In the SoFAB Kitchen with Jyl Benson

Every Saturday at the Culinary Innovation Center at Rouses by Jenn-Air we host someone—a chef, cookbook author, farmer, oysterman, the pickle maker from the farmers' market—anyone with a culinary interest or skill to share to join us in the kitchen and regal our members and guests. This past week I was the entertainment. The subject: Dairy-Based Pantry Staples.

If you were unable to join is here are the recipes you missed.

Crème Fraîche

Makes about 1 cup

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk

Combine the whipping cream and the buttermilk in a glass container. Cover and let stand at room temperature (about 70°F) from 8 to 24 hours, or until very thick. Stir well before covering and refrigerate up to 10 days.

Buttermilk Fresh Cheese

Makes 1 6-ounce round

  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups whole or low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt

Cut out three pieces of cheesecloth into 12-inch squares. Line a colander or medium strainer with all three layers of cheesecloth. Set colander in sink.

Combine milk, buttermilk, and salt in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, and heat over medium-high heat until mixture has separated into white curds and translucent whey, about 8 minutes. If using low fat buttermilk, separation occurs at about 180ºF and the curds will clump together readily. If using whole buttermilk, separation occurs closer to the boiling point, about 212 ºF, and the curds are finer-grained. When using whole buttermilk, let curds and whey stand off heat for about 3 minutes after separation, so the curds cling together and facilitate the straining step.)

Ladle the contents of the saucepan into the prepared colander. Let the whey drain, 1 to 2 minutes. Lift the four corners of the cheesecloth and gather them together. Gently twist the gathered cloth over the cheese and press out any excess whey.

Cheese can be unwrapped immediately and served warm, or let stand until cooled to room temperature, about 10 minutes more. To serve a firmer cheese, transfer cheese, in its cloth, to a small flat-bottomed dish or pie plate; refrigerate until cool, about 10 minutes. Unwrap cheese and gently invert onto plate; discard cloth. Tent cheese with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated up to 2 days. Remove from refrigerator and let stand for 10 minutes at room temperature before serving.

Optional Flavorings

  • Pepper-add 1 teaspoon of pepper in step 2
  • Lemon -add 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest in step 2
  • Herb – add1 teaspoon dried herbs, such as tarragon, oregano, or basil in step 2
  • Vanilla -add 1 teaspoon pure vanilla ext in step 2

 Serve with crackers or crudités.

Luscious Homemade Mayonnaise

Makes about 1 cup

  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cold water
  • ¾ cup neutral oil such as safflower or canola

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, lemon juice, mustard, salt and 1 teaspoon cold water until frothy. Whisking constantly, slowly dribble in the oil until mayonnaise is thick and oil is incorporated. When the mayonnaise emulsifies and starts to thicken, you can add the oil in a thin stream, instead of drop by drop.

Mock Mascarpone

Makes about 1 pint

  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Blend all ingredients thoroughly until creamy and uniform in texture. Use in place of mascarpone in recipes or serve with fruit.