Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Power of Cream (part II)

Ok real quick, I have to tell you the coolest part about cream. Whip it enough and you have butter. Simple enough huh, and no you don't need a butter churn like your grandma used. If you have a mixer, preferably a stand mixer, just pour it in and turn it on high. First it will turn into whipped cream. Whipped cream is the real version of cool whip, (though I do love cool whip), and is great for desserts. But if you continue mixing the cream it will eventually start to break down. For awhile it will look like all you are doing is beating the crap out of it and it isn't going to do anything, and you will wonder if your lights are doing funny things because you will swear that it is starting to turn yellow. (It is). Continue beating the cream and soon you will notice that it has gotten really watery. About the time that the "water" starts splashing out of the bowl you have butter. It all sticks together and comes out in a big blob. It is a little different than what you get in the store, but it is still good. I tell you that making butter is one of the coolest things I have done. I am sure that the feeling of accomplishment by doing it by hand is even greater, but hey we have electricity so lets use it.

A few notes. I am pretty sure that the "watery" stuff is buttermilk....i could be wrong though.
Also, do this in your mixer with a "whip" or "whisk" not a paddle or dough hook, that's ridiculous.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Power of Cream

So I haven't written about anything in awhile, not sure why, maybe because I am probably writing only to myself.  Which is fine, I just hope people will eventually be able to use this site as a reference for good food maybe.  
Anyways, I was thinking the other day about something that I was wanting to write about.  The power of cream.  Cream is used all of the time in things like ice cream, soups, pies, and what not.  It is very possible that many people have never had a reason to purchase and use heavy cream, some of you may have even substituted milk, which sounds like something my mom would do.  But it really is a great ingredient to have on hand.  
One of my favorite ways to use heavy cream is to put it in tomato sauce.  First, I like to start my tomato sauce by browning sausage and sweating onions.  The more of both the better.  After draining off the fat I usually add equal parts tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes.  Season with Oregano, thyme, basil (lots of basil), salt, pepper, and whatever other seasonings that might fit into the Italian family you want.  Let it cook for awhile to help cook out some of the acidity.  Just before serving the sauce add some cream.  Not to much, but not to little either.  (Vague enough for you).  The sauce will certainly lighten up some and not be so red.  You will love it, it is rich and delicious. 
Come to think of it, there are so many sauces that you can enhance with a little bit of cream.  Try it next time you make some.

Also, a hint in case you want to try it but don't want to go buy cream for one dish.  Try a little sour cream instead.  Not quite the same rich flavor, but a little bit healthier, and still delicious.

Buen Provecio