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Katie Meadow

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  1. Katie Meadow

    Chiles Rellenos, Tex-Mex style

    I lived in NM for many years, and really good chiles relines are not as common as you would hope. They are really an art. If made correctly, they necessitate a chile pepper that is relatively thick and won't shred as soon as it is roasted. When I lived there, real Hatch chiles meant they were grown around Hatch NM, and they were routinely very hot. Easier to stuff without destroying than some other long chiles, but still a real skill. They need to be roasted hot and quick, so the skin will peel off but the chiles still retain integrity. Poblanos, often available in areas where other hot chiles are not, can be used successfully as they are rather thick and have structure, although you do need to pick out the flat ones, and avoid the curly twisty individuals. The second skill is the deep fry. You need to mix up a light batter, not coat the chiles too heavily, and deep fry so that the cheese gets melty and the batter gets crispy but the chile doesn't break down. I learned to make a good chile verde and a good chile rojo, good enchiladas and posole, but I never mastered chile rellenos. In my defense, I didn't try very hard. I've never made or heard of a chile relines casserole. I'm a fan of Lisa Fain, although never having lived in Texas I have no benchmarks for Tex Mex cooking. Her casserole skirts the hardest parts of making chiles rellenos: the recipe doesn't rely on chiles with a good structure and is forgiving of the roasted chiles. In addition there is no deep frying, which can be a delicate operation, and instead relies on a batter like crusty top on the casserole. Memory leads me to believe that the dish we ate in NM did not typically have any tomato sauce on it, the deep fried chiles were always discreet on the plate. But after all we're not talking about NM, we're talking Texas here, so who is to say what's authentic? Although I never ran into a chiles rellenos casserole, there were plenty of NM breakfasts that layered all kinds of egg/tortilla/cheese'/chile.corn in baked dishes, most of them not exactly traditional but if the cook had talent, they could be a heartwarming satisfying mash-up.
  2. Katie Meadow

    Cannabis Cuisine

    You must not be right in the city. No one I know in NYC has a spare room of any kind, let alone for growing weed.
  3. Katie Meadow

    Restaurants in Chattanooga

    Kayb, now you tell me! You had me at fried okra. The wedding was near Ellijay, GA. We had a number of meals in little diners and local places, only one memorably good one at a little "farm to table" place in Jasper called 61 Main St. Several other breakfasts and lunches were either memorably bad or already forgotten. When there's butter available for breakfast I call it a success. Most places have the same pretend spread only. I did make one discovery: Smuckers grape jelly in little packets can cover, if not a multitude of sins, at least a couple. Sunday brunch after the wedding with just my own small side of the family in Ellijay was hilarious. The place was packed, every table taken. Sorry, hon, we're out of grits. Sorry, hon, no ice tea. (Now there's a shocker!) Sorry hon, no fritters or dumplings today even though they are on the menu. Sorry, hon, we don't have any butter. And so it went. Blue ribbon for worst biscuit in the South. Because I was with my five favorite people on earth it was the best brunch ever. What is silver queen corn? I will give credit where credit is due. Wandering about Ellijay we came on a "gourmet" store with some fresh veggies out front. I bought a load of local corn, bi-color, and cooked it for my new in-laws for dinner that night. It turned out to be some of the best corn ever. They must have a later season than we do in the Bay Area. It was swoon-worthy.
  4. Katie Meadow


    Around here the local farmers' markets usually label them as "prune plums." There are plenty of recipes that use them fresh in cakes or custards. They are easy to pit and are less juicy than other plum varieties, so for some desserts they work really well. I think of them as "prunes" when they are dried. The variety of moistness in a prune varies a bit, sort of like the gradations of dried dates, no? Of coarse that's true of some other dried fruits. I've had dried apricots that are like leather and others that are more like half-dried. All good.
  5. Katie Meadow

    Restaurants in Chattanooga

    Went for the quick version on toast this morning, just slathering first butter, then sorghum. Next up will be to mash up a nice mixture that I can keep in the fridge. Have to adjust the ratio carefully to see what I prefer. Usually I eat my grits savory, like with shrimp and some kind of salsa or tomato base, but breakfast grits might be awful tasty with sorghum butter. Back to the topic of food in the Chattanooga / North GA area:. This being green tomato season (as far as I know). fried green tomatoes were offered in every little place we ate. My favorite way to eat them by far is in a Fried Green Tomato BLT. But there's a cautionary tale here: fried green tomatoes are an art, and it isn't easy to find them done right with a crispy but light batter that doesn't overwhelm.
  6. Katie Meadow

    Restaurants in Chattanooga

    Thank you for the tip. We did indeed go to St Johns MP and were very happy with our dinner. They had an app that was smoked corn on the cob with a harissa crema Mexican street style that was really yummy. And I agree about the sorghum butter; in fact I asked for bit to take away for our breakfast the next day at our airbnb. Excellent on toast! I can't imagine it would be hard to approximate. You could probably do a shortcut by simply buttering toast and then swirling on a little sorghum syrup if you were too lazy to whip anything. We didn't really eat anywhere else, since our time in town was cut short by torrential rains. So much for Chattanooga. The main event of the trip was my daughter's wedding in north GA in the foothills, which was spectacular and with perfect weather.
  7. Okay, thanks for clarifying. I spent the late 60's and early 70's mostly in Albuquerque and have no memory of calling a large burrito a burro. We typically fixated on a certain place's burritos and they were always BIG.
  8. I too am a former NM resident but never in all the years I lived there did I hear of a "burro." There were green chile burritos (in a flour tortilla) and there was a "bowl of green," which essentially is a green chile stew, typically making a rich broth from long simmered pork and chile, often with potatoes. Describe what you are calling a "burro," would you? Maybe it's something people in AZ say? A "bowl of green" would be chile verde, somewhat like the recipe above, although we never used to add flour to the broth; the potatoes, added about an hour before the chile is done, has a thickening effect.
  9. Katie Meadow

    Lunch! What'd ya have? (2018)

    Anna you are a genius. BLT Onigiri!
  10. Katie Meadow

    Buttermilk as A Substitute for...

    After sampling my flaugnarde leftovers the next day cold and then reheated a bit, I'm in the warm camp. And I don't think it really suffered at all by being warmed in the microwave the next day. Totally comfort food. Strangely, although my mother never made a custard anything in her whole life, my brother is a fool for flan and I like just about any custardy thing. Clearly it's the baby food I never got. And yes, the second best thing about this flaugnarde is how simple it is. I love a recipe that takes longer to preheat the oven than it does to pull together the parts . Mitch, did you roast the fruit first? I'm sure that would be yummy, but wow have I gotten lazy.
  11. Katie Meadow

    Buttermilk as A Substitute for...

    My flaugnarde looked just like all those pictures. I confess to eating a lot of it while it was still warm, and that was very nice. I mixed low-fat milk with 1/2 and 1/2 so it approximated whole milk. I think my baking pan was a bit bigger than it needed to be and I used a bit more plum than the 12 oz suggested. If I used the same pan again I might up the custard by 50 %. A very good use for end-of-season plums. I had mostly Black Cats and a couple of other suspects. Interesting about the buttermilk curdling vs not. I would assume it changes the flavor markedly, no?
  12. Katie Meadow

    Buttermilk as A Substitute for...

    Are you making that Plum Flaugnard that David Lebovitz put up recently? I have plans to buy plums tomorrow at the farmers' market for that very custard. I'm looking forward to hearing what buttermilk does for it. He calls for 1/4 cup heavy cream, which isn't a staple chez moi but I will sub in 1/2 and 1/2,, which I do have, and the rest milk.
  13. Katie Meadow

    Restaurants in Chattanooga

    Bumping up this thread for the obvious reasons. I will be in Chattanooga for two nights at the end of this month. Anyone have anything interesting to add since 2010? Apparently everything named the Chattanooga Chew (Chew) involves tobacco, no? I always loved the Chat N Chew in San Francisco. Cute name is by no means a requirement.
  14. I hope someone invited that guy over for Thanksgiving dinner the next day. Anyone spending the Wednesday before Thanksgiving copying and distributing a recipe for cranberry relish to strangers in a bookstore clearly doesn't have a lot of holiday commitments. Okay, yes, I'm a bit snarky, but I do appreciate the urge to share a great recipe. I lived in New Mexico during the late sixties and early seventies but no one I knew was putting green chile in cranberry sauce. And no one was putting chile powder in chocolate desserts then, either. So that fellow in the bookstore was an early adopter! And if pepper jelly is good for anything, cream cheese would be it.
  15. Everyone knows peanut butter is one of the standard ingredients in Guacamole, so I'd say Millie should have figured that one out. As for not sharing recipes I don't have a lot of patience or sympathy if we are talking about friends. Any one who makes you promise not to tell shouldn't tell in the first place. And if they do, they shouldn't believe that secret will be kept. The truth is that if I give someone a recipe on request I don't expect the end result to come out like mine. Changing ingredients to suit taste or the variation in technique or interpretation is always in play. The real obligation lies in giving credit when you pass it along. Name the recipe, like "Rachel's Friend's Grandmother's chocolate cake."