Holidays Inspired By Movies

Posted on: September 12th, 2011 Posted by

Everyone enjoys watching a good film from time to time, but if you want to take the movie experience further, why not be inspired by the locations used in your favourite flick for your next holiday. Here are four suggestions to inspire your choice – from Spanish deserts masquerading as the American West to mystery and magic in New Zealand.

Almeria – Heaven for Spaghetti Western Fans Read the rest of this entry »

Unusual Foods From Around the World

Posted on: September 5th, 2011 Posted by

If you enjoy foreign travel, it is likely that at some point, you’ll find yourself faced with dishes which include unusual ingredients. Snails and frog’s legs have nothing on the following food-stuffs, which are seen as a delicacy – but might make your stomach turn…

Prairie Oysters

Prairie oysters is the euphemistic name used to describe a dish of deep fried cattle testicles, popular in some areas of the United States.  Read the rest of this entry »

Delicious Things to Do With Your Christmas Leftovers

Posted on: December 14th, 2010 Posted by

Inevitably we all buy too much food for Christmas time: dining tables groan under a banquet of seasonal delights and belts are loosened to make room for expanded girths, but still we all wake up on Boxing Day morning to a fridge full of leftovers. Eating turkey sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the foreseeable future may not be an attractive option, so shake things up with the ten ideas below:

· Leftover turkey can be made into the Spanish Tapas favourite “croquettes”. These small snacks can also be made with leftover ham and cheese for an alternative flavour. The meat should be sliced into very small pieces and mixed with a thick bechamel sauce. When the Bechamel sauce mixture is cooled, coat spoonfuls of the mixture with breadcrumbs. Fry or bake these until crispy and golden, and serve as a teatime snack or light supper with a selection of dips.

· Turn leftover vegetables and mash into a satisfying Bubble & Squeak, which is delicious served for breakfast with sausages and bacon. This simple dish is made by mixing the vegetables and mash, along with salt and pepper to season. Heat some oil in a frying pan and cook the mixture until it is golden on one side, before flipping over the cook the top.

· If you have spare Yorkshire Puddings leftover, ring the changes by turning them into a fun and tasty dessert. Warm individual Yorkshire Puddings up for a few minutes in a hot oven, then fill with a scoop of your favourite ice-cream, plus fruit or chocolate sauce. Kids love these desserts and you are not limited as to what you put in them- Golden Syrup is a particularly popular topping.

· Try making a delicious Roast Dinner Soup to use up a variety of ingredients: cooked meats, vegetables and potatoes can all be added. If you have a blender handy, this warming soup couldn’t be easier or quicker to make. Simply add you chosen ingredients to a large pan of hot, richly flavoured stock and blend, then heat through. The result is satisfying and warming dish, perfect on the coldest days.

· If you make too much stuffing, don’t cook it all at once. Save some of the raw mixture and shape into burger patties. These can be frozen, and then cooked as required, to be served in a burger bun with salad and sauces. Another idea is to fry stuffing balls and serve with a tomato based pasta sauce and spaghetti.

· Make leftover Melon and Champagne into a light and refreshing sorbet, a perfect palate cleanser after the excesses of Christmas. Liquidise the melon(any variety will do, but Cantaloupe is particularly good) and add a small glass of Champagne, one teaspoon of lemon juice and sugar, to taste. Place the mixture in a large bowl and freeze, whisking it every hour or so to break up ice crystals and ensure a smooth, thick blend.

· An indulgent treat which makes a quick and festive supper is the Pan-fried Cheese Sandwich with Cranberry Sauce. Any cheese which melts well could be used, but it works particularly well with Brie and Camembert, which many of us find lurking in the fridge after Christmas Day is past. For each serving, butter two slices of bread and prepare the sandwich with the buttered sides facing out, to stop it sticking to the pan. Fill with sliced cheese and a dollop of cranberry sauce and fry until golden brown.

· Candy canes and chocolate bars can be combined to make minty sweet Candy Cane Treats. Gently melt plain, milk and white chocolate bars over a bowl of hot water, and add crushed candy canes. Drop spoonfuls of this mixture onto greaseproof paper and allow to cool before eating. Kids can get involved with this recipe with an adult supervising, and can sprinkle the warm chocolate with extra ingredients- try desiccated coconut or chopped dried fruit.

Top 10 Most Ridiculous Food Challenges

Posted on: September 12th, 2010 Posted by

Bushido’s Spicy Tuna Roll Challenge

Found in Charleston, South Carolina, this challenge is for people who like sushi served with chilies. The chilies range from mild to obscenely hot, so much so that before the challenge starts you have to sign a form saying you willing took part in the challenge and have to be over 18. No drinks such as milk can be drunk to cool the heat.

Carnivore Pizza Challenge

This 30-inch, 11-pound pizza topped with a variety of meats and chesses is found in Kennesaw, Georgia. The rules are simple: devour the entire pizza with a partner in under one hour (without vomiting!).

The Great Steak Challenge

This steak feast is found in Baltimore, Maryland. Eat 7 different steaks and win $140! The downside is if you fail to eat every last piece, you have to pay $140 for the meal.

Firebrand Chili Challenge

Springfield, Illinois, Eat as many bowls of chili as possible. What does the chili taste like? Well, some have compared it to lava with the chili oil burning their insides. So you’re guaranteed heat.

Drink a Gallon of Malt Milkshake

This would be a fun yet very hard challenge. Do you think you can drink five full cups of the thickest most creamy milkshake you will ever drink in under 30 minutes? Take a trip to Crown Candy Kitchen in Saint Louis, Missouri if you think you’re up for the challenge!

Four Horsemen Burger

Found in San Antonio, Texas, this is quite literary ‘the burger from hell’, topped with four of the hottest chilies in the world. 25 minutes of excruciating pain and five minutes of no soothing drinks will get your name on the wall of fame.

The Kitchen Sink Challenge

For anyone who loves ice cream, topped with mound of whipped cream and topping, then take a trip to the San Francisco Creamery and take on the ice cold challenge.

Suicide Six-Wing Challenge

New York, Brooklyn is home to the hottest chicken wings, know as suicide six wing challenge. Simply eat six wings – sounds easy, right? There’s a reason you only have to eat six – they’re hotter than hell!

180-Oyster Challenge

For seafood, especially oyster loves go to New Orleans and take on the oyster challenge (it’s all in the name!).

Phall Curry

New York, Brick Lane is home to the hottest curry ever created. In fact, this curry was created as a dare and can only be cooked wearing a gas mask!

Can You Handle the Heat?

Posted on: March 31st, 2010 Posted by

So hot, they have to be kept locked up.

The Scoville Test is named after the American Chemist Wilbur Scoville, he used this test to measure the Capsaicin found in chilies and the amount of water droplets it would take to eliminate the heat. Below are 10 chili varieties, from coldest to hottest. See which is the hottest you can handle.

Sweet Bell

Sweet Bells are the most common chili pepper and have no heat whatsoever, due to the lack of capsaicin caused by a gene that eliminates the substance in the Sweet Bell. Grown in America, sweet Bells are used in cooking to provide a sweet taste and texture. Using a blow torch, barbecue or any other open flame, the Sweet Bell’s can be blackened so the skin peels away.

Red Chile

Reaching five hundred to one thousand on the Scoville Scale, these chilies are the most common chilies in the world, adding small amounts of heat to food such as pizza. Grown around the world they vary from hot to subtly spicy. These chilies are used not just in food but in a variety of different ways. In India people use these chilies to ward of evil spirits by hanging them in houses and cars to fend of the Evil Eye. In medicine these chilies have analgesic properties to help with arthritis and diabetes.

Anaheim

Reaching between five hundred to two thousand on the Scoville Scale, but many varieties can reach near four thousand. Emilio Ortega bought the seeds from the chili to Anaheim, California in the 1900s. Dr. Fabian Garcia developed a hotter variety of Anaheim Chili over one hundred years ago to suit the tastes of New Mexicans.

Chilaca

Reaching between one thousand five hundred to two thousand five hundred on the Scoville Scale and sold in Mexico, United States and the United Kingdom. When these Chilies are dried they are called Pasilla chilies and lose a significant amount of capsaicin. Chilaca Chilies are often mixed with fruit and served with meats and fish.

Jalapeno

Reaching between three to eight thousand on the Scoville Scale, Jalapenos are a great chili to add heat without overdoing it. Jalapeno’s take just over seventy days to grow and can either be green or red when picked. Jalapenos are of Spanish origin but have become more commonly grown in Mexico and are named after the town of Xalapa (Jalapa). Jalapenos are used as a topping for nachos.

Serrano

Reaching between eight thousand to twenty three thousand on the Scoville Scale, these chilies can be found in Puebla and Hidalgo of Mexico. Usually green and red – the colours you expect from chilies – they can also be brown, orange or yellow. These are mostly eaten raw but could be added to different cuisines.

Arbol

Reaching between fifteen to thirty thousand on the Scoville Scale. This particular chili has some strange common names such as Rat’s Tail and Bird’s Beak, and is grown in Mexico. Arbols are often used to decorate wreaths when dried. They are bought in either fresh, dried or powdered form for use in cooking. Arbol is short for Chile De Arbol.

Chiltepin

Reaching between one hundred to two hundred and fifty thousand on the Scoville Scale, these native to the US chilies pack a punch. Commonly known as the Bird’s Eye chili, these small but powerful chilies grow on rocky slopes and are covered with shrubs. Wild birds eat these chilies. Most enthusiasts argue that these chilies should be placed higher than the Red Savina on the Scoville Scale, but this isn’t based of the amount of capsaicin found in the chili.

Red Savina

Reaching five hundred and seventy seven thousand on the Scoville Scale, these chilies use to be the hottest in the world until the winner was discovered. This chili was selectively bred to produce a hotter, heavier and larger chili. Growing not much bigger than a walnut, the Red Savina held the Guinness World Record for the hottest chili between 1994 – 2006.

Bhut Jolokia

Reaching around one million on the Scoville Scale, the Bhut Jolokia, or ‘Ghost Chili’ is the hottest you will find on earth. Compare this to tabasco sauce, which is between two to five thousand on the Scoville Test. Grown in India, Bangladesh and even Sri Lanka with the name changed to Nai Mirris (Cobra Chili). These chilies are used in eating competitions, including one where the contestant has to eat six chicken wings covered in a sauce made with these face-melting chilies!