How to Make Your Own Sour Cream
Things You’ll Need:
2 cups light cream
2 tablespoon of buttermilk
Combine cream and buttermilk in a hot clean glass jar with lid.
Cover tightly and shake the jar.
Let stand in a warm place till thickened.
Store, covered in refrigerator, stir before you serve.
Making a recipe that calls for buttermilk? Use this simple substitute, and you won’t need to buy any:
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Milk (just under one cup)
1 Tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice
1. Place a Tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup.
2. Add enough milk to bring the liquid up to the one-cup line.
3. Let stand for five minute. Then, use as much as your recipe calls for.
Make your own Paneer Cheese
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
1 litre full-cream milk (use lean milk for a low-fat version)
½ tsp citric acid/lemon juice
½ cup warm water
Set the milk up to boil.
As the milk is readied, dissolve the citric acid/lemon juice in half a cup of warm water.
When the milk comes to a boil, pour the acid-water/lemon juice-water mix into it.
Reduce the heat and stir continuously until the milk is completely curdled.
Remove from the heat when the separation of the curds and yellowish whey is complete.
Strain the mixture through a clean muslin cloth.
Hold it under running water for a minute and then press out the excess water.
Hang the muslin for 15-20 minutes so that all the whey is drained out.
To make the paneer into a block tie the muslin and place it under something heavy.
The paneer can now be cut into chunks and used as required.
How to Make Labneh Cheese
recipe will make approximately 12 oz. of labneh cheese.
Things You’ll Need
Plain full fat yogurt or soy yogurt
Optional: Salt, Herbs, Garlic, Fruit
Purchase (or make) a quart of full-milk yogurt or soy yogurt. Cut a 15-inch square of cheesecloth. Empty the contents of the yogurt carton on top of the cheesecloth.Bring up the sides and tie tightly with string, leaving a length of string to tie up so the bag will hang and drip into a bowl placed beneath the bag, OR use a jelly stand if you have one. Place the container in the refrigerator (purists leave it out to drip into the sink, but for bacteria/mold reasons, don’t leave it out) and leave it there for 1-2 days until desired spreadable consistency is reached.Remove from refrigerator and reserve the drained liquid (which is called whey) when the cheese has reached the desired consistency. The solid part that is the cheese are also called curds.Add spices and herbs to taste. Traditionalists enjoy this cheese extremely pungent. Experiment with different mixes to find what works best for you.Transfer your cheese to a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface of the cheese (keeps it fresher).
Place a small plate and 12-oz weight (like a can of soup) on top of the cheesecloth to speed processing.
Add 100 mls (3oz) of fresh double cream for a cheese very similar to cream cheese.
Flavorings: salt, herbs, garlic, jam, fresh fruit, or hot sauce.
Use as a low-fat cream cheese substitute in dip recipes.
Please don’t discard the whey! It is full of minerals and enzymes. Use it as the liquid in your next batch of bread, or soup.Instead of discarding the whey, use it in pancakes or muffins, it will make the best pancakes or muffins you have ever had! Don’t take a chance with bacterial contamination by draining this at room temperature.
be sure to rinse your cheesecloth well before using it, you don’t want the cheese to taste like dishsoap, or dryer sheets.
How To Make Vanilla Extract
Time Required: 5 minutes to prep; 2 months to develop.
Use a knife to split the vanilla beans open lengthwise, stopping one inch from the end of each bean.
Place the cut beans in a glass container, and cover with vodka.
Make sure the beans are completely submerged. Push down any that aren’t.
Secure the lid; and store in a cool, dark place.
Allow the extract to develop for at least two months before using, shaking at least once a week.
To replenish your supply of extract, just add more vodka to the bottle from time to time. The original beans will retain their flavor for years.
Homemade vanilla extract makes a great gift. Package some up in small bottles, and decorate them with your own label.
Online vendors often have the best price for vanilla beans.
What You Need:
1 cup vodka
3 vanilla beans
A glass jar with a snug-fitting lid
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN PEANUT BUTTER
3cups of homemade peanut butter
4 cups natural peanuts (roasted, unsalted). Can use almonds or other nuts.
3 teaspoons peanut oil (or veg oil or olive oil)
1 teaspoon salt
Put half your roasted peanuts into the food processor or blender.
Add half the oil.
Grind the peanuts for two to four minutes. The mixture will appear clumpy.
Pour the remaining peanuts and peanut oil into the food processor or blender.
Continue chopping the nuts until you achieve the consistency you desire. Creamy peanut butter will require more blending time.
Add the salt and mix for another minute.
Refrigerate the peanut butter as soon as you have finished preparing it. It will last for about two weeks. The oil in the peanut butter may rise to the top when it is stored. Simply stir it to redistribute the oil throughout the entire concoction.
Prep time: about 10 minutes
1½ c. unsalted roasted peanuts
1 tbsp. peanut oil
For smooth peanut butter:
Mix the peanuts with the peanut oil, and pour the mixture into the food processor.
Process the mixture until it’s very smooth.
Store your smooth peanut butter in a sealed container in the fridge. It will be good for 2 weeks.
For chunky peanut butter:
Take about ¼ cup out of your 1½ cups of peanuts and set them aside.
Mix the rest of the peanuts with the oil, and pour the mixture into the food processor.
Process the mixture until it’s very smooth, then stir in the peanuts that you had set aside.
Process a few seconds more to create the chunks in your chunky peanut butter.
Store your chunky peanut butter in a sealed container in the fridge. It will be good for 2 weeks.
Serves: 12 Serving size: 2 tablespoons
Adapted from a dozen sources, all using the same ingredients in the same amount
Yields about 1 1/2 cups
2 cups heavy cream, pasteurized (but not ultra-pasteurized)
1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
In a large saucepan, heat heavy cream over medium high heat until a candy thermometer reads 190 degrees F (88 degrees C). The cream should be at a simmer. Be careful not to scorch the bottom! Stir in the lemon juice and continue to heat at 190 degrees F (88 degrees C) for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. The cream should thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Place a strainer lined with 4 layers of cheesecloth (or a few layers of coffee filters) over an empty bowl. Add the cream, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator. Allow the cream to strain out for 8-12 hours, preferably overnight. Discard the whey; I only ended up with a couple tablespoons. When finished straining, transfer the cheese to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.
Use fresh mascarpone cheese within the week.
Rich Homemade Ricotta
Inspired by Salvatore Ricotta, via Tasting Table
I made this ricotta three different ways: with all milk, as the Salvatore recipe suggested (we found it a bit dry), with 3 cups milk and 1 cup heavy cream and with 3 1/2 cups milk and 1/2 cup heavy cream. Guess what? The last two ricottas were virtually indistinguishable.The extra cream did indeed add an even richer edge, but the one with less cream was also very indulgent. I imagine I’d use the richer version for toasts, for putting out at a party and the almost-as-rich one for pastas and things where I might need a larger, sturdier quantity. I’ll leave it up to you which way you go.
Makes about 1 generous cup of ricotta
3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream (see Note above about using less)
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pour the milk, cream and salt into a 3-quart nonreactive saucepan. Attach a candy or deep-fry thermometer. Heat the milk to 190°F, stirring it occasionally to keep it from scorching on the bottom. Turn off the heat [Updated] Remove from heat and add the lemon juice, then stir it once or twice, gently and slowly. Let the pot sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.
Line a colander with a few layers of cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl (to catch the whey). Pour the curds and whey into the colander and let the curds strain for at least an hour. At an hour, you’ll have a tender, spreadable ricotta. At two hours, it will be spreadable but a bit firmer, almost like cream cheese. (It will firm as it cools, so do not judge its final texture by what you have in your cheesecloth.) Discard the whey, or, if you’re one of those crafty people who use it for other things, of course, save it. Eat the ricotta right away or transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.
Serve: On 1/2-inch slices of baguette that have been run under the broiler until lightly bronzed. Serve it simply [as shown in the top photo, left to right] with honey and a pinch of flaky sea salt, a couple grinds of black pepper, pinch of salt and drizzle of olive oil, and/or a few droplets of an aged balsamic. Or with zucchini ribbons [as shown in the last photo], I started with about half a pound of miniature zucchini my mother-in-law had found at Trader Joes. Larger ones will work just fine, but you might want to first cut a big one in half lengthwise. Peel them into ribbons and toss them with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and let them drain in a colander for a while (this wilts them), about 20 minutes. Rinse and pat them dry. Toss with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and black pepper to taste. Arrange in piles on ricotta crostini.
Do ahead: I keep mine only 3 to 4 days; the really fresh milk I used doesn’t last long. However, Salvatore also uses really fresh milk, and theirs appears to keep closer to two weeks. In conclusion? Shelf lives will vary. Use your nose to judge freshness. Or your partner’s nose, because who doesn’t like hearing “Hey honey, sniff this for me?”
Easy Ricotta Cheese
Yield: 4 cups
8 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 ½ tablespoons white or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Equipment: A fine strainer and cheesecloth
Combine milk and cream in a large pot and heat over medium-high heat until steamy, but not boiling.
Turn off heat. Stir in vinegar and salt with a wooden spoon. Continue to gently stir for 1 to 2 minutes as curds begin to form. Allow to sit out at room temperature for 90 minutes.
Place a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth over a large bowl. Using a slotting spoon, transfer curds to the cheese cloth and allow to sit for an additional 30 minutes.
Prep Tip: Once you have gotten most of the curds out with a slotted spoon, pour remaining liquid through a separate fine mesh strainer; add those curds to the rest in the cheesecloth.
Serve fresh ricotta chilled or at room temperature. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Making Your Own Butter at Home
Butter Making – Ingredients
You need double cream or whipping cream to make butter, single cream is just too thin.
Butter Making – Method
Let the cream reach room temperature, around 20 C (68 F) is ideal – this is critical. Don’t heat it but leave the pots out of the fridge for a good few hours to warm up. If you have a cold kitchen, put them into the living room to warm up.
With a jar you need to half fill the jar, put the lid on and shake it for anything between half an hour and an hour. With a food processor or an electric whisk, proceed as if you are making whipped cream. In the processor, use the plastic blades if you have them. I’m told the Kenwood ‘K’ beater is the best tool if you are lucky enough to have one.
It will go through the usual stage of starting to form firm peaks and then it becomes quite stiff. At this point you might like to reduce the speed of your whisk because when it goes it happens very fast. All of a sudden the cream goes a bit yellow in colour and then little bits of butter appear and a thin liquid, the buttermilk. Just seconds later, the butter seems to clump and is separated from the buttermilk. If your whisk is on high speed you are now redecorating the kitchen, hence my suggesting you reduce speed to a minimum.
Drain the buttermilk off – you can use this in baking, cooking or make your cat very happy.
Washing the Butter
You need to get all the buttermilk out of the butter or the butter will quickly go rancid. Add clean cold water to the butter in the blender and operate on low speed for a minute. You need the water to be cold or you melt the butter, which will then run off with the water. Repeat the washing process until the water is really clean, this can be seven or more times but I can’t emphasise enough how you do need to make sure the water is clear.
Pressing the butter
You now need to get the water out of the butter. In the old days they had special wooden paddles to press and shape the butter but you can use your hands and the back of a spoon to do this. When you have the water out you are ready for the next stage.
Homemade butter can be stored for at least three months in a freezer. I do know that commercial butter stores for much longer but I think they add stabilisers or something to it, which enables longer storage. If you are going to freeze the butter, don’t salt or flavour it. The freezing process enhances the saltiness or flavour and you may well find it tasted fine on the way in but is too salty after freezing. To salt do not add more than a small half teaspoon for each half pound (250 gr) – half that amount suits me but I don’t take a lot of salt. You can also add crushed garlic or dried herbs to make flavoured butter if you wish at this stage.
Shaping the Butter
If you have salted or flavoured the butter, you will need to mix it thoroughly and then you can shape it. I prefer a roll of butter rather than the traditional box shape. You can then wrap the butter to keep in the fridge or to freeze if you have a lot. I find cling film ideal, but I’ve been told you can use greaseproof paper.
Butter Basics When making butter, you’ll get about half as much butter as the amount of cream used, plus residual “butter” milk produced by the process. Thus: 1 quart (32 ounces) cream yields 1 pound (16 ounces) butter plus 2 cups buttermilk; 1 cup cream yields 1/2 cup butter plus about 1/2 cup buttermilk.
For best results, use organic cream with a butterfat content of at least 35 percent. Most organic creams and heavy whipping cream work well.
Pour the cream into a bowl, set the electric mixer on medium speed, and blend.
The cream transforms first into fluffy whipped cream and then stiff peaks. These break down into soft cottage-cheese-like curds as blobs of butterfat separate from the milk. The butter begins to stiffen and clump together and the watery milk pools in the bottom of the bowl. This should take about 10 minutes.
At this point, stop the mixer. Carefully pour off as much milk as possible and refrigerate it. Although this “buttermilk” is not like the thick, tangy buttermilk you’ll find in the market, it can be used for cooking, baking, and drinking.
Use a rubber or stiff metal spatula to press the butter to squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible. Add about 1/2 cup ice water to the butter and use the spatula to press the butter and water against the side of the bowl. This step, called washing, is important to keep the butter from spoiling. Pour off the cloudy liquid. Add more ice water and repeat the process two or three times until the water becomes less cloudy.
Continue kneading butter against the side of the bowl until all the liquid has been pressed out. Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired. Monique prefers not to salt the butter until she is ready to use it.
Pack the butter in containers, wrap tightly, and cover. Wrapping butter in parchment adds a touch of elegance. As a bonus, the butter won’t stick to the parchment as it does to plastic wrap. For storing, first wrap in parchment, if desired, then wrap in plastic wrap or foil to make an airtight package.
Refrigerate up to 1 week or freeze for up to 6 months.
Fun for Kids
Shake It Up Take advantage of children’s jiggly, giggly energy to turn butter making into a fun family project. Simply pour 1/4 cup of organic cream into a jar, tighten the lid, and shake, shake, shake. After 15 to 30 minutes of nonstop agitation, the butterfat will separate in clumps from the liquid. When that happens, drain the milk and place the butter into a bowl. Continue with the instructions for washing and kneading as described in the basic technique.
Boost the flavor of grilled fish or steak, steamed vegetables, oven-hot biscuits, or fluffy pancakes with compound butters created by stirring herbs, chives, garlic, spices, or even fresh and dried fruits into softened butter. Follow the basic technique, add the desired flavors and place the flavored butter on parchment paper. Roll it into a log, wrap securely, and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use. Then cut off small coins to serve. Some combos to try with softened, unsalted butter:
Lemon zest and snipped parsley
Snipped fresh Thai basil, chopped garlic, and chopped, drained, pickled ginger
Crumbled feta cheese and chopped kalamata olives
Grated Parmesan cheese and snipped fresh basil
Grated ginger and sesame oil
Snipped fresh cilantro, lime zest, and Sriracha, or hot sauce
Coarsely ground black pepper and sea salt
Orange zest, chopped fresh or dried cranberries, and snipped fresh sage
Chopped pecans and honey
Orange zest, maple syrup, and blueberries
Home Made Tahini
Tahini is an essential ingredient in Middle Eastern dishes such as humous and falafel. A simple, cheap recipe for homemade tahini.
Tahini, or sesame seed paste, may be made of hulled or whole sesame seeds. This recipe for home made tahini, using a food processor with metal blades, uses whole sesame seeds which is more nutritious, but it does have a slightly stronger taste than tahini made with hulled seeds. The texture may also be slightly coarser than store bought tahni, but it has the same delicious flavor, and may be far cheaper!
When you make your own tahini, you are on your way to making tasty homemade homous and falafel which are delicious and cheap to make.
Sesame seeds are rich in minerals such as calcium, zinc and manganese. They also contain useful quantities of some B group vitamins including thiamin and B6, and are a useful source of vegetable protein. Sesame seeds are a useful addition to your diet, particularly if you eat little or no meat. It is said that the nutrients of sesame are more easily absorbed when the seeds are ground, as is the case in tahini.
It is worth making tahini in bulk to reduce waste as the sticky paste is difficult to empty cleanly from your food processor. This is the proportion of oil to sesame seeds to use, increase the quantities to suit your needs
¼ cup vegetable oil to 1 cup sesame seeds
Preheat your oven to 340°F (170° C).
Spread your sesame seeds on a roasting tray, and toast in the oven for 15 minutes, stirring regularly to toast evenly. Do not allow to brown as this impairs the flavor.
Remove the sesame seeds from the oven and allow to cool briefly.
Put the toasted sesame seeds in your food processor, with metal blades fitted, and add half the oil.
Process the mixture on a high setting for a minute, stopping to clean the sides of the food processor with a spatula from time to time.
Add the rest of the oil, and continue to process the seeds to a paste, again cleaning the sides regularly and ensuring that the paste still covers the blades. Ensure that all the mix is blended to a paste. This can be a somewhat messy process but stick with it. The results will be worth it!
When the mixture is evenly smooth, and further processing does not further refine the texture, transfer your tahini to a tight fitting glass jar using a flexible spatula, if you have one, to reduce waste.
Tahini may be kept in the refrigerator for many weeks in a well sealed jar.
Hummus without Tahini
This hummus recipe is perfect for those who like hummus, but not with tahini. Many children don’t like tahini, so this is a great recipe to make for them.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
1 can garbanzo beans/chickpeas
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cumin
In a food processor, blend all ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
Serve immediately with pita bread, pita chips, or veggies.
Store in a airtight container for up to three days.
Hummus with Tahini
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
1 16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans
1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
3-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste)
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
Drain chickpeas and set aside liquid from can. Combine remaining ingredients in blender or food processor. Add 1/4 cup of liquid from chickpeas. Blend for 3-5 minutes on low until thoroughly mixed and smooth.
Place in serving bowl, and create a shallow well in the center of the hummus.
Add a small amount (1-2 tablespoons) of olive oil in the well. Garnish with parsley (optional).
Serve immediately with fresh, warm or toasted pita bread, or cover and refrigerate. Hummus can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and can be kept in the freezer for up to one month. Add a little olive oil if it appears to be too dry.
Make your own Creme Fraiche
Creme fraiche is a thick cream used in sauces and soups and as a condiment for fresh fruits. Learn how to make homemade creme fraiche. Plan ahead as this will take some time.
Time Required: 8-14 hours
1 cup whipping cream mixed with 2 tablespoons buttermilk.
Combine well in glass jar and cover.
Let stand at room temperature (about 70 degrees F.) for 8 to 24 hours, or until thickened.
Stir well and refrigerate.
Use within 10 days.
Use as a thickener for soups or sauces.
Spoon over fresh fruits, puddings or warm cobblers.
Can be used in boiled recipes as it will not curdle.
What You Need