Archives for June 2013

The Perfect Mango Float

mango float
One of my favorite desserts at home is a mango float. It is not only a sweet refreshing treat for the family, but also very easy to prepare. Since it’s a float, it does not require any cooking. But you really need to be picky about the ingredients. I enjoy making this sweet heavenly delicacy because of its creamy and fruity combination.

The perfect texture and the perfect temperature of your mango float shouldn’t make it hard to slice. If you have done it right, you can actually cut a slice from the cake pan with ease. I used to make it really so frozen hard so everyone at home would complain about my rock hard mango float. I think when I started combining it with peaches I was able to make them better. The kind of cream also matters because when I switched brands that have thicker quality, the float became a big hit in the family.

Country Cooking: How to Prepare Pheasant

The pheasant is an iconic gamebird: that handsome, explosive, keen-eyed phantom of hedgerows and raw tussock. Many, however, are repelled by the idea of excessively gamey-tasting meat or a laborious preparation process. Prepared and cooked properly, however, pheasant can be delicious and rich-flavored—an ideal centerpiece for the country table.

Estimating Age and Sex

One early step that impacts the cooking process is to roughly gauge the age of your bird. Key into the spurs on the pheasant’s legs: Those of young animals will be short and soft, while those of mature birds will be lengthier and sharp.

A young pheasant—its meat extremely tender—is most suitable for straight roasting, while older birds are best rendered in casseroles or stews.

If you have a choice, choose a pheasant hen over a cock. Despite its smaller size, the hen is likely to have a plumper breast.

The Hanging Process

Hanging your pheasant, done correctly, will improve the flavor and workability of the meat. A bird cooked fresh will be tougher and less flavorful, although it’s sometimes the only way to go: If the meat has been notably damaged, you’ll want to cook it as soon as possible.

Choose a cool, drafty place out of direct sunlight—and the reach of scavengers—to hang your bird. In ideal temperatures—say, about 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit)—you’ll often achieve the best flavor by hanging a pheasant for three days to a week. Adjust based on the ambient temperatures you’re dealing with and the developing condition of the meat.

Skinning or Plucking?

Once you’ve hung the bird, you’ll now decide whether to skin it or to pluck the feathers. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages. Skinning eliminates the need for messing much with the feathers at all, but the exposed meat must then be moisturised with protective fat—lots of butter or enwrapped bacon, for example—to be successfully roasted without drying out. Plucking is a time-consuming process, but you won’t have to worry as much about moisture; additionally, some contend that a pheasant cooked with the skin on is a more savory one.

To skin a pheasant, take a sharp knife and slit the bird across its full length. Then carefully peel away the feathered hide and pluck any stubborn quills that remain.

To pluck, wet your hands and proceed by tugging out the feathers along their direction of growth—you don’t want to shred up the skin. Dousing the pheasant in boiled water for less than a minute can help loosen tenacious feathers.

Gutting

To remove the bird’s innards, slice off the head and the neck—either by simply cutting the neck near its base or first removing the head, slitting and twisting the neck, and then doing so.

Then slit along the anal vent of the pheasant, or, alternatively, right beneath the breastbone, and insert your fingers into the hole. Gently dismantle the innards and pull them out, ideally in a single heap. Don’t be so rough that you rupture the gall bladder—the greenish mass joined to the liver—because this can spoil the rest of the meat with its juices. Aside from the gall bladder, you needn’t discard the liver, speaking of; keep it with the heart and gizzard for giblets.

You can wash out the body cavity, although others suggest against doing so in order to preserve flavor. If you don’t outright wash it, use a wet piece of paper towel or cloth to scrub the cavity.

Cooking

To roast a skinned pheasant, it’s essential to keep the meat from drying out. Wrapping the breast in bacon or pork fat—in other words, larding it—is one way to go about this. Another option is to wrap the pheasant in aluminum foil, opening the covering with about 10 or 15 minutes to go in order to brown the meat.

A good roasting temperature for pheasant is between 180 and 200 degrees Celsius; an average bird will take an hour or an hour and 15 minutes. Salt your bird and, if you desire, fill it with stuffing. You can also first brown pheasant meat doused in seasoned flour in a skillet or casserole before transferring to the roasting oven.

A skinned and deboned bird can be sliced into small chunks and pan-fried. Approach grilled pheasant much as you would grilled chicken: Indirect heat is best, so keep the meat on the opposite side of the grate as overlies the coals, and cook covered for an hour or so. Use pheasant bones for stock.

The Joys of Wild Game

Don’t let the preparation of a pheasant carcass scare you off—it’s basically painless, and the reward is succulent, tender meat wonderfully redolent of the field.

Peter Richardson likes to be adventurous in the kitchen. He enjoys sharing his experiences and tips via blogging for a number of foody blogs around the web. Click the link if you want to get pheasant recipes.

References

  1. Cookeryonline.com: Preparing Feathered Game (http://www.cookeryonline.com/Game/Preparing%20Game.htm)
  2. Reader’s Digest: Techniques for Preparing Pheasant (http://www.readersdigest.co.uk/health-home/food/poultry/techniques-for-preparing-pheasant)
  3. Farm in My Pocket: Hanging and Skinning Pheasants (http://www.farminmypocket.co.uk/livestock/meat-from-the-wild/hanging-and-skinning-pheasants)
  4. NSW Department of Primary Industries (http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/livestock/poultry/species/pheasant-raising/preparing-and-cooking)

Beautify a Plain Jane Kitchen Cabinet

Cabinets are not only used for storage, it also adds charm to the area where it is located. One such area where attractive cabinets are needed is the kitchen. You do not want it to stick out like a sore thumb in the midst of beautiful countertops and modern appliances. Today, you are in luck because we will be giving you several ideas on how you can create stunning kitchen cabinets that your guests and family members will want to look at all day long.

superb kitchen cabinet design

Types of Materials- The kitchen cabinet can be made from a wide array of materials ranging from cherry wood to hickory. Each material has their strength and weaknesses, so you may want to do your research before deciding on one. For example, red cherry is preferred by people who are going for the contemporary look, while hickory is perfect for rustic themed homes. Failing to identify these will make everything topsy turvy and uncoordinated. In the meantime, knowing them firsthand will give you an advantage when creating beautiful cabinets for the kitchen.

kitchen cabinet design for your wood basic furniture

Enhancing Its Outward Appearance- Some people say that it is all about the presentation, and they may be on to something here. The door of the kitchen cabinet affects its overall appearance. You may want to consider smoked glass cabinet door for a modern appeal. A sliding door will also do if you want to veer away from passé styles. A beautiful handle can also make a statement, so replace yours if needed. Lastly, utilizing glossy laminate for the cabinet is a good idea because of its polished appearance.

kitchen cabinet

Improving The Inside Part- Great presentation of the kitchen cabinets should not stop on its outside appearance. How it looks inside also counts. Employ lighting inside the cabinet to let you see its contents clearly. Pull out drawers are also a good addition, especially if you always have trouble accessing the things inside.

Whether you like it or not, cabinets in the kitchens are a mainstay because of their wonderful function. Instead of being a weakness, use them to your advantage. By using the advice above, you will transform a plain Jane cabinet, into swanking furniture that everyone will surely value.

A Bistro in Your Own Kitchen

If you love to eat and prepare food and drinks at the same time, having your own bistro would be perfect. However, if you are perfectly happy with your current work, and you think owning a real restaurant slash bar is more than you can chew, then you should go for the next best thing, which is recreating a bistro right in your kitchen. Here are several ways on how you can achieve this.

Design Kitchen bar

Install a Bar- To attain the perfect epitome of a bistro, the first thing you need is kitchen bar. They may come in a straight shape, l-shape, or a u-shape style, but no matter what you choose, it will certainly upgrade your kitchen in ways that you can never imagine. Kitchen bars recreate the feeling of being in a bistro, so your friends and family will enjoy lounging in that area, plus you will have a blast preparing the drinks and food while you are at it.

Elegant Kitchen Island With Antique Bar Stools and Chandeliers

Employ the Stools- Every self-respecting bistro is not complete without the bar stools. It allows people to sit directly at the bar, making it easier for them to have a chat with the bartender, or even a beautiful lady next to them. Purchase one for your own kitchen and situate them next to the kitchen bar that you installed. Leather is a popular choice amongst guys, while suede stools are loved by women, but if that are not your style, then you should opt for the more contemporary wooden bar stool.

kitchen with bar and contemporary lighting

Display Your Wine- Bistro’s are notorious for its yummy food and alcoholic beverages. They store and display their drinks by using a wine rack. The great part is you can have this in your kitchen too by buying one from a reputable store. You can choose from a variety of shapes, designs, and styles that will match and complement the theme of your kitchen.

Do not deny your dreams of having your own bistro, even if it is just in your kitchen. Because of it, preparing food and beverages will be more enjoyable not only for you, but your friends and family too. Food is best shared in the company of good people, and on an aesthetically beautiful kitchen, so create your own bistro now by using the tips above.

Food Presentation Counts a Lot

sizzling chicken

When I was out with my family for lunch, we went to this local restaurant at the mall and I was just shocked at the kind of food service they gave to us. I always love to eat good food especially the ones served with pride and joy. But this one sizzling chicken never had pride nor joy in the presentation. When I got this one from the waitress, I was a little bit suspicious of how they even cook their food.

Food presentation speaks a lot about how food servers do their work. If the food is served with neatness and an obvious clean presentation, customers would not think of how the food was prepared but think of how the food would taste. It really just means that you wouldn’t worry about how the restaurant makes their food from their kitchen because the presentation was very respectable. Some food servers do not make the effort of making their food a little bit respectable. This food was frustrating but my father always taught me not to fight with people who serve your food so I just kept quiet and be meek about it.