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The Key Tips For Cooking Shrimp That You Need To Know

Cooking shrimp is something I do all year long, but in the summer it feels extra “right” to be preparing and enjoying this little crustacean. Unfortunately, so many of my friends don’t enjoy this delicacy as they should because they are not sure what to do with it. There are a few important steps to master in cooking shrimp and then it is a relatively simple ingredient to use in all types of preparations. As you read this article, I’ll explain my best tips for choosing shrimp, cleaning shrimp and preparing both frozen and fresh shrimp for excellent summer dishes that everyone will love. From simple suppers at home to easy potluck to impress, shrimp is a great addition to any meal! Best of all – cooking shrimp is fast, which means you won’t have to spend all summer in the kitchen!

Cleaning Shrimp

Cleaning shrimp is necessary when working with fresh shrimp. Luckily, this is a relatively easy process, and with a little practice, you’ll be cleaning pounds of shrimp in no time at all! First, hold the shrimp by the tail between your thumb and forefinger, legs up, holding the shrimp in place with the rest of your fingers – this takes a bit of getting used to – so don’t get frustrated! Then take your paring knife and run down the legs of the shrimp, scraping them off as you go. You could even use a clam knife here because you don’t need it to be sharp. Now it should be easy to remove the shell. Finally, it’s time to take the vein out. Hold the shrimp – vein up – tightly in your hand. With your other hand, make small incision, exposing the body cavity. Now simply pull the vein out. For another look, try butterflying the shrimp: make an incision and run down the length of the shrimp to open 2 halves. Be careful not to cut the shrimp all the way through. From here, you can poach the shrimp from here for shrimp cocktail or prepare it however you’d like. This method of cleaning shrimp increases surface area – making the shrimp look bigger, helps the shrimp cook more consistently and makes a very nice presentation. Once you’ve cleaned all your shrimp – don’t discard those shells. I freeze them to use later in shrimp stock, shrimp sauce and shrimp butter.

Cooking Fresh Shrimp

Cooking fresh shrimp is a wonderful experience because after cleaning, there are just a few short steps to enjoy a wonderful shrimp creation of your own making. But there are some important things to consider when handling fresh seafood of any kind – especially shrimp. First is in selection. I generally try to buy shrimp with the heads still on. This tells you something important about the shrimp: it’s never been frozen. Freezing shrimp with the heads on makes a mess (and not a lot of sense) so anytime you need to start cooking fresh shrimp by removing the heads, you know they’re fresh! Next is temperature. Shrimp should always be kept at around 34 degrees Fahrenheit. Most refrigerators are around 40 degrees, which might sound close, but it’s not – as far as the shrimp are concerned. Studies have shown that just a 5 degree temperature reduction (from 40 to 35) doubles the shelf life of fish and shellfish. So before cooking fresh shrimp, you will most likely need to store your raw shrimp on self-draining ice in the refrigerator. I place the ice and shrimp in a colander and then into a metal bowl to catch the water as the ice melts. Incidentally, the same is true for refrigerators at the store. Fresh fish should always be stored on ice. Before cooking fresh shrimp, give it a smell. If shrimp does go bad, you’ll know it by a strong ammonia odor, which is true of most fish.

Cooking Frozen Shrimp

Cooking frozen shrimp is often necessary when the fresh variety is just not available. Don’t worry – it happens to me too! Luckily, frozen shrimp are readily available and can be tasty in dishes as well – as long as you know my tips for selecting, handling and cooking frozen shrimp. For starters – what does all that terminology mean? “I’ll take some 15-20 IQF P & D, please.” OK – let me translate. IQF is a term to describe the way in which shrimp is frozen. It means individually quick frozen. If your IQF bag of shrimp has ice crystals or the shrimp is frozen together in a clump, don’t buy it. This means the bag has defrosted and been re-frozen. This is something that should generally be avoided in purchasing frozen foods. Shrimp are labeled with a number range (15-20) that refers the the number of shrimp that come in a pound. The larger the number, the smaller the shrimp. Medium is around 15-20; Salad shrimp are 96+. As I mentioned above, it is best to clean shrimp when fresh. The exception to this would be on shrimp boats where they have the technology to immediately freeze the shrimp they catch at very low temperatures (quickly). So – frozen shrimp can be purchased cleaned or not cleaned. If they have been cleaned before freezing, they are called P&D – peeled and de-veined. This means you will be cooking frozen shrimp in a matter of minutes – after defrosting, that is. One last thing – always defrost shrimp before cooking frozen shrimp. The best way to do this is in the refrigerator. If you need to defrost more quickly, you can place the shrimp in a bowl under slowly running cold water to defrost.

Cooking shrimp is a skill that enables you to prepare wonderful home-cooked dishes quickly and easily. Shrimp is a versatile ingredient that can be prepared in so many different ways, you are not likely to get bored anytime soon. By understanding and applying these simple techniques, you will soon be cooking shrimp at every meal. Shrimp omelet, anyone?

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Benefits Of Having A Food Processor In Your Kitchen

Food processors started to make their appearance way back in the early sixties. Since then this product has steadily grown in popularity up to a point where the food processor has become an essential component for many modern cooking methods. Chefs have created countless delicious recipes through the use of this appliance. The food processor is a kitchen aid that no cook can do without.

A necessity in every kitchen

Considering how much time and labor is spent when using the traditional methods of chopping, grating and kneading, it has become very difficult indeed for the modern parent to prepare a decent home cooked meal. As most parents opt for having careers rather than staying at home, cooking time has become very limited. The repetitive action of chopping, shredding, pureeing or slicing is enough to make any working person disgruntled and run off to the nearest fast food outlet.

The food processor has virtually eliminated all the labor involved and has cut down on the preparation time. Modern chefs make extensive use of food processors. The appliance has become such a necessity that it can no longer be seen as a showpiece item that will only be used occasionally.

Virtually every single food program on television will show the chef armed with a chef’s knife and a food processor. This has increased the usage of the appliance even more as most of these dishes are designed for the home cook. The creation of wholesome, nutritious and delectable dishes have become a breeze and done in no time at all. This is precisely what the home cook requires and is difficult to achieve without the use of a food processor.

How does it work?

A food processor is an electrical appliance that is made up of a mixing bowl and a range of blades and disks. The mixing bowl would ideally be able to hold 9 cups as the processing of liquids just about cuts the capacity in half. The feeding tube on the lid should wide enough for larger pieces of food. The processors are fitted with a safety feature and will only start processing once the lid and bowl is locked and sealed.

These safety features are a requirement and apply to all makes of food processors. Some of these appliances are fitted with suction pads at the base to prevent the machine from moving around during processing. There are basically two types of blades that come with the processor. The essential ones are the s-shaped stainless steel blade and the plastic blade. The stainless steel blade can be fitted at the bottom of the bowl to allow for easy chopping, shredding, mixing or blending of vegetables and meat. The plastic blade is mainly for mixing bread and pizza dough. The two disks that usually come with a food processor are designed for slicing and grating purposes.

The slicing disk has various thickness settings. Disks used for grating purposes also come in different sizes. The processor is usually fitted with more than one speed option. The pulse controls come in very handy when making bread or pizza dough, as it will help to create a perfect texture and not over mix it. A citrus press for juicing oranges, limes or grapefruit and an egg whip that can be used for baking purposes are other essential attachments. Some food processors have extra or optional features and attachments that could be useful for certain people depending on what their requirements are.

A mini processor that can be used for grinding spices like cardamom and cinnamon stick is quite a nifty attachment. It can also be used for chopping smaller quantities of vegetables, fruit or herbs. Appliances fitted with touch pad controls prevent any liquids from entering the panel and can therefore be easily cleaned. Another handy option is the chute that leads to another bowl. Large amounts of food can be processed without stopping as it simply enters into another bowl when the main one starts filling up.

Be selective when purchasing a processor

These options are useful but not always necessary as it can affect the price when purchasing a food processor. Investing in a good quality food processor can become a costly affair, but a food processor can save time and help to create healthy and delicious dishes in no time. If you do have a family and prefer home cooked meals then a food processor will be a worthwhile investment.

If you do not have a family to entertain on a regular basis, then you will be able to prepare gourmet dishes at a fraction of the cost with a good food processor. The range is wide and varied and will certainly meet all requirements for the ardent home cook.

Exchange And Share Your Gourmet Food Recipes.

Cooking is a joy that anyone is capable of taking part in. You don’t are obliged to be a master chef to make meals that make the mouth water. In the event you have the proper facts about techniques and ideas to use in the kitchen, you can develop the same culinary masterpieces as the pros. Use the assistance in this document in your home kitchen for culinary success.

Normally acquire your meat & fish on the bone. When picking out meat or fish at all times order it on the bone; it’s much more affordable, plus the bones could be used for making stock. Put the bones, cooked or raw, in heavy duty ziploc bags & retail store them in the freezer until you are ready to use.

Retail shop shelled nuts like almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews & others in the freezer. Storing them in the pantry may permit the oils they contain to go rancid, although placing them in the freezer may extend their valuable life up to a year. Make certain to cautiously label each container to make it straightforward to find them for recipes.

To remove the peel from a clove of garlic in a fast and simple way, cautiously smack the heel of your hand on the side of a wide knife blade (laid flat over the clove) to crush the garlic a bit, allowing the skin to slip right off. As a bonus, the flattened clove will be less difficult to mince before you add it to your dish.

Keep complete, instead of ground, spices on hand. Unground cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, and peppercorns last much longer than their ground counterparts. Just use a fine grater or mortar & pestle to grate them into your dish when needed. Their flavors will stay fresh much longer and save you from the expenses of replacing your spices.

When cooking a steak, place it in the pan on its side, & let the fat drip into the pan. The side has a pocket of fat on the narrow edge, and the flavorful, rich fat makes for amazing-added flavor once you continue to cook your steak flat on each sides.

When deep-frying foods, use lengthy tongs to place the pieces in the oil, nonetheless hold them just under the oil’s surface for a number of seconds before releasing. This helps the outside of the food start to cook, sealing the surface & stopping it from sticking to the bottom of the fryer or pot.

Once you are cooking steaks on the grill or in the broiler in the oven, make sure that you’ve a spatula on hand to turn the steaks. You do not need to use a fork to turn the steaks as this will pierce the outside of the steak and release the juices inside.

Take the advice that you have learned in this report to your kitchen and get cooking. You’re certain to prepare meals that will meet the expectations of anyone who dines at your table. Keep these tips handy, so you can effortlessly refer to them whenever you are stumped in the kitchen.