VERNON, Calif., Jan. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- If, as Ted Kooser, former poet laureate of the United States, has said, "Valentine's Day is the poet's holiday," it's also a day for all things delicious, especially if they're made with love, lard and/or beef tallow – so advises Coast Packing Company, a leading supplier of animal fat shortenings throughout the Western U.S.
"Restaurants are certainly a natural place to mark Valentine's Day, but this year, consider preparing something special for your partner, in your own kitchen," said Eric Gustafson, CEO of the 93-year-old company. "We believe in natural, minimally processed food, and there's nothing quite like baking up a batch of cookies for that someone in your life. Consumers are wise to avoid industrially-produced partially hydrogenated fats in favor of animal fat shortenings, which have the benefit of being consistently delicious and, in moderation, promoting health."
Sugar Cookies for Your Sweetie on Valentine's Day
Makes about 2 dozen cookies.
Ingredients for cookies
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup lard
- 4 cups Wondra flour plus more for rolling (Wondra flour is finely ground and produces a lighter cookie; you may substitute cake flour)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cap full of vanilla
- Sugar for sprinkling
Ingredients for icing
- 3 3/4 cups confectioners sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2 Tbsp milk
- 2 Tbsp coffee (to cut the sweetness)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Knead together sugar, lard, flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Make a hole in the center of the dough, and pour eggs, buttermilk, baking soda, and vanilla into it. Stir to combine.
- Chill dough overnight.
- Flour a work surface, your hands, and a rolling pin with Wondra flour. Roll dough until it's about 1/4-inch thick.
- Use heart shaped cookie cutters for Valentine's Day, then place dough onto a baking sheet (preferably a baking stone). Sprinkle some with sugar, and leave others for icing.
- Bake at 400°F for about 8 minutes.
- Beat together ingredients for icing and add pink/red food coloring, if you like. Spread onto cookies, or use a piping bag to decorate them with sprinkles or chocolate bits.
- Store cookies in an airtight container.
The Ultimate French Fries
There's nothing more shareable than a fresh batch of fries. The ultimate French fry, below, is fried in beef fat -- twice! http://blog.ideasinfood.com/ideas_in_food/2008/07/smoked-tallow.html
- Choose an Idaho Russet potato. Russet Burbank variety if you can get them.
- Condition the potato by storing in a 70 degree environment for a couple of weeks (potatoes coming out of cold storage need time to convert sugars back to starch).
- Cut the potatoes into the desired fry size, similar to the fast food places you prefer.
- Soak the cut potato strips in room temperature water for at least 8 hours, overnight is good (this soaking plumps up the cells within the potatoes to result in an improved texture). Do not use ice water or refrigerate! The starch will convert back to sugars causing the finished fries to take on a darkened exterior color.
- Dry the potato strips and fry in 300 degree oil until just cooked inside and limp, fry time is dependent on the thickness of the fry strip. Bite a piece off and taste, if the raw potato taste is absent it's done inside. Let cool.
- Bring oil to 375 degrees and fry until golden brown and crispy.
- Of course, fry in beef fat (tallow), properly twice fried fries will not soak up much fat. What's the point of endeavoring to produce the very best french fry and then compromising the taste with a neutral tasting fry oil.
- Important, work in controlled sized batches that doesn't drop the frying temperature significantly. Maintain the fry temp or the fries will absorb fat.
Yellow Lard Cake
Basic and sinfully delicious.
- 1 1/4 c. lard
- 2 1/2 c. milk
- 2 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 5 1/2 c. sifted cake flour
- 2 1/2 tbsp. baking powder
- 3 1/8 c. sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp. salt
- 5 eggs, unbeaten
Put lard in mixing bowl; add 5 tablespoon milk and vanilla. Beat 2 minutes on mixer at medium speed, or until light and fluffy. Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add to lard mixture with 2/3 of remaining milk. Beat until smooth with mixer at medium speed, about 4 minutes. Add remaining milk and eggs. Beat until smooth, 3 minutes. Pour in greased and floured 12 1/2 x 18 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees 35 to 40 minutes. Makes 54 (2 inch) squares. Cool and frost.
About Coast Packing Company
Coast Packing Company (www.coastpacking.com), a closely held corporation, is the number one supplier of animal fat shortenings – particularly lard and beef tallow -- in the Western United States. The company sells to major manufacturers, distributors, retailers, smaller food service operations, leading bakeries and lesser concerns. The company participates actively in various ethnic markets – from Hispanic retail chains, with its VIVA brand, to various Asian specialty markets. Based in Vernon, Calif., Coast Packing Company is regional, national and, increasingly, global. In some cases, supplier relationships are multigenerational, extending back 50 years and more.
For more information about Coast Packing Company, visit: www.coastpacking.com. Follow us via social media on Facebook at www.facebook.com/coastpackingco, Twitter @coastpackingco and Pinterest www.pinterest.com/coastpackingco.
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SOURCE Coast Packing Company