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Cooking

  • This weekend is the inaugural North Carolina Rice Festival

    The North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the first North Carolina Rice Festival this coming weekend, Sept. 20-21, at The Brunswick Riverwalk at Belville, 580 River Road in Belville. The festival will include a rice cooking contest, arts and crafts, commercial vendors, children’s entertainment zone, youth art contest and, of course, an adult beverage tent.

  • The versatility and speed of the classic French sauté

    Many of us have cooked meat in a hot pan lightly covered in olive oil and then deglazed the pan with either a rich beef or chicken stock or our favorite white or red wine. This classic French sauté method is credited to Pierre Franey, whose series of “60-Minute Gourmet” cookbooks taught a generation of Americans about the versatility and speed of this classic technique.

  • Gravy, shrimp add flavor to Southern breakfast staple

    Grits are a staple of the Southern breakfast. For those unfamiliar with them, grits are nothing more than coarsely ground, dried corn. If you grind it a little finer, you have the Italian staple, polenta … grind it finer yet, and you have corn meal.

    I’ve heard that some places like to combine grits with hominy, which is soaked in lye. Why would you want to soak food in lye, and then actually eat it?

  • It’s summertime, and fruits and vegetables are at their peak

    If there’s one food that really captures the essence of summer, it’s salad. Ripe produce are overflowing from our gardens, and when fruits and vegetables are at the peak of their season, there’s no need to do anything fancy with them.

  • Green beans are a popular, warm-season, home garden vegetable

     Do you know what the most popular, edible pod bean is in this country? It’s green beans, otherwise known as snap or string bean. Not only are green beans a popular home-garden vegetable, they are also plentiful at our local farm markets and produce stands during this warm season.

    I remember my aunt pulling the “string” on these beans, noticeable when you snapped off the ends. The “snapping” noise is the reason for its other nickname.

     

  • There is nothing simple when it comes to a cup of joe

     Every morning, millions of Americans reach for their cup of joe in order to start the morning off right. We seem to have coffeehouses on every corner offering specialty brews for this tasty, eye-opening beverage.

    Now, we even drink it during the day. Iced coffee seems to be catching on quite a bit.

  • Swiss chard is available year round but is best in summer

     

    Swiss chard is available year round but is best in summer

    Chard is often referred to as Swiss chard because of its extensive cultivation in Switzerland. As a member of the beet family, it has also been referred to as silver beet, spinach beet, leaf beet, sea kale beet, white beet, strawberry spinach and even Roman kale.

    In our area, the two main types available are red chard and green chard. The red, which has a stronger flavor, has red stems and dark green leaves with red veins. The green has lighter green leaves with white stalks.

  • To eat shrimp, you should know the best way to peel them

     There is a right way and a wrong way to peel shrimp. Boiled or uncooked, if you’re going to eat shrimp, you need to know the best way to peel them.

  • Families celebrate summer with simple backyard dining

     Remember when picnics used to be the norm? Well, maybe if you’re too young to remember, many picnics used to be communal. Barn raisings and other types of rural work were frequently followed by dances and outdoor meals. Many small towns in the Midwest had a small public park, usually in the center of town, where they frequently hosted dances, bands, socials and picnics.

  • Browning your meat is essential for a great French stew

     All chefs learn about it early in their training; they also know it as the browning reaction.

    If you are planning to make a full-flavored French stew, known as either beef bourguignon or beef in burgundy, your first instructions are to brown the meat, a messy and time-consuming step. You may choose to ignore this step and just dump the raw beef chunks into the stewing liquid. This shortcut may save you time, but the flavors enhanced by the browning reaction will never be activated. Your great French stew will likely taste flat and lifeless.