5 PRODUCTS TO FACE WINTER
Along with cooling, our skin needs specific care, in addition to external care products, it is important to get the necessary vitamins and minerals for the health and youth of our skin with food as well.
These five products help us to improve the condition of the skin after the scorching summer sun rays and also to face the cold days of winter well prepared.
Apples are a strong anti-inflammatory remedy, the old English adage - one apple a day, keep the doctor away, is not excessive at all. Apples are full of fiber, so it's important to eat apples but not drink them in juice form so we don't lose precious fiber, which is the basis of a healthy digestive system.
The skin of an apple contains a pigment that neutralizes the damage caused by ultraviolet rays to the human skin, and the nutrients in it are involved in the formation of melanin which protects our skin from the sun rays.
One apple a day is an immunity booster because of the vitamin C it contains, which is so important in the pre-winter period, during the virus season.
The history of the use of ginger for culinary and medical purposes goes back many centuries.
Ginger has strong anti-inflammatory properties that is why in combination with lemon and honey it is such a relief during colds. At the same time, it is rich in antioxidants, which are necessary for improving the condition of the skin and preventing a number of diseases.
Ginger accelerates blood circulation and the process of cell replacement, distributes nutrients throughout the body, helps eliminate toxins, which is a prerequisite for healthy and well-cared skin.
Kale is a “superfood” and is considered the healthiest vegetable. This type of cabbage, rich in vitamin K, participates in many beneficial processes, has anti-inflammatory properties, and also contains carotenoids, which naturally protect our skin from the effects of ultraviolet rays, thus slowing down the aging process of the skin.
Walnut is a vegetable product rich in Omega 3. 1 handful of walnuts a day helps us maintain smooth skin, improves blood circulation, which is a necessary condition for the equal distribution of nutrients in the body, protects the skin from ultraviolet radiation and heals skin damaged by the sun.
Oranges and lemons are a source of vitamin C, which, along with strengthening the immune system, participates in the formation of collagen, and the elasticity of our skin depends on collagen. 1 glass of citrus juice contains a daily dose of vitamin C.
MESSAGE FROM ITALY - BEET RISOTTO
This time the tour guide will take you to Italy, our host is Nana Zuriashvili, the author of the culinary page buongustaio (gourmet).
“I have been living in Italy since 2013, namely, outside the city of Naples, in the small historic town of Pozzuoli. Pozzuoli is built on an active volcano. I know it sounds quite dangerous, but the place is of unusual beauty. I have been married for 6 years and I have three daughters. So far my career advancement is stopped, but I plan to study architecture from next year. I discovered a great affection for cooking in Italy. I became fond of Italian cuisine. Since I had so much free time, I was studying and making experiments. I think I am a good cook today and I am going to deepen my culinary skills in the nearest future.
Naples has a very long history, both culinary and musical. For those who do not know, the first opera house “San Carlo” was built in Naples and the first pizza was baked. Naples is unique for its noisy and narrow streets, large piazzas, multiple and delicious pizzerias, the best espresso, mozzarella and much more to list. It is the county of “O sole mio” and many more historical songs.
As this region has sea and sun, people are very joyful, fiery and emotional, somehow they resemble us, Georgians. In my family, regardless of age, everyone loves pasta .. I often cook new pasta and my children often help me with cooking it ... I think that cooking is one of the types of art and it must be necessarily shared, especially at a young age, when they get to know the world ... I think the more things they touch on from childhood, the more imagination and ideas they develop. In general, I like to cook, I always cook and do something, more cereals, less sweet ... but I would say, nothing can be compared to Italian gastronomy.
Italians have hourly meals. Colazione – sweet for breakfast, pranzo- definitely pasta for lunch and then another dish, a glass of wine and finally fruit and dessert. They eat more cereals in the evening. Risotto or soups ... they attach great importance to quality and proper nutrition. My husband loves Georgian cuisine, especially Khachapuri, Georgian cheese and “Dedas bread”. He misses it the most...
The dish that I will share with the readers of Gastro Guide is a kind of experiment that I prepare for friends and family in general ... Beetroot is not very popular in Italy, so I decided to introduce its taste to friends so that they would not forget it and I had a success actually.
For beet risotto you will need:
300 g rice arborio
400 g beets
100 g Gorgonzola (blue cheese)
30 g walnuts
20 g butter
A little olive oil
First prepare the vegetable broth. Put onions, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, celery in a saucepan and cook for 20 minutes. Peel beets and then grate them.
Put one tablespoon of butter in a separate wide and low saucepan, and when melted, add rice. Let stand for 2 minutes and add the beets, stir for 1 minute and then add the vegetable broth so that it comes out on top. Boil for 15-16 minutes (read the label during cooking) and add the vegetable broth from time to time.
The mass should not be juicy, it should have a creamy texture. Remove from the heat, add gorgonzola and salt, stir well. Transfer onto a plate and garnish with finely chopped walnuts, gorgonzoli and pepper.
MESSAGE FROM AMERICA – CAJUN SHRIMP WITH GRITS
I found Maka Bakhbava in one of the Georgian culinary groups. She has impressed me with amazing photos and delicious recipes. Maka has lived in the US for 21 years and currently works as a Senior Business Analyst at Cartus International.
Culinary is one of my hobbies. Perhaps childhood is all about it. Grandmother, mother and aunt were good cooks in the family. My grandparents (on my mother’s side) were gourmets. Each of our visits was celebrated as a feast in the family and the preparation of delicious dishes began. I loved visiting them, sweet Megrelian conversation and delicious Megrelian dishes. I also love to travel and get acquainted with the culinary traditions of different countries, to taste interesting dishes. Upon arrival back I try to prepare new dishes I tasted while traveling at home. I also post video recipes on YouTube as best I can.
I arrived in the States in 1995 through an exchange program funded by the Port of Poti and finished school here. After returning to Georgia and graduating from university, my American host family invited me back to the United States to continue my studies. I came for the second time in 2000 to study. I graduated from James Madison University with a Master of Business Administration with 100% funding as an honors student. I met my hubby at university, he was studying with me. After graduating, we engaged and moved to Connecticut. My sister was also invited by my American family to continue her studies. We brought our mother here after graduating from university.
Tell us about local traditional dishes.
I live in Connecticut. It is a coastal state in the Atlantic, about an hour’s drive from New York. It is a very beautiful state with wonderful spring and autumn. Winters are harsh and long.
Our state is known for its New Haven-style pizza, created by Italian immigrants in New Haven, the town of Yale University, a hundred years ago. Many Italian immigrants lived in this city at the turn of the century. It is considered to be the best pizza in America. Frank Pepe’s Apizza was founded in 1929 by Italian immigrant Frank Pepe on Worcester Street in New Haven. At the top of the street is Frank Pepe Pizzeria, and at the end of the street is a pizzeria opened in 1938 by his nephew Sally (Salvatore Consiglio) called Sally’s Apizza. Unlike Neapolitan pizza, the pizza is baked in a charcoal oven, the dough is very thin and crunchy. Even after baking, it retains its solid shape and does not turn doughy. America’s best pizza has no mozzarella (mutz). White clam pizza (white clam pie - mollusk, garlic, olives and marjoram) and plain tomato pizza (plain tomato pie - San Marzano tomatoes, garlic, olives and parmesan) - these two pizzas are the oldest and most famous from Frank Pepe Pizzeria. Of course they also have Mozzarella pizza and many more, but these are two old originals.
Ramps is American ramson. I heard about this plant late because you will never find it in the store. I knew that in the spring, in our state, American gourmets (foragers) used to go into the woods and collect wood garlic. I discovered from a Georgian culinary group that ramson was used in eastern Georgia and realized that American ramps and ramson are the same plant.
Traditionally, in our state this plant is harvested after it takes leaves. It is known as wood garlic, wild leek. In fact, it is a wild onion (Allium Tricoccum), with remarkable taste of garlic and onion. It was used by the American Indians in their cooking. Pesto sauce is made from it, it is also used with fried potatoes and bacon, grilled steak, used in soups, marinades. It is famous not only in our state but also in other states. They have a Ramps Festival in Virginia and Tennessee.
Connecticut is also known for its best rural ice cream. There are many farms here where the best ice cream is made. No matter where you go, no matter what country, nothing compares to the local ice cream. We do not buy ice cream in the store at all, because you cannot even compare it with the rural one. The best ice cream is made only with the highest quality milk and seasonal ingredients.
Do you often cook at home?
The whole family has a very busy schedule for. Since I and my husband both work, we try to share cooking, I cook for two days, my hubby cooks for other two days (he is an extraordinary cook), we order pizza for one day, we go for a walk to a village or town on Saturday and eat their local food and on Sunday we stay at home and cook together.
We also prepare Georgian dishes. Mother and sister are here too and we are trying to gather at one table with Georgian food. My children and my husband love Georgian dishes, namely: eggplant with walnuts (more precisely, with almonds - we replaced walnuts with other nuts due to my son’s allergy.
We replaced almonds or pecans in all dishes. It turns out very tasty), pkhali, mchadi, Ajarian khachapuri, achma khachapuri, ghomi, satsivi, baje, barbecue, chicken with unripen blackberry, kindzmari, ajapsandali, mashed beans, potato and mushroom pasties. They also love cutlets and tolma.
What does a typical American family dinner look like? Let’s say during a family reunion on the weekends.
On weekends we try to gather with my sister’s family or my husband’s family. We actively use the grill in warm weather. We grill different meats: lamb, beef, gilt, or we cook pork ribs barbecue. Also, corn soaked in water is placed on the grill and boiled in its steam.
We have an amazing vegetable garden full of tomatoes, vegetables, spices. We make different salads with this. Everyone loves tomato salad with pesto sauce and burrata cheese.
We go fishing by boat to catch mollusks and oysters. The water level is very low when the ocean tide is low, at which time mollusks and oysters can be taken from the water with a special shovel. Freshly caught fish and mollusks are delicious. With this we host the family. Fried fish, or fish with oven-baked olives, capers, tomatoes, garlic and onions is easy to prepare and very tasty. We also make raw oysters, mollusks with tarragon, porchetta or pernil in winter. We also prepare Georgian dishes, we try to learn new things and do not limit ourselves to monotony.
The dish I chose for the Gastroguide readers was first tasted about two decades ago together with an university friend. He ordered grits with shrimp. When they brought it I could hardly believe my eyes, because the Megrelian ghomi was very similar to the American grits. I tried it, it had different cheese and a slightly thinner consistency, but it was actually ghomi.
I have since learned that grits is a traditional dish of the American Indians, the Muskogee tribe, that originated in the 16th century. Grits and shrimp is a traditional dish of the South Pacific states (South Carolina, Georgia).
Cajun shrimps with grits
Grits proportion: one to four. One cup of grits, 4 cups of liquid. Polenta can also be used instead of grits.
2 cups water
2 cups milk
1 cup grits
60 grams of butter
120 grams of cheddar cheese (or Monterey Jack).
Put water, milk, grits in a pot and cook at medium temperature. Mix with a balloon whisk so that it does become lumpy. This which is very helpful in this respect. Lower the temperature and simmer slowly for about 35-40 minutes. Add butter, grind cheddar (or Monterey Jack). Salt and black pepper to taste. Transfer to a plate.
500 grams shrimps (unshelled)
200 grams bacon or ham
1 clove garlic
Garnish with parsley
Louisiana Cajun seasoning - A ready-made spice that contains dried onions, garlic, marjoram, thyme, salt, paprika, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Everything is ground. It can be prepared at home.
The proportions are more or less individual, for example, if you like more spicy, you can add more cayenne pepper, if you like more garlic, add a little more garlic and so on.
The approximate proportions are as follows: 2 tbsp salt, 2 tbsp paprika, and 1 tbsp remaining seasoning one by one. Mix everything together and this spice can be stored for 6 months.
Bake the bacon on a large frying pan. Transfer to a separate bowl. Season the shrimp with cayenne seasoning and fry in bacon fat. Add finely chopped garlic.
Shrimp are fried very quickly. On the frying pan, the shrimps should not touch each other, otherwise they will be cooked instead of roasted. When the shrimp turn red, turn them over and fry them on the other side.
Remove from the hot oven and add the fried bacon. Mix well. Add the prepared dish to the prepared grits. Add parsley and chopped lemon. Enjoy.
CHRISTMAS DISHES AND DESSERTS AROUND THE WORLD
In France, the festive table will definitely be decorated with foie gras and oysters. Dishes and desserts are rich in chestnut flavors.
The main dessert is “Yule Log Cake”, decorated with chocolate ganache and meringue mushrooms. “Yule Log Cake” is traditionally a combination of white sponge-cake and chocolate cream, however, of course there are many versions of this cake in the modern kitchen.
This cake is related to the tradition of medieval northern European countries. Before Christmas, the father of the family used to go with his children to find the biggest log in the forest to light a fire for Christmas. The log should flame for at least three days as a guarantee of family prosperity for the upcoming New Year. In France, the log was soaked with wine, and therefore there was always an amazing flavor by the fireplace. The ashes were sprinkled on the ground for a fruitful harvest. A little was saved for the next Christmas for lighting a new log. As huge fireplaces ceased to exist, a large log found in the forest turned into a small, sweet, decorated cake in the middle of the Christmas table.
In Germany, the central figure of the Christmas table is a roast goose, served with local garnishes such as red cabbage, Spätzle, etc. For dessert you may have honey cookies, Speculoos and Stollen.
The history of the Christmas Stollen dates back to 700 years.
This is a sweet bread made with yeast, lots of candied peel, nuts and spices, which is presented at the festive table of every family in Germany. Stollen is baked for 2-3 weeks before Christmas, then packaged in a foil paper and stored for aging for a better texture and flavor.
In Sweden, as in other Scandinavian countries, the Christmas table is decorated with the so-called smörgåsbord style, which means a buffet-style table. Traditional dishes include salted herring, smoked salmon, bread, beet salad, cabbage, many varieties of cheese.
For dessert, they eat saffron-colored yellow buns and rice pudding. The one who finds an almond in the heart of the pudding will get married until the next Christmas.
You won’t find meat dishes at the Christmas table in Poland. Usually, only fish and vegetable dishes are prepared: 12 traditional dishes, in honor of the 12 apostles. Traditional borshch, carp, herring, mushroom soup, stewed cabbage pickle, cabbage rolls, poppy seed cake, ginger cookies and dried fruit.
In Japan, fast food has become an integral part of the Christmas celebration. If the rest of the world is celebrating Christmas with family, traditional dishes, the main Christmas dish of the Japanese is fried chicken legs from KFC fast food restaurants. This tradition dates back to 1974 and is the result of a successful marketing campaign. The Japanese place orders two months in advance to avoid standing in line for hours in front of the restaurants.
It is also popular to order pizza for Christmas. For the last few years, pizza restaurants have been trying to establish themselves in this direction. As the demand for chicken dishes is high and pizza is associated with gatherings with friends or family, it has also been established as a Christmas dish in Japan.
For dessert, the Japanese eat white cream and strawberry cake with Christmas decorations.