Insights, tips, and restaurant reports from CHOW editors and Chowhound.
Buttermilk is a tangy cultured dairy product that enhances both savory and sweet dishes.
Several hounds love to use buttermilk in mashed potatoes. soupkitten suggests making buttermilk-herb dressing (here's CHOW's recipe), which you can use on a green salad and then "make the world's best mashed potatoes using the leftovers."
Buttermilk is often used to soak chicken before it's fried; Val likes this spicy oven-fried version. Sharuf's standard gravy uses buttermilk and Wondra flour or cornstarch. Just add them to the pan used for cooking meat. "This gives a sour cream flavor, minus the calories," she says. coll has used buttermilk in curries as a lower-fat alternative to coconut milk.
Buttermilk is a great base for creamy sweets such as panna cotta, smoothies, and mango lassi. "Though most Western recipes use yogurt to make lassi," notes Rasam, "it can be made with buttermilk." Hansel says this pineapple buttermilk sorbet is delicious and refreshing.
Discuss: Surplus of Buttermilk
A couple of weeks ago, Severine von Tscharner Fleming filed the paperwork to start the National Young Farmers' Coalition, a nonprofit she says will be the first of its kind, aiming to address the needs of the new generation of farmers. Farming has been a huge part of her entire adult life (she's 28), from working on farms for the last eight summers, to starting her own Smithereen Farm last year in New York's Hudson Valley, where she raises rabbits, pigs, chickens, herbs, and vegetables. That's not to mention her work on an organization called the Greenhorns, which has produced a documentary on young farmers in America, as well as a radio show, newsletter, and young farmer mixers. We caught up with her to find out more about the new coalition. READ MORE
How can you make a cheesecake that's as rich and decadent as the dense, creamy New York style, but with a fluffy texture? another_adam's family recipe achieves this result via folding stiffly beaten egg whites into the batter. Cook's Illustrated's light and airy cheesecake uses the same method.
A friend of ChefJune's served an airy cheesecake "with all the great flavor of the New York cheesecake we know and love" in his restaurant, she says. "They achieved the texture," she explains, "by combining all the cake ingredients and then inserting the whisk attachment on the KitchenAid mixer and letting ’er rip! A few seconds later, the ingredients had a lot of air whipped into it, and when baked was extremely ethereal in texture." She now uses this trick at home.
Discuss: Airy/fluffy cheesecake?
A perfect sweet for your sweetheart. ... WATCH THE VIDEO
Sticky goodness at your fingertips. ... WATCH THE VIDEO
Japanese scientists have figured out a new, gastronomically cutting-edge way to wake up deaf people and alert them to a possible fire. The Telegraph writes:
"Japanese horseradish, whose smell is more usually found in sushi restaurants, contains allyl isothiocyanate—the same chemical compound that gives mustard its bite—and tests at the Shiga University of Medical Science have shown that virtually all the hearing-impaired people exposed to the odour of wasabi woke up within two-and-a-half minutes."
Is there a cuisine of the Gypsies, more properly known as Roma or Romani? ("Roma are one subset of the Romani people," says luckyfatima.)
"There are a couple of Gypsy cookbooks in print, but both have been criticized heavily for failing to enunciate a distinct Gypsy cuisine," says Perilagu Khan. "Is such an endeavor possible? ... Do we know of any dishes that have persisted among Gypsies down through the centuries and have been transported, almost without exception, to wherever Gypsies have put down roots?"
As part of their nomadic culture, Romani would have used locally available ingredients wherever they happened to be, rather than loyally purchased 'staples of any supposed Gypsy larder,'" says SusanaTheConqueress. "In other words, the cuisine of no cuisine of their own identity would be the identity of their cuisine."
This has implications for a certain preparation methods, though, at least. "Nomadic Roma have a style of cooking that is suited to nomadic life and is flexible and adaptable to the availability of a wide variety of ingredients," explains soupkitten. "Stews in which many different vegetables and/or meats and/or foraged herbs and mushrooms can be subbed in or out, bound by a black pepper or fried spice sauce would be one example."
"Being nomadic would probably mean having a totally different type of cuisine; I recall reading about things like roasted hedgehog and such—eating what was available for sustenance," says luckyfatima. "Since the vast majority of Roma are settled, the nomadic cuisine isn't necessarily relevant now."
Discuss: Is There a Gypsy (Roma) Cuisine?
How to party with your friends on the cheap. READ MORE
McDonald's in Canada has launched a line of food tied in to the Vancouver Olympics. One of the new menu items is the Parmagiana Chicken Snack Wrap, described by the company as "real peddled parmesan cheese and savoury marinara sauce, all wrapped with seasoned crispy or grilled chicken in a flour tortilla."
"Apart from the fact that the whole concept is nonsensical (psuedo-Italian ingredients wrapped up in a ... tortilla? whatever), has anyone come across the term 'peddled' before in relation to parmesan?" asks dxs. "I can't find references to it anywhere."
"It is totally made up," says kayehm. "No such thing as peddled parmesan. McD's can not afford to put real parmesan in their food—so they made up something to make the fake (avec filler) parmesan sound more impressive."
"Perhaps Mr. Ronald McDonald purchased the aforementioned formaggio from a wizened old Italian peddler man," speculates adamshoe, while Sam Fujisaka says it's just "a polite way to say 'pimped' parmesan."
Discuss: Anyone heard of 'peddled parmesan cheese'??