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Monday, November 29 2010

It's not everyday that people can enjoy a meal at a fine dining restaurant. In fact, some people never get a chance to go to such establishments due to budgetary concerns. Not only that, those restaurants are often a fair distance away from most people, and thus they could be inconvenient to travel to as well. What if you could recreate those culinary delights in your own kitchen? You can when you stock it with Alaska dungeness crab. From start to finish, you really can't go wrong with that amazing seafood delicacy.

It starts when it's plucked from the pristine waters off the coast of Alaska. Just like all the other delicious seafood up there, Alaska dungeness crab is wild-caught, which means it will be allowed to feed, grow and mature in its natural environment before being harvested. In the end, it will feature a superior taste and texture that farm-bred varieties can't come close to matching. Additionally, the Alaskan seafood industry is adamant about sustainability, which future generations of producers and consumers will be thankful for. Current consumers will also be thankful for that because they'll be able to buy and eat their seafood without feeling any sort of guilt or worry.

Alaska dungeness crab is also extremely convenient because it can be bought frozen. Any fears that it loses its flavor when stored that way will immediately be put to rest as soon as the final product is tasted. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that having frozen crab at the ready will make a fine dining caliber meal easily accessible. Cooking it is a simple matter of steaming it as the directions on the bag specify. If you need some help, there's a Cook It Frozen website you can visit as well as a Cook It Frozen iPhone application that you can download. Although cooking it is sometimes considered the hard part, with those kinds of resources in your corner you'll have no problems preparing it just right.

The benefits don't stop with the exquisite flavor your taste buds are going to experience. Alaska dungeness crab is also good for your health because it's an excellent source of high quality protein, zinc, copper, calcium, and more. At the same time, it's low in fat and calories. Ultimately, it's food you can enjoy as often as you want. Being available year-round, enjoying it as often as you want is a realistic possibility too.

Thanks to its exquisite taste, it's pretty clear why Alaska dungeness crab is featured on the menu of many fine dining restaurants. The only thing that's not clear is why it's not featured on your kitchen's menu more often. Given all the good things that it has going for it, it's really only a matter of time before that changes though. 
Posted by: Send a Meal AT 01:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, November 19 2010
Green Bean Casserole was never part of my traditional Thanksgiving lineup. Which is odd since it’s been a Thanksgiving icon for 55 years. Yes, this year marks the 55th anniversary of the green bean casserole, invented by Campbell Soup Company in 1955 to prompt happy housewives to buy more cream of mushroom soup.

 

Related Recipes:
Sweet Potato Casserole & More Thanksgiving Casserole Recipes
Easy Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Easy Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipes

I always thought that my Thanksgiving dinner covered all the bases—ample side dishes, casseroles, two kinds of stuffing, dessert and of course the turkey. But apparently, I’d been cheated out of this Thanksgiving icon my whole life. So I decided on a whim to see what I was missing. I bought the whole shebang—the condensed cream of mushroom soup, the French-cut green beans and the French’s original French Fried Onions in a can. I whipped it up and it was delicious. I’m not going to lie. But it was also high in calories, sodium and saturated fat. Since Thanksgiving is already somewhat of an overindulgence, I wanted to scale back on the processed ingredients and make a healthier, fresher version to enjoy at my Thanksgiving table.

Related Makeovers:
Save 1,273 Calories with This Thanksgiving Menu
Find Out How We Cut 63 Grams of Fat From This Classic Thanksgiving Dinner

We developed a healthier version of green bean casserole in the EatingWell Test Kitchen a few years back, so I made that recipe the following week to see how it compared flavorwise. I liked it better. Sure, it’s easier to open up a few cans of soup and throw on prepackaged fried onions, but I found that our version had more depth of flavor and, nutritionally, it was better for me.

Here’s what we did and how our version compares to a traditional version. See our recipe below:

 

 

We cut the sodium by taking out the canned soup. Instead, we made our own white sauce and used fresh mushrooms. Butter adds richness, but also adds saturated fat. So do full-fat milk and sour cream—all ingredients you can find in traditional versions of green bean casserole. We call for low-fat milk and reduced-fat sour cream. We also use buttermilk powder, which adds tang. You get tons of flavor and 8 grams less saturated fat than traditional versions. We cut calories by skipping the canned fried onions and sautéing our own. Tossing fresh onion slices with flour and seasoning and pan-frying them in just a small amount of oil gives you the texture and flavor of the canned version without all the calories.

Green Bean Casserole
Healthy Weight High Fiber Healthy Heart
Active time: 30 minutes | Total: 45 minutes

This healthy revision of green bean casserole skips the canned soup and all the fat and sodium that come with it. Our white sauce with sliced fresh mushrooms, sweet onions and low-fat milk makes a creamy, rich casserole.

3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 medium sweet onion (half diced, half thinly sliced), divided
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2/3 cup all-purpose flour, divided
1 cup low-fat milk
3 tablespoons dry sherry (see Ingredient Note)
1 pound frozen French-cut green beans (about 4 cups)
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
3 tablespoons buttermilk powder (see Ingredient Note)
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 2 1/2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook, stirring often, until softened and slightly translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, onion powder, 1 teaspoon salt, thyme and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the mushroom juices are almost evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle 1/3 cup flour over the vegetables; stir to coat. Add milk and sherry and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Stir in green beans and return to a simmer. Cook, stirring, until heated through, about 1 minute. Stir in sour cream and buttermilk powder. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
3. Whisk the remaining 1/3 cup flour, paprika, garlic powder and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a shallow dish. Add sliced onion; toss to coat. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion along with any remaining flour mixture and cook, turning once or twice, until golden and crispy, 4 to 5 minutes. Spread the onion topping over the casserole.
4. Bake the casserole until bubbling, about 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 servings, about 3/4 cup each.
Per serving: 212 calories; 10 g fat (2 g sat, 5 g mono); 10 mg cholesterol; 23 g carbohydrate; 7 g protein; 3 g fiber; 533 mg sodium; 259 mg potassium.
Nutrition bonus: Calcium (16% daily value).
1 1/2 Carbohydrate Servings
Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 2 fat

Ingredient Notes:
Don’t use the high-sodium “cooking sherry” sold in many supermarkets. Instead, purchase dry sherry sold with other fortified wines.

Look for buttermilk powder, such as Saco Buttermilk Blend, in the baking section or with the powdered milk in most supermarkets. 
Posted by: Send a Meal AT 11:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, November 18 2010

Does the very thought of cooking the impending supper raise your blood pressure? Do you have a feeling of dread? "Oh no! I've got to go to the store before closing time!" or "I would have loved to have made THAT but I am missing one ingredient!" or maybe, "No honey, I can't help you with your homework because I have got to cook dinner now!"

There is nothing worse than approaching the evening with no clue as what you are going to serve the family. And if you are leaving work or you are tired, it is so easy to buy food which is less than nutritious and slap it on the table. Sure, you have provided food - but what messages have you given along the way?

Meal planning can help reduce this stress. We all plan our work schedules, kids' schedules, our wardrobes - but why do we leave food to the last minute? The benefits of meal planning are numerous.

Meal planning reduces stress

Take a little time out once a week to plan your healthy dinner recipes for the week. Note who is going to be out for dinner during the week and plan accordingly. Try to cook in such a way that you get a leftover meal from the meal that you cook from scratch. For example: if you are going to cook a roast chicken with a rotisserie rub you may as well cook two chickens. The next night you will be rewarded with a chicken pasta bake, chicken enchiladas, chicken soup or chicken quesadillas. The same goes for easy recipes for ground beef: make a double batch of Bolognese sauce and the next night you can make a lasagna, empanadas, beef tacos or a cottage pie. Using leftovers definitely reduces the stress around cooking. Plus, meal planning ensures that you follow a healthy diet plan.

Meal planning allows you to have family quality time

This is logical. If you have planned your meals at the beginning of the week you have a head-start. It means that often half of your preparation is done in advance. Better still, you may have been able to prepare something in the morning so that all you have to do is reheat it in the evening. This frees you up in the evening to help where help is needed or simply to enjoy your loved ones. It also gives you a little time for YOURSELF instead of being harassed!

Meal planning helps you to instill family values

This one sounds odd but it is true. If you buy a take-out or similar food, there is really little excuse for the family to turn off the television in order to come and sit at the table. All you have provided is some sustenance. FOOD. However, if you cook a meal from scratch, there is a sense of occasion. There is a reason to lay the table and for everyone to sit at it. There is a reason to come together for half an hour or more to eat the food that you have prepared. This then gives you the chance, over years, to share your values. And this doesn't mean that meal time should be around scolding bad manners. No, not at all. It is saying that this time is important family time where everyone can share the experiences of the day, where you can discuss alternative ways that a person could have handled a situation, giving encouragement or praise where it is due. It is also a time where you can create family traditions - in our family we say grace, not every night, but often enough for it to be meaningful. And if there is an occasion that needs prayer or thanksgiving we include that in a prayer at the beginning of the meal. Simple but special.

Meal planning is not a control freak thing: it allows for creativity

Lastly, meal planning is not an extension of controlling behavior. This is not organizing for organizing's sake. Rather, it is a means of bringing a modicum of calm and peace into our busy lives. It will save you time and avoid your going on random trips to the store. It will save you money because you will make the most of your ingredients. And it will allow you the flexibility and creativity to enjoy preparing daily meals instead of finding them a chore.

Quick Easy Dinner Ideas will give you lots of inspiring ideas. Monthly Meal Planning offers free monthly meal planners and a wide variety of healthy dinner recipes.

Fiona Lesley has had over 20 years of experience cooking delicious meals for family and friends alike. A teacher by profession, she brings together her years of time and money-saving tips at www.easy-meal-planning.com

 
Posted by: Send a Meal AT 10:13 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 15 2010

You will see that gourmet food items are prepared with excellent culinary skills and various special ingredients are used for giving them a delicious taste and exotic aroma. Besides cooking them with sophistication, special attention is also paid to the presentation of the food items. In the market you will gourmet cheese, meat, dairy products, coffee, tea, spices, liquor and various others. Gourmet foods items are preferred by the rich and famous because they contain a special tantalizing taste that no ordinary food item can provide you. The ingredients that are used for preparing gourmet food are very costly that is why these food items are very rare to find.

If you want to please a loved one then you can present him or her beautiful gift basket containing gourmet delicacies. These days various good shops are selling these expensive food items to the customers. In this article, I would like to provide you all the important information that you require about the gourmet food delicacies.

1. Gourmet seafood 
People who love eating seafood would simply love the great aroma and exotic taste of the specially prepared seafood items. They include delicately prepared lobster rolls, shrimps, oysters and herring. The taste is so marvelous that you would never find it in ordinary food items. You will also find gourmet fish like tuna, salmon and halibut.

2. Gourmet cheese 
Gourmet cheese is famous all around the world for its appealing taste and texture. The cheese is prepared with specially distilled milk so that it can have that special aroma. It is also used for preparing various other gourmet foods and confectionery items.

3. Gourmet Coffee 
In this category you will find various coffee blends with exotic flavors that are prepared all around the world with certain special techniques. Before buying this product it would be best for you to try out the different samples so that you can select the one that you like the most.

4. Gourmet chocolate 
The heavenly taste of the special gourmet chocolates would surely mesmerize your senses. This category includes dark, milk and white chocolate that are prepared with great care and sophistication. Certain fruits, creams, and nuts are also complied within the chocolate so that it can get a special taste.

5. Gourmet tea 
You will see that Gourmet tea include lemon, green, black, herbal and coolant tea. They have a great taste and special aroma and simply tantalize you.

Above are certainly very special items that you must certainly try out for the great taste and aroma.

Gourmet Free is the only place online you can get free gourmet gift cards, good at your favorite gourmet retailers

 
Posted by: Send a Meal AT 09:24 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, November 12 2010
Our two-week countdown to Thanksgiving helps you get organized so that the day of the feast is easy and relaxed.

Use our Google Calendar to export this list to Outlook or your iPhone.

TWO WEEKS AHEAD
Thursday, November 11, 2010

  • First, if you haven't already--and plan on serving a fresh, not frozen, turkey--order it now from the supermarket, a specialty foods store, or by mail order. Schedule pickup or delivery for sometime after November 22. See our Turkey Buying Guide for tips.
  • Second, confirm your Thanksgiving guest list by checking in with the regulars and inviting anyone new. By the way, this isn't a written invitation kind of holiday; phone calls and e-mail are fine.

TWO WEEKS AHEAD
 
Friday, November 12, 2010

  • Browse our Thanksgiving Guide and your own recipe collection to work out a menu. What are the family favorites? Where is there room for a little experimentation? Be sure to visit our recipe collections for theturkeystuffingcranberry saucevegetablesdesserts, and more.
  • Pick up some turkey wings on the way home from work, in preparation for making and freezing a big batch of turkey stock. Use our recipe for Golden Turkey Stock.
  • Start planning your table decorations.
  • Create one big master shopping list, dividing it into three sections: buy-now nonperishables (wine, canned pumpkin, and even a frozen turkey, if you opt for one); items for the one-week-ahead grocery run; and perishables to buy on November 23 or 24.

TWO WEEKENDS AHEAD

Saturday, November 13, 2010

  • Check that you have all the kitchen equipment necessary to make the turkey and other dishes on the menu. See our five essential kitchen tools for Turkey Day.
  • Get a head start on biscuits or muffins for the feast by making your own baking mix. Measure the dry ingredients and butter from whatever recipe you've chosen and blend until the mixture resembles coarse meal; refrigerate in a sealed plastic bag. When it's time to bake, there's no need to bring the mixture to room temperature before adding the eggs and other ingredients.

Related: 6 Steps to a Stress-Free Thanksgiving

ONE WEEK AHEAD
Thursday, November 18, 2010

  • Check your shopping list and buy nonperishable items.
  • If you're serving pie for dessert, make the crusts now. Prepare the dough, roll it out, and place it in the pie dish (don't forget to crimp the edges). Put the dish in the freezer. When the dough is completely frozen, wrap the dish tightly with plastic. For a double-crust pie, roll out the top crust, slide it onto a baking sheet, freeze until firm, then slide the crust off the sheet and wrap it tightly in plastic. See our collection of Pie Recipes.

ONE WEEKEND AHEAD

Saturday, November 20, 2010

  • Go through your assorted flatware, glassware, serving pieces, and table linens to see what you need to dry-clean, press, or shine, and what you will need to buy.
  • Bake any breads or rolls now—they will keep for a week in the freezer. See our collection of Thanksgiving Breads Recipes. After baking, allow them to cool completely, wrap in foil, place in resealable plastic bags and freeze.

ONE WEEKEND AHEAD
Sunday, November 21, 2010

  • It's time to clean out the fridge. You'll need storage space in the freezer and fridge for the turkey and the do-ahead dishes.

THREE DAYS AHEAD
Monday, November 22, 2010

  • Make cranberry sauce or relishes and store in the refrigerator.
  • If you've gone the frozen turkey route, calculate the defrosting time—you might have to start today. See our Turkey Guide for thawing instructions.
  • If you didn't already make and freeze turkey stock, do so today. See our Ultimate Turkey Stock recipe.
  • Prepare flavored butters (if desired) to serve on rolls (or to dab on mashed potatoes). Store covered in the refrigerator.
  • If you'll be serving ice cream with dessert, scoop it now, arrange on a baking sheet and place in freezer until frozen hard. Transfer ice cream balls to a resealable plastic bag and freeze until needed.

See Also:
 Complete Thanksgiving Menu Generator

TWO DAYS AHEAD

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

  • Thaw frozen pie crusts in the fridge.
  • Make soups and store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
  • Prepare salad dressings and store in the refrigerator.
  • Polish your silver and set and decorate your dinner table, if possible. Set out all serving pieces and place a Post-It® note in each that indicates which dish it will hold.

ONE DAY AHEAD
Wednesday, November 24, 2010

  • Hit the supermarket early in the day to shop for perishables.
  • Parboil vegetables such as celery root, rutabagas, carrots and onions in generously salted water. When cool, drain and pat with paper towels. Wrap in dry paper towels and store in a covered container in the fridge.
  • Wash and spin-dry salad greens, wrap in paper towels and store in resealable plastic bags in the refrigerator.
  • Make pies or other desserts and store according to recipe directions.
  • Most important of all: don't cook dinner tonight. Order in.

THANKSGIVING DAY
Thursday, November 25, 2010

  • If you've followed our advice, today should be a breeze. For the typical menu, here's what's left to do.
  • Make mashed potatoes. Refrigerate the mixture; reheat using a double boiler to prevent scorching, adding pats of unsalted butter to correct the consistency as needed.
  • Finish preparing any vegetables, making note of how they should be reheated.
  • Complete stuffing.
  • Put the turkey in to roast.
  • Thaw and rewarm (or finish preparing and bake) breads according to recipe directions.
  • Rewarm soup.
  • Finish salads.
  • Whip cream for dessert.

THE DAY AFTER
Friday, November 26, 2010

 
Posted by: Send a Meal AT 06:48 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 10 2010

What's with a homemade Christmas recipe? The recent changes in the economic landscape have also changed the way of thinking for most families. More than ever, the idea of being more efficient over everything is becoming the preferred approach. For years many people simply ignored this since one could afford to be less efficient anyway.

Now, however, you see more people looking at fuel economy when purchasing cars, leaving big gas guzzlers gathering dust. The same thing can be seen in way we eat, with more and more household making their own homemade Christmas recipes to put on the table. Let us look at what you'll get when you serve a homemade Christmas recipe:

It will always be cheaper. Whether you do the math or not, a homemade Christmas recipe will always be the more cost-effective choice. In fact, it is even possible to have three home-cooked meals for the total price of dining out. Sure it will take some of your time since you'll be preparing everything before actually doing some cooking, but this is only a small price to pay considering that every food you order already has overhead costs for labor and the other utilities such as power and water use. That's an extra few dollars you save plus tip.

A homemade Christmas recipe is safer. There are at least three other ways that a family can partake a meal.

In the past a family would call a restaurant and have food delivered to them or to simply toss a packed meal into the microwave. Definitely these options have saved many families (especially the designated cooks) time in order to do several other things while the food arrives. However, one can never really know the ingredients that get mixed over the food you just picked. Microwaveable meals are even more dangerous, since there are certainly numerous preservatives added to keep them longer in the shelves.

The third way would be to follow a recipe online or from a cookbook. It is a better alternative than the previous two, but doubts would still linger over the choice of ingredients and the amounts that are suggested. Also, the method of cooking can be suspect as you tend to lose some of the nutrients along the way. Besides, most would alter some conditions of the recipe anyway.

With a homemade Christmas recipe, you can command the ingredients that will be used and how to cook them, eventually having the confidence that nothing will be detrimental to the health of your family.

You can be healthy with a homemade Christmas recipe. A safer recipe also means that it is much healthier for everyone. You can dictate which ingredients can be added to mix that will not just add flavor but also improve the health qualities of your homemade Christmas recipe.

As mentioned above, one can change some of the ways the meal can be cooked and at the same time replace some ingredients with healthier options. A homemade Christmas recipe can also be helpful to create a better schedule of meals that will purely be healthy for everyone.

Jayne Waldorf has been an internet marketer for over four years. She lives in England with her husband and has two grown up sons. Her website provides year round gifts.

For more information, Christmas recipes and Christmas food visit Jayne's Waldorf Christmas website

 
Posted by: Send a Meal AT 10:22 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 08 2010

Sometimes it is important to stop and take time to appreciate the important things in life, how fortunate we are, how blessed to have made it this far. Family is often the one constant in many peoples lives, and even if the relationship has been testing at times, family is often the one part of our lives that cannot be denied. Even when times have been tough there are still things that we can be thankful for and often the tough times are the very reasons for people pulling closer together than before.

An important part of many people's lives is their family. These are the people who know everything about us and accept us anyway. Many families will have had their stressful times. Money worries, divorces, health concerns can test a family to the limits, but often the result is that when they come together again, through the difficulties, the bonds become stronger as a result. They know more about each other, and still continue to love, accept and support each other. Family loyalty is a powerful connection.

And often family are the very people who motivate us to carry on through difficult times, sometimes without the need to say a word. The thought of their support, the desire not to disappoint them or let them down, the thought of how much they have done for us over the years, the sacrifices they have made, can be enough to give us that extra surge of energy, desire and enthusiasm to carry on.

The festival of Thanksgiving is a special time of sharing and appreciation of the family. More Americans travel home for Thanksgiving than for any other festival, including Christmas. It is a quiet indicator of how important family ties are regarded, more important than receiving presents or throwing opulent parties. Many people travel miles simply to share this special meal with their family.

The relevance of stopping for a time to celebrate the bond and connection that you have together is important. However long there may be it is important to acknowledge the different generations as they gather together. Reminiscencing about past experiences, telling anecdotes, sharing news. Remembering not to take family for granted. It is important to demonstrate that these important people matter. Taking the time out of ones regular day-to-day life, knowing that ones whole family is travelling to the family home to share a meal together. Committing to be with parents, siblings, children, communicates with actions that these people are important and are worth the effort involved in making the journey.

Roots, heritage and traditions are often at the heart of many families. Whatever else is going on in people's lives the rest of the year, there is a constant theme and connection of family values, attitudes, outlook which are reinforced with the time spent sharing meals, celebrations, being reunited. Taking time to stop everything else and say 'thank you' with actions says it all.

Susan Leigh is a Counsellor and Hypnotherapist who works with
- stressed individuals to promote confidence and self belief, 
- couples in crisis to help improve communications and understanding
- with business clients to help support the health and motivation levels of individuals and teams

For more information see http://www.lifestyletherapy.net

 
Posted by: Send a Meal AT 06:56 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, November 07 2010

Scallops are one of the most familiar and popular types of seafood. Scallops are related to clams, oysters, and mussels in that they are also bivalve molluscan shellfish. However, with scallops only the adductor muscle that is used to open and close the scallop's shell is sold and eaten in the U.S. This muscle is the succulent scallop "meats" that are familiar to consumers. Three different types of scallops are commonly sold in seafood markets in the U.S. The largest and most familiar is the Sea Scallop. Bay Scallops are intermediate in size and the smallest are Calico Scallops.

Sea Scallops are the most commercially important scallop in the U.S. They are harvested in offshore ocean waters from Maine to North Carolina with metal dredges. Scallops cannot close their shells tightly and die soon after being taken from the water. Because of their perishability, sea scallops are shucked on the harvest vessel as soon as they are caught, and the meats are iced. A small amount of Sea Scallops are harvested by fishing vessels operating from Eastern Long Island ports, but the majority are harvested in New England and Virginia. New Bedford, Massachusetts for many years was the leading fishing port in the U.S. in terms of the dockside value of landings mainly because of the amount of Sea Scallops landed at that port. Although sea scallops are available all year, peak landings generally begin in spring and continue through the fall.

The Bay Scallop is less plentiful but greatly desired by scallop fanciers. These smaller cousins of Sea Scallops are the most delicate and many say the sweetest of all Scallops. Bay Scallops live in coastal bays in the Northeast. The majority of the harvest has traditionally occurred in the Peconic Bay on Eastern Long Island and on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Harvests from Peconic Bay have been minimal for much of the past decade. A number of factors are likely to have contributed to poor bay scallop harvests some of which include Brown tide algae blooms, nutrient availability and loss of suitable scallop habitat. The harvesting season for Bay Scallops begins in October and the majority of the scallops available for harvest are generally taken within the first month of the season. Bay scallops from Cape Cod are also available during the fall. This same species of scallop is being cultured and farm raised in China and other parts of the world, and imported "Bay Scallops" are available in the New York marketplace during most of the year.

Calico Scallops are found in the warmer waters off the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, and also in Central and South America. Calico Scallops are small, and are removed from their shell by a shucking process in which the whole scallops are lightly steamed to loosen the scallop meat from the shell. Shucked calico scallops are easy to recognize because they are pale white and opaque around the edges and about the size of baby marshmallows.

Scallops have a characteristic sweet mild flavor that is well known to most seafood lovers. Scallops cook very quickly (generally 3 to 5 minutes) and can be prepared by a wide variety of cooking methods such as sautéing, poaching, broiling, baking, and deep-frying. Most recipes utilize mild ingredients that complement but don't overpower the delicate taste of the scallop meat. Overcooking can toughen the scallop muscle and cause it to lose much of its moisture and naturally appealing flavor. Dry scallops carefully before pan-frying or sautéing and avoid placing them in the oil or butter until the pan is already hot. They should sizzle and brown almost immediately which will help to seal in the scallop's natural juices.

Fake Scallops

Sellers are frequently asked if the scallops are real or if they've been "manufactured" from skate or shark. The origin of this rumor is hard to determine --there are probably restaurants that have tried such sneaky tricks--but it's hard to imagine it being worth the effort. First of all, skate flesh with its striated bundles of muscle fibers looks nothing like scallops. Some shark could look a little like scallop flesh, but if you look closely it doesn't fit the bill either. If you get your scallops home and still have doubts, check for the tiny white muscle that should be adhering to the side of the scallop. This is where the scallop muscle was attached to the shell. The only "imitation" scallop that you might find in the marketplace are made from surimi which is made from fish fillets and then formed into the shape of crab legs, scallops or other shellfish. These products should always be labeled as "Imitation" crab or scallops.

Aphrodite, the Greek symbol of love and beauty, rode the foamy sea in a chariot made of scallop shell. The apostle St. James also earned fame for scallops, still known by much of the world as "coquille Saint Jacques," by wearing scallop-shelled armor as his personal emblem when he was executed by Emperor Herod. Despite these lofty associations, the handling of scallops is one of the dirty little secrets of the seafood industry.

Commercial seafood distributors routinely put scallops through a chemical process called "soaking." Phosphates are added to improve appearance, prolong shelf life, and add false weight. 
These "soakers" as they're called, shrink when cooked, can harm unknowing consumers who are allergic, and taste lousy. If you've been disappointed with scallops, now you know why.

Rich Scallop Soup 
Serves 6

Ingredients 
Method

1 pound Scallops, chopped into small pieces 
In the top of a double boiler, blend milk, cream, butter or margarine, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Place top of double boiler over the bottom with boiling water and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Add scallops to the mixture and cook until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Pour hot soup into individual bowls. Sprinkle each bowl with paprika and parsley. 
2 cups Milk 
1 cup Heavy cream 
2 tbsp. Butter or margarine 
1 tsp. Salt 
1/4 tsp White pepper 
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 
Paprika 
3 tbsp. Parsley, fresh, finely chopped

Recipe provided by the North Carolina Sea Grant Program

Scallops with Green Onion Butter 
Serves 4

Ingredients 
Method

1 pound Bay or calico scallops (or sea scallops cut in quarters) 
In a small bowl combine the butter or margarine, onions, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Place scallops in four individual shells, ramekins or small oven proof bowls. Dot scallops with green onion butter mixture. Bake at 450°F for about 8 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately. 
1/4 cup Butter or margarine, softened 
1/3 cup Green onion, minced 
1/4 tsp. Garlic, pressed 
2 tbsp. Parsley, fresh, minced 
1/4 tsp. Salt 
1/4 tsp. White pepper

Recipe provided by the North Carolina Sea Grant Program

Baked Scallops 
Serves 4

Ingredients 
Method 
1 pound Bay or calico scallops (or sea scallops, quartered) 
Mix wine, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in medium bowl. Stir in scallops. Add cream and stir. Place mixture in shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with bread crumb mixture. 
Bake at 400°F until scallops are done, mixture is bubbly and crumbs are browned (approximately 15 minutes). 
2 tbsp. White wine, dry 
1 tbsp. Lemon juice, fresh 
1/4 tsp. Salt 
1/4 tsp. Pepper, white 
1/4 cup Heavy cream 
1/2 cup Bread crumbs, fresh, mixed with 2 tbsp. melted margarine

Recipe provided by the North Carolina Sea Grant Program

Scallops on the Half Shell with Wasabi Lime Vinaigrette

Recipe Courtesy of Ming Tsai

12 shucked scallops (small or singing) 
1 minced shallot 
1 teaspoon minced ginger 
1/4 cup fresh lime juice 
1 tablespoon wasabi tobiko

Mix all together and spoon on top of scallops. Garnish with a little more wasabi tobiko. Plate on crushed ice or rock salt.

Yield: 4 servings 
Prep Time: 30 minutes 
Difficulty: Easy

Seared Scallops with Hot Garlic Oil and Chinese Sausage Sticky Rice Package

Recipe Courtesy of Ming Tsai

Canola oil to cook 
12 large scallops (U-8) 
Salt and black pepper to taste 
1/4 cup cilantro leaves

In a hot saute pan, add a little oil and carmelize the seasoned scallops. Use 3 scallops per package. Place on top of opened package and garnish with cilantro leaves and flash with garlic oil.

HOT GARLIC OIL:

16 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced 
1/2 cup peanut oil (Lion and Globe brand)

In a saucepan, heat oil. Add garlic and cook until garlic is light brown. Immediately spoon on top of scallops.

STICKY RICE PACKAGE:

3 cups sushi rice 
Water to cover rice 
1/4 cup dried scallops 
2 diced lapchang, (Chinese sausage) 
1/2 cup sliced scallions 
1/3 cup oyster sauce 
1/4 cup chopped cilantro 
Salt and white pepper to taste 
4 lotus or banana leaves

Using the bowl of a rice cooker, wash rice until clearand fill water to mount Fuji (about 1 inch over the rice level). Add dried scallops and cook rice as normal about 1 hour. When rice is done, put into a large stainless steel bowl to cool. Pull out the scallops and shred them by hand. Add the scallops back to the cooled rice with the lapchang, scallions, oyster sauce and cilantro. Check for seasoning. Place a serving of rice on top of each leaf and fold into a square package. Place in steamer, ensuring that the folded side of the package is underneath. Steam the packages hot. Using a sharp knife, slice the top of the package. 
Posted by: Send a Meal AT 05:36 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 01 2010

Aside from the beer, another thing that comes to mind when talking about Germany is sausage. There are over 1,500 types of wurst in the country. Germans definitely need their meat fix as each person consumes about 67 lbs of meat and sausage products per year on the average.

The main types of wurst are: Wurst-Aufschnitt (cold cuts or processed meat eaten as slices or spread on top of bread), Bratwurst (the main species or the world-renowned kind) and Bockwurst (look like Viennas but are firmer and spicier). Depending on how they are made, the major kinds of sausages are: Brühwurst (scalded sausage), Rohwurst (fresh sausage), and Kochwurst (cooked sausage). Regional specialties such as "Munich Weisswurst", "Thuringian Rotwurst", and "Nürnberger Bratwürstchen" or Black Forest ham are not only known in the towns where they originated but they have also become famous in the whole country and all over the globe as well.

Germans also eat wurst with butter, hard-boiled eggs and bread rolls for breakfast. At lunch, the Germans' biggest meal of the day, sausages are accompanied by potato salad, Sauerkraut, mustard, and horseradish. Supper, Abendessen in their language, is the lightest meal, where bread, cheese and vegetables are often eaten with wurst.

The curried kind or Currywurst in German, even has its own museum in Berlin, the Deutsches Currywurst Museum which was opened in August 2009. Stories about the sausage are also showcased which include ingredients & spices, history & legend, ecology & fast food and cinema & TV.

Pollux Parker is an adventurer who loves discovering secret island getaways in each country he visits. Pollux also likes to collect German flag and buy cheap German flag.

 
Posted by: Send a Meal AT 10:49 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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