Asian Recipes

Asian Recipes Blog

The Unrivaled Practical Guide for Asian Cooking

Cooking with millet

Millet can be used to thicken soups, or cooked in milk to make a breakfast cereal or added to breads and teabreads to boost their texture and flavor. While it is not a gourmet ingredient, millet can be tasty and is a good source of proteins as well as carbohydrates. Since Roman times at least, millet has been widely grown in North Africa, Asia and the Mediterranean countries. It is an important food for many of the world's poor, and is often fermented to make beers.

The dried grains are tiny, about the size of a pinhead, and colored pale yellow with a darker brown spot on one side. They swell considerably during cooking so it is important not to add too much to dishes such as soups. Millet flakes cook faster than the whole grains and are also used to thicken soups. Unless whole millet grains are cooked in plenty of liquid, they should be presoaked before cooking.

** Asian Recipes **

15:09:20 on 05/26/08 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

Arranging Food in a Microwave Oven

What is the best way to arrange food in a microwave oven?

Microwaves are generally focused around the oven edges with less energy present in the center. Arrange individual items around the outside of the turntable in a circular fashion, with thinner parts placed towards the center. Be guided by the instruction manual for your oven and consult microwave cookbooks for good tips and handy information.

** Asian Recipes **

02:01:57 on 05/18/08 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

The good and bad features of a microwave oven

Apart from reheating cooked food, thawing frozen food and cooking raw foods like fish and vegetables, the microwave is an invaluable cook's mate. Use it to soften butter, heat sauces and melt chocolate. Microwaving is very fuel-efficient and fast, taking a quarter to a third of the time needed in conventional cooking. Both oven cleaning and washing up are usually reduced.

As microwaves stop when the oven door is open, and the oven itself is not hot, there is less risk of anyone being burnt. This is especially helpful with children, the elderly and the disabled. The chances of food boiling over or burning are reduced as the oven is set to switch off. Microwaving is also healthier in that less fat, oil and liquid are needed and more nutrients are kept in the food.

Microwave ovens are very useful but have disadvantages with some types of recipes. Anything which needs hot air to rise, such as puff pastry, will fail as the air inside a microwave does not get hot. Roasting is also less successful, but you can brown meat by frying or grilling it briefly before or after microwaving. A combination oven can work as a microwave and convection oven simultaneously, and speeds up cooking while also giving food a brown, crisp finish.

** Asian Recipes **

14:29:10 on 05/16/08 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

Using thermometers to determine the doneness of meat

The only way to be absolutely sure that meat has been cooked to your liking is to use a meat thermometer. The thermometer should be inserted into the thickest part of the joint, without touching any bones, just before the end of the cooking time. When cooking beef and lamb, the meat will be rare when the temperature reaches 60C, medium rare when it is 71C and well done when the temperature reads 80C. Pork and veal should only be served well done, which means that the temperature should reach 75C for pork, and 71C for veal.

If you do not have a meat thermometer, you can insert a metal skewer into the thickest part of the cooked joint and wait for 30 seconds. If the skewer feels cold to the touch when it is withdrawn, the meat is not done; if it feels warm the meat is rare, and if it is hot the meat is well done.

It is wise to take the resting time into consideration when you are testing for doneness because the meat will continue to cook while it is sitting. This is more important for a piece of meat that you wish to serve rare or medium and less crucial if the meat is going to be eaten when it is well done.

** Cooking Thermometers **

10:13:35 on 05/11/08 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

Making mayonnaise without using raw eggs

It is possible to make mayonnaise without using raw eggs. Sauce remoulade is made with hard-boiled egg yolk, which makes it particularly suitable for anyone hesitant about eating raw eggs. Mash a sieved large egg yolk thoroughly, add 1 tablespoon of boiling water and stir it to a smooth paste. Gradually add 250 ml of olive oil, beating the mixture continuously. When the mayonnaise has thickened, add 2 tablespoons each of finely chopped gherkins and parsley, 1 tablespoon of drained capers and a dash of anchovy essence. This sauce is often combined with celeriac.

** Asian Recipes **

09:31:29 on 05/05/08 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -