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Alphabet Soup "N"
"N" Is For NAME
What's in a Name?
Pink peppercorns are not peppercorns. Common black pepper comes from black peppercorns, which along with green and white peppercorns, are all the same berry, (at various stages of ripeness), from a pepper plant. The pepper plant is a vine native to India and Indonesia. Pink peppercorns are the berries from a rose plant in Madagascar. Likewise, black pepper and chile peppers are entirely different plants as well.
Pork butt (also known as Boston butt) is not a cut of meat from the pig's posterior, but rather the shoulder.
Sweetbreads are not bread. They are the thymus glands, often of veal, but from pork, lamb or beef as well. The two thymus glands are located in the neck and near the heart and play a role in the organism's immune system.
Chinese parsley is not parsley. It's another name for cilantro.
Cream of tartar is not a cream of any kind. It is the crystallized acidic deposit found inside wine barrels. It is used mostly in baking and when added to whipped egg whites will increase their volume.
Peanuts are not nuts. They are legumes, i.e., plants with pods containing edible seeds. Soybeans, green beans, peas, and lentils are also legumes.
Pot roast is not roasted. It is braised, a wet heat cooking method whereby an item is cooked in a small amount of liquid at lower temperatures for an extended period of time. Roasting is a dry heat cooking method performed in an oven or over a fire.
Wild rice is not rice. It is a kind of grass.
Cuttlefish are not fish but a type of cephalopod related to squid and octopi. Cephalopods are a sub classification of mollusks.
Buttermilk does not contain butter. Way back when, buttermilk was the liquid left over after the butter was churned. Nowadays it is made by adding special bacteria to low fat milk.
Head cheese is not cheese. It is a sausage made from meat from the head of a calf or a pig.
Mountain oysters are not oysters. They are the testicles from a calf, sheep or boar. (How gross is that?)
Elephant garlic is not garlic. It is a relative of the leek and notably less pungent than actual garlic.
Allspice is not a collection of spices. It is the berry of an evergreen pimiento tree native to the West Indies and South America. Its name is derived from the fact that it tastes like a mixture of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
Lemon grass, although somewhat lemony in taste, is not a lemon. It is an herb.
Idaho potatoes are not necessarily from Idaho. The proper name is a russet potato. They have become eponymously named for the state of Idaho since it is a major producer. Some believe russets from Idaho are superior to other geographic locations.
White Zinfandel is not white wine. It's red. It's not as red in color because the skins of the grapes are removed from the juice shortly after the grapes are pressed. The skins are what gives wine it's color.
Boston cream pie is not a pie but a two-layer sponge cake with a custard filling.
Hamburgers are not made from ham, but from ground beef. (You knew that one, right?)
Chile powder is not chili powder, (notice the spelling). Chile powder is nothing but dried chile peppers. Chili powder is a mixture of chile powder and other spices, usually garlic, oregano, coriander, cumin and cloves.
Pan-broiling is not broiling at all, if done on top of the stove as it usually is. It involves cooking an item in a pan with little or no fat. True broiling is where items are cooked by a radiant heat source above the food.
Oxtails do not come from oxen, (although they did in years gone by). Today they are the tail meat of calves or beef.
2% milk has not had 98% of the fat removed, nor has 1% milk had 99% of its fat removed. Milk is 4% fat. Thus, 2% milk has had 50% of its fat removed.
Jerusalem artichokes are not artichokes but a variety of sunflower.
Asian black bean sauce is not made from black beans, (as in the black beans used for black bean soup and other Latin dishes). They are made from fermented soybeans. (OK, the soybeans they use are black, but "black beans" usually connotes the Latin variety).
White chocolate is not chocolate but the natural vegetable fat found in the cocoa bean. Sugar, milk solids, and vanilla are added to flavor and sweeten it.
Sweet potatoes are not potatoes but a root belonging to the morning-glory family. (They're not yams either. That's another species).
Herbal tea is not tea. It is made from a conglomeration of herbs and spices, not tea leaves.
Chicken-fried steak has no chicken in it. It is a thin steak that is breaded, fried, and served with gravy.
And just for the record, even though its name is not a quandary, tomatoes are not vegetables. They are fruits. So are chile peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, and even corn. Botanically speaking, a fruit is the organ that emanates from the ovary of the plant and contains the seeds. But for culinary purposes, if it's sweet, it's a fruit, and if not, it's a vegetable.
About the Author: Mark R. Vogel received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Yeshiva
University and his culinary arts degree from the Institute of Culinary
Education, both in New York City. Although he still practices psychology,
his deepest passion remains cooking at an Italian/Mediterranean restaurant
in NJ and writing about food and wine. His column "Food For Thought" is
published in a number of NY, NJ and PA newspapers and food related
KING CAKE & JAMBALAYA
These tantalizing recipes from Emeril shjouldn't be copnfined to Mardi Gras! Enjoy the taste of New Orleans any time of the year! Read more...
NEW ORLEANS CLASSICS
New Orleans is known for transforming legendary dishes into newfound classics. Bouillabaisse, the famous fish stew from the Provence region of France, was a forerunner to gumbo, a Creole favorite.
New Orleans by the Bowl: Gumbos, Jambalayas, Soups, and Stews
by John DeMers with Andrew Jaeger
There is a story about a Cajun funeral for a man who was horrible to everybody. But since he was dead, someone had to stand up and say something nice. "Well," said one who knew him, "who's gonna make the gumbo now?"
With New Orleans by the Bowl, home cooks can now ladle up some of that famous gumbo, as well as the Crescent City's many other beloved foods, including:
Did you know that March is National Frozen Food month?
For someone who's been called the "Freezer Queen" on
more than one occasion, that's my kind of celebration!
I first started cooking ahead for the freezer because of
the time saving benefits -- it helped bring our family together
again around the table. But I was quickly surprised by
another benefit that I didnít foresee. Our grocery bill went
down by almost $400 per month! I couldnít believe it!
Some of the money we saved was due to the fact that we'd
been eating out quite frequently, quickly running down to
the corner for 59 cent tacos because I didnít have time to
cook dinner. Now we always have time for dinner at home --
we eat out when we want to, not because we feel we have to.
Going out to eat has become a special treat rather than an
expensive and unhealthy way of life.
By cooking ahead, I was able to begin buying commonly
used items in bulk. I was also planning my menus ahead
of time. Just the planning ahead and bulk buying saves a
lot of money. But $400 per month? Wow. And that was
the average I was shaving off our grocery bill each month.
Sometimes we saved even more than that....
Paper thin sheets of seaweed used in making sushi, and as a flavouring and garnish in Japanese cooking.
The smell of wine which includes both the aroma and the bouquet.
A narrow strip of dried egg dough, usually boiled and served.
An instrument for cracking nuts.
A peach having a smooth skin.
A small drink of liquor.
To eat between meals.
A paste like confection containing nuts and sometimes fruit.
"N" Is For Nanaimo Bars
These delicious cookies are a staple of local cafes in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. These bars freeze well, so it's nice to make extras to keep in the freezer for anytime you want a quick treat. Before cutting the bars, if you dip your knife into hot water to heat it, it will help make the process neater and cut easily through the chocolate.
Pick a number from one to ten. Write it on a piece of paper. Ask the children to draw sets of things in that number. If the child get number four, have them draw four apples, four trees, four dogs, and so on. Have them color their pictures with crayons and markers.
While there are many reasons for teaching kids to cook -- less expensive than eating out, preserves family heritage, etc, the most important
reason is that by teaching your child to cook, you're giving him a better chance to be a healthy grown-up. Enabling your child with the ability
to appreciate freshness and to transform ingredients into tasty foods opens their eyes to making wiser choices about what to eat...