Use Up a Windfall of Basil By Making Basil Ice Cream

  1. Make a basil gin gimlet
  2. Eat this delicious ice cream:
  • 3 oz. Gin,
  • 1 oz. Simple syrup,
  • 1 oz. Lime juice,
  • muddled/smashed basil leaves,
  • shake with ice and strain
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The Secret to Amazing Tomato-Based Sauce: Roasting It In the Oven

It starts the usual way sauces do—sauté onion and garlic, add some chile flakes, then booze, then tomatoes, but then it swerves off course. Here’s the secret to its success: You take this perfectly adequate sauce and roast it in the oven for an hour and a half.

Source: A Genius Technique for the Best Vodka Pasta (And Better Marinara, Too)

I sometimes start my sauce by caramelizing my tomato paste in olive oil over the heat, then deglazing that with about 1/4 bottle of red wine. The sweet caramelized tomato paste/wine combo makes things really punchy in the end, even through a long simmer.

Turn Leftover Beer (or Any Beer) Into a Tasty Toffee Sauce

Recently, I made beer caramel sauce and beer toffee sauce. (I have an entire list of things I’ve been meaning to try with beer… I’m just trying to check them off!)

Source: How to Turn Leftover Beer into Toffee Sauce

This recipe is stone soup. The non-beer ingredients this recipe calls for are the magic, not the “leftover beer” 😉

Curious now how much vitamin K is in dairy cream?

Soak Pasta Instead of Boiling It for Easier Baked Pasta Dishes

Here’s something I’ve always wondered: when baking pasta, as in, say, lasagna or baked ziti, why do you always cook the pasta first? Aren’t you inviting trouble by cooking it once, then proceeding to put it in a casserole and cooking it again? Well, there’s the obvious first part of the answer to this question: pasta needs to absorb water as it cooks—a lot of water, around 80 percent of its own weight when perfectly al dente. So, add raw pasta directly to a baked pasta dish, and it will soften all right—it’ll also suck up all of the moisture from the sauce, leaving it dry or broken.

Source: The Food Lab: For Easier Baked Ziti, Soak, Don’t Boil Your Pasta

I thought the pasta drew moisture from the sauce.  It does… resulting in dry sauce. I’ve always wondered about those pastas marketed as not needing to be boiled first—how are they different from regular pasta or is this just some marketing ploy? Anyway, traditionally recipes recommend boiling the pasta first.

Dairy Cream: How Much Vitamin K?

The question is… How much did you have?  There is vitamin K in all dairy cream, but here’s some details:

I don’t think most are going to drink an entire cup of cream, but if you do – it’s not a big deal.  But more than that would likely show up in your INR test if you don’t do this regularly.

What about whipping cream?  Because I don’t skimp on this, I won’t assume you do either:

So, you’re pretty safe if it’s the canned, pressurized stuff.  But that second piece of dessert with real cream should probably happen soon after an INR test to give time for the INR level to recover.

What on Earth is Fake Cream Made Out Of?

It’s very easy to test, if you know someone who is lactose intolerant… 😉

The cream inside your Twinkie is not the same thing as the cream inside that eclair at the fancy French bakery—we know that, because real cream goes bad after a while, and can’t sit on shelves for months. So what’s really inside that Twinkie? (And are you sure you really want to know the answer?)

Source: What on Earth is Fake Cream Made Out Of?

Real buttercream frosting is just sugar and lard and vanilla, so I was expecting something along the lines of chemical fat.

Swap Cream with Onion Purée for Better, Brighter Flavor

Maybe you come seeking dairy-free recipes, or want to make vegan risotto. Maybe you live a crazy-healthy lifestyle, or just go crazy for onions. Or maybe, just maybe, you simply love the idea of serving soups, pastas, and sauces that taste fresher and brighter than tradition dictates. Enter this remarkable—and remarkably easy—technique, ideal for people with lactose intolerance but everyone else, too. Just roast some onions, remove the skins, blend the gooey insides with a little lemon, salt, and olive oil, and there you have it: an awesome onion purée that you can swap for cream in any number of savory dishes. Try it tonight for a dish with lush, tongue-coating texture and richness, along with a novel, light-and-lovely quality to punch up your go-to meals. The fact that those meals are now way better for you? Well that just sweetens the deal.

Source: Swap Cream with Onion Purée for Better, Brighter Flavor

It’s not exactly a cream substitute — you’d never mistake one for the other. But it might be an even better alternative. Because as much as some of us love cream for adding richness and body, it can wash out all nearby flavors … instead of obscuring flavours, the onion purée enhances them, like a well-made stock.

Related: Three Cheers for the Onion

Why Buttermilk Was a Life-Saving Innovation

Every day, we eat scientific innovations, and not just when we’re eating powdered cheese flavor. Our food is the result of remarkable discoveries by long-forgotten scientists. Here’s a look at the weird, and innovative, chemistry of buttermilk.

…buttermilk makes an important source of nutrition available to a whole new section of the population. Lactose isn’t easily digestible. Most animals, including certain humans, lose the ability to digest it as they age. Premature infants often don’t have the ability to digest lactose. When bacteria break lactose down to smaller components, they are pre-digesting it for people. People with mild lactose intolerance can take in buttermilk, and pre-formula medical guides recommend feeding premature babies buttermilk to keep them healthy.

Source: Kitchen Chemistry: Why Buttermilk Was a Life-Saving Innovation

This for That: Cooking & Baking Substitutes

Direct link to infographic.

Some stuff seems OK – it breaks out the component ingredients for things that are frequently bought as a combination, like poultry seasoning. The rest, though? They are not even close and would produce an entirely different thing in a lot of cases.  But then, that’s typically the challenge when trying to “veganize” and/or make a recipe gluten free for example.

…or you could just buy the actual ingredients 😉