Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Steps to Keeping Your Kitchen Safe: Buffet Rules

There are a few simple steps to ensure germs do not spread at a buffet.

1.) Make sure food is kept at the proper temperature. Hot food should be kept hot, and cold food should not be allowed to warm up. Keep food hot with a burner underneath, and keep food like shrimp cold by keeping it on ice.

2.) When taking seconds, thirds or fourths, it's wise to use a clean plate each time. If the serving spoon touches a person's plate, germs are transfered into the main dish, and therefore germs are spread to every person who takes food from that dish.

3.) Never sneeze or cough near a buffet. The germs will travel through the air and onto the food. Try to leave the room or move far away in anticipation of a sneeze or cough.

4.) Don't use a serving implement in more than one dish. If there is nothing to serve with, ask for another utensil. Dipping serving spoons in more than one thing will cause cross contamination between dishes.

5.) Don't leave food out longer than needed. When the buffet is closed, food should be put away as quickly and efficiently as possible. Refrigerate, freeze, and throw out food as appropriate. The longer food stays out, the more bacteria will multiply.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Fettucine With Shrimp and Grape Tomatoes

I was really hungry so I wanted to make something really quick. After searching around the kitchen for a minute, I found some grape tomatoes, frozen shrimp, a package of fettucine, garlic, and a lime. I could easily make a fast meal out of these ingredients; the longest part of the meal would be cooking the pasta.

So, I put the water on to boil. Here's the recipe I came up with.

Fettucine with Shrimp and Grape Tomatoes
Makes 3 servings

3/4 package fettucine (I used Barilla)
Approximately 100 ounces of grape tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes), halved
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 lb of raw, deveined shrimp
Juice of one lime (or lemon)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp chili flakes
salt to taste
Parmesan cheese to garnish

Heat the olive oil in a large bottomed pan or wok. Saute garlic until very lightly golden brown, approximately 2 minutes.

Add the grape tomatoes. Saute for about two minutes, until it starts to look like the tomatoes are softening and breaking down a little.

Next, add the shrimp. Cook the shrimp until it turns pink. If the pan is nice and hot, this will only take a couple of minutes.

Add the chili flakes, salt, pepper, and lime juice.

Finally, add the pasta. Leave a little bit of pasta water to add to the mixture. The starch in the water will help the pasta to bind to the sauce. Stir well.

Serve hot, and sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top.