Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Mom Cooking Tip 111


if you need something cooled-off quickly, put it in the freezer for 30 minutes.  However, don’t make a habit of this because you don’t want your frozen foods to start defrosting.

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Sunday, May 28, 2017

I Can Make That Too: Chicken Tikka in Mom’s Kitchen vs. the Restaurant Version

Mom's Chicken Tikka
Chicken Tikka is basically an Indian shish kebab with lots of spices.  Traditionally these kebabs are cooked in a tandoor oven, which can heat up to nearly 1,000 degrees.  Indian restaurants have such ovens.  I don’t.  I researched online and found one for $600+. Not worth it.  I decided to use my own oven, which will heat to 545 degrees and makes perfectly respectable Chicken Tikka.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Mom Cooking Tip 110


To help bacon slices separate from each other, roll the package of bacon into a cylinder and squeeze it a few times before opening it.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Revisiting Old Favorites

Ground Turkey Stroganoff
My tastes have changed.  I began to realize this when leafing through a collection of old recipes, looking for something different to cook. 

I stumbled on Hamburger Stroganoff, a dish I made regularly when I was first out of college.  When I read the list of ingredients, though, I began having second thoughts.  I don’t eat ground beef any more, and I stopped using canned cream of anything soup years ago.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Argentine Red Shrimp: What Are They and How Do I Cook Them?


Argentine Red Shrimp, also called crustacean shellfish, are wild caught in the Southern Atlantic and have much more flavor than the average shrimp.  They are usually sold frozen in bags, 16-to-20 per pound.  Most likely they will be raw, and their tough shells, which are red, will still be attached.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Mom Money-Saving Tip 83


If you live where lemons are plentiful only part of the year, freeze freshly squeezed lemon juice into ice cube trays.  Once the cubes have frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag and use as needed.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Yikes! Not Chicken Again!

Moroccan Chicken
Sometimes I go overboard when I see a sale on boneless chicken breasts.  When I’m loading a 4-pound package into my cart, all I can think about is “What a great bargain this is.”  Only when I’m starring at it in my refrigerator do I actually think about having to cook it and eat it.

I knew that freezing half of what I bought would solve the immediate problem, but experience has taught me that chicken tastes better when it’s freshly cooked. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mom Cooking Tip 109


Chocolate makes just about everything taste better, especially chocolate cookies that aren’t quite as chocolaty as you’d hoped.  Start melting a cup of chocolate chips in a small, thick-bottomed pan over low heat and stir until the chips start to lose their shape.  Remove from the heat, stir until all the chocolate has melted and then dip fruit, cookies or marshmallows halfway into the chocolate.  Place on a wax paper-covered plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes until the chocolate has hardened.  Transfer to a serving dish.

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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Question for Mom


What is a silicone baking mat, and how would I use one?  Howard M.

Imagine being able to bake cookies and bagels or roast vegetables and meat without having to grease the pan or scrape off encrusted pieces of food.  Just lay the mat onto a bare baking sheet as you would foil or parchment paper.  Do NOT grease the mat.  Then place whatever you want to bake on top of it--even if it's frozen--it and put it in the oven to bake.

A silicone baking mat saves endless cleanup because nothing sticks to it.  After use, just wipe it with a damp cloth, rinse in clear water and air dry.  With proper care, it will last for years.

To keep this baking mat in good working order:

Don't use it under the broiling unit or on an outdoor grill,
Don't lay it directly on an oven rack.
Don't cut it.  These mats come in several sizes.  Buy the size that best suits your needs.
Store flat or rolled in a tube.

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

I Can Make That Too: Honey Shrimp in Mom’s Kitchen vs. the Restaurant Version

Mom's Honey Shrimp
Until I ate some Honey Shrimp at Pho Show in Redondo Beach, CA, it never occurred to me to combine these two ingredients.  They work surprisingly well together.  And here I thought the best match-up with shrimp was cocktail sauce!

That’s because of my Western Pennsylvania childhood.  The only times I ever had shrimp was at restaurants, and they were always served as Shrimp Cocktail.  How ignorant I was.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Tilapia: What Is It and How Do I Cook It?


Tilapia sounds like something that belongs in a tool box, but it’s actually a fish.  It was virtually unknown until about 15 years ago, when it started being farmed.  Now it's very popular. 

Tilapia is not a fashionable fish, but I like it for a number of reasons:

1) It’s reasonably priced
2) The fillets have no bones
3) It’s easy to bake - see Crunchy Baked Fish
4) It has a mild flavor

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Sunday, May 7, 2017

Mom Cooking Tip 108


When cooking pasta, be sure to stir the noodles a few times during the cooking process, especially at the beginning.  This helps prevent the noodles from sticking together.

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Friday, May 5, 2017

Is Cauliflower the Hot New Kid on the Block?

Roasted Cauliflower
Every so often an old-time vegetable shoots to the top of the fashionable pile.  Recently it was kale.  Now it seems to be cauliflower’s turn.  If you’re tired of boring old white, this vegetable is even available in different colors—green, purple and orange.

I first became aware of cauliflower’s transformation to hotness when my friend Lynne, who has worked in the food industry for many years, told me that she finally found a non-meat item her husband would eat for dinner—Roasted Cauliflower.  She sent me her recipe, and sure enough, it not only looked good but it also tasted good.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Mom Money-Saving Tip 82


Do you need a quick and cheap vegetable side dish?  Try making Broiled Onions.  
Broiled Onions - serves 4 
1 large purple onion 
1 large white or yellow onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
Slice the onions into very thin rings.  Put the slices in a large bowl and separate the rings with your fingers.  Add the olive oil, lemon juice, cumin and salt and stir well. 
Preheat the broiler to High.  Transfer the onion mixture to a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or foil for easy clean-up.  Spread the onions into a thin layer and broil for 5 minutes.  Stir the mixture and broil for another 5 minutes.  Transfer the broiled onions to a bowl and serve.  
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Monday, May 1, 2017

Mom Cooking Tip 107



With corn coming into season, here’s a quick way to remove corn silks.  Rub them off with a damp paper towel.

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