Monday, April 30, 2007

How to garnish a plate

A delicious dish tastes even better when the plate it is served on looks like a work of art. There is something about a beautiful presentation that enhances the appetite, builds anticipation and makes the food that much better.

This site provides simple, step-by-step instructions on making basic vegetable garnishes like green onion curls, julienne carrots and radish roses.

A little more effort can produce adorable chickens made from hard-boiled eggs and bell peppers, cherry flowers or cucumber twists.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Cheese of the Week: Les Frères

Crave Brothers Les Frères

Country: United States

Milk: Cow

Description: The Crave brothers of Waterloo, Wisconsin have won numerous awards for this mild, yet slightly stinky, washed-rind cheese. Although it is all-American, it exudes the brothers' European heritage. Semi-firm and smooth, it pairs equally well with wine and beer. Definitely check it out.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Mr. Bean on French cheeses

Excerpted from An idiot's guide to French cuisine - by Mr. Bean

... The only mystery about French food, as far as I'm concerned, is why anyone eats half the blooming stuff. For a nation that gets so much right; art, culture, crochette, culottes, how does it get so much wrong? Driving on the wrong side of the road and stinky cheese, for instance. The country's knee-deep in cheese and it's really not anything to write home about. Try this at home if you've got the stomach for it :

Stinky French cheese

1. Take an ordinary piece of English (non-smelly) cheese.

2. Prepare a smelly sock by wearing it for two or three days.

3. Insert cheese into sock.

4. Leave in sunny spot in the garden for a week.

5. Remove cheese from sock with gloves and tongs before serving, and enjoy friends' comments such as: 'Hey, this cheese really stinks. Is it French?'

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Cheese of the Week: Keen's Cheddar

Keen's Cheddar

Country: U.K.

Milk: Cow

Description: A traditional farmhouse cheddar from Somerset, there's no joke when this cheese is described as "grassy". It literally gives the fresh, pleasant experience of freshly cut grass. Slightly fruity and tangy, this is one of the few cheddars still made by hand.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Cheese tips for the lactose intolerant

A wise man once said, “In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher.” Not to belittle the teachings of the Dalai Lama, but this philosophy works when it comes to cheese as well.

Lactose intolerance occurs when the body stops producing lactase, the enzyme it needs to properly break down lactose. Everyone is lactose intolerant to some degree, but some of us are clearly more affected than others.

This should not, however, be an impediment to enjoying nature's greatest gift - cheese!

Hard, aged cheeses are best for the weak of stomach, as they contain lower levels of lactose (and sometimes none at all), but even a standard swiss or cheddar cheese still only contains about 5% of the lactose found in whole milk. Fresh cheeses like mozzarella may be more of a problem.

Researchers from Purdue University have found that people who stay away from dairy products because of presumed intolerance have stronger symptoms than those who eat small amounts of dairy on a regular basis. This is because over time bacteria in the intestine begin to adapt and more effectively digest lactose. They also found that lactose consumed with a meal is tolerated about three times better than lactose consumed in a fasted state.

So what's the lesson in all this? "Cheese every day will keep the wind away (just choose older, harder cheeses and don't eat them on an empty stomach)"

Thursday, April 12, 2007

How to make a great grilled cheese

2 slices of bread + cheese + heat = grilled cheese sandwich

The humble grilled cheese needn't be so one-dimensional. Think of the possibilities!! The variations on bread, the hundreds of cheeses, the plethora of potential fillings, not to mention condiments (ketchup, mustard, horseradish, etc.)

April is National Grilled Cheese Month. You've got all month to celebrate this wonderful invention so why not experiment with some of these options...

- sourdough
- calabrese
- baguette
- olive bread
- walnut
- tortillas

- fontina
- gruyere
- aged provolone
- mozzarella
- monterey jack
- cheddar
- halloumi

- Smoky: smoked ham or turkey
- Spicy: chorizo or salami
- Meaty: roast beef
- Tasty: BACON!!
- Healthy: mushrooms
- Upscale: truffles
- Fresh: tomatoes or pesto
- Zesty: roasted red peppers, sauteéd onions or jalapeños

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Cheese of the Week: Robiola Rosina

Robiola Rosina

Country: Italy

Milk: Mixed

Description: A square, fresh cheese made from a blend of cow and sheep’s milk. Soft and creamy, the flavour is mild and delicate - good with crusty, hearty bread and a light red or white wine.

How to debone poultry

Our friends at feature a simple method for deboning chicken, duck and other poultry.

Deboning poultry is a valuable kitchen technique. It promotes even cooking and easy serving. Once deboned, the poultry can be used in a variety of ways, including stuffed and rolled, as shown in this recipe.

STEP 1: Starting on the backside of the duck, slit from neck to tail.

STEP 2: With scissors or boning knife, gently follow along breastbone and separate thighbone from joint. Repeat on the other side.

STEP 3: Remove thighbone from each side.

STEP 4: Cut wings off at the second joint.

STEP 5: Lay ducks out flat, cover with plastic, and pat lightly with meat mallet until meat is even at ¼ inch thick.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Brilliant fund-raising idea...

or sad waste of bread?

You decide.

In the spirit of the season

The world's most famous cheddar is all dressed up for Easter!

Long live the Cheese Revolution!

Mauritanian cheese maker battles EU
Even after fighting Brussels for 13 years, British-born Nancy Abeiderrahmane is convinced she will one day penetrate "fortress Europe" to sell her Mauritanian camel's cheese in the European Union.

In the office of her dairy on the outskirts of the capital Nouakchott, Abeiderrahmane shows off her different products: packages of milk from cows, goats and camels, yogurts and, last but not least, her specialty -- camel's milk cheese, which she says is a world first launched in 1994.

While many of the products have found a good market in this sparsely populated Muslim country in northwest Africa, the dairy, called Tiviski or Spring, has a public relations headache at home -- struggling to persuade the traditionally nomadic Mauritanians that camel's milk cheese is edible.


That is an effort we can all support, but this next one??? Maybe not...


Does the world really need Human Cheese?
"I think it would be fantastic to try making cheese from the milk of humans," writes Brent Emerson of Oakland, CA. "My goal would ultimately be to identify a large set of mostly-vegan lactating women to use as milk sourcers."

"Imagine the vegans, running through the streets with joy, eating pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches and other cheesy delights! Imagine their digestive systems, happily digesting milk produced to meet their own species' needs!"

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Space food, salty food and life of food stamps

Governor, wife to spend a week on food stamps
In an effort to better understand the needs of the poor, Gov. Ted Kulongoski of Oregon has agreed to spend a week limiting his food spending to $65, the amount he would qualify for in food stamps.

World's Food Still Far Too Salty
Too many countries are still ignoring the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) guidelines on what should be a healthy level of salt in our daily diet, according to Professor Franco Cappuccio of the University of Warwick’s Medical School.

Space dining, Martha Stewart style
Billionaire space tourist Charles Simonyi took a lunch packed by "best friend" Martha Stewart into space with him. The meal apparently included duck breast confit and semolina cake with dried apricots.

Wanted: Cave Manager
The food business is booming, and with it, there’s a boom in jobs you’ve never heard of.

Food & Wine Magazine Names 19th Annual Best New Chefs
Food & Wine Editor in Chief Dana Cowin revealed the names of the ten up-and-coming talents who have earned the coveted title of Food & Wine Best New Chefs.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Cheese of the Week: Roomano


Country: Netherlands

Milk: Cow

Description: Roomano is a hard Gouda-like cheese not to be confused with the Italian Romano cheese. Roomano differs from Gouda in its percentage of butterfat: while Gouda contains 48% butterfat or more, Roomano has less than 48%. Generally aged for four years or more, the nutty, caramel flavours pair well with sherry or port.