Tag Archives: cook

How to cook artichokes

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Artichokes are interesting to work with in recipes because they have ample flavour, are rich in potassium and vitamin C, and have lots of antioxidant properties. Unknown to most, artichoke is actually a kind of flower and it grows mostly in California and the Mediterranean. Learning how to cook artichokes can take a little bit of preparation and practice.

What you will need:

• Artichokes

• Bowl

• Lemons

• Knife

• Pot

• Steaming basket

• Grill

Procedure:

1. Prepare the artichokes.

• Fill the bowl with cold water and squeeze some lemons into the water.

• Rinse the artichokes under cold running water to clear away dirt or sand.

• Take a few inches off the stem using a knife. Keep some parts of the stem because it has lots of flavour.

• Take off the small leaves near the stem of the artichokes.

• Slice off 1 ½ inches off the top of the artichokes.

• Put the artichokes in the bowl with lemon water to prevent them from getting discoloured.

2. Cook the artichokes with any of the following methods:

• Boiling: Put the artichokes in a large pot with water and boil them for 30-45 minutes.

• Steaming: Put a steaming basket on top of a pot with 4cm of water. Put the artichokes on the steaming basket once the water boils and steam for 20 minutes.

• Grilling: Cut the artichokes in lengthwise and discard the choke (hair-like inedible part). Drizzle with olive oil and put the artichokes on the grill.

Tips:

• Fresh artichokes have very closed leaves and are deep green in color.

• The freshest artichokes are available during spring.

• Artichokes can be eaten hot or cold.

• They are often served with a dip of mayo, balsamic vinegar or melted butter.

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How to cook rice

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Rice is a staple in Asian cuisine. It is well-loved for being able to provide carbohydrates and nutrients and its usefulness in many dishes. Cooking rice can be simple and easy. For the steps below, all you will need are the following:

  • Rice
  • Measuring cup
  • Rice cooker
  • water

Traditional Rice

  1. Measure the amount of rice you need using the measuring cup.
  2. Pour the rice into pot of the rice cooker.
  3. Rinse the rice: run water into the pot, swirl the water and rice. Wait for broken husks, tiny stones or any other debris to float.
  4. Drain the water.
  5. Measure the right amount of water for cooking. The rule of thumb is 1 cup of rice = 1 cup of water.
  6. Put the pot back into the rice cooker. Plug the appliance and push the “cook” lever or button.
  7. The rice cooker will do the cooking for you.

Tips:

  • Instead of measuring the water by cup, a simpler way is to poke the rice in the pot using your middle finger. Mark where top of the rice is using your thumb and that will also be the amount of water you need to put.
  • Putting a knot of Pandan leaf on top of the rice before turning on the rice cooker gives a good aroma to the cooked rice.

Japanese Rice for Sushi

The rice used for sushi is a little bit different than the average rice. Special Japanese sushi rice has shorter grains, turns out sticky and it is slightly sweet. After following the steps in cooking the rice above, here are the additional steps:

  1. Use a wooden spoon to take the rice out of the pot and into a plastic or glass bowl.
  2. Let the rice cool for about two to four minutes.
  3. Mix rice vinegar, sugar and salt (see the proportion below) in a saucepan and heat until the solids dissolve. Cool the vinegar mixture.
  4. Mix the rice and vinegar well while fanning the rice.

Proportion for 3 cups of Japanese rice:

  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp sugar

Tips:

  • It is important to avoid using metal utensils when making sushi rice because metal reacts with vinegar.
  • Fanning the rice gives it the shiny texture.
  • For the best results, sushi rice is advised to be used after preparation.

Whether you are cooking rice as a daily meal, as part of an Asian feast or for making sushi, these procedures and steps will truly come in handy.

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How to cook quinoa

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Quinoa is more commonly known as the little rice of Peru. It used to be available in health stores before it became so popular. Quinoa is now thought of as a healthier substitute for rice and pasta. It has a delicate texture, is high in protein content and is quite easy to prepare which makes it a favourite especially of vegetarians.

Here is the step by step guide on how to cook quinoa that is fluffy and delicious:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups of water or broth
  • Olive oil (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

Utensils:

  • Saucepan (with lid)
  • Strainer
  • spoon

Procedure:

Procedure:

1. Rinse the quinoa grains in water.

Place the grains in a strainer and use running water to rinse for 2 minutes.

If you bought quinoa that comes in a box, you may skip this step.

Rinsing is done to remove the saponins which give a bitter flavour to quinoa if it is not removed

2. Toast the quinoa.

Use a drizzle of olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat to toast the dried quinoa. Stir for about 1 minute.

3. Cook the quinoa.

4. Add the water or broth and the salt and let it boil.

5. Lower the heat and let it cook for 15 minutes. Cover the pan.

6. Take the quinoa away from the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes.
7. Uncover, fluff and serve.

Tips:

  • Cooked quinoa should look fluffy, with the germ (tiny spirals) separating from the seeds.
  • Cooked quinoa is also used for salads, porridges, curry and pilafs.
  • 1 cup of dry quinoa = 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup dry quinoa = 2 cups of liquid
  • The total cooking time for 1 cup of quinoa is about 20 minutes
  • Cooking quinoa in a rice cooker is basically the same as cooking rice as long as the 1(quinoa):2 (liquid)  proportion is followed.

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How to cook corn on the cob

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Corn on the cob makes wonderful food items. They can be eaten for snacks or as side dishes and most people love them piping hot and slathered with butter. There are several ways on how to cook corn on the cob:

1. Boiling

This is the most popular method of cooking corn on the cob.

  • Fill a tall pot with water (enough to cover all the corn) and bring to a boil.
  • Take the silk and outer husk from the corn.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of salt into the water.
  • Add the corn.
  • Boil for 3-8 minutes.

Microwave cooking

This procedure is not suggested if you are cooking a large batch of corn.

  • Leave the corn complete with husk and silk and pop them in the microwave two at a time.
  • Set the microwave for 3-6 minutes.
  • Let them cool and shuck off the husks and silk.

Over the grill

Popular during summer cookouts, grilled corn on the cob has a distinct smoky flavour that is loved by many.

  • Peel the husks off the ears of corn but leave them on the stem.
  • Take off the all the silk.
  • Brush the corn with olive oil or butter.
  • Put the husks back up to cover the corn.
  • Secure the corn cob shut by tying with a string or using aluminium foil.
  • Using a medium-hot grill, roast the corn for 15 minutes or until the outer husks are toasted.
  • Let the corn get cool enough to be held (but not to turn cold).
  • Take off the husks.
  • Slather with butter.

Tips:

  • Cooked corn on the cob is usually served with butter and salt but others also like adding sugar or other spices.
  • Other corn variants such as sweet corn take less time to cook and have a softer texture when done.

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