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Blanching Celeriac

Celeriac is blanched before being used in a salad both to set the color and to soften the flavor.

1. Cut away the knobbly base using a strong, sharp knife. Peel the celeriac thickly and cut into slices. (If you are going to mash it, you could then cut it into chunks.)

2. Cut the slices by hand into thin strips, or shred on the julienne-cutting disc of a food processor, and put them into cold water acidulated with the juice of half of a lemon.

3. Boil water with juice from the other half lemon. Drain the celeriac and drop it in. When the water returns to the boil, take out the vegetable and run under a cold tap. Drain it and dress the salad.

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21:00:56 on 10/03/06 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -

How is celeriac prepared and then cooked?

Celeriac is one of the knobblier root vegetables. It needs to be thickly peeled and cut straight into water acidulated with lemon juice to prevent discoloration. It cooks to a good puree, which is often mixed with mashed potato to soften its flavor and make the texture drier. Chopped celery adds a crunchy contrast. The puree goes well with chicken, and is very good with fish, particularly as the topping to a fish pie.

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14:01:49 on 10/03/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

What is the suggested way to serve caviar?

Set the can in a bowl filled with ice. Open the chilled can just before serving, as air causes caviar to oxidize, affecting the flavor. Serve it simply, with triangles of hot toast and unsalted butter. Blini (buckwheat pancakes) and sour cream are also good with caviar, as are smoked salmon and new potatoes with cream fraiche. Avoid accompaniments such as egg, lemon, onion and parsley which only detract from the flavor. Serve champagne and iced vodka as the traditional drinks.

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13:09:14 on 10/03/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Are there any caviar substitutes that are less expensive?

Pressed caviar, a favorite with the Russians, is a mixture of damaged or fragile eggs pressed through muslin after salting and cost less than the whole caviar. Other less expensive varieties include salmon caviar, also known as red caviar or keta, which is shiny and orange-red in color, and lumpfish caviar, which is very small and black. Although these are not really 'true' caviars, they have a similar, highly salted taste.

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12:20:35 on 10/03/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

What is the difference between the various types of caviar and why are some so expensive?

Caviar is the roe (or eggs) of the sturgeon. These are very highly salted, which helps to preserve and flavor them. The three main types of caviar - beluga, oscietra and sevruga - come from different varieties of sturgeon. These originate mainly from fish in the Caspian Sea that are over 15 years old.

The most expensive caviar is from the beluga, as only about a hundred fish caught each year. The eggs are fragile and vary in color from light to dark grey with a white spot. Sevruga is small dark grey, with a light, sweet taste.

Nutty-flavored eggs from the oscietra are small and black when the fish are young - but become larger and golden as the fish ages.

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11:05:03 on 10/03/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Why is cauliflower so often served with a sauce?

Cauliflower is a particularly bland vegetable served on its own. The absorbent heads are much better soaking up a cheese sauce to make a tasty lunch or family dinner dish. The ability soak up flavors also makes caulifloer an excellent ingredient to add to soup, or to include in vegetable curries.

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10:03:16 on 10/03/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

How to pick and choose cauliflower?

Look for firm, creamy-white florets that are tight and without brown speckles. Check also the condition of the base of the stem. If it is dry and discolored, the cauliflower is certainly past its best. The outer leaves of a cauliflower are usually cut away before they are sold. This helps you to see the head but removes what would be a clue to a limp, older cauliflower that is definitely best avoided.

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08:56:22 on 10/03/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -