Friday, June 22, 2012

Some experiments with kefir

So far, this week we have made honey cinnamon kefir ice cream, kefir smoothies, kefir salad dressing, and kefir bread. Here is my take on all of these. First, the ice cream:

I used 1 1/2 cups of milk, 2 egg yolks, a little cinnamon and vanilla, about 1/4 (if that) cup of wildflower honey, a pinch of salt, and 1/4 cup of kefir.

I warmed the milk in a pot on the stove, then added the egg yolks to make a custard. Equalize the temperature by whisking the eggs in a bowl and adding hot milk a little at a time until the temperature of the eggs has been brought up. It keeps the eggs from cooking on contact. I cooked that a few minutes, removed it and added the honey, vanilla, and cinnamon. I put it in a stainless steel bowl and let it cool. I ended up putting it in the refrigerator so I could get down to business. I added the kefir after it cooled off.

I used the KA attachment to make it into ice cream. No, there isn't any cream in it, so it should just be called ice milk, but because of the thickness the egg and kefir added it seemed more like ice cream. Despite everyone thinking it would be terrible, it was delicious and they all loved it. It will be made again. :)

Kefir Smoothies are as you would expect- a tartness of the kefir with the wonderful flavor of sweet fruit. I love adding bananas to them for additional sweetness. The lavender added a smell but not really a flavor.

Kefir salad dressing was delicious. I do like salads sometimes plain (I put everything in it from sugar snap peas to garlic scapes) with just a little salt and pepper, but this dressing was incredible! I used about a Tablespoon of kefir, a little salt and pepper, and garlic of course, and whisked in some olive oil. It was the perfect amount for a large lunch salad. I had a Bubbie's Pickle on the side, but really I didn't need it. I think the bite found in the dressing was enough (I still ate the pickle anyway). I will make that again.

Kefir bread: an ever changing combination of tartness, nuttiness and sweetness all at once. Today's bread wasn't as fermented as some we've made (alright, we've forgotten we had it started and just left it for about 2 or 3 days). It rose perfectly as most sourdough, but as I was eating it with supper, I noticed the sweet and nutty flavor of the wheat too. That has been missing in my kefir breads in the past. It rained today and was incredibly hot, so maybe that made the difference. I don't know. I hope to replicate that again, but I also like the surprise of wonderful farmhouse sourdough.

Well, I'll have to be creative tomorrow. I am going out and have planned pinto beans. Maybe I'll do kefir cornbread? I do have some kefir cheese in the refrigerator that I can have with the beans. We'll see what the Lord brings tomorrow!