Friday, November 30, 2007

Converting a Stovetop Recipe to a Crockpot Recipe

Converting a Stovetop Recipe to a Crockpot Recipe
by: tony buel

Crockpots vary but the low setting is typically around 100 degrees and its high setting is around 300 degrees.

Knowing this, it is fairly easy to convert most recipes for use in your slow cooker. Some adjusments to cooking times will be a judgement call on your part, but some simple guidelines should help. Just follow a few simple rules and you're on your way.

You should decrease the liquid since it does not boil away in a crockpot.

Add cheeses and other milk product towards the end of your cooking since they tend to break down if they are cooked for too long.

Brown any ground beef before adding to the crockpot. It will taste better and have better texture this way.

Add rice and noodles at the end of your cooking as well. They will turn mushy if they are cooked too long. You can cook these separately and then combine them when it's time to serve.

Add your spices at the end.

If a stovetop recipe calls for 15-30 minutes, the crockpot should cook it for 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 hrs at a high temperature and 4 - 8 hours at its low temperature setting.

If a stovetop recipe calls for 35-45 minutes, the crockpot should cook it for 3-4 hrs at a high temperature setting and 6 - 10 hours at its low temperature setting.

If a stovetop recipe calls for 50 min to 3 hours, the crockpot should cook it for 4 - 6 hrs at a high temperature setting and 8 - 16 hours at its low temperature setting.

Following these guidelines will allow you to be able to convert a stovetop recipe to its delicious slow cooking counterpart!


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About the author:

Tony's website www.my-crockpot-recipesprovides hundreds of delicious and easy to make crockpot recipes

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Affordable Gourmet-style Recipes

Affordable Gourmet-style Recipes
by: ARA

(ARA) - Looking for recipe ideas that are easy to follow, inexpensive and relatively guilt-free too? Try incorporating an American household favorite -- canned tuna!

For something a little different that promises to please guests and family, Bumble Bee provides some delightful, recipe ideas made with canned tuna’s new gold label Prime Fillet. Keep this gourmet quality solid white albacore tuna ready in the pantry for parties, unexpected guests or family get-togethers. Then, whip up an affordable gourmet-style meal that will have your guests convinced you’ve prepared something truly elaborate and extravagant. As an added bonus, they will enjoy canapés or entrées that are delectable, but without those serious calories.

Specially developed by two of California’s leading chefs, here are recipes that demonstrate how canned tuna is no ordinary ingredient.

* Mediterranean-Style Rigatoni Pasta with Prime Fillet Albacore

Recipe by Chef de Cuisine Fabrice Poigin, Bertrand at Mister A’s, San Diego

This simple and flavorful pasta dish with a Mediterranean flair is ideal whether sitting down to dinner with the family or celebrating with guests. Chef Fabrice suggests complementing this with a glass of 2001 Spottswood Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc. Serves 4.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

4 ounces unsalted butter

1 large sweet onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice

2 red bell peppers, deseeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 vine ripe tomato, diced

5 cloves of garlic, minced

A sprig of rosemary

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 small jar of Spanish olives (green olives stuffed with pimientos), drained

2 6-ounce cans of Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Solid White Albacore, drained

1/2 pound rigatoni pasta

1 tablespoon thinly sliced chives

Dry aged parmesan, grated

Pinch of crushed red hot pepper flakes (optional)

Directions: Bring water to boil in a large pot according to package directions in preparation for cooking the rigatoni pasta. Heat 2/3 of the olive oil and 4 ounces of unsalted butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until nearly hot but not smoking. Add diced onions and cook for approximately 5 minutes until soft. Add diced red bell peppers, reducing to low-medium heat and cook until peppers are soft. Add diced tomato, minced garlic and 1/3 teaspoon of rosemary sprig leaves. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Cover and cook over low heat for another 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of dry white wine and simmer for 5 minutes. Then, add drained whole olives and Bumble Bee Prime Fillet tuna in solid pieces to sautéed mixture. Cover and cook until tuna is heated through (approximately 3 to 5 minutes).

Cook the rigatoni pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to the package directions or until al dente. Drain the pasta in a colander, leaving behind a little moisture. Toss the pasta, tuna sauce and water, then place in a serving dish or on individual plates. Drizzle remaining olive oil over the top and garnish with thinly sliced chives and grated dry aged parmesan. Top with a pinch of crushed red hot pepper flakes, if you prefer a little more bite.

* Delicate, Festive Albacore Tuna Canape

Recipe by Chef de Cuisine Fabrice Poigin, Bertrand at Mister A’s, San Diego

An easy-to-follow, elegant-style canapé for entertaining guests or just treating yourself to a unique way of serving up albacore tuna! Serves 6 to 8.

Ingredients:

1 6-ounce can of Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Solid White Albacore, drained

2 finely diced shallots

1 tablespoon chives, thinly sliced

1 soup spoon crème fraiche

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Sourdough bread (optional)

3 ounces of comté cheese or aged white cheddar, sliced thinly

Extra crème fraiche for garnish (optional)

1/2 ounce domestic caviar (optional)

Chervil sprigs (optional)

Directions: Mix together Prime Fillet tuna, shallots, chives, crème fraiche, and salt and pepper. Spoon mixture onto toasted triangles of sourdough bread or into Chinese ceramic serving spoons. Top each serving mixture with a slice of cheese and place in a pre-heated oven (300 degrees) until cheese begins to melt -- approximately 3 minutes. Remove toasties or Chinese spoons from the oven and top individually with a dot of crème fraiche, and then a dot of caviar (optional). Finish with a sprig of chervil to garnish.

* Prime Fillet Albacore Tuna and Potato Casserole

Recipe by Chef Gerald Hirigoyen, owner and executive chef, Piperade and Fringale Restaurants, San Francisco

Recognized in Food & Wine magazine’s 2003 Top Ten Best New Wine Lists, Chef Gerald suggests complementing this entrée with a glass of 2001 Turnbull Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc. Serves 4.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup olive oil

2 large onions, thinly sliced

4 medium Anaheim chilies, seeded and thinly sliced

2 bay leaves

8 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered

1 cup dry white wine

3 cups vegetable stock or canned vegetable broth

6 to 8 saffron threads

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

1 mild dried chili pepper

4 6-ounce cans of Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Solid White Albacore, drained

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Pinch of piment d’Espelette (Basque chili pepper) or mild cayenne powder

Directions: Warm 1/2 cup olive oil in a large casserole over high heat. Add onions, Anaheim chilies, bay leaves, and garlic and sauté for 10 minutes. Add the potatoes, wine, vegetable stock, and saffron. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Add salt, pepper, and dried chili pepper, and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the tuna and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, or until warmed through. Stir only occasionally to avoid breaking apart the fish. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Discard the bay leaves before serving. Serve in shallow soup bowls, and sprinkle with the parsley and piment d’Espelette.

Look for Bumble Bee Prime Fillet’s upside-down gold can in most supermarkets nationwide. For more information on Bumble Bee, visit www.bumblebee.com.

Courtesy of ARA Content



About the author:
Courtesy of ARA Content

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Choosing Foods For Your Special Event

Choosing Foods For Your Special Event
by: Sintilia Miecevole

Choosing the right menu for a special event can be just as important as choosing a location. Food can communicate a theme, convey a feeling or set the mood of an entire night. If you are planning a high-class extravaganza, hot dogs and beer might not be appropriate. However, they might be the perfect choice for a birthday party at the lake. Taking great care in planning a menu shows your guests how much you appreciate them, and a great meal can help make a special day even more memorable.

If you are planning a birthday party for your child, an interactive meal can be a fun activity for your guests. Rather than slaving away in the kitchen all day or spending countless dollars ordering pizzas, you can save time and money by letting the guests make their own special creations. One fun idea is to prepare a multitude of toppings and let the children make their own bagel or English muffin pizzas. They will have a blast piling on strange combinations of toppings, and they will enjoy feeling like grown-ups in the kitchen.

For a more formal occasion like a holiday party, finger foods can be great for mingling guests, and they can be great topics of conversation. The obligatory finger sandwich can be spiced up by adding your own special pesto or cheese spread to an already tried and true recipe. Experiment with different ingredients in the weeks prior to the party, and test them out on your family. You will know when you get the reaction you are looking for, and you might end up spending much of the party writing down your recipe for your guests.

Planning a menu for a wedding can be quite stressful, especially when you are not sure exactly how many guests will be attending. The rule of thumb is that too much is better than not enough, even if it means having a lot of food left over at the end of the night. You can choose to have a buffet-style dinner, or you can have a set menu for your guests. It is important to consider your guests with special dietary needs. You should have vegetarian and low-sodium alternatives to your main courses, and you should have a heart-healthy menu for those who must avoid foods with high fat contents.

Before attempting a large-scale meal, you should make all of the dishes several times to perfect your recipes. Your goal is to have guests asking for more even after it all runs out. Test your creations on a variety of people and make adjustments according to their suggestions. When cooking food from your own recipes, it is important to remember the details of what you did every time you make it. That way you will know what went wrong when something turns out horrible, and more importantly what went right when you receive raving reviews.

Planning portions is the most important part of catering your own party. Though most recipes tell you how many people they will feed, it is best to err on the side of caution. If a recipe feeds eight, you might want to count it as six or seven, depending on how many guests you expect. Plan that half of your guests will want to go back for seconds. If you know that one dish will be a favorite, be sure to make extra. Though the green beans may be the healthier option, you can usually bet that the cheesecake will go a lot quicker. Keep in mind that the greater the variety, the more people you will please, so even if you are a steamed vegetable lover, you should probably prepare some beefy options for your less than health conscious guests.

About the author:
Sintilia Miecevole's resourceful and most interesting site http://www.fufood.com provides you with all kinds of food information such as cooking sites, great recipes, meal ideas, catering, nutrition, gifts, organic, cooking advice and much more. Be sure to visit http://www.fufood.com and enjoy the best of food!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cake Pans

Cake Pans
by: Zorana Durkovic


Cake pans….the secret behind every successful cake. My husband tells me that if I am the most luscious cake of his life. Well, who am I to disagree with him as long as he is happy being my cake pan?

When we were shopping for our wedding decorations, wedding dresses and wedding cakes, we gave a decent thought to the wedding cake pans. I would suggest that whenever you go for it chose one which has money back guarantee and warrantees. A one stop cake shop online or a retail cake shop will have the best deals in cake pans, with interesting varieties put to effect.

We had to choose from a lot of cake pans. Look at the variety we had with respect to the wedding cake pans. We finally chose an aluminum cake pan for long lasting baking performance. If you want to know the size it was 11 3/4 x 11 3/4 x 2 in. deep. It could be used for a lot of things like casseroles, desserts etc. We baked the wedding cake traditionally courtesy our family chef, from the same wedding cake pan.


Of course on our wedding Mr. Gillian, (my nephew’s friend; he loves cakes a lot and believes that cake pans are more important than cakes) gifted us with a wedding cake pan. It plays a stellar role in the kitchen. It has a smart design and it is non sticky as well. It has a double coating and does not make the food messy. You should check out the long handles for lifting the can without causing any discomfort.

I have been intrigued by the subject of wedding cake pans. I recommend most of my friends and people I know to check out the best deals on the web for them. It contains exhaustive information and comparative features of every cake can, that in the end you will feel ‘baked’ enough. But seriously speaking, I have used some of them, and so has my chef. Our experiences say that we should go for one which is durable, versatile and is easy on your cooking.

Check out the words from my chef’s mouth: If your wedding cake is what it is, it is because of your wedding cake pan.




About the author:
If you would like to see hundreds of wedding cake pictures, read some more tips or find cake supply visit me at
www.cakechannel.com

Friday, November 16, 2007

American Fast Food Restaurants

American Fast Food Restaurants
by: Mark Woodcock

As a staple of life our need to eat has developed from a basic form of simply feeding our bodies with the fuel it requires, to a complicated art of presentation and taste combined with our intrinsic need to experiment with everything we see, touch, smell and of course taste.

The ever-increasing divergence of foods that is now available to us at our local stores and eating-places only help to confuse and tantalise us into new culinary experiments and delights.

From the sandwich shop to the award winning restaurants, we can always find a place that prepares and sells the food we want at a reasonable price, although cooking or preparing food for ourselves may be a cheaper or healthier option it never seems to taste the same as our local restaurant. Most people that have cooked their own versions and varieties of local, Chinese, Indian or other international cuisine believes it does not have the same taste or texture and will often opt for a more authentic meal from their local restaurant or take away.

Cooking at home has become less of a choice and more of a chore. With the large amount of ready meals available, the option of spending time in the kitchen becomes less and less appealing. People are spending more of their time and money in the world of fast foods and restaurants. Although some believe this to be a bad thing it has fuelled a new market in available meals that are only a phone call away. As long as the health and hygiene departments vet these establishments and our choices are varied, of good quality and healthy their use can be a good alternative to cooking our own meals.

With the onset of fast foods and the quick cook and ready cooked meals available along with the ever increasing choice of world cuisine, the enjoyment of these different foods have opened new options to the consumer within the food market.

In today's busy world where leisure time has become more and more important, the less time spent working and preparing to eat allows us more available time for our pursuit of our leisure activities.

People who do not have the ability, time or will to cook at home now only have to pick up the phone book or click on the Internet in order to find their local restaurant or fast food retailer that will be more than happy to deliver the freshly prepared hot food ready to eat straight to their door with minimum fuss.

Although the fast food retailers compete with each other fiercely, using their special offers and cheaper and healthier alternatives to entice us to their premises, the main stay of traditional restaurants still hold an important part in our lives.

Even though these places are vastly out numbered by the fast food industry, we still enjoy sitting down in the nice comfortable and pleasant surroundings of a restaurant and dining on good quality food at a leisurely pace, leaving behind the hustle and bustle of daily life and the fast food rush.

Traditional restaurants will always offer us that pleasant alternative to eating at home, ordering take out from our local fast food dispenser or visiting their drive through or small busy café style restaurants. Not forgetting those special occasions or romantic rendezvous, these still command the need for that quiet stylish quality restaurant where we know that the food wine and service will always be excellent and the experience wonderful and charming.

About the author:
Learn the essential information for picking the right restaurant at New York Restaurants

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Choosing Foods For Your Special Event

Choosing Foods For Your Special Event
by: Sintilia Miecevole

Choosing the right menu for a special event can be just as important as choosing a location. Food can communicate a theme, convey a feeling or set the mood of an entire night. If you are planning a high-class extravaganza, hot dogs and beer might not be appropriate. However, they might be the perfect choice for a birthday party at the lake. Taking great care in planning a menu shows your guests how much you appreciate them, and a great meal can help make a special day even more memorable.

If you are planning a birthday party for your child, an interactive meal can be a fun activity for your guests. Rather than slaving away in the kitchen all day or spending countless dollars ordering pizzas, you can save time and money by letting the guests make their own special creations. One fun idea is to prepare a multitude of toppings and let the children make their own bagel or English muffin pizzas. They will have a blast piling on strange combinations of toppings, and they will enjoy feeling like grown-ups in the kitchen.

For a more formal occasion like a holiday party, finger foods can be great for mingling guests, and they can be great topics of conversation. The obligatory finger sandwich can be spiced up by adding your own special pesto or cheese spread to an already tried and true recipe. Experiment with different ingredients in the weeks prior to the party, and test them out on your family. You will know when you get the reaction you are looking for, and you might end up spending much of the party writing down your recipe for your guests.

Planning a menu for a wedding can be quite stressful, especially when you are not sure exactly how many guests will be attending. The rule of thumb is that too much is better than not enough, even if it means having a lot of food left over at the end of the night. You can choose to have a buffet-style dinner, or you can have a set menu for your guests. It is important to consider your guests with special dietary needs. You should have vegetarian and low-sodium alternatives to your main courses, and you should have a heart-healthy menu for those who must avoid foods with high fat contents.

Before attempting a large-scale meal, you should make all of the dishes several times to perfect your recipes. Your goal is to have guests asking for more even after it all runs out. Test your creations on a variety of people and make adjustments according to their suggestions. When cooking food from your own recipes, it is important to remember the details of what you did every time you make it. That way you will know what went wrong when something turns out horrible, and more importantly what went right when you receive raving reviews.

Planning portions is the most important part of catering your own party. Though most recipes tell you how many people they will feed, it is best to err on the side of caution. If a recipe feeds eight, you might want to count it as six or seven, depending on how many guests you expect. Plan that half of your guests will want to go back for seconds. If you know that one dish will be a favorite, be sure to make extra. Though the green beans may be the healthier option, you can usually bet that the cheesecake will go a lot quicker. Keep in mind that the greater the variety, the more people you will please, so even if you are a steamed vegetable lover, you should probably prepare some beefy options for your less than health conscious guests.

About the author:
Sintilia Miecevole's resourceful and most interesting site http://www.fufood.com provides you with all kinds of food information such as cooking sites, great recipes, meal ideas, catering, nutrition, gifts, organic, cooking advice and much more. Be sure to visit http://www.fufood.com and enjoy the best of food!