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Archive for February, 2008

Basic Knife Skills

Dani Spies shows some basic knife skills every home cook needs to know to save hours in the kitchen.

February 20, 2008 | By | Reply More

Giada De Laurentiis: Tomato Sauce

Here’s a classic Giada segment. She shows us how to make a basic tomato sauce.

February 20, 2008 | By | Reply More

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Buys Emeril Lagasse

emeril_martha.jpgMartha Stewart Living Omnimedia announced Tuesday that it bought the rights to the Emeril Lagasse franchise of cookbooks, television shows and kitchen products for $45 million in cash and $5 million in stock at closing. The final price could rise to up to $70 million if certain benchmarks are achieved.

Stewart did not acquire Emeril’s Homebase, which includes Lagasse’s 11 restaurants and corporate office.

Lagasse will remain the host of the Food Network’s “Essence of Emeril,” but the network canceled production of “Emeril Live” late last year, though it continues to air new episodes in 2008.

Martha Stewart Living said the deal will “contribute immediately to our performance,” adding $8 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. The acquired assets generated $14 million in revenue in 2007. Martha Stewart Living expects the deal to close in the second quarter.

[Yahoo News]

February 20, 2008 | By | Reply More

Mongolian Barbecue Stir-Fry Recipe

mongolianbbq.jpg

As the legend goes, Mongolian barbecue was one of the weapons that Genghis Kahn used in conquering China. His soldiers turned their metal shields upside down over their campfires and used them as bowls to cook meat and vegetables with the rich, delicious smelling sauce. Upon smelling the enticing aroma, the opposing soldiers would surrender.

This easy stir-fry is a Chinese restaurant favorite, traditionally made with beef strips stir-fried with onions, scallions, and peppers in a spicy sauce. This recipe will show you how to make the traditional version or use tofu instead to make it vegetarian. Add cabbage, carrots, and bean sprouts for a unique and fresh touch!

This recipe is vegan and vegetarian, or can be made with meat.

Ingredients

Rice

  • 1 cup dried white rice

Stir-fry

  • peanut oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless beef thinly sliced across the grain OR 16 oz container extra-firm tofu
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled and sliced thin
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
  • 1 green pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 1/2 cup green cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1 large handful mung been sprouts (reserve for garnish)

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup water (traditional. Leave the water out for a thicker, more modern sauce)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
  • 4 star anise (or 1/2 teaspoon normal anise)
  • 3/4 cup rice wine (or dry sherry)
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar (or sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger root
  • 1 1/2 cup cilantro, minced
  • 1 1/2 cup green onions (scallions), chopped

Some ingredients, like star anise, palm sugar, and rice wine can be found in an Asian market.

Preparation

  1. Prepare the sauce. You will want to do this step an hour or so before you begin to cook the rest of the meal. In a sauce pan, bring the soy sauce, water (optional), garlic, pepper, and anise to a simmer, and keep simmering for about five minutes, stirring frequently. Strain out the anise and garlic. Let cool. When cool, add the wine, sugar, ginger, green onions, and most of the cilantro (reserve some cilantro for garnish).
  2. If using tofu, prepare the tofu ahead of time. Cut the tofu into 1/2 inch thick, 1 inch wide strips. Gently press between woven cloth to remove excess moisture. Dry-fry in a Teflon pan over medium heat with NO OIL, pressing with spatula frequently. It is done when firm and golden on both sides. Once done dry-frying, marinate the tofu directly in the sauce.
  3. Start the rice, following the directions for whatever variety you have.
  4. Wash and chop any vegetables and cut the meat if you are using it.
  5. Start the fire. Mongolian barbecue is traditionally prepared in a large wok or a large cast iron pan over open flames. Use a grill or fire with a very hot temperature. A lively-flaming wood fire is ideal. (If a fire is not possible, cook over high heat on an indoor range). Let your wok or pan get extremely hot before starting, and use only enough peanut oil to prevent sticking.
  6. The searing will not work well if there is too much oil or if the pan is not large enough to accommodate all of your vegetables without making the cooking vegetables build up excess water.
  7. Sear. Throw all ingredients (except mung bean sprouts) in the pan and toss as they cook so that the vegetables and meat or tofu are seared against the hot metal. Ideally, there should be places on the vegetables or meat that are black, but don’t let it burn. The flavor should be seared and smoky, but not bitter and charred.
  8. Once seared, at the very end of cooking, toss the sauce with everything in your wok/pan, adding only enough to coat. Allow the sauce to thicken slightly and the food to cook a little longer. The onions and cabbage when done should be crunchy and only barely translucent around the edges.
  9. Serve immediately over rice. Garnish with mung bean sprouts and cilantro. Enjoy!

[HubPages]

February 20, 2008 | By | Reply More

Largest Beef Recall In US History!

On Monday, a Californian meatpacker recalled the largest amount of beef in US history. Agriculture officials played down the risk to humans after Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing agreed to take back more than 143 million pounds of raw and frozen meet when it was found in violation of inspection rules.

The company, based in Chino, California, voluntarily recalled the beef after the federal Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) determined the cattle “did not receive complete and proper inspection.”

The company did not “consistently contact the FSIS public health veterinarian in situations in which cattle became non-ambulatory” before being slaughtered, the USDA statement said Sunday. Federal rules usually ban the slaughter of “downer cattle” — those unable to walk — as a safeguard against mad cow disease or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

America’s meat packing industry has already been plagued by outbreaks of E. coli bacteria and other problems.

In September, Topps Meats Co. of New Jersey recalled 21.7 million pounds of frozen hamburger patties after people in New York and Florida fell ill because of E. coli poisoning.The New Jersey company later filed for bankruptcy because the recall involved a full year’s worth of production.

The largest previous recall involved 35 million pounds of ready-to-eat meats in 1999.

[Yahoo News]

February 20, 2008 | By | Reply More