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Topic: Schmaltz, bacon drips, & BUTTER!

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Subject: Schmaltz, bacon drips, & BUTTER!
Date Posted: 7/8/2008 4:20 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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I'm posting this in the hope of hearing from other 'contrarian' cooks out there..... While getting ready to accept delivery on a new refrigerator, I came across my little jars of bacon drips and schmaltz (aka as chicken fat).  All that talk and ink about cholesterol still doesn't persuade me to give these up, in my cooking.  When I cook "Southern", I NEED bacon drips, and the recipe for Hungarian chicken paprikash actually calls for chicken fat.  Furthermore, as the motto haniging over the sink in my "studio" (kitchen) says, "Food should be cooked with butter and with LOVE."

Please tell me there are other cooks who are "hold-outs", despite what the nutritionists and heart doctors keep yammering at us?

Date Posted: 7/8/2008 4:58 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 4,932
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I'm a "moderate" hold-out.  Butter and bacon drippings are just too good to give up completely.  Life would be less tasty and enjoyable without them, so every now and then I certainly indulge.  But I have to say, most days and most of the time, I do avoid them because I know they just arent all that healthy. 

Sorry I can't say I'm a total hold-out! 

Date Posted: 7/9/2008 8:38 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 7,466
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I have my jar of bacon fat in the fridge.  You can make a crock of fresh green beans from the garden without bacon fat!!

Date Posted: 7/9/2008 8:44 AM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
Posts: 529
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I do keep a cup of bacon grease and real butter in my fridge, although I do try to use is sparenly (sp?).  You just can't cook green beans without bacon fat.

Date Posted: 7/10/2008 1:57 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 220
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i absolutely refuse to cook with "imitation" butter.  can't beat the real thing, in my not-so-humble opinion...

Date Posted: 7/11/2008 12:37 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 216
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I always have butter and some bacon fat.  I have never kept chicken fat.  What do you use it for?

Date Posted: 7/11/2008 7:13 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Crystal:  Schmaltz, or rendered chicken fat, is one of the ingredients in the Hungarian chicken paprika recipe I use.  I clipped it from The New York Times, from a cooking column that re-printed the recipe from a book about the best "road food" in the USA.  The married couple  (I forget their name) who authored the book said that the recipe stemmed from "the now defunct Eva's Hungarian Kitchen" .    It called for that hot Hungarian paprika, and I found out the first time I made it that I have to "turn down the heat" by using only part hot paprika and the balance of regular paprika.   (Only one other chicken dish I ever encountered used sour cream, and that was chicken Amish style that I had in Washington, DC, long time ago.)  Chicken paprikash is usually served over egg noodles, but I don't see why one couldn't use rice, if that is preferable.

Date Posted: 7/12/2008 2:09 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 13,991
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 I'm with the real butter crowd. We don;t use a lot, but I'm almost as leery of all the chemicals in the "fake" butter as I am of the fat. I also sometimes use real cream...(i know, we are bad).

But it really ticks me off that we cannot get anything but  ultra-pasteurized cream in most places in ths country. The flavor is just destroyed. Ditto for most butters. That's why breads and pastries, (along with cheeses and most dairy products)  are so much better in Europe. And they don;t seem to suffer from those diseases that ultra-pasturizing is supposed to prevent.

  Actually a lot of food experts say now that dairies just pastuerize because that is so much easier than keeping things clean, especially with the industrialized farms here vs. small farms in Europe.

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 7/14/2008 12:25 AM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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I use butter and cream while baking and for a few dishes that require it.  We don't use bacon at all (DH doesn't like it; it makes me sick), and never use chicken fat for anything other than chicken. ;)  My triglycerides are naturally high and DH has high blood pressure, so it's canola or olive oil for most of our cooking anymore.

It sucks getting old. :p

Date Posted: 7/14/2008 11:50 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 216
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Betty - It drives me crazy also that all of our dairy products are ultra pasteurized.  Espacially cheese. 

Date Posted: 7/14/2008 3:14 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 13,991
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Hey Crystal....I have read recently that in some places, the regs have been changed so that more small farmers/dairies allowed to make cheeses from non? pasteurized mikl products. I'm unsure of it's no pasteurization, or just less.....but I don't remember where, or how to find them.

Saveur food magazine had a cover story dealing with this and artisan cheese, within the last year. We should probably go back and check.

But I am definitely with you on the cheese matter.

Date Posted: 7/26/2008 1:40 PM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
Posts: 2,835
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I use all 3, within reason.

Easy, cool way to make schmaltz. Cut the fat from the chicken. Put it in a microwavable bowl, covered I just used a saucer. Nuke 5 minutes. LET THE BOWL COOL before you touch it. Strain into a clean jar that you refrigerate. Put the left over bits in the cat or dog dish.

The traditional way of rendering results in the left over bits being delightfully edible, unfortunately. It's also hot and greasy.

Chicken fat is really good for you, within reason.

Date Posted: 8/26/2008 10:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2008
Posts: 7
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My grandmother cooked everything in bacon drippings.  She lived to be 97.  Best scrambled eggs ever.  I love cabbage cooked in it.    We are "steak and taters" type of eaters anyway, so yeah, I'm a hold-out!

Date Posted: 9/1/2008 6:20 PM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
Posts: 161
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I  am a hold out. I belive that real food is better for you than the fake stuff. I make food with real butter, sour cream, cheese, etc.

I think that all the perservatives, fake sugar, butter cause a lot of health problems.

If you can't find non- pasteurized dairy near you by looking on the web, I would go to your local health food store or farmer's market. They should be able to help.

 

 

 

Date Posted: 9/10/2008 1:30 AM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2008
Posts: 84
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We have duck fat in our fridge, along with bacon drippings, butter, and lard. Keep the schmaltz! Makes the best roasted chicken ever.

And thanks for the microwave tip, that was great. It always makes such a mess to make schmaltz.

We used up all the goose fat. I'm not cooking a goose again, it was Such a mess. But the fat was wonderful to cook potatoes in.