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Grilled Ginger-Sesame Chicken Chopped Salad

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Do you get easily bored of the same salads all the time? I know I do, so I’m always trying out new salad recipes. This grilled ginger-sesame chicken chopped salad is a great one to add to your rotation. It’s easy, it is incredibly flavorful and all the textures in this salad are amazing – the crunch, the chew, the tenderness and the unique bite from the sesame seeds. I love that it is healthy too! Good for you food doesn’t have to be bland and boring, with the right flavors and a few fresh ingredients you’ve got a meal worth remembering.

The best part of this salad is the marinated and grilled chicken. I enjoyed it so much that I will likely just start making it all it’s own on occasion. It has the perfect blend of flavors and the marinade was quick and easy to throw together. Another great thing about this salad is the cabbage, how often do we get caught making salads over and over with the same types of lettuce. It’s nice to have a little variation. Summer is salad season so keep this recipe handy and try it soon!

Enjoy!

Ingredients

Dressing and Marinade
    • 1/4 c low-sodium soy sauce
    • 2 Tbsp finely minced ginger
    • 3 Tbsp canola oil
    • 2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
    • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil (I used regular un-toasted since it’s all I had)
    • 1 tsp Sriracha (I didn’t even notice it, so if you like heat add a little more)
    • 1/2 tsp salt, then more to taste as desired
    • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
    • 1/4 cup chopped green onions, green and white parts
Salad
  • 2 (9 oz) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 lb napa cabbage, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups matchstick carrots, or 2 medium carrots cut into matchsticks
  • 2/3 cup slivered or sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 3 chopped green onions, green and white parts
  • 1 tsp white sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 tsp black sesame seeds (or an additional 1 tsp white, toasted)

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Directions

  • For the marinade:
  • In a mixing bowl (or 2-cup liquid measuring cup), whisk together soy sauce, ginger, canola oil, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, Sriracha and 1/2 tsp salt (adding more salt to taste as desired, original recipe calls for 1 tsp salt, I added 3/4 tsp and I still thought that was too much, especially for a healthy salad). Add chicken breasts to a large resealable bag and add 3 Tbsp of the marinade mixture, reserving remaining. Seal bag and rub marinade over chicken, then transfer chicken to refrigerator and let rest at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 day.
  • For the dressing:
  • Add red wine vinegar and 1/4 cup chopped green onions to marinade mixture and whisk to blend. Set aside (chill in refrigerator if marinating chicken longer than 1 hour).
  • For the salad:
  • Heat a grill or grill pan over stove top over medium-high heat. Brush grill lightly with canola or vegetable oil, then place marinated chicken on grill and cook, about 4 minutes per side, or until chicken has cooked through (it should register to 165 degrees in center of chicken when tested with a meat thermometer). Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes. Then, cut chicken crosswise into strips about 1/4-inch thick.
  • To assemble salad:
  • In a large bowl toss together cabbage, chicken, carrots, almonds, 3 chopped green onions, and cilantro with enough dressing to coat salad. Sprinkle top with sesame seeds and serve.
  • Recipe Source: adapted from Curtis Stone via Menu Musings

Choosing the Best Pepper Mills – Look Beyond the Typical

I love to cook and I love creating new dishes and traditional ones. For years I had been struggling with recreating the flavors in my grandmother’s famous pot pie. I have reviewed and followed the step-by-step instructions. All I got is something close but not the exact dish I was trying to recreate. I finally had to get my grandmother into my kitchen to get her to do it whilst I watched. She was doing it exactly as I did it, and then it dawned on me, that my “pinch” of salt and pepper was a pinch of finely ground iodized table salt and fine black pepper that while my Nana was using real sea salt and peppercorns ground straight from a pepper mill. It has been a couple of years since I was introduced to the wonder and the flavors that freshly ground pepper add to any dish, I became a little obsessed with pepper mills. So now that I know the secret of my Nana’s great dishes, freshly ground peppercorn and sea salt.

great recipe

The grinder that I had bought to match with my other utensils started acting up recently and I was forced to look for a new grinder. It’s amazing how many pepper grinders there are on the market and how they all claim to be the best pepper mills. There are electric pepper mills and traditional ceramic and wooden mills, grinders that still require manual cranking and those that don’t as well grinders that can be operated with one hand and some that are battery operated. In my shopping expedition, I learned a thing or two about choosing the best pepper mills.

I encountered various mills that easily crank up the desired size and amount of pepper. The great ones that come highly recommended have size selectors to help you to adjust the grinding size. A lot of people have a problem with the crank mechanism and but the best pepper mills have a crank mechanism that is easy to use, the best thing of all is that they remove the trial and error, and take away the “pinch” method of seasoning. I have built up a small collection of pepper mills over the year, some are too special for the dining room so I have had to look at contemporary designs within rustic wooden types, ceramic types, sleek modern designed electrical with a simple push-button mechanism. I’m planning g to get a pocket grinder for travel. Sounds strange and weird but it comes in handy in different situations.

Tips for Slow-Cooker Meals

slow cooker recipe

Choose the right cut: Chuck roasts, short ribs, pork shoulders and lamb shanks (think fatty and tougher meats) become meltingly tender with the moist, low heat of a slow cooker. Leaner cuts like pork tenderloin tend to dry out. Likewise, dark meat chicken — thighs, drumsticks, etc. — will remain juicier than white meat breasts.

Keep the lid closed: Each peek you take during the cooking process will add an additional 15 to 20 minutes of cooking time. And curb the urge to stir; it’s usually not necessary and tends to slow down the cooking.

Care for your crock: The ceramic insert in a slow cooker can crack if exposed to abrupt temperature shifts. In other words, don’t place a hot ceramic insert directly on a cold counter; put down a dishtowel first. The same goes for using a filled insert you’ve stowed overnight in the refrigerator: Let it come to room temperature before putting it in a preheated base.

Browning boosts flavor: You can certainly just pile food into the slow cooker, turn it on and get tasty results. But when you take a couple of minutes to brown your meat and saute your vegetables before adding them to the crock, you’re rewarded with an additional layer of deep, caramelized flavor. (This is doubly true with ground meat.) Want a thicker sauce? Dredge the meat in flour before browning.

Don’t use frozen food: Loading a slow cooker with icy ingredients will keep food in the danger zone where bacteria can flourish (40 to 140 degrees F). So make sure your meat and vegetables are fully thawed before turning the cooker on. The exception: Prepackaged slow-cooker meals sold in the freezer case are fine to use as long as you follow the package’s directions.

Avoid overcrowding: For the best results, fill a slow cooker between one-half and two-thirds full. Go ahead and cook big roasts and whole chickens; just make sure you use a large crock and that the lid fits snugly on top.

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Trim fat: For silky sauces and gravies, take a minute or two and cut the excess fat from the meat. Skip this step and you risk ending up with oily, greasy cooking liquid. When possible, remove chicken skin too.

Layer wisely: For even cooking, cut food into uniform-size pieces. Place firm, slow-cooking root vegetables like potatoes and carrots at the bottom of the crock and pile the meat on top.

Set the heat level: A general rule of thumb is that cooking on the low setting (170 degrees F for most models) takes about twice as long as cooking on high (280 degrees F on most models). Keep in mind that some cuts of meat and recipes are better suited to one setting over the other. (See tips on choosing the right cut, above.)

Add dairy last: Sour cream, milk and yogurt tend to break down in the slow cooker, so stir them in during the last 15 minutes of cooking.

Watch the wine: Because the cooker is sealed, the alcohol in wine doesn’t evaporate out as it would in a regular pot or skillet. Just a splash goes a long way.

End on a fresh note: A sprinkle of fresh herbs or squeeze of lemon juice at the end of simmering can brighten flavors and cut through the richness of long-cooked recipes. Other excellent finishing touches: hot sauce, citrus zest, grated Parmesan, good-quality olive oil or even sauteed garlic.

Adjust for high altitude: For high-altitude cooking, add an additional 30 minutes for each hour of time specified in the recipe. Legumes take about twice as long as they would at sea level.

Unplugged means unusable: Forgot to turn on your cooker (or accidentally tried to “cook” your meal on warm)? Any food that sits between the temperatures of 40 and 140 degrees F can harbor bacteria. Toss the contents and start again.

Read more at Food Network

(http://www.foodnetwork.com/how-to/articles/14-tips-for-slow-cooker-meals.html)

Espresso Maker Reviews: A Guide to your Perfect Espresso Brews

Having developed a great love and a strong addiction for espresso that spans over a decade, I have almost mastered the espresso brewing art in my fingertips. Of course the espresso makers are at the very heart of this art thus looking into the best espresso maker reviews is absolutely one of the sure ways you can trust that will lead you to becoming a guru in this art. What I have come to learn, as much as you may have much experience brewing espresso, there are some tastes that you can only get with some specific machines but not with others. Below are some of the three espresso makers that I consider the best in a list of the units I have been able to use in my house.
make espresso
Breville BES870XL Barista Express

Having used this machine since 2004, but not exclusively- because I love different tastes at different times, the unit comes with a number of pros that can’t go unmentioned. These include the construction which is solid without floppy features, the customer support I receive from the manufacturer and the most important of all, the espresso produced by the unit is fantastic. The unit features a stainless steel design that’s both easy to use and to clean. Just by the use of a tablet and application of a clean cycle every two months, am able to keep my unit clean. Having served me for around six years before I could replace it with another similar unit, I consider this durable enough. The only downside is the fact that it’s a little bit messy but this is common with products within its price range.

Rancilio Silvia HSD-SILVIA
Updating to a Rancilio Silvia HSD-SILVIA was a very wise idea as the unit has also been able to give me results that may probably be beyond my expectations. On buying this unit, in 2010, just a few months after replacing my Breville BES870XL Barista Express, the experience I had made me wish I had bought it earlier. This unit is easy to use and even the amateurs in my household have been able to learn pretty fast how to brew espresso using it. And the espresso taste? It’s just wow! Very superior is the taste, the aroma is unavoidable and sourness or even bitterness is no more. Featuring a heating element that comprises of three easy-to-use buttons for hot water, steaming and brewing, high quality construction the unit has an attractive construction though this speaks nothing compared to what the features and functionality does.

These are some of the espresso makers that I would always recommend to a friend. A more detailed check and reading of the espresso maker reviews will always help you choose the best of products.

Loving My Seville Classics Bamboo Cutting Board

I replaced an old plastic board and an old glass cutting board with this one and I wish I had done it sooner. I love that there are so many mats. You don’t just get one for meats and one for veggies. There are separate mats for beef, chicken, fish, vegetables, cheese, bread and one general mat with no picture designated for serving. Not only are the mats colour coded, they have a small picture in one corner designating what food group they are to be used for which is great for my kids. The mats perform just as well on the counter as they do on the cutting board. We have very sharp expensive knives and I haven’t noticed any dulling of the knives or any damage to the mats. I also love how the mats are stored in the back of the cutting board. Brilliant. The last thing I need is to have more things cluttering up my counters or drawers. Lastly, the size is great. I was concerned because I didn’t want to end up with a small cutting board and this one is nice and large. I haven’t had the board long enough to see if it will warrant oiling but picked up a bottle of oil just in case.

Still as happy with it as when I purchased it. Some of the mats have become bowed, but I believe that’s a result of my “creative” dishwasher loading. I take advantage of their flexibility to cram as much stuff in one load as I can, which probably I shouldn’t do.

By Meghan

Seville cutting board

Effective Best Cookware Sets

Cookware sets are commonly used items at home, especially as kitchen items. The manufacturers of cookware sets, thus continuously strive to produce cookware sets that are affordable and of high quality. Purchasing software sets is relatively cheap than purchasing individual pieces. Cookware sets are important in equipping the kitchen, and also in replacing old sets. Apart from the best cookware sets, there are specialty pieces like roasting pan and Dutch oven. Many people prefer the 12-inch skillet due to its versatility. People use the skillet for preparing one-pot dishes, and making larger food batches.

Allclad-Cookware-set

The cookware types that are effective are; stainless steel, cast iron, and nonstick cookware. Stainless steel kitchen items are suitable for use at home or by professional chefs. The stainless steel heats evenly and is effective in browning food. The nonstick cookware hinders food from sticking; therefore, fat and oil usage is low. It is easy to clean the nonstick cookware. The cookware can be very cheap due to thin metal, or expensive that has higher quality like anodized aluminum. The cast iron cookware is very versatile, hence uses include oven, grill, smoker and stove top. Cast iron items are usually durable and have nonstick surface. (Related post: The benefits of cast iron)

One effective stainless steel item is the All-Clad Gourmet set. The 10-piece set is beautiful, durable and has even heating. The price of one set is approximate $700. Tramontina set is an 8-piece stainless steel. One set costs approximately $157. The product is durable, ensures even heating, and has a lifetime warranty. Simply Calphalon is a nonstick item that has 10-piece set. Approximately, the set costs $200. Cleaning the item is easy, and the cooking experience is fun. Rachael Ray 10-piece cookware set is inexpensive and comprises hard anode. The item costs approximately $135. Lodge is a 5-piece cast iron set. It is durable and versatile. One piece is approximate $69.92.

Retail sites like Amazon.com and Walmart.com are very useful in illustrating positive reviews for the top cookware sets. The best cookwares are fun to use and possess important product features. The product features include bright appearance, usage ease, high cooking performance, and durability.

Easy Time when Dicing and Slicing with The Best Kitchen Knives

victorinox

Would you like to have an easy time when dicing and slicing your cooking ingredients? Using a good quality knife or knife set will bring you a long way. How to determine which is the best kitchen knife set for you? Check out these best kitchen knives and knife sets to buy to help you in choosing the right kitchen knife. There is a knife set for any budget.

1. Kershan Classic

This superb Japanese kitchen knife is one of the oldest in the history of kitchen knives. It is made with VG-10 super steel and it is coated with 17 layers of exceptionally high-carbon steel. We would recommend it to you if you are searching for a kitchen knife that comes with a non-stick quality. It comes with a D-shaped handle that is made of high quality great Pakkawood.

2. Global Classic

This knife is not only extremely beautiful, but it is also among the most functional knives. It is a top pick for professional cooks, thanks to its versatility. It comes with a cromova stainless steel blade. It is very lightweight such that it will not leave your hands fatigued after using it for long hours. It comes with a metallic handle and a partial bolster hence making it quiet easy to use and maintain.

3. Wusthof Classic

Wusthof knives are one of the most popular knives on the market. It is a great choice for both professional cooks and households alike. The knife is thick and heavy, hence explaining why it has a long life as compared to most of the kitchen knives on the market today. It comes with a high-carbon stainless steel and it is also very easy to sharpen. It also features a partial bolster and a wooden handle.

Here are some of the important things to keep in mind while selecting kitchen knife:

Handle

The kitchen should have a handle that is comfortable to hold.

Stainless steel blade

The best knife is the one that comes with a stainless steel blade since it isn’t susceptible to rust and corrosion.

Price

Price is also essential when it comes to selecting a kitchen knife. Make sure you purchase a knife that you can comfortably afford.

Related Articles:
Japanese kitchen knives reviews
Kitchen knives for today homecook

Less Work, More Rice

Rice is one of the most loved food items around the world. Those who know how to prepare rice would tell you how crucial it is to manually stir and monitor the rice at regular intervals in order to ensure that it is cooked properly. But what if we have a rice cooker that has an inbuilt microcomputer which has all the required fuzzy logic required to cook the rice properly: the 5-cup Panasonic rice cooker is one such rice cooker. With the help of this rice cooker, you will have less work to do and more meals to enjoy. The best rice cooker ratings recommend the Panasonic rice cooker as one of the top rated rice cookers.
rice
Features

Some of the important features of this 5-cup Panasonic rice cooker:

Cook for any number of people

It comes in 2 variants: SR-DF 101 and SR-DF 181. The SR-DF 101 has the ability of cooking 5 cups of uncooked rice and is perfect for a small family. But if you are looking to organize a huge party at home, then you can go for the SR-DF 181, which can cook up to 10 cups of uncooked rice. On the other hand, for even smaller rice cookers, look at the best small rice cooker reviews here.

Consistent Cooking

The problem with manual cooking is that the rice does not get cooked consistently every time. Sometimes, it will be rightly cooked and other times it will be either under-cooked or over-cooked. But this cooker from Panasonic has an inbuilt microcomputer which executes the same fuzzy logic every single time to ensure consistent meals every day.

Cook a variety of Ingredients

In addition to the cooking of white or brown, you can use this cooker to prepare soup or porridge as well.

Smart Cooking

The cooker comes with an automatic shut-off function, which shuts off the cooker as soon as the ingredients are rightly cooked and then it also activates the function to keep the ingredients warm for a maximum of 12 hours.

Whether you are cooking for your family or for a large number of people, you this smart 5-cup Panasonic rice cooker to consistently cook tastier meals. This amazing cooker will automatically do most of the cooking work for you thus helping you enjoy your parties or family gatherings more.

Good Cookware, Healthly Cooking

Cooking is as old as human existence, and the two have just evolved at considerably similar pace. Likewise, cookware has come a long way from ancient pots to the modern ovens, cookers and pans. In the contemporary times, it has been hard assessing the best producer and supplier of cookware due to varied preference from different kitchenware users. All the same, I believe the best way to go about it not the amount you spent on a certain item, but the service it renders and the comfort that it gives you while using it.

Among the many cookware companies all over the globe, All-Clad has receive the most and best reviews. It is undoubtedly the best cookware brand on the market. This big firm, started in 1967, has an interesting part of its history. It was accidental how it started manufacturing cookware. It initially used to make coinage, ballistics and avionics until a memorable day when the founder made a pan for his personal use. It from then picked up the cookware business until now, when it is the biggest name in the world of cookware. But what makes it as outstanding? Find out below.

All-Clad uses the finest stainless steel (Type 304 stainless steel), fully certified by international standards for its interior finishes on the items. Copper, anodized aluminium, and brushed stainless steel are the leading materials for the exterior finishes. These combination of materials optimizes the thermal and strength properties of the items produces. The no-reactant interior of stainless steel and the highly thermal conductive exterior makes cooking a hobby when using items from All-Clad. Their ovens, made from cast iron, make sure you use them for the longest time you can think of.

Delish is another brand that produces world-class cookware. They always make sure that they make your meals delicious. Le Creuset of France has been making quality cookware for long and is also a big name in the cookware circles. Their counterparts from France too, Staub, have also given the world a preferred kitchenware collection. With special ceramic bottom, they have made their cast iron items versatile enough to be used on a number of stove tops.

These brands also produce a variety of kitchen tools, accessories and cutlery. They are always committed to ensure that your kitchen looks as enticing as the meals themselves. Why don’t you try them?