Cold Cucumber Soup

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How to make a typical summer vegetable into cold soup to help deal with the heat

Summer is the perfect time to have cold soup around to snack on, whenever you feel like it and cucumbers are an excellent ingredient to pick to do that with. Firstly, slice four cucumbers, deseed the slices and place them in a blender, along with some water and a generous helping of cream fraiche to create a whipped mix. Secondly, slice two onions, a clove of garlic and four green chilies and add it to a saucepan with cooking oil; also, add a little bit of salt to the mix and then fry the ingredients on medium heat until the onions have turned golden in color. Thirdly, transfer the contents of the blender into the pan and mix it with the fried ingredients and let the soup boil for a couple of minutes. And finally, transfer the soup to a bowl and refrigerate it in order to chill it; serve the soup later on with some shredded cilantro as toppings.

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Lemon Rice

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Flavored rice never got easier (and faster) to cook

Lemon rice is a sour alternative to plain white rice and is fancy enough to eat on its own, or with a generous helping of pickles. What is required to cook it are the following:

  • juice of freshly squeezed lemon,
  • long grain white rice,
  • chicken stock,
  • white pepper,
  • white onions, and
  • cilantro leaves.

Firstly, wash (and rinse) the white rice. Secondly, put the rice on the stove to cook, with a nicely measured amount of water and then add all the remaining ingredients to it. And finally, stir the mix and let it cook. Serve the lemon rice hot, with a tablespoon of pickles, to add further flavor to the rice.

Why Eating Vegetables Is Great

The only way to love your vegetables is to get incredibly choosy

Going vegan might sound like the least tasty option among all kinds of food choices in the world but the truth is that vegetables can be tasty too. It all depends on the choice of vegetables and the type of cooking – I have always felt that that is what separates vegetables from this idea I had formed in my mind whilst growing up that eating vegetables regularly meant always staying healthy in an unappetizing manner. It’s not true. Eating boiled green beans definitely taste a lot better than eating boiled carrots. Similarly, raw cucumber slices can never match the deliciousness of raw sweet corn. As long as you spend a good amount of time thinking over your recipes for the week, eating your vegetables shouldn’t feel like a chore at all; sometimes the right condiments to top your vegetables with, also works like an absolute charm.

Baked Sweet Potatoes

Weekend potato baking – the easy way

Sweet potatoes are an ideal carb alternative, when in the mood for something sweet but a little bit fatty. The great thing about baked potatoes is that it’s purely fuss-free cooking for busy weekends and can also be had on its own. Start by taking four large potatoes and using a fork to cut dot-like shapes into them; also, cut a long line through the middle of each of the potatoes – all this is just to ease the baking process for the sweet potatoes.

Following that, dress a baking pan with aluminium foil and place the sweet potatoes on it. Then, add two tablespoons of butter to each of the potatoes, in the middle, and let it bake. In the midst of baking, take the potatoes out and poke with a fork to find out how much it has baked and also, before placing it back in the oven, split the sweet potatoes open wide (through the cut in the middle) to ensure that the potatoes are thoroughly cooked. Season it with salt and white pepper, and have it for dinner with leftover vegetables.

Chili Sauce

How to make chili sauce at home

Chili sauce can turn any basic dish into a spicy and better tasting alternative. Ideally suited as a side dish to snacks, the recipe for chili sauce is pretty easy to follow and cook with. What is required are: tomatoes, cooking oil, onions, red and green chilies and salt.

Firstly, slice up the onions, tomatoes and both the varieties of chillies. Secondly, fry the sliced ingredients (with the salt) in a frying pan, until the mix has begun to lightly colour. Finally, transfer the fried ingredients to a saucepan, add some water, and cook until the chillies have softened and also the mixture has thickened.

If it’s hard to estimate how much water is required for the fried ingredients to do both, then you can always carefully add more water until you can observe that the tomatoes have indeed softened, and the mix has thickened, and then just wait for the mix to finish cooking. Serve the chili sauce with fried chicken or vegetable rolls.

French Fries

French fries are perfect options as a light snack. But how to cook them? It’s very straightforward: after peeling a specified amount of potatoes, let’s say 6 medium-sized potatoes, the potatoes need to be cut into pieces which are shaped as sticks.

I love my french fries crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

So, the golden rule to follow to have the french fries done up crispy, is to cut the potato pieces as thin as the vegetable would allow it. After that, you place the cut-up-potatoes with a measured amount of cooking oil – I would say, three tablespoons of oil, but not before the oil’s heated up in the cooking pot over a medium heat range.

Following that, you fry the potatoes, turning them a fair few times, until the potatoes are soft enough. Then you leave the potatoes to cool for a couple of minutes, at first. After that, the cooking oil should be reheated at a medium heat once more. Then fry the potatoes in the oil to your liking and when done, serve the french fries sprinkled with a very light amount of salt. I try to avoid having a golden brown shade of french fries, whenever I can because it’s not a very traditional option and at a fry-up, golden brown french fries would perhaps require twice as much oil than regular good old french fries.

The Best Oil

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In your kitchen cupboard, you should most definitely stock
more than one kind of oil because each one of them come with their separate
tastes and properties.

The oil for searing, browning and deep-frying

Almond oil contains healthy monounsaturated fat, like olive
oil and macadamia nut oil. It is good for cooking if you do not mind the sparse
nutty flavor. Sunflower oil, on the other hand, is a mild-tasting oil that is excellent for all
those dishes you have to cook at high temperatures, which is why it is often
used when frying food; it is also an ideal alternative for butter for sugary
treats, such as cakes for folks who are dairy intolerant.

The oil for baking and stir-frying

Macadamia nut oil provides a dish with a certain kind of
buttery flavor that is rich in antioxidants, as well as monounsaturated fats.

The oil for light sautéing, sauces and low-heat baking

Sesame oil is an oil that is quite popular in India but in
China (and particularly for Southeast Asian cuisine) the oil is mostly used as
a flavor enhancer. Sesame oil is very different from most other cooking oils
because it is quite delicate in nature.

The oil for cold salad dressings, dips and marinades

The extra virgin olive oil is my favourite kind of oil, and
it also the healthiest oil in the world. Intense on flavor and diverse at it
too because it all boils down to which olives from which European olive farm
makes up that oil, it goes well with most dishes. Meanwhile, walnut oil has numerous
types: cold-pressed, roasted and is at its best when cold – throw it on top of
salads, or dishes that are overcooked, fish and vegetables, right before you
serve it up for your feast.

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