Asian Recipes

Asian Recipes Blog

The Unrivaled Practical Guide for Asian Cooking

Healthy Tips on Grilling

To reduce fat in marinades for grilled foods, replace most of the oil with mild fruit or vegetable juices, canned broth, or plain yogurt. Leave in 1 tablespoon oil to help prevent sticking on the grill. And to keep lean meats moist, avoid overcooking. If you have a covered grill, use the cover during part or all of the grilling to help keep the food moist. If your grill does not have a cover, improvise by using a large, disposable foil roasting pan inverted over the food.

Try to avoid charring meats. When meat drippings fall directly onto hot coals, they create cancer-causing compounds that are carried back to the food via the smoke. There are several precautions you should take to avoid this potential healthy hazard. Trim all visible fat on meats and keep the oil in marinades to a minimum. Also, precook large pieces of meat in a microwave oven to reduce their grilling time over coals. Avoid flare-ups on the grill; be ready with a spray bottle of water to put out any flames. And avoid using a lot of mesquite briquettes, which burn hotter than other woods and could cause charring. If charring occurs, trim off the blackened areas before eating the food.

** Asian Cooking **

22:14:18 on 06/24/09 by Webmaster - Food, Health and Fitness -

Saving Time with Fast Grilling

To light the charcoal quickly, use a chimney starter. These tall, metal canisters with handles are inexpensive and available in cookware stores. Place the chimney starter in the center of your grilling pit. Put a piece of crumpled newspaper in the bottom and fill the rest of the chimney with charcoal. Light the newspaper. The upward draft created by the chimney will make the charcoal grill-ready within 7 to 8 minutes. Just pick up the chimney and spread the charcoal into an even layer. You can add more charcoal at this point if necessary.

To improvise a chimney starter, cut both ends off a large, empty coffee can. When the coals are ready, grasp the lip of the hot can with pliers and lift it to free the hot coals. If you do not have a chimney starter, place sheets of newspaper on the grate of your grill pit and cover with a tall pyramid of coals, layering newspaper twice through the pyramid. Light the layers of newspaper and wait until the coals are red-hot, about 20 to 30 minutes, before spreading them out.

To grill faster, give the grilled foods a head start in a microwave oven. This is especially helpful with tough or fibrous foods that required long grilling times, such as chicken, ribs, and potatoes. Also, leave at least 1 inch of space between the pieces of food on the grill. Or when grilling ingredients on a skewer, leave foods such as chicken or ribs, which require thorough cooking, brown the food on all sides over a medium-hot fire, then adjust the heat to medium-low and cover with a disposable aluminum pan or a sheet of foil to speed up the cooking. You can also baste meats with room-temperature or warm sauce. Avoid basting with cold sauce, which will slow down the grilling.

Slashing or butterflying also speeds grilling and ensures even cooking of thick pieces of meat, poultry, or fish, such as turkey breast, leg of lamb, or whole salmon. To butterfly a turkey breast or leg of lamb, remove the meat from the bone (butcher will do this for you). Make a deep cut into, but not through, the thickest part of the meat, then open it up like a book. If the thickest part is now 2 inches thick or less, it is ready to grill. If it is thicker, repeat the slash-and-open method until the thickest section is 2 inches or less. To slash a whole fish for grilling, make diagonal cuts about 2 inches apart through the thickest part of the fillet on both sides of the fish, cutting all the way to, but not through, the bone. Season and rub with oil, then grill.

** Asian Cooking **

21:14:57 on 06/23/09 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -

Grilling and Barbecuing

Preparing food outdoors over a live flame is one of the oldest and most enjoyable methods of cooking. And for good reasons: Flavor and convenience. A hot fire caramelizes the natural sugars in foods, coaxing out incredible flavors. And charcoal or hardwood lends a wonderful smoky taste. Plus, there are no pans to clean up. Technically, grilling is defined as cooking relatively tender foods quickly over high heat, while barbecue refers to fairly tough meats cooked slowly over low heat. But in the real world, the term grilling is used to describe just about anything cooked on a grill.

How to choose a grill
There are many styles of grills ranging from tabletop hibachis to expensive, elaborately designed models that will take over your backyard. They're all essentially fire containers, so choosing among them is a matter of deciding what appeals most to you, to your pocketbook, and to your backyard. Consider the options. First, consider getting a cover for your grill. It will give you more control over the fire and allow you to do some low-heat barbecuing as well as high-heat grilling. Second, keep in mind that a large grilling surface can be helpful. It not only lets you prepare more food at once but also allows you to move food from hotter to cooler parts of the grill, a great help when you dinner starts looking charred before it has cooked through. Finally, consider your fuel options. Charcoal takes longer to light and is more finicky when it comes to heat control, but it imparts incredibly smoky flavors. Propane is ultra-convenient, minus the smoky flavor. You can also get a gas/charcoal grill, which gives you both flavor and convenience.

To control the temperature of a charcoal fire
To make the fire hotter, open all the grill vents, push the coals together, and tap the coals to loosen the insulating cover of ash. To make it cooler, partially close the vents or spread the coals apart.

To season a grill to keep foods from sticking
Heat the grill rack over a hot fire. Wearing mitts, remove from the fire and coat with cooking spray, or rub oil in with a kitchen towel. Place the rack back over the fire.

To clean a grill
On a charcoal grill, just let the fire burn as hot as possible. On a gas grill, close the cover, if the grill has one. If it doesn't, cover the rack with heavy-duty aluminum foil, shiny side down. Then, crank up the heat to high and cook the empty grill until any debris clinging to the rack carbonizes. Scrape off the remaining stubborn particles with a wire brush or a crumpled piece of foil.

** Asian Cooking **

21:58:20 on 06/22/09 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -

Solving Problems with Gravy

To darken gravy
Cook the skinned drippings in the pan over medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes before adding liquid. You can also add browning liquid (available in most grocery stores). Or, roast some carrots, onions, and celery in the pan in which the meat is roasting. Add the vegetables 1 hour before the meat is scheduled to be done. Remove and serve the vegetables. They will leave behind rich, brown, crusty bits in the pan that will boost the color and flavor of gravy made from pan drippings.

To thicken gravy
First, try cooking it down over medium heat to evaporate excess liquid. Or, if you don't want to reduce the volume, thicken the gravy with cornstarch, flour, or arrowroot. Use 1.5 tablespoons flour for each cup of liquid. If you're using cornstarch or arrowroot, dissolve 2 teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot in 1 tablespoon cold water (and 2 tablespoons dry white wine, if desired). Stir into 1 cup of hot broth at the end of cooking time, and cook until thickened, 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring constantly. Then, cook 1 minute more. These proportions will make about 1 cup of medium-thick gravy.

To minimize lumps when thickening gravy
Dissolve the thickener in a small amount of cold water before adding to the gravy.

To remove lumps from gravy
Beat vigorously with whisk. Or pour the gravy through a mesh sieve, pressing out the lumps. You can also dip an immersion blender into the gravy to make it smooth, or run the gravy through a food processor.

** Asian Recipes **

10:04:27 on 06/21/09 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

Making gravy out of the roasting pan

Some cooks find it awkward to make gravy the traditional way in a roasting pan with a wide surface area. Alternatively: Start the gravy while the roast is cooking. In a heavy saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add 1 tablespoon flour and stir over medium heat until the flour starts to brown, 5 minutes. Add 2 cups broth (chicken or beef, depending on desired flavor), and simmer 10 minutes. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper. When the roast is done, remove it from the roasting pan to a cutting board. Skim the fat from the surface of the drippings and add another 1/2 cup broth (or wine) to the drippings in the roasting pan. Stir all of the brown bits from the bottom of the pan into the liquid and pour it all into the sauce you have made. Heat to a simmer and stir to mix.

** Asian Recipes **

06:34:28 on 06/20/09 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

How to skim fat from pan drippings

Pour them into a fat separator. The fat will rise to the surface and the drippings can be poured out from the bottom spout. Or, for small amounts of fat, sop them up with a piece of soft, absorbent bread or strips of paper towels. Or instead, place a few ice cubes in a slotted spoon and drag it across the surface. The ice will act as a magnet, attracting the fat. Then, throw the ice cubes away.

If you are using a baster, avoid trying to extract the thin layer of fat on top. Instead, position the baster tip at the bottom of the pan and extract the drippings, leaving the fat in the pan. Use the drippings to flavor grave or sauce.

** Asian Cooking **

12:01:00 on 06/18/09 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

Making Gravy

Surely one of the best loved of all sauces, gravy is made from the juices left in the pan after roasting meat, chicken, or fish. It may be thickened with flour or cornstarch or simply skimmed of fat and seasoned.

Choosing the right pan to make gravy
When planning to make gravy, use a roasting pan that encourages sticking. The browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan add intense flavor to the sauce. Avoid nonstick pans.

Making gravy in the roasting pan
Transfer the roasted meat from the pan to a serving platter. Traditionally the pan is tipped so that all the fat and drippings collect in the corner; then, all but 1 to 2 tablespoons of the fat is spooned out and discarded, while the browned bits in the bottom of the pan are retained.

Alternatively, pour all the pan juices into a large measuring cup, then spoon off some of the fat from the surface and return it to the pan. Pour off and discard the remaining fat, and reserve the juices. Place the pan over medium heat and whisk a little flour into the fat, scraping the brown bits on the bottom of the pan as you whisk. Then cook until a smooth paste forms and the flour begins to smell toasty, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the reserved pan juices and/or other hot liquids, such as stock or canned broth, or cider, beer, wine, or other spirits. Simmer the gravy until it has thickened and no longer tastes floury, about 10 minutes. Strain the gravy, season with salt, pepper and/or herbs, and keep warm until ready to serve.

** Asian Recipes **

01:52:29 on 06/16/09 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

What is Gratin?

Any baked or broiled dish topped with a mix of cheese or bread crumbs and butter is known as a gratin. Potatoes are one of the most popular ingredients for a gratin, but many vegetables take well to being prepared this way. Baked pastas, such as macaroni and cheese, and grains, such as polenta and rice, also make wonderful gratins.

To bake a gratin
Use a shallow, ovenproof pan that will give you the most surface area, which allows for a high proportion of crisp topping.

Choosing vegetables for a gratin
Consider the starch content of the vegetable, as well as its ability to absorb or render liquid. Starchy vegetables such as potatoes work well because they absorb some of the cooking liquid and thicken it at the same time. When using vegetables that don't absorb much liquid, such as leeks, artichokes, and onions, cook them briefly before adding to the gratin, and add more liquid along with them.

Serving gratin
Let gratins rest for 15 minutes before serving. This will give them time to absorb any liquid left in the dish.

Adding color, flavor and aroma to gratin
A good sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese over any gratin will greatly improve it. Paprika makes a nice touch too.

** Delicious Recipes **

15:40:46 on 06/14/09 by Webmaster - General -

Using Grapes

There are thousands of varieties of grapes. Some are grown for snacking, others for making wine, and there are also special varieties for raisins, grape juice, and jelly. The word grape comes from the name of the tool used long ago to "grapple" this fruit from the vines.

Choosing grapes
When shopping for table grapes, look for full, plump clusters with no bruises or soft spots. Check the stem; it should be green and very pliable.

Storing grapes
Refrigerate in a loosely closed plastic bag. Many varieties of grapes have a white powder coating known as bloom, which helps keep grapes moist. Avoid washing off the bloom until just before serving or using.

Freezing grapes
Lay individual grapes in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Then, transfer to plastic bags or an airtight container in the freezer. The high sugar content in grapes keeps them from freezing solid. They'll last as long as a month in the freezer, and they make a cool treat on a hot summer day. Frozen grapes can also be used as flavorful ice cubes in drinks, punches, or sangrias.

To serve grapes
For the most pronounced flavor, bring the grapes to room temperature before serving.

To cook with grapes
Use red grapes, which maintain their shape better when heated.

Adding a burst of flavor to the grapes
Add a handful of seedless green or red grapes to salads, to couscous, or to stir-fries made with chicken, pork, or seafood.

Nutritional benefits from grape juice
Drink 12 ounces a day and choose dark grape juice, since the flavonoids are in the skin. Drink 100 percent grape juice rather than grape drink, which is a watered-down, sweetened beverage containing very little actual grape juice.

** Delicious Dessert Recipes **

04:58:14 on 06/13/09 by Webmaster - Food, Health and Fitness -

About Grapefruit

A cross between a sweet orange and a pomelo, grapefruit most likely originated in Barbados in the 1700s. Grapefruit is the largest citrus fruit commonly available and comes in two basic varieties: white-fleshed or pigmented. For the best flavor, buy grapefruit with seeds. The seeded varieties are also easier to separate into segments.

To make grapefruit supremes
When segments of citrus fruit are separated from the membranes holding them together, they are often called supremes. Slice off the top (stem end) just below the pith, then do the same at the bottom. Cut off the zest and white pith in strips all around the fruit keeping the knife just below the pith. Hold the skinless grapefruit in one hand and use a paring knife to cut directly next to the membrane on both sides to remove each segment or supreme. With practice, you can run the knife down one side of the segment, then underneath and up the other side in one swift movement. When all the segments have been removed, squeeze out the juice from the accordion-like membranes left in your hand.

To easily remove the white pith from grapefruit
Drop the whole grapefruit in a pot of boiling water, remove the pot from the heat, and let stand for 3 minutes. Remove the fruit and let cool. Then, peel it; the white pith will easily come off the fruit.

To release maximum juice from grapefruit
Pierce the skin in several places with the tines of a fork. Microwave for 20 seconds on high power. Let stand 2 minutes before using.

To avoid tart grapefruit
If the tartness of grapefruit deters you from eating it, reach for the sweeter hybrids, such as pomelos, oroblancos, or melogolds.

To benefit from the lycopene in grapefruit
Select the red or pink varieties, which are a good source of lycopene, an antioxidant that has been shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer and heart disease.

To receive maximum nutritional benefits of grapefruit
Peel the fruit and eat it in sections like an orange to get more pectin and fiber. Also try to make use of the peel (also a valuable source of pectin) by grating it and adding to baked goods.

** Asian Desserts Recipes **

16:46:48 on 06/12/09 by Webmaster - Food, Health and Fitness -

Cooking with Grains

Of all the fruits of grasses, grains are among the most nutritious of foods. All grains have 3 basic parts: the germ or seed, the endosperm, and the bran. Many grains are processed to remove both the germ and bran, leaving only the endorsperm. Whole grains have all their parts intact and offer more nutrients than processed ones.

When choosing grains, freshness is an important consideration when buying grains. Whole grains, which have a higher fat content and a greater tendency to turn rancid, are more perishable than refined grains. Shop where there is a large turnover of grains and buy them in small quantities.

Store grains in tightly covered jars either at room temperature or in the refrigerator or freezer. Grains with a high oil content, such as wheat germ, should always be refrigerated.

To cook fluffy grains, use a wide pan, such as a Dutch oven or a deep skillet. And to reheat cooked grains, just heat it in a covered saucepan with a thin layer of water.

You can also boost the flavor when cooking grains. Before cooking, toast them in a skillet over medium heat, just until fragrant. You can also cook grains in a flavorful stock or in canned broth instead of in plain water.

Asian Recipes

16:09:52 on 06/10/09 by Webmaster - Food, Health and Fitness -

Cooking with Goose

Though it is entirely dark meat, rich, moist goose is not the least bit gamy tasting. The bird is quite fatty, though, releasing a quart or more of fat into the pan as it cooks. One consolation: The fat is concentrated in the skin, while the meat itself is quite lean.

Choosing a goose
There is a great deal of skin, fat, and bones in proportion to meat on these birds, so always buy the largest goose you can find. When preparing, run your fingers between the fat and the meat before cooking. Also, prick the skin all over with a sharp-tined fork. This helps excess fat melt better and drain away during cooking.

To roast a goose
Cook the bird in a 375F oven for 45 minutes. Then, increase the temperature to 400F and continue cooking until the juices run clear and the thigh meat registers 175F to 180F on an instant-read thermometer (for a whole goose) or the center is still slightly pink (for the breast), about 12 to 15 minutes per pound. Put a little water in the bottom of the roasting pan. This helps draw the fat out of the bird and creates steam, which keeps the skin from browning too quickly.

** Asian Recipes **

15:41:35 on 06/03/09 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -