What are Chinese Artichokes?

Perhaps you are familiar with artichoke, which is a thistle prized for it numerous health benefits and strange appearance. Stranger, however, is the vegetable called Chinese artichoke, more commonly known as crosne, betony, knotroot, Japanese artichoke, or chorogi.

What do they taste like and how best to prepare them for a family dinner?

What it looks like

Because the Chinese artichoke is a tuber, it looks similar to ginger but smoother because of the knobs or knots. The tuber is also ivory white in color and look like beads when cleaned. The vegetable is native to China and Japan but it was introduced to the rest of the world at the close of the 1800s.

It is quite expensive when purchased outside China and Japan, but it is cultivated in Europe and is used for a lot of dishes. It takes about a year to develop and can be tricky if you are planning to raise this in your garden.

What does it taste like?

Despite their looks, the Chinese artichoke is crunchy and has a nutty flavor. Some describe it as having a similar flavor to chestnuts. Chinese artichokes can be prepared in various ways by blanching, steaming, sautéing, and pickled. They can also be consumed raw as long as you rinse them under running water.

What are its benefits?

The Chinese artichoke (Stachys affinis) contain fiber, protein, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, choline, and folate.

What recipes can you make from it?

If you can find one in Singapore markets, you can make simple dishes from it easily.

Chinese Artichokes and Peas

Ingredients: 12 ounces trimmed Chinese artichokes, 4 ounces peas, 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, 3 garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons parsley, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, white truffle oil, salt, and ground black pepper

Preparation: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook Chinese artichokes for 2 minutes, then rinse and soak in a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, heat butter in a pan over medium heat and cook garlic cloves and Chinese artichokes for 2 minutes.

Season with salt then stir in peas. Cook for 1 minute, then remove from heat and add parsley. After 1 minute, add lemon juice and black pepper then top with truffle oil.

Sauteed Crosne

Ingredients: 2 pounds rinsed Chinese artichokes, 3 minced garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 tablespoons sea salt, ½ teaspoon fine salt, 2 tablespoons salted butter, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 lemon, and 2 tablespoons chervil

Preparation: After washing the artichokes, rub sea salt on them and let sit for a few minutes. Prepare a steamer then rinse the artichokes and arrange them on the steamer. Steam while covered for 5 to 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan over medium heat and cook garlic until golden. Next, stir in steamed Chinese artichokes are butter. Season with salt and pepper then cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve with a drizzle of lemon juice and chervil.

The Art of Drinking Vermouth

Vermouth is often used in various cocktails because of its aroma and flavor. It’s also a popular fortified wine because of the roots, herbs, flowers, and bark that are added to it, but what do you really know about vermouth and what it tastes like if drank on its own?

How Vermouth is Made

Vermouth is a type of Moscato wine in Italy that is flavored with tree bark, saffron, anise, cinnamon, chamomile, and even absinthe to make it sweet or semisweet. More accurately though, vermouth is a fortified aperitif wine, which means that its base is either mistelle (white grape juice or brandy and fermented white wine) or white wine. Unlike Moscato wine, however, vermouth contains more alcohol because it’s fortified. Using the base of white wine or mistelle, distilled alcohol is added, usually using brandy, to raise the proof.

This process is what makes up the fortification of vermouth. Next, the base is aromatized using substances made from plants. This could be a mixture of spices, herbs, roots, seeds, flowers, and others. The use of botanicals give vermouth its color and flavor. Most of the vermouth today contain wormwood, from which its name is derived, while the color caramel comes from the sugar.

The Benefits of Vermouth

Whether you prefer the pale, dry and bitter vermouth or the red and sweet vermouth, when consumed in moderation, it is good for you because it promotes food digestion and improves appetite. In some cases, 50 grams of vermouth can even help someone recover from food poisoning or gastroenteritis. Besides being a good antiseptic, too, the herbs and spices it contains can help you relax after a stressful day at work. Some people use a mixture of vermouth and 2 tablespoons of honey to relive cold and sore throat. It can also be mixed with aloe juice and honey to relieve stomach ulcer.

Vermouth Food Pairings

Because of the diverse flavors of vermouth, there are a lot of options for food pairings depending on its characteristic taste. Aromatic French vermouth are best paired with cheeses because they complement the vermouth’s nutty flavors. While dry vermouth like Italian varieties are best paired with smelly cheeses. However, most vermouth will go well with chicken, scallops, shrimp, mushrooms, beef steak, mussels, salmon, and pancetta.

The Best Vermouth Cocktails

Try these vermouth cocktails with your friends:

  • Negroni: 1 ounce sweet vermouth, 1 ounce Campari, 1 ounce gin, and citrus essence
  • Black Dog: ½ ounce dry vermouth and 3 ounces rum
  • Vampire’s Kiss: ½ ounce dry vermouth, 2 ounces vodka, ½ ounce dry gin, 1 tablespoon tequila, 2 ounces tomato juice, and 1 pinch salt
  • Manhattan:1 ounce sweet vermouth, 2 ounces bourbon, 1 dash orange bitters, 2 dashes Angostura bitters, and brandied cherry for garnish
  • Rob Roy: 1 ounce sweet vermouth, 2 ounces blended scotch whiskey, 2 dashes angostura bitters, and lemon peel for garnish
  • Vermouth Cassis: 1 ½ ounce dry vermouth, ¾ ounce crème de cassis, and club soda
  • Carpano-Rita: ½ ounce sweet vermouth, 1 ½ ounces tequila, ¾ ounces lemon juice, and ¼ ounce agave syrup

Singapore’s Hainanese Chicken Rice

Trust me, one article is not enough to know about one of the most celebrated dish by not just the residents of Singapore but also tourists is the legendary mouth-watering all-Asian experience, the Hainanese Chicken Rice. I know what you are thinking, how is chicken and rice such an attractive dish? Well, for those of you who haven’t tasted Hainanese Chicken Rice, it is acceptable that you cannot fathom the taste of this amazingly tender dish. What better way to describe an Asian dish than with steamed chicken and rice right?

Although very well celebrated in Singapore, this dish does not actually come from Singapore itself. This dish originates all the way from Hong Kong and was brought to Singapore by the Chinese who slowly started to migrate. Chefs from all around the world can be found in Singapore as they have one of the most diverse cuisines around Asia. Although diverse, Singapore never fails to pay attention to the small details in the quality of their servings which makes it hard to say that the food you are eating does not taste authentic.

Finding this dish is no problem at all as almost every hawker center in Singapore has at least three stalls selling this type of dish. Now how about the price? Well, depending on your location and how near it is to the different malls, the price of this dish may vary but to play it safe, this dish may vary from three to twenty Singaporean dollars. The farther away you are from a mall or the smaller and more residential the neighborhood is, the lower the price of this dish may be.

Now, why is Hainanese Chicken Rice one of the best dishes you can find in Singapore? Because of the rice itself! The rice is not just any ordinary rice but is cooked with the broth used to steam the chicken and what makes the taste really sink in is not just the ingredients used but the time dedicated into cooking this meal. The chicken broth is made sure to be treated with utmost priority as it is the main ingredient in the rice. This dish is usually served with cut cucumbers which really give it a luscious and brighter flavor every time you eat the chicken with the rice.

Hainanese Chicken Rice is just one of the many different dishes to fall in love with. Never be too shy to try out something new.

For Busy Individuals: Fruit Delivery in Singapore

Are you looking for a fruit delivery in Singapore? Well, you are in the right page! We will be talking about the fruit delivery service in this article. We will also be tackling other delivery service for other goods. Be familiar with this kind of service and you will no longer have to go to the market to do grocery shopping. You can just stay at home and do other productive activities while waiting for the goods at your doorstep.

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The Innovative Way of Shopping

We all know that online shopping has become more and more popular these days knowing that most, if not all, households already have a computer. Ordering something you need is very easy to do if you have a computer and an internet connection. When we talk about online shopping, people usually think about buying clothes and accessories. Yes, these are the things that are mostly bought by those who are internet shoppers.

While clothes and accessories are the common things ordered online, the things you can buy through the internet are not limited there. In fact, you can even buy meat, milk, dairy products and fruits through visiting certain websites. Truly, online shopping is now the most advanced and most innovative way of purchasing items and goods these days.

Why you need to buy fruits?

If you can’t go to the market to buy some fruits, you should at least find a Singapore fruit delivery service that can provide you the fruits you need for daily consumption. Do not let your hectic schedule keep you from eating and enjoying fruits. Remember that fruits are not just a delicious treat, they are healthy food that gives us the vitamins we need to stay fit. Here are the reason why we need to eat fruits on a daily basis:

  • Fruits, along with vegetables, are 100 per cent natural especially those fruits that are organic. Nonetheless, whether they are organic or inorganic, it cannot be denied they are important for our nutrition intake.
  • Fruits are rich in minerals and vitamins. Nutritionists said that if possible, we need to have at least 3 servings of fruits a day to be at our fittest state.
  • Fruits help us to stay in top shape. While fruits are very nutritious, it does not make us fat. Therefore, it is a good food to take by those who are obese. They can stay fit without worrying about getting any fatter.

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Now that you know how important fruits are in our diet, you should now consider buying these every now and then. If you find it too time-consuming to go to the market or grocery store to buy some, then take advantage of the fruit delivery in Singapore. Even if you are in your office, you can ask them to deliver some fruits in your workplace with office fruit deliveries Singapore service.

Office Fruit Deliveries

Most often than not, our homes are already full of nutritious foods from fruits to meats. However, we should not forget our second home – our office. Most of us stay in our office even longer than the time we stay at our home. This is why you should also keep an eye on what you eat in the office. Just because you are working does not mean that you are already excused to eat nutritious foods.

These days, more and more offices are taking advantage of the office fruit deliveries Singapore service. It is because many office workers and supervisors appreciate the idea that they should keep themselves healthy in order to be productive. Those employees who lack minerals and vitamins are the usual ones who lack the energy and the will to do their jobs effectively. This is why many managers want to provide them fruits that can help them regain their energy. Increased energy can help them be better at what they are doing.

This kind of fruit delivery is also used by corporate officers to please their clients and partners. They usually send fruits bouquet in order to have a great impression to important people. Most often than not, giving fruits bouquet often result to positive outcomes, such as closing the deal, promotions and many more. If you want to try the wonders of giving fruits to your senior, co-worker, partner or client, then do not hesitate to avail the office fruit deliveries Singapore service available nearby your workplace. It is a gift that is not as costly as other tokens. Aside from giving a great impression, you will also save yourself from spending too much for an expensive present.

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Fresh Smoothies to Make your Day

Are you in a hurry to get to work because you have tons to do in the office and worse it is Monday for goodness’ sake? Well, rev up your morning with these babies. Once you start with these ones, you will even forget it’s even time to have lunch. Everyone loves smoothies, right?

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So, let us drink or sip our way to a healthy breakfast. The first two are my favorites. I hope they will also turn out to be yours too. So here we go. Strawberries and yogurt is a match made in heaven. You will know why I said so, after you have tasted the strawberry smoothie that we are going to prepare today.

So what are we still waiting for, let us pick the freshest strawberries in our local supermarket and let us not forget some low-fat yogurt and we are good to go. Well, we may also want to buy some juicy oranges along the way. First and foremost, let’s wash our ripe strawberries. Next, let’s cut them into halves. Next, let’s throw those strawberries into our good old blender.

Let’s not forget to squeeze those juicy oranges plus add a spoonful of brown sugar (which is healthier than the white one by the way). This is to sweeten our mixture which may already be sweet for others. So, I’ll just let you decide how much sugar you will need for thus smoothie because it totally depends on your taste.

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Pour the yogurt. Blend it until it turns out like a puree. Now, let us pour the smoothie into a bottle with a cap or a glass (if you prefer a glass then don’t forget to wrap it with plastic so as not to contaminate with other things while you are chilling it in the fridge).

Let the smoothie sit in the fridge for a while. Check it after 5-10 minutes. Feel the bottle or glass if it’s cold enough. (This depends on how cold we’d like our smoothie to be). Actually, you might want to sip it without chilling it. It’ll still tastes great.

I just prefer the chilled one because it tastes even better. Here’s another one of my favorites: Blueberry Smoothie. If you have not tasted a blueberry smoothie, I tell you, you have missed half of your life already and that is even an understatement of it. Yes, it is so good; you will momentarily forget all your worries in life especially if it is served chilled.

Get yourself some juicy blueberries. Cut all of them like what you have done to the strawberries. Throw them too into some good old blender. Add the yogurt. Squeeze some juicy oranges as well. Blend it until it becomes a puree. Let some droplets of vanilla extract drizzle your smoothie. Then enjoy it after it is chilled.

Cheers.

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A Vegetable Pizza to Die For

 

So, you have decided to go totally vegan but you still don’t like the bland taste of vegetables. Don’t give up yet and gives the following dishes a try. If you are craving to call your pizza guy and deliver that all meaty pizza, well, hold that off for just a bit longer. Your pizza cravings will be solved with this dish.

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First off: grab some of those nice-looking squash or pumpkin in your local grocery or supermarket. Well, you still need a pizza crust though but only the thin one. Look for the one that is already pre-baked. Now, here are more of the ingredients to add to your shopping list: kosher salt, refrigerated light alfredo sauce or tomato sauce, extra-virgin olive oil (which is definitely healthy and it will definitely help in losing weight), fresh baby spinach, goat cheese and freshly ground black pepper.

Once you have all your ingredients, you’re good to go. First stop in preparing your dish is to set your oven: preheat it to 450°F. Next, look for a microwave-safe container and place the peeled and cut squash in it. You also have to add water – about ½ inch – then cover this with a plastic wrap. Let it stay for about 5 minutes.

After that, drain and then add about 1/8 teaspoon of kosher salt to taste. By the way, while you are cooking your squash, you might want to do this one simultaneously or at the same time. Spread the alfredo sauce in your pizza crust or if you are not so fond of an alfredo sauce you can opt to have your old classic tomato sauce because after all tomatoes are good anti-oxidants and oozing with healthy goodness.

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Then after that you can now place your pizza crust on a baking sheet. Next, get a nonstick skillet and heat some oil on it. Add your spinach. (Spinach is one of the healthiest vegetable there is as it’s packed with a large doses of vitamins. Not only that, it’s also enriched with fiber, which is important in proper metabolism.) Sauté your spinach for about one minute.

Sprinkle a bit of salt. Then – here comes the creative part – arrange the spinach over your sauce. Let’s also put our squash on top of our spinach together with our goat cheese and let’s all sprinkle it with pepper. So, we’re finally ready to bake our pizza. Let’s set our oven into 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 6 minutes. After which, let’s turn it over to broil.

If you want that crispy thin pizza that would create that crunchy sound when you bite it then you have to cook the pizza for additional one minute. Don’t forget to stop for a while and marvel at your fine creation for a couple of minutes. Look at your colorful and delicious looking but healthy pizza. Then, congratulate yourself. You definitely deserve it. Slice it and enjoy while it’s smoking hot.

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