Connect with us

Cooking Tips

What is Allspice? How Can I Use it?

Published

on

It is often used to substitute cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg but there isn't a single spice that can capture the essence of allspice.

Allspice is often confused with the term ‘mixed spices' but it isn't a spice blend at all. It is a fragrant berry used in both savory and sweet dishes. Curious to know more about allspice? We've got you covered!

What is Allspice?

Allspice is native to Jamaica. It is one of the spices Christopher Columbus encountered on his trip to the island back in 1494. He mistook it for black pepper, the main spice he set out for, which is why the tree that produces allspice is referred to as the pimiento tree (pimiento is Spanish for pepper).

Prized as a preservative and warming agent, allspice is commonly used in food, beverages, candy, perfumes and medicine.

Fun fact: During the Napoleonic wars Russian soldiers sprinkled allspice in their boots to keep their feet warm.

Uses for Allspice

Round and small, allspice is used in Jamaica's famous jerk seasoning.

Its antiseptic qualities made it ideal for the preservation of meat centuries ago. Germans and Scandinavians still use it for that purpose, whether its in sausage making or pickling fish or meats.

Allspice is also an ingredient in some recipes for Mexican chicken mole (such as the one pictured below).

Allspice is featured in the French spice mix quatre épices and is also used to season the classic Greek recipe of stuffed grape leaves.

While it is used in many savory dishes, allspice is famous the world over for its use in pastries. It's found in everything from pumpkin and apple pies to gingerbread cookies.

Allspice is also widely used in the production of soft drinks, flavored rums and liqueurs. It is also popular as a mulling spice.

How to Buy Allspice

When buying allspice, opt for buying it whole. The berries should be round, even textured, dark brown and aromatic. The spice loses a lot of its potency when ground so it is best to grind only when needed.


via Bulgarian Spices

How to Store Allspice

Keep allspice in an airtight container away from light and moisture.

Medicinal benefits of Allspice

Allspice is full of antioxidants and has warming and antiseptic properties. It's been used to treat athlete's foot, alleviate rheumatoid arthritis and ease menopausal symptoms. Studies have shown it can also help lower blood pressure, according to Healing Spices, written by Bharat B. Aggarwal, PhD and Debora Yost.

Interested in other spices? Get to know more about cardamom.

Follow Fine Dining Lovers on Facebook

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Cooking Tips

Two Bbq Recipes

Published

on

Two Bbq Recipes


There is no shortage of barbecue recipes.
Almost everyone who barbecues food has a few favorite recipes. Here are a couple of fun barbecue recipes to try out. You never know when you'll find a new family favorite!

GRILLED VENISON WITH BACON
Prep time: 6 to 7 hours
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients
2 lbs. venison backstrap (tenderloin)
1 qt. apple cider
1 1/2 lbs. thick sliced bacon
2 12oz. bottles of barbecue sauce

Cut venison into 2 inch chunks and place in a shallow baking dish. Pour enough apple cider into the dish to cover the venison pieces fully. Place the dish in a refrigerator and allow to soak for two hours.

Remove venison from the cider and shake the pieces vigorously to free them of cider. Throw away the cider that is left in the dish. Wash the dish before putting the venison in it again.

Put the venison back in the dish and pour in the barbecue sauce generously — so that it covers the venison fully. The dish should then be covered and returned to the refrigerator for two to three hours.

Remove the venison from the fridge and let it stand for half an hour in normal room temperature. Next, wrap bacon slices around each chunk of venison. Secure the with toothpicks to make sure that it does not fall off during grilling.

The venison is now ready to be barbecued. Heat the grill and brush some olive oil on the grill grate. Lay the venison packed in bacon on the hot grill. You can expect the bacon to cause flame-ups, but don't worry. Let it get slightly burnt. It adds to the smoked flavor. Turn the venison a few times to ensure smooth and even cooking, and serve hot.

STUFFED GRILLED PORK CHOPS
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: Four

Ingredients
4 extra-thick rib pork chops, 1″ to 1 1/4″ thick
3/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
Large pinch dried rosemary, crumbled fine
Large pinch dried marjoram, crumbled fine
1 Tbsp. melted butter
1/2 cup minced sweet onion
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt

Slice shallow pockets in the pork with a sharp knife.

Take a deep dish and toss the breadcrumbs, herbs, butter, onion, garlic, and salt. Mix well, then stuff the mixture into the pockets.

Grill the chops. They should be grilled at medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes per side. To ensure even cooking, the chops should be turned several times.

Serve once the chops are nicely browned.

Continue Reading

Cooking Tips

Taking Dinner Outdoors? Americans Get Their Grills On

Published

on

By

Taking Dinner Outdoors? Americans Get Their Grills On


While nearly everyone in America grills, not everyone is comfortable barbecuing more than the basics.
Here's an approach to grilling you can “steak” your reputation on:

Neighborhood grocery stores can help make the outdoor cooking experience easier by providing everything a griller needs under one roof. The Great Grilling program at Safeway features recipes, tools and high-quality ingredients for families that want to create delicious meals on the grill, and their Rancher's Reserve beef is guaranteed tender. The recipes were developed in the test kitchens of Sunset magazine to make it easier for shoppers to grill up a meal on the spur of the moment.

Whether using a charcoal or gas grill, having the right accessories on hand makes for easy and safe grilling-and even easier cleanup. A wide spatula, extra-long tongs, a long-handled brush and a spray bottle with water are the foundation for a great griller's tool kit.

Direct-heat grilling is best for thin cuts of meat that cook quickly. It gets them nicely browned on the outside in the short time they take to get done in the middle. Here's a surefire recipe using direct-heat grilling:

Flank Steak with Green Olive-Jalapeño Tapenade

A Mediterranean-inspired tapenade is a flavorful addition to this tender flank steak.

Prep time: About 20 minutes

Grill time: 13 to 17 minutes, plus 5 minutes to rest off the grill

Makes: 4 servings

1 jar (4.5 oz.) Safeway Select Stuffed Jalapeño Olives, drained

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1 cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves

1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

1/4 cup Safeway Select Verdi Olive Oil

1 Rancher's Reserve Flank Steak (about 11/2 lb.)

1. Prepare barbecue grill and preheat for direct-heat cooking. For charcoal grill, before you put the grill over the hot coals, brush it with a medium coat of oil; for gas grill, when hot, brush grill with a medium coat of oil.

2. Rinse olives and drain well. Combine olives, garlic, parsley, rosemary, lemon peel and oil in a food processor and pulse until mixture forms a fine paste. Set aside 1/2 cup of the tapenade mixture for seasoning meat; reserve remainder for serving or another use.

3. Rinse flank steak and pat dry. With the tip of a sharp knife, make shallow diagonal cuts about 1 inch apart over one side of steak, then make cuts perpendicular to the first to create a diamond pattern. Repeat on other side of steak.

4. Spread 1/2 cup of the olive mixture on both sides of steak to coat evenly.

5. Lay steak on oiled grill over a solid bed of hot coals or high heat on a gas grill. Keep charcoal grill uncovered; close lid on gas grill. Cook steak until browned on the bottom (lift edge with tongs to check), 8 to 10 minutes. With tongs or a wide spatula, turn steak and continue to cook until done as desired, about 2 minutes longer for rare (red in center; cut to test) or 4 minutes longer for medium-rare (pink in center).

6. Transfer steak to a clean platter or rimmed carving board and let rest about 5 minutes, then cut in thin, slanting slices across the grain to serve. Offer remaining tapenade to add to the meat to taste.

Beverage suggestions: A spicy, plummy zinfandel; a hoppy, English-style pale ale; or peppermint iced tea.

Tools: Grater (for peel), strainer or colander, measuring cups and spoons, food processor, paper towels, sharp knife, spatula for spreading, heatproof brush for oiling grill, tongs or wide spatula, platter or rimmed carving board.

Continue Reading

Cooking Tips

Menu Ideas For The Barbecue Grill

Published

on

Menu Ideas For The Barbecue Grill


A good barbecue isn't easy and there's no substitute for experience but we've all got to start somewhere so if you're a BBQ novice then read on.

Below are plenty of fantastic barbecue tips and menu ideas for the grill so if any ladies out there have read my article entitled “Modern Man And The Barbecue Grill” you’ll already be on the road to converting your man from the fire pits to the BBQ King with some easy BBQ recipes.

I’ve already spoken about the patience that’s required when it comes to lighting the grill and the need to heat up the coals and eliminate the flames. Remember, “coals are hot, flames are not!” and we’re on the road to a successful BBQ cookout. This same rule applies to gas grills as well as charcoal, gas grills may be more or less instant but it's still important to ensure that the lava rocks are fully warmed through and this usually takes about 15 minutes. Charcoal of course will be more like 45 minutes before it's ready to cook on.

So what’s the next step? The best tip I can give is to take time to plan the menu, think carefully about what you’re going to cook.

But isn’t it easier just to do burgers and sausages? No! In fact burgers and sausages are quite difficult for to reasons:-

1. Relatively speaking they’re high in fat compared with other foods. Now I know we need fat to drip onto the coals to create the smoke to give the flavor but too much fat and the BBQ will flare up – a sure fire way to cook up a burnt offering.

2. They’re made from ground beef and that means they must be cooked through. Food poisoning is generally caused by the bacterium e-coli that grows on the surface of the meat. Cook the outside of a steak and you can safely eat the inside raw but think about a burger, with ground meat, the meat that's on the inside has also been on the outside.

So if you’re not yet convinced about your man’s BBQ capabilities choose a meat that doesn’t need to be cooked through to be safe. Try barbecue beef, barbeque lamb or BBQ fish.

Back to the “coals are hot, flames are not” theme it’s important to light up the grill on its highest position away from the coals. This means that the meat will be cooked slowly therefore giving you the best guarantee that it will be cooked through and should there be a “flare up” you are as well protected as you can be from burning. Of course if it’s going too slow, lower the grill step by step until you get the sizzle, in other words start gently and slowly work up the heat.

Finally to make for a really flavorful cookout, why not try a marinade? Marinades not only add flavor they also tenderize and all that’s needed is a little thinking ahead for preparation time. There’s a good few websites out there offering free barbecue recipes so it’s easy to find different menu ideas.

Continue Reading

Trending

%d bloggers like this: