Turkey Breast Cooking Time

March 18, 2016

It is easy to make a moist succulent turkey breast by following a few helpful hints:

* Place your turkey breast in a shallow roasting pan, to allow the heat to circulate well.

* Place one inch of water in the bottom of the pan to help keep your turkey moist and tender.

* Brush the turkey breast lightly with oil, and cover liberally with your favorite herbs, spices, or seasonings.

Make a tent out of aluminum foil and place this over the turkey breast to hold in heat for even cooking. You will want to remove the aluminum foil during the last hour and a half of cooking for a nice golden brown color.

Check the water level periodically and add more water if needed. This juice and herb infused mixture can be used to make nice turkey gravy after the turkey is done cooking.

The typical turkey breast cooking times for thawed turkey breast at 325 to 350 degrees in a conventional oven are:

* 2 to 3 pounds – 1.5 to 2 hours

* 4 to 6 pounds – 2.5 to 3 hours

* 7 to 8 pounds – 3 to 4 hours

It is perfectly safe to take your turkey breast directly from the freezer and cook it in the oven, without thawing. Just make sure to remove the neck and giblets first.

This will increase the the turkey breast cooking time by approximately fifty percent.

* Place your frozen turkey breast in a shallow roasting pan

* Place one inch of water in the bottom of the pan to keep your turkey moist and tender

* Brush the turkey breast lightly with oil, and cover liberally with your favorite herbs, spices, or seasonings.

Place a tent of aluminum foil over the turkey to hold in heat for even cooking, remove the aluminum foil during the last hour and a half of cooking for a nice golden brown color.

The typical turkey breast cooking times for a frozen turkey breast at 325 to 350 degrees in a conventional oven are:

* 2 to 3 pounds – 3 to 4 hours

* 4 to 6 pounds – 5 to 6 hours

* 7 to 8 pounds- 6 to 8 hours

It is important to cook your turkey breast at 325 to 350 degrees to make sure that it doesn’t dry out, and to maintain a safe internal temperature in the meat.

The best way to check for doneness is to use a meat thermometer. The minimum safe internal temperature is 165 degrees. If you pierce the breast with a fork, the juices should run clear.

If you use a convection oven it will reduce the turkey breast cooking times above by approximately 25 percent. To be safe use a meat thermometer to test for doneness

Romania – Traditional Food and Cooking Styles

February 18, 2016

Romania is a beautiful little country in Eastern Europe in the Balkan region. While living and working there over the years, I have eaten and enjoyed many delicious meals. Meal time in Romania is a very special time. Family and friends come together and may linger long after a meal is over in deep conversation.

The food of Romania is diverse. Food choices and cooking styles are influenced by Balkan traditions as well as German, Hungarian, Turkish, Russian and those of the Near East which includes Israel, Palestine, Jordon, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq.

Some of the traditional Romanian dishes are stuffed cabbage leaves known in the Romanian language as sarmale. Other vegetables cooked and served are stuffed bell peppers (ardei umpluti); green beans (fasole verde); carrots sote (sote de morcovi); roasted peppers (ardei copti); eggplant salad (salata de vinete); and tomato salad (salata de rosii). Potatoes are popular in Romania and are served very often. They are cheap to buy and are sold everywhere in the fall, both in markets and along the streets and highways in front of private homes. There are vegetables and fruits of all kinds and many of them are raised in the country itself.

Pork and lamb are preferred over beef in Romania and pork fat is used for cooking. For Christmas a pig is traditionally butchered by every family and a variety of recipes are used to prepare the meat. One of the popular dishes made from the liver and intestines of the pork is a long sausage called carnati. Another dish is piftie which is made from the feet, head, and the ears and is suspended in aspic. I have seen most of the country and in my travels around I have seen many more sheep and pigs grazing in fields than cattle. Romanians love spicy meatballs made from a mixture of pork and beef. Ghiveci is a Romanian dish which combines meat and vegetables and is baked. Other meat dishes include skewered meat (frigarui); cow tongue with olives (limba cu masline); grilled mince meat rolls (mititei); and chicken cutlet (snitel). At Easter roast lamb is served and also a cooked mixture of intestines, meat, and fresh vegetables called drob in Romanian. Fish from the Danube River and scad from the Black Sea is very important to Romanians. Pollution has widely affected the fishing industry in Eastern Europe and eating fish is not as popular as it once was.

Soups, especially bean soup, is served hot in the winter in Romania and cold soup made with cucumber, yogurt, and walnuts and known as tarator, is made in the summer. Lovage, an unusual herb tasting like celery, is used in Romanian cooking, especially in lamb soup. Soups are usually soured with lemon juice or a dash of vinegar.

Different breads are very popular in Romanian culture and there are many interesting varieties. Cooked cornmeal (mamaliga) is traditional in all of Eastern Europe and is considered the poor man’s dish and is a Romanian specialty. It is used with meat or cheese and is called polenta in Italy. It is cooked so long to be thickened and when done can be sliced like bread.

Cheeses of all kinds are very popular with the Romanian people. The generic name for cheese in Romania is branza. Most of the cheese is made from cow or sheep milk.

Desserts are usually crepes filled with fruits or cherry streudel. Other desserts in Romania include baclava, which is sweet layered pastry; sponge cake known as pandispan; rice pudding or orez cu lapte; and gingerbread or turta dulce.

More and more wine is produced now in Romania. In the past religious influences and fifty years of political isolation from market influences kept it from being so. Romanian brandy made with plums grown there is considered to be a national spirit drink and is called tulca. The meal ends with coffee, the strong thick Turkish style coffee served with dulceata which are soft candies made with apples, plums, or raisins or figs that have been stewed, thickened and rolled into balls, coated with nuts and dipped in rum or other alcohol.

Japanese Cooking Oil – What is It?

February 18, 2016

There are a number of different oils which people around the globe use for their meals. There are those which are made from olives, palm, coconut, sesame, vegetable, canola, peanut, truffle and almond among other things. Oils are used to fry food, sauté and to simply provide better lubrication and heat conduction in food as well as to add more distinctive flavors to each dish.

Among the oils available in the cooking market, the Japanese Cooking Oil has been among the most controversial and most yearned for. This kind of oil is rather mysterious as the Japanese use this all the time and is able to benefit from it. They are able to use the oils as often as they wish and still be free from the dangers of bad cholesterol or saturated fat. As the Japanese Cooking Oil is used in most of the Japanese dishes in its preparation or to add more flavor to a dish or perhaps both, they are able to benefit most from it.

The biggest source and the actual secret is not how it is extracted, nor its purest form. What is important is where it comes from – the actual source which is fish. Fish oil is known to be rich in Omega 3 which battles heart diseases and cancer among others and enables one to have great health. As the Japanese is known to consume large amounts of fish in their daily diets, they are able to reap all the benefits the fish oil can give a person.

There are a number of other great values one can find in this source of great health; one can be free from harmful radicals and cholesterol regular oil can bring. These are among the purest sources of unsaturated fat and good cholesterol. With constant use and exposure, one is guaranteed to be able to reap the best rewards healthy eating can give.

Induction Cooking – What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages?

January 18, 2016

While induction cooking has been popular in Europe and Australia for a number of years, this technology is just beginning to become popular in the United States. What is induction cooking? It is often referred to as heatless cooking because it does not require an open gas flame or red-hot electric coils. Instead, heat is generated by electromagnetic currents in the burners that respond to metal cooking pots and pans. When you cook on an induction cooktop, only the pan and food contained within it become hot. As soon as the pot or pan is removed from the burner, the cooktop surface becomes almost cool to the touch.

Advantages of Induction Cooking

Efficiency. The biggest difference between induction cooking and other methods is where the heat is actually generated. Gas and electric stovetops produce heat on a burner. This heat is then transferred to a cooking pan and then its contents. In contrast, induction stove tops generate heat in the vessel. There is no transfer from the burner to the pan. Thus there is virtually no wasted heat. According to studies, induction cooking is about 90% efficient, compared to electric and gas cooking that have 47% and 40% energy efficiency rating respectively.

Safety. Safety is a major selling point. With induction cooking, the burners stay cool (room temperature), eliminating the worry of burning your hands, using hot pads, or dangerous fumes being admitted into the air.

Time-saving. Induction cooktops achieve extremely high temperatures in a short period of time. During the cooking process, any adjustments to the heat are precise and almost instantaneous. Gas heat is fairly precise as well, but it takes longer for the burners to heat the pan to the initial temperature.

Comfort. Induction burners won’t heat up your kitchen. This appeals to chefs, caterers, and even home cooks.

Convenience. Food spills and boil-overs aren’t burned on to the stove and are easily wiped off. Most stove-tops are either easy-to-clean glass or ceramic. In addition, you can leave the pot on the burner after cooking without having to worry about excess heat burning your food.