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Katie Meadow

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Everything posted by Katie Meadow

  1. Katie Meadow

    About pecorinos?

    I like it better too.
  2. Katie Meadow

    Ultraprocessed Foods

    Haven't we beaten this subject to death? Check those lists of processed bad-for-you foods. Are any of them actually unqualifiedly good for you? Most likely none of them. Does anyone believe that eating fast food morning noon and night is without consequences to our health or our environment?. How many times do we need to be reminded that cutting back on sugar and some fats and chemical additives is a reasonable goal? To say those lists of unhealthy foods are bullshit is to disregard science and common sense. To never allow yourself to have ice cream or a truck stop burger or your favorite kind of potato chips is to punish yourself needlessly if you crave it once in a while, but as your main source of calories and nutrition? It depends on how much you want to gamble.
  3. Katie Meadow

    Spanakopita

    Okay, I've never made this but my SIL made something she called Spanakopita, and it inspired me to do better. She used frozen phyllo, and that was the best part of the dish. Her filling was missing the spinach, as far as I could tell, and the cheese tasted sweet. I believe I bit down on some nuts, too. So the filling was pretty awful (like out of some new age vegetarian health food book), but the dough was crispy and flaky right out of the oven, and not greasy. Not critical, but my first stumbling block upon googling recipes was spelling. Spanakopita wins, but spanikopita is popular. Is it phyllo or filo? The frozen package I have says filo. Here are some other questions: Butter or oil to brush the layers? How eggy should it be? Some recipes call for 3-4 eggs. As for cheese, some recipes use a combo of feta and ricotta or feta and myzithra, presumably to cut the saltiness a bit. Adding some ricotta would make a creamier filling, I presume. That sounds reasonable, but is it typical? When I make Greek salads I've taken to using French feta, because it seems less salty than some others. My preference would be heavy on the spinach and not too salty. As for spinach, I'm going to use frozen to start with, since I have some Cascadia organic spinach and I think it's pretty good. Once I get some technique down I'll branch out and try fresh spinach. I have no intention of making my own dough, not just yet that's for sure; I already have some frozen. But rolled or flat? Some recipes make folded triangles, some make a flat casserole. Flat sounds easier to start with. Some recipes suggest scoring the top filo layers before baking. How essential is that? Does anyone have a great traditional recipe? Or other hints? I'm already hip to the fact that you need to keep the filo/phyllo moist and work quickly, and I won't be surprised it there's a steep learning curve there.
  4. Lovely pandas; I like them as a group. Tomorrow, the 10th, is my daughter's birthday as well. I could bake something but since she's in Atlanta she won't be a beneficiary.
  5. Katie Meadow

    Foods you inexplicably hate

    Real popcorn popped on the stove, yes. Movie and microwave, no. Maybe it's the fake butter, no idea. Love all kinds of long chile peppers, fresh green roasted or dried red. Bell peppers of any color, not so much. Buckwheat pancakes and soba, absolutely. Buckwheat groats, just no.
  6. You're lucky, you get to visit NM! Have you been in the fall during roasting season? My daughter lives in Atlanta and I don't love visiting that city. BTW, your daughter will tell you: don't spell it with an "i"--in NM it is chile! Bowl of red, bowl of green, it's all good. Although I have to admit that I can't handle it as spicy as I used to.
  7. What is an oven bag and why does a pot need to go in it? How much help does a pot need?
  8. Totally agree re RG hominy. I am about to make a traditional Posole Rojo in the next few days. I have a mix of pork butt and pork neck bones and a variety of dried red chiles. Although I have not inspected my stash, most likely there are some anchos and some guajillos. When I lived in NM my good friend's dad was the posole master. He cooked the whole thing in a 60's era crock pot (you can picture that, right?) and always served the red chile sauce at the end, to be added to each bowl to taste. I've never been able to duplicate his red chile. It was the best.
  9. Katie Meadow

    About pecorinos?

    Actually I like most all the pecorinos better than Pecorino Romano. I don't know where you live, but there are lots of pecorino cheeses and different ones might be sourced where you are. The ones I see most often where I buy cheese are P. Stagionata, Molitarno, Maturo, Toscano, Renero, Classico, Calabrese and Antico. Typically there will be a couple of them in stock, but sometimes only one. I'm sure there must be dozens of others. Stagionata is my favorite, Antico my least favorite, although it is pretty common. Sometimes Stagionata comes truffled, which is very good but pricier. I don't see Calabrese very often, but I remember liking it. When there is no pecorino (or I'm shopping away from my home turf) I will get Fiore Sardo, which is reliably available lots of places--and seems to travel well on a road trip.) Anyway, I'm a big fan. I always have some type of aged hard pecorino on hand and use it on pasta, as a soup garnish, etc. And I often sub it when recipes call for Parmesan, which I don't like as much. I'm a creature of habit and in my shopping orbit really there is only one large cheese department and I rarely go out hunting for variety; there's usually something to make me happy. Try what ever pecorino comes your way. Most of them are very likable!
  10. Katie Meadow

    Breakfast 2019

    I don't know why I read this thread, except to make myself feel deprived or like I am on another planet. I eat breakfast, but I don't make breakfast. Mainly I eat toast with butter. Maybe marmalade. Lately I am crushing on sorghum plus salt on pullman bread. In addition, I am trying to reduce my wheat consumption, so that's added a very annoying dimension to the toast addiction. The only thing that would make me happy would be if I had a pho vendor come up the block every morning so I could run out to the street with my bowl and fill it with rice noodles and hot broth. Anyway, this is a round about way to give a round of applause to those who actually make/design/cook a real breakfast. Especially those who make it for others!
  11. Katie Meadow

    Looking for Great Clam Chowder Recipe....

    I will chime in on Jasper White. Both his New England and Manhattan style clam chowders are very good. I grew up in a Manhattan style household, with a mother who was exceptionally snobby about the inferiority of "Boston" chowder, but if it is made well and isn't too bland or goopy-- I can get into it. The main thing is to get good clams, and lots of them, not to let them overcook, and to make a good broth with the juices they render. Hard to do if you don't have access to fresh clams. Here in CA we don't have the quahogs (little necks, cherrystones, etc) that make clam chowder so easy on the east coast, so we have to make do with teeny manilla clams. About red versus white. Unless you dump in a fistful of crushed red pepper the tomato won't mask the flavor of the clams and broth. And when it comes to white, what will drag down your chowder is the use of flour or thickening agents or too much cream. And don't make the mistake of eating oyster crackers with Manhattan clam chowder! Get a nice crusty Italian loaf!
  12. Katie Meadow

    Dinner 2019

    My husband does the prep. He doesn't core the sprouts, just pares off the bottoms enough to take off the outer leaf layer; doesn't seem like a terrible chore. He also cuts them in half if they are a typical size and not tiny. I used to be a dedicated hater until I learned to roast them. Now they are in regular rotation when in season. Love them. Great roasted with a little bacon fat, and also great dressed lightly with a mix maple syrup and mustard just before serving.
  13. Katie Meadow

    Breakfast 2019

    I'm not so sure how much or in what way it matters when it comes to pre-made frozen pot stickers or wontons, but if you are making home-made dumplings the type of filling you use does make a difference as to the thickness of the wrapper.The time it takes to properly cook the thicker noodle wrapper for a pork filled pot sticker is too long for cooking a delicate shrimp filling. So for a shrimp wonton or a shrimp potsticker I would advice a thinner wrapper. My potstickers are always pork and vegetable, so I have no experience trying to make a pot sticker with a shrimp filling. My wontons however are always shrimp. The round pot sticker skins sold for that purpose are often thicker than the square wonton wrappers, although at some of the noodle factories in Oakland Chinatown I have seen varying thickness for both styles. I did try the TJ's dumplings once, but wouldn't recommend them. I found them salty and the filling kind of mushy and indistinguishable. In their defense, however, I've never had any other brand of frozen product, so maybe the rest are worse.
  14. Katie Meadow

    Dinner 2019

    That looks so great. Are these west coast clams? What kind are they? And I would love the recipe. Generally here in the Bay Area we get those tiny manila clams, which really don't inspire me like the little necks back east.
  15. Katie Meadow

    Oatmeal

    My favorite steel cut oats are Hamlyn's Pinhead Oats from Scotland. They come in a can and cost an arm and a leg and are harder and harder to come by. You can still get them on Amazon, but they cost almost twice as much as Bob's organic steel cut, so that's what we buy now. Irish steel cut oats are more available, but I don't like them as much. My problem with hot cereal is that it stays hot for about one minute and then it just isn't so yummy any more. There must be some kind of heated bowl that would keep it hot for longer....
  16. I'll be curious to hear the answer. I've always tossed the peppercorns in a grinder, coarsely ground them, and used them that way, to taste.
  17. It would be interesting to research the relationship between the Caribbean and the Ozark cakes. Just a very brief search for the Caribbean cake brought up a Food 52 essay: https://food52.com/blog/23572-caribbean-christmas-black-cake-recipe The Jamaican and Trinidad versions of Black Cake are more like an English pudding than a straight out fruit cake, but they have in common the use of dark dried fruits (rather than a reliance on candied fruits), grape juice or wine and some type of dark sugar. In the case of the Caribbean cakes the signature is a burnt sugar as opposed to molasses and the use of prunes rather than fig. I noticed that some recipes figured out how to get the wine and the grape juice all in one by using Manischewitz, which I find hilarious. On another day I could see hanging out in bed and reading about this stuff for hours, but this morning I have got to get moving, as I am hosting a birthday party tonight. Strangely, the meal is very southern, including meatloaf and long cooked stringbeans and Vivian Howard's pickled beets and the dessert is pineapple upside down cake--with a bit of rum in the batter--and buttermilk ice cream. There's no Manischewitz wine in my upside down cake. I had enough of that as a kid to drown a horse.
  18. I would drink a black salt mocha in a hot New York minute. That sounds so good. That's very interesting about the black cake. I have an ancient recipe called Old Kentucky Black Fruit Cake. It is labor intensive and has a zillion ingredients. I made it twice, but that was a very long time ago. No idea where it came from. It uses mostly dried figs, several kinds of nuts, and candied orange peel, among other things, including grape juice. The final ingredient, added just before baking, is a glug of melted bitter chocolate mixed in. The recipe calls for periodically pouring wine over the finished cakes to preserve them, but my notes indicate that I used whiskey or rum. And they also indicate that whiskey was used in the actual cake as well, along with the fruit juice. The quantities specified in my recipe are also generous, although not quite as ambitious, calling for 12 eggs and 8 cups of flour, a total of 4 pounds of black and white figs and dates, several more pounds of nuts, currents, etc. These people were baking for an event or for gift giving. I remember it being an awfully good awfully extravagant cake, and unlike any other fruit cake. It was indeed a very dark cake, probably due to the amount of black mission figs, the grape juice, and a substantial quantity of dark molasses.
  19. Katie Meadow

    Cooking with Deep Run Roots by Vivian Howard

    I've been saving Vivian's recipe for Crispy Ginger Rice with Leeks for a rainy day when I only had one leek languishing in the crisper. All you need for this recipe is a leek, ginger, garlic and rice. If you already have the rice cooked and chilled it's a snap. Her suggestion for additions are great. Sliced sautéed shitakes would have been perfect. Next time. I assume the recipe is from the book, but I can't guarantee that, since I don't have the book now. Another variation would be to treat the crispy rice like sizzling rice and throw it into hot chicken broth if that was on hand. It almost makes me wish I was sick. And of course that someone else would make it. '
  20. Nothing says football like quinoa.
  21. Yeah, neck bones are tasty. Whenever I cook them in stock I gnaw off the meat for myself. I don't think I've ever made a meal of them, but I can see the fun there. Acadiana Table has a recipe for a pork neck bone fricassee, basically a gumbo, to which is added andouille and the usual suspects.
  22. Wracked with guilt I did clean out my freezer, but there was a lot more throwing out stuff (method like the one in the cartoon in Food Funnies) than there was eating stuff. I have an awful confession to make: some of the containers were so mysterious and/or unappetizing that I needed help from my husband to disappear it, despite his disapproval. In the end he agreed and I left the kitchen while the operation was in progress. I admit that I am squeamish about the freezer contents, but this is a great improvement and I actually have room for more stock. Anything with icicles in it was tossed without question. There were some identified containers of soup that were probably less than a few months old which we ate. And there were some pork neck bones that I defrosted and tossed into a stock pot with some chicken parts. There were also lot of roasted green chile packages in various bags stuck in all sorts of nooks and crannies. I threw out the ones with old dates and put all the rest in one large freezer bag. I definitely have enough to last until next fall's crop at the farmers' market. And surprise surprise, I unearthed a lamb shank, so I bought another one and made Scotch Broth. I'm sure it was older than 6 months, but I'm alive to tell the tale.
  23. Katie Meadow

    Trader Joe's Products (2017–)

    I don't know if some of the TJ's products are limited to certain areas, but here are the few things we routinely buy and find to be good quality and a reasonable price. It would be very unusual for us to come out of TJ's with more than 2 or 3 things. VALRHONA 71 % Le Noir chocolate bar. You cannot beat the price for this quality plain dark chocolate, although I do know how personal chocolate tastes can be. This one is great for nibbling and for using in some baked goods. I'm super picky about my chocolate, so that might help or not. EMPIRE KOSHER ORGANIC CHICKEN. Has to be both kosher and organic to be best. TJ's HOME MADE (OR HAND MADE?) FLOUR TORTILLAS. Excellent for a commercial product when you just don't have the energy to make your own. Best when fresh; they don't keep well beyond two or three days. TJ's MINI CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT BISCOTTI. The plastic box says "soft bite" but they are not soft at all. If you are a person who likes the flavor of the oreo chocolate discs or Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers these biscotti evoke something similar, at least for me. They are definitely not over-sweet. They are always in stock, they are cheap, and great if you suddenly have guests coming over for ice cream or whatever and don't have time to go cross town to your favorite bakery. There are a couple of products that I was addicted to that have gone the way of the dodo. Then there are the seasonal products like the recent depressing episode of the Butter Toffee Pretzels. It was totally embarrassing how much I loved them. I don't even like pretzels. I tried sleeping until next December, but I woke up this morning.
  24. Katie Meadow

    Worst Candy Ever

    I just reread this thread and It's very funny. Amazing how polarizing the subject is. I really HATE a lot of candy out there. But that doesn't always stop me from nibbling on it. I'm not sure I ever actually ate a peep. They weren't a part of my childhood, I know that, and they just look so toxic. That said, you would have to pay me a substantial sum to eat raisinettes, which combine two things I loathe: raisins and milk chocolate. Plus they look like something a deer left behind. All Hershey products: just plastic. All white chocolate: just soap with sugar. Mounds and Almond Joy: for lunatics. Candy hearts: sidewalk chalk is cheaper, comes in more colors and has less sugar. The single strangest candy is licorice. The salted types are simply hunks of ammonium chloride, which is used as an expectorant, and also in the production of manure, and probably is the reason why roads in the east need to be resurfaced constantly. Some is waaay too sweet, but every so often I find some I really like, like scandinavian black ropes and tire treads. Sadly, my favorite licorice candy of all time seems to have become extinct: Lakrits Lentils: a dark chocolate m & m shape candy with a thin hard black licorice shell. The ones that came in the lovely little folding box were the best, and they disappeared years ago. The bulk ones, not as good, you had to buy in 5lb bags, which was really a major headache. Now those are unavailable as well, or were last time I checked. A 5lb bag is really a disaster for me, anyway. Okay, so love this thread.
  25. When I hear "shepherd's pie" I think UK. I'm not a huge fan of the dish, but then I don't much like ground meat in casserole dishes. And when I think UK I don't think "corn." However, if you emigrated from Europe to the American midwest and you became a farmer, you would no doubt throw in fresh corn if you had a stray ear, wouldn't you? And if you had fresh peas and fresh corn, making a succotash shepherd's pie isn't such a stretch. Liuzhou, you must get really lousy starchy corn in China to hate it so much. I admit that lentils and celeriac topped with mashed potatoes does not sound very appetizing, and in that case, if you also happen to have some lousy corn, well, no help there.
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