I’m always looking for appetizing ways to use the food that I have stockpiled. There’s no point in having lots of food, just so it can get old on the shelves, and end up cooking with stale, outdated ingredients. Sometimes, when food is bought in bulk packages, it is much cheaper, but the purchaser ends up with more than they can use. Last spring, this happened to my mother. She bought a large package of quick-cooking tapioca and gave me a baggie of the excess. I did not end up using it all up over the summer, so when I found it again recently, I decided to target it in my meals.
The first thing I did with it was use a couple of Tablespoons to thicken a beef stew. This was a stew that was made from beef, broth, canned tomatoes, onions, carrots, potatoes, beans and some herbs and spices, plus salt and pepper. When I finished, it was pretty runny. I just put in a little tapioca and it thickened up nicely. I am gluten-intolerant, so this made a nice substitute for wheat flour.
The second thing I made was tapioca pudding. I got a recipe from the Kraft website.
2-3/4 cups milk (I used 2%)
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. Minute Tapioca (I have no idea of the brand my mother gave me, but it worked)
1 egg beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
I added: 1/4 teaspoon salt and a teaspoon butter
Mix milk, sugar, tapioca, salt and the beaten egg in a saucepan. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Cook on medium (I did med-high and watched it very carefully), stirring the entire time, until mixture comes to a full boil. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and butter. Cool 20 minutes; stir. Serve warm or cold. Makes 6 servings. Store leftovers in fridge.
When I got done cooking the mixture, it was so runny I though I had made a mistake and had tapioca soup. The recipe says it thickens as it cools, but I thought there was no way this would become pudding. But, it really did. In fact, it turned out to be very thick once it was cold. So, I might actually use 3 cups milk next time.