Monday, October 26, 2015

Spicy BBQ Chicken Wings

Delicious Baked BBQ Chicken Wings by Chef Cha.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Everything You Need to Know About Growing Basil

Article from

Basil is my can’t-live-without-it herb. Its aroma simply exudes summer. I generously sprinkle it over caprese salads, add it whole-leaf into spicy Thai soups, muddle it into Bloody Marys, and make sweet basil syrup for my sliced summer strawberries. And don’t even get me started about how liberally I toss freshly chopped basil on my pizza; I know I'm not alone here.

Many times, an established basil plant is less expensive than those packages of basil you find in the grocery store. So stop purchasing those packages of so-called "fresh" basil and pick up a basil plant. Here’s everything you need to know to start growing your own.
Why Should I Grow Basil?

There’s nothing like clipping fresh basil leaves from your garden and running back into your kitchen to add it to whatever you’re cooking. I should more aptly ask, "Why shouldn't you grow basil?" Basil's fresh, spicy, clove-scented flavor profile is a natural addition to so many cooking styles and cuisines.

Just one well-pruned plant will supply you with about a 1/2 cup's worth of basil each week. Even if you're limited on space, simply find a sunny windowsill, fill a container with well-drained soil, and you’re in business. Basil for months.

Certainly the most common cultivar of basil is sweet basil or Genovese basil, but other culinary options — such as Thai, lemon, globe, and cinnamon — are also readily available. One of the main differences between basil and many of the other herbs we've discussed is the fact that it is a tender annual. It is very sensitive to the cold, so watch your plants carefully as the weather changes.

How to Plant Basil

Where: Basil is a wonderful addition to a container garden. It thrives in well-drained soil, positioned in a sunny window. In the garden, plant basil among your tomatoes. It's a one-stop shop for your next caprese salad.

When: Basil is easy to sow from seed and is relatively quick to germinate. When planting from seed, plant seeds about six weeks before the last frost. Basil is super sensitive to the cold, so whether you are transplanting seedlings from indoors or have plants in the ground, watch the early spring temperatures and cover if necessary. If you are planting a cutting or transplanting a seedling or smaller plant, make sure the ground temperature is at least 70°F.

Propagation: In addition to sowing basil from seed, a cutting of basil will easily root when placed in water. Select a 4" section of basil that has not yet flowered. Roots will form within a week. Transplant the basil directly into the garden or container once a healthy root system is apparent.

How to Cultivate Basil

    Soil: Basil does its best in well-drained, moist soil with a neutral pH. I add a rich compost to the soil at the beginning of the season. Not much more soil amendment is necessary. In fact, if the soil is too rich, basil loses some of its flavor intensity.
    Sun: Basil grows well in warm environments that receive about six hours of sun each day. I have a couple of basil plants growing in an area that receives only four hours of sun, but they aren't as prolific as the others. My best basil plants actually grow in an east-facing area that doesn't get the scorching, midday sun.
    Water: Give basil water when the soil is dry to the touch, doing your best to water the plant at its base and not all over its leaves.
    Spacing: Depending upon the variety, basil grows anywhere from 12 to 24 inches in height. Space basil plants 12 to 16 inches apart. If you're limited on space or only grow in containers, consider spicy globe basil, which tends to form a small, mounding habit.
    Companion planting: Plant basil among other herbs and vegetables with similar lighting and watering needs, like tomatoes or parsley. Some even say tomatoes taste better when they neighbor basil. Plant basil alongside chamomile, lettuce, peppers, and oregano. I even like to keep a few pots of basil on my back porch to deter mosquitoes.
How to Harvest Basil

Basil is a pick-as-you-go kind of herb. You may harvest only what you need, or if you have an abundance on hand, you may clip a mass harvest. I'll have more ideas on what to do with all of that extra basil on tomorrow's preservation post. Harvest basil as you would mint, snipping a stem just above the point where two large leaves meet. Regular clipping encourages a more rounded, less leggy plant.

It's always better to harvest basil before the plant flowers. If you don't have time to harvest any leaves, just pinch off the flowering portion. The flowers are actually edible, but if you pinch them off, the plant can now direct its energy on growing tasty leaves. Also be sure to only harvest up to 2/3 of the entire plant, so it can continue producing.

(Image credits: Jayme Henderson)

Monday, July 13, 2015


Sriracha [Thai: ศรีราชา,  [sǐː rāː.t͡ɕʰāː]] is a type of hot sauce or chili sauce made from a paste of chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt. It is named after the coastal city of Si Racha, in Chonburi Province of eastern Thailand, where it may have been first produced for dishes served at local seafood restaurants.

In Thailand, sriracha is frequently used as a dipping sauce, particularly for seafood. In Vietnamese cuisine, sriracha appears as a condiment for phở, fried noodles, a topping for spring rolls [chả giò], and in sauces.

Sriracha is also eaten on soup, eggs and burgers. Jams, lollipops, and cocktails have all been made using the sauce, and sriracha-flavored potato chips have been marketed.

The origin and history of sriracha is unknown. The sauce is purported to have been first created by a Thai woman named Thanom Chakkapak in the town of Si Racha [or Sri Racha], Thailand.

In Thailand the sauce is most often called sot Siracha [Thai: ซอสศรีราชา] and only sometimes nam phrik Siracha [Thai: น้ำพริกศรีราชา]. Traditional Thai sriracha sauce tends to be tangier in taste, and runnier in texture than non-Thai versions.

In a Bon Appétit magazine interview, US Asian-foods distributor, Eastland Food Corporation, asserted that the Thai brand of hot sauce, Sriraja Panich, which Eastland distributes, is the original "sriracha sauce" and was created in Si Racha, Thailand, in the 1930s from the recipe of a housewife named Thanom Chakkapak.

Within the United States, sriracha is associated with a sauce produced by Huy Fong Foods and is sometimes referred to as "rooster sauce" or "cock sauce" due to the image of a rooster on the bottle. Other variations of sriracha have appeared in the US market, including a sriracha that is aged in whiskey barrels. In 2013, Sosu Sauces, a food startup based in San Francisco, created a Kickstarter project and successfully raised $104,146 to launch a Whiskey Barrel-Aged Sriracha that is fermented and aged in whiskey barrels.

Various restaurants in the US, including Applebee's, P.F. Chang's, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Jack in the Box, Subway, White Castle and Gordon Biersch, have incorporated sriracha into their dishes, sometimes mixing it with mayonnaise or into dipping sauces. The name "sriracha" is considered to be a generic term, since the creator of the Huy Fong Foods sauce, David Tran, did not trademark it.

source: wikipedia

Sunday, July 15, 2012


A meal is an instance of eating, specifically one that takes place at a specific time and includes specific, prepared food.

Meals occur primarily at homes, restaurants, and cafeterias, but may occur anywhere. Regular meals occur on a daily basis, typically several times a day. Special meals are usually held in conjunction with such occasions as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and holidays.

A meal is different from a snack in that meals are larger, more varied, and more filling than snacks.

A picnic is an outdoor meal where one brings one's food, such as a sandwich or a prepared meal (sometimes in a picnic basket). It often takes place in a natural or recreational area, such as a park, forest, beach, or grassy lawn. On long drives a picnic may take place at a roadside stop such as a rest area.

A banquet is a large, often formal, elaborate meal, with many guests and dishes.

Most Western-world multicourse meals follow a standard sequence, influenced by traditional French haute cuisine. Each course is supposed to be designed with a particular size and genre that befits its place in the sequence. There are variations depending on location and custom. The following is a common sequence for multicourse meals:
  1. The meal begins with an appetizer, a small serving that usually does not include red meat. It is sometimes referred to as a soup course, as soups, bisques, and consommés are popular entreés. In Italian custom, antipasto is served, usually finger food that does not contain pasta or any starch. In the United States the term appetizer is usually used in place of entrée, as entrée refers to the main course.
  2. This may be followed by a variety of dishes, including a possible fish course or other relevés (lighter courses), each with some kind of vegetable. The number and size of these intermittent courses is entirely dependent on local custom.
  3. Following these is the main course or entre. This is the most important course and is usually the largest. The main course is called an entrée in the United States.
  4. Next comes the salad course, although salad may often refer to a cooked vegetable, rather than the greens most people associate with the word. According to The Joy of Cooking, greens serve "garnish duty only" in a salad course. Note that in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and parts of Europe, the salad course (usually a green salad) is served at some point before the main course. Sometimes, the salad also accompanies the cheese course.
  5. The meal may carry on with a cheese selection, accompanied by an appropriate selection of wine. In many countries cheeses will be served before the meal as an appetizer, and in the United States often between the main course and dessert, just like in Western European countries. Nuts are also a popular after-meal selection (thus the common saying "from soup to nuts," meaning from beginning to end).
  6. The meal will often culminate with a dessert, either hot or cold, sometimes followed with a final serving of hot or cold fruit and accompanied by a suitable dessert wine.
Sorbet or other palate cleansers might be served between courses.

Before the meal, a host might serve a selection of appetizers or hors d'œuvres with appropriate wine or cocktails, and after the meal, a host might serve snacks, sweets such as chocolate, coffee, and after-dinner drinks (cognac, brandy, liqueur, or similar). These are not considered courses in and of themselves.

A meal may also begin with an amuse-bouche, also called an amuse-gueule, a tiny bite-sized morsel served before the hors d'œuvre or first course of a meal. Often accompanied by a complementary wine, these are served to excite the taste buds, to prepare the guest for the meal, and to offer a glimpse into the chef's approach to cooking.

An entremet is a small dish that may be served between courses, or as a dessert.

Common meals
The type of meal served or eaten at any given time varies by custom and location. Further, the names of meals are often interchangeable by custom as well, such as some will serve dinner as the main meal at midday, with supper as the late afternoon/early evening meal and others may call their midday meal lunch and their early evening deal supper. These can vary from region to region or even family to family.
  1. Breakfast is usually eaten within an hour or two after a person wakes in the morning.
  2. Lunch or dinner is eaten around mid-day, usually between 11 am and 2 pm. In some areas, the name will change between these two depending on the content of the meal.
  3. Dinner or tea is a meal eaten in the evening. In some areas, the name will change between these two depending on the content of the meal.
  4. Supper is often a meal eaten later in the evening, prior to retiring for bed.
Other meals
  1. Second breakfast is a traditional mid-morning meal served in parts of central Europe.
  2. Elevenses, also called "morning tea", is a drink and light snack taken late morning after breakfast and before lunch.
  3. Brunch is a late-morning meal, usually larger than a breakfast and usually replacing both breakfast and lunch; it is most common on Sundays.
  4. Afternoon tea is a mid-afternoon meal, typically taken at 4 pm, consisting of light fare such as small sandwiches, individual cakes and scones with tea.
  5. High tea is a British meal usually eaten in the early evening.
  6. Last meal is a meal served to a prisoner before his execution.
source: wikipedia


 An entrée (/ˈɑːntreɪ/AHN-tray; French "entrance") is a dish served before the main course, or between two principal courses of a meal.

The disappearance in the early 20th century of a large communal main course such as a roast as a standard part of the meal in the English-speaking world has led to the term being used to describe the main course itself in some areas. This usage is largely confined to North America and it is unusual in most English speaking countries, however this use is given by some British dictionaries but not others.

The term entrée is rarely used for an hors d'oeuvre, also called a first course, appetizer, or starter. In France, however, the term "entrée", a French word which means an entrance or beginning, always describes a first course not the main course.

In 1970, Richard Olney, an American living in Paris, gave the place of the entrée in a French full menu: "A dinner that begins with a soup and runs through a fish course, an entrée, a sherbet, a roast, salad, cheese and dessert, and that may be accompanied by from three to six wines, presents a special problem of orchestration". In 1967 Julia Child and her co-authors outlined the character of such entrées, which – when they did not precede a roast – might serve as the main course of a luncheon, in a chapter of "Entrées and Luncheon Dishes" that included quiches, tarts and gratins, soufflés and timbales, gnocchi, quenelles and crêpes.

In some areas, a salad such as this may be presented as an entrée.
In the United States and parts of Canada, the main course is called the entree
 source: wikipedia

Saturday, July 14, 2012

How To Use Chopsticks

Crema de Fruta

Ingredients (Sponge Cake)
  • Use the same ingredients as the Mamon
Ingredients (Custard)
  • 3 1/2 cups full cream milk
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 tbsp flour
Ingredients (Gelatine)
  • 1 1/2 cups pineapple juice
  • 2 tbsp unflavoured gelatine
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
Ingredients (Others)
  • 1 can sliced peaches
  • 1 can sliced pineapples
  • dozen preserved cherries
Method (Sponge Cake)
  • Use the same method as the mamon but instead of using individual moulds use 2 x 9in round pans.
Method (Custard)
  1. Combine all custard ingredients in a saucepan, constantly stir in low heat until mixture thickens.
  2. Once it turns to custard remove from heat and let it cool.
Method (Gelatine)
  1. Combine all gelatine ingredients in a saucepan, constantly stir in low heat until the gelatine dissolves.
  2. Remove from heat then set it aside.
Method (Crema de Fruta)
  1. Get your sponge cake then place it in a serving pan; spread the custard filling on top and arrange the fruits on top.
  2. Place the second sponge cake on top of the first layer; spread the custard filling on top and arrange the fruits on top.
  3. Pour gelatine on top, and then chill in fridge until set.