Monday, December 22, 2008

Lemon Grass and Curry

I got a great idea for this week's recipes from a reader who wanted to cook with lemon grass. I think maybe it was started by the wonderful article in this months Bajareque Times by Sonia Jones, ND of the Haven Spa and Wellness Clinic called Luscious Lemon Grass. I am well aware that for many, there is a mystery of how to use Lemon Grass in recipes. Also there is a general misunderstanding of what "Curry" really is and the differences between curries from around the world.

Lemon Grass in native to India. Yet in reality, in most parts of that country, Indians do not use much Lemongrass in their cooking. They use it as tea. Only in the southern states is it sometimes used in cooking.

Thai food simply can not be made correctly without it. It is easy to use, just get a very sharp knife and thinly slice the whitish bottom part to throw into stews and soups (it makes a fresh fresh addition to chicken stock). Many recipes also call for the technique of taking the blunt side of your knife and pounding the white part of the stalk to release the flavors and throwing the whole bruised stock into the dishes, making it easy to remove after stewing, much like a bay leaf.

"Curry" simply means a saucy dish that is heavily spiced. The concept of Curry began with

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Eat Your Greens!

Many of us over indulge during the holiday season. Every body could use a daily dose of fresh greens. Greens like Kale, Mustard, Arugula, Chard and even Radish tops are low in calories, high in fiber and highly nutritious. They are high in Calcium, vitamins A, C, K and they detoxify the body with high concentrations of phyto-nutrients and anti-oxidants.

Besides all of the health benefits, greens are simply delicious and just about the easiest things to prepare and add to many dishes. After a quick washing and taking off any big tougher stems, I give them a quick rough chop and toss them into soups, stews, stir fries, potatoes, rice, just about anything.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Keep It Simple - Using Fresh Herbs

Thyme, Sage and Dill

I read a lot about food. I used to watch a lot of TV about food. I really enjoy learning about different cooking techniques and ingredients. I can not tell you how many articles and shows are about using fresh herbs. They almost become boring because there are so many herbs that go with this or that. I often end up skimming over these articles out of pure information overload.

I am currently growing about 33 different herbs. So I feel that I should do a posting on them. I have been thinking about it all week, yet have been hindered in just how to approach the subject, once again information overload. Maybe that is why so many cooks decide not to use fresh herbs. Where to start? What goes with what? It is generally easier than one would think.

When I began to learn to cook from my Dad, he told me 2 main concepts of good cooking. Keep your heat down and keep it simple. When I began cooking with dried herbs I would put everything under the sun into one dish. Dad would give me a quick curse