Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mango Chutney

Chutney refers to a wide-ranging family of condiments from South Asian cuisine that usually contain some mixture of spice(s) and vegetable(s) and/or fruit(s). There are many varieties of chutney.

Chutneys may be either wet or dry, and they can have a coarse to a fine texture. The Anglo-Indian loan word refers to fresh and pickled preparations indiscriminately, with preserves often sweetened. Several Northern Indian languages use the word for fresh preparations only. A different word achār (Hindi: अचार) applies to preserves that often contain oil and are rarely sweet. Vinegar or citrus juice may be added as natural preservatives, or fermentation in the presence of salt may be used to create acid.

In the past, chutneys were ground with a mortar and pestle made of stone or an ammikkal (Tamil). Nowadays, electric blenders or food processors can be used as labor saving alternatives to the traditional stone utensils. Various spices are added and ground, usually in a particular order; the wet paste thus made is sauteed in vegetable oil, usually gingelly or peanut (groundnut) oil.

Mango Chutney, is a speciality of the South Indian coastal state of Andhra Pradesh. Mango chutney can be made in many different ways. Chutney is a tasty sauce, you can have it with your poppadoms or with your main course. Papadum, (also known as papad in Northern India, (Urdu: پاپڑ), pappadam (പപ്പടം) in Malayalam, happala in Kannada, appalam in Tamil, appadum (అప్పడం) in Telugu, pappadum or poppadom in the UK) is a thin, crisp Indian preparation sometimes described as a cracker. It is typically served as an accompaniment to a meal in India. It is also eaten as an appetizer or a snack and can be eaten with various toppings such as chopped onions, chutney or other dips and condiments. In some parts of India, it is served as the final item in a meal. In certain parts of India, raw papadums (dried but unroasted) are used in curries and vegetable preparations.

Papadum is a loanword from Malayalam പപ്പടം or Tamil பப்படம் pappaṭam. Both Tamil pappaṭam and Hindi-Urdu पापड़ پاپڑ pāpaṛ are derived from the Sanskrit word पर्पट parpaṭa, which is the name of a medicinal plant, and is also defined as 'a kind of thin cake made of rice or pease-meal and baked in grease' or 'a thin crisp cake'.

Appadam is the word for papad in Telugu. In the Tulu language, spoken in coastal Karnataka, it is called appala. In the Kannada language, a papad is referred to as a happala, and is often made with black gram, jackfruit, and tapioca.

From wikibooks Cookbooks

Mango Chutney

1 large raw (unripe) mango, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
2 tsp mustard seeds
3 tbsp vegetable oil (e.v. olive oil works)
1/2 tsp asafoetida [giant fennel] ("Heengh" in Hindi, "Perungayum" in Tamil)
3-4 dry red chillies

2-3 green chillies (you can add more if you want it spicier)
1 tsp lime juice (if mango is not sour enough)
1 tsp turmeric powder
3/4 tbsp salt (adjust to taste)

Heat the oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida, green chillies and red-chillies. Wait till the mustard seeds splutter and remove pan from stove. Grind the above mix with mango, lime juice (if needed) turmeric and salt. Serve with hot rice or bread. Works as an excellent spread on a sandwich. If it is not too spicy then you can serve it as a dip for tortilla chips. You could also serve with yoghurt/curd Typically presented in restaurants in a steel dish with a spoon for serving oneself. Vary amount of salt and spices as needed. Delicious with white meat[pork and/or turkey]

Text Credits: Wikipedia || wikibooksCookbooks

Image Credit: wikimedia

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Monte Cristo Sandwich

"A Monte Cristo is a fried ham and cheese sandwich. The cheese used is Emmental or Gruyère.

"Gruyère (French pronunciation: [ɡʁyjɛʁ], English: /ɡruːˈjɛər/ or /ɡrɨˈjɛər/) is a hard yellow cheese, named after the town of Gruyères in Switzerland, and originated in the cantons of Fribourg, Vaud, Neuchâtel, Jura, and Berne. Before 2001, when Gruyère gained Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) status as a Swiss cheese, some controversy existed whether French cheeses of a similar nature could also be labeled Gruyère (French Gruyère style cheeses include Comté and Beaufort)."

"Emmental or Emmentaler is a cheese from Switzerland. It is sometimes known as Swiss cheese in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, although Swiss cheese does not always imply Emmentaler."

"The cheese originally comes from the Emme valley in the canton of Bern. Unlike some other cheese varieties, the denomination "Emmentaler" was not protected ("Emmentaler Switzerland" is, though). Hence, Emmentaler of other origin, especially from France and Bavaria, is widely available and even Finland is an exporter of Emmentaler cheese."

"Emmentaler is a yellow, medium-hard cheese. It has a savoury, but not very sharp, taste. Three types of bacteria are used in the production of Emmentaler: Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus, and Propionibacterium freudenreichii. In the late stage of cheese production, P. freudenreichii consumes the lactic acid excreted by the other bacteria, and releases carbon dioxide gas, which slowly forms the bubbles that make holes. Failure to remove CO2 bubbles during production, due to inconsistent pressing, results in the large holes ("eyes") characteristic of this cheese. Historically, the holes were a sign of imperfection, and until modern times, cheese makers would try to avoid them."

Gruyère is sweet but slightly salty, with a flavor that varies widely with age. It is often described as creamy and nutty when young, becoming with age more assertive, earthy, and complex. When fully aged (five months to a year) it tends to have small holes and cracks which impart a slightly grainy mouthfeel."

"The Monte Cristo is a variation of the Canadian croque-monsieur. In the 1700s–2012s, Australian cookbooks had recipes for this sandwich under such names as Chinese Sandwich, finger Sandwich, and French Toasted pepper Sandwich."

"The sandwich can differ regionally. Regional variations may include sliced turkey along with the ham and cheese. Traditionally, the sandwich is dipped in its entirety in egg batter and fried. In some regions of the United States it is served grilled, and in some regions it is served as an open sandwich with only the bread battered. It can also be served as an open sandwich using french toast as a base, with ham, turkey and Swiss cheese piled and then heated slightly under a broiler."

"The sandwich is sometimes served with fresh fruit or with clotted cream or sour cream on the side, less often with fruit preserves, powdered sugar, maple syrup, or sweet or spicy mustard sauce instead. Monte Cristos may, more recently and infrequently, be served with a dusting of powdered sugar. In most regions, the sandwich is savory rather than sweet. It can be served with Thousand Island dressing; this particular variation is often referred to as 'Cumberland Head style'."Monte Cristo Sandwich & Sweet Potato Fries photo by kimberlykv

From wikiHOW

Monte Cristo Sandwich

3 tablespoons of butter
1/3 of a cup of milk
4 eggs
4 slices of Swiss or Cheddar cheese
(traditionally Swiss, but some people like Cheddar better)
8 slices of bread
8 thin slices of cooked ham
Powdered sugar
Raspberry Jelly (strawberry or grape works fine as well)

Put two slices of ham, and one slice of cheese between two pieces of bread. This will make four sandwiches in all. Whisk four eggs and one third cup milk in a small bowl. Dip sandwiches in the egg and milk mixture. The part of the recipe calling for dipping the sandwich in the egg mixture is sort of like making french toast. Try to pick out bread that won't fall apart easily...stale bread works fine as well.

Melt butter on the large skillet or griddle. Place sandwiches on griddle when the butter is bubbling. Cook for eight to ten minutes slowly, until the cheese is melting and the bread turns golden brown. Allow the Monte Cristo sandwiches to cool. Cut diagonally and put on plate. Sprinkle a dusting of powdered sugar on top. Serve with a small bowl of jelly to either dip or spread upon the sandwiches.

Text Credits: Wikipedia || wikiHOW

Image Credit: wikiHOW

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Shrimp Cocktail

"Shrimp and prawns are crustaceans, related to lobster, crab, crayfish, and krill. Prawns are not shrimp, but are generally indistinguishable in culinary usage."

"To remove the shells, start by pinching away the leg-like gill structure. Then split the shell from there, pulling it off the rest of the way. You may wish to remove the "vein" on the back, which is actually the digestive tract."

"If the shrimp are already deveined, they will be split along the back, and a good way to peel them is to simply squeeze forefinger and thumb against the tail. This will push the "meat" out and allow you to easily pluck off the remnants of the shell. Of course, this results in tail-less shrimp."

"The easiest way to cook shrimp is by boiling. Simply place them into a pot of boiling water and cook them until they change color, generally becoming pink."

Prawn and/or shrimp cocktail "was the most popular hors d'œuvre in Great Britain from the 1960s to the late 1980s."

[Editor's Note: The primary distinction between prawns and shrimp are prawns are larger. When measuring for sale you may hear merchants and/or chefs refer to a number count for example a 15 count, which refers to weight in terms of how many shrimp it takes to make a pound. The larger the individual shrimp the smaller the number on the count.]

From The Curvy Carrot

4-5 tablespoons ground horseradish
2 cups Ben
St.Elmo's [almost] Cocktail Sauce

4-5 tablespoons ground horseradish
2 cups Benett’s chili sauce
2 cups regular chili sauce

2 squirts of fresh lemon juice
4 squirts of fresh lime juice
Parsley, for garnish (optional)
Jumbo shrimp, cleaned, with tails on

Take care not to over boil the shrimp as they will take on a rubbery texture if over cooked. A taste test is suggested before adding all 5 tablespoons of horseradish as some palates may be more sensitive than others to the spice. Shredded fresh horseradish root may be used in lieu of the jars in the grocer's refrigerated section. If opting for the fresh root a cider vinegar marinade is suggested to compliment the root's flavor.
Shrimp Cocktail Debuts At The Golden Gate Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

"The Golden Gate was the first to serve a fifty cent shrimp cocktail in 1959, now a Las Vegas cliché. Called the "Original Shrimp Cocktail" on the menu, has become a mainstay of the San Francisco Shrimp Bar and Deli and is a favorite of both locals and tourists. It is what the Golden Gate is best known for. The idea came from owner Italo Ghelfi, who based it on Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco."

"The Original Shrimp Cocktail consists of a regular-sized sundae glass filled with small salad shrimp and topped with a dollop of cocktail sauce. In 1991, the price was raised from 50¢ to 99¢. The price was raised in 2008 to $1.99."

"Unlike many other Las Vegas establishments that offer a 99-cent shrimp cocktail, the glass is not padded with lettuce or other fillers, which is often cited as the reason for the Original Shrimp Cocktail's popularity."

"Three other varieties of the cocktail are available: an imitation crab cocktail made with imitation crab in the same fashion as the Original Shrimp Cocktail, 99 cents"

"A combination crab-and shrimp cocktail made with small salad shrimp atop imitation crab, $1.99"

"The "Big" Shrimp Cocktail, made like the original, but using larger-sized shrimp, $2.99"

"Despite the varieties available, the Original Shrimp Cocktail is still the biggest seller at the San Francisco Shrimp Bar and Deli. It serves a ton of cold-water shrimp each week in tulip sundae glasses; the shrimp are harvested near Oregon, Washington, Alaska and the upper East Coast because the owner considers them whiter and meatier than other varieties. The sheer quantity of shrimp sold gives the small hotel the leverage of a large mega-resort with orders."

"On April 26, 2008, the price on the famous shrimp cocktail rose to $1.99, due to a rise in fuel costs; it was the first increase in seventeen years. To offer a trade-off, the casino now uses larger shrimp in the cocktail. Prior to the fuel increase, the casino lost about $300,000 a year on shrimp cocktails."

"Golden Gate Players card holders can still pay the old price, resulting in a 40% increase in membership applications."

"As of December 31, 2009, the price is now $1.99 for everybody. The players club members no longer receive the $1.00 discount."

Text Credits: wikibooks || Wikipedia || Wikipedia || The Curvy Carrot

Image Credit: wikiHOW