Posts Tagged ‘acid’

Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Buttermilk

March 10, 2015

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What do you do if a recipe calls for buttermilk, and you don’t have any?
Do you frantically dash to the store and get some? Calm down. There is no need to make the trek to the store if you have the ingredients to make your own.

Buttermilk adds an acidity to batters and reacts with the baking soda or powder to create airy, fluffy and tender baked goods.

To make a good substitute, add a tablespoon of plain white vinegar or lemon juice to a scant cup of milk and let it sitat room temperature

for 5 to 10 minutes. The lemon or vinegar will begin to curdle the milk, and it will thicken slightly. If you use a heavier dairy product, like half and half or cream, the end result will be thicker than if you use regular milk.

Another option is to thin out plain yogurt or sour cream with one part water to three parts dairy. For instance, 3/4 cup of yogurt, thinned with one quarter cup of water. Stir until it reaches a more liquid consistency, and use in place of buttermilk in recipes.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Perfect Salad Dressing

April 16, 2013

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Homemade salad dressing is so easy to make, and so much better than the store bought variety. A simple vinaigrette can be made with oil, and anything acidic, such as vinegar, or citrus juice.
As a baseline, dressing should be 3 parts oil, to one part acid. Depending on the ingredients, and what the dressing is being used on, that might need to be tweaked a bit. Personally, I tend to  err on the side of extra acid, preferring a little more tang to the dressing.

To make the perfect salad dressing, start out with a good quality oil. Olive oil is the most common base for a vinaigrette, but other clean, flavorful oils such as walnut can also be used.  Vinegar, or citrus juice can provide the acid.

There are lots of types of vinegars on the market. Balsamic vinegars can range from tart, to syrupy and sweet, depending on how long it has been aged. There is even a white balsamic, that has a milder taste. Red wine vinegar is a bit more tart, and half wine vinegar and 1/2 balsamic can be a nice blend. There are also flavored vinegars which add an extra element.  Lemon juice is a nice alternative to vinegar, as is lime or even grapefruit juice.

Whisking, or shaking the mixture will cause it to emulsify, thickening it slightly.
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Once you have the basic recipe, it is fun to experiment with fresh herbs or other condiments.

One of my favorite tricks is to make the dressing in a dijon mustard jar that is almost empty. Just pour the oil and vinegar or lemon juice into the jar, and shake it vigorously. The mustard left on the sides of the jar will mix in and add another level of flavor to the mix.

Once you start making your own dressings, you will never want to go back to bottled versions, which are laden with preservatives and other unnecessary ingredients.

Enjoy!

Photos:Glasshouse Images


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