The Real Know How

How-Tos, Videos, Tutorials — Ramping Up for the 21st Century

Archive for the tag “cooking”

How To Make Flour Tortillas

Here’s a step-by-step on how to make flour tortillas.

The poster, abrahamdiaz writes “This is the traditional recipe made in northern Mexico. Ingredient measurements should be followed exactly as shown in instructions; water quantity may vary depending on desired mixture texture. This recipe makes about 18 tortillas.”

His recipe uses vegetable shortening – since that’s a modern product – that wouldn’t be traditional. Maybe in the past they would have used lard. But he anyway, gives a substitution measurement for vegetable oil.

Here’s mszeineb’s veg oil version:

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How to Make Soy Milk And Then Tofu

A detailed video tutorial on how to make first soy milk and then tofu from that soy milk. An electric soy milk maker makes the first step fast and easy (you don’t have to watch the pot as when you do it manually, as is demonstrated. I’m not clear on what she is using to curdle the soy milk as she uses both two different names but you can use either nigari (magnesium chloride) or gympsum aka terra alba to curdle the soy milk

Make Fromage Blanc/Farmer’s Cheese

This is a fresh cheese, similar to Indian paneer (except that it isn’t pressed or cut into cubes). This recipe makes a luscious, spreadable, fresh cheese.

Chef John of foodwishes demnostrates how he makes fromage blanc with milk, buttermilk, salt and lemon juice. He notes that the ingredient amounts are crucial — you can view his recipe with exact amounts here.

Making Labneh (Yoghurt Cheese)

Labneh making is pretty straightforward and can be formed into balls and preserved in oil.

Mariam shows us how to make labneh, step by step:

Dede shows us how she makes plain labneh then flavors it:

The labneh I’ve had before (at a restaurant) was over-the-top in a good way rich and creamy, so may guess is how tasty it is is greatly affected by the yoghurt you use and the milk/cream it’s made with.

The labneh can be preserved in oil and in this way stored for months without refrigeration. To do so, the labneh is drained for longer and formed into balls (labneh makboos).

Evelyn write “This is an old-world recipe. It is really just drained, salted yoghurt, very easy to make and very easy to preserve. I guarantee that once you have made these and tasted how delicious they are, they will become a staple in your home.

Read more: http://www.food.com/recipe/yogurt-cheese-labneh-88089#ixzz1pn4sP7oS” and gives this recipe

The recipe proceeds pretty much like Dede and Mariam’s tutorials but instead of draining the yoghurt for 12 hours or overnight you drain the yoghurt for something like 24 hours, until you are able to form the yoghurt into balls, which you then chill in the fridge to firm up further. The balls are then put into a heat sterilized jar and covered with oil.

I assume that getting out as much water as possible is important in being able to preserve these balls – though the active yoghurt culture will also play its part.

Ellie from Home Cooking in Montana adds herbs and spices to the oil she pours over her labneh makbus.

Homemade Sour Cream! How to Make Creme Fraiche

Chef John (in San Francisco) of foodwishes shows us how he makes sour cream/creme fraiche.

Very straightforward – The ingredients are cream and cultured buttermilk at room temperature (no heating necessary, though the culturing will go faster the hotter the environment).

How to Make Paneer

Paneer is a fresh, non-melting, pressed cheese of Indian origin. It’s usually used in chunks.

Here Bhavna shows us how she makes her paneer using full fat milk, cream and lime juice (to curdle the mixture). She emphasizes weighting the cheese curds heavily to express as much water as you can.

She notes that if you want to grill or barbecue the paneer you may want to add flour to the curds as you are making the paneer, so that the cheese is bound more firmly and won’t fall apart on the grill.

You can also flavor the paneer by adding herbs or spices to the cheese as you add your citrus juice to the milk.

Bhavna says that the paneer will keep in the freezer about 3 months.

How To Make Cultured Butter

Melody Kettle shows us how she makes cultured butter at home. She used Greek yoghurt to culture cream and then her hand mixer (first with whisk attachments and then with paddles) to “churn” the butter. She rinses the butter in ice water and then uses her hands (she could also have used butter paddles) to knead and squeeze the butter.

I’m guessing that the taste of the butter will vary depending on what you use to culture the cream.

In this video Kali Lilla makes unsalted butter and a flavored butter (garlic butter).

Kali Lilla makes her cultured butter in a blender (with a chilled blender chamber/cup). She also used yoghurt to culture her cream but says that the cream can culture on its own but that it will take longer without using the yoghurt as a starter. She saves the buttermilk she presses out of the yoghurt for other uses.

Kali Lilla mentions that the culturing of the cream helps make it easier to digest.

The What, How and Why of Sourdough Starter

From Wardeh Harmon in Oregon. She discusses the science and the benefits of sourdough:

No need to buy your yeast – the wild yeasts and lactobacilli in sourdough starter are everywhere in the environment, you just need to encourage them.

Sourdough breads don’t stale as quickly.

-Sourdough starter is more versatile and resilient than store-bought yeast (for example, sourdough starter can tolerate a wider range of temperature and ph than storebought yeast).

About Hominy and Nixtamalization

Daniel Delaney talks about hominy and nixtamalization and gives a pozole recipe. The mistake he makes though is the one I made of associating hominy only with Southern and Mexican cooking.

It turns out that making hominy is something that Native people throughout N. America (examples, Chippewa, Iroquois, Cherokee…) did/do — not nixtamalizing corn (which increases the nutritional value of the corn and makes the niacin in the corn available to us), for those tribes that used the grain as a staple, would have been disastrous.

There are a few different methods of making hominy using “field” or “flint” corn.

Here the derelictepistle shows us how to make hominy using the wood ash (lye) method. [I’ve read that the wood ash actually gives a mix of a larger percentage of potassium hydroxide to sodium hydroxide. The lye you buy in the store will be pure sodium hydroxide.]

In this video, Culinary Institute of America Chef Instructor Iliana de la Vega demonstrates the traditional Mexican method of nixtamalization (using lime or calcium oxide), making masa for corn tortillas.

Chef Iliana mentions that the calcium oxide becomes calcium hydroxide as it mixes with the water – so a caustic substance, similar to the lye.

Here’s Howard Kimewon on the Fond du Lac Chippewa reservation in Minnesota talking about making Hominy Soup (Banagaziiganaboke). He uses dried sweet corn that he grows himself and wood ash to make his hominy.

Howard soaks his corn in a solution of hardwood ashes and cold water for two or three days. He stirs it periodically. Then he dries the treated corn slowly so it doesn’t shrivel up. Howard says that the benefit of preprocessing the corn in the wood ash solution is that the cooking time in the lye solution is lessened (so three hours cooking time for the “preprocessed” corn versus six or seven hours cooking time for unprocessed corn).

Apparently, you can also make hominy with other alkali solutions. I found a tutorial on making hominy with baking soda. The author notes that processing the corn takes longer (you soak the corn overnight in baking soda and water and then simmer for four to sixteen hours in the solution). The advantage the author writes is that baking soda is less caustic than lye so there is little risk if you don’t rinse your hominy properly.

Making a Fermented Soda/Pop

Kimberly Gallagher shows us a method for making a homemade fizzy drink. These first two videos are about making the culture (to which you’ll later add flavored syrups to make your drink):

Here she uses her culture to make a fizzy ginger beer (fermented soda/pop):

Interesting, because I know one of the traditional ways to make ginger beer is to grate ginger, squeeze water through it to extract the flavor, add a lot of sugar to the liquid and let it sit bottled (covered loosely) to get fizzy.

Someone who’d seen the video commented that they used honey instead of white sugar to create/feed their culture and that it had not taken a month to get to the right stage for soda/pop making.

Kimberly didn’t mention this, but I assume that there is alcohol in the beverage (but at what level I don’t know) since it was a sugar solution and was fizzing and wasn’t vinegar.

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