Food Frequently Asked Question's

Food Preparation Food Safety Kitchen Tips The Pantry Food FAQ's
Meat FAQ's Seafood FAQ's Coffee FAQ's Hamburgers Sandwiches
Here you will find all sorts of frequently asked questions about food. If you come here and you are looking for something quick, just click on the link below (ie. BBQ Power). The page will jump down to that section.

Pasta Power

The Benefits of Complex Carbohydrates

Question: Will I lose more weight on a high-protein diet than a high-carbohydrate diet?

Answer: No. Health experts say the best way to lose weight is still a low-fat, high-carbohydrate, low-calorie diet. Portion control and serving size, coupled with a healthy lifestyle including exercise, are key elements in any attempt to shed pounds. If carbohydrates are restricted, particularly to less than 60 grams a day, water and salt loss occurs, not fat. When carbohydrates are reintroduced in the diet, the water weight is regained. There is no quick and easy weight to lose weight; it's basically a question of calories taken in versus calories burned.


Question: What is insulin resistance?

Answer: Insulin resistance appears to affect a small percentage of Americans and is most common among overweight individuals. It is related to a form of diabetes called Type II diabetes. In an insulin-resistant person, the pancreas produces too much insulin after he or she eats sugars or starches. Additionally, cells in insulin-resistant Individuals' bodies may not respond to insulin, causing their blood sugar to stay abnormally high after a meal or snack.


Question: Can a high-carbohydrate diet cause insulin resistance?

Answer: No, the reality is that being overweight causes insulin resistance. A high-carbohydrate diet does not make an insulin-resistant person overweight, nor does it cause insulin resistance. Adopting a high-carbohydrate diet actually enhances insulin function for most people by lowering insulin levels. Carbohydrates are converted to glucose in the body and insulin helps cells utilize glucose for energy. While it is true that insulin is a key hormone in the maintenance of blood sugar, eating more carbohydrates does not mean insulin will increase. Even if you do have an elevated insulin level, it is still wiser to cut back on consumption of saturated fats and increase your consumption of carbohydrates, preferably in the form of grains, fruits and vegetables.


Question: Will I gain weight if I eat a lot of foods high in complex carbohydrates?

Answer: Weight gain cannot be blamed on any single food or food group. Eating too much of any food can make you gain weight. Complex carbohydrates are not fattening. It's what you add to them that is, such as butter, margarine, sour cream, mayonnaise, gravies and cream sauces. Remember that a gram of fat has nine calories which is more than twice the calories of a gram of carbohydrates. The reality is that all calories count. Even if you eat large amounts of fat-free foods, you may find yourself gaining weight. No matter how boring it may sound, the key is to eat all foods in moderate portions, and in the context of an overall healthy diet coupled with regular exercise.


Question: What is the Mediterranean diet?

Answer: The Mediterranean diet, which is high in complex carbohydrates, is one of the healthiest diets in the world. It is low in fat, includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, pasta, legumes (dried peas and beans), and whole grain breads, plus small amounts of dairy products and meat, poultry and fish. Mediterranean countries like Italy have lower rates of obesity and heart disease than the U.S. does, although a definitive link between this diet and one's health has not been (scientifically) established.


Question: How can I tell if I'm eating right?

Answer: The best guide to healthful eating is the Food Guide Pyramid, a moderate and balanced diet that includes neither too much nor too little of any one food group. The Pyramid shows you how many daily servings you should eat from each of the five food groups: the grain group which includes pasta, bread, cereal and rice; the fruit group; the vegetable group; the dairy group; and the meat and protein group, encompassing beef, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and legumes. For example, you should eat six to 11 daily servings from the grain group. Since a typical serving of grains is one-half cup of cooked pasta or cereal, or one slice of bread, most of us eat more than one serving at any given meal -- for instance, a one-cup portion of pasta equals two servings from the grain group.


Cheese Power

Taking The Wraps Off Cheese Storage

Drop that cling wrap! It's time to stop suffocating your cheese. What happens when you put a plastic bag over your head? You cut off your breathing. Same thing happens to cheese. It gets hot and humid and then it starts to mold. That's why any cheese from semi-soft to hard should be wrapped in foil.

Truly soft cheeses like Brie, however, can still be cloaked in plastic wrap. Meantime, feta is best preserved in a solution of half skim milk and half water that has been boiled and cooled. Add salt if you want your feta - surprise! - saltier. Then submerge it and it'll keep half a year in your fridge. All cheeses should be served at room temperature. Try not to keep taking them in and out of the icebox - this dries them out. If you're only going to be eating a wee bit of cheese, slice it off and let it warm while the rest remains comfortably refrigerated.



Question: I'm new to this BBQ stuff. Where do I start?

Answer : 1. Go out and get a grill. If all you want to do is make hamburgers, a small Hibachi type will do. If you want to make chicken and ribs or vegetables, you will need a bigger grill. There are several good kinds of grills. Look for the following features: a) A cover top with air vents b) Stable design. Your grill should not wobble when placed on the ground or other surface.

2. Get some charcoal. We recommend American Grill, EuroCarb, Garden Gourmet or Campfire label. We make these labels so we know how good they are.

3. Buy briquettes. Briquettes will last longer and give you more even heat than lumpwood. Lumpwood is ok for hamburgers and sausages, but due to its uneven size there are hot and cold spots on the cooking surface.

4. Follow the instructions on the bag. BBQing can be dangerous if proper caution is not used.

5. NEVER USE PETROL! This is so important I'll say it again. NEVER USE GASOLINE!

6. Lighter fluid works more quickly than lighting cubes. Use about 250ml. per 2 kg. of briquettes or 1 cup for 4 lbs of briquettes , a little less for lumpwood. Pour evenly over the mound of charcoal, wait one minute between pouring on lighter fluid and lighting. This allows the lighter fluid to soak in, is safer, and will get your charcoal ready faster.

7. In about 25 minutes your charcoal should be hot and white on top. If it is not you've done something wrong. (Were the vents open? Did you use too little fuel? Is it raining?) You must wait until the charcoal is completely cold before putting on more fluid or cubes. Basically, you're in trouble now because this can take 30 minutes to an hour or longer, and your food is going to be late, so pay attention to number 6 above. It's the real "secret" to getting a good fire going.

8. You're ready to barbecue!


Question: Are there different types of methods BBQ'ing?

Answer : There really are two basic methods: direct or indirect. The direct method works well for anything relatively thin such as hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages, or even steaks. Chicken, fish ,ribs and vegetables are better cooked indirectly. You can also put a piece of aluminium on the grill and poke holes for ventilation. This will also help keep your food from burning.


Question: When do I put on the sauce?

Answer : If you are using the indirect method, the sooner the better. If you are using the direct method, wait until you have already turned over the food so you don't burn the sauce.


Question: Are some charcoals better than others?

Answer : Naturally, we think ours is the best. If you're not happy with our charcoal, let us know. That's why it says "guaranteed" on the bag. Because it is! Be careful about buying briquettes. If they're poorly made, they can ruin your barbeque. So if you can't find AMERICAN GRILL, EUROCARB, GARDEN GOURMET or CAMPFIRE, buy lumpwood.


They say food tastes the same whether cooked over charcoal or a gas grill. Don't believe it. Charcoal is the only way to go.

First, get a hot fire from completely gray coals. Then sear the meat on both sides. Move the coals to the center of the grill, add presoaked mesquite or hickory chips to the fire, move the meat to the perimeter of the grill.

Secondly, close some of the vents to let the fire cool somewhat so you can leave the meat on the closed grill and soak up all the flavor.

Third remove the meat, close the vents, and enjoy.



Basic Directions #1
Baking, Broiling and Pan Frying Baking Best for whole fish, thick fillets or fatty fish. Leaner fish can be used if basted often.

1. Temperature 350 to 400 degrees F.

2. Oil pan bottom and sides.

3. Use a sauce: butter, margarine, white wine, etc. to prevent drying.

4. Cook 10 minutes per inch of thickness, adding 3 to 5 minutes per inch. if heavily sauced. Fish is done when it turns opaque of flakes easily.

Broiling Best for fatty fish, but leaner fish can be used if basted often. Steaks or fillets 3/4 to 1 inch thick are recommended.

1. Set temperature to broil.

2. Oil broiler pan.

3. Season, baste with butter, margarine, oil or sauce.

4. Broil 4 to 6 inches from heat, basting often. Leaner fish should be placed directly on bottom of pan so fish is surrounded by a sauce and will not dry out. Fish is done when opaque in center.

Pan Frying Best for small whole fish.

1. Dust fish with flour, cornmeal or coating.

2. Use 1/4 inch of margarine or oil in fry pan.

3. Cook over medium low heat until brown on all sides and done in the center.

Basic Directions #2
Deep Frying, Oven Frying & Sautéing Deep Frying Best for lean fish and shellfish.

1. Use uniform size pieces.

2. Heat oil to approximately 375 degrees F.

3. Coat fish with crumbs or batter.

4. Cook in single layer for 3 to 5 minutes (Do not crowd pieces.)

5. Drain on paper towels.

Oven Frying An easy method with less fat than deep frying.

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

2. Coat fish with crumbs.

3. Place in well greased shallow pan and drizzle with oil, margarine or butter.

4. Bake for approximately 10 minutes.

Sautéing Best for thin, tender pieces of fish.

1. Dust with thin coating of flour.

2. Use a combination of oil and butter to prevent burning.

3. Cook quickly at medium high temperature until brown.

Basic Directions For Cooking Lobster Tails

For Broiling

Thaw lobster tails, they will be more tender than those cooked frozen. Insert point of kitchen shears between meat and hard shell on back. Clip shell down center, leaving fan tail intact. Do not remove underside membrane. Gently open shell, separating it from the meat. Lift raw tail meat through split shell. Arrange lobster tails, membrane side up in shallow pan with a small amount of water in bottom of pan to prevent drying. Broil 4 inches from heat regardless of size. Turn, brush with melted butter and broil according to chart.

The same method can be used for outdoor grilling, except place directly on well greased grill rack, cook membrane side first, turn, baste, & cook according to chart.

Boiling Lobster Tails

Drop lobster tail, thawed, into large kettle of boiling water with 1 tsp. salt for each quart of water. When water reboils, lower heat and begin timing. .

Time Table For Broiling & Boiling Lobster Tails (in minutes)

1 - 3 oz.
4 - 6 oz.
10 - 12 oz.
14 - 16 oz.
3 - 4 min.
5 - 6 min.
8 - 10 min.
12 - 15 min.
3 - 5 min.
5 - 7 min.
10 - 12 min.
15 - 20 min.



Kieto's Kitchen Club © 2005 - 2008