Tag: cooking for fun

Potato and Chorizo Croquettes cooked by Mike Smith

Potato and Chorizo Croquettes

Potato Croquette

Potato and Chorizo Croquettes

Looking through old magazines can be fun. I like to pick out  recipes from  lifestyle magazines and see how close I can get to reproducing the dish. On this occasion I selected one with the main ingredients being potatoes and chorizo sausage – I thought it sounded tasty. And it was. I recommend this dish as a light lunch with loads of flavour.

In the recipe the chorizo sausage skins were to be removed. Unfortunately the type I bought, the skins were very fine and stuck like glue so I ignored that part and simply went ahead and chopped the four chorizos into small pieces, lightly fried them for a few minutes and poured a couple of tablespoons of Red Wine Vinegar over them, allowing the heat to evaporate the vinegar after removing the pan from the element.

At the same time my 500 grams of potatoes that I’d pre chopped were nicely simmered and, once soft, I mashed them and left to cool. I sped this up by placing the saucepan in the sink topped up with cold water.

During this time I’ve finely chopped up  two tablespoons of parsley, grated a half cup of tasty cheese and combined it all with half a teaspoon of smoked paprika. I then added the chorizo, cheese, smoked paprika and parsley to the potatoes, mixed it all together with salt and pepper to taste.

On a lightly flowered tray I shaped the mix into fingers and placed them in the freezer for a few minuted to firm up.

In the meantime I’ve beaten two eggs, found two containers, one for half a cup of flour and one for two cups of breadcrumbs (or if you have them, panko breadcrumbs are the best – they look more appealing and are lovely and crunchy).

By this time the potato fingers should be firm and easy to handle. Dip each one first in the flour, then the egg and finally coat with the breadcrumbs – makes about twelve good sized fingers.

Place in a frying pan with about half a centimeter of oil (choose one of the healthier oils that can take the heat such as grape seed oil or rice oil), cook for a minute or two and turn over to finish off cooking evenly.

Enjoy these tasty Chorizo Croquettes with a healthy selection of your favorite salad.

We have used:

500g potatoes
4 Chorizo sausages
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
1/2 cup tasty cheese
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
salt and pepper
And for the coating –
2 beaten eggs
1/2 cup flour
2 cups breadcrumbs
4 tbsp oil

In place of the Chorizo you can use tinned fish, chopped ham, finely chopped cooked bacon or finely chopped vegetables.
In place of the Red Wine Vinegar you can use sherry or beer or leave out completely.

In place of Parsley you can use finely chopped fresh rosemary or mint.

Breadcrumbs – make your own by using a day old bread placed in a food processor until well crumbed then place on a tray in a preheated oven at 170c,  turning each minute until golden brown then remove from oven, let cool and store in a sealed container.

Your comments are welcomed.

 

 

 

 

Creating life style – Cooking for Fun

Cooking for Fun

Healthy Foods

Cooking can be a lot of fun, particularly if you like to entertain guests, or surprise your family with new tasty dishes. So much social interaction these days revolves around food – go to any town, village, settlement or city in the world and you will see just how important it has become to our whole lifestyle pattern.

Food choices range from fast foods, quick-serve freezer meals for food on the run, delicious gourmet meals from delis and cafes, restaurant meals from every conceivable ethnicity, home-cooked, experimental, fresh and healthy foods.

Take healthy eating. If your lifestyle insists the foods you eat must be of a certain goodness for your health, diet etc, there are ways to ensure your food preparation is also a healthy experience. Preparing healthy foods, beneficial for your body, take a tad more thought and if it is a change in lifestyle for you, a whole new way of shopping for your pantry.

If you think it’s going to be too hard to change your cooking habits and eating lifestyle, think again. So long as you have the patience and the will plus a healthy dose of determination, you can learn to cook tasty and inviting food for the future health of yourself and your family. And along the way you will also learn how to please and tantalise your guests and family with new tastes and presentations that will have them begging for more.

You Can Do It

You do not need to be a trained chef. If you can read a recipe, you can cook. The whole process can be an enjoying and exciting experience, which you can also teach to your children. Cooking is a great way to express yourself and, if you have a flair for creativity, the sky is the limit as to what you will be able to prepare and present at your table. Like all things, as you get more and more into your new foodie lifestyle, your skills and knowledge will develop and there will be no end to the variety of wonderful food experiences you will be able to produce.

Developing Your Cooking Skills

Learning to Organize

The more you cook the easier organizing will become. You will learn to organize your workspace, storage, utensils and produce in ways that will enhance and assist a smoothly running work place. As cooking a meal is a systematic process, having an organized environment will assist in achieving the best results i.e. food to the table that not only looks great but is timely, tempting and tasty. But do remember, the meals you cook will not be as successful if your kitchen space and habits lack organization.

Learning to Allocate a Budget

Your cooking methods can also help with managing other budgets. Because family meals are an integral part of any household budget, make sure you plan your menus in advance and don’t over-buy. The care you take should reflect itself in the way you manage your overall household budget.

Learning to be Creative

One of the greatest things you will learn through your meal-making is creative cookery. Cooking and baking are considered as much of an art as painting and stitching. What’s more, cooking is the kind of art where you are frequently varying what you put on your canvas. No two meals need ever be the same. What may begin as a repeat of a meal you cooked three days ago, can become something entirely new and exciting because you have been inspired in some way that only artists can understand.

While you do not need to be an artist to be able to cook, you can definitely explore your creative skills as you cook. From the preparation of the ingredients to the presentation of the final dish, learning how to be creative in your own little ways will become habitual and you will quickly find yourself creating your own recipes.

Learning to be Resourceful

You will be surprised at how resourceful your cooking routines will teach you to be. Not all the ingredients for the dish or recipe that you are about to cook will always be available every time. There will be times where you can’t find a source for the specific food product you really need and these instances will quickly teach you the value of improvisation.

Learning to be Flexible

Flexibility is something else you will pick up along the way. The list of food types you will learn to prepare can be endless. You will find yourself cooking main courses of chicken, fish, and vegetarian with a range of sauces to tempt the testiest of taste buds.

If you or those you are cooking for enjoy sweet things but need to avoid sugar due to a diet or health issue, you can learn to adapt and reduce calories to complete desserts that are worthy of your new healthy lifestyle.

There are many options to choose from when it comes to picking food recipes. You can modify some to make them more uniquely yours or, if you want to be really different, you can invent your own recipe. There are endless possibilities when it comes to cooking and the enjoyment you will gain from experimenting and learning new techniques will inspire you to even better things.

Choose Healthy, Cook Healthy

One of the most important considerations in cooking healthy meals is searching out the freshest produce. Today’s markets have a huge variety of fruits, nuts,  meats and vegetables, ample for the cook who is determined to choose and cook healthy foods and avoid fast foods with all their preservatives and brand advertising as much as possible.

However, despite the huge array of available food choices, you will not always be assured of the safety of the foods you buy, most especially in their cleanliness. This is a great incentive to learn to cook the food yourself so that you can ensure the entire process from preparation to serving is as clean and safe as you can make it.

Cooking For Kids:  A Fun Experience

Cooking is a great bonding experience with the family. You can teach the kids how to cook simple dishes or you can ask them to be your little assistants in the kitchen. They will not only enjoy the experience but also learn from it.

Helping in this way enables children to develop their creative side. It also teaches them about bonding and responsibility and cleaning up after themselves. They may even develop a passion for cooking and with TV programs like Junior Master Chef, who knows where it might lead them.

Cooking For Business

Developing your cooking skills and interest in healthy eating may even open up horizons outside of the home. Perhaps, having mastered the craft, you might feel confident enough to open up your own food business such as a café; a small restaurant; catering service; bakery or a pastry shop; or even a health food shop. This is what this lifestyle blog is all about – helping you to choose a lifestyle that not only provides a great hobby, raises a dormant skill, leads you into a new business and suits your personality, making each day a joy to venture out into.

If you do decide to make your cooking into a professional enterprise, some training in kitchen and food hygiene will be essential. It is one thing to cook for your family in your own hygienically clean kitchen but to take it beyond means strict adherence to health and safety rules.

If cooking healthy is something you want to do, go ahead – start reading learning and experimenting. It is sure to be a great and enjoyable experience not only for you but probably your entire family and friends.

Start now and make learning to cook an enjoyable lifestyle experience.

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