Ingredients, the right ones,
are important for cooking and specially for baking and I have my ingredients that I cherish, wherever I go. ‘All vegetable shortening’ is one ingredient that falls into this thinking, specially when I am making pie shell.
When I travel outside China, I will always come back, in my suitcases, with some of those precious ingredients!
Rumford baking powder is another one of mine. This baking powder does not contain any aluminum as after taste because Rumford baking powder is ‘aluminum free’. Some people will taste the aluminum in bakings and others will never taste it. I am tasting it and it is stoping me from appreciating a good ‘biscuit’ or a fresh donut…
Whole nutmeg, a spice, does marvellously well, added to anything in cooking and in baking. It is this special taste that we find but just not able to pinpoint when we eat mashed potatoes, crêpes or a good roastbeef. I have whole nutmeg, all the time with me, in my kitchen. A whole nut does last a long time and tastes so much different from the powder form.
Yesterday, I made a new pie shell recipe, using butter and shortening. The flaky shell was just out of this world, so good and yet not greasy at all. The combination of both butter and shortening gave easiness in the manipulation of the dough and the caramel color given to the baked shell was very nice and appealing. Good one!
Ricotta cheese is also another one ingredient, that I have handy around, in my fridge. Ricotta cheese can be used in so many dishes, either main dishes or desserts. Because I do not seem to find around, a good decent ricotta cheese, I make my own, at home. It takes only 5 minutes to do and the secret here is lemon juice and milk 3.5% of fat.