Cook'n is the best selling recipe organizer

Volume III
December 23, 2011

Weekly Home / Cook'n & Eat'n

Kudos for Canned Milk!

By Alice Osborne

Canned evaporated milk can stand high temperatures without curdling, making it a good choice used whole-strength in recipes to add creaminess to thick sauces, puddings and crock pot recipes. It's also good as a dipping liquid for breading meats, fish, and poultry. Canned milk is inexpensive and has so many uses, that I've actually created an entire cookbook chapter in my Cook'n software dedicated to canned milk recipes! Read on to see what I mean.

If need be, very cold whole evaporated milk can be whipped. I've done this before when I was in a pinch for a topping for fruit cobbler or crisp. It does need to be extra COLD - even the beaters and the bowl should be super cold for this. I'd add a little vanilla extract and a tablespoon of sugar and it worked well. But it collapses quickly, whip just prior to serving and don't expect to store any leftovers.

The natural lactose sugar is concentrated in evaporated milk, so you may need to reduce the sugar when using it as a fresh milk substitute in recipes. To substitute, one cup whole milk is equivalent to 1/2 cup evaporated milk plus 1/2 cup water.

The intense high heat process required to make evaporated milk and the processing into tins does not make for a palatable substitute for fresh milk to drink as a beverage on its own. However, it can be diluted to be used on cereal in a pinch, as my grandmother used to do often. Older generations often used evaporated or condensed milk as a creamer for coffee or tea.

When using reconstituted evaporated milk in recipes, you shouldn't notice any taste difference at all, except in yeast breads where the result will be slightly sweeter. Also, evaporated milk can be substituted in equal amounts for cream or half-and-half in most recipes.

Many professional chefs (Alton Brown, for instance) like to use canned milk when making homemade macaroni and cheese because of the superb smooth and creamy texture it creates. I also use it when making broccoli and cheese soup and homemade cocoa. And my gourmet-cook neighbor, Marla, uses it in her chicken pot pie recipe to create an extra creamy base for the meat and veggies.

Out of curiosity I visited the Pet Milk website (one of the more popular makers of canned milk) to see what recipes they had that used canned milk. Oh my goodness, who knew all the many ways to use canned milk?

Soups, chowders, drinks and punches, potato salads, meatballs, fondues, stroganoffs, pasta dishes, dipping batters, mashed and other potato dishes, casseroles, pies and other desserts, scalloped vegetables, biscuits and breads, and appetizers are all enhanced by the addition of canned milk! And I love adding it to thickened cocoa and freezing it for homemade fudgesicles as a summer treat. Basically, canned milk can be substituted in any recipe that calls for milk, cream, or half and half.

And speaking of appetizers, what with another holiday dinner coming up, how about setting out that favorite appetizer, the traditional cheese ball? Here's one of Pet Milk's cheese ball recipes you might want to try for Christmas dinner:

Cheddar Blue Party Cheese Ball

(Yield: 2 cheese balls)

2/3 cup PET Evaporated Milk
1 (3 oz.) package cream cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 ounces blue cheese
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Assorted crackers

BEAT together milk, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder and dry mustard in large bowl with electric mixer until well combined. Stir in Cheddar and blue cheeses. Divide evenly and form into two cheese balls. Chill 1 hour.

ROLL cheese balls into nuts and then into parsley. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate. Before serving, sprinkle with paprika. Serve with assorted crackers. For easier spreading, remove cheese ball from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature 20 to 30 minutes before serving.

Help on downloading recipes

blog comments powered by Disqus

blog comments powered by Disqus

Contribute to the Cook'n Club!

DVO would love to publish your article, prose, photography and art as well as your cooking, kitchen and nutrition tips, tricks and secrets. Visit the Newsletter Submission / Win Win for All section in our Forum for more information and details.