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FareShare Gazette Recipes -- March 2009 - F's


FareShare Chat Recipes.
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Recipes Included On This Page

FareShare Educational Segment: Butter

Fish Breading for Trout

Fried Rabbit

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* Exported from MasterCook *

FareShare Educational Segment: Butter

Recipe By : Art and Hallie
Serving Size :   Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Volume 12-03 Mar 2009

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
(See Below)

Butter by Art

I have never been particular about salted vs unsalted butter when I cook.
Although, I must admit I don't bake much so maybe that is why I have been
ambivalent about it. However, in a recent response to a note from a
reader, Cook's Illustrated Magazine explained the difference:

"We advise against cooking with salted butter for three reasons:

"First, the amount of salt in salted butter varies from brand to brand --
it can range from 1.25 percent to 1.75 percent of the total weight, making
it impossible to offer conversion amounts that will work with all brands.

"Second, because salt masks some of the flavor nuances found in butter,
salted butter tastes different from unsalted butter.

"Finally, salted butter almost always contains more water than unsalted
butter. The water in butter ranges from 10 to 18 percent. In baking,
butter with a low water content is preferred, since excess water can
interfere with the development of gluten. In fact, when we used the same
brand of both salted and unsalted butter to make brownies and drop
biscuits, tasters noticed that samples made with salted butter were a
little mushy and pasty; they preferred the texture of the baked goods made
with unsalted butter."

Upon further research, I found that since salt is a preservative, salted
butter can last two to three months longer in the refrigerator than
unsalted butter. A good thing, right? Not necessarily so. This actually
means that salted butter is often much less fresh than unsalted, and
sometimes has been made from cream that is less fresh as well.

Never one to leave things alone, I decided to look around some more.

Then I found this on another website: "Sweet (unsalted) butter and regular
salted butter both contain the same amount of butter fat, so unsalted
butter has a bit more water, about 1/2 teaspoon per pound, to keep the fat
content the same. In general, that amount of water will not make a
significant difference."

WHAT? That's not what I found other places on the net! I also found the
following nutritional tables:


Water content (grams per 100g) 15.87
Calorie content of Food (kcals per 100g/3.5oz) 717
Protein content (grams per 100g) 0.85
Fat content (lipids) (grams per 100g) 81.11
Ash content (grams per 100g) 2.11
Carbohydrate content (grams per 100g) 0.06
Dietary Fiber content (grams per 100g) 0
Sugar content (grams per 100g) 0.06


Water content (grams per 100g) 17.94
Calorie content of Food (kcals per 100g/3.5oz) 717
Protein content (grams per 100g) 0.85
Fat content (lipids) (grams per 100g) 81.11
Ash content (grams per 100g) 0.04
Carbohydrate content (grams per 100g) 0.06
Dietary Fiber content (grams per 100g) 0
Sugar content (grams per 100g) 0.06

Bottom line, you are better off with unsalted butter. To keep it fresh
longer, you can always store it in the freezer. You will want to replace
your butter if it sits in your refrigerator for a long time. Unsalted
butter stays fresh for 2-3 months, while the shelf life for salted is about
5 months. You can wrap your butter in foil and store it in the freezer, as
well, which will keep it fresh much longer, up to 6 months.

But which one really contains more water?

I remain yours .... and puzzled!

Art Guyer

Hallie's comments on the "Mellow Yellow":

Of course it isn't really yellow until some food colouring, usually
annatto, is added but then you all knew that, right, although the milk
produced by cows that graze on fresh pasture has more natural colour than
that of cows that don't. Interestingly the butter from these 'free range'
cows is also usually softer than that from cows whose feed consists mainly
of grain and hay which is why the butter from some dairies is often softer
in the summer than in the winter because the fresh pasturage is rich in
polyunsaturated fats.

I remember somebody on a television cooking show when commenting about
butter said that the main reason they liked to use unsalted butter was so
they could control the amount of salt they used in what they were making.
To me that seemed like a pretty good reason but after reading Art's
dissertation I decided I would also delve into some of my own reference
books to see what else I could find on the subject.

In my copy of 'On Food and Cooking, the science and lore of the kitchen' by
Harold McGee, I found a few interesting items about butter that I thought
were worth mentioning.

McGee bemoans the fact that so few of us tend to take the time to
occasionally make our own butter which is a relatively easy task. Cooks
often resorted to making butter when milk or cream started to sour, which
in effect produced what is known as cultured butter. However, rather than
wait for that to happen we can easily whip some of the cream we have bought
for use as a whipped topping for a dessert to the point where it is
'overwhipped' and the fat separates from the liquid. After you strain the
liquid off you are left with a lovely product to use to make the flakiest
of pastries. Go nuts and try it some time just to see what real basic
butter is actually like. If you want to use it as a spread on a fresh bun
or croissant you may want to add a little salt but you should try it
without first. You might also want to remember this tip if you do sometime
accidentally overwhip some cream on a warm day in the kitchen - instead of
a disaster you have created something wonderful.

Scientifically speaking (sort of) to make butter you have to get the cream
all upset and disturbed to the point where its fat molecules get damaged
and all their fat leaks out and globs together. Sounds gross when put like
that but what a lucky 'break' for all butter lovers. <G>

There are many kinds of butter, some fairly readily available commercially
and some not.

Raw cream butter is rarely available anywhere these days since it is made
from unpasteurized cream and for good reasons pertaining to our health this
is not easy to find anymore. If you do have a source of it be sure you know
personally about the health of the cows and cleanliness of the milking
operation. Butter made from raw cream is extremely fragile and won't keep
for more than a few days unless it is carefully wrapped and frozen.

Sweet cream butter is readily available in most parts of Europe and North
America. It is made from pasteurized fresh cream. U.S. laws state that, as
Art's tables show, it must contain at least 80% fat and no more than 16%

Salted sweet cream butter contains between 1% and 2% added salt which is
the equivalent of 1 to 2 teaspoons per pound or 5 to 10 grams per 500

Cultured cream butter, which is the most common in Europe, used to be made
by fermenting pasteurized cream with a special cream-culture bacteria for
12 to 18 hours before churning it into butter. These days it is more often
made commercially by churning the cream into butter before the culture and
lactic acid is added. Sometimes lactic acid and flavouring compounds are
simply added to sweet cream butter but this is considered to be an
artificially flavoured butter and not a cultured butter. In France the
minimum fat content of butter is 82%.

European-style butter is an American product. It is a cultured butter with
a fat content that is higher than the 80% required for regular sweet cream
butter; sometimes the fat content is as high as 85%. As a result these
butters can contain much less water, as much as 20% less in some cases,
which can result in very flaky pastries.

Whipped butter is regular butter that has been injected with about 1/3 of
its volume of nitrogen gas to make it more spreadable because this weakens
the structure of the butter. Air can't be used for this because it would
cause oxidization and the butter would go rancid.

There are also specialty butters that are made for professional pastry
chefs and bakers which are almost pure butterfat.

By the way, don't wrap your butter so that the foil is touching any part of
it or it will oxidize, discolour and start to go rancid; make sure to have
either parchment or plastic wrap of some sort between the butter and the

As for the water content, Art, those figures do look confusing and to muddy
the waters a little more (sorry, couldn't help myself) I notice the
difference in the ash contents of the two types seems to be equal to the
difference in the water content.

And after all this, guess what - between us, Art and I have only scratched
the surface of the world of butter. <G>


Contributed to the FareShare Gazette by Art and Hallie; March 2009

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* Exported from MasterCook *

Fish Breading for Trout

Recipe By : Art
Serving Size :   Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Volume 12-03 Mar 2009

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon lemon pepper -- with salt
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
3 tablespoons paprika -- smoked

Feel free to adjust these ingredients and/or amounts to your taste. This is
a light seasoning mixture, not a thick breading mixture.

Combine all ingredients in a zip-lock bag and shake well.

Pour about a half cup of breading mixture into a long flat dish (or more
depending on the size and number of fish you are frying). Store remainder
of mixture in a cool, dark place.

Heat several tablespoons of canola oil to a sizzle in a large, heavy pan.
Reduce heat to medium.

Dry fish fillets with a paper towel and dredge in the breading. Place in
hot oil with skin side down. When the fish begins to get firm, turn gently
with tongs and fry briefly on the reverse side. Turn only once. Plate
immediately when done, skin side down and eat as soon as it is cool enough
to do so.

Discard left over used breading mixture.

Serve with a creamy horseradish sauce or lemon wedges.

A photo of the finished dish can be found at:

"I make enough of this to last for 8 or 10 fish fries, keeping it in a
cool, dark place in a zip-lock bag. It is good on any fish but I
principally use it for the trout we catch in the spring and early summer."

NOTES. "When Doris and I, and our grandson, catch rainbow trout in the
spring and early summer, I fillet them, leaving the skin on. I wrap them
(two fillets each) in plastic wrap and place them in zip-lock bags. I
freeze 6 - 9 trout in a gallon bag. I date the bags so we can eat them in
the order in which they were caught. This is early March and we ate fish
last night that were caught at the end of last June. They are just as good
now as they were fresh out of the water. And guess what! The 2009 trout
season opens in about a month :}....."

Contributed to the FareShare Gazette by Art; 5 March 2009.

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Fried Rabbit

Recipe By : Woodward's recipe sheet
Serving Size :   Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Volume 12-03 Mar 2009

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 rabbit -- fryer size
1 egg
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt

To prepare a rabbit for cooking, first see that the meat has been in the
refrigerator for a few hours or in cold water for an hour or two, then wash
with cold water and pat dry with clean toweling. Cut into eight or ten
pieces (depending on the size of the rabbit) by first disjointing the legs,
cutting the hind legs into two pieces if desired and the body into four
pieces. If you are using a pre-packaged rabbit, follow the package

After cutting the rabbit into the desired portions make a batter.
Beat the eggs, add the milk and salt then stir into the flour to form a
smooth batter.

Dip each piece of rabbit into this batter, making sure that it is
thoroughly coated.

In a good heavy frying pan heat some cooking oil or well-flavour fat until
it is hot enough to set the batter quickly. Brown the pieces of rabbit
evenly then reduce the heat and cook at a lower temperature for 20 to 30
minutes or until tender.

Serve on a hot platter and garnish with parsley if desired.

From an old Woodward stores recipe sheet dating back to the 1970's.

I have made this but always added some seasonings similar to that used for
frying chicken to the batter mix and I used sunflower oil for frying. After
browning the meat I also usually added about half a cup of some kind of
liquid such as broth, beer, wine or water then lowered the heat and cooked
it with a lid on for about 20 minutes; then uncovered the pan and let the
meat crisp up for the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking.

MC format by Hallie.

Contributed to the FareShare Gazette by Hallie; 21 March 2009.

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