Suddenly Salad Fail. Help!


  #1  
Old 05-31-21, 10:42 AM
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Suddenly Salad Fail. Help!

What am I doing wrong here? I'm no cook, but I can follow directions. I fix Suddenly Salad pasta mixes a couple times a month, and never have a problem with the ones that call for mayo in the mix, but the ones that call for vegetable oil usually fail; when I pour the oil and water into the seasoning mix, it immediately forms little beads or balls, some over 1/4" diameter, no matter how long you stir. They're very hard to crush with a spoon, and appear to be dry inside, as if the oil forms a shell around the powder mix. The oil generally stays separated, not mixing well at all. I don't think the manufacturer had in mind using a spoon to laboriously crush these dozens of hard balls. And yes, the pasta and oil are within date.

Am I using the wrong kind of oil? The instructions just say "vegetable oil" so I've been using "Canola Oil" as it seems to be pretty popular on the shelves. To me, one oil is like any other.

Any ideas?
 
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Old 05-31-21, 11:18 AM
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Try putting the oil & water in container then slowly sprinkle in the seasoning while you whisk it in. This way there isn't enough seasoning to form a ball and the powder gets mixed in as soon as it hits the liquid.
 
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Old 05-31-21, 11:58 AM
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Sounds reasonable, I'll try that, thanks!
 
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Old 05-31-21, 12:04 PM
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The magic word is "emulsion"- which is how butter contains oil and water, and how soaps and detergents make grease & oil soluble in water so that you can wash dishes.

The online directions for Greek Tossed Pasta say "water and oil"- My educated guess is that the seasoning mix dissolves in water, but only slightly in oil. Thus when you add oil & water simultaneously, you end up with "seasoning balls" that don't break because they're held together by the mutual repulsion of oil and water.

I'd do a quick test- measure out a VERY small amount of seasoning mix, at most teaspoon and then divide that into 2 literal tablespoons. Then add water to one, oil to the other, and see which one the seasoning mix dissolves better in. Then add the seasoning mix to the fluid it dissolves in best. Then, mix the oil and water.
Another way to achieve a REALLY good emulsion (tight mixing of oil and water) is by churning. It's how you get butter, but for a small scale, putting the seasoned (oil or water) and the unseasoned (water or oil) into a tall cup, then rotating a whisk vertically between two hands (like you're trying to start a fire with a hand drill) works well.
Even better is a spare French-press for coffee, which will "foam" up the oil & water and break up the globules of dry seasoning.
 
 

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