Question: Help, I need a recipe for Creme Fraiche. Someone said if I can’t buy it I can make it. But I can’t seem to find the recipe for the creme.
Answer: Indeed you can easily make this thick, slightly ripened French cream at home. Here are two foolproof ways from the new “Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook” by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins (Workman Publishing, New York: $11.95).
CREME FRAICHE I
1 cup whipping cream (not ultra-pasteurized)
1 cup sour cream
Whisk whipping cream and sour cream together in small bowl until thoroughly blended. Pour into jar, cover and let stand in warm place until thickened, about 12 hours. Stir well and refrigerate, covered, for 36 hours before using. (Creme Fraiche will keep 7 to 10 days.) Makes 2 cups.
CREME FRAICHE II
2 cups whipping cream (not ultra-pasteurized)
2 teaspoons buttermilk
Pour cream and buttermilk into large glass jar. Cover and shake vigorously 1 minute. Let stand in warm place until thickened, at least 12 hours. Stir well and refrigerate at least 24 hours before using. (Creme Fraiche will keep 7 to 10 days.) Makes 2 cups.
Q: Do you have a guideline for buying sesame oil for Chinese cooking? I notice there are quite a number of brands in the stores with varying prices. Also, why do recipes always add the sesame oil at the end of cooking? How should the oil be stored?
A: The best sesame oils can be found in Oriental markets. Darker sesame oils have stronger aroma and more intense flavor. Those made in China are slightly thicker and darker in color than most Japanese types and the oils from the Middle East are the lightest of the three and not as aromatic. Not to be confused with these is cold-pressed, clear sesame-seed oil which is usually found in health food stores.
A few drops of sesame oil, particularly the darker type, will go a long way, so too much can be overpowering and can destroy the natural flavors of the other ingredients.
The reason it is frequently added at the end of cooking or just before serving is to capture its pure taste and nutty aroma which could otherwise be lost if added in the beginning of cooking. Sesame oil will keep in a cool pantry for up to six months, but for longer storage, particularly in hot weather, store the oil in the refrigerator.
Q: Can you please give me the protein, fat and calorie content of some nuts like sunflower seeds, peanuts and walnuts? I am particularly interested to find out how they rank as a protein source.
A: Here are nutrient amounts for 1/4 pound of sunflower seeds, peanuts, walnuts, as well as those for almonds and pecans. Note that peanuts rank the highest in protein value, followed by sunflower kernels.
Peanuts: 29.7 gm protein, 55.2 gm fat, 664 calories
Sunflower seed kernels: 27.2 gm protein, 53.3 gm fat, 635 calories
Almonds: 21.1 gm protein, 61.5 gm fat, 678 calories
Walnuts: 16.8 gm protein, 72.6 gm fat, 738 calories
Pecans: 10.4 gm protein, 80.8 gm fat, 829 calories
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