Category: Food

Shaka Burrito comes to New Brunswick

After a longer-than-expected premises renovation period, Shaka Burrito opened its doors in New Brunswick last week. The wait was well worth it.

Located on the corner of Route 27 and Spring Street (street address 120 Albany Street), the space has a cheerful, easygoing ambiance. The staff is friendly, the Pipeline Beef Rice Bowl I ordered was excellent. I took half of it home, along with a nice Shaka keychain recycled from a wetsuit neoprene.

Shaka Burrito opens in New Brunswick
Shaka Burrito opens in New Brunswick

Pepsi Throwback Made with Real Sugar

I don’t always pick Pepsi over Coca-Cola, but when I do I pick “Pepsi Throwback Made with Real Sugar”.

It’s a shame that my favorite drink is apparently married to the makers of HFCS (), and the only is imported into the US from Mexico.

Pepsi Throwback Made with Real Sugar
Pepsi Throwback Made with Real Sugar

How to make yogurt at home, the Bulgarian way

My wife and I grew up in Bulgaria, where yogurt is a nutritional staple. We moved to the US in the early 1990s, where we failed to find good yogurt. So my wife started making yogurt at home.

“ produced by bacterial fermentation of milk. The bacteria used to make yogurt are known as “yogurt cultures”. Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus is commonly used alongside Streptococcus thermophilus as a starter for making yogurt.  –Wikipedia on yogurt history and provenance

Recently I made a yogurt batch at home with limited (but crucial) supervision from my wife. It was a three-hour-long process, of which I enjoyed every minute (not to mention the product).

Here’s how we did it (Mayia’s yogurt recipe below picture).

Making yogurt at home
Making yogurt at home

Mayia’s Yogurt recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 gallons of whole milk

  • 800 ml (buy 1 quart) of heavy cream

  • 2 cups of yogurt (Stonyfield, plain, organic, whole milk, do not use the sweet types)

Makes (8) 32 oz containers

Items needed:

  • thermometer

  • large pot 10″ diameter, 8 1/2″ high

  • (8) 32 oz plastic containers — best will be containers from yogurt or similar size plastic

  • baking pan 16″ x 12″ x 2″

Notes:

  • You may want to make a smaller batch first. Use half the ingredients

  • The yogurt can last a long time in the refrigerator — up to four weeks

  • You can use the leftover cream to make sour cream by adding some mixture to it in additional container and keeping it in the stove with the rest of the yogurt

  • If you have access to organic raw milk, you can skip boiling part

  • You can strain (remove most liquid from it for 24 hours in the refrigerator) the yogurt for use in cooking and as mayo, sour cream substitute

  1. Put milk and heavy cream in very large pot. Gradually heat to a boil. Stir periodically so no burnt layer is formed on the bottom of the pot.

  2. Boil for 20 minutes stirring periodically (every minute or so). This produces more firm, less watery yogurt with reduced acid content. Less boiling will work as well, however, the yogurt will be much more acidic.

  3. Fill the sink with cold water and put the pot in it. Stir every so often so cream is not formed on the top. Cool to 170°. Use thermometer to make sure it is not above that temperature. Putting the yogurt in too hot milk will kill the bacteria. If you have a good sense about temperature you can use your finger (entire finger) to place in the milk and feel comfortable, no burning.

  4. Once the milk is cooled down, add yogurt, mix well. Pour mixture in containers. Put containers in the baking pan, add 1”-1 1/2″ of warm water to tray.

  5. Heat oven to 170° for 10-15 min and place tray with containers into oven. If you are absolutely sure oven temperature is no more than 170 degrees (measure with thermometer) or have oven that can just keep on lower temp or warm, you can leave the oven on. I turn oven on/off every hour or so until the mixture becomes solid, that can be 2-4 hours depending on many factors. When the mixture is solid yogurt is ready.

  6. Wait until it assumes room temperature, put the containers in refrigerator.