Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Let's Make Yogurt- That is Greek to Me

Greek Yogurt (Yiaourti)

Bring 1 litre (2-1/4 pints) of full-fat milk to just under boiling point and then pour the milk into a glass or earthenware dish.
Let the milk cool to about 42°C/104°F.
Mix 2 to 3 tablespoons of commercial plain yoghurt or from a previous home-made yoghurt (at room temperature) with a few tablespoons of milk, and pour into the milk carefully without disturbing the skin that may have formed on the surface of the milk.
Cover with a cloth, place in a warm, draft-free place for 8 to 12 hours or overnight, and do not disturb it until the yoghurt thickens.
Drain any excess liquid and store in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
To make a "thick" yoghurt, remove the skin on the surface of the yoghurt just made and pour the yoghurt into a muslin bag.
Hang the bag over a bowl and let drain for about 2 hours or until the desired thickness is obtained.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Japanese Panko Bread Crumbs

Panko is the cream of bread crumbs
It's hard to believe there's a better bread crumb, but the Japanese have definitely cornered the market.
Panko crumbs are made from wheat bread, but they are flaky and lighter than other bread crumbs. Practically any food you fry that is panko-coated turns out crisp and airy - unlike any taste sensation you have eperienced with regular crumbs
You can substitute panko bread crumbs in just about any recipe calling for regular bread crumbs.
We especially liked the way panko crumbs transformed quick pan-sauteed fish from simply good to absolutely outstanding!!! Once you've tried Panko Bread Crumbs, you may never fry with an ordinary bread crumb again.
Crispy Dijon-Glazed Fillets
4 servings
2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup panko crumbs (Japanese bread crumbs)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh parsley,
4 tilapia fillets (6 to 8 ounces each), or other mild white fish fillets
4 lemon slices, optional garnish
In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and mustard. Set aside. Begin heating the oil in an extra-deep, 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Place the panko crumbs, salt, pepper and parsley (if using) on a large plate, and stir to mix well. Spread a thin coating of the mayonnaise mixture over both sides of each fish fillet, using about 1 tablespoon total for each fillet. Place the fillets on the plate one at a time, pressing the fillets into the crumb mixture and turning over to coat the fish well on both sides. (Press additional crumbs into any bare areas.) Discard any crumbs that may be left over.
Place the coated fillets in the hot oil. Cook until the fish is lightly browned on the first side, about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn and cook until the fish is light brown on the second side and opaque throughout, about 3 to 4 minutes more.
Place the fillets on serving plates, and garnish with a lemon slice, if desired. Serve immediately and Enjoy.
Start to finish: 15 minutes
A great source to find Panko Crumbs

An Edible Lullaby

Head for the kitchen and enjoy one or two of these foods for a solid 7 to 8 hours of sleep.They relax tense muscles, quiet buzzing minds, and/or get calming, sleep-inducing hormones - serotonin and melatonin - flowing.

Bananas. They're practically a sleeping pill in a peel. In addition to a bit of soothing melatonin and serotonin, bananas contain magnesium, a muscle relaxant.
Chamomile tea. The reason chamomile is such a staple of bedtime tea blends is its mild sedating effect
Warm milk. It's not a myth. Milk has some tryptophan - an amino acid that has a sedative - like effect - and calcium, which helps the brain use tryptophan. "
Honey. Drizzle a little in your warm milk or herb tea. Lots of sugar is stimulating, but a little glucose tells your brain to turn off orexin, a recently discovered neurotransmitter that's linked to alertness. (probably not a good thing to eat just before an exam though!!!)
Potatoes. A small baked spud won't overwhelm your GI tract, and it clears away acids that can interfere with yawn-inducing tryptophan. To up the soothing effects, mash it with warm milk.
Oatmeal. Oats are a rich source of sleep - inviting melatonin, and a small bowl of warm cereal with a splash of maple syrup is cozy
Almonds. A handful of these heart-healthy nuts can be snooze-inducing, as they contain both tryptophan and a nice dose of muscle-relaxing magnesium.
Whole-wheat bread. A slice of toast with your tea and honey will release insulin, which helps tryptophan get to your brain, where it's converted to serotonin and quietly murmurs "time to sleep."
Turkey. It's the most famous source of tryptophan. Tryptophan works when your stomach's basically empty, not overstuffed, and when there are some carbs around, not tons of protein. But put a lean slice or two on some whole-wheat bread mid-evening, and you've got one of the best sleep inducers in your kitchen.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Edible Lullaby Muffins

Makes 12 low-fat muffins ·

2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour· 1/2 teaspoon salt· 1 tablespoon baking powder· 2 large, very ripe bananas· 1/3 cup applesauce· 1/4 cup honey· 1/2 cup milk or soymilk
Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, combine the flour (make sure it's whole-wheat pastry flour or you'll produce golf balls, not muffins), salt, and baking powder. In a blender, puree the bananas; add the applesauce, honey, and milk. Blend well. Pour the banana mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just moistened. Line muffin tins with paper muffin cups, pour in batter, and bake 30 minutes or until tops are lightly brown and slightly springy.

Nutrition FactsPer serving: 119 calories; 1g fat; 2.5g protein; 27g carbohydrates; 10g sugars; 133mg sodium; 3g fiber; 35mg magnesium

These muffins have 4 of the ingredients listed above. Are you yawning yet?

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