There is nothing more succulent and surprising on the taste buds than some juicy pork ribs, and believe it or not you can get the exact same taste and flavours by using your oven to that of using your outdoor BBQ. Let’s face it the weather can be as temperamental as it comes and a perfectly planned BBQ can often lead to desperate dashes indoors, but if you know how to cook the perfect rack of pork ribs indoors, then the party doesn’t have to stop.
There are a couple of ways you can cook ribs apart from BBQ’ing them, and the more popular ways tend to be grilling them or oven cooking them. What you will find with oven cooked ribs is a much tenderer and tastier end-product because the moisture is still very much locked into the meat. When you grill them you will find that they can be drier and not as tender, although there is nothing wrong with grilling ribs as you get a different texture and taste.
The other benefit to over cooking is that you can really marinate them with your choice of flavour, and this is where the BBQ taste comes from. Let’s show you how to oven-cook the perfect pork ribs.
First of all there are so many different flavours you can choose from here and it doesn’t have to be BBQ flavoured. You can go for sweet, spicy, or a mix of your own styled marinade the choice is yours.
For this example we are going for a sweet BBQ marinade.
Firstly take the ribs out of the fridge and season them on both sides with a mixture of slat and pepper, and be generous with this step. Once you have done this you can now put the ribs into a roasting dish and cover them up with foil. Preheat your oven to about 250F and once hot place the roasting dish onto the middle shelf and then let the ribs cook for about 2-2.5 hours.
Whilst the ribs are cooking you can now start preparing the marinade, so first things first you will need to get a saucepan, pour in some olive oil and then get that heated up.
Once hot you can chop up and onion, finely, and then drop this into the saucepan. Stir the onion around for a few minutes and then add in your mixture which will include ingredients such as ½ a cup of ketchup, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of hot sauce, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and some salt and pepper.
Stir all this together until the sauce has been made, and you are happy to use it as a marinade.
Tip: Make sure that when you are cutting up your onion that you dice it up thinly to avoid any chunks from appearing in the marinade as you want the sauce to be as smooth as possible.
By now your ribs should be finishing up so take the roasting dish out of the oven and carefully pour the BBQ sauce over the rack of ribs making sure that each rib has been covered evenly. If not, use a brush to complete this job.
Place the ribs back into the oven for a further 5 minutes until the ribs are brown in colour and you can see the sauce bubbling on the top of them. Once finished take the tray back out and leave the ribs on the counter top in order for them to cool down and for the juices to redistribute through the meat.
Here’s the great thing about ribs, you can literally serve them up with anything you like (well almost anything). If you are feeling particularly healthy you can serve the ribs with some freshly cooked green beans, broccoli and fresh potatoes.
For the perfect summer time dish you can serve your BBQ ribs with a fresh and crispy salad, some boiled rice, or create your own homemade coleslaw which really compliments the taste of the succulent ribs.
If you have your BBQ mind on then you serve them up with some chips, and some rustic crusty bread and butter to really get your appetite going, or you could simply swap the chips for potato wedges which are sure to get your guests interest.
Or you could simply eat them as they come on their own which many people enjoy to do, simply save some of the marinade to one side and put it into a dipping pot so you can dunk your ribs are you eat them. Just make sure that you have some wipes at arm’s reach because it can get pretty messy when eating ribs that have been cooked like this!
Crabs legs are a bit of a delicacy to many people especially those that don’t have the privileged to live near the coast where fresh fish is caught on a daily basis and sold to locals. However, did you know that frozen crab legs which you can find in most supermarkets and grocery stores are perhaps tastier than fresh crab legs?
You see most of these shop purchased crabs legs have been frozen straight away. Crab catching boasts have the facilities on-board to be able to cook them and freeze them instantly locking in all that fresh flavour. This is usually done because these type of fishermen are at sea for long periods of time so cooking them and then freezing them prevents any bacteria from spreading, and spoiling the catch.
There are two main differences you need to look for when buying crab legs.
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There are many ways you can cook crab legs but the best has to be boiling them in a nice large saucepan with some extra ingredients.
To start with you want to fill up a big enough saucepan with cold water, then add some seasoning. Usually salt, pepper, vinegar, lemon juice and even beers or ales can be used to give the crab a unique but amazing taste when you come to eat it. Now get the heat up to a high level, and at the same time get your crab legs washed under cold water before you add them to the boil.
Turn down the heat when you see the water boiling and then drop in your crab legs for a good 5 minutes by which time the legs should be thoroughly cooked. Strain the water and take out the red/orange crab legs ready to eat.
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The second option which isn’t as popular as boiling crab legs is grilling them. Now, not a lot of people tend to use this method but plenty of people are known for grilling them. One thing you will find is that the legs will be much meatier than boiling them because of the lack of moisture in the cooking process. So if you want your crab to taste less fishy and stay hotter for longer because of the direct heat on the shells then this is the process for you.
Firstly, don’t bother oiling them first because at the end of the day the shells are hard surfaces so it’s pointless doing this as they won’t stick to the grill. Place the legs on your grill on a lower heat to begin with for around 8 minutes (again, dependant on the actual size of the legs as they can range from small to big). Once you have cooked them on a low heat for 8 minutes turn the heat up a notch so that you are running at a medium heat and cook them for another 5 minutes making sure that the thicker parts of meat are getting the most of the heat.
Once you have cooked the crab legs you should notice that they hold a nice orange or red colour to them, it is at this point in time that you can now take them off the heat ready to serve up to your guests.
Take note that crab legs do go cold very fast so if you are not going to eat them immediately then it’s worth wrapping them all up in some tin foil to keep the warmth in, or if you happen to have some kind of hot plate then use this so that they don’t go cold.
Eating crab legs on their own is great, there is no doubt about that but sometimes adding other ingredients to your plate really compliments the crab legs and makes for the ultimate dish to have a dinner parties.
Aside from asparagus and the usual greens that you see on a plate you can make garlic butter sauce which goes well with most type of fish such as shrimp. They can be served with fresh potatoes to make an exquisite dish for your dinner guests.
If you are also looking for a drink to have then almost any type of fish goes well with a good bottle of wine. For crabs legs you want to match them with a chardonnay, pinot gris or a dry riesling. All of these tend to give a vibrant taste that works very well with crab legs.
We have said it before, cooking fish puts the frighteners up many keen chefs and amateur cooks because if there is one thing you want cooked properly its anytime of seafood, or you are going to know about the consequences of undercooked seafood!
However, what people don’t realise is that most seafood is so easy to cook, and usually doesn’t need a lot of knowhow to do. Many cooks tend to overcook scallops and shrimps because they don’t realise that it takes a few minutes for them to reach their optimal cooking temperatures.
If you are about to hold a dinner party and want to woo your guests with some sublime home cooked scallops then look no further. We will show you everything you need to be able to cook the perfect scallops right here, so without further ado let’s get stuck in, and get cooking.
One of the main reasons people are scared of cooking scallops is because they don’t come very cheap, in fact you can be prepared to pay anything from $20 – $30 for a pound of the luxury food so getting it wrong can be a hard thing to take.
However, as we mentioned above, and with most fish like this you have to remember that they cook quickly so you need to be on top of that. If time is at the forefront of your mind that $20 is going to pay off with a great meal.
Firstly, you need to prepare your scallops and you do this by removing the muscle tissue that secures the scallop to its outer shell. Use a knife to do this, or pull them away with your fingers. Try to pull off each of the joining muscle tissues if you can as it makes for a more pleasant dining experience as the muscle tissue once cooked it quite chewy.
Now you have completed this step it’s time to season your scallops, so grab some black pepper and sea salt and sprinkle the scallops with the seasoning before you head to the cooking stage.
Take out your pan and turn up the heat to medium-high, you can use either olive oil or butter to coat the bottom of the pan this up to you but butter does tend to give the scallops more of a taste than oil does so it might be worth trying out both at some point to see which is better suited to your taste buds.
When the oil or butter starts popping your scallops are ready to go into the pan, make sure that there is no overlapping here. Space the scallops out in the pan so they each have a good bit of room to cook in.
Now your scallops are cooking away in the pan we are brought back to that all important aspect of time. You want to cook them for about 2 minutes on the one side, and then turn them over to cook for a further 2 minutes on the other side. What you should have by the end of this is both sides sporting a nice golden brown colour which means that the scallops are cooked right the way through.
Some other tell-tale signs that the scallops are cooked are that the sides should look opaque and firm to the touch. If you have lost track of the time and overcooked your scallops then what you will see if that they may be tough and chewy.
Once cooked take them off the heat and get them to the serving table straight away so your guests can took into them.
If you really want to wow your guests with fine dining then scallops go very well with pasta, and a lemon juice squeezed over the top. The pasta compliments the scallops and also helps fill up your guests at the dinner table. Remember that usually a pound of scallops will give you in the region of 6-8 scallops depending on the size of them so if you are feeing 4 people then you are going to need a good 2 pound of scallops which could see you paying anything from $40 – $60, unless you can find them cheaper.
The final tip that we will leave you with, is not to rush into cooking your scallops. As scallops are best served immediately after cooking and because of the little time it takes in actually cooking them, these should be left right up until the end. So get your pasta and all other ingredients cooked and ready before you begin cooking your scallops.
As the scallops take less than 5 minutes to cook it also means that the rest of the dish should still be at a good temperature to be able to serve.
There you have it, the perfect scallops.
Chicken is a meat that is popular right across the world, its versatile and can be cooked in many different ways as part of a variety of wonderful tasting recipes. However, one karma that has always bothered novice cooks is the aftermath of eating a piece of chicken that hasn’t been cooked properly, and as we all know this can lead to some nasty bouts of void poisoning. Due to this, many people tend to overcook the chicken so it’s dry and tasteless, in an effort to be safe than sorry.
The main thing you need to get right with chicken is cooking it properly, and we are going to show you a number of ways that you can cook it, and what to look out for.
The first step we need to take in order to get the chicken ready for cooking is to wash it, and this is an important step many of us tend to forget. When handling chicken you should always remember to wash your hands after handling so you don’t cross-contaminate anything, this includes anything else that comes into contact with the chicken such as your knives, chopping board and sink.
Now your chicken is ready to be cooked, so the last point you need to remember is that the chicken should reach a temperature of about 165F which is the optimum cooking temp for chicken.
Everyone’s favourite way of cooking tends to be the sauté option so we will start with this first. To give your chicken a great taste you can create a coating for it. To do this you will need to whisk together some flour and black pepper, then you will need to coat the chicken in it by sprinkling it over your chicken breasts or drumsticks.
Get your pan ready and use either cooking spray or oil to line the bottom of the pan, and then turn up the heat to a medium level. Once the oil has become hot you can place the chicken in the pan, but make sure that you don’t cram the pan so the chicken is overlapping. If you have too much chicken then just repeat the process twice otherwise you will be left with uncooked parts.
Usually a good 7 minutes of cooking on either side of the chicken breast is sufficient to get the heat throughout the entire chicken breast. Once both sides of the chicken are golden brown you can remove them from the pan and set them aside for roughly 10-15 minutes before serving them up.
Creating the marinade is probably the most exciting part to this method, because nobody really eats chicken as it comes. Firstly, get yourself some sealable bags, or zipped bags that you can place your chicken into. Then using a mixing bowl you can prepare your marinade, whether you want a spicy one, a barbeque tasting one of something different you can mix it all together in the bowl and then pour it into the bag.
Be sure to give the bag a shake, or turn it around so that the marinade completely covers all the chicken inside.
Now you can either choose to grill or oven cook your chicken. If you want to oven cook it then you can place the bag on a baking tray and cook it for around 30 – 40 minutes, then leave the chicken to rest for a further 15 before you unzip the bag and serve up the delicious dish.
If you are going for the grilling options then empty the chicken from the bag and place it on a preheated grill, you will need to rotate the chicken every so often so that both sides are cooked to an equal standard. To get the chicken crispy you need to place it along the grill marks, for a juicy finish place it diagonal against the grill marks (this method gives you those fantastic grill lines that runs across the chicken breast).
Remember that with any way of cooking chicken to always look for that 165F temperature, so if you don’t have a cooking thermometer then we suggest you buy one as they are very cheap online or down your local store.
Once the chicken is cooked take it off the grill and set it aside on the counter top for a further 10 minutes before you serve it up. The marinaded chicken will taste great for your guests and by adding a few corn on the cobs you have a bright and vibrant dish that wouldn’t look out of place in Gordon Ramsey’s kitchen.
Just be sure your chicken is cooked, and your dinner guests should have a great time.
When it comes to cooking fish many people get spooked out because they worry that they are going to undercook it and make themselves or their guests ill. The truth is when it comes to cooking shrimp you can’t really go wrong as its one of the easiest things to cook.
However, one thing we must alert you to before cooking shrimp is that they tend to go off very quickly, and you should really be cooking them within the 24 hours of buying them from your local fishmonger or grocery store. If you have any doubts then buy frozen shrimps as you will be ok with these. Above all if your shrimp are beginning to give off an ammonia type smell then get rid of them as you don’t want to take the chances of being bad from them.
With that all said, you should also be careful when defrosting the frozen shrimps. The easiest way is to place them into a cold bowl of water, place the bowl in the sink and keep the tap running slowly and your shrimps will take literally minutes to defrost. Never take them straight to a pan as they will cook unevenly and there is no need to use a microwave.
There are 3 main popular ways of cooking shrimp that we are going to guide you through here. The first is boiling your shrimps.
After you have defrosted your shrimps which we showed you in the first couple of paragraphs in this article you will want to place them into a large saucepan that has been left to reach a rolling boil on high heat. You can cook them peeled or unpeeled there is no real difference at this stage.
Cook the shrimp for about 2 minutes or until you see small bubbles rise to the surface and then take the saucepan away from the heat and leave it on the counter. The heat that is in the saucepan will now cook the shrimp and you will see them turn a pink colour. This stage can take anything from 5 minutes to 10 minutes just depending on the size of the shrimp you are looking to cook.
Grab yourself a sieve and drain the water from the shrimp and then serve them up.
The second method is to grill the shrimp which will give them a real fantastic taste. You can either grill them individually or skewer them to make the process easier. Just make sure that if you aren’t using metal skewers that you bath the wooden ones in water so they don’t start burning under the heat of the grill.
Coat the shrimps with some olive oil, you can do this by hand or with a brush and then season them with salt and pepper if you wish.
Place them under the grill and cook them for about 4 minutes on each side or until they turn pink in colour, when they turn pink you know that they will be cooked.
Leave them for 5 minutes on the counter and then serve them up.
The final and everybody’s favourite way of cooking shrimp is to sauté them, and again you can do this with shells on or shells off its up to you.
Firstly, add some olive oil to a skillet and then heat it over a medium heat until the oil is hot and the shrimps are ready to be added. You can add some salt and pepper to your shrimps as you throw them into the pan, and you can even add some crushed garlic if you want to experiment with different flavours.
Generally you will want to cook the shrimp for about 3 minutes, and you want them to have enough room in the pan so all shrimps are touching the bottom of the skillet. Once the one side has been cooking for about 3 minutes you will then want to flip them over so the top side can cook for a further 3 minutes.
The shrimps will start to turn pink in colour and you will notice that the flesh will become opaque; this is when you know the shrimps are cooked and ready to be brought away from the heat. Again, leave them on the counter for around 5 minutes and then serve them to your guests.
Everyone has their own way of cooking, when it comes to taking the shells off it doesn’t matter from a cooking point of view but you might want to take them off before you serve them to your guests (unless you want your guests to peel them). Usually cooked shrimp are easier to peel and many say that cooking them with shells on preserves the flavour.
You wouldn’t believe it but the majority of people who cook pork chops get it wrong nearly every time, by overcooking them. Not only that but they take them right out of the fridge and into the pan which is a big no! You should always let your pork chops sit on the side for a good half an hour before beginning to cook them. The simple reason being is that the pork chops will overcook on the outside if it’s too cold.
So you first tip to cooking pork chops correctly is to let them rest on the counter, this will reduce the chances of you cremating the outside.
However, there are more top tips that we would like to offer you when it comes to cooking pork chops.
The biggest problem we face when cooking pork chops is that they dry out fast and you are left with a pretty woeful looking bit of meat. What you want is a nice and juicy pork chop that surprises your taste buds and leaves you with a great experience.
Cooking on a medium heat is the best way to do this, or start on a high heat to get that moorish golden crust, but then bring the temperature down as soon as the crust starts to golden up. Keeping a medium heat right the way through the cooking process will allow the outer part of the chop become tender while the centre gets to the correct temperature for the perfect pork chop.
What you also need to take into account is after the chop has been cooked, because far too many people cut right in and start eating. Don’t!
Just like you left the pork chop on the counter for a half an hour before cooking it, you want to leave the chop a good ten minutes after it has been cooked. What this does is allow all those juices inside to redistribute across the pork chop to give it that fantastic taste. If you cut right into the pork chop as soon as it comes out of the pan then you are going to let the juices run onto the chopping board and those beautiful tastes will run away with the juices.
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Like most meats, there are a variety of different ways to cook them. Some of the ways are fast, some are slow and nearly all leave the pork chop with a different taste. One of the best ways is to skillet cook them and then transfer them to a preheated oven to finish the job off.
Get your pork chops and rub both sides with a little olive oil and then season with salt and pepper. Now lay the pork chops on an already preheated skillet on the oventop, and turn the heat up high to give that golden crust. You will only need to do this for 30 seconds before bringing the heat down to medium.
Usually a good 3 minutes each side is all you need here before we transfer them to the oven. You want to see a golden finish to each side of the pork chops, and if you get a bit of smoke don’t worry that’s fine but turn the heat down if the smoke becomes too much.
You are now ready to transfer them to the oven for the final part of cooking. Now, cooking time varies depending on the thickness but if you have a thermometer then you are looking at a temperature of 145F at the thickest part of the pork chop. Usually an additional 6 – 10 minutes of cooking time in the oven is all you need here, so it’s worth checking the temperature at the 6 minute mark and then rechecking each minute until you hit the 145F mark.
As soon as they are cooked take them out and let them rest for the magical ten minute period before you get stuck in, we know its tempting but that ten minutes will make all the difference to the taste.
Once cooked you can now serve up the pork chops.
Before you even begin cooking them there are optional things you can do to experiment with tastes, one of those is to let the chops rest in a brine water with flavourings. Usually cold water, 3 tablespoons of sea salt and some crushed garlic cloves will enhance the flavour of your pork chops and provide a wonderful taste. You can also chuck in some black peppercorns and a bay leaf, or anything else that you think will compliment your pork chops. The choice really is yours here, and then you can begin the cooking process.
Pizza is a food that we enjoy across the world, whether we indulge in the dish as a snack or include it as part of a dinner there is no getting away from the fact that it’s one of the most popular dishes. However, cooking your own pizza from the comfort of your own home isn’t as hard as it sounds and it’s considerably cheaper to do.
Forget about the fancy dough spinning you have probably seen on the TV, and prepare yourself for a selection of great tips that we are about to give you on how you can make awesome pizza at home.
Firstly, we have to start with measuring your ingredients, and in our opinion a lot of homemade pizza bases tend to go wrong at this very step. If you get too much or too little of one type of ingredient then you are heading down a slippery slope of disaster when it comes to creating an awesome pizza.
For many people they tend to give up for good, but just by using a set of good measuring scales you can forget about all that worry and get it done right!
Instructions on how to make awesome pizza at home
It all starts with the ingredients and how big you want the pizza to be, for the purpose of today’s article we are going to look at how you can cook a 10-inch pizza which can serve 3 people.
What you need:
Note: you can either pre-make the dough at home if you know how to or you can head to your local grocery store where you can pick up some that has been already made. The latter option is the ideal one if you don’t want to have to measure your ingredients prior to making the base, and also serves as a time saving options when you need to cook a pizza within that 30-minute mark.
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Your first step should be always to pre-heat your oven and its usually good practice to set the oven to its highest setting at this stage as you will benefit from a nice crispy and crunchy crust to your pizza. Leave the oven a good half hour before you place your pizza into it, which will give you enough time to start making your pizza base.
There are many types of method on rolling out your dough, from the type of flour you are using to the type of parchment or baking sheets you choose to use. For this method we are going to use the popular choice of baking a pizza on a baking sheet.
Firstly, tear off a good sized baking sheet and then brush it over with some olive oil so the pizza base doesn’t stick to the sheet. Knead the dough into a circular shape with your hands, pushing out from the middle and then use a rolling pin if needed to flatten the dough to around ¼-inch thick.
Take a good 5-10 minutes in getting this step right as the perfect base if a fundamental part to a perfect pizza.
The best part of making any homemade pizza comes with the decision on what delicious toppings that you want to cook with. Firstly you will want to pour over some tomato sauce (passata will do nicely), and then with the back of a spoon circle the sauce around the base until it is evenly covered. Once you have done this throw on your onions, mushrooms, pepperoni and anything else you wish to complete the pizza with.
This is another step that people tend to get wrong and overcook the pizza by leaving it in the oven for way too long, or they end up with a pizza that has been cooked nicely on one side but undercooked on the other side.
Slide your pizza into that high-heated oven and then bake it for around 5 minutes, and then take the pizza out and rotate it, cook again for another 5 minutes. That’s it!
Check to see if your crust is nice golden brown and the cheese has melted to a satisfactory state onto the pizza. If you are happy with the look of it, gently and carefully take the pizza out of the oven.
Decisions, decisions! You may have just pulled out possibly the best pizza you have ever made and now you have to share it with friends of family. Whatever the reason was in cooking the pizza you have one last step to perform and that is slicing the pizza.
Firstly let the pizza cool, we know that temptation can easily get the better of you here but cutting a cooled down pizza is much easier and you won’t burn your hands. Once the pizza has cooled down slightly you can now use a pizza cutter to cut the pizza into slices.
There are many ways to create a pizza base, some are left overnight, and some are cooked under a grill, so it’s up to you to find a way that best suits your needs. The method we have given here is the easiest and quickest way to make a base and create a pizza without needing any extra knowledge.
Above all, just enjoy experimenting and finding different ways of making the perfect homemade pizza.
Bacon is one of those foods that really does tickle the taste buds, the rich meat can accompany almost anything from Full English breakfasts, to pasta dishes and much more. But how do you cook bacon to perfection? We are about to show you just how this popular ingredient can be cooked, whether it’s part of a hangover cure or a delicious meal at a dinner party. Sit back, relax and let us take you through the steps to cooking…
The classic way of cooking bacon is to use a frying pan or griddle; these are usually the quickest and most effective ways of getting the meat cooked. If you decide to use this method to cook then you can cook 3-4 rashers in a decent sized frying pan but make sure that each rasher is lying flat on the pan (no overlapping).
If you are using a griddle then we suggest a heavy cast iron griddle is the best choice but any griddle will suffice.
One big tip is that you don’t need oil, the grease from the bacon itself will provide enough fat to cook each rasher in. When the bacon begins to curl up you can then turn the bacon onto the other side in order to get both sides cooked properly. Usually it takes about 8-15 minutes to completely cook bacon using a griddle pan or frying pan.
Top tip: Keep the heat on a low-medium or the bacon may stick to the pan and be hard to remove.
The second popular way to cook the salty delight that is bacon, is to oven cook it. It has to be said that this method is much cleaner than frying the bacon as you won’t have that splatter across your counter tops.
Fire up your oven to around 400F and then place the bacon on a middle shelf where the heat is at its highest temperature. The bacon rashers will take less time that frying and you can expect a complete cook in around 10 minutes using this method.
Top tip: To keep things clean make sure that you use aluminium foil to line your backing tray or grill, this will help collect the fat that drips from the bacon and saves you from having to clean the oven tray after use.
This may seem like a strange way to cook bacon, but never neglect your microwave as a form of cooking, it may seem like a bit of a cheat but it really can work wonders for you. Take the bacon rashers and pop them onto a plate, then cover the plate with some paper towels (this is to help control the grease that will squirt out from the bacon when it’s cooking).
By using the microwave as a form of cooking you can literally get your bacon from raw to cooked within about a minute per slice. So if you have 4 rashers placed onto a plate you will need to set the microwave to a high cooking level, and then cook them for around 4 minutes.
Of course, if you want extra crispy bacon then you should add another minute onto the clock which will give you that crunchy texture.
The final method that we wanted to look at was how to cook bacon under a grill, this method will cook the bacon in about 10 minutes if you flip the rashers over after 5 minutes of cooking. You don’t want to cook on a high heat however, which is something that many people do. You want a medium-high heat which will give you a great tasting result.
Be careful of the grease splatter as you won’t be able to control this and more often than not you are going to be left with a clean-up job at the end of cooking in order to de-grease the grill filaments.
Once cooked, go ahead and enjoy as part of a breakfast, lunch or tea time dish!
Asparagus is arguably one of the best things you can eat because it contains so many good nutrients. Fresh asparagus can be part of a tasty dish, and will fill you with calcium, iron, vitamins A and C and even potassium. The only downside is that people just don’t know how to cook the fresh vegetable, and even if they do they have no idea on what dish to put it with. Luckily for you guys we are about to show exactly how asparagus can be cooked and what meals it complements.
The first and most important point in getting your asparagus ready to cook is cleaning it. This a step overlooked by many people but please don’t neglect this step. Why? Well asparagus is grown around sand, and the very tips of the vegetable have plenty of cracks and crevices where the sand can creep into. If not washed properly you are going to get a crunchy, gritty taste in your mouth.
Run the asparagus under cool water which should remove the sand.
After you have done this you will want to chop the base ends off your asparagus as these aren’t really palatable, unless you like eating tough wood! Usually a 2-inch chop is enough to cut the unwanted base away.
Now we get stuck into some of the ways you can cook this delicious vegetable. There are three many healthy ways and they are to steam, boil or to blanch.
Blanching is notably the most popular method as asparagus doesn’t need long to cook. Just get yourself a bowl of water, drop in 2 teaspoons of sea salt and let the veg cook for about 2-3 minutes. You don’t want to overcook the asparagus as it will become limp and lifeless, you want an asparagus that crunches on each bite, so test a spear to make sure it’s ready to come out of the water.
In literally 3 minutes of cooking and about 3 minutes of prep you have some tasty blanched asparagus to tuck into.
Tip: Try serving it with a crispy fresh salad.
The second way is to boil the asparagus which takes around 5 minutes but you need to keep a close eye on the spears because this veg is quick cooker and it takes just an extra 30 secs – 1 minute to ruin them.
You don’t need to fill a saucepan to the brim with this method either, you only need enough water to cover the asparagus so a few inches deep with about 2 tablespoons of sea salt is all you need to do the trick.
Tip: Place the asparagus into the saucepan when the water is on a rolling boil, and then cook for 5 minutes once the water returns to a boil.
Finally we come to the steaming option which unlike boiling keeps a lot of the nutrients in the asparagus, and there is also less of a chance you are going to overcook it using this process. Usually you will need to steam them for around 7 minutes depending on what kind of steamer you are using, but just test one spear for crispiness before you serve up.
You can also roast and sauté asparagus for different kinds of tastes and finishes. The sauté option will allow you to create the beginning of a fantastic stir fry where you can add onions, peppers, mushrooms and carrots at the same time you add the asparagus. This crunchy little dish can be served anytime of the year and just adds an extra element into how asparagus can be cooked and then served.
Asparagus is a very versatile veg that will go with almost anything, but surprisingly some of the best recipes are soups and chicken dishes. For example you can make a creamy potato and asparagus soup, or you can wrap bacon around your asparagus spears in a chicken and bacon dish.
If you prefer a lighter bite, then you can add asparagus to summer dishes such as fresh salads or Asian spring rolls. The choice is yours!
Salmon is very much one of the favorite types of fish out there, and with so many different ways to cook it, and more ways of complimenting it into certain dishes we wanted to show you 5 different ways that you can enjoy that next piece of Salmon that you guy from the local fishmongers, or grocery store. Take a look at these 4 unbeatable ways we have explained for you below.
First of all, you need to think about how much time you actually have to cook the Salmon, by this we mean; are you in a rush? Or are you preparing a spectacular dinner party where time doesn’t particularly matter?
The simplest way, and the quickest is to oven cook you salmon. With a little olive oil on the top and some sprinkling of black pepper and sea salt you are all ready to get underway. For each half-an-inch piece of salmon you want to cook it for a good 4 – 6 minutes on each side, and usually you find that the thickest part of most salmons usually averages around the 1-inch mark, so you can have both sides cooked in around 15 minutes.
Watch out for: The fish becoming less opaque, and use a fork to see if the fish is flaking (key signs the fish is cooked and ready to eat.)
Now you are ready to eat the salmon you can choose some extra dressings, the obvious choice is lemon and fresh herbs that really bring out some of the flavors of the salmon, but you can also try pesto and other herbs and spices that may be in your kitchen cupboard.
You would be surprised at just how much this cooking option works (with any meat or fish). Find a sealable bag and place you salmon inside, now start to dress the fish in a marinating sauce. You can use garlic, salt, olive oil, pepper, lemon juice etc.
Once you have done this start moving the bag around so the juices and ingredients all start to spread evenly and the salmon is fully coated for maximum flavour.
You can then add the salmon to a baking tray and then allow the fish to cook thoroughly before serving.
Note: Another option is to put the bag into a refrigerator for around half-an-hour prior to cooking, to allow the juices to really marinate the fish.
The third option is to grill your salmon which is another popular choice for many people, this step requires you to preheat your grill, and keep the temperature at a medium to high heat in order to give it those grill lines that run diagonally across the fish.
Prepare your salmon in the usual way with some salt, pepper and oil and then place it diagonally on the grill (for those grill lines). Whereas oven cooking requires about 4-6 minutes per half-an-inch, grilling usually takes 3 – 4 minutes so keep that in mind when you are cooking under a grill. Usually you can cook a 1-inch thick piece of salmon in around 6 – 8 minutes (don’t overcook it).
To make sure its cooked, look for that flakiness and make sure that the salmon I less opaque and more firm.
Watch out for: Make sure your grill grate is well oiled as the salmon can easily stick to this and ruin your presentation.
After grilling the salmon you can add yourself some lemon juice, and the serve it with herbs, broccoli or just eat it on its own as it came out of the grill…the choice really is yours!
One method not used much is pan-searing, which can take as little as 6 minutes. All you need to do here is coat a frying pan in cooking spray or oil and then increase the heat to a medium level so its not smoking but it is hot.
Add your salmon to the pan and then cook on both sides for 3 minutes. Again, you will need to check the salmon can flake in the center when you break it with a fork, and it should no longer be translucent to the eye.
Tip: Use a spatula to pick the salmon us as tongs or any other kitchen tool will break it (especially if you need a good presentation).