Daily Archives: June 12, 2009

Sizzling Jalapeno Pizza

Sizzling Jalapeno Pizza is the most hot and spicy pizza on the planet. Pickled Jalapeno pepper adds a very unique and a very peppy taste to it, do try it and let me know your remarks …

Ingredients:

  • 1 thin crust pizza base
  • 1 ½ cups of grated mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup thinly sliced capsicum
  • ¼ cup sliced jalapenos
  • ¼ cup sliced black olives
  • Some olive oil
  • 4 tbspns pizza sauce

Procedure:

-Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

-Prepare a base For the pizza.

-Glaze with some olive oil and spread pizza sauce all over it.

-Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on it and place capsicum, jalapenos and olives on it.

-Place it in the preheated oven and bake For around 15 – 20 minutes or until done.

-Take it out, slice and serve hot.

Outcome:

Tasty and spicy sizzling jalapeno pizza is ready to be served.

Untitled DSC01381

Tips:

-Glaze pizza base with lots of olive oil.

Servings:

This will serve 4 persons easily.

Fruit Of The Week LYCHEE

Lychee

The Lychee (pronounced /ˈliːtʃiː/[1]; Litchi chinensis), also spelled Litchi (the U.S. Food and Drug Administration spelling) or Laichi and Lichu, Chinese: 荔枝, Hanyu Pinyin: Lìzhī, is the sole member of the genus Litchi in the soapberry family Sapindaceae. It is a tropical fruit tree. It is primarily found in China, India, Madagascar, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, southern Taiwan, northern Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Southern Africa. It is a fragranced fruit with a sweet taste.

It is a medium-sized evergreen tree, reaching 15–20 m tall, with alternate pinnate leaves, each leaf 15–25 cm long, with 2-8 lateral leaflets 5–10 cm long; the terminal leaflet is absent. The newly emerging young leaves are a bright coppery red at first, before turning green as they expand to full size. The flowers are small, greenish-white or yellowish-white, produced in panicles up to 30 cm long.

Flowers at Samsing in Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India.The fruit is a drupe, 3–4 cm long and 3 cm in diameter. The outside is covered by a pink-red, roughly-textured rind that is inedible but easily removed. They are eaten in many different dessert dishes. The inside consists of a layer of sweet, translucent white flesh, rich in vitamin C, with a texture somewhat similar to that of a grape only much less moist. The edible flesh consists of a highly developed aril enveloping the seed. The center contains a single glossy brown nut-like seed, 2 cm long and 1–1.5 cm in diameter. The seed, similar to a buckeye seed, is not poisonous but should not be eaten. The fruit matures from July to October, about 100 days after flowering. There are two subspecies:

Litchi chinensis subsp. chinensis. China, Indochina (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia). Leaves with 4 to 8 (rarely 2) leaflets.

Litchi chinensis subsp. philippinensis (Radlk.) Leenh. Philippines, Indonesia. Leaves with 2-4 (rarely 6) leaflets.

History

A major early Chinese historical reference to lychees was made in the Tang Dynasty, when it was the favourite fruit of Emperor Li Longji (Xuanzong)’s favoured concubine Yang Yuhuan (Yang Guifei). The emperor had the fruit, which was only grown in southern China, delivered by the imperial messenger service’s fast horses, whose riders would take shifts day and night in a Pony Express-like manner, to the capital. (Most historians believe the fruits were delivered from modern Guangdong, but some believe they came from modern Sichuan.)

In the Chinese classical work, Shanglin Fu (上林賦), it is related that the alternate name, 離枝 (pinyin: lízhī), meaning leaving its branches, is so-called because once the fruit is picked it deteriorates quickly.

The lychee was first described in the West by Pierre Sonnerat (1748–1814) on a return from his travel to China and Southeast Asia.

It was then introduced to the Réunion Island in 1764 by Joseph-François Charpentier de Cossigny de Palma. It was later introduced to Madagascar which has become a major producer.

Cultivation And Uses

Lychees are extensively grown in the native region of China, and also elsewhere in South-East Asia, especially in north of Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, India, southern Japan, Taiwan, and more recently in California, Hawaii, Texas,Florida[2] in the United States, the wetter areas of eastern Australia and sub-tropical regions of South Africa, Israel and also in the states of Sinaloa and San Luis Potosí (specifically, in La Huasteca) in Mexico. They require a warm subtropical to tropical climate that is cool but also frost-free or with only very slight winter frosts not below -4°C, and with high summer heat, rainfall, and humidity. Growth is best on well-drained, slightly acidic soils rich in organic matter. A wide range of cultivars is available, with early and late maturing forms suited to warmer and cooler climates respectively. They are also grown as an ornamental tree as well as for their fruit.

Germinating Lychee seed with its main root (about 3 months old)

A normal-sized seed(left) and a small-sized (Chicken tongue) seed(right)Lychees are commonly sold fresh in Vietnamese, Chinese and Asian markets, and in recent years, also widely in supermarkets worldwide. The red rind turns dark brown when the fruit is refrigerated, but the taste is not affected. It is also sold canned year-round. The fruit can be dried with the rind intact, at which point the flesh shrinks and darkens.

According to folklore, a lychee tree that is not producing much fruit can be girdled, leading to more fruit production.      

Cultivars

“The Prestigious Cultivars”

  • Hanging Green (gualü, 掛綠): The most famous (and most rare) lychee in existence. It received its name because of the barely noticeable light green hue and green line on the shell. Ancient records have described Hanging Green as “Fresh and crispy as pear, without juice. It can last for three days after the shell is removed”. For centuries, Hanging Green was an item of tribute to the imperial government of various dynasties, until people in Canton revolted during the Qianlong era against the tributes and chopped all but one of the Hanging Green trees. The sole remaining tree still produces fruit each year, and fruits from that tree are now called “Zhengcheng Hanging Green” (Zengcheng gualü, 增城掛綠).
  • Sweet Osmanthus Flavour (gui mei, 桂味): Named because of the Sweet Osmanthus flavour it contains, this lychee has light red shells, which contains sharp edges. The fruits are described as crispy and sweet. There is a related cultivar, called “Yatou Green” (yatoulü, 鴨頭綠). The shell of this cultivar has dark green spots.
  • Glutinous Rice Ball (nuomici, 糯米糍): Named after its thick fruit flesh and sweet (some described the taste as close to honey) flavours. The fresh red shells are not sharp and hard, and the seeds from this cultivar are noticeably smaller than others. Some fruits from this cultivar are seedless.

Vegetable Of The Week CAPSICUMS

sweet-pepper-capsicum-veg-vegetable

Capsicum (or pepper in the US, Canada and United Kingdom) is a genus of plants from the nightshade family (Solanaceae) native to the Americas, where it was cultivated for thousands of years by the people of the tropical Americas, and is now cultivated worldwide. Some of the members of Capsicum are used as spices, vegetables, and medicines. The fruit of Capsicum plants have a variety of names depending on place and type. They are commonly called chilli pepper, red or green pepper, or sweet pepper in Britain, and typically just capsicum in Australian and Indian English. The large mild form is called bell pepper in the US and Canada. They are called paprika in some other countries (although paprika can also refer to the powdered spice made from various capsicum fruit).

The original Mexican term, chilli (now chile in Mexico) came from the Nahuatl word chilli or xilli, referring to a larger Capsicum variety cultivated at least since 3000 BC, as evidenced by remains found in pottery from Puebla and Oaxaca.

Capsaicin

Capsicum fruits and peppers can be eaten raw or cooked. Those used in cooking are generally varieties of the C. annuum and C. frutescens species, though a few others are used as well. They are suitable for stuffing with fillings such as cheese, meat or rice.

They are also frequently used both chopped and raw in salads, or cooked in stir-fries or other mixed dishes. They can be sliced into strips and fried, roasted whole or in pieces, or chopped and incorporated into salsas or other sauces.

They can be preserved by drying, pickling or freezing. Dried pepper may be reconstituted whole, or processed into flakes or powders. Pickled or marinated peppers are frequently added to sandwiches or salads. Frozen peppers are used in stews, soups, and salsas. Extracts can be made and incorporated into hot sauces.

Crushed red pepperAccording to Richard Pankhurst, C. frutescens (known as barbaré) was so important to the national cuisine of Ethiopia, at least as early as the 19th century, “that it was cultivated extensively in the warmer areas wherever the soil was suitable.” Although it was grown in every province, barbaré was especially extensive in Yejju, “which supplied much of Showa as well as other neighboring provinces.” He singles out the upper Golima river valley as being almost entirely devoted to the cultivation of this plant, where thousands of acres were devoted to the plant and it was harvested year round.

In 2005, a poll of 2,000 people revealed the capsicum pepper to be Britain’s 4th favourite culinary vegetable.

In Bulgaria, South Serbia and Macedonia, peppers are very popular, too. They can be eaten in salads, like Shopska Salata; fried and then covered with a dip of tomato paste, onions, garlic, and parsley; or stuffed with a variety of products—like minced meat and rice, beans, or cottage cheese and eggs. Peppers are also the main ingredient in the traditional tomato and pepper dip—lyutenitsa and ajvar. They are in the base of different kinds of pickled vegetables dishes—turshiya.

Capsicums are also used extensively in Sri Lankan cuisine as side dishes.

Species And Varieties

Capsicum consists of approximately 20-27 species, five of which are domesticated: C. annuum, C. baccatum, C. chinense, C. frutescens, and C. pubescens . Phylogenetic relationships between species were investigated using biogeographical, morphological, chemosystematic, hybridization, and genetic data. Fruits of Capsicum can vary tremendously in color, shape, and size both between and within species, which has led to confusion over the relationships between taxa. Chemosystematic studies helped distinguish the difference between varieties and species. For example, C. baccatum var. baccatum had the same flavonoids as C. baccatum var. pendulum, which led researchers to believe that the two groups belonged to the same species.

Many varieties of the same species can be used in many different ways; for example, C. annuum includes the “bell pepper” variety, which is sold in both its immature green state and its red, yellow or orange ripe state. This same species has other varieties as well, such as the Anaheim chiles often used for stuffing, the dried Ancho chile used to make chili powder, the mild-to-hot Jalapeño, and the smoked, ripe Jalapeño, known as a Chipotle.

Most of the capsaicin in a pungent (hot) pepper is concentrated in blisters on the epidermis of the interior ribs (septa) that divide the chambers of the fruit to which the seeds are attached. A study on capsaicin production in fruits of C. chinense showed that capsaicinoids are produced only in the epidermal cells of the interlocular septa of pungent fruits, that blister formation only occurs as a result of capsaicinoid accumulation, and that pungency and blister formation are controlled by a single locus, Pun1, for which there exist at least two recessive alleles that result in non-pungency of C. chinense fruits.

The amount of capsaicin in hot peppers varies significantly between varieties, and is measured in Scoville heat units (SHU).

Synonyms And Common Names

The name given to the Capsicum fruits varies between English-speaking countries.

In Australia, New Zealand and India, heatless species are called “capsicums” while hot ones are called “chilli/chillies” (double L). Pepperoncini are also known as “sweet capsicum”. The term “bell peppers” is rarely used, and then usually in reference to C. annuum and other varieties which have a bell-shape and are fairly hot, they are more usually called “bell chillies”.

In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the heatless varieties are called “capsicums”, “sweet peppers” or “peppers” (or “green peppers,” “red peppers,” etc) while the hot ones are “chilli/chillies” (double L) or “chilli peppers”.

In the United States and Canada, the common heatless species is referred to as “bell peppers,” “sweet peppers,” “red/green/etc peppers,” or simply “peppers”, while the hot species are collectively called “chile/chiles,” “chili/chilies,” or “chili/chile peppers” (one L only), “hot peppers”, or named as a specific variety (e.g., banana pepper). In many midwestern regions of the United States the Sweet Bell Pepper was commonly called a mango.[16] With the modern advent of fresh tropical fruit importers exposing a wider latitude of individuals to the tropical fruit variety of the mango, this usage has become archaic. However some menus still call a stuffed bell pepper a mango.

The name “pepper” came into use because the plants were hot in the same sense as the condiment black pepper, Piper nigrum. But there is no botanical relationship with this plant, nor with Sichuan Pepper.

In Polish there is different confusion. The term “papryka” is used for all kinds of capsicum peppers (the sweet vegetable, and the hot spicy) as well as for dried and ground spice made from them (named paprika in US-English). Also fruit and spice can be attributed as “papryka ostra” (hot pepper) or “papryka słodka” (sweet pepper). The term “pieprz” (pepper) instead means only grained or ground black pepper (incl. its green, white, and red forms) but not capsicum. Sometimes the hot capsicum spice is also called “chilli” (what is actually improperly spelled).

In Italy and the Italian- and German-speaking parts of Switzerland, the sweet varieties are called “peperoni” and the hot varieties “peperoncini” (literally “small peppers”). In French, capsicum are called “poivron”. In German and Dutch, capsicum are called “paprika”. In Switzerland however, the condiment powder made from capsicum is called “paprika” (German language regions) and “paprica” (French and Italian language region).

In Spanish-speaking countries there are many different names for each variety and preparation. In Mexico the term chile is used for “hot peppers” while the heatless varieties are called pimiento (the masculine form of the word for pepper which is pimienta). Several other countries, such as Chile, whose name is unrelated, Perú, Puerto Rico, and Argentina, use ají. In Spain, heatless varieties are called pimiento and hot varieties guindilla. In Indian English, the word “capsicum” is used exclusively for Capsicum annuum. All other varieties of hot capsicum are called chilli. In northern India and Pakistan, Capsicum annuum is also commonly called “Shimla Mirch” in the native languages. Shimla incidentally is a popular hill-station in India (and “Mirch” means chilli in local languages).

Recipes

Vegetarian Pizza

Veggie Delight Pizza

Chicken Sausage Pizza

Chicken Spring Pizza

Ringo Veggie Pizza

Veggie Pizza

Red Chicken Vegetable Curry / Chicken Vegetable Manchurian

Chicken Mince Pasta

Chicken Vegetable Saute’ Curry

Spring Rolls

Mild Chicken Veg Curry

Chicken Vegetable Curry

Chicken With Broccoli And Capsicums

Garlic Chicken Curry

Chicken Vegetable Macaronis

Chicken With Almonds Curry

Beef With Vegetables

Seasoned Chicken

Beef Aromatic Tikka

Green Vegetable Omelette

Chicken Black Pepper 2

Sizzling Jalapeno Pizza

Vegetable Mushroom Rice