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Katie Meadow

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Everything posted by Katie Meadow

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Katie Meadow

    Making Your Own Condiments

    It was well known that Nixon ate cottage cheese with ketchup for breakfast.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Katie Meadow

    Lunch! What'd ya have? (2018)

    Anna you are a genius. BLT Onigiri!
  15. 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.
  16. 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?
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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."
  21. I am pleased with our pizzas. And if I get the itch to ask myself "where do I go from here?" it probably won't be about pizza. I'm just crossing my fingers that it won't be about how to get back home from the market, either. But if, as I get older, I want those three minutes for something other than waiting for my dinner I will revisit the matter and consider your advice!
  22. Never measured it. It is possible we could get it hotter with more time and shave off a minute or two in the oven. I have no doubt my husband would just say more time preheating would be a needless use of gas, but I'll suggest it!. If I wanted to measure the temp of the steel what would I use to do that?
  23. We purchased the Dough Joe steel a year ago and couldn't be happier. We got the 3/8 inch thick (it measures 15 inches square) and the Amazon price is $59. We preheat the oven with the steel in it for close to an hour. Our max temp on the dial is 500 degrees. I certainly don't feel like I should have gotten the 1/2 inch thick. We like a thin crispy crust with a little char on the bottom, and this works like a charm. Oh, it cooks about 7 or 8 minutes.
  24. Katie Meadow

    Strange Pizza Toppings

    Frankly (and unfortunately) it isn't hard to imagine all kinds of horrid pizza toppings. There are people who combine things that I wouldn't even eat separately. Growing up in New York a million years ago there were not a lot of choices. I didn't taste "Hawaiian" pizza until I moved to CA in the '70's. I would say pineapple and ham on pizza is settled law. I actually like fresh pineapple on pizza, with or without ham, but the fruit needs to be nice and tart and, of course, fresh. Pineapple and tomato can be an appealing combo when the balance is right. A pineapple pizza can be made exotic with thai basil and it can be fun, but if the pineapple is canned and ham is too sweet I would agree it is dreadful. Until recently I thought corn on pizza was just plain weird, but recently we made a corn zucchini pizza with fabulous farmers' market produce and I'm hooked. The recipe called for pickled jalapeños, but I subbed fresh roasted poblanos and that was perfect. If I had pickled peppers I would try them, but I almost always have roasted green chiles around. I am not a vegetarian, but I don't usually want meat on pizza. Given a choice of a margherita or a pepperoni I would opt for the former. One of my top vegetables for pizza is radicchio, sautéed first with some garlic. In tomato season radicchio and tomato slices make a great pizza. The idea of chicken on pizza is very peculiar to me. Clam pizza however, is another story: I could eat that red or white and be very happy as long as the clams were fresh and tender. Several things I never want on a pizza as long as I live: cheddar cheese, mayonnaise in a any form, and spam. And there's plenty more.
  25. Katie Meadow

    Food funnies

    I was tripping and forgot that I had stored my knife in my child for safekeeping. He dropped the knife on his hand. I thought the blood was ketchup so I drove him to the ER. It seemed like forever to get there, but he was still breathing. The white-coats were able to revitalize him and thus did I extend his life. It was a very hard object lesson, but I learned it well: never tile your kitchen on acid. The job will just never get done and you will have wasted a weekend.