Posts Tagged With: creme fraiche

Summer Reading

strawberries creme fraiche book

Market-Fresh Strawberries & Home-Made Crème Fraîche


In case you’d like a taste of what I’m reading, here are two samples from a book I purchased yesterday.

“I do believe, against all the odds, that cream will be with us for a long time yet, despite its well-known high cholesterol content. After all, who in their heart of hearts would want to be without crème brûlée, the best vanilla ice cream, or clotted cream on a scone with strawberry jam?”

“Crème fraîche The only sort of cream to be found in Europe. It is a shock the first time you try it because of its sharp taste. ‘Oh, it’s off,’ people cry. I have never discovered the reason why this cream has been deliberately soured, but for something so rich, it is curiously refreshing and particularly good with chocolate things. I don’t like cooking with it; it separates more easily than any cream I know.”

Roast Chicken and Other Stories

by Simon Hopkinson with Lindsey Bareham

A newspaper clipping left between the first few pages of the book give a good explanation of the difference between an American cookbook and one you might find in Britain. In addition to pointing out that American cookbooks are big, heavy, and “include several dozen profound-looking photographs”, the review accuses Americans of “glamour, swagger [and] religious uplift”.  In contrast, the British author of Roast Chicken and Other Stories, Simon Hopkinson, shares personal favorites in a simple and pleasant manner.

In his introduction, the author admits that he is not a novelist. You can tell that he isn’t a professional recipe-writer, either. Last night I was chuckling out loud at the way he explained some instructions. His work is fun to read because you can tell that he likes to cook and that he enjoys eating good food.

As I looked at the titles of various chapters listed in the Table of Contents, I see there are more than a few ingredients that will probably not make it into my kitchen: brains, hake, squab, sweetbreads, tripe… but it won’t hurt to store some of the information in my head.

I look forward to dipping into this book from time to time over the next few summer months, and perhaps even trying some of the recipes that don’t require turning on the oven.





Categories: Books, Food and drink | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Creme de la creme


While looking for an alternative filling for  chocolate pastry tart shells, I came across a recipe for home made crème fraîche.

At the store, a small (5 or 8 oz.) container will set you back more than a couple of bucks.

Who knew that Baking With Julia, you could actually save money rather than spending more of it.

It was good enough to eat paired with fresh blueberries: no crust.

1 c heavy cream

1 T buttermilk

Put both ingredients in a airtight jar. Close the lid. Shake the jar until the cream and butermilk are combined. Leave the jar on a table at room temperature for 12-24 hours. When the cream has thickened put it into the refrigerator. Allow the creme fraiche to cool for at least 24 hours before using.  This will keep for 2 weeks if you store it in the fridge.

It is safest to follow the original recipe, but…

I used about  1 c milk 1/2 heavy whipping cream and 2 T lemon juice, and was successful. Just milk and lemon juice doesn’t work.

Categories: Dessert, Desserts, Food and drink, sauces & condiments, Science | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

White Magic

Thoughtfulness is important when substituting ingredients; you may end up admitting that it would have been better to have waited until you could get to the store, when you see, smell, taste, or touch the results of your experimentation.  If you know the why behind the rules, though, you can decide whether or not it is okay to break one every so often.

Often, substitution of ingredients comes of necessity. Other times, the cook may be trying to please a picky eater or to help someone that has health issues. This week, I substituted ingredients in three recipes for no other reason than because I had some ingredients on hand that I wanted to use. I decided to work them into some foods that I was in the mood for.

cranberry white chocolate chip

#1  Chocolate Chip Cookies

When it gets cold enough to bake without making it unpleasantly warm inside, who doesn’t start thinking about soft, freshly baked cookies? Unfortunately, I only had Craisins and white chocolate chips.

tuna noodle casserole

#2 Tuna Noodle Casserole

In the mood for tuna noodle casserole? You may ask. Tuna isn’t in our cupboard because I’m a fan of the stuff. Occasionally, my husband will request a cold kidney bean & mayo macaroni salad, so it is good to have a can of tuna on the shelf. This week I was thinking back on 7th grade Home Economics class with Mrs. McDowell. For some reason, we asked to make hot tuna noodle casserole more than once in our class that year; twenty-two years later, I wanted to make some to see if I could figure out why we liked it way back then.  My internet search produced a recipe that substituted creme fraiche for the canned cream of mushroom soup.  Believe it or not, I had a container of it in my refrigerator and no fresh fruit to serve it with. So, that was my dinner. The result wasn’t satisfying, only because my brain was looking for heavy comfort food instead of the clean, healthful alternative ( I ended up adding some mayo, red pepper fruit seasoning and dill to make it more interesting.).

coconut macaroon cups

#3 Coconut Macaroons

Are you really good at whipping egg whites? If I hadn’t broken the handle on my old-fashioned hand-held egg beater it would have been easy, but whisking takes patience and muscles. Substituting powdered egg whites made the sweet coconut treats a breeze to prepare.

Today at work, two other pale ingredients came up in conversation. My employer asked if any of us had tried mayonnaise cake. We decided that substituting mayo would work, since it is made of eggs and oil, but we couldn’t remember if mayonnaise had another ingredient that might skew the flavor.  Sauerkraut was the other questionable ingredient; has anyone used it (successfully) to bake a German chocolate cake?




Categories: Cookies and Candy, Fish, Food and drink, sauces & condiments | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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