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Kings Mountain, North Carolina, United States
"A mind lively and at ease" is a blog by a first-generation Russian-Ukrainian immigrant Maria K. (Maria Igorevna Kuroshchepova). An engineer by education, an analyst by trade, as well as a writer, photographer, artist and amateur model, Maria brings her talent for weaving an engaging narrative to stories of life, fashion and style advice, book and movie reviews, and common-sense and to-the-point essays on politics and economy.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mama Masha's kitchen - quick hits - making things juicy

To preserve the juiciness of your sauteed veggies and mushrooms, saute on medium high and add a splash of wine, whiskey or vodka to the pan. This works especially well with onions and garlic for people who like their flavor but not the heat. The alcohol takes off the edge but preserves the flavor and gives it a nice smoky undertone.

Bake the blander meats, like pork and chicken, with something juicy and flavorful. For instance, layer pork chops in a casserole dish with coarsely sliced onions and apples, add a pinch of rosemary and some coarse salt to make the apples juice and offset their sweetness. Bake at 400 deg F for 30 minutes. With bland or sweet fish, like tilapia and flounder, consider adding some lemon slices, paprika, and pre-sauteed garlic. If you are an unabashed bacon lover, like me, wrap fish or chicken filets in strips of bacon before baking them.

For meats with fuller flavor, like beef and stronger-flavored fish, consider soaking them in red or white wine for a few hours before cooking. Also, add some interesting pickled veggies to the pan, like pickled squash, tomatoes, mushrooms, and bell peppers, along with a splash of pickle juice.

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