Orange Roughy With Tomatoes Recipe

Orange Roughy With Tomatoes

orange roughy with tomatoes
2-3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 shallots, minced
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
1 1/2 pounds orange roughy fillets
3/4 cup dry white vermouth
1/4 cup water (or clam juice)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3-4 tablespoons whipping cream

Mix tomatoes, shallots, parsley, salt, and pepper in the bottom of a large oven-safe skillet. Place orange roughy fillets over the tomato mixture. Add vermouth and water (or clam juice) and bring to a simmer on medium heat on the stove top. Cover skillet with lid or foil. Place skillet in a preheated 375 degree oven for 13 to 15 minutes or until fish is opaque. Remove fish to a serving dish and keep warm. Boil remaining juices on high heat until the mixture has reduced to about one half. Mix butter and flour together and then stir into the juices. Cook on medium-heat until thickened, stirring occasionally. Add sugar, whipping cream, and any juice drained from the fish on the serving dish to the sauce mixture. Stir to combine, then pour sauce over fish to serve.

Beer & Cheese Skillet Bread

beer cheese skillet bread
This little Beer & Cheese Skillet Bread is a sweet bread recipe, which I happen to love. It’s super quick and easy and made with the help of baking mix. I also think adding some corn or some jalapenos or both would be an AWESOME addition! If you are not big on the sweet bread thing, cut down on the sugar in the recipe.

The crispy crust from the skillet is just perfection! It makes a great side dish all year long!

Beer & Cheese Skillet Bread

Author: Jaren
Recipe type: Side
4 tbsp butter
4½ cups baking mix
1 tbsp dried parsley
4 tbsp sugar
1¾ cups shredded Colby Jack cheese, divided
2 cups beer

Preheat oven to 375.
Add butter to a 10-inch cast iron skillet. Place in oven to melt.
Whisk baking mix, parsley, sugar, and 1½ cups cheese. Stir in beer until combined.
Pour over melted butter in skillet. Top with another ¼ cup shredded cheese. Place on a baking sheet in oven in case anything spills over the edge of the skillet. Bake for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven once center is set and edges are golden brown. Let cool before slicing.


Dolmeh Felfel Recipe

Dolmeh (stuffed bell peppers) may be served as a main course or a side dish. It makes a great lunch or dinner. You may choose to use a combination of green, red, yellow or orange peppers for their wonderful color combination and flavors.

Dolmeh Felfel – Stuffed Bell Peppers

Serves 8-10

10 medium-size bell peppers, rinsed
1 lb. ground meat (beef, lamb or turkey)
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup rice, rinsed
1/2 cup yellow split peas, rinsed
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1 bunch chives or scallions, chopped
1 bunch of dill, chopped
2 tablespoons dried tarragon
2 tablespoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
A dash of cinnamon
Juice of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons tomato sauce *optional
Olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
Sugar *optional

Cut the tops of each bell pepper and set aside, clean the inside of peppers and remove seeds, lightly salt inside of each pepper.
In a frying pan saute onions in 2 tablespoons of oil until soft and transparent, add turmeric, ground meat, salt and pepper to taste and brown the meat. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, place rice and the split peas, add 3 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of oil and a teaspoon of salt. Cover and cook on medium-low heat until water is fully absorbed for 15-20 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground meat, rice and peas, chopped fresh vegetables, dried herbs and salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.
Spoon the rice and meat mixture into the bell peppers.
Arrange the stuffed peppers in a large pot, put tops back on the peppers.
In a small bowl, mix 1- 1/2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, lemon juice, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the peppers. Cover and cook for about an hour on medium to low heat until the peppers are well cooked.
You can also bake this dish in a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 50 minutes. If you like a sweet dolmeh sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of sugar over the peppers before placing them in the oven.
Serve warm with pickles and bread.

The Power of Juicers

I really like the fact that there are machines like juicers to make my fruits and vegetables easier to consume. Two of the top rated juicers that I enjoy using are; the Breville Juice Mountain Plus and the Nutrifaster Juicer. I want to explain why both juicers are personally a favorite starting with the Breville.


First off, the Breville has a nice silver surface that really feels good and looks better in design. The performance of the Breville is a masterpiece all by itself. Unlike, its competitors the Breville extracts more nutrients from the fruits used. The Breville juicers have sensors on them that makes overloading impossible as it shuts off when it senses the machine might be overloaded. That helps for when kids or someone that doesn’t really know how to use the juicer comes around and gets curious as to what the limits are. As if the Breville juicers were not amazing already, it has two features that make it a safe and easy juicing instrument. The cord storage is what makes me the happiest as it wraps around the machine and snaps on a clip making it that much easier to store safely around the kitchen or home in general and I don’t have to wrap the cord up manually or bunch it together which damages the cord in itself.

My second favorite juicer out is the Nutrifaster juicer. This is one of the more expensive juicers but it is well worth the money in my opinion. Again, the stainless steel design and look is among one of the first impressions I get when I look at the Nutrifaster juicer. For the daily juicing people, the Nutrifaster immediately gets rid of the pulp so that you can get right back to juicing with no wait time in between. The Nutrifaster juices 1 quart of fruit which is 4 cups in just seconds. (Juice recipes)

More Cooking Hacks

Here is a compilation of more cooking hacks to make your kitchen work easier.

  • Add 2 tsp of water to the egg mixture to get fluffy omelette.
  • To peel baby onions/pearl onions easily, soak them in cold water for 20 minutes.
  • Use warm water for kneading dough to get soft rotis.
  • Add a pinch of salt to the water while boiling eggs to prevent the egg shells from cracking.
  • Add a few pieces of raw potato(skin peeled) to remove excess salt in the dish.
  • To powder 4-5 cardamoms- put it on a flat surface and powder it along with sugar using a rolling pin.
  • Add a tsp of oil or a tsp of lemon juice while cooking rice to prevent the grains from sticking.
  • While cooking ladyfingers, add a few drops of lemon juice or a tsp of yogurt to avoid becoming sticky.
  • To reduce the risk of flatulence while having legumes, change the water 2-3 times during the soaking process.
  • Add a pinch of sugar while boiling green peas to retain their green color.
  • To ripen fruits faster, wrap them in a newspaper and keep them in a warm place for 2-3 days.
  • To set curd faster, add a slit green chili to it.
  • If you have excess lemons, squeeze the juice, add salt and deep freeze it in an ice tray. Use it to make juice. Those lemon cubes will stay good for 10 days.
  • For onions to brown quickly, add salt to it while cooking.
  • Soak almonds in hot water for 15 minutes to remove its skin easily.

Choosing an espresso maker within your budget

Unlike drip coffee, espresso is a thicker and more concentrated flavored coffee that provides you with the flavors and caffeine you crave. When it comes to making espresso at home, it might seem like an overwhelming process that can avert you from making a purchase. Choosing the best espresso machine does not have to be difficult, as long as you know what to look for and stick to your budget. You budget is likely going to be your decision maker and help steer you in the right direction. Before making a purchase, think about:

  • The Function-How often will you use the espresso maker?
  • The Size- Where will you put the espresso maker and is there enough room?
  • Use- Who else will be using the espresso maker; your spouse, clients, or just you?
  • Budget- What is your budget?
  • Features- How important are the features and what must the espresso maker have?


For some, the features are as important as the budget and style of the espresso machine. While some prefer a single cup espresso machine others want double makers or even cappuccino functions. All espresso makers are not the same so make sure to review the details and features of the machine you have your heart set on. While some of us want to have a milk frother in the machine, others do not mind having it separate and using different tools to make the froth. Remember, the more features that your super-auto espresso machine has, the more expensive it will be.

Great espresso machine can run anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a couple of thousands of dollars or more. If your budget is unlimited or you have a restaurant, a high-end espresso machine should be a priority. You don’t have to have a huge budget to get a good espresso maker. There are options suitable for everyone’s budget, kitchen and style. (Read this: Affordable automatic espresso machines below 200)

One of the best espresso machines you should invest in are super-automatic espresso machines. Unlike other like-machines, super-automatic espresso devices do it all from grinding your coffee to boiling the water, and creating the perfect milk foam. A super-automatic coffee machine means that you can press one button and you are done. These machines are perfect for offices, restaurants and homes and are very easy to clean and maintain.

Choosing the best espresso machine is not difficult, as long as you stick to your budget and needs. An espresso maker can help you enjoy a fresh cup of coffee every day, in the comfort of your own home. (You might be interested: My list of top espresso makers)


Cooking With Wine

The main reason for cooking food with wine is the benefit of added flavor.

When you are cooking food with wine, there is one basic rule to remember: always use a good wine. That doesn’t mean you have to use an expensive wine, simply use a good tasting wine, or one that you like to drink.

Good and bad wines have two things in common, water and alcohol. Since both of these cook out of your dish, you are left with just the flavoring ingredient, so choose a wine that tastes good to you.

cooking with wineWhen it comes to cooking food with wine, choosing a wine for cooking can be as confusing as choosing a wine to enjoy with your meal. With a little experimentation, you will be able to choose a good wine to cook with, add style to your cooking, and enjoy the experience.

For easy wine opening, I recommend this wine tool kit equipped with tools to open, serve and preserve wine.

Why Dry?

Dry table wines are usually the choice for cooking food with wine, since they add subtle flavor and not too much sweetness. Dry wine is produced when all of the sugar has fermented out of the wine. The taste is tart, but is used in cooking to add flavor. Red wines should be young, dry, and full-bodied, such as Pinot Noir, Chianti, California Mountain Red, or Cabernet. White wines should be dry and full-bodied, however, some dry white wines tend to be thin and sour, so experiment.

Fortified Wines Are Good, Too

Vermouth is a good generic cooking wine that has an added benefit of herb flavors. It is a fortified wine, which means that other flavors, such as herbs and spices, have been added to boost the flavor. Sherry and port wines are other examples of fortified wines and are considered sweet. A sweet wine should be used for fruit or dessert dishes. Always limit the use of fortified wines because there is more flavor in them. It is possible to overdo-it when cooking food with wine, so always taste and adjust.

Cooking With Wine

Wine can be used in three ways to enhance your cooking: as a liquid to cook in, as an ingredient in a marinade, or as a final flavoring ingredient in a dish. Not every dish is suited for wine, especially not every dish in the same meal. Only use wine in your cooking when it has something tasteful to offer to your dish.

Simply pick out a good tasting wine off the shelf and use it for cooking food with wine. The large jugs of red and white wines are suitable, however, they may have a tendency to go bad before you use all of it. Generic red and white wines have become available in vacuum-sealed plastic bags in boxes. These are great since you can use small amounts at a time and it stays fresh. Fortified wines are a good choice because they have a longer shelf life once opened.

Refrain from using “cooking wines”. These are loaded with sodium to make them unfit for drinking. If you can’t drink it, why cook with it?


Recipes with wine
My Personal Reviews of the Best Cookware

Guide to the best juicers

Juicing is a vital element of a healthy lifestyle. Juicing vegetables or fruits ensures that their vitamins, minerals, and enzymes are not destroyed, like it’s i the case of cooking. For these healthy reasons you obviously need to invest in a good reliable and efficient juicer. The best juicer machine 2016 should have less noise, fair price, long warranty, good speed and efficiency.
green juice
One of the best juicer 2016 is the Omega J8006 Nutrition Center Juicer. What I love about this particular juicer is how it works on a slow speed. so as to efficiently extract juice of all kinds of produce without generating heat and foam. It also has a whole 15-year warranty. It’s price may be a little over the top but it’s worth it.

Another favorite of mine is the Breville Compact Juice Fountain 700-watt Juice Extractor. This one has a very affordable price thankfully, and it’s just as easy to use as it is to clean. It is one you can use conveniently in a hurry.

Super angel all stainless steel twin gear juicer. I would recommend this one because it’s juice tastes better than those of plastic juicers. It is also very attractive and classy for those who love finer things in life. This means it’s not cheap but it is extremely durable and easy to maintain. Needless to say this is personal favorite.

The last juicer I am going to recommend is the Breville 800 JEXL Juice Fountain Elite 1000 Watt Juice Extractor. This on is actually one of Breville’s top juicers. It is a high-powered centrifugal-type juicer. which features 2 speed controls. It generate low heat which ensures that it’s juice is high on enzymes and minerals. It is also convenient to use since it can accommodate whole fruits and vegetables so yo don’t have to spent time and energy cutting them in smaller pieces.

Rachael Ray Cookware: The Perfect Cookware Set

Rachael Ray cookware set
For those who have passion for cooking, and value the quality of their food, having the proper cookware is a must. A set of cookware can range from pocket change to over a thousand dollars. I can personally tell you that choosing a set of Rachael Ray cookware was a great decision for me. The Anodized 14-piece cookware set has it all. First off, the appearance of the whole set is beautiful and can really add some flare to your kitchen. The design is one of the best I have seen because of how sturdy, yet easy to use it is. The non-stick design is easy to clean and does a fantastic job of locking in the flavors you want to get out of whatever creation you are cooking at the moment. It comes with specially crafted rubberized handles that provide comfort and flexibility that make turning and maneuvering the cookware painless. Another great feature of the Rachael Ray cookware set is that it offers a shatter-resistant lid on all of the pots and pans that helps me watch over all of the food that I am cooking without losing any of the quality. I have owned this cookware set for over a year and could not be more pleased with the results. It has made cooking for the entire family much more fun and more convenient. I have also had many friends and family ask me where I got this set and I was happy to refer them. The cookware reviews I got from them were all parallel with my own review. Coming from someone like myself that truly loves cooking and always wants the highest quality product, I strongly recommend getting a Rachael Ray cookware set. You will enjoy it as much as I do and you will not be disappointed!

Fruit Salad With Muscat Wine Recipe

Fruit Salad With Muscat Wine

Fruit Salad With Muscat Wine
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup diced mango
1 cup diced honeydew melon
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup canned pineapple chunks


1/4 cup muscat wine
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
fresh mint for garnish

Combine fruit in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together muscat wine, brown sugar, honey, and orange zest. Pour dressing over fruit and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

I enjoy cooking food with wine. As the wonderful aromas fill my kitchen I can enjoy a sip or two of the wine and know that whatever dish I am preparing will be better for it. If you want to be a gourmet cook, you simply must learn about cooking food with wine.

More fruit salad recipes:

Best Summer Fruits Salad Recipes –

My Personal Reviews of the Best Cookware

It’s hard to find good cookware reviews. This is my reviews of some of the best cookware. Cookware can be anything from pots to pans. These cookware I’m reviewing are traditional and stainless steel. The first cookware is the Earth Pan 2 Sandflow Nonstick. This cookware has excellent performance and comes at a great price. What makes this cookware so good is it is non-stick inside and out and comes in terracotta or espresso.

The nonstick finish is made without PTFE. Believe it or not the right cookware makes a world of difference as with anything else. For instance if you wear bad running shoes the cushion wouldn’t support your weight. With cookware if the quality is bad the food might not cook as smoothly so when it is finished it doesn’t come out as nice.
cookware (2)
The next cookware is Anolon. This is also non-stick. Whats good about it is it distributes heat evenly. The bad thing which is minor is it only comes in Bronze. The next one is Sur La. This is excellent all round value. It also distributes heat evenly and also maintains a steady simmer. The only bad thing is the handles are attached with rivets.

The next one is Paula Deen. This is porcelain enamel. This is good because it is available in orange and red. Lol like the previous this one also distributes heat evenly and is also easy to clean. The other good thing is the exterior doesn’t stain which makes it an easy clean up.The bad thing is the way this cookware is designed makes it look like its lower quality but its not. So there you have it, my complete cookware reviews. I do a bit of cooking myself and this would help me. I never used to pay attention that much to cookware.

Recommendation on the best Aroma rice cookers

aroma rice cooker

With the many designs and styles of rice cookers existing on the market, it is a bit mystifying to figure out the one to buy. I’ve done enough research and gathered information from electric rice cooker reviews, which can help simplify your decision. In this post, I’ll discuss three best aroma rice cooker 2016 that could probably be your choice.

Aroma 5.5 Cup Rice Cookers

The aroma 5.5 cup brand is one of the best rice cookers. Besides, cooking it keeps the rice warm using a micro computerized downy logic tech. Aroma 5.5 cup cooker interior is coated with stainless steel. The steel makes the rice cooker’s breeze to be clean. An easy to read LCD panel is installed right in front of the logic tech. I loved its built in retractable power cord, which makes it simple to store. The cooker has settings for steam, cake, porridge, mixed and sushi. Probably, this cooker will play a great role in your best aroma rice cooker 2016 choice.

Aroma 8-Cup Digital Rice Cooker

The 8-Cup Digital steamer and cooker gave me restaurant quality rice all the time. I could prepare healthy steamed meals, one pot dishes and more all on a press of a button. The cooker is very easy to use. It could prepare two to eight cups of rice at ago. It has a programmable digital control system that is easy to use and includes quality settings like white rice, brown rice and keep warm. These settings are actually perfect for making gumbo, jambalaya, chili and more.

Aroma 20-Cup Digital Rice Cooker

This cooker can be programmed for a slow cook to work for full 10 hours, giving an incredible tender roast. With the cooker, I could cook rice, make chili, stews & soups, steam or cook meat and even steam vegetables.

Sure enough, one of the rice cookers discussed above will be your choice for best aroma rice cooker 2016.

Kitchen Knife Set that Don’t Slash the Budget


There is an old adage, ‘When the only tool you have is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail.” As a frequent amateur chef, I began to realize this saying in how I prepared meals. I had a food processor and a cheese grater, and basically any other utensil I could get my hands on that saved me from having to use a knife. Why you might ask? Because I was using the same old kitchen knives, literally, that my mother had given me. I was blinded to the fact that my lack of effective, razor sharp cutlery was affecting how and what I cooked up.

The problem was, every time I read reviews on the best knife set brand online, it seemed the options confused me. I truly felt like I was caught between a rock and a hard place. I knew I needed to do something, but didn’t have any ideas. As luck would have it, I attended a birthday dinner at a local Japanese Hibachi restaurant. I was no surprised to see the grill master slicing and dicing with a superior looking blade. Given my recent desire for better cutlery, I had to find out where he had gotten his knife. I was stunned to find out that it was not an expensive Japanese knife, in fact it was a Henckel’s knife. As in J.A. Henckels, affordable American cutlery.

When I got home, I quickly went to work to find the knife set reviews for the Henckel’s set. I found out that while they don’t have a huge market share, they are wildly popular with anyone who has purchased them! Just as importantly, I was able to buy them for under 200 dollars. This was a complete shock, as every top rated Japanese set of knives I looked at cost thousands of dollars.

I ordered my only set of Henckels knives and have been thrilled. I say it was my only set because the blades have incredible staying power. I’ve had them sharpened only once in five years and they still are great for chopping the garlic thin enough that it will liquify immediately in a pan. I have since made an army out of Henckels believers, and everyone I have recommended them to has had the same experience. I once thought that an inexpensive chef knife set that did the trick was a pipe dream, but my J.A. Henckels have shown me that a great knife can be found without breaking the bank.

Crockpot Sausage & Potatoes


We served these sausage and potatoes with corn-on-the-cob, which my kids LOVE! Nothing better to these Louisiana folks than sausage, corn, and potatoes!

Hope you’ll try it soon!

Crockpot Sausage & Potatoes

Author: Jaren
Recipe type: Main Dish

1.5 lbs. smoked pork sausage, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
2.5 lbs. medium russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 10 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
¾ tsp. creole seasoning

Spray crockpot with cooking spray unless you use a liner*
Place all ingredients in crockpot. Stir.
Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.
*Use a slow cooker liner for easy clean up! You can find these with the plastic storage bags in the grocery store.

Sour Cream Breakfast Casserole

breakfast casseroleThis Sour Cream Breakfast Casserole recipe is one of the BEST breakfast casseroles I’ve eaten to date! My mom made it for a bridal brunch shower we had recently. It is so creamy and delicious with all that sour cream! I had to make it again! My kids loved it too! Heck, we might even be having it for an easy supper one night at the start of school. We love breakfast for supper! We used challah bread, which is so perfect for a breakfast casserole, but you can certainly substitute a french bread. You just need a pretty sturdy bread.

And the best best part of this recipe….you make it ahead…whoop whoop!! Hope you enjoy!

Sour Cream Breakfast Casserole
Author: Jaren
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 8

8 1 inch thick slices of challah bread* (about ½ loaf), cubed
8 eggs
1 lb. breakfast sausage
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups milk
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp salt
¾ tsp pepper

Brown breakfast sausage until cooked through and drain on a paper towel.
Spray cooking oil spray inside a 13 x 9 casserole dish.
Place bread cubes into bottom of casserole dish followed by sausage and cheese.
In a bowl, beat eggs with milk, sour cream, and salt and pepper. Pour this mixture over the other ingredients in the casserole dish.
Refrigerate overnight.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes covered. Uncover and bake 30 more minutes.

*French bread can be substituted.

Tropical Chicken Lasagna

I enjoyed the Flor de Itabo omelet, so I decided to see what the flowers would be like in other things! I put some raw in a salad – good too! So, ambition struck :-)…
Tropical Chicken Lasagna
Tropical Chicken Lasagna

– 1/2 kg chicken breast
– sauce (see below)
– packet lasagna noodles
– 2 zucchini
– 2 cups raw Flor de Itabo (flowers only), rinsed
– handful of fresh basil leaves
– 1/2 package ricotta cheese (if unavailable, mix 2 eggs w/ queso en polvo)
– 1/4 kg maduro cheese
– 1/4 kg palmito and/or tierno cheese
– cheese en polvo

1) Cook chicken in a little water, then tear into small bite-sized pieces
2) In a 9×13 inch pan:
– coat w/ a little oil (optional)
– add a thin layer of sauce
3) Layer w/ the following (I can usually only get in 2 layers):
– raw lasagna noodles
– sauce
– Flor de Itabo
– basil
– sliced zucchini
– cheese: ricotta, maduro, palmito, tierno
4) Cover w/ aluminum foil (I like to stick a toothpick in at either end to keep the foil from sticking to the lasagna)
5) Bake at 350F for 45 – 55 minutes
6) Remove foil, bake another 5-10 minutes to brown the top
7) Remove from oven, let cool 10 minutes, then cut to serve

Serve w/ cheese en polvo, and any remaining sauce

Sauce – Cook and stir to thicken, about 5 minutes:
– 2 packets “Pollo de la Reina” white sauce mix
– 1 cup coconut milk
– 1/2 cup water
– 1 cup milk
– 1 Tbsp oil (optional)

Measuring and Portioning Devices

Recipe ingredients must be measured precisely, especially in baking, and foods should be measured when served to control portion size and cost.

Measurements may be used upon weight or volume. Examples of weight would be grams, ounces, or pounds. Examples of volume would be teaspoons, cups, or gallons. It is important to have both liquid and dry measuring cups and a variety of scales. Thermometers and timers are also measuring devices.

Scales are used to determine the weight of an ingredient or a portion of food.

Portion scales use a spring, round dial and single flat tray. They are available in grams, ounces, or pounds. Electronic scales also use a spring, but provide digital readouts.

Balance or Baker’s Scale use a two-tray, free-weight counterbalance system. This scale allows more weight to be measured at one time because it is not limited by spring capacity.

Volume Measures
Ingredients may be measured by volume using measuring spoons and measuring cups.

Measuring spoons usually include 1/4 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, and 1 tablespoon.

Liquid measuring cups are available from 1 cup to 1 gallon.

Measuring cups for dry ingredients include 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, and 1 cup units. They do not have a pour spout as do liquid measuring cups.

Glass measuring cups are not recommended because they can break.

Ladles are useful for portioning liquids such as sauces, soups, and stocks. Ounces or milliliters, is stamped on the handle.

Portion Scoops
Portion scoops are also known as dishers. They resemble ice cream scoops. Scoops are useful for portioning vegetables, salads, muffin batters or other soft foods. The number of level scoopfuls per quart is stamped on either the handle or the release mechanism. The higher the scoop number, the smaller the scoop’s capacity.

Stem-type thermometers, including instant-read models, are inserted into foods. Instant-read thermometers provide quick temperature readings and should not be left in foods that are cooking because it may cause damage to the thermometer.

Candy and fat thermometers measure temperatures up to 400 degrees using mercury in a column of glass. Be careful not to subject glass thermometers to quick temperature changes as the glass may shatter.

Electronic probe thermometers are useful inside and oven and for deep-frying and grilling. They provide immediate, clear, digital readouts from a handheld unit attached to a metal probe.

Infrared thermometers can instantly monitor the surface temperature of foods during cooking or holding, and the temperature of goods at receiving and in storage.

Portable kitchen timers are useful for any busy cook. Select a timer with a loud alarm signal and long timing capability.

Processing Equipment or Appliances

Processing equipment is used to chop, grind, mix, puree, or slice foods. Processing equipment can either be electrical or nonelectrical devices.

A mandoline is a manually operated slicer. It is also used to make julienne and waffle-cut slices.

Food Processor
A food processor is used to chop nuts, puree cooked foods, emulsify sauces, and compound butters. Special disks can be added that shred, julienne, or slice foods.

A blender is similar to a food processor, however, a blender has a tall, narrow food container and a four-pronged blade. It is used to process liquids or liquefy foods quickly.

Immersion Blender
An immersion blender is also called a hand blender or wand. The immersion blender eliminates the need to transfer the food from one container to another because food can be blended in the same bowl.

The three common mixing attachments are the whip, the paddle, and the dough hook. The whip is used for whipping eggs or cream. The paddle is used for general mixing. The dough hook is used for kneading bread. Some mixers can be fitted with shredder/slicers, meat grinders, juicers or power strainers.

There are two types of juicers available: reamers and extractors. Reamers remove juice from citrus fruits. They are manual or electric. Juice extractors are electrical devices that create juice by liquefying raw fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Groceries for Asian Cooking

If you enjoy Asian cooking, you will *love* “Super Sony” in San José! It is an Asian market *full* of delightful foods – prepared sauces, spices, dried mushrooms, interesting candies, umpteen types of rice, wasabi, fresh eggplant, tofu, soy cheeses…

If you need chopsticks, steamers, soup spoons, or whatever, they have that too. Oh! and an *enormous* wok! at *least* a yard in diameter – c75.000 and it’s yours!

For my friends living in Costa Rica who can’t (or just don’t want to) get into San José often, this joy will take your grocery list via phone or email, and send your goodies to you – anywhere in the country! While you would probably want to make at least a first trip in to see what is possible, all you need to do* for deliveries is:
1) call or email your list (English or Spanish) to Carolina:
carolina [at] supersony [dot] com
2) they will reply with a price and date available, and money transfer info
3) transfer money to them
4) wait for you goodies to arrive!

* my caveat – I haven’t done this, since I live near enough (and don’t need stuff that often)

To get there, go 350 m South of the National Theatre on Calle 3. It’s on the left, between Ave 8 and Ave 10.

I went today, and this evening’s dinner was a fabulous Chicken and Veggies in Garlic Black Bean Sauce – to die for!

Some Common Cookware for the Kitchen

Pots are available in a range of sizes based on volume. They are used on stove tops for makings soups or stocks, or for boiling or simmering foods.

Pans are round vessels with one long handle and sloped or straight sides. Pans are available in a range of diameters and used on the stove top usually for sauteing, frying, or reducing liquids rapidly.

Woks have round bottoms and curved sides to make it easy to toss or stir contents. Their large domed lids retain heat well for steaming vegetables.

Strainers and Sieves
Strainers and sieves are usually used to remove impurities from dry ingredients and drain puree cooked foods. The usually have a stainless steel mesh or screen through which food passes.

Chinois and China Cap
Both of these are cone-shaped metal strainers. They are used for straining stocks and sauces. The chinois is made from a very fine mesh screen and is useful for consomme. The china cap has a perforated metal body and can be used with a pestle to puree soft foods.

Skimmer and Spider
Both of these have a long handle and are used to remove fat or impurities from liquids. The skimmer has a flat disk used for skimming stocks or removing foods from soups or stocks. The spider has a finer mesh disk and is used to remove items from hot fat.

Cheesecloth is a woven cotton gauze used for straining socks and sauces and wrapping poultry or fish for poaching. Always rinse cheesecloth before use; this removes lint and prevents it from absorbing other liquids.

Food Mill
A food mill strains and purees food at the same time. Food is placed in the hopper and a hand-crank turns the blade forcing food through the disk.

Flour Sifter
A sifter is used for blending and removing impurities from dry ingredients such as flour, cocoa, and leavening agent.

Kitchen Equipment You’ll Need for Cooking

Stove Tops
Stove tops or ranges are the most important cooking equipment in the kitchen. They are powered by gas or electricity. The burners may be open or covered with a cast-iron or steel plate. Open burners supply quick, direct heat. A steel plate, known as a flat top, supplies even but less intense heat. Many stoves include both flat tops and open burners.
Griddles are similar to flat tops except they are made of a thinner metal plate. Foods are usually cooked directly on the griddle’s surface, not in pots or pans. Griddles are popular for fast food restaurants.

Conventional ovens may be separate, freestanding units or decks stacked one on top of the other. In stack ovens, pans are placed directly on the deck or floor and not on wire racks.
Convection ovens use internal fan to circulate the hot air. This cooks foods more evenly and quickly. Convection ovens are powered either by gas or electric. Convection oven temperatures may need to be reduced by 25 degrees to 50 degrees from those recommended for conventional ovens.

Wood Burning Ovens
These ovens have a curved interior chamber that is usually recessed into a wall. Wood burning ovens provide aromas and flavors associated with brick ovens. A wood fire is built inside the oven to heat the brick chamber. The ashes are swept out and the food is placed on the flat oven floor. This oven provides distinct flavors to foods.

Microwave Ovens
Microwave ovens are available in a range of sizes and power settings. They are used to cook and reheat foods. They do not brown foods unless fitted with special browning elements.

Broilers and Grills
Broilers and grills are usually used to prepare meats, fish, and poultry. For a grill, the heat source is beneath the rack. For a broiler, the heat source is above the food. Most broilers are gas powered; grills may be electric, gas, or burn wood or charcoal.

A salamander is a small overhead broiler used to brown foods.

A rotisserie is similar to a broiler except that the food is placed on a revolving spit in front of the heat source.

Tilting Skillets
Tilting skillets are large, freestanding, flat-bottomed pans about 6 inches deep with an internal heating element below the pan’s bottom. They have a hand-crank that turns the pan to pour out the contents. Tilting skillets can be used as braziers, fry pans, stockpots, griddles or steam tables.

Steam Kettles
Steam kettles are also known as steam-jacketed kettles. They are similar to stockpots except they are heated from the bottom and sides by steam. Foods heat more evenly this way. Steam kettles are most often used for making sauces, soups, custards, or stocks.

Convection and pressure steamers are used to cook foods quickly using direct contact with steam. Convection steamers generate steam in an internal boiler, then release it over the foods in a cooking chamber.

Deep-Fat Fryers
Deep-fat fryers are used to cook foods in a large amount of hot fat. They usually come steel wire baskets to hold the food during cooking. The most important factor when choosing a deep-fryer is recovery time. This is the length of time it takes the fat to return to the desired cooking temperature after food is submerged in it. If the temperature drops too much or does not return quickly , the food may become too greasy.

Blackened Tilapia and Zucchini with Coconut Onion Garlic Rice

Rick had a nice idea for dinner tonight! I have a long-standing favorite recipe for Spiced Zucchini that I like for a side dish (especially good with an all-out baked chicken dinner), and I had mentioned that a friend had recently cooked blackened Tilapia. He put the two together, and said “how ’bout Blackened Tilapia with your zucchini spices?”

And a star was born…

Blackened Tilapia and Zucchini with Coconut Onion Garlic Rice

Blackened Tilapia and Zucchini
Spiced Zucchini
Slice (and optionally lightly salt) 3-4 zucchini – set aside
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat
Sprinkle over the hot oil (each should bubble slightly when added):
– ground coriander / cumin
– ground cloves
– cinnamon
– ginger
– nutmeg
Add the zucchini.
Sprinkle with cayenne, stir to coat the zucchini with oil, and cover.
Let the bottom zucchini brown, then turn. Cook until almost soft.
Serve immediately.

Blackened Tilapia
Follow the recipe for Spiced Zucchini above, but add one filet of Tilapia at the same time as the zucchini (I also reduced the amount of zucchini by 1/2).

Coconut Onion Garlic Rice
– slice one large onion into half-moons
– roughly chop 3 cloves of garlic
– toss in a small pan with 2 Tablespoons of butter and cook on high, with the lid on (stirring occasionally) until the onion is transparent and a little browned.
– turn down to medium/low heat and add 1 cup of leftover coconut rice
– stir occasionally until warmed through

Coconut Rice
In a covered pot, mix:
– 1 part dry rice
– 1 part coconut milk
– 1 part water
– 1 stick cinnamon
– salt and oil to taste
Bring to a boil, stir, then turn heat to almost off. Cook with the lid on for 20 minutes, then turn off heat. Stir before serving.

The above combination made a very nice dinner for two :-)