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Posts filed under 'Techniques'

Your Best Vegetarian Recipes

Ellen and I have recently been doing a sort of theme-week for our dinners. We’re trying to eat much healthier and cut out fatty foods. After Thanksgiving, it seems everyone is burnt out on poultry. On Christmas, we have prime rib, and since we don’t eat red meat often, we’re cutting back on that until then.

That left us with seafood for this week. For next week, we were thinking of all vegetarian meals. We haven’t experimented much with tofu but would love to try. We do some good vegetable sautées as side dishes. So, I ask you:

What’s your best/favorite/most tasty/easiest vegetarian recipe?

Use the comments section below to recommend yours!

4 comments November 30th, 2006

How To Achieve Perfect Grill Marks

Ever wonder how to achieve perfect cross hatched grill marks and still live within the cardinal rule of only turning meat once? Well, here’s how!

Imagine the grill is the face of a clock, with the back of the grill being 12 o’clock. Place the cold meat on the grill pointing to 10 o’clock. Let the meat sear, then rotate it, without flipping, to the 2 o’clock position. At this point, we’re done searing the meat on this side, and we’re just trying to achieve grill marks. With a 10 oz steak about 3/4″ thick, this would be about 2 minutes in each position.

Now we flip the meat to the other side, letting it sit facing 5 o’clock. After searing on this side, rotate it, without flipping, to the 7 o’clock position. Allow the meat to cook to your desired level of doneness. You now have perfect cross hatched grill marks, with ease!

Add comment June 15th, 2006

Frying Bacon

Ever hestitate to make bacon to save yourself the mess of grease spatters all over the stove?

Cooking bacon over a high heat is not only messy, but it can also be detrimental to your health. Bacon is cured with a liquid brine that contains small amounts of sodium nitrite. This preservative aids in controlling and inhibits the growth of Clostridium botulinum, the bacterium that causes botulism. According to a study by J.W. Pensabene, W. Fiddler, R.A. Gates, J.C. Fagan and A.E. Wasserman, sodium nitrite can react with amino acids to form a carcinogen called nitrosamines. This nitrite-to-nitrosamine reaction can be exacerbated by high heat — a great reason to cook bacon at moderate temperatures.

Lowering the cooking temperature drives moisture more slowly from the bacon. Moisture explodes in hot grease and causes the mess we’re used to. Knowing this bit of information, we have a better way of frying bacon: place bacon strips in a cool frying pan and place over medium-low heat. This results in a nice slow sizzle keeping all of the grease in the pan and not on your stovetop. In addition to less mess, you have peace of mind in knowing that you are cooking without the risk of forming nitrosamines.

If you are still concerned about grease splatters, I suggest picking up an inexpensive splatter screen to place over your frying pan.

Add comment June 11th, 2006


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