Monday, February 08, 2010

Buttermilk Cheese

I saw the recipe for buttermilk cheese on the Kitchen. The post on the Kitchen linked to a feature and video about the Cheese from Martha Stuart Living. (The video was helpful!) The recipe is from the Lee Bros. and a book called Simple Fresh Southern. It looked so easy, I decided to try it. There are only three ingredients in the recipe: buttermilk, whole milk and salt. You put all three in a pan, heat on medium high heat for around 8-10 minutes, and then the curds start to form. I wasn't sure what they would look like, but all of a sudden, the curds come from underneath the surface of the water and grow like lumpy white storm clouds.

I put the mixture in cheese cloth over a colander. I cut the cheese cloth small and had to put it all in a smaller colander to make it work. The whey drains out and you squeeze the cheese cloth gently to get more whey out.

I tried the cheese while it was warm. The texture is like cottage cheese with fine curds and the cheese was salty. It would be great to have it warm in the morning. The recipe says you can add lemon zest, pepper or dry herbs. I'm looking forward to eating it on toast tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Biggins' the Chicken

Last night, my bf showed me how to cut up a chicken. We started by removing the wishbone, slicing down the sides of the sternum and then we popped the joints of the legs and sliced them off. It was more a watch and learn experience for me, but I got some hands on time slicing through the joints and feeling out the wishbone. (Click here for a video demonstrating the process).

We bought our chicken from whole foods for $1.99 / lb. and we got about a 4-5 lb chicken that ended up costing about $8.88. The chicken appeared very large to me so I named him Biggins' (which co-incedentally is the name of the nudie magazine that Al Bundy reads in Married with Children).

Once Biggins' was chopped up, he(she?) was marinated in olive oil, paprika, cumin, honey, soy, red wine vinegar and garlic.

Biggins' journey continued into a cast iron skillet where he was braised with crushed tomatoes, parsnips, yams, mushrooms, and red wine with the help of some bacon grease for browning. My boyfriend did most of the cooking and I watched in wonder. Biggins braised for close to an hour, and then was served with shaved horse-radish on top. Wow!

I'm eating the chicken as leftovers tonight. That's 4 filling delicious meals for around $20.00 give or take. I can see how meals can get cheaper when you're know what you're doing. The meat that was cut apart at the butcher cost about 3-4 times as much per pound. It always seems like you pay more in time or money.
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