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Katie Meadow

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Everything posted by Katie Meadow

  1. I use thigh-leg pieces and marinate them in a mix that includes some aji amarillo paste. They get grilled or roasted in the oven. Don't know where this recipe came from, but here it is, for better or worse. 2 T soy sauce juice of two limes 5 cloves of garlic, grated or mashed 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated 1 tsp balsamic vinegar ¼ cup dark beer 1 T olive oil 1 T aji amarillo paste or more to taste 1½ teaspoons ground cumin 1 tsp dried Mexican or Indio oregano 1 tsp dried rosemary salt and pepper to taste ½ tsp cayenne or less, or dash of Crystal or Cholula hot sauce or sriracha This recipe clearly reflects that Peruvian / Chinese connection. There is also a complex sauce to serve with it but I am far too lazy to bother and simply baste with the marinade. That sauce involves cilantro, mustard, jalapeños, honey, cotija cheese and more aji amarillo paste. Since I have a gas grill the kind of wood is not relevant, but it might be wise to read up on cooking with Eucalytus before throwing it on the barbie; it is problematic in a variety of ways as far as I know. I've burned it in a fireplace but you are well advised to to let it dry 2 years before burning and it does burn very hot.
  2. Do you cook with a "360" vision?

    A crime? Then lock up my mother's ashes! She always served lamb chops with mint jelly; the jelly didn't stick with me beyond nostalgia (although if I am ever served mint jelly with lamb I wouldn't turn it down), but the mint did. I like roast lamb with mint chimichurri. I like lamb curry with mint chutney. My mother was generally a terrible cook. But she gets a pass because she tended to blame herself rather than the recipe; she didn't really have enough experience or confidence to know when a recipe was bad. So she was a timid cook, and tended to follow rules, many of them being silly or just wrong, because she didn't really have any help and didn't really enjoy cooking. After marrying my dad, her first meal was roast chicken. She didn't remove the innards or the feathers. Some rules there might have helped. Unfortunately she had many rules she followed during the years I grew up that limited or often hurt her cooking, not to mention other areas of life. Some traditional pairings have weight behind them because they are yummy. Some are comforting because you grew up with them. Some are unappealing for a variety of personal reasons. Some are due (and get) great updates. I always bristle at the word "authentic." Throughout history people have used what they have. When what you had was limited by what you could grow or what animals you domesticated yourself, the result was traditional foods. When you discovered a new weed or a new fungus or your cousin from another village showed you a new way to do something, then....innovation!
  3. One Click Butter Cutter

    European butter like Kerrygold has more fat and is more spreadable right out of the fridge; that could be a solution for some people. Leaving it out for fifteen minutes makes it even easier. And it tastes so good. For many baking needs I just use regular American butter, but for spreading on fresh bread or toast it's only a modest splurge.
  4. The Dish Towel

    Now we are talking about the downside of a New York galley kitchen. Yours looks to be about the size of my mother's midtown kitchen (apartment sold years ago). With your renovation I am guessing you have made just about the best use possible of your space, which I know is a major challenge. And it looks fabulous. I am blessed with a large kitchen in Oakland, but it would probably fit in Andiesenji's pantry or spare bedroom; comparing anything to her space and her collections is just plain silly. It is indeed very great to have the use of our in-laws' beach cabin, which is, as is typical, full of all the things family member didn't really want in their own houses. A wall clock made of old horseshoes come to mind, but those things also include some truly gross dish towels that my mother-in-law seems attached to, if she still thinks about it, which is unlikely unless anyone brings it up, and no one would. There is a tenacious streak of sentimentality in my husband's family coupled with my MIL's depression mentality that means an old grease-embedded dish towel from 1960 should remain in use. Unfortunately it is a very long walk from the beach house to Russ and Daughters or Great NY Noodle. I miss New York terribly, and my once a year visit is never enough. Here's to your new kitchen! Here's to having only dish towels that make the grade!
  5. The Dish Towel

    Who doesn't love dish towels? A good quality dish towel is always a nice gift; at least half of my day-to-day dish towels were gifts. These are mostly multi-purpose towels that hang close to the sink and stove and can often be found slung over my shoulder while I'm cooking. Some are cool, some not so much. One came from France! One came from Hawaii! I do have a couple of nice linen towels that are great for drying glassware, but that only happens if I am using the inherited stuff with the gold rings that can't go in the dishwasher. I also have a good supply of bleachable bar-moppy type very absorbent towels that I like for water spills and squeezing greens, soaked slaw, potato slices, etc. If I am bored of my dish towels and they are still decent they go to the family beach house to live out their lives. If they are beyond that stage they fulfill their destiny cleaning the car windows, wiping up paint drips and rubbing wax or oil into something. Who doesn't love a rag that's hemmed on four sides? In my house a roll of paper towels lasts for months. What's really amazing is that I am writing about dish towels. Isn't it obvious that there is no down side to dish towels? Unless they are not cotton or have jokes on them or are poorly rendered Disney souvenirs.
  6. Dinner 2018 (Part 1)

    That looks scrumptious. I used to make a dish that was a kind of gnocchi alla romana using polenta instead of semolina. It involved cooling the polenta in a slab, cutting the slab into squares and baking them with gorgonzola and a bit of tomato sauce and a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts or walnuts. I haven't made it in years, but if I do it again I would definitely rest it on a bed of arugula. Variations on this combo of ingredients must be more common that I thought.
  7. New Year's Eve: What are You Eating or Serving?

    Aww, that's sweet of you. It was so nice to have some simple soup. Not to disparage rich xmas food, but If I have to look at another tomato cheese casserole or giant haunch of anything I'm going to run screaming from the table. I had some duck broth frozen, so literally this meal's biggest challenge was figuring how how much udon to boil for two people. The Japanese seem to love the number five. The udon I like comes in five bundles to a package; the bundles are always too much for one person and not enough for two. I admit that I make duck broth by the cheater's method: I buy whole roast duck in Chinatown and have them chop it. I make a simple noodle dish and top it with the best meatiest pieces of the duck. Or, if I can't resist, we just go at it when we get it home. Okay, this is gross but it's all in the family: I save the bones from the gnawed on duck. Then I make a stock using those bones and all the pieces we didn't eat. I might add a pork neck bone if I have one frozen (I do this if I have a duck and a half or two ducks; I don't want to dilute the flavor too much.) After two hours or so the stock is rich and the bonus is there is a reasonable amount of duck meat on the bones that is still very tasty and no worse for wear. I pick it off, save it, and then strain and defat the soup, saving the duck fat as well. The leftover shredded duck works well in a stir fry or wonton soup or whatever. Chinese roast duck is the gift that keeps on giving. A word to the wise: it often comes with a little container of sauce. This is very salty and very potent. DO NOT add it to the duck broth. I portion it out and use it as part of a stir-fry sauce or as an ingredient in a sauce for noodles. Happy new Year! I should amend the post. I just looked at some of the scrumptious meals pictured above. Outstanding, all of it. Give me a couple of weeks to recover and then I'm there.
  8. New Year's Eve: What are You Eating or Serving?

    Two of us at home tomorrow evening: yuzu sake, udon or soba in plain duck broth with choi sum. Blessedly simple.
  9. Dungeness crab

    The crab in your can is not Dungeness. It is a crab species fished in Indonesia and Australian environs known by many names, one of them being Flower Crab. Pretty hard to compare any canned crab meat to fresh, no matter what the species. And if it's any comfort (which it really shouldn't be) my eyesight is as far from 20/20 as a can of Flower Crab is from fresh Dungeness.
  10. Dungeness crab

    Okay, I am totally stumped. Where are these crabs are coming from if they are live year-round? CA, OR and WA have seasons for commercial and recreational crabbing. The seasons in these three states usually open some time between November and the early December. By definition, this means the season is closed before that. In these three states there is no year-round season. In other words if you see Dungeness crab swimming live in tanks when the season is not open they are fished illegally or they are being shipped from somewhere that has a currently open season. And where is that? If they are caught and shipped live from any states with a season under suspension it is likely that they are poor quality (as has been the case for a month or two in CA) or contain unacceptable levels of toxins from an algal bloom (as discovered in OR this year.) The most recent information for CA from the CA Dept of Fish and Wildlife is that the 2017 season is now set to open on Dec 31 due to meat quality. If delays continue beyond Jan 15 the season will be officially canceled. I know nothing about Dungeness crab fishing in Canada, so perhaps someone can enlighten me as to when their season is. I am not a marine expert by any means, but if Dungeness crab fishing had a year-round season how could their numbers possibly be sustained?
  11. Dungeness crab

    @Ann_T I suspect you are not in Kansas--or Cobble Hill-- any more. Mad Dog Crabs must be on Vancouver Island. I'm envious! Yes indeed, pricey. But local CA salmon and crabs are just two of the species being chased north by changing waters.
  12. Gifts this year: homemade dark chocolate salted caramels (gone already!), a bottle of very good rye, a copy of Smitten Kitchen's new book and a set of the loveliest little tinted glasses for cold sake in a wonderful Japanese wooden box. We also happen to have an early holiday gift of a bottle of Yuzu sake. I have no intention of leaving home on NYE so I think I will make some kind of udon noodle dish and christen our new glasses. Really too bad we have no more of those caramels left. Then we will start in on (or finish up as the case may be) the fourth season of Black Mirror and be sound asleep before being woken up at midnight by various fireworks, pot banging, gunshots and general mayhem as usual. At which point I may be in need of a xanax. Just to start off the new year in the right frame of mind.
  13. Dungeness crab

    Availability of live or fresh Dungeness crab is seasonal on the west coast. If you buy a dungeness crab in June or August or September you are buying frozen crab that has been defrosted, at least here in CA. Not that it can't be tasty, but it will not be quite as good and it may be expensive. Most people I know just don't eat Dungeness crab except in season. I don't know the parameters of the commercial season further north, but surely it does not extend into summer. When you buy cooked cracked crab it is worth asking where it comes from and whether it has been frozen or not. Best to buy from a reputable source that will answer those questions so at least you know what you are getting. Crab season on the west coast varies according to numbers, quality and safely concerns, but in the past in CA it has typically opened in late November or early December. If memory serves, WA and other northern states open their seasons earlier; we used to get fresh crab over Thanksgiving weekend that was shipped down to the Bay Area before our local season opened. Until recent years there has almost always been fresh local crab by Xmas; eating crab on xmas day in Chinese restaurants is a fabulous tradition and a mob scene! Business must be hurting. Many crab lovers agree that quality tends to go down by spring, even if the season is still open. The commercial season ends to give crabs time to recover their numbers for the next year. This year reasons for the shortage are murky. Quality, possible toxins from algal blooms, you name it. In WA state the suspension of the season seems to be about the amount of meat per crab as noted above. In OR there were reports of a toxin in a few crabs. Here in northern CA they are saying various unclear things about safety. Frustrating, definitely. The fact that the last few years have been so disappointing can't be just a coincidence.
  14. Holiday Nibbles

    Once in a blue moon I surrender to the charms of Chex mix. Mostly I like it plain and simple, with just a bit less salt than most recipes call for, but I also like Lisa Fain's (Homesick Texan) recipe for Chipotle Lime Texas Trash, adjusted to taste. She has a heavy hand with the smoked paprika and chile, so I use a bit less. Also I don't like corn nuts (ever) nor do I like cheerios in the mix. I do like her idea of subbing a little bit of bacon grease for some of the butter. Personally I think chex mix has to be warm from the oven to be really good, and any chex mix that comes ready made in a package is horrid.
  15. Menus for Christmas Dinner 2017

    I'm one of those people who grew up with absolutely no xmas traditions. My parents were non-religious jews and my mother was not much of a cook. There were Chinese restaurant xmas dinners, to be sure. Xmas morning would most likely be bagels and lox from Barney Greengrass around the corner. Once in CA, I married into a family of Unitarian vegetarians who always had minestrone for xmas eve and opened presents that evening, so my husband and daughter and I were free to make it up as we went along on xmas day. Sometimes we gave a party, other times we were invited out. Other times we just went to the movies and had pizza. Or we went over to San Francisco and ate crab at one of the renown Chinese restaurants way out in the Avenues where it is a guaranteed mob scene. This year was the first year our daughter wasn't back for the holidays--so strange! We hosted my nephew's wife's Italian parents who were out from NY and who cooked most of the dinner: a feast of caponata, rigatoni with meat sauce and orange olive oil cake. Meanwhile my daughter was in Orlando with her fiancé's family. Their tradition for xmas? Steaks on the grill. All good! For me, turkey once a year at Thanksgiving is all I can handle. but if you have a carcass you don't want I'd be more than happy to take it of your hands. The day after xmas is really my favorite day during the holidays. You get to play with your toys, eat leftovers and try out your new tiny little sake glasses (so lovely). We're having bannocks for breakfast! Excellent toasted and slathered with Irish butter and marmalade. Happy Boxing Day to all!
  16. Dungeness crab

    The most recent info I could find about the shortage of fresh Dungeness crab here in CA is that they are doing crab quality testing and the local catch has been suspended or delayed. At stores we trust here there was some frozen crab but it was unclear where/when it was caught. There was no fresh crab from Alaska or northern states, either. in 2015 (I think it was) the season was a total bust due to algal blooms which produce a toxin you don't want to eat. This year that toxin showed up in crabs in Oregon. I haven't done any research, but it would not be a big surprise to learn that warming ocean waters increase the probability of algal blooms. Maybe the days of great dungeness crab seasons are over. Eight or ten years ago it wasn't unusual to see live Dungeness crab fighting for space in tanks in Chinatown and selling for as little as $2.99 per lb. @KennethT I grew up eating blue crabs on the east coast. I loved them when the shells were hard, I loved them when the shells were soft. Now that I live in CA I love Dungeness crab. Picking the meat from any hard shell crab is a lot of work, but if you love fresh crab it isn't an obstacle. The advantage to having a 2 lb crab is that it easier to get enough meat off it to make crab cakes.
  17. I got my husband a pizza steel, the 3/8 incher. In the time it took to get here something miserable has happened to my left thumb (I'm left handed unfortunately). Any heavy lifting or manipulation is out of the question. He is going to have to wrap it himself. How sad! Looking forward to pizza on the grill next week, especially the part where I don't have to lift a finger.
  18. Porchetta

    I didn't know porchetta videos were a thing. I'm more of a cat video person.
  19. The Soup Topic (2013–)

    Today: the lamb broth. Tomorrow: traditional in every way Scotch Broth. Today I made a rich broth by simmering two browned lamb shanks in light chicken stock. It is now defatted and cooling, to go overnight in the fridge. Tender lamb meat has been removed from the bone, fat and weirdness discarded, also submerged in broth. Tomorrow I will saute onion, celery, carrots and a bit of fennel bulb, then add the lamb stock and simmer for a bit, until veggies are soft but still distinguishable. Yes, I know, turnips are classic, but i'm just not a turnip kind of girl. Barley will be cooked separately in light stock and added toward the end with a generous amount of salt and pepper along with some shredded lamb. This is one of my all-time favorite soups. Here's to Maggie the Cat! Some of you will remember Maggie the Cat, who waxed poetic over Scotch Broth during her days on eG. Campbell's Scotch Broth was the only canned soup my mother would buy; she loved it. I'm sure she never tried to make it herself, and I'm sorry I never made it for her when she was alive. So here's to my mom!
  20. Um, I Brought a Hone.

    What would The Ethicist say? First tell him how grateful you are that he makes the soup and how much the re-enacters appreciate a bowl of warm barley mash after a hard day of lute playing and rug beating and axe throwing or whatever you do at a renfair. Why is it so hard to simply tell people in a pleasant way how we really feel? But, yea, so it be. Tell him you are very finicky about your knifes and prefer them to be honed on your own tool, if he wouldn't mind. You might even explain what it is about the ceramic steel that makes for better maintenance in your opinion. If he objects, offer to sharpen the knives for him before he starts chopping. Or tell him he is welcome to use the device of his choice if he brings his own knives. If he doesn't know how particular chefs are about their knives this should be a growth opportunity. If he remains obstructionist tell him you will skewer him like a kabob, throw him on the embers and eat him between two bannocks.
  21. Thanksgiving, The Day After: Leftovers!

    We typically don't have a lot of turkey meat left over, and to tell the truth it doesn't appeal much to me. We save some for sandwiches and give a sizable hunk of breast meat away to my nephews to take home. I care about two things: the carcass and leftover gravy. Happily for me almost half of the 15 people at the table most years are vegetarians, and my husband makes abundant gravy. The carcass has been put to its highest use.The gravy has been frozen into two portions, both destined to be part of the mix for chicken pot pies that taste like turkey pot pies. Tell me something. Even if your turkey meat is moist when served on the day-of, how do you keep it from getting dry or tough when you re-purpose it in enchiladas or pies or whatever?
  22. Lunch! What'd ya have? (2017)

    @Duvel Having such a kitschy "storefront" in an airport would make the trip for me, to say nothing of that dumpling soup. Not nearly as fun as xi'an dumplings, but lunch today was potatoes. The nephew who makes mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner (a family tradition the way cement is traditional for sidewalks) left an industrial size bag of potatoes behind and I took them home. Has anyone heard of these: Albert Bartlett Rooster Potatoes? I've never seen them before. The package says they originated in Ireland and are now grown here and that they are famously "good for everything." As soon as I hear those words I'm pretty sure that means they are good for nothing. Indeed they have very little flavor. On Saturday I made roasted potatoes with duck fat and even the duck fat couldn't quite elevate them. Today for lunch I tried a more aggressive tack: I mashed them, seasoned them heavily, added a boatload of garlicky chard sautéed in more duck fat, made patties and coated the patties with Panko. Then I pan-fried the potato cakes and served them up with two optional sides: leftover turkey gravy and a rouille. Not bad. And we have a few remaining for breakfast tomorrow. So I reckon Roosters need a good wranglin'.
  23. My pizza recipe

    The pizza wheel cutter is a simple cheap device. Folks, it costs about $10-15 and there are lots and lots of styles. Good looking ones don't cost more than ugly ones. It should be sharp and that's what matters most. In my experience it is way faster and more accurate than using a knife, so it won't be in your hand long; therefore I suspect most models will be comfortable enough for the occasional baker. Using a scissors would never have occurred to me, but to each his/her own. I can see Martha Stewart using a high end scissors, but she's certifiable anyway. It won't take long to acquire panache and confidence when using the wheel. If you have stretchy thick mozzarella I can maybe see how a slow cutting technique could be a problem with any tool. If that happens, try using fresh buffalo mozzarella, which is never gooey! There must be a good reason why pizza joints and high end restaurants all use this tool. Ours is all steel w/no plastic parts and we've had it for about 25 years. We make pizza maybe once a month. Like several posters above I also find it very effective for cutting strips of dough, along with an ordinary steel ruler. I use it for cheese straws. I could see it would be quite useful for making a lattice pie crust, but even retirement hasn't resulted in me making pies.
  24. I don't do a lot of pickling or preserving, but this time of year I do two things. We eat dinner every Friday after Thanksgiving (absolutely NO leftovers allowed) with friends who love the following, so I take them some: escabeche with cauliflower, carrots and jalapeños and Mostarda di Cremona. The escabeche I like is based on Lisa Fain's recipe in Homesick Texan. The Mostarda is adapted from Mario Batali's Molto Italiano (I go heavy on the fresh pears and NEVER EVER include....drumroll.....raisins!) I bring them some coppa as well, since it is so yummy with the mostarda.
  25. Pistachio Paste

    What exactly is the difference between pistachio paste and pistachio butter? I was gifted with some Sicilian stuff a while back (can't remember if it was paste or butter) and I'm pretty sure it had sugar in it. I didn't even bother to put it on toast; spoon to mouth, it lasted a couple of days. I want to try some other brands, some perhaps with no sugar, so with moderate amounts of sugar. For baking purposes or ice cream I assume you want one with no sugar? The Fiddyment Farms seems highly recommended and it is available through Amazon Prime, which works for me. Both the butter and the paste have no sugar. What might be the best uses for either?