Starch makes custard cry


May 25, 1994|By Rita Calvert | Rita Calvert,Special to The Sun

Q: Why does my custard weep after a day or two?

A: Custards weep very soon after setting because the starch breaks down. This is part of the natural process so it is advisable to make only the amount needed for the occasion. To activate the starch for the best possible custard, bring the milk and starch to a rolling boil and then whisk it very vigorously. Flour and cornstarch can be used to make a stronger starch bond, however, you must be careful not to use too much of this combination.

Q: What is black vinegar?

A: Black vinegar, an Asian rice vinegar, is very dark and rich, although mild in taste. Available in many Chinese markets, it is used for braised dishes, noodles and sauces.

Q: What is Cajun Spice and where can I buy it?

A: This is a generic term referring to a spicy Louisiana blend of French and American Indian origin, usually consisting of some combination of onion, celery, garlic, bell pepper, cayenne papper, salt, white and black pepper and sometimes basil or oregano.

A Cajun-style blend is usually hotter and saltier than other style blends of the region, such as Creole. Most supermarkets carry come kind of Cajun-style spice blend.

Send questions to: What's Cooking, c/o Food & Home, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. Or call Sundial, The Sun's telephone information service, at (410) 783-1800 (268-7736 in Anne Arundel County, 836-5028 in Harford County, 848-0338 in Carroll County). Using a touch-tone phone, punch in 6180 after the greeting.

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