All The Benefits Of Being A Chef

Working under intense heat with people barking orders and shouting food requests at you left, right and centre, with the ever prevalent risk of slipping on some oil, burning yourself while cooking or dropping a heavy item of equipment on yourself why would anyone want to become a chef? Unsociable hours, irregular shift patterns….working as a chef seems to be a foolish career choice indeed and one that is best reserved for only the most pain-loving of those among us!

There can be no denying that being a chef is a tough career, and one that does not suffer fools gladly, and one that demands only the very best from its employees. It is a career that will require creativity, commitment and a genuine passion for food as well as a meticulous nature and a willingness to learn new skills.

However, there is a tendency to focus exclusively upon the negative aspects of the culinary/hospitality sector and that is a real pity because among the challenges, pitfalls and dangers that arise during the course of this career, there is a genuinely engaging and extremely rewarding job indeed.

One of the most pleasurable aspects of being a chef is the ability to experiment with your creativity and try and devise new and exciting dishes for your patrons. Being a chef is a job that rewards creativity and genuine curiosity and so if you are adventurous at heart then you will enjoy the thrill of devising your very own culinary cuisine. One thing is certain, you will never be bored when you are a chef.

Another exciting aspect of being a chef is the opportunity to travel that it provides, and as you work your way up the career ladder you can be rest assured that doors across the globe will open to you. There is a strong need for skilled, talented and committed chefs and so a hard working chef will find that the world really is his oyster.

Many readers will have read the above paragraph and think:

“See the world as a chef? Surely that is just for those chefs that manage to make a splash in the media and become a celebrity!”

In actual fact, many colleges and culinary schools offer foreign exchange programs in an attempt to expand the culinary skills of their students by exposing them to international cuisine. Whilst we are on the subject however, there is a lot of potential for the astute chef to be able to manage their own business, and perhaps even become a media personality.

If you like the sound of being a chef, then your best bet would be to enroll in a college course or a course offered by a culinary school because this will mean that you are certified and professionally qualified in cooking. This will make your transition into the job market far easier and means you will have a stronger bargaining position with which you can more readily negotiate your salary, working hours and your workload.

SECRET RESTAURANT RECIPES

SECRET RESTAURANT RECIPES

Mind you, I’m not just talking about cooking great dishes like what you get from other recipe books. I’m talking about cooking world class, top end dishes that popular restaurants are selling this very moment for a whopping 400% profit. Frankly speaking, just the thought of producing all these amazing meals and recreating the “perfect restaurant experience” in the comfort of my own dining room gets me all hyped up! With America’s Secret Recipes, you too can cook dishes like the PROS do in a matter of minutes! !

With your copy of the best-selling “America’s Secret Recipes” cookbook you will: Save Time – No more trial and error or WASTEFUL experimentation needed to find the “exact taste”. With this recipe book, you get to create dishes from your favorite restaurants with uncanny resemblance! Save Money – Just imagine the sheer amount of cash you will be able to save just by cooking these dishes yourself at home! If you just prepare these meals once per week, you will save well over $180 each month at the bare minimum. Not to mention the satisfaction you’ll get when people find out you made these famous dishes from your own kitchen. Get Started in Record Time – Each recipe is written in fine detail, right down to the exact proportions and amounts of ingredients you should use. All have been time and taste buds testedfor the greatest results!

mpress Your Family and Friends With Exact Replicas of The Following Famous Dishes:

BBQ Restaurant Franchises In the United States

Few things are better than the passion and satisfaction that is brought by the wonderful aroma of BBQ food.

There is no doubt in anyones mind that if barbecue was a national food, in the United States it would win without losing a breath. One of the core reasons behind this is the simple fact that barbecue is enjoyed World over by almost every culture that you can imagine, and as such, enjoys a level of popularity not seen in other types of cuisine.

On top of that, every person that is capable of holding a pair of barbecue tongs also has their own personal favorites and knows how to best cook and present their favorite BBQ dishes.

Within the United States, there are four well known styles of barbecue that exist; from Memphis, Texas, Kansas City and Carolina, and within each of these states, barbecue restaurant franchises are available and offer an exciting opportunity to new restaurant owners seeking a successful business model within a well established market.

To whet your appetite for business in the Barbecue Franchise Market, here is the “meat” of the facts!

1) 7, 429 Barbecue Franchises operating since 1998; this figure has risen dramatically from 1998 – 2008. (1998 Recount U.S., a service of NPD Foodservice Information Group, Rosemont, IL.)

2) Burgers (82%), steak (79%), chicken (72%) and hot dogs (71%) top the list of the most popular BBQ foods prepared on a hot barbecue grill!

3) Charcoal grill owners are most often prompted to cook on their charcoal grills by a desire to eat great tasting food (77%)

4) Four in ten consumers who eat from a charcoal grill (39%) normally use barbecue sauce to add flavor to their dishes. Most popular flavors include hickory (65%), mesquite (49%) and honey (49%). (Source: The Hearth, Barbecue and Patio Survey 2007)

5) The first bottled barbecue sauce originated in Kansas City. (Dotty Griffith, Celebrating Barbecue…, 2002)

Is investing in a BBQ Franchise a sensible thing to do?

Passion for food is paramount to run any successful BBQ restaurant franchise, and if you have the energy and will to succeed, then you should seriously consider taking up the reigns on a barbecue franchise.

If you have a strong gut feeling that there is a great opportunity for a barbecue franchise in the area that you are considering launching, then start looking for a franchise that fits your financial criteria while satisfying your diners.

It should be known that the first year is the hardest for any franchisee and it is rare for a new BBQ franchise to break even. This is the nature of starting a new restaurant franchise.

How much does it cost to run a BBQ restaurant franchise?

To start your own barbecue restaurant franchise, you should be ready to invest in the regions of $75,000 and $250,000 in total capital investment.

Your BBQ franchise fee can be expected to average out at around $35,000 and the franchisor may possibly take a cut of around five per cent of your takings.

Locations, meanwhile, are likely to be large and spacious. You’ll need to have a customer-facing approach that can fill that space, night after night.

Some franchisors construct from scratch to guarantee standardized experiences. Bar-B-Cutie for example, takes between 90 days and six months to build and prepare a site, so bear this in mind. If you are in a hurry to get started, that may not be the way to go as that could douse your grilling dreams in a bucket of cold water.

You could also find that barbecue restaurant franchisors want to be hands-on and take the lead on designing your BBQ restaurant so that it blends in with the franchise’s brand.

This can include things like staff workwear, menus, dinner plates and so forth; leading names like the well-known barbecue restaurant chain such as the 55-year-old Bar-B-Cutie, are adamant in ensuring that their corporate identity is kept intact within their outlets.

If, on the other hand, you prefer running things your way, then it would be wise to seek a smaller barbecue restaurant franchise as they often have less stringent controls on the way you run your business.

It should go without saying, but always read the small print in any franchises terms and conditions, as they will all vary, some to your liking, and some not.

If you think you are ready to take up the tongs on your own barbecue franchise and open your own restaurant, take a look through these fiery franchise delight below and see what lights your fire.

The current list of active Barbecue Restaurant Franchises in the United States.

BD’s Mongolian BBQ

Since 1992, BD’s has been delivering a unique, interactive dining experience that sets them apart from the competition focusing on: Fun, Choice and Control. BD’s are currently looking for franchise partners to help them build on the success they have experienced with both owner-operated and franchise restaurants.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

When you open a Dickey’s BBQ restaurant franchise, you’re not just opening a restaurant. You’re becoming part of the family. That’s why Dickey’s is the biggest fast-casual barbecue brand in the United States, and also the fastest growing.

Dickey’s are quite selective about who they choose to join the Dickey’s BBQ franchise family. Whether it’s an Owner/Operator or a team member, they select only the the very best.

Famous Dave’s Barbeque

Famous Dave’s is a “specialty” casual dining restaurant franchise, creating environments that transcend current restaurant offerings by serving the highest quality, flavor-intense foods in surroundings that are stimulating, interesting and fun! Famous Dave’s is more than a restaurant – it’s an escape from the ordinary.

As of June 15, 2009, Famous Dave’s had 176 restaurants open – 46 corporate and 130 franchised locations in 38 states. They have been ranked #1 in our restaurant category by ‘Entrepreneur Magazine’ in 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2009.

Sonny’s Bar-B-Q

Sonny’s reputation wasn’t built overnight – it’s been almost 40 years in the making. Sonny’s Bar-B-Q customer acceptance is based on their unwavering commitment to making outstanding Bar-B-Q served by outstanding people.

Today, their success continues as a result of a strong family of dedicated franchisees backed by a solid system that delivers consistent products and profits.

At Sonny’s Franchise Company, community involvement is a top priority. That’s why they support various community initiatives throughout the southeast. Sonny’s has strong partnerships in Education, Arts & Humanities, Charitable Initiatives, Youth Development and Human Services.

Virginia Barbeque

Their business model has been specifically designed to be family friendly to the customers and the franchise owner. Owners are drawn to the BBQ business because of the lifestyle freedoms that are unique to their chain that opens at 11 am and closes no later than 9pm.

Virginia Barbecue are also quick to point out that, “Americans now spend 47.9 percent of their annual food budget in restaurants, making it nearly equal with grocery stores and other retailers as their main source of food, the NRA stated.”

Woody’s Bar-B-Q

Woody’s have a passion for Bar-B-Q, and a passion for great franchise partners. With a lower start-up entry cost and outstanding franchisee support, Woody’s is a great opportunity within the fast-growing casual dining segment. And, Bar-B-Q is hotter than ever.

Woody’s are commited to training new franchisees in all aspects of operating a new BBQ franchise business and provide dynamic opening advertising assistance and customer generation techniques, and the toll-free support line means that as a new franchisee, you will always have someone on hand to help.

I hope you enjoyed reading about BBQ restaurant franchises in the United States. If you would like more barbecue ideas for your next BBQ, head over to Barbecue Party for hundreds of varied and delicious barbecue recipes. You may also like to find out more about these popular Barbecue Restaurant Franchises and read the finer details.

How to Read Food Labels

Nutrients

This refers to the list of central nutrients in a particular item. It is also where the restriction claims of the product based on the recommended daily undernourishment grant are mentioned. Oftentimes, the nutritional amounts are based on both the 2,500-calorie diets and the 2,000 recommended hunger allowances.

In order to discern the numeric value of each item, you should know that the “daily value” for the nutrients.

3. Program

This refers to the list of the ingredients that were used to manufacture the outgrowth. The listing is usually arranged from the main ingredients that have the greater amount by counterweight up to the fig quantity. This simply means that the actual quantity of the food takes the biggest quantity of the main ingredient or the first item and the minimum amount of the very last element.

4. Label claim

This attributes to the kinds of nutritional claims of a particular food item. For instance, if an item says it is Pentothal-free, it has less than 5 milligrams per serving or a low fat item not absolutely contains 3 grams of fat or less.

Indubitably, reading food labels can be very tedious and equivocal saying. Nevertheless, once you get the hang of it, it sham* be allay for you to watch your diet now you can already control the amount of food that you take. KC Jackson, World Trade Marketing, http://www.wtm-income.net/foodar/index.php

The History Of Thai Food And Its Many Influences

Whether you like your food spicy, sweet, sour, or salty, Thai food has all these flavors and more. Unique in nature because it appeals to everyones food instincts, Thai cuisine is not just bursting with flavor, but every mouthful of it creates an explosive sensation in the mouth, whether its a stir-fry dish, a noodle/rice dish, or a curry. Undoubtedly, its this explosion of taste that is pushing Thai food on the list of most popular cuisines in the world as well as in North America. So who or what gets the credit of having developed such a fantastic blend of flavors that appeal to everyones taste buds? What factors inspired the Thai people to create such fantastic gourmet combinations and the seamless blend of flavors, tastes, and aromas? Why wait; lets find out!

The culinary culture of this royal country boasts of a rich and ancient history. History has it that Thais had already begun to enjoy the Siamese cuisine during the 13th century. Siamese cuisine consisted of servings of seafood and meat dishes along with fresh local vegetables, spices and herbs such as pepper and garlic, on a bed of rice. Due to open borders with neighboring countries, Thailands style of cooking started absorbing influences from India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma, and China. Thai food began being cooked with spices, ingredients, and even cookware from these countries. For example, the Thais learned to use, now their most important culinary tool – the steel wok as well as learnt how to create noodles. India contributed in the form of turmeric, chillies, cumin, coriander, and many other Indian spices. However, in addition to adapting the best cooking styles from others, Thais didnt forgo their styles completely. Instead they combined the best of both worlds and created Thai food as we know of it today. An example of this fact is that though Thai food uses noodles in the dishes, these noodles are made from rice and not wheat or egg as with Chinese or Italian dishes.

Other important influences that contributed to the growth and taste of Thai food include spicy flavors of Burmese sambals or red chilly sauces; exotic rice dishes inspired by Indonesian cuisine, and Malaysian curries. In fact, interestingly, one of the most well-known Thai Red Curry dishes is called Penang after the Malaysian state!

Food, as with life, adapts, develops, and enhances itself with time and cultural influences. With the sharing of knowledge, ingredients, and interaction, cuisines mature just like Thai cuisine has.

For more such interesting information on Thai food history and other interesting facts visit our Thai Food website- http://www.templeofthai.com/

Cheap Homemade Carp Boilie Recipes For Better Winter fishing Success!

Have you often wondered what you can do to beat the recession by cutting back your bait costs, and wondered how to make your baits that bit different to normal in any way you like, well now is just the right time to make the change by making your own baits – to catch more fish for less money! Read on for some alternative well proven bait recipe ideas for winter and spring carp fishing success!

You have probably heard of the old fashioned familiar bait made from the 2 ingredients, semolina and soya flour. Such dry powders would usually be added to a mixture of eggs plus flavours and maybe sweeteners and other enhancers to form a distinctively flavoured cheap boilie or pellet bait. Here I will describe just a couple of ideas for an alternative version of a cheap homemade instant bait for winter and spring use.

To form a cheap basic binding carrier base mix for boilies and pellets and even for ground bait use of many forms, instead of using soya flour and semolina, why not use yellow maize flour, and chick pea flour, plus whole grain wholemeal wheat flour each in a ratio of a third to form a basic dry powder base mix. For ground baits add a proportion of groats and oats for instance so the bait breaks up easily!

If using wheat flour sounds strange remember that is all hard durum wheat semolina is and this is one of the most commonly used carp bait ingredients! All these 3 ingredients cost very little and will make quite a different bait when compared to very many cheaper readymade baits. Now one of the important parts of making an alternative cheap bait is providing carp with reasons to feed on your bait.

Often it is protein ingredients and mineral rich ingredients that do this job. In this case a few ideas can be used in any combination you wish. You can for example add a quantity of CC Moore Feedstim powder, or alternatively, enzyme-treated yeast powder or CSL powder. These are soluble which is very important in terms of cold water bait performance. Use of wheat germ and oat or wheat bran for instance is very useful in a cheap cold water bait. I would add a minimum of 1 gram of betaine to your dry powder mix.

In terms of further binding of bait apart from the initial 3 ingredients you can play around with whole egg powder for instance, which is available in supermarkets everywhere or from bait companies, or use egg protein powder. The nature of liquid eggs makes them less ideal for cold water baits and I have found using powdered egg in low levels can improve bait performance and actually allow the whole contents of baits from the middle out to get to work and get hydrated far more efficiently.

One of the more prominent points about cold water baits is a kind of natural pump action due to bait substances absorbing or adsorbing water within the bait. This action promotes the diffusion and synergistic working of bait substances that spread out into the water forming a trail of concentration of bait particles and bait solution that carp can home in on.

The use of flavours obviously can help in this effect and most flavours whether natural esters, synthetic propylene glycol, alcohol or glycerol based or nature identical etc have effects that improve the diffusion of bait substances into the water column. A very simple alternative flavour combination could be a cream or butter or condensed milk flavour mixed 50:50 with Bun Spice B. It is your choice whether to use a lower flavour level such as 2 or 3 millilitres per kilogram of dry bait mix or to over dose for hook baits for instance and use maybe 15 millilitres or more for when fishing single hook baits. Note that different flavours with the same name can differ tremendously in components, concentration and impacts on carp and bait testing using different levels and different company products is very well worth the effort!

Use of an additional mineral and vitamin supplement is extremely valuable in this effect too and CC Moore Cyprivit which is a vitamin supplement is very good for supplying essential nutritional attraction. It might sound strange to some anglers but sources of water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins are attractive to carp.

If you want to enhance your bait a little more probably the simplest thing to use is a mixture of icing sugar and granulated white sugar. Again these will help hydrate your bait and make it more water soluble. You might like to try the Ultrasweet concentrated sweetener from CC Moore too as usually the combination of a sucrose based sweetener plus a concentrated sweetener provides a longer-lasting sweetness hit!

In terms of liquids try using use a large amount of CC Moore Feedstim in your bait. It is in many ways superior to liquid yeast or CSL for example – but then you could use all these in combination.

Although many cold water baits are of the sweet, of fruity or spicy or milky varieties many others work too and the rules can be broken because frankly it is the fish that make them. If you want to use a fishing marine accent in your bait why not simply boil up some fermented shrimp Belachan block and use it in the thickest most concentrated form you can produce?! Try this with CC Moore Ultra Crab Essence or their Ultra Frankfurter Essence for example or even combine the 2. Why use a standard pineapple for instance when you could use an apple flavour with added lemon juice with glycerine and a little concentrated sweetener to sweeten it for instance and a little vodka to thin it. Such mixtures are sure to be a little different for wary Mr Carp!

Homemade baits are all about fulfilling requirements you have personally regarding personal interpretations and preferences you may have about the kinds of baits you wish to use and this includes budgeting of ingredients and other components. Baits can be made instantly because winter and cold spring baits do not require rolling at all – just pull bits off a ball of dough and quick boil or steam or leave as paste and use as it is.

The more ingredients, enhancers and liquid substances and so on you use the more your bait cost rises. Therefore choose your ingredients for what they offer in terms of more than simply nutrition or attraction value and consider other factors such as buoyancy, density, texture, reactivity with water and with other bait components etc. Carp baits can be very simple but quite advanced in their nature in terms of how they impact on water and on fish senses and natural instincts.

Unusual simple baits can get around the conditioned defensive behaviours and senses of wary carp is only because they are new, alternative and different. On this point please do not underestimate the power of not making your cold water baits smooth skinned. This will ensure the performance of your baits is improved for multiple reasons. This is not least because your baits will be very different from well over 90 percent of the most popular conventional machine extruded and machine rolled commercial readymade baits that carp experience 24 hours a day on most carp waters.

Most carp in carp waters today are wary to various degrees and obviously our own fishing baits train them up to be wary and actually act as danger reference points and not just as an attractive regular food source!

Wary carp learn to avoid standard popular bait formats due to all those thousands of repetitive experiences of coming across them and assessing them for the danger of hooks! Therefore when they come across a bait that has multiple characteristics that are different to the majority of baits they get hooked on they are many times more likely to make a mistake and get hooked. For me, this is one of the biggest competitive edges of making homemade baits and I over all I have found well over 90 percent of my homemade baits (going right back to the seventies) worked from their very first trips out so the risk of wasting bait is simply not an issue!

Obviously with a little practice and practicing using cheap ingredients and small quantities of bait you risk nothing and gain the experience to really leverage homemade baits so you never feel the need to follow fashions and buy readymade baits so you are basically giving yourself a choice that those who have decided to always be totally dependant on readymade baits will never have!

With a little practice you can replicate very many of the simpler, cheaper or more sophisticated commercial boilies and pellets available today (but made with a twist of your own!) You will be able to reap the big rewards being the first angler to ever use your new alternative baits on your waters and experience the incredible satisfaction of new personal best fish on baits you designed and made yourself (and is something no readymade bait can match!)

You can be sure with 100 percent certainty that no-one else will ever know just what bait you are using and no-one else will never be able to catch your target fish on the same bait as you which is a real problem and major worry when using easily-available popular readymade baits! (For much more information on making unique homemade baits and adapting readymade baits and altering for many applications and unique purposes see my bait making secrets website called Baitbigfish plus my biography and link right now!)

By Tim Richardson.

Now why not seize this moment to improve your catches for life with these unique fishing bibles: -BIG CARP FLAVOURS FEEDING TRIGGERS AND CARP SENSES EXPLOITATION SECRETS!- -BIG CARP AND CATFISH BAIT SECRETS!- And -BIG CARP BAIT SECRETS!- For these and much more now visit: the home of the world-wide proven homemade bait making and readymade bait success secrets bibles and more original free articles is BAITBIGFISH.COM

Restaurant Development Services

A restaurant’s success depends heavily on a number of crucial factors that create an attractive and compelling dining experience for guests. Some of these factors include quality service, the atmosphere or ambience of the restaurant, great food quality, comfortable accommodations and a wow factor to compel a guest to return. All of these are crucial elements of a successful restaurant.

Benefits of Restaurant Consultants
The services of a qualified restaurant consultant are often necessary in order to help a restaurateur attain their business goals. The expertise that consultants bring and the sources they draw from can make the difference between a mediocre restaurant design and development verses an outstanding restaurant design and development.

Restaurant Design Preparation
Prior to planning and implementing the design elements of your restaurant, you should have a clear understanding of the type of demographic your restaurant intends to attract. Depending on whether your restaurant is formal, casual, family, fast casual or another type will help you formulate restaurant design plans that are appropriate to the preferences of your future customers.

Restaurant Design Elements
Restaurant design features are an integral part of the overall process of restaurant development. The interior ambience, layout and restaurant theme play an important role in the overall identity of your restaurant. Layout affects the efficient delivery of services. Style and atmosphere can either attract or deter customers from returning to your restaurant in the future.

Restaurant Design Plans
Formulating an effective design plan for your restaurant is one of the most important aspects for ensuring long term success. Your design should not be based upon temporary fads or design crazes that will probably go out of style in a few years. Your restaurant design should preferably be based on proven and tested styles and themes that have worked for many other business owners, with your own design attributes added in to make your restaurant design unique. Some elements that go into restaurant design plans include furniture style, seating arrangements, wall dcor, lighting and kitchen access.

There are many important decisions involved in executing effective restaurant development services. A restaurant design that keeps customers coming back is the ultimate goal. A high quality restaurant consulting service can help manage these decisions and carry out the necessary tasks based on knowledge and previous experience to help produce successful results.
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Gilkey Restaurant Consulting is a reputable restaurant consultant firms, providing restaurant development services and restaurant design. For more details, visit us online!

Cooking with recipes from restaurants

You may be astonished and amazed at all the sinfully wealthy and delicious meals and side dishes which can be out there, that are amazingly quick and easy to arrange. This means that you will not run the all too standard disaster situations that you hear about and will still manage to get a wonderful meal that is enjoyed by all.

The trick is in choosing a one of the recipes like meat dish and dressing it up with the more decadent side dishes. Incredibly rich side dishes that are simple to prepare are enhanced in number than meat dishes that require little culinary effort. You should also keep in mind the visitors for your special occasion. Sometimes a loved ones favorite makes the occasion seem much more special than an all out effort for chicken cordon bleu or veal Marsala. There is no point in going to an extreme effort to create a culinary masterpiece if this can be going to be riddled with picky children proclaiming that they do not like this or that about your meal.

Another great idea when it comes to cooking for special occasions is get those recipes from America’s favorite restaurants. You will be amaze how easy to make them at home. Those dishes can be the base and with a little imagination, you can make them your own.Imagine the KFC Original Chicken Recipe or the Olive Garden Lasagna with own twist.

The event and to allow you more time to enjoy the event rather than dealing with the details of meal preparation. The greatest gift you could possibly really give yourself when cooking for special occasions is the time necessary in order to enjoy these moments. This is not to say that there isn’t some cooking that will need to be done.

Foods that can be prepared ahead of time and reheated just prior to serving are from time to time the best when it comes to cooking with recipes from restaurants. There are all kinds of appetizers, entrees, and desserts that will work perfectly in this particular instance. For special occasions I recommend that you get special yet effortless to made restaurants recipes You can often find them by performing a simple Google search online just look for “Recipes from restaurants” or “Kopycats recipes” . The important thing is that you do not get so caught up in the idea of cooking for special occasions that you forget to actually enjoy the occasion.

Some of us do thrive in high stress scenarios. The key for those who prefer to do all the meal preparation when cooking for special occasions at the time of cooking is planning properly and allowing plenty of time for possible hiccups in the process. Mistakes occur when people feel rushed and hurried in their culinary efforts.

Another common mistake that is made when cooking for special occasions is cooking outside of your comfort zone. When you are preparing a challenging recipe it is best if you do this during a time when you are not going through the stress of potential visitors or insuring the best possible of circumstances. In other words, it is best to challenge your culinary talents when you do not have a vested interest in success.

Christmas Food In Barcelona

Christmas is just around the corner and Barcelona is definitely preparing to get ready for the happiest season of the year.

Since the beginning of November, everyday new Christmas lights have been put on the streets to bring the festive atmosphere to the city. Even by walking through the smaller streets in Barceloneta or Raval area gives you already the Christmas feeling a month before. But not only do the streets become brighter, also the food selection get wider. Barcelona has many various kitchens to offer. So which one are the most traditional Catalonian dishes during the winter months..

As Barcelona is on the Mediterranean coast, obviously the seafood dishes are important part of Christmas food. Usually the Christmas dinner starts with salmon or prawn dish, which is followed by a hot bowl of homemade soup. The main meal consists traditionally of roast lamb and seafood, either cod or shellfish.
During the colder winter months soup is quite common dish for dinner time. The most famous one is sopa de galets which contains meat, vegetables and pasta.

Spain is a well-known chestnut exporter, therefore you cant miss every autumn-winter the roasted chestnut sellers on the streets. If you want to make it yourself then Boqueria market at La Ramblas is good place to get these fresh and for a good price. For roasting you just need oven, knife and water to be able to prepare chestnuts yourself at home.

The most popular dessert in Christmas time is turron. It is made of roasted almonds, honey and eggs. This sweet, of Arabic origin, can be found in the bigger supermarkets with different flavours. The best value you would find is probably in some smaller family stores on the side street, which are generally run by people from Middle-East.

Both polvorones and marzipans are types of sweets that are more in demand during the Christmas period. Polvorones are rich, crumbly cookies which mainly consist of almonds. As well as many other sweets`, todays gourmet varieties of marzipans are also mainly made of sugar and almonds, or in cheaper options rice flour or potato starch.

A very common dessert amongst Catalan people is prune crema. It is made of red wine, dried prunes, caster sugar, double cream and egg yolks. People use it often together with fruit or some crispy topping, which makes it even tastier.

To experience the taste of Mediterranean food, Barcelona is certainly one of those great cities that are worth to visit during Christmas and New Years period.
If you are looking for a nice budget place to stay then there is good selection of rental accommodation. One of the options could be BCN Loft, which offers cheap rooms in shared apartments. BCN Loft apartments are located all over Barcelonas city centre, so you are always close by to all the main attractions and best restaurants.
So theres nothing more left to say than Buen provecho!

How To Cook Chicken Legs on the Grill

Grilled chicken legs are not only a delicious summer meal, but they are also economical as legs are one of the cheapest parts of the chicken. Just because they are cheap, does not mean they have to lack in flavor. Actually, the dark meat of poultry has more flavor as it contains more fat.

One of the biggest problems grilling enthusiasts face however is with cooking times and temperatures. One of the most frequently asked questions is: how long do you grill chicken legs?

It really isn’t possible to give an exact answer to this question as it really depends on the type of grill you are using, the grilling method and how big the chicken legs are.

It really is an excellent idea to invest in a good quality cooking thermometer. I personally own a voice alert electronic thermometer. It really is a fantastic little cooking gadget and I would be lost without it. It is extremely accurate and eliminates all guessing, and guessing is not an option when cooking meat, especially chicken.

CHICKEN GRILLING METHODS

Boil the Chicken Legs First

The goal with this method is to cook the meat all the way through before it goes on the grill. This greatly reduces the risk of any food born illnesses and also cuts down the grilling time significantly. The downside to this method is a serious lack of flavor. Since you will be cooking the meat on the grill for a much shorter period of time, the meat will not have a chance to pick up that delicious grilled flavor.

Marinate Then Grill

Marinating your chicken legs first is always a good idea. Not only does it give your food a fantastic flavor, but it also keeps the meat moist during the cooking process. For the best results, marinate the chicken over night. Below is an excellent marinade that I use often and it is quite versatile. It works well with seafood like shrimp and scallops as well.

Citrus Herb Marinade

Ingredients:

4 Chicken Legs

1/4 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 1/2 Tablespoons of Fresh Lemon Juice

1 1/2 Tablespoons Fresh Orange Juice

1/3 Cup of Freshly Chopped Parsley

1/3 Cup Freshly Chopped Cilantro

2 Cloves of Garlic Minced

1 Teaspoon of Salt

1/4 Teaspoon of Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except the chicken legs. Add chicken to the bowl with the marinade and toss to coat. Refrigerate for several hours, over night if possible.

LETS GET GRILLING

I have found that the best method for cooking chicken legs on the grill is to first sear the meat and then finish the cooking process over indirect heat. The result is a nice moist chicken leg with a delightfully crispy skin.

Step 1: Remove chicken from marinade and rinse. This is to remove any ingredients from the marinade that are stuck to the chicken. If left on, this can burn. Coat the chicken with some oil to prevent it from sticking to the grill.