Four-One-One

Technical lessons and information to help you (and me!) become a better cook

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The 411 on Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Potatoes can be tricky little buggers. We all picture fluffy, warm pillows of mashed potatoes brought to the table with perfect timing and super smiling faces, but sometimes we get lumpy, cold chunks whose only real use is flinging across the table via your sister with her spoon sling-shot (I speak from experience…thanks, Anne). But potatoes don’t have to be tricky! They can be mistake-free with a few key rules. Here are the rules I’ve learned over the years and how to apply them. Read more here…

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The 411 on Baking Flours

Even though I’m gluten-free, that doesn’t stop me from obsessing about flour. I wanted to spend some time researching and documenting what gluten is, how it works in flours, what the different flours are and how to experiment with them. 

So what’s gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat that creates elasticity, helps dough rise, and gives wheat-based products a chewy texture. Flours are different for various reasons including the type of grain, color and how it’s milled. But the difference I want to talk about is the protein, and therefore gluten, content. Read more here…

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Compound Butters & Butter from Scratch

Homemade butter is so fresh, so creamy and compound butters add so much depth of flavor to any dish. Now, I can’t take credit for the actual butter recipe, which is from a recent Bon Appetit article. There is also an excellent article on homemade butters from http://www.thekitchn.com here that explains why/how you do everything to make your own butter. So while I do want to show you the process of making butter from cream and how to infuse cream, today’s post is primarily for compound butter. Read more here…

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Greens, Banana and Coconut Smoothies

So I looked into an easier way to get all my greens down and looked into shakes. Most pre-made shakes or shake recipes are chock-full of fruit, additives, or sugary juices and aren’t worth the small amount of green intake that you get. They can also take FOR.EV.AH to make in the morning. No thanks! This recipe is green-focused, but is sweetened by a bit of banana. The secrets to this recipe are (1) freezing the ingredients beforehand so you don’t have to deal with large chunks of ice that never get blended (2) coconut water for a low-sugar, but fresh-tasting flavor. Read more here…

 

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