local health departments. Use those if you are unsure of what the target temperature of the finished product needs to be.

Visit Toaster Oven Reviews to find the best toaster oven for frozen meals and so much more. You will find thousands of reviews as well as a handy buying guide to help you along the way.



Source by Heather Krasovec

Factors Affecting Microwave Recipes Cooking

FACTORS WHICH AFFECT COOKING

Several factors which influence timing and results in conventional cooking are exaggerated by microwave speed..

From conventional cooking you are familiar with the idea that more food takes more time.

Two cups of water take longer to boil than one.

Size of food is important, too.

Cut up potatoes cook faster than whole ones.

These differences are more apparent in microwaving, since energy penetrates and turns to heat directly in the food.

Knowing what affects the speed and evenness of cooking will help you enjoy all the advantages of microwaving.

Piece Size: In both conventional and microwave cook-ing, small pieces cook faster than large ones. Pieces which are similar in size and shape cook more evenly.

Starting Temperature: Foods taken from the refrigerator take longer to cook than foods at room temperature. Timings in our recipes are based on the temperatures at which you normally store the foods.

Density of Food: In both conventional and microwave cooking, dense foods, such as a potato, take longer to cook or heat than light, porous foods, such as a piece of cake, bread or a roll.

Quantity of Food: In both types of cooking, small amounts usually take less time than large ones. This is most apparent in microwave cooking, where time is di-rectly related to the number of servings. Shape of Food: In both types of cooking, thin areas cook faster than thick ones. This can be controlled in micro-waving by placing thick pieces to the outside edge with thin pieces to the center.

Height in Oven: In both types of cooking, areas which are closest to the source of heat or energy cook faster. For even microwaving, turn over or shield vulnerable foods which are higher than 5 inches.

Boiling: Microwaves exaggerate boiling in milk-based foods. A temperature probe turns off the oven before foods boil over. Use a lower power setting and watch carefully when not using a probe. Prick Foods to Release Pressure: Steam builds up pressure in foods which are tightly covered by a skin or membrane. Prick potatoes (as you do conventionally), egg yolks and chicken livers to prevent bursting.

Round Shapes: Since microwaves penetrate foods to about 1 -in. from top, bottom and sides, round shapes and rings cook more evenly. Corners receive more energy and may overcook. This may also happen conventionally

Bury Vulnerable Foods: Foods which attract microwave energy, such as cheese or meat, should, when possible, be buried in sauce or other ingredients. In conventional stewing or pot roasting, meat not covered with liquid dries out.



Source by Lena Arunkumar

Best Chili Recipes – 5 Tips For Cooking Great Chili!

Chili is a metaphysical thing in the world of cooking. There are major competitions all over the United States, and believe me they can get really cutthroat. People take their chili seriously! Chili is a creation that is highly personal to the person that has created the dish. Lots of folks can work a lifetime to perfect a chili recipe and that is no joke. Just ask anyone that has ever competed in a chili cook off. If you are a newbie to the world of chili and want to get out of “the canned stuff,” then welcome! Even if you are an old hat at making chili, welcome! The tips herein will do no harm and only enhance your chili experience! Lets get some tips!

Tip 1. What if your chili is too thick? What kind of chili is it? White?, Red? Beef? Chicken? If your chili is too thick do not use water to thin it out that is what everyone in the world does. Use broth instead! Water will “kill” the hard worked for flavor of your chili creation. Broth adds the liquid that you need and unlike water it also adds flavor and depth to your chili recipe!

Tip 2. What if your chili is way to thin? You could add some tomato paste to it as one way to thicken it. Try it a little bit by little bit until you achieve the consistency that you are looking for! What if the tomato paste does not make your chili thick the way you want it to? Then the next step is to try to use something like cornstarch or corn flour commonly called masa flour! You can also try the old school use of cornmeal. I like this one myself. Cornmeal gives a good texture. Some people I know in the Southern United States say to just use good old fashioned instant mashed potatoes. Not bad! It works and adds texture as well. Then the is the no calorie way to do it by using arrow root mixed with a bit of water and then added to the chili and stirred. As you can see there are many way to make your chili thicker. The choice is yours and you should experiment.

Tip 3. Most people that I know of that make chili at home just use plain old boring everyday Jalapeno’s. This is fine in most cases and they do bring the “heat!” But the fact of the matter is that there is a world of different chilies out there. Anaheim, Poblano, Serrano, Sante Fe Chilies, Ancho Chilies, The very popular these days Chipotle in Adobo sauce or Chipotle powder, Cayenne, Tabascos, Thai Chili, Habanera, and Scotch Bonnets! The list can go on and on from country to country. So why not try to use more than one type of chili pepper in your chili? Change the flavor, do not settle for the mundane! Have fun!

Tip 4. first thing is first! Cook the meat! Any meat that you are using should be cooked first. Brown the meat way before you have to add the liquids to the recipe. Browning the meat aids in locking in the flavor of the meat. You do not want your meat to get soggy with the liquids from the chili recipe. I prefer to sear cook my meat. That is turn the flame up high and putting the meat in the pan of my fave the cast iron skillet and so it sizzles quick and stir it around a bit and then turn the heat down. This is a classic searing technique that locks the flavor into the meat.

Tip 5. The better the meat the better the meal! It is a fact that the better the quality of any meat or main component for a meal the better the meal. Remember that is it quality over quantity! Just because you can get some meats cheap and get lot’s of it does not mean that it is quality meat and that you will get a quality meal. If you have to use a cheaper meat that is less tender then expect to cook your chili longer to soften it up and consider using a meat tenderizer on it to aid in the softening of the cheaper cuts and cook the chili longer and you should be OK. In the long run if you can afford to get the better cuts then I always day do it!



Source by Richard L. Blaine

Cooking Vegetables With Waterless Cookware – Part 2

Cooking vegetables correctly does not have to be a guessing situation. By following a few simple directions, you can insure that your fresh or frozen vegetables will turn out tasty, appealing and cooked to perfection every time.

Cooking Fresh Vegetables

To cook fresh vegetables, place the vegetables in a pan that is almost completely full once vegetables are inserted. When cooking with waterless cookware, cooking vegetables in too large a pan for the quantity you are cooking can be a problem. Then rinse your vegetables with cold water and pour the excess water off. The water that clings to the vegetables plus the vegetable’s own natural moisture will provide enough moisture for cooking the waterless way.

Cover the pan, close the vent and cook over medium-low heat. When the cover spins freely on a cushion of water, the vapor seal has formed. Cook according to the time chart that follows: Do not peek. Doing so not only lengthens the cooking time but also increases the risk of burning your vegetables because the vapor seal is broken. When finished cooking, test for doneness with a fork.  If not done, cover the pan, close the vent and add 2 to 3 Tbsp. of water to the rim to reestablish the vapor seal. Cook over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes.

Cooking Frozen Vegetables

Do not defrost the vegetables. Again the size of pan used for cooking the vegetables is important. Once the vegetables have been placed in the pan, your pan should be almost completely full. Rinse your vegetables with cold water and pour the excess water off. The water that clings to the vegetables plus its own natural moisture will provide enough moisture for cooking.

Cover the pan, close the vent and cook over medium-low heat. When the cover spins freely on a cushion of water, the vapor seal has formed. Cook according to the time chart. Do not peek. Removing the cover will destroy the vapor seal, lengthen the cooking time, and possibly cause the vegetables to burn.

Cooking Times for Vegetables:

Artichokes (whole) (30 to 45)

Artichoke hearts (10 to 15)

Asparagus (10 to 15)

Beans, green (fresh, cut) (15 to 20)

Beans, green (fresh, French cut) (10 to 15)

Beans, green (frozen) (10 to 12)

Beans, Lima (fresh) (30 to 35)

Beans, Lima (frozen) (10 to 12)

Beets (whole) (35 to 40)

Broccoli (15 to 20)

Brussels Sprouts (15 to 20)

Cabbage, shredded (10 to 15)

Carrots, sliced (15 to 20)

Cauliflower (10 to 15)

Corn (fresh) (15 to 20)

Corn (frozen) (10 to 12)

Eggplant (5 to 8)

Greens (10 to 12)

Leeks (12 to 15)

Mushrooms (5 to 10)

Okra (15 to 20)

Onions (whole) (15 to 20)

Parsnips (sliced) (15 to 20)

Peas (frozen) (5 to 7)

Potatoes (quartered) (20 to 25)

Potatoes (whole) (30 to 35)

Potatoes, sweet (30 to 35)

Spinach (frozen) (8 to 10)

Spinach (fresh) (15 to 20)

Squash, summer (yellow) 15 to 20)

Squash, winter (25 to 30)

Squash, zucchini (20 to 25)

Tomatoes (10 to 15)

Turnips and rutabagas (25 to 30)

*Cooking times reflect the time after the vapor seal is formed, which usually takes 3 to 5 minutes. Note: To keep your vegetables hot and ready to serve, keep the cover on and the vent closed. The vegetables will stay hot in the pan for about 20 to 25 minutes.

Don’t let the concept of cooking waterless scare you. When you try it, you will soon discover how easy it is to actually use waterless cookware if you follow the above principles. Yes, cooking with waterless cookware is healthy because vegetables cook in their own natural juices, but you will soon discover how tasty and uniquely flavorful your prepared meals actually are. The Gourmets Cookware offers a wide variety of quality waterless stainless steel products along with tips and healthy recipes that can be easily adapted to your waterless cookware.



Source by Marcia Klun

Schlemmertopf Clay Pot Recipes – Fun Cooking for a Healthy Holiday Diet

We all desire to eat healthy so we try to get a good diet every day. But it’s hard to do that on the Christmas season where food is abundant. One of the modern ways to maintain a good eating lifestyle even on the holidays is preparing food in clay pots – and Schlemmertop can be your partner.

The original glazed Schlemmertop is a type of clay cookware with a lightly-glazed bottom to offer more advantages to cooking in clay. If washing cookware is a daunting process for you, you will find glazed clay pot easier to clean as food particles, flavors, spices, and odors are not absorbed into the pot. While this clay is glazed, it offers the same healthy meals, without added fats and oils, that unglazed clay cookware can give. With it, your food is also cooked in their natural juices, with all liquids, flavor, taste, nutrients and vitamins retained.

Try this savory Schlemmertopf clay recipe with the essence of fresh herbs.

Stuffed Flank Steak

Ingredients

  • 1 flank steak
  • Some flour
  • 4 cups bread cubes
  • 3/4 cup of fresh celery, chopped
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sage
  • Salt and pepper

Procedure

Always begin with the basic requirement when using clay pots. Soak lid of Glazed Schlemmertopf clay pot. Position flank steak crosswise then dust with salt and pepper; dredge with the flour and pound well with a potato masher. In a small bowl, bring together bread cubes, onions, celery and sage. Dampen with a little amount of water then season with salt and pepper. Spread stuffing over the flank steak. When done, roll the meat and tie or fasten the edge with toothpicks. Put in your Schlemmertopf clay pot and cover. Place into the cold oven and turn temperature to 425 degrees F. Bake for 115-120 minutes. By then, you’ll get a lovely crust and juicy steak.

Cooking Schlemmertopf clay recipes is a fun way to savor your favorite foods even on the long holidays. For an added advantage, the glazed pot is easy to clean without bacteria build up; no worry about mold and no staining or problems with food sticking. You may even serve your dish directly from the pot to your holiday dinner table. Note that if it stays covered, your food will remain hot for a long time. This makes cooking in clay not just an ideal way to cook low-fat diets but a traditional trick to enjoy warm food from the beginning to the end of your meals.

So this Christmas, enjoy Schlemmertop clay pot recipes for a healthy holiday diet!



Source by Terry Retter

Alfredo Sauce – What You Must Know About Cooking With It

The secret to good Alfredo sauce is a combination of ingredients and technique. Unlike many Italian dishes, Alfredo sauce is extremely rich, with the base ingredient being cream. This makes this dish an excellent alternative to the standard red sauces and meats normally associated with Italian meals.

When you go to make your Alfredo sauce, you should make certain you have all of your ingredients prepared in advance. The process of making the sauce goes by very quickly, so you will want to make certain you have everything nearby so that you do not risk scorching your cream as you cook. As scorching the cream is the most common cause of ruin of an Alfredo dish, this simple preparation can prevent disaster.

The common ingredients of standard Alfredo sauce are:

– Heavy Cream

– Parsley

– White Salt

– Pepper

– Butter

– Parmesan Cheese

Cooking times and amounts may vary from recipe to recipe. Also, ingredients may be altered depending on whether or not there are attempts at making the Alfredo more healthy. As Alfredo is so heavy on cream, butter and cheese, it is often viewed as a treat or avoided on many diets.

Once you have your ingredients prepared, there are several things that you can do to prevent ruining your dish.

1: Prepare your Pan

Scorching Alfredo is only the first of the risks. By properly preparing your pan by preheating and cooling the pan slightly with water, you can prevent the cream from scorching. When the cream is added to the pan, it should be done off of the heat, with the cream being returned to the heat after it has been warmed in the pan.

2: Remember to stir frequently

Reducing cream by half requires patience and dedication. Alfredo is not a sauce that you can leave alone for long. Plan to make your Alfredo sauce when you can dedicate time to it. This will prevent your cream from burning.

3: Do not add cheese while sauce is on the burner

A common mistake is for individuals to add the butter and cheese to the sauce while it is still on the burner. Do not make this error unless the recipe calls otherwise. The most common recipes do not add cheese or butter while the cream is on the heat, as this can cause the cheese to stick to the pan or the butter to cause the cream to separate. While mainly affecting aesthetics and lengthening cleanup time, it can also affect the flavor of the dish.

4: Have your pasta pot prepared in advance

Alfredo sauce is best eaten immediately. Before you begin cooking, have your water for your pasta already prepared, and the amount of pasta you want cooked put to the side. Start boiling the water part way through the sauce making process so that your Alfredo sauce and pasta finish at the same time.

5: Add toppings

Alfredo sauce is flexible. Great with meats and seafoods, as well as with vegetables, you can easily turn Alfredo into a one course meal. Prepare any toppings in advance, and warm them on a grill prior to serving. In the case of zucchini and other vegetations that do not sit well, put them on the grill or in the frying pan just as the sauce is nearing completion.



Source by Ferdinand Okeke

Cooking Vegetables With Waterless Cookware – Part 2

Cooking vegetables correctly does not have to be a guessing situation. By following a few simple directions, you can insure that your fresh or frozen vegetables will turn out tasty, appealing and cooked to perfection every time.

Cooking Fresh Vegetables

To cook fresh vegetables, place the vegetables in a pan that is almost completely full once vegetables are inserted. When cooking with waterless cookware, cooking vegetables in too large a pan for the quantity you are cooking can be a problem. Then rinse your vegetables with cold water and pour the excess water off. The water that clings to the vegetables plus the vegetable’s own natural moisture will provide enough moisture for cooking the waterless way.

Cover the pan, close the vent and cook over medium-low heat. When the cover spins freely on a cushion of water, the vapor seal has formed. Cook according to the time chart that follows: Do not peek. Doing so not only lengthens the cooking time but also increases the risk of burning your vegetables because the vapor seal is broken. When finished cooking, test for doneness with a fork.  If not done, cover the pan, close the vent and add 2 to 3 Tbsp. of water to the rim to reestablish the vapor seal. Cook over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes.

Cooking Frozen Vegetables

Do not defrost the vegetables. Again the size of pan used for cooking the vegetables is important. Once the vegetables have been placed in the pan, your pan should be almost completely full. Rinse your vegetables with cold water and pour the excess water off. The water that clings to the vegetables plus its own natural moisture will provide enough moisture for cooking.

Cover the pan, close the vent and cook over medium-low heat. When the cover spins freely on a cushion of water, the vapor seal has formed. Cook according to the time chart. Do not peek. Removing the cover will destroy the vapor seal, lengthen the cooking time, and possibly cause the vegetables to burn.

Cooking Times for Vegetables:

Artichokes (whole) (30 to 45)

Artichoke hearts (10 to 15)

Asparagus (10 to 15)

Beans, green (fresh, cut) (15 to 20)

Beans, green (fresh, French cut) (10 to 15)

Beans, green (frozen) (10 to 12)

Beans, Lima (fresh) (30 to 35)

Beans, Lima (frozen) (10 to 12)

Beets (whole) (35 to 40)

Broccoli (15 to 20)

Brussels Sprouts (15 to 20)

Cabbage, shredded (10 to 15)

Carrots, sliced (15 to 20)

Cauliflower (10 to 15)

Corn (fresh) (15 to 20)

Corn (frozen) (10 to 12)

Eggplant (5 to 8)

Greens (10 to 12)

Leeks (12 to 15)

Mushrooms (5 to 10)

Okra (15 to 20)

Onions (whole) (15 to 20)

Parsnips (sliced) (15 to 20)

Peas (frozen) (5 to 7)

Potatoes (quartered) (20 to 25)

Potatoes (whole) (30 to 35)

Potatoes, sweet (30 to 35)

Spinach (frozen) (8 to 10)

Spinach (fresh) (15 to 20)

Squash, summer (yellow) 15 to 20)

Squash, winter (25 to 30)

Squash, zucchini (20 to 25)

Tomatoes (10 to 15)

Turnips and rutabagas (25 to 30)

*Cooking times reflect the time after the vapor seal is formed, which usually takes 3 to 5 minutes. Note: To keep your vegetables hot and ready to serve, keep the cover on and the vent closed. The vegetables will stay hot in the pan for about 20 to 25 minutes.

Don’t let the concept of cooking waterless scare you. When you try it, you will soon discover how easy it is to actually use waterless cookware if you follow the above principles. Yes, cooking with waterless cookware is healthy because vegetables cook in their own natural juices, but you will soon discover how tasty and uniquely flavorful your prepared meals actually are. The Gourmets Cookware offers a wide variety of quality waterless stainless steel products along with tips and healthy recipes that can be easily adapted to your waterless cookware.



Source by Marcia Klun

Using Claypots For Healthy Cooking – A Beginner’s Guide

If you are looking for a healthy new way of cooking, why not try claypot cooking Asian-style?

Claypot cooking is an ancient technique in many cultures from the Romans, Etruscans, Chinese, Indian, Mexican and Moroccans. In Asia, claypots have been widely used as a cooking style for centuries. From China, Vietnam, Thailand, South East Asia to the Indian subcontinent, claypots are an essential utensil in any well-equipped kitchen. In fact, food is often served in claypots to tell people about the way it is cooked.

Claypots are used for boiling soups, noodles and porridge, making stews, and steaming meats and vegetables. With the claypot uncovered, claypots can also be used for frying and grilling meats, vegetables, tofu, rice and noodles. Many dishes are aptly named after this unique cooking style – claypot rice, claypot chicken, and so on.

The porous quality of clay as a cooking utensil creates a moist and sealed environment. When the claypot is soaked in water and heated in an oven, it is ideal for cooking healthier foods with less oil without losing the nutrients. In today’s health-conscious world, the use of claypots for cooking is a wonderful way to reduce the fat content but yet retaining the natural food flavours.

Claypots are placed in direct contact with the heat source, be it a stove, electric hot plate, charcoal, microwave oven or grill. Claypots distribute the heat evenly and much quicker, thus bringing out the natural food flavours and with less energy. Juices released by the food cannot escape and is thus sealed into the claypot. There is no need to add extra oils or fats and the food does not dry out.

How To Start

The careful selection and choice of a good quality claypot is important. Claypots come in various diameters and volume. Select a size that fits your purpose and intended number of servings. Brown and black are the typical claypot colours. There are stockpots, casseroles and all kinds of claypot accessories such as food warmers and teapots.

To begin, it is wise to spend some time to identify a supplier of a good range of high quality authentic claypots. There are certain handling instructions related to the washing of a claypot. Generally speaking, there is no need to soak a good quality claypot.

Next, one should learn how to properly cook using a claypot by attending a claypot cooking class near where you live, or by watching a demonstration by an experienced chef, or by following a recipe cook book. Combining the right amount of ingredients and water in a claypot is crucial to the cooking process. This Is best learned from an expert.

Finally, a little maintenance is required. Claypots need to be handled with care to preserve its unique material for its next use.

Claypot cooking can be an enjoyable cooking experience, not to mention its health benefits. Once you get started, a whole new world of claypot recipes opens up to you.



Source by Wilson P. H. Tan

Tips For Choosing and Cooking Tasty Tilapia

Tilapia is healthy, tender, and delicious. It can be used to make many different recipes and it suits lots of cuisines. This fish is also known as Nile perch, cherry snapper, St Peter’s fish, mouthbreeders, and sunshine snapper.

Tilapia comes in different breeds and various colors, including black and white, green, silver, or red. Most tilapia are exported live or as fresh fillets. Indonesian, Thai, and Taiwanese farmers export frozen tilapia to the United States. This fish is widely farmed so it tends to be available year-round.

You can bake, broil, grill, or steam tilapia. You can also use it in stir-fry recipes or pan-fry it. This versatile and flavorful fish is one of the most popular fish that you can get. A red-skinned tilapia might have pink flesh but most tilapia have white flesh. The flavor of the fish can be described as mild, sweet and rather like sole. You can serve tilapia with the skin on because it is attractive, but do not eat the skin because it has a bitter flavor.

How to Choose and Prepare Tilapia Fillets

When buying fresh tilapia, choose moist-looking fish, which is layered in ice. Do not buy tilapia, which has a musky smell. Also, tilapia absorbs the flavor of the water it is raised in so check the harvest methods and source.

Tilapia keeps for two weeks at 32 degrees F. If you cannot get live or fresh tilapia, choose “IQF” (individually quick-frozen) tilapia. This is where the fillets are not stuck together in the packaging. Tilapia keeps well in the freezer for up to six months.

Before cooking tilapia, it is important to clean it well, inside and outside. This means rinsing the fish well under cold running water, as well as removing all traces of the internal organs. You can then cook the whole fish or individual fillets.

How to Cook Tilapia

Thoroughly clean your tilapia fillets and dredge them in beaten egg. Dip the egg-coated tilapia in breadcrumbs and bake it for half an hour in a 360 degrees F oven. You can use parmesan instead of the breadcrumbs or even seasoned flour. Add some chili powder and cayenne pepper to the flour for a spicy kick.

You can steam tilapia in about twelve minutes. To cook a whole tilapia using this healthy cooking method, you should remove as many of the fish scales as you can. Remove the organs and insides from the fish, and then steam it until it flakes easily and is opaque. You can pan fry tilapia fillets in oil or butter for a quick and easy meal, and this takes two or three minutes per side.

If you would rather grill the fish, choose inch thick tilapia fillets and rub a light coating of oil over both sides. Preheat the grill to medium and coat the grill rack with nonstick cooking spray. Tilapia takes about ten minutes to grill to perfection. It takes half that time if you place it directly on the grill.

When the meat is white and opaque and the juices are clear, it is ready to serve. Try wrapping tilapia fillets in aluminum foil with white wine, butter, lemon juice, and julienne-cut vegetables for a delicious summer dinner or cook it directly over a hot grill, with spices rubbed into it, for a tasty blackened tilapia recipe.



Source by Christine Szalay Kudra