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Katie Meadow

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  1. Katie Meadow

    Yuzu juice

    I recently had an affair with yuzu. A terrific few months, but then I realized I was paying for everything! I'm embarrassed to say how much I spent on those teeny bottles of yuzu juice. It is a very unique flavor, but I do think it is subtle and maybe not worth using large quantities in a cake. Primarily I used it in iced tea: a fruity tea, just a little simple syrup and dash of yuzu. I have weaned myself off it and gone back to using lemon in my iced tea. It was a painful break-up but it was emptying my retirement reserves. I did score some fresh yuzu fruit when it was in season. That season is not now, and it seems very short. It wasn't cheap, either, so I'm thankful for that short season. If I had a load of fresh fruit I would make a posset or custard or maybe a key lime pie subbing in yuzu. That yuzu mayo sounds pretty yummy....
  2. Just ate some of the best corn ever (and I really mean that!) from the Temescal farmers' market in Oakland. Bicolor, small perfect kernels, incredibly sweet. Also got, and I think this is a first for me, peacotums. What, you ask? A cross of peach, apricot and plum. Very good. Also some very fresh raw peanuts in the shell, which I plan to boil and serve as an app when my brother in law comes for dinner tomorrow night, along with cute little carrots and purple radishes from the market. Dinner tomorrow will also be mostly from the market haul: we are making two pizzas, one with radicchio and tomato, the other with that same corn and baby zuke ribbons. Peacotums for dessert? I am very attached to some of the vendors at the saturday Berkeley farmers market, but the Temescal market has generally better prices. The corn at the Berkeley market was selling last week for a dollar an ear! It was good, but the Temescal corn was even better and selling for 50 cents an ear.
  3. Katie Meadow

    Lunch! What'd ya have? (2018)

    Weeding is my least favorite task on earth. I did have a garden way back when, in New Mexico. See, that's why I qualified my farm desire as virtual. I grew up on Hellman's in NY. When I moved to CA I switched to Best Foods, which I also believe to be the West Coast version of Hellmans. There are several other threads about this subject; some people feel they can taste the difference, but I'm sure I can't. Be that as it may, it's a moot subject for me now that I have discovered Duke's. Mainly I like the taste, but I also like the fact that it does not contain sugar, unlike Hellman's / Best Foods. I'm a convert for life. My husband is a CA boy and is still attached to Best Foods. I am sure I am paying more for Duke''s, having to order it on Amazon Prime but I don't care. He eats a lot more sandwiches than I do, so maybe that's a savings right there if he continues to resist Duke's.
  4. Katie Meadow

    Lunch! What'd ya have? (2018)

    Here's my new crush. It's a sandwich I never dreamed of growing up and it's beyond simple, although all three ingredients have to be great to make it worthwhile: sliced ripe summer tomatoes, fresh home made white bread (shout out to my bread baking husband), and a generous slathering of your favorite mayonnaise. In my case that is Duke's---something I only discovered this year! Who knew? If anyone had told me that in my dotage I would have to mail order mayonnaise I would have told them they were crazy. I really think I'm southern farm material. Well, in a virtual sort of way.
  5. Katie Meadow

    Shrimp and Grits

    Just curious: does Anson Mills have a flat shipping rate or do they figure shipping by the pound? Geechie Boy Mills has a flat rate like Rancho Gordo, so it is worth ordering a lot at one time. They sell Carolina Rice, but not the variety of some other mail order places. Mainly I buy grits and now blue popcorn from them, which is delicious.
  6. About that liquor supply.....drink as much as possible until you leave. Use up the bottles with the lowest level. Well, duh. Then set aside a good drinking whiskey. Dump everything but the good sipping stuff together into a gallon jug. Pack that up to take home. Then put the whiskey bottle in the wheel well or between the two of you for the drive back.
  7. "Make" is such a strong word. If it is that hot, which is rare in these parts, I have a Gin and Tonic and a sandwich or a Greek salad with a baguette to sop up the juices. Or I just give up and have a root beer float and call it a meal.
  8. A super memorable meal for many reasons was one we ate near Walla Walla several years ago. It was cooked by an artist who grew lovage. It was a simple pan-fried steak with a lovage-butter sauce. When I grill steak I rarely bother with sauce, just a dry rub, but this combo was dynamite. It's been a while since having lovage, so I can't really compare the flavor to anything. When it comes to celery however, I can't imagine life without it. How would you make egg salad or tuna salad or chicken salad or potato salad? I have never in my life eaten celery with peanut butter, though, and I'm not about to start now.
  9. Katie Meadow

    Shrimp and Grits

    Yep, there's nothing that spatters more than frying up a slab of leftover grits. I've taken to simply using a stainless cover, just cracked open a hair. Also taking the skillet off the heat when you flip helps a little, but I agree that being quick about is an asset. But that's my favorite breakfast, fried up very crisp and served with an extra bit of finishing salt and a puddle of Crystal Louisiana hot sauce. Never gets old.
  10. Katie Meadow

    Shrimp and Grits

    Ouch. There's so much conflicting information from what you might think are reputable sources on the differences between grits and polenta. Without claiming any expertise, here's what I know after some frustrating research some years ago: Once those clever people in Mexico figured out how to nixtamalize corn, it caught on in the south, and grits were typically made from what is called "dent" or nixtamalized corn. It can be white or yellow corn or even other colors. Polenta, which was an Italian form of cornmeal mush, was made from "field corn" and not nixtamalized. The grind, whether coarse, medium, fine or extra fine may be a matter or preference, as noted above, in northern and southern Italy, There is certainly some variety in the grind of southern grits. Maybe different stones grind differently. Maybe once upon a time you could take your corn to the mill and ask for it to be ground however you wanted. To overgeneralize, I get the sense that the polenta preferred by Italians in America is often a finer grind than southern grits. I like my grits toward the coarser end of the spectrum, which usually means that ithey need almost an hour to cook properly. I like white grits a little more and my husband prefers yellow, so I buy both and we switch off. Variety is good! I do think they taste a little different, but then lots of factors are in play there, some cultural and some psychological as with any subtle judgements. Personally I get the sense that there is a snootiness factor about white corn, which may have originated from any number of truths or half-truths. Maybe white corn was more expensive and more temperamental to grow, and therefore gained value.. Maybe it was just more white. Maybe it tastes a little more delicate or "refined." I'm not really sure, and I happily eat both. Jump in, anyone with an opinion about this. I've bought grits from a variety of mail order sources. Mostly they say nothing about what kind of corn they use or whether it has been nixtamalized, so I don't assume anything, but I simply go for whatever seems to be the freshest and best quality and tastes great. I do think the flavor and texture of stone ground grits from a reputable mill has a more dynamic taste that the Italian imported polenta that you get in a box. Much as I love many of Bob's products, their labelling can be very confusing. Their Corn Grits look yellow, so why don't they label them Yellow Corn Grits to distinguish them clearly from their White Corn Grits? And are there grits that are not made from corn? Get it together, Bob. I like Bob's cornmeal though, for making corn bread as it is kind of a medium grind and kind of toothy. Geechie Boy Mill, where I order my grits, is now selling blue grits. I haven't tried it.
  11. Katie Meadow

    Cooking with Deep Run Roots by Vivian Howard

    I wasn't thinking of those obsessive folks who bite through poultry bones and suck out the marrow, but the bones that are left after most people simply eat the meat off them have plenty of stuff left to contribute to a stock pot.
  12. Katie Meadow

    Cooking with Deep Run Roots by Vivian Howard

    So when you make stock from a turkey or chicken carcass do you save any of the bones that were gnawed on like wings or leg bones? Just asking.
  13. Katie Meadow

    eG Cook-Off 55: Shrimp & Grits

    I agree that there's a lot of sugar in that Mr B's recipe. That would make it very different from most shrimp and grits, which tend to rely more on tangy tomato based sauce, although a case could be made for adding a bit of cream to a winter sauce. I also question the bacon wrapping. Since shrimp cooks so quickly it seems like there would be no way to get the bacon cooked, let alone crisp, without the end result being very rubbery overcooked shrimp, and overcooked shrimp is the bane of any shrimp and grits recipe. I like using butter to cook the shrimp, but if you want bacon flavor why not just fry up the bacon, then cook the shrimp in bacon fat, adding back in the crumbled bacon to the sauce toward the end? And I certainly agree with Heidi that cooking shrimp sous vide seems counter-productive, but admittedly I know zero about sous vide anything. In the time it takes to get out your equipment you could cook the shrimp in a skillet in about 3 minutes. Then you could use the same skillet, without washing it, to make the sauce. Shrimp and grits is one of the most flexible meals on earth; there are a million recipes out there. When it is made in the summer with lovely ripe tomatoes (my favorite!) it is lighter and zippier than when made in winter with canned tomatoes, which would be a richer, longer cooked sauce. For sauce, winter or summer, shrimp and grits can benefit from the addition of shrimp stock, which is just summering the heads and shells for 20 minutes. I often omit this in summer, when I have great tomatoes and barely cook them. I like to simply saute the shrimp with paprika and other cajun or creole spices in butter, removing them when they are just done, then adding them back to whatever the sauce is at the very end. Some cooks are relentless when it comes to adding cheese to grits. Sometimes I like moderately cheesy grits, but not for shrimp and grits. I eat a lot of grits. My best advice is to buy the freshest stone ground grits, which typically means mail ordering them unless you live in the South. there is a thread somewhere with recommendations for various suppliers of artisanal grits, and to my taste buds it's worth it.
  14. Finally....great tomatoes and excellent corn! We usually alternate weeks at the Berkeley farmers' market with weeks at the Temescal market. Both are good; most of my favorite vendors are at the Saturday Berkeley market, but Temescal is closer and easier parking these days. Berkeley has a vendor with smoked fish. The smoked black cod is to die for and the price will also kill you. Berkeley also has more and better varieties of tomatoes. Later in the season there is one vendor there with a great selection of fresh shelling beans and fresh red espellette peppers, For some reason the pepper seeds are getting hotter every year, and last year the peppers were some of the hottest I've ever eaten, not necessarily a good thing, but remarkable. Chicken baked with tomatoes and those peppers is pretty outstanding. Sunday evening we had my very favorite summer meal: Greek salads with tomatoes, Japanese cucumbers, oil cured black olives and Fresh feta, corn on the cob and fresh baguette served with butter and paper thin slices of jambon. And for dessert? Cherries. This has been a good year for them. And this morning for breakfast? I'm looking forward to my first peach of the year. Oh, and the one last ear of corn left....
  15. Katie Meadow

    Chocolate brands - What's good and bad?

    For baking I really do like Valrhona unsweetened cocoa. Admittedly it isn't cheap. However, if you want some plain bittersweet chocolate for eating--or for multipurpses-- Valrhona bars of 71 percent can be had for a very good deal from Trader Joe's, and I think it's excellent.