This week’s Secret Ingredient for Friday Foodie Fix is raisins. You might be thinking why did I chose this ingredient. Well I was eating a piece of Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread I had just baked, thanks to the Gluten Free Goddess, and thinking about the many Mexican recipes I have been reading that use raisins and I thought that’s it. This coming week some of us will be celebrating St. Patty’s Day making Irish foods, some green some not. I will have to make another loaf of that soda bread since the first one is long gone. Maybe you have a recipe for that bread you would like to share.
Back to our star ingredient raisins, those dried grapes we love to snack on. Raisins are made from Tompson seedless grapes and are either sun-dried or mechanically dried. I used to really love to eat the golden raisins but after what I’m about to share with you I’m not so sure I want them anymore. This is from my favorite book, The Deluxe Food Lover’s Companion (You own this book right? If you eat food you should own this book) “Golden raisins have been treated with sulphur dioxode (to prevent their color from darkening) and dried with artificial heat, thereby producing a moister, pumper product.” I’m just not a fan of chemicals in my foods.
Here are some interesting facts, also from my favorite book.
Freezing raisins makes them easier to chop. Currants can be substituted in recipes calling for chopped raisins. When adding raisins to a batter, first toss with some of the flour called for in the recipe, separating the pieces with your fingers as you do so. Keeps the fruit from sinking to the bottom of the batter. And this little gem, stored in brandy, rum or liqueur will add flavor when used in baked goods. Put in jar with screw-top lid and store at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Now that sounds like party raisins to me!
What do you make with raisins? Are you baking, cooking or snacking? Share your recipes with Mr. Linky and in the comments section. Please make sure your recipes contain raisins and are your creations. Please link back to this post even if you are sharing an old recipe. I like to add a line like UPDATE: This recipe was shared on Friday Foodie Fix. That would work great. For more details check out our Friday Foodie Fix page. You can also find all of the past week’s ingredients.