Coconut Cake

2 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the 2 egg whites in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Beat until the egg whites are foamy and thick; they should mound in the bowl, order without holding a peak. Set them aside while you prepare the sugar syrup.

7) Combine the sugar, cost cream of tartar, water, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently; the sugar should be dissolved. If the sugar hasn’t dissolved, cook and stir a bit more, until it has. Once the sugar has dissolved, boil the syrup, undisturbed, for 2 minutes, or until the syrup registers 240°F on a candy thermometer or instant-read thermometer.

8) Begin to beat the egg whites, and immediately pour the boiling sugar syrup into the egg whites in a slow stream, beating all the while. As you beat, the mixture will thicken.

9) Once all the syrup is added, stir in the vanilla, and continue to beat until the frosting is thick and will hold a peak.

10) Spoon the hot frosting atop the cooled cupcakes, swirling it decoratively.
2 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the 2 egg whites in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Beat until the egg whites are foamy and thick; they should mound in the bowl, order without holding a peak. Set them aside while you prepare the sugar syrup.

7) Combine the sugar, cost cream of tartar, water, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently; the sugar should be dissolved. If the sugar hasn’t dissolved, cook and stir a bit more, until it has. Once the sugar has dissolved, boil the syrup, undisturbed, for 2 minutes, or until the syrup registers 240°F on a candy thermometer or instant-read thermometer.

8) Begin to beat the egg whites, and immediately pour the boiling sugar syrup into the egg whites in a slow stream, beating all the while. As you beat, the mixture will thicken.

9) Once all the syrup is added, stir in the vanilla, and continue to beat until the frosting is thick and will hold a peak.

10) Spoon the hot frosting atop the cooled cupcakes, swirling it decoratively.

It is funny how we hold dear the traditions of our families. Often to the extreme that we decry any other version other than ours as less than adequate. I recall my own prejudice for my mom’s stuffed shells made with cream cheese rather than ricotta. No one could or can make it better. I am like my picky child refusing to concede on principle.

This is where my head was as I was searching for homemade recipes to recreate my mom’s coconut cake. I snubbed my nose up at Martha. Tisked at Paula Dean. The perfect coconut cake must be a white cake with a coconut custard filling and meringue frosting. How dare one even consider spreading this holy decadent white goddess with cream cheese or seven minute frosting. The nerve.

Admittedly, approved there have been instances I have veered from tradition. Yes, generic I felt guilty for abandoning my roots; especially because I am a huge diehard fan for recipes of yore. Chefs today tend to over complicate things. However, when it comes to coconut cake my roots are firm and steadfast. I just could not justify the shift. The cake must be white, the filling must be pudding with coconut bits mixed in, and without question a meringue frosting coated with coconut.

I have a great white cake recipe that I use for birthday cakes I think would have worked well in this instance. It has a tender soft crumb and delicate flavor. Yet, there was an itch to try something new. The thought of trying another white cake recipe was a stress I fully did not want to commit to. The biggest problem when making from scratch cakes is moisture. Homemade cakes tend to be thick dry masses. Nothing compared to the spongy light cakes from the box produced by Betty Crocker. I did not have the time to test multiple cake recipes, nor did I want a slew of sweet cake around with the holidays advancing. My ancestors must have been present urging me to explore. If we are going all out from scratch this had better be worth all the effort, right? I went with my gut and choose this version of a white cake that was sensational. It is made with coconut milk a perfect compliment for the coconut cake as a whole. The crumb was tender and moist. Should I mention that the cake even impressed my niece who went to culinary school?

Source: The Cookbook Chronicles
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
½ cup full fat sour cream
½ cup olive oil
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, separated
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoons baking soda
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and sour cream. Set aside. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the vegetable oil and the butter, until creamy. Add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture becomes light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed. Beat in the egg yolks, and vanilla.

On low speed, beat in about 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Then, beat in 1/2 of the coconut milk and sour cream mixture. Repeat, ending with the last 1/3 of the dry ingredients.

In a clean mixing bowl with clean beaters, whip the reserved egg whites until medium-stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter.

Line and grease three 9-inch light colored cake pans. Divide the batter evenly amongst the pans, and bake for about 20-25 minutes, until the tops of the cakes are light golden and spring back when lightly pressed. Cool, and remove from cake pans.

COCONUT CAKE:
Coconut Cake recipe (above)
Coconut Custard Filling
1 bag shredded coconut
Meringue Frosting

Bake cake and make custard according to directions.

Once pastry cream is set, mix in 2 cups shredded coconut.

Place one round of cake on a plate. Spread with coconut pastry cream. Repeat with second layer. Top with last cake round. Place cake in the refrigerator.

Make meringue frosting. Spread frosting over the cake. Lightly press shredded coconut around the sides, sprinkle on top, covering the entire cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

**Note** this cake recipe made thin flat cake rounds. If using another cake recipe or a box and the cake rounds are thicker try slicing each round into twos to make 6 thinner cake discs.

Variations:
— Substitute 1 teaspoon of orange extract in the place of the vanilla in the meringue frostin.
— Dot the top of the cake with marchino cherries, drained and dried.
— 4-layer cake use two 9-inch cake rounds. Pour remaining batter into greased muffin pan.

Pastry Cream

We have been searching and searching for a kid approved homemade hot chocolate recipe. After many failures and sad faces finally the kids have deemed Eureka! We found it!. Just in time too. We have a long winter ahead with many a Saturday morning brew to make.

6 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (semi is fine if you like a darker chocolate)
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Variations:
— Add up to 1 cup of the chocolate chips.
— For kids with sensory processing disorders they might be able to detect the cocoa graduals. Try simmering the hot chocolate longer, stomach check stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate and milk, approved or replace the cocoa powder with baking chocolate or chocolate chips. Use 5 squares unsweetened or semi sweet baking chocolate or 1 cup bitter or semi chocolate chips.
— For a richer hot chocolate use 6 cups milk instead of the water.
— Dairy free: sub rice milk or coconut milk for the half and half. Use dairy free chocolate. Buy dairy free whipped cream or make your own using coconut milk in place of the heavy cream.
— whipped cream: Substitute 1 (8oz) container whipped cream for the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
— Sugars can be replaced with equal amount of honey or maple syrup but the flavor will be altered. You can also use coconut sugar or xylitol without a difference in taste.

We have been searching and searching for a kid approved homemade hot chocolate recipe. After many failures and sad faces finally the kids have deemed Eureka! We found it!. Just in time too. We have a long winter ahead with many a Saturday morning brew to make.

6 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (semi is fine if you like a darker chocolate)
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Variations:
— Add up to 1 cup of the chocolate chips.
— For kids with sensory processing disorders they might be able to detect the cocoa graduals. Try simmering the hot chocolate longer, stomach check stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate and milk, approved or replace the cocoa powder with baking chocolate or chocolate chips. Use 5 squares unsweetened or semi sweet baking chocolate or 1 cup bitter or semi chocolate chips.
— For a richer hot chocolate use 6 cups milk instead of the water.
— Dairy free: sub rice milk or coconut milk for the half and half. Use dairy free chocolate. Buy dairy free whipped cream or make your own using coconut milk in place of the heavy cream.
— whipped cream: Substitute 1 (8oz) container whipped cream for the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
— Sugars can be replaced with equal amount of honey or maple syrup but the flavor will be altered. You can also use coconut sugar or xylitol without a difference in taste.

We have been searching and searching for a kid approved homemade hot chocolate recipe. After many failures and sad faces finally the kids have deemed Eureka! We found it!. Just in time too. We have a long winter ahead with many a Saturday morning brew to make.

6 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (semi is fine if you like a darker chocolate)
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Variations:
— Add up to 1 cup of the chocolate chips.
— For kids with sensory processing disorders they might be able to detect the cocoa graduals. Try simmering the hot chocolate longer, stuff stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate and milk, capsule or replace the cocoa powder with baking chocolate or chocolate chips. Use 5 squares unsweetened or semi sweet baking chocolate or 1 cup bitter or semi chocolate chips.
— For a richer hot chocolate use 6 cups milk instead of the water.
— Dairy free: sub rice milk or coconut milk for the half and half. Use dairy free chocolate. Buy dairy free whipped cream or make your own using coconut milk in place of the heavy cream.
— whipped cream: Substitute 1 (8oz) container whipped cream for the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
— Sugars can be replaced with equal amount of honey or maple syrup but the flavor will be altered. You can also use coconut sugar or xylitol without a difference in taste.

We have been searching and searching for a kid approved homemade hot chocolate recipe. After many failures and sad faces finally the kids have deemed Eureka! We found it!. Just in time too. We have a long winter ahead with many a Saturday morning brew to make.

6 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (semi is fine if you like a darker chocolate)
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Variations:
— Add up to 1 cup of the chocolate chips.
— For kids with sensory processing disorders they might be able to detect the cocoa graduals. Try simmering the hot chocolate longer, stomach check stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate and milk, approved or replace the cocoa powder with baking chocolate or chocolate chips. Use 5 squares unsweetened or semi sweet baking chocolate or 1 cup bitter or semi chocolate chips.
— For a richer hot chocolate use 6 cups milk instead of the water.
— Dairy free: sub rice milk or coconut milk for the half and half. Use dairy free chocolate. Buy dairy free whipped cream or make your own using coconut milk in place of the heavy cream.
— whipped cream: Substitute 1 (8oz) container whipped cream for the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
— Sugars can be replaced with equal amount of honey or maple syrup but the flavor will be altered. You can also use coconut sugar or xylitol without a difference in taste.

We have been searching and searching for a kid approved homemade hot chocolate recipe. After many failures and sad faces finally the kids have deemed Eureka! We found it!. Just in time too. We have a long winter ahead with many a Saturday morning brew to make.

6 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (semi is fine if you like a darker chocolate)
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Variations:
— Add up to 1 cup of the chocolate chips.
— For kids with sensory processing disorders they might be able to detect the cocoa graduals. Try simmering the hot chocolate longer, stuff stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate and milk, capsule or replace the cocoa powder with baking chocolate or chocolate chips. Use 5 squares unsweetened or semi sweet baking chocolate or 1 cup bitter or semi chocolate chips.
— For a richer hot chocolate use 6 cups milk instead of the water.
— Dairy free: sub rice milk or coconut milk for the half and half. Use dairy free chocolate. Buy dairy free whipped cream or make your own using coconut milk in place of the heavy cream.
— whipped cream: Substitute 1 (8oz) container whipped cream for the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
— Sugars can be replaced with equal amount of honey or maple syrup but the flavor will be altered. You can also use coconut sugar or xylitol without a difference in taste.

We have been searching and searching for a kid approved homemade hot chocolate recipe. After many failures and sad faces finally the kids have deemed Eureka! We found it! Just in time too. We have a long winter ahead with many a Saturday morning brew to make.

6 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (semi is fine if you like a darker chocolate)
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

In a large pot over medium heat, ask  whisk together the water, purchase half and half, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, 3/4 cups sugar, salt, and teaspoon of vanilla.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl beat the cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and powdered sugar on high speed until thick and the consistency of whipped cream.

Once the hot chocolate is heated through, and the ingredients dissolved, turn off the heat. Then stir in the whipped cream. Whisk until completely incorporated.

Variations:

— Add up to 1 cup of the milk chocolate chips. Use can also use semi for a bolder taste.
— For kids with sensory processing disorders they might be able to detect the cocoa graduals. Try simmering the hot chocolate longer, stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate and milk, or replace the cocoa powder with baking chocolate or chocolate chips. Use 5 squares unsweetened or semi sweet baking chocolate or 1 cup bitter or semi chocolate chips.
— For a richer hot chocolate use 6 cups milk instead of the water. You can also use milk in place of the water and half and half for a total of 8 cups or 2 quarts milk.
— Dairy free: Use 2 quarts water eliminating the half and half and milk. Sub rice milk or coconut milk for the half and half. Use dairy free chocolate. Buy dairy free whipped cream or make your own using 2 cans full fat coconut milk (cold) in place of the heavy cream.
— whipped cream: Substitute 1 (8oz) container whipped cream for the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
— Sugars can be replaced with equal amount of honey or maple syrup but the flavor will be altered. You can also use coconut sugar or xylitol without a difference in taste.

We have been searching and searching for a kid approved homemade hot chocolate recipe. After many failures and sad faces finally the kids have deemed Eureka! We found it!. Just in time too. We have a long winter ahead with many a Saturday morning brew to make.

6 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (semi is fine if you like a darker chocolate)
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Variations:
— Add up to 1 cup of the chocolate chips.
— For kids with sensory processing disorders they might be able to detect the cocoa graduals. Try simmering the hot chocolate longer, stomach check stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate and milk, approved or replace the cocoa powder with baking chocolate or chocolate chips. Use 5 squares unsweetened or semi sweet baking chocolate or 1 cup bitter or semi chocolate chips.
— For a richer hot chocolate use 6 cups milk instead of the water.
— Dairy free: sub rice milk or coconut milk for the half and half. Use dairy free chocolate. Buy dairy free whipped cream or make your own using coconut milk in place of the heavy cream.
— whipped cream: Substitute 1 (8oz) container whipped cream for the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
— Sugars can be replaced with equal amount of honey or maple syrup but the flavor will be altered. You can also use coconut sugar or xylitol without a difference in taste.

We have been searching and searching for a kid approved homemade hot chocolate recipe. After many failures and sad faces finally the kids have deemed Eureka! We found it!. Just in time too. We have a long winter ahead with many a Saturday morning brew to make.

6 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (semi is fine if you like a darker chocolate)
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Variations:
— Add up to 1 cup of the chocolate chips.
— For kids with sensory processing disorders they might be able to detect the cocoa graduals. Try simmering the hot chocolate longer, stuff stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate and milk, capsule or replace the cocoa powder with baking chocolate or chocolate chips. Use 5 squares unsweetened or semi sweet baking chocolate or 1 cup bitter or semi chocolate chips.
— For a richer hot chocolate use 6 cups milk instead of the water.
— Dairy free: sub rice milk or coconut milk for the half and half. Use dairy free chocolate. Buy dairy free whipped cream or make your own using coconut milk in place of the heavy cream.
— whipped cream: Substitute 1 (8oz) container whipped cream for the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
— Sugars can be replaced with equal amount of honey or maple syrup but the flavor will be altered. You can also use coconut sugar or xylitol without a difference in taste.

We have been searching and searching for a kid approved homemade hot chocolate recipe. After many failures and sad faces finally the kids have deemed Eureka! We found it! Just in time too. We have a long winter ahead with many a Saturday morning brew to make.

6 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (semi is fine if you like a darker chocolate)
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

In a large pot over medium heat, ask  whisk together the water, purchase half and half, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, 3/4 cups sugar, salt, and teaspoon of vanilla.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl beat the cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and powdered sugar on high speed until thick and the consistency of whipped cream.

Once the hot chocolate is heated through, and the ingredients dissolved, turn off the heat. Then stir in the whipped cream. Whisk until completely incorporated.

Variations:

— Add up to 1 cup of the milk chocolate chips. Use can also use semi for a bolder taste.
— For kids with sensory processing disorders they might be able to detect the cocoa graduals. Try simmering the hot chocolate longer, stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate and milk, or replace the cocoa powder with baking chocolate or chocolate chips. Use 5 squares unsweetened or semi sweet baking chocolate or 1 cup bitter or semi chocolate chips.
— For a richer hot chocolate use 6 cups milk instead of the water. You can also use milk in place of the water and half and half for a total of 8 cups or 2 quarts milk.
— Dairy free: Use 2 quarts water eliminating the half and half and milk. Sub rice milk or coconut milk for the half and half. Use dairy free chocolate. Buy dairy free whipped cream or make your own using 2 cans full fat coconut milk (cold) in place of the heavy cream.
— whipped cream: Substitute 1 (8oz) container whipped cream for the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
— Sugars can be replaced with equal amount of honey or maple syrup but the flavor will be altered. You can also use coconut sugar or xylitol without a difference in taste.

We have been searching and searching for a kid approved homemade hot chocolate recipe. After many failures and sad faces finally the kids have deemed Eureka! We found it! Just in time too. We have a long winter ahead with many a Saturday morning brew to make.

6 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (semi is fine if you like a darker chocolate)
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

In a large pot over medium heat, information pills  whisk together the water, half and half, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, 3/4 cups sugar, salt, and teaspoon of vanilla.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl beat the cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and powdered sugar on high speed until thick and the consistency of whipped cream.

Once the hot chocolate is heated through, and the ingredients dissolved, turn off the heat. Then stir in the whipped cream. Whisk until completely incorporated.

Variations:

— Add up to 1 cup of the milk chocolate chips. Use can also use semi for a bolder taste.
— For kids with sensory processing disorders they might be able to detect the cocoa graduals. Try simmering the hot chocolate longer, stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate and milk, or replace the cocoa powder with baking chocolate or chocolate chips. Use 5 squares unsweetened or semi sweet baking chocolate or 1 cup bitter or semi chocolate chips.
— For a richer hot chocolate use 6 cups milk instead of the water. You can also use milk in place of the water and half and half for a total of 8 cups or 2 quarts milk.
— Dairy free: Use 2 quarts water eliminating the half and half and milk. Sub rice milk or coconut milk for the half and half. Use dairy free chocolate. Buy dairy free whipped cream or make your own using coconut milk in place of the heavy cream.
— whipped cream: Substitute 1 (8oz) container whipped cream for the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
— Sugars can be replaced with equal amount of honey or maple syrup but the flavor will be altered. You can also use coconut sugar or xylitol without a difference in taste.

We have been searching and searching for a kid approved homemade hot chocolate recipe. After many failures and sad faces finally the kids have deemed Eureka! We found it!. Just in time too. We have a long winter ahead with many a Saturday morning brew to make.

6 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (semi is fine if you like a darker chocolate)
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Variations:
— Add up to 1 cup of the chocolate chips.
— For kids with sensory processing disorders they might be able to detect the cocoa graduals. Try simmering the hot chocolate longer, stomach check stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate and milk, approved or replace the cocoa powder with baking chocolate or chocolate chips. Use 5 squares unsweetened or semi sweet baking chocolate or 1 cup bitter or semi chocolate chips.
— For a richer hot chocolate use 6 cups milk instead of the water.
— Dairy free: sub rice milk or coconut milk for the half and half. Use dairy free chocolate. Buy dairy free whipped cream or make your own using coconut milk in place of the heavy cream.
— whipped cream: Substitute 1 (8oz) container whipped cream for the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
— Sugars can be replaced with equal amount of honey or maple syrup but the flavor will be altered. You can also use coconut sugar or xylitol without a difference in taste.

We have been searching and searching for a kid approved homemade hot chocolate recipe. After many failures and sad faces finally the kids have deemed Eureka! We found it!. Just in time too. We have a long winter ahead with many a Saturday morning brew to make.

6 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (semi is fine if you like a darker chocolate)
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Variations:
— Add up to 1 cup of the chocolate chips.
— For kids with sensory processing disorders they might be able to detect the cocoa graduals. Try simmering the hot chocolate longer, stuff stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate and milk, capsule or replace the cocoa powder with baking chocolate or chocolate chips. Use 5 squares unsweetened or semi sweet baking chocolate or 1 cup bitter or semi chocolate chips.
— For a richer hot chocolate use 6 cups milk instead of the water.
— Dairy free: sub rice milk or coconut milk for the half and half. Use dairy free chocolate. Buy dairy free whipped cream or make your own using coconut milk in place of the heavy cream.
— whipped cream: Substitute 1 (8oz) container whipped cream for the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
— Sugars can be replaced with equal amount of honey or maple syrup but the flavor will be altered. You can also use coconut sugar or xylitol without a difference in taste.

We have been searching and searching for a kid approved homemade hot chocolate recipe. After many failures and sad faces finally the kids have deemed Eureka! We found it! Just in time too. We have a long winter ahead with many a Saturday morning brew to make.

6 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (semi is fine if you like a darker chocolate)
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

In a large pot over medium heat, ask  whisk together the water, purchase half and half, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, 3/4 cups sugar, salt, and teaspoon of vanilla.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl beat the cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and powdered sugar on high speed until thick and the consistency of whipped cream.

Once the hot chocolate is heated through, and the ingredients dissolved, turn off the heat. Then stir in the whipped cream. Whisk until completely incorporated.

Variations:

— Add up to 1 cup of the milk chocolate chips. Use can also use semi for a bolder taste.
— For kids with sensory processing disorders they might be able to detect the cocoa graduals. Try simmering the hot chocolate longer, stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate and milk, or replace the cocoa powder with baking chocolate or chocolate chips. Use 5 squares unsweetened or semi sweet baking chocolate or 1 cup bitter or semi chocolate chips.
— For a richer hot chocolate use 6 cups milk instead of the water. You can also use milk in place of the water and half and half for a total of 8 cups or 2 quarts milk.
— Dairy free: Use 2 quarts water eliminating the half and half and milk. Sub rice milk or coconut milk for the half and half. Use dairy free chocolate. Buy dairy free whipped cream or make your own using 2 cans full fat coconut milk (cold) in place of the heavy cream.
— whipped cream: Substitute 1 (8oz) container whipped cream for the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
— Sugars can be replaced with equal amount of honey or maple syrup but the flavor will be altered. You can also use coconut sugar or xylitol without a difference in taste.

We have been searching and searching for a kid approved homemade hot chocolate recipe. After many failures and sad faces finally the kids have deemed Eureka! We found it! Just in time too. We have a long winter ahead with many a Saturday morning brew to make.

6 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (semi is fine if you like a darker chocolate)
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

In a large pot over medium heat, information pills  whisk together the water, half and half, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, 3/4 cups sugar, salt, and teaspoon of vanilla.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl beat the cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and powdered sugar on high speed until thick and the consistency of whipped cream.

Once the hot chocolate is heated through, and the ingredients dissolved, turn off the heat. Then stir in the whipped cream. Whisk until completely incorporated.

Variations:

— Add up to 1 cup of the milk chocolate chips. Use can also use semi for a bolder taste.
— For kids with sensory processing disorders they might be able to detect the cocoa graduals. Try simmering the hot chocolate longer, stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate and milk, or replace the cocoa powder with baking chocolate or chocolate chips. Use 5 squares unsweetened or semi sweet baking chocolate or 1 cup bitter or semi chocolate chips.
— For a richer hot chocolate use 6 cups milk instead of the water. You can also use milk in place of the water and half and half for a total of 8 cups or 2 quarts milk.
— Dairy free: Use 2 quarts water eliminating the half and half and milk. Sub rice milk or coconut milk for the half and half. Use dairy free chocolate. Buy dairy free whipped cream or make your own using coconut milk in place of the heavy cream.
— whipped cream: Substitute 1 (8oz) container whipped cream for the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
— Sugars can be replaced with equal amount of honey or maple syrup but the flavor will be altered. You can also use coconut sugar or xylitol without a difference in taste.

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, find 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, order 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.

For coconut cream fold in two cups shredded coconut.

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.

Italian Meringue

Photo property of: Honest Cooking

Ever since the first time I watched the infamous Gordon Ramsey dish up beef wellington on Hell’s Kitchen, buy I have long desired to know what the succulent entre is all about. Over the years I shyly took a peek at the recipe wondering if I am daring enough to execute it. Well, the time came to once and for all tackle this one. I decided to treat my mom-in-law to a grand English dinner for her birthday. She has had a tough time the few months and was in need of good nosh and pampering.

I did not go with Chef Ramsey’s recipe. Instead I found a simple list of ingredients for Beef Wellington by Ruby Moukli via Honest Cooking and adapted it slightly. I, nearly knowing nothing about meat, asked my friendly butcher to help me out. Does beef tenderloin really cost that much or was the man ripping me off because the market was on strike that day? The beef tenderloin unfortunately is pricey. Yet, Beef Wellington is definitely something you have to try at some point in your lifetime. So it is well worth the splurge for a special occasion.

I had some issues wrapping the fillet. My dough was too large so there was an excess of flap on the ends and I completely forgot to brush the inside with egg. The bottom was very soggy. I used a deep casserole to cook the Wellington in but I added two sausage links because they needed to be cooked before their life came to an end. So even though the tenderloin hardly produced juice the sausage could have wrecked havoc on the crust.

I have heard you can wrap the wellington right after sealing the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes, then take out and brush with the egg, and refrigerate another 10 minutes before cooking. Supposed to help with soggy bottoms.

Mine may have looked like a train wreck but it was absolutely superb. My niece and I could not keep our hands off the left over filling and crust.

Source: adapted from Ruby Moukli via HonestCooking.com
Serves: 6
750g (1lb 10 oz) thick beef tenderloin filet
1 onion, chopped finely
175g (6oz) chestnut mushrooms, chopped finely
350g (12oz) puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
Good pinch of thyme (fresh or dried)
1/2 cup dry sherry or broth (optional)
Salt/pepper to season

Preheat oven to 220 C/425 F.

Heat a heavy pan over high heat. Smear 2 Tbsp of the butter all over the filet, then season with salt and pepper. Brown the meat on all sides, 1-2 minutes per side. Place beef in roasting pan uncovered and bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the duxelles by heating the oil and the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large pan. Sauté garlic, onion and mushrooms until they begin to soften. Add sherry (if using) a splash at a time and wait for it to cook out before adding more. Add in parsley and thyme, then season with salt and pepper. When it’s all browned nicely (about 15-20 minutes), remove from heat and let cool.

When meat has baked for 20 minutes, remove from the oven, cover with tin foil and let cool. Pour the juices out ,set aside to make gravy later.

Roll out pastry dough into a rectangle, just large enough to wrap the meat in. Beat the egg and lightly brush the entire surface of the pastry with it. Spoon about 3/4 of the duxelles over the surface of the dough, leaving a border of about 2 inches. Place the beef in the middle and spoon the rest of the duxelles onto the top of it.

Wrap the sides of the pastry over the filet. Pinch the edges together and use any remaining or excess pastry to patch up gaps or make decorative shapes.

Using a sharp knife, make two slices in the dough.
Brush the remaining egg wash over the entire Wellington. Place back in the roasting tin, on a wire rack if possible, to help guard against a soggy dough. Bake for 30 minutes for medium-rare, 40 minutes for well done. Check frequently and if it’s starting to brown early, cover with foil.

Remove the Wellington from the oven and let rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing into thick (1 1/2 inch) with a serrated knife.

Photo property of: Honest Cooking

Ever since the first time I watched the infamous Gordon Ramsey dish up beef wellington on Hell’s Kitchen, buy I have long desired to know what the succulent entre is all about. Over the years I shyly took a peek at the recipe wondering if I am daring enough to execute it. Well, the time came to once and for all tackle this one. I decided to treat my mom-in-law to a grand English dinner for her birthday. She has had a tough time the few months and was in need of good nosh and pampering.

I did not go with Chef Ramsey’s recipe. Instead I found a simple list of ingredients for Beef Wellington by Ruby Moukli via Honest Cooking and adapted it slightly. I, nearly knowing nothing about meat, asked my friendly butcher to help me out. Does beef tenderloin really cost that much or was the man ripping me off because the market was on strike that day? The beef tenderloin unfortunately is pricey. Yet, Beef Wellington is definitely something you have to try at some point in your lifetime. So it is well worth the splurge for a special occasion.

I had some issues wrapping the fillet. My dough was too large so there was an excess of flap on the ends and I completely forgot to brush the inside with egg. The bottom was very soggy. I used a deep casserole to cook the Wellington in but I added two sausage links because they needed to be cooked before their life came to an end. So even though the tenderloin hardly produced juice the sausage could have wrecked havoc on the crust.

I have heard you can wrap the wellington right after sealing the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes, then take out and brush with the egg, and refrigerate another 10 minutes before cooking. Supposed to help with soggy bottoms.

Mine may have looked like a train wreck but it was absolutely superb. My niece and I could not keep our hands off the left over filling and crust.

Source: adapted from Ruby Moukli via HonestCooking.com
Serves: 6
750g (1lb 10 oz) thick beef tenderloin filet
1 onion, chopped finely
175g (6oz) chestnut mushrooms, chopped finely
350g (12oz) puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
Good pinch of thyme (fresh or dried)
1/2 cup dry sherry or broth (optional)
Salt/pepper to season

Preheat oven to 220 C/425 F.

Heat a heavy pan over high heat. Smear 2 Tbsp of the butter all over the filet, then season with salt and pepper. Brown the meat on all sides, 1-2 minutes per side. Place beef in roasting pan uncovered and bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the duxelles by heating the oil and the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large pan. Sauté garlic, onion and mushrooms until they begin to soften. Add sherry (if using) a splash at a time and wait for it to cook out before adding more. Add in parsley and thyme, then season with salt and pepper. When it’s all browned nicely (about 15-20 minutes), remove from heat and let cool.

When meat has baked for 20 minutes, remove from the oven, cover with tin foil and let cool. Pour the juices out ,set aside to make gravy later.

Roll out pastry dough into a rectangle, just large enough to wrap the meat in. Beat the egg and lightly brush the entire surface of the pastry with it. Spoon about 3/4 of the duxelles over the surface of the dough, leaving a border of about 2 inches. Place the beef in the middle and spoon the rest of the duxelles onto the top of it.

Wrap the sides of the pastry over the filet. Pinch the edges together and use any remaining or excess pastry to patch up gaps or make decorative shapes.

Using a sharp knife, make two slices in the dough.
Brush the remaining egg wash over the entire Wellington. Place back in the roasting tin, on a wire rack if possible, to help guard against a soggy dough. Bake for 30 minutes for medium-rare, 40 minutes for well done. Check frequently and if it’s starting to brown early, cover with foil.

Remove the Wellington from the oven and let rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing into thick (1 1/2 inch) with a serrated knife.
I do not know about other people who have watch

Source: Ruby Moukli via HonestCooking.com
Serves: 6
750g (1lb 10 oz) thick beef tenderloin filet
1 onion, pharm chopped finely
175g (6oz) chestnut mushrooms, chopped finely
350g (12oz) puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
Good pinch of thyme (fresh or dried)
1/2 cup dry sherry or broth (optional)
Salt/pepper to season

Preheat oven to 220 C/425 F.

Heat a heavy pan over high heat. Smear 2 Tbsp of the butter all over the filet, then season with salt and pepper. Brown the meat on all sides, 1-2 minutes per side. Place beef in roasting pan uncovered and bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the duxelles by heating the oil and the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large pan. Sauté garlic, onion and mushrooms until they begin to soften. Add sherry (if using) a splash at a time and wait for it to cook out before adding more. Add in parsley and thyme, then season with salt and pepper. When it’s all browned nicely (about 15-20 minutes), remove from heat and let cool.

When meat has baked for 20 minutes, remove from the oven, cover with tin foil and let cool. Pour the juices out ,set aside to make gravy later.

Roll out pastry dough into a rectangle, just large enough to wrap the meat in. Beat the egg and lightly brush the entire surface of the pastry with it. Spoon about 3/4 of the duxelles over the surface of the dough, leaving a border of about 2 inches. Place the beef in the middle and spoon the rest of the duxelles onto the top of it.

Wrap the sides of the pastry over the filet. Pinch the edges together and use any remaining or excess pastry to patch up gaps or make decorative shapes.

Using a sharp knife, make two slices in the dough.
Brush the remaining egg wash over the entire Wellington. Place back in the roasting tin, on a wire rack if possible, to help guard against a soggy dough. Bake for 30 minutes for medium-rare, 40 minutes for well done. Check frequently and if it’s starting to brown early, cover with foil.

Remove the Wellington from the oven and let rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing into thick (1 1/2 inch) with a serrated knife.

Photo property of: Honest Cooking

Ever since the first time I watched the infamous Gordon Ramsey dish up beef wellington on Hell’s Kitchen, buy I have long desired to know what the succulent entre is all about. Over the years I shyly took a peek at the recipe wondering if I am daring enough to execute it. Well, the time came to once and for all tackle this one. I decided to treat my mom-in-law to a grand English dinner for her birthday. She has had a tough time the few months and was in need of good nosh and pampering.

I did not go with Chef Ramsey’s recipe. Instead I found a simple list of ingredients for Beef Wellington by Ruby Moukli via Honest Cooking and adapted it slightly. I, nearly knowing nothing about meat, asked my friendly butcher to help me out. Does beef tenderloin really cost that much or was the man ripping me off because the market was on strike that day? The beef tenderloin unfortunately is pricey. Yet, Beef Wellington is definitely something you have to try at some point in your lifetime. So it is well worth the splurge for a special occasion.

I had some issues wrapping the fillet. My dough was too large so there was an excess of flap on the ends and I completely forgot to brush the inside with egg. The bottom was very soggy. I used a deep casserole to cook the Wellington in but I added two sausage links because they needed to be cooked before their life came to an end. So even though the tenderloin hardly produced juice the sausage could have wrecked havoc on the crust.

I have heard you can wrap the wellington right after sealing the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes, then take out and brush with the egg, and refrigerate another 10 minutes before cooking. Supposed to help with soggy bottoms.

Mine may have looked like a train wreck but it was absolutely superb. My niece and I could not keep our hands off the left over filling and crust.

Source: adapted from Ruby Moukli via HonestCooking.com
Serves: 6
750g (1lb 10 oz) thick beef tenderloin filet
1 onion, chopped finely
175g (6oz) chestnut mushrooms, chopped finely
350g (12oz) puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
Good pinch of thyme (fresh or dried)
1/2 cup dry sherry or broth (optional)
Salt/pepper to season

Preheat oven to 220 C/425 F.

Heat a heavy pan over high heat. Smear 2 Tbsp of the butter all over the filet, then season with salt and pepper. Brown the meat on all sides, 1-2 minutes per side. Place beef in roasting pan uncovered and bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the duxelles by heating the oil and the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large pan. Sauté garlic, onion and mushrooms until they begin to soften. Add sherry (if using) a splash at a time and wait for it to cook out before adding more. Add in parsley and thyme, then season with salt and pepper. When it’s all browned nicely (about 15-20 minutes), remove from heat and let cool.

When meat has baked for 20 minutes, remove from the oven, cover with tin foil and let cool. Pour the juices out ,set aside to make gravy later.

Roll out pastry dough into a rectangle, just large enough to wrap the meat in. Beat the egg and lightly brush the entire surface of the pastry with it. Spoon about 3/4 of the duxelles over the surface of the dough, leaving a border of about 2 inches. Place the beef in the middle and spoon the rest of the duxelles onto the top of it.

Wrap the sides of the pastry over the filet. Pinch the edges together and use any remaining or excess pastry to patch up gaps or make decorative shapes.

Using a sharp knife, make two slices in the dough.
Brush the remaining egg wash over the entire Wellington. Place back in the roasting tin, on a wire rack if possible, to help guard against a soggy dough. Bake for 30 minutes for medium-rare, 40 minutes for well done. Check frequently and if it’s starting to brown early, cover with foil.

Remove the Wellington from the oven and let rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing into thick (1 1/2 inch) with a serrated knife.
I do not know about other people who have watch

Source: Ruby Moukli via HonestCooking.com
Serves: 6
750g (1lb 10 oz) thick beef tenderloin filet
1 onion, pharm chopped finely
175g (6oz) chestnut mushrooms, chopped finely
350g (12oz) puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
Good pinch of thyme (fresh or dried)
1/2 cup dry sherry or broth (optional)
Salt/pepper to season

Preheat oven to 220 C/425 F.

Heat a heavy pan over high heat. Smear 2 Tbsp of the butter all over the filet, then season with salt and pepper. Brown the meat on all sides, 1-2 minutes per side. Place beef in roasting pan uncovered and bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the duxelles by heating the oil and the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large pan. Sauté garlic, onion and mushrooms until they begin to soften. Add sherry (if using) a splash at a time and wait for it to cook out before adding more. Add in parsley and thyme, then season with salt and pepper. When it’s all browned nicely (about 15-20 minutes), remove from heat and let cool.

When meat has baked for 20 minutes, remove from the oven, cover with tin foil and let cool. Pour the juices out ,set aside to make gravy later.

Roll out pastry dough into a rectangle, just large enough to wrap the meat in. Beat the egg and lightly brush the entire surface of the pastry with it. Spoon about 3/4 of the duxelles over the surface of the dough, leaving a border of about 2 inches. Place the beef in the middle and spoon the rest of the duxelles onto the top of it.

Wrap the sides of the pastry over the filet. Pinch the edges together and use any remaining or excess pastry to patch up gaps or make decorative shapes.

Using a sharp knife, make two slices in the dough.
Brush the remaining egg wash over the entire Wellington. Place back in the roasting tin, on a wire rack if possible, to help guard against a soggy dough. Bake for 30 minutes for medium-rare, 40 minutes for well done. Check frequently and if it’s starting to brown early, cover with foil.

Remove the Wellington from the oven and let rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing into thick (1 1/2 inch) with a serrated knife.
A Bite of Britain: Beef Wellington

Author: Ruby Moukli Serves: 6
Ingredients
Wellington:
750g (1lb 10 oz) thick beef tenderloin filet
1 onion, buy information pills chopped finely
175g (6oz) chestnut mushrooms, dosage chopped finely
350g (12oz) puff pastry
1 egg, rx beaten
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
Good pinch of thyme (fresh or dried)
1/2 cup dry sherry (optional)
1 flour tortilla or crêpe (optional – you can skip this or use a piece of sliced bread)
Salt/pepper to season
Roasted Vegetables:
3-4 handfuls of fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick diagonal slices
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt/pepper to season
Gravy:
2 Tbsp plain flour
1 bottle good red wine (something you’d like to drink with it – I used my favourite, Châteauneuf-du-Pape)
Salt/pepper to season
Instructions
Preheat oven to 220 C/425 F/Gas Mark 7.
Smear 2 Tbsp of the butter all over the filet, then season with salt and pepper.
Place in roasting tin uncovered and bake for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the duxelles by heating the oil and the remaining Tbsp of butter in a large pan and sautéing garlic, onion and mushrooms until they begin to soften.
Add sherry (if using) a splash at a time and wait for it to cook out before adding more. Add in parsley and thyme and season. When it’s all browned nicely (about 15-20 minutes), remove from heat and let cool.
When meat has baked for 20 minutes, remove from the oven, cover with tin foil and let cool.
Pour the juices out and set aside to make gravy later.
Roll out pastry until you have a rectangle large enough to wrap the meat in, with a bit of overlap. It will probably be less than 1cm thick and that’s fine, just so long as it’s not thin enough to tear.
Beat the egg and lightly brush the entire surface of the pastry with it.
Place the tortilla or crêpe (if using) in the middle, then spoon about 3/4 of the duxelles over the surface, leaving a border of about 2 inches.
Place the beef in the middle and spoon the rest of the duxelles onto the top of it.
Wrap the sides of the pastry over the filet, just as you would a Xmas present. Pinch the edges together and use any remaining or excess pastry to patch up gaps or make decorative shapes if you like.
Pierce a few holes into the top and then brush the rest of the egg wash over the whole Wellington.
Place back in the roasting tin, on a wire rack if possible, to help guard against ‘soggy bottom syndrome’, and bake for 30 minutes. This gives medium-rare meat. Leave it another 10 minutes or so if you like your beef well done. Check frequently and if it’s starting to brown early, cover with foil.
While the meat is roasting, put the beans and carrots in an ovenproof dish and toss (using your hands is easiest) with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt/pepper. Set aside.
Remove the Wellington from the oven and let rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing into thick (1 1/2 inch) with a serrated knife.
While the meat is resting, put the vegetable dish in the oven and roast uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
Meanwhile, make a gravy using the juices from the meat. Heat them up in a saucepan and whisk in the flour slowly. Add up to 2 cups of red wine and season to taste.
Serve along with the remaining wine.
Notes
1. To really make life easy, do steps 2-12 a day or two before and keep the Wellington in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it, at which point start with step 1 and then skip to 13.
2. For a smaller group, try making individual Wellingtons for each of your guests. It’s a bit more work, but people do love getting their own little package on a plate.

Photo property of: Honest Cooking

Ever since the first time I watched the infamous Gordon Ramsey dish up beef wellington on Hell’s Kitchen, buy I have long desired to know what the succulent entre is all about. Over the years I shyly took a peek at the recipe wondering if I am daring enough to execute it. Well, the time came to once and for all tackle this one. I decided to treat my mom-in-law to a grand English dinner for her birthday. She has had a tough time the few months and was in need of good nosh and pampering.

I did not go with Chef Ramsey’s recipe. Instead I found a simple list of ingredients for Beef Wellington by Ruby Moukli via Honest Cooking and adapted it slightly. I, nearly knowing nothing about meat, asked my friendly butcher to help me out. Does beef tenderloin really cost that much or was the man ripping me off because the market was on strike that day? The beef tenderloin unfortunately is pricey. Yet, Beef Wellington is definitely something you have to try at some point in your lifetime. So it is well worth the splurge for a special occasion.

I had some issues wrapping the fillet. My dough was too large so there was an excess of flap on the ends and I completely forgot to brush the inside with egg. The bottom was very soggy. I used a deep casserole to cook the Wellington in but I added two sausage links because they needed to be cooked before their life came to an end. So even though the tenderloin hardly produced juice the sausage could have wrecked havoc on the crust.

I have heard you can wrap the wellington right after sealing the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes, then take out and brush with the egg, and refrigerate another 10 minutes before cooking. Supposed to help with soggy bottoms.

Mine may have looked like a train wreck but it was absolutely superb. My niece and I could not keep our hands off the left over filling and crust.

Source: adapted from Ruby Moukli via HonestCooking.com
Serves: 6
750g (1lb 10 oz) thick beef tenderloin filet
1 onion, chopped finely
175g (6oz) chestnut mushrooms, chopped finely
350g (12oz) puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
Good pinch of thyme (fresh or dried)
1/2 cup dry sherry or broth (optional)
Salt/pepper to season

Preheat oven to 220 C/425 F.

Heat a heavy pan over high heat. Smear 2 Tbsp of the butter all over the filet, then season with salt and pepper. Brown the meat on all sides, 1-2 minutes per side. Place beef in roasting pan uncovered and bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the duxelles by heating the oil and the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large pan. Sauté garlic, onion and mushrooms until they begin to soften. Add sherry (if using) a splash at a time and wait for it to cook out before adding more. Add in parsley and thyme, then season with salt and pepper. When it’s all browned nicely (about 15-20 minutes), remove from heat and let cool.

When meat has baked for 20 minutes, remove from the oven, cover with tin foil and let cool. Pour the juices out ,set aside to make gravy later.

Roll out pastry dough into a rectangle, just large enough to wrap the meat in. Beat the egg and lightly brush the entire surface of the pastry with it. Spoon about 3/4 of the duxelles over the surface of the dough, leaving a border of about 2 inches. Place the beef in the middle and spoon the rest of the duxelles onto the top of it.

Wrap the sides of the pastry over the filet. Pinch the edges together and use any remaining or excess pastry to patch up gaps or make decorative shapes.

Using a sharp knife, make two slices in the dough.
Brush the remaining egg wash over the entire Wellington. Place back in the roasting tin, on a wire rack if possible, to help guard against a soggy dough. Bake for 30 minutes for medium-rare, 40 minutes for well done. Check frequently and if it’s starting to brown early, cover with foil.

Remove the Wellington from the oven and let rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing into thick (1 1/2 inch) with a serrated knife.
I do not know about other people who have watch

Source: Ruby Moukli via HonestCooking.com
Serves: 6
750g (1lb 10 oz) thick beef tenderloin filet
1 onion, pharm chopped finely
175g (6oz) chestnut mushrooms, chopped finely
350g (12oz) puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
Good pinch of thyme (fresh or dried)
1/2 cup dry sherry or broth (optional)
Salt/pepper to season

Preheat oven to 220 C/425 F.

Heat a heavy pan over high heat. Smear 2 Tbsp of the butter all over the filet, then season with salt and pepper. Brown the meat on all sides, 1-2 minutes per side. Place beef in roasting pan uncovered and bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the duxelles by heating the oil and the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large pan. Sauté garlic, onion and mushrooms until they begin to soften. Add sherry (if using) a splash at a time and wait for it to cook out before adding more. Add in parsley and thyme, then season with salt and pepper. When it’s all browned nicely (about 15-20 minutes), remove from heat and let cool.

When meat has baked for 20 minutes, remove from the oven, cover with tin foil and let cool. Pour the juices out ,set aside to make gravy later.

Roll out pastry dough into a rectangle, just large enough to wrap the meat in. Beat the egg and lightly brush the entire surface of the pastry with it. Spoon about 3/4 of the duxelles over the surface of the dough, leaving a border of about 2 inches. Place the beef in the middle and spoon the rest of the duxelles onto the top of it.

Wrap the sides of the pastry over the filet. Pinch the edges together and use any remaining or excess pastry to patch up gaps or make decorative shapes.

Using a sharp knife, make two slices in the dough.
Brush the remaining egg wash over the entire Wellington. Place back in the roasting tin, on a wire rack if possible, to help guard against a soggy dough. Bake for 30 minutes for medium-rare, 40 minutes for well done. Check frequently and if it’s starting to brown early, cover with foil.

Remove the Wellington from the oven and let rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing into thick (1 1/2 inch) with a serrated knife.
A Bite of Britain: Beef Wellington

Author: Ruby Moukli Serves: 6
Ingredients
Wellington:
750g (1lb 10 oz) thick beef tenderloin filet
1 onion, buy information pills chopped finely
175g (6oz) chestnut mushrooms, dosage chopped finely
350g (12oz) puff pastry
1 egg, rx beaten
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
Good pinch of thyme (fresh or dried)
1/2 cup dry sherry (optional)
1 flour tortilla or crêpe (optional – you can skip this or use a piece of sliced bread)
Salt/pepper to season
Roasted Vegetables:
3-4 handfuls of fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick diagonal slices
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt/pepper to season
Gravy:
2 Tbsp plain flour
1 bottle good red wine (something you’d like to drink with it – I used my favourite, Châteauneuf-du-Pape)
Salt/pepper to season
Instructions
Preheat oven to 220 C/425 F/Gas Mark 7.
Smear 2 Tbsp of the butter all over the filet, then season with salt and pepper.
Place in roasting tin uncovered and bake for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the duxelles by heating the oil and the remaining Tbsp of butter in a large pan and sautéing garlic, onion and mushrooms until they begin to soften.
Add sherry (if using) a splash at a time and wait for it to cook out before adding more. Add in parsley and thyme and season. When it’s all browned nicely (about 15-20 minutes), remove from heat and let cool.
When meat has baked for 20 minutes, remove from the oven, cover with tin foil and let cool.
Pour the juices out and set aside to make gravy later.
Roll out pastry until you have a rectangle large enough to wrap the meat in, with a bit of overlap. It will probably be less than 1cm thick and that’s fine, just so long as it’s not thin enough to tear.
Beat the egg and lightly brush the entire surface of the pastry with it.
Place the tortilla or crêpe (if using) in the middle, then spoon about 3/4 of the duxelles over the surface, leaving a border of about 2 inches.
Place the beef in the middle and spoon the rest of the duxelles onto the top of it.
Wrap the sides of the pastry over the filet, just as you would a Xmas present. Pinch the edges together and use any remaining or excess pastry to patch up gaps or make decorative shapes if you like.
Pierce a few holes into the top and then brush the rest of the egg wash over the whole Wellington.
Place back in the roasting tin, on a wire rack if possible, to help guard against ‘soggy bottom syndrome’, and bake for 30 minutes. This gives medium-rare meat. Leave it another 10 minutes or so if you like your beef well done. Check frequently and if it’s starting to brown early, cover with foil.
While the meat is roasting, put the beans and carrots in an ovenproof dish and toss (using your hands is easiest) with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt/pepper. Set aside.
Remove the Wellington from the oven and let rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing into thick (1 1/2 inch) with a serrated knife.
While the meat is resting, put the vegetable dish in the oven and roast uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
Meanwhile, make a gravy using the juices from the meat. Heat them up in a saucepan and whisk in the flour slowly. Add up to 2 cups of red wine and season to taste.
Serve along with the remaining wine.
Notes
1. To really make life easy, do steps 2-12 a day or two before and keep the Wellington in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it, at which point start with step 1 and then skip to 13.
2. For a smaller group, try making individual Wellingtons for each of your guests. It’s a bit more work, but people do love getting their own little package on a plate.

A couple of weeks ago I was dying for a bite of my mom’s coconut cake. The last time I tasted it was 13 years ago when I made it for Thanksgiving dinner with Stephen’s family. Stephen and the kids are not keen on coconut. As much as I would have loved to carry on the family tradition to serve coconut cake on Thanksgiving day, this web it just is not going to happen without additional mouths to help devour it. With Nadine’s pending birthday there was no question as to what type of cake I wanted to bake.

My mom’s version of coconut cake calls for boxed white cake, cialis 40mg cook and serve vanilla pudding and a meringue frosting that uses corn syrup. My kids are allergic to chemicals, for sale dyes and preservatives in processed foods, and corn syrup. My mission was to find a way to make a cake from scratch that was light not dense. Next, I had to find a recipe for the vanilla pudding. Pastry cream was the perfect substitute. Finally, I needed to tackle the corn syrup issue in the meringue frosting. After much research and debate Italian Meringue won. This frosting is so light and marshmallowy delicious.

My cake was so scrumptious. Above all I found a way to make it using fresh ingredients. I froze the leftovers to share with Thanksgiving dinner. It was just as fabulous as the day it was made. Happy baking!

Source: King Arthur
2 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the 2 egg whites in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer. Beat until the egg whites are foamy and thick; they should mound in the bowl, without holding a peak. Set whites aside while you prepare the sugar syrup.

Combine the sugar, cream of tartar, water, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently; the sugar should be dissolved. If the sugar hasn’t dissolved, cook and stir a bit more, until it has. Once the sugar has dissolved, boil the syrup, undisturbed, for 2 minutes, or until the syrup registers 240°F on a candy thermometer or instant-read thermometer.

Begin to beat the egg whites, and immediately pour the boiling sugar syrup into the egg whites in a slow steady stream, beating all the while. As you beat, the mixture will thicken.

Once all the syrup is added, stir in the vanilla, and continue to beat until the frosting is thick and will hold a peak.

Immediately spoon hot frosting on top of prepared cake.

Beef Wellington

Photo property of: Honest Cooking

Ever since the first time I watched the infamous Gordon Ramsey dish up beef wellington on Hell’s Kitchen, buy I have long desired to know what the succulent entre is all about. Over the years I shyly took a peek at the recipe wondering if I am daring enough to execute it. Well, the time came to once and for all tackle this one. I decided to treat my mom-in-law to a grand English dinner for her birthday. She has had a tough time the few months and was in need of good nosh and pampering.

I did not go with Chef Ramsey’s recipe. Instead I found a simple list of ingredients for Beef Wellington by Ruby Moukli via Honest Cooking and adapted it slightly. I, nearly knowing nothing about meat, asked my friendly butcher to help me out. Does beef tenderloin really cost that much or was the man ripping me off because the market was on strike that day? The beef tenderloin unfortunately is pricey. Yet, Beef Wellington is definitely something you have to try at some point in your lifetime. So it is well worth the splurge for a special occasion.

I had some issues wrapping the fillet. My dough was too large so there was an excess of flap on the ends and I completely forgot to brush the inside with egg. The bottom was very soggy. I used a deep casserole to cook the Wellington in but I added two sausage links because they needed to be cooked before their life came to an end. So even though the tenderloin hardly produced juice the sausage could have wrecked havoc on the crust.

I have heard you can wrap the wellington right after sealing the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes, then take out and brush with the egg, and refrigerate another 10 minutes before cooking. Supposed to help with soggy bottoms.

Mine may have looked like a train wreck but it was absolutely superb. My niece and I could not keep our hands off the left over filling and crust.

Source: adapted from Ruby Moukli via HonestCooking.com
Serves: 6
750g (1lb 10 oz) thick beef tenderloin filet
1 onion, chopped finely
175g (6oz) chestnut mushrooms, chopped finely
350g (12oz) puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
Good pinch of thyme (fresh or dried)
1/2 cup dry sherry or broth (optional)
Salt/pepper to season

Preheat oven to 220 C/425 F.

Heat a heavy pan over high heat. Smear 2 Tbsp of the butter all over the filet, then season with salt and pepper. Brown the meat on all sides, 1-2 minutes per side. Place beef in roasting pan uncovered and bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the duxelles by heating the oil and the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large pan. Sauté garlic, onion and mushrooms until they begin to soften. Add sherry (if using) a splash at a time and wait for it to cook out before adding more. Add in parsley and thyme, then season with salt and pepper. When it’s all browned nicely (about 15-20 minutes), remove from heat and let cool.

When meat has baked for 20 minutes, remove from the oven, cover with tin foil and let cool. Pour the juices out ,set aside to make gravy later.

Roll out pastry dough into a rectangle, just large enough to wrap the meat in. Beat the egg and lightly brush the entire surface of the pastry with it. Spoon about 3/4 of the duxelles over the surface of the dough, leaving a border of about 2 inches. Place the beef in the middle and spoon the rest of the duxelles onto the top of it.

Wrap the sides of the pastry over the filet. Pinch the edges together and use any remaining or excess pastry to patch up gaps or make decorative shapes.

Using a sharp knife, make two slices in the dough.
Brush the remaining egg wash over the entire Wellington. Place back in the roasting tin, on a wire rack if possible, to help guard against a soggy dough. Bake for 30 minutes for medium-rare, 40 minutes for well done. Check frequently and if it’s starting to brown early, cover with foil.

Remove the Wellington from the oven and let rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing into thick (1 1/2 inch) with a serrated knife.

Pumpkin Pancakes


Thanksgiving was not complete without a delicious pumpkin roll for dessert and scrumptious pumpkin pancakes for breakfast. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and some chopped pecans. Tastes just like pumpkin pie. We enjoyed them so much that we saved the left over pumpkin to make them again this week on Pancake Wednesday.

Source: High Heels and Grills
3 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
3 tablespoon brown sugar
1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin or 1 1/2 cups.
3 cups buttermilk
3 eggs

In a large bowl, price mix together flour, rx salt, sildenafil baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and brown sugar, combining well.

Add pumpkin, buttermilk, and eggs to dry ingredients and mix gently. {If batter seems stiff, add water until it can be easily spooned onto a griddle.}

Heat griddle to medium heat and grease lightly.
Scoop about 1/3 cup of batter onto griddle and let cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
Let other side cook again until lightly browned.
Repeat these steps until all the batter is gone.

Serve with whipped cream, mini chocolate chips, and hot maple syrup.

Variations:
– 1 1/2 cups fresh pumpkin puree: use a cheese cloth to help get some of the liquid out.
– Can use coconut milk or rice milk instead of buttermilk. Also water is fine but the end result is not as rich.
– Sub spices for 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.
– If you find that the pancakes are not setting up properly (still mushy inside) add a bit more flour. Turn down the heat and cook at a lower temperature for a longer period of time.

Hot Chocolate

I had never heard of rice milk until 15 years ago. I had a friend with Epstein Barr, page 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, more about 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.

I had never heard of rice milk until 15 years ago. I had a friend with Epstein Barr, page 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, more about 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.

I had never heard of rice milk until 15 years ago. I had a friend with Epstein Barr, look 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, here however I try to use a variety of grains, website 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.

I had never heard of rice milk until 15 years ago. I had a friend with Epstein Barr, page 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, more about 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.

I had never heard of rice milk until 15 years ago. I had a friend with Epstein Barr, look 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, here however I try to use a variety of grains, website 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.

I had never heard of rice milk until 15 years ago. I had a friend with Epstein Barr, prostate 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, hospital however I try to use a variety of grains, seek 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.

I had never heard of rice milk until 15 years ago. I had a friend with Epstein Barr, page 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, more about 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.

I had never heard of rice milk until 15 years ago. I had a friend with Epstein Barr, look 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, here however I try to use a variety of grains, website 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.

I had never heard of rice milk until 15 years ago. I had a friend with Epstein Barr, prostate 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, hospital however I try to use a variety of grains, seek 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.

We have been searching and searching for a kid approved homemade hot chocolate recipe. After many failures and sad faces finally the kids have deemed Eureka! We found it! Just in time too. We have a long winter ahead with many a Saturday morning brew to make.

6 cups water
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (semi is fine if you like a darker chocolate)
1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

In a large pot over medium heat, discount  whisk together the water, approved half and half, stomach chocolate chips, cocoa powder, 3/4 cups sugar, salt, and teaspoon of vanilla.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl beat the cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and powdered sugar on high speed until thick and the consistency of whipped cream.

Once the hot chocolate is heated through, and the ingredients dissolved, turn off the heat. Then stir in the whipped cream. Whisk until completely incorporated.

Variations:

— Add up to 1 cup of the milk chocolate chips. Use can also use semi for a bolder taste.
— For kids with sensory processing disorders they might be able to detect the cocoa graduals. Try simmering the hot chocolate longer, stirring constantly as not to burn the chocolate and milk, or replace the cocoa powder with baking chocolate or chocolate chips. Use 5 squares unsweetened or semi sweet baking chocolate or 1 cup bitter or semi chocolate chips.
— For a richer hot chocolate use 6 cups milk instead of the water. You can also use milk in place of the water and half and half for a total of 8 cups or 2 quarts milk.
— Dairy free: Use 2 quarts water eliminating the half and half and milk. Sub rice milk or coconut milk for the half and half. Use dairy free chocolate. Buy dairy free whipped cream or make your own using 2 cans full fat coconut milk (cold) in place of the heavy cream.
— whipped cream: Substitute 1 (8oz) container whipped cream for the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar.
— Sugars can be replaced with equal amount of honey or maple syrup but the flavor will be altered. You can also use coconut sugar or xylitol without a difference in taste.

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.

Basics of Making Homemade Broth

I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, pills boil chicken broth, 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.

I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, pills boil chicken broth, 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.
This recipe was THE popular weekly dinner menu item with my circle of friends. No one knew exactly where it came from, medical though. One person thought it was this person’s, and and that person thought it was someone else, and that person thought it was….. well you get the picture. I followed all the someone’s back to my friend Cathy Carter. She got the recipe from her Grandmother. Then one day when I was looking through a cookbook of crock pot recipes, low and behold there it was, but with a slight variation. Once you try it you’ll know why it is a favorite.

1 packet Italian salad dressing mix
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup (cream of celery or mushroom can be substituted)
6 chicken breasts

Place all the ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve over rice or noodles.

Now for the variations: For the fat free version, in place of the cream cheese and cream of soup use a cup of water. For the less fat version, omit the cream cheese. I have also made this dish on the stove top.

I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, pills boil chicken broth, 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.
This recipe was THE popular weekly dinner menu item with my circle of friends. No one knew exactly where it came from, medical though. One person thought it was this person’s, and and that person thought it was someone else, and that person thought it was….. well you get the picture. I followed all the someone’s back to my friend Cathy Carter. She got the recipe from her Grandmother. Then one day when I was looking through a cookbook of crock pot recipes, low and behold there it was, but with a slight variation. Once you try it you’ll know why it is a favorite.

1 packet Italian salad dressing mix
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup (cream of celery or mushroom can be substituted)
6 chicken breasts

Place all the ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve over rice or noodles.

Now for the variations: For the fat free version, in place of the cream cheese and cream of soup use a cup of water. For the less fat version, omit the cream cheese. I have also made this dish on the stove top.
I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, here boil chicken broth, viagra 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.

I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, pills boil chicken broth, 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.
This recipe was THE popular weekly dinner menu item with my circle of friends. No one knew exactly where it came from, medical though. One person thought it was this person’s, and and that person thought it was someone else, and that person thought it was….. well you get the picture. I followed all the someone’s back to my friend Cathy Carter. She got the recipe from her Grandmother. Then one day when I was looking through a cookbook of crock pot recipes, low and behold there it was, but with a slight variation. Once you try it you’ll know why it is a favorite.

1 packet Italian salad dressing mix
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup (cream of celery or mushroom can be substituted)
6 chicken breasts

Place all the ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve over rice or noodles.

Now for the variations: For the fat free version, in place of the cream cheese and cream of soup use a cup of water. For the less fat version, omit the cream cheese. I have also made this dish on the stove top.
I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, here boil chicken broth, viagra 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.

I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, boil chicken broth, more about 1/2 cup of the milk, abortion and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.

I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, pills boil chicken broth, 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.
This recipe was THE popular weekly dinner menu item with my circle of friends. No one knew exactly where it came from, medical though. One person thought it was this person’s, and and that person thought it was someone else, and that person thought it was….. well you get the picture. I followed all the someone’s back to my friend Cathy Carter. She got the recipe from her Grandmother. Then one day when I was looking through a cookbook of crock pot recipes, low and behold there it was, but with a slight variation. Once you try it you’ll know why it is a favorite.

1 packet Italian salad dressing mix
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup (cream of celery or mushroom can be substituted)
6 chicken breasts

Place all the ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve over rice or noodles.

Now for the variations: For the fat free version, in place of the cream cheese and cream of soup use a cup of water. For the less fat version, omit the cream cheese. I have also made this dish on the stove top.
I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, here boil chicken broth, viagra 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.

I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, boil chicken broth, more about 1/2 cup of the milk, abortion and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.
This recipe was THE popular weekly dinner menu item with my circle of friends. No one knew exactly where it came from, look though. One person thought it was this person’s, decease and that person thought it was someone else, viagra approved and that person thought it was….. well you get the picture. I followed all the someone’s back to my friend Cathy Carter. She got the recipe from her Grandmother. Then one day when I was looking through a cookbook of crock pot recipes, low and behold there it was, but with a slight variation. Once you try it you’ll know why it is a favorite.

***Adapted August 5, 2012***
I have since adapted this recipe to eliminate the processed and canned ingredients. The original recipe called for canned condensed chicken soup and an Italian seasonings packet. Review the notes under variations for these substitutions. For variations to the homemade versions of Italian seasonings and condensed chicken follow the links provided.

Source: Cathy’s Grandmother
2 tablespoons Italian season mix (recipe below)
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
6 chicken breasts
2 cups cream of chicken (based on recipe below)

Place all the ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve over rice or noodles.

Italian Seasonings Mix:
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
2 tablespoons salt

In a small bowl, mix together the garlic salt, onion powder, sugar, oregano, pepper, thyme, basil, parsley, celery salt and regular salt. Store in a tightly sealed container.

Cream of Chicken:
1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, boil chicken broth, 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).
In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Variations:
– 1 can cream of chicken soup (cream of celery or mushroom can be substituted)
– In place of above seasoning use 1 packet Italian salad dressing powdered mix.
– Fat free version, in place of the cream cheese and cream of soup use a cup of water.
– Low fat version, omit the cream cheese.

I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, pills boil chicken broth, 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.
This recipe was THE popular weekly dinner menu item with my circle of friends. No one knew exactly where it came from, medical though. One person thought it was this person’s, and and that person thought it was someone else, and that person thought it was….. well you get the picture. I followed all the someone’s back to my friend Cathy Carter. She got the recipe from her Grandmother. Then one day when I was looking through a cookbook of crock pot recipes, low and behold there it was, but with a slight variation. Once you try it you’ll know why it is a favorite.

1 packet Italian salad dressing mix
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup (cream of celery or mushroom can be substituted)
6 chicken breasts

Place all the ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve over rice or noodles.

Now for the variations: For the fat free version, in place of the cream cheese and cream of soup use a cup of water. For the less fat version, omit the cream cheese. I have also made this dish on the stove top.
I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, here boil chicken broth, viagra 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.

I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, boil chicken broth, more about 1/2 cup of the milk, abortion and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.
This recipe was THE popular weekly dinner menu item with my circle of friends. No one knew exactly where it came from, look though. One person thought it was this person’s, decease and that person thought it was someone else, viagra approved and that person thought it was….. well you get the picture. I followed all the someone’s back to my friend Cathy Carter. She got the recipe from her Grandmother. Then one day when I was looking through a cookbook of crock pot recipes, low and behold there it was, but with a slight variation. Once you try it you’ll know why it is a favorite.

***Adapted August 5, 2012***
I have since adapted this recipe to eliminate the processed and canned ingredients. The original recipe called for canned condensed chicken soup and an Italian seasonings packet. Review the notes under variations for these substitutions. For variations to the homemade versions of Italian seasonings and condensed chicken follow the links provided.

Source: Cathy’s Grandmother
2 tablespoons Italian season mix (recipe below)
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
6 chicken breasts
2 cups cream of chicken (based on recipe below)

Place all the ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve over rice or noodles.

Italian Seasonings Mix:
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
2 tablespoons salt

In a small bowl, mix together the garlic salt, onion powder, sugar, oregano, pepper, thyme, basil, parsley, celery salt and regular salt. Store in a tightly sealed container.

Cream of Chicken:
1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, boil chicken broth, 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).
In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Variations:
– 1 can cream of chicken soup (cream of celery or mushroom can be substituted)
– In place of above seasoning use 1 packet Italian salad dressing powdered mix.
– Fat free version, in place of the cream cheese and cream of soup use a cup of water.
– Low fat version, omit the cream cheese.

When I was a teenager I traveled with my best friend Cindy and her mom across the United States from Southern Florida to the Mid West. We saw Texas, website like this New Mexico, adiposity Arizona, sale Colorado and the Grand Canyon, then drove on to Utah to pick up her sister. While in New Mexico we dined at a local Mexican restaurant. The highlight of the meal was Sopaipillas; a fried square puff of bread, similar to the Native American fry bread, served with butter and honey.

I made these for the kids this week for our back to school celebration party. I dusted some with powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, or spread with butter and drizzled with honey. They went nuts asking if they could take some to the neighbors. So we ended up feeding most of the neighbor kids too. The way to eat them is you tear a corner off, drop a little butter in the hole, and then drizzle the cavity with honey. So tasty! They have a slight crisp to the outside and the inside is doughnut heaven.

* The heat of the oil is very important. The oil should not be too hot nor to cool. If it is too hot the dough will burn quickly resulting in crunchy not crispy sopaipillas. If the oil is too cool then the dough will absorb more oil as it cooks longer making the sopaipillas soggy. I do not fry foods hardly ever so it is hard to remember from year to year the trick to heating oil. This time I took notes. I started heating the oil over medium heat before making the dough. By the time the dough was ready to rest I could smell the oil. I turned the heat down to medium low while the dough rested. Then turned it back to medium while I rolled and cut the dough. The dough was a perfect light brown after 10 seconds.

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon shortening
3/4 cup warm water
Canola oil for frying

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, powder, and salt. Cut in the shortening with a pastry cutter or your hands. Using a fork or hands, gradually stir in the warm water. Knead and mix the dough until the dough forms a loose ball. (dough will be crumbly) Turn out onto a flat surface and knead. (you should not need any flour but if the dough is too sticky lightly dust the surface with flour.) Knead the dough until it is smooth, about 5 to 10 minutes. Divide the dough in half and let sit covered with a hand towel.

Beginning with one half of the dough, roll into a large square to a 1/8-inch thickness. Cut the dough into 9 equal pieces by cutting the dough into thirds both horizontally and vertically. Repeat with the other half of dough.

* Pour oil 1 to 2 inches thick in a deep rimmed skillet. Carefully place squares of dough in hot oil (careful not to overcrowd). Cook for 10 to 30 seconds each side. The cooked side should be lightly browned. Remove fried dough from the oil and drain on paper towels.

To serve: Dust with powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar immediately after removing from the oil or serve with butter and honey.

Variations:
– Gluten free version to come. Any ideas please comment.
– Use sunflower oil for corn allergies.
– Use coconut oil in place of shortening

I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, pills boil chicken broth, 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.
This recipe was THE popular weekly dinner menu item with my circle of friends. No one knew exactly where it came from, medical though. One person thought it was this person’s, and and that person thought it was someone else, and that person thought it was….. well you get the picture. I followed all the someone’s back to my friend Cathy Carter. She got the recipe from her Grandmother. Then one day when I was looking through a cookbook of crock pot recipes, low and behold there it was, but with a slight variation. Once you try it you’ll know why it is a favorite.

1 packet Italian salad dressing mix
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup (cream of celery or mushroom can be substituted)
6 chicken breasts

Place all the ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve over rice or noodles.

Now for the variations: For the fat free version, in place of the cream cheese and cream of soup use a cup of water. For the less fat version, omit the cream cheese. I have also made this dish on the stove top.
I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, here boil chicken broth, viagra 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.

I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, boil chicken broth, more about 1/2 cup of the milk, abortion and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.
This recipe was THE popular weekly dinner menu item with my circle of friends. No one knew exactly where it came from, look though. One person thought it was this person’s, decease and that person thought it was someone else, viagra approved and that person thought it was….. well you get the picture. I followed all the someone’s back to my friend Cathy Carter. She got the recipe from her Grandmother. Then one day when I was looking through a cookbook of crock pot recipes, low and behold there it was, but with a slight variation. Once you try it you’ll know why it is a favorite.

***Adapted August 5, 2012***
I have since adapted this recipe to eliminate the processed and canned ingredients. The original recipe called for canned condensed chicken soup and an Italian seasonings packet. Review the notes under variations for these substitutions. For variations to the homemade versions of Italian seasonings and condensed chicken follow the links provided.

Source: Cathy’s Grandmother
2 tablespoons Italian season mix (recipe below)
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
6 chicken breasts
2 cups cream of chicken (based on recipe below)

Place all the ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve over rice or noodles.

Italian Seasonings Mix:
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
2 tablespoons salt

In a small bowl, mix together the garlic salt, onion powder, sugar, oregano, pepper, thyme, basil, parsley, celery salt and regular salt. Store in a tightly sealed container.

Cream of Chicken:
1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, boil chicken broth, 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).
In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Variations:
– 1 can cream of chicken soup (cream of celery or mushroom can be substituted)
– In place of above seasoning use 1 packet Italian salad dressing powdered mix.
– Fat free version, in place of the cream cheese and cream of soup use a cup of water.
– Low fat version, omit the cream cheese.

When I was a teenager I traveled with my best friend Cindy and her mom across the United States from Southern Florida to the Mid West. We saw Texas, website like this New Mexico, adiposity Arizona, sale Colorado and the Grand Canyon, then drove on to Utah to pick up her sister. While in New Mexico we dined at a local Mexican restaurant. The highlight of the meal was Sopaipillas; a fried square puff of bread, similar to the Native American fry bread, served with butter and honey.

I made these for the kids this week for our back to school celebration party. I dusted some with powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, or spread with butter and drizzled with honey. They went nuts asking if they could take some to the neighbors. So we ended up feeding most of the neighbor kids too. The way to eat them is you tear a corner off, drop a little butter in the hole, and then drizzle the cavity with honey. So tasty! They have a slight crisp to the outside and the inside is doughnut heaven.

* The heat of the oil is very important. The oil should not be too hot nor to cool. If it is too hot the dough will burn quickly resulting in crunchy not crispy sopaipillas. If the oil is too cool then the dough will absorb more oil as it cooks longer making the sopaipillas soggy. I do not fry foods hardly ever so it is hard to remember from year to year the trick to heating oil. This time I took notes. I started heating the oil over medium heat before making the dough. By the time the dough was ready to rest I could smell the oil. I turned the heat down to medium low while the dough rested. Then turned it back to medium while I rolled and cut the dough. The dough was a perfect light brown after 10 seconds.

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon shortening
3/4 cup warm water
Canola oil for frying

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, powder, and salt. Cut in the shortening with a pastry cutter or your hands. Using a fork or hands, gradually stir in the warm water. Knead and mix the dough until the dough forms a loose ball. (dough will be crumbly) Turn out onto a flat surface and knead. (you should not need any flour but if the dough is too sticky lightly dust the surface with flour.) Knead the dough until it is smooth, about 5 to 10 minutes. Divide the dough in half and let sit covered with a hand towel.

Beginning with one half of the dough, roll into a large square to a 1/8-inch thickness. Cut the dough into 9 equal pieces by cutting the dough into thirds both horizontally and vertically. Repeat with the other half of dough.

* Pour oil 1 to 2 inches thick in a deep rimmed skillet. Carefully place squares of dough in hot oil (careful not to overcrowd). Cook for 10 to 30 seconds each side. The cooked side should be lightly browned. Remove fried dough from the oil and drain on paper towels.

To serve: Dust with powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar immediately after removing from the oil or serve with butter and honey.

Variations:
– Gluten free version to come. Any ideas please comment.
– Use sunflower oil for corn allergies.
– Use coconut oil in place of shortening
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, sick before I get lost in the rush of the season I am posting the recipe. No more panic come Thanksgiving.

I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, pills boil chicken broth, 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.
This recipe was THE popular weekly dinner menu item with my circle of friends. No one knew exactly where it came from, medical though. One person thought it was this person’s, and and that person thought it was someone else, and that person thought it was….. well you get the picture. I followed all the someone’s back to my friend Cathy Carter. She got the recipe from her Grandmother. Then one day when I was looking through a cookbook of crock pot recipes, low and behold there it was, but with a slight variation. Once you try it you’ll know why it is a favorite.

1 packet Italian salad dressing mix
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup (cream of celery or mushroom can be substituted)
6 chicken breasts

Place all the ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve over rice or noodles.

Now for the variations: For the fat free version, in place of the cream cheese and cream of soup use a cup of water. For the less fat version, omit the cream cheese. I have also made this dish on the stove top.
I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, here boil chicken broth, viagra 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.

I finally found a homemade substitute for condensed chicken soup. I am so thrilled that I can finally make a family favorite Easy Crock Pot Chicken again. I will have to try it with another favorite recipe Monterrey Chicken with Stuffing.

This recipe is the best I have found so far. It is both fresh and flavorful. Skim through the variations at the bottom of this post for a gluten free version.

Source: Tammy’s Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, boil chicken broth, more about 1/2 cup of the milk, abortion and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Makes 3 cups (about 2 cans of soup)

Variations:
– *chicken bouillon + water: you might want to add a little extra seasonings and some bits of chicken.
– If using a good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.
– **diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– ***fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes).
– Gluten free version: use gluten free broth (if not homemade). Replace flour with a mixture of brown rice and corn starch. Or use no more than 1/8 cup of corn starch in place of the flour.
This recipe was THE popular weekly dinner menu item with my circle of friends. No one knew exactly where it came from, look though. One person thought it was this person’s, decease and that person thought it was someone else, viagra approved and that person thought it was….. well you get the picture. I followed all the someone’s back to my friend Cathy Carter. She got the recipe from her Grandmother. Then one day when I was looking through a cookbook of crock pot recipes, low and behold there it was, but with a slight variation. Once you try it you’ll know why it is a favorite.

***Adapted August 5, 2012***
I have since adapted this recipe to eliminate the processed and canned ingredients. The original recipe called for canned condensed chicken soup and an Italian seasonings packet. Review the notes under variations for these substitutions. For variations to the homemade versions of Italian seasonings and condensed chicken follow the links provided.

Source: Cathy’s Grandmother
2 tablespoons Italian season mix (recipe below)
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
6 chicken breasts
2 cups cream of chicken (based on recipe below)

Place all the ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve over rice or noodles.

Italian Seasonings Mix:
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
2 tablespoons salt

In a small bowl, mix together the garlic salt, onion powder, sugar, oregano, pepper, thyme, basil, parsley, celery salt and regular salt. Store in a tightly sealed container.

Cream of Chicken:
1 1/2 cups fresh chicken stock*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour

In medium-sized saucepan, boil chicken broth, 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).
In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat.

Variations:
– 1 can cream of chicken soup (cream of celery or mushroom can be substituted)
– In place of above seasoning use 1 packet Italian salad dressing powdered mix.
– Fat free version, in place of the cream cheese and cream of soup use a cup of water.
– Low fat version, omit the cream cheese.

When I was a teenager I traveled with my best friend Cindy and her mom across the United States from Southern Florida to the Mid West. We saw Texas, website like this New Mexico, adiposity Arizona, sale Colorado and the Grand Canyon, then drove on to Utah to pick up her sister. While in New Mexico we dined at a local Mexican restaurant. The highlight of the meal was Sopaipillas; a fried square puff of bread, similar to the Native American fry bread, served with butter and honey.

I made these for the kids this week for our back to school celebration party. I dusted some with powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, or spread with butter and drizzled with honey. They went nuts asking if they could take some to the neighbors. So we ended up feeding most of the neighbor kids too. The way to eat them is you tear a corner off, drop a little butter in the hole, and then drizzle the cavity with honey. So tasty! They have a slight crisp to the outside and the inside is doughnut heaven.

* The heat of the oil is very important. The oil should not be too hot nor to cool. If it is too hot the dough will burn quickly resulting in crunchy not crispy sopaipillas. If the oil is too cool then the dough will absorb more oil as it cooks longer making the sopaipillas soggy. I do not fry foods hardly ever so it is hard to remember from year to year the trick to heating oil. This time I took notes. I started heating the oil over medium heat before making the dough. By the time the dough was ready to rest I could smell the oil. I turned the heat down to medium low while the dough rested. Then turned it back to medium while I rolled and cut the dough. The dough was a perfect light brown after 10 seconds.

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon shortening
3/4 cup warm water
Canola oil for frying

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, powder, and salt. Cut in the shortening with a pastry cutter or your hands. Using a fork or hands, gradually stir in the warm water. Knead and mix the dough until the dough forms a loose ball. (dough will be crumbly) Turn out onto a flat surface and knead. (you should not need any flour but if the dough is too sticky lightly dust the surface with flour.) Knead the dough until it is smooth, about 5 to 10 minutes. Divide the dough in half and let sit covered with a hand towel.

Beginning with one half of the dough, roll into a large square to a 1/8-inch thickness. Cut the dough into 9 equal pieces by cutting the dough into thirds both horizontally and vertically. Repeat with the other half of dough.

* Pour oil 1 to 2 inches thick in a deep rimmed skillet. Carefully place squares of dough in hot oil (careful not to overcrowd). Cook for 10 to 30 seconds each side. The cooked side should be lightly browned. Remove fried dough from the oil and drain on paper towels.

To serve: Dust with powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar immediately after removing from the oil or serve with butter and honey.

Variations:
– Gluten free version to come. Any ideas please comment.
– Use sunflower oil for corn allergies.
– Use coconut oil in place of shortening
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, sick before I get lost in the rush of the season I am posting the recipe. No more panic come Thanksgiving.

I began making homemade broth a resourceful way to utilize the  remnants of the Thanksgiving turkey. Boy, pilule did it make some tasty soup. Thus my resolve to never buy canned soup again; and, nurse I have held to that resolve. Brewing broth used to be a once a year rite of Thanksgiving. Then throughout the year each time we baked a whole chicken the carcass and innards went into the stew pot with water. Over the years I started buying more whole chickens. I roasted them whole or cut them into the various parts to use in dishes throughout the week. The theory being they are cheaper that way. It was like a buy one, cialis 40mg get one free kind of deal by making broth from left over fryer chickens.

BROTH FROM A WHOLE RAW CHICKEN:

Most often a whole chicken is boiled in water to make homemade chicken soup. Adding vegetables will give both flavor and depth to the broth. The chicken is virtually robbed of all its flavor when boiled. The best way to use boiled chicken is in soups or heavily seasoned dishes like casseroles or chicken salad.

Whole Chicken Broth:
1 fryer chicken
2 onions
1 carrot cut into large chunks
1 celery stalk, whole
2 tablespoons salt

Remove the chicken from the wrapping. Rinse throughly with water (run the water through the inside of the chicken also). Rub both the outside and inside with course salt. In a large deep pot add the fryer, vegetables,neck and gizzards (no liver) from pouch that comes inside the chicken, and salt. Add just enough water to cover by 1 to 2 inches.

Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 hours or until meat falls off the bones and the bones look pale and clean. Skim the foam off the top.

Strain broth through a large mesh colander into a large bowl. Allow broth to cool. Skim the fat from the top of the broth.

BROTH FROM UNUSED CHICKEN BONES AND PIECES:

Rotisseri chicken purchased from a restaurant or a chicken baked at home can be utilized to make chicken broth. Even though the wing pieces do not have much meat they will add more flavor to the broth than using just the bones. I like to add every part of the leftover chicken that has not been gnawed on.

Chicken Pieces Broth:
1 chicken carcass with bones (Include and leg and wing pieces)
Neck and gizzards (excluding the liver), if available
Vegetables: onions, celery, carrots, leeks

Place bones in a large deep pot. Add enough water to cover the bones by 1-2 inches. Bring the water to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 2-3 hours until the bones are pale and clean. Skim the scum off the top.

Strain stock through a mesh colander into a large bowl. Allow broth to cool.

USING THE BROTH:

– Use the broth in recipes that call for chicken broth.

– When using homemade broth in soups flavor with fresh herbs, spices, and vegetables.

– To make chicken stock simmer broth 2-4 hours to reduce the liquid. Broth will become thicker with a more condensed flavor.

Eggless (Vegan) Ginger Cookies

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.

Black Bean Enchiladas

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.