Recipe: cajun smoked nuts

Recipe: cajun smoked nuts

Cajun Smoked Nuts
Yield – 1 pound per type of nut

1 pound fresh shelled pecan halves
1 pound slivered almonds
1 pound mixed nuts

Preheat smoker to 125 degrees F. Evenly spread the nuts on 3 small sheet pans. (Keep the different types of nuts separate.) After 20 minutes of smoking use a spatula to turn nuts over. Move sheet pans to insure even smoking. Check nuts after 10 minutes for even smoking. Nuts should have a mild smoky flavor, crisp but not dried out, and a light tanned color. Modify smoking times for personal tastes.

Alternate Method
1 teaspoon granulated garlic and/or
1 teaspoon onion powder and/or
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Place nuts in a brown paper bag and add Chef’s choices of seasonings. Shake well to insure even coating. Then smoke nuts as described above.

The smoking of nuts along with other meats and seafood is recommended to save wood and time. Care should be taken to insure that meat drippings do not mix with nuts. Also smoking times will vary with temperature and smoker load.

Plate Presentation
For best results, store nuts in an air tight container.

Wood Selection
Pecan or (Chef’s Choice)

Chef’s Notes
These smoked/roasted nuts are good to eat by themselves, but they are better used as a garnish or topping for many smoked dishes.

A Unique Adventure Vacation in Ghana

A Unique Adventure Vacation in Ghana

People who are fascinated with places that have rich culture should go on an adventure vacation in Ghana, specifically the city of Cape Coast. The place, which can be found in the central region of Ghana, is a place that has a dark history of colonialism and slave trading.

But, its beautiful coastline that can be seen in the present does not have traces of the place’s dark history: the picture of millions of slaves that are shackled and leaving Cape Coast Castle to go to the New World. Now, the amazing coastline does not have a picture of the slaves but of fishermen who are catching various kinds of fish and other seafood for a living.

What is truly exciting about the Cape Coast city is that is gives you a wonderful feeling being out there in the vastness of the ocean. Imagine, isn’t it quite an adventure to walk though a large stretch of a dotted coastline where you can see historic architecture that bear European style, numerous ports that have specific good to offer, several trading stations where you can find rare and valuable items, and castles—some of them are ruined by time—that surround the 300-mile stretch of Ghana’s coast.

Those who are into heritage and rich culture of a certain place will definitely enjoy an adventure vacation in Cape Coast City especially of you get to see the UNESCO heritage site, the Cape Coast Castle and the 15th-century Elmina Castle as well as the Fort St. Jago, right beside the Elmina.

If you go beyond the coast, you will find out that the land is as charming as its coastline. Traveling by land, you can visit the Kakum National Park that boast of a rainforest that can easily be accessed. It has canopy walkways that allow people to have a panoramic view of the fauna as well as the animals including exotic kinds of birds, monkeys, and crocodiles.

If you are up for activities that would pump up adrenalin rush, you can book for a safari. You can also go trekking in the mountains, fishing for some good qualities of fish and other seafood, canoeing or sailing. For an ultimate adventure, try on being a Ghanian for a day by imbibing their lifestyle.

Everything sounds great but you will have to prepare some things before going off to an adventure vacation in Cape Coast city in Ghana including:

- the place to stay which can either be the Bridge House that is located across the Elmina Castle and the Biriwa Beach Hotel which can be found in a small fishing village called Biriwa. The accommodations usually range from inexpensive to moderately expensive. Breakfast is the only meal that is being served with the accommodation.

- how to get there because this will give you an idea of the place where you wish to experience your ultimate adventure vacation. There are actually two ways of getting to Cape Coast city—via air travel or land travel. If you are traveling by air, you can take Delta Airlines from JFK Airport in New York to Accra or you can travel by land by taking a taxi or cab from the capital of Accra which is 80 miles away from Cape Coast city.

- time of going there which will ensure the success of adventure vacation in Cape Coast city, Ghana. The overall weather condition in Ghana is hot and humid the whole year. It is best to go there from October to March because these are the drier months. The peak season is from August to December where majority of the activities are held. Don’t go in the months of April to July because this is the rainy season.

Newport Beach Food And Wine Festival

Newport Beach Food And Wine Festival

If you enjoy exotic yet superb food and great wine,
the Newport Beach Food and Wine Festival is where
you need to be. Lasting a weekend long, the festival
is held annually at the Balboa Bay Club. Normally
held the first week of May, this is the perfect time
to visit Newport Beach.

Although you won’t need martinis at the festival, you
can bet on some of the best wineries in California
being on hand to pour their distinctive wines. You
should also come hungry as well, as the food is to
die for.

On a typical night, you can find mounds of shrimp, a
variety of oysters, fish, pasta, and many other types
of seafood and exotic treats. Along with the wine,
this festival is a great attraction to Newport Beach.

A highlight for the festival is the cognac and cigar
seminar, provided by Martel Cognac and Hamilton Cigars.
During the seminar you can sip superb cognac while
learning all about them. Also, you can learn all
about fine cigars as well.

During May, the Newport Beach Food and Wine Festival
is reason enough to visit the area. There are plenty
of other things to do and see as well. If you love
food, wine, and the water – Newport Beach is the place
to be in May.

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Regional Cuisines Of China

Regional Cuisines Of China

It’s easily one of the world’s favorite foods. No matter where you are, someone you know is bound to suggest, “Hey, let’s do Chinese.” For decades, Chinese food meant one thing – Cantonese cuisine. It was the style of Chinese cooking with which most of the world was familiar – the appetizers and roasted meats and delicate sauces that blend vegetables and spices in a perfect marriage of flavors. But Chinese food is far more than just the Cantonese cuisine. There are four major styles of cooking across China, and several more subdivisions to divide them even further.

Cantonese is the most well-known and popular of the Chinese regional cuisine styles. Cantonese chefs specialize in delicate sauces and roasted meats, in steamed and stir-fried dishes with vegetables that are as carefully chosen for appearance and appeal to the eye as to the palate. Steamed rice is a staple of Cantonese cuisine, and is the base of most meals. Every vegetable is sliced to best show off its color and shape, even in a stir-fry or sauce. One of the more enduring and widely enjoyed traditions of Cantonese cooking is ‘dim sum’ – ‘little hearts’. In many cities, both in China and in other countries around the world, you’ll find little dim sum shops tucked beneath stairways and in storefront shops. They serve tea and the delicious savory and sweet little dim sum pastries to businessmen and afternoon shoppers.

Szechwan cuisine has grown in popularity over the last few decades. Most famous for searingly spicy foods like Kung Pao Chicken and Double Cooked Spicy Pork, Szechwan cuisine is a distinct style of cooking that is native to the landlocked mountainous center of China. The pungent flavors of ginger, fermented soybean, onions and garlic characterize much Szechwan cuisine, but there are also more subtle dishes that rely on the interweaving of texture and flavor. The typical cooking methods include frying, frying without oil, pickling and braising.

Hunan cuisine is the most well known of the several regional Chinese cuisine styles from Zheijiang region of China. It is characterized by thick, rich sauces and complex pungent flavors. Typical ingredients include scallions, chili and pepper. A popular favorite dish in the Hunan style is Pepper Chicken, with small chunks of succulent chicken quick-fried with black pepper and onions.

Shangdong cuisine is characterized by its emphasis on fresh ingredients in combinations that emphasize the flavor, aroma, color and texture of each ingredient. The Shangdong regional cuisine is known for delicate flavor combinations that are surprisingly pungent. Garlic and scallions are frequent ingredients, as are seafood, fresh vegetables and shoots. The soups are either thin and clear with a light flavor, or thick and pungent, rich with cream and spices. One of the most famous dishes from the Shangdong area, Bird’s Nest Soup, is typically served at major affairs of state.

While these are four of the main styles of Chinese regional cuisine, there are a number of others worthy of note. Fujian and Jiangsu Cuisine both focus on seafood and shellfish, accompanied by fresh vegetables. Fujian cuisine blends sweet, sour, savory and salt flavors in magical combinations. Jiangsu cuisine is light, fresh and sweet, and is characterized by its elegant presentation. More than any other style of Chinese regional cuisine, it emphasizes appearance as an important part of the appeal of a meal.

China is a complex country, with many smaller nationalities and regions within its borders. Most have typical styles of cooking that are starkly different than those of other regions around them. It is, however, a nation whose love affair with food has produced some of the most complex, rich, delicate and delicious dishes ever created.

Weight Loss Food: The Natural Fat Burners

Weight Loss Food: The Natural Fat Burners

Many people from all over the world struggle with weight loss. Some succeed, most remain struggling. The main reason for the latter is their perspective on weight loss. For most of them, losing weight is about totally avoiding food (and then call it a ‘diet’!). Food is not the enemy of weight loss. In fact, there are a number of foods that are proven to increase your body’s fat burning process.

Coconut oil
Coconut offers various benefits in our body. Weston A. Price Foundation researchers have revealed that oil coming from coconut can actually reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It also protects the body from fungal infections, and more importantly for those who want to lose weight, it increases the rate of the body’s fat burning. The coconut’s medium-chain fatty acids actually boost the fat-burning process, making its products like coconut oil beneficial. No wonder the oil is a common ingredient in many Thai foods.

Kelp grows beneath the water surface and thus accumulates many minerals in the earth’s oceans. Brown when raw, then turns green when cooked, kelp is an excellent iodine source. Iodine is a halogen element that supports the function of the thyroid. Aside from this, the wellness blog of Time Magazine noted iodine’s fiber content called the alginate to also increase weight loss.

Oily fish
Oily fish have long been regarded for its many health benefits. The founder of Naked Nutrition System, Mike Russell, expounded on this saying that the fatty acid called omega-3 from oily fish are proven to help reduce inflammation while increasing one’s brain power and reducing the body’s fat. Additionally, these fatty acids inhibit the action of the lipogenic enzymes, which cause the fatty acids to become fat cells for storage.

Aside from oily fish, another seafood recommended by nutritionists to help in the fat-burning process is shrimp. Just about 4 oz of the seafood can already give you almost one-third of your daily protein needs. Protein is responsible for building strong and healthy muscles, which then boost your metabolism and burn fat.

Jalapeno peppers are known for containing a chemical known capsaicin. Aside from giving the peppers its distinct flavor, it also increases the heart rate which results to an increase in your metabolism as well. Adding jalapenos to your snacks and home-cooked meals is beneficial for your weight loss. Aside from jalapenos, you can also add chili peppers to your ‘spicy’ list as they also contain the same chemical to help burn fat.

Green Tea
Because it contains EGCG, a naturally occurring chemical, green tea is also known to increase the body’s metabolism. Aside from this, the chemical is proven to stimulate the brain and the nervous system which then help burn fat calories. Without exercising yet, drinking coffee with about 90 mg of EGCG can already help burn up to 80 extra calories in your body every day.

Full of fiber and protein, almonds will help keep you feeling full for a relatively long time. Making a handful (about 24 almonds) as your snack will already ward you off with that hungry cravings and at the same time boost your metabolism.

Abundant with caffeine, coffee, too is regarded to bump up your metabolic rate. A research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1980 found that drinking coffee during meal can increase metabolism more than having your meal sans than drink. To make sure though that the coffee you are drinking can indeed burn more calories, choose espresso or black coffee over those sugary varieties like mocha lattes and cappuccinos.

Recipe: enchiladas verdes de mariscos

Recipe: enchiladas verdes de mariscos

Enchiladas Verdes de Mariscos

2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
3 green onions, minced
2 Anaheim chile peppers, finely chopped
12 ounces tomatillos, pureed
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 cups cooked shrimp
8 corn tortillas
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Monterey jack cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat oil in a large skillet over moderate heat. Add garlic, green onions, and chiles and cook until vegetables are soft but not browned. Stir in the tomatillo puree and cook mixture 10 minutes over low heat, adding a little water if the sauce starts to dry out. Add salt to taste.

Combine cilantro and shellfish in a bowl; stir in a small amount of the sauce. Moisten bottom of a shallow 9 x 13-inch baking dish with about 1/4 cup of the sauce.

Dip a tortilla into the simmering sauce until soft and pliable, about 30 seconds; transfer to prepared baking dish. Place 1/4 cup of the seafood across the center of tortilla and roll it into a cylinder. Repeat with remaining tortillas, fitting them snugly side by side. Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas, top each one with a spoonful of sour cream, and sprinkle cheese over the top. Bake 10 minutes and serve with the sauce from the baking pan.

Recipe: il girasole terrine st. jacque

Recipe: il girasole terrine st. jacque

Il Girasole Terrine St. Jacque

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
4 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons chicken base
1/2 cup vegetable oil
12 large sea scallops, halved
8 large raw shrimp (about 15 count),
peeled, deveined, cut in half lengthwise
4 cups sliced white button mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese

Melt butter in 8-inch saucepan. Add flour and mix until smooth. Set aside.

In a 12-inch saucepan, combine milk and chicken base; bring to boil. Pour hot milk mixture into reserved flour/butter mixture and whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat until mixture just starts to bubble, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, strain and discard any lumps. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add scallops and shrimp; cook until almost cooked through. Add mushrooms and green onions and cook until mushrooms are just limp and seafood is cooked through. Drain off excess liquid.

Add reserved sauce and Parmesan cheese and cook, stirring frequently, 1 minute or until mixture is heated through. Divide mixture among 4 individual 2-cup casseroles or one 8- to 10-cup casserole. Top with Swiss cheese and broil until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Mauritius tours and vacations

Mauritius tours and vacations

Welcome to destination travels, we offer discount holiday packages for Mauritius tour, vacations and holidays.

Mauritius is situated close to Africa but it has greater impact of French and Indian influence.

Said to be an island paradise, it is also known as pearl of the Indian Ocean. This island covered on all sides with beautiful sea and white sand making it a paradise in true sense. Its tropical sea, its string of beaches of white sand, sugar cane fields and exotic sceneries, give you a true sensation of paradise.

The best time to visit Mauritius is between May to November, which is also winter time in Mauritius. With less rain and humidity, this is one of the nicest times to visit.

Mauritius offers an extensive range of diverse and amazing cuisine. Due to people originating from a wide variety of places, the local cuisine of Mauritius is a blend of different cultures and traditions. Seafood is a favorite food out here.

So enjoy our special offers.

Out tour inclusions are

04/06 nights accommodation as per choice

Breakfast & Dinner

Airport/hotel/airport transfers.

Full day City tour excluding lunch

Full day South Tour excluding lunch with entrance fees at Chamarel.

Full day Ile Aux Cerfs

Handling and assistance during entire stay

All transfers on SIC basis

Recipe: Pad See You

Recipe: Pad See You

Pad See You (Thai Soy Sauce Noodles)

This is a delicious stir-fried Thai noodle dish. It is basically noodles stir-fried with soy sauce – sounds kind of plain, but it is truly delicious.

8 ounces meat of your choice (beef, chicken, pork, or seafood)
8 ounces noodles of your choice (normally fresh rice noodles are used)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar (or substitute regular sugar)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cup broccoli cut

Additional Ingredients for marinade of meat
1 egg
2 to 3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon rice wine
1 tablespoon palm sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon black pepper

Slice the meat into bite-size pieces then marinade it in recipe described above for 1 hour.

Prepare your noodles. If they are fresh, you do not need to do anything, but if you are using dry noodles, you will need to soak them in water for 15 or so minutes until they are soft.

You will need a medium to large sized skillet. Grease the skillet with the oil of your choice, and then cook the meat until it is almost done. Then add in the rest of the ingredients, and stir-fry for about 2 minutes.

Recipe: Almost Shrimp Paesano

Recipe: Almost Shrimp Paesano

Almost Shrimp Paesano
1 egg
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound extra-large shrimp, peeled
and deveined, tails left on
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil

In a shallow bowl, combine eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Dip shrimp in mixture, then dip in flour lightly.

Heat oil in a sauté pan until hot, then add shrimp 4 to 6 at a time, making sure shrimp have plenty of room to cook. (It’s important that shrimp are not near each other or touch.) Brown them on one side, then turn and brown them on the other. Cook until done, or put on a baking sheet in a preheated 350 degrees F oven to finish cooking. Meanwhile, prepare sauce.

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) cold butter,
cut into 1-inch pieces
Juice of 1 medium lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

In a heavy saucepan, combine butter, lemon juice and garlic. Put over medium-low heat and whisk mixture constantly until the butter is just melted and thickened. Stir in parsley, then remove from heat.

Pool sauce on plate, then top with cooked shrimp. (Leftover sauce is also good with grilled or broiled seafood.)

Serves 3 to 4.