‘ Go Ahead & Use Soap to Clean Your Cast Iron Pan ‘

#AceFoodNews – Nov.16 – The image above from Serious Eats might be making more than a few of you shudder. Conventional wisdom (myth) says that you should never use soap to clean cast iron because it will damage the seasoning.

Serious Eats’ Kenji busts this myth and offers some advice:

The Theory: Seasoning is a thin layer of oil that coats the inside of your skillet. Soap is designed to remove oil, therefore soap will damage your seasoning.

The Reality: Seasoning is actually not a thin layer of oil, it’s a thin layer ofpolymerized oil, a key distinction. In a properly seasoned cast iron pan, one that has been rubbed with oil and heated repeatedly, the oil has already broken down into a plastic-like substance that has bonded to the surface of the metal. This is what gives well-seasoned cast iron its non-stick properties, and as the material is no longer actually an oil, the surfactants in dish soap should not affect it. Go ahead and soap it up and scrub it out.

The one thing you shouldn’t do? Let it soak in the sink. Try to minimize the time it takes from when you start cleaning to when you dry and re-season your pan. If that means letting it sit on the stove-top until dinner is done, so be it.

The key is you need to start with a properly seasoned cast iron pan. Also re-season promptly.

For more cast iron myth-busting, hit up the link below.

The Truth About Cast Iron Pans: 7 Myths That Need To Go Away | Serious Eats via Kottke.org

Photo by J. Kenji López-Alt.


‘ Why Does Soda Bottled in Glass and Cans Taste Better Than Soda Bottled in Plastic? ‘

#AceFoodNews – Nov.16 – Apart from the chemical changes that happen on the soda because of it’s package, an often overlooked aspect about taste is that it’s a complex sense. It’s not just your taste buds giving you what you ultimately experience as taste: its smell (it’s not always the same as its taste), temperature and texture also add to the experience, as well as anything else going on on your mind at the time.

Get two bottles, one plastic and one glass, and put them on a freezer. Once out, they’ll be roughly the same temperature, but the glass will probably feel colder.

Plastic is not that great of a termal conductor, while glass is better at it. Hence, when you place your lips on the plastic bottle, it does not feel as cold because it does not take as much heat from your lips as the glass bottle would do. And as we all know, when it comes to soda colder is always better.

Smell is also affected by the material of choice for your packaging. Plastic tends to trap more the smell (I’m guessing it’s more porous so trapping the small particles is easier) while glass gives you a smoother sniff.

Every single thing going on in your mind at any given moment alters your perceptions. What you ultimately perceive and cannot describe with words (your qualia) are a result of a very complex and unique set of phenomena. Sounds, images, sensations, smells and tastes are all altered by each other all the time.

EDIT: English is hard. Latin is too. Also, as some of you have pointed out, glass is a bad conductor. I just pointed out that glass is BETTER than most plastics at it. The point of this is that what you ultimately experience as taste is not just the chemical compounds of whatever it is you’re tasting; it’s how you PERCEIVE them, from how they interact with your tongue, nose, skin, etc. to how you process (mostly subconsciously) the whole situation.

CHEESE: ‘ Which Country Eats the Most ‘

#AceFoodNews – Nov.16 – France. The answer is, of course, France. Quelle surprise. Incroyable! The French are both mocked for the amount of cheese they eat and envied because it doesn’t seem to make them fat.

The French sliced their way through 25.9 kilograms of cheese per person in 2013, compared with none per person for China, according to a report by the International Dairy Federation.

Well, not quite none. The Chinese ate 49,000 tons of cheese in 2013, a number which, when divided by the population of 1.3 billion, equals 0.000037 tons each. That’s not very much, but Chinese cheese imports increased 22% in 2013 compared with the year before, the IDF reported.

This reflects a trend across Asia, where a rising demand for cheese is boosting U.S. exports, which grew 21.6% between 2012 and 2013, the report notes. People in Asia are eating more cheese as fast food—mainly pizza—becomes more popular and as diets generally change as people get richer.

World trade in cheese rose by 2% in 2013, to 2.4 million tons, according to the report, and the benchmark Class III milk future contract on the CME is 14.4% higher this year to date.

“The global cheese market is characterized by the fact that several of the leading producing and exporting countries are also among the largest cheese importers,” the IDF said.

And so, voilà! The French both buy and sell a lot of cheese.


‘ Grilled Cheese Sammies ‘

Makes 4 small sandwiches

"Cheater became not only a keeper but also a new favorite in my household because of this serving suggestion," Lucero writes. "If you love a good grilled cheese sandwich, you will love these sammies; they are every bit as familiar and comforting to snack on or to have alongside some tomato soup. These chewy morsels are crusty and addictive right out of the frying pan but all the sandwich fixings make them a proper meal."

1/4 batch of Smoky Cheater

2 to 4 tablespoons butter or ghee

4 to 6 crisp lettuce leaves and thinly sliced pickles, to taste

Crispy bacon strips, cucumbers, and other vegetables (optional)

Slice the Smoky Cheater into eight to 12 pieces the size of mini toasts (about 2 1/2 inches by 2 1/2 inches). Melt a teaspoon of butter or ghee onto a hot cast-iron skillet. Fry the cheese slices on medium-high heat until they get toasty brown on both sides. Try flattening them with a spatula to make them ooze a little (like haloumi or paneer, they will not melt but they will get tender and chewy). Pat them with a paper towel if necessary, then stack the toasty sammies with pickles and lettuce leaves, and repeat—as high as you can go.

Slices of bacon don’t hurt this combination one bit. Cucumbers are great, but pickled beets, green beans, and even asparagus are tasty, too.

Recipes reprinted with permission from One Hour Cheese: Ricotta, Mozzarella, Chevre, Paneer — Even Burrata. Fresh and Simple Cheeses You Can Make in an Hour or Less!

Copyright 2014 by Claudia Lucera, published by Workman Publishing.

Source MP3

‘ How to Make Cheeses in One Hour ‘

How to make Cheeses in one hour:

True cheddar cheese can take months â even years â to age. So Claudia Lucero created a faux-cheddar that can be made in very little time.

Claudia Lucero has a special power: she can make cheese in one hour. Mozzarella, ricotta, paneer, goat cheese, queso blanco and more.

Those are simple cheeses that are relatively easy to make, says Lucero, who runs Urban Cheesecraft in Portland, Ore. To do it, she says, you just need practice, not superpowers.

Lucero has mastered many quick cheeses, but cheddar wasn’t a natural candidate for a one-hour method, she explains. Cheddar ages “anywhere from two months to 10 years to make it sharp,” she says. “I don’t have that kind of time — I’ve got one hour!”

Even so, Lucero, author of One Hour Cheese, wanted to try it. She set out to create a firm, savory cheese with a golden hue — a sliceable cheese with a bit of a tart aftertaste, she says.

She separated the curds and whey, added turmeric and paprika for color, and dramatically condensed the cheddaring process — which normally involves pressing and stacking the curds again and again.

“I press it into my wheel mold, and it’s looking amazing. I let it cool for a bit, pop it out, and it’s gorgeous. I really think I did it, and I’m a total genius,” Lucero laughs.

“But then I go to slice it, and it feels a little squeaky,” she says. “But that’s OK. I keep going and I try to melt it — and it’s not melting.”

But all was not lost. The cheese kept its shape, but it also became “golden and crusty on the outside,” Lucero says. “It turns into almost, like, its own grilled cheese sandwich.”

Most importantly, she says, it’s delicious. “It was a keeper … I decided to call it smoky cheater, because it’s nice and savory and smoky with that smoked salt and paprika.”

But don’t be fooled, cheaters. It’s a delectable creation, she says, “but it’s definitely not cheddar.”

Recipe: Smoky Cheater Cheese

Makes 1 1/2 pounds

The immediate results are those of a farmer-style crumbling cheese. This cheese’s recommended serving suggestion requires the additional step of panfrying the cheese.

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons smoked salt

1 teaspoon flake salt

1/2 tablet vegetarian rennet

1/2 cup dechlorinated water

1 gallon whole cow’s milk (not ultra-pasteurized)

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Combine the turmeric and smoked paprika in a small bowl. Combine the smoked salt and flake salt in a separate small bowl. Dissolve the 1/2 tablet of rennet in the 1/2 cup of water and set it aside.

Line the colander with cheesecloth. Place a bowl under the colander if you want to collect the whey; otherwise, place the lined colander in your clean sink.

Pour the gallon of milk into the pot and whisk in the apple cider vinegar. Add the spices, whisk them to combine, and heat on medium to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the rennet solution and mix it in with 20 quick strokes to incorporate it evenly. Heat to 105 degrees.

Look for coagulation to occur between adding the rennet and the milk reaching 105 degrees. The curd will pull away from the edge when you gently press the top and you will see a clear separation between the curd and whey.

Use the whisk or spoon to chop the pieces of curd into, (roughly) 1-inch pieces (do not use a whisking action). Reach down to cut the curd at the bottom of the pot, too. Allow the cut pieces to cook in the whey for about 2 more minutes. Heat to 115 degrees.

Watch the curds change from a softer yogurt-like texture until they come to resemble a sturdy, scrambled egg texture. Continue to heat, this time to 120 degrees, moving the curds around slowly but continuously with the spoon as you heat.

When the temperature of the curds and whey reaches 120 degrees, reduce the heat. While maintaining the temperature, use the back of the spoon to begin squeezing the curds against the side of the pot.

Pull some of the curd up with your spoon and press it with your fingers to track the changes in texture.

After you’ve squeezed all the curds against the side of the pot, turn off the heat and let the pot sit for 5 minutes, or until the curds hold together when you squeeze them.

If they don’t quite hold, let the curds sit for another 5 to 10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes to encourage the release of more whey.

Pour the curds and whey into the cheesecloth-lined colander and allow the whey to drain for 3 minutes or until the curds are almost dry, then firmly press out the last of the whey with clean hands.

Now break apart the pressed curd with your fingers until it all looks like popcorn. Mix in the salts and stir very thoroughly — dig deep to get that bottom layer!

Gather the edges of the cheesecloth and twist them together, squeezing out the remaining whey. Press the bundle into the mold. Depending on the size of the mold, you may have some curd overflow, which requires the removal of some curd to make it fit. In that case, split your curds and make two smaller wheels.

If there’s just a small overflow, press to condense the cheese into the mold and to create an even texture.

Place the mold in the freezer for 5 minutes. The curd should compress into a wheel in that time. If it still looks crumbly, it may have dried out and cooled off a little too much when you were milling and salting.

More pressing will help: Rewrap the cheese, fill the gallon jug halfway with water and use it as a weight (place a small plate or container on the cheese for a nice flat top). After 10 minutes, let the cheese cool in the freezer for another five minutes.

Unwrap the cheese and remove it from the mold. Take a cheese knife and dig in! It’s very tasty when eaten fresh, but really shines when fried in butter.

Recipes reprinted with permission from One Hour Cheese: Ricotta, Mozzarella, Chevre, Paneer — Even Burrata. Fresh and Simple Cheeses You Can Make in an Hour or Less!

Copyright 2014 by Claudia Lucera, published by Workman Publishing.

Source MP3

‘ Moist and Tasty Malt Loaf ‘

This is a recipe of tried and tested ‘Malt Loaf ‘ by Paul Hollywood.


Preparation method

  1. Place the sugar, malt extract, treacle and butter in a pan and heat gently until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Leave to cool.
  2. Mix the flours, salt, yeast and sultanas in a mixing bowl.
  3. Pour in the cooled malt syrup mixture and the warm water. Mix thoroughly; the mixture will be soft and sticky.
  4. Turn the mixture onto a floured surface and knead gently for a few minutes to bring the mixture together.

    Technique: How to knead bread dough
    How to knead bread doughWatch technique1:58 mins

  5. Grease two 450g/1lb loaf tins and divide the mixture among them. Smooth the mixture with the back of a spoon so that the top is smooth and level. Cover each tin with a plastic bag so that it is loose and not touching the top of the tin. Leave for a couple of hours, or until the dough has risen to the top of the tins.
  6. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Remove the plastic bags and bake for 30-40 minutes. If the top of the loaf starts to brown too quickly, cover with a sheet of foil and continue baking.
  7. Remove from the oven and brush the top with warm honey to glaze. Cool on a wire rack.
  8. Slice and eat with butter.