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ChefPip

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  1. ChefPip

    Question about dried bean varieties

    Recently I cooked a stock pot of Anasazi Beans. Somewhat a unique experience. I've looked thru this thread to see if anyone else has mentioned them but I didn't see them discussed. They are from antiquity and were found in a cave in Arizona that was inhabited by native Americans 2000 years ago. Historians believe they were brought up thru central America and distributed among native Americans across what is now the USA. They store for long periods of time, germinate quickly when planted, are drought tolerant, and are thought to be sweeter than Pinto's. These cook without soaking and claim to produce less gas for those who consume them. In my reading I've learned that these red anasazi beans were credited with starting the "Heirloom Seed" movement a couple of decades ago. They have been grown for sometime since to where they can be purchased reasonably and are becoming more available now. I was in Charleston, WV at the Farmers Market and found a vendor with a 4x4 box of them and purchased a pound for $3.50. They are suggested for baked beans, casseroles, soups, and stews. I understand those who participate in Chili Cook off's use these along with other varieties to achieve a more unique flavor. Amazon offers them here: Anasazi Beans To the OP's question, Pinto's are more a typical dried bean since you are familiar with them. I don't taste a Potato flavor in them. Perhaps a bit of Potato Texture. Kidney Beans have a more solid to the bite mouth texture. If you purchase dry Kidney beans you will want to soak them in the first batch of water and then drain and rinse them before adding your fresh water to boil them in. (not doing this can lead to gastro discomfort) An old package of dry Kidney Beans may not cook well even after a long soaking. But these beans should be a bit firm to the bite, like spaghetti in the "al dente" level of cooking. Where I live green pod beans such as white half runners are cooked quite tender. These are often prepared in a pressure cooker along with some Kennybec Potatoes and a rasher of bacon. (or bacon grease or lard) As for the taste and texture, the green pod beans such as white half runners, Tennessee blue pod, and various other runner beans of the type are eaten pod and bean together. They have a soft mouth texture with the bean being only slightly more firm to the bite. Other pod beans such as the climbing Pole type are more firm to the bite and the flavor is different. The bean is larger and similar to a pinto in size. Varieties such as October or Cranberry would be in this category. Some of these bean varieties may seem tougher to chew but it is just their nature. They may be softer in the interior. It is easier to over cook them (such as Kidney beans) but it may not make that much difference in the end. (just boil the Kidney beans for around 15 minutes before reducing heat for a slow cook)
  2. ChefPip

    Homemade Corned Beef

    I just noticed your grill and the issue you may have with smoking with it. The cardboard box may work as smoking is a low temp long term form of cooking with such apparatus. I'm imagining you would build your charcoal fire in the bottom part with the handles. The next part above it would be flooded with water. Then your meat will be placed on the grill before the smoke containing enclosure is placed above all of this. If you could find a piece of sheet metal to bend around to form a cylinder and a small piece of sheet metal to form a cover for the top end, (that is nearly air tight) then you would have a smoker. The top should have a damper that you can adjust to draw the heat and smoke up around the meat. If you have a thermometer mounted in that metal housing it should be mounted at about the level of the grill so you'll know the temperature the meat is cooking at. 200 to 250 degrees F for 5 to 7 hours (depending on meat) should have you smoking meats that will be satisfying. Often after brining grill cooks will pat the meat dry with paper towels and rub dijon mustard or mayonnaise over the meat and refrigerate it for awhile. Then bring it out and apply rubs to the meat before cooking it in the smoker. I've smoked corned beef on several occasions and it is much better than boiling it in water. I think you will enjoy it as well.
  3. ChefPip

    Pimento Cheese

    Kayb, I'm inclined to say that there is much less risk with eggs that are produced on a small private production lot. These chickens would most likely be free ranged and enjoy better health. Today, CAFO (Confined Animal Feeding Operations or "Factory Farming") can lead to all kinds of opportunistic infections. The feed for these animals may not be balanced or natural thus inhibiting their immune systems but moreover hasten their development for slaughter as soon as they are rushed thru their egg laying cycle. Thus cutting the bird's normal life cycle potentially in half in the rush to extract it's usefulness with the greatest industrial efficiency. Those who produce on small farming operations or engage in hobby farming may actually have a healthier/safer product. This especially if the chickens are free ranged and fed more traditional or natural feed stock.
  4. ChefPip

    Pimento Cheese

    Kayb Coddling the egg in this case is a hedge against salmonella. The room temperature egg when immersed in the boiling water for a minute will likely reach 160 + degrees Fahrenheit. (71.11 C) Enough to kill bacteria. It isn't 100% perfect but it's better than not doing it. Some hold that it changes the density of the egg white & yolk as well. Perhaps, but this is the beginning of hard cooking an egg. The last time I went thru ServSafe we kicked around the idea of coddling a dozen eggs at a time. Should an outbreak of salmonella arise again in this area.
  5. ChefPip

    Pimento Cheese

    On the subject of the mayonnaise that we would use to make the pimento cheese with, I've noticed at least one person in the thread mentioning their use of "home made". Anyone else make mayo ? I've used this old Moosewood Cookbook recipe, with some adapting, over time and experimented with Lime Juice freshly squeezed from the fruit. (although Apple Cider Vinegar is superior from a nutritional perspective I believe....just saying) To make a small quantity, set up your blender, get your oil (Olive, or other of your preference....I've used Hain Safflower) , spices, dry mustard etc. set out (ahhhh Mies En Place) Coddle one unbroken egg by boiling about 3 cups of water and removing from heat. Then placing the room temp egg in the water and let it sit for about one minute before removing. (crack it open and add it to the blender hot) I use the egg, 3 Tb of Apple Cider Vinegar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp dry mustard, and 1 1/4 oil for this. Start by adding the heated egg, vinegar, salt, dry mustard, and 2 Tb of your oil into the blender and turning it on to a brisk speed for about 15 seconds so that it is blended well. Next, with a very steady hand gently pour a very fine stream of the oil into the spinning egg mixture. Be very careful not to add too much at once as your mayo may collapse. (somewhere between 1/16 inch to 1/8 inch stream. If you have a small funnel that has a fine opening that will deliver this thin of a stream it may be worth using it until you can pour a thin stream free handed) As the oil & egg mixture spins, it will begin to turn white like mayo toward the end when you've poured all of the oil into the blender. Like magic ! This should make about a cup and a half of fresh mayo for your Pimento Cheese. About right for binding a couple pounds of shredded cheese and chopped pimentos together. Again, you can experiment with the vinegar or citrus juice or a blend of both. You may notice McCormick spices offers a Lime Mayo on store shelves today but it is a bit pricey. But there are some appetites that enjoy these different flavor notes. To me this is what separates salad dressing like Miracle Whip apart from Mayonnaise. So there is a thought for your next batch of pimento cheese. Oh and I picked up 4 Kentucky Coffee Trees this morning.
  6. ChefPip

    Pimento Cheese

    For the longest time I searched the internet for "Snappy Cheese" and kept getting returns for "Beer Cheese". I finally decided to proof a few of those recipes and they produced a very similar cheese spread/dip. My hunting for an Iced tea that I can live with now has me making the old Southern Style with the sugar throttled back about one half. But my pursuit of a good Iced Tea has to be next to my quest for the best pimento cheese. I'm going to turn in early tonight cause in twelve hours one of the Kentucky Agriculture Extensions will be giving away sapling trees. I want to get some of those Kentucky Coffee Bean Trees they will be giving away if I can. During the "war atwix the states" the southern folks would harvest the pods that grew on these trees and roast & grind the beans to make a form of coffee they could enjoy. The north had coffee among most other things embargoed in those times. So I want to propagate some of those beans and try making some of that form of coffee. Kentucky Coffee Bean Tree Bean Pod
  7. ChefPip

    Pimento Cheese

    Mike, Mrs Dozier who made that first batch I ever sampled from, would have been an old time Kentuckian. I only heard her speak of it as "Snappy Cheese". This may stem from one or two reasons: 1) She would have grown up in the shadow of Prohibition, Women's Suffrage, and possibly the influence of the Church and as such would have shunned speaking openly of using beer in her cuisine as "good women of that time" here in the Bible Belt would have known to be that discrete. 2) With a list of ingredients including a couple cloves of garlic, 1 tsp dry mustard, 1 tsp of Tabasco, and 1/4 tsp of cayenne....yeah "snap", bug eyes, and bat eyelashes. But still, it' s hard to quit eating it. Sort of like what Pork Rinds with Ro-tel & Velveta does to ya. (or Buffalo Wings or bacon wrapped jalapeno ATB's for that matter) I think this stuff was all invented as Bar Food to promote the voluminous sales of ice cold beer. As for my own preference, I like snappy cheese on Ritz Crackers. Either with cold beer or southern style ice tea.
  8. ChefPip

    Pimento Cheese

    LOL, Kim, And here I thought I'd catch it for the variant made with beer instead of Dukes or Blue Plate. Ahhh but the day ain't over yet. getting ready to high tail it to the Mason Dixon now.
  9. ChefPip

    Pimento Cheese

    As I live only a few miles from the eastern Kentucky border I'd mention this variant of Pimento Cheese for those who would like to know of this regional favorite. "Kentucky Snappy (beer) Cheese". I first tried this as a kid when my neighborhood's Pharmacist had his Mom in from Kentucky for a visit. He raved over his Mom's "Snappy cheese" and as the young foodie I was then I wanted to try it. She asked my Mom if I could have some of it and she went along with the request to allow me a sample. I've seen this recipe with and without pimentos in it. I just wanted to mention this for those who may have never heard of it so they could be enlightened. "Kentucky Snappy Cheese" 2 pounds good quality Sharp Cheddar Cheese (don't buy that already grated stuff) 2 cloves garlic, minced (roasted or regular) 1 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce 1 teaspoon dry mustard 1 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce 1/4 teaspoon celery salt 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1-12 ounce bottle lager beer, room temperature (regular beer works fine, not lite) Grind together the cheese and garlic in a blender or food processor. Mix in all other ingredients, except beer. Add in beer starting with only half the bottle, add more a little at a time until the mixture is at a good spreading consistence. You may not need all the beer. Put the Beer Cheese into small crocks or glass containers and refrigerate, tightly covered, until ready to serve. Some folks like this on crackers or party rye bread. Everyone I know swears by celery, radish or carrot sticks, with an appropriate beverage of course. Here are some recipe ideas from a small restaurant that specializes in this: Allman's
  10. ChefPip

    Pimento Cheese

    Katie, it may be interesting to know that Pimento Cheese may have had it's origins in New York. It moved south from there. But dairy farmers there were developing early soft cheeses that evolved into today's "Cream Cheese". In around the same time southern vegetable farmers in "Georgia" were experimenting with cultivars of red bell peppers & pimentos and made huge gains in production, canning and transporting these products more affordably than ever. The fusion of the two products may have been the historic origins of pimento cheese. In the earlier 20th century two world wars led to using pimento cheese as a staple and it's popularity continued to grow. Even if you don't care for it it may be worth understanding why the longevity of this thread. From Scientific Cuisine to Southern Icon: The Real History of Pimento Cheese
  11. ChefPip

    Pimento Cheese

    Thanks again for the recipe Weinoo. Much appreciated !
  12. ChefPip

    Pimento Cheese

    I'll have to try the Horseradish. I've seen the Jalapeno pimento cheese spread in the stores. Regarding horseradish, I have about 17 horseradish plants out in the wild that I planted from small cuttings. I wouldn't want it getting lose in my yard as is spreads and is quite difficult to contain or get rid of. So I establish my plants along the back country roads where it has good soil, proper sunlight and water with drainage. A few years back (2011 perhaps) "The Herbalist" magazine celebrated horseradish as their years pick for that year. If I remember they referred to it as one of the most underestimated herbs.
  13. ChefPip

    Pimento Cheese

    I've never pictured myself as much of a cheese "affineur" until the subject of pimento cheese comes up. Then somehow the obsessive/compulsive stirs up in me. The Kroger Stores in my area used to carry a store brand of the product that I became rather fond of, but they seem to have quit carrying it in their inventory in the last year. So I'm ever in search of recipes to try for this dish. Someday I'll perfect my own and of course share it with everyone here.
  14. ChefPip

    Pimento Cheese

    When I was a kid one of my Great Aunts would grate Velveeta by cutting a block of it into 6 inch pieces and using the refrigerator to get the stuff quite cold. Then she placed her box grater in a large bowl and processed it using the 3/8 inch hole slicing side of the grater. I was a kid back then and it was the best home made I knew of. Of course the older women of the family wouldn't consider "store bought" as a matter of principle. They had been raised in the times of "Home Economics" that the Schools taught back in their youth.. But those were different times then. And the stuff seemed to get eaten as fast as she made it. Oh, and thank you Kayb for your recipe.
  15. ChefPip

    Potatoes Stick to Knife Blade

    Shel_B, I've recommended the Santoku that gfweb speaks of to loads of people. Any more I mention to them to check out the Dollar Tree stores as they carry several sizes of them. They are easier to use than the French Chef's knife with the hard veggies. But if a Potato is wet along with the blade of your French Chef's knife the first time you cut through the whole potato, then it's probably going to stick with the combination of starch and a polished surface. Here is some information with images: http://learnfromthechefs.com/santoku-knife/ Also, and more expensive, are some of the "Damascus" blade knifes which are forged with a texturing hammer so the knife blade has numerous indentations over it's surface where air will flow in as cutting takes place. There are all kinds of methods, designs, and reasons for this treatment. In my own opinion these types of knives need to be given special attention when cleaning. Source of Image: http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=69313 But for a dollar and a visit to a Dollar Tree Store (or some "dollar" value store) you may find one of these and try it provided you haven't done something like this already. Consider how often we process potatoes in our cooking. LOL, I'm sure that's why they always seem to be out of those French Fry cutters they sell at Harbor Freight. I'd hate to have to cut a load of French Fries with a knife of any kind.
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