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Katie Meadow

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  1. I love reading Your Daily Sweets. I don't contribute to that thread, since I don't bake much. If it involves making icing or cutting anything horizontally, forget about it. I'm just so happy to know there are people who are baking and who enjoy doing it, and I'm in perpetual awe. I only wish I lived next door to them. Welcome to eG. You will find this is a very UN-intimidating crowd.
  2. Katie Meadow

    The Ladies Who Lunch (Part 3)

    Hating leftovers seems like such a self-destructive proposition. To me, leftovers are a gift from the gods. Often the benefits are multiple: first, some things actually taste better the next day. Second, even things that don't literally improve overnight taste better just because you get a free ride and don't have to cook anything. Examples of leftovers that get better: any kind of chicken in sauce such as coq au vin. Potatoes with leftover gravy. Macaroni and cheese, for no good reason. Vegetable curry. Toast, which is leftover bread. Meatloaf. Poached pears in wine. Pecan pie, which is too sweet the first day, but somehow is easier to appreciate for breakfast the next day. Scotch broth soup, because you realize how really great it is. Just sayin'!
  3. Katie Meadow

    Tortillas

    Nothing beats an overdone hot buttered flour tortilla. Bring on the crispy.
  4. I find they are best the first two days. After one night at room temp they seem to need to be refrigerated. In the fridge they last another couple of days at most. I have never made enough at one time to freeze them.
  5. Mmm! Boiled peanuts! Since no southern peanut lovers chimed in, I'll just give you the boilerplate recipe that works for me. I never ate them until my second trip to the south. That was in early fall, in Atlanta, and the new peanuts were fresh and plentiful in the markets. I never heard of soaking first, but it's no secret I'm a rank amateur. So, you can take my ratios with .....well, a grain of salt, but I find them addictive. On our third trip to the south, also in the fall, we bought some at a roadside stand, sold in a brown bag that was getting soggy by the time we arrived at our airbnb. Our hosts were split on boiled peanuts: she was a South Carolina native who loved them, he was a transplant and hated them. She pronounced the ones we brought as being pretty much like they always are, so that was a good indicator for me. I assume that the size and freshness of the peanuts has everything to do with how long they need to be cooked. Around here we get fresh raw peanuts in the late summer / early fall at the farmers' market. Many of the vendors who sell them are Asian and I have never asked how they cook them. Honestly, the ones I make with organic peanuts grown in CA are better than the ones I had in South Carolina. All my trips to the south have been in the fall, except for my first one. That was in the spring. All the trees in Atlanta were in bloom and I didn't stop sneezing for the whole week we were there. It looked lovely but omg the pollen was like a perfect storm. 2 pounds fresh raw peanuts in their shells 5 quarts of water 1/2 cup + a bit more to taste kosher salt I don't season, but I'm sure that's delicious. I start by mixing everything together in a big pot and bringing it to a low boil or a high simmer. Believe it or not I too came up with the idea of using a vegetable steamer basket to keep them down while cooking. With nice fresh peanuts it shouldn't take more than an hour and half or maybe two hours to cook them, but since freshness varies, checking for doneness is a good idea. I was told to let them sit in the water for half an hour after removing from the heat. The longer you let them cool in the water the saltier they will be, so I always taste and adjust time.
  6. Full disclosure: the last time I walked into an open cabinet door, which was three days ago, it was my own fault. What's so hilarious (well, if you think the bump on my forehead is laughable) is that I should know better, seeing as my husband is guilty of leaving doors open WHENEVER he opens them, so you'd think I would know better than to leave a door open EVEN ONCE. As for the dishwasher door, I have heard "I wasn't done yet" more times than I can count, and I am all over the weaponization at shin level, enough to stay out of the way when it's clean-up time.
  7. I really hate this thread. Every time I see it bumped up to the top I wonder who is in the burn unit or who just cut off a finger. Mostly I don't read it, but every once in a while I can't help myself. It may occasionally be useful as a cautionary tale, but it's never feel-good. At least not in a nice way; at best I think to myself, "When am I going to do something THAT stupid?" I don't enjoy the prospect that it's only a matter of time. I admit that I have walked into an open cabinet door more than once. It's not my fault if I don't notice a gaping door full of sugar and nuts right in front of me.
  8. Katie Meadow

    Why Northern biscuits suck

    Back to the title of this thread. Some of the worst biscuits I've ever eaten were in the South, in a variety of states. Also some very good ones. And good ones can be had anywhere if made by someone with talent in possession of good ingredients and a bit of experience. I have no doubt that the original White Lily Flour was wonderful and that many great baked goods were made from it. I also have no doubt that a good biscuit can be made from flour that isn't self-rising. I have faith that technique and perseverance will win out in the end and a great biscuit can made in almost any state in the union, maybe even Pennsylvania. I'm thinking that even I could make a really good biscuit if I put my mind to it and was willing to ingest hundreds of mediocre ones before I managed a reliable standard that made me happy.
  9. Katie Meadow

    Dinner 2018 (Part 1)

    There is nothin' like a clam, Nothin' in this world There is nothin' you can name That is anything like a clam (Lyrics from South Pacific updated for #metoo.) Nothing makes me more homesick for NY than littlenecks. Those look heartbreakingly yummy. Right now I'm looking out on the ocean at the mouth of Tomales Bay. There is actually a band of breathable air at the coast now and it is, thank the gods, raining in the north bay and bay area. But the only clams you can dig up here at Dillon Beach are geoduck, and I've never done it.
  10. Katie Meadow

    Food Waste @ Home

    Generally I am pretty good at using stuff up while it is still usable; sometimes misc items come together for a hodge podgy meal that satisfies in virtuous ways. That's why god created eggs and celery. Other times there are simply those inevitable purchases that seemed promising a week ago, but now just make me depressed, or worse, nauseated. To add insult to injury, unless I know my husband is totally unaware of said reject, I know I must wait until it is beyond the pale before tossing it in the garbage, at which point he really can't object, because it's not identifiable and close inspection is not worth the result. All rescue efforts therefore are mine, and statistics are in my favor because he rarely even looks in the fridge. The freezer is another level of anxiety entirely.
  11. Katie Meadow

    Food Waste @ Home

    I'm seriously into planned-overs. Anything I make in a pot or roast in a sheet pan does double duty on purpose. Since I am the designated cook that gives me a day off, or at least an easy day. If something is good I'm thrilled to have it as is or re-purposed the next day. If it isn't so good my husband will eat it all anyway so as not to waste it. He's very frugal that way! What I don't like left over is seafood of any kind, so I'm careful not to over-buy. Also sustainable wild local fish now costs an arm and a leg, so that's an easy decision.
  12. Katie Meadow

    Making Your Own Condiments

    It was well known that Nixon ate cottage cheese with ketchup for breakfast.
  13. Katie Meadow

    Making Your Own Condiments

    The only condiment I make from scratch IS ketchup. Home-made mayo is yummy, but for most things like chicken or tuna salad or a BLT I'm very happy with Duke's. As for mustard, my husband and I are dedicated fans of Edmund Fallot dijon mustard; nothing else tastes quite right any more. When my daughter was young she insisted on the standard yellow French's stuff which I grew up on but rarely find a need for any more. I admit it does have a certain...something. But Heinz Ketchup to me is one of the worst products ever. Now that I make my own ketchup it shocks me when I taste it. I don't eat burgers out, and when I eat fries I prefer them with aioli. My ketchup is a bit less homogenous than Heinz, tastes more like tomatoes with a hint of smokiness and vinegar. I don't use it all that often, just on the rare times we grill burgers, and as a coating for my meatloaf (and it doesn't go into the meat mix at all.) It isn't as if I didn't eat my share of burgers and fries in my younger years, when Heinz was the only thing at hand, but it occurs to me that it wasn't what my parents went out of their way for on fast-food nights or weekend street grazing in NY. We ate a lot of pizza, dirty water dogs from a cart, and Chinese. We lived in an apartment and didn't "grill" things. Although we did keep Heinz in the fridge, I can't remember what we used it for. I must have eaten my share at camp, since I'm sure it was ubiquitous. My family always equated ketchup with Richard Nixon, frankly. If you are too young to know what I am talking about, it's just as well. I think it's fascinating how many people still find the foods of their childhoods comforting. I would be very surprised to learn that anyone devoted to Heinz didn't eat it regularly as a child. My mother was a terrible cook! Her memorable meals were far and few between. There's only one thing she made that we still make "just the way she did,", and that's the fresh cranberry orange relish at Thanksgiving. She got the recipe off the cranberry bag, so a hand-written scripted recipe isn't among my cherished possessions. Okay, I'm pretty well off topic now.
  14. Katie Meadow

    Cooking with Deep Run Roots by Vivian Howard

    Since I don't have the book I don't know if I got this recipe from a loaner or somewhere else, but it is definitely a Vivian recipe: Okra Oven Fries. Really simple and really good. They are crispy and the roasting intensifies the flavor the way it does for green beans. For anyone scared of okra these are a no-brainer, since the thing you think you don't like about okra has no way of happening. Vivian says to eat them hot or just warm, but they do lose a bit of crispiness if the sit around. My husband and I scarfed down a surprisingly large quantity as a side to a tuna and rice salad. Like green beans, they shrink a bit in the roasting, so buy generously. Straight out of the oven these would be great for apps.
  15. 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.
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