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Strawberry Panna Cotta Dessert Recipe

Strawberry panna cotta dessert
Strawberry Panna Cotta Dessert

Panna Cotta is a dessert made with cream (usually heavy cream), gelatin, sugar and flavorings.

My Panna Cotta is a bit different, as I am using 10 % cream, strawberry-flavored milk, and just a little corn starch for the thickening, aside from gelatin. I think that my way of cooking the Panna Cotta is much more healthy for you and for your digestion.

Ingredients:

1000 ml. of 10% cream

1 cup of strawberry-flavored milk

8 Tablespoons of sugar

2 teaspoons of corn starch

1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract

15 grams of plain unflavored gelatin, or as much as needed to set 1000 ml of liquid, according to the package instructions

1 pinch salt

Recipe:

  1. Add the cream, sugar and salt to a heavy saucepan with a thick bottom and bring gently to a boil while stirring occasionally with a whisk. When the cream start simmering remove it from the heat.
  2. In the meantime while the cream is getting heated, devide the 1 cup of strawberry-flavored milk in two bowls.
  3. In the first bowl, drizzle the gelatine over the milk and let it soak up.
  4. In the second bowl, add the 2 teaspoons of corn starch to the milk and mix it with the whisk.
  5. After you remove the cream from the heat, pour the milk with the starch to the cream while mixing all the time with the whisk. Add the vanilla extract, too, and return to the heat again to bring the mixture to simmer again.
  6. After the Panna Cotta mixture comes to simmer again, remove it from the heat and add it slowly to the bowl with the soaked gelatin while whisking.
  7. Let the Panna Cotta mixture cool down a little bit, then portion it in remikens or whatever containers you like.
  8. Put the individual containers with panna cotta in the fridge for at least 3 hours to cool down and set properly.
  9. After the panna cotta desserts are set, dip each container you are planning to use in a bowl of hot water breafly, just to make it unstuck, then place it upside-down on a plate and remove the remiken.
  10. Decorate with fresh berries, strawberry syrup, or maple syrup.

Chocolate Tapioca Dessert

Chocolate Tapioca Dessert

Chocolate Tapioca Dessert is an easy and natural dessert, containing no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners. I do it a little differently, using one un-traditional ingredient in place of the tapioca pearls, but I think my way of cooking it is better and healthier.

Ingredients:

3 Heaping Tablespoons Tapioca Flour

1/4 cup Couscous

1 L 2% Milk

4 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

1/2 cup water

1 large pinch of salt

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 teaspoon Cacao powder

2 Eggs

Optional for Decoration: Coconut Flakes and Strawberry

Recipe:

1. Pour the milk into a saucapan with a thick, heavy bottom. Add the sugar, salt, vanilla extract and couscous.

2. Bring the milk to a gentle simmer while stirring with a whisk from time to time. When the milk just starts simmering, remove the saucepan from the stove.

3. In the meantime, whisk the eggs in a bowl for 1 minute.

4. To temper the eggs, add some of the hot milk slowly and gently to the eggs while whisking vigorously.

5. Now add the egg and milk mixture to the saucepan with the rest of the hot milk while againg whisking vigorously. Add the cacao powder.

6. Mix the tapioca flower with the water and add it slowly to the hot milk mixture while whisking.

7. Return the saucepan with the tapioca to the stove and bring to a boil while whisking constantly.

8. The tapioca should thicken a bit, but not really thick. It will thicken a bit more after it’s cooled down.

9. Portion the tapioca dessert in dessert cups, sprinkle with coconut flakes (if using) and let it cool down in the fridge.

10. After cooling down the tapioca, decorate with strawberry and serve. The tapioca dessert can be serves, both, hot and cold. I find it very tasty and pleasant both ways.

Potato and Beet Salad

Potato and beet salad.
Potato and beet salad

Ingredients:

1 lb. potatoes,

1 lb. beets,

3 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise,

1 tablespoon white vinegar,

1 teaspoon sugar,

1 tablespoon chopped parsley,

1 tablespoon chopped chives,

3 oz. chopped red bell pepper,

salt and black pepper to taste.

Recipe:

  1. Peel and dice the potato and beets. Boil them separately until they are soft, but not falling apart.
  2. Mix the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl for the dressing.
  3. Strain the diced potato and beets, and let them cool down a bit.
  4. Add the boiled potato and beets to the dressing and toss gently with a wooden spoon until they are all covered in dressing.
  5. Optional ingredients to add: Chopped boiled egg; Shredded cheddar; Bacon bits; Diced ham; Boiled diced carrot (small dice).

WILL THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY SURVIVE AND RECOVER POST COVID-19

My name is Chef George Krumov. I have 22 years of industry experience in both, private and public sector, including owning a restaurant in the past, and 14 years of online presence. I wanted to make the title of this article “How your restaurant to survive and recover post Covid-19”, however no one really knows how to right now. I have a few ideas, and I will give them below, but I don’t know whether this will be enough.

Will the restaurant industry survive?

I just read a couple of days ago that when restaurants are allowed to open it will be with only 50% of the seating capacity, social distancing must be followed, some extra sanitizing measures were mentioned, and bartenders must be wearing a mask or work behind a screen. Also, no dining on the bar would be allowed.

Having read this, I think that it will be very difficult for most restaurants to survive even in the short term. Sorry to be pessimistic, but people go out to enjoy themselves, not to be pushed around and treated like they are contagious. Who wants to talk to a masked bartender after all?

The economy will shed a lot of jobs and sorry to say it, but good jobs will be few and far in between. If you are running a small restaurant you may be better positioned to survive in the medium and long term. The short term will be difficult for all, due to possible feelings of anger and resentment that may lead to a lack of motivation to keep going in this. Small restaurants and eateries may be able to survive by laying off a few employees, change their business model giving more importance to take-out, probably taking a good look at their food cost, reducing the size of their menues and shopping for groceries more often instead of ordering through food suppliers.

Bigger restaurants will be less favorably positioned to survive under those conditions. A big restaurant or a franchise, let’s say like Kelsey’s or Boston Pizza can afford to lay off a few employees, but in the large pool of employees who work there it would hardly make a big difference in the payroll. If they lay off more people, then service will suffer.

With the majority of sales in the restaurant industry coming during the weekend, the rule for 50% capacity of seats will make a huge difference. One can afford to do that during Monday-Thursday, but Friday and Saturday nights it will hurt.

I used to own a small 36-seat sushi bar, and if I was still there I believe that I would be perfectly positioned to survive this crisis, unless of course I would succumb to the resentment and reduced motivation that I mentioned above. I would be perfectly fine with only 18 seats and take-out, by working doubles and doing my own shopping. That was what I was doing anyways, that’s why my payroll and food cost were very good. Thankfully, I’m not there to try it and see if I am correct, but I do have a lot of sympathy for all who are still working hard in the private sector and pouring their hearts out in their work to make a living.

Small places with involved and resilient owners that can make changes fast and think quick on their feet can survive and thrive down the road, while for big restaurants and franchises the future may not be the same again. Right now we are in the stage when after a deep cut one doesn’t feel the pain right away. Wait until the pain is felt in the economy when the relief money dries up, and then unemployment takes off and then we will know for sure what is the future of the restaurant industry. One thing is for sure. It won’t be back to normal, and when eventually it is back to normal, it won’t be the normal we know.

I wish you all the best.

Springroll Sushi Rolls with Rice Paper

Springroll sushi rolls
Springroll Sushi Rolls

Ingredients:

4 cups cooked sushi rice, follow my sushi rice recipe here,
7 rice papers,
10 crab sticks,
1 mango, peeled and sliced thinly,
2 avocados, pitted, peeled and sliced,
shredded carrot,
1 cup cucumber sticks,
1/2 oz. toasted sesame seeds, mix of black and regular color sesame seeds;
1 sushi mat and plastic wrap.

Recipe:

  1. Place one rice paper on a larger plate and run hot water over it slowly until the rice paper is very soft.
  2. Spread a layer of sushi rice over the rice paper, leaving just 1-inch on both sides uncovered.
  3. Place some of the ingredients in the center of the rice.
  4. Fold both sides of the spring roll over the ingredients.
  5. Now remove the spring roll from the plate and place it on sushi mat that have been wrapped with cling wrap in order to prevent sticking. Using the mat work the spring roll into an evenly-shaped sushi roll.
  6. Sprinkle some sesame seeds over the spring sushi roll and let it sit in a plate until you finish rolling the rest of them.
  7. Cut each spring roll in the middle and serve with some sweet soy sauce or a sauce of your choice.

Beef Shawarma Recipe At Home

Beef shawarma
Beef Shawarma Recipe at Home

Ingredients:

1 four-to-five pound eye of round beef roast,
1 teaspoon kibbeh spice mix,
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin,
1/2 teaspoon salt,
1/2 teaspoon paprika,
1 carrot,
1 onion,
2 stalks of celery
As needed:
1/2 cup Middle Eastern pickled beets or turnips,
diced tomato,
romaine lettuce,
sliced purple onion,
chopped parsley,
10 pita breads (8-inch) or more.

Ingredients for Garlic Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup strained yogurt or labneh

Recipe:

  1. Rub the eye of round with the kibbeh spice mix, ground cumin, salt and paprika, and let it sit in a refrigerator, covered, for 30 minutes to marinate. Kibbeh spice mix can be obtained from a Middle Eastern grocery stores.
  2. Add a cup of water, the carrot, onion and celery to a roasting pan with the beef, preheat the oven to 400 F and just brown the top of the beef. After that, reduce the heat to 300 F, cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil and cook for a couple of hours or until the eye of round roast is tender and internal temperature is at least 178 F.
  3. Let the roast beef rest for about 10 minutes before you slice it thinly to strips. You should have enough meat for at least 15-20 beef shawarmas.
  4. In the meantime mix the ingredients for the garlic sauce.
  5. Spread some garlic sauce on the pitas and add your vegetables. Top with 3 oz. of sliced beef per pita and close the ends of the pitas so they can still slightly overlap.
  6. Use a panini press to grill the outside of the beef shawarma pita wraps to the desired doneness.
  7. Enjoy.

Beets Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Beets, cucumber and tomato salad
Beets, Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Ingredients:

3-4 whole beets, (I used candycane beets),
1 iceberg lettuce,
1 cup grape tomatoes,
1 seedless cucumber,
greeen onion, sliced,
purple onion, chopped,
fresh parsley, chopped,
your favorite dressing

Recipe:

  1. Peel, dice and boil the beets.
  2. Strain the beets and let them cool down.
  3. Cut the rest of the vegetables and mix them with the beets and the dressing.

Chicken Shawarma Recipe – How To Make Shawarma at Home

Chicken shawarma
Chicken Shawarma

Ingredients:

2, six-ounce each, chicken breasts,
1 teaspoon kibbeh spice mix,
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin,
1/2 teaspoon salt,
1 teaspoon white vinegar,
1/2 teaspoon paprika,
1/2 cup Middle Eastern pickled beets or turnips,
As needed:
diced tomato,
romaine lettuce,
sliced purple onion,
chopped parsley,
4 pita breads (8-inch)

Ingredients for Garlic Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup strained yogurt or labneh

Recipe:

  1. Mix the chicken breasts with the kibbeh spice mix, ground cumin, salt, vinegar and paprika in a mixing bowl and let them sit in a refrigerator, covered, for 30 minutes to marinate. Kibbeh spice mix can be obtained from a Middle Eastern grocery store.
  2. Bake the chicken breasts in a preheated oven at 325 F for about 30 minutes or until ready. Internal temperature should be 175 F.
  3. Let the chicken breasts rest for about 10 minutes before you slice them thinly on strips.
  4. In the meantime mix the ingredients for the garlic sauce.
  5. Spread some garlic sauce on the 4 pitas and add your vegetables. Top with 3 oz. of sliced chicken per pita and close the ends of the pitas so they can still slightly overlap.
  6. Use a panini press to grill the outside of the chicken shawarma pita wraps to the desired doneness.
  7. Enjoy.

How To Make Quesadilla

Here is how to make chicken quesadilla at home.

Ingredients:

4 10-inch tortillas, white or whole wheat,
8 oz. grated cheddar (or cheddar and mozza combo),
2 five-ounce boneless and skinless chicken breasts,
taco seasoning to taste.

Recipe:

  1. Butterfly the chicken breasts and season them with taco seasoning.
Raw chicken for quesadilla
Raw chicken for quesadilla

2. Cook the chicken breasts over cast-iron pan at medium-high temperature.

Cooking the chicken breasts for quesadilla
Cooking the chicken breasts for quesadilla

3. Let the cooked chicken sit for 5 minutes before you dice it.

Cooked chicken breasts
Cooked chicken breasts

4. Shread the cheese and dice the chicken breasts.

Chicken quesadilla ingredients
Chicken quesadilla ingredients

5. Set up the chicken quesadillas by dividing the cheese and chicken between the four tortillas as seen on the photo, only on one side. Season each quesadilla with taco seasonong to taste.

Set up the 4 chicken quesadillas
Set up the 4 chicken quesadillas

6. Close the quesadilla by flipping the empty side over the ingredients, and cook the chicken quesadillas on both sides in a 10-inch cast-iron pan over medium temperature until they are lightly browned, two at a time.

Cooking the quesadillas in a cast-iron pan
Cooking the quesadillas in a cast-iron pan

7. When the quesadillas are ready, cut each to 3 pieces and serve with salsa and sour cream if desired.

Chicken quesadilla with salsa.
Chicken quesadilla with salsa

Can You Cook Frozen Chicken Breast

So, you have a box of individually frozen chicken breasts and are wondering if you can cook them frozen? The answer is yes, and I will show you how to get a better result by cooking the chicken breast frozen, then if you had thawed them.

  1. Arrange the chicken breasts skin-side up over parchment paper in a baking tray. The size of the chicken breasts only matter for the cooking time. You can use any size chicken breasts with this technique, skinless or with the skin on.
  2. Spray the chicken breasts with canola cooking spray and shake some Montreal chicken seasoning on top.
Frozen chicken breasts
Frozen Chicken Breasts on a Tray

3. Preheat a convection oven to 325 F. Place the tray with the frozen chicken breasts on the middle rack in the oven.

Convection oven
Convection Oven

4. Cook the frozen chicken breasts with the oven fan at Low for about 20-30 minutes, depending on size, or until ready. Turn the tray around halfway through cooking to allow to cook evenly. The chicken breasts are ready when internal temperature reaches 175 F.

5. When the chicken breasts are ready, transfer them to a hotel pan and use them for whatever you need to use them.

Cooked chicken breasts
Cooked Chicken Breast

If you are wondering whether cooking chicken breasts frozen produces juicy cooked chicken, see the photo below.

Cooked juicy chicken breast
Cooked Juicy Chicken Breast Cut in 2.

The chicken breasts retained a lot more moisture when cooked frozen. Cheers and enjoy. If you have any questions, please, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below, or let me know how it goes for you. It is possible to cook frozen chicken breasts in conventional oven, too.