Author Archives: Ramon

The Classic Midori Sour

The Midori Sour has quickly become one of the world’s most widely drunk cocktails. This popularity has arisen because of the sweet and sour taste that is highly effective at masking the alcoholic taste of the drink.

The Midori Sour is a drink that is excellent on a night out, a party around someone’s house or even drunk alone at the end of a hectic day.

The ingredients needed to make a single serving of a Midori Sour are –

1 ounce of Midori melon liqueur

1 ounce of sour mix

2 ounces of Sprite

2 fresh cherries

The Midori Sour is named for Midori melon liqueur, the alcoholic base for the cocktail. Midori is a liqueur made by the Suntory drinks company of Japan and is named for the Japanese word for green; Midori is bright green in colour. Now widely available, Midori is also about 20% alcohol by volume.

Sour mix is also known as Sweet and Sour Mix, Lemon Sour Mix or Whiskey Sour Mix and manufactured mixes are available form many stores that sell alcohol. Alternatively a sour mix can be made from one part lemon juice to one part sugar syrup (sugar syrup being 3 parts sugar to two parts water).

With all the ingredients to hand a highball, or tall, glass should be taken and filled with ice. Into the glass should be poured the one ounce of Midori, and then the sour mix, Sprite and cherries can be added. The ingredients should then be thoroughly stirred together and voila the Midori Sour is ready to drink.

It is not essential to use Sprite in the recipe and an alternative drink such as 7-Up is equally as appropriate. There are also other melon liqueurs that could be used instead of Midori, including the likes of Dekuyper and McGuinness, although of course the resulting drink should not be called a Midori Sour.

Great Egg Dishes

Eggs are one of the most versatile and nourishing foods that most people have in their kitchen. They are also incredibly inexpensive.  New studies have shown that not only are eggs lower in cholesterol than was previously believed but they are also higher in vitamin D. Eggs are a great source of protein and if you are staying away from red meats then eggs are a good option. 

Eggs are a traditional breakfast food and are often enjoyed fried, scrambled, poached and boiled. When you are having a bad day and need something quick, easy and delicious for dinner, eggs are a good option and can obviously be eaten in any of the ways that you would normally for breakfast.  If however you want to ramp it up a notch for dinner there are several ways that you can do this.

Omelet

Omelets are a great dinner option. They can be served with just about any filling that you have available. Cheese is always a good choice and all you need is one that melts easily to have a perfect omelet.  Cheddar, American, even cream cheese will all work well with some added fresh vegetables. If you have asparagus, this is a delicious omelet and if you can whip up a Hollandaise sauce you have a dinner that will turn heads. Grill the asparagus, make the Hollandaise and then get the omelet pan heating. With this combination, cheese will definitely be optional.

You can however use just about any veggies, pepper, onions, broccoli or tomatoes.

Frittata

A frittata is an omelet that is not rolled. It is poured into the pan and then the additional ingredients are put in but not the cheese, yet. This is a great way to get rid of leftovers and little bits of this and that. You cook it slowly on top of the stove until it is almost cooked then place some grated cheese on top and place it under the broiler on your oven to melt the cheese. With a frittata you can add meat as well. Pepperoni is great, sausage and ground beef are all tasty additions.

Souffle

A souffle is a sophisticated egg dish that is not particularly easy and can actually be quite difficult but all the effort is worth it if you get to take an amazing souffle out of the oven. A souffle  is made with eggs, cheese, milk, cheese, butter, cheese and a little flour. It is the ultimate in comfort food and light and delicious at the same time.

So if you are in the mood for eggs for dinner, you can just fry or scramble up a couple but if you want something a little more special, consider one of these other options.

Cooking with Fresh Herbs

Since the start of time, Mother Earth has provided us with the enchanting gift of herbs to benefit our natural health. Yet many of us shy away from that mysterious section in the produce department.

Most fine chefs are probably much less interested in the medicinal qualities of fresh herbs. Nonetheless, they all rely completely on these little treasures to create their culinary triumphs.

The Roman Emperor Charlemagne may have summed it up best when he said, “The herb is the friend of the physician and the praise of cooks.”

Becoming acquainted with herbal cooking is a simple and smart choice. Here’s why.

THE HEALING POWER

If you knew that cooking with herbs would lower cholesterol or help fight cancer would you do it?

Rosemary, sage and thyme all contain flavonoids that help Vitamin C work more efficiently as an antioxidant. According to Dr Winston Craig, Professor of Nutrition at Andrews University in the United States, this process mops up the free radicals that cause cancer.

Garlic is known to reduce bad cholesterol, helping to prevent heart attack or strokes. Garlic is also a proven immune booster, stimulating cells which attack invading organisms.

Cooking with fresh herbs will reduce the need to add salt, fat or sugar.

To learn more about the impact of fresh herbs on your well being go to http://www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net or http://www.healthyherbs.com

MAKE MEALS MOUTH WATERING

Are you ready to WOW your guests? Need to pump up the volume on the children’s vegetables? Eager to hear the question “This is so good, what did you put in this?”

Using fresh herbs to turn ordinary dishes into gourmet meals is easy. Remember to garnish. Here are some simple tips to get you started:

For roasts, stews and soups use BASIL, BAY LEAF, ROSEMARY, MARJORAM, and/or THYME.
For Italian and pizza use OREGANO, GARLIC, and/or FENNEL.
For steamed carrots, use ANISE.
For salads use CHIVES, TARRAGON, PARSLEY and/or DILL.
For roasted vegetables use ROSEMARY, MARJORAM and/or GARLIC.
For fish use TARRAGON, DILL and/or GARLIC.
For sour cream dips, use PARSLEY, DILL and/or CHIVES.
For Mexican dishes use CILANTRO and/or CUMIN.
For poultry use TARRAGON, SAGE and/or BASIL.
For peas, tea or ice cream use MINT.

Garnish meat platters with sprigs of ROSEMARY.
Garnish stuffing bowl with SAGE leaves.
Garnish Mexican dishes with CILANTRO leaves.
Garnish ice cream and dessert plates with MINT leaves.
Garnish cucumber side dishes with DILL leaves.
Garnish bowls of chili or soup with chopped PARSLEY.
Garnish tops of sour cream dips with chopped CHIVES.
Garnish iced tea glasses with a sprig of MINT.
Garnish Italian dishes, pasta and tomatos with OREGANO leaves.

GO GREEN

Easy Herb Garden

In one (1) large clay pot, plant herb starters. Keep soil moist and provide about four (4) hours of sunlight per day.

Impress the Kitchen Helpers

Fill clear vase or bowl with crushed ice and water. Line inside walls with citrus slices or empty a bag of fresh cranberries into ice water. Tuck an assortment of herb bunches into the center of the ice water. Pinch or snip as needed while cooking or for plate presentation.

Save for Soon or Save for Later

Fill labeled baggies with a moist paper towel and fresh cut herbs. Cut a slice to allow air to escape. Keep in refrigerator.

Or, finely chop fresh herbs, distribute into ice cube trays and add water. Transfer frozen cubes into labeled freezer baggies and keep frozen.

YOU’RE THE BOSS

Fine chef’s spend hours experimenting with fresh herbs to create new culinary masterpieces. You can too!

Cooking with Herbs for Dummies

HERBS & COOKING FOR DUMMIES

“An herb is a friend to physicians and the praise of cooks.” – Charlemagne

FRIEND TO PHYSICIANS: Herbs are healthy for you! So….cook with them.

1. CILANTRO – helps eliminate Mercury and Lead from tissues and bone (detox)
Holy BASIL (Tulsi) – Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral; protective to the liver.
OLIVE LEAF – broad spectrum antiviral; lowers blood pressure; lowers cholesterol.
THYME – bronchial antispasmodic & expectorant; helps diarrhea & gastrointestinal spasm.
OREGANO Oil – is a powerful anti-microbial agent that will destroy bacteria and parasites on contact. It also kills yeasts, molds and Candida overgrowth in our bodies (due to all those antibiotics we have taken. Used to help arthritis, bladder infections, colds, nail fungus, parasites, sinus infections, stomach ulcers, etc. Topically can be used on things like acne and rashes. Basically it helps clean your body and blood of bacteria and parasites. (from research on the web; just look it up for yourself; like www.ghchealth.com)

2. Books – Dr. Duke’s Essential Herbs, James A. Duke, Ph.D. (www.amazon.com)
Therapeutic Herb Manual by Ed Smith (www.herbaled.org)

THE PRAISE OF COOKS

1. General Rules
When to add Herbs – delicate ones at end (basil, parsley, cilantro, dill)
less delicate last 20 min. (thyme, oregano, rosemary)
Amounts – 1 tsp. dried = 1 TBS. Fresh (or 3x as much)
When doubling a recipe, DON’T DOUBLE THE HERBS; do 1 1/2 times
How Long to Keep – 1 yr. for herbs or ground spices
2 yrs. for whole spices

2. Substituting Herbs (flavors and pungency)
“The Cooks Thesaurus” www.foodsubs.com/HerbsEur.html
Stevia – sweetest Herb in the world (from Asia and South America)
1 Cup Sugar = 1 tsp. Stevia (powder or liquid)
1 TBS. Sugar = 1/4 tsp. Stevia powder or 6-9 drops of liquid
1 tsp. Sugar = a pinch of Stevia powder (1/16 tsp) or 2-4 drops

Recently a more concentrated Stevia Extract has become available.
Found in the Food Supplement area of stores or by sweeteners-green box
Health benefits: Chemicals in Stevia cause blood vessels to widen for better blood flow; South American studies show it helps lower Blood sugar levels in diabetics and helps Insulin production; it delays absorption of sugars in the intestines; one 2 yr. study showed it is a calcium channel-blocker and lowers blood pressure.

www.stevia.net www.cookingwithstevia.com

3. Storing and Freezing
The Basil I grow I dry; take leaves off stems and store in a bottle.
Three Methods – Freezing in bags after washing and drying (in freezer wrap)
Ice Cube tray filled with chopped herbs and water; put cubes in zip lock
Slurry – freeze in ice cubes (blender-herbs and little water)

4. Recipes – What Herbs go with What Foods

In General: Oregano – Italian, Cilantro – Mexican, Ginger – Asian,
Marjoram – French

Carrots – Rosemary, Sage, Parsley, Dill
Corn – Parsley & spices like cumin, curry, and paprika
Green Beans – Dill, Thyme, Oregano, Tarragon, Lemon Grass
Potatoes – Chives, Dill, Parsley, Sage
Squash – Rosemary & Sage
Tomatoes – Basil, Bay Leaf, Dill, Oregano, Parsley, Cilantro

Special Herbs to “spice up” your life! Herbs de Provence and Lavender

Herbs de Provence – a combination of herbs used in French cooking; can be found at special grocery stores like Whole Foods; however, it’s cheaper to make your own. Just Google it and you will find a lot of sites with recipes. It is mainly:
Marjoram, Thyme, Summer Savory, Basil, Rosemary, Fennel Seeds, Lavender buds (Bay Leaf and Sage may be added if you like); Great on Grilled Steaks, Lamb and Pork recipes and Bruschetta spreads.

Lavender is a member of the Mint family; used in savory dishes like stews, stocks, wild game, marinades AND in sweet dishes like cakes, cookies & fruit tarts. It has health value in that it is a mild sedative or nerve tonic and helps nausea, indigestion and motion sickness.
Great on roasted vegetables or grilled: zucchini, squash, carrots, Brussel sprouts
www.daybreaklavenderfarm.com/store

My Sister, Eugenia’s, special Herb Mix:
1 TBS. Garlic Powder
1 Tsp. each of ground spices & herbs – Basil, Marjoram, Thyme,
Parsley, Savory, Mace, Onion Powder, Black Pepper, & Sage
This is great on baked potatoes rubbed on the skin with butter; in Meatloaf/Stews/soups/omelets etc.

COMBINATION BUTTERS: Basil & Garlic, Mint (for Lamb), lemon grass, lime zest & chervil or chives (great on roasted corn cobs)
DIPS: add Parsley, Mint, Dill, Cilantro to Sour Cream for a simple dip (salt & horseradish)
SALSAS: Black beans and corn with tomatoes, avocado, olives, cilantro and parsley, lime zest and Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar & Olive Oil; salt & pepper to taste
BREADS: Herb breads are great (Basil, Marjoram, Lavender, Rosemary)
GLAZE or Marinades: like Citrus Glaze for fish or chicken – orange & lemon juice, garlic, Fresh Oregano leaves, olive oil, salt & pepper; OR try Tarragon, capers, olive oil over Shrimp you have grilled/sauted with lemon/garlic butter.

Enjoy cooking with a little extra flair; herbs are like icing on a cake.

Chillies Chilli Pepper Chilli and Weight Loss Chilli and Pain Relief Chilli Dishes Curry

There are about 400 types of chillies and most are cultivated in the Far East, South America and Caribbean. , India and Mexico.

It is common knowledge that the smaller the chilli the hotter it is. Chilli varieties like bird eyes chilli, apache, Caribbean red, Habanero and Naga are probably one of the hottest variety available.

The face of chilli growing is changing, in 2006; the hottest chilli in the world was developed by a chilli grower in England. The world’s hottest chilli is called Dorset Naga and it is twice as hot as the previous record holder, Naga Jolokia in India. It is said that anyone who dare to eat the whole chilli on its own will definitely need hospital treatment.

Chillies have been known for the following benefits:

1. There is something about the thermal effect of hot chilli that is creating a rave in the weight loss industry. The capsaicin found in chillies provides a thermal effect which speeds up the our body’s metabolic rate thereby help burn calories.

2. Vitamin A containing beta-carotenoids is a potent antioxidant that is present in chillies. The anti oxidant destroy the free radicals and help protect our heart. Vitamin B, C and E are also present in chillies.

3. The heat inducing properties in chillies is also known to clear a stuffy nose and cold. Try eating chilli dishes like hot curry in a warm environment, you will sweat and then your nose runs, suddenly your head will clear and you can breathe easily.

4. Capsaicin in chilli is found to be an effective and safe analgesic agent for pain relief.

However, overeating of chilli could also cause pain and discomfort in the stomach. People suffering from irritable bowel syndrome could be sensitive to chillies.

Chilli pepper can be eaten raw or as part of your cooked dishes. Wear a glove when you are cleaning chillies or wash your hand thoroughly after touching chillies. Remove the seeds and the membrane from the chilli to scale down the heat in your cooking.

Chilli can be dried and stored. Dried chillies are usually ground into powder for curries. Whole dried chillies can be found in Chinese cooking especially in the Kung Po and Szechuan dishes. Dried chilli flakes are sprinkle onto pastas and pizza in Italian cooking. Raw chilli can be kept in the fridge for about a month.

Handle chilli according to your threshold for heat. Start with the mildest chilli and work your way up the heat factor. You could get so used to the heat that you can’t do without it.

Cooking with Herbs

There is nothing more satisfying than the smell of fresh herbs wafting in on a summer breeze. The taste of fresh Rosemary, Basil and Cilantro delight our senses with flavor and fragrance. Herbs are truly one of the most versatile, magnificent groups of plants on earth. Perhaps the most enticing things about them is the ease in which they can be grown making it possible for everyone to enjoy and reap the benefit’s a simple herb garden.

Herbs make wonderful container plants which means they can be conveniently grown on a patio or even indoors bringing them close to the kitchen. We all know the importance of lowering our salt intake. By choosing to season with herbs instead of salt you will bring a whole new kind of flavor and freshness to your favorite dishes. While herbs can be used in dry form, nothing beats using freshly cut herbs from your own garden.

Many kinds of herbs can be planted together in a large pot making a “mini” herb garden. The exception to this rule is the mints. They should be planted individually keeping spearmint and peppermint separate. Place indoor herbs in a sunny window. If animals are a problem you can plant your herb garden in large hanging baskets.

A basic rule to follow when cooking with herbs is that you should use three times as much fresh herb as you would use dried. Clip you herb, wash it off, pat it dry then remove the leaves from the stem. From there chop your herbs up finely and get ready to spice up your favorite dishes!

Try some rosemary and thyme on chicken or potato dishes. Cilantro compliments Mexican dishes as does Epazote. Sage is magnificent with turkey or pork and in stuffing. Use rosemary sprigs instead of skews to make kabobs on the grill. You can also use sprigs of rosemary as a brush to baste sauce onto fish or chicken. Chopped Basil gives a great flavor to steaks and dill will freshen up the taste of fish, potatoes and salad.

Don’t forget to use your fresh cut herbs to make sensational seasoned oils. Clip and wash your herbs then remove them from the stem. Cut them up or use a mortar and pestle to release the flavor. Place a little olive oil in a small dish and add the herb leaves . Mix well. Fill a sterile jar with half olive oil and half of the herb leaves. Place a generous pinch of rock salt in the container then fill the rest of the bottle with the remaining leaves and oil. Leave this to sit for about two weeks shaking it up occasionally to mix all of the flavors. Rosemary and thyme make a nice oil, but don’t be afraid to experiment.

Herbs can bee added to softened butter to give a unique flavor. Dill and Rosemary are great for herbed butter. Thyme or Rosemary can also be added to bread recipes.

On your next sandwich try reaching for a basil leaf instead of lettuce for a change of taste. Basil leaves are delicious when added to salads, or with a piece of cheese and tomatoes on a piece of French bread . Herbs are not only tasty, but beautiful. As a garnish they dress up any dish!

There are many books and websites available to help you get started growing and using herbs. Once you start, ordinary table salt will take a back seat to natures delectable Herbs!

The Choice between Fresh and Dried Herbs

In my opinion, fresh herbs are always the better choice when it comes to taste and quality. However, due to the fact that they are in deed fresh they are also perishable items meaning that the shelf life is short and may be even shorter if they are not stored properly, making them sometimes not very convenient or readily available. Unless you have an herb garden in your back yard!

Dried herbs, on the other hand, have a much longer shelf life. They are much more convenient and do not involve much labor as far as chiffonade or chopping is concerned. I am currently earning my A.S degree in Culinary Arts and here are a few tricks that I learned when dealing with dried ingredients. In order to get the most flavor from dried ingredients they must be re-hydrated. By using the term re-hydrate, I am not saying that you should drop the herbs in waterlet me explain! Re-hydration for each herb varies! For instance, I’ve learned that in order to release the most flavor from dried herbs you should rub them with your fingers, this way you begin to release the oils in the herbs that have been stowed away. Another way to begin the process of releasing the oils from dried herbs is to slightly toast or dry heat them. Like drop them in a saut pan over a low flame and shift them around for a couple seconds.

Good chefs in the industry use a combination of both fresh and dried ingredients while cooking. They make decisions about which ingredients absolutely MUST be fresh and which items can be substituted for dry. For instance, I honestly feel there is NO substitute for fresh parsley or cilantro.

How to Make Popsicles using Herbal Tea

The simple answer to how to make Popsicles using herbal tea is to make some double strength herbal tea, let it cool, pop it into your Popsicle moulds and freeze. I have special moulds with plastic sticks’ that click into the moulds and you pull them out with the Popsicle on them when they’re frozen. Some people use plastic cups and stick craft sticks in them when they have started to freeze. Probably one of the first questions to ask is what tea should I use? The answer is to choose one you currently enjoy so that you know you will enjoy them.

I like using the Celestial Seasonings Red or Lemon Zingers as they are really tasty. I normally just make the zingers on there own, but occasionally I’ll use this recipe

4 Zinger tea bags
2 cups boiling water
2 tbsp honey
1 cup lemonade

Steep the tea bags in the boiling water for about 5 minutes and stir in the honey while the tea is still hot, add lemonade and pour into moulds & freeze. I will also sometimes add a lemon or orange slice to the mould as it looks really nice.

Elderflower tea has a very delicate flavour, it can also be beneficial to ease winter coughs and soothe sore throats. As a Popsicle try making up 2 cups of double strength elderflower tea and add cup of orange juice for a lovely flavour, if you’re able to get some elderflowers they look stunning when put into the moulds with the tea.

Another great Popsicle for when the summer colds or sore throats are around is the Twinnings Raspberry & Echinacea tea. This is delicious made up to a double strength and frozen or sometimes I will make up 2 cups of double strength Raspberry & Echinacea tea and add cup of apple juice and then freeze.

When you’re having a heavy meal such as lasagna, it can be really good to have peppermint tea to help your digestion. Last summer when it was a hot night I just didn’t feel like a hot cup of tea and my dark peppermint Popsicle was born. I made up double strength peppermint tea and let it cool in the fridge, then I shaved some dark chocolate and stirred through the tea before pouring into the moulds and freezing, I also sometimes add peppermint leaves for a stunning visual effect.

If you’ve got an upset stomach or a child that’s feeling sick then a ginger and pear Popsicle is fantastic. Make up double strength ginger tea, chop up some pears, mix together and freeze.

Who hasn’t heard of the benefits of green tea? No matter how you feel green tea will help, well thanks to the good folk at Celestial Seasonings I have adapted their green tea smoothie recipe to a delicious Popsicle. You will need:-
4 green tea bags
1 cup boiling water
1 cup mango chunks
1 cup pineapple chunks
1 small banana
1 cup orange juice
cup milk
2 teaspoon lime juice
1 tablespoon honey.

Make up the green tea with the tea bags and boiling water and then allow to cool. Once it’s cooled throw all of the ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth. Pour mixture into the Popsicle moulds and freeze enjoy.

Now what are you waiting for? Start making your herbal tea Popsicles today, buy a sampler and let your imagination run away with you.

Do you have a Recipe for Salmon Souffle

Even the most competent of cooks can be seen to blanch at the thought of making a soufflé as they are renown for being a difficult dish to serve successfully.

However if you follow all the basic rules a decent soufflé is not that hard to make.

Remember to beat your egg whites as stiffly as possible and keep them light and airy by not mixing your other ingredients in too quickly – if you gently fold the egg whites into the other ingredients you will find that you have much better results.

Of course the soufflé must be served as soon as it comes out of the oven or else you will end up serving something that resembles a pancake rather than alight and airy soufflé!

This recipe is a delicious recipe for a salmon soufflé that uses smoked salmon, I purchase the cheaper packs of smoked salmon off cuts for this recipe and they work fine making this delicious and impressive dish very economical.

This recipe make a lovely light lunch for two people served with a nice crisp salad.

SALMON SOUFFLE
Serves 2

INGREDIENTS
300g smoked salmon, cut into small pieces
50g butter
50g flour
350ml milk
3 eggs
Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan
A little butter for greasing dishes
2 x 275ml soufflé dishes

METHOD
1. Preheat the oven to 375F /190C / Gas mark 5.
2. Make a very béchamel sauce by melting the 50g butter in a milk pan.
3. Stir in the flour and cook stirring well.
4. Gradually ask the milk, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to make a smooth sauce. Remove from the heat.
5. Separate the eggs, and add the yolks to the sauce, beat well.
6. Fold in the smoked salmon and season generously with the black pepper (the sauce should not need any salt as the salmon is salty enough).
7. Rub the inside of the soufflé dishes with butter and then coat with the Parmesan cheese – making sure that you cover the sides and bases (this will stop the soufflé sticking to the dish)
8. Whisk the egg whites until really firm.
9. Stir one tablespoonful of the whisked egg white into the sauce , then add the very gently and using a metal so that the air remains trapped in the egg whites.
10. Transfer the mixture gently between the prepared soufflé dishes and cook in the oven for 20 minutes, by which time the soufflé should have risen and be golden on the top, but still soft in the centre.

Serve immediately

Exotic Dishes

Chinese five spice is an exotic and aromatic blend of sweet and somewhat pungent flavors. This traditional blend of spices are mainly cinnamon, fennel, ginger, all spice, anise seeds, cloves,and licorice root. Of course, there are many different versions of this oriental mix; however, the spices mentioned are predominately utilized in order to give dishes a boost to them.

The Chinese cuisine is a very popular one in restaurants. And, one great way to enjoy this at home is to incorporate five spice in your cooking. It will provide a mouthwatering and succulent taste to any dish Because Chinese five spice is quite potent, it is imperative to use this sparingly in any dish. A little amount goes a long way. This seasoning can be found on most ethnic section of any big grocery store. Or, a quick trip to a Chinese market will do the trick.

Braised Chicken

One great way to cook with Chinese five spice is to add it to braised chicken. It is best to use the dark portions of the chicken with bone-in. The legs and thighs are just about perfect for this succulent meal. Season chicken pieces with crushed garlic, salt and pepper. Add a pinch of five spice seasoning to chicken pieces. Add a sprinkle of oil to a sturdy pot that can be used in both oven as well as on top of the stove. Remove garlic from chicken and thoroughly dry off chicken pieces with paper towel or a clean cheese cloth.

Proceed to sear or brown chicken pieces on both sides over medium heat. Make sure not to crowd the pot so as to prevent steaming. Remove chicken from pot and set aside. Add chopped onions, celery, thyme, escallion and any additional seasoning as desired. Cook ingredients until they become translucent. Then, add low sodium chicken broth with a mix of tap water. Place back the chicken pieces in pot and cover. Continue to cook on low to medium heat until done. Serve your Chinese five spice chicken over a fluffy bed of rice along with steamed broccoli.

Roasted Pork

Pork leg is fairly inexpensive compared to other meats. This piece of meat is just what the chef orders.  And, what better way to partake of this pork leg than to add Chinese five spice seasoning. Marinade this for overnight or twenty-four hours in order to allow seasoning and spices to be distributed properly throughout the meat. The food processor is a great help for this dish. If not, the blender will do the work as well. Dice or mince onions, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Add a drizzle of oil to ingredients along with Chinese five spice seasoning. Poke a few holes in pork with the tip of knife and insert prepared marinade. Make sure to rub over surface of pork.

In roasting pan add roughly chopped root veggies like onions, carrots, etc. Season veggies along and make sure to added just a pinch of five spice seasoning. Add a little liquid in pan and place pork leg on top of veggies. Roast in a heated oven until the flesh falls off from the bone. Serve Chinese five spice roasted pork with mashed sweet and Irish potatoes along with green beans.

Seafood

Another ideal way to use Chinese five spice is on seafood. Season shrimp with salt and pepper, and garlic along with a pinch of five spice seasoning. Stir-fry onions until they become softened. Add chopped tomatoes and season along. Toss in shrimp and cook over low heat for approximately two to three minutes. Add few chopped olives and capers to shrimp dish. Serve Chinese five spice shrimp over a fluffy bed of Chinese noodles or any pasta. Garnish with chopped chopped herb.

Salmon or any fish is also a delicious way to indulge in this exotic spice. And, a quick and easy way to cook this is to broil same. Serve with a warm couscous or barley salad for supper or brunch.

Chinese five spice seasoning is very versatile and is easy to incorporate in many everyday dishes. Don’t be afraid to add it to a vegetable stir-fry or a hearty vegetable soup with Chinese noodles. This oriental seasoning might be just be what you need to put a delicious spin on your dishes.