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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Eating Healthy in a Fast Food World




It is possible to still eat healthy in this fast food world of ours, and here are a couple pointers.
Enlarge ImageRushing to Eat

People’s lives have become so busy and rushing around, that we no longer eat the way we should. In some places, there is a McDonald’s on every major corner, if not some other fast food restaurant. Watching TV, you see a commercial for some kind of food place almost every time commercials are on, urging you to eat there because it’s good and you can get it fast and cheap. With so many distractions and obligations, families have these days, how do you eat healthy in a fast food world? It’s not an easy thing to do but is possible with planning and knowing what to look for. This isn’t to say fast food can’t be consumed occasionally, but it should be less often than people are doing it now. Not to mention that our food is so processed that it takes five minutes to cook and has high carbohydrates among other things that are not digested quickly. This is leading to obesity in the population.

The Truth About Whole Grain

Because food is so processed these days to make it faster to cook, as well as more convenient for the way our lives have become, it is actually not as good for you as it once was. Recently the food administration even changed the food pyramid to coincide with how we eat these days and food is made. They are suggesting more whole grains than ever before, as well as vegetables. This may sound like what has been told to children for years, but even whole grains are deceiving on packaging these days. With all the new diets out there for low carb, no carb, low fat, no fat, etc., foods are coming out that say whole grain but are just as processed as its white counterpart. They are made with enriched wheat. This process takes out all the nutrients and other things that take time to digest for a healthy life. Reading the ingredient is a good way to find the real whole grain product. They are now more expensive than the over processed product because manufacturers could make the enriched version cheaper and faster. To eat healthy you have to read the labels of everything you consume.

Healthy Choices at Fast Food Eateries

The truth is that you really can’t eat healthy at any fast food restaurant. They aren’t designed for those trying or needing to watch what they put in their mouth. But you can make better decisions. Don’t’ eat the bread if you can stand not too. It’s along the lines of the South Beach Diet but that’s where lots of your weight gaining properties are. Don’t get anything fried, this includes French fries, onion rings, or even fried chicken. Get a diet pop, tea, or water. Avoid the desert and the salad, both have sugar in them and I don’t just mean in the toppings. Watch "Super Size Me" for a real eye opener. The show is on McDonald’s but you can bet that all fast food restaurants are basically the same. Limit how often you eat fast food to once per week, if that fast. Get a wrap at Subway instead of a toasted sub. Less bread and just as filling with all the fixings you want. When you get pizza, get vegetables on it so you aren’t just eating bread, sauce, cheese, and pepperoni. Remember just how bad fast food is for you, your waistline, and your cholesterol. Even if you are fifteen, you should be thinking about how it will affect you later in life. Starting early will make it easier on your body as you age.

Eating at Home

The best thing to do is find a way to cook meals most nights of the week. This can take planning and team work. Have at least one non-meat dish every week. It doesn’t have to be fish or seafood either. Don’t use fast cooking rich to go with your meals. Those are again loaded with carbohydrates, which take your body longer to break down and will make you hungry sooner than you should be. Plan weekly meals so that you can cook casseroles and other easy to reheat dishes early in the week for days you will not have time to cook. Utilize your crock-pot and get a recipe book for it. You can make just about anything in a crock pot these days and have a good meal when you get home. Have salad a few times a week with dinner, but watch how much dressing you put on it. Have desert, but make it Jell-O. Indulge once in a while to though and it won’t feel like you are depriving yourself of anything.

D. David Dugan is a supporter of http://health.divinfo.com, a site devoted to promoting good health, and http://retirement.divinfo.com, a site designed to provide people of all ages helpful retirement information. Health Information
A unique collection of information to improve you and your health.
By David Dugan

Grilled Hamburger Recipes



The perfect grilled hamburger is a matter of immense practice! Here are some interesting grilled hamburger recipes to prepare at home.Grilled hamburgers are one of the most preferred food items many working people opt for when on the run! Hamburgers in general, are amongst the most popular foods especially in the United States. Making the perfect hamburger is a matter of ample practice! A juicy grilled hamburger on a lazy afternoon at a picnic with family is one of the typical scenes especially at weekends. If you love your grilled hamburgers homemade then here are some special grilled hamburger recipes you can use to prepare these at home.

Grilled Hamburger Recipe #1:
Ingredients
Ground chuck (1 1/2 pounds)
Grated onion (2 tablespoons)
Seasoned salt and pepper
Sliced tomatoes - optional
Sliced pickles - optional
Sliced onion - optional
Lettuce - optional
Condiments - as desired
Tomato juice (2 tablespoons)
Fine dry bread crumbs (3 tablespoons)
Worcestershire sauce (2 teaspoons)
Garlic powder – optional (1/2 teaspoon)

Preparation
First you need to prepare the grill for high heat. Then, combine the beef with the bread crumbs and add the tomato juice, garlic powder, grated onion and the Worcestershire sauce. Then, you need to shape the meat into 4 patties. Now, use the salt and pepper and sprinkle it on both sides for seasoning. Place the burgers on a grill that has been oiled lightly. Grill these burgers for about 6 minutes evenly on each side. Once done, serve it with toasted buns along with some vegetables and condiments of your choice.

Grilled Hamburger Recipe #2:
Ingredients
Ground beef (2 lbs)
Breadcrumbs (1 cup)
Egg (1)
Salt and pepper
Dried chives (1 dash)
Salsa (8 tablespoons)
Small red onion - sliced (1)
American cheese (8 slices)
Tomatoes – sliced long (2)
Ranch dip (1 tablespoon)
Fresh cilantro (2 teaspoons)
Lettuce - shredded (1 cup)
Flour tortillas -8 in (8)
Ground red pepper (1 dash)

Preparation
First, place the ground beef in a bowl and combine with the breadcrumbs, red pepper, eggs and chives. Sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste. Then, divide this into 4 sections. Now, add the salsa and the cilantro to each section. Make large circular patties out of this and cut it in half. Place this on the hot barbeque. Let it cook for 6 minutes evenly on both sides. Now, add each to a flour tortilla and also add the cheese. Once done, fold over. Grill again for a few minutes till the cheese melts! Serve hot.

Grilled Hamburger Recipe #3:
Ingredients
Sour cream (3 tablespoons)
Hamburger buns – split (2)
Tomato slices (2)
Lettuce leaves (2)
Dijon mustard (3 tablespoons)
Lean ground beef (10 ounces)
Chopped fresh dill (1 1/2 tablespoons)

Preparation
First, prepare the barbeque on medium-high heat. Then mix the sour cream along with the Dijon mustard and the chopped fresh dill together in a large bowl. Then, place around 3 tablespoons of sauce in this bowl. Then, add the meat to the remaining sauce and blend well. Now, you need to divide the meat mixture into two equal proportions. Flatten each to ½ inch thick patty. Use some salt and pepper for seasoning. Then, grill the cut side of the buns till they are toasted well. Grill the patties till they are cooked perfectly. Spread the reserved sauce on the lower area of the buns. Now, you would need to top each with tomato slice, lettuce and burger and serve.
By Kashmira Lad

Burrito - The Taste of America




Taco Bell’s famous burrito by name Cheesy Double Beef burrito is much more economical good value than any other fast food. This can be justified with few strong reasons.As we all know burritos are originated in Mexico but are in popular in America. The reason why, burritos are more popular in America rather than Mexico is - Mexican burritos are very simple and plain with thin tortilla but in American burritos are stuffed with wide varieties with tortilla surrounded in thick layer. Americans have adapted Mexican cuisines very fast because of their unique taste. The ingredients required for both tacos and burritos are same but the size, shape and way of stuffing are varied. Very commonly prepared fast food prepared by Americans are burritos with beans, pinto beans, rice salsa and other stuffing. They won’t use much sea food in tacos but used widely in burritos preferably with shrimp.

Westerners who prefer burritos, suggesting few tips to enjoy this fast food item very well. Burrito with a combination of drink adds more flavor to the item. Few people suggesting to dip the burrito in sauce before taking each bite. A single burrito can be equals average meal consumption by a healthy person whereas the tacos should intake many more.

Taco Bell fast food doesn’t get spoilt or lose flavor after it has been kept for a long time. Cost wise it is much cheaper variety unlike many fast food items and even satisfies the largest appetite. Taco Bell is the only place where the people get this fast food any time even in early hours. As we get combo packs, just like cheesy double beef burrito can have with Fruitista drink which chills off your mouth with pleasant flavor.

Recent news with Taco Bell - it discontinued the production of a famous burrito variety as the competitor launched to serve. The burrito lovers who are the customers of Taco Bell requested to place back the item as they don’t want to lose the delicious menu from Taco Bell. Go get your taco bell coupons today!
By James Bond

Icelandic Cuisine




Icelandic Cuisine
Iceland offers a fine variety of all kinds of food produced locally. The quality is excellent, in part because of a very clean environment.Fish dishes are made from Icelandic fish caught in the waters of the North Atlantic Ocean. Icelanders mostly eat haddock, plaice, halibut, herring, trout, salmon, lobster and shrimp.

Fish is usually dried, smoked, salted or baked and commonly prepared with garlic. Hakarl in Icelandic means shark. What we are talking about here is rotten shark meat which is part of the borramatur, the traditional seasonal Icelandic food. Known for its pungent taste and smell of ammonia, eating hakarl is associated with hardiness and strength. It is often accompanied by brennivin, a local schnapps.

Hakarl is a Greenland or basking shark which has been cured with a particular fermentation process and hung to dry for 4-5 months. Hákarl has a very particular ammonia-rich smell and taste, similar to very strong cheese. It is an acquired taste and many Icelanders never eat it. It is, however, readily available in Icelandic stores all year round and is eaten in all seasons.

One of the most eaten meats is lamb. Lamb dishes are usually served with mustard sauce or cut in fillets. The others are horse and beef. Reindeer meat is considered a special delicacy and is usually very expensive. Small game mostly consists of seabirds (Puffin, Cormorant and the Great Black-backed Gull) and waterfowl (Mallard, Greylag goose and Pink-footed Goose). Since the meat of some seabirds contains fish oil it is placed in a bowl of milk overnight to extract the oil before cooking.

Dairy products are very important to Icelanders. There are over 80 types of cheese made, some of which have won international awards. Available vegetables are cabbage, potatoes, rutabaga, salad, turnips, tomatoes and cucumbers. Iceland relies on imports for fruit except for wild berries.

Brennivin and various types of vodka are the most consumed beverages in Iceland.

Appetizers: Baked cod in leek sauce made with white wine and cream, Fish Pate made of ground fish in a shrimp sauce consisting of heavy cream, fish broth and Icelandic shrimp, Fish Balls made of ground haddock fillets formed into balls and fried usually served with a brown or tomato sauce, Lamb Pate, marinated herring with juniper berries and Icelandic brennivin-schnapps and Salmon Tartar with coriander, caviar and lime-sauce.

Soups: Bread Soup made of rye bread, raisins or prunes, lemon and whipped cream, Egg Soup with eggs, milk and vanilla, Meat Soup with lamb, potatoes, leek, carrots, turnip, celery and rice, Lu Usupa Icelandic Halibut Soup with halibut steaks, white wine vinegar, prunes, butter, flour, lemon and sugar, and a Traditional Fish Soup made of flounder and salmon fillets, Icelandic shrimp, red onion, celery, fish stock, sherry or port, tomato puree, dry white wine and heavy cream.

Meat dishes: Beinlausir fuglar with thin slices of lamb, beef or horse meat rolled up with bacon and simmered, Lamb Fricassee with vegetables (Lambakjot meth graenmeti) small pieces of lamb boiled with cabbage, carrots and turnips, Liver patties (Lifrarbuff) made of ground lamb’s liver, potatoes and onions and Puffin in milk sauce.

Fish dishes: Cod Stew with cod fillets, potatoes, garlic and a Hollandaise sauce, Cooked Herring with Lemon Sauce and Potato Ring in a lemon sauce, Lightly Boiled Salted Cod (Baccalau) with iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and a garlic sauce and Whole Salmon with Beets and Apples.

Traditional Fish Soup
Ingredients
For 6-8 pers :
3-4 tbsp butter or oil
1 red onion, cut in julienne
½ leek (white part only) cut into thin slices
1 stalk celery, cut into small pieces
2 quarts fish stock or mild chicken stock
250 ml (10 oz) heavy cream
2-3 oz dry sherry or port
1 small can (70 g/2 oz) tomato puree
5-6 strings saffron
1-3 tbsp vine vinegar (f. ex. tarragon)
½ cup dry white wine
8 oz Flounder fillet, cut into small pieces
8 oz salmon fillet, cut into small pieces
6 oz Icelandic Shrimp (salad prawns)
salt and white pepper
Directions
Melt the butter in a pot, add all the vegetables and sweat for 4-6 min. Add the stock, cream, sherry, tomato puree, saffron, vinegar and white wine. Boil for 6-8 min. Add the fish and bring to boil again, add the prawns. After this the soup may not boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and a little butter would not harm.

Cooked Herring with Lemon Sauce and Potato Ring
Ingredients
2 lb Herring
water
salt
Potato ring:
1 1/2 lb potatoes
1 Grated or chopped Onion
2 Slices white bread
2 eggs
1/2 c milk
1/4 c butter
salt and pepper to taste
Lemon sauce:
2 tb butter or margarine
2 tb flour
2 c fish broth
2 egg yolks
1/2 ts salt (if fish broth is not sufficiently salted)
Juice of 1 lemon
Directions
Peel potatoes and cook until soft. Drain and mash or rice the potatoes. Cover bread with milk and let stand for a few minutes. Mix together the potatoes, grated onion, bread, and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Add melted butter and beaten egg yolks. Beat egg whites stiff and fold in. butter a ring mold and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Put potato mixture into mold and bake in a moderate oven (375F) until nicely browned. Turn out on serving platter. While potato ring is baking, clean, bone, rinse and fillet herring. (Frozen Herring fillets may be used.) Cut fillets in pieces and cook in boiling salted water only until tender. Carefully remove and drain herring and place in center of potato ring. Pour lemon sauce over herring and serve. For lemon sauce: Melt butter or margarine and add flour. Stir until well blended. Add fish broth slowly, stirring constantly. Beat egg yolks and add salt. Add to sauce, a little at a time, stirring briskly. Do not boil after eggs are added. Add strained lemon juice. By Rasma Raisters

Latvian Cuisine




Latvia is one of the three Baltic States. Its capital Riga is situated on the Daugava River. The city is divided into two parts - one part situated on the right bank and the other on the left bank of the Daugava.Most ingredients in Latvian recipes are found locally, such as potatoes, wheat, barley, cabbage, onions, eggs and pork. Often mushrooms from the local forests are used. Berries can come from the forests or from gardens.

Appetizers:
Herring Appetizer - Herring fillets are soaked in water overnight then drained and rinsed and cut into slices. Tomatoes, water and sugar are combined in a saucepan and cooked. Then dill, parsley, scallions, olives, vinegar and oil are added. This is poured over the herring and chilled. Can be served on lettuce leaves.

Latvian Bacon Buns (Piragi) – chopped onion and slab bacon (grained with smoked meat not just fat) are pan fried. Then a special dough with yeast is made. The dough when ready is rolled out and circular halves are pressed out. In each circle a spoonful of the onions and bacon is placed and then pressed together in the shape of a half moon. Then they are baked.

Latvian Sauerkraut is prepared by adding chopped onions, grated cabbage, peeled, cored and chopped apples (if using) and caraway seeds with some grease or fat are added in a big pot to sauerkraut. Then water is added just so the sauerkraut won’t stick to the pot. This is simmered on low heat for many hours or until the sauerkraut is golden and tender. During the process it must be checked for amount of water and stirred now and then.

Soups:
Beans and Mushroom Soup – white beans are soaked overnight. Then the beans are put to boil. When they are almost tender, cubed potatoes are added. Chopped onions and mushrooms are fried. These are added to the soup when it is ready.

Latvian Beet Soup – beets are peeled and grated. Added to bouillon (may be freshly prepared or made with cubes) along with some handfuls of pearl-barley. When the beets and barley are just about tender, cubed potatoes are added and cooked until they are tender. The soup is served with chopped hard-boiled eggs and sour cream added to each bowl.

Latvian Sour Cream Soup (Skaba Putra) – a hot summer delight. Barley is cooked until tender. To lukewarm cooked barley add buttermilk, milk and leave it to ferment in a warm place for about 6-12 hours. Afterwards it is chilled for 6-12 hours and sour cream is added before serving.

Latvian Borscht – the soup is made with beef stock to which cabbage and potatoes are added. Beets, vinegar, bacon fat, sugar and tomatoes are cooked separately for 5 min. then set aside. Onions, carrots and parsnip are braised. Then all the ingredients plus spices are added to the cabbage and potatoes. Chopped garlic and chopped parsley are stirred in and the soup is cooked for about 4 hours. Served with sour cream and slices of dark rye bread.

Sauerkraut Soup – the soup may be made with boned beef or smoked pork (or a combination of) to which sauerkraut is added. This is covered by water. Salt, peppercorns, onions and bay leaves are added. Barley may be added as well. The soup is then cooked until the meat and everything is tender. Served with sour cream and dark, rye bread.

Salads:
Beet and Herring Salad – cooked or marinated beets and grated and added to diced herring fillets, chopped onions. Hard boiled eggs and chopped pickles may be added. A dressing is made of sour cream, dills and mayonnaise. Serve chilled.

Latvian Potato Salad (Rasols) –onions, cooked beets (if using), smoked ham or sausage, pickles, hard-boiled eggs, cucumbers, cooked potatoes are finely chopped. They are mixed in a large bowl with a dressing of sour cream, mayonnaise, dry mustard, some vinegar and sugar, salt and pepper. Combined well and served chilled.

Salad "Olivier" – cooked potatoes and carrots are combined with hard-boiled eggs, boiled meat, and pickles. To these green peas are added. Mixed with mayonnaise, some sour cream and salt and pepper. Serve chilled.

Meatless meals:

Kartoflianki – Mashed potatoes and combined with starch, butter, eggs, salt and pepper. Kneaded and shaped into small balls. Baked for 20 minutes. Then sprinkled with chopped fried onions. Sour cream is poured over them and they are stewed for 7 minutes.
Potato and Mushroom Croquettes – mashed potatoes are combined with sautéed onions, mushrooms, seasonings and flour. Formed into croquettes and fried.

Meat dishes:

Cutlets (Kotletes) – ground beef or pork or a combination is combined with grated potato, egg, sour cream, salt and pepper. Then formed into oblong patties and fried. Usually served with a gravy, boiled or fried potatoes and a salad.

Sauteed meat with onions (Sipolklopsis) – Slices of beef or pork fillet, are layered in a baking pan with raw onion rings. The top layer is onions. Some water is added to the bottom of the pan and baked. When the meat is almost ready sour cream is poured over and baked till tender. Served with boiled potatoes and a salad.

Latvians like to drink buttermilk and kefirs with their meals. Beer is also very popular. Some types of Latvian beers are Cesu, Aldaris, Piebalgas, Tervetes, Uzavas, Lacplesis and Bauskas. There is also the very popular herbal alcoholic drink which has been around since the 18th century Riga Black Balsam. It now also comes in bottles combined with cola and other mixtures. Vodka remains popular among hard drinks and there are many different types.

Herring appetizer

Ingredients
1. 4 salt Herring fillets
2. 3 tomatoes; chopped
3. ¾ cup water
4. 2 ts Sugar
5. 2 ts Chopped dill
6. 2 ts Chopped parsley
7. 2 Scallions;sliced
8. ½ cup Chopped ripe olives
9. 2 tb vinegar
10. 4 tb olive oil

Directions
Soak the Herring in water to cover overnight. Drain. Rinse again and cut into 1/2 inch slices. Combine the tomatoes, water, and Sugar in a saucepan. Cook over low heat for 15 min. Mix well. Add the dill, parsley, scallions, olives, vinegar, and oil. Cook for 5 minutes. Pour over the Herring. Chill. Serve very cold on lettuce leaves

Salad "Olivier"

Ingredients
1. 5 potatoes
2. 3 carrots
3. 4 eggs
4. 1 pound boiled meat
5. 1/2 pound green peas
6. 2-3 dill pickles (you can use fresh cucumbers)
7. salt to your taste
8. 1/2 pound Mayonnaise

Directions
Boil potatoes and carrots in skin (it helps to keep vitamins), then cool them down and peel them. Boil eggs and boil meat. Chop potatoes, carrots, eggs, meat dill pickles into 1/2 inches squares. Add green Peas and salt. Trust your own taste, everything must be in proportion. Stir Mayonnaise only for the part of salad you are going to eat. It will be kept better without it. Mix the salad and refrigerate for a while. If you want your salad a little tender, mix a part of Mayonnaise with an equal part of sour cream. By Rasma Raisters

Belarusian Cuisine




One of the people’s proverbs is: "There is no fish more tasty then tench (a freshwater fish from the carp family), as well as there is no meat better then pork".The Belarusian diet consists mainly of meat and meat products. Salted pork fat is used slightly smoked and seasoned with onion and garlic. Dishes prepared with meat are usually served with potatoes or vegetables such as carrot, cabbage, black radish, peas etc. Many meat and vegetable dishes are prepared in special stoneware pots.

Cold appetizers are popular. Among hot appetizers you will find pan fried mushrooms, tripe and snails among other delicacies. From Western European influence different crackers and dips are becoming popular.

Appetizers:
Appetizer from Champignons is prepared by boiling the champignons until they are half done. They are cooled then rolled in flour, brushed with beaten egg, rolled in bread crumbs then fried in oil and served cooled.

Cucumbers with Honey - Fresh-salted or fresh cucumbers are cut in rings and honey is poured over them. These are served with pancakes or rye bread.

Mushroom Caviar - pickled mushrooms are minced together with fried onion. Salt and pepper is added. Mixed thoroughly and heaped in a salad bowl and sprinkled with minced greens.

Niomanskaja Appetizer - beef and pork are minced together with salt, pepper and caraway seeds. The mixture is then transferred to parchment and shaped in a long loaf. It’s then tied up and boiled. When it’s done, it’s cooled and placed under a light press. Slice and serve.

There is a large variety of Belarusian soups. A few of them have become well known and are served in many restaurants all over the world.

Soups:

Chaladnik Khaladnik (Cold Soup) with Sorrel - the sorrel is shredded, boiled in salt water and then cooled. Fresh cucumbers are cut up fine, hard boiled eggs and green onion are added. Before serving the soup is seasoned with sour cream and sprinkle with minced dill.

Chaladnik Khaladnik (Cold Soup) Miensk Style - in this version sorrel is also boiled but beet root is boiled separately with vinegar added. To cold sorrel juice green onion minced and rubbed together with salt and egg yolks, shredded fresh cucumbers and beetroot are added. Then the beetroot liquid along with egg white, sugar and yoghurt is whisked in. The soup is served with sour cream and dill.

Mushroom Krupienia with Millet (Mushroom Soup) - mushrooms are boiled and the mushroom stock is strained and set aside. Then the mushrooms are minced. Onions and carrots are cubed and sautéed then added to the mushrooms. Millet is boiled separately and drained in a colander. Flour is browned and blended with some stock making a smooth paste. Then millet is added and the vegetables and mushrooms and cooked for 5 to 10 minutes.

Yushka (Fish Soup) - a cleaned and boned river fish such as perch, is covered with water and boiled along with carrot, onions, diced potatoes, pepper and celery on a slow fire until done.

Salads:

Barysauski Salad - the salad is made with boiled fish which is mixed with a hard boiled egg, sliced boiled beetroots, cheese and shredded onions. Then the salad is seasoned and mixed with mayonnaise.

Beetroot Salad with Herring - peeled, boiled and shredded beetroots and onions are mixed with diced herring fillet then mayonnaise is poured over all.

Mahileu Salad - sliced boiled beef is combined with onion in half rings, cut up carrot and black radish in shoestrings and minced eggs. Then mixed with salt, pepper and mayonnaise.

Tomato Salad with Cheese - tomatoes are cut in rings, then sprinkled with minced garlic, salt and pepper. Shredded cheese is sprinkled over the tomatoes and mayonnaise is added.

Vegetarian Dishes:

Kasa-Hlazatka - Peas are soaked in cold water for 3-4 hours. Pearl barley is boiled separately, then the peas are added. These are placed in the oven for an hour and a half. Served with pork cracklings.

Kaša, Viciebsk Manner - Boiled potatoes and mashed then combined with boiled pearl barley and hot milk. This is placed in the oven for 30-40 minutes. The kasa is served with butter.

Mushrooms Fried with Onion Gravy - Mushrooms (such as forest mushrooms like boletuses) are fried in very hot butter. Minced onions are stewed separately in hot butter until tender then sour cream is added and brought to a boil. This is then poured over the mushrooms.

Potato Halubcy with Mushrooms - Fresh cabbage is partially boiled so as to be able to separate the cabbage leaves. A stuffing is made of mashed potatoes combined with browned onions and mushrooms. Each separate cabbage leaf is filled with this mixture and folded up. The cabbage rolls are browned then sour cream is poured over and they are stewed till done.

The most popular meat product is the Belarusian sausage, mainly because of its Polish influence. Most of the traditional and modern dishes use meat in abundance. The most popular meat in Belarus is pork. However beefsteak is also common. A traditional dish is kotleta pokrestyansky which consists of pork cutlets in mushroom sauce. Freshwater fish such as perch and crayfish are plentiful.

Meat dishes:

Belarusian Borsc Borshch - chopped ham bones and beef are set to boil. Half an hour before stock is done carrot, onion and parsley root are added then the stock is strained. Shredded carrot, parsley and onion are fried in pork fat and tomato paste is added. To boiling stock add cubed potatoes, boiled and shredded beetroot and onion. The borsc is seasoned with vinegar and sugar. Then the meat and sausages are cut into chunks and added to the borsc.

Dainty Pork - Pork is cut into pieces and pounded. Salt, pepper and minced garlic are sprinkled on. The meat is then dipped in whipped egg, dredged in flour and fried until done. Then slices of cheese are placed on pork pieces and put in the oven until melted.

Holiday Sausages - Pork is cut into small pieces. The stuffing consists of sautéed minced onions, boiled and cut mushrooms, prunes and chicken fillet boiled and cut in shoestrings. Mixed and shaped into sausages then rolled in shredded cheese. The sausages are then laid on the pork pieces and rolled up. Each piece is dredged in flour, dipped in whipped egg, dredged in bread crumbs then browned and placed into the oven until done.

The traditional hard drink is vodka or harelka including varieties made from birch sap or flavored with forest herbs. Up until the 19th century mead and similar alcoholic drinks made of honey and spices were very common. An example is krambambula which is vodka diluted with water, mixed with honey and flavored with spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, red and black pepper). This is now experiencing a popular revival. Kvass remains the main non-alcoholic drink and every small town boasts of a local variety of mineral water.

Mushroom Krupienia with Millet (Mushroom Soup)

Ingredients
1 l Mushroom stock
40 g dried boletuses (forest mushrooms)
0.5 carrot
1 Onion
1 tblsps butter
0.25 cupful wheat flour
3 tblsps millet
2 tblsps sour cream

Directions
Prepare Mushroom stock. Wash the boiled Mushrooms and mice them. Cut the Onion and carrot into small cubes, saute and mix with Mushrooms. Boil the millet and drain in a colander. Brown the flour and blend it with some stock to make a smooth paste. To the strained Mushroom stock add the boiled millet, sauteed vegetables, Mushrooms and cook until it is done. 5 to 10 minutes before the soup

Stewed pork

Ingredients
400 g pork
300 g lecho,
1 onion,
1.5 tbls. melted pork fat,
3 cloves garlic,
8 potatoes, greens, salt.

Directions:
Place small pieces of pork in a stoneware pot, add shredded onion, cubed potatoes, lecho, garlic, greens, salt and stew in the oven.

Country Meat balls

Ingredients
180 g pork,
200 g beef,
2 tblsps buckwheat, groats or rice,
2 onions,
1 egg,
1 tblsp fat,
1 tblsp flour,
1 cupful tomato sauce, salt.

Directions
Put the beef and pork through the food chopper. Prepare fluffy buckwheat or rice kasha, brown the onions. Mix the ingredients together, add the egg, condiments and salt. Mould the mixture into balls, dredge with flour and fry. Place one layer of tefteli on a baking dish, pour over tomato sauce and stew until done.

Cutlets with Garlic

Ingredients
300 g beef,
70 g pork,
70 g white bread,
4 tblsps milk or water,
3 tblsps bread crumbs,
2 cloves garlic.
2 tblsp fat,
1 cupful red sauce, salt.

Directions
Put the boned beef and pork through the food chopper, add the salt and white bread (stale and with crust removed) soaked in cold water or milk and put through the mincer again. Season the forcemeat with minced garlic, mix thoroughly, shape into oblong cutlets, dredge with flour and saute in fat in a hot skillet. Pass red sauce Garnish cutlets with boiled potatoes, fluffy buckwheat or pearl-barley kasha, puree of potatoes, etc. By Rasma Raisters

Ukrainian Cuisine




Ukrainians in their cooking use black and red pepper, salt, bay leaf, parsley and dill (usually in spring and summer), garlic and onion. Staples include potatoes, cabbage, fish, pork, beef and sausage.The cuisine of Ukraine has a rich history and offers a wide variety of dishes. Ukrainian recipes are also influenced by its neighbors like Russia, Germany, Turkey, Poland, Lithuania and the so called Soviet cuisine (dishes of mixed origin popular in the USSR). Ukrainian food is intended to be filling and should be served in large quantities.

Soups:
Solyanka (Russian and Ukrainian) – a thick, spicy and sour soup. The are three basic kinds:
Meat solyanka is made with ingredients like beef, ham, sausages, chicken breasts along with cabbage, salty mushrooms, pickles, tomatoes, onions, olives, capers, allspice, parsley and dill.
Fish solyanka with fish like sturgeon, salmon and freshwater crayfish. At the end lemon juice is added to the soup.
Mushroom solyanka – cut cabbage heated in butter with vinegar, tomatoes, pickles and a little brine. The cabbage and mushrooms then are put in layers, breadcrumbs and butter are added and baked.
Borscht (mostly Ukrainian and Russian) this type of soup is served hot there are also cold borscht varieties. Ingredients may include various vegetables such as beans, cabbage, carrots, cucumber, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, beet root and meat such as chicken, pork or beef. May be eaten as a meal itself served with thick dark bread.
Rosolynk (Ukrainian Kidney Soup) made with carrot, celery, parley root, onion, potato. Vegetables are cooked in stock until tender. Meanwhile a veal kidney is cleaned and cut into thin slices then cooked with onion. The kidney and onion is added to the soup. Dice pickles and sour cream are added and garnished with dill.

Main meals:
Varenyky are boiled dumplings. They are usually made of unleavened dough and stuffed with sauerkraut, cheese, mashed potatoes, cabbage, meat, hard-boiled eggs or a combination of these.
Stuffed duck or goose with apples.
Fish (ryba) fried in egg and flour; baked in the oven with mushrooms, cheese and lemon; marinaded, dried or smoked.
Stuffed zucchini or eggplant oven-roasted, stuffed with tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms and/or rice.
Kasha hrechana zi shkvarkamy which is buckwheat cereal with chopped, fried bacon and/or onion.
Bosartma – lamb is fried and combined with chopped onion, sliced tomatoes, tomato paste, cherry plums, greens and seasonings, a little broth and stewed until done.
Fish Baked a la Russe – fish such as pike, cod, catfish, or perch is used. Boiled sliced potatoes are placed around fish slices in a baking pan. A mixture of sour cream, oil and flour is poured over then sprinkled with cheese and baked.
Fish Tolcheniki - fish fillet is finely chopped and mixed with flour, salt and pepper. Shaped into small balls and boiled in salted water. Served with finely chopped onion.
Golubtsy – a cabbage head is boiled just enough to separate leaves from it. Boiled rice is mixed with grated carrots, chopped tomatoes and minced meat. This mixture is then stuffed in each cabbage leaf making cabbage rolls. Some broth mixed with tomato sauce or ketchup is poured into a baking pan into which the golubtsy are placed and baked.

Vegetarian:
Ailazan – Thinly sliced eggplant in salted and left to sit for 15 minutes. Then squeezed. Potatoes, onion, tomatoes, sweet peppers, green beans are sliced. Spices such as basil, thyme, cilantro, parsley, garlic, ground black and red pepper are combined. The eggplant and vegetables are layered in a deep pan with a layer of spices sprinkled between each layer. Oil and water are poured over, covered tightly with a plate and then the pan cover and stewed until done.
Cauliflower with Potatoes – Finely chopped onion is fried in lard. Half-cooked cauliflower pieces and sliced boiled potatoes are put on lard pieces in a baking pan. Beaten eggs with flour and salt are poured over and baked.
Potato Pie – Cottage cheese is ground in a food mill. Mashed potatoes are combined with the cottage cheese. Then sour cream, eggs, salt and chopped greens are added. This mixture is put in a greased mold and sprinkled with grated cheese then baked.
Spinach in Breadcrumbs – spinach is washed and dried then rolled in flour, soaked in beaten egg with ground garlic, pepper and salt, then rolled in breadcrumbs and fried.

Salads:
Salad from Cucumbers and Olives – seeds are removed from cucumbers. They are sliced, sprinkled with mint, chopped olives, sliced pickled red peppers are added the dressed in a mixture of oil and vinegar.
Ukraina Fish Salad – canned fish in oil is combined with macaroni, sliced tomatoes and dressed with mayonnaise.
Ukrainian Corn Salad – canned sweet corn is combined with grated crab sticks and chopped boiled eggs. Then dressed with mayonnaise.

Among alcoholic beverages used are strong spirits (horilka, vodka in Russian; Samohon (moonshine) is also popular, including with infusions of fruit, spices or hot peppers. The largest producers of beer are Obolon, Lvivske, Chemihivske, Slavutych, Sarmat and Rogan, which partly export their products. Wine (vyno) come from Europe and Ukraine (particularly from Crimea). Regaining popularity is mead (mid or medovukha) which is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from honey, water and yeast. The taste is similar to cider but the flavor depends on the plants frequented by honeybees, the length of time and method of aging and what yeast is used.

Among non-alcoholic beverages used are kompot which is a sweet beverage made of dried or fresh fruit and or berries boiled in water, kvas – a sweet and sour sparkling beverage brewed from yeast, sugar and dried rye bread, kefir which is milk fermented by both yeast and lactobacillus bacteria and having a similar taste to yogurt. Best known mineral water brands are Truskavetska, Morshynska and Myrhorodska. They usually come strongly carbonated, rvazhanka is another kind of natural yoghurt made of baked milk.

Solyanka
Ingredients
300 gr Beef chunk
200 gr Smoked Bacon, sliced
2-3 Smoked Pork Sausages, sliced
400 gr Salted Cucumbers, diced
1 Onion, diced
2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
1 cup Olives
3 Bay Leaves
Capers
Sour cream
Lemon slices
Fresh Dill, chopped

Preparation
Step 1 Place the beef in a pot, adding 5 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer untill done. Remove the meat, cut into small cubes and return to the pan
Step 2 Cut bacon slices into squares, fry until lightly brown on each side. Add to the pot.
Step 3 Fry onion with bacon fat until translucent. Add tomato paste, cucumbers, stir and fry a few minutes
Step 4 Add a cup of stock to pan and simmer about 5 min
Step 5 Pour tomato-cucumber mixture into the pot together with sausages and bay leaves, bring to slow boil. Simmer about 10 min
Step 6 Turn the heat off, add olives. Leave for 20 min
Step 7 Serve with sour cream, lemon slices and capers
Step 8 Sprinkle with dill and enjoy!

Ailazan
Ingredients
500 g Eggplant.
500 g Potato.
4 ea Onion.
100 g Oil.
4 ea Tomato.
1 c Green Beans.
1 c spices (Basil, Thyme, Cilantro, Parsley).
1 ea Garlic head.
1 ts Ground Black Pepper.
1/2 ts Ground Red pepper.
Salt.
4 ea red Sweet Peppers.

Directions
Slice Eggplant finely, salt and leave for 15 minutes, then squeeze extra juice.
Slice finely other vegetables and mice spices.
Put in a deep pan in layers, beginning from Eggplant, sprinkle every layer with spices and a bit if salt.
Pour over oil and 1/2 c water, cover tightly with a plate and then with the cover.
Stew on low heat until done. By Rasma Raisters

Georgian Cuisine




Georgian cuisine refers to the cooking styles and dishes with origins in the nation of Georgia and prepared by Georgian people around the world.Georgian cuisine in part has been influenced by Middle Eastern and European culinary traditions. Dishes use a lot of various herbs and spices. Each historical province of Georgis has its own distinct culinary traditions, such as Megrelian, Kakhetian, or Imeretian cusiines. The food not only includes various meat dishes but also offers a variety of vegetarian meals.

Appetizers are important in Georgian cuisine. They are meant to enhance the appetite so they are usually salty, spicy or astringent. One of the main ingredients in these dishes is cheese.

Appetizers:
Khachapuri (cheese bread) a filled bread dish which is similar to the Turkish pevnirli (pide). Bread is leavened and allowed to rise, then shaped in various ways. The filling contains cheese (fresh or aged, most commonly suluguni), eggs and other ingredients.
Lobiana a "Bean Khachapuri" where the bread is baked and filled with a seasoned bean stuffing. It is especially eaten on the Georgian holiday of Barbaroba or St. Barbara’s Day (December 17).

Chanakhi – Mutton or lamb is cut in pieces and placed at the bottom of a pot. Then a layer of eggplant with garlic, finely chopped onions, parsley and basil. On top of this is placed tomatoes and potatoes. Sprinkled with salt and pepper and baked.

Gadazelili – Cheese is finely sliced and placed in hot milk then cooked on low heat. The cheese mass is then blended with chopped mint and shaped into a flat cake and served with the milk in which the cheese was cooked.

Georgian Cheese Pastries – A pastry dough is prepared and refrigerated at least 1 hour or up to 30 days. Then the dough is rolled out and circles are cut out to be filled with a filling made of muenster, cheddar, parmesan cheeses and parsley, chives and mint. Baked until golden brown.

Mchadi - corn flour is mixed with water and kneaded into a dough then shaped into round flat caked and baked.

Tolma (stuffed grape leaves) - Lamb is minced and mixed with boiled rice, chopped onion and dill. Seasoned with salt and pepper and filled in grape or cabbage leaves rolled up into a sausage shape. Then placed in rows in a casserole and butter and stock are poured over. Covered tightly and simmered for an hour. Served with sour cream mixed with grated garlic and salt or cinnamon mixed with powdered sugar.

Soup is usually served between the appetizer and the main course. Most of them contain vegetables, rice, poultry, eggs and garlic. The most famous soup is kharcho which consists of mutton and rice. There is also chikhirtma based on chicken and khashi soup made from beef and garlic and is one of the best known Georgian dishes, all over the world. It gives energy to those who consume it and is a known remedy for hangovers.

Soups:
Khashi (Tripe Soup) - Suet is ground and placed into a stockpot. A split calf’s foot, beef tripe is added and cooked over low heat. When the meat gives off juices water is added and the soup is cooked 5 to 6 hours until the tripe is tender. Bread is soaked in milk. Before serving the soup the calf’s foot is removed and the bread is stirred into the soup. Salt and pepper are added and grated garlic is stirred in.

Chikhitma (Georgian Mutton Soup) - Mutton is boiled until tender and the stock strained through a cheese cloth. Then chopped onion is sautéed in butter and sprinkled with flour and browned. Mutton is returned to the stock and the onions are added along with saffron, salt and pepper. Grape vinegar is boiled separately and added to the soup and brought to a boil and removed. Egg yolks are beaten with a little stock and stirred into the soup. Sprinkled with coriander leaves and served.

Gulaschsuppe (Goulash Soup) - Onions are fried and combined with green peppers and tomato paste. The lean cubed beef, garlic cloves, red pepper, paprika, beef broth, lemon juice and caraway seeds are added and stewed until meat is tender. If you wish cubed potatoes may be added as well.

Kharcho (Georgian Beef Soup) - A brisket is cut into pieces then brought to a boil. After simmering for 2 hours finely sliced onion, crushed garlic, rice and tart plums are added. After another 25 minutes sautéed tomatoes or tomato puree is added and cooked for another 5 – 1o minutes. The soup is then sprinkled with chopped coriander, parsley or dill and served.

Kremithosoupa (Onion Soup) – Cubed potatoes are combined with sliced onions in a stock pot to which tomato sauce and water or broth are added to cover them. This is boiled for 30 minutes.


Lobio is the most famous Georgian salad made from kidney beans. This name is shared by the dried beans and the salads that use them as main ingredients. Georgia has two varieties of kidney beans - red and white. Georgia is well known for both its salads and dressings.

Salads:
Adjapsandal of Eggplant - Eggplant is cut into pieces, sprinkled with salt and let sit for half an hour. Then finely shredded onions are fried, eggplant is added and stewed. Then a laurel leaf and Bulgarian pepper is added along with shredded greens, garlic, salt and pepper.

Beet Salad Georgian Style - For a smooth style salad or spread boiled beets, prunes, garlic, walnuts are processed in a food processor then salt and pepper is added and mayonnaise. For a chunkier salad beets may be grated and walnuts chopped.

Georgian Garlic Salad - 50 cloves of garlic are peeled and placed into boiling water. Turn off heat and wait 3-5 minutes then place garlic into cold water. Salt in dissolved into lemon juice and a vinaigrette is made of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and herbs. The garlic is placed into jars and the oil mixture is poured over and refrigerated.

Lobio Beans and Walnuts - Beans are cooked until tender. Then chopped onion, crushed walnuts are added to the beans. Season with salt and pepper and mixed well. Can be served hot or cold sprinkled with chopped greens.

Different types of meat can be found in Georgian dishes such as chicken, lamb, pork, beef and various types of game meat, such as boar. To conserve food for a long time Georgians smoke, salt or dry it.

Meat dishes:
Bazhe - A typical western Georgia dish. A whole chicken is boiled and cut into pieces. Walnuts are ground and garlic pounded with salt. The ground walnuts get sprinkled with saffron and the garlic is added. The mixture is diluted with chilled broth. Then the chicken pieces are placed in the sauce and served.

Chicken Chakhokhbili - A chicken is cut into pieces and browned in a casserole. Finely chopped onion, tomato puree, vinegar, wine (Madeira or Port), meat stock and seasoning are combined and added to the chicken. This is simmered for an hour. Then sliced tomatoes are added. The chicken pieces are served with a slice of lemon on each piece and sprinkled with chopped greens.

Country Beef Strew (Georgian manner) - Beef tenderloin is cut into small pieces. Finely chopped onion is sautéed. These are transferred to a pan. Tomato puree, peeled and sliced pickled cucumbers, garlic, salt, grape wine and some meat stock are added. This is simmered for about 40 minutes. Served with chopped parsley.

Chanahi – Cubed potatoes, chopped onion, lamb slices are topped with eggplants, pepper and greens. Tomato paste dissolved in broth with garlic is poured over all and stewed. Just before it’s ready tomatoes are added.

Georgian Basturma – Cubes of beef are marinated with sliced onion, pepper, salt and vinegar for 2 days. Then skewered and grilled over charcoals.

Fish:
Tarti Tetri ghvinit (Salmon in Walnut Sauce) - Walnuts and garlic are ground into a paste. Transferred to a bowl and boiling water is added until the mixture is smooth. This sauce is served with a whole grilled salmon.

Moshushuli Tevzi Pamidvrit (Poached Fish with Tomatoes) - Fillet of sole or flounder is cut into pieces. Placed in a pan and covered with onion rings and herbs. Water, cloves, allspice and bay leaf are added and fish is poached until done. While poaching tomatoes and fried with pepper, cayenne, garlic and salt until thickened. The poached fish is served with the tomato sauce and granished with minced dil or cilantro.

Oraguli Dzmarshi (Salmon in Vinegar Sauce) - A salmon fillet is rubbed with pepper and crushed bay leaves then left to sit for 30 minutes. A sauce is prepared made with onion, vinegar, water and salt and simmered for 15 minutes. The salmon is grilled and served with this sauce.

These are just some of the wonderful recipes among so many. Georgia has a wide array of recipes which are rich in culinary history.

Among drinks there is Chacha which is a clear fruit homebrew. It is sometimes called "vine vodka", "grape vodka" or "Georgian vodka". Chacha is made from grape pomace (grape residue left after making wine). This is likely one of the oldest distilled products in the world. The term "chacha" is used in Georgia to refer to any type of moonshine made of fruits, though commonly it refers to grape distillate. Many Georgians claim that Chacha has medicinal properties and is suggested as a remedy for various ailments including ear blockages and indigestion.

Georgia is one of the oldest wine producing regions of Europe. The source of the world’s first cultivated grapevines and neolitihic wine production is believed to come from the fertile valleys of the South Caucasus. Among the best known wine producing regions are Kakheti (further divided onto micro-regions of Telavi and Kvareli), Kartli, Imereti, Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti, and Abkhazia.

Lagizde water is a popular Georgian soft drink based on soda and a variety of natural syrups. It was originally mixed in a glass in soda fountains but now comes bottled in a range of flavors.

Borjomi is a resort town in south-central Georgia. The town is famous for its mineral water industry (which at present is the number one export of Georgia). Borjomi mineral water is particularly well-known in those countries which were part of the former USSR.

Gulaschsuppe (goulash soup)

Ingredients

-2 c Onion, chopped
-1/4 c shortening
-3 green bell peppers, chopped
-3 T tomato paste
-1 lb Beef cubes, 1-inch cubes
-red pepper, dash
-1 t paprika
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-6 c beef broth
-1 T lemon juice
-1/4 t caraway seeds

Directions
-Fry onions in hot fat until transparent.
-Add green peppers and tomato paste.
-Cover and simmer 10 minutes.
-Add lean Beef cubes and remaining ingredients.
-Simmer about 1 1/2 hours, until meat is tender.
-(Add cubed potatoes if you like and simmer until potatoes are done.)
-Best when reheated and served the second day.

CHICKEN CHAKHOKHBILI

Ingredients

-1 Chicken
-2 Onion
-2 tblsp tomato puree
-1 tblsp vinegar
-a cupful meat stock
-2 tblsps Madeira or
-port wine
-2 or 3 tblsps butter
-salt and pepper to taste
-tomatoes
-Chopped greens
-lemon slices

Directions

-Prepare the Chicken, wash and joint it into medium-size pieces, brown in hot butter in a shallow casserole.
-Add finely chopped Onion, tomato puree, vinegar, wine, meat stock and seasoning.
-Cover the casserole with a lid and simmer for 1 hours.
-Add sliced tomatoes and cock for another 5 to 7 minutes.
-Serve the Chicken with a slice of lemon on each piece of Chicken.
-Sprinkle with chopped greens. By Rasma Raisters

Moroccan Cuisine



Moroccan cuisine is a mix of Arab, Berber, Moorish, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and African influences.Morocco produces a lot of Mediterranean fruit and vegetables as well as large numbers of sheep, cattle, poultry and seafood which is a base for its cuisine. Usual flavoring ingredients in cooked dishes include preserved lemons, cold-pressed, unrefined olive oil and dried fruit. Spices are used extensively such as saffron, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, ginger, pepper, paprika, anise seed, sesame seed, coriander, parsley and mint.

The main meal of the day is the midday meal with the exception of the holy month of Ramadan. A typical meal begins with a series of hot and cold salads, followed by a tagine (a slow cooked stew). Bread accompanies every meal. Often lamb or chicken is next followed by couscous topped with meat and vegetables. The meal usually ends with a sweet mint tea. It is common for Moroccans to eat using their fingers and using bread as a utensil.

Lets look at some Moroccan dishes:

Baghnir which are crepe like pancakes.
Brochetter – lamb kebab
Burek a type of baked or fried filled pastry which is made of flaky phyllo dough and are filled with salty cheese (often feta), minced meat, potatoes or other vegetables. The top of the burek is often sprinkled with sesame seeds.
Chicken and Olives – a quartered chicken is sautéed with garlic, onion, tomatoes and olives and spices such as ground ginger, turmeric, paprika, salt, pepper, parsley, coriander and preserved lemon.
Tomatoes and Peppers Moroccan Style (Tshashuka) – Green peppers are broiled and then the skins are peeled off and core and seeds removed. Garlic is sautéed and then the sliced peppers are added. Tomatoes are scalded and skins removed. Then added to the peppers and garlic. When everything is tender remove from heat and serve chilled.
Chicken Tagine with Seven Vegetables – a stew is made with cut up chicken, onion, garlic eggplant, chicken stock, cinnamon sticks, curry powder, ground cumin, turmeric, freshly ground black pepper, diced carrot, zucchini, white turnip, tomatoes and golden raisins. Served in deep bowls with rice, noodles or couscous.
Chicken with Lemon and Olives (Tajine msir Zitun) – Browned chicken pieces stewed with onion, paprika, ground ginger, turmeric, salt, pepper. At the end salted lemons and olives are added.
Lamb Stew – Cubed, boneless lamb shoulder is cooked with salt, pepper, saffron, ginger, garlic, onion, parsley. Just enough water to cover is added. When meat is tender preserved lemon and cinnamon is added then honey and orange blossom water. Just before serving toasted sesame seeds are sprinkled over the meat. Served over couscous.
Meatball Stew (Kefta Tagine) – Ground lamb is mixed with chopped parsley, fresh coriander, ground cumin, onion, cayenne pepper and salt. Formed into balls and fried. The meatballs are set aside. The sauce is made from garlic, onion, bell peppers, parsley, tomatoes, cumin, pepper, ground cinnamon, fresh lemon juice and cayenne pepper. When the sauce is thick the meatballs are added afterwards 6 eggs are broken in and poached until set. Served directly from the pan.
Baked Striped Bass with Cumin Paste (Hut B’camoun) – A whole striped bass is cleaned but the head and tail are left on. In a bowl oil, parsley, cumin, paprika, garlic, salt and pepper are combined making a paste. The mixture is spread evenly inside and over the fish. Then the fish is wrapped in foil and baked.
Red Snapper with Almond Paste – Almonds are toasted then ground with sugar and cinnamon, orange blossom water, water and oil are added. Mixed into a smooth paste. Half the almond paste is filled into the cavity of the fish. The fish is placed into a baking dish surrounded by chopped onions then sprinkled with saffron, salt and pepper. The rest of the almond paste is spread over the fish and baked until done.

Red Pepper Sauce (Harissa) is made with cayenne pepper, ground cumin, garlic cloves, salt and olive oil. The ingredients are made into a smooth paste and cooked for 5 minutes. Served with couscous dishes.

The most popular drink is ATAI green tea with mint. Making good tea in Morocco is considered an art form and an important ritual of the day. The tea is served with hard sugar cones or lumps. Moroccan tea pots have long, curved pouring spout to allow the tea to be poured evenly into tiny glasses from a height. Tea is sold all over the country for 2-3 dh per cup although it is often served free when negotiating a purchase. It can also be bought as a loose tea in markets.

Meat Burek

What You Need:

THE PASTRY
• 5 12-inch by 17-inch sheets of phyllo dough
• 1 stick of butter, melted and cooled a bit

MEAT FILLING
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
• 1 pound ground lamb
• ¼ cup pine nuts
• 1/3 cup tomato sauce
• 1½ teaspoons ground allspice
• ½ teaspoon ground
• Cinnamon
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

How To Cook:

MEAT FILLING:
1. Heat a frying pan. Add the oil, lamb, and garlic and saute until the lamb is no longer pink.
2. Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer 5 minutes until thickened. Fill the pastry.
3. Brush an 8-inch lined frying pan with a bit of the butter. Brush 3 of the half sheets of dough with some of the butter and place them in the bottom of the frying pan.

THE PASTRY:
1. Cut each of the phyllo sheets in half the short way across so that you have 10 sheets, 6 inches by 8½ inches.
2. Spread 1/3 of the filling and 1/3 cup of the meat filling over the sheets. Repeat the process twice more, ending with the remaining sheet of dough. Tuck the edges down and around.
3. Cook over medium heat about 2 minutes, and then place in a preheated 375°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the bottom is golden brown.

Chicken With Lemon And Olives
(Tajine Msir Zitun)

What You Need:

• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• A 3- to 3½-pound chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces
• 1 cup finely chopped onions
• 2 teaspoons imported paprika
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger
• ¼ 1teaspoon turmeric
• 1 teaspoon salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 2 salted lemons, cut into quarters, or substitute 2 fresh lemons, cut lengthwise into quarters and seeded
• 1 cup water
• 24 small green olives

How To Cook:

1. In a heavy 12-inch skillet, warm the oil over high heat until a light haze forms above it.
2. Brown the chicken in the hot oil, four pieces at a time, turning them frequently with tongs or a slotted spoon and regulating the heat so they color richly and evenly without burning. As they brown, transfer the chicken pieces to a plate.
3. Pour off all but a thin film of fat from the skillet and add the onions. Stirring frequently, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are soft and brown.
4. Watch carefully for any sign of burning and regulate the heat accordingly. Stir in the paprika, ginger, turmeric, salt and a few grindings of pepper.
5. Add the fresh lemons (if you are using them), the chicken and the liquid that has accumulated around it, and pour in the water.
6. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer covered for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and shows no resistance when a thigh is pierced deeply with a small skewer or knife.
7. Then add the olives and the salted lemon quarters (if you are using them), cover, and simmer for 4 or 5 minutes, until the lemons and olives are heated through. Taste for seasoning.
8. To serve, arrange the chicken pieces attractively on a deep platter and place the lemon quarters and olives in a ring around them. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve at once. By Rasma Raisters

The Typical Dishes of the Venetian Cuisine

Veneto is one of the Italian regions that can better conjugate the ancient recipes with the experimentation of new tastes.The venetian cuisine is also one of the richest of the whole peninsula, joining together both the more "poor" foods as legumes, vegetables, rice and pasta, and most popular foods such as meat, sausages and fish, which remains the most consumed food.

There are many fish typical of this cuisine, both of sea water and fresh water; we just have to think about the numerous rivers such as the Adige, the Po River, the Garda Lake and the Adriatic Sea. In fact, the flavor and taste of Venetian food rise from the islands, a long time ago; later they mix each other and confound each other with the ingredients and aromas of mainland products, with a culinary imagination supported by food experiences picked up during merchants’ travels in Middle East. The ancient "broeto" and the shellfish soups are a strong indication, as the richness and variety of fish dishes, roasted, on the grill, tasty fried, stewed (stewed cuttlefish) to the exciting "saor" (ancient Venetian recipe with onions sweet-and-sour). But the original characteristic remains faithful to the ancient origin, where fishing, hunting and horticulture offered products and ingredients to the Venetian cuisine.

Numerous are the typical dishes of the Venetian cuisine, the repertoire is very varied and wise, even in the apparently simplest dishes. In all the seven provinces, we can find dishes made with two basic elements, the presence of corn flour and the frequent use in the recipes of ingredients of clearly eastern origin, as spices, raisins and more.

The Padua cuisine has humble origins, with a wide use of poultry and garden products prepared without spices or exotic ingredients. It is worthwhile to point out, in addition to the classic Venetian "risi e bisi" (rice and peas), that in Padua restaurants we can enjoy specialties such as the "oca in onto" (goose with grease), the rice with "rovinassi" (chicken giblets) and the roasted or broth capon. Among desserts, there is the "smegiazza", a cake made with mashed polenta, biscuit bread, milk, molasses, eggs and pine nuts.

The Treviso cuisine is famous all over the world especially for the delicate and refined radicchio that accompanies all dishes, meat and fish, rice and even fried. Another specialty is the "risotto al tajo" flavored with shrimp and eel. Treviso is also famous for a particular luganega (sausage), which is bagged and tied so as to be divided into four segments.

In the venetian cuisine, risottos, vegetables or beans soups, steaming polenta, gnocchi and tasty "bigoli" (type of long and thick pasta) honour the field of starters, while among the main courses the fish imposes with carps, trout, sardines, scallops, spiny spider crab, eel, cuttlefish and soups.

The meat is prepared in a very simple way and the dishes include many wild and yard animals, as well as traditional sauces as the historic "pastizada de caval Veronese".
Traditional is also the processing of pork, just think about the delicious house salami, spicy and left a long time to mature in humid cellars. We can also find several species of mushrooms, about four hundred and some of them are marketed, as the "sbrise".

A rich and tasty cuisine, adapt also to the most demanding palates, that with this wide choice will not have to wait long to find on the menu at least one or more dishes able to satisfy them. aula di formazione
Accademia Cavalleresca By Martina Meneghetti

Authentic Jamaican Dishes - Rice and Peas




Jamaican dishes - Rice and Peas is one of the most beloved . Learn how to make it, and absorb a little Jamaican culture at the same time.Of all the delicious Jamaican dishes that the world has come to know, Rice and Peas is without a doubt the one which appears most frequently on the Jamaican table, and on the menus of restaurants that sell Jamaican food.

We eat it so often that it has been dubbed our "Coat of Arms". Rice and Peas and chicken is a favorite for Sunday dinner, but some of us will eat it every day, and with every type of meat, if you give us the chance. Or with just gravy. Or all by itself.

Other countries in the world have variations (called Peas and Rice in some places), but none is exactly like ours, made with coconut milk and just the right mix of seasonings.

In the not too distant past, before powdered and canned coconut milk came on the market,
the preparation of rice and peas was very time consuming. A dry coconut would have to be
split, the coconut meat taken out and grated, then put through a sieve and the milk squeezed out. Some people still do it this way, but apart from taking a lot of time, grating coconut can be very hard on the fingers!

Now that you have the background, let me now walk you through a recipe for Jamaican Rice and Peas.

Ingredients

-2 cups parboiled rice
-1/2 cup red peas, dried or canned
-1 sachet of coconut milk powder, or 1/2 can coconut milk
-1 tsp salt
-1 small onion, chopped
-1 stalk escallion (crushed)
-1 sprig thyme
-1/4 tsp pimento (all spice)
-pinch of black pepper
-1 whole green scotch bonnet pepper
-1/2 tsp ginger (optional)
-1/4 tsp paprika (optional)

If you are using dried peas, soak them for a few hours (or overnight) in water to soften.

Boil peas in cold water until tender. Pour off stock from peas and measure. Add enough water and coconut milk/coconut milk powder to make 4 cups of liquid, and add to peas.

If you are using canned peas, there is no need to cook them beforehand. Just add the four cups of liquid as described above.

To the mixture of peas, water and coconut milk, add all the seasonings and spices. Allow to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Add the rice to this mixture, and stir well. Increase flame until liquid boils. Then reduce heat and cover. Simmer until rice grains are tender. Apart from the first stir, try not to stir the mixture again while cooking. Unless you want very sticky rice and peas!

A delicious alternative to red peas is to use gungo (pigeon) peas. Gungo rice and peas is my personal favorite and is a must at Christmas time when gungo is in season. Use canned or green gungo peas. There is no need to soak green gungo. Merely boil until tender, then continue the recipe as described.

Rice and Peas makes a nutritious, filling and tasty accompaniment to a wide array of meat dishes. From jerk chicken to roast beef, from pork chops to steamed fish. It also makes a good one pot meal for vegetarians. I've never tried it with sushi or haggis, but you never know - it just might work!

Rice and Peas is not just food, it's part of our culture. Real Jamaica Vacations
Immerse yourself in Jamaican culture.
By Allison Morris

The Cuisine of New England



There are six state in America which are known as New England and are located in the northeast. In New England cooking there is an extensive use of seafood and dairy products. Two characteristic ingredients which are native to New England are maple syrup and cranberries. Their standard starch is potato. Parsley and sage are common and there are a few Caribbean additions like nutmeg. The favored cooking techniques are stewing and baking.

In the 19th century sweeteners used by everyone but the upper classes were molasses from the Caribbean and honey. Since many herbs were uncommon, especially those from the Mediterranean, which are not hardy in much of New England away from the coast most New England dishes are not strongly seasoned.

Prior to the Prohibition, some of the finest rum distilleries were located in New England. The Boston Molasses Disaster occurred on January 15, 1919, in the North End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, when a huge molasses tank used to prepare rum collapsed.

There are New England dishes which are enjoyed in all of the United States such as clam chowder, baked beans and homemade ice cream. In the past two centuries, New England cooking was strongly influenced by Irish Americans, the Portuguese fishermen of coastal New England and Italian Americans. The oldest operating restaurant in the United States is the Union Oyster House, which is located in Boston, Massachusetts. It opened in 1826 and on May 27, 2003 the building housing the restaurant was listed as a National Historic Landmark.

Maine is known for its lobster. Lobster has now become the dish of the middle and upper classes. Northern Maine is known for its potato crop, second only to the state of Idaho. The official state soft drink is Moxie known for its strong aftertaste and is found throughout New England. A common ingredient or garnish are wild blueberries.

The state of Vermon is known for its cheddar cheese and other dairy products. Outside of New England it is best known for its maple syrup. Maple syrup in a common ingredient used in many Vermont dishes including baked beans. A common desert is rhubarb pie which is combined with strawberries in the late spring.

Coastal Massachusetts is known for its clams, haddock, cod and cranberries. Apples are grown away from the coast. Its capital Boston is known for baked beans, bulkie rolls and various pastries. Hot roast beef sandwiches served with a sweet barbecue sauce, usually on an onion roll are popular in Boston’s surrounding area. The North Shore area is locally known for its roast beef establishments.

The cuisine of southern New Hampshire is similar to that of the Boston area, featuring fish, shellfish and local apples. French-Canadian dishes are popular, including tourtiere, which is traditionally served on Christmas Eve. Tourtiere is a meat pie originating from Quebec and is usually made with ground pork and/or veal or beef. Corn chowder, similar to clam chowder but corn and bacon replace the clams. Portsmouth is known for its orange cake which often contains cranberries.

Rhode Island and bordering Bristol County, Massachusetts are known for Rhode Island clam chowder (clear chowder) which contains quahogs, clear broth, potatoes, onions, and bacon, quahog (hard clams), johnnycakes (a corn meal flat bread), coffee milk (coffee syrup is used instead of chocolate syrup), celery salt, hot dogs, grinders, pizza strips (with a thick crust and topped with a thick tomato sauce and are traditionally made with no cheese or toppings and served at room temperature), dynamites (a sloppy joe-like sandwich) and Del’s frozen lemonade.
There is also a popular food item called the "New York System Weiner". However they are unknown in New York itself. It consists of a weiner (skinnier than a hot dog and more orange in color) on a steamed roll with meat sauce and often with mustard and onion.

Connecticut is known for its apizza (particularly the white clam pie), shad and shadbakes, grinders and New Haven’s claim as the birthplace of the hamburger. The New Haven area is dominated by Italian inspired cuisine while Southeastern Connecticut relies heavily on the fishing industry.

Boston Baked Beans

Ingredients
4 cups canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup blackstrap, plus more as needed
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tbsp dark rum
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp dry mustard
6 rashers thick cut bacon, sliced (or 5 drops liquid smoke)
1 tbsp bacon fat
Directions
1.
Cook bacon. Separate from fat and place 1 tbsp fat into a large stainless steel pan. Add kidney beans and saute over medium high heat. Add rum and tilt to ignite.*
2.
Add remaining ingredients and bacon and fold to combine. Bake in a 325° oven for 1 1/2 hours, adding blackstrap occasionally to prevent drying.
Oven Roasted Beef Fillet

For four servings:

One whole fillet of beef, measuring at least 7 inches
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 tablespoon dry)
2 tablespoons whole black or mixed peppercorns
2 ½ tablespoons of coarse sea salt or 2 tablespoons kosher salt

For sauce:

1 large shallot, finely chopped (2 – 2 ½ tablespoons)
½ cup dry red wine
1/3 cup chicken or veal stock
Sea or kosher salt and ground pepper to taste.

Remove the meat from the refrigerator one hour before cooking and preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place peppercorns, rosemary and salt into a spice grinder and reduce to a powder; a few larger pieces of pepper will remain. Mix thoroughly with olive oil, place fillet on a plate and rub oil mixture all over the meat. By Rasma Raisters

South East Asian Cuisine- Cousins all

China, Thailand and India share more than just a geographical clustering, they are the next door neighbors, together taking up a huge part of the Asian continent, its history and its cuisine system too.China and India have one of the world’s oldest civilizations and their culture, society and of course, cuisine speaks for that.

In all these countries, food is no merely sustenance. It is a way of life. No Indian, Chinese or Thai person eats without ceremony, not a physical but a sociological one. In each of these cultures, days have been identified for eating or not eating certain things, food items have been identified as having different properties. Clearly food is not only meant to grace tables and fill stomachs, it is both an offering to the Gods as well as a thanksgiving.

Most Indians, traditionally start their meals with a short prayer, sprinkling of water around their food and folding their hands. Food cooked for any meal is first offered to the Gods, then to the cow, the Mother. Only after food grains have been thrown to birds (believed to be spirits of ancestors returned to safeguard their descendents), do the householders sit down for a meal. The belief that animals have spirits of benevolence and malevolence is shared by almost all Asian cultures.

A vast majority of Indians, Chinese and Thai are rice eaters. If not in the cereal form, it is made into noodles and then used as a staple diet. So the accompaniments, in many cases are similar. In China and Thailand, the staple food is rice, but India differs in that the staple food of the northern plains is wheat and the coarser grains like millets, hence the accompaniments differ too. Most wheat eaters are not fish people, they stick to vegetables, some meats and other dairy products. But the entire coast and the Eastern regions, as the northern hilly areas are staple rice eaters, so the similarity between coastal Indian foods and Chinese is very great, except for seasonings.

All foods start with a strong soup, in South India, there is a spicy tamarind soup called rasam, while the Thai have their soups flavored with kafir lime and galangal, the purpose being to cleanse the tongue and activate the salivary glands. In coastal areas of India, rice is eaten in courses, with a fiery or bitter dish to begin with, vegetables paired with legumes and finally the meats or fish dishes. The same system is followed in Thailand, and in China.

Rice is almost always an accompaniment.

In rice eating areas of India, a rice soup is the staple food, called by different names in different areas. In the South, in the East, rice is cooked in its starch and eaten. In China, there is Conjee, which is basically the same thing, but served with meat or fish dumplings, and even vegetables.

The wide range of soups available in Chinese cuisine takes care of all the nutritional requirements. In India, these soups are popular in rice eating areas. The Bengalis have their Jhol, which is essentially a vegetable and fish soup and the South Indians have similar dishes. For instance, the traditional steamer of dumplings that is indispensable for Thai and Chinese food is also a staple cooking implement in South India were steamed rice and lentil dumplings (idlis) make up a large part of daily refreshments.

Thai food, essentially, is a combination of Indian and Chinese, and derives from both. However, the end result is a completely different taste, tangy and spicy by South China and Canton standards, but still mild by South Indian standards. The generous use of galangal (the Thai cousin of ginger used in India) and Kafir lime leaves (Thai cousins of lemongrass used in China and lemon used in India), gives it a distinctly strong flavor. It is difficult to come across mildly flavored Thai food, which is the reason why most Asians enjoy Thai food, but it is catching up with western tastes only now.

There are greater similarities Thai has with Indian food, than Chinese, probably because of the geographical similarities, similar climate and terrain, and of course, a large amount of cross-migration in the region.

Indian and Chinese food has managed to find its hinges in western markets but Thai is still somewhat of a rarity. It is, however, a cuisine that takes the best from both Indian and Chinese, more often the staple rice and noodles from Chinese and the curries from Indian cuisine.

One of the most important things that Thai curry shares with Indian curries is the generous use of spices, natural flours. It may be with or without coconut milk but never without a range of spices. Across India too, spices play the most important role in flavoring curries, whether vegetarian or non-vegetarian.

Among the other common dishes, the Kaeng ka ri which is closest to Indian cooking is a mildly flavored chicken and potato curry in gravy. Sometimes other meats are also used, but in most cases, it is chicken. The chicken curry made almost across the Indian subcontinent is almost the same. Except perhaps the Indian curry has more of ginger-garlic and onion gravy while the Thai curry is characteristically thin gravy. Similar in taste is the Kaeng kai which does not always have potatoes. This could be compared to any of the Indian chicken curries available across the world. The Kaeng som is another curry with traces of Indian tastes, a fish curry with vegetables. Though the vegetables differ, the concept is very common in East of India, which is largely rice and fish eating.

Noodles and rice, as mentioned earlier, are almost the same for Chinese as in Thai food. So there is a very great brotherhood of staples here.

We can see that the three major cuisine of South East Asia have a lot in common as far as their food and cooking systems are concerned.
By Kanika Goswami

Taste the Exotic Orient in Chinese Cooking

Chinese Cuisine: The diversity of cooking styles in China developed through centuries of incorporating locally available ingredients, taking time to prepare, and making every meal a banquet.By Linda Orlando

The vastness of China's geography and history are reflected in the diverse styles of Chinese cuisine available today. The art and pageantry of traditional Chinese cooking evolved over centuries through a succession of dynasties, and palace banquets were very important to the royalty. Meals could last up to three days or longer, and during the feast much discussion would take place about critical government issues. Fish, deer, and pork were the mainstays of these dinners, along with a variety of exotic desserts rich in flavor.

Today, Chinese cuisine is a favorite in many western countries. To understand the different varieties of Chinese food, it is best to divide Chinese cuisine into the four major regions of China. The northern region spreads into Mongolia, home to the Gobi Desert and Arctic winter winds. Because many people in this region are Muslim, pork is forbidden, so the diet is heavy with mutton and lamb. The vegetables and fruits used in Mongolian cooking—cabbage, squash, grapes, pears, and apples—are very like those grown in North America. Because of its hostile climate, the north is not amenable to rice cultivation, so wheat, barley, millet, and soybeans are used in making breads and noodles.

To the west are the mountainous Szechwan and Hunan provinces, where rice grows abundantly, as do citrus fruits, bamboo, and mushrooms. These varieties of Chinese cooking are well known for their spiciness, due to the locally grown chilies and the local residents’ fondness for highly seasoned meals. Distinctively different from all other Chinese cuisines, Szechwan and Hunan varieties developed through the centuries in this fertile region and absorbed many influences from non-Chinese lands to the southwest. Ginger, onions, garlic, and brown peppercorns are regular additions, and a good Szechwan cook creates subtly seasoned masterpieces with them. Although Szechwan food is notorious today for its heat, there are some who say the spiciness of the food was originally developed by cooks who needed to use hot and spicy seasonings to mask the taste of foods that rotted quickly in the heat.

To the east of Hunan lies "the land of fish and rice." Like the west in latitude, it has the added bonus of lowlands for rice cultivation and a coastal region for fish. The three East China Sea provinces, together with their two adjacent inland provinces, make up what is called the Eastern School of Chinese cuisine. Because hundreds of different regional and village recipes from these provinces were brought into the dominant port city of Shanghai, "Shanghainese" cuisine is now the most diverse style of cooking in China. Stewing, braising and frying are common, as well as the slow "red cooking" techniques that necessitate quick eating before the hot oiliness turns into something less appetizing. Breads, noodles and dumplings are eaten more frequently than rice, and seafood is often served in salted form.

Canton is perhaps the most famous of the four Chinese provinces known for its food, which is generally recognized to be the finest and has been considered so for centuries. The seasons are mild, wet, and warm for most of the year, which creates a perfect environment for cultivating just about anything. Rolling groves and gardens are fertile and full of fruits and vegetables, and ample fresh seafood is available on the coast. Canton cooking methods and recipes are sophisticated and varied. Characterized by lots of steaming and boiling, this style is perhaps the healthiest and the most widely known outside China. Since the local produce is so lush, the judicious use of natural oils and garnishes highlights its freshness, relying less on intense sauces and deep-frying and concentrating more on the basic flavors of the food rather than smothering the fresh ingredients. Desserts, generally of little interest to the Cantonese, are typically heavy and sweet. Throughout history, the Cantonese made an art out of a necessity, and in times of hardship they used every part of an animal, fish, or vegetable. As a result, nothing is allowed to go to waste in a Cantonese kitchen, and no animal is taboo. A famous saying among Cantonese cooks is that the only thing with four legs a man should not eat is a table!

Classical aesthetics dictate the form and order of many eating customs in China, no matter what variety of cooking you enjoy. The concepts of the yin and the yang govern the choice of food, combinations, timing, and order of each dish. It is not an exaggeration to say that most Chinese, rich and poor alike, are gourmets—at least in the sense that they really enjoy good food, and every meal is a banquet.
By Buzzle Staff and Agencies

Crossing Culinary Boundaries with Fusion Cuisine




One of the newest and trendiest forays into culinary exploration involves pairing two unlikely types of ethnic food staples to create an exciting new sensation for your taste buds.By Linda Orlando

For most chefs there are specific boundaries between culinary styles in terms of spices, sauces, fillings, and recipe ingredients. Soy sauce is always associated with Chinese cooking; Italian dishes usually contain oregano; and tamales are usually a Mexican dish. But now, thanks to fusion cooking, there are no holds barred when it comes to jumbling up typical culinary stereotypes to create new taste sensations.

Wolfgang Puck, one of the most notorious culinary experimenters for several decades, is considered by some to be the original instigator of fusion cuisine. In the 1970s, Puck had the idea for pairing two styles of cooking that were on opposite sides of the world from a geographical standpoint: European cooking with Asian cooking. Having been trained in Europe, Puck was also well versed in Asian cooking. So he decided to launch his new experiment in California, smack dab in the middle between the two.

Eurasian cuisine, like other fusion methods developed later, blends ingredients and/or cooking techniques from the two different cultures. For example, Chinese pot sticker dumplings might be filled with traditional English ingredients, such as ground lamb. Risotto may be infused with wasabi or ginger. The styles fused together could be vastly different, such as the French cooking technique of poaching being combined with an Asian staple, tofu. Other possible combinations of culinary cuisine can be subtle, such as combining Thai recipes with Vietnamese cooking styles. The possibilities for exciting combinations are infinite.

The culinary synthesis resulting from fusion cooking is difficult to achieve successfully, despite the fact that there are numerous restaurants across the country that boast a menu of fusion delicacies. The greatest numbers of fusion eateries are located in urban areas such as New York City and Los Angeles, where a cultural melting pot already exists. In cities where residents are already dining at various ethnic restaurants, the population is more amenable to culinary integration inside the same restaurant.

Critics of fusion cuisine refer to it as "confusion" cuisine, saying that too often, chefs combine ingredients that shouldn’t even be in the same kitchen, much less on the same plate. "Confusion" cuisine usually is the result of a chef trying too hard to create something innovative. Classic recipes are so ordinary now that they are almost passé, so in order for a chef to make a name in the culinary world, it is essential to try something new. Unfortunately, the result is often a culinary nightmare.

One of the things that makes fusion cooking such a daunting task is the fact that people’s likes and dislikes vary so widely. One person might think it perfectly wonderful to pair a garlic Caesar salad with tempura battered scallops, while another person would think someone in the kitchen had made a grave error. Successful fusion chefs are the ones who discover unheard-of combinations that appeal to most palates, despite the fact that there will always be critics.

Sending ingredients and techniques from two dissimilar cuisines to collide with each other in a recipe is what most people think of when they think of fusion cuisine. But the term can also apply in a broader sense to a restaurant that serves dishes from diverse cultures, such as a Greek/Italian restaurant that has moussaka listed on the menu alongside pasta Bolognese.

The opposite of fusion cuisine is to create recipes or entire meals from ingredients that are indigenous to a specific geographical region. Chefs who consider this to be the most superior type of cuisine believe that foods grown together in the same climate and at the same altitude will naturally share an affinity with each other. The idea is even carried through to including wines from the same region. Proponents of this type of "territorial" cooking are usually horrified by even the thought of fusion cooking, because it requires crossing boundaries that are firmly in place in their minds.

Some chefs believe that fusion cuisine is simply an attempt to mask a lack of culinary skills, or just a stab at jumping onto the latest food craze bandwagon, whether or not the result is a good one. Many chefs feel that fusion cooking is like the red-headed stepchild of real cuisine, and bringing together disparate styles and ingredients only serves to diminish the integrity of both cuisines.

Despite the rampant criticism of fusion cuisine, you should give it a try to see what you think. But be sure to do your homework before you do, or you may end up in the middle of a gustatory minefield. Research restaurants, ask people you know for recommendations, perhaps even stake out the restaurant and take a look at the menu before deciding to give it a try. No matter how much you love one particular world of cuisine, you might discover that having another world collide with it might not be so bad after all.
By Buzzle Staff and Agencies

Moroccan Recipes

Moroccan cuisine is considered to be one of the most exotic kinds across the globe. Here are some interesting Moroccan recipes to satiate your taste buds!Moroccan cuisine is very popular due to the diverse influences of various cultures. This cuisine shows a major influence of the native Berber cuisine. Green tea with mint is one of the most popular drinks seen in Moroccan cuisine. Apart from green tea, one can see a variety of non-vegetarian items and delicious desserts that form an integral part of Moroccan cuisine. Well, if you are hunting for some authentic Moroccan recipes then you can read some interesting recipes given below.

Moroccan Recipes:

Couscous Recipe:
The Couscous is one of the oldest of dishes that belong to Moroccan cuisine. Take a look at this interesting recipe.

Ingredients:
Water (2 cups)
Olive oil (1 tablespoon)
Fresh orange juice – divided (5 to 6 tablespoons)
Finely grated orange peel (1 teaspoon)
Plain couscous – One 10 ounce box (1 1/2 cups)

Preparation
Take a medium sized saucepan and mix the following ingredients in it – water (2 cups), orange juice (2 tablespoons) and the finely grated orange peel. Bring all these ingredients to a boil. Then, add the couscous and cover the saucepan for sometime. Remove from heat and let the couscous absorb the liquid completely. Then, add orange juice (2–3 tablespoons) as per taste and sprinkle with some salt and pepper.

Spicy Roasted Vegetable Recipe:
Ingredients
Olive oil (4 tablespoons)
Shallots – quartered (2 lbs)
Coarse salt (2 lbs)
Ground cumin (4 teaspoons)
Ground coriander (2 teaspoons)
Ground cinnamon (1 teaspoon)
Unsalted butter (1/4 cup)
Sweet potatoes – peeled, cut into portions (2 lbs)
Red bell peppers – cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips (4)
Butternut squash – peeled, seeded, cut into 3/4-inch portions (4 lbs)

Preparation
First, you would need to preheat the oven to 375°F. Then mix the shallots with a tablespoon of oil. Roast it in a baking pan in the oven for at least 25 minutes. Then, mix the bell peppers, salt, squash, sweet potatoes, coriander and cinnamon. Also add the remainder tablespoons of oil along with the cumin. Now, add the roasted shallots. You would need to divide this between 2 large baking pans.

Add around half the quantity of butter set aside. Then, roast this in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. You may need to switch off the oven occasionally to stir the same. Also remember to switch the position of the pans. Once the vegetables turn tender, this dish is ready to be served!

Moroccan Fish Recipe:
Ingredients
Extra virgin olive oil (1/4 cup)
Ground cumin (3/4 teaspoon)
Drained capers (1 1/2 tablespoons)
Cinnamon (1/2 teaspoon)
Stewed tomatoes – chopped (1 can – 15-ounce)
Hake/halibut fillet – 1-inch thick (4 pieces – 6 ounces)

Preparation
Take a heavy skillet and heat some cumin in oil over medium heat. Ensure you keep stirring this occasionally. Then, add some tomatoes along with the capers and cinnamon. Sprinkle around 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste. Let it simmer while its kept uncovered. Keep stirring occasionally till the preparation thickens for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, pat the fish dry and add some salt and pepper and place it in the skillet. Cover the same and cook the fish for around 10 minutes. Serve hot!
By Kashmira Lad

Recipes from Colonial Times

Eager to know about cooking and foods in the Colonial times? Well, here are some easy-to-make recipes from the Colonial times.Lifestyle in the Colonial times was different from what we do today. Food, for instance, was prepared using a cooking style quite unlike that of today. The Colonial people used the same knife that they used for cutting the wood to cut vegetables and meat. It took quite a long time for cooking, and there were no grocery shops. Cheese and butter were made at home. People in the Colonial times loved corn. They also ate lots of vegetables and fruits.

People living by the sea used to eat clams, lobsters and other seafood. They used to drink milk, beer and cider made from apples and pears. In Colonial times, recipes were known as receipts. Flavoring in Colonial baking included rose water, molasses, coconut, almonds, lemon and Caraway seeds. Spices were dried by the fire, then powdered and sifted before use. Take a look at some delightful food recipes from the Colonial times, and try them out this weekend.

Hobnails

Ingredients
1½ Cup sifted flour
1 Egg, beaten
½ Cup shortening
1 Cup light brown sugar
½ Cup raisins
½ Tsp baking soda
1 Tsp cinnamon
1 Tsp vanilla
½ Tsp salt

Preparation
In a small mixing bowl, cream together shortening and sugar. Then add vanilla and beaten egg. Sift together all the dry ingredients and mix them well. Then, add raisins. Prepare small balls of the mixture. Place them on greased cookie sheet and bake for about 12-15 minutes at 375°F.

Colonial Brown Sugar Cookies

Ingredients
2 Cups flour
1 Cup shortening
1 Cup brown sugar
½ Cup sour cream
1 Egg
2 Tsp baking powder
½-1 Cup raisins
½-1 Cup nuts, chopped
½ Tsp nutmeg
½ Tsp soda
½ Tsp salt

Preparation
In a large bowl, mix together shortening, sugar, nutmeg, egg and salt. Then add flour, sour cream, baking powder and soda. Mix it well. Then, add nuts and raisins in this mixture. Drop a spoonful of mixture, one at a time, onto a greased baking sheet, and bake at 325°F for about 12-15 minutes.

Colonial Stew

Ingredients
1 Lb beef
2 Potatoes
10 Tomatoes
6 Carrots
1 Cup of peas
1 Cup of corn
1 Cup of beans
5 Celery stalks
5 Cups water
5 Cloves garlic, minced
Pepper and salt to taste

Preparation
Brown the beef. In a soup pot, mix together all vegetables. Then add salt and pepper to taste. Add water. Then add meat, reduce the heat. Allow it to simmer over low heat for about one hour.

Applejacks

Ingredients
1 Cup light brown sugar
1 Cup chopped, unpeeled apples
½ Cup shortening
1-1/3 Cup sifted flour
1 Egg
1 Tsp nutmeg
½ Tsp baking soda
½ Tsp salt

Preparation
In a mixing bowl, combine together shortening and sugar. Then, add beaten egg. Sift together the dry ingredients and add to the mixture. Beat it, until mixed well. Then add chopped apples to this mixture. Shape the mixture in small balls and drop these balls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake them for about 12-15 minutes at 375°F.

Get interesting information about Native American food and recipes.
By Reshma Jirage