Cheatin’ in the kitchen

Martin Field 2006-07-07T01:11:35+00:000000003531200607 Food and Wine

by Martin Field

Tomato juice as stock
Tomato juice is not just a handy breakfast juice, it’s also a great morning after pick-me-up – mixed with a splash of Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, salt and pepper, and, depending on your constitution, a shot of vodka.

But don’t forget tomato juice in the kitchen; it is an excellent substitute for stock when you need to thin gravies, curries and tomato-based sauces. Tip: to off-set the acidity you get sometimes in tomato-based dishes, add a teaspoon or two of sugar – works wonders.

I can’t believe it’s not better: spreadable butter from the fridge
It’s easy to make your own spreadable butter – spreadable straight from the fridge, that is. Take a block of good butter, cut it into smallish cubes, soften it gently but do not under any circumstances melt it. Whiz it in the food processor/blender and as it is whizzing pour in approximately half its weight in extra virgin olive oil. For example, if you use 500 grams of butter add 250mls of oil. When the mixture is well combined place it in an airtight container in the fridge. Use as you would butter – for spreads or cooking.

There is an added benefit here for those who worry about dietary fats. The blend, though buttery to taste, now contains less cholesterol and saturated fats than butter and has more beneficial monounsaturated fats.