My Recipe

Braised Drumstick with Chee Hou Sauce

Ingredients:

8 pieces (about 30 oz) chicken drumstick
8 oz onion (sliced)
1 Tbsp garlic (minced)
1 Tbsp shallot (minced)
1 Tbsp ginger (minced)
1-1/2 Tbsp Chee Hou Sauce 柱侯醬

Chicken Marinade:

2 tsp dark soy sauce

Seasoning:

1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
2 tsp oyster sauce
1/8 tsp white ground pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
3/4 tsp chicken broth mix
1-1/2 cups Water

Thickening Solution:

1 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp water

Method:

  1. Make two slashes through the skin of each drumstick, about 1/4-inch deep. Rub dark soy sauce all over chicken. Set aside for about 5 minutes.
  2. Mix seasoning ingredients and thickening solution in separate bowls.
  3. Heat wok and add 1/2 Tbsp oil. Sauté onion for about 30 seconds. Remove.
  4. Reheat wok and add 2 Tbsp oil. Brown drumsticks on all sides for about 1 minute. Remove.
  5. With remaining oil in wok, sauté garlic, shallot and ginger until fragrant. Add Chee Hou sauce and chicken, toss to coat. Add 2 tsp wine and toss briefly. Add seasoning ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 25 minutes until chicken is tender and sauce is reduced. Return onion to wok. Cook until soft. Add thickening solution. Keep tossing until sauce thickens. Remove and serve hot.

Nutrition value for 1 drumstick:

Calorie 137, Fat 8.7 g, Carbohydrate 5 g, Fibre 1 g, 3 g, Cholesterol 36 mg, Sodium 406 mg, Protein 9 g.


In Pictures: Mexican Foods

Chicharron prensado

Pambazo

Costras

Tepache

Tikin xic

Chicharron preparado

Oaxacan garnacha

Green chorizo

Tacos Árabes

Cooking Class: Cutting Boards

Maple

PROS:

If kindly treated, a maple cutting board can last at least 10 years before retiring gracefully to the kitchen wall as a chronicler of meals past. Wood has “give” and doesn’t dull blades as quickly as harder surfaces do. Many chefs prefer end-grain boards (those that look like checkerboards) because they’re firmer than edge-grain boards (those made with long strips of wood, like the one above) and stand up to restaurant use. For the home chef, however, end-grain boards are probably not worth the extra cost.

CONS:

Despite what many people believe, wood does not contain a natural germicide that kills bacteria. It is not dishwasher-safe and must be oiled to prevent splits and cracks.

CARE:

Scrub with a nonabrasive brush and hot, soapy water. Rinse and dry thoroughly—water that sits can create a germ-friendly environment. What’s more, when water is left to evaporate, the wood’s own moisture evaporates with it, which means you’ll have to treat your board with oil more frequently. You can tell the board needs to be oiled when its glue lines are extremely light. Use mineral oil or raw, all-natural tung or walnut oil, both available at most health-food stores. (Don’t use cooking oil—it can make the wood smell rancid.)

* * * * * * * *

Bamboo

PROS:

Crafted from narrow, laminated bamboo strips, these boards have become popular for everyday cooking because they function just as well as hardwood boards without all the extra TLC. They’re lightweight and attractive enough to double as serving trays, and the hard surface means fewer nicks and slices that harbor bacteria.

CONS:

Bamboo (which is a grass) is harder than wood, so it performs well, but your knives will need more frequent sharpening.

CARE:

Compared with wood boards, bamboo won’t shrink or swell as much when exposed to water, and you won’t need to apply oil as frequently. Regular rinsing with warm water and mild detergent and an occasional sweep of mineral oil are enough to keep the sheen intact. With proper care, a bamboo board will last at least 10 years.

* * * * * * * *

Plastic and Solid Surface

PROS:

These cutting boards are lighter than wood, generally dishwasher-safe, and kind to knives and will not stain or gouge easily. A solid-surface board (such as Corian) can withstand the heat of a hot pot. Softer plastic (for example, polypropylene) is less durable.

CONS:

There aren’t many downsides to plastic. But even though studies have repeatedly proved that nonporous plastic is better than wood at preventing bacteria growth, you still must be vigilant about sanitizing.

CARE:

Wipe away water as you chop. Afterward, scrub with a nylon brush and hot, soapy water, then rinse and dry thoroughly. Consider buying a board that is labeled “dishwasher-safe” so it will withstand the 140-degree heat of a rinse cycle. This will remove stains and germs embedded in slits and crevices.

* * * * * * * *

Disposable Cutting Sheets

PROS:

These new kids on the chopping block can be thrown out after a single use, so they’re a blessing for picnickers and campers, as well as those who fear E. coli and salmonella.

CONS:

Disposable sheets, made of paper and plastic, can slide around while you’re chopping, and they don’t stand up to heavy-duty jobs, such as cutting up a whole chicken. And like disposable diapers, they aren’t for the environmentally conscious.

CARE: Roll up and toss.

* * * * * * * *

Flexible Cutting Mats

PROS:

These durable, place mat-thin plastic sheets are easy to store and bend, so you can transfer chopped foods without making a mess. Inexpensive and multicolored, they lend themselves to a system: yellow for poultry, green for produce, blue for fish, for example. Since you don’t have to worry about chicken juices contaminating the salad greens, you won’t need to stop and wash as you chop.

CONS:

These mats are too thin and flexible to withstand the dishwasher. Use them on a resilient surface, like a butcher block, Corian, or a laminated counter (not stainless steel or granite), or your knives will take a beating. They are lightweight and may slide around while you cut (a damp paper towel set under the mat will keep it in place). Larger flexible mats—those that are at least 15 by 11 inches—stay put better.

CARE:

Wash well with hot, soapy water. Dry thoroughly and store flat.

Source: Real Simple

The World’s Favorite Fruit Is Slowly but Surely Being Driven to Extinction

Gwynn Guilford wrote . . . . .

The virulent banana-killing disease that quietly stalked through East and Southeast Asia since the 1960s is now on a global conquest. Since 2013, the lethal fungus has jumped continents, ravaging crops in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Australia.

It’s clear the strategies for containing the spread of Panama disease, as it’s known, aren’t working. And since the fungus can’t be killed, it’s likely only a matter of time before it lands in Latin America, where some more than three-fifths of the planet’s exported bananas are grown. In other words, the days of the iconic yellow fruit are numbered.

This latest bit of grim news about the fate of the banana comes in a new study in PLOS Pathogens. Tracing the genetic makeup of the fungus found in the various afflicted places, the research team’s analysis confirmed that the perpetrator is a single clone of Panama disease called “Tropical Race 4,” says Gert Kema, banana expert at Wageningen University and Research Center, who co-authored the study.

“We know that the origin of [Tropical Race 4] is in Indonesia and that it spread from there, most likely first into Taiwan and then into China and the rest of Southeast Asia,” Kema tells Quartz. The deadly fungus has now leapt to Pakistan, Lebanon, Jordan, Oman, and Mozambique, and Australia’s northeast Queensland, he says.

While their findings basically prove what many banana scientists had suspected, the work highlights how little we understand about destroying the fungus—and how ineffective quarantine efforts to date have been.

Does this mean you should start bingeing on splits and smoothies right this instant? Not exactly. It takes time for Tropical Race 4 to spread. But once it takes root, the decline is inevitable. Taiwan, for instance, now exports around 2% of what it did in the late 1960s, when Tropical Race 4 was first discovered there.

If this story sounds familiar, it might be because it’s happened before. As Quartz detailed in 2014, in the late 1800s, Race 1—the current strain’s elder cousin—laid epic waste to Latin America’s banana plantations.

This was possible because commercial bananas are all clones of each other—monocultures, in other words. Since they can’t sexually reproduce, they also can’t evolve, leaving them defenseless against disease. Within 50 years, the commercial banana crop of that era—the Gros Michel—was functionally extinct.

Fortunately for us, scientists discovered a cultivar that could resist Race 1: the Cavendish. That’s the crop we eat still today.

But history is very plainly repeating itself. Tropical Race 4 is more highly evolved than its fungal forebear, and it kills Cavendishes with ease. That threatens $11 billion global banana trade with the same sort of collapse that happened to the Gros Michel.

There’s one alarming difference, however, between now and a century ago: These days, people eat way more bananas.

And exports are only 18% of total production. Most bananas are grown by small-time farmers in the many poor countries where they’re a staple crop. Worldwide, Tropical Race 4 is able to kill more than four-fifths of those bananas poor farming communities rely on for food. The strong likelihood that the virulent fungus will spread further the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa puts an additional 40% of global banana production at risk.

Source: QUARTZ

Women with Diabetes Exposed to Air Pollution at Higher Risk for Heart Disease

Women with diabetes who are exposed to air pollution for long periods may have a much higher risk for heart disease, according to a long-term, nationwide study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

“Although studies have shown that people with diabetes are particularly vulnerable to the cardiovascular effects of acute exposures to air pollution, our study is one of the first to demonstrate high risks of cardiovascular disease among individuals with diabetes with long-term exposures to particulate matter,” said Jaime E. Hart, Sc.D., study lead author and assistant professor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.

Researchers studied 114,537 women (average age 64) who were part of the Nurses’ Health Study. During the follow-up in 1989-2006, researchers recorded incidences of cardiovascular disease (6,767), coronary heart disease (3,878) and strokes (3,295).

Researchers calculated the impacts of three different sizes of particulate matter (PM) air pollution:

  • Fine particulate pollutant smaller than 2.5 thousandths of a millimeter in diameter (PM2.5), which is much smaller than a speck of dust, 1/30th diameter of a human hair and not visible to the human eye, is created from combustion from cars, power plants, etc.
  • Particulate pollutant larger than PM2.5 but smaller than PM10 (PM2.5-10) is created from windblown dust, crushing and grinding and road dust.
  • Particulate pollutant PM10 includes both PM2.5 and PM2.5-10.

While all women had small increased risks of cardiovascular disease (CVD) with more air pollution exposure, the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke among women with diabetes for each 10 micrograms per cubic meter of air, the increase was:

  • 44 percent for CVD (66 percent for stroke) for smallest size pollution;
  • 17 percent for CVD (18 percent for stroke) for road dust-type larger size pollution; and
  • 19 percent for CVD (23 percent for stroke) for exposure to both sizes of pollution.

Researchers also found higher effects of air pollution among women 70 and older, obese women and women who lived in the northeast or south.

“It is important to identify these subgroups, so that pollution standards can be developed that protect them,” Hart said.

Smoking status and family history didn’t consistently modify the association between particulate matter and cardiovascular disease, and risks were most elevated with exposures in the previous 12 months, researchers said.

The study was limited in that the participants were mostly white women of middle- and upper-socioeconomic status.

Source: American Heart Association


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