Thursday, May 8, 2008

Gingerly Creations - Spice up your life with these delicious recipes

Ginger


Ginger Ginger - used all over the world ( From Wikipedia)

In Western cuisine, ginger is traditionally restricted to sweet foods, such as ginger ale, gingerbread, ginger snaps, ginger cake and ginger biscuits. A ginger-flavored liqueur called Canton is produced in Jarnac, France. Green ginger wine is a ginger flavored wine produced in the United Kingdom, traditionally sold in a green glass bottle. Ginger is also used as a spice added to hot coffee and tea.

In Arabic, ginger is called Zanjabil and in some parts of the Middle East ginger powder is used as a spice for coffee.

In India, ginger is called "Aadu" in Gujarati, "Shunti" in Kannada language[Karnataka], Allam in Telugu, Inji in Tamil and Malayalam, Alay in Marathi and Adrak in Hindi and Urdu. Fresh ginger is one of the main spices used for making pulse and lentil curries and other vegetable preparations. It is used fresh to spice tea especially in winter. Also, ginger powder is used in certain food preparations that are made particularly for expecting women and feeding mothers, the most popular one being Katlu which is a mixture of gum resin, ghee, nuts and sugar.

In south India, ginger is used in the production of a candy called Inji-murappa ("ginger candy" from Tamil). This candy is mostly sold by vendors to bus passengers in bus stops and in small tea shops as a locally produced item. Candied ginger is also very famous around these parts. Additionally, in Tamil Nadu, especially in the Tanjore belt, a variety of ginger which is less spicy is used when tender to make fresh pickle with the combination of lemon juice or vinegar, salt and tender green chillies. This kind of pickle was generally made before the invention of refrigeration and stored for a maximum of 4-5 days. The pickle gains a mature flavor when the juices cook the ginger over the first 24 hours. Ginger is also added as a flavoring in tea.

In Japan, ginger is pickled to make beni shoga and gari or grated and used raw on tofu or noodles. It is also made into a candy called shoga no satozuke.

In Burma, ginger is used in a salad dish called gyin-tho, which consists of shredded ginger preserved in oil, and a variety of nuts and seeds.

Indonesia has a famous beverage that called Wedang Jahe, which is made from ginger and palm sugar; Indonesians also use ground ginger root, called jahe or djahe, as a frequent ingredient in local recipes.

In traditional Korean kimchi, ginger is finely minced and added to the ingredients of the spicy paste just before the fermenting process.

In South East Asia, the flower of a the Torch ginger (Etlingera eliator) is used in cooking. The unopened flower is known in the Malay language as Bunga Kantan, and is used in salads and also as garnish for sour-savoury soups, like Assam Laksa.

In the Ivory Coast, ginger is ground and mixed with orange, pineapple and lemon to produce a juice called Nyamanku.

In China, sliced or whole ginger root is often paired with savory dishes, such as fish. However, candied ginger is sometimes a component of Chinese candy boxes, and an herbal tea can also be prepared from ginger.
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My personal favourite is Ginger tea where I add ground ginger into boiling water before adding the tea leaves. After draining the leaves and ginger, add milk and sugar to taste. This drink is "Heaty" and helps to draw out phlegm and reduces your cough.

In Indian meat dishes ginger is always added (ground together with garlic) to give an aromatic and spicy smell and taste.



Chicken Fondue in Ginger Broth
Ingredients
4 cups chicken stock
2/3 cup white wine or 1/4 cup of rice vinegar
2 lemon slices
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp minced gingerroot
2 tsp granulated sugar

Chicken and Vegetable Tray:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 bunch broccoli
1 small yellow summer squash or zucchini
2 cups torn Swiss chard or romaine lettuce
1 sweet red pepper or green pepper
1/4 pound mushrooms
Hot Chili Sauce (recipe follows)
Garlic Sauce (recipe follows)


Instructions
Fondue Cooking Stock: In fondue pot, electric skillet or electric wok, combine chicken stock, white wine, lemon slices, garlic, ginger and sugar. Just before serving, heat to simmer in fondue pot.

Chicken and Vegetable Tray: Cut chicken into 3/4 inch pieces; place on serving platter. Cut broccoli, summer squash, Swiss chard and sweet pepper into bite-sized pieces; arrange along with mushrooms on a separate platter. Using long fondue forks, spear chicken or vegetables; dip into simmering fondue broth to cook. Cook chicken pieces until no longer pink inside, and vegetables until tender-crisp. Serve with Hot Chili Sauce and Garlic Sauce for dipping.

Garlic Sauce:
1/2 cup light sour cream or low-fat yogurt or a mixture of both
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley

In a small bowl combine sour cream, garlic and parsley. For a variation, substitute chopped fresh basil or coriander to taste for the garlic and reduce the parsley to 1 Tbsp.

Hot Chili Sauce:
1/3 cup water
2 Tbsp lemon juice or lime juice
1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes

In a small bowl, combine water, lemon or lime juice, soy sauce, sugar and hot pepper flakes.

Yield: 6 Servings

Candied Ginger Butter

Butter is flavored with candied ginger and makes a great condiment for muffins and quick breads. Try some on steamed carrots for a burst of flavor.

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 Tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 Tablespoon honey
Generous dash of salt

PREPARATION:
In a small bowl, stir together butter, ginger, honey, and salt until combined. Serve butter immediately or cover and refrigerate.


Beet, Lemon, and Ginger Marmalade
Beet, Lemon, and Ginger Marmalade
If you do not like beets, this will make a believer of you. If you do like beets, you will be in ecstasy. This delicious marmalade is sweetened with honey and flavored with ginger. It is very quick and simple to make and makes a great condiment for any savory dish.
INGREDIENTS:
1 pound cooked beets
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons light honey
2 to 3 Tablespoons chopped lemon zest
1/3 cup crystallized ginger
PREPARATION:
Peel and coarsely grate or mince the beets, and transfer to a medium-sized bowl.

Add salt, lemon juice, honey, lemon zest, and ginger.

Gingerbread House
Gingerbread House

Don't rely on a box! Make your own homemade gingerbread house or cookies at home. This recipe may be used to make delicious gingerbread cookies or building slabs for gingerbread houses. The icing may be used to decorate the cookies or paste together the slabs of the house. You may make the pieces up to 1 month in advance. Sketch out your gingerbread house pattern and cut it out before you begin.

INGREDIENTS:
Cookie Dough:
1-1/2 cups whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons baking soda
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1-1/3 cups light or dark molasses
9 cups all-purpose flour
.
Icing Cement:
2 large egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 teaspoons water
3 cups sifted powdered sugar

PREPARATION:
Line 12 x 15-inch rimless baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.

In a small bowl, whip cream and vanilla until it holds soft peaks.
Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon. Beat in the molasses and whipped cream mixture until well-combined.

With mixer running, gradually add flour, beating until completely mixed.

Lightly flour a pastry board or mat. Roll out a portion of the dough until flat, but not so thin that you cannot pick it up without it tearing. Drape it over the rolling pin and move to the prepared baking sheet.

Continue rolling the dough to an even thickness on the baking sheet. This is easily achieved by placing two equally thick wooden strips on either side of the baking sheet to support the rolling pin. An even thickness is important. Lower areas will bake darker in color and be more brittle. You will need about 2 cups of dough for each 1/8-inch thickness, about 4 cups for each 1/4-inch slab, and about 6 cups for each 3/8-inch slab.

Bake two sheets of dough at a time. Bake until fairly firm in the center. The temperature and time will vary with the thickness of the slab. For 1/8-thick slabs, bake in preheated 300 F. oven for about 1 hour; for 1/4-inch slabs, bake at 275 F. about 1-3/4 hours; and for 3/8-inch slabs, bake at 275 F. about 2-1/4 hours.

After 30 minutes, position your gingerbread house pattern cut-outs as close together as possible on the sheet of cookies. Cut around the pattern with a sharp knife, remove the pattern, and separate the scrap pieces (may be baked later to eat). Return house pieces to the oven, swapping their rack positions, and continue to bake.

While the pieces are baking, any remaining dough may be rolled out for cookies or additional decorative gingerbread house pieces.

When pieces are finished baking, loosen gently with a flat spatula and let them cool on the sheet another 5 to 10 minutes before moving to a rack to cool completely.

At this point, you may wrap the gingerbread house pieces airtight in plastic wrap and store up to one month. Or proceed to assemble and decorate your house or cookies using icing cement (below).

Yield: about 9 cups dough, or 4-1/2 slabs 1/8 inch thick, 2-1/2 slabs 1/4 inch thick, or 1-1/2 slabs 3/8 inch thick. Each full slab is 10 by 15 inches.

Icing Cement:
Beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and water until frothy. Blend in sugar on high speed until stiff, 5 to 10 minutes. Use immediately or cover and use within 8 hours.


Gingered Chicken with Mango

Mangoes, ginger, garlic, and soy sauce make a delightful sauce to spice up bland chicken breasts. Be sure to use ripe mangoes for best flavor. Serve with green veggies and rice for a full meal.

INGREDIENTS:
1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
2 pounds chicken breast fillets, skinned
1 cup peeled and diced mangoes
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

PREPARATION:
Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan. Add the garlic and saute for a few minutes.

Then, add the chicken fillets.

Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, combine the mango with the sugar, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Pour the mixture over the cooked fillets and gently mix to cover the chicken pieces. Add soy sauce, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook for about 10 more minutes.

Serve hot with a fresh green vegetable and a side dish of rice.

Yield: 4 servings


Gingered Pumpkin Cheesecake

Crystallized ginger shines in this pumpkin cheesecake in a pecan gingersnap crust. You may use fresh pureed pumpkin or canned. This dessert is perfect for Thanksgiving.

INGREDIENTS:
3/4 cup crushed gingersnaps, (about 8-12, depending on size)
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin
1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

PREPARATION:
In a mixing bowl, combine the gingersnaps, pecan, and brown sugar. Dribble the butter over the mixture, toss well until the crumbs start to adhere to each other, and press the mixture onto the sides and bottom of a 9-1/2-inch springform pan.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Drop the cream cheese into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade or the bowl of an electric mixer. Whirl until it is creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, whirling after each addition. Add the sugar, and blend briefly. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, and whirl until they are blended in. Blend in the pumpkin puree. Add the crystallized ginger, and whirl briefly to distribute the pieces.

With a rubber spatula, scrape the contents of the processor into the chilled crust. Bake the cheesecake in the center of the oven for 50 minutes. It may seem slightly soft. Do not be concerned; it will solidify as it cools. Cool the cheesecake, in its pan, on a rack for 1 to 2 hours.

Yield: 10 to 12 servings


Ginger-Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ginger-Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
7oz (1 tin) crystallized ginger chips
4oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease cookie sheets. Mix together flour, oats, baking powder and salt. Set aside. At medium speed, beat butter and sugars until well blended. Add egg and vanilla extract. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture until smooth. Stir in crystallized ginger. Add chocolate chips if desired. Heap teaspoonsfuls of dough onto cookie sheets, space 2 inches apart. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until light brown. Remove sheet and let stand until cookies firm slightly, about 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to rack to cool. Makes 3 dozen.

Ginger Carrot Soup

Ingredients

4 to 5 tbsp. coriander seeds
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
2 pounds sliced carrots
6 13 3/4 oz cans chicken stock
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup plain yogurt or créme fraiche for garnish

Instructions: In a dry skillet over medium-high heat, toast the coriander seeds until golden, about 3 minutes. Shake the seeds constantly until fragance. Cool and process in a blender or mortar and pestle, into a fine powder. Reserve. In a large saucepan over high heat, warm the oil. Add the onions and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally or until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, carrots, chicken stock, salt, pepper, and ground coriander. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. If the carrots are not sweet, add sugar at this time. Stir in the lemon juice. Remove from heat. Process the soup in a food process until smooth. Just before serving, garnish each bowl with a dollop of yogurt or créme fraiche.<;BR< span>>

Triple-Gingerbread
Triple-Gingerbread
Ingredients

1 2/3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp. Ground ginger
1 tsp. Ground cinnamon
1 tsp. Baking soda
1/2 tsp. Ground Cardamom
1/2 tsp. Salt
6 Tbsp. The Ginger People Crystallized Baking Chips, minced
1/2 cup(1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed golden brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 extra large eggs
3 Tbsp. Grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 cup buttermilk

Offer this tender ginger bread with fresh fruit for a lovely dessert.
Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour
8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan. Sift first 6 ingredients into medium bowl. Mix in 3 tablespoons crystallized ginger. Beat the butter and both sugars in large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in fresh ginger. Stir in dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry
ingredients. Transfer to prepared pan. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons crystallized ginger over batter.
Press ginger lightly into batter. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely.

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