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Category Archives: Entertaining Tips

Stove Top Espresso Maker

Aluminum or Stainless Steel?

 

The traditional material for stove top espresso maker is aluminum. But there are also many stainless steel models available. Which one is better? Well, let me provide some useful info and then you can decide for yourself.

Stainless steel stove top espresso pot is definitely easier to maintain since you do not need to worry about corrosion. Aluminum pots are lighter, so that’s a plus if you use it while traveling. The aluminum pots also tend to heat up the water faster.

Are you worried about using aluminum pot because you consider it a health hazard? This worry can be minimized by taking a good care of your espresso pot (see the tips below).

When the aluminum pot is used, the coffee oils create a thin layer on the inside of the pot. This layer should not be washed away. It actually prevents the contact of coffee with the aluminum next time when you use the pot.

Some people claim that the coffee made in aluminum pot tastes better than the one made in stainless steel. The layer of coffee oil that accumulates in the pot adds a distinct flavor to the brewed coffee. So, the longer the pot is in use the better the coffee becomes.

Tips for maintaining aluminum stove top espresso makers

  • When you buy a new Moka pot you should throw the first two or three batches of coffee away. To season the new pot well it’s best if you leave the brewed coffee in it for one whole day before you discard it.
  • Wash the Moka pot by hand with plain water. Do not use any detergents and do not scrub it.
  • Dry the parts with soft cloth. Aluminum will corrode if you leave it wet for prolonged periods of time.
  • Do not store the Moka pot assembled. The reason? If some water gets trapped in the filter and you keep the pot assembled, then the moisture has nowhere to escape and it may cause corrosion.
  • When you leave your Moka pot unused for a long time, the oily layer may become rancid. If that happens just put in water with a bit of detergent and boil it on the stove top for a while. Then wash it thoroughly. This should remove the rancid oils.
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The Cooking Order

Cuisinox Gourmet 7pc SetThe Cooking Order

The cooking order matters: For example, sliced carrots and celery take 6 times longer to cook than sliced mushrooms and zucchini.

Sometimes food organization and preparation is a must, especially when it comes to vegetable and stir-fry dishes.

Once the cooking begins everything goes into the pan in rapid succession so you must first assemble all the ingredients, including the spices, liquid and the utensils you’re going to use. Meats should be dried with paper towels, cut to size with the excess fat removed, and seasoned. Vegetables should be room temperature, washed, peeled, cored and cut to size as well. Sliced or diced, the choice is yours, though it’s best to size everything proportionally.

Also, before you begin the browning, greening and tossing, cook any starchy food you will be using, such as rice, pasta, risotto, potatoes or couscous. This aside will keep warm until you’re ready to add it to your meat and veggies, or to your plate.

Once your food is at the ready, have your olive oiler at hand and light the fire under your best stainless steel pan. If you’re using meat ~brown and cook it almost all the way through, then remove it from the pan to a covered bowl and set it aside. A dash more oil and in goes the hardest vegetable to cook, followed by the next hardest several minutes later, shortening the time between each additional veggie. Most stir-fries use 1 choice of meat and 4 veggies. Again the choice is yours. Simply put everything together at the end and heat through with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in 1 cup of broth, stirring for 3 minutes..

An example of hard to cook veggies are carrots, celery, rutabaga, parsnips, potatoes, beets, winter squash, sweet potatoes. Though I wouldn’t like to see a parsnip in my stir-fry, the cooking order applies across the board for steaming, pan cooking, oven roasting, barbecuing and pressure cooking. An example of the next in line would be onions, bell peppers, corn, broccoli and brussel sprouts. The next group would include asparagus, snow peas, zucchini and mushrooms, and the lightest cooking would go to the green onions and bean sprouts.

Happy Cooking!

 

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Caramelized Meats’ Secret

Caramelized Meats’ Secret

Not much of a secret if you have patience and top-notch cookware.

In my house I would give up my barbecue and oven before I would hand over my stainless steel Chef’s Pan. Whether it’s a one liter pan or a larger pan with cover, it’s indispensable if you love caramelized food.

The 1-2-3 of caramelization:

  • Fresh prime cuts of meat [beef roast, whole chicken breasts, and pork butt] The choice is large enough to almost fill the pan you are using.
  • No liquid whatsoever. A dash of olive oil is fine to get meats started.
  • Plenty of time. No fussing over the stove; just patience and the occasional check and flip.

Set it up and let it do its magic.

With the front element on medium high heat the oil in your pan, dry the meat with a paper towel then add a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper on both sides. For whole chicken breasts, cut the backs open and flatten before seasoning.

Place the cut of meat bone side down into the pan and put a lid on it. Lower the heat to LO or 1 and walk away. If it’s chicken, flip it onto the breast side after half an hour. If your pork is rounded, rotate it. If it’s beef, don’t touch it. After another half hour return the chicken to its bone side, rotate the pork, and yes, now you can flip the beef…carefully. You don’t want to break it up. Cook for another hour with the lid firmly in place.

If you want to cast a savory spell on your chicken or pork do it a half hour before the end of its 2-hour cooking time. Here’s how:

Add a small peeled onion and 2 gloves of garlic for each breast or loin. I sometimes use more, but you don’t want the onion flavor to overshadow the sweetness of the meats. Never add liquids*.

For beef, it’s always best to leave it alone, though I have sneaked in a handful of baby onions in the last half hour of cooking with excellent results.

*Should you find your succulent meat flooded in a bath of its own juice, remove the liquid using a syringe or baster. You will have to increase the heat slightly and replace the liquid gradually toward the end of the cooking. This happens when the meat was infused with water at the processing factory or if it was previously frozen. Use only fresh prime cuts of meat.

 

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Food Is Important; People Are More Important


When entertaining, don’t forget to have fun: Engage your fellow diners, and enjoy the delightful community of dining in a warm, hospitable environment. When you do, the food and the manners will take care of themselves. (www.emilypost.com)

 

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For the Love of Cooking!

Welcome to Cuisinox‘ new home on the internet.

Bookmark us for cooking and entertaining tips and tricks from a group of people who are passionate about what they do.

There is lots more to come…

 

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