I recently made a video where I talk about the food and food-related things I’ve been enjoying recently – restaurants I’ve been to, dishes, and particular food products. It’s a new departure for me since I’ve always been very focused just on writing, but it was a lot of fun to make – although the editing process was admittedly a slog! Anyway, if you like discovering new food things it would be lovely if you’d take a look; I hope to make them a more regular thing as and when I have the time. I anticipate it will be a new and fun way to get to know the food community!
The other night I was making a batch of Nigella’s apple and almond spelt muffins from Kitchen. I pulled out the yoghurt and only then noticed it had developed a fine layer of black mould over it. Appetising. Halfway through the recipe, with some of the ingredients combined, I couldn’t just call it a day.
If you’re in this situation you could substitute buttermilk, of course, but I didn’t have any buttermilk either. Instead, I poured out the required volume of milk (the recipe calls for 60ml yoghurt, so I used 60ml milk) and added a teaspoon of vinegar to acidulate it, then let it stand a few minutes. You could use lemon juice as well, but will probably need a touch more than a teaspoon. The vinegar was just to adjust the acidity levels of the recipe to ensure an even rise.
The muffin mixture was a bit looser than usual, as milk is thinner than yoghurt, and the crumb wasn’t as tender. They took a couple of minutes longer to bake, and I have the feeling they staled a little faster. However, it was an excellent emergency measure!
The other night I pulled some bacon out of the freezer and started cutting it immediately, not bothering to wait to let it defrost. To my surprise, slicing the bacon into small, trendy lardons was a lot easier with the frozen clump of bacon than with fresh, unfrozen. It didn’t slip all over the cutting board. So if you have the time, freeze the bacon before chopping it! This also means that if you don’t have time you don’t need to bother waiting for the huge clump to defrost: you can just cut off whatever you need, toss the rest back into the freezer, and continue cooking!
Disclaimer: health and safety guidelines state that you should defrost meat completely before using it. The cut up pieces of bacon do, for obvious reasons, defrost more quickly than a large chunk of bacon.