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Absurdly, stupidly basic cooking questions (Part 2)


Pontormo
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On 8/8/2022 at 5:19 PM, ElsieD said:

 

Lovage is great.  I used to have a bush of it growing in my back yard.

I’m growing lovage for the first time this year, a neighbour asked me if I knew where she could buy a plant so I got a packet of seeds and sowed some to help her out.  Any tips on how to cook/serve lovage would be much appreciated!  The only tip I have found to date is to use the stems as substitutes for drinking straws….  

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I had a lovage plant for about ten years.  When we moved, it had reached a dizzying height of 6.5 feet.  It was a beauty.

 

Harvest young leaves and treat them as a herb.  They go well with leeks, celery, onion, parsley, potato, poultry (try roasting a chicken set on a bed of lovage).  It is nice torn up in salads.  Taste as you go because it is quite robust.

 

I never did cook the stems but I imagine young tender ones would work best.

 

good luck.

Edited by Okanagancook (log)
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2 hours ago, DianaB said:

I’m growing lovage for the first time this year, a neighbour asked me if I knew where she could buy a plant so I got a packet of seeds and sowed some to help her out.  Any tips on how to cook/serve lovage would be much appreciated!  The only tip I have found to date is to use the stems as substitutes for drinking straws….  

 

I used it wherever I would use celery, mainly soups.  I also liked it finely chopped and sprinkled over carrots instead of the usual parsley.  I used the leaves only.  I also used it in stuffing for poultry.

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16 hours ago, DianaB said:

I’m growing lovage for the first time this year, a neighbour asked me if I knew where she could buy a plant so I got a packet of seeds and sowed some to help her out.  Any tips on how to cook/serve lovage would be much appreciated!  The only tip I have found to date is to use the stems as substitutes for drinking straws….  

One of my most memorable meals ever happened in a bar/restaurant in Waitsburg WA (that's the next town over from Walla Walla.) The cook was working with a portable stove. She had just returned from a visit to her father. who grew lots of lovage. She managed to pan fry a fantastic steak and served it with a lovage pesto. It seemed otherworldly to me, never having had lovage before. I think it was just crushed lovage and oil and garlic, but in truth I have forgotten. Anyway her husband and co-owner was the mixologist. After dinner the adjacent space turned into a music venue. Topping off the evening was a gorgeous French woman who was part of a cheesemaking collective nearby. She played the saw... No hecklers there (that would be dangerous) just rapt locals. The cheese people had a great tasting room and you could play with baby goats. It was late spring.

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10 minutes ago, Katie Meadow said:

One of my most memorable meals ever happened in a bar/restaurant in Waitsburg WA (that's the next town over from Walla Walla.) The cook was working with a portable stove. She had just returned from a visit to her father. who grew lots of lovage. She managed to pan fry a fantastic steak and served it with a lovage pesto. It seemed otherworldly to me, never having had lovage before. I think it was just crushed lovage and oil and garlic, but in truth I have forgotten. Anyway her husband and co-owner was the mixologist. After dinner the adjacent space turned into a music venue. Topping off the evening was a gorgeous French woman who was part of a cheesemaking collective nearby. She played the saw... No hecklers there (that would be dangerous) just rapt locals. The cheese people had a great tasting room and you could play with baby goats. It was late spring.

Sounds like an amazing evening!  Cheese, steak, baby goats and music, can’t think of a better mix!  I’ve only seen a saw used as a musical instrument once, in France, it was incredible.  Lovage pesto sounds like something to experiment with, I’m glad that I kept a couple of the plants, it sounds like a versatile herb and I don’t really know why we don’t use it more as it certainly grew very easily from seed.  
 

I also have lemon grass from seed as a first this year, it can be difficult to source locally so looking forward to having stems large enough to cut without divesting the plant of all its strength.

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4 minutes ago, Susanwusan said:

Why must raw eggs not be stored near raw meat?

New one on me.  The shell is still permeable - example you see people putting egg into a container with a truffle to theoretically infuse the egg a bit - but if the meat is OK - we shall surely get a response. I did not google - assumed you already did. Where di you hear this?

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as the bullet point above it notes - shells are porous - I used permeable. Still I thought salmonella required contact and why would your meat have it - if so trouble is brewing. If you are eating the eggs raw or very runny - better safe than sorry - keep them separate but salmonella does not have wings last I checked.

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That's what I thought.  And I've yet to see a professional kitchen fridge with exposed meat in it, so anything in any way transferable would have to make it out of the wrapping, through (presumably) a container, across a bit of air space and through the egg shell.  And as far as I know, eggs here aren't washed so there's that tiny extra bit of a barrier before the inside of the egg.

 

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salmonella is found on the exterior of the egg - which is the source of not using cracked eggs - salmonella may have 'entered' the egg...

except that it was found that an infected hen could produce an interior infected egg.

worse, not consistently - one contaminated, the next not contaminated.

 

which in UK and many other European countries is very very rarely a problem because the hens are vaccinated - in the USA eggs must be kept under constant refrigeration because . . . the hens are not vaccinated.  USDA graded eggs are also washed, which removes the natural exterior barrier on the shell.

which is why people in most countries other than USA do not keep eggs in the refrigerator.

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Right but cross contamination can only occur if touching is involved or am I missing something. In the context of the original question - raw meat and eggs at first or second base

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If you read enough food safety instructions you will trip over the phrase “store away from raw meat” time and time again. It is just basic food safety and perhaps even boilerplated into the egg safety instructions. 

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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If we're talking about commercial application, might it have something to do with temperature? Meat is required to be stored at a much lower temperature than most other Foods. I once worked pantry in a large restaurant where I had to share the walk-in with the butcher. I couldn't keep the lettuce in that walk-in because it was much too cold for it.

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I have been roasting Italian eggplant à le Ottolenghi (for purée for a pizza) but I think he removes the seeds. So far, I haven't removed the seeds.

 

Should I remove the seeds? (Seems to me a lot might get wasted)

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I never have even on the big fat globe ones - but bitter is a flavor I enjoy. If you are enjoying your prep - hey - taste rules v. should

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Vaguely on subject, we stopped at a rather fancy roadside stand this afternoon.    $4.95 for a large eggplant!    I always buy small eggplant which I think have a larger proportion of firm meat to yuck.   Also, $2.75 for a fist sized green tomato.   $1/lb watermelon.    But this guy must understand his clientele but it ain't us.  We drove on.

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I have never seen instructions to remove seeds from an eggplant.  Salting it for about an hour to supposedly drawing out the bitterness is the only treatment instructions I have seen.

 

an East Indian friend of mine said choose eggplants with a round end to get a vegetable with less seeds and I do think he is right.  I always get round ended eggplants.

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3 hours ago, TdeV said:

I have been roasting Italian eggplant à le Ottolenghi (for purée for a pizza) but I think he removes the seeds. So far, I haven't removed the seeds.

 

Should I remove the seeds? (Seems to me a lot might get wasted)

 

If it helps, the Wall Street Journal has an article today on roasting eggplant, either outdoors or directly over a stove burner.  Neither of those options work for me but I think eggplants would roast fine on my Philips grill.  If I am remembering the article correctly, the eggplants in question were grilled whole, so presumably the seeds were still inside.

 

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On 8/8/2022 at 4:12 PM, weinoo said:

Strangely (or not), Jacques likes a peeler for peeling celery - though I prefer and use a paring knife. (Y'all peel celery, right?)

I only use celery as part of mirepoix or sofrito, and haven't ever peeled it. Seems to soften up just fine. I'll give it a try. Thanks @weinoo

My prep will take even longer now!

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1 hour ago, Kerala said:

I only use celery as part of mirepoix or sofrito, and haven't ever peeled it. Seems to soften up just fine. I'll give it a try. Thanks @weinoo

My prep will take even longer now!

 

I wouldn't worry about it too much for mirepoix...it's in small enough pieces where the strands don't bother. But when cutting it up for a crudité platter, it makes a difference.

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