Category: Recipes

Which Lamb is the Best: American, Australian or New Zealand?

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Lamb is a very subjective item. Many people feel that New Zealand or Australian is the best and others feel there is no lamb other than American and are willing to pay the premium price for it.
Lamb from each region has its own distinguishing characteristics including flavor, size and price. What are the differences then?

American Lamb:

American lamb is just that, it has been raised in the U.S. Most quality American lamb comes from Colorado and the Midwestern States and is grain fed. This breed is the largest in size and many say is the highest in quality and consistency.
American lamb has grain in its diet and thus tastes less “gamey” compared to imported lamb which is typically grass fed. It is also the most expensive available. American lamb is very sensitive to market conditions which makes availability and size variable. Lamb farming is a small industry in the U.S. which is why supply and demand is a major issue.

Australian Lamb:

“Aussie” lamb has become a very popular item today. It has been cross-bred with American lamb to create a larger more consistent product. Not too many years ago Aussie lamb was very undesirable. The lambs were raised primarily for their wool and the meat was almost a by-product of that industry. This meant a very inconsistent product in size and quality.

Today Aussie lamb is also raised for consumption to a specific size and weight which produces a quality product that is less expensive than American domestic lamb. It is of a medium size and resembles that of American lamb the most.

New Zealand Lamb:

New Zealand has long produced lamb for its wool industry. This breed is of small stature and many believe is of the least quality compared to American and Australian lamb. Consequently it is also the least expensive lamb. Many customers use this product because of its attractive cost and consistent sizing. When compared to American and Aussie lamb, the price is right.

Popular Lamb Cuts:

Lamb can be purchased a few different ways, “Primal”, “Sub-Primal” and “Portion Control”. Most customers purchase “Sub-Primal” or “Portion Control”. Unlike beef, when lamb is portioned, they become “Chops” not “Steaks”.

Popular Primal Cuts – Bone-In:

Leg, Loin, Hotel Rack, Shoulder, Saddle

Popular Sub Primal Cuts:

Rack Split Chine Off, Loin Boneless Trimmed, Leg Boneless, Shank, Shoulder Boneless

Popular Portion Control Cuts:

Lamb Rack, Frenched, Lamb Rib Chop, Frenched, Lamb Loin Chop, Lamb Shoulder Chops, Lamb Leg, Frenched Carving

So, which Lamb is the best: American, Australian or New Zealand? Perhaps all of them, depending on your specific needs. Try them and decide for yourself!

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The Caipirinha Is The Brazilian Cocktail You’ve Been Too Afraid To Pronounce

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It’s time to take a break from the mojito, put down the margarita, and give Brazil’s national cocktail ― the caipirinha ― a chance to star at your next cocktail hour. The caipirinha is a simple cocktail made of cachaça, lime and sugar, and it is as refreshing as it is potent.

We know this cocktail could take over happy hours nationwide if it weren’t for this one small flaw: it’s hard to pronounce. And since no one wants to look the fool at the bar, this drink doesn’t get ordered as often as it should. Don’t let this stop you from getting familiar with one of the best cocktails around. There’s a simple fix…

Say it with us now: Kai-Pee-Reen-Ya.

The caipirinha is a fun drink to mix. It involves muddling lime wedges with sugar ― yes, the wedges are left in the glass when served ― and topping it all off with ice and cachaça. But first, you’ll have to stock your home bar with Brazil’s favorite spirit, the previously mentioned cachaça.

Since we know you’re wondering, let’s tackle how to pronounce cachaça before we delve into what it is:

All together now: Ka-Shah-Suh.

Cachaça is a Brazilian distilled spirit made from the fermented juice of sugarcane. It has a flavor reminiscent of rum ― rum is also made from sugarcane ― but it is more vegetal and robust because it’s made from raw sugarcane (and not a byproduct, such as molasses, like rum is). Its production dates back to the 1500s when the Portuguese arrived in Brazil. Rum was distilled a couple hundred years later in other parts of the Americas. Just like with any spirit, its flavor can vary greatly depending on the quality of production. Industrial options can be rough, but delve into smaller batch productions and you’ll be well rewarded.

The traditional caipirinha is perfection, but there are many ways to make variations on the classic with an array of different fruits. We have those options for you below.

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24 Reasons To Seek Out Fresh Figs

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Dried figs are great and all, but if you’ve ever tasted a fresh fig you know that there’s no contest between the two. Sweet and honeyed, fresh figs are a rare treat meant to be savored. They were, after all, the foods of the gods.

When you see figs in the supermarket or farmer’s market grab a bunch, because they can be hard to find despite their long season, which runs late summer to fall. They might not always look perfect, and that’s okay because figs rarely do. The sign of a perfectly ripe fig is when you see a bit of bend in the stem and the feel of the skin is supple. Crackly skin is fine, just stay away from figs that are overly soft or oozy.

Figs are delicious eaten right out of hand, but using them in recipes is an even better way to enjoy the delicate and scarce late summer fruit. We found just the recipes to help you do that.

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40 Truly Amazing Blueberry Recipes YUM!

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We have blueberries to thank for some of our favorite foods. What would mornings be without them? We wouldn’t have blueberry muffins — the only truly great muffins out there — pancakes would be fruitless, and pie just wouldn’t be as awesome (because yes, you can eat pie for breakfast). For such a tiny fruit, blueberries make some truly spectacular dishes.

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Since summer is short, and blueberry season fleeting, we recommend getting your fill of the blueberry while you can. Actually, we think you should add them to everything — and we’ve shown you how to do just that with the recipes below.

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How to crimp a pie

Points to remember

Cover the top of your pie with pastry. Pick up the pie in one hand and use a small sharp knife in the other to trim away excess pastry.
For a really simple neat finish, use the tines of a fork, pressing them all the way around the rim of the pie dish.
For a classic crimp, use one finger to push the pastry down towards the outside of the dish. Pinch around that finger with the finger and thumb of your other hand to create a scalloped effect.
Make a ‘wave’ pattern, by pushing your two slightly spaced forefingers fingers into the pastry at an angle, all the way around the edge of your pastry.
For a more unusual finish that works well with puff pastry, cut a fringe with a knife around the edge of the pie on the rim of the dish. Fold over alternate strips of pastry to give you two concentric circles.
Brush the pastry with beaten egg yolk, make a small steam hole in the centre and cook in a preheated oven.

The Basil Recipes That Define Summer

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Basil is summer’s defining herb. In many parts of the Western world, the blossoming of this herb coincides with many of the season’s other darlings, like tomatoes and peaches. Naturally, the herb ― which is a member of the mint family ― is a perfect complement and can be found paired together in many dishes.

It is believed that basil first had its start in Asia and Africa ― but it quickly took off all over the world. While basil is available in over 60 varieties, the most popular kind is sweet Italian basil, known as Sweet Genovese. With big, soft leaves, it just begs to be served on top of pasta. Thai basil (which has smaller, pointed leaves) and purple opal basil (which is … purple) are also common these days.

Whichever kind you get your hands on, try them in a few of the recipes below.

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