Lunch Meat of the Week – Corned Beef

October 11, 2018 at 5:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Corned beef

Corned beef is a salt-cured beef product. The term comes from the treatment of the meat with large grained rock salt, also called “corns” of salt. It is featured as an ingredient in many cuisines.

Most recipes include nitrates or nitrites, which convert the natural myoglobin in beef to nitrosomyoglobin, giving a pink color. Nitrates and nitrites reduce the risk of dangerous botulism during curing by inhibiting the growth of Clostridium botulinum spores, but have been shown to be linked to increased cancer risk. Beef cured with salt only has a gray color and is sometimes called “New England corned beef.” Sometimes, sugar and spices are also added to corned beef recipes.

It was popular during World War I and World War II, when fresh meat was rationed. It also remains especially popular in Canada in a variety of dishes.

A corned beef on rye bread sandwich

Although the exact beginnings of corned beef are unknown, it most likely came about when people began preserving meat through salt-curing. Evidence of its legacy is apparent in numerous cultures, including ancient Europe and the Middle East. The word corn derives from Old English and is used to describe any small, hard particles or grains. In the case of corned beef, the word may refer to the coarse, granular salts used to cure the beef. The word “corned” may also refer to the corns of potassium nitrate, also known as saltpeter, which were formerly used to preserve the meat.

Corned beef on a bagel with mustard

In North America, corned beef dishes are associated with traditional Irish cuisine. However, considerable debate remains about the association of corned beef with Ireland. Mark Kurlansky, in his book Salt, states that the Irish produced a salted beef around the Middle Ages that was the “forerunner of what today is known as Irish corned beef” and in the 17th century, the English named the Irish salted beef “corned beef”.

Some say until the wave of 18th-century Irish immigration to the United States, many of the ethnic Irish had not begun to consume corned beef dishes as seen today. The popularity of corned beef compared to bacon among the immigrant Irish may have been due to corned beef being considered a luxury product in their native land, while it was cheaply and readily available in America.

The Jewish population produced similar salt-cured meat from beef brisket, which Irish immigrants purchased as corned beef from Jewish butchers. This may have been facilitated by the close cultural interactions and collaboration of these two diverse cultures in the United States’ main 19th- and 20th-century immigrant port of entry, New York City.

Corned beef hash out of the can

Canned corned beef has long been one of the standard meals included in military field ration packs around the world, due to its simplicity and instant preparation in such rations. One example is the American Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) pack. Astronaut John Young sneaked a contraband corned beef sandwich on board Gemini 3, hiding it in a pocket of his spacesuit.

 

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Kitchen Hint of the Day!

February 13, 2018 at 6:37 AM | Posted in Kitchen Hints | Leave a comment
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Deli tip…..

Next time you’re buying lunchmeat at the deli counter ask them if they give discounts for bulk ends of meat. These are the end bits that are to small to slice in the machine, but can be sliced or cubed at home. They’re often offered at half off.

One of America’s Favorites – Veggie Burger

June 2, 2014 at 7:45 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites, vegetables | Leave a comment
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Veggie burger topped with grated cheese on a bun

Veggie burger topped with grated cheese on a bun

A veggie burger is a hamburger-style, or chicken-style, patty that does not contain meat, but may contain animal products such as egg or milk. The patty of a veggie burger may be made from vegetables (like corn), textured vegetable protein (like soy), legumes (beans), tofu, nuts, mushrooms, or grains or seeds, like wheat and flax.

 

 

 
The patties that are the essence of a veggie burger have existed in various Eurasian cuisines for millennia, including in the form of disc-shaped grilled or fried meatballs or as koftas, a commonplace item in Indian cuisine. These may contain meats or be made of entirely vegetarian ingredients such as legumes or other plant-derived proteins. While it is not possible, or even necessary, to identify the ‘inventor’ of the veggie burger, there have been numerous claimants.

 

 

 
Some fast food companies have been offering vegetarian foods increasingly since the beginning of the 21st century.
Around the world[edit]
In places such as India where vegetarianism is widespread, McDonald’s and KFC serve veggie burgers. Since February 2010, McDonald’s Germany, its fourth-biggest global market, is serving veggie burgers in all its restaurants. Different kinds of veggie burgers are also served permanently in McDonald’s restaurants in:

* Bahrain
* Cheung Chau, Hong Kong (McVeggie, in Cheung Chau Bun Festival)
* Egypt (McFalafel, consisting of a falafel patty with tomato, lettuce and tahini sauce)
* Greece (McVeggie, consisting of a breaded and fried vegetable patty with tomato, iceberg lettuce and ketchup, in a sesame bun)
* Malaysia
* The Netherlands (Groentenburger=Vegetable Burger)
* Sweden (McGarden)
* Switzerland (Vegi Mac)

 

Order from a vegetarian deli: veggie burger with french fries and salad

Order from a vegetarian deli: veggie burger with french fries and salad

In the USA as of April 2005, veggie burgers were available in Burger King restaurants and those of its franchise Hungry Jack’s. As of that same time, they were also available in certain Subways and Harvey’s, as well as many chain restaurants, such as Red Robin, Chili’s, Denny’s, Friendly’s, Johnny Rockets, and Hard Rock Cafe. Occasionally the veggie burger option will appear at the bottom of a menu as a possible substitution for beef or turkey burgers, rather than as an individual menu item.

 

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