The Kitchen Diva: Brussels sprouts shed their bad reputation | Cambridge News / Deerfield Independent

Long before Brussels sprouts became a trendy vegetable, my family, especially, my daughter, Deanna, were huge fans. My mother was raised on a farm and loved to grow all types of green vegetables. She was especially skilled with properly preparing Brussels sprouts and other typically stinky and slimy vegetables — I’m talking about you, cabbage and okra!

While Brussels sprouts have only recently become popular in America, sprouts have been a culinary mainstay in the southern Netherlands and Northern Europe since the 1600s. They may have been grown in Belgium as early as 1200, and are named for Brussels, its capital.

These tiny members of the cabbage and mustard family also have cancer-fighting phytochemicals, are high in vitamin C and are a reliable source of folate, vitamin A and potassium. Since Brussels sprouts are so good for you, why do so many people despise them?

In a web poll taken several years ago, more than 78,000 adults weighed in on the foods they hate. Brussels sprouts finished No. 8 on the list of most hated foods. The comments section overflowed with horror stories about being forced to eat the vegetable as a child.

One thing I noticed about the readers’ comments was that the Brussels sprouts they were served were muddy colored, overcooked and smelled bad. When Brussels sprouts are carefully selected, stored and cooked properly, they have a bright color, a crisp texture and a delicious flavor. When selecting the vegetable, look for small, young, vibrant green, tightly compacted sprouts.

Brussels sprouts are delicious boiled or steamed until tender, but still slightly crisp or roasted to bring out their natural sugars. Use sprouts that are all about the same size to ensure they will cook quickly and evenly. As a rule, Brussels sprouts cook in about 6 to 7 minutes. Be careful not to overcook Brussels sprouts because they will release sinigrin, a natural gas with a sulfur-like smell.

This recipe for Hashed Brussels Sprouts is flavorful and delicious. The quick cooking time and the addition of the garlic, onion and mustard complement the sprouts and showcase its flavors in a unique way. Try it, and you’re sure to become a Brussels sprouts lover, too!

HASHED BRUSSELS SPROUTS

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

1 pound Brussels sprouts

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 medium purple onion, minced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable broth or low-sodium chicken broth

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon honey or sugar

1. Using a large bowl, pour in the lemon juice. Cut bottoms off the sprouts, and discard. Halve sprouts lengthwise. Thinly slice sprouts, cutting around and discarding the firm core. Immediately toss sprout slices with lemon juice to separate leaves and retain color.

2. Heat oil and butter over high heat in a skillet large enough to hold all the sprouts. When oil mixture is hot, but not smoking, add the sprouts,

Read more

Kitchen Hood and Exhaust Cleaning Tips for the Independent Restaurant Owner

As a restaurant owner, it is crucial to maintain and care for every piece of equipment that makes your business operate properly. One of the most important pieces of equipment to maintenance and keep clean in an eatery is the kitchen hood and exhaust. This is the one area that should never be neglected at any degree. Not only can a dirty kitchen hood and exhaust contaminate food, reduce the quality of cooking, and impose health department fines, it can be a potential danger.

Grease fires, explosions, and smoke damage are among a few common hazards associated with unkempt kitchen hoods and exhausts. And unfortunately, commercial kitchen fires are more common than you would think. According to the NFPA, more than 11,000 kitchen fires are reported every year.

Regular cleaning and maintenance of commercial kitchen equipment is imperative to reducing these statistics. To be sure this doesn't happen to you at your restaurant, learn how to care for your hood and exhaust equipment, and what to do when your commercial kitchen equipment is too damaged to clean.

Recommended Maintenance

Kitchen hoods and exhausts are not the only part of the system that requires regular care and attention. Along with the hood and exhaust, kitchen vents and ducts require equal maintenance. Furthermore, components like deep fryers, grease traps, stoves, ovens, and open grills should all be regularly cleaned and inspected. This will help to improve a kitchen's air flow, remain fire code compliant, ensure a safe working environment, and reduce fire risks. All this and more will keep the local fire marshals, health inspectors, and insurance companies off your back too!

Fire Codes and Standards

These areas and systems should be cleaned and inspected every three to six months by a certified company. In fact, the NFPA Fire Code mandates that all commercial kitchens have to be inspected by a qualified company. Be sure to hire a professional inspection service that retains the proper technologies, training, and knowledge to responsibly and reliably detect any dangerous issues or complications with your hood and exhaust setup.

Damaged or Defective Appliances

When routine cleaning is not enough to restore your commercial kitchen appliances, you are ready to make some replacements. Although this will be a hefty initial investment, you can take comfort in knowing that your used, broken down, or defective appliances can be sold to a local scrap metal buyer or recycling center for cash on the spot. Appliances, whether operational or not, retain nominal amounts of metal, like iron, steel, copper, and aluminum. This means they can be sold for cash to a local scrap yard regardless of their condition, and you can make back some money to put toward your new appliances.

Source Article

Read more

Top 10 Advantages of Choosing an Independent House

Once you make up your mind that it is the right time for you to buy a house, you might feel stuck at some point, not able to decide whether to go for an independent house or an apartment. So, how do you decide? Well, this piece will give you a good insight about the major advantages of living in an independent house as against an apartment.

You can decide to buy a such type of house in case you have certain criteria in your mind, such as:

i. Privacy

Unlike the case of an apartment, there is no need to feel disturbed by your neighbors. You can live as you want, as comfortable as you feel, with your family.

ii. Price

Even though the price attached to buying or building an independent house is considered high, you have a more personal attachment to it than an apartment in general.

iii. Freedom

You are your own master as far as living in an independent house is concerned. There is no community or association to dictate terms.

iv. Customization

You can remodel or redesign any part of your house in a matter you want, at any time. You can choose your own themes, decor, furnishings, accessories, and so on. You don't need to compromise on your tastes or preferences.

v. Future modification needs

With the passage of time, your family can grow and you might need to expand and renovate your house. This facility makes an independent house gain an upper hand over an apartment. You can easily arrange for separate play areas for kids, swimming pools, gym, patios, and anything else you want to include in your dream home.

vi. More scope for gardens or any other inclusion you want to have

You can stay in touch with nature by planting trees and raising a beautiful garden comprising flowering plants and exotic shrubs. You can enjoy living in a green environment.

vii. Pet rearing is easier

In an apartment, you might have to face several difficulties to rear a pet. But it's not the case in an independent house. You can keep as many pets as you like; no one would raise any objection.

viii. Expansion of higher floors is possible for additional income through rent

ix. Higher returns expected when you sell an independent house

x. An automatic choice for people that love to live in a self-sufficient, spacious and serene environment

On the whole, you need to make a final decision about buying an apartment or independent dream house based on your preferences and requirements.

Source Article

Read more