The Cloves Article of Your Dreams

 


Cloves are definitely one of the most distinct herbs around but ironically enough, cloves have been around forever and are not finished doing business just yet. Usually if you can not get your hands on some cloves, Allspice can be a substitute. Cloves have some preservative properties to them but they work well as an antiseptic, expectorant, anesthetic, or an Emmenogogue, working well on the kidneys, the spleen and the stomach.

Some make a combination of Cloves, Bay Leaves, Cinnamon, and Marjoram for a hot tea that helps bronchitis, asthma, coughs, a tendency to infection, tuberculosis, altitude sickness, nervous stomach, nausea, diarrhea, flatulence, indigestion, dyspepsia, gastroenteritis, the side effects of lobelia, and depression. Sometimes people mix cloves with hot water, again making a tea and claim that it helps them get a good night’s sleep.



Cloves and ginger is a sure way to settle the stomach and stop vomiting. If you combine equal parts of cloves and basil it is supposed to detox meals from the body. Cloves have been used for failing eyesight and tooth problems. It was used for earaches very often throughout history as putting a little warmed oil of clove on a piece of cotton and in your ear was certain to rid any earache. Mostly, cloves are known for being warm and spicy but also have a strong relationship with pain relief, easing nausea and vomiting, and improving digestion. Cloves also kill intestinal parasites and act as an antimicrobial agent against fungi and bacteria. It has also been suggested that cloves have antihistamine properties as well.


Do not be too quick to pass off the possibilities of cloves and aromatherapy as the two have a very strong bond between them. Since cloves have such a positive and stimulating effect on the mind they pair up great with other oils for aromatherapy purposes. In the 16th and 17th centuries cloves were worth their weight in gold however it is the clove oil that is most essential. In Indonesia many people Smoke Clove Cigarettes and that did spill over into the United States for a while but lost most of its vigor when it was found that clove cigarettes could cause adult respiratory distress syndrome.

The word clove comes from the Latin word “Clavus” which means nail. If you have ever looked at a clove you will notice that it does resemble a nail. Many people use whole cloves when they cook ham by sticking the spiky part around the outer edges of the ham for extra flavor. Indian Curries can not do without cloves but it is also used in pickles, sauces, Worcestershire sauce, and even spice cakes that are baked from scratch.


Throughout history cloves has never been forgotten but has lost some of its popularity. Some still use it as a spice and some for minor dentistry and even still more for the purpose of Aromatherapy. People still look at cloves as an “Old Fashioned” herb. For some families it has been passed down through generations and in the pantry still sits a jar of whole cloves for that Special Ham Dinner.


Linking Up With Cloves


 

 

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Sriracha Pulled Pork


Sriracha Pulled Pork

  • Servings: 1 Cup
  • Difficulty: Easy

Can Serve As A Sandwich Or A Taco. Either way it's damn good.


Ingredients

  • 3 T Olive oil, divided

  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1 cup tomato sauce

  • 3 T fish sauce

  • 1/4 cup Sriracha

  • 1 T apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce

  • 1 T brown sugar

  • 1/2 t black pepper

  • 7 pound pork butt (also called pork shoulder)

  • Kosher salt

  • Fresh cracked pepper


Directions

1. Heat a large heavy skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 T olive oil and when the oil is hot, sauté garlic and onions for about 5 minutes. Add the next 7 ingredients and cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. Transfer the sauce to your slow-cooker.

2. Rinse and dry the pan and put it back on the stove. Rub the pork butt down with the remaining olive oil and season the entire roast with kosher salt and pepper. Heat the skillet and sear the roast on all sides to get a nice crisp crust, about 4 – 5 minutes on each side.

3. Remove the seared roast from the skillet and add it to the slow-cooker. Turn the roast over in the sauce, coating every bit of the roast with sauce. Cover and turn your slow cooker on.

4. You can cook the pork on high for 6 hours or on slow for 10 hours, depending on when you want it to be done. The roast is done when it easily shreds with a fork. Remove it from the slow cooker and set aside to cool.

5. Skim off any extra fat that is on top of the remaining sauce. Turn the slow cooker on to the sauté function and cook until the sauce is reduced in volume by half. This will take between 15 and 25 minutes. If your slow cooker does not have a sauté function you can transfer the sauce to a pan and reduce it on the stove top. Taste the sauce and adjust seasonings, adding more sriracha if you like.

6. While the sauce is reducing, use two forks to shred the pork into bite-sized pieces. Toss the pork with the sauce and serve as sandwiches or to make tacos.


Set the pork butt on the counter, covered about an hour before you sear it. This allows the roast to come to room temperature before you put it in the slow-cooker.

Once you put the pork in the slow cooker and cover it, do not remove the lid until you think the roast is done. Every time you open the lid heat escapes and slows down the cooking process.

This pulled pork likes to be garnished with a squeeze of lime and something crunchy. I use thinly sliced purple cabbage and crisp Persian cucumber slices. A little fresh cilantro and a slice or two of jalapeno is also very good.


Give it a try and let me know what you think.  If you’re a fan of coleslaw try some of this Zesty Coleslaw to go along with it.


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I’m On We Graze Together List

Here you’ll find a list of Established Food Bloggers (Worldwide) each unique, as the special individuals behind the blog. Learn about them through their Blogs, enjoy their recipes, have the ability to follow them or receive emails directly on new posts, peruse 24/7 their recipe indexes, learn some tips, print the recipes, cook, bake, and enjoy! Make […]

via Participating Food Blogs… — “We Graze Together”

Why Rosemary is Sexy

sprigs of rosemary


Rosemary is a relative to the Mint family and the name is derived from its Latin origin to mean “Dew Of The Sea.” Rosemary is very common in Mediterranean Cuisine and has somewhat of a bitter astringent taste to it. While that is true it compliments oily foods very nicely. A tisane can be made from the Rosemary leaves and that is also very popular when cooking.


rosemary-flowers


First it is burned and then added to a BBQ to flavor various foods. Sage, unlike many other herbs has a high nutritional value to it and is rich in Iron, Calcium, and Vitamin B-6 and is more nutritional in its dried form rather than fresh. Rosemary should be harvested just as you are going to use it because it truly loses its flavor once dried. Gardner’s swear that if you plant some Rosemary plants in and around your garden, the Rosemary will fend off moths, beetles, and carrot flies.


Nutritional-facts-rosemary


Older Europeans loved Rosemary and believed that it improved memory and also used it as a symbol of remembrance and was often tossed into fresh graves before they were buried over. Traditionally it has been said that Rosemary, left untrimmed, would grow for thirty three years where it will reach the height of Christ when he was crucified. Many would also place sprigs of Rosemary underneath their pillows to ward of evil and nightmares. Often the wood that comes from the stems of the Rosemary plant was used to make Musical Instruments. Remember that people back then liked to utilize every piece of something as not to waste. Today, many wreaths are made from Rosemary as a symbol of remembrance.


Today, Rosemary is still used for many things besides cooking as it is in potpourris, air fresheners, shampoos, and cosmetics. There has also been scientific evidence that Rosemary works very well as a memory stimulant. Rosemary has also shown some cancer prevention properties in animals. But further Rosemary has shown a strong relationship in relaxing muscles, and to soothe stomach upset as well as menstrual cramps. The main thing to remember when using Rosemary for this purpose is that if you use too much it can actually cause a counter effect.


When made into a tea it is ingested for calming nerves and anxiety and as an antiseptic. Rosemary when used as a tea many people find to taste very good. Making the tea from Rosemary is quite simple actually, just pour boiling water over the leaves and steep for 10-15 minutes. A little sugar can be added by you should not add any cream. A few sprigs can be added to oils and vinegars to flavor the products which add a nice taste for cooking.


rosemarysurayama


When used cosmetically it can lighten and tone human hair and when mixed with equal parts of shampoo it has been known to strengthen hair too. It also makes for a nice additive in hot bath water. Rosemary is still used quite commonly today however more so for cooking than anything else.


Rosemary Links



 

What is Food Safety? — We Are Chefs

This is part one of a four-part series on building a food safety culture in your establishment by Francine L. Shaw, president, Food Safety Training Solutions, Inc. Many operators tell me that they have established a food safety culture, but when I ask what that means, they struggle to give me a confident answer. So how do…

via What is Food Safety? — We Are Chefs


This is a very important subject,  Food safety is a very important issue for everyone  4 million in Canada alone get food poisoning, also known as “Food-Borne Illness.”

FOOD SAFETY


Top Ten Power Packed Foods

 


What is the secret to a long and Healthy Life? It is in the food that we eat. As you well know, all foods are not created equal. Choosing and eating the right foods may help increase your life expectancy as well as the quality of your life.

Here are ten of the top power packed foods designed to give you Energy, Vitality and all around Good Health!


1. Beans – If they give you gas, take precautions before you eat them. Soaking them first can help. Beans of all kinds (kidney, navy, lentils, chickpeas, Northern) are high in protein. This is plant protein so it contains very little fat, carbs and calories. If fiber is a problem in your diet, eating a healthy portion of beans each day can keep your digestive system healthy.


2. Oatmeal – Oatmeal is coming into popularity as a food that lowers blood cholesterol. You can make it yourself with rolled oats or eat the instant kind if you are in a hurry. Oatmeal is a filling grain that also provides much needed fiber to keep hunger at bay and your blood sugar constant.


3. Fruits – Fruits are filled with antioxidants such as Vitamin C and A. Antioxidants fight Free Radical damage in the body and reduce the risk of Cancer. Berries such as Blueberries and Grapes have the highest amount of antioxidants. But choose an array of fruits in a wide variety of colors for maximum health. The antioxidants in fruit boost the immune system to fight the effects of aging in the body.


4. Allium foods – This class of foods includes garlic, onions, leeks and shallots. Garlic is known for lowering cholesterol. Allium vegetables healp guard the body against the risk of cancer and many other ailments. They also help lower blood pressure and prevent blood clots. Eating these power packed vegetables in their natural state especially garlic increases their health benefits.


5. Salmon – Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids reduces the risk of heart disease and other conditions like atherosclerosis. Wild salmon is a fatty fish but it contains good fats that has been proven to improve health in children and adults. Salmon is rich in protein which is of great use after an exercise session to build muscle tissue.


6. Flax Seed – Like salmon it contains omega-3 fatty acids. These seeds also contain omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids. You get a lot of power to fight high cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes with this seed. Ground flax seed can be added to fruit smoothies, sprinkled in yogurt, eaten with cereal or added to pancake mix to name a few.


7. Peppers – Peppers are colorful. They contain antioxidants like beta-carotene and Vitamin C. Peppers range from Mild and Sweet to so Hot you’ll be calling the fire department. All peppers contain a substance called capsaicin. Capsaicin has the properties of an anti-inflammatory, a pain reliever, lowers cancer risk and heart disease. They are good in salads, salsa and all sorts of dishes.


8. Nuts And Seeds – Nuts are high in fat but those fats are the good kind. Peanuts, Almonds, Brazil nuts, Walnuts and Pistachios are all providers of good fats and protein. Crush them into a fine powder and use as a coating instead of higher carb bread crumbs. Nuts help to lower cholesterol. Eat them right out of the shell with no additives.


9. Açai – This berry has been in the news lately. It is rich in antioxidants and increases energy. You can get more done and look better while doing it. You can get Acai juice and supplements in your health food store.


10. Yogurt – The fat free variety is good for you. Yogurt contains calcium, Vitamin B, and protein. If you don’t drink milk, yogurt is an alternative to get your calcium in to build strong bones and teeth. Live yogurt also contains friendly bacteria to help promote a healthy digestive system.


Building a better healthier body begins with what you eat. Try these Super Foods to get started on the right foot.


Super Food Links



 

Bacon Salt

Bacon Salt

  • Servings: 1 Cup
  • Difficulty: Easy

Like it’s umami rich friend the porcini, bacon makes everything better. Now with this recipe all your foods can be seasoned with magic yum dust. Sprinkle it over popcorn, baked potatoes, eggs, vegetables, burgers, fries, salads, dips and avocados.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unrefined salt

  • 8 ounces thin cut bacon

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375F. Crinkle up your parchment so that there are grooves for the bacon grease to drip into, then lay bacon across and cook for until completely crisp. Mine took about 25-30 minutes, but you’ll want to start checking around the 15 minute mark to make sure the bacon doesn’t burn.

  2. Once the bacon is crisp, transfer it to a paper towel and let the grease drain off. Blot it if needed and then place in the coffee grinder and pulse until it reaches the consistency you prefer.

  3. Nearly all versions of bacon salt that I’ve found online call for it to be stored in the fridge. I’m not sure that’s necessary given that salt is used to cure meats, but because I could not find any definitive resources on the subject I decided to keep mine in the fridge just in case

What You’ll Need

Cookie sheet, Parchment paper, Coffee grinder


Bacon Jam

Bacon Jam

  • Servings: 1/2 Cup
  • Difficulty: Easy

Finally a jam that's fit for a burger. You'll want this one on stand by for burger night's or just in general

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound of Bacon (sliced)

  • 1/4 cup of Shallots (diced)

  • 1/4 cup of Brown Sugar

  • 2 tablespoons of Apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons of Orange juice (seeded)

  • 2 tablespoons of Bourbon

  • 3 Ginger (peeled; freshly-sliced)

  • 1 Bay Leaf

  • 1/2 teaspoon of Honey

  • Fresh ground pepper

  • 1 Jalapeño pepper (seeded; minced)

Directions

1. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until browned and crisp and the fat is rendered, 7 to 10 minutes, stirring often and adjusting the heat as necessary. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, reserving 1 to 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the skillet.

2. Add the shallot and jalapeño to the skillet and cook over medium-low heat until the shallot is softened, about 2 minutes, stirring often and scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Return the bacon to the skillet and add the brown sugar, cider vinegar, orange juice, bourbon, ginger and bay leaf.

3. Cover the skillet and let come to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer gently, uncovered, until most of the liquid has evaporated, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Transfer the bacon mixture to a mini food processor and pulse until the bacon is finely diced but not puréed, 10 to 15 times, pausing several times to scrape down the side of the bowl.

5. Place the Bacon Jam in a small bowl and stir in the honey and a couple of grindings of black pepper. Serve with crackers and assorted cheese, if desired. The jam can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 1 week.



BLT Salad

BLT Salad

  • Servings: 8 As A Side 4 As A Main
  • Difficulty: Medium

Wait a sandwich that's now a salad shut the front door

Ingredients

  • French baguette

  • 6 oz. bacon (about 9 slices)

  • About 6 cups washed lettuce (a delicate, leafy green is best)

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil, sliced into ribbons

 

For The Vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons bacon drippings

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Cube the baguette into 1/2 inch pieces (should provide around 4 cups of croutons).

  2. In a large non-stick pan, fry the bacon over medium-high heat until crispy. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Carefully remove 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings and set aside, returning the pan to the heat. Add the bread cubes and toss until golden and crispy, stirring regularly, about four minutes.

  3. Mix all vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until emulsified. Crumble the bacon. Toss salad ingredients, bacon and croutons, drizzle with dressing and serve.



 

Bacon, Vinaigrette, Dressing, Straight Outta My Kitchen

Bacon Vinaigrette

Bacon Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 1/2 Cup
  • Difficulty: Medium

A Bacon Dressing So simple you'll keep it on hand

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Bacon Drippings
  • 1/4 Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Teaspoons Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
  • Salt To Taste

Directions

1. Mix all vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until emulsified.