Asian Recipes

Asian Recipes Blog

The Unrivaled Practical Guide for Asian Cooking

Total Blog Entries
Items: 1309
June 2024

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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 -

Figs, Classic Fruit of the Mediterranean

Truly a classic fruit of the Mediterranean, figs date back to 3,000 B.C. and were used by the Assyrians as sweeteners. They were also Cleopatra's favorite fruit.

Figs are best when eaten slowly and savored, from the soft pink flesh to the tiniest edible seeds. The peels are perfectly edible too. Look for fresh figs in markets from June through October. There are hundreds of varieties, ranging in color from pale green to golden yellow to deep purple, and in shape from round to oval to teardrop. Mission fig, one of the more popular types, migrated to North America with Spanish missionaries.

When choosing figs, hold the fig in your hand. It should be firm and unblemished, yielding slightly to very gentle pressure. Figs are highly perishable, so enjoy them as soon as you can. If you must store, refrigerate for up to 3 days. Figs are also quite sticky. If you need to cut them, refrigerate the fruit for 1 hour to reduce stickiness. Use scissors to snip the figs into bits. If using a knife, periodically dip the blade in hot water or coat the blade with cooking spray.

09:50:10 on 03/13/09 by Webmaster - General -

Difference between vanilla extract and essence

Vanilla is the pod of a climbing orchid and widely grown in the tropics, especially Madagascar, the West Indies and Fiji. The bean pods are cured and turn black. The extract and essence are both made by soaking vanilla pods in alcohol to leech out the flavor, but vanilla essence, which often has syrup added, is more concentrated. Look for the word 'pure' on the label and avoid artificial vanilla, which is derived from clove oil.

Vanilla pods offer the best flavor of all, for they have subtlety; vanilla essence and extract can be rather overpowering when used with a heavy hand.

05:47:06 on 12/19/08 by Webmaster - General -

About Thai desserts

Generally most Asian meals do not end with desserts. Sweet things tend to be eaten as snacks during the day and desserts, if served, are reserved for special occasions. Thai desserts are usually based on grains such as rice, sago and sweetcorn, as well as coconut milk and tropical fruits such as bananas, jackfruit and oranges.

Many Thai desserts are sweetened with palm sugar, also known as jaggery, or coconut sugar. This comes in hard cylinders that have to be grated, cakes that can be broken up, or as a thick treacle in tubs. If palm sugar is unavailable, use some demerara or dark brown sugar melted with a little water for this popular Thai dessert instead.

** Asian Desserts **

13:17:09 on 12/11/08 by Webmaster - General -

The delicious seaweed

Seaweed is quite delicious, with a pleasant fresh saltiness reminiscent of the sea. Vegetarians have always recognized the importance of sea vegetables, which are a valuable, and inexpensive, source of concentrated essential vitamins and minerals. They also rely on carrageen or agar-agar, seaweed used for thickening and gelling, instead of animal-derived gelatine.

Asian have always been more ready to eat sea vegetables than Westerners, and seaweed is particularly popular in Japan with its long jagged coastline. The proliferation of Japanese restaurants all over the world has spurred interest in sea vegetables, and there is a wide variety of dried marine vegetation now on sale in Asian food stores and health food shops.

Seaweeds are eaten as vegetables, are used as garnishes and in dressings, and add a distinctive salty flavor to soups and snacks such as crispy rice crackers.

** Asian Recipes **

13:32:22 on 09/30/08 by Webmaster - General -

Electrical fire in the kitchen

If there is an electrical fire in your kitchen, firstly turn off the power and pull out the plug, if possible. A small fire will probably go out once the power is cut. If it persists, it is best to use a dry-powder fire extinguisher on a small electrical fire: conveniently sized extinguishers of dry chemical powder marked 'for kitchen use' are sold by hardware shops. Never use water on an electrical fire.

If the source of a fire is in the socket rather than the appliance, it may indicate a fault in the wiring. In the event of a socket fire, do not attempt to fight it yourself. Close the doors and windows, leave the room and call the fire brigade.

** Kitchen Safety **

07:55:02 on 09/17/08 by Webmaster - General -

What to do when oil catches fire in a deep-fryer or saucepan?

Never throw water on an oil fire as it will cause an explosion of hot fat. Turn off the heat but do not move the pan as the flames could blow towards you. To deprive the flames of oxygen, cover the pan with a fire blanket, or use a damp towel or a metal lid or tray. When approaching the burning pan, keep the cloth or lid between you and the flames.

Leave the pan covered for at least 30 minutes; do not uncover it sooner as it could reignite. To minimize the risk of an oil fire, never fill a pan more than half full of oil. If you feel unable to cope with fire, shut the doors and windows to contain the flames, leave the room and call the fire brigade. Do not go back into the room.

** Kitchen Safety **

00:18:10 on 09/16/08 by Webmaster - General -

Coping with gas leaks in the kitchen

If you smell gas, extinguish any naked flames immediately, but do not turn any electrical switches on or off. Open the door and windows to let the gas disperse. Turn off the gas supply to the stove and any other gas appliances such as a gas fire, either at the tap that supplies it, or if it does not have one, at the main tap next to the meter. Usually when the lever is parallel with the pipe the gas is on, when it is at right angles to the pipe the gas is off.

If you cannot turn off the supply, or the smell continues after the gas has been turned off, ring your area's gas supplier immediately. Their 24-hour emergency service number should be listed in the phone book.

** Asian Kitchen **

13:19:19 on 09/15/08 by Webmaster - General -

Best first aid action when got burnt in the kitchen

Never apply butter, lotion or ointment to a burn, as these trap the heat and intensify the problem. Instead, run cold water over the affected area for at least 10 minutes. Remove any rings, watches or tight clothing before any swelling starts, then cover the burn with a sterile dressing or any other clean, non-fluffy covering.

If the burn is large, or the skin looks charred and grey, or there is clothing stuck to the burnt area, the injury may be serious. Cover it with plastic wrap or a clean plastic bag to prevent infection and reduce dehydration of the area, and cool the burn by running cold water over the film or bag. Do not touch the affected area, burst any blisters or remove anything sticking to the burn. Seek immediate medical help for any burn larger than a 10 cent coin.

** Kitchen Safety **

04:31:54 on 09/14/08 by Webmaster - General -