• Got milk? (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
It's time to start winning the race against the use-by clock.
18 Feb 2019 - 10:35 AM  UPDATED 18 Feb 2019 - 11:05 AM

Sweeten corn

The veggie world’s candy on a stick is usually already sweet enough but if yours isn’t, try boiling it in a mix of water and milk. We’re not entirely sure why but this extracts its natural sugars and makes it taste even better.

Sweet corn

Up your fish game

Fish for dinner? If you’ve pre-frozen it, the best way to thaw it out is in a dish of milk. The proteins in the milk maintain the fish’s flavour so it tastes as good as if it were line caught that day.

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Freeze it!

We all lose the race against the use-by date clock some weeks. Before you pour all that liquid gold down the drain, try pouring some into ice cube trays and freezing it. Then, when smoothies call, add them to a blender with fresh fruit. 

Frozen milk cubes are a welcome addition to smoothies.

Tenderise meat

Milk is a popular way to tenderise your meat in Italian cooking while Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines use yoghurt in abundance. Meanwhile, over in America’s south, buttermilk is favoured. It’s believed that the calcium in milk reacts with the enzymes in the meat to soften the protein. The best way to use it as a tenderiser is to cover the meat completely in the milk, pop a lid or some cling wrap over the top and into the fridge for up to four hours.

This Southern fried chicken uses buttermilk as a tenderiser.

Get cooking

Braising pork and lamb in milk is another popular Italian pastime for the same reasons as above: milk is a wonderful tenderiser! This pork neck by O Tama Carey also uses lemon zest as it helps the milk to curdle and create delicious ricotta-like particles in the sauce.

Curb saltiness

Love your feta and haloumi but not all the extra salt it sometimes packs? Soak your hard salty cheese in milk for 10 minutes to rid them of the excess salt.

Matthew Evans homemade haloumi

Learn how to make your own haloumi with help from Matthew Evans.

Turn it into paneer

Got a spare litre of milk lying around? Bring it to the boil in a clean saucepan, remove from heat, then add the juice of one lemon and one teaspoon of salt. Stir and set aside. Once the curds have separated from the whey. Now all you need to do is pour them into a colander lined with cheesecloth, tie the top of the cheesecloth and weigh it down with weights or cans for 30 minutes until it’s firm. Read more here.

Culture up!

Forget starter cultures – for a super express way to make a DIY yoghurt, blend those last few tablespoons of natural yoghurt with two litres of milk in a saucepan. Temperatures matter – go here for Matthew Evans’ fail-proof instructions.

Love to bake? Make your own buttermilk!

Buttermilk is used to lighten batters in pancakes, scones and some cakes. If you don’t have any in the fridge, just add one tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to one cup of milk, and let it sit out at room temperature for about ten minutes. If you need more than this, just keep the above ratios.

Brown-sugar ripple buttermilk Bundt cake with wine-roasted pears and caramel sauce

Brown-sugar ripple buttermilk Bundt cake with wine-roasted pears and caramel sauce.

And, what about all that soy milk?

We've got just the recipe: this ramen recipe skips on time and fuss - but not on flavour. The broth uses stock, aromatics and unsweetened soy milk for a creamy, punchy, lick-your-bowl-good noodle soup. Check out this vampire slayer ramen express.

Gourmet Farmer airs 7.30pm Wed nights on SBS. Visit the Gourmet Farmer program page for recipes and to find out more about the show.


More ways with milk!
Capretto braised in goat’s milk with truffle

Baby goat is slowly cooked in milk until the meat is meltingly tender and the milk has formed scoopable, ricotta-like curds.

Pakistani hot turmeric milk (haldi doodh)

The heady mix of warming spices (turmeric, cardamom, black pepper, ginger and clove) is comfort in a glass and and a traditional home remedy for a cold or sore throat.

Farmhouse milk bread
Upon moving to Ireland, I stumbled upon a loaf of milk bread and gave it loved it. Using milk, and strong (baker’s) flour instead of all-purpose (plain), yields the softest, whitest loaf this side of the snow-capped Alps.
Goat’s milk ricotta fritti with honey and pistachio
Ricotta made with goat’s milk is deliciously creamy with a lovely herbaceous, almost earthy note.
Three milks cake (pastel de tres leches)

Immensely well-loved in Latin America, a recipe for this wonderfully milky cake appeared on the label of Nestle’s sweetened condensed milk cans in the 1940s, possible explaining why its popularity has spread so widely in this part of the world.