Culinary Fun Fact: Soy Allergy

Ingredients to avoid —> Hydrolyzed soy protein, miso, shoyu sauce, soy-anything, soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, soy sauce, soybean, soybean granules, soybean curd, tempeh, textured vegetable protein, tofu.

Foods commonly containing soy —> Baby foods, baked goods (cakes, cookies, muffins, breads), baking mixes, breakfast cereals, packaged dinners like macaroni and cheese, canned tuna packed in oil, margarine, shortening, vegetable oil and anything with vegetable oil in it, snack foods (including crackers, chips, pretzels), nondairy creamers, vitamin supplements.

Substitutions —> There are no good substitutes for items like tofu and soy sauce, so choose recipes that don’t directly rely on soy-based products. Read labels carefully as soy is used in an astonishing number of commercial products, often in places that you wouldn’t suspect, such as pasta sauce.

Culinary Fun Fact: Peanut Allergies

Ingredients to avoid —> Peanuts, peanut butter, peanut starch, peanut flour, peanut oil, mixed nuts, crushed nuts, hydrolyzed plant protein, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, vegetable oil (if the source isn’t specified), and depending upon the severity of the allergy, anything that states “may contain trace amounts of peanuts.”

Foods commonly containing peanuts —> Baked goods, baking mixes, chocolate and chocolate chips (many contain trace amounts of peanuts), candy, snacks, nut butters, cereals, sauces (peanuts are sometimes used as a thickener), Asian food (stir fry, sauces, egg rolls), veggie burgers, marzipan (almond paste).

Substitutions —> If your dish calls for peanuts, you might be able to substitute with cashews or sunflower seeds. For peanut butter, you can use soy nut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower butter. Of course these substitutions are only valid if you or your guest aren’t allergic to all tree nuts.

Kentucky Burgoo For A Crowd

“Burgoo is literally a soup composed of many vegetables and meats delectably fused together in an enormous cauldron, over which, at the exact moment, a rabbit’s foot at the end of a yarn string is properly waved by a colored preacher, whose salary has been paid to date. These are the good omens by which the burgoo is fortified.”
~ William Carey 1761-1834, “Carey’s Dictionary of Double Derivations”

(Makes 1200 Gallons)

  • 600 pounds lean soup meat (no fat, no bones)
  • 200 pounds fat hens
  • 2000 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 200 pounds onions
  • 5 bushels of cabbage, chopped
  • 60 10-pound cans of tomatoes
  • 24 10-pound cans puree of tomatoes
  • 24 10-pound cans of carrots
  • 18 10-pound cans of corn
  • Red pepper and salt to taste
  • Season with Worcestershire, Tabasco, or A-1 Sauce

Mix the ingredients, a little at a time, and cook outdoors in huge iron kettles over wood fires for 15 to 20 hours.

* Use squirrels in season. 1 dozen squirrels to each 100 gallons

Culinary Fun Fact: Emulsifiers – Vinaigrette

Oil and vinegar do not mix. The only way to combine them is to whisk them together so strenuously that the vinegar breaks down into tiny droplets. The two fluids are then effectively one homogeneous mixture, called an emulsion.

To enable an emulsion to stay stable, add an ingredient that acts as an emulsifier, in this case mustard. Emulsifiers form a barrier around the droplets in an emulsion, keeping them from recombining and separating out. The mustard might not be enough to affect the flavor of the dressing, but it can have a serious impact on the chemistry of the mixture.

Sweet Potato Cornbread

2 cups self-rising white cornmeal mix
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
5 large eggs
2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes (about 11/2 lb. sweet potatoes)
1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
1/2 cup butter, melted

  • Preheat oven to 425°. Stir together first 3 ingredients; make a well in center of mixture. Whisk together eggs and remaining ingredients. Add to cornmeal mixture, stirring just until moistened. Spoon batter into a lightly greased 9-inch square pan or cast iron skillet.
  • Bake at 425° for 35 minutes (a little less for a cast iron skillet) or until golden brown.

Culinary Fun Fact: True or False You should never wash fresh mushrooms?

You’ve probably heard that you should never, ever wash fresh mushrooms under running water. The thinking goes that they will soak up the water, making them soft and slimy in the final dish. But is that really true?

After tests of using a damp cloth to brush off the mushrooms and a quick rinse in a colander under running water, there is no difference in the texture of the finished dish.

One rule of thumb – Wash mushrooms right before cooking; if you let rinsed mushrooms sit around for longer than 10 or 15 minutes, the texture will indeed begin to suffer.