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Cooking with the Chef!

January 16, 2013

Milk is a fundamental element in the kitchen, above all in the West and is used both in sweet and salty recipes.

Milk consists of:

  • 87.4% Water
  • 3.2% Protein (Casein the most important)
  • 3.7% Fat materials
  • 4.9% Carbohydrates
  • O.8% Vitamins (A, B, D and E) and Minerals (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium y potassium).

Milk’s fat content and its color in its natural state depend a lot on the cattle breed that it comes from, the time of the year and the diet of the animal. The flavor of the milk should be slightly sweet, when it turns acidy it is because it is starting to curdle.

Curdled milk was used in the past above all in the Middle East, where they continue to use it for certain recipes. This was due to the lack of refrigeration in the conservation allowed this process to take place. The lactic acid is responsible for this transformation in the milk. The curdling process can be sped up by adding citric acid to the milk.

Raw milk has certain bacteria’s that are harmful to humans, which is why it is recommended to boil it before consumption. Today milk is consumed pasteurized or sterilized. Milk can also be found that has a long duration out of the fridge as long as the package is un-opened . Once it has been opened it will expire in approximately 2 days. This milk is sterilized at 115°C for 15 to 20 minutes and then quickly at 4°C. Commercially milk passed through a process of homogenization that prohibits the emulsion does not break and the fat is separated from the liquid.

In the kitchen all commercial milks can be used but the most common is the use of whole milk (with high fat content) or skim milk (with low fat content) depending on the calories that one chooses to have.

All milk should be kept in packaging that protects from light as this diminishes the vitamin B content. Milk can be frozen for up to 3 months without any problems, but in this case it is advised to only use the milk in cooking and not to drink it. Due to the loss of water and that it may be more sugary it is ideal in desserts.

To give a few examples of how to use milk in the kitchen I am going to share a few recipes that have milk as a main ingredient.

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