Food

How to hold a hamburger properly.

April 12th, 2012 § Leave a Comment

Reblogged from Brent The Gent:

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Have you ever been watching a fast food commercial and wondered why paid actors can’t hold hamburgers like normal people. It’s makes me laugh every time I see it. Holding a hamburger can be considered a science, and the directors of these commercials must have failed science in school. When you consider how many different burgers are available, technique may vary from one to another, but should never resemble what I see in these ads.

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St. Patrick’s Recipe Ideas

In the spirit of St Patrick’s this past weekend, I found a really delicious idea for making cookies, down to being green and shaped in four leaved clovers. Enjoy:)

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

Super Bowl Snack Ideas

Here are some wonderful ideas for snacks, if anyone is in the mood to get quite creative. I know I’ll definitely attempt the “pigs in a blanket”. Anyway, enjoy!! 😀

Super Bowl Party Recipes

Street Food Showdown Indianapolis

This event is hosted by the Indianapolis Superbowl committee and definitely worth checking out if you are the downtown area today. For more information, check out the link below:

Street food showdown Friday at Downtown City Indianapolis Star

Nigerian-style Lunch

Definitely one of my more favorite food item to cook and eat is plantain. As a Nigerian, I have seen the plantain prepared and morphed into countless dishes; some sensible while some leave you with a look of uncertainty. However, all of the meals I have had with plantain have proven to be just delicious and I go back for more. A typical lunch will be this recipe below

Fried rice, plantains and fried fish stew with Chapman (Naija style)

Definitely attempt this recipe when you are looking for a more oriental-style dish 😀

THE QUEST FOR STEAK

Lately, I have had strong cravings for steak and red meat (I have random food cravings ALL the time) which has set me on the path to finding the best forms of steak out there. I recently  found this recipe on a friend’s blog and immediately tried it. I was more than pleased with my outcome, its definitely way up on my list of meals during this period. Check it out and try it, you will not be disappointed 😀 😀

Steak Potatoes Chard

Devour Downtown – Two Weeks of Delicious Menus!

Devour Downtown Indianapolis is a bi-yearly two-week long event where over 30 participating downtown Indianapolis restaurants offer special 3-course $30 dinner menus! Click here to see some of Indianapolis’ finest restaurant’s specialized menus!

Homemade Bread Made Simple

I’m all about saving $$$ when it comes to everyday living. I prepare my meals carefully each month, planning out 2 weeks worth of daily menus so as to not buy more than what I need, cutting down on the possibility of food going bad and sitting in my fridge for months on end (gross). I always make enough food for leftovers, and use ingredients in multiple meals so as to best utilize the amount for the dollar. One thing that we have started doing in my lovely abode is baking our own bread. I think I’ve bought perhaps 1 loaf of bread in the past few months, otherwise we’ve made it ourselves. Now yes, bread is rather cheap, but you still save since bread ingredients are very cheap to purchase, there’s no plastic packaging that gets tossed each week, and let’s face it, homemade anything is better than the packaged deal. My mum bought me a bread maker for Christmas last year, which helps, but I’ve found some recipes that are rather simple to make by hand – it takes no bread making expertise to do! It’s a mix-let sit-fold over-bake type of recipe, and it makes a beautiful crusty loaf that’s fluffy and soft on the inside, very similar to that of an artisan bread.

IMG_5766

Speedy No-Knead Bread
[From The New York Times, and also found on Lisa’s Food on the Move Blog about simplified living].

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 packet ( 1/4 ounce) instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • Oil as needed

1. Combine flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups water and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest about 4 hours at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Lightly oil a work surface and place dough on it; fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes more.

3. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6-to-8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under dough and put it into pot, seam side up. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.

4. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: 1 big loaf.

New Found Recipes, Definitely worth a try!

Listed below are some new recipes that I have recently come across, and am thrilled with! Check them out, and give them a try in your kitchen – they’re decently simple, and oh-so-good.

  • Alfredo Sauce
    Awesome facts about this recipe
    : It is ridiculously fast to make, just throw everything into a food processor or blender at once, and you’re done! Also, this recipe is originally a vegan selection, however I’ve listed my suggestions in red for a couple alterations for those of us who do not live a day-to-day vegan lifestyle. Another plus: a tasty, flavorful version of Alfredo without the high in fat additions in which most recipes call for.
    Recipe Source: VeganYumYum.com

    Hurry Up Alfredo
    Makes 2-3 Servings

1 Cup Soymilk I have been using the soy milk for this recipe, but I’m sure regular dairy milk works just as well.
1/3 Cup Raw, Unsalted Cashews I’ve made the recipe without Cashews, and it still tastes great. I prefer it with, but it still works without.
1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, for those of us who eat dairy.
3 Tbs Low-Sodium Tamari or Soy Sauce
2 Tbs Earth Balance Margarine 2 Tbs of unsalted butter
1 Tbs Tahini I recommend the Tahini, but if you do not have any in stock, a small pinch of Cumin will suffice.
1 Tbs Fresh Lemon Juice
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 tsp Paprika (smoked is awesome)
1 Pinch Nutmeg
2-4 Cloves of Garlic, optional
Black pepper, to taste

Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. This may work best in a high-speed blender (like a Vita-Mix), but you can definitely make it in a regular blender. Just blend extra-long, or perhaps strain if if you want it perfectly smooth. Tiny bits of cashews won’t hurt anyone though!

If you’re making this sauce for pasta, drain the pasta and return it to the hot empty pan. Pour the sauce over, place on medium heat, and stir until heated through. Serve with lots of fresh cracked black pepper. I love it with steamed broccoli added in!

  • Potato Salad
    Awesome facts about this recipe: This recipe, another great creation by Vegan Yum Yum, is yet again quick and easy, and without the prep in which regular potato salad requires. You mix all ingredients in a small bowl, cook your potatoes, and then mix the two. That is all! Also, this can be served warm or cold. There are two recipes for potato salad on this website, and so far, I’ve only made the vinegrette selection. And it is amazing.
    Recipe source: VeganYumYum.com

Potato Salad with Herbed Dijon Vinaigrette
Serves 2-4

1 1/2 to 2 lbs New potatoes, halved

Dressing:
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp White Wine Vinegar
1/2 tsp Fresh Black Pepper
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/4 Packed Cup Parsley, chopped
1/8 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp Sugar

Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. A small blender like the magic bullet works well to help emulsify the dressing, but you can easily whisk it by hand. Set aside the dressing until ready to use. I have always made it whisked by hand, and it works great.

Boil the potatoes in well-salted water until tender but not falling apart. You can also cook them in a pressure cooker on the second ring for 4 minutes, using the natural-release method.

Let the potatoes cool, but not all the way. When the potatoes are still hot/warm, but cool enough to handle, mix them with the dressing. Let sit for several minutes before serving to allow the flavors to blend, or refrigerate until ready to serve. I think it tastes best at room temperature or slightly warm, so serving them shortly after preparing is best.

For a little twist, you can reheat leftover vinaigrette potatoes under the broiler until crispy and heated through.

  • Hummus
    Awesome facts about this recipe
    : Although it takes a little bit of prep (around 3 hours), the recipe itself is fresh and easy. Tahini can be found in most local grocery stores, within an international food selection aisle. It’s an ingredient used in many middle eastern and eastern Europe recipes.
    Recipe Source: NPR’s article, Learning who you are through what you eat, by Michele Kayal. Click on the link for more recipes which accompany the article, such as baklava, and meat pies!

Makes 6 servings
1 cup dried chickpeas
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (or more to taste)
2 to 3 medium-sized cloves garlic, peeled and mashed until smooth with a pinch of salt in mortar and pestle
1/2 cup tahini
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

If using dried chickpeas, place them in a pot and cover with 4 cups cold water. Add baking soda and stir. Cover pot and place in refrigerator. Let soak at least 12 hours.

Drain the chickpeas and rinse well. Cover the chickpeas with 4 cups fresh water, cover pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat immediately, letting covered pot simmer gently for about 45 minutes. The chickpeas are done when the inside is a uniform yellow, with no white nodes of starch.

Drain the chickpeas, retaining about 2 cups cooking water. Let chickpeas cool to room temperature. Place chickpeas and cooking water in the refrigerator until well chilled, about two hours. Do not put hot chickpeas in refrigerator — they’ll get pasty.

Place chilled chickpeas in food processor. Add salt and lemon juice. Process about 1 minute, until mixture is very smooth and lighter in color. If the mixture is too thick or the blade is straining, add cooking water 1 tablespoon at a time.

Place puree in a fine mesh sieve over a bowl. With rubber spatula, force puree through the sieve. The skins of the chickpeas will be left behind in the sieve. Discard skins.

Rinse food processor and blade, and return the puree to the processor. Add garlic, tahini and spices, and process just until mixed.

With processor running, drizzle the olive oil into the hummus. Scrape down the sides, and adjust salt and lemon. If mixture is not light and creamy, add cooking water 1 tablespoon at a time until it is.

Serve topped with olive oil and a sprinkle of cumin. Use pita bread or fresh raw vegetables for dipping.

Mmm, Pizza – Recommendations for the Best in the U.S!

BBC Travel site checks into their favourite pizza finds in the U.S, courtesy of a Lonely Planet partnership. From New York, to Chicago, to St. Louis, and New Haven check out their finds for a yummy recommendation of cheesy and  tomoto goodness!

Where is the U.S’s Best Pizza? – BBC Travel

Restaurants to Try in Indianapolis!

The Bosphorus Istanbul Café

Region: Turkish
Price Range: Typically $8 to $13 for large portions. They do have a lunch menu as well.
My personal faves: I adore the Iskender kebab (its mouth-watering)! The hummus is also delicious, along with the Zucchini Pancakes for starters.

Iskender kebab

Why I love it: This restaurant really gives you a feel of the Turkish culture. With music playing softly over the speakers, the courteous staff, and cultural decor, it is an absolute high recommendation of mine for beautiful food.

Saffron Café
Region:Morocco
Price Range: $12 to $25 for large dinner portions. Their lunch menu, however, is much cheaper, with just as large of portions.

Traditional tajine.

My personal faves: The hummus was lovely as a starter, and the Tajines are heavenly spiced and give your taste buds a new flavor – do not be expecting simple spice mixtures!
Why I love it: The outdoor eating patio is lovely, with mosaic flower boxes, and intimate seating setup. The interior is like walking into Morocco. The decor is beautiful, intimate as well, and very pleasing to experience.

Szechwan Garden
Region: China
Price Range:
My personal faves: I have loved everything I’ve had here. This restaurant is the best Chinese I’ve had in Indianapolis, giving a range of dishes more similar to that of Chinese traditional flavors than your regular take-out. Dumplings are always a smart choice – you can never go wrong with delectable dumplings!

Dumplings.

Why I love it: It reminded me of the traditional dim sum restaurants in London in which my overseas family indulges in regularly. The staff is friendly, the food is much better than buffet styled restaurants you typically encounter for Chinese food, but is not so highly spiced that one should feel scared to try. Sauces are sweet, tangy, and spiced beautifully as well.

Yatz
Region: Louisiana Creole style!
Price Range: Full portion, $5.75; Half & Half, $6.75; Extra bread, $0.50
My personal faves: I have never been disappointed by Yatz. The Chicken Creole is amazing, as is the many variety offerings of Etoufée… and the Gumbo and Jambalaya… Honestly, everything has been amazing!

Louisiana style dishes.

Why I love it: My usual location of choice is their Massachusetts Avenue address, and since they recently extended their restaurant into the neighbouring building, seating is largely available, the decor is New Orleans style, and it feels like a hip, trunky joint in all of its splendor. And what’s unique about Yatz’s menu is that it is ever-changing. As one dish is sold out, it simply gets erased from the chalk board, and new ones are added.

If you have any recommendations for places to eat outside of Indianapolis, please feel free to share those as well!

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