Story from NBC Los Angeles - Jul 24, 2013
Four of the 25 sauces studied contained more than the FDA's standard for lead in food
The four brands of Hot Sauce from Mexico with high lead levels were:
-El Pato Salsa Picante
-Salsa Picante de Chile Habanero - El Yucateco
-Bufalo Salsa Clasica
I had 2 of the 4 bottles in my fridge. They just went in the trash.
Story from NBC Los Angeles - Jul 24, 2013
Water roux makes bread extra soft, tender and fluffy.
This works for any yeast bread recipe. Bread machine or oven baked. I've used it on white bread, sour dough bread and wheat bread (half white flour & half wheat flour).
What's the secret to a high rising, soft, tender, fluffy loaf of bread?
Just add a flour and water roux to your wet bread ingredients.
The flour and water roux helps the bread to retain moisture during cooking and afterward. The roux traps moisture and retains it. This also makes a tall, fluffy, tender loaf with a longer shelf life.
You will really see and taste the difference
You heat the flour and water in the microwave for 45 seconds to make a flour and water paste (roux) and stir the flour and water paste back into the wet ingredients. This is only heating the roux to about 150-F - (65-C).
Here's how you do it.
Water roux ingredients.
You take some of the original recipe ingredients to do this, you don't need to add extra.
1/2 cup (120 gm) of water (from original recipe ingredients)
3 Tablespoons (25 gm) of bread flour (from original recipe ingredients)
Mix the 1/2 cup (120 gm) of cold water and 3 Tbsp (25 gm) of bread flour in a Pyrex measuring cup. Make sure the flour is mixed well into the water with no lumps.
Microwave 25 seconds. Stir well. (I use an 1000-watt microwave)
Microwave 10 seconds. Stir well.
Microwave 10 more seconds. Stir well. The roux should be thick and creamy, kind of like translucent mashed potatoes.
Stir the roux paste into the other recipe wet ingredients and mix well.
Now just continue the recipe as you normally would. That's it!
This process was developed in Asia. For more info just Google "Tanzhong roux."
Dulce de Leche caramel in a Slow Cooker.
Here's a really easy way to make caramel in a slow cooker. A south American caramel called "Dulce de Leche". This is similar to the jars of caramel that are used as ice cream topping. But I think Dulce de Leche has a richer flavor. It is also thicker than the ice cream topping.
You will need a sealed can of Sweetened Condensed Milk (like Eagle brand, Carnation, La Lechera etc.). Evaporated milk will not work, it must be sweetened condensed milk. You may prepare several cans at once, if desired.
Place the sealed can on its side in a Slow Cooker.
Add water to Slow Cooker until sealed can of Sweetened Condensed Milk is completely covered with water. (Placing the cans on their sides allows hot water to reach all sides of the cans, cooking the caramel more evenly and it takes less water.)
Set Slow Cooker on "LOW" and cook for 8 to 10 hours. (Depending on how dark and thick you like your caramel.) I like my caramel thick and rich so I cooked it for 10 hours.
After cooking for the desired time, place the cans in cold water until they are room temperature. Don't open the cans until they are room temperature or hot caramel may spray out.
Open the cooled can and you have a dark brown, wonderful tasting caramel called "Dulce de Leche".
Store, covered, in the fridge. It will keep for several weeks, but mine disappears from the fridge long before that.
Use Dulce de Leche caramel on ice cream, in hot or cold drinks, spread it on muffins, use it as a baking ingredient, etc.
What unusual pizzas do you make or order?
I make a Chinese takeout flavored pizza. My family challenged me to make a Chinese takeout flavored pizza, so I did. The sauce has the flavor of a Chinese steamed pork bun filling.
The sauce is flavored with 5 spice powder, Hoisin Sauce, Oyster Sauce, Soy Sauce, Toasted Sesame Oil, Honey and Seasoned Rice Vinegar in a tomato sauce base with a hint of garlic.
The toppings are Shredded Pulled Pork, finely diced cabbage coleslaw mix, Water Chestnuts, French's French Fried Onions (yes the ones from the green bean casserole), La Choy Chow Mein Noodles, and Fiesta Blend cheese (Monterey jack, cheddar, Queso Quesadilla, asadero cheese).
As weird as it sounds, my family asks for this frequently. It's like Chinese takeout on a pizza.
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