Homemade Ghee: How and Why You Should Make It, and What It Is

Homemade Ghee. Why and how to make it and what it is. Foodiewithfamily.com #realfood

Today, I'm sharing a tutorial with you on how to make one of my favourite all-purpose ingredients: Ghee. Some of you are nodding happily and some of you are saying "jee? gee? whuh?" The simplest explanation of what it is could be summed up as "Heaven in a jar". What is Ghee? Ghee, pronounced "gee" with a hard 'g'-  is a form of clarified butter made by melting down butter and cooking it long enough to evaporate the water from it, separate, and then toast the milk solids that naturally occur in butter, leaving behind only pure, golden butterfat. The long, slow cooking process results in a concentrated nutty, toasted butter flavour. Why Should I Make Ghee? There is a whole host of reasons why Ghee should always be handy in your pantry/refrigerator/freezer. Among them... First and foremost, TASTE! Ghee isn't just for Indian food. It makes the best flavoured fat for frying or scrambling eggs, searing a steak or other cut of meat, sautéeing vegetables or seafood,  spreading over freshly baked bread to keep the crust soft, in oatmeal, and just about any other place you'd value a nutty, rich, deep butter flavour. Having ghee available is like having a handy source of browned butter to add to anything you want. In my estimation, 2/3 of the jobs for which I'd use butter can be done with ghee to great effect. The clarifying process raises the smoke point of butter from a paltry 250°F to an impressive 485°F. That's a higher smoke point than peanut oil, canola oil, or vegetable … {Read on...}

Homemade Cool Ranch Doritos

Homemade Cool Ranch Doritos from foodiewithfamily.com #HomemadeTreats

When I posted my Cool Ranch Baked Tortilla Salad Bowls a few weeks ago, you probably knew I was going to go here, right? I think I probably telegraphed it. Why in the world would I make SALAD BOWLS with a dialed in homemade Cool Ranch seasoning and not go the full distance and make Homemade Cool Ranch Doritos? Because let me tell you something; Cool Ranch Doritos and I go way back. We go so far back that I can remember when they actually became a THING. As in, I remember life before the EXISTENCE of Cool Ranch Doritos. Tuna sandwiches were so boring back then, friends. (I cannot be the only person in the world who puts Cool Ranch Doritos ON their tuna sandwiches in addition to having a giant pile next to them, can I?) My love affair with Cool Ranch Doritos that dates back to the first time I tried them in the 80's. They were and are everything I wanted in a chip. Well, except for the artificial colours and CRAZY long ingredients list. But the taste... the CRUNCH... the EVERYTHING kept me coming back. And then I realized I could do it myself, make them taste seriously close to the originals AND eliminate the three big factors that made me cringe a wee bit every time I put a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos in the cart at the grocery store: the aforementioned artificial colours and interminable ingredients list, AND the cost. Ugh. Six dollars on sale for two half-empty bags just sticks in my craw no matter how much I love the contents of said bags. I don't know about your … {Read on...}

Fish Chowder made with Cod and Dill

Fish Chowder made with Cod and Dill foodiewithfamily.com #chowder #soup #Lent

You know why I never order chowder when I go out to eat? It's because chowder is a food that I want to hunker over with my face just inches from the bowl sniffing it and generally behaving like a happy animal. Chowder is comfort food writ large for me and comfort food is meant to be eaten at home in your coziest clothes with a book standing by ready to read the second you're done whipping up the dinner dishes. Admittedly that's an idealized version of chowder consumption. Most of the time, I have to settle for the ability to hover my face over the bowl at my own table with a limited amount of lingering before running out the door to take my kids to one activity or another. Still, though, it's a homey food to me that brings a sense of peace with it. Corn chowder, potato chowder, and clam chowder (New England or Manhattan) are all wonderful, but today's chowder is something extra special. This creamy, thick chowder broth made of clam juice and heavy cream is full of pieces of tender cod and potato, and fragrant dill. I serve it in gorgeous Onion, Dill, Sour Cream Bread Bowls to really kick up the dill. The circle of bread that is cut out of the bread bowl to make room for the soup is buttered and stuck under the broiler to toast briefly, then serve with the chowder for dunking purposes. Imagine tearing a piece of the onion and dill studded bread with flaky sea salt crust and dunking it into the thick, fragrant chowder. That reduces me to pure want. How about … {Read on...}

Onion, Dill, Sour Cream Bread Bowls {mini boule loaves}

Onion, Dill, Sour Cream Bread Bowls or Mini Boule Loaves foodiewithfamily.com #artisanbread #homemadebread

It's not too big a stretch to say my existence is build on bread and soup. Bread is sustenance, to be sure; it's the staff of life. It's also one of the foods that provides unending inspiration to me. I got so caught up yesterday with some bread I was working on that I lost track of time and ended up running my youngest to his tap lessons with my hair pulled back into a messy wad with an orange hair tie, no make-up on, mud-covered brown boots, wearing cuffed jeans and a parka. It didn't matter, though, because the bread turned out great. I might look like a hot mess, but my bread is always well put together. Forget matching shoes and belts and accessories and outfits, I like to match my bread to my meal. That's my kind of accessorizing. For instance, I knew I was going to make fish chowder with that lovely Alaskan Cod I received a couple weeks ago. What do you serve with chowder or any soup, for that matter? Bread, of course. Since I knew the flavours of my chowder, I decided to echo them with the bread bowls I intended to use to hold the chowder. Is there anything more fun than a bowl you can eat and dunk into it's own contents? Perhaps riding a unicorn over the rainbow might top the experience, but until that happens, I'm sticking with the far more achievable amusement of eating the bowl in which my soup was served. In my mind, the perfect fish chowder starts with finely diced onions softened in butter, then moves onto both diced and grated potatoes simmering in white … {Read on...}

BBQ Pulled Pork Overstuffed Shells

BBQ Pulled Pork Overstuffed Shells foodiewithfamily.com #pasta #familyfriendly

We don't do thinks in a small way in our household. I don't just mean overstuffed chairs or oversized sweaters, both of which -by the way- I love madly. When we wanted to move up in size from our old house we didn't just buy the next size up nearby; we bought a big Amish farm an hour away that had no electricity, plumbing, or interior walls then did all the work ourselves. When I say "did all the work ourselves", I mean my husband did it while I said encouraging things like "I can see my breath inside the house" and "I wish I had a flush toilet" and toasted hot dogs over a kerosene heater until we had propane and a stove in place. Have a son? Just one? We'll go you four better and have FIVE BOYS thankyouverymuch. Need a new couch because of the wear and tear inflicted by the aforementioned five boys? We didn't go to Pottery Barn (because they'd ruin that one, too!) or even Value City Furniture. We built a new one sturdy enough to take a beating but comfy enough to stretch out on that took up one-fifth of our den. By 'we built one', I mean that my husband did it while I clapped and offered cookies and coffee. It stands to reason, therefore, that when I make pasta, it's going to be over the top. For instance, take today's recipe. This recipe holds the distinction of being the most requested dinner in our house right now. It's not hard to explain WHY all my guys love it so. We're talking about tender jumbo shell pasta stuffed to the breaking point with pulled … {Read on...}