Things I've Googled this week #5

Monday, October 5, 2015

This is a fun little segment of the blog where I share the tips that I have been learning along the way.  I am forever googling things to make sure I am not missing any of the finer details of different cooking processes.  Maybe I can save you a little time and share what I have learned.

Q:  What do you do with chutney?

Chutney was always just the girl who shot her father in Legally Blonde - you know, the one who lied on the stand about showering since her curls were perfectly intact?  Laughs aside, there are 4 different chutney recipes in the Aarti Paarti cookbook, so I needed to learn about real chutney.  My favorite description that I have come across so far is that it is a mix of preserves and relish.  The ones I have tried thus far are spicy yet fruity and sweet.  They can be made from a number of things and are used as a condiment.  Sort if like there is 100 ways to use mayonnaise, the same goes for chutney.  A really good article explaining all the ways can be found here.  The ones I am eager to try are adding chutney to grilled cheese, using it as a tempura dip, and watering it down slightly and using for a marinade.  Did you know that ketchup is actually a chutney?  The more you know.

Q:  India's health rankings

I am a weirdo probably, but whenever I eat something that is really fresh or vegetable laden I am always looking up the health benefits of said food.  Aaron does the same thing.  We got a catalogue in the mail about all these walnut things, and now he is on a mega walnut kick because of all their vitamins and such.  I wanted to know if eating Indian food as frequently as natives meant any sort of betterment in our diets.  First off, be careful from falling into an internet back hole of statistics like I did, lol.  If anything, there are healthy and unhealthy foods in any cuisine on the earth, but in a CNN article I found, Indian cuisine ranks #5 in the most healthy ethnic cuisines list.

5. Indian
Say "Indian food," and you probably think of its aromatic spices, such as turmeric, ginger, red chilies, and garam masala (a mixture of cumin, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, coriander, and other spices).
These distinctive flavors do more than perk up your favorite curry: They may actually protect against some cancers. And turmeric and ginger help fight Alzheimer's, according to recent studies. Researchers point to the fact that rates of Alzheimer's in India are four times lower than in America, perhaps because people there typically eat 100 to 200 milligrams of curry everyday. 
Turmeric, a main ingredient in curry, may have anti-inflammatory and healing properties; its benefits are now being studied at the University of California at Los Angeles.
Other good-news ingredients in Indian cuisine include yogurt and lentils, a fiber-and-RS all-star that has significant amounts of folate and magnesium, and may help stabilize blood sugar. Lentils are often combined with Indian spices to make dal, usually served as a side dish. 
"A vegetable curry with dal is a great choice at an Indian restaurant," Largeman-Roth says.
Danger zone: Avoid anything fried, like samosas (pastry puffs) as well as heavy curries made with lots of cream and butter.

Q:  Gloves for peppers?

Because I have touched my eye on accident one too many times after slicing up a serrano pepper.  The burn just doesn't quit!  Now I know better and just use gloves if I am going to be chopping any hot pepper.  You can get what is probably a several years supply of gloves for under $10.  Yes please!

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Q:  Food Photography staging?

There is infinite amounts of information about food photography on the internet.  It would take a lifetime to read it all.  I think my best takeaway from all my reading is that I will find a few different food bloggers/photographers whose style I admire and look to them for ideas and inspiration, while following tried and true techniques like using natural lighting and such.  Like anything, it takes getting your feet wet and practicing to refine your style and skill.  I really liked this article.

Q:  Houston Foodie Groups?

Check Facebook, because there are a few!  Also there seemed to be several on  I joined a few Facebook groups, so maybe I will have a chance to meet other Houston food enthusiasts sometime soon.  If you know of or belong to any good food groups, let me know!

Q:  Ingredients Totino's Pizza?

A certain husband of mine likes to act like the deliciously crispy Totino's Party Pizzas are the ultimate garbage food.  Like you may as well eat poison.  I wanted to dig a little deeper.  The party pizza is not the best food you can eat, but at least it isn't full of partially hydrogenated oils.  Those are real poison according to my college nutrition professor.  They are however made with imitation cheese, and the meat stuff on them is no better than cheap bologna.  They are delicious and I love them either way.  Info can be found here.

Q:  Why is Kosher salt capitalized?

I noticed this because it is in every recipe I make.  Is it a proper noun?  Just an adjective?  Well it is capitalized all through the cookbook, but I can't find definitive evidence that the capitalization is necessary.  Aaron, resident know-it-all, claims it shouldn't be capitalized but people might just because it is a foreign word.  If anyone has any information to the contrary, I will just go with that reasoning.

Edit 10/6 - a lightbulb went off when I was making a recipe tonight.  Kosher salt isn't capitalized when there is a measure in front of it in the recipe.  So I believe it is only capitalized because it is the start of an ingredient, like how the beginning word of a sentence is capitalized.  #Englishscholar

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