Sunday, June 20, 2010

Questions for the Kitchen: Greek Yogurt and Passata

I've been using a lot of ingredients that you might be wondering about. Actually to be honest, for awhile I didn't make a lot of recipes because I didn't know what some of the ingredients were, much less how to find them. Instead I just took a wild guess and substituted things that I thought might work. Funny thing is that when you really have time to poke around in your local grocery store, how suddenly you begin finding things and it's like, ah HA! There you are!

Here are some recent finds:

Greek or 'Greek Style' Yogurt:

Greek God YogurtA thicker, sour cream-like yogurt. It has much higher calories than regular yogurt, but isn't watery and is good for making curries, tzatziki, etc. I tried this brand. Some foodies say it isn't 'real' Greek yogurt because it has pectin, but it was all I could find so it had to do. I liked the taste and lactose intolerant Jake seemed to tolerate it better than sour cream. In BC, Greek Gods Yogurt bears the 100% Canadian Milk symbol. In the USA, this brand appears to also be very popular.

If you can't find Greek Yogurt, you can get full fat plain yogurt and strain it overnight. Just line a strainer with some cheesecloth, plunk your yogurt in, set it over a bowl or large Pyrex measuring cup, and top with cling film. Chill overnight. All the excess moisture will drip out and you can use the thickened yogurt in your recipe.

Tomato Passata:

Tomato PassataSome recipes like this one call for tomato passata. You can substitute tomato sauce (like Hunts). Passata is basically strained tomato concentrate. Some sites have said you can use tomato paste instead, but I find tomato paste to be much thicker and gluey. Passata comes in glass jars and tastes quite good, especially if you find the canned tomatoes have a "tinny" taste to them. I'm sure the leftovers would be great in a spaghetti sauce or however else you would use tomato sauce. I might make pizza sauce with mine.

Looking for a specialty ingredient? Not sure what something is, or where to find it? Let me know and I'll see what I can do!
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