Drink and Food

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What is Bruschetta?

Bruschetta is a mysterious yet interesting item in the gourmet food world. The confusion on how to eat it is rampant in America. In many gourmet grocery stores you will find jars of Bruschetta on the shelf near the pesto or tomatoes. You might be tempted to pick up a jar. Without knowing what to do with it you might serve it on your pasta or even on crackers. The fact that this is an age old topping for crusty toasted bread is often not uncovered at all. True Bruschetta is simple enough for even the kitchen impaired cook to master. It is traditionally a toasted bread rubbed with garlic and then topped with Extra Virgin Olive Oil drizzled over the top. The final step is to add salt and pepper to taste making this a simple yet satisfying dish for everyone.

Today this Italian dish or appetizer is still served in the traditional style and is passed down from generation to generation. However, Bruschetta for the most part in America is served with tomatoes. Other variations include using pepper rubs and actual chunks of vegetables from Piquillo Peppers and Jalapeno Peppers to Artichokes and Basil. Toasted bread is topped with olive oil imbued tomatoes and spices. Some chefs then add even more flair to it by topping it with cheese. The dish is good in its traditional mode, and perhaps even better as it has evolved. If you wish to make your own Bruschetta experiment with toppings and then add on what you like. If you are no great hand in the kitchen then use the Bruschetta from your local gourmet store such as Elki's Tomato Bruschetta.

Baguettes and French bread are a typically base for the Bruschetta topping. The bread should be put in the oven on the broiler setting for one to two minutes on each side. When removed the bread should be rubbed with garlic, and then drizzled with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It is at this point that salt and pepper is usually added to the Olive Oil covered bread. There are many variations which are just a matter of what else you want to add. If tomato is added, mix it with the olive oil in advance and then spoon over the bread. The same is true for any other toppings from artichokes, basil and peppers. If you add cheese to the top consider heating again briefly to melt the cheese. On the down side the tomato mixture would be heated as well.

Stephen has been in the gourmet food business for nearly a decade and enjoys trying and learning about all types of gourmet foods. Join him at http://www.allaboutgourmetfood.com/ to learn about some of the staples of the gourmet food industry.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Stephen_Quiros

Culinary Arts Education Challenge

The culinary arts are more than simple cooking these days they've expanded into an academic pursuit. People all over the world see cooking and food preparation as an art. Restaurants build their reputation and profits off the skill and expertise of their team of chefs. The saying that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach certainly rings true in this respect. A restaurant relies on its chefs and good preparation to build repeat customers using unique recipes and ground breaking ingredients.

Many large food retailers and manufacturers utilize the skills of culinary artists for their ready to eat named products. Most of which are of such a high standard they could be served in restaurants.

These days more and more traditional institutions that cater for culinary arts students are beginning to appear in all walks of life. Students are being employed in holiday resorts, cruise liners, hotels and restaurants. World famous chefs are opening schools to train the future master chefs. The best culinary arts schools supply hands on and real time training in fully functional kitchens. The students of today are very well prepared for the trials of their future.

Few culinary art study courses are focusing on the science of cooking, others on food decorating methods and ingredients. These courses also split training into soups, meats, stocks, poultry and pastries. Other schools are beginning to run courses on exotic cookery. All students today are very well trained with regards to food safety and sanitation.

As is par for the course with virtually all professions, the newly graduated culinary arts student will find himself at the bottom of the ladder. This is common in the highly discriminatory food preparation industry. Only after years of toil and effort will a chef qualify to the status of a master chef. Highly talented chefs probably won't wait long to reach this coveted and elevated status though, as long as they apply themselves well and build a solid reputation.

People have to eat and people want to eat good and tasty food well prepared. Rich people want to eat excellent food prepared in the most excellent way. These are the people who are willing to pay good money for a good lunch or dinner. If you plan to learn the culinary way of cooking visit our website. Roman Forcett has more valuable information about learning culinary arts for you on his pages. Get yourself the most rewarding culinary arts education!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Macaroni and Cheese

It may not make it on the menu for your first mother-in-law's dinner visit, but macaroni and cheese is one of America's top foods.

It is rumored to have been created by the founding father Thomas Jefferson. Barbara Bell Matuszewski wrote that Jefferson served the dish in the White House in 1802. Others claim that Mr. Jefferson did not invent the dish but instead came back from Paris with a macaroni mold. In this Recipe you will find the mac-an-cheese dish from Mary Randolph (Jefferson's cousin) "The Virginia Housewife," that was published in 1824.

First, I will give you a little Mac n' cheese trivia. Did you know that Kraft sells more than one million boxes of the dinners every day! The Kraft dinners are so popular that children and some adults will turn up their noses when offered a rich and delicious homemade version. Give your taste buds a delight and try some REAL mac-n-cheese.

Homemade macaroni and cheese using great Wisconsin cheese is just simple layering of cooked macaroni, shredded (or sliced) cheese and salt and pepper, or it can be made with a white sauce-cheese base, topped with more cheese and buttered crumbs before baking.

Macaroni and Cheese ingredients list:

12 ounces of low-fat cottage cheese.
8 ounces of low fat sour cream.
4 cups of elbow macaroni, cooked.
2 cups of low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded.
½ cup of skimmed milk.
1 green onion, chopped.
¾ teaspoon of salt.
½ teaspoon of pepper.
2 egg whites.
Butter-flavored cooking spray.
¼ cup dry bread crumbs
¼ teaspoon paprika Fresh oregano sprigs, to garnish.

Instructions for Macaroni and Cheese:

Combine cottage cheese and sour cream in container of an electric blender; process until smooth.

In an electric blender, combine the cottage cheese and sour cream.

Combine the cottage cheese mixture, macaroni, and next 6 ingredients; then spoon into a 2-quart casserole coated with cooking spray.

Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and paprika; then coat with cooking spray.

Cover and bake at 350°F for about 30-35 minutes.

Uncover, then bake for an additional 5 minutes.

Garnish with fresh oregano sprigs.


I am a Chicago land Chef who loves to cook! You can find many more dishes at http://americanbaking.blogspot.com

Friday, February 29, 2008

How to Juice a Lemon

What You Should Know About Your Vegetarian Lasagna Recipe

Lasagna recipes are generally known to be meaty and high in calories. Aside from these, it's also time-consuming to prepare. It has also been commonly known as a difficult and potentially time consuming recipe to prepare. These may not always be true. A vegetarian lasagna recipe simply breaks all the old concepts about lasagna.

Why You'll Love It

A typical vegetarian lasagna recipe is not only tasty, it is also very nutritious depending on the mix of ingredients that you use. This is therefore a good dish to serve if you have picky kids who may not get enough nutrients in their bodies.

There are also variations to a common vegetarian recipe. It is very convenient to prepare since some recipes can be frozen and then heated later without destroying the taste. The important thing to always remember though is who you are cooking for. Be sure of what kind of vegetarians you are preparing the meal for so that you can cut the dairy products if you need to.

How to Cut the Time

You don't need to take forever to prepare a delicious vegetarian lasagna recipe. One useful tip is to just do away with boiling the noodles by using oven ready lasagna noodles instead. You can also always have bunches of pre cut and diced vegetables in your storage bin so that all you have to do every time you prepare a vegetarian lasagna recipe is to add the pre diced vegetables and the sauce on oven ready noodles.


The truth is that there are probably hundreds of variations to a typical vegetarian lasagna recipe. The key therefore is to come up with a mix of vegetable ingredients that suites your taste. You can use only the vegetables which your family usually loves to eat. It would be a great idea to follow someone else's vegetarian lasagna recipe first and then you can attempt to make modifications to the recipe according to your taste.

Some recipe variation techniques include dicing and chopping vegetables very finely to come up with a more packed vegetarian lasagna recipe. You can also just simply experiment with the amount of ingredients that you include. You may for example increase the cheese and sauce if you love a creamy vegetarian lasagna recipe. Or you can add other non typical lasagna vegetables like the slightly bitter spinach for a different taste.

Sauce and Spices

Sometimes the key to a truly tasty vegetarian lasagna recipe is to be creative and generous with the sauce and spices. You may for example add more crushed tomatoes instead of just placing tomato sauce to improve the texture and taste. You can also add white vegetable cream sauce instead of tomato sauce to change the taste.

You can try increasing the amount of pepper, basil, rosemary or oregano that you put into your lasagna for a more flavorful and distinct taste. Expert cooks also recommend using only fresh ingredients including fresh cheese which they say makes a big difference in the taste.

Discover the best vegetarian lasagna recipe that even your kids will love! Learn how to spice up your easy vegetarian recipes now!