Something's Fishy Here

Somethings fishy

Cantu’s Culinary Creations uses exotic seafood selections from around the world in their home delivery cuisine. Sometimes, however, it might be difficult to pick a dish if you know nothing of the origins or types of seafood being offered. Not to worry, This blog article will help you wade through the seemingly endless choices that await your discerning palate.

Since the dawn of time, it seems, man has been looking to our oceans, streams and rivers to supply an endless supply of culinary delights. Different cultures display an array of varied and exotic aquatic offerings to tempt the appetites, not to mention the curiosities of their patrons.

But how, amidst this plethora of delectable offerings is one to know just what is right for them? Who knows? Certainly, this blog article won’t solve the dilemma; we’re just trying to talk about seafood dishes. Let’s dive (pardon the pun) right in shall we.

Aquatic cuisine can be categorized into several classifications. There’s Seafood of course; the definition being all edible cuisine derived from Earth’s oceans. Then there is Fresh water cuisine being defined as all edible sources from Earth’s myriad of streams, lakes and rivers.

We can define the classes further by separating the seafood into various categories, such as, Mollusk family, consisting of Snails, Mussels, Clams etc. then there are the Crustaceans like Crab, clams, lobster, and the like. There are also the various categories of fish, some exotic some not so much. We won’t attempt in this article to address them all, only those species that you might find on our culinary menus. So, let’s begin shall we?

Starting off our list of who’s who in the fish world is the tasty yet oft times misunderstood Grouper fish.

Grouper-FishGrouper Fish - Young Atlantic goliath grouper may live in brackish estuaries, oyster beds, canals, and mangrove swamps, which is unusual behavior among groupers. They may reach extremely large sizes, growing to lengths of up to(8.2 ft) and can weigh as much as 360 kg (790 lb).

Grouper is typically caught off the coast of Florida and has a white and lean meat with a mild sweet flavor. The meat is firm with a heavy flake and remains moist after cooking. We never use any food sources that are not harvested in accordance with acceptable conservation efforts, fully supporting the efficient and ethical harvesting or our oceans bounty, and so Grouper, being an ever decreasingly available resource, is a true treat when it is available.

shrimpShrimp – There are many health benefits to the shrimp delicacy. They are extremely high in protein, low in calories and provide a wealth of nutrients including Selenium, which aids in many of the metabolic pathways and may help treat prostate cancer; ongoing research is exploring the relationship between low selenium levels and coronary heart disease. (Top 5 Health Benefits of Selenium ~ Newsmax)

Over 75% for vitamin B12, over 50% for phosphorous, and over 30% for choline, copper, and iodine. And while we don’t typically think of animal proteins as sources of antioxidants, shrimp contain two types. In addition to being a mineral that plays a role in immunity and thyroid function, selenium is an important antioxidant that helps fight damaging particles called free radicals, which damage cell membranes and DNA, leading to premature aging and disease. Another antioxidant, called astaxanthin, which provides the primary color pigment in shrimp, has been shown to help reduce inflammation, a known trigger of aging and disease. (Seven things you should know about shrimp – Health.com)

TilapiaTilapia - Tilapia is probably the oldest farm raised fish in the world. Stories from biblical scholars suggest it was the fish used by Jesus to feed the crowds at the Sea of Galilee. Today, over 80 nations produce farm-raised tilapia including the United States. China is the largest producer accounting for over 50 percent of the world’s production.

There are many different species of tilapia. Aquaculture producers have developed various breeds or hybrids that grow efficiently to market size and have desirable appearance and flavor characteristics. The approved market name for all varieties is ‘Tilapia’, and the three primary species in the marketplace are Nile or Black tilapia, Blue tilapia, and Mozambique or red tilapia. Although the species names imply different colors, the edible fillets or portions are very similar and more influenced by growing conditions and feeds than external colors.

Tilapia is a hardy herbivorous fish that feeds on algae or small aquatic plant cells, and is primarily raised in freshwater systems using cages, ponds, raceways or open waters. The water conditions in the farming operations have an important impact on product quality and taste. Tilapia has been called the “aqua-chicken” because of the breeding improvements and mass production methods that evoke comparisons to the land based chicken industry in the United States. Organic production methods for tilapia have been developed and some producers are seeking official recognition for their products. (Seafood Health Facts)

rockfishRockfish - has a sweet, mild flavor, with a flaky, medium-firm texture. It is best baked, sautéed, broiled or poached. Since the flesh tends to flake easily, it is not the best fish for grilling.

Rockfish are carnivorous fish inhabiting all seas and especially abundant in the temperate waters of the Pacific. Rockfish are found among rocks and reefs. Of commercial importance are the black and orange rockfish and the Boccaccio of the Pacific coast and the Rose fish also known as red fish. (RockfishEncyclopedia.com)

Well there you have it. Those are some of the aquatic entrée’s you may find on your Culinary Cuisine menu. Take advantage of the opportunity to sample all the fine seafood offerings to be had a Cantu’s Culinary Creations and Catering. Happy Dining.

Blog post researched and graphics designed by RLJ Online Marketing, LLC

Asparagus Anyone?

asparagus-2

Asparagus Anyone?

How much do you really know about this Green stalk of goodness? Well Let’s take a little Quiz Shall we?

Asparagus 101

(Write Your Answers Down)

1. When did Asparagus come into being?

2. What civilization is credited with its initial cultivation?

3. What does Asparagus mean?

4. Name a few different types of Asparagus?

5. What are the nutritional qualities of Asparagus?

6. Why is Asparagus considered an Aphrodisiac?

For the answers, I’m afraid you’ll just have to read the rest of the blog (I know, it’s a cheeky way to coerce you into reading our blogs, but we’re shameless.)

Asparagus Historical Roots (pun intended)

Asparagus has been used as a vegetable and medicine, as well as a tasty side dish because of its wonderful sweet earthy flavor and diuretic properties. In ancient times, over 2000 years ago, the Egyptians cultivated the plant for medicinal purposes. The Greeks and Romans enjoyed the delicate young shoots as well; in fact, Emperor Augustus created a special fleet of barges for the sole purpose of transporting the asparagus from the fields to the marketplace. He named it the “Asparagus Fleet”.

Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician, used asparagus to treat diarrhea and pains of the urethra. This plant, in fact, contains asparagine, known for its diuretic properties. The Romans enjoyed the many health qualities of Asparagus as well. They ate it as a standalone entrée and as a vegetable side dish to compliment the myriad of aquatic dishes in their cuisine. Asparagus was virtually unheard of in Europe and Britain during the middle Ages but continued to be cultivated in the Middle East. Caesar’s legions brought it north as they returned from voyages to the Asiatic region, where it began to gain acceptance.

The origins of the name Asparagus hail from the Persians. The Romans and Greeks continued to use the Persian word, which was "Asparag" which being interpreted meant shoot. This eventually gave way to the term Sperage, which was in use for many years. As early as the 16th century, peoples in Europe and Britain used the term Sperage for the green vegetable. The working class peasants referred to it as “Sparrow Grass". During the 19th century, Asparagus took over about the same time that the cultivation of asparagus started in the United States.

Varieties of Asparagus

There are many different varieties of asparagus. Some are:

product 2444Backlim - Holland. A late variety useful for extending the season. Recommended for glasshouse production of both white and green asparagus with thick spears of good size and excellent flavor. Compact foliage.

purple AEros - Italy. Mid-season variety, which will grow in heavier soils, medium, yield of large spears. Suitable for both green and white asparagus production.

Gijnlim - Holland. Early and very high yielding with spears of medium size and excellent quality. A standard variety for European commercial asparagus growers.

White AGrolim - Holland. An early variety producing a good yield of very heavy spears. Recommended for white asparagus production, and for warm areas, but sensitive to high water table.(Source material from Asparagus Varieties by Mark Rowland)

Asparagus The Love Fruit

How did asparagus come to be known as an aphrodisiac? Well, the shape is certainly a factor! In addition, many of the intrinsic nutritional qualities are linked with aphrodisiacal properties. It is rumored that an Arabian love manual written in the 16th century provided an asparagus recipe, which purportedly was given to stimulate erotic desires. As part of the lily family, asparagus contains plenty of vitamin A and C, which may be contributing factors to this Spanish fly type reputation.

All we know is that it tastes good and we like it. Cantu’s Culinary Creations uses Asparagus in many creative and appealing ways to augment their cuisine. Now, knowing the history, perhaps you will think twice as you down one of those succulent green stalks. Happy dining.

Blog post researched and organized by RLJ Online Marketing, Inc.

Salt of the Earth

Salt image

We take it for granted all the time but how often have you really thought about where our Salt comes from? Here are a few interesting facts you may not have known about this tasty additive.

  • The United States consumes over 53,300 metric tons of salt each year. Now that’s a lot of salt.
  • Back in the Roman Empire, soldiers often were paid in Salt. That’s how the term “Salary” came about as a derivative of the word Saline.
  • The human body requires salt to live. Each of us has about 250 grams of salt in our bodies, that’s equivalent to a box of salt. 
  • Anciently, salt was used to ward off evil spirits.The Japanese would sprinkle salt on the stage before a theatrical performance to ward off the evil spirits..
  • At one time, salt bars were the currency of the Ethiopian empire. 

The salt refining process: Salt begins life as Brine. Brine is a highly concentrated solution of water and Sodium Chloride (NaCl). Prior to evaporation, the brine is treated with chemicals to remove the trace minerals, labeled as impurities. The chemicals used to refine salt include sulfuric acid or chlorine, yummy! After the chemical bath removes all the “impurities”, the water is evaporated under high compression and heat. This process radically changes the molecular structure of the salt. As a final step, virtually all of the moisture is removed from the salt to yield the granular product we know today as table salt. At this point the salt has a varied color and so manufactures bleach the salt to turn it to a pure white color. The thought was that it would sell much better that way. The resulting salt product is then laced with iodine and sold to the world.

In contrast to refined salt, unrefined salt contains much more than just sodium and chloride. Unrefined salt contains all of the elements necessary for life. Celtic Sea Salt (Light Grey) contains 33% sodium, 50.9% chloride, 1.8% minerals and trace elements and 14.3 % moisture. Table 2 shows the major contents of unrefined Celtic Sea Salt. Unrefined salt does not contain appreciable amounts of iodide. See a breakdown of the minerals and elements Here.

There are a few different methods for salt production. Dehydration and Mining.The problem with dehydration is that the salt brine comes from our current oceans. With the problems of pollution in the air and water, this process is less than desirable. Oh the salt is safe, however it has been highly processed by chemicals in order to get rid of the contaminants.Evaporation

Mining salt, on the other hand, utilizes residual saline resources left behind by ancient seas. These ancient seas were free from modern day pollutants and contaminants. The resulting salt bring requires none of the invasive refining chemicals and delivers all the minerals that we need to live healthy lives. There really is a difference! Natural Earth Salt comes in various colors due to the elements and minerals from where it is mined.

For example, Salt Mines of Pakistan

the salt mines of Pakistan yield a beautiful pink rock salt that comes from the minerals found there.

At Cantu's Culinary Creations, we would never use anything that wasn't nature's pure product. Taste the difference for yourself. After trying natural sea salt you'll never be satisfied with regular refined salt again. So when it comes to salt, white is not the preferred color. Namaste.

Graphics and post content created by: RLJ Online Marketing, LLC

Dishes of Ireland

Dishes of Ireland 
America, land of opportunity and diversity. We, as a nation, are by our very nature a land of eclectic variations. As early as the 18th century, people have been compelled to seek refuge on the shores of this great nation. Some of the earliest of these were those from the small northern island of Great Britain. Why did they come? What drove them to risk everything and hazard the fierce and unyielding great expanse of the Atlantic ocean?
For many, it was the call of freedom. Freedom from religious oppression, or political domination. For others it was the promise of wealth and prosperity. The stories of the new world brought visions of gold and ample land to yield to the plow. Such was the case for many of the Celtic region of Ireland. 
As we recognize the festive time associated with St. Patrick’s day, let’s look at the people and especially the unique cuisine they brought that would shape and mold America into the diverse nation it has become.Let’s look at some of the dishes served in the great nation of Ireland.
 
Black Pudding also reffered to as Blood pudding. blood puddingThis culinary delight, though named Pudding, is really more like sausage made from cooked pig's blood, pork fat, pork rind, pork shoulder, pork liver, oats, onion, rusk (wheat starch, salt), water, salt, pimento, and seasoning (rusk, spices). I’ve tried this and I must say, not one of my favorites, however many find it a tasty treat indeed.
Cottage Pie - Cottage PieCottage pie is a beef and vegetable mixture with a delicate beef sauce topped with creamy mash potato, which has been prepared Au Gratin Style. This dish is very similar to Shepherd’s Pie with subtle differences, mainly the use of lamb instead of beef.
Corned Beef & Cabbagecorned beefA traditional Favorite, especially around St. Patricks Day. Corned beef is basically a beef brisket that has been marinated in pepper corns and various other spices to give it a sassy pepper taste that is wonderful. For more tasty dishes, please visit this list of Irish Dishes
We here at Cantu’s Cullinary Creations celebrate all the great cuisine contributions from the myriad of nations that make up our great nation of America. There is great strength in this diversity and it is our hope that we may come together as a nation and celebrate our differences together. Namaste.

Don't Call Them Buffalo!

African plain

Be careful when visiting your local Bison herd ranch.ÂBison are quite a snooty lot, so don’t call them Buffalo. If you’re head to head with a big male bull, on a social visit and you refer to him as a Buffalo, you’re liable to find yourself running from the business end of this great animal. Of course, anyone stupid enough to climb into the pasture with a big male bull might have more problems than just a grammar fopaux.

So what’s up with these lumbering giants of the Southwest Plains? Well, Let’s take a look. First off, the Bison have come to be known as Buffalo because the early settlers, mountain men, and pioneers called them that, rather Buffello, spelled slightly different. But to call them that is incorrect. There are various species of buffalo in Africa, Asia and other parts of the world but we have no indigenous species here in the U. S. Their correct definition is:

TheÂAmerican bisonÂ(Bison bison) lives only in North America, while the two main buffalo species reside in Africa and Asia.ÂSmall populations of bison relatives called the European bison (Bison bonasus) live in isolated parts of Poland.(Definition from Live science.com)

buffalo-840338 640bison-1114095 640

Bison is a wonderful source of protein and tastes just like beef.ÂÂHere are some Bison Facts you might not be aware of.

1. The Bison are the largest animal dwelling in North America, with the exception of the freakish bulls raised in Texas. The male bull can weigh in excess of 2,000 pounds and the cows can be up to 1,000 pounds or more. 

2. The Bison are well adapted for the harsh winters on the Midwest prairie. The large hump on their back is composed of tough muscle supported by vertebrae. It allows the Bison to burrow through deep snow, and comes in handy in case another bull wanders by.

3. Adult Bison can stand upwards of six and a half feet tall and measure up to 11 feet long. That’s the size of a 4X4 Dodge Ram Truck (No endorsement intended) with a nasty attitude. No wonder their only natural predator is Man!

4. In the Late 1700’s and early 1800’s, Bison numbered in excess of 20 to 30 million. Unfortunately, with the push west by the new settlers, came also the demise of the American Bison. Hunted for sport, the bison numbers began to dwindle. Even more so as settlers claimed land for their domestic livestock. Often hundreds and thousands of Bison littered the plans, taken only for their pelts or trophy parts. The waste was enormous.

5. Hunted nearly to extinction, the Bison population numbered less than 1,000 head at the beginning of the 20th century. Thanks to great statesmen like William Hornaday and Theodore Roosevelt, (Our nation’s 26th president), The American Bison Society was founded.Today bison herds number in excess of 500,000 and the number is growing.

6. Here are some handy nutritional facts that you might not have been aware of:

bison Nutrition

So if you wonder why we here at Cantu’s Cullinary Creation are always serving Bison, now you know. It’s the healthy alternative to beef. We care about your health and our meals are prepared with that in mind. So, here’s to the American Icon, Bison. May it always be foremost in our minds and hearts.

 

Blog post created by: RLJ Online Marketing, LLC.

Want to be a hero? Think Chocolate

Love2

 

Did you forget?

Valentine’s day may not be one of the most significant holidays on the annual calendar but trust me, try forgetting it once and that significant person in your life will never let you live it down. Take it from one who knows. I’ve made that mistake once in my life and to say I was relegated to the doghouse is sugar coating it.

First, a bit of history

Valentine's Day has its roots in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia (Google it).fertility celebration commemorated annually on February 15.Eventually, Pope Gelasius ISan Galasio I

recast the pagan festival as a Christian feast day declaring February 14 to be St. Valentine's Day.How it came to be a holiday of love from its origin of honoring a pious men who probably had no romance in his life at all is beyond me. There is some suspicion that it changed in the 14th century by a man named Chaucer who wrote a poem for King Richard II of England.Those interested can read more here:Today Loving couples celebrate the holiday with gifts fitting for the occasion.

Here’s a helpful holiday tip: dual bag vacuums are not a good idea as Valentines gifts. To find out why, click here.

To Help you guys and gals out there with an awesome gift Idea, let me introduce what I feel is one of the best chocolate confectioners in the state,

TCC

The Chocolate Conspiracy is run by a great guy who goes by the name of A.J. In talking with him I could sense his passion for high quality treats that are also whole earth minded. I was fascinated to learn that, unlike most other chocolate confections around, The Chocolate Conspiracy does not roast or cook their coco beans in the chocolate making process. Why is that important? By eliminating the heat from the process you retain all the nutritional value of the coco bean (That’s right there is nutrition there). Ka Ching, bonus.

In addition, The Chocolate Conspiracy uses no refined sugar in their homemade confections. That’s right, all their products are sweetened naturally with organically grown and harvested honey from a local farm, White Lakes Farms.

What’s the big deal, you ask? I guess it depends on how important a happy, grateful and motivated partner is to you. Trust me, running to the 7-eleven to get a Hershey’s bar and a can of Dr. Pepper because you forgot to get something special, will yield bitter fruit.

It’s sad that I know so much about these particular fopas but... well let's just leave it at that. Be smart this Valentine’s day, Head over and visit The Chocolate Conspiracy. Your love life will thank you.

As always, we here at Cantu’s Culinary Creations want only the best for you in this coming year.We are here to make your holiday a tasty one. First, enjoy a tasty gourmet meal from Cantu’s Catering and then present the perfect chocolate confection from our friends at The Chocolate Conspiracy.Happy Romancing.

Cantu’s Culinary Creation bog posts created by – RLJ Online Marketing, LLC.

Farm Living

Farm livin

Clifford Family Farms, an Eco-Friendly Way of Life

Utah is home to some of the greatest things in the world. Fresh powder glistening in the morning sun, just begging for the gentle stroke of a skilled skier; wide-open spaces with fresh air in abundance; and an eclectic mix of cultures that add to the rich heritage of the state. However, were you aware that Utah is also an agricultural hub?

That’s right! In addition to the diverse sights and sounds of our beautiful state, we are also home to some of the most progressive and state of the art agricultural enterprises in the nation. One such organization is Clifford Farms. Much of the food we serve in our culinary menu comes from this ecofriendly organic farm.

Clifford Family Farm produces a wide range of fresh vegetable, greens and animal products, including eggs and various varieties of meat. There is something magical about visiting a well-run farm. Unfortunately, with the rise of technology and the advent of the computer age, most Americans have become so distanced from the source of our food supply that they scarcely can place any given menu items true origin

.little piggy

For Utahans there is a cure. It lies in a simple drive to the south, to the verdant fields of the Utah lake basin. Just east of the I-15 freeway, Clifford Family Farms rests amid the surrounding suburbia. What a treasure. A fully functioning organically based farm mere minutes from the freeway. I don’t know about you, but knowing my food isn’t laced with dangerous pesticides and chemicals helps me to sleep well at night. So take a few minutes with the family and travel the short distance to visit the Clifford Family Farms. You’ll be glad you did. They are wonderful folks and they’d love to have you visit and share their vision for a healthier America. 

Blog postings created for Cantu's Culinary Creations by RLJ Online Marketing, LLC

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Prepared with Love

Chef Daniel Cantu

"Food is my passion. Whether I am enjoying a simple but exquisite meal with a couple of friends, savoring some bread and cheese after a hike or just eating a fresh picked cherry tomato and basil leaf. Food never fails to put a smile on my face. It is my goal to provide people with a shared happiness through food. "

Owner and Chef Daniel Cantu

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