Summer grilling is here and life is opening up again, it’s time for gathering together with friends and family, having backyard BBQ’s and enjoying special occasions which we all missed so much!
Memorial Day is just around the corner and so is Father’s Day and if you’re planning on doing any cookouts, I hope you add this intensely flavored mustard, garlic herb paste to just about whatever you’re planning on grilling.
Fresh herbs are the key to this delicious herb paste which can be made in a jiffy using a food processor and don’t be afraid to double or triple this recipe, I promise it will amp up your grilling game!
I used a mix of basil, parsley, thyme, and rosemary. Each herb carries its own intense flavor which pairs nicely with grilled foods but feel free to create your own combo that you might prefer.
FEBRUARY 5, 2021 BY MARIE3 (Originally Posted on 02/05/21)
If you’re looking for a special date night dinner, something a little fancy but not so hard to make try this seafood freeform lasagna, what makes it even more special is the subtle lemon cream sauce that’s spooned all over.
This is the perfect dinner to have on Valentine’s Day which is coming up soon and I’m quite sure many of us will be dining at home. This is meant for two people but you can certainly double the recipe for more to enjoy if need be.
I used a mix of scallops and shrimp in this easy freeform lasagna, which is highlighted with a touch of Limoncello for a smack of bright lemon flavor!
The prep work is all done in advance so when it’s time to eat all you have to do is pop your dish into the oven, warm it up and get that golden top.
You’ll be spending all your time with your date instead of cooking and cleaning in the kitchen all night, and that’s a good thing!
The lemon sauce is very light, you can use half lemon juice and half Limoncello or just all lemon juice. I wouldn’t do all Limoncello because that would be too sweet tasting and overpower the seafood.
If lemon is not your thing, you can make a nice white sauce to top it off like a béchamel, that would be equally as delicious and creamy to top it off.
Cut your lasagna noodles to fit into individual ramekins if using or if you end up using a bigger dish, it doesn’t have to fit perfectly.
Then you’re going to layer all that amazing seafood on top. It’s a delicious mix of chopped scallops, shrimp, garlic, shallots with a little ricotta and mascarpone for creaminess and to help bind it all.
Save some whole shrimp for garnish it makes a striking presentation. This can be served alongside a beautiful salad or if you really want to go all out, a steak for some surf and turf!
We are now months into the Pandemic, and our state has slowly opened things up, and we are now able to go out to eat, shop, or visit our local outdoor markets. However, I do my best to keep my ventures out to a minimum, always wear my mask in public, and do my best to social distance. The one thing that has kept me sane the past few months has been cooking. Going into the kitchen and testing out new recipes every week has been very relaxing, enjoyable, and delicious! Since we are in the heat of summer, we have been grilling out much more than usual to keep the kitchen cool. When we fire up the grill, we usually try to cook our entire meal outdoors, including vegetable sides, and either an appetizer or grilled fruit for dessert.
I have always been a big fan of poultry, chicken in particular, and in fact, I could eat it daily and not get tired of it. When grilling chicken, I like to marinade it a few hours before cooking it to help tenderize it and add extra flavor. This easy marinade uses my Calabrian chili pepper pesto and fresh limes, garlic, and olive oil. The limes help to tenderize the chicken and add brightness, while the chili pepper pesto adds a gentle heat. I order from Calabrian chili pesto from Amazon.com and always have a few jars in my pantry. You could use chicken breasts in place of chicken thighs, however I find that the thighs work really well with this marinade.
Espresso is an integral part of many coffee lover’s daily life! We sip it at anytime you want and just enjoy the natural aromas and scents that comes from it.
But have you ever wondered why are espresso cups so small? This is something that has plagued our minds, so we decided to do a bit of research and answer the question for you and ourselves.
Before we get into answering the question, we got to cover a bit of background about Espresso. Espresso is served in a delicate small mug in which the coffee with a frothy layer on top, usually the foam from the brewing process.
Espresso is brewed with a blend of hot water under intense pressure. To make the best espresso, the beans of coffee should be ground into very fine powder.
You cannot use gritty, grainy coffee powder into the machine. This finely ground powder is compressed into a compact lump. It is not strong coffee but a flavorful espresso using a different preparation method.
Now that we got some basics about espresso out the way, we can cover off the main question then followed with some additional things you may not know about espresso.
Espresso is made by pressing coffee and it has a crema layer on top to lock the aroma within the espresso.
To sustain this crema, the espresso cups are made small and the reason they are served in small cups is to avoid the creme layer to spread out!
Falling or dissipating crema can also make the espresso cold. Espresso is thicker and consists of lesser water as compared to a drip coffee. It is caffeine packed and flavorful into a small cup.
Some primary aspects of espresso cups being small are:
Crema, which is a foam layer forms on the top of an expresso. It is decorated on the top of the espresso. Espresso and cream make the cup. Selecting a large wide cup can result in the dissolving of crema. Crema is very important in making expresso perfect. Crema becomes very thin and gradually dissipates in a large cup.
Espresso is also very concentrated, and so you can say it is a shrunken form of coffee and a strong one in a small cup. A small cup itself tastes very strong, so much that it can use 7oz. of milk for 1 oz. of espresso.
A typical espresso is about 1-2 fluid ounces, which is right in a small cup.
Espresso is about getting less water in a coffee that is too topped with foam crema.
Espresso in a small cup is just the right way to enjoy it. Its concentration, water content, and crema are in the right proportions in typical cup size.
Espresso, as the name suggests, should be made quick and also had quickly to get the best flavor, taste, and aroma. It should be drunk with “crema” on top.
What is crema? It is the creamy coffee oil emulsion that covers the espresso. It is a covering lid for espresso beneath. This way, all the espresso aromas are locked within to enjoy while drinking.
This emulsion is essential as the aroma dissipates fast. But then, how quickly should it be drunk to get overall espresso pleasure?
An espresso cup, traditionally, which is about 1-2 fl. ounces of coffee, should take about 25 seconds to get excellent espresso. But, when it comes to drinking it, to enjoy its flavor and aroma, but without making it cold, it would need around 2 minutes to sip an espresso cup.
Drink the espresso with crema layer on top to lock in the aroma without dissipation.
Take your espresso in three or more than three sips in about 30 seconds to as much as 4 minutes also. This time is particularly applicable for a double espresso shot.
The duration depends on how well you want to savor the drink with its flavors and aroma. It is essential to remember that a long time doesn’t mean more taste like the aroma and crema to dissipate with a longer time.
The time mentioned is sufficient enough to enjoy the espresso to the fullest. Beyond which, you are bound to get a cold, taste-fading espresso.
Espresso is high in concentration and, therefore, can appear stronger as compared to regular coffee. It can also taste bitter than a regular brewed coffee.
But, the coffee strength is determined by the method and level of roasting of coffee beans and not how it is brewed.
Generally, coffee beans are roasted at three levels- Dark, medium, and light roast. Dark roast is done at 225 deg C to 230 deg C, medium roast is done at 210 deg C to 219 deg C, and the light roast is done at 196 deg C to 205 deg C temperatures.
The more the roasting of coffee beans, the enhanced will be its taste. On the same lines, the dark coffee roast is most strong of all coffee types.
An espresso made out of these dark roast of coffee beans results in a strong espresso as compared to regular coffee.
From the article above, we can see why a small cup is essential and important to get a perfect espresso. It is very important as a small cup with foamy crema keeps the espresso aroma, temperature, and flavor intact.
The crema is very important to be thick and covering the coffee fluid. A larger cup can make the crema fall out, thin out, and eventually disappear.
This, in turn, makes the espresso flavorless, aroma less, and cold. Who would want to have a compromised, flavorless, and cold espresso? Get your typical small espresso cup and take pleasure in each sip.