Daily Archives: June 28, 2009

Potato Hash Browns

Potato hash browns is one of the Favourite things in breakfast For Maoris, local people of New Zealand. These people are Fond of potatoes and try to add them in their meals on daily basis. This is awesome, do try this and make your day …

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups peeled and shredded russet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Procedure:

-Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

-In a large bowl, add shredded potatoes and cover with cold water – let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Drain, rinse potatoes and then drain well again. Pat potatoes dry with paper towels or give them a whirl in a salad spinner.

-In a large bowl, toss together potatoes, cornstarch, salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder until well combined.

-Place a 3″ round biscuit cutter on baking sheet coated with non-stick spray. Scoop about ½ cup of the potato mixture into the biscuit cutter and lightly press down. Gently lift up the cutter, being careful to leave the potato patties intact. Repeat the procedure with remaining potato mixture. Coat tops of potato patties with olive oil cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes – carefully turn them over and continue to bake until golden bowl, about 15 more minutes.

Outcome:

Tasty potato hash brownies are ready to be served with any sort of breakfast or in Veggie burger.

HashRounds

Tips:

-Baking will make your hash brownies crisper instead of Frying.

Servings:

This will serve 6 persons easily.

Fruit Of The Week PEAR

pears

The pear is an edible pomaceous fruit produced by a tree of genus Pyrus (pronounced /ˈpaɪrəs/).The pear is classified within Maloideae, a subfamily within Rosaceae. The apple (Malus ×domestica), which it resembles in floral structure, is also a member of this subfamily.

The English word pear is probably from Common West Germanic *pera, probably a loanword of Vulgar Latin pira, the plural of pirum, akin to Greek api(r)os, which is likely of Semitic origin. The place name Perry can indicate the historical presence of pear trees. The term “pyriform” is sometimes used to describe something which is “pear-shaped”.

History

The cultivation of the pear in cool temperate climates extends to the remotest antiquity. Many traces of it have been found in the Swiss lake-dwellings. The word “pear” or its equivalent occurs in all the Celtic languages, while in Slavonic and other dialects different appellations, but still referring to the same thing, are found—a diversity and multiplicity of nomenclature which led Alphonse de Candolle to infer a very ancient cultivation of the tree from the shores of the Caspian to those of the Atlantic.

Pears grow in the sublime orchard of Alcinous, in Odyssey vii: “Therein grow trees, tall and luxuriant, pears and pomegranates and apple-trees with their bright fruit, and sweet figs, and luxuriant olives. Of these the fruit perishes not nor fails in winter or in summer, but lasts throughout the year.”

The pear was cultivated also by the Romans, who did not eat them raw: Pliny’s Natural History recommended stewing them with honey and noted three dozen varieties. The Roman cookbook attributed to Apicius, De re coquinaria, has a recipe for a spiced stewed-pear patina, or soufflé.

A certain race of pears, with white down on the under surface of their leaves, is supposed to have originated from P. nivalis, and their fruit is chiefly used in France in the manufacture of perry (see also cider). Other small-fruited pears, distinguished by their early ripening and apple-like fruit, may be referred to P. cordata, a species found wild in western France, and in Devonshire and Cornwall. Pears have been cultivated in China for approximately 3000 years. The genus is thought to have originated in present-day western China in the foothills of the Tian Shan, a mountain range of Central Asia, and to have spread to the north and south along mountain chains, evolving into a diverse group of over 20 widely recognized primary species. The enormous number of varieties of the cultivated European pear (Pyrus communis subsp. communis), are without doubt derived from one or two wild subspecies (P. communis subsp. pyraster and P. communis subsp. caucasica), widely distributed throughout Europe, and sometimes forming part of the natural vegetation of the forests. In England, where an ancient pear tree gave its name to[citation needed] Pirio (Perry Barr, a district of Birmingham) in Domesday, the pear is sometimes considered wild; there is always the doubt that it may not really be so, but the produce of some seed of a cultivated tree deposited by birds or otherwise, which has germinated as a wild-form spine-bearing tree. Court accounts of Henry III of England record pears shipped from Rochelle and presented to the King by the Sheriffs of London. The French names of pears grown in English medieval gardens suggests that their reputation, at the least, was French; a favored variety in the accounts was named for Saint Rule or Regul’, bishop of Senlis.

Asian species with medium to large edible fruit include P. pyrifolia, P. ussuriensis, P. ×bretschneideri, P. ×sinkiangensis, and P. pashia. Other small-fruited species are frequently used as rootstocks for the cultivated species.

Botany

Pears are native to coastal and mildly temperate regions of the Old World, from western Europe and north Africa east right across Asia. They are medium sized trees, reaching 10–17 m tall, often with a tall, narrow crown; a few species are shrubby. The leaves are alternately arranged, simple, 2–12 cm long, glossy green on some species, densely silvery-hairy in some others; leaf shape varies from broad oval to narrow lanceolate. Most pears are deciduous, but one or two species in southeast Asia are evergreen. Most are cold-hardy, withstanding temperatures between −25 °C and −40 °C in winter, except for the evergreen species, which only tolerate temperatures down to about −15 °C. The flowers are white, rarely tinted yellow or pink, 2–4 cm diameter, and have five petals. Like that of the related apple, the pear fruit is a pome, in most wild species 1–4 cm diameter, but in some cultivated forms up to 18 cm long and 8 cm broad; the shape varies in most species from oblate or globose, to the classic pyriform ‘pear-shape’ of the European Pear with an elongated basal portion and a bulbous end.

The fruit is composed of the receptacle or upper end of the flower-stalk (the so-called calyx tube) greatly dilated. Enclosed within its cellular flesh is the true fruit: five cartilaginous carpels, known colloquially as the “core”. From the upper rim of the receptacle are given off the five sepals, the five petals, and the very numerous stamens.

The pear is very similar to the apple in cultivation, propagation and pollination.

Pears and apples cannot always be distinguished by the form of the fruit; some pears look very much like some apples. One major difference is that pears have “grit” – clusters of lignified cells. Pear trees and apple trees do have several visible differences. The pear and the apple are also related to the quince.

There are about 30 primary species, major subspecies, and naturally occurring interspecific hybrids of pears.

Cultivation

The pear may be readily raised by sowing the pips of ordinary cultivated or of wilding kinds, these forming what are known as free or pear stocks, on which the choicer varieties are grafted for increase. For new varieties the flowers can be cross-bred to preserve or combine desirable traits. The fruit of the pear is produced on spurs, which appear on shoots more than one year old.

Three species account for the vast majority of edible fruit production, the European Pear Pyrus communis subsp. communis cultivated mainly in Europe and North America, the Chinese white pear (bai li) Pyrus ×bretschneideri, and the Nashi Pear Pyrus pyrifolia (also known as Asian Pear or Apple Pear), both grown mainly in eastern Asia. There are thousands of cultivars of these three species. A species grown in western China, P. sinkiangensis, and P. pashia, grown in southern China and south Asia, are also produced to a lesser degree.

Other species are used as rootstocks for European and Asian pears and as ornamental trees. The Siberian Pear, Pyrus ussuriensis (which produces unpalatable fruit) has been crossed with Pyrus communis to breed hardier pear cultivars. The Bradford Pear (Pyrus calleryana ‘Bradford’) in particular has become widespread in North America and is used only as an ornamental tree. The Willow-leafed Pear (Pyrus salicifolia) is grown for its attractive slender, densely silvery-hairy leaves.

Harvest

Summer and autumn pears are gathered before they are fully ripe, while they are still green, but snap off when lifted. If left to ripen and turn yellow on the tree, the sugars will turn to starch crystals and the pear will have a gritty texture inside. In the case of the ‘Passe Crassane’, long the favored winter pear in France, the crop should be gathered at three different times, the first a fortnight or more before it is ripe, the second a week or ten days after that, and the third when fully ripe. The first gathering will come into eating latest, and thus the season of the fruit may be considerably prolonged.

Uses

Pears are consumed fresh, canned, as juice, and dried. The juice can also be used in jellies and jams, usually in combination with other fruits or berries. Fermented pear juice is called perry.

Pears will ripen faster if placed next to bananas in a fruit bowl. They stay fresh for longer if kept in a fridge.

Pear wood is one of the preferred materials in the manufacture of high-quality woodwind instruments and furniture. It is also used for wood carving, and as a firewood to produce aromatic smoke for smoking meat or tobacco.

Health Benefits

Pears are rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, E1, copper and potassium. Pears are the least allergenic of all fruits. Because of this, it is sometimes used as the first juice introduced to infants. Along with lamb and soya formula, pears form part of the strictest exclusion diet for allergy sufferers.

Pears can be useful in treating inflammation of mucous membranes, colitis, chronic gallbladder disorders, arthritis, and gout. Pears can also be beneficial in lowering high blood pressure, controlling blood cholesterol levels, and increasing urine acidity. They are good for the lungs and the stomach.

Most of the fiber is insoluble, making pears a good laxative. The gritty fiber content may cut down on the number of cancerous colon polyps. Most of the vitamin C, as well as the dietary fibre, are contained within the skin of the fruit.

Recipes:

As you know it is a very unique Fruit, so it will not have many recipes but Few of them are here:

Vegetable Of The Week SPINACH

spinach

Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is an edible flowering plant in the family of Amaranthaceae. It is native to central and southwestern Asia. It is an annual plant (rarely biennial), which grows to a height of up to 30 cm. Spinach may survive over winter in temperate regions. The leaves are alternate, simple, ovate to triangular-based, very variable in size from about 2-30 cm long and 1-15 cm broad, with larger leaves at the base of the plant and small leaves higher on the flowering stem. The flowers are inconspicuous, yellow-green, 3-4 mm diameter, maturing into a small hard dry lumpy fruit cluster 5-10 mm across containing several seeds.

History

Primitive forms of spinach are found in Nepal and that is probably where the plant was first domesticated. Other than the Indian subcontinent, it was unknown in the ancient world. After the early Muslim conquests the plant spread to other areas. In 647, it was taken to China, possibly by Persians. Muslim Arabs diffused the plant westward up to Islamic Spain. By the eleventh century it was a common plant in the Muslim world.

In India, in Malayalam, it is called Cheera (ചീര), in Tamil, it is called Keerai and in Marathi it is known as Palak .Paala koora in Telugu and is one among commonly consumed green vegetables.

Spinach was the favorite vegetable of Catherine de Medici, a historical figure in the 16th century. When she left her home of Florence, Italy, to marry the king of France, she brought along her own cooks, who could prepare spinach the ways that she especially liked. Since this time, dishes prepared on a bed of spinach are referred to as “a la Florentine.”

Culinary Information

Iron:

Spinach is known as a rich source of iron and calcium. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a 180 gram serving of boiled spinach contains 6.43 mg of iron, whereas one 6 oz. (170 gram) ground hamburger patty contains at most 4.42 mg. Thus spinach does contain a relatively high level of iron, compared to other vegetable and meat sources.

The iron in spinach is poorly absorbed by the body unless eaten with vitamin C. The type of iron found in spinach is non-blood (non-heme), a plant iron, which the body does not absorb as efficiently as blood (heme) iron, found in meat.

The bioavailability of iron is dependent on its absorption. This is influenced by a number of factors. Iron enters the body in two forms: nonheme iron and heme iron. All of the iron in grains and vegetables, and about three fifths of the iron in animal food sources (meats), is nonheme iron. The much smaller remaining portion from meats is heme iron.

The larger portion of dietary iron (nonheme) is absorbed slowly in its many food sources, including spinach. This absorption may vary widely depending on the presence of binders such as fiber or enhancers, such as vitamin C. Therefore, the body’s absorption of non-heme iron can be improved by consuming foods that are rich in vitamin C. However, spinach contains iron absorption inhibiting substances, including high levels of oxalate which can bind to the iron to form ferrous oxalate, which renders much of the iron in spinach unusable by the body, In addition to preventing absorption and use, high levels of oxalates remove iron from the body. But some studies have found that the addition of oxalic acid to the diet may improve iron absorption in rats over a diet with spinach with out additional oxalic acid. However, foods such as spinach that are high in oxalic acid can increase the risk of kidney stones in some people.

Calcium

Spinach also has a high calcium content. However, the oxalate content in spinach also binds with calcium decreasing its absorption. Calcium and zinc also limit iron absorption. The calcium in spinach is the least bioavailable of calcium sources.By way of comparison, the body can absorb about half of the calcium present in broccoli, yet only around 5% of the calcium in spinach. Oxalate is one of a number of factors that can contribute to gout and kidney stones. Equally or more notable factors contributing to calcium stones are: genetic tendency, high intake of animal protein, excess calcium intake, excess vitamin D, prolonged immobility, hyperparathyroidism, renal tubular acidosis, and excess dietary fiber.

Other

Spinach has a high nutritional value and is extremely rich in antioxidants, especially when fresh, steamed, or quickly boiled. It is a rich source of vitamin A (and lutein), vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, folic acid, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids. Recently, opioid peptides called rubiscolins have also been found in spinach. It is a source of folic acid (Vitamin B9), and this vitamin was first purified from spinach. To benefit from the folate in spinach, it is better to steam it than to boil it. Boiling spinach for four minutes can halve the level of folate. 

Types Of Spinach

A distinction can be made between older varieties of spinach and more modern varieties. Older varieties tend to bolt too early in warm conditions. Newer varieties tend to grow more rapidly but have less of an inclination to run up to seed. The older varieties have narrower leaves and tend to have a stronger and more bitter taste. Most newer varieties have broader leaves and round seeds.

There are three basic types of spinach:

Savoy has dark green, crinkly and curly leaves. It is the type sold in fresh bunches in most supermarkets. One heirloom variety of savoy is Bloomsdale, which is somewhat resistant to bolting.

Flat/smooth leaf spinach has broad smooth leaves that are easier to clean than savoy. This type is often grown for canned and frozen spinach, as well as soups, baby foods, and processed foods.

Semi-savoy is a hybrid variety with slightly crinkled leaves. It has the same texture as savoy, but it is not as difficult to clean. It is grown for both fresh market and processing. Five Star is a widely grown variety and has good resistance to running up to seed.

Production, Marketing And Storage

Popeye the Sailor Man has a strong affinity for spinach, becoming physically stronger after consuming it. This is partially due to the iron content being mistakenly reported ten times the actual value, a value that was rechecked during the 1930s, where it was revealed that the original German scientist, Dr. E. von Wolf, had misplaced a decimal point in his calculations.

In truth, spinach actually has about the same iron content as a lot of other vegetables, and even less than others. Cooked broccoli and cauliflower, for example, have almost double the iron content of spinach.

Spinach, along with brussels sprouts and other green vegetables, is often considered in children’s shows to be undesirable.

Recipes:

You can Find some of the recipes containing Spinach here in Ayesha’s Kitchen:

Palak Paneer