Tips to Braise Meat

If you want to enjoy a gourmet meal using inexpensive cuts of meat then you’ll want to learn how to “braise”. Braising means browning the meat oil and/or butter then slowly cooking in a covered roasting pan. The meat is covered in a liquid which usually includes some combination of water, broth and red or white wine. Cooking time can take from one to several hours as this method is used to tenderize and intensify the flavors in the meat and accompanying vegetables. Despite the time frame, most recipes are usually fairly simple and don’t require any advanced skills.

Follow these basic steps and you and your family or friends will thoroughly enjoy the results.

Step 1-Choose your favorite cut of meat. Lamb, beef, veal or pork shanks are very common in these recipes. Beef shoulder roast, chuck roast or brisket are also good choices. These cuts are usually tougher with higher levels of collagen. Collagen, when cooked at low temperatures for an extended time creates a gelatin which helps the tenderizing process. You can use chicken but it should not be skinless and bone should be in. Legs and thighs work best. The real secret is in the slow cooking.

Step 2-Brown the meat in some type of fat… olive oil, butter or some combination suggested in the particular recipe. The browning process is intended to add color and flavor enhancement. Frequently, the recipe may call for rolling the meat in flour seasoned with salt and fresh ground pepper. Again… a flavor enhancement. The browning process is done in a Dutch oven or large heavy pot with a lid. The browning step may take 10 -20 minutes to cover all sides of the meat. It only cooks the surface of the meat and the searing locks in flavor.

Some tips… the meat should be patted dry and free of moisture or it will “steam” more than brown… don’t crowd the meat so any moisture can escape. Size of the portions, if not whole, should be the roughly the same for even cooking.

Step 3-Add liquids. As I mentioned earlier, depending on the type of meat and recipe, you can use wine, water, stock/broth… usually a combination of these liquids. At this point you will usually add onions, garlic, spices, vegetables and any other flavoring you may like. Some cooks/recipes say don’t cover the meat & vegetables entirely. I have covered with liquid and the results are very good.

Step 4-Cover the Dutch oven or pan. You can cook over a stove top or in the oven. I prefer the oven as it provides more even cooking on all sides and results in the best flavor and tenderizing. Follow the recipe for the correct oven temperature. Remember it will always be low… 300-325* or less.

Here are some typical cooking times…

Lamb shanks… 4-6 each a pound… 2 ½ hours

Veal shanks… 4-6 each a pound… 2-2 ½ hours

Shoulder roast… 3-4 pounds… roughly an hour per pound

Chicken (remember bone in/skin on)… 1-1 ½ hours

Give ‘braising” a try… you don’t have to be a gourmet cook to enjoy a wonderful meal!

Tricks To Store Your Food On Fridge Correctly

If you have left home for the first time and set up in your very own home or apartment, you might be a little confused about how to store food correctly in your fridge and many of you might not even know that proper storage can actually help to reduce the risks of getting food poisoning. It is always wise to try and learn about food storage practices as a bad case of food poisoning can be extremely bad for your health and could even possibly cause death.

Fridge Storage

There are a number of different foods that need to be stored in a fridge in order to stop bacteria growing on them. These items will usually state that they should be ‘kept refrigerated’ and will have a use by date. Any foods that have been removed from their original packaging should be kept in sanitary bags that are sealed tight.

You should also keep your fridge at or below 5C, never store food in their open cans, and should never put food in the fridge until it has cooled down. Keeping your fridge clean is also very important for the practice of good hygiene.

Storing Meat

Most of you will know that you should store meat in the fridge if you are not planning on cooking and eating it straight away. All meat and poultry should be stored either in clean sealed container or sealed sanitary bags that are air tight. They should also be stored on the bottom shelf of the fridge so that they will not drip onto another type of food.

Never use meat that has gone past its use by date and always keep any uncooked meat away from cooked meat as it could cause cross contamination.

When and What to Freeze

When it comes to your freezer, there are also certain rules about what you should or should not be putting in there. If you are going to freeze anything, make sure you freeze it before its use by date. When you store meat in the freezer you should make sure that it is wrapped tightly in a sanitary bag.

Finally, whenever you take anything out of the freezer, you should always make sure it is completely defrosted before you cook it.

Summary

Hopefully the little tips above will have taught you a few of the basics about storing food in the fridge and freezer and will enable you to have far less risk of getting food poisoning in the future. Just make sure that you always stick to the rules and use air tight containers or sanitary bags to store any food.

Simple Recipe For Low Carbs Food

Food is known to be the main cause of obesity. Due to this, weight conscious people are very careful about the food that they eat. If you are one of these people, and you love cooking, here are some of the best low carbohydrate recipes that you should go with. The cool thing about the recipes is that you will not only be in control of the amount of calories that you get into your body, you also get to prepare the food at the comfort of your home. The most popular low carb recipes include:

Swedish breakfast buns

When many people hear of buns they think of the sugar stuffed monsters but this isn’t the case with these buns. To prepare the buns you need:

· ½ tsp salt

· 2 eggs

· ½ cup sour cream

· ¾ cup of almond flour

· 2 tbsp baking powder

· 1 tbsp sunflower seeds

· 1 tbsp whole flax seeds

· 2 tbsp olive oil

To prepare the buns you need to preheat your oven to 400 degrees and then mix almond flour, baking powder, salt, psyllium, and seeds in a bowl. You should then add sour cream, olive oil, eggs and mix them carefully. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes and then cut the dough into 4 pieces. Shape the pieces into balls and put them in a cake pan and bake them for 20-25 minutes until they have formed a brown color. Once they are done serve with your favorite beverage.

Eggs and vegetables fried in coconut oil

This food is not only healthy, it’s also easy to make. It also keeps you full the entire day thus you don’t have to keep on snacking every now and then. To prepare it you need: frozen vegetable mix, (cauliflower, green bean, carrots, and broccoli), coconut oil, spinach, and spices. You should add coconut oil to the frying pan and turn up the heat. You should then add vegetables, eggs, and spices. If you want, you can add spinach but you don’t have to. Once everything is in the pan, stir until it gets ready.

Shrimp and avocado salad

If you have been looking to lose weight you know that salads are of great importance. To prepare this salad you need:

· ½ cup of fresh chopped cilantro

· 1/8 tsp of fresh cracked pepper

· 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

· 3 tbsp fresh lime juice

· Pinch of salt

· 2 ripe avocados

· 4 cups of baby greens or lettuce

· 1 lb of cooked shrimp. The shrimp should be deveined and tail removed

You should pour the cilantro dressing over the shrimp and stir to coat. After this cover the shrimp and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. You should then wash and dry the lettuce and divide among plates. Thereafter cut avocado into bite-size wedges then top with marinated shrimp and leftover dressing.

Conclusion

You don’t have to gather weight from eating as there are plenty of low carb foods that you can go for. All you need to do is choose the one that is right and easy for you to prepare.

Simply Cooking Ideas

Cooking could be a tiring task for all whether it is working parents, singles or housewives. Preparing lunch boxes for your kids or making lunch and dinner seems like such daunting tasks especially if it is too hot or too cold out there. But why should we worry when we can cook quite easily and conveniently? Feeling confused that how can cooking be easy? Read on to learn how you can switch to easy cooking solutions.

Instead of over burdening yourself, simply adopt easy cooking ideas. No need to go through the tiresome task of baking muffins and breads for breakfast, try smoothies and delectable fruit cereals. To do this, buy a juicer and blender to share your workload and help you create a wonderful breakfast for your loved ones. Juicing is an extremely healthy option for people of all ages and this is why we stress upon using your juicer quite often. Make use of the freshest fruits of the season or try nutritious veggies, all can be done easily if you buy blender that is of top quality.

Research reveals that what you eat has its impact on your brain. So use nuts and seeds to boost the brainpower of your child. Just use a blender to shake nuts and seeds with milk or any other beverage. Make your child have this healthy drink. It improves brain performance so that you and your family gets wholesome nourishment and you better life styles.

Easy cooking not only helps you in kitchen but it also reduces the required cooking time. In such busy routines that we are so accustomed to, we can’t afford to spare 3-4 hours to make curries and casseroles. Buy juicer and food processors to help you make complex recipes without much ado. The time saved will help you spend more quality time with your family. Don’t forget to wear good quality oven gloves when you set out to make a delicious casserole or baked goodies.

Whole grain cereals, berries juices, peanut butter and your favorite veggies all these can be so beneficial to make cooking easy. Buy a blender and make juice, shakes and smoothies along with soups and even porridges.

Buy juicers to make fresh juice of berries, as berries are full of powerful antioxidants which promote strong cognitive function and protect you from negative health issues. How can we forget an avocado here which contributes to healthy blood flow, leading to impressive growth of body and brain. The fruit is also famous for lowering the blood pressure too.

Whether you are into juicing or not, it is a fact that having fresh fruit juice at any time of the day is far more satiating than processed foods and unhealthy items. Make your families habitual of eating vegetables as they are main source of vitamins and full of fuel for healthy brain function.

Do not over-cook them; just stir fry them to save nutritious value that is so important for us. Use green vegetables like spinach, broccoli, cucumber, collard green and cabbage etc., these are powerhouses of minerals and vitamins and these can be cooked in merely minutes.

So do not become sick or afraid of cooking, instead go for easy cooking ideas and choose the most effective ways to nourish your family.