◆ Roast nuts to boost flavor, add to shelf life
Toasting and roasting bring out more flavor in nuts; in fact, doing so before the nuts are stored prolongs their shelf life (preferably a shelf in the freezer). One-upmanship comes into play with the drizzle of a little clarified butter onto the nuts while they are still warm from the oven. Let them cool, then add buttered nuts to a cookie dough, quick bread or cake batter.
— The Washington Post
◆ Whole-wheat flour has shorter shelf life
Unlike white flour, whole-wheat flour (also wheat germ, brown rice and other whole-grain foods) contains higher levels of fat that give it a brief one- to three-month shelf life. If you use whole-grain ingredients only occasionally, they’ll keep about six months in the fridge and 12 months in the freezer.
— Heather McPherson, McClatchy News Service
◆ On the bookshelf
by Jennifer McLagan, Ten Speed Press, $32.50
It’s one of the few three-letter four-letter words, and Jennifer McLagan wants you to embrace it.
Fat. In all its many, wondrous and tasty forms, fat is the subject and title of McLagan’s recent cookbook. But it’s the subtitle that makes it clear where she’s coming from: “An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes.”
You’ll need to put down your fat-free frozen yogurt for this one. The book, equal parts science, history and cooking, is divided into four simple chapters — butter, pork fat, poultry fat, and beef and lamb fats.
McLagan offers no apologies. As she says in the introduction, “Fat makes everything taste better, and eating fat is satisfying, so we eat less and our desire to snack is reduced. Enjoying our meals makes us happy and lowers our stress.”
She almost makes it sound like health food.
— J.M. Hirsch, The Associated Press
PHOTO NOT SHOWN: Cover of book