Olive Varieties

Written by Shauna Hanus

Continued from page 1

Lucques: This olive is ideal for snacking. The pit is still in tact so care must be taken to not swallowrepparttar pit. It is a pleasure to chew this meaty light buttery olive.

Kalamatas: This tangy green to black olive is cured in red-wine vinegar and is soft but not mushy. Varieties grown in California are denoted by spelling with a ‘c’ rather than a ‘k’. Kalamatas are wonderful on pizzas, with feta or blended with cream cheese and fresh garlic for a tangy dip.

Alfonsos: This robust winey tasting olive is soft and similar torepparttar 149135 kalamata. It is a popular choice in antipasto salads.

Halkidikis: This is a large dried black olive that is mild in flavor and less salty than some ofrepparttar 149136 other varieties. It pairs well with mild sheep’s milk cheeses.

Sun-dried olives: This olive is rich and intense in flavor. It is used in sauces or can be drizzled with extra virgin olive oil for a bold snack.

Shauna Hanus is a gourmet cook who specializes in creating gourmet meal plans. She has extensive experience cooking with easy to find grocery items to create delightful gourmet meals. She is also the publisher of a no cost bi-monthly gourmet newsletter. Her newsletter is always fun and informational packed with tips and trivia you can use everyday. http://www.gourmayeats.com

Wok this Way! (Part 2 of 5) Selecting a wok

Written by Helen Fan

Continued from page 1

There are now stainless-steel versions ofrepparttar wok, although it is generally not recommended. Stainless-steel is not a good heat conductor, which defeatsrepparttar 148999 purpose of Chinese cuisine that relies heavily on quick cooking on high heat. They sure look nice, but would you rather have a nice looking wok, or a tastebud-tickling, mouth-watering gourmet dish? The answer should be obvious. Woks with non-stick coatings are not desirable, either. They all inevitably scratch and food gets stuck torepparttar 149000 metal, ruiningrepparttar 149001 taste, smell, presentation ofrepparttar 149002 dishes, not to mentionrepparttar 149003 extra effort needed in cleaningrepparttar 149004 wok. In addition,repparttar 149005 high heat required for Chinese cooking may eventually damagerepparttar 149006 non-stick coating. A well-seasoned wok will last forever, where as a non-stick wok will inevitably need a replacement over time.

There is an enamel-lined version where there are no reactions betweenrepparttar 149007 metal andrepparttar 149008 food, which makes it a nice alternative. But, if a steel carbon wok is seasoned well (covered in Part 3), it will become virtually non-stick, and will work better than any other versions out there. If you must buy one with a non-stick surface, we recommend purchasing a hard-anodized, or heavy-gauged aluminum wok, butrepparttar 149009 downside of that is that they are very expensive. Why spend a big wad of money on an expensive wok when you can get one that will do a better job, at a fraction of a price, right?

The bottom line is, if you're serious about cooking Chinese food, and create dishes that taste authentically Chinese, pick a round-bottomed, carbon steel wok, and include a wok ring as an accessory (if necessary) to balance it onrepparttar 149010 stove.

In Part 3 of Wok this way! we'll coverrepparttar 149011 all important subject of “Seasoning” a new wok

Helen Fan grew up in a family that has owned various Asian restaurants all over North America, from Vancouver (Canada), Houston (Texas), Decatur (Illinois), to Chicago (Illinois). She, and the rest of the Fan family are now sharing their decades of knowledge on the art of Chinese cuisine at http://www.ChineseHomeCooking.Com

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