Kosher Tips

 

Tip #15 – Oat Flour Is a Gluten Free...

 

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Oat flour, made from finely milled whole oats, is a good source of dietary fiber and whole grains. It can replace a portion of all-purpose flour in many baking recipes and adds an oat flavor and texture.


 

Tip #14 – What is Tempeh?

 

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Tempeh is a chewy, nutty, fermented soybean loaf. Find it (plain or with added grains) near refrigerated tofu in natural-foods stores and many large supermarkets.


 

Tip #13 – What is Mirin?

 

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Mirin is a sweet, low-alcohol rice wine essential in Japanese cooking. Look for it in your supermarket with the Asian ingredients.


 

Tip #12 – What is Kirsch?

 

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Kirsch (also called kirschwasser) is clear cherry brandy, commonly used as a flavor enhancer in fondue and cherries jubilee.


 

Tip #11 – What is Saffron?

 

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Considered the world’s most expensive spice, saffron contributes a pungent flavor and intense yellow color. It is sold in threads and powdered form.


 

Tip #10 – How to Make Zucchini Ribbons

 

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To make “ribbon-thin” zucchini, slice lengthwise with a vegetable peeler or a mandoline slicer.


 

Tip #9 – Substitution for Buttermilk

 

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No buttermilk? Mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice into 1 cup milk.


 

Tip #7 – Tips on Grilling Tofu and Fish

 

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When grilling delicate foods like tofu and fish, it is helpful to spray the food with cooking spray before placing it on the grill.


 

Tip #6 – Best Way to Oil a Grill

 

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To oil the grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.)


 

Tip #5 – How to Pit a Cherry?

 

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To pit a cherry, halve it with a paring knife then pry out the pit with the tip of the knife, or use a cherry pitter.


 

Tip #4 – What is Greek Yogurt?

 

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Greek-style yogurt is made by removing the whey from cultured milk. Removing the whey gives it an extra thick and creamy texture.


 

Tip #3 – What is Quinoa?

 

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Quinoa is a delicately flavored, protein-rich grain. Rinsing removes any residue of saponin, quinoa’s natural, bitter protective covering. Find it in natural-foods stores and the natural-foods sections of many supermarkets.


 

Tip #2 – What kind of tofu should I buy?

 

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Precooked “baked tofu” is firmer than water-packed tofu and comes in a wide variety of flavors.


 

Tip #1- How much vanilla bean do I use?

 

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On tablespoon of Vanilla Paste is equal to one whole bean.


 

Kosher Cheese Guide

 

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Fresh Cheeses The term “fresh” is used to describe cheeses that have not been aged, or are very slightly cured. These cheeses have a high moisture content and are usually mild and have a very creamy taste and soft texture. These may be made from all types of milk and in the United States, these cheeses will always be pasteurized.   Cheeses in the Fresh category include Mascarpone, Ricotta, Chevre, Feta, Cream Cheese, and Cottage Cheese. Soft-Ripened Cheeses The term “soft-ripened” is used to describe cheeses that are ripened from the outside in, very soft and even runny at room temperature.   The most common soft-ripened cheeses have a white, bloomy rind that is sometimes flecked with red or brown. The rind is edible and is produced by spraying the surface of the cheese with a special mold, called penicillium candidum, before the brief aging period.  In the United States soft-ripened cheeses are generally produced from pasteurized milk. Cheeses in the soft-ripened category include brie, camembert and triple crèmes. Semi-soft Cheeses The term “semi-soft” is used to describe cheeses that have a smooth, generally, creamy interior with little or no rind. These cheeses are generally high in moisture content and range from very mild in flavor to very pungent. Semi-soft cheeses may be made from both pasteurized and raw milk, depending on the aging requirements and the cheesemaker’s personal style. Cheeses in the semi-soft category include many blue cheeses, colby, fontina styles, havarti and Monterey Jack. Many washed rind cheeses fall into this category and are described separately. Firm/Hard Cheeses The terms “firm” and “hard” are used to describe a very broad category of cheeses. Their taste profiles range from very mild to sharp and pungent. They generally have a texture profile that ranges from elastic, at room temperature, to the hard cheeses that can be grated. These cheeses may be made from pasteurized or raw milk, depending on the cheese and the cheesemaker. Cheeses in this category include gouda, most cheddars, dry jack, Swiss (Emmenthaler), Gruyere, and Parmesan. Blue Cheeses The term “blue” is used to describe cheeses that have a distinctive blue/green veining, created when the penicillium roqueforti mold, added during the cheesemaking make process, is exposed to air. This mold provides a distinct flavor to the cheese, which ranges from fairly mild to assertive and pungent. Blue cheeses are found in all of the categories above, except for fresh cheeses. Blue cheeses may be made from both pasteurized and raw milk, depending on the age of the cheese and the preference of the cheesemaker. Cheeses in this category include Roquefort, Gorgonzola and Danish blue. Pasta Filata Cheese The term “pasta filata” is applied to a whole family of cheeses, mostly of Italian origin. The pasta filata cheeses are cooked and kneaded, or “spun” as the name implies. This family of cheeses can range from very fresh to hard grating cheeses, depending on the cheese and the producer. The pasta filata family of cheeses includes Mozzarella, Provolone, and Scamorza. Natural Rind Cheeses “Natural rind” cheeses have rinds that are self-formed during the aging process. Generally, no molds or microflora are added, nor is washing used to create the exterior rinds, and those that do exhibit molds and microflora in their rinds get them naturally from the environment.  Because most natural rind cheeses are aged for many weeks, to develop their flavor as well as the rinds, many natural rind cheeses are made from raw milk. Many “tomme” style cheeses fall into this category, especially the French Tomme de Savoie and Mimolette, as well as the English Stilton (also a blue), and Lancashire cheeses. Washed Rind Cheeses “Washed rind” is used to describe those cheeses that are surface-ripened by washing the cheese throughout the ripening/aging process with brine, beer, wine, brandy, or a mixture of ingredients, which encourages the growth of bacteria.  The exterior rind of washed rind cheeses may vary from bright orange to brown, with flavor and aroma profiles that are quite pungent, yet the interior of these cheeses is most often semi-soft and, sometimes, very creamy.  Washed rind cheeses may be made from both pasteurized and raw milk, depending on the style of the cheese and the cheesemaker producing them.   Cheeses in this category include some tomme-style cheeses, triple-crème, and semi-soft cheeses, like Epoisses, Livarot and Taleggio. Processed Cheeses The term “processed” is used to describe cheese by-products made from a combination of natural cheese and added ingredients, such as stabilizers, emulsifiers, and flavor enhancers that are used to create a consistent and shelf-stable product aimed at mass market consumption. Cheeses in this category include American Cheese, processed cheese spreads, and &”cheese flavored&” spreads. Special Thanks to the American Cheese Society for their assistance in the preparation of this Guide.