Jumat, 01 Februari 2013

The Fish We Cook: Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout


A small member of a large family of fish, the brook trout can be found under such names as brookie, salter, squaretail, and golden speckled or native trout. A member of the salmon family, the brook trout averages only 8 ounces and 8 to 10 inches in length but has been known to grow to 14½ pounds and 31 inches. It can be found in cold streams and ponds throughout eastern United States. The brook trout is greenish to brown in color with a specked sides and reddish fins and belly. It is the state fish of Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia The brook trout has a firm flaky flesh with a very mild flavor and a moderate fat content and remains moist after cooking. The best way to cook brook trout is to bake, sauté, broil, steam, pan fry or poach.


The rainbow trout is the most abundant member of the freshwater trout family and is found in cool clear waters throughout the western United States. It is native only to states west of the Rocky Mountains and is very important for both sport and commercial fishing. Commercially it is generally a farmed raised fish. It is a close relative of the other small trout such as the dolly varden and the cutthroat trout and is actually a member of the salmon family. It can be found under such names as bow, coaster, red sides, summer salmon and salmon trout. It is a torpedo shaped fish that has a blueish-green or yellow-green color with distinguishing broad horizontal reddish band. The rainbow trout averages only 8 ounces but can grow to 37 pounds and 40 inches in length. The rainbow trout occasionally leaves its freshwater habitat and lives in the ocean. There it takes on a grayish color and salmon colored meat. After two to three years the rainbow returns to freshwater to spawn. When it returns to freshwater it is known as steelhead or salmon trout because of its color change. The steelhead and the rainbow trout are the same species. The meat of the rainbow trout will have more flavor the larger it gets. The steelhead, one that has lived in the ocean, will have more flavor than the rainbow. The rainbow trout has a firm flaky flesh that is very mild in flavor and has a moderate fat content. The best way to cook is to oven fry, bake, broil, pan fry or steam.

The Fish WE Cook, Tuna


The albacore tuna is the choicest of the four kinds of tuna. Its flesh is light in color and mild flavor is the reason it has been given the name "chicken of the sea", and it is the only tuna that can be sold as white meat tuna in the United States. It is also known under the names of albacore fish, ahi, tombo, binnaga, tunny or long fin tuna. The albacore can be distinguished by its long pointed tail, its metallic blue back and its silvery bottom. Found in the temperate waters off the shores of southern California, the albacore averages 10 to 60 pounds but has been known to reach 93 pounds and 5 feet in length. It is a very important fish both commercially and for sport fishing. It has a rather chewy, layered meat with a mild flavor and a high fat content. After cooking it will have a light tan color and can be a little dry if over cooked. The best way to cook albacore tuna is to sauté, pan fry, oven fry, bake, broil, poach or grill.


Bluefin tuna can be found in most warm, temperate seas throughout the world and are abundant from Alaska to California on the west coast of the United States. Like the other varieties of tuna it is a very fast, strong swimmer and traveling in schools they inherit the name" wolves of the sea". They have a dark green or blue colored back with a silver belly and yellowish tinges on its tail and average 15 to 80 pounds but have been known to top the scales at 1600 pounds and 14 feet in length. Also known as horse mackerel, the bluefin has a grayish or pinkish meat that is rich in flavor and a higher oil and fat content than the other varieties of tuna. The best way to cook bluefin is to bake or poach.


Found mostly in tropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the skipjack is the smallest of the tunas averaging only 4 to 24 pounds but can reach 31 pounds. It is an important fish for sport and commercial fishermen.

It has a dark metallic blue top with a silver sides and its flesh is light in color and rich in flavor and moderate in fat content. The best way to cook skipjack tuna is to saute, pan fry or broil.


Found in most warm waters, the yellowfin tuna is largely marketed as ahi tuna. It averages 30 to 150 pounds and has been known to grow to 400 pounds. It has a blue back with yellowish tinges on its sides and receives its name from its yellow tail and belly fins. It is also found under the names of atun or tunny and is very popular off the coast of southern California. As a commercially important fish, most of the yellow fin tuna is canned. As a sport fish they are known as the toughest fighters of all of the tuna. The yellowfin has meat that is light in color and rich in flavor with a moderate fat content. The best way to cook is to bake, broil, poach or grill.

Minggu, 27 Januari 2013

Enjoying Pizza Made at Home

Pizza is one of the most popular foods in America and there are many different ways to make it. When most people think of this tasty cheesy food, they think of flat bread that is baked in an oven and has various toppings. You can enjoy this delicacy in a restaurant or you can make it at home.

The first thing that you need to do when making your own is to prepare the crust. Dough has been made for centuries and making it can be difficult and can take a lot of time. When you make it at home, you do all the work by hand. To make it right, you need a large bowl in which to mix all the ingredients, a measuring cup and spoons, a large whisk or spoons that you can mix with, and a small towel on which you can wipe your hands between steps. To put it all together, you need to follow the recipe for the best results. When it is finished and kneaded, spread it onto a round pizza pan.

Next, you will need a good and tangy sauce. This is usually a tomato and herb based sauce that is easy to prepare at home. For the best sauce, you should use fresh tomatoes and herbs, olive oil, onions, and pepper and process them all in a saucepan until it reaches the texture and thickness that you desire. Now you are ready to spread it out on your prepared dough.

Now, you are able to put the toppings on your pizza. Because toppings vary by region and taste, they can be whatever you desire. They can include a variety of meats, such as pepperoni, chicken, hamburger, and even seafood on some gourmet style pizzas. You could add a variety of vegetables as well, such as fresh spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, pineapple, green peppers, and onions. No pizza is complete without cheese. This can be either put on before or after the other toppings, depending on how much you desire on your pie.

Other pizza options include dessert pizza, where you may use pizza crust or cookie dough, and place chocolate, cream cheese, pie filling, or other sweet or fruity toppings. It also includes breakfast, which usually includes cheese, eggs, bacon, and other breakfast meats. These are considered gourmet.

Now it is time to be baked and enjoyed. Most pizza is baked at around 400 degrees for between 10 and 20 minutes, depending on the crust thickness. When it is finished, cut it, serve it hot, and enjoy it.

Satisfying America's Pizza Love Affair

Americans have a love affair with food and one of the favorites is pizza. Various types are enjoyed all over the country with various traditional spices, crust styles, and the flavors of the different regions. The United States is home to four main styles.

The original style that came over from Italy with the immigrants is the Margherita, which is a Neapolitan style out of Naples, which is named for the queen of Savoy. To be able to have it called a true Margherita, you need to be certified by the Vera Pizza Napoletana Association. Traditionally, it has hand prepared and kneaded crust and is topped with fresh basil, mozzarella, and fresh tomatoes.

The New York style is a commonly enjoyed variation. The downtown Manhattan restaurant, Lombardi's, gave birth to the American-style pizza. It historically has been served in such large pieces that it is traditionally eaten folded down the center, lengthwise. The sauce is a simple tomato base and is usually eaten with just cheese, or with no more than two other toppings.

As you cross westward over the country, you come to Chicago where a unique style of pizza can be enjoyed. This is the deep dish, which is eaten with a fork because it is too thick to pick up with your fingers. The style was born at Pizzeria Uno by Ike Sewell and has a delicious butter crust and a sauce that is chunkier and sweeter than the New York style. The crust is placed up the sides of the pan, then is completely covered with cheese, then topped with layers of Italians sausage and more cheese, and covered with cheese. Chicago is also home to stuffed crust, which is topped with a layer of crust under the sauce. On this style, the crust often has to be pre-cooked due to its thickness.

Finally, there is the gourmet style that is served on the West coast and can usually be identified by the toppings, while you can tell the others apart by the crust. The non-traditional toppings include, but are not limited to, artichoke hearts, olive oil, oysters, and eggplant. Also included in the gourmet category are dessert and breakfast pizzas. Some toppings, such as eggplant, may need to be pre-cooked so that the crust does not get soggy.

Whether you are craving a simple meal or a meal with rustic and unique toppings, there is an American pie out there for you to enjoy anywhere you may be in the country. If you enjoy pizza, you will not be disappointed.

Kamis, 27 Desember 2012

How to Get Started With Fish Recipes

Nature has provided us with a wonderful bounty, readily available from our oceans and rivers. Many people today are looking for interesting fish recipes to liven up their daily diets. Today, more and more people are discovering the pleasures of eating at home and cooking is once more becoming an enjoyable hobby and an admired skill. There are those who avoid cooking fish because of its delicate nature and flavor but experts agree that fish is an excellent source of nutrients for the body, is often a much cheaper alternative to meat and is actually quick and easy to prepare. Many types of fish contain Omega 3 which is known to be good for the heart and, depending on the cooking method used, fish is generally low in calories.

When you're looking for fish recipes, avoid anything that looks too complicated or requires a lot of ingredients. Because fish is naturally low in calories, it's also wise to avoid recipes that add too many other ingredients. The old British favorite for example - fish and chips - features fish dipped in a starchy batter and then deep-fried in oil or animal fat. This negates the many healthy qualities to be found in other fish dishes. Fish is at its best when it's cooked simply. There are many ways of cooking fish and baking is probably one of the easiest methods.

Most varieties of fish are suitable for baking but most white fish fillets, such as cod, will bake in about fifteen minutes in an oven pre-heated to 400 degrees. The fish will need a little liquid and some flavoring to enhance it just a little; suitable liquids are vegetable stock or white wine diluted with water plus a little lemon juice. Although it's best to avoid adding too much extra fat, a touch of melted butter is an addition that will give the fish more flavor. Cover the fish with foil or a lid before placing it in the oven.

Basic fish baked in such a fashion is delicious but watch for fish recipes that suggest additional flavorings to enhance the taste. Many recipes suggest the addition of a couple of bay leaves which add a subtle flavor. Try adding a few black peppercorns too, remembering that these, like the bay leaves, are there to add flavor and are not served with the dish. You'll also find recipes that show that fish can be baked in other liquids. For example, try using a can of chopped tomatoes, complete with the juices. Add Italian herbs such as oregano, some freshly ground black pepper and a touch of garlic and you have a completely different fish dish that is low in calories, high in nutrients and yet has a delicious Mediterranean flavor.

Baking fish is just one example of an easy fish dish. As you search for more fish recipes you'll come across many varied fish dishes that are perfect for everyday family meals and for sophisticated dinner parties. And these can mostly be made simply, easily and quickly. When it's time to serve your fish recipes, choose simple, fresh accompaniments. It's usually a good idea to garnish your fish meals with lemon wedges and a couple of sprigs of parsley. A fish dish can be served with a leafy green salad and a loaf of French bread to mop up the juices. For lunch, dinner or entertaining, fish dishes provide a healthy option at a low cost.

Sweetening Up Fruit Recipes

Everyone has heard the five a day slogan in terms of fruits and vegetables, however not very many people really do a good job at actually meeting it. For whatever reason fruits just are not a big part of people's lives, and that's unfortunate. Fruits are actually very important for the body as they are quite beneficial to one's health. Unlike some other health foods, many fruits do actually taste great as well. In fact there are a number of simple fruit recipes out there that are both easy to make and taste great.

Instead of just having a boring apple in the morning before work, why not enjoy something with lunch with one of these great fruit recipes?

Apricots aren't necessary something people will have commonly, but they taste great and make a delicious snack. For those who have a bit of a sweet tooth, mixing a bit of honey, sugar and a cinnamon stick in with apricots can create a tasty sauce. Pour it over some yogurt for a snack or over frozen yogurt for dessert. If you are already a fan of chicken for dinner, try adding a little extra flavor by spicing it up with pomegranates and blackberries. After grilling the chicken, add a sauce consisting of pomegranate juice, brown sugar, molasses, blackberries and if you prefer garlic, ginger and red pepper. It's sure to how a fresh fruit recipe take on the old classic of chicken for dinner.

For a quick breakfast in the morning, skip the buttered toast and instead make your own spread out of strawberries. All you need to make it is sugar, water, lemon zest and juice as well as the strawberries. It can be saved in a container in the refrigerator allowing for multiple uses throughout the week. Not only does it taste great, but it is also a healthy way to start off in the morning. One of the easiest ways to up your fruit intake is by whipping up a fruit salad. Mixing together blueberries, raspberries and apples can make for great fruit recipes.

If you are not quite in the mood to really prepare something, the best way to eat more fruit is usually just to find something that you like and actually want to eat. There are so many different kinds of fruit out there that it's not hard to find something. In the summer, the abundance of watermelon is a beacon of good times and importantly also counts towards your total fruit count for the day.

When in doubt, look online for some fresh fruit recipes and try your hand at something new. Even if it does not come out quite as you had expected at least it is a new experience in the kitchen. It is never a bad thing to at least give it a try and skip the boring routine of quickly chomping down on a single piece of boring fruit a few times a day. Even if you've found a single piece that you love, it can still be found to see what else is out there.

Unusual Ingredients in Recipes

The world of cooking has a lot of oddities. People do the strangest things and it seems to catch a lot of buzz. Herb recipes have paves the way for recipes with some of the strangest ingredients.


Who knows where this idea came from, but apparently it's a big thing. It's doubtful that these goodies are worth the extra cost, but people are drawn to the luxury on this one.

Gold Slick Vodka is fairly popular. This vodka has flakes of gold at the bottom. Another liqueur with the gold flakes is known as Gold Water. This particular product comes from Europe. It looks pretty in the bottle, that's for sure.

Gold is also often used in decorating cakes and other sweets. The flakes make a special finish to the product.

Beaver Castoreum

What is beaver castoreum anyways? It is certainly not for the squeamish that's for sure. This is one of those things similar to hot dogs, it's better to live in mystery. Beaver castoreum is apparently used to enhance raspberry flavoring. It is found in gum, candies and other foods. So what is this beaver castoreum? It is also known as beaver anal juice. Not kidding.


This product just recently became popular, but it was fairly unheard of for a long time. It is the same consistency as peanut butter, but made of hazelnuts. Nutella is very sweet and is made with cocoa, so it tastes very much like a chocolate spread. For those who love chocolate, Nutella is something to covet. The product is very rich, can be used on just about anything and is excellent for baking. It should be used sensibly though as it fairly high in calories and fat.


The parsnip is a vegetable that doesn't get a lot of attention and not often seen on the menu. It is used in herb recipes. Parsnips are very nutritious and low in calories. It is rich in fiber and vitamin C. Parsnips are excellent roasted. Another good use for them is in mashed potatoes. Using half the amount of potatoes and substituting in parsnips for the other half is a great way to lighten up herb recipes or mashed potatoes without taking away any of the flavor. They mash well too.


This is an Asian ingredient also known as fermented black beans. It is not actually black beans though, it is soybeans that have turned black from the fermenting process. Douchi is generally used for making sauces and pastes for stir fries. Douchi also makes a good marinade for roasted meats. Sometimes these soy beans are added to meals whole, but that is not very common.

Bee Pollen

Bee pollen consists of both honey and the bee's pollen. It is used to make bread and used in herb recipes.


This is a Cambodian ingredient that smells like Camembert cheese. The people preserve fish that is gray. It is a similar ingredient to anchovies. Not a lot of this ingredient needs to be used; a little bit goes a long ways. It is the most distinctive food of the culture, used in herb recipes. It goes to show that smelly ingredients aren't to be avoided.