Category Archives: Cooking

Simple Recipe For Cooking Pork Hocks

Pork hocks are extremely delicious as they hold a strong flavor within it. If it is boiled or braised with its skin and bones on, the tasty salty tasting flavor of the meat can seep out into whatever green ingredients you are cooking it with. In fact, they can go with most vegetables and beans as the flavor from the pork hocks complements the slightly bitter taste of the vegetables and beans. If you are wondering how to cook pork hocks, here is a simple way to do it.

First of all, prepare all the vegetables you would like to serve with the pork hock. You can use any green vegetable, like celery, leek, and cabbage, or other vegetables like navy beans, carrot, and onions. Most vegetable you use will go well with pork hocks, so it is really up to you. Whichever they are, dice them up into squares, and make sure they are the same size so that they will be cooked evenly.

In the meantime, fill up a large pot with water, and add the pork hocks, black peppercorns, some salt, and vegetables into the pot. Cook it for about two to three hours over medium heat, but make sure the pork hocks are not overcooked or they will become extremely tough. After that, you can take out all the pork hocks from the boiling water, and drain out the excess water. However, do keep the gravy where the vegetables were cooked in as well as the vegetables. Then, have your oven preheated to 425?F. Using a cast iron pan greased with vegetable shortening, place the vegetables and the pork hocks on it, as well as some of the gravy made earlier onto the pan. Then, leave them to bake for half an hour. During the wait, always check to see that the gravy does dry out. Whenever it looks like it is drying out, pour more of the liquid in. You can also add some beer, or plain water mixed with salt to the gravy, depending on which you would prefer.

Once the half hour is up, check to see if the meat is thoroughly cooked. If it is cooked, then you may serve it with the vegetables and gravy on a platter. You might also want to serve it with potatoes, sauerkraut, bread, dumplings, rice, or anything at all you think might complement the dish. You may also want to strain some of the earlier cooked gravy from the pot and pour it onto a sauce plate to use as a dip. Serve them while they are still hot. This recipe one of the simpler versions on how to cook pork hocks.

A Brief Guide To Cooking Pearl Barley

A majority of people would like to know how to cook barley and for this to be a success they will have to have several facts with them. Barley is part of the whole grain family which is mostly used in soups and stews. It can also be used as a side dish and also as a salad and in some cases for chicken sauces. It is classified into and this is hulled barley and pearl barley. Hulled barley is also referred to as barley groats and is the least processed as well as being the most nutritious and rich in fiber.

Pearl barley on the other hand includes outer bran which is scrubbed off lessening its nutritious and is different from hulled barley. It is however the most popular because of its softness and also its ability to cook quickly. When you are preparing barley you have to pre-soak it overnight to be able to lessen its cooking time. Hulled and pearl barley are not the only categories of barley. Other types of barley include rolled barley or flaked barley, hato mugi barley, black barley, sprouting barley as well as scotch or pot barley.

Pearl barley is one of the easiest to prepare and this will require you to follow several steps. Preparing pearl barley properly will not necessarily require any complicated culinary skills or cooking techniques. You have two choices of preparing barley and this will include pre-soaking the barley overnight or simply cooking barley without any advanced preparation. For those who really stress on convenience, then the pre-soaking option will definitely be their best. There are several things you will need to have with you before starting cooking the barley.

The barley is the first ingredient that should be available as is water and also a pot that has a tight fitting lid. The cooking process can now be started with the first step being the rinsing of the barley with a strainer followed by picking out of any debris that may have made it through the processing. You should then allow the barley to soak overnight in water or broth in order to reduce its cooking time. The water used here should be twice the amount of barley for example 1 cup of barley should be accompanied with 2 cups of water.

You should then decide if you will be using water or broth to boil the barley. You should then use 2 ? to 3 cups of liquid to 1 cup barley and then add the liquid to the pot. You should then wait for the water or broth to come to boil. You should then add the barley to the boiled water or broth and stir. The pot should then be covered with a lid and the heat reduced to low. This should then let to cook for 15 minutes. if you did not pre-soak the barley it should let to cook for 40 minutes.

Looking For Fun And Original Team Building In London Choose Corporate Cooking Classes!

Team building events are an enjoyable way to bring employees together, improve communication skills and treat staff to a fun day out. Often, perhaps after a numerous team building activities, employers such as yourself struggle to find corporate events in London which are original, exciting and keep staff engaged. Corporate cooking classes may well be the activity you are looking for. Cooking classes are a corporate event like no other, offering effective team building for groups from 12 to 180.

Show your business is forward-thinking, original and exciting with a really original team building event in London. Modern cooking schools are set in impressive locations such as the heart of Londons West End and the City, with state-of-the-art kitchens and impressive dining rooms, and have an operations team who are experienced at dealing with corporate events. Your staff dont need to be experienced cooks to have a great experience at corporate cooking classes in London.

The classes are guided by a professional chef with contagious enthusiasm, whose role it is to encourage team work and friendly competition. Your employees will create a delicious meal which they can enjoy and bond over after the class in a unique experience unlike any other team building activity. Corporate cooking classes are popular amongst employers and staff alike; both benefit from new skills and friendships.

Consider hosting an exciting cooking chefs challenge for your teams, encouraging your employees to put their creativity, time management, team work and cooking skills to the test against another department! With support from an expert chef, each team will design and create a fantastic menu in just 2 hours using carefully selected seasonal ingredients. Some corporate cooking classes even enable you to create personalised branded aprons for each team and give prizes such as bespoke gift boxes for the winners and even siliconespoons for the losers!

Cooking is a universally enjoyable activity, suitable for any businesss corporate event in London. The surroundings may be a professional kitchen, but the atmosphere is much more relaxed, fun and laid back. This encourages your group to communicate freely and work together during the activity. Each employee will be eating the food, so it is in everyones best interests to work well! So, if you want to engage and motivate staff in a corporate event which focuses on team work and communication skills, look no further than corporate cooking classes in London.

Easy French Cooking Lessons Learning To Become A Good French Cook In Just A Couple Of Few Weeks

In this time of economic hardships not all of us can afford to go to a fancy restaurant for dinner. If you are one of those people who are cutting back on your entertainment expenses and is planning to reduce your number of visits to the restaurant this holiday season, you should consider getting some easy French cooking lessons and learn how to cook some really delicious food.

Just think about how much money you can save if you cook your own food and hold dinner parties at home instead of going to the restaurant during the holidays. No, you do not have to go to a culinary cuisine school to learn a few easy French cooking tricks. You can easily pick up a few easy French cooking lessons online. What is interesting about these easy French cooking lessons offered online is that you do not have to leave home just to attend classes.

Instead of taking your car from the garage and drive to school, you can just drag your laptop to the kitchen and learn some easy French cooking tricks right there in your own kitchen. Since you are working in the comforts of your home, you can wear anything you like and do whatever you want on the side while you are waiting for your food to cook.

Learning to Cook French Foods

Before you start working on some easy French cooking recipes, you need to buy some tools to work with. Although your existing kitchen tools and utensils are very useful, it is still better to get the appropriate French cooking tools if you want to cook some mouth watering French food. No, there is no need for you to invest in those expensive state of the art cooking tools.

There is no point of wasting so much money on those expensive tools when you can get some tools of almost the same quality for cheaper prices. Once you have the right cooking tools, you may not start with your easy French cooking lessons. To make things easier for you, you might want to start with making sauces.

Remember that the secret of great French cooking is in the sauce. Once you have mastered the art of making great French cause, you may now move on to more complicated food preparations. It will probably take more than one attempt on your part before you can get perfect French food but if you keep at it, you will eventually learn the art of French cooking.

Why You Should Not Buy Cheap Cooking Knives

There are many inexpensive cooking knives out there. Go in any big box retail store and you can find an assortment of chefs knives, paring knives and kitchen cutlery for fairly low prices. Thats OK, if you do not plan to use them. They look pretty in the wooden knife block and that is where they should stay because you will wear yourself out trying to use them much.

You Get What You Pay For

If cooking is your thing you should avoid buying a drawer full of inexpensive knives. Invest in just a few good quality kitchen knives. To start, you only need three good knives; you can add to your kitchen arsenal over time.

You will use a chefs knife or paring knife for about 80% of the cutting and chopping work. Delicate work will most often be done with your paring knife and it is important that it be kept sharp.

Three Must Have Cooking Knives

Short Chefs knife 6-8 inches long

Long Chefs knife 8-12 inches long

Sharp paring knife

Ease of Use

One of the best reasons to buy a better quality cooking knife sits at the end of your arm-your hand. A cheap knife is just that, cheap. The handles are made of plastic or wood that is often uncomfortable to grip. This puts extra stress on your hand and arm, making the work harder to perform. Over time, working with poorly made knives can cause pain, and even Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

A quality cooking knife is easier to hold and feels better in your hand. The grip is ergonomically crafted to fit comfortably in your hand and the knife is balanced to make the work easier to do. You can do much neater, more professional looking knife work with a well balanced, quality constructed cooking knife. High quality carbon steel or polished stainless steel blades stay sharp longer and the grip is much more comfortable.

Invest wisely and cooking can be the enjoyable experience it should be and not an onerous chore. What to Look for:

High quality forged carbon steel blades

High quality polished stainless steel blades

Ergonomic hand grips for easy use

Balanced for ease of use

A knife that feels good in your hand

The Meanings Of Different Cooking Terms

Cooking can be very satisfying, and learning about the different ways to cook and finding new; different recipes to experiment in the kitchen is exciting. This had led to a bunch of television programmes appearing and even more cookbooks arriving to offer chefs tips, advice, and recipes. However, a good starting point for many wanting to get into the kitchen and to begin putting recipes into practice is to know the different terminologies used with cooking.

Learning the different cooking terminologies is important as a dish may be prepared in a number of ways, and each of the preparation methods can result in varying flavours. Here are just a few of the terms cooking recipes may require you to perform:

Grilled

This is a more common term that many will already know, even if they dont often cook. When a recipe requires you to grill a food item, it will basically mean that you need to cook over an open flame, whether it is by gas or charcoal. Obviously the most ideal place to do food grilling is over a grill.

Frying and Deep-frying

These are terms that are often confused, but they are actually quite different. Frying can be done using a frying pan and with oil or butter, whereas deep-frying on the other hand means that the food needs to be submerged in boiling oil until it is cooked. This can often be seen in fast food chains where the food is placed in a basket and submerged into the boiling oil, often to produce french fries, tender breaded chicken, and funnel cakes.

Sauting

An alternative to frying is sauting, to produce strong flavours from your food. To saut food, cook quickly using a small amount of fat (oil or butter), and use a frying pan to receive best results when using this cooking method.

Broiled

When a recipe calls for the food to be broiled, it means that the food should be cooked by direct exposure to a flame or heat element. You may find the broil setting on many ovens, although it is important to place the food on the top rack when using this setting.

For those that cook and prepare meals regularly or just beginning to become interested in cooking, familiarize yourself with the many different preparation and cooking terms. At least learn the basic terms so that you can prepare the food in the way that the recipe intended, and also, before you start cooking a new recipe or dish, firstly read through the recipe instructions so that you know the cooking terms and exactly how to execute them. This is especially important if you are cooking to time schedule.

Discovering Easy Cooking Recipes From Around The World

There are many different areas that make every country around the world unique somehow. The language, traditions, beliefs, clothing and foods all make up these very individual cultures. It is possible to sample different countries through books, movies, language classes and easy cooking recipes without ever leaving your home or city. This is certainly something that you and your family can enjoy and experience together.

It may not be as simple a task as you thought to decide which easy cooking recipes to try. There are so many tasty ethnic foods to enrapture your taste buds with. You may never go back to the same old meatloaf and mashed potatoes again. It could be fun and educational to create theme nights around these newly found easy cooking recipes.

Give the Globe a Yummy Spin

Begin your food sojourn in beautiful and exotic Africa with an easy cooking recipe for Chicken Couscous. Just wait until you begin to smell the delicious aromas of chicken, sweet limejuice and zesty garlic, as it will be enough to make your mouth water buckets. Garbanzo beans, artichoke hearts and raisin couscous ensure this easy cooking recipe to be a definite favorite.

Next, head to the Far East and sample some of the oldest and healthiest easy cooking recipes. While you might be tempted to conjure up a batch of fried rice and spicy chicken that would make General Tso blow his top, your taste buds will have more fun with a sweet and sour stir fry or even a teriyaki cabbage stir fry. Many popular Asian recipes call for duck instead of chicken, which is still poultry, but a slightly tastier alternative.

A food trip around the world would not be complete without a night in Tuscany. Or even Rome. While spaghetti has been a family dinner favorite for many years, there are many more amazing Italian dishes that remain undiscovered treasures for your stomach. Give your family something really different on this night with an easy cooking recipe for Lamb Chops Scottadito. The succulent taste of lamb paired with olive oil, garlic, and rosemary will draw a chorus of praises.

Easy French cooking is as delicious as springtime in Paris. It is not all chocolates, croissants and red wine though. The French love food and love preparing it. Follow their lead with dishes that entwine eggplant, asparagus, potatoes and the tastiest herbs in the Western Hemisphere. Stew Provencale is rich and full of flavor, just like the French countryside where it was created and remains so very popular.

Chinese Clay Pot Cooking Is Magic

Clay Pot is an old but classic Chinese cookware that has passed down through generations. The material and technology has improved slightly and the basic cookware techniques havent changed and the charm of this clay pot stays the same. If you want to taste and even make some of the authentic Chinese cuisine, clay pot is an necessary kitchen tools you must bring home.

In clay pot cooking, poultry or meat is combined with a little liquid, vegetables, and seasonings to produce the tenderness of a braise with the finish of roasting. Most of the cooking is done with the cover in place, but when the food is nearly finished, the cover can come off to get a golden brown finish. Bread baked in a clay pot produces a crispy crust with a tender, moist interior. Some clay bread bakers are similar to metal or glass loaf pans but others come with a cover.

Clay pots are incredible for slow-cooked meals. Because wet clay doesnt get as hot as metal, the pot helps you keep your braise down at a low simmer, which makes the texture of the food more luscious in the end. On the other hand, the heavy clay holds heat very well, and you may find yourself turning the heat down in order to keep the contents cooking as slowly as you like.
Because clay is porous, you should avoid using soap when cleaning your clay pots. This also allows them to become seasoned through repeated use, and some people claim that food cooked in an older, well-seasoned clay pot tastes noticably better than food cooked in a newer vessel. None of my clay pots are really old enough for me to test this proposition yet, but Ill be sure to give you an update in a few years.

What to Cook in Clay Pots
Because food is cooked at high temperatures and with steam, some types of dishes are particularly well suited to clay pot cooking.
Vegetable ragouts and ratatouille
Baked potatoes
Whole chickens, Cornish hens, and ducks, along with vegetables
Meatloaf
Baked ziti or lasagna
Stews and casseroles
Baked cheese, such as feta, with olives and fresh oregano
Bread puddings
Fruit cobblers
Whole grain breads

Comprehending the Use and Benefits of Griddle Cooking

Cooking and innovating is probably the favourite pastime of a number of people these days. Besides, who would not want to enjoy a pleasant evening with their loved ones while having delicious and quality food? You can certainly plan for an outdoor cooking evening and make the most of the natural environment and ambience.

There are plenty of indoor and outdoor cooking equipments and tools available that can be used over a burner or over an open flame. One of the types of cooking is griddle in which the equipment used can also be used either on a burner top or over a flame for the preparation of the food. A griddle is basically a flat surface provided to cook food much easier allowing more heat for a better taste. These are made of a variety of material offering the users a number of alternatives to choose from, depending on the type of food they intend to cook.

All About Cooking and Griddles-

Griddle can either be a flat stone or a metal surface and is ideal to cook baked or fried food. As far as the cookware is concerned, the pans used in griddle cooking are usually shallow ones used for searing, baking or frying. A pan is also an inevitable and a versatile entity for nearly all the cooks to prepare breakfast comprising of bacon, pancakes, or kabobs.

Different Styles of Pans-

The pans for griddle cooking are available in rectangular, square, round and oval shapes. Some of them can fit over a single burner, whereas others can fit over two burners as well. These may have raised ridges or simply have smooth surfaces. They are basically made to be used over the stove, for instance a cast iron or stainless steel or can also be used over the counter top like an electric griddle. Griddles made from cast iron is huge famous for the campfires. Electric griddles on the other hand have their benefit of the removable drip that is ideal to catch the drippings from the food.

Benefits and Use-

A griddle that fits two burners also called a jumbo electric griddle is ideal to cook one or more food at once. It can easily hold eight medium pancakes or a pound of bacon. The raised griddles are ideal cook food that is desired to have grill marks; some of such foods include hamburgers, chicken, vegetables, fish or streaks etc.

The cast iron griddles are ideal for the work on gas and electric stoves along with coil burner. However, only the griddles with flat bottoms are to be used on ceramic cook tops. This is because the raised bottom griddles will cook the food unevenly.

In addition to the griddle pans, only the wood or the plastic utensils should be used on a nonstick surface, whereas any other utensil can be used on a cast iron type.

Alternative Choices for Cooking Gifts

Every single day, we take to the kitchen and cook. People who know how expensive it is to eat at restaurants prefer to cook, whether they’re good at it or not. There are people among us who think cooking is art. Food can be delicious and beautiful on a whole new level for these people. The greatest restaurants around the world all started with a good cook with a great idea. Here are some of the gifts you can give these people.

Alternative Choices for Cooking Gifts

1. A Knife Set Made of the Best Steel

In cooking, a chef needs to cut each morsel perfectly. Buying a set of knives is a good way of ensuring that each knife is of good quality. Knife quality matters because a chef may not have the time to sharpen his knives more than a few times a week. Brand sometimes plays a big part in the quality of the knife. For good measure, you can throw in a good whetting stone.

Consider the knife skills of the recipient. Other factors to consider are the skills of the wielder and the comfortable grip on the knife. There are knife designs that suit left handed people more. Ergonomic handles are a must. Remember that hands get tired easily during cooking.

2. High Quality Pans and Pots

A chef cannot do without the best quality pots. In particular, they really are very picky when it comes to the pots they use to cook dishes. Some pots are made of stainless steel. Some pots are non-stick. It’s better to get these as a part of a cooking set. A set usually includes small sauce pans and bigger ones for braising.

Better dishes are made using good cooking equipment. Even cooking is attainable if the pot is well balanced. A dented pot will not cook a dish evenly. A chef always knows what to do with a good set of pots.

3. Equipment for Grilling

Grills are almost always needed to make a stunning dish. A griller can sear a meat or a fish quickly. Unfortunately, the traditional grill can be an extremely difficult piece of equipment for a chef. Modern grills have features that traditional grills don’t have. Modern grills can also be very easy to clean.

One good feature of modern grills is temperature control. A griller can simply check if the heat is too high, or if the heat isn’t enough to cook the meat. The best grilling equipment can lead to barbecue competition trophies.