Cooking and Baking in High Altitude Places

With the increase in height from sea level, the atmospheric pressure changes. The higher the altitude, the lower is the atmospheric pressure which causes rapid evaporation. Because of lower boiling point of water, steam cooking can take a much longer time. This means foods require more water to get cooked and foods require more heat, to cook a bit longer than that of sea level.

On the other hand dry heat cooking like grilling and roasting shall not be affected as moisture content is not involved in these processes. Altitude does not alter the way air is heated and therefore a recipe like the roasted chicken shouldn’t require any adjustment in the procedure.

Prone to low humidity at higher altitudes, moisture in foods evaporate much more quickly when cooked. This moisture can be retained by covering the food while cooking. A tight fitting lid on the pot can help save gas as well as retain water content for further cooking.

One may also notice the fact that microwaves also take longer time to cook at higher altitudes. This happens because microwaves cook by exciting the water molecules in food and high loss of moisture is a basic drawback in foods at high altitude.

No one wants to lose out on making the best cakes and serving them to their loved ones with their own hands make their most precious moments memorable. Unfortunately, high altitudes have a lot of effects on baking in comparison to the rest of cooking processes.

Baked goods using leavening agents like yeast, baking powder, baking soda, egg whites, or steam tend to rise excessively, and then fall due to lower air pressure. Thus less leavening agents are to be used as elevation increases.

The three basic principles for high-altitude baking are

Reduce baking powder
Reduce sugar and increase liquids
Dry ingredients, especially flour, should be stored in airtight containers in this low humidity.

Due to faster evaporation, it is advised to increase the amount of liquid in batters and dough. This can be done by adding an extra egg. Decrease the use of baking powder while constantly increasing the amount of liquids. The baking temperature should also be increased by 15 to 25 degree Fahrenheit to help set the batter consistently. The same principle helps one make delicious cookies.

Muffins and biscuits generally develop a bitter or alkaline flavour, which can be counteracted by decreasing the baking soda or powder.

Every recipe is special and every recipe is different. Your plum cake is a lot different than a pineapple one. Any or all the above adjustments may be essential. One should maintain a good log of what rectifications were made for each recipe to serve the best possible. Experimentations at the last moment may prove extremely disastrous.

What Is The First Thing You Should Have When Cooking Thai Food?

Today is a first lesson. Oh! I do not want to call it a lesson because it sounds too formal. It is our first chat about Thai cooking. My friends always keep asking me if they want to cook Thai food, what is the first thing they should have? That is my topic today. When you see my question above. What is your answer ? you might think about something like cooking skills, inspiration, creative idea or any other big words. No! it is not what I mean. Actually, I just want to ask you what you should have (in the kitchen) when cooking Thai food. Basically, there are 5 things that you should have in your kitchen when cooking Thai food. These are:

1. Fish sauce

2. Light soy sauce

3. Dark soy sauce

4. Oyster sauce

5. Garlic

That is it. I think 90% of Thai food will use 2-3 of those stuffs when cooking. So now you know what you should have in your kitchen if you want to cook Thai food. Do not waste your time. Go buy it now.You can buy those 5 stuffs from any supermarket near you. The total price should not be more than $10.00 and you can use it for a year.

Okay, that is all for today. Next time we will start cooking Thai food. Do not worry. As I told you my blog will teach you how to cook Thai food with easy step by step. You can cook it like a pro for sure. I guarantee !

Thai Cooking and Food on Koh Chang Island

Since the whole idea behind travelling is arguably to get away from it all and have a real change of scenery, the traveller’s mood is likely to dictate that they have more of an open mind, making them ready to try just about anything and everything which they wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to do in their primary environment.

One area of exploration you could never avoid, even if you tried, is that of exotic culinary experiences — trying out new foods which are prepared traditionally, especially if your travels do indeed lead you to an exotic place, like Thailand’s Koh Chang island.

Those with particularly weak stomachs and go by the motto “If it tastes like chicken, then give me chicken” aren’t entirely at a loss though, since a lot of travel destinations have wised up to the fact that a lot of people who frequent those destinations are in fact tourists, so there will always but always be an escape to familiarity not too far off from wherever you may be based for that period.

If you are visiting the Thai island of Koh Chang, for instance, as much as you will have ample opportunity to dip your taste buds into a plethora of exotic local Thai dishes, you will have equal opportunity to get a real taste of some of the cuisines from all over the world, including Central and North America, South America and even Africa, in addition to the main offerings that are inclined towards native Asian dishes and there is also a very strong presence of European cuisine as well.

Such restaurants that offer a fair bit of familiarity include the likes of the Chill Restaurant as well as the Rock Sand Terrace Restaurant (situated on White Sand Beach).

Traditional Thai Cuisine

As far as dipping into the local Thai cuisine goes, Koh Chang offers a number of authentic Thai dishes which do very well to give the tourist area its deserved amount of exoticness.

Thai dishes are not exactly what you would call out of the ordinary and there probably won’t be any new or strange things you will be subjected to eating, since Thai food has a heavy emphasis on fish and sea food in general.

An authentic Thai culinary experience, in the form of a lunch or dinner (which are the two meals that probably encompass all the elements of Thai cooking), will take your taste buds on an adventurous journey, with emphasis placed mainly on how the food tastes as opposed to the portions, although the collective portions add up to a very filling meal, generally, so there should be no fear of leaving the dinner table hungry.

If your Thai dining experience has taken your taste buds for a ride that includes taste sensations that are sweet, sour, salty and even bitter, you have had the real Thai culinary experience as the authentic Thai chefs intentionally prepare their food to encompass serious flavours, through the addition of herbs and spices that complement dishes which are made up of the likes of crab, fish, a range of salads and a lot of different dishes to dip into.

A typical Thai dish, as enjoyed on this island, to the tune of a seafood platter of prawns and baked potatoes for example, wouldn’t be as simple as that. The Thai way of preparing such a dish would firstly have an edge by way of the prawns having been freshly-caught (some local restaurants allow you to come along for the fishing boat ride) and then the dish would typically be lightly-prepared, with the prawns cooked just right so that the authentic taste of the sea is preserved.

Along with the avoidance of loss of natural flavour due to overcooking, Koh Chang chefs love to add a little bit of their signature into the mix, characterised by something that would bring out the flavour of the prawns, in the case of the prawn-and-baked-potato dish, with a blend of herbs and spices accompanied by a number of dips and the presentation would be professionalised with an arrangement of something like a tomato and lettuce salad, presented uniquely with a locally prepared salad dressing and even more seasoning.

Be prepared to have a number of dishes placed in front of you, with the distinct possibility of getting overwhelmed by the seemingly endless choices offered all over the island of Koh Chang, at dining spots like the Smiling Buddha Restaurant, The Souk Restaurant and even the curiously named Pink Restaurant, which is more for those who are constantly on the move.

What is important to remember, when enjoying dishes like garlic stir-fried prawns, green curry chicken or yellow curry beef, is that the aim is to experience intense flavour in your food and not just have a filling dinner that you go on to forget about a couple of hours after dessert and this makes for the ultimate Koh Chang dining experience of Thai cooking and Thai food.

The Easy Way to Cook Grilled Food

Grilling food is one of the best ways of preparing it easily and healthy. Grilling food is a technique by which the food is dry heated from below or above side of the food. An open wire grid with heat above or below is called a grill. Foods can be cooked in this grill which base material is a metal. The metal is a good conductor of electricity and it saves time as well as energy while cooking.

Heat is transferred to the food in a grill pan, which is similar to a frying pan but with raised ridges, via thermal radiation. The heat transferred is through direct conduction. When the heat source in a grilling pan comes from above it is called broiling. If the grilling techniques are followed correctly to its full extent then the food prepared in the grill gives a good taste.

All types of food whether it is vegetable or non vegetarian, it can be prepared using a grill. Instead of cooking the food in the gas or in the kitchen oven most housewives prefer cooking in a grill to gas or oven because it takes less time.

The thumb rule for cooking in a grill: smoking foods should be cooked in a low temperature and should take a long time to cook. For cooking thin slices of meat use high temperature and cook fast. First this food should be cooked on one side then should be flipped and cooked on the other side and directly on the coal.

The sugar-based sauces should be applied only at the end so as to avoid burning. The grill should be coated with oil lightly before cooking. Even vegetable that is to be grilled should be oiled before cooking to avoid sticking. Only little oil should be used to avoid excess grease. The grill should be heated in advance. Before grilling the food should be kept in room temperature, but not for long to avoid contamination.

The food that is cooked in a grill does not take the same time for cooking. Some will get cooked quick while some will take lot of time to get cooked. One has to be very careful while cooking and should give undivided attention so that the food is not charred. Avoid keeping the food after preparation for a long time. If you follow the grilling techniques then there won’t be a single problem in cooking the food in the grill.

Simon Kendal has experience dealing with all kinds of food and specializes on grilling. He recently created some informational websites.