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Chat Leftovers: What do I do with...?

It's Wednesday, a.k.a. Hump Day, Day 2 of "American Idol" and time for another Free Range chat. Yes, you're invited to join us at 1 this afternoon to talk food with the Food section staff. Our guest chatter will be Patricia Jinich, a cooking teacher and the chef at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, who wrote today about the joys of chorizo. Be there, and bring your questions about all things culinary.

Speaking of questions, here are two that we couldn't get to in an earlier chat. They illustrate a common conundrum: You buy an unusual ingredient for a new recipe and use just part of it; what do you do with the rest? Here we go:

I bought some nutritional yeast at our local co-op because I read a vegetable broth recipe (based on Deborah Madison, I believe) that calls for it. Can you suggest some other uses for nutritional yeast?

First off, do you have a dog? Nutritional yeast sprinkled over a dog's food every day (about a teaspoon for every 30 pounds of the dog's weight) is widely thought to act as a flea repellent. Of course, it's winter now, so fleas aren't a problem. But dogs like the flavor, and if you're like me and like to bake homemade dog treats, a tablespoon of the stuff mixed into the dough is a good, healthful addition.

Back to humans. As you probably know, nutritional yeast is an inactive, non-leavening yeast that is often fortified with B12, a vitamin that's especially important for people over 50. It can taste cheesy, nutty or creamy, and it's sometimes used in vegan dishes as a Parmesan cheese substitute. One common use you could try is as a popcorn topping, where its cheesy qualities come in handy.

As you saw with your recipe, it's also used in broths and sauces. Try this flavorful Mushroom-Miso-Mustard Gravy whenever you need a gravy but don't have a meat base for one. This would be great on mashed potatoes. I can also picture it drizzled over slices of roasted pork tenderloin.

Now I'm getting hungry. On to the next question.

I had to bake gluten-free bread last week. Now I have a few cups of tapioca starch left over. What can I do with it?

All-Purpose Nearly Normal Gluten-Free Scones. (Kevin Clark)

You’re in luck. We ran several recipes about a year and a half ago for gluten-free treats. It’s hard to tell that these All-Purpose Nearly Normal Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies are gluten-free; they’re thin, crisp and a little gooey. All-Purpose Nearly Normal Gluten-Free Scones are soft and biscuit-y, and you can add nuts, dried fruit, chocolate, whatever. Making the crust for All-Purpose Nearly Normal Gluten-Free Pizza takes only about 10 minutes. Each of those three recipes will use up a half-cup of your starch supply.

Better get started.

— Jane Touzalin

By Jane Touzalin  |  January 13, 2010; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Chat Leftovers  | Tags: Chat Leftovers, Free Range, Jane Touzalin  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: On Our Radar: School gardens, sustainable discourse, 'Iron Chef' stunt vegetables
Next: Salsa-chorizo love


Re: today's chat question about Costco's Kirkland vanilla extract - I have a different opinion.
It's fine, but it's at least twice as strong as the ordinary McCormick's or Mexican vanilla I have used in the past, so I end up using only about 1/2 of the amount called for in recipes.
Definitely it's a great bargain!

Posted by: AUniqueMyPostID | January 13, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: silviamtez | January 15, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

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