Asian Recipes

Asian Recipes Blog

The Unrivaled Practical Guide for Asian Cooking

Choosing cooking vessels and equipment when using microwave oven

Ceramic, glass, or plastic containers are best for cooking with microwave oven. Make sure that any plastic containers are made specifically for microwave oven use; if not, they may melt. Also, use dishes that contain not traces of metal, including the trim and handles. If using plastic wrap or paper towels, be sure that they are clearly labeled as safe to use in a microwave oven.

Avoid using the following containers in a microwave oven: polystyrene (such as foam coffee cups and take-out dishes); glass bottles; cans; metal pots (or anything metal, for that matter); wooden bowls; mugs or ceramic ware with glued-on handles; and plastic storage containers that are not specifically intended for microwave use.

** Asian Cooking **

05:10:15 on 01/31/10 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -

Cooking with Microwave Oven

Microwave Cooking
Microwave ovens emit short, high-frequency electromagnetic waves to make food vibrate at a spectacularly rapid rate, causing the food to heat up quickly. For accurate timing, it's essential to know the wattage and size of your oven, as timing varies according to these details. If you are unsure of how long to heat a food, lean toward caution. You can always continue to heat the food if it is not quite done.

To cook successfully in a microwave oven, follow the recipe directions exactly. The size and shape of the dish will affect the timing, as will the amount of food. By doubling the ingredients, you may need to double the cooking time. Also check the recommended oven wattage. Timing will need to be adjusted if you are using an oven with low wattage of less than 700 watts.

To convert recipes for low-wattage ovens
Most recipes are developed for a 700-watt microwave oven. If you have a 600-watt oven, add 10 seconds for each minute called for in the recipe. If you have a 500-watt oven, add 20 seconds for each minute called for in the recipe.

** Asian Recipes **

02:03:00 on 01/27/10 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -

Cooking with Meat Loaf

Except for its shape, meat loaf is similar to meatballs in every way. It's usually a blend of ground meat, eggs, bread crumbs, onions, and seasonings. To make tender, moist, and juicy meatloaf, use a blend of beef, pork and veal. Using ground beef alone makes a dry, bland meat loaf. This mixture is often available in supermarkets, sold as meat loaf mixture. Make sure the beef isn't too lean; it should be at least 15 percent fat. Also, mix the ingredients with your hands until just combined. Avoid overhandling.

To make meat loaf with a greater portion of browned crust, shape the meat directly on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet rather than patting it into a loaf pan. Meatloaf can be cooked faster if we skip the loaf pan and form meat loaf on a parchment-lined roasting pan, making the loaf as long and narrow as possible, which allows heat to penetrate into the center of the loaf faster.

When adding flavor to meatloaf, replace the tomato sauce in your favorite meat loaf recipe with bottled barbecue sauce, both in the meat mixture and for the topping. Wrap strips of bacon around the shaped loaf before baking to add more flavor and moisture. Meatloaf flavor and moisture could be sealed in by using a clay pot casserole. Soak an unglazed clay casserole in water for 10 minutes, then add the meat loaf. Cover and place in a cold oven, then follow the baking time instructions that come with your pot.

Fats can be reduced from the meatloaf by placing it on a rack over a roasting pan to drain excess fat. Or, replace half of the ground beef in your recipe with ground turkey or chicken.

** Asian Recipes **

20:46:53 on 01/25/10 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -

Cooking with Meatballs

Similar to meat loaf, meatballs are versatile and easy to improvise. Meatballs are made from a seasoned mixture of ground meat, often including beef, veal, pork, lamb, or a combination. They can be cooked by practically any method: grilling, braising, poaching, or baking. In order to shape meatballs, wet your hands with cold water to keep the meat from sticking. Pinch off a small amount of the seasoned meat mixture and roll it gently into a ball between your hands.

To make evenly sized meatballs, form the meat mixture into a cylinder with a diameter equal to the desired diameter of the meatballs. Cut the cylinder crosswise into equal-size pieces and roll each piece into a ball. If you prefer tender and light-textured meatballs, handle the meat as little as possible. Overhandling makes for tough meatballs.

You can also prepared stewed meatballs that are crisp and browned crust. Just saute the meatballs until evenly browned before adding to the sauce. Or, broil the meatballs, turning frequently to brown completely. To help fried meatballs brown without sticking or crumbling, dredge the meatballs with flour before frying.

Meatballs can be prepared ahead of time. Put uncooked meatballs on a baking sheet and freeze them uncovered. Once frozen, transfer to a zipper-lock plastic bag. Defrost just the number of meatballs that you need in the refrigerator before cooking. Or freeze cooked meatballs. After cooking, cool them to room temperature, then freeze and store in the same way.

** Asian Cooking **

12:21:53 on 01/24/10 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -

How to avoid losing track of what you've measured for your recipe

Place unmeasured ingredients to the left of your work space and move to the right as they are measured. It also helps to count out loud while measuring. To keep track of the number of eggs you've cracked, move the exact number of eggs you need to one side of the egg carton and proceed to crack. Or, if the carton is full when you start, it's easy enough to keep track by the number of emptied cups.

Always ensure that you do not spill ingredients into a mixing bowl. Never measure over the mixing bowl. Instead measure over a piece of paper towel, parchment, or waxed paper, so that you can pour any spills back into the ingredient box or container. And to measure salt without spilling all over the counter as this always seems to happen with those metal spouts. To catch spilled salt, hold a larger measuring spoon under the spoon into which you are measuring. Any overflow will cascade into the larger spoon. Or, if you tend to measure a lot of salt, store it in a lidded container or salt box so that the pouring dilemma is eliminated. All you have to do is dip in with a spoon.

Preparation time could be saved too when measuring. Eyeball your measurements. Except in baking, where the structure of the finished product is dependent on an exact ratio of ingredients, precise measurement is not always essential in most recipes. Experienced cooks learn to approximate small measurements, such as teaspoons and tablespoons, by eyeballing them, a practice that is worth learning because it can greatly speed up the assemblage of ingredients.

To learn to eyeball measurements, measure a teaspoon of salt or sugar and pour it into your hand. Observe it and try to remember its shape and mass, feel how much it weights, and notice what area it takes up in your palm. Now, try pouring that much salt directly into your hand from a container. Test your accuracy by pouring the contents of your hand back into a measuring spoon.

When measuring flour and sugar, you can save time by keeping a 1/2-cup measure in the bin. That way, you'll always have an easily multipliable measure ready. For measurements of less than 1/2 cup, use spoon measures.

** Asian Recipes **

12:39:10 on 01/23/10 by Webmaster - Cooking Guide -