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Jason Adamson

Jason Adamson

Jason lives in Osaka Japan and has an infatuation with raw fish, ninjas and sake. Originally from Australia he has a Masters in Communications and a Le Cordon Bleu Masters of Gastronomic Tourism. He also owns a very old Nintendo.
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How Much Salt to Add to Unsalted Butter – A Quick Guide

Written by Jason Adamson on . Posted in food

how much salt to add to unsalted butter

I think most of us have had that incredibly annoying feeling, at some time, of coming home from the supermarket, only to find that you’ve bought the wrong thing. That fabulous lasagne recipe calls for salted butter, and you discover that the butter that you hurriedly grabbed from the fridge is UNsalted butter! So now you will need to work out how much salt to add to unsalted butter.

When it comes to my cooking and baking, I am a huge fan of butter. There is nothing nicer than a cake, or a batch of biscuits, made with pure butter. Sauces like a cheesy sauce for Mac and Cheese, or a creamy garlic mushroom sauce, are also so much better when made with real butter, rather than some oily substitute that supposedly ‘tastes like real butter.’

Butter adds flavor to cooked foods and improves the texture of the dish. Of course, you will all agree that there is nothing to beat a fresh chunk of warm bread, or a slice of hot toast spread thickly with lashings of melt-in-your-mouth butter.

Why Do They Add Salt To Butter?

Salt adds to and enhances the flavor of the butter, but this is not the only reason why the big dairy manufacturers add salt to their butter. Butter is highly perishable; salt is a form of preservative and it extends the shelf life of the butter. It is also fairly cheap. Adding salt to butter leads to fewer losses from spoilage in store, and butter passing its ‘sell by’ date too soon.

How Much Salt Should Be Added To Unsalted Butter?

how much salt to add to unsalted butter

Most recipes that include butter take into consideration the fact that butter contains salt. The ingredients have been adjusted to allow for this. If you have inadvertently bought unsalted butter, you can still use it in your cooking, but you will need to make some small adjustments to allow for the change.

For every half a cup of butter, which is ¼ of a pound, you should add a ¼ of a teaspoon of salt. This will give you the same amount of saltiness in the taste as if you had used salted butter. 

However, this is not a hard and fast rule. I live by the philosophy that every recipe can and should be adapted to suit your personal preference. Some people love the tangy kick of lots of salt, while others find it unappetizing. A good guide is to taste as you go along. If it tastes too bland, add a pinch or two of extra salt. 

It is worth remembering that salt in excess is not healthy. It raises your sodium level, which can cause high blood pressure. This sodium imbalance puts a strain on the kidneys and can affect kidney function.

When it comes to adding salt to food, moderation is key. When working out how much salt to add to unsalted butter, always work on the premise that less is better.

How to Reheat Tamales – A Quick Guide

Written by Jason Adamson on . Posted in food

how to reheat tamales

Mexican food is a real treat because it is so unique. Filled with spicy, aromatic flavors, one of my favorite Mexican foods is tamales. When I make them, I usually make extra, so I soon learned how to reheat tamales.

Most people call this using up leftovers. But I invented my own word – ‘plan-overs’. You are probably wondering what plan-overs are. It is food that you have planned to have left over after a meal, saving you time and effort when you need food, but don’t have time to cook.

Tamales are a firm favorite in my house. This Mexican dish can best be described as a scrumptious parcel of food, made of dough that is made from corn, and filled with assorted fillings, such as meat, chicken, vegetables or fish. The whole parcel is then wrapped in either a corn husk or a banana leaf in which it is cooked, but is then discarded before you eat.

So you have had a crazy day, and are so pleased that in your freezer you have those tamales that you made last week. But what do you need to do with them to make them all yummy again?

How To Reheat Tamales

There are numerous methods that can be used to reheat tamales. I will give you simple instructions for each method. These will all work well with both home-made tamales and store-bought frozen tamales. 

Must You Defrost Tamales Before Reheating Them?

Tamales can be reheated from frozen, but it will take a little longer. The end result will be better if you defrost them first, by taking them out of the freezer the night before, and then leaving them to defrost in the fridge overnight.

How To Reheat Tamales In A Steamer

This can be done on the stove in a pot with a steamer basket. Fill your pot with about two inches of water. Put the tamales, still in their husks, into the basket, and place in the pot, making sure that the water does not actually touch the tamales. Try to stand them up, rather than stacking them on top of each other. 

Cover with a lid and steam for about 20 minutes. If your tamales are frozen, it will take about 35-40 minutes. Remove the husks before eating. This method can also be used in an electric steamer.

How To Reheat Tamales In A Pan

Using this method will make your tamales deliciously brown and crispy, but is not as healthy as steaming. This works best for tamales that have been thawed already. 

Place a tablespoon of olive oil in the pan and heat over medium heat. Remove the husks first. Carefully lower the tamales into the hot pan and cover, to prevent the oil from splattering. Using tongs, turn every 2-3 minutes until nicely browned and heated through, which will take approximately 10 minutes. Place on a piece of paper towel for a minute to drain the excess oil.

How To Reheat Tamales In The Oven

how to reheat tamales

Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Wrap individual tamales in foil and place in an oven-proof dish. Place in the hot oven. Turn the parcels after 10 minutes to ensure even heating. Remove after another 10 minutes and unwrap. This method works well with the tamales still in their husks, or without them. 

How To Reheat Tamales In An Air Fryer

This method will take a lot of the moisture out of your tamales, so it is best to heat them in their husks. 

Place the tamales in the basket of the air fryer, and set the timer for 8 minutes. After 8 minutes, turn them over and repeat. If they are frozen when you put them in, you will need about 11-12 minutes on each side.

How To Reheat Tamales In A Microwave

This is the best method if you are in a hurry, but it should only be used as a last resort because it is not as good as the other methods. 

Wrap your thawed tamales individually in a piece of paper towel. Place on a plate in the microwave, 2 at a time, and heat on full power for 15 seconds. Remove, wrap in a new paper towel, turn over, and repeat. You may need to do this 3 or 4 times until they are hot enough, depending on your microwave’s power.

Whichever method you choose to use to reheat tamales, they are bound to be delicious. Cook, freeze, reheat, and enjoy.

How to Reheat Rotisserie Chicken – A Quick Guide

Written by Jason Adamson on . Posted in food

how to reheat rotisserie chicken

You are at the supermarket doing your monthly shopping. Somehow, every month the same food seems to cost a little more. So it’s not surprising that you are thrilled to discover that the deli special of the day is rotisserie chicken, on special at 2-for-the-price-of-1. You would like to stock up and fill your freezer, but do you know how to reheat rotisserie chicken?

I am always budget-conscious when shopping for food, which is why my freezer is my best friend. I like to take advantage of good specials, especially if they are going to save me time as well as money.

On those hectically busy days when you know that you won’t have time to cook, what could be more convenient than having a ready-cooked chicken in the freezer? Rotisserie chicken is a healthy and tasty meal, but the secret is knowing how to reheat it effectively.

If you want to know how to reheat rotisserie chicken, I will give you simple instructions for the various methods that you can use. But, before reheating your chicken, there are a few other things that you should consider.

Is It Safe To Reheat Rotisserie Chicken?

It is perfectly safe to reheat rotisserie chicken, but it is important to ensure that it is heated to steaming hot all the way through, to ensure that no bacteria can start multiplying.

As with any other chicken, rotisserie chicken should only be reheated once. If you still have leftover chicken after reheating, this can be stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours and then eaten cold, but you should not reheat it a second time.

It can safely be cut up and added to a green salad to make a healthy lunch, or used as a filling for a scrumptious chicken sandwich. (Although I often land up giving these leftovers to the street cats around my apartment block – happy cats!)

Can You Reheat Rotisserie Chicken From Frozen?

While you can reheat your rotisserie chicken from straight out of the freezer, it is always better to defrost it first. Chicken can go off quite quickly if left out for too long. Therefore the safest way to defrost it is by taking it out of the freezer the night before and leaving it in the fridge to defrost overnight. 

Should You Reheat A Whole Rotisserie Chicken, Or Cut It Up?

This depends on your needs. Reheating the whole chicken and then cutting it into portions just before eating will help to keep the chicken lovely and moist inside. But cutting it up first and then reheating will speed up the heating process. 

The other advantage of cutting up the chicken first is that you can then reheat only as much as you need, and store the rest in the fridge for up to 2 days, to be reheated and used at a later stage. 

How To Reheat Rotisserie Chicken

There are a few different ways to reheat rotisserie chicken. Choose the method that suits you best in terms of both the time available and the effort required. 

How To Reheat Rotisserie Chicken In The Oven

Preheat your oven to 350° Fahrenheit. If you are reheating the whole chicken, wrap it up in tin foil and place it in an ovenproof dish. Place the dish in the hot oven and leave for about 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken. When heated through, cut into portions and serve.

If you cut the chicken up first, place the pieces in an oven-proof dish and cover with foil, then place in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes. Halfway through, baste with the juices that have run off, in order to keep the chicken moist.

How To Reheat Rotisserie Chicken In The Microwave

how to reheat rotisserie chicken

When reheating in the microwave, it is best to cut the chicken up first. Place chicken portions into a microwave-proof dish and cover with the lid. Microwave on high for about 30 seconds per portion, depending on the power of your microwave. Keep checking until it is heated all the way through.

How To Reheat Rotisserie Chicken In A Pan On The Stove

Rotisserie chicken can be reheated quickly in a pan on the stove. Spray the pan with a little olive oil and heat over a medium flame. Place the chicken pieces in the hot pan, turning with tongs every 1-2 minutes until heated through, about 5-6 minutes in total, depending on the size of the pieces.

How To Reheat Rotisserie Chicken In An Air Fryer

Air fryers have become extremely popular in recent years, and have almost become the must-have kitchen gadget. I absolutely love mine and use it constantly. It is great for when you want to reheat rotisserie chicken. Simply place the cut up pieces of chicken in the air fryer basket, set the timer for 15 minutes, and forget about it. The chicken will be moist and succulent and will retain all its flavor.

Can You Reheat Rotisserie Chicken In A Slow Cooker?

how to reheat rotisserie chicken

While it is possible, I do not advise reheating rotisserie chicken in a slow cooker. The chicken will be soft and moist, but it may fall apart and lose some of its flavor. However, it can be convenient on a really busy day. In the morning you can put the whole frozen chicken in the slow cooker on the ‘Low’ setting, and leave it for 6-8 hours. You will then come home to chicken that is ready to cut up and eat.

When deciding how to reheat rotisserie chicken, any of these methods will work well. The one that I like the best is in the air fryer because it is the easiest and most delicious. 

Now that you know how to reheat rotisserie chicken, you can shop smart. As long as you have enough space in your freezer, you can maximize every opportunity to save money, and buy a few and freeze when you see a good special.

How to Reheat Crab Legs – A Quick Guide

Written by Jason Adamson on . Posted in food

how to reheat crab legs

I’m sure that all lovers of seafood will agree that crab is an exotic dish that has its own unique appeal. When buying seafood, it is always best to buy fresh, but that is not always possible.

There is nothing better than fresh crab legs, but, depending on where you live, you may have to resort to the frozen store-bought variety. These will have been pre-cooked, and therefore you should know how to reheat crab legs.

Crab legs have a very distinct flavor. While similar to the white meat of a chicken, crab meat is softer and saltier. If you have a bag of crab legs in your freezer, it is important to reheat them correctly, so that they do not lose their flavor, and you can preserve the succulent texture of the meat. 

Do You Need To Defrost Crab Legs Before Reheating Them?

Crabmeat is a highly perishable food. Raw crab will go off very quickly. Therefore, most fishing companies have facilities on their fishing boats for cooking and rapid freezing of the crabs before packaging and distribution. 

If you defrost crab legs before reheating them, they may spoil very quickly. Eating seafood that has gone bad can give you a severe dose of food poisoning. Therefore it is advisable not to defrost the crab legs before reheating them. They will be fine if you reheat them straight from the freezer.

How To Reheat Crab Legs

There are numerous methods that can be used to reheat crab legs. Which one you choose depends on your personal preference. I played around with a few different ways to reheat crab legs before I found the method I like best.

In addition to eating them plain after reheating, crab legs can be added to other dishes, like stews and soups. When doing this, you should defrost and heat them slightly before adding them to your pot.

How To Reheat Crab Legs In Boiling Water

The easiest method of reheating crab legs is to simply drop the frozen crab legs into a pot of rapidly boiling salted water. Crabmeat is naturally salty, so I suggest that you should not have too much of a heavy hand with the salt. Bring the water back to a boil, and then simmer gently for about 5 minutes. The crab legs should then be heated through and ready to eat.

How To Reheat Crab Legs By Steaming

how to reheat crab legs

Steaming is a very successful method for reheating crab legs. Place about 3-4 inches of water in a pot and bring it to a boil. Place the frozen crab legs in a steamer basket and place them above the water level in the pot. Do not let the crab legs actually touch the water, otherwise, they will boil and not steam. Cover and steam for 10-15 minutes, or until heated all the way through.

You can use this same method in an electric food steamer. Fill the reservoir with water up to the water-level indicator. Place the crab legs in the basket and steam for about 10-15 minutes.

How To Reheat Crab Legs In The Oven

The oven is an easy way to reheat crab legs. Preheat the oven to 350°Fahrenheit. Lightly spray an oven-proof dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place the frozen crab legs in the dish, with some mixed herbs and a sprinkle of dried garlic powder. 

Cover with tin foil, but prick a few holes in the foil, to allow steam to escape. This will prevent the crab legs from becoming limp and soggy. Place the dish in a hot oven for 15-20 minutes. The crab legs will be full of flavor and soft and succulent.

How To Reheat Crab Legs On The Stove Top

If you reheat crab legs in a pan on the stove, it is a good idea to cover them with a sauce to prevent them from drying out. My family simply adore crab legs in a creamy garlic sauce. At the end of this article, I will share my secret recipe with you.

How To Reheat Crab Legs In The Microwave

how to reheat crab legs

Reheating crab legs in the microwave is probably the quickest method, but you can only do 3 or 4 at a time. Wrap them in a paper towel, place on a plate, and cover with cling wrap. Again, prick a few small holes in the cling wrap for the steam to escape.

Place the plate in the microwave and microwave on medium-high for 1-2 minutes. Allow them to stand for a minute before unwrapping and serving. 

Can You Reheat Crab Legs On A Barbecue?

Reheating crab legs on a barbecue will give them an unusual, delectable, smokey flavor. I like to brush them with a little bit of lemon-butter sauce to keep them moist and succulent. Do not defrost them first. Place the frozen crab legs on the hot grill, taking care not to let them get too close to the flame. Grill for 3-4 minutes, brushing with lemon-butter sauce once or twice. Then turn and repeat, to cook the other side.

All of these methods work well and will give you delicious crab legs, but my personal favorite is to heat them in a pan on the stove, in a smooth and creamy garlic sauce. 

Crab Legs In Creamy Garlic Sauce

As promised, here is my secret recipe. This recipe has been perfected through trial and error, and I promise you that there won’t be a single piece left behind when the meal is done.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1½ – 2 pounds crab legs
  • ¼  cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup fresh cream
  • 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed 
  • 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
  • Dash of salt and pepper

METHOD

  • Melt the butter in a large pan.
  • Stir in the garlic and cook for a minute or two
  • Add the cream and mix well.
  • Add the onion flakes and herbs and spices.
  • Bring to the boil and add the frozen crab legs 
  • Simmer gently on low heat for 10-12 minutes. 
  • Serve piping hot.

How to Make Capacola – A Comprehensive Guide

Written by Jason Adamson on . Posted in food

how to make capacola

Don’t you just love Italian cuisine? Italians really have a way with food. From pizza to pasta to salami to gelato, I find it all utterly irresistible. These are the most common, everyday Italian foods that everybody knows about, and you can get these absolutely anywhere. But there are also lots of lesser-known, more exotic Italian dishes that appeal to the epicure in me. That’s why I decided that I needed to know how to make Capacola.

One of my most exciting vacations was a brief trip to Italy. Of course, a highlight of the experience was the food. Italians are so passionate about their gastronomic delights. Food and meals play a major role in Italian culture.

Getting to sample genuine Italian fare, made by real Italians who have that unmistakable Italian passion and love for food, was such a treat. It was so tempting to try all my favorites. Luckily for my waistline, it was a short trip, with limited opportunities to indulge my food fantasies. 

They say that the best way to learn about a new place and the people in it is to meet the locals and to explore with a local as your guide. No one understands the culture better than the locals, and they will have more in-depth knowledge of the best eateries than any tour guide.

While on a day trip with an Italian friend, we visited a quaint little hole-in-the-wall deli-type shop, filled with a completely mind-boggling, tantalizing array of interesting treats. It was here that I learned all about Charcuterie, which also happened to be the name of the shop.

Charcuterie (read ‘sharkootahree’ and you’ll know how to pronounce it) is the name used for a variety of Italian cured meats and cold cuts. These are usually served with other foods, like sauces, sliced vegetables, fruits, and cheeses, as accompaniments. 

Charcuterie, or cured cold cuts, are often used as fillings in fabulous sandwiches. Imagine that fresh, warm ciabatta bread, filled with the most tantalizing assortment of cold meats. That’s Charcuterie for you.

These meats are also quite delicious when served cut up in salads. Paired with creamy avocado, spinach, sun-ripened cherry tomatoes, and assorted peppers and topped with a lovely garlic salad dressing, what could make for a better lunch?

I was given a few samples to try and was intrigued by the unique flavor of the chunk of Capacola that was offered to me. I walked out of the shop like someone on a mission. I knew that I just had to learn how to make Capacola.

What Does The Word ‘Capacola’ Mean?

Even the name of this dish, Capacola, fascinated me. Also known as Capocollo and  Capicolla, the name comes from a merging of two Italian words, ‘capo’, meaning ‘head’ and ‘collo’, meaning ‘neck’ (and yes, for those of you who love all things to do with words, the English words ‘capital’ and ‘collar’ come from the same roots).

What Is Capacola?

Capacola, or Capocollo, or Capicolla…however you choose to spell it, is an Italian cold cut of pork, used in the best traditional sandwiches. It was originally made from the cut of meat taken from the top of the neck, hence the name.

In recent years, this particular piece of Charcuterie has evolved. Capacola is now often made from pork loins because it can be difficult to obtain the exact cut from the neck.

Capacola is usually made with lots of ‘red’ spices, like cayenne pepper, paprika, and dried red pepper flakes. It is these spices, combined with the special cut of the meat itself, that give Capacola its unique flavor.

Capacola has become very popular in America, where it is generally made using a Boston Butt roast. 

What Is A Boston Butt Roast?

The Boston Butt roast is a cut of pork that comes from the top of the front-leg shoulder. The meat must have a certain amount of fat on it, in order to have the desired texture and moisture for Capacola.

Can You Make Capacola With Beef Or Any Other Meat?

After some experimentation with various cuts of beef and lamb, it became clear to me that you have to use pork to make Capacola. It does not work with any other type of meat. The flavor and texture are so unique that there is no adequate substitute.

The cut of pork that comes from the neck or shoulder of the pig is so perfect for Capacola because it has the best ratio of fat to lean meat. In order to get perfect Capacola, the meat should have 30% fat. This cut of pork is marbled, with the fat perfectly distributed.

Is It Complicated To Make Capacola?

Capacola may sound complicated and difficult to make, but it is actually fairly simple to make your own delicious capacola at home.

If you want to know how to make Capacola, traditionally there are two methods that can be used. One method is more intricate and complicated than the other.

The more difficult way is to make dry-cured Capacola. This is much more time consuming, and you will need a lot of patience for it. But if you don’t need instant gratification, and you are prepared to wait it out, it is very satisfying to make your own dry-cured Capacola.

The much simpler method is to make a cooked or baked Capacola. This is much quicker and a lot easier. 

I will give you simple, straightforward instructions and recipes for both methods of how to make Capacola. 

How To Make Dry Cured Capacola

how to make capacola

When making many types of cured cold cuts, you have to be careful about keeping the temperature constant so that the fat stays cold all the time. It is difficult to prevent the outer parts of your piece of meat from getting too dry during the curing process.

Making dry-cured Capacola is a two-stage process. 

I always advise vacuum sealing the meat in the first stage, in order to prevent it from drying out. When doing it this way, you avoid the risk of bacteria multiplying and the meat going off before it has dried out fully. Vacuum sealing will also enhance and improve the flavor and texture of the meat.

The second stage of the process involves leaving the meat to mature fully. This needs to be done at very specific temperatures and humidity levels. Details will be provided in the recipe. 

What Piece Of Meat Is Best To Make Capacola?

Try to get the piece of pork that comes from the back of the head, at the top of the shoulder. Your butcher should be able to give you the piece of Boston Butt closest to the pig’s back. This piece is actually a muscle called the ‘Coppa’.

Be sure to go to a butcher who only sells the freshest of fresh meat. Using very fresh meat will yield the best end result because fresh meat is more likely to capture and keep the special flavor of the seasonings.

Dry Cured Capacola Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 4-5 pound piece of pork ‘Coppa’
  • 4 tablespoons salt
  • 3-4 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ½ teaspoons pink sea salt
  • 2-3 bay leaves, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

METHOD

Mix all the spices, sugar, and crushed bay leaves together in a bowl. Grind together with an electric grinder, or with a mortar and pestle, until you have a very fine powder.

Roll up your piece of pork, and tie into a very tight roll using butcher’s string. You can also use a netting roll for this stage, placing the meat into a piece of netting roll and securing the ends tightly.

Place the meat in a dish and sprinkle liberally with the spice powder, coating the meat evenly all over.

Place the spiced meat in a vacuum bag and seal securely in the vacuum packer.

If you don’t have a vacuum packer, you can place the meat in a ziplock bag. Try to expel as much air as possible from the bag before sealing it up.

Leave the meat in the fridge to cure for a week, turning the bag over once a day.

After 7 days, take the meat out and rinse it very well in cold water. Dry thoroughly in a clean kitchen towel.

Sprinkle the meat generously with paprika, rubbing it into the meat well.

The meat now needs to be left to stand for 6 weeks, at a temperature of between 55°-65° Fahrenheit, with humidity to be controlled at between 60-70%.

It will be difficult to wait for six weeks, but it will be worth the wait. Take the meat out of the fridge and remove the twine or netting. Slice the meat thinly. You now have the perfect Capacola and are ready to fill that ciabatta for the best sandwich of your life!

How To Make A Baked Capacola

Making a baked, or cooked capacola is a lot simpler and less time-consuming than the dry-cured variety. You will find it easier and a lot less finicky. 

What Piece Of Meat Do I Need?

To make a cooked Capacola, you should try to use the Coppa, as described earlier. However, if you cannot get that cut, a piece of pork loin will work just as well. Because it does not have quite the same distribution of fat, it might not be quite as moist, but it will still be absolutely scrumptious. 

Using a piece of freshly cut pork loin is actually the most economical way to make Capacola. If you buy your Capacola ready-made in a specialty Charcuterie store, be prepared to pay a lot of money for it. But if you can learn how to make Capacola at home, you will find that it does not need to cost a fortune to enjoy this delicacy.

Cooked Capacola is actually so simple to make that it is virtually flop proof. Provided that you have the correct ingredients and equipment, there is really very little room for error. 

The secret ingredient here is pink curing salt. This is what will give the Capacola its perfect reddish-pink color, and just the right flavor. 

The most essential piece of equipment in this method is the netting that we spoke about earlier. This will ensure that your Capacola retains all the flavors and holds its shape well as it cures and matures.

Cooked Capacola Recipe

For this method, you will need a # 24 netting roll. This will have just the right amount of strength to hold the meat together as it cooks, without trapping any of the juices in.

STAGE 1

Ingredients 

(for the curing rub)

  • 3-4 pound piece of pork coppa or pork loin
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pink curing salt
  • 1 teaspoon flaked red pepper, crushed

Place all the above ingredients together in a spice grinder and grind till very fine. This can also be done by hand with a pestle and mortar. 

Rub this mixture into the meat, ensuring that it is fully coated. It is important to check that all the rub has reached all the little folds of meat. 

Wrap the meat tightly in cling wrap and place in the fridge for a week. Every two days, turn the parcel of meat over. This will help to make sure that the moisture remains evenly distributed through the piece of meat.

After a week, remove the meat from the fridge and unwrap it. Rinse it thoroughly under cold running water and pat the meat dry with a clean kitchen towel. 

You are now ready for the next stage.

STAGE 2

Preheat your oven to 300° Fahrenheit. You will need an ovenproof dish and a roasting pan with a wire rack.

Ingredients 

(for the cooking rub. This can be played with and adjusted, according to your personal preference. I have given what works best for me.)

  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • ½ teaspoon dill seeds
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried onion flakes

Grind all of the above together, either in an electric spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. 

Rub the spice mixture into the meat, again making sure that every little fold is covered in spice.

Now for the tricky part. You need to stuff the meat into the netting. It is easier to do this if you stretch the netting first, and then push the meat into the netting. 

The most important part of the cooking process is preserving the moisture of the meat. In order to do this, you need to keep the humidity level high in the oven. Fill the ovenproof dish with water and place it on the bottom rack of the oven.

Place the meat on the wire rack on top of your roasting pan. Position this on the middle rack in the oven. Bake for 2 hours, turning halfway through so that the meat browns evenly on all sides. 

Remove from the oven and leave to cool to room temperature. Place in a dish in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours.

Only when the meat is completely cold is it ready to be sliced. This is best done with an electric meat slicer. 

If you do not have an electric meat slicer, you can use a knife, but it is essential that the knife is fiercely sharp. Take great care not to slice your fingers in the process.

You can now slice the meat into very thin slices, and VOILA! You have learned how to make Capacola absolutely perfectly.

 

Now that you have learned how to make Capacola, you may have some questions about your delicious Capacola.

What Are The Best Accompaniments To Capacola?

how to make capacola

Capacola is yummiest when eaten as a sandwich filling, in a warm, fresh ciabatta, bagel, or any other bread that you love. 

My favorite Capacola sandwich filling is actually very simple. The meat itself is so delicious that I don’t like adding too many other ingredients. I am not fond of the mingling of too many strong flavors. But that is only my personal preference.

I love a freshly baked ciabatta bread, spread thinly with garlic mayo. Add a few slices of Capacola, some shredded lettuce, a few roasted veggies, and top it all off with a slice of provolone cheese. 

If you like mustard, you can replace the mayo with spicy French mustard for an interesting touch.

Must Capacola Be Kept In The Fridge?

After your hard work at making the Capacola, you will be heartbroken if it goes bad before you get a chance to eat it. Like all meat, Capacola can spoil very quickly if not kept in the fridge, so yes, please keep your Capacola in the fridge.

If you want to prepare your sandwiches in advance, these should be well-wrapped in cling wrap and should also be stored in the fridge. Take them out about an hour before eating, so that the bread is not too hard and cold when you are ready to tuck in.

How Long Can Capacola Keep?

Capacola can keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. It will remain good in the freezer for as long as 6 months if stored correctly.

How Do You Store Capacola?

Capacola should be stored in an airtight container with a tight seal. It can also be stored in a carefully sealed ziplock bag, or wrapped up tightly in cling wrap. Because it has such a strong flavor and needs to be kept in the fridge, you will want to ensure that the aroma and flavor do not transfer to other foods in your fridge. For this reason, it needs to be kept airtight.

Can Capacola Be Frozen?

Capacola can be frozen very successfully, provided it is packaged correctly. If you want to freeze all of it, you can freeze it whole before slicing it. 

Wrap up the piece of meat tightly in cling wrap and then wrap in a layer of tin foil. Place in the freezer. Only slice it after defrosting, when you are ready to use it.

In the unlikely event that you have leftovers, and want to freeze them, you can freeze the remaining slices. Place them in an airtight plastic container, separating the slices with sheets of cling wrap between them. If you do not separate the slices, they may stick together and tear when you try to separate them after defrosting.

How Do You Defrost Frozen Capacola?

The best way to defrost frozen Capacola is to take it out of the freezer the night before and leave it to defrost gradually overnight in the fridge. In this way, bacteria will not be able to multiply and your Capacola will not go bad.

I do not recommend defrosting Capacola in the microwave. It may lose some of its flavor, and the texture will be too wet and soggy. You also don’t want to risk the Capacola getting too warm.

How Can You Tell If Capacola Is Off?

If you are concerned that your Capacola might have gone off, you obviously won’t want to risk tasting it. Luckily, there are other ways of checking if it has gone bad.

  • Appearance – if the Capacola has gone off, it will start developing a greyish tinge and may have bits of mold growing on it.
  • Smell – Capacola that is off will have a sour, unpleasant odor, instead of the appetizing aroma of fresh Capacola.
  • Touch – If you suspect that the Capacola has spoiled, don’t be too scared to feel it. If it is no longer okay to eat, it will probably feel slimy. Be sure to wash your hands after handling it. Bacteria can easily be transferred to other foods. 

Once you have made Capacola once, you will see how easy it is and you will be able to enjoy this Italian Charcuterie whenever you feel like it.

What Does Pheasant Taste Like? A Guide

Written by Jason Adamson on . Posted in food

what does pheasant taste like

Many people like the idea of eating pheasant because it is seen as a somewhat exotic dish. If you have never eaten it before, are you curious about it? Do you ever think to yourself, what does pheasant taste like?

Pheasant is a type of poultry and is fairly similar in texture and taste to chicken, or turkey. Just like chicken and turkey, it has a combination of both white and dark meat. Pheasant has very little natural fat, so when you cook it, you have to be careful not to let it become too dry, otherwise, it will be bland, tasteless, and tough. But, with the right recipe, if cooked with care, the pheasant can taste absolutely delicious and leave you salivating for more.

Pheasant is best cooked on the bone, with butter and seasonings slipped under the skin, in order to give you a soft, moist and tender dish. Later on in this article, we will look at one or two recipes and methods of cooking pheasant in order to guide you with preparing it in the most delectable way. 

If you called up a gourmet foodie and asked, “What does pheasant taste like?” The reply will be that while pheasant may taste similar to chicken, its true flavor is more like game meat, with a smokey flavor. Wild pheasant has a fairly strong, aromatic flavor. It has quite a distinctive taste. 

If you have ever cooked turkey, you will know that it takes a long time to cook to perfection. I remember my Mom cooking turkey every year for the holidays. The aroma that wafted through the house as the turkey took its time slow-roasting in the oven made us all walk around with our tongues hanging out, nagging for just a quick taste. But my Mom was adamant, saying “Good food takes time to prepare. When it’s ready, the wait will be worth it.”

She was so right about that. And when wondering what pheasant tastes like, the same rule of thumb applies to cooking it. Slow roasting on medium heat, with just the right seasonings and sauces, will give you the ultimate melt-in-your-mouth taste of perfectly cooked pheasant.

Read Related Reading: What Does Foie Gras Taste Like?

Is Pheasant Healthy to Eat?

Pheasant is considered by nutritionists to be an extremely healthy source of protein. With our frenetic lifestyles today, many people often tend to choose the easy way out, eating a lot of fast foods, processed meats, rich dairy products, and foods high in trans-fats. 

It is no secret that making a habit of eating these foods and following this type of diet is a sure way to cause damage to your arteries. There is more and more emphasis today on the importance of following a healthy diet, and the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. 

If you are wondering what pheasant tastes like, you might also like to know that making it a regular part of your diet has many health benefits. It is very lean, making it low in saturated fats. Unlike certain red meats, pheasant will not clog your arteries with fatty deposits. If you suffer from high cholesterol, you can safely allow pheasant to appear regularly on your table.

What Do Pheasants Eat?

what does pheasant taste like

When trying to answer the question, what does pheasant taste like, it is helpful to look at what pheasants themselves eat? I remember an old favorite television advert, from my childhood, for a certain brand of frozen chicken. The slogan was a simple, but highly memorable one. The reason that they taste so good, is because they eat so well. The same principle would apply to pheasants.

In the wild, pheasants eat fruit, seeds, insects, and even small mammals. Farm-reared pheasants are usually fed a healthy diet of mixed grains, corn, and seeds. They are not fed a fatty diet and are not given any meat to eat. The result is that pheasant is a healthy source of lean protein.

In addition to its protein value, pheasant meat is also rich in vitamins B-6 and B-12. It contains essential minerals such as selenium and potassium and is low in sodium. All-in-all, pheasant is not only an exotic and alluring dish. It is also a healthy and nutritious choice.

Can You Eat Pheasant Eggs?

Pheasant eggs are full of healthy nutrients. They are very rich in protein and amino acids and contain high levels of vitamins B and D. There are many delicious ways to cook these eggs, either on their own or as valuable ingredients in other dishes.

What is the Best Way to Cook Pheasant?

Before actually cooking your pheasant, it is necessary to clean it very well. If you buy from a reputable butcher, it should have already been hung for a few days to ensure that the meat is soft and tender. 

Your butcher should also have made sure that your bird has been plucked clean and does not have any stray feathers. When you unwrap it before cooking, even if it looks clean, it is recommended to wash it well by rinsing thoroughly under cold running water. Remember to rinse the inside cavity well, too. You will also want to dry it carefully, in order to prevent the juices from being too watery when you cook it.

Should You Cook Pheasant in the Oven, or on the Stove Top?

You will achieve the best results from slow-roasting your pheasant in the oven at a medium temperature of about 330-350 degrees Fahrenheit. Any hotter than that and your bird will dry out. If you attempt to cook pheasant on the stovetop, the heat of the flame will be too intense and it will not cook evenly. The outside will be hard and dry, while the inside might be under-done.

How Should You Prepare the Pheasant?

what does pheasant taste like

My favorite recipe is so simple and straightforward, but oh so scrumptious! I honestly believe that a recipe does not have to be complicated and intricate, and long and involved, in order to be good. In fact, it is often the simplest and easiest recipes that yield the best results. An added bonus to this recipe is the fact that you literally only dirty two dishes in your kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole pheasant
  • 3 cups of water
  • 3 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons good quality olive oil or softened butter
  • A little maple syrup
  • A sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh thyme
  • Cut up carrot sticks
  • 1 whole onion, peeled

Instructions

First, soak the bird in brine. Make the brine by boiling the water, salt, bay leaves, and sugar. Cover and leave to cool completely. When cool, pour the brine over the bird and place it in the fridge for about 8 hours, or overnight. 

Hint: if you like nice, crispy skin, remove the bird from the brine and leave it uncovered in the fridge for another 4-6 hours.

Take the pheasant out of the fridge and, while it reaches room temperature, preheat your oven to at least 400 degrees. Rub the bird well with olive oil or softened butter. Try to slip some under the skin as well. This will give you lovely golden, crispy skin. Sprinkle freshly ground black pepper and drizzle very lightly with maple syrup.

Stuff the cavity with the onion, carrot sticks and fresh thyme. Place in a roasting pan and roast uncovered in the oven on high for only fifteen minutes. Take the dish out of the oven, and turn the temperature down to 330-350 degrees. You can leave the oven door slightly ajar to speed up the cooling process. Put the bird back in the oven and roast slowly, also uncovered, for another 30-45 minutes, or until the juices run clear. Take it out of the oven and let it stand for about 10 minutes before carving and serving. 

What Does Pheasant Taste Like When Cooked in a Slow Cooker?

The beauty of the recipe given above is that it is easily adapted to slow-cooking. However, you will need more liquid. Follow all the instructions as above, but before placing in the slow-cooker, brown your bird lightly in a pan with a little hot oil, to give it an appetizing color. Put the pheasant into the slow cooker. You can also add some vegetables, like potatoes and pumpkin or baby marrows. Now you will need some liquid to ensure that it doesn’t dry out. Take 3-4 cups of good quality chicken stock. Add a generous splash of sherry. Cover the cooker and allow it to cook on low for about 8-10 hours.

How Do You Carve A Pheasant?

Carving a pheasant is much the same as carving a chicken. The trick is to use a very sharp knife. Place your fork in the centre of the breast and slice downwards in a short quick motion. The meat should come away from the bone. If the breast pieces are very large you can slice them up into smaller pieces. Now cut off the wings, and separate the legs and thighs. Serve with a selection of vegetables to suit your taste.

You are now ready to pour yourself a glass of your favorite wine, and tuck in and enjoy a mouthwatering, healthy meal!

 

Read Other Related Reading: What does Cauliflower Taste Like? The Many Tastes and Colors – a Guide

How to Make Potato Chips in the Oven without Oil – A Guide

Written by Jason Adamson on . Posted in food

how to make potato chips in oven without oil

Most people I know share my love for potato chips. Sadly, the store-bought versions of this delectable snack are not very healthy, because they are all made with oil. But what if you knew how to make potato chips in the oven without oil? When I learned how to do this, it was a real game-changer for me. 

Potato chips come in many varieties. There are lots of different brands on store shelves, all competing to catch your eye, tempt your tastebuds, and find their way into your shopping basket. When you stroll down the snacks aisle of your local supermarket, you will see that potato chips dominate. 

The most popular ones are the straight cut, plain salted variety, but you have so many other options. Crinkle cut, potato sticks, potato puff balls, an array of flavors like salt and vinegar, barbecue, sour cream and onion, hot chili pepper, Mexican spice, pickled onion, and the list goes on. 

Then there are all the alluring packages. Shiny foil bags, brightly colored pictures, familiar brand logos, tall cardboard tubes…I can picture myself walking down that aisle, looking at all of these, and I start salivating at the thought of that crunchy deliciousness in my mouth.

I’m sure that by now you have guessed that I REALLY love potato chips. But all of those scrumptious brands, types and flavors have one thing in common: they are all cooked in oil. 

Check this Related Article: How to Reheat Leftover Quiche – A Guide to Store, Freeze, and Reheat

Why are Potato Chips so Unhealthy?

how to make potato chips in oven without oil

Because all of your favorite potato chips are cooked in oil, they are loaded with unhealthy trans fats. Trans fats are a particularly dangerous form of fat because they not only raise LDL (so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol), but they also lower HDL (the ‘good’ cholesterol). Trans fat increases blood triglyceride levels. This causes damage to the arteries and can ultimately lead to a heart attack. No matter how much you might love potato chips, I think you will agree that it is not worth risking your life for them.

 

Is there a healthier option?

Fortunately, there is a healthier way to enjoy your favorite snack. A  guilt-free version can be yours to enjoy once you learn how to make potato chips in the oven without oil. It is really quite simple to do, as long as you have the right tools and equipment.

What do I need?

Luckily, you most probably already have these items in your kitchen. You need the following:

  • Two large, flat baking trays
  • A sharp vegetable peeler
  • Parchment paper
  • A food processor with a mandoline slicer attachment

What if I don’t have a food processor?

You can manage without a food processor, but you will then need a very sharp knife and a little more time.

What kind of potatoes should I use?

There are numerous different varieties of potatoes available. The one that I like to use to make potato chips in the oven without oil is called the Yukon Gold. But you can use any type that you like. It’s basically a personal preference. Some varieties are seasonal, and may also be area-dependent. But one thing that they all have in common is that they are actually a very healthy vegetable. 

So many people are under the false impression that potatoes are bad for you, but this is large because of the unhealthy methods that are used to prepare them. It is usually the added oil, butter, or sauces that are unhealthy, and not the potatoes themselves. Potatoes are filled with healthy nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. They contain potassium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, and fiber. These are all an important part of a normal, healthy diet. 

A step-by-step guide for how to make potato chips in the oven without oil:

how to make potato chips in oven without oil

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Wash the potatoes well and dry them thoroughly. 
  3. Prepare your baking trays by lining them with parchment paper.
  4. Peel the potatoes.
  5. Put them through the food processor, slicing them into thin slices. If you don’t have a food processor, slice carefully with a very sharp knife. Your slices should be 2-3 mm thick.
  6. Lay the potato slices out on the baking trays, taking care not to let them overlap at all. If they do, the chips will not crisp up and will remain soft and soggy.
  7. Place the trays in a hot oven.
  8. After 20 minutes, rotate the trays to ensure even heat distribution.
  9. Cook for another 20 minutes, or until nicely browned and crisp. (Watch them carefully, as they can burn easily)
  10. Immediately after removing from the oven, sprinkle generously with the seasoning of your choice. 

What seasonings are the most suitable for home-made, oil-free potato chips?

What seasoning to use depends mostly on what flavors appeal to your taste buds. There are so many different options available. The most common way to season potato chips is with plain fine salt. However, many people enjoy more spicy flavors. Here are a few suggestions, but you can use anything that you have in the spice rack that appeals to you.

  • Salt and vinegar
  • Barbecue spice
  • Paprika
  • Chilli spice
  • Thai sweet curry powder
  • Fresh herbs
  • Powdered parmesan cheese
  • Cheddar cheese powder
  • Dried onion powder
  • Dried mushroom powder

You might want to be a little adventurous and experiment with different combinations of some of the above seasonings and spices, such as parmesan cheese mixed with a little mushroom powder, or, for those of you with a sweet tooth, cinnamon and sugar. My personal favorite is a mixture of cheddar cheese powder with dried onion powder. That sensation of the mingling of flavors on your tongue will leave you wanting to make another batch.

Hint: This is why I always make at least two trays at a time. One does not go very far!

Whatever flavor you choose, I am sure that now that you know how to make potato chips in the oven without oil, your family will thank you forever and this crunchy, healthy snack will become a firm favorite in your household.

Read Other Related Reading: How to Cook Deer Ribs: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Cook Deer Ribs: A Comprehensive Guide

Written by Jason Adamson on . Posted in food

how to cook deer ribs

If you are a meat lover, you will know that there is nothing like digging into a huge rack of sticky ribs, slathered with a tangy sauce. But do you know how to cook deer ribs? If you sometimes worry about the possibility that you might be eating too much meat, and the health issues that go with it, deer ribs are the answer. 

The edible meat that we get from games such as deer, elk, antelope, and moose is known as venison. The most popular of these is deer meat, and, with the correct preparation, it can be turned into a gastronomic delight. In this article, we will not only learn how to cook deer ribs, but we will also look at some other interesting aspects of venison in general, and deer ribs in particular.

Is Venison Considered Red or White Meat?

Like beef and lamb ( the most commonly eaten red meats), venison is red meat. But, unlike venison, beef and lamb both have a high-fat content and are therefore considered to be unhealthy if eaten frequently and in large quantities.

The fat from these meats finds its way into your bloodstream and can cause health problems such as high cholesterol and clogged arteries. Venison, on the other hand, is very lean meat. It is low in fat and is just as tasty as beef and lamb when cooked correctly.

Read Related Article: How to Make Potato Chips in the Oven without Oil – A Guide

Can Venison be Included in a Healthy Diet?

Venison is much healthier than beef or lamb, and can definitely be eaten by those who are health-conscious and follow a healthy eating plan. Venison is very high in protein. It is filled with essential amino acids and it will also help to keep your iron level within a normal range. 

It contains vitamins such as vitamin B2, which is needed to break down carbohydrates in the body, vitamin B6, needed for regulating blood glucose levels, vitamin B3, which helps to minimize the risk of heart disease, and vitamin B12, a nutrient that is necessary for keeping the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy. 

Can Diabetics Eat Venison?

Yes, diabetics can definitely eat venison safely. It is essential for people with diabetes to limit their carbohydrate intake, as the body converts carbohydrates into sugar. This raises blood glucose levels and can be dangerous for diabetics. Venison does not contain any carbohydrates and is therefore highly beneficial for those who need to keep their blood glucose levels under control.

There are other health benefits associated with eating venison. It will help to keep your cholesterol levels low, thus preventing cardiovascular disease. It contains conjugated linoleic acid, which is known to enhance cancer prevention. Because of its high iron content, it aids in the prevention of anemia. It will also help to keep weight under control and prevent obesity, because of its low-fat content.

Is it Generally Safe to Eat Wild Animals?

how to cook deer ribs

Deer meat is safe for human consumption, although there have been some concerns about the possibility of ingesting dangerous microbes when eating wild game. In uncontrolled conditions, there could be certain health risks associated with eating it. Certain animals can be contaminated with infectious pathogens. Therefore it is crucial to observe careful hygiene and sanitary routines when preparing and cooking venison. As long as you wash the meat thoroughly before cooking it, and you wash your hands after washing the meat, it is perfectly safe to eat.

Where Can I Get Deer Ribs?

A great meal of deer ribs begins with the butcher. It is important to buy from a reputable butcher. As far as hygiene safety goes, reputable butchers are regulated and will follow the guidelines, observing all regulations regarding cleanliness and safety practices. 

They will only buy their stock from known and reputable farmers and breeders, ensuring that the animals have not been exposed to dangerous viruses and diseases. 

An expert butcher will be highly skilled in cutting up the carcass into the various sections, knowing which parts are edible meat and which parts need to be discarded. 

During the first 24 hours after slaughtering, the animal stiffens. If the meat is cut off during this time, it will be extremely tough. Therefore the butcher has to hang the carcass for two to four days before cutting it up into the various portions for consumption. This will help to ensure that the meat you buy will be tender. 

How to Cook Deer Ribs

Deer ribs are highly versatile. If cooked correctly, they will have you licking your fingers and smacking your lips for more. The most popular method of how to cook deer ribs is to grill them on either a charcoal grill or a gas grill. 

For many people, their barbecue grill is a vital piece of equipment in the home. Who doesn’t love that special vibe of spending time outdoors with treasured family and friends, standing around the barbecue with a drink in hand? It is such a pleasurable way to unwind and let go of all your stress.

 A few hours spent in the garden, or on your apartment balcony, cooking up a storm on the barbecue, is a wonderful escape from it all. So unpack those deer ribs, and uncover that barbecue grill. 

What Kind of Grill is Best?

We love the unique flavors and aromas of a charcoal grill. No other method of cooking will give you that same flavor. However, a gas grill works just as well and is definitely cleaner and easier to use. 

Whichever type of grill you choose, be it either charcoal or gas, your grill should have two heat zones. This will enable you to keep the temperature steady. One side of the grill should get very hot, and produce direct heat. The other side does not actually produce heat, so the meat cooks at a much lower temperature, through indirect, or convection heat, thus giving it the smoked taste that we find so appealing.

When considering how to cook deer ribs, do not fall into the trap of thinking that if you use direct heat the meat will cook more quickly and easily. This may be so, but it will be charred and burnt.

Eating meat that has been burnt to the point of being blackened is a health risk. When food is cooked at such high temperatures that it goes black, a chemical called acrylamide is formed. This is thought to be carcinogenic, which means that it could be a cancer-causing agent.

Quite apart from the health and safety aspect, cooking deer ribs over such extreme heat will also completely ruin the flavor and texture of the meat. You should cook your ribs until they are a lovely golden color. They will then taste utterly delicious, without any of the potential health risks associated with eating burnt meat.

How to Tell if the Grill is Too Hot

One of the secrets to success with cooking on a grill is getting the temperature just right. Many high-end brand-name grills come with a built-in thermometer in the domed cover. This will give you a precise measurement of the temperature of your grill. However, we aren’t all lucky enough to own one of these.

So how can you measure temperature without a thermometer? The best tool to use to measure the heat of your grill is actually your hand. If you follow these guidelines, you will get a fairly accurate estimate of the temperature of your grill. 

When performing this test, make sure that you aren’t wearing anything that has a loose, flowing or flapping sleeve that can catch fire. Place an empty soda can on the grill. This will be your yardstick to get the exact right height, which is 5 inches. Carefully hold your hand, palm side down, over the grill, next to the soda can. (Remember to use tongs to remove it. It will get very hot.)

Hold your hand in place over the grill for as long as you can without the heat hurting you. Quickly remove your hand as soon as you start feeling pain. The length of time that you can keep your hand over the grill will tell you the temperature of the heat.

  • 2 – 4 seconds, with high heat at, 450°- 550° Fahrenheit
  • 5 – 7 seconds, with medium heat at, 350° – 450° Fahrenheit
  • 8 – 10 seconds, with low heat at, 250° – 350° Fahrenheit

Which Heat Zone is Best for Cooking Deer Ribs?

how to cook deer ribs

If you cook deer ribs using only direct heat, the juices will run out and the meat will dry up very quickly. The result will be ribs that are tough, dry, and tasteless. Not only will your ribs be completely unappetizing, but this method will also destroy all the protein and other nutrients, stripping your meal of all the health benefits we discussed earlier in this article.

If your grill has two heat zones, you are able to control the temperature that is applied to the meat. Your ribs will be soft, tender, and succulent if you start them off in the indirect heat zone.

Further on in this article, you will find recipes using different rubs to season the ribs. Some of these rubs contain sugar. Sugar burns very easily under hot temperatures. Burnt sugar will blacken your meat, which you definitely do not want. If you start the ribs off in the indirect zone this will prevent the sugar from burning.

Once the ribs are almost cooked, you should then move them over to the direct heat zone, and baste them with lashings of sauce or marinade. The sugar or maple syrup in the sauce (yes, these are wonderful ingredients and will enhance the flavor of the sauce ) will become thick and sticky, giving you those perfect ribs that you just have to eat with your fingers in order to enjoy every last scrap of meat on the bone. 

What? Eat with my fingers? I’ll bet you are thinking that is plain rude, but later on, in this article, we will talk about the etiquette and table manners that are involved when eating ribs. We will also give you a step-by-step guide for how to cook deer ribs on a grill.

The best recipes for deer ribs start with a good rub. There are many commercial varieties available on store shelves, but it is so easy and so much more satisfying to make your own. If you make a large quantity, these will keep for at least six months if you store them in an airtight jar. Home-made rubs are always nicer, and, of course, cheaper. Here are a few suggestions: (with all of these rubs, simply mix the ingredients well with a fork)

1. BBQ rub

Ingredients

    • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon powdered onion flakes
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder ( optional)

2. Mixed-spice dry rub

Ingredients

    • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
    • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 2 teaspoons cumin
    • 1/2 a teaspoon white pepper
    • 1/2 a teaspoon black pepper
    • 2 teaspoons red paprika
    • 1/2 a teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 2 teaspoons onion powder
    • 1/2 a teaspoon chili powder

3. Mustard rub

Ingredients

    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 2 tablespoons mustard powder
    • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
    • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
    • 2 teaspoons black pepper

What Basting Sauce is the Most Delicious for Deer Ribs?

how to cook deer ribs

If you want ribs that are ultra-yummy and moist, you will need to baste them frequently when they are cooking. You will find a huge variety of basting sauces in your supermarket. You can select from these, according to your personal preference, but we actually like combining these with other ingredients to conjure up all sorts of interesting flavors. Simply place all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a spoon, then use this mixture as a basting sauce. Here are our top suggestions:

1.Sweet and sticky barbecue sauce

Ingredients

    • One cup tomato ketchup
    • 1/2 a cup Worcestershire sauce
    • 1/2 a cup teriyaki sauce
    • 1/2 a cup maple syrup
    • 1 heaped teaspoon barbecue spice.
    • 1 cup boiling water

2. Honey and mustard sauce

Ingredients

    • Half a cup of honey
    • Half a cup prepared mustard
    • Half a cup of mayonnaise
    • 1 tablespoon brown vinegar
    • 1/2 a teaspoon sweet paprika
    • 1/2 a teaspoon dried mixed herbs
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

3. Lemon and herb sauce 

This basting sauce is not of the sweet and sticky variety, but it is very good on ribs. 

Ingredients

    • Freshly squeezed juice of one big lemon
    • Zest of one lemon
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 a teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 cup chopped parsley
    • 1/2 a cup fresh basil
    • ¼ cup fresh chives
    • 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
    • 1 sprig of fresh oregano
    • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE FOR HOW TO COOK DEER RIBS

  1. Rinse and dry the meat.
  2. Coat the meat well with a rub of your choice, and press it down firmly into the meat.
  3. Leave the meat to stand for at least an hour.
  4. Place the meat in the indirect heat zone of your grill and cover with the dome.
  5. Let the ribs cook gently until almost done, turning every ten to fifteen minutes.
  6. Baste the ribs generously with your preferred sauce and move them to the direct heat zone of the grill.
  7. Keep turning and basting the ribs every few minutes, until they are a lovely golden brown color.

You are now ready for a feast! But how do you enjoy your ribs without losing your dignity in the process?

Table Etiquette when Eating Ribs

Because ribs are usually sticky and gooey, and it is difficult to get all the meat off the bone, the best way to eat them is with your fingers. But there is a way to do this without looking completely unrefined, as long as you have a very sharp knife and a fork, and a good supply of napkins and wipes.

  1. Using your knife and fork, cut as much meat as possible off the bone, trimming it as close to the bone as possible. Eat this meat normally, using your cutlery.
  2. Place your cutlery neatly together on your plate, and pick up a bone between your fingers, as delicately as possible. Try to use only the tips of your fingers, and not your whole hand. But do make sure that you have a firm grip on the bone so that it doesn’t slip out of your hands and land in your lap.
  3. Hold the bone up to your mouth and bite the remaining meat off, trying not to let the edges of the bone touch your cheeks and smear them with sauce.
  4. Repeat this procedure until all your bones are clean and you have had an elegant sufficiency. In other words, your stomach is full!
  5. Using napkins and wipes, clean your hands and wipe your face.

Now that you know how to cook deer ribs and how to eat them politely, you are ready to invite your friends and go out and light that fire.

Check this Other Related Article: How to Reheat Leftover Quiche – A Guide to Store, Freeze, and Reheat

What does Cauliflower Taste Like? The Many Tastes and Colors – a Guide

Written by Jason Adamson on . Posted in food

The Many Tastes, Colors, and Joys of Cauliflower

what does cauliflower taste like

Cauliflower has transformed from the avoided vegetable of your youth to a cherished gem of taste and nutrition as well as an upscale culinary delight. Cauliflower has been all the rage on the culinary scene in the past few years. Naturally high in vitamin C and a great source of fiber, the rebirth of cauliflower is not due to its health benefits — that’s old news — but due to its versatility in the kitchen. 

To complement its growing popularity, cauliflower sales have skyrocketed in the past few years, gaining nearly 40% between 2016-2019.  Formerly known as that tasteless white vegetable that mom steamed and served alongside tuna casserole, cauliflower is now featured at numerous high-end restaurants around the world. 

We’re not only talking about cauliflower soup or mashed cauliflower but delicacies like cauliflower gratin, general Tso’s cauliflower, or buffalo cauliflower (i.e., in place of chicken wings) have become regular features in upscale restaurants.

The cauliflower pizza crust is not only a Pinterest craze but has become a staple in some pizza chains, a great alternative for those with celiac or other wheat-avoidant diets. 

Then there’s cauliflower rice, pulsed cauliflower that resembles the shape and texture of rice, that has become wildly popular much to the ire of rice companies, who have legislated to outlaw the term ‘cauliflower rice’. The term ‘riced cauliflower’ is the now legally acceptable term in states such as Arkansas. 

Read Related Reading: What Does Pheasant Taste Like? A Guide

What is Cauliflower?

Cauliflower is part of the Brassica plant family—made up of cruciferous vegetables, (think cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli), known as such since the four petals of their flowers resemble a cross. We generally eat only the head, or curds (named for their resemblance to cheese curds), of the cauliflower.

Cauliflower comes from the Italian cavolfiore, which translates as ‘cabbage flower’ since cabbage is the plant and cauliflower is the flower of the plant.

Taste of Cauliflower

Cauliflower has a mild nutty flavor with sweet undertones. It does have a sharp, slightly bitter aftertaste whose strength will fluctuate based on the type of cauliflower and how long it was exposed to the sun when growing (too much sun here is a bad thing). 

Different people’s taste buds process bitter tastes differently causing the bitterness of cauliflower to be more apparent for some than others. In general, though, the quite neutral flavor makes cauliflower a great vegetable for numerous recipes, as the flavoring given to it is what will stand out foremost.

The Cauliflower Rainbow

what does cauliflower taste like

Move over boring white cauliflower. Of the hundreds of existing cauliflower varieties, the colorful genres will add a splash of color, and a unique taste, to your meal. 

The purple, green, and orange cousins of plain ol’ white cauliflower started popping up in farmer’s markets and supermarkets a bit more than a decade ago, and have become increasingly popular and, therefore, increasingly available.

Green cauliflowers, also known as broccoflower, tend to have a sweeter and milder taste than their white cousins. Their texture is more similar to broccoli than cauliflower, making them more firm and less crumbly. 

There is also Romanesco (referred to as Romanesco broccoli or Romanesco cauliflower, but it’s the same vegetable) which has artistic looking spiky florets and is crunchier and sweeter than traditional white cauliflower.

Eye-catching purple varieties are not only a stunning addition to any salad but they have increased health benefits. The purple hue is caused by anthocyanins, which cause a blue, purple, or black color in foods. You will find it in blueberries, raspberries, black rice, and many other foods.

Anthocyanins are a powerhouse of nutrients and antioxidants and are believed to have properties that can help prevent cancer and diabetes, as well as improve visual health, among other benefits.

Taste-wise, the florets of purple cauliflower has a soft crumbly texture similar to the white variety, yet are sweeter and milder creating a perfect synthesis of beauty and flavor.

The downside to purple cauliflower is that its magnificent royal shade may turn from vibrant purple to barely-there green when cooking it, especially if you boil it.

The color of orange cauliflower, on the other hand, actually deepens when cooking.

Orange cauliflowers, such as cheddar cauliflower — named for its color, not taste — have a lot of nutrition to offer due to the beta-carotene they contain. This may also contribute to its sweeter and milder flavor. 

Choosing a Cauliflower

Cauliflower is available all year round but its peak season is in the Fall (and extends through the Winter), so take advantage of the current cauliflowery abundance and go pick up one or two heads of the freshest, most vibrant cauliflower at your local farmer’s market.

Look for firm heads with compact florets. As opposed to broccoli, cauliflower florets should be tightly closed, making it hard to distinguish separate florets, it should look more like one beautiful entity. 

Be sure that there are no brown patches and that the cauliflower isn’t soft. The leaves should look crisp and green, not yellow and wilting.

Storing Cauliflower 

what does cauliflower taste like

Cauliflower should be kept unwashed and loosely wrapped or in a ventilated plastic bag in your refrigerator’s crisper. Properly stored cauliflower will last 3-7 days. If it was super fresh when purchased, and stored properly, you might be able to get even 2 weeks, or more, out of it. 

Cooking Cauliflower

Cauliflower can certainly be eaten raw. Add color to your crudité with a colorful cauliflower combination. Or toss some fresh white cauliflower into a colorful garden salad for added crunch.

If you do plan on cooking your cauliflower, the preferred methods of cooking are dry ones, such as roasting, sautéing, grilling, or frying. When properly cooked, cauliflower gives off a very subtle taste, making it perfect to pair with a variety of sauces and seasonings.

Roasting

Wash, dry, and lightly toss cauliflower florets with extra virgin olive oil and your seasoning of choice. Some people prefer a traditional salt and pepper cauliflower, or you can try to add a bit of zing with spices such as zaatar or Cajun seasoning. The options are endless, try to find a few your family will love.

Roast at 425°F/220°C for about 30 minutes, checking it after 20 minutes.

You will also find numerous recipes for whole roasted cauliflowers which can be a great main at a vegan meal. A whole cauliflower generally needs to be slightly parboiled or steamed before roasting to ensure the center is thoroughly cooked. Follow recipe directions for the exact cooking method.

Sautéing

Not only is sauteed cauliflower incredibly delicious, but it is also a fast cooking method that ensures the nutrients (and generally colors) don’t leach out. Fast and yummy.  Definitely a keeper in my book!

Depending on the size of your florets and desired degree of remaining crunch, sautéing cauliflower will take anywhere between 5-15 minutes. 

Cauliflower should be sautéed on medium-high with good-quality extra virgin olive oil (what else?). Try mixing it with fresh garlic, onion, cherry tomatoes, or any other desired vegetables. 

Drizzle with your favorite sauce or a squeeze of lemon juice in the last three to four minutes of cooking, and turn up the temperature to high to get some nice browned tips.

Grilling

Cauliflower steaks are a great way to give this nutritious and delicious vegetable the spotlight. Whether making it as a main, adding it to a buffet, or serving as a side dish sure to wow your guests – grilling your cauliflower is super fast and simple.

Place the steaks on a grill set to medium, and brush with your favorite basic marinade. I would go for olive oil, lots of fresh lemon juice, chopped parsley, and a pinch of chili flakes. You can also add a small dollop of honey if you like it sweet. 

Another option is a spice mixture of olive oil, hot paprika, cumin, and turmeric. The flavoring possibilities are endless — your cauliflower steaks, your choice!

Flip over after 3-5 minutes, baste with marinade and grill for another 3-5 minutes until slightly charred and cooked to the desired degree of doneness. 

Frying

Fried cauliflower is a scrumptious delicacy popular in cuisines all around the world. Cauliflower florets can be dipped in egg-then-flour/breadcrumbs and pan-fried—mmm…or in a nice batter and deep-fried—really mmm.

Add some hot paprika to your flour mixture or hot sauce to your batter for an extra kick.  Serve with a garlic dip, sriracha mayo, salsa, yogurt dip, or whatever else you’d like!

Some recipes may have you parboil the cauliflower to make it faster and easier to fry. If you choose such a method, be sure to blanch it so it doesn’t cook too much (see the section on boiling cauliflower below).

Boiling

Boiling cauliflower should be avoided as it releases a very unappetizing sulfurous smell, which not only will cause anyone in the house to start screaming about the stench, it can turn the cauliflower bitter. And anyway, wouldn’t it be a shame to make such a bland dish when there are so many delicious cauliflower alternatives.

If you do like the taste of boiled cauliflower (childhood nostalgia?), steaming or blanching is a doable option, preferably in a non-aluminum pot.

Mark Twain claimed that “Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education” but I think he may have changed his mind had he tried that amazing new cauliflower creation you’re planning on whipping up this Sunday.

Read Other Related Reading: What Does Foie Gras Taste Like?

How to Reheat Leftover Quiche – A Guide to Store, Freeze, and Reheat

Written by Jason Adamson on . Posted in food

how to reheat quiche

Storing, freezing, reheating, and enjoying your buttery flaky deliciousness

They say real men don’t eat quiche — but being neither male nor vulnerable to the persuasions of ignorant food snobs — quiche is a definite yes for me. 

Highly-versatile and always a crowd-pleaser, add quiche to a nice brunch spread, bring it to a potluck, present it at the family holiday table, or serve it with your favorite salad (and a glass of white wine) for a satisfying lunch or light dinner. 

Not only is it sure to be eagerly consumed, but quiche also doesn’t take too much prep work (use a ready-made piecrust to make it a snap) and can be served hot or cold, making a Sunday picnic a great place to debut that new quiche recipe you’ve been dying to try.

Attributed to the French — but actually German in origin — this flaky-crusted delight can be filled with endless combinations to tickle your palate: vegetables of every color, cheeses of any type, meat, seafood, and did I mention cheddar cheese? 

Combined with a rich mixture of eggs, milk, and cream, seasoned however you like (definitely lots of fresh parsley), and baked to golden brown perfection — what’s not to love?

But nothing’s worse (well almost nothing) than having that melt-in-your-mouth goodness turn into a soggy-bottomed no-longer-instant-worthy mess from improper reheating. Cold on the inside but overly crunchy on the outside? No thanks. Shoe-leather crust and rubbery filling? Certainly not.

So what are you to do with that third of a spinach feta quiche leftover from cousin Sheryl’s bridal shower yesterday that you’re craving for lunch?

There are a number of methods for reheating leftover quiche, but the first step actually precedes the reheating, and that’s the storage.

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Storing Leftover Quiche

how to reheat quiche

If you plan on eating the leftover quiche within the next three days or so, be sure it’s covered tightly in aluminum foil or cling wrap. Avoid placing anything on top of it in the fridge, as a squished quiche is not what we’re going for. 

If you opt for freezing, the best method is tray freezing. Tray freezing entails laying the desired items on a lined tray and placing it (flat!) in the freezer for a few hours. 

Once completely frozen, remove it from the tray, carefully wrap it, and place it in a labeled (contents and date) zipper storage bag for future use. Try to ensure your bag is airtight, and certainly avoid using a bag that is bigger than necessary as that will cause unwanted air to get trapped in.

The tray freezing method is a perfect food prep hack for those of us that don’t have the time, patience, or organizational skills to always start everything from scratch. Try tray freezing fruit and vegetables, hamburger patties, cookie dough balls, or just about anything.

To tray freeze your leftover quiche, place it on a lined tray and stick it in the freezer for a few hours. Once completely frozen, carefully remove from the tray, wrap very well in tinfoil, and place it in a zipper storage bag before refreezing. The quiche will last a good 2–3 months in the freezer.

So, now that you made a delicious quiche (or better yet, were bequeathed it) and stored it properly, how should you proceed with reheating?

Oven Reheating

In order to keep your crust flaky and your filling a nice satisfying kind of gooey, the oven is definitely the best method for reheating. 

1.Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C — do not skip the preheat or your crust will get soggy.

2. If the quiche is not already in an ovenproof dish, transfer to a lined or nonstick baking tray.

3. Whether it needs to be covered or not depends on how browned the quiche was initially:

    • If it’s well-browned, cover with tinfoil. Just be sure to ‘tent’ the tinfoil, i.e., wrap the tinfoil in a tent shape so it does not adhere to the quiche and pull off that decadent top layer. 
    • If the quiche was not too browned, to begin with, leave it uncovered.
    • Heavily browned crust but yellow filling? You can wrap tinfoil just around the crust to prevent it from becoming too hard and leave the rest uncovered.

4. Bake the quiche for about 25 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F / 74°C. 

Need to purchase an oven thermometer? Click here for a great review of the best oven thermometers on the market. 

5. Allow your warm quiche to rest for a minute or two before digging in.

6. If the quiche is frozen, you will need to add about 10-15 minutes of oven time. Do not defrost the quiche before heating as that can create a soggy crust, instead unwrap from the freezer and proceed directly with the above directions.

Microwave Reheating

how to reheat quiche

Although not the preferred method, we don’t all have the necessary time, foresight (or patience!) to wait for the oven to heat up that leftover spicy caramelized onion and cheddar quiche. Microwaves can be a real time saver and can do a sufficiently good job of warming your food (now!).

  1. Remove quiche from the refrigerator and place it in a microwave-proof dish. Don’t forget to remove any tinfoil
  2. Should you have a large piece of quiche left, ideally it should be warmed up in individual portions to ensure an even distribution of heat.
  3. Place quiche uncovered in the microwave on medium heat (50%) for 2-3 minutes, checking every 30 seconds after the 1 ½-minute mark until it reaches 165°F/74°C degrees internally.
  4. If the quiche is frozen, use the defrost function according to the user manual’s directions, checking it periodically. Once fully defrosted, proceed with the above directions.

Now that you’ve got your quiche properly heated up, serve it to on your nicest plate (oh, you already ate it out of the pan, well I hope you enjoyed!), put on a relaxing Spotify playlist, and enjoy every bite.

Check this Related Article: How to Make Potato Chips in the Oven without Oil – A Guide

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