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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Tips And Tricks

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I’ve been getting a few requests about #tips when you’re shopping for meat at your grocery store. I would say you first want to get to know your butcher and your fishmonger. Your butcher and fishmonger are there to provide a service, but let me tell you they can do so much more for you. Get to know them, I mean on a first name basis. They are so educated in their field. I’m always learning something.

Let me give you some examples.
First, the butcher. Where I shop, you can watch the butchers working behind a glass backdrop at the meat counter. When they come out to restock, I always, make a point to stop and talk. They know my name because I’m usually there every day.

The reason for this is because I was taught if you have a well-stocked pantry, and those comfortable spices you rely on. The only things you really need to shop for are the proteins and produce you’re going to be using that day.

I have a few pictures here of different cuts of meat.

Second, I learned a few things from my butcher over the years about how to prep certain cuts of meat. Which types of meat are better when they are marinated. What to look for with ground meats and how to properly handle poultry. They told me that if there was something I needed from them not to hesitate to ask. I took those words to heart.

If I see that a certain cut of meat is on sale, and I need it to be ground up, I know I can ask and it’s no problem. Sometimes ground meat may not be on sale, and chicken cutlets are expensive. Having built a relationship with my butcher, I can just pick the kind of meat I want and (s)he’ll prepare whatever I need. All I’m saying is, just because it’s packaged a certain way doesn’t mean they can’t customize a certain cut of meat into the style you need.

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For example, boneless-skinless chicken breasts are less expensive than chicken cutlets. Stop and talk to your butcher, ask him or her if they wouldn’t mind cutting the package of chicken breasts into cutlets. I’m sure they would be glad to do it.

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Third, Fishmongers are also very knowledgeable in their field. They can tell you what to look for in fish, or shellfish and the proper preparation of the different varieties.

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Whenever possible, go to your local farmer’s market to purchase your product. Support your local farmers and buy what’s in season. Believe me, when I tell you, it will make a big difference in your finished recipe.

Finally, when buying spices, try to buy them whole. The shelf life is much longer. Keep them in a cool, dry, dark place. Spices that you use regularly, of course, buy those ground if you don’t want to do that yourself.

Oh, another #trick I learned is to keep all your nuts in a sealed container in the freezer for longer shelf life. I also keep a dried bay leaf in all my flour containers, I don’t know why it seems to keep unwanted pests away. Well, I hope I helped with some of the #tips and #tricks that I learned over the years, and having this blog, able to share.

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Semi-Homemade Drop Biscuits

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Growing up in my house it was always a big deal when my parents took my sister and me out to eat. When Melissa was a young girl she and I would have dinner and a  movie every Friday night. Our first stop was to a seafood restaurant where we would have dinner before going to a movie.

Anyway years later this particular restaurant came out with Cheddar Bay Biscuits they served you before your meal. I don’t know about you but I loved those biscuits. Over the years I’ve tried to recreate them, and they were good but not near as good as the real thing. If you know me, you know I love to cook and bake too, Although when I’m cooking a certain dish which requires a lot of time, I don’t mind saying, I do take shortcuts on certain things. I mean we are all busy, and if I had the time to make everything from scratch I would.

When it comes to my cake making, sure, I could get all the ingredients together, and measure everything out, and I have. Remember when I made that 3 tier wedding cake for friends of mine. That was a whole day of work to put that beautiful cake together. The chocolate buttercream frosting was from scratch and so was the cake batter. I loved doing because I knew I had the time.

Today, I don’t feel bad or guilty when I take help from the store with certain items, especially cake mixes, and pancake mix. I just add ingredients to them to make them my own. Cookies though. I do like to make from scratch. I’ll be posting some of my favorite cookie recipes soon.

Wow, how did I get so far off topic!  Biscuits are one of my favorite things to have with a meal. You can pretty much add whatever you want to them. Drop style biscuits are my favorite, no kneading involved. Anyway, the grocery store now carries the restaurant’s brand box mix for these wonderful biscuits.

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I follow the baking instructions on the box but, I do make a few changes.

To the actual dry mix, I add 1 tablespoon of ricotta cheese, and 1/2 a cup of shredded white cheddar cheese, and a little less than 3/4 cup of water to the mix. Do not over mix. Bake at 425 degrees for 14-16 minutes and then brush that delicious buttery mixture over the top of each one. By making these changes, I’ve kind of made them Semi-Homemade Drop Biscuits.

I don’t use their seasoning pack, included in the box, I just use the dry mix, which yields 10 biscuits. I make my own seasoning for the top of the biscuits. I use 1 stick of unsalted melted butter. To that, I add 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of dried parsley. I brush this mixture on the top of the biscuits right when they come out of the oven. 

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Semi-Homemade Drop Biscuits

 

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