Olive Varieties

Written by Shauna Hanus

Olives no longer come only in a can or jar waiting to be slid onto a child’s fingers or dropped into an awaiting martini. Gourmet olive varieties are widely available and come in an array of flavors.

Here are ten ofrepparttar more common varieties of olives and a brief description of each.

Green olives with herbs de Provence: This vibrant citrus flavored olive is a good match with fish and in recipes calling for sweet spices. Herbs de Provence is a delightful blend of spices that can be used in every thing from eggs to soufflé.

Nicoises: This earthy rich olive is traditionally used in nicoise salad. It is a small black olive cured in red-wine vinegar.

Mount Athos green with Sicilian herbs: This olive packs a punch, it is flavored with rosemary, garlic, mustard seed, and red pepper flakes. It is an excellent olive for use in bruchetta topping, on salads, and in tapenade.

Mount Athos green stuffed with garlic: This isrepparttar 149135 classic martini olive stuffed with a clove of garlic. It is pitted then stuffed and perfect for pizzas, snacking, and a modern sophisticated martini.

Mount Athos green olives with sun-dried tomatoes: This rich heavy olive is ideal in salads and for snacking. The intense flavor ofrepparttar 149136 sun-dried tomatoes blends delightfully withrepparttar 149137 intense flavor ofrepparttar 149138 olive.

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

Written by Helen Fan

As mentioned in Part 1 ofrepparttar series, woks come in different sizes ranging from 10 to 32 inches in diameter, but a wok that's 11 to 14 inches in diameter should suffice for use in a household kitchen.

Woks come in 2 different bottoms,repparttar 148999 traditional round-bottomed woks, andrepparttar 149000 “westernized” flat-bottomed woks. Both have their advantages, but there're reasons thatrepparttar 149001 traditional wok lasted thousands of years in Chinese kitchens. The flat-bottomed woks do not heat as evenly. The flattened area creates a little angle aroundrepparttar 149002 bottom that makes it harder to manipulate your cooking utensil. Food may get caught in this area, becoming overcooked or even burnt due torepparttar 149003 lack of movement. This also could present a problem when you clean it afterwards. That little angle also increasesrepparttar 149004 likelihood that you will accidentally scratchrepparttar 149005 wok while stir frying. The flat-bottomed woks were designed for better balance on flat American stovetops, especiallyrepparttar 149006 electric stove. But there is a simple solution for that. You can purchase a “wok ring” that you put onrepparttar 149007 stovetop, and sitrepparttar 149008 wok over it for balance. We will go through that in more detail in Part 5, “Wok accessories”.

A wok is generally made of iron, copper, carbon steel, or aluminum. Carbon steel and aluminum arerepparttar 149009 better ones because of their superior heat conductivity, butrepparttar 149010 general consensus is that carbon steel is, by far,repparttar 149011 best material for a wok. C arbon steel isrepparttar 149012 most porous, and when exposed to high heat,repparttar 149013 pores open up to absorbrepparttar 149014 cooking oil, contributing to developingrepparttar 149015 "patina", and thenrepparttar 149016 elusive "wok hay" (covered in Part 3). If you go around Chinese restaurants and ask their chefsrepparttar 149017 kind of woks they use, an overwhelming majority will swear by carbon steel woks. The best part is that carbon steel woks are relatively inexpensive to buy. There is an old adage that says “you get what you pay for”. This is definitely notrepparttar 149018 case for woks.

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