Category Archives for "Tips"

What You Need to Know About the Stoneware and Porcelain

The two types of dinnerware that consumers will stumble upon most often include porcelain and stoneware. These two are very exceptional yet looks stunning and can be used for decades. While choosing some of the special sorts of dinnerware, it is critical to apprehend what makes each unique, consisting of both the pros and cons of each item. Before deciding on the form of dinnerware that you will purchase for your private home, it is best to recognize the variations so that you could make a nicely-informed decision.

What Are the Side Dishes That Will Complement Your Fajitas?

Fajitas recipes are becoming the most efficient choice when it involves eating healthy food. The popularity of the fajitas shortly unfolded and resulted in fajitas served in the majority of the menus across the state. The explanation for such quality of the fajita was that you just might create it in various variations and in any manner with an oversized range of differing ingredients to suit people's taste. Although some people will dislike other changes from the original recipe, fajitas recipes are healthy which precisely what fajitas will offer you regarding its style and health and nutrition necessities.

What You Need to Know About Halibut and its Probable Substitutes

Learning a way to cook halibut could be a fairly clear-cut method. Halibut will be burned a range of the way and is prepared quickly, creating the entire method fast and pain-free. At the side of the simplicity in cooking halibut, the style is tremendous and is thus delicate that it will please virtually any crowd. Whether or not baked, fried, or grilled, halibut is a straightforward to form an addition to any meal.

List of the Best Substitute for Marsala Wine for Your Favorite Recipe

Wines are told to have antioxidant properties which and they are healthy even if you add an affordable quantity in your moderate diet plan. Also, for people who don't like to engage in alcoholic beverages, all the alcoholic properties and content of the wine cooks off throughout the cooking method. This leaves solely the nature of flavor behind.

You'll be able to omit it from sure recipes without difficulty if you are not using alcohol of any kind or are not fond of using wine in cooking. For instance, you'll be able to utterly omit the wine and follow one in all several nonalcoholic recipes obtainable that are still delicious when making Tiramisu. If, however, you happen to be out of Marsala wine, most kitchens have enough of the key ingredients available to substitute a Marsala wine flavor.

17 Traditional Foods in Japan That Will Make You Want More

An Asian first-world country, Japan is famous not only in their culture but also in their food. Japanese cuisine has become even more renowned all over the world throughout the years. Usually, Japanese food is eaten raw and fresh but what makes it even more appealing is their traditional preparation. Whenever you visit the country, it would be really strange if you won’t try their food. You will be missing half of your trip.

If you’re in the country or if you’re in a Japanese restaurant, it’s a must to try their traditional Japanese food. This will surely make you want for more. From the renowned sushi to the exotic taste of unagi, Japan offers various foods that please your taste buds.

11 Tarragon Substitutes That Will Make Your Food Taste Better

If you've got experimented with tarragon, you most likely understand that it consists of long, light-weight inexperienced leaves and could be a bittersweet herb which will be used each contemporary and dried. If you still need to wait till the moment to shop for the ingredients, you will additionally learn that tarragon sells quickly and it is a perennial that means it's solely typical in a season.

If you do not have tarragon, you forgot to buy or you just plainly detest it, there are many smart substitutes that you only will use in its place. Next time you are out of tarragon, think about employing the following herbs instead.

How to Make Great Pizza with Coolabah Pizza Oven

Pizza is more than just a food. For pizza lovers, pizza is their comfort food. It is something people could not resist to eat once it is served hot in front of them. It is difficult to resist the temptation from eating pizza even if you are in a diet. Due to the modernization of technology, making busy has left out the traditional way. However, there are still restaurants that are still serving pizza fresh from the coolabah.

Tomato Paste Substitutes And How To Make Them

If you love cooking tomato based dishes, such as soups, stews, and sauces, there’s always a need for tomato paste in your home. I myself like to cook tomato based meals at least once a week in my household, that’s why I found it a little bit frustrating when I found out I was out of tomato paste just when I was about to make myself a batch of lasagna.

Back then I couldn’t just change my mind about the lasagna because I already started preparing my pasta. What’s missing now is the sauce. With a couple of minutes to spare just before my pasta becomes al dente, I remembered one way I can make a tomato paste substitute just in time for my lasagna dish.

If you want to learn about one quick and easy way to make a tomato paste substitute, I urge you to read on. This article will contain all the information you need to know about tomato paste and a couple of substitutes that you can make from scratch at home.

Top 6 Best Substitutes for Masa Harina

What Is Masa Harina?

Masa harina is a traditional ingredient in Mexican cuisine. It is used to make tamales, tortillas and a variety of other Mexican dishes. Masa harina is the flour used to make these dishes, and in Spanish, it translates to dough flour. The flour comes from a dried masa, which is dough made from corn that has been specially treated. Making masa harina can be a cumbersome task. If you are looking for a substitute for masa harina, you are in luck because there are many, which I am going to provide an extensive list of following the process of making authentic masa harina.

The Process of Making Masa Harina

First, field corn is dried and treated with something called slake lime, which you can make yourself.

The slake lime's primary job is to relax and loosen the hulls from the kernels. The slaked lime also serves to soften the corn itself. Another service slakes lime serves is it is the beginning for preparing something beneficial for good health too because it allows niacin to be absorbed by the digestive tract. This process is known as nixtamalization 

Turning Masa Into Masa Harina

Finally, the soaked corn gets washed. After it is washed, the wet corn is ground and pulverized into the dough, which is called masa. The fresh masa gets dried and powdered, and the dried masa is considered made-from-scratch masa harina. It is now ready to be used in recipes. Simply add water to turn it into a dough for food such as tamales or tortillas (Turning masa into masa harina).

If you are lucky enough to have a Mexican market nearby, you will easily be able to obtain fresh masa or masa harina, which is the problem. In smaller areas, especially as you withdraw from the coasts, it is not as easy to obtain. You can go through the trouble of making it yourself, which will come after ordering all the necessary ingredients.

There are ways to make all of those delicious foods without having authentic ingredients and going through all of the arduous tasks above. If you are needing substitutes for masa harina, I have plenty for you below.

The Many Substitutes for Masa Harina

There are going to be a lot of Mexican and Latin American recipes asking for masa harina because it is a staple. Before we go on, I just want to make it clear you should never try and use all-purpose flour. It will never be an acceptable substitute because it is made from wheat, and as we discussed above, masa harina is derived from corn.

I enjoy Latin American food, and I cook with masa harina more than most home cooks, but the ingredient is not available to a lot of people. There is no need to worry though. I have many substitutes capable of filling in, and in some cases, you will not be able to tell the difference between the real thing and the subs.

#1 Make Masa Harina out of Ground Tortillas

I like this substitute the best because it is the easiest. My wife loves Mexican cuisine, and she loves cooking with it. This means we have a lot of extra corn tortillas. Usually, the bonus corn tortillas are for burritos, tacos or tostadas, but when I am feeling in the mood, I like to grab several stacks of the stale ones before they are on their way to the trash. As long as there is no mold growing, the stale corn tortillas are perfect for transforming into masa harina.

The corn tortillas are perfect substitutes because they are made from masa harina. Since you are using stale corn tortillas, they are already getting dry, which makes this quick recipe perfect:


  • Three or four large corn tortillas
  • Kosher salt 
  • Warm water


  • Place the tortillas in a food processor and grind them to a fine consistency.
  • Add kosher salt to the blend and gauge how much will be needed based on what you think will be to taste in the final product.
  • Pulse the dry mixture to circulate the kosher salt.
  • Add warm water slowly and a little at a time until you have a consistency good enough to shape the dough.

There are some things to be mindful of. Depending on the recipe, there will be some that call for different consistencies in the corn flour. This may take some adjustment. Tamales are a good example. They require the flour to be much coarser. Just pay attention to the recipes so you know exactly how fine to make your flour when grinding the tortillas. This is one of my favorite ways to make masa harina, and there are not many recipes out there. This is from personal experience, so please let me know what you think in the comments.

#2 Fresh Masa Preparada

In a lot of preparation methods, masa preparada is simpler to use than masa harina. It eliminates quite a few steps. For example, masa preparada eliminates several steps and makes up for a lot of time spent preparing masa harina for a recipe of made-from-scratch corn tortillas.

These steps get eliminated because masa preparada is Spanish for prepared dough. A good analogy is making a loaf of bread. You would be able to skip having to make the dough yourself because you are buying it with this product.

In a sense, you are are still using masa harina because masa preparada is made from it. This makes it a perfect substitute in most recipes. The downside is it does not have much of a shelf life, so do not put it in the fridge thinking it will last a long time. It can be found in Latin American and Mexican grocery stores. If you do not have any close by, you can purchase it online here. Even though a purchase can be made online, you still have to be mindful of the limited shelf life.

#3 Ground Hominy

Hominy is essentially the result of the process I outlined in my introduction to making masa harina from scratch. This means hominy is the main ingredient for masa harina, and it is also considered a shortcut because you get to skip so many steps. It makes for an ideal substitute.

Pieces of hominy are just kernels of corn, but it is special because it is corn that has had the hulls removed by the process in the intro. With the hulls removed, the hard outer shell is gone, so the soft inner kernels are left, which is what we want to use. Perhaps you keep dried or canned hominy in your pantry like I do in case of emergencies because it is an ideal replacement if you want to make masa harina.

If you have dried hominy, cook it into the hominy you would find in the form of a canned product. It is no different than turning pinto beans into re-fried beans. You can find hominy at several different supermarkets and ethnic grocers. If you want to use hominy for your masa harina, you just grind the corn in a food processor or a grinder and substitute it.

Here is a recipe using hominy as a substitute.

#4 Ground-up Corn Taco Shells, Corn Tostadas or Tortilla Chips

Depending on what your creation is, ground corn taco shells, tostadas or tortilla chips are suitable substitutes for masa harina. It is important to know that grinding corn tortillas that have not been fried or baked is the best way to form a substitute for masa harina. Corn tostadas, corn tortilla chips and corn taco shells are made mostly from the same ingredients as their counterparts made from fresh corn.

The primary ingredients are water, salt and masa harina. There is a stark difference between fresh corn tortillas and the other products. The tostadas, shells and chips have either been fried or baked, and those are American culinary touches, and they also have added ingredients to preserve freshness. This may cause some concern, but it will not make any difference in case you were concerned.

The chips and other products can be ground up in your hands, and you can also dump them in the food processor to make masa harina dough for items calling for a finer, less course dough. If possible, go with the baked versions instead of the fried products.

#5 Cornstarch

There is something a lot of people will overlook about masa harani. It is also used to thicken sauces, gravies and stews in Mexico and Latin America. In fact, some of the creations above using chips are perfectly acceptable to use to thicken sauces because they are essentially masa harani. If you are heavily involved in southern ethnic cooking and prefer to thicken with masa harani, you may need substitutes from time to time. There is no better substitute for masa harani to thicken a soup or sauce than cornstarch.

It is made from the endosperm of corn. A slurry is a culinary term for a thickening agent being added to a liquid in order to be added to a soup, sauce or gravy to make it thicker. You have to make the slurry with cornstarch before adding it to a dish though. If you add plain cornstarch straight to a dish, it will clump up and make your dish lumpy and unappetizing. Like masa harani, cornstarch is arguably the best, quickest and easiest way to thicken dishes at home or in commercial kitchens. It is vital for anyone doing heavy cooking to know how to make a slurry in case masa harani is not doable.

#6 Polenta

Although masa harina is a Latin American dish, Polenta, which originates in Northern Italy, is an excellent substitute. Most of you have seen in the form of yellow grits and porridge, but it is so much more. Polenta is sold in almost all grocery stores. It comes in a bag just like masa harina. Polenta bought in this form comes dry and coarsely ground.

If you want to properly substitute polenta for masa harina, you will have to find the finely ground polenta, and use it exactly the same way the masa harina would be used in a recipe. It is almost an even swap.

If you cannot find polenta sold this way except in a tube, it is acceptable to use the tube polenta in place of masa harina as a thickening agent for any recipes calling for masa harina as a thickening agent. The polenta in a tube goes better with an soups or chowders needing masa harina for thickening.

Polenta differs from grits, which is also another substitute for masa harina. I prefer polenta as a substitute instead of grits because it is made from flint corn. I find it to be a superior substitute because it has a better texture and flavor.

I also use creamy polenta recipe goes with chicken piccata​

Final Thoughts on Masa Harina Substitutes

There are other substitutes available for masa harina, but the seven listed are my recommendations. I covered a variety of uses for masa harina, which is one of the more versatile dishes I have seen from Mexico and Latin America. In the introduction, I gave a recipe on how to make masa harina from scratch. Making it from scratch might be the best substitute for store-bought masa harina of all.

I truly hope you enjoy experimenting and making these dishes with the substitute ingredients. Just keep in mind masa harina has a variety of uses so keep researching and practicing because it is the best part of cooking besides eating the food.

Thank you for reading, and if you have any questions, suggestions or comments, please leave them below. There will be new culinary articles added regularly.

How Many Ribs in a Rack

In restaurants and at cookouts, one of the more common questions I get asked about is how many ribs are in a rack. There is no simple answer to this unless one meat is specified. The three most consumed rib meats in the United States come from pork, beef and lamb. Sometimes the answer can be tricky, especially with pork.

How Many Ribs Are in a Rack for Pigs?

It is important to keep in mind that there are several different cuts of ribs available for pork or any animal. The number of ribs available always depends on what section of the pig the ribs are cut from. Each cut will have different fat levels, and the bones and meat will be thicker depending on the location of the ribs. The best way to approach this question is to look at the different styles of ribs available from the pig.

Pork Spare Ribs

A rack of spare ribs is taken from behind the shoulder, and to be precise, they are cut from breastbone and belly. This is the cheapest cut of pork ribs, and there are 11 to 13 ribs in a rack of spare ribs. Also, there are several different specialties of pork spare ribs depending on how they are trimmed and where the trimming style originated from. Here is a list:

  • Kansas City style ribs
  • Saint Louis style ribs
  • Rib tips

Beef Rib Racks

Each side of a steer has 13 ribs, and they range from the breastbone to the backbone. Like pork ribs, you can buy an entire rack of beef ribs. The full rack is around nine ribs, and the ribs in the rack range from the second to the tenth rib.

Some of the rib bones are as long as 18 inches, but it is extremely difficult to find an entire rack of beef ribs sold commercially. This includes both wholesale and retail. Beef ribs are not nearly as cheap as they used to be, but they are still far more affordable than other cuts of meat available on a cow.

They can taste just as good or better if you know the proper cooking methods for each kind of beef rib rack. There are two primary cuts of beef ribs sold because it is extremely rare to find an entire rack for purchase, and they are the only ones worth mentioning. Your best bet is to purchase back ribs or short ribs, which are also known as short plate ribs.

I personally prefer using an oven over a grill since it’s much safer and easier to use.

Rack of Lamb

Lamb is one of the most popular meats to buy and cook at home. It is also one of the most popular dishes to order at a restaurant, especially rack of lamb, but how many ribs are in a rack? A full rack of lamb contains eight ribs. There are times you might only see seven because of the way they are cut, but the meat from both ribs will be attached to a single rib bone at the bottom.

The Comprehensive Answers

These answers cover the meat Americans buy and order. You can see pork is a little tricky, but animal anatomies are different. You have to remember there are different places and ways to extract ribs from, so there is no number set in stone, especially for pork and beef. Lamb is the closest you will get to always getting the same number of ribs on a rack.Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed the article. I encourage you to leave feedback, suggestions and questions in the comment section below.