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  • Memorial Day

    Aisne Marne American Cemetery

    Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday which occurs every year on the final Monday of May. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.

    Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.

    Annual Decoration Days for particular cemeteries are held on a Sunday in late spring or early summer in some rural areas of the American South, notably in the mountains. In cases involving a family graveyard where remote ancestors as well as those who were deceased more recently are buried, this may take on the character of an extended family reunion to which some people travel hundreds of miles. People gather on the designated day and put flowers on graves and renew contacts with kinfolk and others. There often is a religious service and a “dinner on the ground,” the traditional term for a potluck meal in which people used to spread the dishes out on sheets or tablecloths on the grass. It is believed that this practice began before the American Civil War and thus may reflect the real origin of the “memorial day” idea.

    Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day; Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans.

  • Chicken with Cheriyaki Glaze

    cheriyakichicken

    Memorial Day week end, and the start of the grilling season, time to examine a number of the offerings from the grill / smoker.

    Today, one of Madam Bad Wolfs all time favorites. The sweet / salty / tangy taste of the sauce melds so well with the juicy (umami) flavor of the chicken.

    Teriyaki is a cooking technique used in Japanese cuisine in which foods are broiled or grilled while being basted in a marinade based on soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. Fruit may also be included to enhance favor and increase the natural sugars.

    Fish – yellowtail, marlin, skipjack tuna, salmon, trout, and mackerel – is mainly used in Japan, while meat – chicken, pork, lamb and beef – is more often used in the West. Other ingredients sometimes used in Japan include squid, hamburger steak and meatball.

    The word teriyaki derives from the noun teri, which refers to a shine or luster given by the sugar content in the teri, and yaki, which refers to the cooking method of grilling or broiling. Traditionally the meat is dipped in or brushed with sauce several times during cooking.[2]
    Chicken teriyaki.

    The teri is traditionally made by mixing and heating soy sauce, sake or mirin, and sugar or honey. The sauce is boiled and reduced to the desired thickness, then used to marinate meat which is then grilled or broiled. Sometimes ginger is added, and the final dish may be garnished with green onions.

    In North America, any dish made with a teriyaki-like sauce (often even those using foreign alternatives to sake), or with added ingredients such as sesame or garlic (uncommon in traditional Japanese cuisine), is described as teriyaki. Uncanned pineapple juice is sometimes used as it not only provides sweetness but also bromelain enzymes that help tenderize the meat. Grilling meat first and pouring the sauce on afterward is another non-traditional method of cooking teriyaki. Teriyaki sauce is often used to glaze chicken wings or used as a dipping sauce.

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  • Memorial Day Sides – Macaroni Salad

    One of the classic pasta salads, macaroni in mayonnaise dressing, with stop light peppers, celery, onion and seasonings. This is a southern dish that has global acceptance. A perfect companion for a Barbecue.

    Macaroni salad is a salad, served cold made with cooked elbow macaroni pasta and usually prepared with mayonnaise. Much like potato salad in its use, it is often served as an accompaniment to barbecue or other picnic style entrees. Like any dish, national and regional variations abound but generally it is prepared with raw diced onions and celery and seasoned with salt and pepper. Canned tuna is also a very popular ingredient.

    In Australia it is commonly known as pasta salad and is usually made with cooked shell pasta pieces and brought from supermarket delis.

    In the U.S. state of Hawaii, macaroni salad is often served with plate lunches, a local form of dining. Locals in Hawaii often refer to macaroni salad as “mac sal” or “mac salad”. The salad itself is usually just elbow macaroni and a heaping portion of mayonnaise.

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  • Meatless Monday – Fried Okra

    fokra

    In keeping with my home cooking, comfort food bend of mind, another favorite dish from you youth. Some people just rebel at the thought, but young orka, rolled in corn meal, and allowed to firm up, then deep fried is a sweet taste treat of a side dish.

    Background
    The name okra is most often used in the United States, with a variant pronunciation, English Caribbean okro. The word okra is of West African origin and is cognate with ọkwurụ in the Igbo language spoken in Nigeria. Okra is often known as “lady’s fingers” outside of the United States. In various Bantu languages, okra is called kingombo or a variant thereof, and this is the origin of its name in Portuguese (quiabo), Spanish (quimbombó or guigambó), Dutch and French, and also possibly of the name “gumbo”, used in parts of the United States and English-speaking Caribbean for either the vegetable or a stew based on it. In India and Pakistan, and often in the United Kingdom, it is called by its Hindi/Urdu name, bhindi, bhendi, bendai or “bhinda”. In Tamilnadu ,India it is called as Vendaikai.

    The products of the plant are mucilaginous, resulting in the characteristic “goo” or slime when the seed pods are cooked; the mucilage contains a usable form of soluble fiber. Some people cook okra this way, others prefer to minimize sliminess; keeping the pods intact, and brief cooking, for example stir-frying, help to achieve this. Cooking with acidic ingredients such as a few drops of lemon juice, tomatoes, or vinegar may help. Alternatively, the pods can be sliced thinly and cooked for a long time so the mucilage dissolves, as in gumbo. The cooked leaves can also be used as a powerful soup thickener. The immature pods may also be pickled.

    Okra is richer in potassium than bananas and has nearly twice as much calcium gram for gram as milk. 100g supplies a third of the recommended daily intake of magnesium (needed for energy release and healthy nerves) and more than 10 per cent of the RDA for iron. Okra is also a source of fiber – stir-fried okra contains much fiber as whole wheat bread. In addition it is quite a good source of vitamin C and the antioxidant betacarotene, which has a range of benefits, including protection against cancer and heart disease by helping to neutralise free radicals.

    Okra is one of those “binary foods” where people seem to hate it or love it, just like mushrooms, seaweed, and tofu. The hate is usually because of the gooey slime that coats the okra, but that is not a preordained fate

    Okra becomes slimy when cooked with a moist method—in a stew, curry, gumbo (in all these the sliminess helps to thicken the overall dish), or a steamer basket. Stir-frying or sauteing in hot oil, in contrast, keeps the slime within the okra pieces, or perhaps causes the moisture in the mucilage to evaporate, thus improving the pods’ texture.

    There are cooking techniques tol prevent your okra dish from being slimed. Indian food has many techniques of okra preparation, and I have three recommendations from my Indian friends.

    1. Trim just the very tip and the end of the okra and pan fry the whole okra pods until tender.
    2. Trim and round the pods then saute with onions and spices
    3. Trim SMALL okra pods, dredge in spices and corn meal / flour, and deep fry

    Note : After you wash the okra pods, wipe them dry with a paper towel. Controlling moisture is the key to controlling the slime.

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  • Sunday Chicken

    A rainy, dreary Sunday. A long unwelcome trip from upstate, an empty fridge, and three hungry cats. I am just so happy..

    Off to the store, where chicken is on sale, and I get to watch people paw over the boneless, skinless, tasteless, anemic breasts. But off to the side is family packs of legs and thighs… Good, rich, flavorful, dark meat, perfect for frying or baking. As I have the deep fryer out, it looks like fried chicken fo rdinner

    Fried chicken is a dish consisting of chicken pieces usually from broiler chickens which have been floured or battered and then pan fried, deep fried, or pressure fried. The breading adds a crisp coating or crust to the exterior. What separates fried chicken from other fried forms of chicken is that generally the chicken is cut at the joints and the bones and skin are left intact. Crisp well-seasoned skin, rendered of excess fat, is a hallmark of well made fried chicken.

    Generally, chickens are not fried whole; instead, the chicken is divided into its four main constituent pieces: the two white meat sections are the breast and the wing from the front of the chicken, while the dark meat sections are from the rear of the chicken. To prepare the chicken pieces for frying, they are dredged in flour or a similar dry substance (possibly following marination or dipping in milk or buttermilk) to coat the meat and to develop a crust. Seasonings such as salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, or ranch dressing mix can be mixed in with the flour. As the pieces of chicken cook, some of the moisture that exudes from the chicken is absorbed by the coating of flour and browns along with the flour, creating a flavorful crust. Traditionally, lard is used to fry the chicken, but corn oil, peanut oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil are also frequently used. The flavor of olive oil is generally considered too strong to be used for traditional fried chicken, and its low smoke point makes it unsuitable for use.
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  • Pasta Carbonara

    This is why I will die of chronic cholesterol. It is also why I will die happy…. For those of you who have read my post about hedonism, this is quite indulgent, and ooohhh so simple. There are many rewards to using only the freshest cream and butter, the finest of cheese, and the best of pasta. Truly, a RogueChef classic.

    Carbonara is an Italian pasta dish from Latium, and more specifically to Rome, based on eggs, cheese (Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano), bacon (guanciale or pancetta), and black pepper. Spaghetti is usually used as the pasta, however, fettuccine, rigatoni or bucatini can also be used. The dish was created in the middle of the 20th century.

    The pork is cooked in fat, which may be olive oil, lard, or less frequently butter. The hot pasta is combined with a mixture of raw eggs, cheese, and a fat (butter, olive oil, or cream) away from additional direct heat to avoid coagulating the egg, either in the pasta pot or in a serving dish. The eggs should create a creamy sauce, and not curdle. Guanciale is the most commonly used meat, but pancetta and local bacon are also used. Versions of this recipe may differ in how the egg is added: some people use the whole egg, while other people use only the yolk; intermediate versions with some whole eggs and some yolk are also possible.

    Cream is not common in Italian recipes, but is often used elsewhere. Garlic is similarly found mostly outside Italy.

    Other variations on carbonara outside Italy may include peas, broccoli, mushrooms, or other vegetables. Many of these preparations have more sauce than the Italian versions. As with many other dishes, ersatz versions are made with commercial bottled sauces.

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