Friday, 24 February 2012
This is a guest post from Christie's Corner.
Shrove Tuesday doesn’t have to include pancakes. Today is really about gorging on rich foods before the 40-day fast of Lent. Pancakes just happen to be cooked in grease, filled with eggs and topped with more decadence. It’s okay to think beyond the griddle. Any rich, fatty food will do.
For pancake enthusiasts, these recipes will cover you from main to dessert:
- Potato Latkes: Savoury and easy to make. These classic pancakes are great topped with sour cream or apple sauce.
- Zucchini Fritters with Dill Tzatziki: I think these are my favorite savory pancakes of all time. Maybe it’s the topping. Maybe it’s the spicing.
- Chocolate Waffles: The waffles aren’t too sweet since you are likely going to load them up with syrup. A nice dessert to close out Pancake Tuesday.
But for those who want their fat in a different form, why not flirt with clotted cream? Boldly striking another item off my Culinary Bucket List, I made a batch. What’s clotted cream? Only the most decadent topping you can imagine. It’s gently heated cream that thickens into a rich, spoonable consistency. Often eaten on scones, you can dollop it on fruit. Or pancakes. Or anything else you fancy. There is nothing low-cal about this. But isn’t that the point today?
I got the idea from Make the Bread, Buy the Butter: What you Should and Shouldn’t Cook from Scratch by Jennifer Reese. She describes clotted cream as “the love child of butter and whipped cream” and says it’s worth traveling to England for. As my planned trip to the British Isles this summer is being postponed, I decided not to wait, and I made my own. Having conquered the elusive clotted cream, I guess I’ll just have to go across the pond for the scotch.Recipe: Clotted Cream
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 12 hours
Yield: 1 1/4 cups
This recipe is from Make the Bread, Buy the Butter by Jennifer Reese. She writes:
Imported Somerdate brand clotted cream costs about $8.60 for a 6-ounce jar of waxy, off-tasting spread. Ounce for ounce, homemade clotted cream is a third of the price.
- 5 cups heavy cream (not ultrapasteurized)
- Preheat the oven to 175°F.
- Pour the cream into a wide, heatproof bowl and place in the oven. No need to cover. Let it "cook" for 12 hours.
- Remove the bowl from the oven, cover, and refrigerate overnight. In the morning you will have a bowl that contains 2 layers — one very thick, one, very thin. With a slotted spoon, scoop the thick layer into another bowl or jar. You can eat it immediately, slathered over warm scones, or cover and chill for up to 5 days.
I used 4 cups of cream since that's what I had on hand.
This will appeal to: Anyone who wants to take control of their kitchen, and cooks who just want to stretch their DIY list. When I say Reese covers amost everything, I mean it. From salt pork to lard, kimchi to mascarpone cheese, this book’s got it covered in 120+ recipes.
It will also appeal to anyone wanting to save a few dollars. Reese has done the research — and includes dollar amounts —as to whether or not a home version is worth the time and effort. And the verdicts aren’t always predictable. I was surprised to see burritos and crystallized ginger are better off purchased, while creme brulee is worth it only if you have the torch — and you know I do!
Must try recipes:
- Graham crackers (they are on my culinary bucket list, too)
- Fruit vinegar
- Worcestershire Sauce (You can make this stuff at home?)
Biggest delight: While I loved the information, I also I loved the humour. This book could easily have slipped into preachy, self-righteous territory. But it doesn’t. Reese keeps it light and keeps it real. But be warned, reading about all the possible homemade items will turn every trip to the grocery store into a potential culinary challenge. Once you crack the cover, I bet you can’t make just one.