Give milk a night out. These versatile recipes show that just plain milk has uses far beyond the cereal bowl.
Photo: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Jan Gautro
Got Milk?Don't let that milk in the fridge go to waste! Discover the many ways you can incorporate milk into daily cooking, from chicken-fried steak and casseroles to soup and hot chocolate.
Classic Crème CaramelThe addition of eggs and a generous dose of vanilla transforms even lowfat milk into a silken dessert. Since it can chill indefinitely in the fridge before serving, this recipe lets you spend time with guests at the table instead of in the kitchen.
Creamed Cauliflower with Herbed Crumb ToppingThink cauliflower is boring? You won't after tasting this delectable gratin, where the vegetable is coated in a leek-and-parmesan sauce made with low-fat milk then topped with herbed, buttered crumbs. Bring it to potlucks and watch it disappear.
Barcelona Hot ChocolateThe Ferrari of hot chocolates, this sophisticated European version includes bittersweet chocolate, espresso, and a strip of orange rind, making a perfect after-dinner drink. Be sure to remove from heat when a string of tiny bubbles forms around the edge of the pan, because boiling might cause the milk to curdle.
Chicken-Fried SteakDipping cube steaks in a mixture of milk and eggs helps cracker crumbs adhere to the meat and results in a thick, even coating. Once the steaks are crisply fried, pour more milk into the pan drippings to create the gravy that makes this top-rated Southern specialty so distinctive.
Braised Pork with Lemon and SageThis recipe features an Italian technique of slowly cooking a whole pork roast in milk, and the result is succulent meat with a nutty, intensely flavorful sauce. Because it braises in a slow cooker for hours with virtually no attention, it's an ideal make-ahead dish.
Golden Macaroni and CheeseDon't fret if you have a crowd to feed. A no-cook roux makes this luxuriously creamy mac and cheese a snap to fix: just stir boiled macaroni into a mixture of flour, milk, and cheese then stick it in the oven–voilà! Dinner for eight.
Creamy Wild-Rice Soup with Smoked TurkeyPieces of smoked turkey breast give this dish an alluring aroma that complements the nutty flavor of wild rice. A milk-and-flour slurry added towards the end of cooking gives the soup a voluptuous consistency.