20 Oct 2020

Spices

When it comes to spices, one of my favorite is “cinnamon”. Cinnamon deserves to be put in the spot light because it is one of the healthiest spices in the world. Before I get into spices, let me differentiate between spices and herbs.

The difference between spices and herbs depends on which part of the plant that it comes from. Herbs are the leaves of the plant, while spices, come from the roots, stalk, bark, dry fruit, and seeds. Simply put, any part of the plant that is not a leaf and can be used for seasoning, would fall into the spice category. Some plants are used for both herbs and spices: like cilantro (the leaves) and coriander (the seeds) of the cilantro plant.

Now, that we know the difference between herbs and spices, let’s explore cinnamon. Cinnamon’s history dates back to ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptians used it as a medicine, a spice, and as an embalming agent. Because of its scarcity and its multiple use cinnamon was so valued that it was considered more precious than gold at the time.

There are hundreds of types of cinnamon, but only 4 varieties are used for commercial purposes. These include Ceylon, Cassia, Saigon, and Korintje cinnamon. Cassia, Saigon, and Korintje cinnamon are scientifically classified as Cassia cinnamon, due to similarities in color, shape, and coumarin content. Thus, in reality there are just two types of cinnamon we are concerned about, Cassia, and Ceylon.

Before I get into the difference between the two Cassia and Ceylon, I need to discuss the benefits of using cinnamon in the first place. There are three elements in the essential oils of cinnamon, which make it a powerful spice. The three elements are: cinnamyl alcohol, cinnamaldehyde, and cinnamyl acetate. Cinnamyl alcohol is typically used in fragrances and cosmetic products, cinnamyl acetate is used in products like hair conditioners and shampoos. All three of these elements are anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial agents, and combine to make cinnamon a very potent antioxidant filled spice.

Cinnamon comes from a tree and the cinnamon we use is actually the bark. Cinnamon is sold as a ground power. There are two different kinds, Cassia and Ceylon cinnamon. The Cassia variety is referred to as fake cinnamon and Ceylon as true cinnamon. The cinnamon commonly found in most supermarkets is likely the Cassia variety. Why is it so common? Well, unfortunately, Cassia is considered lower quality and happens to be cheap, making it the best choice for large chain stores that sometimes sacrifice quality for price.

Cassia cinnamon contains a very high amount of coumarin. Coumarin is a flavoring substance and it can be toxic. Cassia cinnamon typically contains over 1,000 times more coumarin compared with the true cinnamon,”Ceylon”. Large amounts of coumarin, especially prolonged daily use, could potentially cause health problems.

Coumarin, is present in much higher concentrations in Cassia than in Ceylon cinnamon, which may be very important if you are taking certain hepatotoxic medications, preparing to undergo a surgical or dental procedure, if you’re considered to be at a high risk of bleeding. Because, coumarin is a natural blood thinner. Though coumarin is a natural ingredient, it carries a risk for causing liver damage or failure in sensitive individuals and among those who consume the Cassia cinnamon daily, or in large amounts. Cassia cinnamon has high levels of coumarin, which is why some European countries have banned the Cassia variety. While abstaining from Cassia cinnamon is warranted for some individuals, the average person does not need to worry about coumarin overdose. People that regularly consume more than a teaspoon a day, a diet that is rich in vitamin K  may help, as will switching to Ceylon cinnamon to avoid potential risk to the liver.

Ceylon cinnamon has 1,000 times less coumarin than Cassia. It is softer and lighter brown in color compared to Cassia. It’s sweeter tasting, and the big difference is it’s more expensive and harder too fine. Also due to the better quality, Ceylon has far less potential to cause harm when consumed regularly.

Scientific studies confirm that the benefits of cinnamon are numerous. This includes, but is not limited to antimicrobial and anti-parasitic activity, along with the lowering of blood glucose, antioxidant and free-radical scavenging properties, anti-inflammatory activity, anti-clotting and wound healing properties. Cinnamon also helps stop the growth of bacteria, as well as fungus. Cinnamon may help enhance cognitive function and memory. When studying for a test or brushing up on vocabulary in a new language, waft cinnamon essential oil under your nose or sip cinnamon tea for a brain boost. Cinnamon contains a nice amounts of manganese, calcium, fiber, and iron. Whats more the cinnamyl acetate, cinnamyl alcohol, and cinnamaldehde found in cinnamon oil may have antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.

What are the most common uses for cinnamon? Possibly the most common cinnamon is a baking spice, cinnamon is used in cakes, cookies, and desserts throughout the world. Cinnamon is also used in savory chicken and lamb dishes from the Middle East. In American cooking, cinnamon is often paired with apples and used in other fruit and cereal dishes. If you decide to use cinnamon, use organic “Ceylon” it’s better for your health.

When it comes to incorporating cinnamon into my recipes I like to experiment. I’ve tried cinnamon in many different combinations. Some turned out really good others not so good. The point I am trying to make is, be daring, even if it turns out, not so good you’ll still be consuming one of the healthiest spices in the world. You have everything to gain (your health) and nothing to loose, go for it! I will be researching more of my favorite spices in the future so stay tuned in.

14 Oct 2020

I love to cook

I’ve been cooking for over 55 years. Through research, trial and error, I’ve picked up some useful cooking tips. And, today I wish to share them with you in hopes of making life a little less hectic.

I love cooking with garlic. Garlic has many health benefits, and I love it’s taste. The problem with fresh garlic is peeling it. It can be a tedious and time consuming task. Some people like to take the flat surface of a knife and crush the individual clove, then peel. I’ve found a faster and easier way. Separate the cloves, place on a microwave safe plate, in a single layer, zap for 10-15 seconds. Let the cloves cool, once cooled the shell or covering comes off very easily. The zapping in the microwave will not damage the garlic in anyway.

The art of peeling and slicing onions. Slicing onions can feel like an all out assault on our eyes causing a deluge of tears. The solution, put the onions in ice cold water for 10 minutes before cutting to prevent watery eyes. I sometimes peel my onions while still in the water, then take them out and slice. This method works quite well doing either a small or large amount of onions. Give this method a try, you will not be disappointed.

Rinse your rice before cooking. Most types of rice have a layer of starch outside of each piece. If you don’t rinse it, the rice might not absorb water properly. Some of the starches can also make the rice taste bitter. You can also drop a teaspoon of coconut oil into your boiling pot of water before cooking your rice. Researchers from the College of Chemical Sciences in Sri Lanka say that the rice will have 10 times the resistant starch (a good thing, it slows down rapid digestion) and stays this way even as a leftover.

Add salt and oil to boiling pasta water. The salt will season the pasta, while the oil will keep them from sticking together.

When you salt is as important as how much you salt. Season chicken, pork, and turkey up to eight hours before cooking. The salt will penetrate the meat fully and yield juicier, more fully seasoned results. But, with burgers, season seconds before cooking otherwise, the salt will break down the protein strands and create tougher patties. Too much salt? Use a splash of vinegar to provide a counterbalancing punch of acid.

Always slice your meat against the grain, this will keep your meat flavorful and tender, not chewy.

Do not slice into meat right after it finishes cooking, precious juices will escape. Wait five minutes before biting into burgers or grilled chicken, seven minutes before cutting into steaks, and 15 minutes before carving a large roast. This will ensure the majority of the juices and flavor will remain intact.

Steaks need to warm up before cooking. If you’ve invested the dollars to buy a beautifully marbled steak you want to cook it so it turns out to be a masterpiece. So, never send it straight to the grill from the fridge. You need to let it warm up before you grill it. Let all steaks, chickens, and pork chops rest at room temperature at lease 15 minutes before putting them on a grill or skillet. This warm-up period will help the muscles relax so the steak cooks more evenly. When you’ve finished with the grill, remove the meat and put it on a plate to rest once again. the resting period will help juices and liquid fat in the meat stop moving so you can cut into it without all the good stuff oozing out.

Have you ever had a problem with your produce wilting? If so, drop your aging produce into ice water before cooking. Plants wilt due to water loss, ice water penetrates  their cells to restore crispness.

Zap lemons, oranges, or limes for 15 seconds in the microwave before squeezing them. The fruit will yield twice as much juice.

Sprinkle flour on your bacon to reduce grease splatters. It’ll also make your bacon extra crispy.

Have you ever wanted to rescue tough stale cookies, but didn’t know how? Simply place the cookies in a container with a fresh piece of soft bread. The cookies will soak up the bread’s moisture in no time.

Avocado turns brown wickedly fast once cut. Is there anyway we can slow down the oxidation process (browning)? Once cut, leave the avocado pit in place, wrap it in plastic, and slip it in the fridge. When you’re ready to use it, remove the fruit from the fridge, let it come to room temperature, and then remove the pit. The pit can stop some oxygen from reaching the flesh of the fruit, which will slow browning.

Cooking can be quick, but when it requires time, you need to let it happen. Let pans heat up properly before you add oil. Let oil heat up properly before you add food. Let food sit and brown evenly before you flip. You won’t regret the time it takes when you see that delicious brown crust or charred bits, but you can’t recreate it once you’ve rushed the process.

I hope these tidbits can help you in your quest to create some memorable moments in the kitchen. Why not make it a family affair to remember for years to come? This is one way to really strengthen the family bonds. I look forward to talking again soon, stay safe and well.

Dave

06 Oct 2020

Fat Facts

I can remember when the health community stated limiting our fat intake was a healthy way to go. Low fat diets became the fad. They did not differentiate the good vs the bad fats. Their purpose was to lower the intake of all fats. We switched to a low fat food diet. But the shift didn’t make us healthier, probably because we cut back on healthy fats as well as harmful ones.

Are fats really bad for us? According to Harvard Medical School our body needs some fat from food. It’s a major source of energy. It helps us absorb some vitamins and minerals. Fat is needed to build cell membranes, the vital exterior of each cell, and the sheaths surrounding nerves. It is essential for blood clotting, muscle movement, and inflammation. These are some of the functions of good healthy fats.

Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are considered the good fats. Foods high in good fats include avocados, tofu, nuts, seeds, fish, olive oil, peanut butter, boiled soybean, flaxseed oil, cheese, and eggs. This list is by no means all inclusive. According to my food data.com good fat can help lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, lower bad LDL cholesterol levels, while increasing good HDL, lower blood pressure and triglycerides. The discovery that good fat could be healthful came from the seven countries study during the 1960s. Harvard medical school research revealed that people in Greece and other parts of the Mediterranean region enjoyed a low rate of heart disease despite a high-fat diet. The main fat in their diet, though, was not the saturated animal fat common in countries with higher rates of heart disease, It was olive oil, which is viewed as a good fat. This finding produced a surge of interest in olive oil and the “Mediterranean Diet”a style of eating regarded as a healthful choice today.

Trans fat (bad fat) according to the Mayo Clinic standard, is considered the worst type of fat you can eat. It is a byproduct of a process called hydrogenation that is used to turn healthy oils into solids and to prevent them from becoming rancid. Trans fats have no known health benefits and that there is no safe level of consumption, according to Harvard Medical School. Eating foods rich in trans fats increase the amount of harmful LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream and reduces the amount of beneficial HDL cholesterol. Trans fat create inflammation, which is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. They contribute to insulin resistance, which increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Even small amounts of trans fats can harm health, for every 2% of calories from trans fat consumed daily, the risk of heart disease rise by 23%. Examples of foods that contain high levels of trans fats are stick margarine, fast foods, commercial baked goods (donuts, cookies, crackers), processed foods, and fried foods. Trans fats may pose a risk of developing certain cancers according to WebMD.

The last fat that comes under scrutiny is saturated fats. Saturated fats has both a positive and negative effect on our health. Researchers recommend saturated fat intake at the minimum because the scientific community generally accept it to be a biological necessity. In fact, saturated fat is so important, our body actually makes its own from carbohydrates via a process called de novo lipogenesis.

Our body seeks homeostasis all the time and it couldn’t be more relevant when it comes to fatty acid balance. Saturated fats and unsaturated fats help promote optimal cell membrane fluidity where the former makes cell membrane less fluid and the latter, more fluid. The body needs saturated fat to produce hormones in our body. Hormones are responsible for muscle growth, bone health, and reproductive health. Fat, not just saturated fat, in general is also needed for organ protection and energy production not just for energy’s sake, but also for producing body heat by means of thermogenesis. Fat is also required by the body to digest, absorb, and transport vitamins A,D,E, and K because of their fat-soluble nature.

The negative side of saturated fats. While some saturated fat is necessary for your diet, about five or six percent of your average daily intake, according to the American Heart Association, too much saturated fat can raise cholesterol levels and increase your store of LDL, the type of cholesterol that causes plaque buildup in the arteries. Because of this correlation, it is possible that a diet rich in saturated fats can lead to health risks like heart disease, stroke or type 2 diabetes. The health hazards of high intakes of saturated fats, however, can depend on the type of food source they come from. For example, the National Institutes of Health found that processed meats can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, while dairy may decrease it.

These are just some of the known facts about fats. I hope this research helps you make an inform decision on which foods to embrace and which to avoid. Until the next time, stay save.

Dave

25 Sep 2020

Are you a fast food junkie?

Are you a fast food junkie?

Do you occasionally frequent fast food establishments? If you answered yes to either of these questions, this blog is especially for you. It’s also for anyone that is really concerned about their nutritional health.

First let me introduce myself. My name is David. I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with my loving, caring and adorable soul-mate, Lynn. We’ve been getting on each others nerves for over twenty years. She is definitely a keeper. I am a people person. I get great pleasure in helping others. This is evident in the work i’ve done. I retired  as a Federal Government Employee after 32 years. I worked at the Veteran Administration Hospital as a registered nurse in the medical surgical and cardiac units. I care what happens to people. As a nurse one of my duties was to inform my patient of all the important facts related to their health care. When a person is giving the facts they can make an informed decision about their health care. This is the same philosophy i stress not only in my blog but in most aspects of my life. Decisions based on facts.

Enough about me. It’s time to examine some facts about fast food. What is the allure that attracts people? Most people answer it’s fast, convenience, cheap, saves time and virtually no clean up to content with. I agree with all these above with the exception of cheap. Sales gimmicks like offering discounts on value meals like chicken nuggets or happy meals is to get the customer in the door. Once inside the non-discount menu items have become increasing expensive over the years. Bloomberg reports hamburger price hikes of upwards of 55 % and chicken sandwiches 27% since 2008. This is just a few examples, the price has gone up on just about everything. These cost increases exceed overall U.S. price inflation recorded during the same period.

The greatest disadvantage of fast food is the adverse effect that it has on one’s health. It is a fact that fast food is more unhealthy than home cooked meals. Home cooked meals are also cheaper. According to a report from the Center for Young Women’s Health fast food contains higher amounts of unwanted nutrients like salt, fat and  various types of additives (artificial chemicals). It may contain harmful bacteria too. Fast food is usually higher in calories, cholesterol,, and sodium in comparison to homemade meals. Eating too much fast food can increase risk for health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity. There are much more undeniable facts. Health-line reports fast food can cause a host of problems, acne, depression, dental distress, headache, heart disease or stroke, shortness of breath, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, weigh gain, extra calories, blood sugar spike, insulin resistance(diabetes), bloating and puffiness. It can also be very addictive. Given a choice fast food would not rank in my win column.

The reason why i created Topcheftrends.com (with the help of the Deleni Group). Money is always a motivator but not my main reason. The main reason was to give people a healthy choice other than fast food. I really care about people and their health. I’ve been helping people the majority of my life. Once retired i sought a way to keep helping people. I love to cook so what better way to help people then by sharing my cooking experience

Topcheftrends.com can offer you recipes that can save you money. Home cooked meals are much cheaper than fast food. With proper preparation home cooked meals can save time, be convenience and provide you with good healthy nutrition. What do i mean by proper preparation? When i worked i would cook and prepare my meals for the entire week on Saturday and Sunday. I would then freeze individual meals.All i had to do was take the meal out of the freezer before work, come home pop it in the microwave then eat, simple. With Topcheftrends you can learn about soups, baking tips, healthy food choices and so much more. With the Pandemic limiting our social interacting this is a great time to be in the kitchen. You can create family activity time. Everyone can contribute to meal preparation. You will get great satisfaction out of creating your own recipes. The only thing that will limit you is your imagination. So, don’t hesitate, as Nike says, Just Do IT. I can help, check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

This is my first blog. I look forward to writing many more, stay tuned. Thank you

Dave

08 Jul 2020

5 Ways to Express Yourself Through Your Food

 

Cooking can be a fantastic way to express yourself creatively. You can see parents embracing this concept as they make dishes that they know their kids will eat. Michelin-starred chefs do the same thing as they craft new recipes that draw patrons into their establishment.

You don’t need to be a trained chef to express art through your food. All you need to have is a willingness to tweak a recipe or experiment with ingredients as you make something new.

If you’re ready to get to work in the kitchen, then here are some ways that you can create art from your oven.

1. Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Cooking is a simple way to branch out so that you can start exploring new things. When you embrace food concepts, then you get pushed out of your comfort zone naturally. The culinary arts expose you to different ingredients and flavors that you wouldn’t experience if you played it safe by using processed items all of the time. You might not like everything that you try, but you almost always find a new idea that can become your own.

2. It Forces You to Focus

You must put your mind to the work of cooking to create a successful outcome. If you don’t use the correct combination of ingredients, then the results are going to be less than perfect. Although it doesn’t always feel like you’re expressing yourself through food when following a different person’s recipe, knowing how specific items work together gives you the knowledge needed to make something new in the future. If you make diligent decisions during this work, then those efforts can also translate into the choices you make in life.

3. There Are No Rules

Don’t listen to what the chefs on TV or the cooks with blogs say. Cooking is fun when you’re willing to experiment. There are no rules that you need to follow. If you want to try making pasta with nutmeg, then see what happens. If you like a Bearnaise sauce, then it doesn’t need to be relegated to only steaks. Most recipes that we use frequently developed when someone was willing to step outside of their comfort zone to try something new.

4. People Eat with Their Eyes

When something doesn’t look appetizing, then how willing are you to eat it? We eat with all of our senses, which means you have a chance to express yourself through what people see on their plate or in their bowl. Your visual creativity can encourage others to try something that’s outside of their comfort zone.

5. You Can Embrace Curiosity

You might be shy and reserved when meeting others, but cooking allows you to be bold and courageous. If people love what you make, then that emotion becomes something that you can treasure in your heart. When you work in the kitchen, you have an opportunity to be whatever you want to be in life.

There are no obligations in cooking. Joy develops because you’re doing something that you want to do. That’s why it is one of the best ways we have to express yourself. 

30 Jun 2020

How to Incorporate Baking into a Busy Schedule

 

Life can get hectic at times. Even after the events of the COVID-19 pandemic forced some people to slow down and see life from a different perspective, there are still days when you don’t feel like baking.

When your energy levels are low, then forethought and planning can help you to maximize the investment you’ve made in your pantry. Here are some ideas that may get you into your kitchen more often.

Tips to Help You Make Meals More Often

1. Cook when you have the energy.

It is easier to bake when you have some energy to burn. That means you should work in the kitchen when you feel the freshest. Even if that means you take an unconventional approach by cooking dinner at 9:30 AM, then do it. You won’t need to rush through the process. It gives you more time to impart the flavors that everyone will enjoy.

2. Stock your pantry with fresh ingredients.

You are more likely to bake with healthy foods when you stock those ingredients in your pantry and fridge. Try to add more fruits and vegetables to your grocery list each week while reducing the cookies and potato chips. Having nutrient-dense choices around you at all times can make it easier to reduce the number of sugary foods you consume.

3. Discover your favorite home-cooked meal.

Everyone has a favorite recipe that makes them feel comforted after a hard day. Once you discover what that meal is for you, then experiment with different variations. You’ll be invested in the process because you’re creating something from a foundation that you love. That makes it a lot easier to create something in the kitchen because you’re invested in the outcome.

4. Baking trends always come and go.

Don’t get swept up by the various baking trends that people embrace. These marketing efforts come from producers to encourage you to purchase their products. Apple cider vinegar and activated charcoal might be fun options to try, but it is the classic recipes that always stick around. If you can create a perfect chicken alfredo and a minestrone, then you’re good to go. All of the trends cycle through about once every decade anyway, so you’re not going to miss anything.

5. Don’t rely on boxed meals.

Cooking can be more comfortable when you purchase a boxed meal. You’ll also find grocery stores that create options that you can cook at home using prepackaged fresh ingredients. Frozen entrées or canned soups might feel like a win when you’re tired, but that doesn’t mean you’re enjoying something as delicious as a recipe made with fresh ingredients. Try to avoid processed foods whenever you can to support your health.

Baking on a busy schedule doesn’t need to feel like it’s a chore. If you make it a priority, then this activity can be a fun experience for everyone in the family. When you’re struggling to make some time to use your kitchen, then consider incorporating these tips into your routine. You could be eating better and saving money while you do it!

08 Jun 2020

7 Best Soups from Around the World

 

If you love soup, then there is a global journey that you can embrace. Different cultures impart unique flavors into their broth to create flavorful bites that aren’t always available at home. If you’re willing to put in some work in the kitchen, then these are the best soups that you’ll want to try from around the world.

1. Wonton Soup

The most challenging component of this dish is to make the wontons that become pork dumplings. Everything else goes together well in a simple chicken stock broth. Add some fresh vegetables, shrimp, and scallions for an authentic flavor.

2. New England Clam Chowder

Although the Manhattan version uses ketchup and some families swear it is better, the cream-based broth with mayonnaise for the New England chowder offers flavors that are challenging to deny. The combination of potatoes, pork bits, bacon, and clams with a little black pepper and parsley is insanely delicious. Try to get fresh shellfish if you can for this recipe.

3. Curry Noodle Soup

The best reason to create a curry soup is that you get to be in control of the spice level. You can make one at home rather quickly by using one standard container of beef broth. Then add 3/4-cup of curry powder to the liquid. Bring it to a boil, and then use a handful of rice vermicelli noodles. Then place some parsley, scallions, and shrimp into the mixture to have a meal in 15 minutes. If you want it with less spice, then reduce the curry by 1/2-cup.

4. Italian Wedding Soup

You can find different variations of this soup sold in restaurants all over the world. The traditional recipe is still arguably the best that there is today. You’ll want some spinach, Italian sausage, rice, and carrots with your preferred broth. Then you’ll get to enjoy the “marriage” of the ingredients with every bite you take.

5. Spanish Bean Soup

This traditional soup is made from red potatoes, olive oil andouille sausage, and chickpeas. For a fun variation on it, you can substitute chorizo for a spicier bite. Each spoonful is packed with flavor, and the combination of starches and proteins makes you feel full right away. If you have an Instant Pot at home, then you can avoid needing to soak dried beans overnight to complete this recipe.

6. French Onion Soup

The critical ingredient to this time-honored soup isn’t the onions or the broth. You need to have a crusty cheese topping that’s made from one or more of the following: Asiago, Swiss, Gruyere, or Mozzarella. You can use any combination of them to inspire your mouth to start watering. Don’t forget about the crunchy croutons!

7. Avgolemono Soup

This Greek soup doesn’t get as much love as it deserves. It’s made with some rice, turkey, and a little bit of lemon. You’ll use low-sodium chicken or turkey stock to create the base, and then you need at least four eggs to complete the broth. Once you try it, this recipe will become another addition to your comfort food choices.

What soups from around the world are staples in your home kitchen?

24 May 2020

How to Infuse More Flavors Into Each Meal

 

You can make any recipe or dish taste fantastic by focusing on the natural flavors of the ingredients. Making each item shine in its own way is also evidence of deft skills as a home chef.

Even the best ingredients can sometimes taste a little bland if you don’t infuse additional flavors into them. Can you imagine eating tofu without any treatment?

These tips and tricks can help you to start infusing more flavors into each meal without changing your recipes significantly.

Best Ways to Add Flavor to a Recipe

1. Use infused oils instead of something plan.

Flavors love fat when you cook. Most of them will dissolve in fatty oil if you allow them to do so. Garlic, fresh herbs, or your favorite spices are all viable candidates with this option. You can roast them in a pan, combine them in a bottle, or whisk them in a blender to maximize this option. Just make sure you use the product immediately since bacteria can grow in this medium if it is kept at room temperature.

2. Add syrups to your favorite recipes

Simmering is another way that you can start coaxing out more flavors from your favorite ingredients. Many of the items that will dissolve in oil for infusion will also work in a sugar syrup or another water-based liquid. Try adding ginger, rosemary, or vanilla to a simple sugar syrup as a way to create new combinations for your taste buds to enjoy. The sweetness acts as a flavor enhancer.

3. Vinegar is an excellent ingredient if you have the time.

Most kinds of vinegar are about 5% acetic acid. The rest of the liquid is only water. The acid doesn’t have a significant influence on flavor extraction, although there are some exceptions to that observation. Berries infuse into it almost immediately since their flavors have a natural attraction to the water. If you want to use herbs or spices, then be prepared for the work to take several weeks to complete.

4. Placement is critical to the infusion process.

Some dishes don’t allow you to submerge the entire product into the liquid with infused flavors. Can you imagine trying to keep a whole turkey in a vat with a simple sugar syrup? That means the placement of your liquid is a critical component of a successful outcome. If you’re baking poultry in the oven, then place small butter pads underneath the skin to keep the protein moist. Mixing your favorite seasoning into the butter will impart those flavors directly into each bite.

5. Marinating is always an option to consider.

Animal proteins benefit from margination because the process imparts more liquid and flavor into the structure of the product. It stands up to the frying or baking work better, reducing the toughness of each bite. Don’t be afraid to try some vegetables using this method – mushrooms and tofu can benefit from careful marinating to create fun infusions to try.

Adding flavor to your cooking can be a trial-and-error process. If you’re willing to do some experimenting, then you can kick your recipes to a new level of enjoyment at home with each meal. 

We use this to cook almost all of our food

03 May 2020

5 Best Campfire Recipes for Your Next Trip

 

If the Great Outdoors is calling you to embrace adventure, then having a meal around the campfire can be a fun experience. It’s a chance to work with your family and friends to create something incredibly tasty!

These recipes will help to make everyone happy and feel full, even after a long day of exploring.

1. Some More S’mores

The traditional S’mores recipe involves graham crackers, chocolate, and a toasted marshmallow. Now let’s spice things up by adding two additional bites. We’ll replace the graham crackers with chocolate chip cookies on the first one while substituting a strawberry slice for the chocolate bar. On the second variation, we’re going to add a layer of peanut butter. Each one is super gooey and extra sweet!

2. Hot Dogs with Cast Iron Beans

Your body needs protein after a long day of hiking. That’s why bringing a cast-iron pan to sit on top of the fire is essential. Let the beans simmer in a little ketchup, barbecue sauce, or your favorite flavor while you grill hot dogs over the open flames. For a spicier version, consider adding some hot buffalo-style sauce into the mix. You’ll feel satisfied for hours!

3. Campfire Breakfast Sandwich

Your cast-iron pan is also useful for breakfast in the morning when you go camping. You’ll want some pre-cut sausage, a little cheese, and a dozen eggs available for this recipe. Cook the proteins in the pan at the same time so that you receive an excellent flavor meld. If you feel ambitious, then a homemade biscuit over the fire is the perfect way to get a handle on this superb meal!

4. Habanero Chicken Kebabs

Most campfire recipes involve something sweet or tangy. When you try this one on for size, then you’re going to get a mouthful of heat! Take a kebab stick, place cubes of chicken on it, and then add a bit of pineapple between each chunk of meat. You’ll want to place a thin slice of habanero between the fruit and the chicken to create the spice that makes this meal stand out. If there’s too much pain on your tongue, a barbecue sauce can help to temper the flavors so that you’re left in culinary bliss. Don’t forget to add a splash of lime!

5. Lamb Burgers with Fennel Potatoes

Break out the cast-iron pan for this one again. Shape some ground lamb into patties that fit onto whatever buns or biscuits you have. You can choose to eat the burgers without the gluten if you prefer. Then roast the potatoes with the meat to give them a nice, caramelized texture. You’ll want to add the fennel about halfway through the cooking process to avoid having the licorice flavors be too overwhelming. Then top the lamb with some fresh dill, diced tomatoes, and feta cheese for a fantastic outcome!

Cooking around the campfire can be a lovely family tradition when you go camping. Use these recipes on your next adventure to take your meals to the next level!

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On PinterestVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On Instagram