6 Legit Ways to Use Cheesecloth
If I ever have the time to meander around a grocery store, I almost always find myself on the aisle where all the baking utensils and pots and pans are. For some reason I just love to look at all the different tools that exist and dream of what they might do. I think it’s because in another life, or perhaps in a parallel universe, I am a really great chef, possibly the winner of a cooking show, having just battled it out in the kitchen week after hard-fought week, yelling out “Yes, chef! No, chef!” Holding my breath as the chefs call out the winners and losers time after time until finally mine is the last name called!
So yeah, I guess you could say that cooking exquisite, intricate meals is something that I find very interesting. The reality is, I’m just a busy mom who really enjoys cooking, but values my small amounts of spare time more, so I gravitate towards fast, easy meals most of the time.
Anyway, there are plenty of gadgets and gizmos that puzzle my brain what they could be used for. A cheesecloth has been one of those things. I’ve seen it a time or two at the grocery store and wondered if it was really something I could see myself using. I have since learned a few very practical uses for it.
Holding Herbs Together
You can really pretend to be a fancy French chef by making a bouquet garni, a bundle of flavorings like parsley, thyme, black peppercorns and garlic. Tie it all together in a cheesecloth bundle and toss into soups, use it for roasted poultry, chicken pot pies, or stocks. The bouquet garni makes it easy to remove the flavorings when your dish is done.
This is so perfect for my picky kids who would much prefer if there weren’t floating herbs in their soup. You get all the flavor, without having to give explanations on what to eat :)
Making Smooth-As-Can-Be Stock
Along those same lines, you can strain your stocks to keep out some of the cloudiness and any sediment that has settled to the bottom. Get ready for clear, smooth stock!
Straining Bacon Fat
The rendered grease at the bottom of the pan after cooking fatty meats like bacon are fantastic to use for other things. It is pure flavor. Before storing it in the fridge for later use, run it through the cheesecloth to catch any bits or sediment that broke off while cooking. This also extends their life so you can keep these fats in the refrigerator much longer.
One quick and easy way to dust sugar on cookies and things is to fit a square over a canning jar filled with confectioners’ sugar, pull taut, and screw on ring (no cap); dust cookies.
You can keep your turkey moist by roasting it wrapped with the butter drenched cheesecloth. Take it off for the last 10 minutes of roasting to brown the turkey.
Making Homemade Greek Yogurt
I am really enjoying make yogurt at home with my Instant Pot. It is smooth and delicious and I know exactly what is in it. You can take your homemade yogurt one step further and give it a thicker consistency similar to Greek yogurt by straining the yogurt. Pretty cool, eh?
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