Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pip and Clove of Garlic - what is the difference?

Nothing! This is a great note for teaching kids while cooking. What is a pip? What is a clove of garlic?

'Garlic' Wall Decal - 18"W x 24"H Removable Graphic
pips of garlic
This is a picture of a bulb of garlic. Usually, pip and clove are used to mean the same thing.

Elephant Garlic 3 Cloves - Be Healthy & Heart Smart!
bulb of garlic

Garlic is a magnificient plant. Beautiful herb and at them same time it has lots of medicinal properties.
Spice World Minced Garlic - 48 oz.

Fresh garlic is
-  an antioxidant protection
-  antibacterial,
-  anti-carcinogenic,
-  anti-coagulant,
-  antifungal and
-  antiviral properties

Many home chefs mistakenly cook garlic immediately after crushing or chopping it. To maximize the health benefits, you should crush the garlic at room temperature and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes. That triggers an enzyme reaction that boosts the healthy compounds in garlic.

On the bad side - Garlic can cause indigestion, but for many, the bigger concern is that it can make your breath and sweat smell like…garlic. While individual reactions to garlic vary, eating fennel seeds like those served at Indian restaurants helps to neutralize the smell.
The Complete Book of Garlic: A Guide for Gardeners, Growers, and Serious Cooks
My aunt, who is a doctor, a bad asthmatic, has tended to eat fresh garlic (a pip) with her dinner for several years now. She says its better to have fresh garlic. To reduce the pungent smell, place it in a hot pan for a few minutes.
Formula 100 Garlic Extract Cardiovascular 200 Capsules
Read more here

Today's Lessons for children:

1. what is garlic
2. clove and pip of garlic
3. why is garlic beneficial

What is Stir Frying and What are the Benefits?

Stir frying is a fantastic cooking method. It is quick, healthy and anyone with a wok and spatula can do it. I stir fry all the time. Stir fried vegetables or meat and vegetables accompanied by rice or salad makes a good meal. Here is the story and a short recipe.

Stir Fried Vegetables

What is stir frying?

Stir-frying involves frying and stirring food quickly and continuously over very high heat in an oiled pan.

It is generally a Chinese cooking technique but it has become a popular method of cooking over the decades. Stir frying is perhaps akin to sauteing.

Why is stir frying healthy?

Stir frying is a healthy way to cook. Stir frying is a technique that cooks foods quickly, using only a small amount of fat.

Typically, stir frying takes about 5 to 7 minutes.

Stir fry also emphasizes fresh flavors and textures, so nothing is overcooked.

Stir fry is also an easy technique for the beginning cook.

What can we stir fry?

Vegetables are definite. Chicken and fish are also great for stir frying because they are softer.

For stir frying, the ingredients should be small. Thumb size . Meats and vegetables should be cut into small pieces before cooking.

Thumb-size for chicken is a good way to remember the ideal size.

What do you need?

1. Wok

Cuisinart Chef's Classic Stainless 14-Inch Stir-Fry Pan with Helper Handle and Glass Cover

2. Oil

A wok compared to a skillet is the ideal shape for preventing loss of heat at the edges and for distributing the heat among the ingredients. Its shape also helps reduce the risk of oil splattering, and it prevents the contents from spilling over the sides as you stir or toss them.

Lodge Logic L10SK3 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned SkilletBecause cooking happens at high heat, a good choice of oil would be peanut oil, olive oil or Canola, sunflower or corn oil. Remember not to stir-fry in butter or margarine - they simply can't survive the high temperatures.
Pure Wesson Canola Oil - 1.25gal
canola oil
Mazola Corn Oil 24oz - 4 Unit Pack
corn oil

Quick Recipe for Stir fried vegetable

Half an onion cut in chunks
A little ginger and
2 or 3 pips of garlic either chopped or smashed
Some sliced red chillies for a little zing
Vegetables of choice – I personally love khailan, bean sprouts, asparagus and cabbage for stir frying.

1. Heat oil
2. Fry the onions, ginger and garlic till fragrant or brown
3. Throw in the vegetables
4. Continue to stir over high heat
5. Add salt to taste and you can sprinkle some sesame oil for aroma

Here are some recipe books for stir frying. Value for money.

100 Quick Stir-Fry Recipes: My Kitchen Table

300 Best Stir-Fry Recipes

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Claypot Chicken Rice & Teaching Science

Clay pot Chicken Rice
<>We made clay pot chicken rice for lunch. It was out first time and it turn out excellent! There was also a science lesson thrown in. Here is the recipe for the chicken rice as well as the science lesson.
Clay pot

1 kilogram chicken breast cut in big chunks

For Marination
2 table spoon light soya sauce
1/2 tsp of dark soya sauce
1 table spoon oyster sauce
Few drops of Chinese cooking wine
Few drops of sesame oil
Corn flour
A little salt
A little sugar
1 tablespoon of ground ginger

Marinate the chicken for about 15 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook rice in the clay pot until it is half cook. For the rice to be tastier, cook rice with chicken stock. Tip: don't put to too much stock of the rice gets too soggy.

Clay Pot Cooking: Over 50 sensational recipes from slow-cooked casseroles to tagines and stews all shown step by step in 250 photographsAfter about 10 to 15 minutes, place the chicken on the rice and continue cooking. Close the lid. The steam will slowly cook the chicken.

After about 15 minutes, it is ready to eat with onion leaves to garnish and for the added taste.

Science Lessons:

1.    Heat conductors  - Place a wooden ladle and a metal ladle near the pots or even in the pot. Show your children how one gets hot and the other does not. That's because metal conducts electricity faster and more efficiently than wood.

2.   Clay pot cooking is used in many cultures. Indian, Chinese, European and Africa. In India, it is used to keep water cool.
Clay is a porous material. When the pot is saturated with water  and heated in the oven, steam will evaporate slowly from the pores of the clay. During cooking, the food inside your clay pot will release and cook in its own juices. These juices are sealed inside the pot until it is completely dry, and at this point the food is cooked! That is why clay pot cooking is usually longer. Did you notice there is no need for oil. Clay pot cooking uses no oil or very little. And so it is healthier.

Happy Teaching and Cooking!

Where to get a claypot - here you can get them at reasonable prices:

Large Chinese Clay Pot (2.5 qt) with Two HandlesPomaireware Clay Bean Pot with Lid, 6 QuartsMedium Chinese Clay Pot (2 qt)

USD23                                     USD40                                USD19.50

Reco International Complete Guide to Clay Pot Cooking Cookbook