Homemade Ranch Dip

http://www.raisehealthyeaters.com/
http://www.raisehealthyeaters.com/
Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal
Source: Two Peas and Their Pod
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large Granny Smith apple, more about peeled, website cored, salve and diced

Optional Toppings:

Brown Sugar
Raisins
Dried Cranberries
Chopped almonds

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8 by 8 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, applesauce, butter, egg whites, and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until combined. Gently stir in diced apples. Pour oatmeal mixture into prepared pan.

4. Bake for 20 minutes or until oatmeal is golden brown and set. Remove from oven and serve warm. Add additional toppings to baked oatmeal, if desired.

Serves 4-6
http://www.raisehealthyeaters.com/
Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal
Source: Two Peas and Their Pod
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large Granny Smith apple, more about peeled, website cored, salve and diced

Optional Toppings:

Brown Sugar
Raisins
Dried Cranberries
Chopped almonds

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8 by 8 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, applesauce, butter, egg whites, and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until combined. Gently stir in diced apples. Pour oatmeal mixture into prepared pan.

4. Bake for 20 minutes or until oatmeal is golden brown and set. Remove from oven and serve warm. Add additional toppings to baked oatmeal, if desired.

Serves 4-6

Ranch Dressing

I have never liked the stuff in the green and white bottles labeled as Ranch Dressing. You have to question a substance that does not rinse off the plate easily. If it has to be scrubbed off a surface I can’t imagine what it is doing to the inside the body.

We switched to an organic ranch dressing without the chemicals and soy, physician the way nature intended- with real food. I had to drive 30 minutes to the only store around that carried it. Needless to say the family had to endure eating their veggies without it. I was looking at the bottle one day and thought, ed you know I can make this stuff. It is only some herbs and buttermilk. How hard can it be?

Several recipes later… the only part I do not like is the addition of mayo. I tried making it with all yogurt and some lemon juice. That did not end so well. I also wanted to use ingredients that I will almost always have on hand. Based on that criteria alone the use of buttermilk was ruled out. Chef John’s recipe was a unanimous hit with the kids. Dad and I however, did not like that it had too much mayo flavor. I cut out a couple tablespoons but ideally I like to use use 1/3 cup mayo and 1 1/4 cup greek yogurt. I dislike using the mayo but I have yet to figure out how to replace the flavor it lends.

If you are looking for a good homemade recipe to wean the kids on then this is a good start. Normally I use the variations listed below- milk and vinegar vs buttermilk, oregano in place of the dried and fresh herbs. It is what I have on hand. Once I master the mayo problem I will list it under variations.

Source: adapted from Chef John
1/3 cup plain greek yogurt or sour cream
1 1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley
2 teaspoons sliced fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup buttermilk

Mix all ingredients together in bowl. Serve with cold fresh vegetables, or thin out dip with a few splashes of buttermilk to make ranch dressing.

Tip: for thicker dip reduce the amount of buttermilk slightly.

yield: 1 1/2 cups

Variations:
– I prefer 1/3 cup mayo to 1 1/4 cup greek yogurt.
– If using real onion use 1/4 cup minced.
– If you do not have parsley, chives and tarragon, sub a teaspoon dried oregano.
– Replace buttermilk with 1 teaspoon white vinegar and enough milk to make 1/3 cup.

Hot Fudge Chocolate Sauce

Whenever my mom made her famous cream puffs or coconut cake she would make this incredible pudding filling. For her cream puffs she folded decadent whipped cream into the pudding. Her coconut cake was  stacked 6 layers high with a filling of coconut pudding in between. I confess the pudding was the best part. It was so rich and creamy. I would sneak a finger full from the bowl of pudding. Maybe she knew it was me. If she did she never said anything, buy information pills troche cheapest that I remember.

Weeks ago I was on a mission to recreate a box free version of my moms coconut pudding. The dilemma I ran into was, more about visit this do I use a pudding recipe or a pastry cream. I noticed in my prior attempts when making vanilla pudding for cream puffs that the pudding was too soft and unstable.

Pudding by definition is a type of custard or soft dessert. There are two types of custards, about it stirred and baked. Puddings and pastry creams are stirred custards, with the exception of desserts such as bread pudding. Baked custards, like flan, are firmer and not as smooth. You would never use a baked custard or pudding to fill a cake. You would, however, use pastry cream.

I decided to use pastry cream. Pastry cream is thicker than pudding. It is meant to be used as a filling in pastries and cakes because the constant stirring enables the custard to thicken making it perfect to pipe with. Cook and serve Jello brand pudding is a easy substitute for pastry cream because of the additives that help thicken it.

Since I was using fat free milk I let the custard thicken a little longer. I was worried the custard would not set enough. I made coconut cake for my dad’s birthday once, when I was in college. I do not think I let the pudding thicken enough because the layers of the cake started to slide off. We ended up dumping the whole lot into a bowl and called it coconut punch bowl cake. It was still good.

Source: King Arthur Flour
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, or rice flour
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together 2 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, salt, and the vanilla bean. (If you’re using vanilla extract, add it at the end.) Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup milk.

Whisk some of the hot milk mixture with the egg yolks to temper them. This keeps the yolks from turning to scrambled eggs when you add them to the simmering milk.

Pastry cream will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. After that it may start to weep.

If you want the pastry cream to be sliceable, as for a cream pie, don’t fold in the whipped cream. The recipe will yield 3 cups of pastry cream in that case.

Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining simmering milk. [Doing this through a strainer will help prevent lumps later.] Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract (if you’re using it). If you’re going to flavor the pastry cream with chocolate or some other flavor, this is the time to do it (see variations below).

Rub a piece of butter over the surface of the cream, top with a piece of plastic wrap (make sure it touches the top of the pastry cream so it doesn’t develop a skin), then refrigerate until cool.

To complete, fold the whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream.

Flavor Variations:
— Butterscotch Pastry Cream: Add 1/4 teaspoon butter-rum flavor and/or 1 cup (6 ounces) butterscotch chips to the pastry cream after straining, stirring until the chips have melted.
— Caramel Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup chopped caramel (7 1/2 ounces, or 21 to 23 unwrapped individual caramels) to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Chocolate Pastry Cream: Add 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped chocolate to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Hazelnut Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) praline paste to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until combined.
— Orange Pastry Cream: Increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 1 teaspoon orange extract; 1/4 teaspoon orange oil; or 3 tablespoons orange zest to the hot, strained pastry cream.
— Peanut Butter Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup (7 1/4 ounces) smooth peanut butter to the hot pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth. If you’re using a natural or freshly-made peanut butter, omit the butter from the recipe, or the pastry cream will be greasy.
— Pistachio Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) pistachio paste, or blanched pureed pistachio meats.

Whenever my mom made her famous cream puffs or coconut cake she would make this incredible pudding filling. For her cream puffs she folded decadent whipped cream into the pudding. Her coconut cake was  stacked 6 layers high with a filling of coconut pudding in between. I confess the pudding was the best part. It was so rich and creamy. I would sneak a finger full from the bowl of pudding. Maybe she knew it was me. If she did she never said anything, troche cheapest that I remember.

Weeks ago I was on a mission to recreate a box free version of my moms coconut pudding. The dilemma I ran into was, visit this do I use a pudding recipe or a pastry cream. I noticed in my prior attempts when making vanilla pudding for cream puffs that the pudding was too soft and unstable.

Pudding by definition is a type of custard or soft dessert. There are two types of custards, stirred and baked. Puddings and pastry creams are stirred custards, with the exception of desserts such as bread pudding. Baked custards, like flan, are firmer and not as smooth. You would never use a baked custard or pudding to fill a cake. You would, however, use pastry cream.

I decided to use pastry cream. Pastry cream is thicker than pudding. It is meant to be used as a filling in pastries and cakes because the constant stirring enables the custard to thicken making it perfect to pipe with. Cook and serve Jello brand pudding is a easy substitute for pastry cream because of the additives that help thicken it.

Since I was using fat free milk I let the custard thicken a little longer. I was worried the custard would not set enough. I made coconut cake for my dad’s birthday once, when I was in college. I do not think I let the pudding thicken enough because the layers of the cake started to slide off. We ended up dumping the whole lot into a bowl and called it coconut punch bowl cake. It was still good.

Source: King Arthur Flour
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, or rice flour
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together 2 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, salt, and the vanilla bean. (If you’re using vanilla extract, add it at the end.) Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup milk.

Whisk some of the hot milk mixture with the egg yolks to temper them. This keeps the yolks from turning to scrambled eggs when you add them to the simmering milk.

Pastry cream will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. After that it may start to weep.

If you want the pastry cream to be sliceable, as for a cream pie, don’t fold in the whipped cream. The recipe will yield 3 cups of pastry cream in that case.

Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining simmering milk. [Doing this through a strainer will help prevent lumps later.] Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract (if you’re using it). If you’re going to flavor the pastry cream with chocolate or some other flavor, this is the time to do it (see variations below).

Rub a piece of butter over the surface of the cream, top with a piece of plastic wrap (make sure it touches the top of the pastry cream so it doesn’t develop a skin), then refrigerate until cool.

To complete, fold the whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream.

Flavor Variations:
— Butterscotch Pastry Cream: Add 1/4 teaspoon butter-rum flavor and/or 1 cup (6 ounces) butterscotch chips to the pastry cream after straining, stirring until the chips have melted.
— Caramel Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup chopped caramel (7 1/2 ounces, or 21 to 23 unwrapped individual caramels) to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Chocolate Pastry Cream: Add 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped chocolate to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Hazelnut Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) praline paste to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until combined.
— Orange Pastry Cream: Increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 1 teaspoon orange extract; 1/4 teaspoon orange oil; or 3 tablespoons orange zest to the hot, strained pastry cream.
— Peanut Butter Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup (7 1/4 ounces) smooth peanut butter to the hot pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth. If you’re using a natural or freshly-made peanut butter, omit the butter from the recipe, or the pastry cream will be greasy.
— Pistachio Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) pistachio paste, or blanched pureed pistachio meats.

Whenever my mom made her famous cream puffs or coconut cake she would make this incredible pudding filling. For her cream puffs she folded decadent whipped cream into the pudding. Her coconut cake was  stacked 6 layers high with a filling of coconut pudding in between. I confess the pudding was the best part. It was so rich and creamy. I would sneak a finger full from the bowl of pudding. Maybe she knew it was me. If she did she never said anything, recipe that I remember.

Weeks ago I was on a mission to recreate a box free version of my moms coconut pudding. The dilemma I ran into was, do I use a pudding recipe or a pastry cream. I noticed in my prior attempts when making vanilla pudding for cream puffs that the pudding was too soft and unstable.

Pudding by definition is a type of custard or soft dessert. There are two types of custards, stirred and baked. Puddings and pastry creams are stirred custards, with the exception of desserts such as bread pudding. Baked custards, like flan, are firmer and not as smooth. You would never use a baked custard or pudding to fill a cake. You would, however, use pastry cream.

I decided to use pastry cream. Pastry cream is thicker than pudding. It is meant to be used as a filling in pastries and cakes because the constant stirring enables the custard to thicken making it perfect to pipe with. Cook and serve Jello brand pudding is a easy substitute for pastry cream because of the additives that help thicken it.

Since I was using fat free milk I let the custard thicken a little longer. I was worried the custard would not set enough. I made coconut cake for my dad’s birthday once, when I was in college. I do not think I let the pudding thicken enough because the layers of the cake started to slide off. We ended up dumping the whole lot into a bowl and called it coconut punch bowl cake. It was still good.

Source: King Arthur Flour
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, or rice flour
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together 2 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, salt, and the vanilla bean. (If you’re using vanilla extract, add it at the end.) Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup milk.

Whisk some of the hot milk mixture with the egg yolks to temper them. This keeps the yolks from turning to scrambled eggs when you add them to the simmering milk.

Pastry cream will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. After that it may start to weep.

If you want the pastry cream to be sliceable, as for a cream pie, don’t fold in the whipped cream. The recipe will yield 3 cups of pastry cream in that case.

Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining simmering milk. [Doing this through a strainer will help prevent lumps later.] Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract (if you’re using it). If you’re going to flavor the pastry cream with chocolate or some other flavor, this is the time to do it (see variations below).

Rub a piece of butter over the surface of the cream, top with a piece of plastic wrap (make sure it touches the top of the pastry cream so it doesn’t develop a skin), then refrigerate until cool.

To complete, fold the whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream.

Flavor Variations:
— Butterscotch Pastry Cream: Add 1/4 teaspoon butter-rum flavor and/or 1 cup (6 ounces) butterscotch chips to the pastry cream after straining, stirring until the chips have melted.
— Caramel Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup chopped caramel (7 1/2 ounces, or 21 to 23 unwrapped individual caramels) to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Chocolate Pastry Cream: Add 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped chocolate to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Hazelnut Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) praline paste to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until combined.
— Orange Pastry Cream: Increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 1 teaspoon orange extract; 1/4 teaspoon orange oil; or 3 tablespoons orange zest to the hot, strained pastry cream.
— Peanut Butter Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup (7 1/4 ounces) smooth peanut butter to the hot pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth. If you’re using a natural or freshly-made peanut butter, omit the butter from the recipe, or the pastry cream will be greasy.
— Pistachio Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) pistachio paste, or blanched pureed pistachio meats.

Whenever my mom made her famous cream puffs or coconut cake she would make this incredible pudding filling. For her cream puffs she folded decadent whipped cream into the pudding. Her coconut cake was  stacked 6 layers high with a filling of coconut pudding in between. I confess the pudding was the best part. It was so rich and creamy. I would sneak a finger full from the bowl of pudding. Maybe she knew it was me. If she did she never said anything, troche cheapest that I remember.

Weeks ago I was on a mission to recreate a box free version of my moms coconut pudding. The dilemma I ran into was, visit this do I use a pudding recipe or a pastry cream. I noticed in my prior attempts when making vanilla pudding for cream puffs that the pudding was too soft and unstable.

Pudding by definition is a type of custard or soft dessert. There are two types of custards, stirred and baked. Puddings and pastry creams are stirred custards, with the exception of desserts such as bread pudding. Baked custards, like flan, are firmer and not as smooth. You would never use a baked custard or pudding to fill a cake. You would, however, use pastry cream.

I decided to use pastry cream. Pastry cream is thicker than pudding. It is meant to be used as a filling in pastries and cakes because the constant stirring enables the custard to thicken making it perfect to pipe with. Cook and serve Jello brand pudding is a easy substitute for pastry cream because of the additives that help thicken it.

Since I was using fat free milk I let the custard thicken a little longer. I was worried the custard would not set enough. I made coconut cake for my dad’s birthday once, when I was in college. I do not think I let the pudding thicken enough because the layers of the cake started to slide off. We ended up dumping the whole lot into a bowl and called it coconut punch bowl cake. It was still good.

Source: King Arthur Flour
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, or rice flour
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together 2 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, salt, and the vanilla bean. (If you’re using vanilla extract, add it at the end.) Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup milk.

Whisk some of the hot milk mixture with the egg yolks to temper them. This keeps the yolks from turning to scrambled eggs when you add them to the simmering milk.

Pastry cream will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. After that it may start to weep.

If you want the pastry cream to be sliceable, as for a cream pie, don’t fold in the whipped cream. The recipe will yield 3 cups of pastry cream in that case.

Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining simmering milk. [Doing this through a strainer will help prevent lumps later.] Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract (if you’re using it). If you’re going to flavor the pastry cream with chocolate or some other flavor, this is the time to do it (see variations below).

Rub a piece of butter over the surface of the cream, top with a piece of plastic wrap (make sure it touches the top of the pastry cream so it doesn’t develop a skin), then refrigerate until cool.

To complete, fold the whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream.

Flavor Variations:
— Butterscotch Pastry Cream: Add 1/4 teaspoon butter-rum flavor and/or 1 cup (6 ounces) butterscotch chips to the pastry cream after straining, stirring until the chips have melted.
— Caramel Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup chopped caramel (7 1/2 ounces, or 21 to 23 unwrapped individual caramels) to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Chocolate Pastry Cream: Add 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped chocolate to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Hazelnut Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) praline paste to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until combined.
— Orange Pastry Cream: Increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 1 teaspoon orange extract; 1/4 teaspoon orange oil; or 3 tablespoons orange zest to the hot, strained pastry cream.
— Peanut Butter Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup (7 1/4 ounces) smooth peanut butter to the hot pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth. If you’re using a natural or freshly-made peanut butter, omit the butter from the recipe, or the pastry cream will be greasy.
— Pistachio Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) pistachio paste, or blanched pureed pistachio meats.

Whenever my mom made her famous cream puffs or coconut cake she would make this incredible pudding filling. For her cream puffs she folded decadent whipped cream into the pudding. Her coconut cake was  stacked 6 layers high with a filling of coconut pudding in between. I confess the pudding was the best part. It was so rich and creamy. I would sneak a finger full from the bowl of pudding. Maybe she knew it was me. If she did she never said anything, recipe that I remember.

Weeks ago I was on a mission to recreate a box free version of my moms coconut pudding. The dilemma I ran into was, do I use a pudding recipe or a pastry cream. I noticed in my prior attempts when making vanilla pudding for cream puffs that the pudding was too soft and unstable.

Pudding by definition is a type of custard or soft dessert. There are two types of custards, stirred and baked. Puddings and pastry creams are stirred custards, with the exception of desserts such as bread pudding. Baked custards, like flan, are firmer and not as smooth. You would never use a baked custard or pudding to fill a cake. You would, however, use pastry cream.

I decided to use pastry cream. Pastry cream is thicker than pudding. It is meant to be used as a filling in pastries and cakes because the constant stirring enables the custard to thicken making it perfect to pipe with. Cook and serve Jello brand pudding is a easy substitute for pastry cream because of the additives that help thicken it.

Since I was using fat free milk I let the custard thicken a little longer. I was worried the custard would not set enough. I made coconut cake for my dad’s birthday once, when I was in college. I do not think I let the pudding thicken enough because the layers of the cake started to slide off. We ended up dumping the whole lot into a bowl and called it coconut punch bowl cake. It was still good.

Source: King Arthur Flour
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, or rice flour
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together 2 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, salt, and the vanilla bean. (If you’re using vanilla extract, add it at the end.) Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup milk.

Whisk some of the hot milk mixture with the egg yolks to temper them. This keeps the yolks from turning to scrambled eggs when you add them to the simmering milk.

Pastry cream will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. After that it may start to weep.

If you want the pastry cream to be sliceable, as for a cream pie, don’t fold in the whipped cream. The recipe will yield 3 cups of pastry cream in that case.

Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining simmering milk. [Doing this through a strainer will help prevent lumps later.] Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract (if you’re using it). If you’re going to flavor the pastry cream with chocolate or some other flavor, this is the time to do it (see variations below).

Rub a piece of butter over the surface of the cream, top with a piece of plastic wrap (make sure it touches the top of the pastry cream so it doesn’t develop a skin), then refrigerate until cool.

To complete, fold the whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream.

Flavor Variations:
— Butterscotch Pastry Cream: Add 1/4 teaspoon butter-rum flavor and/or 1 cup (6 ounces) butterscotch chips to the pastry cream after straining, stirring until the chips have melted.
— Caramel Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup chopped caramel (7 1/2 ounces, or 21 to 23 unwrapped individual caramels) to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Chocolate Pastry Cream: Add 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped chocolate to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Hazelnut Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) praline paste to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until combined.
— Orange Pastry Cream: Increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 1 teaspoon orange extract; 1/4 teaspoon orange oil; or 3 tablespoons orange zest to the hot, strained pastry cream.
— Peanut Butter Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup (7 1/4 ounces) smooth peanut butter to the hot pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth. If you’re using a natural or freshly-made peanut butter, omit the butter from the recipe, or the pastry cream will be greasy.
— Pistachio Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) pistachio paste, or blanched pureed pistachio meats.
The week before Christmas I was standing in front of the bin of ham in the meat department at the supermarket a bit befuddled. Which is better, ailment shank or butt?

Cooking Light writes, web “You’re better off getting a shank end rather than the butt end. This is because the butt end has less desirable meat, as it contains a lot of membrane, fat, and gristle. Its bone configuration can also make carving tricky.” Cooking Light

Ham comes from the leg of the hog. You may buy them cooked, uncooked, dry cured, or wet cured.A cured ham has been flavored with salt, sugar and other flavorings.
CURED HAM (WET) – Wet-cured hams are soaked in a brine of salt, sugar and other flavorings. A wet-cure ham may also be smoked. The pork flavor really comes through, without the saltiness of a traditional country ham. It pays to ask about how the ham is cured – some hams are wet-cured with injections of salt-sugar-smoke flavoring, not actually brined and then smoked.

CITY HAM – A city ham is perhaps the most typical ham in the U.S. A city ham is soaked or injected with a brine of salt, sugar and flavorings and then lightly smoked or boiled. Look for a city ham in the refrigerated case at the supermarket, likely near the bacon, likely wrapped in plastic. It will be marked ‘ready to cook’, ‘partially cooked’ or ‘ready to serve’. Look for one that’s labeled ‘ham in natural juices’. I think of a city ham as an every day ham – readily available, relatively inexpensive.

CURED HAM (DRY) – The dry method of curing ham uses salt, not liquid, for adding flavor to a ham. The salt pulls out moisture and concentrates the meat flavor. It’s often a delicacy, sold at specialty shops and butchers – think Italian prosciutto, Spanish Serrano ham and German Black Forest ham.

COUNTRY HAM – A country ham is dry-cured with salt, some times smoked, and then aged. A traditional country ham salty, so salty that it’s either eaten in thin-thin slices on biscuits, say, or soaked and rinsed for 12 to 24 hours before baking. But country hams can also be cured with less salt and thus require none of the soaking and rinsing. Country hams are a traditional food in the American South and the curing process dates back to the days before preservation. (More about the tradition of country hams.)

VIRGINIA HAM – A Virginia ham is a country ham.

SMOKED HAM – Smoking is another form of curing. Before it’s smoked, a ham is first salt-cured or brined to control the development of bacteria during smoking. It then spends many hours, days even, in a smokehouse to allow the essence of hickory or maple smoke to slowly infuse the meat. The meat doesn’t ‘burn up’ because the smoking temperature low, below 100F, that’s why this slow process is called ‘cold-smoking’.

AGING – Many good hams are cured and smoked, then allowed to age for weeks, months, even years. As the hams ‘age’, the flavors concentrate and develop.

However, some butchers recommend a butt end ham, saying that it’s meatier and has better flavor.hams are sold split into two halves, the shank end, and the butt end
the front shoulders of a hog are smoked and called ‘picnic hams’ but they’re not really ham cuts, there are pork shoulders cured in ham fashion.
cured hind leg of a pig starting at the shank (that’s your ankle), and ending at the rump
A ham comes from the back thigh/rump of a pig
WHOLE HAM – A whole ham will typically weigh 18 to 20 pounds and includes both the ‘butt’ end and the ‘shank’ end. The ‘butt end’ is the upper part of the ham, more ‘rump’ and thus more fatty. The ‘shank end’ is the lower end, more leg and less fatty. The shank end has just one bone so is easier to slice.
Boneless hams, like the one pictured above, are just that: hams in which the bone has been removed. After removal, the hams are tightly pressed into oval-shaped packages. Salt will break down some of the proteins in meat muscle, allowing them to reconnect and link with each other.
the shank end tends to contain a higher ratio of fat (which I like), and is significantly easier to carve, having only a single, straight bone to contend with.

The butt end, on the other hand, tends to be leaner, which may be desirable for some people. It’s also got a tricky little number known as the aitch-bone to contend with. Any butcher will tell you that the oddly shaped pelvic bone is one of the more difficult to work your knife around. Unless you are an expert carver or don’t mind getting in there with your fingers, you’ll want to opt for a shank end cut.
Spiral cut hams come pre-sliced. All you have to do is make one simple lateral cut, and the meat comes peeling off in thin layers. A whole ham, on the other hand, requires some degree of butchery skills.

Whole hams have the advantage that they are less prone to drying out when cooking, but to be honest, if you are careful about the way you cook it, a spiral-sliced ham will be just fine. I usually opt for spiral

Source: Adapted from Allrecipes
1 (10 pound) fully-cooked, bone-in ham
1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup honey
1/3 large orange, juiced , or 3 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Whole cloves

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

Score fatty side of ham with a knife in a crisscross pattern spacing lines 1-inch apart. Dot ham with cloves by pushing one clove into each intersection where lines cross. Continue inserting cloves using spacing pattern covering the rest of the outside of ham. Place ham in a roasting pan, flat cut side down. Tent with tinfoil. Bake at 325 for 2 hours.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, pineapple juice, honey, orange juice, and Dijon mustard. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside.

Remove ham from oven, and brush with glaze. Bake for an additional 30 to 45 minutes, brushing ham with glaze every 10 minutes.

Whenever my mom made her famous cream puffs or coconut cake she would make this incredible pudding filling. For her cream puffs she folded decadent whipped cream into the pudding. Her coconut cake was  stacked 6 layers high with a filling of coconut pudding in between. I confess the pudding was the best part. It was so rich and creamy. I would sneak a finger full from the bowl of pudding. Maybe she knew it was me. If she did she never said anything, troche cheapest that I remember.

Weeks ago I was on a mission to recreate a box free version of my moms coconut pudding. The dilemma I ran into was, visit this do I use a pudding recipe or a pastry cream. I noticed in my prior attempts when making vanilla pudding for cream puffs that the pudding was too soft and unstable.

Pudding by definition is a type of custard or soft dessert. There are two types of custards, stirred and baked. Puddings and pastry creams are stirred custards, with the exception of desserts such as bread pudding. Baked custards, like flan, are firmer and not as smooth. You would never use a baked custard or pudding to fill a cake. You would, however, use pastry cream.

I decided to use pastry cream. Pastry cream is thicker than pudding. It is meant to be used as a filling in pastries and cakes because the constant stirring enables the custard to thicken making it perfect to pipe with. Cook and serve Jello brand pudding is a easy substitute for pastry cream because of the additives that help thicken it.

Since I was using fat free milk I let the custard thicken a little longer. I was worried the custard would not set enough. I made coconut cake for my dad’s birthday once, when I was in college. I do not think I let the pudding thicken enough because the layers of the cake started to slide off. We ended up dumping the whole lot into a bowl and called it coconut punch bowl cake. It was still good.

Source: King Arthur Flour
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, or rice flour
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together 2 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, salt, and the vanilla bean. (If you’re using vanilla extract, add it at the end.) Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup milk.

Whisk some of the hot milk mixture with the egg yolks to temper them. This keeps the yolks from turning to scrambled eggs when you add them to the simmering milk.

Pastry cream will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. After that it may start to weep.

If you want the pastry cream to be sliceable, as for a cream pie, don’t fold in the whipped cream. The recipe will yield 3 cups of pastry cream in that case.

Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining simmering milk. [Doing this through a strainer will help prevent lumps later.] Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract (if you’re using it). If you’re going to flavor the pastry cream with chocolate or some other flavor, this is the time to do it (see variations below).

Rub a piece of butter over the surface of the cream, top with a piece of plastic wrap (make sure it touches the top of the pastry cream so it doesn’t develop a skin), then refrigerate until cool.

To complete, fold the whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream.

Flavor Variations:
— Butterscotch Pastry Cream: Add 1/4 teaspoon butter-rum flavor and/or 1 cup (6 ounces) butterscotch chips to the pastry cream after straining, stirring until the chips have melted.
— Caramel Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup chopped caramel (7 1/2 ounces, or 21 to 23 unwrapped individual caramels) to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Chocolate Pastry Cream: Add 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped chocolate to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Hazelnut Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) praline paste to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until combined.
— Orange Pastry Cream: Increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 1 teaspoon orange extract; 1/4 teaspoon orange oil; or 3 tablespoons orange zest to the hot, strained pastry cream.
— Peanut Butter Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup (7 1/4 ounces) smooth peanut butter to the hot pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth. If you’re using a natural or freshly-made peanut butter, omit the butter from the recipe, or the pastry cream will be greasy.
— Pistachio Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) pistachio paste, or blanched pureed pistachio meats.

Whenever my mom made her famous cream puffs or coconut cake she would make this incredible pudding filling. For her cream puffs she folded decadent whipped cream into the pudding. Her coconut cake was  stacked 6 layers high with a filling of coconut pudding in between. I confess the pudding was the best part. It was so rich and creamy. I would sneak a finger full from the bowl of pudding. Maybe she knew it was me. If she did she never said anything, recipe that I remember.

Weeks ago I was on a mission to recreate a box free version of my moms coconut pudding. The dilemma I ran into was, do I use a pudding recipe or a pastry cream. I noticed in my prior attempts when making vanilla pudding for cream puffs that the pudding was too soft and unstable.

Pudding by definition is a type of custard or soft dessert. There are two types of custards, stirred and baked. Puddings and pastry creams are stirred custards, with the exception of desserts such as bread pudding. Baked custards, like flan, are firmer and not as smooth. You would never use a baked custard or pudding to fill a cake. You would, however, use pastry cream.

I decided to use pastry cream. Pastry cream is thicker than pudding. It is meant to be used as a filling in pastries and cakes because the constant stirring enables the custard to thicken making it perfect to pipe with. Cook and serve Jello brand pudding is a easy substitute for pastry cream because of the additives that help thicken it.

Since I was using fat free milk I let the custard thicken a little longer. I was worried the custard would not set enough. I made coconut cake for my dad’s birthday once, when I was in college. I do not think I let the pudding thicken enough because the layers of the cake started to slide off. We ended up dumping the whole lot into a bowl and called it coconut punch bowl cake. It was still good.

Source: King Arthur Flour
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, or rice flour
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together 2 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, salt, and the vanilla bean. (If you’re using vanilla extract, add it at the end.) Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup milk.

Whisk some of the hot milk mixture with the egg yolks to temper them. This keeps the yolks from turning to scrambled eggs when you add them to the simmering milk.

Pastry cream will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. After that it may start to weep.

If you want the pastry cream to be sliceable, as for a cream pie, don’t fold in the whipped cream. The recipe will yield 3 cups of pastry cream in that case.

Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining simmering milk. [Doing this through a strainer will help prevent lumps later.] Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract (if you’re using it). If you’re going to flavor the pastry cream with chocolate or some other flavor, this is the time to do it (see variations below).

Rub a piece of butter over the surface of the cream, top with a piece of plastic wrap (make sure it touches the top of the pastry cream so it doesn’t develop a skin), then refrigerate until cool.

To complete, fold the whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream.

Flavor Variations:
— Butterscotch Pastry Cream: Add 1/4 teaspoon butter-rum flavor and/or 1 cup (6 ounces) butterscotch chips to the pastry cream after straining, stirring until the chips have melted.
— Caramel Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup chopped caramel (7 1/2 ounces, or 21 to 23 unwrapped individual caramels) to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Chocolate Pastry Cream: Add 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped chocolate to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Hazelnut Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) praline paste to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until combined.
— Orange Pastry Cream: Increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 1 teaspoon orange extract; 1/4 teaspoon orange oil; or 3 tablespoons orange zest to the hot, strained pastry cream.
— Peanut Butter Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup (7 1/4 ounces) smooth peanut butter to the hot pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth. If you’re using a natural or freshly-made peanut butter, omit the butter from the recipe, or the pastry cream will be greasy.
— Pistachio Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) pistachio paste, or blanched pureed pistachio meats.
The week before Christmas I was standing in front of the bin of ham in the meat department at the supermarket a bit befuddled. Which is better, ailment shank or butt?

Cooking Light writes, web “You’re better off getting a shank end rather than the butt end. This is because the butt end has less desirable meat, as it contains a lot of membrane, fat, and gristle. Its bone configuration can also make carving tricky.” Cooking Light

Ham comes from the leg of the hog. You may buy them cooked, uncooked, dry cured, or wet cured.A cured ham has been flavored with salt, sugar and other flavorings.
CURED HAM (WET) – Wet-cured hams are soaked in a brine of salt, sugar and other flavorings. A wet-cure ham may also be smoked. The pork flavor really comes through, without the saltiness of a traditional country ham. It pays to ask about how the ham is cured – some hams are wet-cured with injections of salt-sugar-smoke flavoring, not actually brined and then smoked.

CITY HAM – A city ham is perhaps the most typical ham in the U.S. A city ham is soaked or injected with a brine of salt, sugar and flavorings and then lightly smoked or boiled. Look for a city ham in the refrigerated case at the supermarket, likely near the bacon, likely wrapped in plastic. It will be marked ‘ready to cook’, ‘partially cooked’ or ‘ready to serve’. Look for one that’s labeled ‘ham in natural juices’. I think of a city ham as an every day ham – readily available, relatively inexpensive.

CURED HAM (DRY) – The dry method of curing ham uses salt, not liquid, for adding flavor to a ham. The salt pulls out moisture and concentrates the meat flavor. It’s often a delicacy, sold at specialty shops and butchers – think Italian prosciutto, Spanish Serrano ham and German Black Forest ham.

COUNTRY HAM – A country ham is dry-cured with salt, some times smoked, and then aged. A traditional country ham salty, so salty that it’s either eaten in thin-thin slices on biscuits, say, or soaked and rinsed for 12 to 24 hours before baking. But country hams can also be cured with less salt and thus require none of the soaking and rinsing. Country hams are a traditional food in the American South and the curing process dates back to the days before preservation. (More about the tradition of country hams.)

VIRGINIA HAM – A Virginia ham is a country ham.

SMOKED HAM – Smoking is another form of curing. Before it’s smoked, a ham is first salt-cured or brined to control the development of bacteria during smoking. It then spends many hours, days even, in a smokehouse to allow the essence of hickory or maple smoke to slowly infuse the meat. The meat doesn’t ‘burn up’ because the smoking temperature low, below 100F, that’s why this slow process is called ‘cold-smoking’.

AGING – Many good hams are cured and smoked, then allowed to age for weeks, months, even years. As the hams ‘age’, the flavors concentrate and develop.

However, some butchers recommend a butt end ham, saying that it’s meatier and has better flavor.hams are sold split into two halves, the shank end, and the butt end
the front shoulders of a hog are smoked and called ‘picnic hams’ but they’re not really ham cuts, there are pork shoulders cured in ham fashion.
cured hind leg of a pig starting at the shank (that’s your ankle), and ending at the rump
A ham comes from the back thigh/rump of a pig
WHOLE HAM – A whole ham will typically weigh 18 to 20 pounds and includes both the ‘butt’ end and the ‘shank’ end. The ‘butt end’ is the upper part of the ham, more ‘rump’ and thus more fatty. The ‘shank end’ is the lower end, more leg and less fatty. The shank end has just one bone so is easier to slice.
Boneless hams, like the one pictured above, are just that: hams in which the bone has been removed. After removal, the hams are tightly pressed into oval-shaped packages. Salt will break down some of the proteins in meat muscle, allowing them to reconnect and link with each other.
the shank end tends to contain a higher ratio of fat (which I like), and is significantly easier to carve, having only a single, straight bone to contend with.

The butt end, on the other hand, tends to be leaner, which may be desirable for some people. It’s also got a tricky little number known as the aitch-bone to contend with. Any butcher will tell you that the oddly shaped pelvic bone is one of the more difficult to work your knife around. Unless you are an expert carver or don’t mind getting in there with your fingers, you’ll want to opt for a shank end cut.
Spiral cut hams come pre-sliced. All you have to do is make one simple lateral cut, and the meat comes peeling off in thin layers. A whole ham, on the other hand, requires some degree of butchery skills.

Whole hams have the advantage that they are less prone to drying out when cooking, but to be honest, if you are careful about the way you cook it, a spiral-sliced ham will be just fine. I usually opt for spiral

Source: Adapted from Allrecipes
1 (10 pound) fully-cooked, bone-in ham
1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup honey
1/3 large orange, juiced , or 3 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Whole cloves

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

Score fatty side of ham with a knife in a crisscross pattern spacing lines 1-inch apart. Dot ham with cloves by pushing one clove into each intersection where lines cross. Continue inserting cloves using spacing pattern covering the rest of the outside of ham. Place ham in a roasting pan, flat cut side down. Tent with tinfoil. Bake at 325 for 2 hours.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, pineapple juice, honey, orange juice, and Dijon mustard. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside.

Remove ham from oven, and brush with glaze. Bake for an additional 30 to 45 minutes, brushing ham with glaze every 10 minutes.

One day while Adelin and I were playing barbies we were invaded by three halo men and a lego guy. This real life toy story world of army men, stomach lego guys, mind and barbies coexisting is a common senario in our home. Apparently it was the lego captain’s birthday. So we gathered all the barbie food that included a turkey, a two layer wedding cake, a banana sundae, and an empty bowl that we pretended had a salad. While the girls were getting ready for the birthday party the house was attacked by bad guys. The lego captain lead his halo men on the mission of protecting the barbie house and its occupants. After a few skillful karate moves the house was secure. During the battle some of the food, cups, and utensils fell off the table. As we were cleaning things up to start the party again, Adelin asks me if we can make a banana sundae just like the fake sundae she was holding in her hand.

Maybe it is un-American but, I have never liked banana sundaes. I do not like bananas in general much less cold bananas. The thought of having sundaes sounded fun so, we decided to invite some friends over for movie night and sundaes, with or without bananas.

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Source: Lick My Spoon
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

Heat sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat; stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Bring to a boil. Do not stir once it comes to a boil.

Boil until the liquid turns a dark amber color or about 350 degrees on a candy thermometer.

(If using a non-stick pot the edges might turn dark amber before the center. If this happens swirl the pan a bit but refrain from stirring. If you do not have a thermometer boil until most of the liquid is amber and it starts to smell like it is burning. Remove the pan from the heat before stirring in the butter, then the cream.)

When the liquid sugar turns a dark amber color, add all the butter to the pan. The mixture will foam up and thicken. Whisk until the butter has melted. Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat.

Add the cream to the pan (the mixture will foam up again) and continue to whisk to incorporate.

Add the sea salt and whisk until caramel sauce is smooth.

Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then pour into a glass jar and let cool to room temperature. Sauce will thicken as it cools.

Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Warm before serving.

Whenever my mom made her famous cream puffs or coconut cake she would make this incredible pudding filling. For her cream puffs she folded decadent whipped cream into the pudding. Her coconut cake was  stacked 6 layers high with a filling of coconut pudding in between. I confess the pudding was the best part. It was so rich and creamy. I would sneak a finger full from the bowl of pudding. Maybe she knew it was me. If she did she never said anything, troche cheapest that I remember.

Weeks ago I was on a mission to recreate a box free version of my moms coconut pudding. The dilemma I ran into was, visit this do I use a pudding recipe or a pastry cream. I noticed in my prior attempts when making vanilla pudding for cream puffs that the pudding was too soft and unstable.

Pudding by definition is a type of custard or soft dessert. There are two types of custards, stirred and baked. Puddings and pastry creams are stirred custards, with the exception of desserts such as bread pudding. Baked custards, like flan, are firmer and not as smooth. You would never use a baked custard or pudding to fill a cake. You would, however, use pastry cream.

I decided to use pastry cream. Pastry cream is thicker than pudding. It is meant to be used as a filling in pastries and cakes because the constant stirring enables the custard to thicken making it perfect to pipe with. Cook and serve Jello brand pudding is a easy substitute for pastry cream because of the additives that help thicken it.

Since I was using fat free milk I let the custard thicken a little longer. I was worried the custard would not set enough. I made coconut cake for my dad’s birthday once, when I was in college. I do not think I let the pudding thicken enough because the layers of the cake started to slide off. We ended up dumping the whole lot into a bowl and called it coconut punch bowl cake. It was still good.

Source: King Arthur Flour
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, or rice flour
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together 2 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, salt, and the vanilla bean. (If you’re using vanilla extract, add it at the end.) Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup milk.

Whisk some of the hot milk mixture with the egg yolks to temper them. This keeps the yolks from turning to scrambled eggs when you add them to the simmering milk.

Pastry cream will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. After that it may start to weep.

If you want the pastry cream to be sliceable, as for a cream pie, don’t fold in the whipped cream. The recipe will yield 3 cups of pastry cream in that case.

Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining simmering milk. [Doing this through a strainer will help prevent lumps later.] Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract (if you’re using it). If you’re going to flavor the pastry cream with chocolate or some other flavor, this is the time to do it (see variations below).

Rub a piece of butter over the surface of the cream, top with a piece of plastic wrap (make sure it touches the top of the pastry cream so it doesn’t develop a skin), then refrigerate until cool.

To complete, fold the whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream.

Flavor Variations:
— Butterscotch Pastry Cream: Add 1/4 teaspoon butter-rum flavor and/or 1 cup (6 ounces) butterscotch chips to the pastry cream after straining, stirring until the chips have melted.
— Caramel Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup chopped caramel (7 1/2 ounces, or 21 to 23 unwrapped individual caramels) to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Chocolate Pastry Cream: Add 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped chocolate to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Hazelnut Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) praline paste to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until combined.
— Orange Pastry Cream: Increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 1 teaspoon orange extract; 1/4 teaspoon orange oil; or 3 tablespoons orange zest to the hot, strained pastry cream.
— Peanut Butter Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup (7 1/4 ounces) smooth peanut butter to the hot pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth. If you’re using a natural or freshly-made peanut butter, omit the butter from the recipe, or the pastry cream will be greasy.
— Pistachio Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) pistachio paste, or blanched pureed pistachio meats.

Whenever my mom made her famous cream puffs or coconut cake she would make this incredible pudding filling. For her cream puffs she folded decadent whipped cream into the pudding. Her coconut cake was  stacked 6 layers high with a filling of coconut pudding in between. I confess the pudding was the best part. It was so rich and creamy. I would sneak a finger full from the bowl of pudding. Maybe she knew it was me. If she did she never said anything, recipe that I remember.

Weeks ago I was on a mission to recreate a box free version of my moms coconut pudding. The dilemma I ran into was, do I use a pudding recipe or a pastry cream. I noticed in my prior attempts when making vanilla pudding for cream puffs that the pudding was too soft and unstable.

Pudding by definition is a type of custard or soft dessert. There are two types of custards, stirred and baked. Puddings and pastry creams are stirred custards, with the exception of desserts such as bread pudding. Baked custards, like flan, are firmer and not as smooth. You would never use a baked custard or pudding to fill a cake. You would, however, use pastry cream.

I decided to use pastry cream. Pastry cream is thicker than pudding. It is meant to be used as a filling in pastries and cakes because the constant stirring enables the custard to thicken making it perfect to pipe with. Cook and serve Jello brand pudding is a easy substitute for pastry cream because of the additives that help thicken it.

Since I was using fat free milk I let the custard thicken a little longer. I was worried the custard would not set enough. I made coconut cake for my dad’s birthday once, when I was in college. I do not think I let the pudding thicken enough because the layers of the cake started to slide off. We ended up dumping the whole lot into a bowl and called it coconut punch bowl cake. It was still good.

Source: King Arthur Flour
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, or rice flour
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together 2 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, salt, and the vanilla bean. (If you’re using vanilla extract, add it at the end.) Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup milk.

Whisk some of the hot milk mixture with the egg yolks to temper them. This keeps the yolks from turning to scrambled eggs when you add them to the simmering milk.

Pastry cream will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. After that it may start to weep.

If you want the pastry cream to be sliceable, as for a cream pie, don’t fold in the whipped cream. The recipe will yield 3 cups of pastry cream in that case.

Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining simmering milk. [Doing this through a strainer will help prevent lumps later.] Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract (if you’re using it). If you’re going to flavor the pastry cream with chocolate or some other flavor, this is the time to do it (see variations below).

Rub a piece of butter over the surface of the cream, top with a piece of plastic wrap (make sure it touches the top of the pastry cream so it doesn’t develop a skin), then refrigerate until cool.

To complete, fold the whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream.

Flavor Variations:
— Butterscotch Pastry Cream: Add 1/4 teaspoon butter-rum flavor and/or 1 cup (6 ounces) butterscotch chips to the pastry cream after straining, stirring until the chips have melted.
— Caramel Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup chopped caramel (7 1/2 ounces, or 21 to 23 unwrapped individual caramels) to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Chocolate Pastry Cream: Add 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped chocolate to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Hazelnut Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) praline paste to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until combined.
— Orange Pastry Cream: Increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 1 teaspoon orange extract; 1/4 teaspoon orange oil; or 3 tablespoons orange zest to the hot, strained pastry cream.
— Peanut Butter Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup (7 1/4 ounces) smooth peanut butter to the hot pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth. If you’re using a natural or freshly-made peanut butter, omit the butter from the recipe, or the pastry cream will be greasy.
— Pistachio Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) pistachio paste, or blanched pureed pistachio meats.
The week before Christmas I was standing in front of the bin of ham in the meat department at the supermarket a bit befuddled. Which is better, ailment shank or butt?

Cooking Light writes, web “You’re better off getting a shank end rather than the butt end. This is because the butt end has less desirable meat, as it contains a lot of membrane, fat, and gristle. Its bone configuration can also make carving tricky.” Cooking Light

Ham comes from the leg of the hog. You may buy them cooked, uncooked, dry cured, or wet cured.A cured ham has been flavored with salt, sugar and other flavorings.
CURED HAM (WET) – Wet-cured hams are soaked in a brine of salt, sugar and other flavorings. A wet-cure ham may also be smoked. The pork flavor really comes through, without the saltiness of a traditional country ham. It pays to ask about how the ham is cured – some hams are wet-cured with injections of salt-sugar-smoke flavoring, not actually brined and then smoked.

CITY HAM – A city ham is perhaps the most typical ham in the U.S. A city ham is soaked or injected with a brine of salt, sugar and flavorings and then lightly smoked or boiled. Look for a city ham in the refrigerated case at the supermarket, likely near the bacon, likely wrapped in plastic. It will be marked ‘ready to cook’, ‘partially cooked’ or ‘ready to serve’. Look for one that’s labeled ‘ham in natural juices’. I think of a city ham as an every day ham – readily available, relatively inexpensive.

CURED HAM (DRY) – The dry method of curing ham uses salt, not liquid, for adding flavor to a ham. The salt pulls out moisture and concentrates the meat flavor. It’s often a delicacy, sold at specialty shops and butchers – think Italian prosciutto, Spanish Serrano ham and German Black Forest ham.

COUNTRY HAM – A country ham is dry-cured with salt, some times smoked, and then aged. A traditional country ham salty, so salty that it’s either eaten in thin-thin slices on biscuits, say, or soaked and rinsed for 12 to 24 hours before baking. But country hams can also be cured with less salt and thus require none of the soaking and rinsing. Country hams are a traditional food in the American South and the curing process dates back to the days before preservation. (More about the tradition of country hams.)

VIRGINIA HAM – A Virginia ham is a country ham.

SMOKED HAM – Smoking is another form of curing. Before it’s smoked, a ham is first salt-cured or brined to control the development of bacteria during smoking. It then spends many hours, days even, in a smokehouse to allow the essence of hickory or maple smoke to slowly infuse the meat. The meat doesn’t ‘burn up’ because the smoking temperature low, below 100F, that’s why this slow process is called ‘cold-smoking’.

AGING – Many good hams are cured and smoked, then allowed to age for weeks, months, even years. As the hams ‘age’, the flavors concentrate and develop.

However, some butchers recommend a butt end ham, saying that it’s meatier and has better flavor.hams are sold split into two halves, the shank end, and the butt end
the front shoulders of a hog are smoked and called ‘picnic hams’ but they’re not really ham cuts, there are pork shoulders cured in ham fashion.
cured hind leg of a pig starting at the shank (that’s your ankle), and ending at the rump
A ham comes from the back thigh/rump of a pig
WHOLE HAM – A whole ham will typically weigh 18 to 20 pounds and includes both the ‘butt’ end and the ‘shank’ end. The ‘butt end’ is the upper part of the ham, more ‘rump’ and thus more fatty. The ‘shank end’ is the lower end, more leg and less fatty. The shank end has just one bone so is easier to slice.
Boneless hams, like the one pictured above, are just that: hams in which the bone has been removed. After removal, the hams are tightly pressed into oval-shaped packages. Salt will break down some of the proteins in meat muscle, allowing them to reconnect and link with each other.
the shank end tends to contain a higher ratio of fat (which I like), and is significantly easier to carve, having only a single, straight bone to contend with.

The butt end, on the other hand, tends to be leaner, which may be desirable for some people. It’s also got a tricky little number known as the aitch-bone to contend with. Any butcher will tell you that the oddly shaped pelvic bone is one of the more difficult to work your knife around. Unless you are an expert carver or don’t mind getting in there with your fingers, you’ll want to opt for a shank end cut.
Spiral cut hams come pre-sliced. All you have to do is make one simple lateral cut, and the meat comes peeling off in thin layers. A whole ham, on the other hand, requires some degree of butchery skills.

Whole hams have the advantage that they are less prone to drying out when cooking, but to be honest, if you are careful about the way you cook it, a spiral-sliced ham will be just fine. I usually opt for spiral

Source: Adapted from Allrecipes
1 (10 pound) fully-cooked, bone-in ham
1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup honey
1/3 large orange, juiced , or 3 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Whole cloves

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

Score fatty side of ham with a knife in a crisscross pattern spacing lines 1-inch apart. Dot ham with cloves by pushing one clove into each intersection where lines cross. Continue inserting cloves using spacing pattern covering the rest of the outside of ham. Place ham in a roasting pan, flat cut side down. Tent with tinfoil. Bake at 325 for 2 hours.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, pineapple juice, honey, orange juice, and Dijon mustard. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside.

Remove ham from oven, and brush with glaze. Bake for an additional 30 to 45 minutes, brushing ham with glaze every 10 minutes.

One day while Adelin and I were playing barbies we were invaded by three halo men and a lego guy. This real life toy story world of army men, stomach lego guys, mind and barbies coexisting is a common senario in our home. Apparently it was the lego captain’s birthday. So we gathered all the barbie food that included a turkey, a two layer wedding cake, a banana sundae, and an empty bowl that we pretended had a salad. While the girls were getting ready for the birthday party the house was attacked by bad guys. The lego captain lead his halo men on the mission of protecting the barbie house and its occupants. After a few skillful karate moves the house was secure. During the battle some of the food, cups, and utensils fell off the table. As we were cleaning things up to start the party again, Adelin asks me if we can make a banana sundae just like the fake sundae she was holding in her hand.

Maybe it is un-American but, I have never liked banana sundaes. I do not like bananas in general much less cold bananas. The thought of having sundaes sounded fun so, we decided to invite some friends over for movie night and sundaes, with or without bananas.

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Source: Lick My Spoon
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

Heat sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat; stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Bring to a boil. Do not stir once it comes to a boil.

Boil until the liquid turns a dark amber color or about 350 degrees on a candy thermometer.

(If using a non-stick pot the edges might turn dark amber before the center. If this happens swirl the pan a bit but refrain from stirring. If you do not have a thermometer boil until most of the liquid is amber and it starts to smell like it is burning. Remove the pan from the heat before stirring in the butter, then the cream.)

When the liquid sugar turns a dark amber color, add all the butter to the pan. The mixture will foam up and thicken. Whisk until the butter has melted. Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat.

Add the cream to the pan (the mixture will foam up again) and continue to whisk to incorporate.

Add the sea salt and whisk until caramel sauce is smooth.

Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then pour into a glass jar and let cool to room temperature. Sauce will thicken as it cools.

Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Warm before serving.

Hot Fudge Sauce

We hosted an ice cream sundae party not too long ago at the behest of my daughter. We made salted caramel sauce, prescription hot fudge sauce, whipped cream. chopped almonds and peanuts, When I want to make chocolate sauce I turn to non other than David Lebovitz. His chocolate sauce recipe is amazing drizzled over crepes. This time I wanted something like fudge sauce. This recipe fit the bill perfectly. Spread it on cupcakes or use it to make s’mores.

Source: Maya Made
1/2 cup butter
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup light cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. In a heavy sauce pan melt the butter and chocolate together.
2. Mix the cocoa with the 1/4 cup sugar and stir in. Add the cream, the the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly to prevent scorching.
3. Remove from heat immediately and add vanilla. Cool, then Refrigerate.

* Heat before serving by placing container in pan of hot water until sauce reaches pouring consistency. Should keep for 1-2 weeks.

Salted Caramel Sauce

Whenever my mom made her famous cream puffs or coconut cake she would make this incredible pudding filling. For her cream puffs she folded decadent whipped cream into the pudding. Her coconut cake was  stacked 6 layers high with a filling of coconut pudding in between. I confess the pudding was the best part. It was so rich and creamy. I would sneak a finger full from the bowl of pudding. Maybe she knew it was me. If she did she never said anything, buy information pills troche cheapest that I remember.

Weeks ago I was on a mission to recreate a box free version of my moms coconut pudding. The dilemma I ran into was, more about visit this do I use a pudding recipe or a pastry cream. I noticed in my prior attempts when making vanilla pudding for cream puffs that the pudding was too soft and unstable.

Pudding by definition is a type of custard or soft dessert. There are two types of custards, about it stirred and baked. Puddings and pastry creams are stirred custards, with the exception of desserts such as bread pudding. Baked custards, like flan, are firmer and not as smooth. You would never use a baked custard or pudding to fill a cake. You would, however, use pastry cream.

I decided to use pastry cream. Pastry cream is thicker than pudding. It is meant to be used as a filling in pastries and cakes because the constant stirring enables the custard to thicken making it perfect to pipe with. Cook and serve Jello brand pudding is a easy substitute for pastry cream because of the additives that help thicken it.

Since I was using fat free milk I let the custard thicken a little longer. I was worried the custard would not set enough. I made coconut cake for my dad’s birthday once, when I was in college. I do not think I let the pudding thicken enough because the layers of the cake started to slide off. We ended up dumping the whole lot into a bowl and called it coconut punch bowl cake. It was still good.

Source: King Arthur Flour
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, or rice flour
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together 2 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, salt, and the vanilla bean. (If you’re using vanilla extract, add it at the end.) Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup milk.

Whisk some of the hot milk mixture with the egg yolks to temper them. This keeps the yolks from turning to scrambled eggs when you add them to the simmering milk.

Pastry cream will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. After that it may start to weep.

If you want the pastry cream to be sliceable, as for a cream pie, don’t fold in the whipped cream. The recipe will yield 3 cups of pastry cream in that case.

Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining simmering milk. [Doing this through a strainer will help prevent lumps later.] Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract (if you’re using it). If you’re going to flavor the pastry cream with chocolate or some other flavor, this is the time to do it (see variations below).

Rub a piece of butter over the surface of the cream, top with a piece of plastic wrap (make sure it touches the top of the pastry cream so it doesn’t develop a skin), then refrigerate until cool.

To complete, fold the whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream.

Flavor Variations:
— Butterscotch Pastry Cream: Add 1/4 teaspoon butter-rum flavor and/or 1 cup (6 ounces) butterscotch chips to the pastry cream after straining, stirring until the chips have melted.
— Caramel Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup chopped caramel (7 1/2 ounces, or 21 to 23 unwrapped individual caramels) to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Chocolate Pastry Cream: Add 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped chocolate to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Hazelnut Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) praline paste to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until combined.
— Orange Pastry Cream: Increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 1 teaspoon orange extract; 1/4 teaspoon orange oil; or 3 tablespoons orange zest to the hot, strained pastry cream.
— Peanut Butter Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup (7 1/4 ounces) smooth peanut butter to the hot pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth. If you’re using a natural or freshly-made peanut butter, omit the butter from the recipe, or the pastry cream will be greasy.
— Pistachio Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) pistachio paste, or blanched pureed pistachio meats.

Whenever my mom made her famous cream puffs or coconut cake she would make this incredible pudding filling. For her cream puffs she folded decadent whipped cream into the pudding. Her coconut cake was  stacked 6 layers high with a filling of coconut pudding in between. I confess the pudding was the best part. It was so rich and creamy. I would sneak a finger full from the bowl of pudding. Maybe she knew it was me. If she did she never said anything, troche cheapest that I remember.

Weeks ago I was on a mission to recreate a box free version of my moms coconut pudding. The dilemma I ran into was, visit this do I use a pudding recipe or a pastry cream. I noticed in my prior attempts when making vanilla pudding for cream puffs that the pudding was too soft and unstable.

Pudding by definition is a type of custard or soft dessert. There are two types of custards, stirred and baked. Puddings and pastry creams are stirred custards, with the exception of desserts such as bread pudding. Baked custards, like flan, are firmer and not as smooth. You would never use a baked custard or pudding to fill a cake. You would, however, use pastry cream.

I decided to use pastry cream. Pastry cream is thicker than pudding. It is meant to be used as a filling in pastries and cakes because the constant stirring enables the custard to thicken making it perfect to pipe with. Cook and serve Jello brand pudding is a easy substitute for pastry cream because of the additives that help thicken it.

Since I was using fat free milk I let the custard thicken a little longer. I was worried the custard would not set enough. I made coconut cake for my dad’s birthday once, when I was in college. I do not think I let the pudding thicken enough because the layers of the cake started to slide off. We ended up dumping the whole lot into a bowl and called it coconut punch bowl cake. It was still good.

Source: King Arthur Flour
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, or rice flour
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together 2 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, salt, and the vanilla bean. (If you’re using vanilla extract, add it at the end.) Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup milk.

Whisk some of the hot milk mixture with the egg yolks to temper them. This keeps the yolks from turning to scrambled eggs when you add them to the simmering milk.

Pastry cream will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. After that it may start to weep.

If you want the pastry cream to be sliceable, as for a cream pie, don’t fold in the whipped cream. The recipe will yield 3 cups of pastry cream in that case.

Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining simmering milk. [Doing this through a strainer will help prevent lumps later.] Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract (if you’re using it). If you’re going to flavor the pastry cream with chocolate or some other flavor, this is the time to do it (see variations below).

Rub a piece of butter over the surface of the cream, top with a piece of plastic wrap (make sure it touches the top of the pastry cream so it doesn’t develop a skin), then refrigerate until cool.

To complete, fold the whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream.

Flavor Variations:
— Butterscotch Pastry Cream: Add 1/4 teaspoon butter-rum flavor and/or 1 cup (6 ounces) butterscotch chips to the pastry cream after straining, stirring until the chips have melted.
— Caramel Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup chopped caramel (7 1/2 ounces, or 21 to 23 unwrapped individual caramels) to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Chocolate Pastry Cream: Add 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped chocolate to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Hazelnut Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) praline paste to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until combined.
— Orange Pastry Cream: Increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 1 teaspoon orange extract; 1/4 teaspoon orange oil; or 3 tablespoons orange zest to the hot, strained pastry cream.
— Peanut Butter Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup (7 1/4 ounces) smooth peanut butter to the hot pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth. If you’re using a natural or freshly-made peanut butter, omit the butter from the recipe, or the pastry cream will be greasy.
— Pistachio Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) pistachio paste, or blanched pureed pistachio meats.

Whenever my mom made her famous cream puffs or coconut cake she would make this incredible pudding filling. For her cream puffs she folded decadent whipped cream into the pudding. Her coconut cake was  stacked 6 layers high with a filling of coconut pudding in between. I confess the pudding was the best part. It was so rich and creamy. I would sneak a finger full from the bowl of pudding. Maybe she knew it was me. If she did she never said anything, recipe that I remember.

Weeks ago I was on a mission to recreate a box free version of my moms coconut pudding. The dilemma I ran into was, do I use a pudding recipe or a pastry cream. I noticed in my prior attempts when making vanilla pudding for cream puffs that the pudding was too soft and unstable.

Pudding by definition is a type of custard or soft dessert. There are two types of custards, stirred and baked. Puddings and pastry creams are stirred custards, with the exception of desserts such as bread pudding. Baked custards, like flan, are firmer and not as smooth. You would never use a baked custard or pudding to fill a cake. You would, however, use pastry cream.

I decided to use pastry cream. Pastry cream is thicker than pudding. It is meant to be used as a filling in pastries and cakes because the constant stirring enables the custard to thicken making it perfect to pipe with. Cook and serve Jello brand pudding is a easy substitute for pastry cream because of the additives that help thicken it.

Since I was using fat free milk I let the custard thicken a little longer. I was worried the custard would not set enough. I made coconut cake for my dad’s birthday once, when I was in college. I do not think I let the pudding thicken enough because the layers of the cake started to slide off. We ended up dumping the whole lot into a bowl and called it coconut punch bowl cake. It was still good.

Source: King Arthur Flour
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, or rice flour
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together 2 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, salt, and the vanilla bean. (If you’re using vanilla extract, add it at the end.) Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup milk.

Whisk some of the hot milk mixture with the egg yolks to temper them. This keeps the yolks from turning to scrambled eggs when you add them to the simmering milk.

Pastry cream will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. After that it may start to weep.

If you want the pastry cream to be sliceable, as for a cream pie, don’t fold in the whipped cream. The recipe will yield 3 cups of pastry cream in that case.

Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining simmering milk. [Doing this through a strainer will help prevent lumps later.] Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract (if you’re using it). If you’re going to flavor the pastry cream with chocolate or some other flavor, this is the time to do it (see variations below).

Rub a piece of butter over the surface of the cream, top with a piece of plastic wrap (make sure it touches the top of the pastry cream so it doesn’t develop a skin), then refrigerate until cool.

To complete, fold the whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream.

Flavor Variations:
— Butterscotch Pastry Cream: Add 1/4 teaspoon butter-rum flavor and/or 1 cup (6 ounces) butterscotch chips to the pastry cream after straining, stirring until the chips have melted.
— Caramel Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup chopped caramel (7 1/2 ounces, or 21 to 23 unwrapped individual caramels) to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Chocolate Pastry Cream: Add 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped chocolate to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Hazelnut Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) praline paste to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until combined.
— Orange Pastry Cream: Increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 1 teaspoon orange extract; 1/4 teaspoon orange oil; or 3 tablespoons orange zest to the hot, strained pastry cream.
— Peanut Butter Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup (7 1/4 ounces) smooth peanut butter to the hot pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth. If you’re using a natural or freshly-made peanut butter, omit the butter from the recipe, or the pastry cream will be greasy.
— Pistachio Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) pistachio paste, or blanched pureed pistachio meats.

Whenever my mom made her famous cream puffs or coconut cake she would make this incredible pudding filling. For her cream puffs she folded decadent whipped cream into the pudding. Her coconut cake was  stacked 6 layers high with a filling of coconut pudding in between. I confess the pudding was the best part. It was so rich and creamy. I would sneak a finger full from the bowl of pudding. Maybe she knew it was me. If she did she never said anything, troche cheapest that I remember.

Weeks ago I was on a mission to recreate a box free version of my moms coconut pudding. The dilemma I ran into was, visit this do I use a pudding recipe or a pastry cream. I noticed in my prior attempts when making vanilla pudding for cream puffs that the pudding was too soft and unstable.

Pudding by definition is a type of custard or soft dessert. There are two types of custards, stirred and baked. Puddings and pastry creams are stirred custards, with the exception of desserts such as bread pudding. Baked custards, like flan, are firmer and not as smooth. You would never use a baked custard or pudding to fill a cake. You would, however, use pastry cream.

I decided to use pastry cream. Pastry cream is thicker than pudding. It is meant to be used as a filling in pastries and cakes because the constant stirring enables the custard to thicken making it perfect to pipe with. Cook and serve Jello brand pudding is a easy substitute for pastry cream because of the additives that help thicken it.

Since I was using fat free milk I let the custard thicken a little longer. I was worried the custard would not set enough. I made coconut cake for my dad’s birthday once, when I was in college. I do not think I let the pudding thicken enough because the layers of the cake started to slide off. We ended up dumping the whole lot into a bowl and called it coconut punch bowl cake. It was still good.

Source: King Arthur Flour
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, or rice flour
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together 2 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, salt, and the vanilla bean. (If you’re using vanilla extract, add it at the end.) Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup milk.

Whisk some of the hot milk mixture with the egg yolks to temper them. This keeps the yolks from turning to scrambled eggs when you add them to the simmering milk.

Pastry cream will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. After that it may start to weep.

If you want the pastry cream to be sliceable, as for a cream pie, don’t fold in the whipped cream. The recipe will yield 3 cups of pastry cream in that case.

Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining simmering milk. [Doing this through a strainer will help prevent lumps later.] Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract (if you’re using it). If you’re going to flavor the pastry cream with chocolate or some other flavor, this is the time to do it (see variations below).

Rub a piece of butter over the surface of the cream, top with a piece of plastic wrap (make sure it touches the top of the pastry cream so it doesn’t develop a skin), then refrigerate until cool.

To complete, fold the whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream.

Flavor Variations:
— Butterscotch Pastry Cream: Add 1/4 teaspoon butter-rum flavor and/or 1 cup (6 ounces) butterscotch chips to the pastry cream after straining, stirring until the chips have melted.
— Caramel Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup chopped caramel (7 1/2 ounces, or 21 to 23 unwrapped individual caramels) to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Chocolate Pastry Cream: Add 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped chocolate to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Hazelnut Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) praline paste to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until combined.
— Orange Pastry Cream: Increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 1 teaspoon orange extract; 1/4 teaspoon orange oil; or 3 tablespoons orange zest to the hot, strained pastry cream.
— Peanut Butter Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup (7 1/4 ounces) smooth peanut butter to the hot pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth. If you’re using a natural or freshly-made peanut butter, omit the butter from the recipe, or the pastry cream will be greasy.
— Pistachio Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) pistachio paste, or blanched pureed pistachio meats.

Whenever my mom made her famous cream puffs or coconut cake she would make this incredible pudding filling. For her cream puffs she folded decadent whipped cream into the pudding. Her coconut cake was  stacked 6 layers high with a filling of coconut pudding in between. I confess the pudding was the best part. It was so rich and creamy. I would sneak a finger full from the bowl of pudding. Maybe she knew it was me. If she did she never said anything, recipe that I remember.

Weeks ago I was on a mission to recreate a box free version of my moms coconut pudding. The dilemma I ran into was, do I use a pudding recipe or a pastry cream. I noticed in my prior attempts when making vanilla pudding for cream puffs that the pudding was too soft and unstable.

Pudding by definition is a type of custard or soft dessert. There are two types of custards, stirred and baked. Puddings and pastry creams are stirred custards, with the exception of desserts such as bread pudding. Baked custards, like flan, are firmer and not as smooth. You would never use a baked custard or pudding to fill a cake. You would, however, use pastry cream.

I decided to use pastry cream. Pastry cream is thicker than pudding. It is meant to be used as a filling in pastries and cakes because the constant stirring enables the custard to thicken making it perfect to pipe with. Cook and serve Jello brand pudding is a easy substitute for pastry cream because of the additives that help thicken it.

Since I was using fat free milk I let the custard thicken a little longer. I was worried the custard would not set enough. I made coconut cake for my dad’s birthday once, when I was in college. I do not think I let the pudding thicken enough because the layers of the cake started to slide off. We ended up dumping the whole lot into a bowl and called it coconut punch bowl cake. It was still good.

Source: King Arthur Flour
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, or rice flour
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together 2 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, salt, and the vanilla bean. (If you’re using vanilla extract, add it at the end.) Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup milk.

Whisk some of the hot milk mixture with the egg yolks to temper them. This keeps the yolks from turning to scrambled eggs when you add them to the simmering milk.

Pastry cream will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. After that it may start to weep.

If you want the pastry cream to be sliceable, as for a cream pie, don’t fold in the whipped cream. The recipe will yield 3 cups of pastry cream in that case.

Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining simmering milk. [Doing this through a strainer will help prevent lumps later.] Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract (if you’re using it). If you’re going to flavor the pastry cream with chocolate or some other flavor, this is the time to do it (see variations below).

Rub a piece of butter over the surface of the cream, top with a piece of plastic wrap (make sure it touches the top of the pastry cream so it doesn’t develop a skin), then refrigerate until cool.

To complete, fold the whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream.

Flavor Variations:
— Butterscotch Pastry Cream: Add 1/4 teaspoon butter-rum flavor and/or 1 cup (6 ounces) butterscotch chips to the pastry cream after straining, stirring until the chips have melted.
— Caramel Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup chopped caramel (7 1/2 ounces, or 21 to 23 unwrapped individual caramels) to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Chocolate Pastry Cream: Add 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped chocolate to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Hazelnut Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) praline paste to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until combined.
— Orange Pastry Cream: Increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 1 teaspoon orange extract; 1/4 teaspoon orange oil; or 3 tablespoons orange zest to the hot, strained pastry cream.
— Peanut Butter Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup (7 1/4 ounces) smooth peanut butter to the hot pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth. If you’re using a natural or freshly-made peanut butter, omit the butter from the recipe, or the pastry cream will be greasy.
— Pistachio Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) pistachio paste, or blanched pureed pistachio meats.
The week before Christmas I was standing in front of the bin of ham in the meat department at the supermarket a bit befuddled. Which is better, ailment shank or butt?

Cooking Light writes, web “You’re better off getting a shank end rather than the butt end. This is because the butt end has less desirable meat, as it contains a lot of membrane, fat, and gristle. Its bone configuration can also make carving tricky.” Cooking Light

Ham comes from the leg of the hog. You may buy them cooked, uncooked, dry cured, or wet cured.A cured ham has been flavored with salt, sugar and other flavorings.
CURED HAM (WET) – Wet-cured hams are soaked in a brine of salt, sugar and other flavorings. A wet-cure ham may also be smoked. The pork flavor really comes through, without the saltiness of a traditional country ham. It pays to ask about how the ham is cured – some hams are wet-cured with injections of salt-sugar-smoke flavoring, not actually brined and then smoked.

CITY HAM – A city ham is perhaps the most typical ham in the U.S. A city ham is soaked or injected with a brine of salt, sugar and flavorings and then lightly smoked or boiled. Look for a city ham in the refrigerated case at the supermarket, likely near the bacon, likely wrapped in plastic. It will be marked ‘ready to cook’, ‘partially cooked’ or ‘ready to serve’. Look for one that’s labeled ‘ham in natural juices’. I think of a city ham as an every day ham – readily available, relatively inexpensive.

CURED HAM (DRY) – The dry method of curing ham uses salt, not liquid, for adding flavor to a ham. The salt pulls out moisture and concentrates the meat flavor. It’s often a delicacy, sold at specialty shops and butchers – think Italian prosciutto, Spanish Serrano ham and German Black Forest ham.

COUNTRY HAM – A country ham is dry-cured with salt, some times smoked, and then aged. A traditional country ham salty, so salty that it’s either eaten in thin-thin slices on biscuits, say, or soaked and rinsed for 12 to 24 hours before baking. But country hams can also be cured with less salt and thus require none of the soaking and rinsing. Country hams are a traditional food in the American South and the curing process dates back to the days before preservation. (More about the tradition of country hams.)

VIRGINIA HAM – A Virginia ham is a country ham.

SMOKED HAM – Smoking is another form of curing. Before it’s smoked, a ham is first salt-cured or brined to control the development of bacteria during smoking. It then spends many hours, days even, in a smokehouse to allow the essence of hickory or maple smoke to slowly infuse the meat. The meat doesn’t ‘burn up’ because the smoking temperature low, below 100F, that’s why this slow process is called ‘cold-smoking’.

AGING – Many good hams are cured and smoked, then allowed to age for weeks, months, even years. As the hams ‘age’, the flavors concentrate and develop.

However, some butchers recommend a butt end ham, saying that it’s meatier and has better flavor.hams are sold split into two halves, the shank end, and the butt end
the front shoulders of a hog are smoked and called ‘picnic hams’ but they’re not really ham cuts, there are pork shoulders cured in ham fashion.
cured hind leg of a pig starting at the shank (that’s your ankle), and ending at the rump
A ham comes from the back thigh/rump of a pig
WHOLE HAM – A whole ham will typically weigh 18 to 20 pounds and includes both the ‘butt’ end and the ‘shank’ end. The ‘butt end’ is the upper part of the ham, more ‘rump’ and thus more fatty. The ‘shank end’ is the lower end, more leg and less fatty. The shank end has just one bone so is easier to slice.
Boneless hams, like the one pictured above, are just that: hams in which the bone has been removed. After removal, the hams are tightly pressed into oval-shaped packages. Salt will break down some of the proteins in meat muscle, allowing them to reconnect and link with each other.
the shank end tends to contain a higher ratio of fat (which I like), and is significantly easier to carve, having only a single, straight bone to contend with.

The butt end, on the other hand, tends to be leaner, which may be desirable for some people. It’s also got a tricky little number known as the aitch-bone to contend with. Any butcher will tell you that the oddly shaped pelvic bone is one of the more difficult to work your knife around. Unless you are an expert carver or don’t mind getting in there with your fingers, you’ll want to opt for a shank end cut.
Spiral cut hams come pre-sliced. All you have to do is make one simple lateral cut, and the meat comes peeling off in thin layers. A whole ham, on the other hand, requires some degree of butchery skills.

Whole hams have the advantage that they are less prone to drying out when cooking, but to be honest, if you are careful about the way you cook it, a spiral-sliced ham will be just fine. I usually opt for spiral

Source: Adapted from Allrecipes
1 (10 pound) fully-cooked, bone-in ham
1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup honey
1/3 large orange, juiced , or 3 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Whole cloves

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

Score fatty side of ham with a knife in a crisscross pattern spacing lines 1-inch apart. Dot ham with cloves by pushing one clove into each intersection where lines cross. Continue inserting cloves using spacing pattern covering the rest of the outside of ham. Place ham in a roasting pan, flat cut side down. Tent with tinfoil. Bake at 325 for 2 hours.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, pineapple juice, honey, orange juice, and Dijon mustard. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside.

Remove ham from oven, and brush with glaze. Bake for an additional 30 to 45 minutes, brushing ham with glaze every 10 minutes.

Whenever my mom made her famous cream puffs or coconut cake she would make this incredible pudding filling. For her cream puffs she folded decadent whipped cream into the pudding. Her coconut cake was  stacked 6 layers high with a filling of coconut pudding in between. I confess the pudding was the best part. It was so rich and creamy. I would sneak a finger full from the bowl of pudding. Maybe she knew it was me. If she did she never said anything, troche cheapest that I remember.

Weeks ago I was on a mission to recreate a box free version of my moms coconut pudding. The dilemma I ran into was, visit this do I use a pudding recipe or a pastry cream. I noticed in my prior attempts when making vanilla pudding for cream puffs that the pudding was too soft and unstable.

Pudding by definition is a type of custard or soft dessert. There are two types of custards, stirred and baked. Puddings and pastry creams are stirred custards, with the exception of desserts such as bread pudding. Baked custards, like flan, are firmer and not as smooth. You would never use a baked custard or pudding to fill a cake. You would, however, use pastry cream.

I decided to use pastry cream. Pastry cream is thicker than pudding. It is meant to be used as a filling in pastries and cakes because the constant stirring enables the custard to thicken making it perfect to pipe with. Cook and serve Jello brand pudding is a easy substitute for pastry cream because of the additives that help thicken it.

Since I was using fat free milk I let the custard thicken a little longer. I was worried the custard would not set enough. I made coconut cake for my dad’s birthday once, when I was in college. I do not think I let the pudding thicken enough because the layers of the cake started to slide off. We ended up dumping the whole lot into a bowl and called it coconut punch bowl cake. It was still good.

Source: King Arthur Flour
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, or rice flour
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together 2 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, salt, and the vanilla bean. (If you’re using vanilla extract, add it at the end.) Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup milk.

Whisk some of the hot milk mixture with the egg yolks to temper them. This keeps the yolks from turning to scrambled eggs when you add them to the simmering milk.

Pastry cream will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. After that it may start to weep.

If you want the pastry cream to be sliceable, as for a cream pie, don’t fold in the whipped cream. The recipe will yield 3 cups of pastry cream in that case.

Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining simmering milk. [Doing this through a strainer will help prevent lumps later.] Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract (if you’re using it). If you’re going to flavor the pastry cream with chocolate or some other flavor, this is the time to do it (see variations below).

Rub a piece of butter over the surface of the cream, top with a piece of plastic wrap (make sure it touches the top of the pastry cream so it doesn’t develop a skin), then refrigerate until cool.

To complete, fold the whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream.

Flavor Variations:
— Butterscotch Pastry Cream: Add 1/4 teaspoon butter-rum flavor and/or 1 cup (6 ounces) butterscotch chips to the pastry cream after straining, stirring until the chips have melted.
— Caramel Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup chopped caramel (7 1/2 ounces, or 21 to 23 unwrapped individual caramels) to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Chocolate Pastry Cream: Add 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped chocolate to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Hazelnut Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) praline paste to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until combined.
— Orange Pastry Cream: Increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 1 teaspoon orange extract; 1/4 teaspoon orange oil; or 3 tablespoons orange zest to the hot, strained pastry cream.
— Peanut Butter Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup (7 1/4 ounces) smooth peanut butter to the hot pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth. If you’re using a natural or freshly-made peanut butter, omit the butter from the recipe, or the pastry cream will be greasy.
— Pistachio Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) pistachio paste, or blanched pureed pistachio meats.

Whenever my mom made her famous cream puffs or coconut cake she would make this incredible pudding filling. For her cream puffs she folded decadent whipped cream into the pudding. Her coconut cake was  stacked 6 layers high with a filling of coconut pudding in between. I confess the pudding was the best part. It was so rich and creamy. I would sneak a finger full from the bowl of pudding. Maybe she knew it was me. If she did she never said anything, recipe that I remember.

Weeks ago I was on a mission to recreate a box free version of my moms coconut pudding. The dilemma I ran into was, do I use a pudding recipe or a pastry cream. I noticed in my prior attempts when making vanilla pudding for cream puffs that the pudding was too soft and unstable.

Pudding by definition is a type of custard or soft dessert. There are two types of custards, stirred and baked. Puddings and pastry creams are stirred custards, with the exception of desserts such as bread pudding. Baked custards, like flan, are firmer and not as smooth. You would never use a baked custard or pudding to fill a cake. You would, however, use pastry cream.

I decided to use pastry cream. Pastry cream is thicker than pudding. It is meant to be used as a filling in pastries and cakes because the constant stirring enables the custard to thicken making it perfect to pipe with. Cook and serve Jello brand pudding is a easy substitute for pastry cream because of the additives that help thicken it.

Since I was using fat free milk I let the custard thicken a little longer. I was worried the custard would not set enough. I made coconut cake for my dad’s birthday once, when I was in college. I do not think I let the pudding thicken enough because the layers of the cake started to slide off. We ended up dumping the whole lot into a bowl and called it coconut punch bowl cake. It was still good.

Source: King Arthur Flour
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, or rice flour
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together 2 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, salt, and the vanilla bean. (If you’re using vanilla extract, add it at the end.) Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup milk.

Whisk some of the hot milk mixture with the egg yolks to temper them. This keeps the yolks from turning to scrambled eggs when you add them to the simmering milk.

Pastry cream will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. After that it may start to weep.

If you want the pastry cream to be sliceable, as for a cream pie, don’t fold in the whipped cream. The recipe will yield 3 cups of pastry cream in that case.

Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining simmering milk. [Doing this through a strainer will help prevent lumps later.] Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract (if you’re using it). If you’re going to flavor the pastry cream with chocolate or some other flavor, this is the time to do it (see variations below).

Rub a piece of butter over the surface of the cream, top with a piece of plastic wrap (make sure it touches the top of the pastry cream so it doesn’t develop a skin), then refrigerate until cool.

To complete, fold the whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream.

Flavor Variations:
— Butterscotch Pastry Cream: Add 1/4 teaspoon butter-rum flavor and/or 1 cup (6 ounces) butterscotch chips to the pastry cream after straining, stirring until the chips have melted.
— Caramel Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup chopped caramel (7 1/2 ounces, or 21 to 23 unwrapped individual caramels) to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Chocolate Pastry Cream: Add 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped chocolate to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth.
— Hazelnut Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) praline paste to the hot, strained pastry cream, stirring until combined.
— Orange Pastry Cream: Increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 1 teaspoon orange extract; 1/4 teaspoon orange oil; or 3 tablespoons orange zest to the hot, strained pastry cream.
— Peanut Butter Pastry Cream: Add 3/4 cup (7 1/4 ounces) smooth peanut butter to the hot pastry cream, stirring until melted and the mixture is smooth. If you’re using a natural or freshly-made peanut butter, omit the butter from the recipe, or the pastry cream will be greasy.
— Pistachio Pastry Cream: Omit the butter and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces). Add 3/4 cup (8 1/4 ounces) pistachio paste, or blanched pureed pistachio meats.
The week before Christmas I was standing in front of the bin of ham in the meat department at the supermarket a bit befuddled. Which is better, ailment shank or butt?

Cooking Light writes, web “You’re better off getting a shank end rather than the butt end. This is because the butt end has less desirable meat, as it contains a lot of membrane, fat, and gristle. Its bone configuration can also make carving tricky.” Cooking Light

Ham comes from the leg of the hog. You may buy them cooked, uncooked, dry cured, or wet cured.A cured ham has been flavored with salt, sugar and other flavorings.
CURED HAM (WET) – Wet-cured hams are soaked in a brine of salt, sugar and other flavorings. A wet-cure ham may also be smoked. The pork flavor really comes through, without the saltiness of a traditional country ham. It pays to ask about how the ham is cured – some hams are wet-cured with injections of salt-sugar-smoke flavoring, not actually brined and then smoked.

CITY HAM – A city ham is perhaps the most typical ham in the U.S. A city ham is soaked or injected with a brine of salt, sugar and flavorings and then lightly smoked or boiled. Look for a city ham in the refrigerated case at the supermarket, likely near the bacon, likely wrapped in plastic. It will be marked ‘ready to cook’, ‘partially cooked’ or ‘ready to serve’. Look for one that’s labeled ‘ham in natural juices’. I think of a city ham as an every day ham – readily available, relatively inexpensive.

CURED HAM (DRY) – The dry method of curing ham uses salt, not liquid, for adding flavor to a ham. The salt pulls out moisture and concentrates the meat flavor. It’s often a delicacy, sold at specialty shops and butchers – think Italian prosciutto, Spanish Serrano ham and German Black Forest ham.

COUNTRY HAM – A country ham is dry-cured with salt, some times smoked, and then aged. A traditional country ham salty, so salty that it’s either eaten in thin-thin slices on biscuits, say, or soaked and rinsed for 12 to 24 hours before baking. But country hams can also be cured with less salt and thus require none of the soaking and rinsing. Country hams are a traditional food in the American South and the curing process dates back to the days before preservation. (More about the tradition of country hams.)

VIRGINIA HAM – A Virginia ham is a country ham.

SMOKED HAM – Smoking is another form of curing. Before it’s smoked, a ham is first salt-cured or brined to control the development of bacteria during smoking. It then spends many hours, days even, in a smokehouse to allow the essence of hickory or maple smoke to slowly infuse the meat. The meat doesn’t ‘burn up’ because the smoking temperature low, below 100F, that’s why this slow process is called ‘cold-smoking’.

AGING – Many good hams are cured and smoked, then allowed to age for weeks, months, even years. As the hams ‘age’, the flavors concentrate and develop.

However, some butchers recommend a butt end ham, saying that it’s meatier and has better flavor.hams are sold split into two halves, the shank end, and the butt end
the front shoulders of a hog are smoked and called ‘picnic hams’ but they’re not really ham cuts, there are pork shoulders cured in ham fashion.
cured hind leg of a pig starting at the shank (that’s your ankle), and ending at the rump
A ham comes from the back thigh/rump of a pig
WHOLE HAM – A whole ham will typically weigh 18 to 20 pounds and includes both the ‘butt’ end and the ‘shank’ end. The ‘butt end’ is the upper part of the ham, more ‘rump’ and thus more fatty. The ‘shank end’ is the lower end, more leg and less fatty. The shank end has just one bone so is easier to slice.
Boneless hams, like the one pictured above, are just that: hams in which the bone has been removed. After removal, the hams are tightly pressed into oval-shaped packages. Salt will break down some of the proteins in meat muscle, allowing them to reconnect and link with each other.
the shank end tends to contain a higher ratio of fat (which I like), and is significantly easier to carve, having only a single, straight bone to contend with.

The butt end, on the other hand, tends to be leaner, which may be desirable for some people. It’s also got a tricky little number known as the aitch-bone to contend with. Any butcher will tell you that the oddly shaped pelvic bone is one of the more difficult to work your knife around. Unless you are an expert carver or don’t mind getting in there with your fingers, you’ll want to opt for a shank end cut.
Spiral cut hams come pre-sliced. All you have to do is make one simple lateral cut, and the meat comes peeling off in thin layers. A whole ham, on the other hand, requires some degree of butchery skills.

Whole hams have the advantage that they are less prone to drying out when cooking, but to be honest, if you are careful about the way you cook it, a spiral-sliced ham will be just fine. I usually opt for spiral

Source: Adapted from Allrecipes
1 (10 pound) fully-cooked, bone-in ham
1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup honey
1/3 large orange, juiced , or 3 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Whole cloves

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

Score fatty side of ham with a knife in a crisscross pattern spacing lines 1-inch apart. Dot ham with cloves by pushing one clove into each intersection where lines cross. Continue inserting cloves using spacing pattern covering the rest of the outside of ham. Place ham in a roasting pan, flat cut side down. Tent with tinfoil. Bake at 325 for 2 hours.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, pineapple juice, honey, orange juice, and Dijon mustard. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside.

Remove ham from oven, and brush with glaze. Bake for an additional 30 to 45 minutes, brushing ham with glaze every 10 minutes.

One day while Adelin and I were playing barbies we were invaded by three halo men and a lego guy. This real life toy story world of army men, stomach lego guys, mind and barbies coexisting is a common senario in our home. Apparently it was the lego captain’s birthday. So we gathered all the barbie food that included a turkey, a two layer wedding cake, a banana sundae, and an empty bowl that we pretended had a salad. While the girls were getting ready for the birthday party the house was attacked by bad guys. The lego captain lead his halo men on the mission of protecting the barbie house and its occupants. After a few skillful karate moves the house was secure. During the battle some of the food, cups, and utensils fell off the table. As we were cleaning things up to start the party again, Adelin asks me if we can make a banana sundae just like the fake sundae she was holding in her hand.

Maybe it is un-American but, I have never liked banana sundaes. I do not like bananas in general much less cold bananas. The thought of having sundaes sounded fun so, we decided to invite some friends over for movie night and sundaes, with or without bananas.

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Source: Lick My Spoon
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

Heat sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat; stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Bring to a boil. Do not stir once it comes to a boil.

Boil until the liquid turns a dark amber color or about 350 degrees on a candy thermometer.

(If using a non-stick pot the edges might turn dark amber before the center. If this happens swirl the pan a bit but refrain from stirring. If you do not have a thermometer boil until most of the liquid is amber and it starts to smell like it is burning. Remove the pan from the heat before stirring in the butter, then the cream.)

When the liquid sugar turns a dark amber color, add all the butter to the pan. The mixture will foam up and thicken. Whisk until the butter has melted. Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat.

Add the cream to the pan (the mixture will foam up again) and continue to whisk to incorporate.

Add the sea salt and whisk until caramel sauce is smooth.

Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then pour into a glass jar and let cool to room temperature. Sauce will thicken as it cools.

Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Warm before serving.

Homemade Rice Milk

  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/4 cup corn flour (not cornmeal; corn flour is finer)
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour (cornstarch or arrowroot would be okay, this site too)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds (or flax meal)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup soy milk (or other nondairy milk)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Cooking spray

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Gluten-Free-Buckwheat-Pancakes-354033#ixzz29gJ9zQ9h

  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/4 cup corn flour (not cornmeal; corn flour is finer)
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour (cornstarch or arrowroot would be okay, this site too)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds (or flax meal)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup soy milk (or other nondairy milk)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Cooking spray

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Gluten-Free-Buckwheat-Pancakes-354033#ixzz29gJ9zQ9h

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Waffles

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Waffles
(printer-friendly version)

1/2 cup rice flour
3/4 cup sorghum flour
2 tablespoons potato starch (or corn starch)
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 large pinch cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon agave nectar
3/4 cup solid-pack canned pumpkin
1 1/2 cups soymilk, prostate water, store or other non-dairy milk
2 tablespoons orange juice

Mix all ingredients except orange juice and set aside to rest while you heat your waffle iron. Once the waffle iron is hot, add the orange juice to the batter and stir. Spray the iron lightly with canola oil and follow manufacturer’s directions to make waffles. (Batter will be very thick; add more orange juice or water if you want a thinner batter.) You may need to spray the iron between waffles to avoid sticking.

Makes 4 servings, about 2 average-sized waffles per serving. Per serving, using soymilk: 259 Calories (kcal); 2g Total Fat; (6% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 56g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 860mg Sodium; 5g Fiber. Weight Watchers 5 Points.

  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/4 cup corn flour (not cornmeal; corn flour is finer)
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour (cornstarch or arrowroot would be okay, this site too)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds (or flax meal)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup soy milk (or other nondairy milk)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Cooking spray

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Gluten-Free-Buckwheat-Pancakes-354033#ixzz29gJ9zQ9h

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Waffles

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Waffles
(printer-friendly version)

1/2 cup rice flour
3/4 cup sorghum flour
2 tablespoons potato starch (or corn starch)
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 large pinch cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon agave nectar
3/4 cup solid-pack canned pumpkin
1 1/2 cups soymilk, prostate water, store or other non-dairy milk
2 tablespoons orange juice

Mix all ingredients except orange juice and set aside to rest while you heat your waffle iron. Once the waffle iron is hot, add the orange juice to the batter and stir. Spray the iron lightly with canola oil and follow manufacturer’s directions to make waffles. (Batter will be very thick; add more orange juice or water if you want a thinner batter.) You may need to spray the iron between waffles to avoid sticking.

Makes 4 servings, about 2 average-sized waffles per serving. Per serving, using soymilk: 259 Calories (kcal); 2g Total Fat; (6% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 56g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 860mg Sodium; 5g Fiber. Weight Watchers 5 Points.
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Waffles
(printer-friendly version)

1/2 cup rice flour
3/4 cup sorghum flour
2 tablespoons potato starch (or corn starch)
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 large pinch cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon agave nectar
3/4 cup solid-pack canned pumpkin
1 1/2 cups soymilk, check water, stomach or other non-dairy milk
2 tablespoons orange juice

Mix all ingredients except orange juice and set aside to rest while you heat your waffle iron. Once the waffle iron is hot, sildenafil add the orange juice to the batter and stir. Spray the iron lightly with canola oil and follow manufacturer’s directions to make waffles. (Batter will be very thick; add more orange juice or water if you want a thinner batter.) You may need to spray the iron between waffles to avoid sticking.

Makes 4 servings, about 2 average-sized waffles per serving. Per serving, using soymilk: 259 Calories (kcal); 2g Total Fat; (6% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 56g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 860mg Sodium; 5g Fiber. Weight Watchers 5 Points.

http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2008/09/gluten-free-pumpkin-waffles.html
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/4 cup corn flour (not cornmeal; corn flour is finer)
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour (cornstarch or arrowroot would be okay, this site too)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds (or flax meal)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup soy milk (or other nondairy milk)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Cooking spray

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Gluten-Free-Buckwheat-Pancakes-354033#ixzz29gJ9zQ9h

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Waffles

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Waffles
(printer-friendly version)

1/2 cup rice flour
3/4 cup sorghum flour
2 tablespoons potato starch (or corn starch)
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 large pinch cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon agave nectar
3/4 cup solid-pack canned pumpkin
1 1/2 cups soymilk, prostate water, store or other non-dairy milk
2 tablespoons orange juice

Mix all ingredients except orange juice and set aside to rest while you heat your waffle iron. Once the waffle iron is hot, add the orange juice to the batter and stir. Spray the iron lightly with canola oil and follow manufacturer’s directions to make waffles. (Batter will be very thick; add more orange juice or water if you want a thinner batter.) You may need to spray the iron between waffles to avoid sticking.

Makes 4 servings, about 2 average-sized waffles per serving. Per serving, using soymilk: 259 Calories (kcal); 2g Total Fat; (6% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 56g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 860mg Sodium; 5g Fiber. Weight Watchers 5 Points.
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Waffles
(printer-friendly version)

1/2 cup rice flour
3/4 cup sorghum flour
2 tablespoons potato starch (or corn starch)
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 large pinch cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon agave nectar
3/4 cup solid-pack canned pumpkin
1 1/2 cups soymilk, check water, stomach or other non-dairy milk
2 tablespoons orange juice

Mix all ingredients except orange juice and set aside to rest while you heat your waffle iron. Once the waffle iron is hot, sildenafil add the orange juice to the batter and stir. Spray the iron lightly with canola oil and follow manufacturer’s directions to make waffles. (Batter will be very thick; add more orange juice or water if you want a thinner batter.) You may need to spray the iron between waffles to avoid sticking.

Makes 4 servings, about 2 average-sized waffles per serving. Per serving, using soymilk: 259 Calories (kcal); 2g Total Fat; (6% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 56g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 860mg Sodium; 5g Fiber. Weight Watchers 5 Points.

http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2008/09/gluten-free-pumpkin-waffles.html

I had never heard of rice milk until 15 years ago. I had a friend with Epstein Barr, cost a blood virus. She was unable to eat sugar and milk because they aggravated the disease. It was she who introduced me to real from the tap maple syrup and rice milk.

I have been using rice milk in both cooking and baking opposed to cows milk. I love that I do not need to add a thickener to my bechamel (cheese or cream) sauce because the rice milk has just enough starch. Homemade rice milk is also a cheaper alternative when making large batches of hot chocolate.

My kids are not lactose or gluten intolerant, however I try to use a variety of grains, liquids, fruits and vegetables as not to overload our systems. 2 years ago we eliminated all processed foods in addition to many fruits and vegetables that contain the natural chemical salicylate. Salicylates can be found in stone and citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes, cucumber, corn, and peppers. At the time that was everything our diet consisted of. After a period of six weeks we slowly introduced the foods back into our diet one at a time. I discovered that apples made my son hyper. Strawberries and grapes made my daughter moody. My youngest son seemed fine but he had a gluten and milk allergy. Cows milk was replaced with coconut and rice milk (we tried goats milk but he did not like it) and wheat was replaced with rice and gluten free flours. The saying everything in moderation is what we try to live by. We are ok if we eat these foods sparingly.

This recipe makes about 3 quarts of milk. The cost comes out to less than a dollar a week.

1 cup uncooked brown rice (or long grain)
4 cups water
1 tsp salt (optional)

Thoroughly wash the rice. Pour rice and water into a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cover the pot and lower the heat, simmer for 2-3 hours until soupy. Stir in salt, if using.

Fill a blender halfway with rice mixture and 1-2 cups water. Blend until smooth about 2-4 minutes (depending on type of blender). Strain milk through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl. Continue blending and straining the rest of the rice mixture.

Stir in extra water if needed and any sweetener and flavoring if using. Strain back into pot. Clean out bowl. Strain the milk once more back into the bowl. Store milk in a large pitcher or mason jars. Refrigerate for up to one week.

To Use:
— Thin the milk with additional water if too thick.
— Substitute rice milk for cows milk in most recipes.

Variations:
— 4 tablespoons maple syrup or other sweetener.
— 1 teaspoon vanilla (or more to taste)
— 1 teaspoon cinnamon
— 1 tablespoon organic sunflower oil.
— Nut and Rice Milk: add a handful of blanched raw almonds, hazelnuts, or cashews to the blender with the rice mixture.

Red Enchilada Sauce

I finally perfected my homemade stuffing years ago. Sadly I never wrote it down. I thought I posted it but every Thanksgiving when I search Dazzledish it is not there. Holidays are hectics times. So, information pills before I get lost in the rush of the season I am posting the recipe. No more panic come Thanksgiving.
I finally perfected my homemade stuffing years ago. Sadly I never wrote it down. I thought I posted it but every Thanksgiving when I search Dazzledish it is not there. Holidays are hectics times. So, information pills before I get lost in the rush of the season I am posting the recipe. No more panic come Thanksgiving.

If you are looking for amazing Korean recipes Maangchi’s website is THE place. So far every recipe I have tried has been absolutely delicious. Steamed Pork Buns are no exception.

Steamed pork buns are sort of like a stuffed dumpling. They can be baked in the oven. The result is just ok. Like a loaf of bread, information pills the baked dough is drier with a crisp outside. Ultimately you really want to try to steam them for a lighter fluffy dumpling. I do not own a steamer but I found my canning pot works perfectly.

Pack any leftovers for lunch the next day. They taste fine cold or warm in the microwave or oven.

If you are interested in learning Korean visit the Talk to Me in Korean website. It really makes learning the language simple.

Source: Maangchi

Dough:
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 ts sugar
3 cups flour
In a large bowl add water, yeast, salt, oil, and sugar. Mix well until yeast is fully dissolved.

Add flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.

Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.

After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.

Vegetable Filling:
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1 1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped white mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine the onion, carrot, zucchini, green onion, and mushrooms.

Sprinkle salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.

Squeeze the excess water out.
*tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.

Meat Filling:
14 oz ground pork
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a mixing bowl, place: pork, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, and pepper.
Mix it by hand and set aside.

In a heated pan, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.

Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.

Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.

Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board.

(The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.)

Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tablespoons of filling mixture to the center of it.

Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.

Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.

Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.

*tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.

Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.

Dipping sauce:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup chopped onion
Chopped green chili pepper
Roasted sesame seeds

Combine soy sauce, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl.
Add some of onion, green chili pepper, and sesame seeds.

When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.

Variations:
— if you do not have a steamer you can use a large canning pot or stock pot. Place pint sized jars or glasses in the pot, open side down. fill the pot with water 1-2 inches below the top of the glasses. Place a canning rack or metal plate, small enough to fit inside the pot, onto of the glasses. Put the pork buns in muffin tin liners. Place on top of the rack/plate. Cover and bring to a simmer. cook buns 20 minutes.
I finally perfected my homemade stuffing years ago. Sadly I never wrote it down. I thought I posted it but every Thanksgiving when I search Dazzledish it is not there. Holidays are hectics times. So, information pills before I get lost in the rush of the season I am posting the recipe. No more panic come Thanksgiving.

If you are looking for amazing Korean recipes Maangchi’s website is THE place. So far every recipe I have tried has been absolutely delicious. Steamed Pork Buns are no exception.

Steamed pork buns are sort of like a stuffed dumpling. They can be baked in the oven. The result is just ok. Like a loaf of bread, information pills the baked dough is drier with a crisp outside. Ultimately you really want to try to steam them for a lighter fluffy dumpling. I do not own a steamer but I found my canning pot works perfectly.

Pack any leftovers for lunch the next day. They taste fine cold or warm in the microwave or oven.

If you are interested in learning Korean visit the Talk to Me in Korean website. It really makes learning the language simple.

Source: Maangchi

Dough:
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 ts sugar
3 cups flour
In a large bowl add water, yeast, salt, oil, and sugar. Mix well until yeast is fully dissolved.

Add flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.

Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.

After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.

Vegetable Filling:
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1 1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped white mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine the onion, carrot, zucchini, green onion, and mushrooms.

Sprinkle salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.

Squeeze the excess water out.
*tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.

Meat Filling:
14 oz ground pork
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a mixing bowl, place: pork, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, and pepper.
Mix it by hand and set aside.

In a heated pan, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.

Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.

Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.

Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board.

(The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.)

Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tablespoons of filling mixture to the center of it.

Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.

Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.

Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.

*tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.

Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.

Dipping sauce:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup chopped onion
Chopped green chili pepper
Roasted sesame seeds

Combine soy sauce, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl.
Add some of onion, green chili pepper, and sesame seeds.

When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.

Variations:
— if you do not have a steamer you can use a large canning pot or stock pot. Place pint sized jars or glasses in the pot, open side down. fill the pot with water 1-2 inches below the top of the glasses. Place a canning rack or metal plate, small enough to fit inside the pot, onto of the glasses. Put the pork buns in muffin tin liners. Place on top of the rack/plate. Cover and bring to a simmer. cook buns 20 minutes.

Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, health in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, treatment tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, viagra approved to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it; the hot sizzling juices burning their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste especially when food prices seem to have doubled. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together. At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

— Drain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Strain. Use as broth for rice or for whenever broth or water is called for. Freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken. Better yet, begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the bones in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that cost nothing extra.
I finally perfected my homemade stuffing years ago. Sadly I never wrote it down. I thought I posted it but every Thanksgiving when I search Dazzledish it is not there. Holidays are hectics times. So, information pills before I get lost in the rush of the season I am posting the recipe. No more panic come Thanksgiving.

If you are looking for amazing Korean recipes Maangchi’s website is THE place. So far every recipe I have tried has been absolutely delicious. Steamed Pork Buns are no exception.

Steamed pork buns are sort of like a stuffed dumpling. They can be baked in the oven. The result is just ok. Like a loaf of bread, information pills the baked dough is drier with a crisp outside. Ultimately you really want to try to steam them for a lighter fluffy dumpling. I do not own a steamer but I found my canning pot works perfectly.

Pack any leftovers for lunch the next day. They taste fine cold or warm in the microwave or oven.

If you are interested in learning Korean visit the Talk to Me in Korean website. It really makes learning the language simple.

Source: Maangchi

Dough:
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 ts sugar
3 cups flour
In a large bowl add water, yeast, salt, oil, and sugar. Mix well until yeast is fully dissolved.

Add flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.

Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.

After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.

Vegetable Filling:
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1 1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped white mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine the onion, carrot, zucchini, green onion, and mushrooms.

Sprinkle salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.

Squeeze the excess water out.
*tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.

Meat Filling:
14 oz ground pork
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a mixing bowl, place: pork, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, and pepper.
Mix it by hand and set aside.

In a heated pan, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.

Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.

Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.

Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board.

(The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.)

Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tablespoons of filling mixture to the center of it.

Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.

Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.

Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.

*tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.

Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.

Dipping sauce:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup chopped onion
Chopped green chili pepper
Roasted sesame seeds

Combine soy sauce, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl.
Add some of onion, green chili pepper, and sesame seeds.

When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.

Variations:
— if you do not have a steamer you can use a large canning pot or stock pot. Place pint sized jars or glasses in the pot, open side down. fill the pot with water 1-2 inches below the top of the glasses. Place a canning rack or metal plate, small enough to fit inside the pot, onto of the glasses. Put the pork buns in muffin tin liners. Place on top of the rack/plate. Cover and bring to a simmer. cook buns 20 minutes.

Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, health in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, treatment tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, viagra approved to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it; the hot sizzling juices burning their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste especially when food prices seem to have doubled. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together. At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

— Drain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Strain. Use as broth for rice or for whenever broth or water is called for. Freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken. Better yet, begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the bones in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that cost nothing extra.
Not all salt is the same.

Kosher Salt

Use it for: All cooking. Kosher salt dissolves fast, dosage and its flavor disperses quickly, more about so chefs recommend tossing it on everything from pork roast to popcorn.

Origin: Either the sea or the earth. Widely sold brands include Morton and Diamond Crystal, website which are made using different methods. Kosher salt got its name because its craggy crystals make it perfect for curing meat?a step in the koshering process.

Texture: Coarse. Cooks prize crystals like these; their roughness makes it easy to pinch a perfect amount.

To buy: Look in your local supermarket. Kosher salts cost about $1 a pound. If you don’t mind a few clumps, buy Diamond Crystal; it has no anticaking agents, which can leave a chemical aftertaste.

Crystalline Sea Salt

Use it for: Adding a pungent burst of flavor to just-cooked foods. These crystals will complement anything from a fresh salad to a salmon fillet.

Origin: Coasts from Portugal to Maine, California to the Pacific Rim.

Texture: Fine or coarse. The size of the irregular crystals affects how fast the salt dissolves. It varies in color, depending on the minerals it contains (iron-rich red clay, for example, gives Hawaiian sea salt a pinkish hue). These natural impurities can add subtly briny, sweet, or even bitter flavors to the salts.

To buy: Check gourmet shops or on-line (thespicehouse.com stocks Hawaiian sea salt). Expect to pay $2 to $15 or more a pound. Many markets sell La Baleine, a relatively inexpensive brand ($3 for 26.5 ounces).

Flaked Sea Salt

Use it for: Bringing a complex flavor to steamed vegetables or shellfish. Take a pinch, crush the crystals between your fingertips, and let them fall on freshly cooked food. This salt will add a hint of briny flavor.

Origin: England’s Essex coast is where the most popular brand, Maldon, is harvested.

Texture: Soft, sheer, pyramid-like flakes. This is the fastest-dissolving of all of the salt grains.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet. You’ll pay $6 for 8.5 ounces atchefshop.com.

Fleur de Sel

Use it for: A special-occasion table salt. Spoon it into a salt cellar to be pinched, then sprinkled over food just before eating. Delicately flavored, it adds a perfect hint of saltiness to freshly sliced tomato or melon.

Origin: Coastal salt ponds in France. The caviar of sea salt, fleur de sel is hand harvested. Conditions have to be just right (lots of sun and wind) for it to “bloom” like a flower on the surface of the water.

Texture: Crystalline, which means that fleur de sel melts slowly in the mouth. Its earthy, pleasing flavor lingers on the tongue.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet (try chefshop.com). From $11 for 4.4 ounces to $45 for 35 ounces.

Rock Salt

Use it for: Making ice cream and deicing. Rock salt is paired with ice in old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream makers to regulate the temperature. You can also use it to deice your sidewalks and driveway in the winter months.

Origin: Mined from deposits in the earth, rock salt is not sold for use directly on food. It’s usually packaged in an organic, unprocessed form.

Texture: Large, chunky, nonuniform crystals. Minerals and other harmless impurities can give it a grayish color.

To buy: It’s sold in supermarkets and hardware and home stores for less than $1 a pound.

Pickling Salt

Use it for: Brining pickles and sauerkraut. It will also brine a turkey, but beware: Pickling salt is far more concentrated than the more commonly used kosher salt, so you’ll need to use less.

Origin: Like table salt, pickling salt may come from the earth or the sea. But unlike table salt, it isn’t fortified with iodine (a nutritional need for humans) and doesn’t contain anticaking chemicals, both of which would turn pickles an unappetizing color. Virtually 100 percent sodium chloride, it’s the purest of salts.

Texture: This variety is fine grained, like table salt.

To buy: Many supermarkets sell it in large boxes or bags, but it can be hard to find in cities. It costs less than $1 a pou

For every meal there is one thing people generally reach for before they even take a bite – the salt shaker.  Salt is one of the oldest spices used and is a key component to humans, animals, and plants.

Its flavor is unique and versatile, salt has been a staple throughout time.  Enhancing almost every dish, salt is added to breads, meats, fruits and vegetables to sauces and desserts.

Additionally, salt aids foods in a variety of ways like:

Preservation – helps protect against microorganisms, bacteria through dehydration and preventing growth of bacteria, which slows or prevents spoilage.

Texture Aid – in bread making, allows the dough to rise by giving helping the gluten hold more water and carbon dioxide.  In meats it improves tenderness and in cheeses it aids in consistency of the cheese and the hardness of the rind.

Binder – in processed meats it helps retain water which reduces the loss of meat when cooking.

Color Developer – in ham, bacon, and other processed meats it helps obtain the desired color.  It also helps create a golden crust for breads.

Fermentation Control – slows and controls the fermentation process in:

Pickling
Cheese production
Sauerkraut production
Summer sausage production

When you reach for that salt shaker on the table or on the stove while cooking what type of salt are you getting?  While salt is gained from two sources, salt deposits on land or from the sea, once harvested it is essentially processed in the same way, through the creation of brine and evaporation.

Salts, like so many other foods, has become trendy with the multitude of seas salts now available to the home cook. Is the trend overrated or are these salts really worth their weight in salt!

The main difference between salts is in their texture. >Each salt has its own distinctive flavor, color, and texture. Experiment with different salt when cooking. Salt is like money! You get what you pay for. You can put the best ingredients into making your dish, but if you blow it on the wrong salt, the dish will not be as good.

There are three basic types of salt:

Table salt – mined using water to create a brine.

Table salt, the one found in most salt shakers, is mined from salt deposits and has most of the minerals removed.  Most salt in the United States is sold with iodine added making it iodized salt. This salt is harvested by forcing water into a mine to create brine (salt/water mix). The brine is then evaporated leaving cubes of salt. The salt is refined from there to create varieties like:

Pickling salt, Canning salt, Coarse salt, Gos sel – fine grained without iodine or anti-caking preservatives. This is similar to table salt, but lacks the iodine and anti-caking additives that turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy. Pickles made with table salt would still be good to eat, but they wouldn’t look as appetizing.

Pretzel salt – large grained, does not melt quickly.

Rock salt – large crystal salt with a gray color, due to minerals not removed from normal table salt. This form of salt is available in most grocery stores, and also through hardware stores.

Popcorn salt – very fine grained salt which is flakier version of table salt.

Iodized salt – contains a small amount of potassium iodide and dextrose as a dietary supplement to prevent thyroid disease. (see Salt Composition and Medical Uses below).

Seasoned salt – table salt with herbs added like onion, hickory smoke or garlic.


Kosher salt, Koshering salt
– also made from a brine but this brine is continually raked during the evaporation process.

Kosher salt is an additive-free coarse-grained salt. This salt was developed for the preparation of kosher meats in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. The salt itself is not kosher, but this is where the name comes from. The difference between table and Kosher salt is that during the evaporation process it is raked to give it a block-like structure which allows the salt to draw the blood out of meats. The raking makes Kosher salt coarser and flakier than table salt so it disperses more easily. This makes it lighter and less dense than table salt. It is also recommended to use Kosher salt for cocktail glasses for drinks like margaritas. Since it is a lighter salt, there is less after taste with it.

Today many cooks and chefs prefer it over table salt in their cooking, as it dissolves fast and its flavor disperses quickly. Kosher salt weighs less by volume than table salt, so you must increase the amount of salt used in a recipe when substituting for table salt. This is a great all-purpose salt.

Sea Salt – made from ocean or sea water, contains trace minerals not in the mined salts.

Sea Salt is just that – salt gained from evaporating salt water collected from an ocean or sea.  The process is more costly then the mining process.  Sea salt is typically less refined than other salts. Depending on the seawater used, you also get a variety of minerals in the sea salt. Due to this there are numerous types of sea salts. Here are a few:

Black Salt, Kala Namak, Sanchal – Significant for its strong sulfur odor (India) this salt is a pearly pink gray.  It is used in Indian cooking.

Grey salt, Celtic salt, Sel Gris – Harvested from the light film of salt which forms during the evaporation process.  The gray or light purple color comes from the clay in the region of France where it is harvested. Collected using traditional Celtic hand methods.

Hawaiian sea salt – Has a distinctive pink hue from the Alaea added to it. The Alaea is volcanic red clay with a high content of iron oxide. This salt is used in many traditional Hawaiian dishes like Kahlua Pig and Hawaiian Jerky.

Coarse salt, Gos Sel, Gale Grosso – Is a larger grain salt which resists moisture and is intended to be ground. Uses include flavoring for soups and salt crusts on meats.

Flake salt – Shaped like snowflakes, the brine is made using the sun and wind for evaporation. Then the brine is slowly heated to create the flakes.

Fleur de Sel, Flower of Salt, Flor De Sal – Skimmed from the top of salt ponds early in the process of evaporation, this is considered a great condiment salt; also good on grilled meats, in salads and on vegetables. The flavor, like wines, varies depending on the region it is harvested from. Typically it is from France though some is produced in Portugal.

French Sea Salt – Processed less than American salt, retains more of the mineral content gained from the Atlantic seawater it is harvested from. This usually includes natural iodine.  A coarse salt, this is good for salads, vegetables and grilled meats.

Grinder salt – Large dry salt crystal which can easily be put through a grinder. With a salt grinder you want to avoid metal as the salt will corrode the grinding mechanism.

Italian Sea Salt, Sicilian Sea Salt, Sale Marino – Harvested from the lower Mediterranean sea by hand using traditional methods of natural evaporation, this salt is high in iodine, fluorine, magnesium and potassium. A delicate salt which is good on salads and in sauces.

Smoked Sea Salt – One other derivative of sea salt is a smoked sea salt. The salt is smoked over real wood fires to add the flavor to the crystals. These can be used in soups, salads, pasta and also in grilling foods like salmon.

Organic Salt: Organic salt has different standards than organic livestock or botanicals. Some organizations have started to set up guidelines to ensure the quality of water and production process.

Lite (light) salt and salt substitutes: These generally do not have a great flavor. Lite salt uses potassium chloride to reduce the sodium level in the salt.  Salt substitutes have little or no sodium in them. Typically only people who have a medical reason use these because the flavor is not as good as salt.

Sour Salt: There is a product called sour salt which is not made up of salt at all, instead it is citric acid.  This is used to prevent browning when canning fruit. It can also be added to rye or sour dough bread to make it more tart.



Salt Substitutions

When using salt, you may not have available some of those listed above or a recipe may call for one type you don’t like. Substitution may become necessary. Here are a few suggested substitutions:

Kosher salt – a non-iodized coarse table salt or a coarse pickling salt but make sure you read the label and there are no additives.  When making this substitution use about half the salt called for in the recipe.

Pickling salt – substitute Kosher salt which is free of additives that can turn your pickle brine cloudy.

Pretzel salt – Kosher salt or a coarse sea salt.

Table salt – Kosher salt but use twice the salt called.



Hints on using different types of salt

Different salts offer different qualities based on how they are used. Here are a few hints on the way to use certain types of salt:

Fine salts – use for baking unless a recipe calls for something different.  The texture and size of a fine salt is smaller and more dense than a more coarsely ground salt.

Kosher salt – is great to use while cooking as the size of the salt is easier to see how much is being added.

Hand-harvested salts – avoid using during a cooking process unless it is a very quick process like with salmon.  If used during the cooking process the flavor and texture can be lost.



Salt Composition and Medical Uses

Since most salt is produced in relatively the same way, there is little difference when it comes to health benefits in which type is used.  Salt is plentiful in most foods even fruits and vegetables.  Processed foods have an alarmingly high level of sodium so it might be best to avoid those if on a salt restricted diet.

Typically salt is made up of sodium and chloride.  Sodium cannot be produced within the human body so it is important to the diet. Sodium helps regulate water balance ph and osmotic pressure.  Chloride is equally important in the human diet for it helps the blood to carry carbon dioxide; potassium absorption; helps in digestion; and conserves acid-base balance. Iodine is added to most North American salt in an effort to reduce Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD), which causes mental retardation, miscarriage, goiters, brain damage in infants and can impair growth and development. This effort has been highly successful in North American nearly wiping out the problems associated with IDD. All of these benefits are received from the common salt shaker almost everyone has on their table.

The recommended salt intake varies on the individual and their genetics. In general though, a minimum of 500 mg per day with a maximum of 2400 mg is a good guideline. This is difficult to regulate because so many foods do contain salt naturally.

Having the right level of salt assists the body with many functions including:

Nerve conduction.

Easy and active absorption of other nutrients in the small intestines.

Maintains electrolyte balance.

Key to hydration during exercise and outside activities.

Combats hyperthermia.

Increasing salt intake can combat chronic fatigue syndrome.

Helps regulate the water levels in cells, nutrient levels, and waste matter.

Salt is considered one of the first antibiotics, which is probably where the term rubbing salt in a wound comes from. Human blood actually contains 0.9% salt and a solution of water and salt in that proportion is commonly used to irrigate wounds.

As with anything, too much salt may cause problems. Some of the problems include the following:

Hypertension or high blood pressure.

High acidity, which may cause cancer.

In healthy people, too much salt is typically discarded by the kidneys. However, a genetic abnormality preventing the absorption of chloride may cause cystic fibrosis which can be detected by testing the saltiness of a person’s sweat.

Since Americans tend to over indulge in salt much focus has been placed on the effect salt has on hypertension.  Many studies have been done and debate continues as to whether salt adversely affects blood pressure.  Listed below are some of the general conclusions from the vast array of studies

Minority of population can lower their blood pressure by limiting salt.

Hypertension may be caused by too much salt in a diet.

Hypertension may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Life style changes may have more affect on blood pressure / hypertension than salt.

Low sodium intake can be just as dangerous as high sodium intake.

The group who benefits the most from reducing salt intake is overweight men.

While the debate continues in the medical community, the regular person can only attempt to reduce salt in their diet to see if it affects their blood pressure. If the craving for salt continues, it may stems from a lack of zinc in the diet. An increase in foods rich in zinc may reduce the desire for salt. Foods rich in zinc include:

Oysters

Endive

Alfalfa sprouts

Seaweed

Brown rice

Asparagus

Mushrooms

Turkey

Radishes

Balance is the key when it comes to the use of salt and the health. So many foods are rich in salt that adding it to a meal is probably not needed. If someone is at risk with high blood pressure, simply remove the salt shaker from the table in an effort to wean them off the habit.  One thing which was clear in most studies is that the affect salt had varied greatly among individuals based on genetic make up.  



Alternative Uses – Cooking Tips

Being so widely used, salt has many alternative uses besides the traditional food additive. There is an abundance of alternative uses which are separated into categories below.  Be cautious when using all of these, remember to start small to determine if there will be any adverse reactions to any of these procedures and uses.

General tips to help with common problems in the kitchen:

Over salted soup – add a cut up potato or two to absorb the extra salt.

Rub a griddle with a bag of salt to prevent sticking and smoking.

Before frying fish sprinkle the skillet with salt to prevent the fish from sticking.

To prevent food from sticking to skillets, waffle irons or griddles, sprinkle with salt and heat in warm oven, dust off salt and return to cupboard.  Next usage, foods won’t stick.

A pinch of salt goes a long way. Here are some hints that utilize a pinch of salt or perhaps a bit more while you are cooking:

Add a pinch of salt:

When whipping eggs to create fluffier eggs.

To enhance the flavor of coffee and in overcooked coffee helps remove the bitterness.

To whipping cream or egg whites to get them to whip faster.

To milk to have it stay fresh longer.

To icing prevents them from sugaring.

To improve boiled potatoes, salt after draining – this gives them a fine mealy texture.

Keep salads crisp by salting immediately before serving.


Poultry – has multiple uses:

Rub the chicken skin with salt to remove pinfeathers more easily.

Improve the flavor by rubbing salt inside and out before roasting.


Sea salt is derived from salty seawater. By combining salt with water again here are some great tips to help out in the kitchen:

Salt makes water boil at a higher temperature which reduces cooking time.

Boil eggs in salt water to ease the peeling process.

To set the whites of poached eggs, boil over saltwater.

Place an egg in a cup of water with 2 teaspoon of salt, a fresh egg will sink, a floating egg may be spoiled.

Washing spinach, lettuce and other greens in saltwater will keep them crisp.

Lightly salted cold water helps maintain the color of apples, pears and potatoes.

Soak in saltwater for hours to make shelling pecans easy.

Dampen a cloth with saltwater and wrap around cheese to prevent molding.

Sprinkle ice with salt, place gelatin salads or desserts on ice to get them to set more quickly.

I finally perfected my homemade stuffing years ago. Sadly I never wrote it down. I thought I posted it but every Thanksgiving when I search Dazzledish it is not there. Holidays are hectics times. So, information pills before I get lost in the rush of the season I am posting the recipe. No more panic come Thanksgiving.

If you are looking for amazing Korean recipes Maangchi’s website is THE place. So far every recipe I have tried has been absolutely delicious. Steamed Pork Buns are no exception.

Steamed pork buns are sort of like a stuffed dumpling. They can be baked in the oven. The result is just ok. Like a loaf of bread, information pills the baked dough is drier with a crisp outside. Ultimately you really want to try to steam them for a lighter fluffy dumpling. I do not own a steamer but I found my canning pot works perfectly.

Pack any leftovers for lunch the next day. They taste fine cold or warm in the microwave or oven.

If you are interested in learning Korean visit the Talk to Me in Korean website. It really makes learning the language simple.

Source: Maangchi

Dough:
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 ts sugar
3 cups flour
In a large bowl add water, yeast, salt, oil, and sugar. Mix well until yeast is fully dissolved.

Add flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.

Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.

After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.

Vegetable Filling:
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1 1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped white mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine the onion, carrot, zucchini, green onion, and mushrooms.

Sprinkle salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.

Squeeze the excess water out.
*tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.

Meat Filling:
14 oz ground pork
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a mixing bowl, place: pork, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, and pepper.
Mix it by hand and set aside.

In a heated pan, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.

Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.

Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.

Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board.

(The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.)

Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tablespoons of filling mixture to the center of it.

Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.

Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.

Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.

*tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.

Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.

Dipping sauce:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup chopped onion
Chopped green chili pepper
Roasted sesame seeds

Combine soy sauce, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl.
Add some of onion, green chili pepper, and sesame seeds.

When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.

Variations:
— if you do not have a steamer you can use a large canning pot or stock pot. Place pint sized jars or glasses in the pot, open side down. fill the pot with water 1-2 inches below the top of the glasses. Place a canning rack or metal plate, small enough to fit inside the pot, onto of the glasses. Put the pork buns in muffin tin liners. Place on top of the rack/plate. Cover and bring to a simmer. cook buns 20 minutes.

Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, health in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, treatment tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, viagra approved to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it; the hot sizzling juices burning their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste especially when food prices seem to have doubled. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together. At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

— Drain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Strain. Use as broth for rice or for whenever broth or water is called for. Freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken. Better yet, begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the bones in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that cost nothing extra.
Not all salt is the same.

Kosher Salt

Use it for: All cooking. Kosher salt dissolves fast, dosage and its flavor disperses quickly, more about so chefs recommend tossing it on everything from pork roast to popcorn.

Origin: Either the sea or the earth. Widely sold brands include Morton and Diamond Crystal, website which are made using different methods. Kosher salt got its name because its craggy crystals make it perfect for curing meat?a step in the koshering process.

Texture: Coarse. Cooks prize crystals like these; their roughness makes it easy to pinch a perfect amount.

To buy: Look in your local supermarket. Kosher salts cost about $1 a pound. If you don’t mind a few clumps, buy Diamond Crystal; it has no anticaking agents, which can leave a chemical aftertaste.

Crystalline Sea Salt

Use it for: Adding a pungent burst of flavor to just-cooked foods. These crystals will complement anything from a fresh salad to a salmon fillet.

Origin: Coasts from Portugal to Maine, California to the Pacific Rim.

Texture: Fine or coarse. The size of the irregular crystals affects how fast the salt dissolves. It varies in color, depending on the minerals it contains (iron-rich red clay, for example, gives Hawaiian sea salt a pinkish hue). These natural impurities can add subtly briny, sweet, or even bitter flavors to the salts.

To buy: Check gourmet shops or on-line (thespicehouse.com stocks Hawaiian sea salt). Expect to pay $2 to $15 or more a pound. Many markets sell La Baleine, a relatively inexpensive brand ($3 for 26.5 ounces).

Flaked Sea Salt

Use it for: Bringing a complex flavor to steamed vegetables or shellfish. Take a pinch, crush the crystals between your fingertips, and let them fall on freshly cooked food. This salt will add a hint of briny flavor.

Origin: England’s Essex coast is where the most popular brand, Maldon, is harvested.

Texture: Soft, sheer, pyramid-like flakes. This is the fastest-dissolving of all of the salt grains.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet. You’ll pay $6 for 8.5 ounces atchefshop.com.

Fleur de Sel

Use it for: A special-occasion table salt. Spoon it into a salt cellar to be pinched, then sprinkled over food just before eating. Delicately flavored, it adds a perfect hint of saltiness to freshly sliced tomato or melon.

Origin: Coastal salt ponds in France. The caviar of sea salt, fleur de sel is hand harvested. Conditions have to be just right (lots of sun and wind) for it to “bloom” like a flower on the surface of the water.

Texture: Crystalline, which means that fleur de sel melts slowly in the mouth. Its earthy, pleasing flavor lingers on the tongue.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet (try chefshop.com). From $11 for 4.4 ounces to $45 for 35 ounces.

Rock Salt

Use it for: Making ice cream and deicing. Rock salt is paired with ice in old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream makers to regulate the temperature. You can also use it to deice your sidewalks and driveway in the winter months.

Origin: Mined from deposits in the earth, rock salt is not sold for use directly on food. It’s usually packaged in an organic, unprocessed form.

Texture: Large, chunky, nonuniform crystals. Minerals and other harmless impurities can give it a grayish color.

To buy: It’s sold in supermarkets and hardware and home stores for less than $1 a pound.

Pickling Salt

Use it for: Brining pickles and sauerkraut. It will also brine a turkey, but beware: Pickling salt is far more concentrated than the more commonly used kosher salt, so you’ll need to use less.

Origin: Like table salt, pickling salt may come from the earth or the sea. But unlike table salt, it isn’t fortified with iodine (a nutritional need for humans) and doesn’t contain anticaking chemicals, both of which would turn pickles an unappetizing color. Virtually 100 percent sodium chloride, it’s the purest of salts.

Texture: This variety is fine grained, like table salt.

To buy: Many supermarkets sell it in large boxes or bags, but it can be hard to find in cities. It costs less than $1 a pou

For every meal there is one thing people generally reach for before they even take a bite – the salt shaker.  Salt is one of the oldest spices used and is a key component to humans, animals, and plants.

Its flavor is unique and versatile, salt has been a staple throughout time.  Enhancing almost every dish, salt is added to breads, meats, fruits and vegetables to sauces and desserts.

Additionally, salt aids foods in a variety of ways like:

Preservation – helps protect against microorganisms, bacteria through dehydration and preventing growth of bacteria, which slows or prevents spoilage.

Texture Aid – in bread making, allows the dough to rise by giving helping the gluten hold more water and carbon dioxide.  In meats it improves tenderness and in cheeses it aids in consistency of the cheese and the hardness of the rind.

Binder – in processed meats it helps retain water which reduces the loss of meat when cooking.

Color Developer – in ham, bacon, and other processed meats it helps obtain the desired color.  It also helps create a golden crust for breads.

Fermentation Control – slows and controls the fermentation process in:

Pickling
Cheese production
Sauerkraut production
Summer sausage production

When you reach for that salt shaker on the table or on the stove while cooking what type of salt are you getting?  While salt is gained from two sources, salt deposits on land or from the sea, once harvested it is essentially processed in the same way, through the creation of brine and evaporation.

Salts, like so many other foods, has become trendy with the multitude of seas salts now available to the home cook. Is the trend overrated or are these salts really worth their weight in salt!

The main difference between salts is in their texture. >Each salt has its own distinctive flavor, color, and texture. Experiment with different salt when cooking. Salt is like money! You get what you pay for. You can put the best ingredients into making your dish, but if you blow it on the wrong salt, the dish will not be as good.

There are three basic types of salt:

Table salt – mined using water to create a brine.

Table salt, the one found in most salt shakers, is mined from salt deposits and has most of the minerals removed.  Most salt in the United States is sold with iodine added making it iodized salt. This salt is harvested by forcing water into a mine to create brine (salt/water mix). The brine is then evaporated leaving cubes of salt. The salt is refined from there to create varieties like:

Pickling salt, Canning salt, Coarse salt, Gos sel – fine grained without iodine or anti-caking preservatives. This is similar to table salt, but lacks the iodine and anti-caking additives that turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy. Pickles made with table salt would still be good to eat, but they wouldn’t look as appetizing.

Pretzel salt – large grained, does not melt quickly.

Rock salt – large crystal salt with a gray color, due to minerals not removed from normal table salt. This form of salt is available in most grocery stores, and also through hardware stores.

Popcorn salt – very fine grained salt which is flakier version of table salt.

Iodized salt – contains a small amount of potassium iodide and dextrose as a dietary supplement to prevent thyroid disease. (see Salt Composition and Medical Uses below).

Seasoned salt – table salt with herbs added like onion, hickory smoke or garlic.


Kosher salt, Koshering salt
– also made from a brine but this brine is continually raked during the evaporation process.

Kosher salt is an additive-free coarse-grained salt. This salt was developed for the preparation of kosher meats in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. The salt itself is not kosher, but this is where the name comes from. The difference between table and Kosher salt is that during the evaporation process it is raked to give it a block-like structure which allows the salt to draw the blood out of meats. The raking makes Kosher salt coarser and flakier than table salt so it disperses more easily. This makes it lighter and less dense than table salt. It is also recommended to use Kosher salt for cocktail glasses for drinks like margaritas. Since it is a lighter salt, there is less after taste with it.

Today many cooks and chefs prefer it over table salt in their cooking, as it dissolves fast and its flavor disperses quickly. Kosher salt weighs less by volume than table salt, so you must increase the amount of salt used in a recipe when substituting for table salt. This is a great all-purpose salt.

Sea Salt – made from ocean or sea water, contains trace minerals not in the mined salts.

Sea Salt is just that – salt gained from evaporating salt water collected from an ocean or sea.  The process is more costly then the mining process.  Sea salt is typically less refined than other salts. Depending on the seawater used, you also get a variety of minerals in the sea salt. Due to this there are numerous types of sea salts. Here are a few:

Black Salt, Kala Namak, Sanchal – Significant for its strong sulfur odor (India) this salt is a pearly pink gray.  It is used in Indian cooking.

Grey salt, Celtic salt, Sel Gris – Harvested from the light film of salt which forms during the evaporation process.  The gray or light purple color comes from the clay in the region of France where it is harvested. Collected using traditional Celtic hand methods.

Hawaiian sea salt – Has a distinctive pink hue from the Alaea added to it. The Alaea is volcanic red clay with a high content of iron oxide. This salt is used in many traditional Hawaiian dishes like Kahlua Pig and Hawaiian Jerky.

Coarse salt, Gos Sel, Gale Grosso – Is a larger grain salt which resists moisture and is intended to be ground. Uses include flavoring for soups and salt crusts on meats.

Flake salt – Shaped like snowflakes, the brine is made using the sun and wind for evaporation. Then the brine is slowly heated to create the flakes.

Fleur de Sel, Flower of Salt, Flor De Sal – Skimmed from the top of salt ponds early in the process of evaporation, this is considered a great condiment salt; also good on grilled meats, in salads and on vegetables. The flavor, like wines, varies depending on the region it is harvested from. Typically it is from France though some is produced in Portugal.

French Sea Salt – Processed less than American salt, retains more of the mineral content gained from the Atlantic seawater it is harvested from. This usually includes natural iodine.  A coarse salt, this is good for salads, vegetables and grilled meats.

Grinder salt – Large dry salt crystal which can easily be put through a grinder. With a salt grinder you want to avoid metal as the salt will corrode the grinding mechanism.

Italian Sea Salt, Sicilian Sea Salt, Sale Marino – Harvested from the lower Mediterranean sea by hand using traditional methods of natural evaporation, this salt is high in iodine, fluorine, magnesium and potassium. A delicate salt which is good on salads and in sauces.

Smoked Sea Salt – One other derivative of sea salt is a smoked sea salt. The salt is smoked over real wood fires to add the flavor to the crystals. These can be used in soups, salads, pasta and also in grilling foods like salmon.

Organic Salt: Organic salt has different standards than organic livestock or botanicals. Some organizations have started to set up guidelines to ensure the quality of water and production process.

Lite (light) salt and salt substitutes: These generally do not have a great flavor. Lite salt uses potassium chloride to reduce the sodium level in the salt.  Salt substitutes have little or no sodium in them. Typically only people who have a medical reason use these because the flavor is not as good as salt.

Sour Salt: There is a product called sour salt which is not made up of salt at all, instead it is citric acid.  This is used to prevent browning when canning fruit. It can also be added to rye or sour dough bread to make it more tart.



Salt Substitutions

When using salt, you may not have available some of those listed above or a recipe may call for one type you don’t like. Substitution may become necessary. Here are a few suggested substitutions:

Kosher salt – a non-iodized coarse table salt or a coarse pickling salt but make sure you read the label and there are no additives.  When making this substitution use about half the salt called for in the recipe.

Pickling salt – substitute Kosher salt which is free of additives that can turn your pickle brine cloudy.

Pretzel salt – Kosher salt or a coarse sea salt.

Table salt – Kosher salt but use twice the salt called.



Hints on using different types of salt

Different salts offer different qualities based on how they are used. Here are a few hints on the way to use certain types of salt:

Fine salts – use for baking unless a recipe calls for something different.  The texture and size of a fine salt is smaller and more dense than a more coarsely ground salt.

Kosher salt – is great to use while cooking as the size of the salt is easier to see how much is being added.

Hand-harvested salts – avoid using during a cooking process unless it is a very quick process like with salmon.  If used during the cooking process the flavor and texture can be lost.



Salt Composition and Medical Uses

Since most salt is produced in relatively the same way, there is little difference when it comes to health benefits in which type is used.  Salt is plentiful in most foods even fruits and vegetables.  Processed foods have an alarmingly high level of sodium so it might be best to avoid those if on a salt restricted diet.

Typically salt is made up of sodium and chloride.  Sodium cannot be produced within the human body so it is important to the diet. Sodium helps regulate water balance ph and osmotic pressure.  Chloride is equally important in the human diet for it helps the blood to carry carbon dioxide; potassium absorption; helps in digestion; and conserves acid-base balance. Iodine is added to most North American salt in an effort to reduce Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD), which causes mental retardation, miscarriage, goiters, brain damage in infants and can impair growth and development. This effort has been highly successful in North American nearly wiping out the problems associated with IDD. All of these benefits are received from the common salt shaker almost everyone has on their table.

The recommended salt intake varies on the individual and their genetics. In general though, a minimum of 500 mg per day with a maximum of 2400 mg is a good guideline. This is difficult to regulate because so many foods do contain salt naturally.

Having the right level of salt assists the body with many functions including:

Nerve conduction.

Easy and active absorption of other nutrients in the small intestines.

Maintains electrolyte balance.

Key to hydration during exercise and outside activities.

Combats hyperthermia.

Increasing salt intake can combat chronic fatigue syndrome.

Helps regulate the water levels in cells, nutrient levels, and waste matter.

Salt is considered one of the first antibiotics, which is probably where the term rubbing salt in a wound comes from. Human blood actually contains 0.9% salt and a solution of water and salt in that proportion is commonly used to irrigate wounds.

As with anything, too much salt may cause problems. Some of the problems include the following:

Hypertension or high blood pressure.

High acidity, which may cause cancer.

In healthy people, too much salt is typically discarded by the kidneys. However, a genetic abnormality preventing the absorption of chloride may cause cystic fibrosis which can be detected by testing the saltiness of a person’s sweat.

Since Americans tend to over indulge in salt much focus has been placed on the effect salt has on hypertension.  Many studies have been done and debate continues as to whether salt adversely affects blood pressure.  Listed below are some of the general conclusions from the vast array of studies

Minority of population can lower their blood pressure by limiting salt.

Hypertension may be caused by too much salt in a diet.

Hypertension may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Life style changes may have more affect on blood pressure / hypertension than salt.

Low sodium intake can be just as dangerous as high sodium intake.

The group who benefits the most from reducing salt intake is overweight men.

While the debate continues in the medical community, the regular person can only attempt to reduce salt in their diet to see if it affects their blood pressure. If the craving for salt continues, it may stems from a lack of zinc in the diet. An increase in foods rich in zinc may reduce the desire for salt. Foods rich in zinc include:

Oysters

Endive

Alfalfa sprouts

Seaweed

Brown rice

Asparagus

Mushrooms

Turkey

Radishes

Balance is the key when it comes to the use of salt and the health. So many foods are rich in salt that adding it to a meal is probably not needed. If someone is at risk with high blood pressure, simply remove the salt shaker from the table in an effort to wean them off the habit.  One thing which was clear in most studies is that the affect salt had varied greatly among individuals based on genetic make up.  



Alternative Uses – Cooking Tips

Being so widely used, salt has many alternative uses besides the traditional food additive. There is an abundance of alternative uses which are separated into categories below.  Be cautious when using all of these, remember to start small to determine if there will be any adverse reactions to any of these procedures and uses.

General tips to help with common problems in the kitchen:

Over salted soup – add a cut up potato or two to absorb the extra salt.

Rub a griddle with a bag of salt to prevent sticking and smoking.

Before frying fish sprinkle the skillet with salt to prevent the fish from sticking.

To prevent food from sticking to skillets, waffle irons or griddles, sprinkle with salt and heat in warm oven, dust off salt and return to cupboard.  Next usage, foods won’t stick.

A pinch of salt goes a long way. Here are some hints that utilize a pinch of salt or perhaps a bit more while you are cooking:

Add a pinch of salt:

When whipping eggs to create fluffier eggs.

To enhance the flavor of coffee and in overcooked coffee helps remove the bitterness.

To whipping cream or egg whites to get them to whip faster.

To milk to have it stay fresh longer.

To icing prevents them from sugaring.

To improve boiled potatoes, salt after draining – this gives them a fine mealy texture.

Keep salads crisp by salting immediately before serving.


Poultry – has multiple uses:

Rub the chicken skin with salt to remove pinfeathers more easily.

Improve the flavor by rubbing salt inside and out before roasting.


Sea salt is derived from salty seawater. By combining salt with water again here are some great tips to help out in the kitchen:

Salt makes water boil at a higher temperature which reduces cooking time.

Boil eggs in salt water to ease the peeling process.

To set the whites of poached eggs, boil over saltwater.

Place an egg in a cup of water with 2 teaspoon of salt, a fresh egg will sink, a floating egg may be spoiled.

Washing spinach, lettuce and other greens in saltwater will keep them crisp.

Lightly salted cold water helps maintain the color of apples, pears and potatoes.

Soak in saltwater for hours to make shelling pecans easy.

Dampen a cloth with saltwater and wrap around cheese to prevent molding.

Sprinkle ice with salt, place gelatin salads or desserts on ice to get them to set more quickly.

Not all salt is the same.

Kosher Salt

Use it for: All cooking. Kosher salt dissolves fast, pill and its flavor disperses quickly, about it so chefs recommend tossing it on everything from pork roast to popcorn.

Origin: Either the sea or the earth. Widely sold brands include Morton and Diamond Crystal, which are made using different methods. Kosher salt got its name because its craggy crystals make it perfect for curing meat?a step in the koshering process.

Texture: Coarse. Cooks prize crystals like these; their roughness makes it easy to pinch a perfect amount.

To buy: Look in your local supermarket. Kosher salts cost about $1 a pound. If you don’t mind a few clumps, buy Diamond Crystal; it has no anticaking agents, which can leave a chemical aftertaste.

Crystalline Sea Salt

Use it for: Adding a pungent burst of flavor to just-cooked foods. These crystals will complement anything from a fresh salad to a salmon fillet.

Origin: Coasts from Portugal to Maine, California to the Pacific Rim.

Texture: Fine or coarse. The size of the irregular crystals affects how fast the salt dissolves. It varies in color, depending on the minerals it contains (iron-rich red clay, for example, gives Hawaiian sea salt a pinkish hue). These natural impurities can add subtly briny, sweet, or even bitter flavors to the salts.

To buy: Check gourmet shops or on-line (thespicehouse.com stocks Hawaiian sea salt). Expect to pay $2 to $15 or more a pound. Many markets sell La Baleine, a relatively inexpensive brand ($3 for 26.5 ounces).

Flaked Sea Salt

Use it for: Bringing a complex flavor to steamed vegetables or shellfish. Take a pinch, crush the crystals between your fingertips, and let them fall on freshly cooked food. This salt will add a hint of briny flavor.

Origin: England’s Essex coast is where the most popular brand, Maldon, is harvested.

Texture: Soft, sheer, pyramid-like flakes. This is the fastest-dissolving of all of the salt grains.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet. You’ll pay $6 for 8.5 ounces atchefshop.com.

Fleur de Sel

Use it for: A special-occasion table salt. Spoon it into a salt cellar to be pinched, then sprinkled over food just before eating. Delicately flavored, it adds a perfect hint of saltiness to freshly sliced tomato or melon.

Origin: Coastal salt ponds in France. The caviar of sea salt, fleur de sel is hand harvested. Conditions have to be just right (lots of sun and wind) for it to “bloom” like a flower on the surface of the water.

Texture: Crystalline, which means that fleur de sel melts slowly in the mouth. Its earthy, pleasing flavor lingers on the tongue.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet (try chefshop.com). From $11 for 4.4 ounces to $45 for 35 ounces.

Rock Salt

Use it for: Making ice cream and deicing. Rock salt is paired with ice in old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream makers to regulate the temperature. You can also use it to deice your sidewalks and driveway in the winter months.

Origin: Mined from deposits in the earth, rock salt is not sold for use directly on food. It’s usually packaged in an organic, unprocessed form.

Texture: Large, chunky, nonuniform crystals. Minerals and other harmless impurities can give it a grayish color.

To buy: It’s sold in supermarkets and hardware and home stores for less than $1 a pound.

Pickling Salt

Use it for: Brining pickles and sauerkraut. It will also brine a turkey, but beware: Pickling salt is far more concentrated than the more commonly used kosher salt, so you’ll need to use less.

Origin: Like table salt, pickling salt may come from the earth or the sea. But unlike table salt, it isn’t fortified with iodine (a nutritional need for humans) and doesn’t contain anticaking chemicals, both of which would turn pickles an unappetizing color. Virtually 100 percent sodium chloride, it’s the purest of salts.

Texture: This variety is fine grained, like table salt.

To buy: Many supermarkets sell it in large boxes or bags, but it can be hard to find in cities. It costs less than $1 a pou

For every meal there is one thing people generally reach for before they even take a bite – the salt shaker.  Salt is one of the oldest spices used and is a key component to humans, animals, and plants.

Its flavor is unique and versatile, salt has been a staple throughout time.  Enhancing almost every dish, salt is added to breads, meats, fruits and vegetables to sauces and desserts.

Additionally, salt aids foods in a variety of ways like:

Preservation – helps protect against microorganisms, bacteria through dehydration and preventing growth of bacteria, which slows or prevents spoilage.

Texture Aid – in bread making, allows the dough to rise by giving helping the gluten hold more water and carbon dioxide.  In meats it improves tenderness and in cheeses it aids in consistency of the cheese and the hardness of the rind.

Binder – in processed meats it helps retain water which reduces the loss of meat when cooking.

Color Developer – in ham, bacon, and other processed meats it helps obtain the desired color.  It also helps create a golden crust for breads.

Fermentation Control – slows and controls the fermentation process in:

Pickling
Cheese production
Sauerkraut production
Summer sausage production

When you reach for that salt shaker on the table or on the stove while cooking what type of salt are you getting?  While salt is gained from two sources, salt deposits on land or from the sea, once harvested it is essentially processed in the same way, through the creation of brine and evaporation.

Salts, like so many other foods, has become trendy with the multitude of seas salts now available to the home cook. Is the trend overrated or are these salts really worth their weight in salt!

The main difference between salts is in their texture. >Each salt has its own distinctive flavor, color, and texture. Experiment with different salt when cooking. Salt is like money! You get what you pay for. You can put the best ingredients into making your dish, but if you blow it on the wrong salt, the dish will not be as good.

There are three basic types of salt:

Table salt – mined using water to create a brine.

Table salt, the one found in most salt shakers, is mined from salt deposits and has most of the minerals removed.  Most salt in the United States is sold with iodine added making it iodized salt. This salt is harvested by forcing water into a mine to create brine (salt/water mix). The brine is then evaporated leaving cubes of salt. The salt is refined from there to create varieties like:

Pickling salt, Canning salt, Coarse salt, Gos sel – fine grained without iodine or anti-caking preservatives. This is similar to table salt, but lacks the iodine and anti-caking additives that turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy. Pickles made with table salt would still be good to eat, but they wouldn’t look as appetizing.

Pretzel salt – large grained, does not melt quickly.

Rock salt – large crystal salt with a gray color, due to minerals not removed from normal table salt. This form of salt is available in most grocery stores, and also through hardware stores.

Popcorn salt – very fine grained salt which is flakier version of table salt.

Iodized salt – contains a small amount of potassium iodide and dextrose as a dietary supplement to prevent thyroid disease. (see Salt Composition and Medical Uses below).

Seasoned salt – table salt with herbs added like onion, hickory smoke or garlic.


Kosher salt, Koshering salt
– also made from a brine but this brine is continually raked during the evaporation process.

Kosher salt is an additive-free coarse-grained salt. This salt was developed for the preparation of kosher meats in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. The salt itself is not kosher, but this is where the name comes from. The difference between table and Kosher salt is that during the evaporation process it is raked to give it a block-like structure which allows the salt to draw the blood out of meats. The raking makes Kosher salt coarser and flakier than table salt so it disperses more easily. This makes it lighter and less dense than table salt. It is also recommended to use Kosher salt for cocktail glasses for drinks like margaritas. Since it is a lighter salt, there is less after taste with it.

Today many cooks and chefs prefer it over table salt in their cooking, as it dissolves fast and its flavor disperses quickly. Kosher salt weighs less by volume than table salt, so you must increase the amount of salt used in a recipe when substituting for table salt. This is a great all-purpose salt.

Sea Salt – made from ocean or sea water, contains trace minerals not in the mined salts.

Sea Salt is just that – salt gained from evaporating salt water collected from an ocean or sea.  The process is more costly then the mining process.  Sea salt is typically less refined than other salts. Depending on the seawater used, you also get a variety of minerals in the sea salt. Due to this there are numerous types of sea salts. Here are a few:

Black Salt, Kala Namak, Sanchal – Significant for its strong sulfur odor (India) this salt is a pearly pink gray.  It is used in Indian cooking.

Grey salt, Celtic salt, Sel Gris – Harvested from the light film of salt which forms during the evaporation process.  The gray or light purple color comes from the clay in the region of France where it is harvested. Collected using traditional Celtic hand methods.

Hawaiian sea salt – Has a distinctive pink hue from the Alaea added to it. The Alaea is volcanic red clay with a high content of iron oxide. This salt is used in many traditional Hawaiian dishes like Kahlua Pig and Hawaiian Jerky.

Coarse salt, Gos Sel, Gale Grosso – Is a larger grain salt which resists moisture and is intended to be ground. Uses include flavoring for soups and salt crusts on meats.

Flake salt – Shaped like snowflakes, the brine is made using the sun and wind for evaporation. Then the brine is slowly heated to create the flakes.

Fleur de Sel, Flower of Salt, Flor De Sal – Skimmed from the top of salt ponds early in the process of evaporation, this is considered a great condiment salt; also good on grilled meats, in salads and on vegetables. The flavor, like wines, varies depending on the region it is harvested from. Typically it is from France though some is produced in Portugal.

French Sea Salt – Processed less than American salt, retains more of the mineral content gained from the Atlantic seawater it is harvested from. This usually includes natural iodine.  A coarse salt, this is good for salads, vegetables and grilled meats.

Grinder salt – Large dry salt crystal which can easily be put through a grinder. With a salt grinder you want to avoid metal as the salt will corrode the grinding mechanism.

Italian Sea Salt, Sicilian Sea Salt, Sale Marino – Harvested from the lower Mediterranean sea by hand using traditional methods of natural evaporation, this salt is high in iodine, fluorine, magnesium and potassium. A delicate salt which is good on salads and in sauces.

Smoked Sea Salt – One other derivative of sea salt is a smoked sea salt. The salt is smoked over real wood fires to add the flavor to the crystals. These can be used in soups, salads, pasta and also in grilling foods like salmon.

Organic Salt: Organic salt has different standards than organic livestock or botanicals. Some organizations have started to set up guidelines to ensure the quality of water and production process.

Lite (light) salt and salt substitutes: These generally do not have a great flavor. Lite salt uses potassium chloride to reduce the sodium level in the salt.  Salt substitutes have little or no sodium in them. Typically only people who have a medical reason use these because the flavor is not as good as salt.

Sour Salt: There is a product called sour salt which is not made up of salt at all, instead it is citric acid.  This is used to prevent browning when canning fruit. It can also be added to rye or sour dough bread to make it more tart.



Salt Substitutions

When using salt, you may not have available some of those listed above or a recipe may call for one type you don’t like. Substitution may become necessary. Here are a few suggested substitutions:

Kosher salt – a non-iodized coarse table salt or a coarse pickling salt but make sure you read the label and there are no additives.  When making this substitution use about half the salt called for in the recipe.

Pickling salt – substitute Kosher salt which is free of additives that can turn your pickle brine cloudy.

Pretzel salt – Kosher salt or a coarse sea salt.

Table salt – Kosher salt but use twice the salt called.



Hints on using different types of salt

Different salts offer different qualities based on how they are used. Here are a few hints on the way to use certain types of salt:

Fine salts – use for baking unless a recipe calls for something different.  The texture and size of a fine salt is smaller and more dense than a more coarsely ground salt.

Kosher salt – is great to use while cooking as the size of the salt is easier to see how much is being added.

Hand-harvested salts – avoid using during a cooking process unless it is a very quick process like with salmon.  If used during the cooking process the flavor and texture can be lost.



Salt Composition and Medical Uses

Since most salt is produced in relatively the same way, there is little difference when it comes to health benefits in which type is used.  Salt is plentiful in most foods even fruits and vegetables.  Processed foods have an alarmingly high level of sodium so it might be best to avoid those if on a salt restricted diet.

Typically salt is made up of sodium and chloride.  Sodium cannot be produced within the human body so it is important to the diet. Sodium helps regulate water balance ph and osmotic pressure.  Chloride is equally important in the human diet for it helps the blood to carry carbon dioxide; potassium absorption; helps in digestion; and conserves acid-base balance. Iodine is added to most North American salt in an effort to reduce Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD), which causes mental retardation, miscarriage, goiters, brain damage in infants and can impair growth and development. This effort has been highly successful in North American nearly wiping out the problems associated with IDD. All of these benefits are received from the common salt shaker almost everyone has on their table.

The recommended salt intake varies on the individual and their genetics. In general though, a minimum of 500 mg per day with a maximum of 2400 mg is a good guideline. This is difficult to regulate because so many foods do contain salt naturally.

Having the right level of salt assists the body with many functions including:

Nerve conduction.

Easy and active absorption of other nutrients in the small intestines.

Maintains electrolyte balance.

Key to hydration during exercise and outside activities.

Combats hyperthermia.

Increasing salt intake can combat chronic fatigue syndrome.

Helps regulate the water levels in cells, nutrient levels, and waste matter.

Salt is considered one of the first antibiotics, which is probably where the term rubbing salt in a wound comes from. Human blood actually contains 0.9% salt and a solution of water and salt in that proportion is commonly used to irrigate wounds.

As with anything, too much salt may cause problems. Some of the problems include the following:

Hypertension or high blood pressure.

High acidity, which may cause cancer.

In healthy people, too much salt is typically discarded by the kidneys. However, a genetic abnormality preventing the absorption of chloride may cause cystic fibrosis which can be detected by testing the saltiness of a person’s sweat.

Since Americans tend to over indulge in salt much focus has been placed on the effect salt has on hypertension.  Many studies have been done and debate continues as to whether salt adversely affects blood pressure.  Listed below are some of the general conclusions from the vast array of studies

Minority of population can lower their blood pressure by limiting salt.

Hypertension may be caused by too much salt in a diet.

Hypertension may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Life style changes may have more affect on blood pressure / hypertension than salt.

Low sodium intake can be just as dangerous as high sodium intake.

The group who benefits the most from reducing salt intake is overweight men.

While the debate continues in the medical community, the regular person can only attempt to reduce salt in their diet to see if it affects their blood pressure. If the craving for salt continues, it may stems from a lack of zinc in the diet. An increase in foods rich in zinc may reduce the desire for salt. Foods rich in zinc include:

Oysters

Endive

Alfalfa sprouts

Seaweed

Brown rice

Asparagus

Mushrooms

Turkey

Radishes

Balance is the key when it comes to the use of salt and the health. So many foods are rich in salt that adding it to a meal is probably not needed. If someone is at risk with high blood pressure, simply remove the salt shaker from the table in an effort to wean them off the habit.  One thing which was clear in most studies is that the affect salt had varied greatly among individuals based on genetic make up.  



Alternative Uses – Cooking Tips

Being so widely used, salt has many alternative uses besides the traditional food additive. There is an abundance of alternative uses which are separated into categories below.  Be cautious when using all of these, remember to start small to determine if there will be any adverse reactions to any of these procedures and uses.

General tips to help with common problems in the kitchen:

Over salted soup – add a cut up potato or two to absorb the extra salt.

Rub a griddle with a bag of salt to prevent sticking and smoking.

Before frying fish sprinkle the skillet with salt to prevent the fish from sticking.

To prevent food from sticking to skillets, waffle irons or griddles, sprinkle with salt and heat in warm oven, dust off salt and return to cupboard.  Next usage, foods won’t stick.

A pinch of salt goes a long way. Here are some hints that utilize a pinch of salt or perhaps a bit more while you are cooking:

Add a pinch of salt:

When whipping eggs to create fluffier eggs.

To enhance the flavor of coffee and in overcooked coffee helps remove the bitterness.

To whipping cream or egg whites to get them to whip faster.

To milk to have it stay fresh longer.

To icing prevents them from sugaring.

To improve boiled potatoes, salt after draining – this gives them a fine mealy texture.

Keep salads crisp by salting immediately before serving.


Poultry – has multiple uses:

Rub the chicken skin with salt to remove pinfeathers more easily.

Improve the flavor by rubbing salt inside and out before roasting.


Sea salt is derived from salty seawater. By combining salt with water again here are some great tips to help out in the kitchen:

Salt makes water boil at a higher temperature which reduces cooking time.

Boil eggs in salt water to ease the peeling process.

To set the whites of poached eggs, boil over saltwater.

Place an egg in a cup of water with 2 teaspoon of salt, a fresh egg will sink, a floating egg may be spoiled.

Washing spinach, lettuce and other greens in saltwater will keep them crisp.

Lightly salted cold water helps maintain the color of apples, pears and potatoes.

Soak in saltwater for hours to make shelling pecans easy.

Dampen a cloth with saltwater and wrap around cheese to prevent molding.

Sprinkle ice with salt, place gelatin salads or desserts on ice to get them to set more quickly.

I finally perfected my homemade stuffing years ago. Sadly I never wrote it down. I thought I posted it but every Thanksgiving when I search Dazzledish it is not there. Holidays are hectics times. So, information pills before I get lost in the rush of the season I am posting the recipe. No more panic come Thanksgiving.

If you are looking for amazing Korean recipes Maangchi’s website is THE place. So far every recipe I have tried has been absolutely delicious. Steamed Pork Buns are no exception.

Steamed pork buns are sort of like a stuffed dumpling. They can be baked in the oven. The result is just ok. Like a loaf of bread, information pills the baked dough is drier with a crisp outside. Ultimately you really want to try to steam them for a lighter fluffy dumpling. I do not own a steamer but I found my canning pot works perfectly.

Pack any leftovers for lunch the next day. They taste fine cold or warm in the microwave or oven.

If you are interested in learning Korean visit the Talk to Me in Korean website. It really makes learning the language simple.

Source: Maangchi

Dough:
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 ts sugar
3 cups flour
In a large bowl add water, yeast, salt, oil, and sugar. Mix well until yeast is fully dissolved.

Add flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.

Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.

After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.

Vegetable Filling:
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1 1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped white mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine the onion, carrot, zucchini, green onion, and mushrooms.

Sprinkle salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.

Squeeze the excess water out.
*tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.

Meat Filling:
14 oz ground pork
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a mixing bowl, place: pork, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, and pepper.
Mix it by hand and set aside.

In a heated pan, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.

Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.

Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.

Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board.

(The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.)

Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tablespoons of filling mixture to the center of it.

Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.

Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.

Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.

*tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.

Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.

Dipping sauce:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup chopped onion
Chopped green chili pepper
Roasted sesame seeds

Combine soy sauce, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl.
Add some of onion, green chili pepper, and sesame seeds.

When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.

Variations:
— if you do not have a steamer you can use a large canning pot or stock pot. Place pint sized jars or glasses in the pot, open side down. fill the pot with water 1-2 inches below the top of the glasses. Place a canning rack or metal plate, small enough to fit inside the pot, onto of the glasses. Put the pork buns in muffin tin liners. Place on top of the rack/plate. Cover and bring to a simmer. cook buns 20 minutes.

Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, health in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, treatment tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, viagra approved to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it; the hot sizzling juices burning their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste especially when food prices seem to have doubled. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together. At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

— Drain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Strain. Use as broth for rice or for whenever broth or water is called for. Freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken. Better yet, begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the bones in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that cost nothing extra.
Not all salt is the same.

Kosher Salt

Use it for: All cooking. Kosher salt dissolves fast, dosage and its flavor disperses quickly, more about so chefs recommend tossing it on everything from pork roast to popcorn.

Origin: Either the sea or the earth. Widely sold brands include Morton and Diamond Crystal, website which are made using different methods. Kosher salt got its name because its craggy crystals make it perfect for curing meat?a step in the koshering process.

Texture: Coarse. Cooks prize crystals like these; their roughness makes it easy to pinch a perfect amount.

To buy: Look in your local supermarket. Kosher salts cost about $1 a pound. If you don’t mind a few clumps, buy Diamond Crystal; it has no anticaking agents, which can leave a chemical aftertaste.

Crystalline Sea Salt

Use it for: Adding a pungent burst of flavor to just-cooked foods. These crystals will complement anything from a fresh salad to a salmon fillet.

Origin: Coasts from Portugal to Maine, California to the Pacific Rim.

Texture: Fine or coarse. The size of the irregular crystals affects how fast the salt dissolves. It varies in color, depending on the minerals it contains (iron-rich red clay, for example, gives Hawaiian sea salt a pinkish hue). These natural impurities can add subtly briny, sweet, or even bitter flavors to the salts.

To buy: Check gourmet shops or on-line (thespicehouse.com stocks Hawaiian sea salt). Expect to pay $2 to $15 or more a pound. Many markets sell La Baleine, a relatively inexpensive brand ($3 for 26.5 ounces).

Flaked Sea Salt

Use it for: Bringing a complex flavor to steamed vegetables or shellfish. Take a pinch, crush the crystals between your fingertips, and let them fall on freshly cooked food. This salt will add a hint of briny flavor.

Origin: England’s Essex coast is where the most popular brand, Maldon, is harvested.

Texture: Soft, sheer, pyramid-like flakes. This is the fastest-dissolving of all of the salt grains.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet. You’ll pay $6 for 8.5 ounces atchefshop.com.

Fleur de Sel

Use it for: A special-occasion table salt. Spoon it into a salt cellar to be pinched, then sprinkled over food just before eating. Delicately flavored, it adds a perfect hint of saltiness to freshly sliced tomato or melon.

Origin: Coastal salt ponds in France. The caviar of sea salt, fleur de sel is hand harvested. Conditions have to be just right (lots of sun and wind) for it to “bloom” like a flower on the surface of the water.

Texture: Crystalline, which means that fleur de sel melts slowly in the mouth. Its earthy, pleasing flavor lingers on the tongue.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet (try chefshop.com). From $11 for 4.4 ounces to $45 for 35 ounces.

Rock Salt

Use it for: Making ice cream and deicing. Rock salt is paired with ice in old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream makers to regulate the temperature. You can also use it to deice your sidewalks and driveway in the winter months.

Origin: Mined from deposits in the earth, rock salt is not sold for use directly on food. It’s usually packaged in an organic, unprocessed form.

Texture: Large, chunky, nonuniform crystals. Minerals and other harmless impurities can give it a grayish color.

To buy: It’s sold in supermarkets and hardware and home stores for less than $1 a pound.

Pickling Salt

Use it for: Brining pickles and sauerkraut. It will also brine a turkey, but beware: Pickling salt is far more concentrated than the more commonly used kosher salt, so you’ll need to use less.

Origin: Like table salt, pickling salt may come from the earth or the sea. But unlike table salt, it isn’t fortified with iodine (a nutritional need for humans) and doesn’t contain anticaking chemicals, both of which would turn pickles an unappetizing color. Virtually 100 percent sodium chloride, it’s the purest of salts.

Texture: This variety is fine grained, like table salt.

To buy: Many supermarkets sell it in large boxes or bags, but it can be hard to find in cities. It costs less than $1 a pou

For every meal there is one thing people generally reach for before they even take a bite – the salt shaker.  Salt is one of the oldest spices used and is a key component to humans, animals, and plants.

Its flavor is unique and versatile, salt has been a staple throughout time.  Enhancing almost every dish, salt is added to breads, meats, fruits and vegetables to sauces and desserts.

Additionally, salt aids foods in a variety of ways like:

Preservation – helps protect against microorganisms, bacteria through dehydration and preventing growth of bacteria, which slows or prevents spoilage.

Texture Aid – in bread making, allows the dough to rise by giving helping the gluten hold more water and carbon dioxide.  In meats it improves tenderness and in cheeses it aids in consistency of the cheese and the hardness of the rind.

Binder – in processed meats it helps retain water which reduces the loss of meat when cooking.

Color Developer – in ham, bacon, and other processed meats it helps obtain the desired color.  It also helps create a golden crust for breads.

Fermentation Control – slows and controls the fermentation process in:

Pickling
Cheese production
Sauerkraut production
Summer sausage production

When you reach for that salt shaker on the table or on the stove while cooking what type of salt are you getting?  While salt is gained from two sources, salt deposits on land or from the sea, once harvested it is essentially processed in the same way, through the creation of brine and evaporation.

Salts, like so many other foods, has become trendy with the multitude of seas salts now available to the home cook. Is the trend overrated or are these salts really worth their weight in salt!

The main difference between salts is in their texture. >Each salt has its own distinctive flavor, color, and texture. Experiment with different salt when cooking. Salt is like money! You get what you pay for. You can put the best ingredients into making your dish, but if you blow it on the wrong salt, the dish will not be as good.

There are three basic types of salt:

Table salt – mined using water to create a brine.

Table salt, the one found in most salt shakers, is mined from salt deposits and has most of the minerals removed.  Most salt in the United States is sold with iodine added making it iodized salt. This salt is harvested by forcing water into a mine to create brine (salt/water mix). The brine is then evaporated leaving cubes of salt. The salt is refined from there to create varieties like:

Pickling salt, Canning salt, Coarse salt, Gos sel – fine grained without iodine or anti-caking preservatives. This is similar to table salt, but lacks the iodine and anti-caking additives that turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy. Pickles made with table salt would still be good to eat, but they wouldn’t look as appetizing.

Pretzel salt – large grained, does not melt quickly.

Rock salt – large crystal salt with a gray color, due to minerals not removed from normal table salt. This form of salt is available in most grocery stores, and also through hardware stores.

Popcorn salt – very fine grained salt which is flakier version of table salt.

Iodized salt – contains a small amount of potassium iodide and dextrose as a dietary supplement to prevent thyroid disease. (see Salt Composition and Medical Uses below).

Seasoned salt – table salt with herbs added like onion, hickory smoke or garlic.


Kosher salt, Koshering salt
– also made from a brine but this brine is continually raked during the evaporation process.

Kosher salt is an additive-free coarse-grained salt. This salt was developed for the preparation of kosher meats in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. The salt itself is not kosher, but this is where the name comes from. The difference between table and Kosher salt is that during the evaporation process it is raked to give it a block-like structure which allows the salt to draw the blood out of meats. The raking makes Kosher salt coarser and flakier than table salt so it disperses more easily. This makes it lighter and less dense than table salt. It is also recommended to use Kosher salt for cocktail glasses for drinks like margaritas. Since it is a lighter salt, there is less after taste with it.

Today many cooks and chefs prefer it over table salt in their cooking, as it dissolves fast and its flavor disperses quickly. Kosher salt weighs less by volume than table salt, so you must increase the amount of salt used in a recipe when substituting for table salt. This is a great all-purpose salt.

Sea Salt – made from ocean or sea water, contains trace minerals not in the mined salts.

Sea Salt is just that – salt gained from evaporating salt water collected from an ocean or sea.  The process is more costly then the mining process.  Sea salt is typically less refined than other salts. Depending on the seawater used, you also get a variety of minerals in the sea salt. Due to this there are numerous types of sea salts. Here are a few:

Black Salt, Kala Namak, Sanchal – Significant for its strong sulfur odor (India) this salt is a pearly pink gray.  It is used in Indian cooking.

Grey salt, Celtic salt, Sel Gris – Harvested from the light film of salt which forms during the evaporation process.  The gray or light purple color comes from the clay in the region of France where it is harvested. Collected using traditional Celtic hand methods.

Hawaiian sea salt – Has a distinctive pink hue from the Alaea added to it. The Alaea is volcanic red clay with a high content of iron oxide. This salt is used in many traditional Hawaiian dishes like Kahlua Pig and Hawaiian Jerky.

Coarse salt, Gos Sel, Gale Grosso – Is a larger grain salt which resists moisture and is intended to be ground. Uses include flavoring for soups and salt crusts on meats.

Flake salt – Shaped like snowflakes, the brine is made using the sun and wind for evaporation. Then the brine is slowly heated to create the flakes.

Fleur de Sel, Flower of Salt, Flor De Sal – Skimmed from the top of salt ponds early in the process of evaporation, this is considered a great condiment salt; also good on grilled meats, in salads and on vegetables. The flavor, like wines, varies depending on the region it is harvested from. Typically it is from France though some is produced in Portugal.

French Sea Salt – Processed less than American salt, retains more of the mineral content gained from the Atlantic seawater it is harvested from. This usually includes natural iodine.  A coarse salt, this is good for salads, vegetables and grilled meats.

Grinder salt – Large dry salt crystal which can easily be put through a grinder. With a salt grinder you want to avoid metal as the salt will corrode the grinding mechanism.

Italian Sea Salt, Sicilian Sea Salt, Sale Marino – Harvested from the lower Mediterranean sea by hand using traditional methods of natural evaporation, this salt is high in iodine, fluorine, magnesium and potassium. A delicate salt which is good on salads and in sauces.

Smoked Sea Salt – One other derivative of sea salt is a smoked sea salt. The salt is smoked over real wood fires to add the flavor to the crystals. These can be used in soups, salads, pasta and also in grilling foods like salmon.

Organic Salt: Organic salt has different standards than organic livestock or botanicals. Some organizations have started to set up guidelines to ensure the quality of water and production process.

Lite (light) salt and salt substitutes: These generally do not have a great flavor. Lite salt uses potassium chloride to reduce the sodium level in the salt.  Salt substitutes have little or no sodium in them. Typically only people who have a medical reason use these because the flavor is not as good as salt.

Sour Salt: There is a product called sour salt which is not made up of salt at all, instead it is citric acid.  This is used to prevent browning when canning fruit. It can also be added to rye or sour dough bread to make it more tart.



Salt Substitutions

When using salt, you may not have available some of those listed above or a recipe may call for one type you don’t like. Substitution may become necessary. Here are a few suggested substitutions:

Kosher salt – a non-iodized coarse table salt or a coarse pickling salt but make sure you read the label and there are no additives.  When making this substitution use about half the salt called for in the recipe.

Pickling salt – substitute Kosher salt which is free of additives that can turn your pickle brine cloudy.

Pretzel salt – Kosher salt or a coarse sea salt.

Table salt – Kosher salt but use twice the salt called.



Hints on using different types of salt

Different salts offer different qualities based on how they are used. Here are a few hints on the way to use certain types of salt:

Fine salts – use for baking unless a recipe calls for something different.  The texture and size of a fine salt is smaller and more dense than a more coarsely ground salt.

Kosher salt – is great to use while cooking as the size of the salt is easier to see how much is being added.

Hand-harvested salts – avoid using during a cooking process unless it is a very quick process like with salmon.  If used during the cooking process the flavor and texture can be lost.



Salt Composition and Medical Uses

Since most salt is produced in relatively the same way, there is little difference when it comes to health benefits in which type is used.  Salt is plentiful in most foods even fruits and vegetables.  Processed foods have an alarmingly high level of sodium so it might be best to avoid those if on a salt restricted diet.

Typically salt is made up of sodium and chloride.  Sodium cannot be produced within the human body so it is important to the diet. Sodium helps regulate water balance ph and osmotic pressure.  Chloride is equally important in the human diet for it helps the blood to carry carbon dioxide; potassium absorption; helps in digestion; and conserves acid-base balance. Iodine is added to most North American salt in an effort to reduce Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD), which causes mental retardation, miscarriage, goiters, brain damage in infants and can impair growth and development. This effort has been highly successful in North American nearly wiping out the problems associated with IDD. All of these benefits are received from the common salt shaker almost everyone has on their table.

The recommended salt intake varies on the individual and their genetics. In general though, a minimum of 500 mg per day with a maximum of 2400 mg is a good guideline. This is difficult to regulate because so many foods do contain salt naturally.

Having the right level of salt assists the body with many functions including:

Nerve conduction.

Easy and active absorption of other nutrients in the small intestines.

Maintains electrolyte balance.

Key to hydration during exercise and outside activities.

Combats hyperthermia.

Increasing salt intake can combat chronic fatigue syndrome.

Helps regulate the water levels in cells, nutrient levels, and waste matter.

Salt is considered one of the first antibiotics, which is probably where the term rubbing salt in a wound comes from. Human blood actually contains 0.9% salt and a solution of water and salt in that proportion is commonly used to irrigate wounds.

As with anything, too much salt may cause problems. Some of the problems include the following:

Hypertension or high blood pressure.

High acidity, which may cause cancer.

In healthy people, too much salt is typically discarded by the kidneys. However, a genetic abnormality preventing the absorption of chloride may cause cystic fibrosis which can be detected by testing the saltiness of a person’s sweat.

Since Americans tend to over indulge in salt much focus has been placed on the effect salt has on hypertension.  Many studies have been done and debate continues as to whether salt adversely affects blood pressure.  Listed below are some of the general conclusions from the vast array of studies

Minority of population can lower their blood pressure by limiting salt.

Hypertension may be caused by too much salt in a diet.

Hypertension may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Life style changes may have more affect on blood pressure / hypertension than salt.

Low sodium intake can be just as dangerous as high sodium intake.

The group who benefits the most from reducing salt intake is overweight men.

While the debate continues in the medical community, the regular person can only attempt to reduce salt in their diet to see if it affects their blood pressure. If the craving for salt continues, it may stems from a lack of zinc in the diet. An increase in foods rich in zinc may reduce the desire for salt. Foods rich in zinc include:

Oysters

Endive

Alfalfa sprouts

Seaweed

Brown rice

Asparagus

Mushrooms

Turkey

Radishes

Balance is the key when it comes to the use of salt and the health. So many foods are rich in salt that adding it to a meal is probably not needed. If someone is at risk with high blood pressure, simply remove the salt shaker from the table in an effort to wean them off the habit.  One thing which was clear in most studies is that the affect salt had varied greatly among individuals based on genetic make up.  



Alternative Uses – Cooking Tips

Being so widely used, salt has many alternative uses besides the traditional food additive. There is an abundance of alternative uses which are separated into categories below.  Be cautious when using all of these, remember to start small to determine if there will be any adverse reactions to any of these procedures and uses.

General tips to help with common problems in the kitchen:

Over salted soup – add a cut up potato or two to absorb the extra salt.

Rub a griddle with a bag of salt to prevent sticking and smoking.

Before frying fish sprinkle the skillet with salt to prevent the fish from sticking.

To prevent food from sticking to skillets, waffle irons or griddles, sprinkle with salt and heat in warm oven, dust off salt and return to cupboard.  Next usage, foods won’t stick.

A pinch of salt goes a long way. Here are some hints that utilize a pinch of salt or perhaps a bit more while you are cooking:

Add a pinch of salt:

When whipping eggs to create fluffier eggs.

To enhance the flavor of coffee and in overcooked coffee helps remove the bitterness.

To whipping cream or egg whites to get them to whip faster.

To milk to have it stay fresh longer.

To icing prevents them from sugaring.

To improve boiled potatoes, salt after draining – this gives them a fine mealy texture.

Keep salads crisp by salting immediately before serving.


Poultry – has multiple uses:

Rub the chicken skin with salt to remove pinfeathers more easily.

Improve the flavor by rubbing salt inside and out before roasting.


Sea salt is derived from salty seawater. By combining salt with water again here are some great tips to help out in the kitchen:

Salt makes water boil at a higher temperature which reduces cooking time.

Boil eggs in salt water to ease the peeling process.

To set the whites of poached eggs, boil over saltwater.

Place an egg in a cup of water with 2 teaspoon of salt, a fresh egg will sink, a floating egg may be spoiled.

Washing spinach, lettuce and other greens in saltwater will keep them crisp.

Lightly salted cold water helps maintain the color of apples, pears and potatoes.

Soak in saltwater for hours to make shelling pecans easy.

Dampen a cloth with saltwater and wrap around cheese to prevent molding.

Sprinkle ice with salt, place gelatin salads or desserts on ice to get them to set more quickly.

Not all salt is the same.

Kosher Salt

Use it for: All cooking. Kosher salt dissolves fast, pill and its flavor disperses quickly, about it so chefs recommend tossing it on everything from pork roast to popcorn.

Origin: Either the sea or the earth. Widely sold brands include Morton and Diamond Crystal, which are made using different methods. Kosher salt got its name because its craggy crystals make it perfect for curing meat?a step in the koshering process.

Texture: Coarse. Cooks prize crystals like these; their roughness makes it easy to pinch a perfect amount.

To buy: Look in your local supermarket. Kosher salts cost about $1 a pound. If you don’t mind a few clumps, buy Diamond Crystal; it has no anticaking agents, which can leave a chemical aftertaste.

Crystalline Sea Salt

Use it for: Adding a pungent burst of flavor to just-cooked foods. These crystals will complement anything from a fresh salad to a salmon fillet.

Origin: Coasts from Portugal to Maine, California to the Pacific Rim.

Texture: Fine or coarse. The size of the irregular crystals affects how fast the salt dissolves. It varies in color, depending on the minerals it contains (iron-rich red clay, for example, gives Hawaiian sea salt a pinkish hue). These natural impurities can add subtly briny, sweet, or even bitter flavors to the salts.

To buy: Check gourmet shops or on-line (thespicehouse.com stocks Hawaiian sea salt). Expect to pay $2 to $15 or more a pound. Many markets sell La Baleine, a relatively inexpensive brand ($3 for 26.5 ounces).

Flaked Sea Salt

Use it for: Bringing a complex flavor to steamed vegetables or shellfish. Take a pinch, crush the crystals between your fingertips, and let them fall on freshly cooked food. This salt will add a hint of briny flavor.

Origin: England’s Essex coast is where the most popular brand, Maldon, is harvested.

Texture: Soft, sheer, pyramid-like flakes. This is the fastest-dissolving of all of the salt grains.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet. You’ll pay $6 for 8.5 ounces atchefshop.com.

Fleur de Sel

Use it for: A special-occasion table salt. Spoon it into a salt cellar to be pinched, then sprinkled over food just before eating. Delicately flavored, it adds a perfect hint of saltiness to freshly sliced tomato or melon.

Origin: Coastal salt ponds in France. The caviar of sea salt, fleur de sel is hand harvested. Conditions have to be just right (lots of sun and wind) for it to “bloom” like a flower on the surface of the water.

Texture: Crystalline, which means that fleur de sel melts slowly in the mouth. Its earthy, pleasing flavor lingers on the tongue.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet (try chefshop.com). From $11 for 4.4 ounces to $45 for 35 ounces.

Rock Salt

Use it for: Making ice cream and deicing. Rock salt is paired with ice in old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream makers to regulate the temperature. You can also use it to deice your sidewalks and driveway in the winter months.

Origin: Mined from deposits in the earth, rock salt is not sold for use directly on food. It’s usually packaged in an organic, unprocessed form.

Texture: Large, chunky, nonuniform crystals. Minerals and other harmless impurities can give it a grayish color.

To buy: It’s sold in supermarkets and hardware and home stores for less than $1 a pound.

Pickling Salt

Use it for: Brining pickles and sauerkraut. It will also brine a turkey, but beware: Pickling salt is far more concentrated than the more commonly used kosher salt, so you’ll need to use less.

Origin: Like table salt, pickling salt may come from the earth or the sea. But unlike table salt, it isn’t fortified with iodine (a nutritional need for humans) and doesn’t contain anticaking chemicals, both of which would turn pickles an unappetizing color. Virtually 100 percent sodium chloride, it’s the purest of salts.

Texture: This variety is fine grained, like table salt.

To buy: Many supermarkets sell it in large boxes or bags, but it can be hard to find in cities. It costs less than $1 a pou

For every meal there is one thing people generally reach for before they even take a bite – the salt shaker.  Salt is one of the oldest spices used and is a key component to humans, animals, and plants.

Its flavor is unique and versatile, salt has been a staple throughout time.  Enhancing almost every dish, salt is added to breads, meats, fruits and vegetables to sauces and desserts.

Additionally, salt aids foods in a variety of ways like:

Preservation – helps protect against microorganisms, bacteria through dehydration and preventing growth of bacteria, which slows or prevents spoilage.

Texture Aid – in bread making, allows the dough to rise by giving helping the gluten hold more water and carbon dioxide.  In meats it improves tenderness and in cheeses it aids in consistency of the cheese and the hardness of the rind.

Binder – in processed meats it helps retain water which reduces the loss of meat when cooking.

Color Developer – in ham, bacon, and other processed meats it helps obtain the desired color.  It also helps create a golden crust for breads.

Fermentation Control – slows and controls the fermentation process in:

Pickling
Cheese production
Sauerkraut production
Summer sausage production

When you reach for that salt shaker on the table or on the stove while cooking what type of salt are you getting?  While salt is gained from two sources, salt deposits on land or from the sea, once harvested it is essentially processed in the same way, through the creation of brine and evaporation.

Salts, like so many other foods, has become trendy with the multitude of seas salts now available to the home cook. Is the trend overrated or are these salts really worth their weight in salt!

The main difference between salts is in their texture. >Each salt has its own distinctive flavor, color, and texture. Experiment with different salt when cooking. Salt is like money! You get what you pay for. You can put the best ingredients into making your dish, but if you blow it on the wrong salt, the dish will not be as good.

There are three basic types of salt:

Table salt – mined using water to create a brine.

Table salt, the one found in most salt shakers, is mined from salt deposits and has most of the minerals removed.  Most salt in the United States is sold with iodine added making it iodized salt. This salt is harvested by forcing water into a mine to create brine (salt/water mix). The brine is then evaporated leaving cubes of salt. The salt is refined from there to create varieties like:

Pickling salt, Canning salt, Coarse salt, Gos sel – fine grained without iodine or anti-caking preservatives. This is similar to table salt, but lacks the iodine and anti-caking additives that turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy. Pickles made with table salt would still be good to eat, but they wouldn’t look as appetizing.

Pretzel salt – large grained, does not melt quickly.

Rock salt – large crystal salt with a gray color, due to minerals not removed from normal table salt. This form of salt is available in most grocery stores, and also through hardware stores.

Popcorn salt – very fine grained salt which is flakier version of table salt.

Iodized salt – contains a small amount of potassium iodide and dextrose as a dietary supplement to prevent thyroid disease. (see Salt Composition and Medical Uses below).

Seasoned salt – table salt with herbs added like onion, hickory smoke or garlic.


Kosher salt, Koshering salt
– also made from a brine but this brine is continually raked during the evaporation process.

Kosher salt is an additive-free coarse-grained salt. This salt was developed for the preparation of kosher meats in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. The salt itself is not kosher, but this is where the name comes from. The difference between table and Kosher salt is that during the evaporation process it is raked to give it a block-like structure which allows the salt to draw the blood out of meats. The raking makes Kosher salt coarser and flakier than table salt so it disperses more easily. This makes it lighter and less dense than table salt. It is also recommended to use Kosher salt for cocktail glasses for drinks like margaritas. Since it is a lighter salt, there is less after taste with it.

Today many cooks and chefs prefer it over table salt in their cooking, as it dissolves fast and its flavor disperses quickly. Kosher salt weighs less by volume than table salt, so you must increase the amount of salt used in a recipe when substituting for table salt. This is a great all-purpose salt.

Sea Salt – made from ocean or sea water, contains trace minerals not in the mined salts.

Sea Salt is just that – salt gained from evaporating salt water collected from an ocean or sea.  The process is more costly then the mining process.  Sea salt is typically less refined than other salts. Depending on the seawater used, you also get a variety of minerals in the sea salt. Due to this there are numerous types of sea salts. Here are a few:

Black Salt, Kala Namak, Sanchal – Significant for its strong sulfur odor (India) this salt is a pearly pink gray.  It is used in Indian cooking.

Grey salt, Celtic salt, Sel Gris – Harvested from the light film of salt which forms during the evaporation process.  The gray or light purple color comes from the clay in the region of France where it is harvested. Collected using traditional Celtic hand methods.

Hawaiian sea salt – Has a distinctive pink hue from the Alaea added to it. The Alaea is volcanic red clay with a high content of iron oxide. This salt is used in many traditional Hawaiian dishes like Kahlua Pig and Hawaiian Jerky.

Coarse salt, Gos Sel, Gale Grosso – Is a larger grain salt which resists moisture and is intended to be ground. Uses include flavoring for soups and salt crusts on meats.

Flake salt – Shaped like snowflakes, the brine is made using the sun and wind for evaporation. Then the brine is slowly heated to create the flakes.

Fleur de Sel, Flower of Salt, Flor De Sal – Skimmed from the top of salt ponds early in the process of evaporation, this is considered a great condiment salt; also good on grilled meats, in salads and on vegetables. The flavor, like wines, varies depending on the region it is harvested from. Typically it is from France though some is produced in Portugal.

French Sea Salt – Processed less than American salt, retains more of the mineral content gained from the Atlantic seawater it is harvested from. This usually includes natural iodine.  A coarse salt, this is good for salads, vegetables and grilled meats.

Grinder salt – Large dry salt crystal which can easily be put through a grinder. With a salt grinder you want to avoid metal as the salt will corrode the grinding mechanism.

Italian Sea Salt, Sicilian Sea Salt, Sale Marino – Harvested from the lower Mediterranean sea by hand using traditional methods of natural evaporation, this salt is high in iodine, fluorine, magnesium and potassium. A delicate salt which is good on salads and in sauces.

Smoked Sea Salt – One other derivative of sea salt is a smoked sea salt. The salt is smoked over real wood fires to add the flavor to the crystals. These can be used in soups, salads, pasta and also in grilling foods like salmon.

Organic Salt: Organic salt has different standards than organic livestock or botanicals. Some organizations have started to set up guidelines to ensure the quality of water and production process.

Lite (light) salt and salt substitutes: These generally do not have a great flavor. Lite salt uses potassium chloride to reduce the sodium level in the salt.  Salt substitutes have little or no sodium in them. Typically only people who have a medical reason use these because the flavor is not as good as salt.

Sour Salt: There is a product called sour salt which is not made up of salt at all, instead it is citric acid.  This is used to prevent browning when canning fruit. It can also be added to rye or sour dough bread to make it more tart.



Salt Substitutions

When using salt, you may not have available some of those listed above or a recipe may call for one type you don’t like. Substitution may become necessary. Here are a few suggested substitutions:

Kosher salt – a non-iodized coarse table salt or a coarse pickling salt but make sure you read the label and there are no additives.  When making this substitution use about half the salt called for in the recipe.

Pickling salt – substitute Kosher salt which is free of additives that can turn your pickle brine cloudy.

Pretzel salt – Kosher salt or a coarse sea salt.

Table salt – Kosher salt but use twice the salt called.



Hints on using different types of salt

Different salts offer different qualities based on how they are used. Here are a few hints on the way to use certain types of salt:

Fine salts – use for baking unless a recipe calls for something different.  The texture and size of a fine salt is smaller and more dense than a more coarsely ground salt.

Kosher salt – is great to use while cooking as the size of the salt is easier to see how much is being added.

Hand-harvested salts – avoid using during a cooking process unless it is a very quick process like with salmon.  If used during the cooking process the flavor and texture can be lost.



Salt Composition and Medical Uses

Since most salt is produced in relatively the same way, there is little difference when it comes to health benefits in which type is used.  Salt is plentiful in most foods even fruits and vegetables.  Processed foods have an alarmingly high level of sodium so it might be best to avoid those if on a salt restricted diet.

Typically salt is made up of sodium and chloride.  Sodium cannot be produced within the human body so it is important to the diet. Sodium helps regulate water balance ph and osmotic pressure.  Chloride is equally important in the human diet for it helps the blood to carry carbon dioxide; potassium absorption; helps in digestion; and conserves acid-base balance. Iodine is added to most North American salt in an effort to reduce Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD), which causes mental retardation, miscarriage, goiters, brain damage in infants and can impair growth and development. This effort has been highly successful in North American nearly wiping out the problems associated with IDD. All of these benefits are received from the common salt shaker almost everyone has on their table.

The recommended salt intake varies on the individual and their genetics. In general though, a minimum of 500 mg per day with a maximum of 2400 mg is a good guideline. This is difficult to regulate because so many foods do contain salt naturally.

Having the right level of salt assists the body with many functions including:

Nerve conduction.

Easy and active absorption of other nutrients in the small intestines.

Maintains electrolyte balance.

Key to hydration during exercise and outside activities.

Combats hyperthermia.

Increasing salt intake can combat chronic fatigue syndrome.

Helps regulate the water levels in cells, nutrient levels, and waste matter.

Salt is considered one of the first antibiotics, which is probably where the term rubbing salt in a wound comes from. Human blood actually contains 0.9% salt and a solution of water and salt in that proportion is commonly used to irrigate wounds.

As with anything, too much salt may cause problems. Some of the problems include the following:

Hypertension or high blood pressure.

High acidity, which may cause cancer.

In healthy people, too much salt is typically discarded by the kidneys. However, a genetic abnormality preventing the absorption of chloride may cause cystic fibrosis which can be detected by testing the saltiness of a person’s sweat.

Since Americans tend to over indulge in salt much focus has been placed on the effect salt has on hypertension.  Many studies have been done and debate continues as to whether salt adversely affects blood pressure.  Listed below are some of the general conclusions from the vast array of studies

Minority of population can lower their blood pressure by limiting salt.

Hypertension may be caused by too much salt in a diet.

Hypertension may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Life style changes may have more affect on blood pressure / hypertension than salt.

Low sodium intake can be just as dangerous as high sodium intake.

The group who benefits the most from reducing salt intake is overweight men.

While the debate continues in the medical community, the regular person can only attempt to reduce salt in their diet to see if it affects their blood pressure. If the craving for salt continues, it may stems from a lack of zinc in the diet. An increase in foods rich in zinc may reduce the desire for salt. Foods rich in zinc include:

Oysters

Endive

Alfalfa sprouts

Seaweed

Brown rice

Asparagus

Mushrooms

Turkey

Radishes

Balance is the key when it comes to the use of salt and the health. So many foods are rich in salt that adding it to a meal is probably not needed. If someone is at risk with high blood pressure, simply remove the salt shaker from the table in an effort to wean them off the habit.  One thing which was clear in most studies is that the affect salt had varied greatly among individuals based on genetic make up.  



Alternative Uses – Cooking Tips

Being so widely used, salt has many alternative uses besides the traditional food additive. There is an abundance of alternative uses which are separated into categories below.  Be cautious when using all of these, remember to start small to determine if there will be any adverse reactions to any of these procedures and uses.

General tips to help with common problems in the kitchen:

Over salted soup – add a cut up potato or two to absorb the extra salt.

Rub a griddle with a bag of salt to prevent sticking and smoking.

Before frying fish sprinkle the skillet with salt to prevent the fish from sticking.

To prevent food from sticking to skillets, waffle irons or griddles, sprinkle with salt and heat in warm oven, dust off salt and return to cupboard.  Next usage, foods won’t stick.

A pinch of salt goes a long way. Here are some hints that utilize a pinch of salt or perhaps a bit more while you are cooking:

Add a pinch of salt:

When whipping eggs to create fluffier eggs.

To enhance the flavor of coffee and in overcooked coffee helps remove the bitterness.

To whipping cream or egg whites to get them to whip faster.

To milk to have it stay fresh longer.

To icing prevents them from sugaring.

To improve boiled potatoes, salt after draining – this gives them a fine mealy texture.

Keep salads crisp by salting immediately before serving.


Poultry – has multiple uses:

Rub the chicken skin with salt to remove pinfeathers more easily.

Improve the flavor by rubbing salt inside and out before roasting.


Sea salt is derived from salty seawater. By combining salt with water again here are some great tips to help out in the kitchen:

Salt makes water boil at a higher temperature which reduces cooking time.

Boil eggs in salt water to ease the peeling process.

To set the whites of poached eggs, boil over saltwater.

Place an egg in a cup of water with 2 teaspoon of salt, a fresh egg will sink, a floating egg may be spoiled.

Washing spinach, lettuce and other greens in saltwater will keep them crisp.

Lightly salted cold water helps maintain the color of apples, pears and potatoes.

Soak in saltwater for hours to make shelling pecans easy.

Dampen a cloth with saltwater and wrap around cheese to prevent molding.

Sprinkle ice with salt, place gelatin salads or desserts on ice to get them to set more quickly.

Adding vegetables will give flavor depth to your broth – I use 2X onion : 1X carrot : 1X celery. Parsley stems and leek tops are another nice addition. I don’t add salt because if I want to reduce this stock, price it would be too salty.
#4 – Try adding some inexpensive pieces of chicken, pharmacy in addition to the bones. You’ll get more flavor than just using bones alone. Legs, wing, necks, gizzards (no liver) etc work well. I save these in a ZipLock bag when I’m cutting up whole chickensAdd the bones to cold water, bring it to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Skim the scum off the top.
I finally perfected my homemade stuffing years ago. Sadly I never wrote it down. I thought I posted it but every Thanksgiving when I search Dazzledish it is not there. Holidays are hectics times. So, information pills before I get lost in the rush of the season I am posting the recipe. No more panic come Thanksgiving.

If you are looking for amazing Korean recipes Maangchi’s website is THE place. So far every recipe I have tried has been absolutely delicious. Steamed Pork Buns are no exception.

Steamed pork buns are sort of like a stuffed dumpling. They can be baked in the oven. The result is just ok. Like a loaf of bread, information pills the baked dough is drier with a crisp outside. Ultimately you really want to try to steam them for a lighter fluffy dumpling. I do not own a steamer but I found my canning pot works perfectly.

Pack any leftovers for lunch the next day. They taste fine cold or warm in the microwave or oven.

If you are interested in learning Korean visit the Talk to Me in Korean website. It really makes learning the language simple.

Source: Maangchi

Dough:
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 ts sugar
3 cups flour
In a large bowl add water, yeast, salt, oil, and sugar. Mix well until yeast is fully dissolved.

Add flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.

Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.

After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.

Vegetable Filling:
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1 1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped white mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine the onion, carrot, zucchini, green onion, and mushrooms.

Sprinkle salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.

Squeeze the excess water out.
*tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.

Meat Filling:
14 oz ground pork
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a mixing bowl, place: pork, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, and pepper.
Mix it by hand and set aside.

In a heated pan, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.

Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.

Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.

Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board.

(The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.)

Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tablespoons of filling mixture to the center of it.

Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.

Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.

Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.

*tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.

Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.

Dipping sauce:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup chopped onion
Chopped green chili pepper
Roasted sesame seeds

Combine soy sauce, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl.
Add some of onion, green chili pepper, and sesame seeds.

When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.

Variations:
— if you do not have a steamer you can use a large canning pot or stock pot. Place pint sized jars or glasses in the pot, open side down. fill the pot with water 1-2 inches below the top of the glasses. Place a canning rack or metal plate, small enough to fit inside the pot, onto of the glasses. Put the pork buns in muffin tin liners. Place on top of the rack/plate. Cover and bring to a simmer. cook buns 20 minutes.

Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, health in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, treatment tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, viagra approved to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it; the hot sizzling juices burning their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste especially when food prices seem to have doubled. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together. At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

— Drain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Strain. Use as broth for rice or for whenever broth or water is called for. Freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken. Better yet, begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the bones in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that cost nothing extra.
Not all salt is the same.

Kosher Salt

Use it for: All cooking. Kosher salt dissolves fast, dosage and its flavor disperses quickly, more about so chefs recommend tossing it on everything from pork roast to popcorn.

Origin: Either the sea or the earth. Widely sold brands include Morton and Diamond Crystal, website which are made using different methods. Kosher salt got its name because its craggy crystals make it perfect for curing meat?a step in the koshering process.

Texture: Coarse. Cooks prize crystals like these; their roughness makes it easy to pinch a perfect amount.

To buy: Look in your local supermarket. Kosher salts cost about $1 a pound. If you don’t mind a few clumps, buy Diamond Crystal; it has no anticaking agents, which can leave a chemical aftertaste.

Crystalline Sea Salt

Use it for: Adding a pungent burst of flavor to just-cooked foods. These crystals will complement anything from a fresh salad to a salmon fillet.

Origin: Coasts from Portugal to Maine, California to the Pacific Rim.

Texture: Fine or coarse. The size of the irregular crystals affects how fast the salt dissolves. It varies in color, depending on the minerals it contains (iron-rich red clay, for example, gives Hawaiian sea salt a pinkish hue). These natural impurities can add subtly briny, sweet, or even bitter flavors to the salts.

To buy: Check gourmet shops or on-line (thespicehouse.com stocks Hawaiian sea salt). Expect to pay $2 to $15 or more a pound. Many markets sell La Baleine, a relatively inexpensive brand ($3 for 26.5 ounces).

Flaked Sea Salt

Use it for: Bringing a complex flavor to steamed vegetables or shellfish. Take a pinch, crush the crystals between your fingertips, and let them fall on freshly cooked food. This salt will add a hint of briny flavor.

Origin: England’s Essex coast is where the most popular brand, Maldon, is harvested.

Texture: Soft, sheer, pyramid-like flakes. This is the fastest-dissolving of all of the salt grains.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet. You’ll pay $6 for 8.5 ounces atchefshop.com.

Fleur de Sel

Use it for: A special-occasion table salt. Spoon it into a salt cellar to be pinched, then sprinkled over food just before eating. Delicately flavored, it adds a perfect hint of saltiness to freshly sliced tomato or melon.

Origin: Coastal salt ponds in France. The caviar of sea salt, fleur de sel is hand harvested. Conditions have to be just right (lots of sun and wind) for it to “bloom” like a flower on the surface of the water.

Texture: Crystalline, which means that fleur de sel melts slowly in the mouth. Its earthy, pleasing flavor lingers on the tongue.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet (try chefshop.com). From $11 for 4.4 ounces to $45 for 35 ounces.

Rock Salt

Use it for: Making ice cream and deicing. Rock salt is paired with ice in old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream makers to regulate the temperature. You can also use it to deice your sidewalks and driveway in the winter months.

Origin: Mined from deposits in the earth, rock salt is not sold for use directly on food. It’s usually packaged in an organic, unprocessed form.

Texture: Large, chunky, nonuniform crystals. Minerals and other harmless impurities can give it a grayish color.

To buy: It’s sold in supermarkets and hardware and home stores for less than $1 a pound.

Pickling Salt

Use it for: Brining pickles and sauerkraut. It will also brine a turkey, but beware: Pickling salt is far more concentrated than the more commonly used kosher salt, so you’ll need to use less.

Origin: Like table salt, pickling salt may come from the earth or the sea. But unlike table salt, it isn’t fortified with iodine (a nutritional need for humans) and doesn’t contain anticaking chemicals, both of which would turn pickles an unappetizing color. Virtually 100 percent sodium chloride, it’s the purest of salts.

Texture: This variety is fine grained, like table salt.

To buy: Many supermarkets sell it in large boxes or bags, but it can be hard to find in cities. It costs less than $1 a pou

For every meal there is one thing people generally reach for before they even take a bite – the salt shaker.  Salt is one of the oldest spices used and is a key component to humans, animals, and plants.

Its flavor is unique and versatile, salt has been a staple throughout time.  Enhancing almost every dish, salt is added to breads, meats, fruits and vegetables to sauces and desserts.

Additionally, salt aids foods in a variety of ways like:

Preservation – helps protect against microorganisms, bacteria through dehydration and preventing growth of bacteria, which slows or prevents spoilage.

Texture Aid – in bread making, allows the dough to rise by giving helping the gluten hold more water and carbon dioxide.  In meats it improves tenderness and in cheeses it aids in consistency of the cheese and the hardness of the rind.

Binder – in processed meats it helps retain water which reduces the loss of meat when cooking.

Color Developer – in ham, bacon, and other processed meats it helps obtain the desired color.  It also helps create a golden crust for breads.

Fermentation Control – slows and controls the fermentation process in:

Pickling
Cheese production
Sauerkraut production
Summer sausage production

When you reach for that salt shaker on the table or on the stove while cooking what type of salt are you getting?  While salt is gained from two sources, salt deposits on land or from the sea, once harvested it is essentially processed in the same way, through the creation of brine and evaporation.

Salts, like so many other foods, has become trendy with the multitude of seas salts now available to the home cook. Is the trend overrated or are these salts really worth their weight in salt!

The main difference between salts is in their texture. >Each salt has its own distinctive flavor, color, and texture. Experiment with different salt when cooking. Salt is like money! You get what you pay for. You can put the best ingredients into making your dish, but if you blow it on the wrong salt, the dish will not be as good.

There are three basic types of salt:

Table salt – mined using water to create a brine.

Table salt, the one found in most salt shakers, is mined from salt deposits and has most of the minerals removed.  Most salt in the United States is sold with iodine added making it iodized salt. This salt is harvested by forcing water into a mine to create brine (salt/water mix). The brine is then evaporated leaving cubes of salt. The salt is refined from there to create varieties like:

Pickling salt, Canning salt, Coarse salt, Gos sel – fine grained without iodine or anti-caking preservatives. This is similar to table salt, but lacks the iodine and anti-caking additives that turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy. Pickles made with table salt would still be good to eat, but they wouldn’t look as appetizing.

Pretzel salt – large grained, does not melt quickly.

Rock salt – large crystal salt with a gray color, due to minerals not removed from normal table salt. This form of salt is available in most grocery stores, and also through hardware stores.

Popcorn salt – very fine grained salt which is flakier version of table salt.

Iodized salt – contains a small amount of potassium iodide and dextrose as a dietary supplement to prevent thyroid disease. (see Salt Composition and Medical Uses below).

Seasoned salt – table salt with herbs added like onion, hickory smoke or garlic.


Kosher salt, Koshering salt
– also made from a brine but this brine is continually raked during the evaporation process.

Kosher salt is an additive-free coarse-grained salt. This salt was developed for the preparation of kosher meats in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. The salt itself is not kosher, but this is where the name comes from. The difference between table and Kosher salt is that during the evaporation process it is raked to give it a block-like structure which allows the salt to draw the blood out of meats. The raking makes Kosher salt coarser and flakier than table salt so it disperses more easily. This makes it lighter and less dense than table salt. It is also recommended to use Kosher salt for cocktail glasses for drinks like margaritas. Since it is a lighter salt, there is less after taste with it.

Today many cooks and chefs prefer it over table salt in their cooking, as it dissolves fast and its flavor disperses quickly. Kosher salt weighs less by volume than table salt, so you must increase the amount of salt used in a recipe when substituting for table salt. This is a great all-purpose salt.

Sea Salt – made from ocean or sea water, contains trace minerals not in the mined salts.

Sea Salt is just that – salt gained from evaporating salt water collected from an ocean or sea.  The process is more costly then the mining process.  Sea salt is typically less refined than other salts. Depending on the seawater used, you also get a variety of minerals in the sea salt. Due to this there are numerous types of sea salts. Here are a few:

Black Salt, Kala Namak, Sanchal – Significant for its strong sulfur odor (India) this salt is a pearly pink gray.  It is used in Indian cooking.

Grey salt, Celtic salt, Sel Gris – Harvested from the light film of salt which forms during the evaporation process.  The gray or light purple color comes from the clay in the region of France where it is harvested. Collected using traditional Celtic hand methods.

Hawaiian sea salt – Has a distinctive pink hue from the Alaea added to it. The Alaea is volcanic red clay with a high content of iron oxide. This salt is used in many traditional Hawaiian dishes like Kahlua Pig and Hawaiian Jerky.

Coarse salt, Gos Sel, Gale Grosso – Is a larger grain salt which resists moisture and is intended to be ground. Uses include flavoring for soups and salt crusts on meats.

Flake salt – Shaped like snowflakes, the brine is made using the sun and wind for evaporation. Then the brine is slowly heated to create the flakes.

Fleur de Sel, Flower of Salt, Flor De Sal – Skimmed from the top of salt ponds early in the process of evaporation, this is considered a great condiment salt; also good on grilled meats, in salads and on vegetables. The flavor, like wines, varies depending on the region it is harvested from. Typically it is from France though some is produced in Portugal.

French Sea Salt – Processed less than American salt, retains more of the mineral content gained from the Atlantic seawater it is harvested from. This usually includes natural iodine.  A coarse salt, this is good for salads, vegetables and grilled meats.

Grinder salt – Large dry salt crystal which can easily be put through a grinder. With a salt grinder you want to avoid metal as the salt will corrode the grinding mechanism.

Italian Sea Salt, Sicilian Sea Salt, Sale Marino – Harvested from the lower Mediterranean sea by hand using traditional methods of natural evaporation, this salt is high in iodine, fluorine, magnesium and potassium. A delicate salt which is good on salads and in sauces.

Smoked Sea Salt – One other derivative of sea salt is a smoked sea salt. The salt is smoked over real wood fires to add the flavor to the crystals. These can be used in soups, salads, pasta and also in grilling foods like salmon.

Organic Salt: Organic salt has different standards than organic livestock or botanicals. Some organizations have started to set up guidelines to ensure the quality of water and production process.

Lite (light) salt and salt substitutes: These generally do not have a great flavor. Lite salt uses potassium chloride to reduce the sodium level in the salt.  Salt substitutes have little or no sodium in them. Typically only people who have a medical reason use these because the flavor is not as good as salt.

Sour Salt: There is a product called sour salt which is not made up of salt at all, instead it is citric acid.  This is used to prevent browning when canning fruit. It can also be added to rye or sour dough bread to make it more tart.



Salt Substitutions

When using salt, you may not have available some of those listed above or a recipe may call for one type you don’t like. Substitution may become necessary. Here are a few suggested substitutions:

Kosher salt – a non-iodized coarse table salt or a coarse pickling salt but make sure you read the label and there are no additives.  When making this substitution use about half the salt called for in the recipe.

Pickling salt – substitute Kosher salt which is free of additives that can turn your pickle brine cloudy.

Pretzel salt – Kosher salt or a coarse sea salt.

Table salt – Kosher salt but use twice the salt called.



Hints on using different types of salt

Different salts offer different qualities based on how they are used. Here are a few hints on the way to use certain types of salt:

Fine salts – use for baking unless a recipe calls for something different.  The texture and size of a fine salt is smaller and more dense than a more coarsely ground salt.

Kosher salt – is great to use while cooking as the size of the salt is easier to see how much is being added.

Hand-harvested salts – avoid using during a cooking process unless it is a very quick process like with salmon.  If used during the cooking process the flavor and texture can be lost.



Salt Composition and Medical Uses

Since most salt is produced in relatively the same way, there is little difference when it comes to health benefits in which type is used.  Salt is plentiful in most foods even fruits and vegetables.  Processed foods have an alarmingly high level of sodium so it might be best to avoid those if on a salt restricted diet.

Typically salt is made up of sodium and chloride.  Sodium cannot be produced within the human body so it is important to the diet. Sodium helps regulate water balance ph and osmotic pressure.  Chloride is equally important in the human diet for it helps the blood to carry carbon dioxide; potassium absorption; helps in digestion; and conserves acid-base balance. Iodine is added to most North American salt in an effort to reduce Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD), which causes mental retardation, miscarriage, goiters, brain damage in infants and can impair growth and development. This effort has been highly successful in North American nearly wiping out the problems associated with IDD. All of these benefits are received from the common salt shaker almost everyone has on their table.

The recommended salt intake varies on the individual and their genetics. In general though, a minimum of 500 mg per day with a maximum of 2400 mg is a good guideline. This is difficult to regulate because so many foods do contain salt naturally.

Having the right level of salt assists the body with many functions including:

Nerve conduction.

Easy and active absorption of other nutrients in the small intestines.

Maintains electrolyte balance.

Key to hydration during exercise and outside activities.

Combats hyperthermia.

Increasing salt intake can combat chronic fatigue syndrome.

Helps regulate the water levels in cells, nutrient levels, and waste matter.

Salt is considered one of the first antibiotics, which is probably where the term rubbing salt in a wound comes from. Human blood actually contains 0.9% salt and a solution of water and salt in that proportion is commonly used to irrigate wounds.

As with anything, too much salt may cause problems. Some of the problems include the following:

Hypertension or high blood pressure.

High acidity, which may cause cancer.

In healthy people, too much salt is typically discarded by the kidneys. However, a genetic abnormality preventing the absorption of chloride may cause cystic fibrosis which can be detected by testing the saltiness of a person’s sweat.

Since Americans tend to over indulge in salt much focus has been placed on the effect salt has on hypertension.  Many studies have been done and debate continues as to whether salt adversely affects blood pressure.  Listed below are some of the general conclusions from the vast array of studies

Minority of population can lower their blood pressure by limiting salt.

Hypertension may be caused by too much salt in a diet.

Hypertension may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Life style changes may have more affect on blood pressure / hypertension than salt.

Low sodium intake can be just as dangerous as high sodium intake.

The group who benefits the most from reducing salt intake is overweight men.

While the debate continues in the medical community, the regular person can only attempt to reduce salt in their diet to see if it affects their blood pressure. If the craving for salt continues, it may stems from a lack of zinc in the diet. An increase in foods rich in zinc may reduce the desire for salt. Foods rich in zinc include:

Oysters

Endive

Alfalfa sprouts

Seaweed

Brown rice

Asparagus

Mushrooms

Turkey

Radishes

Balance is the key when it comes to the use of salt and the health. So many foods are rich in salt that adding it to a meal is probably not needed. If someone is at risk with high blood pressure, simply remove the salt shaker from the table in an effort to wean them off the habit.  One thing which was clear in most studies is that the affect salt had varied greatly among individuals based on genetic make up.  



Alternative Uses – Cooking Tips

Being so widely used, salt has many alternative uses besides the traditional food additive. There is an abundance of alternative uses which are separated into categories below.  Be cautious when using all of these, remember to start small to determine if there will be any adverse reactions to any of these procedures and uses.

General tips to help with common problems in the kitchen:

Over salted soup – add a cut up potato or two to absorb the extra salt.

Rub a griddle with a bag of salt to prevent sticking and smoking.

Before frying fish sprinkle the skillet with salt to prevent the fish from sticking.

To prevent food from sticking to skillets, waffle irons or griddles, sprinkle with salt and heat in warm oven, dust off salt and return to cupboard.  Next usage, foods won’t stick.

A pinch of salt goes a long way. Here are some hints that utilize a pinch of salt or perhaps a bit more while you are cooking:

Add a pinch of salt:

When whipping eggs to create fluffier eggs.

To enhance the flavor of coffee and in overcooked coffee helps remove the bitterness.

To whipping cream or egg whites to get them to whip faster.

To milk to have it stay fresh longer.

To icing prevents them from sugaring.

To improve boiled potatoes, salt after draining – this gives them a fine mealy texture.

Keep salads crisp by salting immediately before serving.


Poultry – has multiple uses:

Rub the chicken skin with salt to remove pinfeathers more easily.

Improve the flavor by rubbing salt inside and out before roasting.


Sea salt is derived from salty seawater. By combining salt with water again here are some great tips to help out in the kitchen:

Salt makes water boil at a higher temperature which reduces cooking time.

Boil eggs in salt water to ease the peeling process.

To set the whites of poached eggs, boil over saltwater.

Place an egg in a cup of water with 2 teaspoon of salt, a fresh egg will sink, a floating egg may be spoiled.

Washing spinach, lettuce and other greens in saltwater will keep them crisp.

Lightly salted cold water helps maintain the color of apples, pears and potatoes.

Soak in saltwater for hours to make shelling pecans easy.

Dampen a cloth with saltwater and wrap around cheese to prevent molding.

Sprinkle ice with salt, place gelatin salads or desserts on ice to get them to set more quickly.

Not all salt is the same.

Kosher Salt

Use it for: All cooking. Kosher salt dissolves fast, pill and its flavor disperses quickly, about it so chefs recommend tossing it on everything from pork roast to popcorn.

Origin: Either the sea or the earth. Widely sold brands include Morton and Diamond Crystal, which are made using different methods. Kosher salt got its name because its craggy crystals make it perfect for curing meat?a step in the koshering process.

Texture: Coarse. Cooks prize crystals like these; their roughness makes it easy to pinch a perfect amount.

To buy: Look in your local supermarket. Kosher salts cost about $1 a pound. If you don’t mind a few clumps, buy Diamond Crystal; it has no anticaking agents, which can leave a chemical aftertaste.

Crystalline Sea Salt

Use it for: Adding a pungent burst of flavor to just-cooked foods. These crystals will complement anything from a fresh salad to a salmon fillet.

Origin: Coasts from Portugal to Maine, California to the Pacific Rim.

Texture: Fine or coarse. The size of the irregular crystals affects how fast the salt dissolves. It varies in color, depending on the minerals it contains (iron-rich red clay, for example, gives Hawaiian sea salt a pinkish hue). These natural impurities can add subtly briny, sweet, or even bitter flavors to the salts.

To buy: Check gourmet shops or on-line (thespicehouse.com stocks Hawaiian sea salt). Expect to pay $2 to $15 or more a pound. Many markets sell La Baleine, a relatively inexpensive brand ($3 for 26.5 ounces).

Flaked Sea Salt

Use it for: Bringing a complex flavor to steamed vegetables or shellfish. Take a pinch, crush the crystals between your fingertips, and let them fall on freshly cooked food. This salt will add a hint of briny flavor.

Origin: England’s Essex coast is where the most popular brand, Maldon, is harvested.

Texture: Soft, sheer, pyramid-like flakes. This is the fastest-dissolving of all of the salt grains.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet. You’ll pay $6 for 8.5 ounces atchefshop.com.

Fleur de Sel

Use it for: A special-occasion table salt. Spoon it into a salt cellar to be pinched, then sprinkled over food just before eating. Delicately flavored, it adds a perfect hint of saltiness to freshly sliced tomato or melon.

Origin: Coastal salt ponds in France. The caviar of sea salt, fleur de sel is hand harvested. Conditions have to be just right (lots of sun and wind) for it to “bloom” like a flower on the surface of the water.

Texture: Crystalline, which means that fleur de sel melts slowly in the mouth. Its earthy, pleasing flavor lingers on the tongue.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet (try chefshop.com). From $11 for 4.4 ounces to $45 for 35 ounces.

Rock Salt

Use it for: Making ice cream and deicing. Rock salt is paired with ice in old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream makers to regulate the temperature. You can also use it to deice your sidewalks and driveway in the winter months.

Origin: Mined from deposits in the earth, rock salt is not sold for use directly on food. It’s usually packaged in an organic, unprocessed form.

Texture: Large, chunky, nonuniform crystals. Minerals and other harmless impurities can give it a grayish color.

To buy: It’s sold in supermarkets and hardware and home stores for less than $1 a pound.

Pickling Salt

Use it for: Brining pickles and sauerkraut. It will also brine a turkey, but beware: Pickling salt is far more concentrated than the more commonly used kosher salt, so you’ll need to use less.

Origin: Like table salt, pickling salt may come from the earth or the sea. But unlike table salt, it isn’t fortified with iodine (a nutritional need for humans) and doesn’t contain anticaking chemicals, both of which would turn pickles an unappetizing color. Virtually 100 percent sodium chloride, it’s the purest of salts.

Texture: This variety is fine grained, like table salt.

To buy: Many supermarkets sell it in large boxes or bags, but it can be hard to find in cities. It costs less than $1 a pou

For every meal there is one thing people generally reach for before they even take a bite – the salt shaker.  Salt is one of the oldest spices used and is a key component to humans, animals, and plants.

Its flavor is unique and versatile, salt has been a staple throughout time.  Enhancing almost every dish, salt is added to breads, meats, fruits and vegetables to sauces and desserts.

Additionally, salt aids foods in a variety of ways like:

Preservation – helps protect against microorganisms, bacteria through dehydration and preventing growth of bacteria, which slows or prevents spoilage.

Texture Aid – in bread making, allows the dough to rise by giving helping the gluten hold more water and carbon dioxide.  In meats it improves tenderness and in cheeses it aids in consistency of the cheese and the hardness of the rind.

Binder – in processed meats it helps retain water which reduces the loss of meat when cooking.

Color Developer – in ham, bacon, and other processed meats it helps obtain the desired color.  It also helps create a golden crust for breads.

Fermentation Control – slows and controls the fermentation process in:

Pickling
Cheese production
Sauerkraut production
Summer sausage production

When you reach for that salt shaker on the table or on the stove while cooking what type of salt are you getting?  While salt is gained from two sources, salt deposits on land or from the sea, once harvested it is essentially processed in the same way, through the creation of brine and evaporation.

Salts, like so many other foods, has become trendy with the multitude of seas salts now available to the home cook. Is the trend overrated or are these salts really worth their weight in salt!

The main difference between salts is in their texture. >Each salt has its own distinctive flavor, color, and texture. Experiment with different salt when cooking. Salt is like money! You get what you pay for. You can put the best ingredients into making your dish, but if you blow it on the wrong salt, the dish will not be as good.

There are three basic types of salt:

Table salt – mined using water to create a brine.

Table salt, the one found in most salt shakers, is mined from salt deposits and has most of the minerals removed.  Most salt in the United States is sold with iodine added making it iodized salt. This salt is harvested by forcing water into a mine to create brine (salt/water mix). The brine is then evaporated leaving cubes of salt. The salt is refined from there to create varieties like:

Pickling salt, Canning salt, Coarse salt, Gos sel – fine grained without iodine or anti-caking preservatives. This is similar to table salt, but lacks the iodine and anti-caking additives that turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy. Pickles made with table salt would still be good to eat, but they wouldn’t look as appetizing.

Pretzel salt – large grained, does not melt quickly.

Rock salt – large crystal salt with a gray color, due to minerals not removed from normal table salt. This form of salt is available in most grocery stores, and also through hardware stores.

Popcorn salt – very fine grained salt which is flakier version of table salt.

Iodized salt – contains a small amount of potassium iodide and dextrose as a dietary supplement to prevent thyroid disease. (see Salt Composition and Medical Uses below).

Seasoned salt – table salt with herbs added like onion, hickory smoke or garlic.


Kosher salt, Koshering salt
– also made from a brine but this brine is continually raked during the evaporation process.

Kosher salt is an additive-free coarse-grained salt. This salt was developed for the preparation of kosher meats in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. The salt itself is not kosher, but this is where the name comes from. The difference between table and Kosher salt is that during the evaporation process it is raked to give it a block-like structure which allows the salt to draw the blood out of meats. The raking makes Kosher salt coarser and flakier than table salt so it disperses more easily. This makes it lighter and less dense than table salt. It is also recommended to use Kosher salt for cocktail glasses for drinks like margaritas. Since it is a lighter salt, there is less after taste with it.

Today many cooks and chefs prefer it over table salt in their cooking, as it dissolves fast and its flavor disperses quickly. Kosher salt weighs less by volume than table salt, so you must increase the amount of salt used in a recipe when substituting for table salt. This is a great all-purpose salt.

Sea Salt – made from ocean or sea water, contains trace minerals not in the mined salts.

Sea Salt is just that – salt gained from evaporating salt water collected from an ocean or sea.  The process is more costly then the mining process.  Sea salt is typically less refined than other salts. Depending on the seawater used, you also get a variety of minerals in the sea salt. Due to this there are numerous types of sea salts. Here are a few:

Black Salt, Kala Namak, Sanchal – Significant for its strong sulfur odor (India) this salt is a pearly pink gray.  It is used in Indian cooking.

Grey salt, Celtic salt, Sel Gris – Harvested from the light film of salt which forms during the evaporation process.  The gray or light purple color comes from the clay in the region of France where it is harvested. Collected using traditional Celtic hand methods.

Hawaiian sea salt – Has a distinctive pink hue from the Alaea added to it. The Alaea is volcanic red clay with a high content of iron oxide. This salt is used in many traditional Hawaiian dishes like Kahlua Pig and Hawaiian Jerky.

Coarse salt, Gos Sel, Gale Grosso – Is a larger grain salt which resists moisture and is intended to be ground. Uses include flavoring for soups and salt crusts on meats.

Flake salt – Shaped like snowflakes, the brine is made using the sun and wind for evaporation. Then the brine is slowly heated to create the flakes.

Fleur de Sel, Flower of Salt, Flor De Sal – Skimmed from the top of salt ponds early in the process of evaporation, this is considered a great condiment salt; also good on grilled meats, in salads and on vegetables. The flavor, like wines, varies depending on the region it is harvested from. Typically it is from France though some is produced in Portugal.

French Sea Salt – Processed less than American salt, retains more of the mineral content gained from the Atlantic seawater it is harvested from. This usually includes natural iodine.  A coarse salt, this is good for salads, vegetables and grilled meats.

Grinder salt – Large dry salt crystal which can easily be put through a grinder. With a salt grinder you want to avoid metal as the salt will corrode the grinding mechanism.

Italian Sea Salt, Sicilian Sea Salt, Sale Marino – Harvested from the lower Mediterranean sea by hand using traditional methods of natural evaporation, this salt is high in iodine, fluorine, magnesium and potassium. A delicate salt which is good on salads and in sauces.

Smoked Sea Salt – One other derivative of sea salt is a smoked sea salt. The salt is smoked over real wood fires to add the flavor to the crystals. These can be used in soups, salads, pasta and also in grilling foods like salmon.

Organic Salt: Organic salt has different standards than organic livestock or botanicals. Some organizations have started to set up guidelines to ensure the quality of water and production process.

Lite (light) salt and salt substitutes: These generally do not have a great flavor. Lite salt uses potassium chloride to reduce the sodium level in the salt.  Salt substitutes have little or no sodium in them. Typically only people who have a medical reason use these because the flavor is not as good as salt.

Sour Salt: There is a product called sour salt which is not made up of salt at all, instead it is citric acid.  This is used to prevent browning when canning fruit. It can also be added to rye or sour dough bread to make it more tart.



Salt Substitutions

When using salt, you may not have available some of those listed above or a recipe may call for one type you don’t like. Substitution may become necessary. Here are a few suggested substitutions:

Kosher salt – a non-iodized coarse table salt or a coarse pickling salt but make sure you read the label and there are no additives.  When making this substitution use about half the salt called for in the recipe.

Pickling salt – substitute Kosher salt which is free of additives that can turn your pickle brine cloudy.

Pretzel salt – Kosher salt or a coarse sea salt.

Table salt – Kosher salt but use twice the salt called.



Hints on using different types of salt

Different salts offer different qualities based on how they are used. Here are a few hints on the way to use certain types of salt:

Fine salts – use for baking unless a recipe calls for something different.  The texture and size of a fine salt is smaller and more dense than a more coarsely ground salt.

Kosher salt – is great to use while cooking as the size of the salt is easier to see how much is being added.

Hand-harvested salts – avoid using during a cooking process unless it is a very quick process like with salmon.  If used during the cooking process the flavor and texture can be lost.



Salt Composition and Medical Uses

Since most salt is produced in relatively the same way, there is little difference when it comes to health benefits in which type is used.  Salt is plentiful in most foods even fruits and vegetables.  Processed foods have an alarmingly high level of sodium so it might be best to avoid those if on a salt restricted diet.

Typically salt is made up of sodium and chloride.  Sodium cannot be produced within the human body so it is important to the diet. Sodium helps regulate water balance ph and osmotic pressure.  Chloride is equally important in the human diet for it helps the blood to carry carbon dioxide; potassium absorption; helps in digestion; and conserves acid-base balance. Iodine is added to most North American salt in an effort to reduce Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD), which causes mental retardation, miscarriage, goiters, brain damage in infants and can impair growth and development. This effort has been highly successful in North American nearly wiping out the problems associated with IDD. All of these benefits are received from the common salt shaker almost everyone has on their table.

The recommended salt intake varies on the individual and their genetics. In general though, a minimum of 500 mg per day with a maximum of 2400 mg is a good guideline. This is difficult to regulate because so many foods do contain salt naturally.

Having the right level of salt assists the body with many functions including:

Nerve conduction.

Easy and active absorption of other nutrients in the small intestines.

Maintains electrolyte balance.

Key to hydration during exercise and outside activities.

Combats hyperthermia.

Increasing salt intake can combat chronic fatigue syndrome.

Helps regulate the water levels in cells, nutrient levels, and waste matter.

Salt is considered one of the first antibiotics, which is probably where the term rubbing salt in a wound comes from. Human blood actually contains 0.9% salt and a solution of water and salt in that proportion is commonly used to irrigate wounds.

As with anything, too much salt may cause problems. Some of the problems include the following:

Hypertension or high blood pressure.

High acidity, which may cause cancer.

In healthy people, too much salt is typically discarded by the kidneys. However, a genetic abnormality preventing the absorption of chloride may cause cystic fibrosis which can be detected by testing the saltiness of a person’s sweat.

Since Americans tend to over indulge in salt much focus has been placed on the effect salt has on hypertension.  Many studies have been done and debate continues as to whether salt adversely affects blood pressure.  Listed below are some of the general conclusions from the vast array of studies

Minority of population can lower their blood pressure by limiting salt.

Hypertension may be caused by too much salt in a diet.

Hypertension may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Life style changes may have more affect on blood pressure / hypertension than salt.

Low sodium intake can be just as dangerous as high sodium intake.

The group who benefits the most from reducing salt intake is overweight men.

While the debate continues in the medical community, the regular person can only attempt to reduce salt in their diet to see if it affects their blood pressure. If the craving for salt continues, it may stems from a lack of zinc in the diet. An increase in foods rich in zinc may reduce the desire for salt. Foods rich in zinc include:

Oysters

Endive

Alfalfa sprouts

Seaweed

Brown rice

Asparagus

Mushrooms

Turkey

Radishes

Balance is the key when it comes to the use of salt and the health. So many foods are rich in salt that adding it to a meal is probably not needed. If someone is at risk with high blood pressure, simply remove the salt shaker from the table in an effort to wean them off the habit.  One thing which was clear in most studies is that the affect salt had varied greatly among individuals based on genetic make up.  



Alternative Uses – Cooking Tips

Being so widely used, salt has many alternative uses besides the traditional food additive. There is an abundance of alternative uses which are separated into categories below.  Be cautious when using all of these, remember to start small to determine if there will be any adverse reactions to any of these procedures and uses.

General tips to help with common problems in the kitchen:

Over salted soup – add a cut up potato or two to absorb the extra salt.

Rub a griddle with a bag of salt to prevent sticking and smoking.

Before frying fish sprinkle the skillet with salt to prevent the fish from sticking.

To prevent food from sticking to skillets, waffle irons or griddles, sprinkle with salt and heat in warm oven, dust off salt and return to cupboard.  Next usage, foods won’t stick.

A pinch of salt goes a long way. Here are some hints that utilize a pinch of salt or perhaps a bit more while you are cooking:

Add a pinch of salt:

When whipping eggs to create fluffier eggs.

To enhance the flavor of coffee and in overcooked coffee helps remove the bitterness.

To whipping cream or egg whites to get them to whip faster.

To milk to have it stay fresh longer.

To icing prevents them from sugaring.

To improve boiled potatoes, salt after draining – this gives them a fine mealy texture.

Keep salads crisp by salting immediately before serving.


Poultry – has multiple uses:

Rub the chicken skin with salt to remove pinfeathers more easily.

Improve the flavor by rubbing salt inside and out before roasting.


Sea salt is derived from salty seawater. By combining salt with water again here are some great tips to help out in the kitchen:

Salt makes water boil at a higher temperature which reduces cooking time.

Boil eggs in salt water to ease the peeling process.

To set the whites of poached eggs, boil over saltwater.

Place an egg in a cup of water with 2 teaspoon of salt, a fresh egg will sink, a floating egg may be spoiled.

Washing spinach, lettuce and other greens in saltwater will keep them crisp.

Lightly salted cold water helps maintain the color of apples, pears and potatoes.

Soak in saltwater for hours to make shelling pecans easy.

Dampen a cloth with saltwater and wrap around cheese to prevent molding.

Sprinkle ice with salt, place gelatin salads or desserts on ice to get them to set more quickly.

Adding vegetables will give flavor depth to your broth – I use 2X onion : 1X carrot : 1X celery. Parsley stems and leek tops are another nice addition. I don’t add salt because if I want to reduce this stock, price it would be too salty.
#4 – Try adding some inexpensive pieces of chicken, pharmacy in addition to the bones. You’ll get more flavor than just using bones alone. Legs, wing, necks, gizzards (no liver) etc work well. I save these in a ZipLock bag when I’m cutting up whole chickensAdd the bones to cold water, bring it to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Skim the scum off the top.

Two weeks was a scorching 102 degrees. Last week cloudy skies brought light showers accompanied by cooler weather. This week was back into the high 90’s. I know, more about right? It is October already! Mother Nature, not acceptable. Not acceptable at all! We will just have to go ahead and celebrate autumn without the fall weather. Solution? Bake some fall goodness and hope for a cooler reprieve.

Ginger cookies are my favorite fall cookie. It is also the only other cookie flavor besides sugar that we all agree on. This version of ginger cookies is my favorite egg free recipe. I have made baked goods using the flax + water. I have also used chia seeds mixed with water. Sometimes there is a noticeable difference in taste or texture though. However, with this recipe you would never know it does not contain eggs.

Source: Isa Chandra Moskowitz
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup rice or coconut milk
1 cup granulated or coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons turbinado, demerra sugar or granulated sugar (for sprinkling on top)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.

In a separate large bowl, mix together the oil, molasses, milk, sugar, and vanilla. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and combine well.

Roll into 1-inch balls, roll in turbinado sugar. Place on baking sheet 1-inch apart. Flatten slightly into a 1 1/2 inch disk. Bake 10 to 12 minutes (don’t overbake!), let cool on cookie sheet about 1 minute then transfer to a wire rack.

Variations: – Replace the milk with applesauce.
I finally perfected my homemade stuffing years ago. Sadly I never wrote it down. I thought I posted it but every Thanksgiving when I search Dazzledish it is not there. Holidays are hectics times. So, information pills before I get lost in the rush of the season I am posting the recipe. No more panic come Thanksgiving.

If you are looking for amazing Korean recipes Maangchi’s website is THE place. So far every recipe I have tried has been absolutely delicious. Steamed Pork Buns are no exception.

Steamed pork buns are sort of like a stuffed dumpling. They can be baked in the oven. The result is just ok. Like a loaf of bread, information pills the baked dough is drier with a crisp outside. Ultimately you really want to try to steam them for a lighter fluffy dumpling. I do not own a steamer but I found my canning pot works perfectly.

Pack any leftovers for lunch the next day. They taste fine cold or warm in the microwave or oven.

If you are interested in learning Korean visit the Talk to Me in Korean website. It really makes learning the language simple.

Source: Maangchi

Dough:
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 ts sugar
3 cups flour
In a large bowl add water, yeast, salt, oil, and sugar. Mix well until yeast is fully dissolved.

Add flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.

Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.

After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.

Vegetable Filling:
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1 1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 cups chopped white mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine the onion, carrot, zucchini, green onion, and mushrooms.

Sprinkle salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.

Squeeze the excess water out.
*tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.

Meat Filling:
14 oz ground pork
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a mixing bowl, place: pork, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, and pepper.
Mix it by hand and set aside.

In a heated pan, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.

Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.

Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.

Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board.

(The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.)

Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tablespoons of filling mixture to the center of it.

Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.

Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.

Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.

*tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.

Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.

Dipping sauce:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup chopped onion
Chopped green chili pepper
Roasted sesame seeds

Combine soy sauce, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl.
Add some of onion, green chili pepper, and sesame seeds.

When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.

Variations:
— if you do not have a steamer you can use a large canning pot or stock pot. Place pint sized jars or glasses in the pot, open side down. fill the pot with water 1-2 inches below the top of the glasses. Place a canning rack or metal plate, small enough to fit inside the pot, onto of the glasses. Put the pork buns in muffin tin liners. Place on top of the rack/plate. Cover and bring to a simmer. cook buns 20 minutes.

Farmers living on the prairie during the 1800’s had to be resourceful for their survival. Every little bit was utilized with very little waste. Laura Ingals, health in the book “Little House in the Big Woods”, treatment tells about the day Pa butchered their pig. Pa promised the girls the pig’s bladder, viagra approved to use as a balloon, and the pig’s tail for a tasty treat. The pig’s tail was skewered on a stick then held over hot coals to cook. When it was nicely browned they ate it; the hot sizzling juices burning their tongues. I am not suggesting that we pitch our tents and go “country” (as Nelly, Laura’s nemesis, would say). However, we can learn much from their resourcefulness.

My daughter and I have been reading the Little House books together each night before bed. I enjoy most of their methods for repurposing every little bit; however, I doubt I will be making hog head cheese anytime soon. I do boil the chicken carcass for broth and I save the juices from the roast to flavor stews. I have also been known to save bacon grease. A tip my Great Aunt Ruth taught me. As for shining my shoes with it, like Pa with his bear lard, I think there is a limit to my resourcefulness.

Learning to be resourceful with leftovers and pantry staples is a cleaver way to save money. Stephen despises leftovers. I, on the other hand get bored with leftovers. If the kids do not eat it then most likely the dish will end up in the trash at the end of the week. That is a lot of waste especially when food prices seem to have doubled. To avoid the waste from leftovers I have learned to freeze the extras (do not refreeze meats), scale down the recipe, or try to transpose leftovers into something new all together. At the end of the week soups are an economical way to utilize vegetables and meat before they go bad. Most soups can be frozen or repurposed into another meal. For example, turn left over chicken soup into chicken potpieenchiladas, or tortilla soup.

Here is how:

— Drain the liquid from the chicken soup into a bowl. Strain. Use as broth for rice or for whenever broth or water is called for. Freeze broth in ice cube trays or freezable containers.

— For chicken pot pie make the sauce and pastry dough. Use the drained vegetables and chicken.

— For enchiladas pick out the chicken. Drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Toss with taco seasoning. Grill in a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

— For tortilla soup use the strained broth and chicken. Better yet, begin by making homemade broth for the chicken soup. Cut up a whole chicken. Place the bones in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings: salt, pepper, carrots, celery, onion, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 hours until the bones are dried out and clean. Strain. Let cool. Then skim the fat off the top. Instant broth that cost nothing extra.
Not all salt is the same.

Kosher Salt

Use it for: All cooking. Kosher salt dissolves fast, dosage and its flavor disperses quickly, more about so chefs recommend tossing it on everything from pork roast to popcorn.

Origin: Either the sea or the earth. Widely sold brands include Morton and Diamond Crystal, website which are made using different methods. Kosher salt got its name because its craggy crystals make it perfect for curing meat?a step in the koshering process.

Texture: Coarse. Cooks prize crystals like these; their roughness makes it easy to pinch a perfect amount.

To buy: Look in your local supermarket. Kosher salts cost about $1 a pound. If you don’t mind a few clumps, buy Diamond Crystal; it has no anticaking agents, which can leave a chemical aftertaste.

Crystalline Sea Salt

Use it for: Adding a pungent burst of flavor to just-cooked foods. These crystals will complement anything from a fresh salad to a salmon fillet.

Origin: Coasts from Portugal to Maine, California to the Pacific Rim.

Texture: Fine or coarse. The size of the irregular crystals affects how fast the salt dissolves. It varies in color, depending on the minerals it contains (iron-rich red clay, for example, gives Hawaiian sea salt a pinkish hue). These natural impurities can add subtly briny, sweet, or even bitter flavors to the salts.

To buy: Check gourmet shops or on-line (thespicehouse.com stocks Hawaiian sea salt). Expect to pay $2 to $15 or more a pound. Many markets sell La Baleine, a relatively inexpensive brand ($3 for 26.5 ounces).

Flaked Sea Salt

Use it for: Bringing a complex flavor to steamed vegetables or shellfish. Take a pinch, crush the crystals between your fingertips, and let them fall on freshly cooked food. This salt will add a hint of briny flavor.

Origin: England’s Essex coast is where the most popular brand, Maldon, is harvested.

Texture: Soft, sheer, pyramid-like flakes. This is the fastest-dissolving of all of the salt grains.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet. You’ll pay $6 for 8.5 ounces atchefshop.com.

Fleur de Sel

Use it for: A special-occasion table salt. Spoon it into a salt cellar to be pinched, then sprinkled over food just before eating. Delicately flavored, it adds a perfect hint of saltiness to freshly sliced tomato or melon.

Origin: Coastal salt ponds in France. The caviar of sea salt, fleur de sel is hand harvested. Conditions have to be just right (lots of sun and wind) for it to “bloom” like a flower on the surface of the water.

Texture: Crystalline, which means that fleur de sel melts slowly in the mouth. Its earthy, pleasing flavor lingers on the tongue.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet (try chefshop.com). From $11 for 4.4 ounces to $45 for 35 ounces.

Rock Salt

Use it for: Making ice cream and deicing. Rock salt is paired with ice in old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream makers to regulate the temperature. You can also use it to deice your sidewalks and driveway in the winter months.

Origin: Mined from deposits in the earth, rock salt is not sold for use directly on food. It’s usually packaged in an organic, unprocessed form.

Texture: Large, chunky, nonuniform crystals. Minerals and other harmless impurities can give it a grayish color.

To buy: It’s sold in supermarkets and hardware and home stores for less than $1 a pound.

Pickling Salt

Use it for: Brining pickles and sauerkraut. It will also brine a turkey, but beware: Pickling salt is far more concentrated than the more commonly used kosher salt, so you’ll need to use less.

Origin: Like table salt, pickling salt may come from the earth or the sea. But unlike table salt, it isn’t fortified with iodine (a nutritional need for humans) and doesn’t contain anticaking chemicals, both of which would turn pickles an unappetizing color. Virtually 100 percent sodium chloride, it’s the purest of salts.

Texture: This variety is fine grained, like table salt.

To buy: Many supermarkets sell it in large boxes or bags, but it can be hard to find in cities. It costs less than $1 a pou

For every meal there is one thing people generally reach for before they even take a bite – the salt shaker.  Salt is one of the oldest spices used and is a key component to humans, animals, and plants.

Its flavor is unique and versatile, salt has been a staple throughout time.  Enhancing almost every dish, salt is added to breads, meats, fruits and vegetables to sauces and desserts.

Additionally, salt aids foods in a variety of ways like:

Preservation – helps protect against microorganisms, bacteria through dehydration and preventing growth of bacteria, which slows or prevents spoilage.

Texture Aid – in bread making, allows the dough to rise by giving helping the gluten hold more water and carbon dioxide.  In meats it improves tenderness and in cheeses it aids in consistency of the cheese and the hardness of the rind.

Binder – in processed meats it helps retain water which reduces the loss of meat when cooking.

Color Developer – in ham, bacon, and other processed meats it helps obtain the desired color.  It also helps create a golden crust for breads.

Fermentation Control – slows and controls the fermentation process in:

Pickling
Cheese production
Sauerkraut production
Summer sausage production

When you reach for that salt shaker on the table or on the stove while cooking what type of salt are you getting?  While salt is gained from two sources, salt deposits on land or from the sea, once harvested it is essentially processed in the same way, through the creation of brine and evaporation.

Salts, like so many other foods, has become trendy with the multitude of seas salts now available to the home cook. Is the trend overrated or are these salts really worth their weight in salt!

The main difference between salts is in their texture. >Each salt has its own distinctive flavor, color, and texture. Experiment with different salt when cooking. Salt is like money! You get what you pay for. You can put the best ingredients into making your dish, but if you blow it on the wrong salt, the dish will not be as good.

There are three basic types of salt:

Table salt – mined using water to create a brine.

Table salt, the one found in most salt shakers, is mined from salt deposits and has most of the minerals removed.  Most salt in the United States is sold with iodine added making it iodized salt. This salt is harvested by forcing water into a mine to create brine (salt/water mix). The brine is then evaporated leaving cubes of salt. The salt is refined from there to create varieties like:

Pickling salt, Canning salt, Coarse salt, Gos sel – fine grained without iodine or anti-caking preservatives. This is similar to table salt, but lacks the iodine and anti-caking additives that turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy. Pickles made with table salt would still be good to eat, but they wouldn’t look as appetizing.

Pretzel salt – large grained, does not melt quickly.

Rock salt – large crystal salt with a gray color, due to minerals not removed from normal table salt. This form of salt is available in most grocery stores, and also through hardware stores.

Popcorn salt – very fine grained salt which is flakier version of table salt.

Iodized salt – contains a small amount of potassium iodide and dextrose as a dietary supplement to prevent thyroid disease. (see Salt Composition and Medical Uses below).

Seasoned salt – table salt with herbs added like onion, hickory smoke or garlic.


Kosher salt, Koshering salt
– also made from a brine but this brine is continually raked during the evaporation process.

Kosher salt is an additive-free coarse-grained salt. This salt was developed for the preparation of kosher meats in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. The salt itself is not kosher, but this is where the name comes from. The difference between table and Kosher salt is that during the evaporation process it is raked to give it a block-like structure which allows the salt to draw the blood out of meats. The raking makes Kosher salt coarser and flakier than table salt so it disperses more easily. This makes it lighter and less dense than table salt. It is also recommended to use Kosher salt for cocktail glasses for drinks like margaritas. Since it is a lighter salt, there is less after taste with it.

Today many cooks and chefs prefer it over table salt in their cooking, as it dissolves fast and its flavor disperses quickly. Kosher salt weighs less by volume than table salt, so you must increase the amount of salt used in a recipe when substituting for table salt. This is a great all-purpose salt.

Sea Salt – made from ocean or sea water, contains trace minerals not in the mined salts.

Sea Salt is just that – salt gained from evaporating salt water collected from an ocean or sea.  The process is more costly then the mining process.  Sea salt is typically less refined than other salts. Depending on the seawater used, you also get a variety of minerals in the sea salt. Due to this there are numerous types of sea salts. Here are a few:

Black Salt, Kala Namak, Sanchal – Significant for its strong sulfur odor (India) this salt is a pearly pink gray.  It is used in Indian cooking.

Grey salt, Celtic salt, Sel Gris – Harvested from the light film of salt which forms during the evaporation process.  The gray or light purple color comes from the clay in the region of France where it is harvested. Collected using traditional Celtic hand methods.

Hawaiian sea salt – Has a distinctive pink hue from the Alaea added to it. The Alaea is volcanic red clay with a high content of iron oxide. This salt is used in many traditional Hawaiian dishes like Kahlua Pig and Hawaiian Jerky.

Coarse salt, Gos Sel, Gale Grosso – Is a larger grain salt which resists moisture and is intended to be ground. Uses include flavoring for soups and salt crusts on meats.

Flake salt – Shaped like snowflakes, the brine is made using the sun and wind for evaporation. Then the brine is slowly heated to create the flakes.

Fleur de Sel, Flower of Salt, Flor De Sal – Skimmed from the top of salt ponds early in the process of evaporation, this is considered a great condiment salt; also good on grilled meats, in salads and on vegetables. The flavor, like wines, varies depending on the region it is harvested from. Typically it is from France though some is produced in Portugal.

French Sea Salt – Processed less than American salt, retains more of the mineral content gained from the Atlantic seawater it is harvested from. This usually includes natural iodine.  A coarse salt, this is good for salads, vegetables and grilled meats.

Grinder salt – Large dry salt crystal which can easily be put through a grinder. With a salt grinder you want to avoid metal as the salt will corrode the grinding mechanism.

Italian Sea Salt, Sicilian Sea Salt, Sale Marino – Harvested from the lower Mediterranean sea by hand using traditional methods of natural evaporation, this salt is high in iodine, fluorine, magnesium and potassium. A delicate salt which is good on salads and in sauces.

Smoked Sea Salt – One other derivative of sea salt is a smoked sea salt. The salt is smoked over real wood fires to add the flavor to the crystals. These can be used in soups, salads, pasta and also in grilling foods like salmon.

Organic Salt: Organic salt has different standards than organic livestock or botanicals. Some organizations have started to set up guidelines to ensure the quality of water and production process.

Lite (light) salt and salt substitutes: These generally do not have a great flavor. Lite salt uses potassium chloride to reduce the sodium level in the salt.  Salt substitutes have little or no sodium in them. Typically only people who have a medical reason use these because the flavor is not as good as salt.

Sour Salt: There is a product called sour salt which is not made up of salt at all, instead it is citric acid.  This is used to prevent browning when canning fruit. It can also be added to rye or sour dough bread to make it more tart.



Salt Substitutions

When using salt, you may not have available some of those listed above or a recipe may call for one type you don’t like. Substitution may become necessary. Here are a few suggested substitutions:

Kosher salt – a non-iodized coarse table salt or a coarse pickling salt but make sure you read the label and there are no additives.  When making this substitution use about half the salt called for in the recipe.

Pickling salt – substitute Kosher salt which is free of additives that can turn your pickle brine cloudy.

Pretzel salt – Kosher salt or a coarse sea salt.

Table salt – Kosher salt but use twice the salt called.



Hints on using different types of salt

Different salts offer different qualities based on how they are used. Here are a few hints on the way to use certain types of salt:

Fine salts – use for baking unless a recipe calls for something different.  The texture and size of a fine salt is smaller and more dense than a more coarsely ground salt.

Kosher salt – is great to use while cooking as the size of the salt is easier to see how much is being added.

Hand-harvested salts – avoid using during a cooking process unless it is a very quick process like with salmon.  If used during the cooking process the flavor and texture can be lost.



Salt Composition and Medical Uses

Since most salt is produced in relatively the same way, there is little difference when it comes to health benefits in which type is used.  Salt is plentiful in most foods even fruits and vegetables.  Processed foods have an alarmingly high level of sodium so it might be best to avoid those if on a salt restricted diet.

Typically salt is made up of sodium and chloride.  Sodium cannot be produced within the human body so it is important to the diet. Sodium helps regulate water balance ph and osmotic pressure.  Chloride is equally important in the human diet for it helps the blood to carry carbon dioxide; potassium absorption; helps in digestion; and conserves acid-base balance. Iodine is added to most North American salt in an effort to reduce Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD), which causes mental retardation, miscarriage, goiters, brain damage in infants and can impair growth and development. This effort has been highly successful in North American nearly wiping out the problems associated with IDD. All of these benefits are received from the common salt shaker almost everyone has on their table.

The recommended salt intake varies on the individual and their genetics. In general though, a minimum of 500 mg per day with a maximum of 2400 mg is a good guideline. This is difficult to regulate because so many foods do contain salt naturally.

Having the right level of salt assists the body with many functions including:

Nerve conduction.

Easy and active absorption of other nutrients in the small intestines.

Maintains electrolyte balance.

Key to hydration during exercise and outside activities.

Combats hyperthermia.

Increasing salt intake can combat chronic fatigue syndrome.

Helps regulate the water levels in cells, nutrient levels, and waste matter.

Salt is considered one of the first antibiotics, which is probably where the term rubbing salt in a wound comes from. Human blood actually contains 0.9% salt and a solution of water and salt in that proportion is commonly used to irrigate wounds.

As with anything, too much salt may cause problems. Some of the problems include the following:

Hypertension or high blood pressure.

High acidity, which may cause cancer.

In healthy people, too much salt is typically discarded by the kidneys. However, a genetic abnormality preventing the absorption of chloride may cause cystic fibrosis which can be detected by testing the saltiness of a person’s sweat.

Since Americans tend to over indulge in salt much focus has been placed on the effect salt has on hypertension.  Many studies have been done and debate continues as to whether salt adversely affects blood pressure.  Listed below are some of the general conclusions from the vast array of studies

Minority of population can lower their blood pressure by limiting salt.

Hypertension may be caused by too much salt in a diet.

Hypertension may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Life style changes may have more affect on blood pressure / hypertension than salt.

Low sodium intake can be just as dangerous as high sodium intake.

The group who benefits the most from reducing salt intake is overweight men.

While the debate continues in the medical community, the regular person can only attempt to reduce salt in their diet to see if it affects their blood pressure. If the craving for salt continues, it may stems from a lack of zinc in the diet. An increase in foods rich in zinc may reduce the desire for salt. Foods rich in zinc include:

Oysters

Endive

Alfalfa sprouts

Seaweed

Brown rice

Asparagus

Mushrooms

Turkey

Radishes

Balance is the key when it comes to the use of salt and the health. So many foods are rich in salt that adding it to a meal is probably not needed. If someone is at risk with high blood pressure, simply remove the salt shaker from the table in an effort to wean them off the habit.  One thing which was clear in most studies is that the affect salt had varied greatly among individuals based on genetic make up.  



Alternative Uses – Cooking Tips

Being so widely used, salt has many alternative uses besides the traditional food additive. There is an abundance of alternative uses which are separated into categories below.  Be cautious when using all of these, remember to start small to determine if there will be any adverse reactions to any of these procedures and uses.

General tips to help with common problems in the kitchen:

Over salted soup – add a cut up potato or two to absorb the extra salt.

Rub a griddle with a bag of salt to prevent sticking and smoking.

Before frying fish sprinkle the skillet with salt to prevent the fish from sticking.

To prevent food from sticking to skillets, waffle irons or griddles, sprinkle with salt and heat in warm oven, dust off salt and return to cupboard.  Next usage, foods won’t stick.

A pinch of salt goes a long way. Here are some hints that utilize a pinch of salt or perhaps a bit more while you are cooking:

Add a pinch of salt:

When whipping eggs to create fluffier eggs.

To enhance the flavor of coffee and in overcooked coffee helps remove the bitterness.

To whipping cream or egg whites to get them to whip faster.

To milk to have it stay fresh longer.

To icing prevents them from sugaring.

To improve boiled potatoes, salt after draining – this gives them a fine mealy texture.

Keep salads crisp by salting immediately before serving.


Poultry – has multiple uses:

Rub the chicken skin with salt to remove pinfeathers more easily.

Improve the flavor by rubbing salt inside and out before roasting.


Sea salt is derived from salty seawater. By combining salt with water again here are some great tips to help out in the kitchen:

Salt makes water boil at a higher temperature which reduces cooking time.

Boil eggs in salt water to ease the peeling process.

To set the whites of poached eggs, boil over saltwater.

Place an egg in a cup of water with 2 teaspoon of salt, a fresh egg will sink, a floating egg may be spoiled.

Washing spinach, lettuce and other greens in saltwater will keep them crisp.

Lightly salted cold water helps maintain the color of apples, pears and potatoes.

Soak in saltwater for hours to make shelling pecans easy.

Dampen a cloth with saltwater and wrap around cheese to prevent molding.

Sprinkle ice with salt, place gelatin salads or desserts on ice to get them to set more quickly.

Not all salt is the same.

Kosher Salt

Use it for: All cooking. Kosher salt dissolves fast, pill and its flavor disperses quickly, about it so chefs recommend tossing it on everything from pork roast to popcorn.

Origin: Either the sea or the earth. Widely sold brands include Morton and Diamond Crystal, which are made using different methods. Kosher salt got its name because its craggy crystals make it perfect for curing meat?a step in the koshering process.

Texture: Coarse. Cooks prize crystals like these; their roughness makes it easy to pinch a perfect amount.

To buy: Look in your local supermarket. Kosher salts cost about $1 a pound. If you don’t mind a few clumps, buy Diamond Crystal; it has no anticaking agents, which can leave a chemical aftertaste.

Crystalline Sea Salt

Use it for: Adding a pungent burst of flavor to just-cooked foods. These crystals will complement anything from a fresh salad to a salmon fillet.

Origin: Coasts from Portugal to Maine, California to the Pacific Rim.

Texture: Fine or coarse. The size of the irregular crystals affects how fast the salt dissolves. It varies in color, depending on the minerals it contains (iron-rich red clay, for example, gives Hawaiian sea salt a pinkish hue). These natural impurities can add subtly briny, sweet, or even bitter flavors to the salts.

To buy: Check gourmet shops or on-line (thespicehouse.com stocks Hawaiian sea salt). Expect to pay $2 to $15 or more a pound. Many markets sell La Baleine, a relatively inexpensive brand ($3 for 26.5 ounces).

Flaked Sea Salt

Use it for: Bringing a complex flavor to steamed vegetables or shellfish. Take a pinch, crush the crystals between your fingertips, and let them fall on freshly cooked food. This salt will add a hint of briny flavor.

Origin: England’s Essex coast is where the most popular brand, Maldon, is harvested.

Texture: Soft, sheer, pyramid-like flakes. This is the fastest-dissolving of all of the salt grains.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet. You’ll pay $6 for 8.5 ounces atchefshop.com.

Fleur de Sel

Use it for: A special-occasion table salt. Spoon it into a salt cellar to be pinched, then sprinkled over food just before eating. Delicately flavored, it adds a perfect hint of saltiness to freshly sliced tomato or melon.

Origin: Coastal salt ponds in France. The caviar of sea salt, fleur de sel is hand harvested. Conditions have to be just right (lots of sun and wind) for it to “bloom” like a flower on the surface of the water.

Texture: Crystalline, which means that fleur de sel melts slowly in the mouth. Its earthy, pleasing flavor lingers on the tongue.

To buy: Search specialty-food stores and the Internet (try chefshop.com). From $11 for 4.4 ounces to $45 for 35 ounces.

Rock Salt

Use it for: Making ice cream and deicing. Rock salt is paired with ice in old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream makers to regulate the temperature. You can also use it to deice your sidewalks and driveway in the winter months.

Origin: Mined from deposits in the earth, rock salt is not sold for use directly on food. It’s usually packaged in an organic, unprocessed form.

Texture: Large, chunky, nonuniform crystals. Minerals and other harmless impurities can give it a grayish color.

To buy: It’s sold in supermarkets and hardware and home stores for less than $1 a pound.

Pickling Salt

Use it for: Brining pickles and sauerkraut. It will also brine a turkey, but beware: Pickling salt is far more concentrated than the more commonly used kosher salt, so you’ll need to use less.

Origin: Like table salt, pickling salt may come from the earth or the sea. But unlike table salt, it isn’t fortified with iodine (a nutritional need for humans) and doesn’t contain anticaking chemicals, both of which would turn pickles an unappetizing color. Virtually 100 percent sodium chloride, it’s the purest of salts.

Texture: This variety is fine grained, like table salt.

To buy: Many supermarkets sell it in large boxes or bags, but it can be hard to find in cities. It costs less than $1 a pou

For every meal there is one thing people generally reach for before they even take a bite – the salt shaker.  Salt is one of the oldest spices used and is a key component to humans, animals, and plants.

Its flavor is unique and versatile, salt has been a staple throughout time.  Enhancing almost every dish, salt is added to breads, meats, fruits and vegetables to sauces and desserts.

Additionally, salt aids foods in a variety of ways like:

Preservation – helps protect against microorganisms, bacteria through dehydration and preventing growth of bacteria, which slows or prevents spoilage.

Texture Aid – in bread making, allows the dough to rise by giving helping the gluten hold more water and carbon dioxide.  In meats it improves tenderness and in cheeses it aids in consistency of the cheese and the hardness of the rind.

Binder – in processed meats it helps retain water which reduces the loss of meat when cooking.

Color Developer – in ham, bacon, and other processed meats it helps obtain the desired color.  It also helps create a golden crust for breads.

Fermentation Control – slows and controls the fermentation process in:

Pickling
Cheese production
Sauerkraut production
Summer sausage production

When you reach for that salt shaker on the table or on the stove while cooking what type of salt are you getting?  While salt is gained from two sources, salt deposits on land or from the sea, once harvested it is essentially processed in the same way, through the creation of brine and evaporation.

Salts, like so many other foods, has become trendy with the multitude of seas salts now available to the home cook. Is the trend overrated or are these salts really worth their weight in salt!

The main difference between salts is in their texture. >Each salt has its own distinctive flavor, color, and texture. Experiment with different salt when cooking. Salt is like money! You get what you pay for. You can put the best ingredients into making your dish, but if you blow it on the wrong salt, the dish will not be as good.

There are three basic types of salt:

Table salt – mined using water to create a brine.

Table salt, the one found in most salt shakers, is mined from salt deposits and has most of the minerals removed.  Most salt in the United States is sold with iodine added making it iodized salt. This salt is harvested by forcing water into a mine to create brine (salt/water mix). The brine is then evaporated leaving cubes of salt. The salt is refined from there to create varieties like:

Pickling salt, Canning salt, Coarse salt, Gos sel – fine grained without iodine or anti-caking preservatives. This is similar to table salt, but lacks the iodine and anti-caking additives that turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy. Pickles made with table salt would still be good to eat, but they wouldn’t look as appetizing.

Pretzel salt – large grained, does not melt quickly.

Rock salt – large crystal salt with a gray color, due to minerals not removed from normal table salt. This form of salt is available in most grocery stores, and also through hardware stores.

Popcorn salt – very fine grained salt which is flakier version of table salt.

Iodized salt – contains a small amount of potassium iodide and dextrose as a dietary supplement to prevent thyroid disease. (see Salt Composition and Medical Uses below).

Seasoned salt – table salt with herbs added like onion, hickory smoke or garlic.


Kosher salt, Koshering salt
– also made from a brine but this brine is continually raked during the evaporation process.

Kosher salt is an additive-free coarse-grained salt. This salt was developed for the preparation of kosher meats in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. The salt itself is not kosher, but this is where the name comes from. The difference between table and Kosher salt is that during the evaporation process it is raked to give it a block-like structure which allows the salt to draw the blood out of meats. The raking makes Kosher salt coarser and flakier than table salt so it disperses more easily. This makes it lighter and less dense than table salt. It is also recommended to use Kosher salt for cocktail glasses for drinks like margaritas. Since it is a lighter salt, there is less after taste with it.

Today many cooks and chefs prefer it over table salt in their cooking, as it dissolves fast and its flavor disperses quickly. Kosher salt weighs less by volume than table salt, so you must increase the amount of salt used in a recipe when substituting for table salt. This is a great all-purpose salt.

Sea Salt – made from ocean or sea water, contains trace minerals not in the mined salts.

Sea Salt is just that – salt gained from evaporating salt water collected from an ocean or sea.  The process is more costly then the mining process.  Sea salt is typically less refined than other salts. Depending on the seawater used, you also get a variety of minerals in the sea salt. Due to this there are numerous types of sea salts. Here are a few:

Black Salt, Kala Namak, Sanchal – Significant for its strong sulfur odor (India) this salt is a pearly pink gray.  It is used in Indian cooking.

Grey salt, Celtic salt, Sel Gris – Harvested from the light film of salt which forms during the evaporation process.  The gray or light purple color comes from the clay in the region of France where it is harvested. Collected using traditional Celtic hand methods.

Hawaiian sea salt – Has a distinctive pink hue from the Alaea added to it. The Alaea is volcanic red clay with a high content of iron oxide. This salt is used in many traditional Hawaiian dishes like Kahlua Pig and Hawaiian Jerky.

Coarse salt, Gos Sel, Gale Grosso – Is a larger grain salt which resists moisture and is intended to be ground. Uses include flavoring for soups and salt crusts on meats.

Flake salt – Shaped like snowflakes, the brine is made using the sun and wind for evaporation. Then the brine is slowly heated to create the flakes.

Fleur de Sel, Flower of Salt, Flor De Sal – Skimmed from the top of salt ponds early in the process of evaporation, this is considered a great condiment salt; also good on grilled meats, in salads and on vegetables. The flavor, like wines, varies depending on the region it is harvested from. Typically it is from France though some is produced in Portugal.

French Sea Salt – Processed less than American salt, retains more of the mineral content gained from the Atlantic seawater it is harvested from. This usually includes natural iodine.  A coarse salt, this is good for salads, vegetables and grilled meats.

Grinder salt – Large dry salt crystal which can easily be put through a grinder. With a salt grinder you want to avoid metal as the salt will corrode the grinding mechanism.

Italian Sea Salt, Sicilian Sea Salt, Sale Marino – Harvested from the lower Mediterranean sea by hand using traditional methods of natural evaporation, this salt is high in iodine, fluorine, magnesium and potassium. A delicate salt which is good on salads and in sauces.

Smoked Sea Salt – One other derivative of sea salt is a smoked sea salt. The salt is smoked over real wood fires to add the flavor to the crystals. These can be used in soups, salads, pasta and also in grilling foods like salmon.

Organic Salt: Organic salt has different standards than organic livestock or botanicals. Some organizations have started to set up guidelines to ensure the quality of water and production process.

Lite (light) salt and salt substitutes: These generally do not have a great flavor. Lite salt uses potassium chloride to reduce the sodium level in the salt.  Salt substitutes have little or no sodium in them. Typically only people who have a medical reason use these because the flavor is not as good as salt.

Sour Salt: There is a product called sour salt which is not made up of salt at all, instead it is citric acid.  This is used to prevent browning when canning fruit. It can also be added to rye or sour dough bread to make it more tart.



Salt Substitutions

When using salt, you may not have available some of those listed above or a recipe may call for one type you don’t like. Substitution may become necessary. Here are a few suggested substitutions:

Kosher salt – a non-iodized coarse table salt or a coarse pickling salt but make sure you read the label and there are no additives.  When making this substitution use about half the salt called for in the recipe.

Pickling salt – substitute Kosher salt which is free of additives that can turn your pickle brine cloudy.

Pretzel salt – Kosher salt or a coarse sea salt.

Table salt – Kosher salt but use twice the salt called.



Hints on using different types of salt

Different salts offer different qualities based on how they are used. Here are a few hints on the way to use certain types of salt:

Fine salts – use for baking unless a recipe calls for something different.  The texture and size of a fine salt is smaller and more dense than a more coarsely ground salt.

Kosher salt – is great to use while cooking as the size of the salt is easier to see how much is being added.

Hand-harvested salts – avoid using during a cooking process unless it is a very quick process like with salmon.  If used during the cooking process the flavor and texture can be lost.



Salt Composition and Medical Uses

Since most salt is produced in relatively the same way, there is little difference when it comes to health benefits in which type is used.  Salt is plentiful in most foods even fruits and vegetables.  Processed foods have an alarmingly high level of sodium so it might be best to avoid those if on a salt restricted diet.

Typically salt is made up of sodium and chloride.  Sodium cannot be produced within the human body so it is important to the diet. Sodium helps regulate water balance ph and osmotic pressure.  Chloride is equally important in the human diet for it helps the blood to carry carbon dioxide; potassium absorption; helps in digestion; and conserves acid-base balance. Iodine is added to most North American salt in an effort to reduce Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD), which causes mental retardation, miscarriage, goiters, brain damage in infants and can impair growth and development. This effort has been highly successful in North American nearly wiping out the problems associated with IDD. All of these benefits are received from the common salt shaker almost everyone has on their table.

The recommended salt intake varies on the individual and their genetics. In general though, a minimum of 500 mg per day with a maximum of 2400 mg is a good guideline. This is difficult to regulate because so many foods do contain salt naturally.

Having the right level of salt assists the body with many functions including:

Nerve conduction.

Easy and active absorption of other nutrients in the small intestines.

Maintains electrolyte balance.

Key to hydration during exercise and outside activities.

Combats hyperthermia.

Increasing salt intake can combat chronic fatigue syndrome.

Helps regulate the water levels in cells, nutrient levels, and waste matter.

Salt is considered one of the first antibiotics, which is probably where the term rubbing salt in a wound comes from. Human blood actually contains 0.9% salt and a solution of water and salt in that proportion is commonly used to irrigate wounds.

As with anything, too much salt may cause problems. Some of the problems include the following:

Hypertension or high blood pressure.

High acidity, which may cause cancer.

In healthy people, too much salt is typically discarded by the kidneys. However, a genetic abnormality preventing the absorption of chloride may cause cystic fibrosis which can be detected by testing the saltiness of a person’s sweat.

Since Americans tend to over indulge in salt much focus has been placed on the effect salt has on hypertension.  Many studies have been done and debate continues as to whether salt adversely affects blood pressure.  Listed below are some of the general conclusions from the vast array of studies

Minority of population can lower their blood pressure by limiting salt.

Hypertension may be caused by too much salt in a diet.

Hypertension may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Life style changes may have more affect on blood pressure / hypertension than salt.

Low sodium intake can be just as dangerous as high sodium intake.

The group who benefits the most from reducing salt intake is overweight men.

While the debate continues in the medical community, the regular person can only attempt to reduce salt in their diet to see if it affects their blood pressure. If the craving for salt continues, it may stems from a lack of zinc in the diet. An increase in foods rich in zinc may reduce the desire for salt. Foods rich in zinc include:

Oysters

Endive

Alfalfa sprouts

Seaweed

Brown rice

Asparagus

Mushrooms

Turkey

Radishes

Balance is the key when it comes to the use of salt and the health. So many foods are rich in salt that adding it to a meal is probably not needed. If someone is at risk with high blood pressure, simply remove the salt shaker from the table in an effort to wean them off the habit.  One thing which was clear in most studies is that the affect salt had varied greatly among individuals based on genetic make up.  



Alternative Uses – Cooking Tips

Being so widely used, salt has many alternative uses besides the traditional food additive. There is an abundance of alternative uses which are separated into categories below.  Be cautious when using all of these, remember to start small to determine if there will be any adverse reactions to any of these procedures and uses.

General tips to help with common problems in the kitchen:

Over salted soup – add a cut up potato or two to absorb the extra salt.

Rub a griddle with a bag of salt to prevent sticking and smoking.

Before frying fish sprinkle the skillet with salt to prevent the fish from sticking.

To prevent food from sticking to skillets, waffle irons or griddles, sprinkle with salt and heat in warm oven, dust off salt and return to cupboard.  Next usage, foods won’t stick.

A pinch of salt goes a long way. Here are some hints that utilize a pinch of salt or perhaps a bit more while you are cooking:

Add a pinch of salt:

When whipping eggs to create fluffier eggs.

To enhance the flavor of coffee and in overcooked coffee helps remove the bitterness.

To whipping cream or egg whites to get them to whip faster.

To milk to have it stay fresh longer.

To icing prevents them from sugaring.

To improve boiled potatoes, salt after draining – this gives them a fine mealy texture.

Keep salads crisp by salting immediately before serving.


Poultry – has multiple uses:

Rub the chicken skin with salt to remove pinfeathers more easily.

Improve the flavor by rubbing salt inside and out before roasting.


Sea salt is derived from salty seawater. By combining salt with water again here are some great tips to help out in the kitchen:

Salt makes water boil at a higher temperature which reduces cooking time.

Boil eggs in salt water to ease the peeling process.

To set the whites of poached eggs, boil over saltwater.

Place an egg in a cup of water with 2 teaspoon of salt, a fresh egg will sink, a floating egg may be spoiled.

Washing spinach, lettuce and other greens in saltwater will keep them crisp.

Lightly salted cold water helps maintain the color of apples, pears and potatoes.

Soak in saltwater for hours to make shelling pecans easy.

Dampen a cloth with saltwater and wrap around cheese to prevent molding.

Sprinkle ice with salt, place gelatin salads or desserts on ice to get them to set more quickly.

Adding vegetables will give flavor depth to your broth – I use 2X onion : 1X carrot : 1X celery. Parsley stems and leek tops are another nice addition. I don’t add salt because if I want to reduce this stock, price it would be too salty.
#4 – Try adding some inexpensive pieces of chicken, pharmacy in addition to the bones. You’ll get more flavor than just using bones alone. Legs, wing, necks, gizzards (no liver) etc work well. I save these in a ZipLock bag when I’m cutting up whole chickensAdd the bones to cold water, bring it to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Skim the scum off the top.

Two weeks was a scorching 102 degrees. Last week cloudy skies brought light showers accompanied by cooler weather. This week was back into the high 90’s. I know, more about right? It is October already! Mother Nature, not acceptable. Not acceptable at all! We will just have to go ahead and celebrate autumn without the fall weather. Solution? Bake some fall goodness and hope for a cooler reprieve.

Ginger cookies are my favorite fall cookie. It is also the only other cookie flavor besides sugar that we all agree on. This version of ginger cookies is my favorite egg free recipe. I have made baked goods using the flax + water. I have also used chia seeds mixed with water. Sometimes there is a noticeable difference in taste or texture though. However, with this recipe you would never know it does not contain eggs.

Source: Isa Chandra Moskowitz
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup rice or coconut milk
1 cup granulated or coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons turbinado, demerra sugar or granulated sugar (for sprinkling on top)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.

In a separate large bowl, mix together the oil, molasses, milk, sugar, and vanilla. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and combine well.

Roll into 1-inch balls, roll in turbinado sugar. Place on baking sheet 1-inch apart. Flatten slightly into a 1 1/2 inch disk. Bake 10 to 12 minutes (don’t overbake!), let cool on cookie sheet about 1 minute then transfer to a wire rack.

Variations: – Replace the milk with applesauce.
Adding vegetables will give flavor depth to your broth – I use 2X onion : 1X carrot : 1X celery. Parsley stems and leek tops are another nice addition. I don’t add salt because if I want to reduce this stock, visit it would be too salty.
#4 – Try adding some inexpensive pieces of chicken, in addition to the bones. You’ll get more flavor than just using bones alone. Legs, wing, necks, gizzards (no liver) etc work well. I save these in a ZipLock bag when I’m cutting up whole chickensAdd the bones to cold water, bring it to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Skim the scum off the top.

Chicken Bone Method:
Do not throw away the unused portions of a roasted chicken. Instead, use it to make chicken stock/broth. Use the leftovers from a home baked chicken or one purchased from the store.

Throw the bones, wings, and other pieces of uneaten chicken into a large stock pot. Add enough water to barely cover the carcass. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for two to three hours, until bones are devoid of meat.

Strain stock through a mesh colander into a large bowl. Allow broth to cool

Whole Chicken Method:

This method is mostly used when making homemade chicken soup. Or when you need to use boiled chicken meat for another recipe. Boiling the chicken takes the flavor out of the chicken. So you want to use this chicken in dishes that use a lot spices for flavor such as chicken salad, casseroles, or soup.

1 fryer chicken

1-2 tablespoons salt

Place chicken in a large stock pot or or large deep pot. Cover with enough water to just cover the chicken.

Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer 2 to 3 hours (or until the chicken starts to fall off the bone.
I started making broth back when it was the Martha Stewart thing to do. Then the more often I used the broth I realized that the stuff on the shelf at the supermarket is not broth and really distasteful. I also realized that i could get a one get one free kind of deal by making broth from left over fryer chickens. If there is a chicken in the house it will be roasted, advice capsule boiled and eventually made into broth.

Adding vegetables will give flavor depth to your broth – I use 2X onion : 1X carrot : 1X celery. Parsley stems and leek tops are another nice addition. I don’t add salt because if I want to reduce this stock, hospital it would be too salty.
#4 – Try adding some inexpensive pieces of chicken, cost in addition to the bones. You’ll get more flavor than just using bones alone. Legs, wing, necks, gizzards (no liver) etc work well. I save these in a ZipLock bag when I’m cutting up whole chickensAdd the bones to cold water, bring it to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Skim the scum off the top.

Chicken Bone Method:
Do not throw away the unused portions of a roasted chicken. Instead, use it to make chicken stock/broth. Use the leftovers from a home baked chicken or one purchased from the store.

Throw the bones, wings, and other pieces of uneaten chicken into a large stock pot. Add enough water to barely cover the carcass. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for two to three hours, until bones are devoid of meat.

Strain stock through a mesh colander into a large bowl. Allow broth to cool

Whole Chicken Method:

This method is mostly used when making homemade chicken soup. Or when you need to use boiled chicken meat for another recipe. Boiling the chicken takes the flavor out of the chicken. So you want to use this chicken in dishes that use a lot spices for flavor such as chicken salad, casseroles, or soup.

1 fryer chicken

1-2 tablespoons salt

Place chicken in a large stock pot or or large deep pot. Cover with enough water to just cover the chicken.

Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer 2 to 3 hours (or until the chicken starts to fall off the bone.
I started making broth back when it was the Martha Stewart thing to do. Then the more often I used the broth I realized that the stuff on the shelf at the supermarket is not broth and really distasteful. I also realized that i could get a one get one free kind of deal by making broth from left over fryer chickens. If there is a chicken in the house it will be roasted, advice capsule boiled and eventually made into broth.

Adding vegetables will give flavor depth to your broth – I use 2X onion : 1X carrot : 1X celery. Parsley stems and leek tops are another nice addition. I don’t add salt because if I want to reduce this stock, hospital it would be too salty.
#4 – Try adding some inexpensive pieces of chicken, cost in addition to the bones. You’ll get more flavor than just using bones alone. Legs, wing, necks, gizzards (no liver) etc work well. I save these in a ZipLock bag when I’m cutting up whole chickensAdd the bones to cold water, bring it to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Skim the scum off the top.

Chicken Bone Method:
Do not throw away the unused portions of a roasted chicken. Instead, use it to make chicken stock/broth. Use the leftovers from a home baked chicken or one purchased from the store.

Throw the bones, wings, and other pieces of uneaten chicken into a large stock pot. Add enough water to barely cover the carcass. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for two to three hours, until bones are devoid of meat.

Strain stock through a mesh colander into a large bowl. Allow broth to cool

Whole Chicken Method:

This method is mostly used when making homemade chicken soup. Or when you need to use boiled chicken meat for another recipe. Boiling the chicken takes the flavor out of the chicken. So you want to use this chicken in dishes that use a lot spices for flavor such as chicken salad, casseroles, or soup.

1 fryer chicken

1-2 tablespoons salt

Place chicken in a large stock pot or or large deep pot. Cover with enough water to just cover the chicken.

Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer 2 to 3 hours (or until the chicken starts to fall off the bone.

Over the past year I have been taking a more vegetarian approach to cooking.  It is not that I am going vegan or anything, physician not yet anyway. Meat is just so darn expensive. The hurdle, healing when subbing meat with beans or vegetables, side effects is getting a thumbs up from the picky eater club (aka. husband and kidlets).

The first time I made black bean enchiladas it was not my intention to make them meat free. I got sidetracked and forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer over the weekend to thaw. Come Tuesday night (Mexican cuisine night) I realized my blunder. Needless to say my black bean enchiladas were a huge hit not only with my kids but the neighbor kids as well.

1 can cuban black beans with peppers and onions
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
10 flour tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 recipe enchilada sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix the black beans (if using unseasoned black beans drain and rinse first), lime juice, and cilantro.

Make the enchilada sauce.

Cover the bottom of a 9X13 baking pan with a thin layer of enchilada sauce. Spoon some of the bean mixture onto a tortilla. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of cheese. Fold the tortilla in thirds then place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with each tortilla.

Pour the remaining enchilada sauce evenly over the bean enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 25 minutes.

Variations:
– 1 can black beans. Season with 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
– Add 1/2 cup chopped yellow and red bell peppers and 1/4 cup chopped onions.
I started making broth back when it was the Martha Stewart thing to do. Then the more often I used the broth I realized that the stuff on the shelf at the supermarket is not broth and really distasteful. I also realized that i could get a one get one free kind of deal by making broth from left over fryer chickens. If there is a chicken in the house it will be roasted, advice capsule boiled and eventually made into broth.

Adding vegetables will give flavor depth to your broth – I use 2X onion : 1X carrot : 1X celery. Parsley stems and leek tops are another nice addition. I don’t add salt because if I want to reduce this stock, hospital it would be too salty.
#4 – Try adding some inexpensive pieces of chicken, cost in addition to the bones. You’ll get more flavor than just using bones alone. Legs, wing, necks, gizzards (no liver) etc work well. I save these in a ZipLock bag when I’m cutting up whole chickensAdd the bones to cold water, bring it to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Skim the scum off the top.

Chicken Bone Method:
Do not throw away the unused portions of a roasted chicken. Instead, use it to make chicken stock/broth. Use the leftovers from a home baked chicken or one purchased from the store.

Throw the bones, wings, and other pieces of uneaten chicken into a large stock pot. Add enough water to barely cover the carcass. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for two to three hours, until bones are devoid of meat.

Strain stock through a mesh colander into a large bowl. Allow broth to cool

Whole Chicken Method:

This method is mostly used when making homemade chicken soup. Or when you need to use boiled chicken meat for another recipe. Boiling the chicken takes the flavor out of the chicken. So you want to use this chicken in dishes that use a lot spices for flavor such as chicken salad, casseroles, or soup.

1 fryer chicken

1-2 tablespoons salt

Place chicken in a large stock pot or or large deep pot. Cover with enough water to just cover the chicken.

Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer 2 to 3 hours (or until the chicken starts to fall off the bone.

Over the past year I have been taking a more vegetarian approach to cooking.  It is not that I am going vegan or anything, physician not yet anyway. Meat is just so darn expensive. The hurdle, healing when subbing meat with beans or vegetables, side effects is getting a thumbs up from the picky eater club (aka. husband and kidlets).

The first time I made black bean enchiladas it was not my intention to make them meat free. I got sidetracked and forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer over the weekend to thaw. Come Tuesday night (Mexican cuisine night) I realized my blunder. Needless to say my black bean enchiladas were a huge hit not only with my kids but the neighbor kids as well.

1 can cuban black beans with peppers and onions
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
10 flour tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 recipe enchilada sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix the black beans (if using unseasoned black beans drain and rinse first), lime juice, and cilantro.

Make the enchilada sauce.

Cover the bottom of a 9X13 baking pan with a thin layer of enchilada sauce. Spoon some of the bean mixture onto a tortilla. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of cheese. Fold the tortilla in thirds then place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with each tortilla.

Pour the remaining enchilada sauce evenly over the bean enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 25 minutes.

Variations:
– 1 can black beans. Season with 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
– Add 1/2 cup chopped yellow and red bell peppers and 1/4 cup chopped onions.
1 can cuban black beans with peppers and onions
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Variations:
– 1 can black beans. Season with 1 teaspoon cumin, medications 1/4 teaspoon salt, buy more about 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add 1/2 cup chopped yellow and red bell peppers and 1/4 cup chopped onions

I started making broth back when it was the Martha Stewart thing to do. Then the more often I used the broth I realized that the stuff on the shelf at the supermarket is not broth and really distasteful. I also realized that i could get a one get one free kind of deal by making broth from left over fryer chickens. If there is a chicken in the house it will be roasted, advice capsule boiled and eventually made into broth.

Adding vegetables will give flavor depth to your broth – I use 2X onion : 1X carrot : 1X celery. Parsley stems and leek tops are another nice addition. I don’t add salt because if I want to reduce this stock, hospital it would be too salty.
#4 – Try adding some inexpensive pieces of chicken, cost in addition to the bones. You’ll get more flavor than just using bones alone. Legs, wing, necks, gizzards (no liver) etc work well. I save these in a ZipLock bag when I’m cutting up whole chickensAdd the bones to cold water, bring it to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Skim the scum off the top.

Chicken Bone Method:
Do not throw away the unused portions of a roasted chicken. Instead, use it to make chicken stock/broth. Use the leftovers from a home baked chicken or one purchased from the store.

Throw the bones, wings, and other pieces of uneaten chicken into a large stock pot. Add enough water to barely cover the carcass. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for two to three hours, until bones are devoid of meat.

Strain stock through a mesh colander into a large bowl. Allow broth to cool

Whole Chicken Method:

This method is mostly used when making homemade chicken soup. Or when you need to use boiled chicken meat for another recipe. Boiling the chicken takes the flavor out of the chicken. So you want to use this chicken in dishes that use a lot spices for flavor such as chicken salad, casseroles, or soup.

1 fryer chicken

1-2 tablespoons salt

Place chicken in a large stock pot or or large deep pot. Cover with enough water to just cover the chicken.

Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer 2 to 3 hours (or until the chicken starts to fall off the bone.

Over the past year I have been taking a more vegetarian approach to cooking.  It is not that I am going vegan or anything, physician not yet anyway. Meat is just so darn expensive. The hurdle, healing when subbing meat with beans or vegetables, side effects is getting a thumbs up from the picky eater club (aka. husband and kidlets).

The first time I made black bean enchiladas it was not my intention to make them meat free. I got sidetracked and forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer over the weekend to thaw. Come Tuesday night (Mexican cuisine night) I realized my blunder. Needless to say my black bean enchiladas were a huge hit not only with my kids but the neighbor kids as well.

1 can cuban black beans with peppers and onions
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
10 flour tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 recipe enchilada sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix the black beans (if using unseasoned black beans drain and rinse first), lime juice, and cilantro.

Make the enchilada sauce.

Cover the bottom of a 9X13 baking pan with a thin layer of enchilada sauce. Spoon some of the bean mixture onto a tortilla. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of cheese. Fold the tortilla in thirds then place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with each tortilla.

Pour the remaining enchilada sauce evenly over the bean enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 25 minutes.

Variations:
– 1 can black beans. Season with 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
– Add 1/2 cup chopped yellow and red bell peppers and 1/4 cup chopped onions.
1 can cuban black beans with peppers and onions
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Variations:
– 1 can black beans. Season with 1 teaspoon cumin, medications 1/4 teaspoon salt, buy more about 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add 1/2 cup chopped yellow and red bell peppers and 1/4 cup chopped onions

This is by far my favorite enchilada sauce. In fact it is the only red enchilada sauce I use. So I thought it important to give it its very own post. Flour combined with chili powder are cooked until fragrant to give the sauce a deep robust flavor inherent to Mexican cuisine.

Enchilada Sauce:
Source: AllRecipes
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, pilule minced or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons minced onion, order or 1 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium. Stirring constantly to prevent burning the flour, cook until the sauce just begins to smell strong, a sort of burnt smell, and is slightly thickened,

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Yields: Barely enough to make two 13X9 inch pans of enchiladas, without dipping the tortillas.