Saturday, August 29, 2009

How to make Yoghurt; plus whey and cream cheese

I have discovered the absolute joy of making my own yogurt. It is so easy and cheap to make, and all you need are some basic tools!

Mini analysis (for frugal people like myself):

-Cost of 1 quart good-quality store-bought yogurt: About $5.00

-Cost of 1 quart good-quality homemade yogurt: About $1.50 or so, depending on price of 1 quart of milk

PLUS, if you make a double batch of yoghurt, and turn the 2nd batch into whey and cream cheese, then the savings are as follows:

-Cost of 1 quart good-quality homemade yogurt, and whey and a lot of cream cheese: Only $2.50- 3!!, depending on price of 1/2 gallon of milk


Here’s how you make yoghurt (full of beneficial bacteria and lactic acid, which does wonders for digestion)! Remember: The more you make it, the easier it becomes!


What you need:

-1/4 cup good quality plain yoghurt (store-bought or from previous batch)

-1 quart pasteurized whole milk

-a candy thermometer (you can buy these at Safeway; they’re like $4). 

-a pot and glass/enamel baking dish, or 1 quart-size mason jar, or 2 pint-size mason jars


How to make it: 

-Gently heat milk to 180 degrees, then let it cool to about 110 degrees. -Stir in yogurt and put it in a glass or enamel container. I have found that mason jars or a baking dish work. -Cover and place in a warm oven (a gas oven with a pilot light or electric oven pre-heated to warm and then turned off) overnight. -In the morning the yoghurt is done! It may be slightly thinner in consistency than you are used to, but it is so good tasting! And it is so cheap and easy to make!


To make the whole process even more amazing, you can make a double batch of yoghurt (using a 1/2 gallon of milk), and turn 1/2 of it into whey and cream cheese!! The cream cheese is so good; I like putting it on toast with jam, or using it is place of crème fraiche/ sour cream in tacos or soups. I use the whey to make lacto-fermented vegi’s (like kimchi or pickles.


This is how you make whey and cream cheese (or crème fraiche or whatever you want to consider it): 


What you need:

-Any amount of yogurt

-A strainer

-A bowl, a long spoon or stick

-A piece of string/ ribbon 

-2 dish towels


How to make it:

-Place the 1st dish towel over the strainer, then place it on the bowl. –Pour the yogurt in, and place the 2nd dish towel over it. Leave that for a few hours on a countertop. –The whey will drip into the bowl, and the milk solids will stay in the towel. Tie up the towel with the milk solids inside and attach the sack to the long spoon/ stick. It is ready when the whey stops dripping. Store in the refrigerator in covered jars. Enjoy!!!






Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Yum! Homemade tartar sauce

Recipe for some AMAZING tartar sauce: 
Tartar Sauce 
-Makes 1-1/2 cups 
1 cup mayonnaise 
1/2 cup minced pickles 
2 tablespoons minced green onion 
2 tablespoons chopped parsley 
2 tablespoons small capers 
1 tablespoon lemon juice 
1/4 teaspoon sea salt 
1/4 teaspoon pepper 
pinch of cayenne pepper 
-In a bowl, blend all ingredients well. 
-Store in refrigerator, but serve at room temperature. 
. . . . . . 
It's even more special when it's made with homemade mayo... 
Like tartar sauce, mayo is actually super easy to make; it can be made in a Quisinart or even a smoothie blender if that's all you have! When mayo is made with good ingredients (homemde or not), it is actually very good us!! Good mayo is full of valuable enzymes, especially lipase- which helps your body digest fats and oils. 
Easy Mayo Recipe: 
-Makes 1-1/2 cups 
1 whole egg, at room temperature
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon Dijon-type mustard 
1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice 
3/4-1  cup extra virgin olive oil or sunflower oil 
generous pinch of sea salt 
-Combine everything but the olive oil and blend well (about 30 seconds). 
-Then with the motor running, add the oil a few drops at a time. 
-Taste it! You may want to add a bit more salt or lemon juice. Yum! 
(Both recipes are from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon- thank you again). 

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Got 'but?

Fish stock, fish sauce, fish chowder, fish tacos, breaded fish, BBQed fish, fish scrambles, fish with vegis, fish with coconut rice, the list goes on and on! My husband Toby caught two big Halibut yesterday! At the end of Woodrow Street, right in town!! (West Side Santa Cruz). 2 Halibut!! Boy I guess I am good luck or something, he caught the first one when he was showing me how to cast for the 1st time! 
My heart was pumping, and I immediately thought to myself... food! Fish, fish, and guess what, more fish. This has been the story of our lives for the past few months. 
Last night Toby cooked up the fish; seared in garlic and butter, and then BBQed outside. Served with bell pepper stir-fry and homemade tartar sauce. Delicious!