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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Is Slow-Cooker Food Safe to Eat?

The facts about bacteria growth and 
slow-cooked meals.

From Elisa Huang - RealSimple



The idea of slow-cooking food for eight hours on your countertop might trigger fears of bacteria and other unwelcome food invaders. But according to Mark Tamplin, M.D., a USDA microbiologist and food-safety specialist, it's not a problem: "You won’t see growth of harmful organisms in a slow cooker."

According to FDA guidelines, cooking food at temperatures above 140º F ensures "significant destruction of bacteria." Slow cookers operate at temperatures between 170º F and 300º F, well above the FDA recommendation. But bacteria thrive at what the FDA calls the "danger zone"―40º F to 140º F―and can multiply rapidly in food left at room temperature for long periods, so it's better to let your cooker cook on low until you get home than to set the timer to shut it down in the early afternoon.

To reheat leftovers properly, you should heat food until it's steaming hot. If you leave food in a slow cooker that's been turned off, Tamplin warns, "try not to leave it out for more than four hours." And make sure that the cooker is on the "warming" function if you leave food in it during a meal―and immediately refrigerate any leftovers in airtight containers.

Whipped Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of organic Whipping (Heavy) Cream
  • 2 tablespoon of organic Powered Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of organic Vanilla Extract

How to prepare the Whipped Cream:
Keep the bowl and the beaters
in the refrigerator
Start beating the Heavy Cream at medium speed,
and add gradually the Sugar. 
Beat at high speed until soft peaks are formed (about 5 minutes max).
DO NOT OVER-BEAT, you will get butter.
Keep in refrigerator.

Hard & Soft Meringue


Ingredients:
The HARD MERINGUE is to be used as a crust or a layer for some deserts.
The SOFT MERINGUE can be used for topping a pie.


NOTE: ingredients and instructions for Soft Meringue are in RED
  • 2 free range Eggs Whites
  • 1/2 cup of organic Powdered Sugar  (for Soft Meringue use 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Cream of Tartar
  • 1 teaspoon of organic Vanilla Extract
How to prepare the Meringue:
Mixing bowl and beaters should be completely grease free
and kept in the freezer
Carefully separate egg whites from yolks (they separate best when cold).
Egg whites should come to room temperature before beating.
This increases the volume.
In small bowl, beat Egg whites and Cream of Tartar. 

Anaheim Pepper Spread - Dressing

Ingredients:
  • 2 Anaheim Peppers (organic)
  • 1/4 cup of White Wine
  • 1/2 cup of virgin organic Olive Oil
  • 1 cup of sliced organic Onion
  • 2 cups of sliced organic Tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of organic Garlic Granules
  • 1 tablespoon of organic Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste
How to prepare the Anaheim Pepper Spread - Dressing:


Roast the Anaheim Peppers until done (as seen on photo above).
Open the Peppers and remove the seeds.
Blend ALL the ingredients in the blender
until smooth
Keep in a jar in the refrigerator
Note:  To use as a DRESSING, mix with the same amount of virgin Olive Oil