Friday, August 16, 2013

Odds and Ends

What have been some of your most creative or unusual cooking substitutions?

Were they hilarious fiascos, delicious new traditions?

Once I was completely out of milk and made macaroni and cheese with part cottage cheese and part fresh whey from my yogurt. I thought it was pretty weird, but the kids didn't seem to mind.

I also experimented earlier this week when I made caldo verde and I didn't have enough kale in the garden -- I ended up using 2 big outer leaves of a cabbage plant, some beet greens, and two giant silvery leaves off of my Brussels sprout plants, along with the kale. The four-green soup turned out to be completely indistinguishable from the usual.

So, that's nice to know that basically I can double-dip from my Brussels sprouts and use some of the main leaves as if they were collards. Excellent.

Some of my substitutions have worked out well enough to continue. Since I've started straining my homemade yogurt this year, my kids are much more willing to eat the yogurt, which I'm glad for. Not only is it thicker, but it seems like it's sweeter, that all the sour tang is contained in that whey that drains out. But I've ended up with an overabundance of fresh whey to find uses for.

I've generally added it to muffins, cornbread, bread, pancakes, anything baked that calls for liquid in the recipe. I can't say for certain yet, but every time I've used it the resulting product has seemed a little more...tender somehow, even when I've eliminated actual milk in favor of my waste-product whey. I'm excited that this will be a nice sustainable and delicious substitution.

Running a brief search for anyone else using fresh whey in recipes, out of curiosity, I ran across this guy's unusual thread on The Fresh Loaf:

ONE of the many reasons I Love making bread is I can use ANY liquid. I've used beer, the juice I drain out of canned black olives, tea, cold coffee, soup.  You name it, I've used it to make bread.

Mmmm. Can I have some? (Gag.)

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