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Monthly Archives: July 2017

Dry Fruits

The name that comes first to our mind when it comes to popular dry fruits used for making sweets is that of dates. Dates are perfect fruits for the real sweet-tooths. Candies made using condensed milk, dates, clarified butter, and sugar, are extremely popular in South Asian countries. The past few decades have seen sweets of these types becoming popular even in western countries. This has happened as Asian population in western countries has kept on increasing during these years.

Another popular item of this kind used for making sweet dishes is plum. Dried plums are not very sweets, but have great flavor. They combine well with items like molasses and condensed milk. Combining these ingredients of course results in creation of some amazingly tasty desserts. Other common ingredients used for making desserts with plums include sugar, dried mango, resins etc.

The next kind we will be discussing about is nuts. A wide range of nuts and nutty flavors are used for preparing deserts. They are used both for preparing western deserts and eastern desserts. The most common varieties of nuts used for this purpose include cashews, walnuts, pistachios and peanuts.

In South Asian nations, a common dessert type made using nuts is called barfis. Other than using basic ingredients like clarified butter, milk, condensed milk and sugar, confectioners also often use flavoring agents of different types for making barfis. The most common flavoring agents they use for this purpose are rose-water, and saffron. Some confectioners also keep on experimenting with western flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, etc.

Info of Basic Wine Types

White wines are generally made from white grapes and they contain no red pigmentation. Most popular white wines are Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio / Pinot Gris, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. Obviously red wines are made from red grapes and typically have more tannin and a higher content of alcohol. The primary difference between wine colours comes from tannins, which are more concentrated in the red grapes and transferred into the juice. Popular red wines include Beaujolais, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.

Rose wines are mid-point between black and white even they are made from red grapes. Rose wines don’t fully turn into red colour because the grape skin has been removed so the red pigments are no more present to give a wine red pigmentation; instead they have enough of a reddish tinge to make them differentiate from the white wines. The best rose and most traditional Rose wine is Zinfandel.

Sparkling wines can be made from any variety of grapes. Their basic characteristic is the intense effervescences that come from the carbon dioxide bubble during the fermentation. Champagne is a type of sparkling wine named by a region in northeast France. By law, wines may only be called Champagne when they are made exclusively from grapes grown in the Champagne region and produced according to strict guidelines. Popular sparkling wines include Cava, Champagne, Crémant d’Alsace, Moscato d’Asti and Prosecco.

Sweet or Desert Wines are prepared with high sugar content, because the grapes are harvested very late when sugar levels are high or grapes are “drying” on straw so the concentration of sugar is very high. These are considered to be the sweetest.

Fortified wines are those who are produced with small concentration of wine juice. Instead they have Brandy or other spirits added during fermentation. The Brandy prematurely stops the fermentation process, leaving a high amount of sugar in the wine. Fortified wines are generally sweet such as dry late harvest Rieslings, Madeira, Port, Sherry and Sauternes. Those were originally designed to ensure the wine survived long voyages on 17th century ships.

Some Barbecue Desserts Recipes

Grilled Choco Pineapple Rings

What you need:

  • 6 fresh pineapple rings
  • 1/2 cup Nutella spread (or any chocolate-hazelnut spread)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup walnuts

In a small saucepan, heat chocolate-hazelnut spread and milk over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the spread has melted and ingredients are well-combined. Remove from heat and set aside. Grill pineapple rings over medium heat for 3-5 minutes per side or until lightly brown and grill marks appear. When ready, place pineapples in a serving dish, drizzle with Nutella mixture then top with walnuts.

Peanut Butter S’mores Twist

What you need:

  • 2 large marshmallows
  • 1 peanut butter cup (such as Reese’s)
  • 2 squares graham crackers

Using a skewer, grill the marshmallows for 2-4 minutes until slightly browned. When ready, place the marshmallows on top of one of the graham squares, followed by the peanut butter cup then the other graham square. Serve immediately.

Fruity Barbecue Treat

What you need:

  • 1 cup sliced apple
  • 1 cup sliced pineapple
  • 1/2 cup sliced banana
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Place fruit slices on skewers then grill over medium heat for 5-7 minutes until heated through or tender. When ready, remove the fruit slices from the skewers then transfer into a medium bowl. Mix in chocolate chips then serve immediately.

Grilled Chicken Breasts

Grilled Fruit and Herb Chicken

What you need:

  • 4 boneless and skinless chicken breast halves
  • 4 slices fresh lemon
  • 3/4 cup apricot jam
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt with parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 sheets 12×18 heavy duty aluminum foil

Mix apricot jam, olive oil, rosemary, garlic salt, kosher salt and black pepper in a small bowl and stir until thoroughly combined. Place 2 chicken halves on each sheet of aluminum foil. Pour half of the mixture on top of chicken in one foil and the other half on the other foil. Top each chicken breast with a lemon slice. Fold over the sides of the foil to create a packet. Cook the packets on a pre-heated covered grill over medium-high heat for 12-15 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Carefully open the packets to allow steam to escape before serving.

Rich and Creamy Grilled Chicken

What you need:

  • 2 boneless and skinless chicken breast halves
  • 3/4 cup creamy salad dressing
  • 1/2 cup Italian-style salad dressing
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a large bowl, mix together creamy salad dressing, Italian-style dressing and cayenne pepper. Mix well to combine ingredients well. Add chicken to the bowl and toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. When ready, discard excess marinade and cook chicken in a pre-heated grill over medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes per side or until cooked through. Allow to cool before serving.