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blue_dolphin

Cooking with Deep Run Roots by Vivian Howard

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8 minutes ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

I'll be interested in her answer.

 

If I don't respond sometime soon, please remind me.

My memory is real bad lately—I may forget to ask her. :S

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20 minutes ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

 

If I don't respond sometime soon, please remind me.

My memory is real bad lately—I may forget to ask her. :S

 

Unfortunately, this may be a case of the blind leading the blind, but I am interested, and I will try. Getting old sucks. A lot. 

 

So fortunate to still have your mother around. I so wish mine was.

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Using the Stewed Tomatoes (p 270) I mentioned in my last post, I made the Grilled Squash, Basil Pesto and Stewed Tomatoes (p 346)

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This is thick slices (1") of summer squash, grilled and tossed with basil pesto, served on stewed tomatoes, topped with shaved Parmesan and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

I had this plate for my dinner with a crusty roll.  As written, it's more of a very flavorful side dish but put this on top of grits or polenta and it would make a solid main course.

 

 

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Squash Noodles with Crab (I used rock cod) and Jalapeño from Deep Run Roots p 348

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The squash noodles are made with a vegetable peeler.  It's a bit of a balancing act to get them cooked but not too limp - my green zucchini cooked faster than the yellow ones. I used both red & green jalapeños and garnished with lemon zest and grated salted egg yolk.

I actually bought crab meat to use in this but I had an extra rock cod that I thawed yesterday for fish tacos so I cooked it in the CSO, flaked it up and subbed it in for the crab. 

I think this will be a fun recipe to play around with.  

Edited to add that even the more "cooked" green zucchini were pleasantly "toothsome" and the whole thing is really lemony, buttery and delicious with a pleasant bit of heat from the jalapeños . In addition to the crab, I can see nestling seared scallops or shrimp on this. 

 


Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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On 8/28/2017 at 4:20 PM, Shelby said:

Ok, so our garden finally produced some watermelon.  I have not seen the inside of one but we gave one to the mother-in-law and she said it was wonderful.

 

So, I've just been perusing the watermelon section.  

 

The pork shoulder steaks in red curry braised watermelon will be in the near future if I can find some red curry paste somewhere.

 

@blue_dolphin I have been looking at the watermelon rind pickles....my great gramma used to make these and I didn't really care for them, but then again, I was a little kid so my tastes have surely changed.  Were these worth the hassle to you to make?  My watermelon is pretty big and if it's not worth it then I'm not sure I want to wrestle with it to peel it lol.

 

Will be interested to hear how this turns out. Bought pork steaks specifically for this, and wound up using them with Blue Q sauce instead (and they're good that way!). But still want to try this.

 

Have extra tomatoes. Stewed tomatoes may be on the list.

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On 8/28/2017 at 2:20 PM, Shelby said:

The pork shoulder steaks in red curry braised watermelon will be in the near future if I can find some red curry paste somewhere.

 

37 minutes ago, kayb said:

Will be interested to hear how this turns out. Bought pork steaks specifically for this, and wound up using them with Blue Q sauce instead (and they're good that way!). But still want to try this.

 

I really liked that pork with red curry braised watermelon when I made it last year - posted here. I used country-style pork ribs because all the pork steaks I found were too thin but I think any shoulder/butt cut suitable for a long braise could be made to work.

Do keep it on your list!

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I have a big pork something (shoulder?) thawed out and will be making the red curry dish either today or tomorrow (a family obligation got cancelled so I have the whole weekend to cook :) ).  I'll update later.

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Made stewed tomatoes on a whim today, because I had some extra ones. Going to can them. Probably should've waited to add the bread crumbs until I was ready to use, but I didn't think of that at the time.

 

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Yesterday I made the Pork Shoulder Steaks in Red Curry-Braised Watermelon located on page 95.

 

@blue_dolphin made the same dish earlier.  And, her pictures are better than mine.

 

Ya'll, this is GOOD stuff.  Like blue_dolphin, I would have never guessed watermelon.  Vivian compares it to tomatoes and I guess that's probably the closest thing...but it's not tomatoes.  My watermelon was very very very sweet...but it was balanced out nicely by the vinegar and the red curry paste.

 

I thawed out a 9.5 lb pork shoulder roast and cut about 2" slabs off of it and then trimmed them up so they looked like country ribs.

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I didn't get a picture of the browned meat--but Vivian says to brown the heck out of them at high heat to get a lot of caramelization so that's what I aimed for.

 

Here is our garden watermelon.  I think it weighed about 35-40 lbs. 

 

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One of the best melons I've ever had

 

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Here is the red curry paste I was able to find--it will last me the rest of my life O.o.  It's a large container.  I need to google recipes for other uses.

 

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I was kind of worried because the recipe calls for 5 cups of diced melon and it seemed like a lot, but it cooks down very nicely

 

Before the oven

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And, the finished product served over rice

 

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The pork is rich and tender and melty and the sauce.....I could just eat with a spoon.  A+ grade from us :)

 

 


Edited by Shelby (log)
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OK, disregard question on the dinner thread. Glad you liked it!

 

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1 minute ago, kayb said:

OK, disregard question on the dinner thread. Glad you liked it!

 

You will like it, too.  Next time I would serve it with fried okra the way that we make it--it would go good with the juices from the sauce.

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1 hour ago, Shelby said:

Yesterday I made the Pork Shoulder Steaks in Red Curry-Braised Watermelon located on page 95.

<snip>

The pork is rich and tender and melty and the sauce.....I could just eat with a spoon.  A+ grade from us :)

 

Yay - I'm so glad that you liked it!

I thought the texture of the watermelon was so interesting.  I would have expected it to almost fall apart in that long braise but it actually sort of firmed up.  

I gotta make it again - the flavor payoff is pretty great for such a simple dish.  

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14 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

 

Yay - I'm so glad that you liked it!

I thought the texture of the watermelon was so interesting.  I would have expected it to almost fall apart in that long braise but it actually sort of firmed up.  

I gotta make it again - the flavor payoff is pretty great for such a simple dish.  

Exactly!  I haven't researched, but I wonder how long it takes to make that texture happen.  I wonder if it has to be at 350F for that exact amount of time.....or could one make that texture happen in a skillet on the burner.  Need to look into that more.

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 I recently made the Curried Peach Preserves and the Whole-Fruit Fig and Lemon Preserves from Deep Run Roots.  In both cases, I scaled the recipes by half but I like both enough that I would be happy to have full batches on hand. 

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Sorry about the photo, this one is from my breakfast post and I was too lazy to take more, but it gives an idea of how they look.

 

The Curried Peach Preserves are a sub-recipe from the Fried Green Tomatoes with Curried Peach Preserves and Whipped Feta on p 458.  @Steve Irby posted about making the preserves for holiday gifts and gave them a thumbs up.  I concur.

The peaches and sugar macerate overnight with sugar, Madras curry powder, lime and orange zest, star anise and thin slices of fresh ginger.  The next day, they get cooked down and lime and orange juices and salt are added just before they go into jars.  I processed mine but the recipe says they will last 6 months in the fridge.  

Although I made  a half recipe, I accidentally used the full amount of the citrus zests and ginger.  I'd do that again as I like both those flavors.  The recipe says to remove the citrus zests with a vegetable peeler and I'd recommend taking the time to julienne those zest strips and it looks much prettier and gives you a little of each in every bite.  I didn't think of doing that until after I put the lime zest in and was too lazy to fish it out but I wish I had.

I have to try and track down some green tomatoes so I can make the whole recipe but in the meantime, the preserves were great on toasted bread smeared with goat cheese. I think they will be equally good with salmon, chicken or pork or as part of a cheese platter.  

Edited to add that we have a few more weeks of fresh peaches at the local farmer's market and I'm planning on making more of these for sure.

 

I had my doubts about putting my beautiful, perfectly ripe figs into the recipe for Whole-Fruit Fig and Lemon Preserves p 178 but the finished product really captures the lovely tender texture of ripe figs into a preserve.  The recipe calls for Brown Turkey figs and I used Black Mission figs as that's what's most common around here.  I would double the amount of thinly sliced lemon next time as the they add a nice touch.  The recipe estimates a cooking time of ~ 1 hr for the figs and mine took much longer but that's pretty much the story of my life with preserves. 

I tried these fig preserves for breakfast, on toast with goat cheese and I ended up needing to break up the fig as I found a whole preserved fig to be way more sweetness than I want in one bite!  I think they will really shine simmered into a red wine, port or sherry vinegar sauce for duck or pork and you'll be eating those with knife and fork so it will be easy to control the size of that bite of sweetness.  


Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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Has anyone made the Fresh Corn Roasted in Chicken Drippings? I'm going to make it tomorrow, since corn is making its last stand. The recipe title makes it sound like corn is the star, although in fact there are large pieces of chicken involved. The recipe had me at "Drippings." If you have an hints for this dish let's here 'em.

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5 hours ago, Katie Meadow said:

Has anyone made the Fresh Corn Roasted in Chicken Drippings? I'm going to make it tomorrow, since corn is making its last stand. The recipe title makes it sound like corn is the star, although in fact there are large pieces of chicken involved. The recipe had me at "Drippings." If you have an hints for this dish let's here 'em.

 

In a Facebook cookbook club I follow, a number of people posted about it.  Some loved it as "comfort food" while a few others said it turned nice fresh corn into something that reminded them of their school cafeteria.

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Okay, that's perfect. Consider me warned. Secretly that's pretty much what I think of Vivian Howard's cooking generally. I don't own the book. I got it from the library and copied a few recipes that intrigued me, but came to the conclusion that I didn't need to own it. I'll be honest here: what turns me off is Vivian's stinginess about allowing her recipes on line. She protects them from the public as if twisting your arm to buy her book. Recipes just shouldn't be precious. I apologize for dissing her in a dedicated thread. But I'm hoping for the best with this corn recipe; it is very rare that I don't like corn in any permutation unless it is canned. But even canned has its place, as in earthquake supplies.

 

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1 hour ago, Katie Meadow said:

She protects them from the public as if twisting your arm to buy her book

 She may or may not have any input into how her recipes are used.  She is for sure  under contract to her publisher and her TV show.  I suspect they have much more to say about this than she does. 

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2 hours ago, Katie Meadow said:

Okay, that's perfect. Consider me warned. Secretly that's pretty much what I think of Vivian Howard's cooking generally....I apologize for dissing her in a dedicated thread.

It's great that you were able to spend enough time with the book to determine that it's not for you and avoided making a purchase you wouldn't be happy with.  I've been trying to do that more often.

I find it interesting that this particular book features such a range of recipes from the comfort foods of her little area of Eastern North Carolina to things like the Deep Fried Chicken Livers with Balsamic Marinated Figs that she serves in her restaurant - I couldn't generalize about her cooking except that she seems to find a range of ways to feature her local ingredients.  There are a lot of "comfort food" recipes in the book, for sure, but also a lot that offer Vivian's own twist to present the same ingredients in rather different ways.  Her comfort food recipes don't tend to pique my cooking interest, although I've heard others rave about them and I might well like them if someone served them to me!  On the other hand, it's the recipes that feature a different take on the traditional ingredients that make me wonder how it will taste and nudge me into the kitchen and that's what I want from a cookbook!

 

2 hours ago, Katie Meadow said:

I'll be honest here: what turns me off is Vivian's stinginess about allowing her recipes on line. She protects them from the public as if twisting your arm to buy her book. Recipes just shouldn't be precious.

That's an interesting observation.  For someone who wasn't widely known until recently and never had much of an online presence, I actually thought she had quite a few recipes out there.  Every episode of her TV program features a recipe that's available on the program site and on the PBS site and I've found any number of newspaper or TV show interview segments that offer 3, 4 or more recipes from the book or from her restaurant.  

 

2 hours ago, Katie Meadow said:

I apologize for dissing her in a dedicated thread.

No need to apologize for sharing an honest opinion, it's what makes this site interesting!  

 

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Here are the results of Corn under Chicken. Good! Several things I would tweak, though. With nice fresh sweet corn this dish ends up being kind of sweet. I did not add the tsp of sugar that Vivian specifies. I am guessing that it helps caramelize the corn a bit, but this dish did not need to be sweeter, that's for sure. I did not achieve what she considers the bonus of the corn cooking differently in different parts of the tray. I think the reason for that is that there was too much chicken drippings keeping the corn very moist and drippy throughout. It also may be that the freshness of the corn resulted in some released juices to add to the bath. I even trimmed some of the fat from the leg-thigh pieces before cooking, although she does not suggest doing so. 

 

If I make it again I would trim off more fat from the chicken. I would balance the sweetness with the kick of some roasted green chiles mixed in with the corn or smoked paprika on the corn and the chicken. The chicken skin was pleasantly golden but not super crisp. My husband suggested that the dish should be finished briefly under the broiler to crisp it up a bit more. Worth a try. We had salads, but I'm thinking some vinegary greens would be an excellent side. 

 

So, comforting, yeah perhaps.. School cafeteria not so much. Although you could take it in that direction by using canned corn. I see that I have just used canned corn as a punch line for the second time in one day. Weird.

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Okra Oven Fries p 405 - a crispy and delicious snack.  The recipe calls for 1 lb of okra to yield 4 servings.  What you see in the photo is a small batch I cooked up with ~ 6 oz of raw okra and I'm pretty sure I could scarf up a pound's worth of these fries by myself.

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Vivian recommends serving the Kitchen Sink Mayo or Cilantro Buttermilk, either of which would have been delicious but I had some Cesar-type dressing on hand from another dish and it did the job admirably!

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They look tasty.  If I can get some fresh, I will try them in the air fryer.

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Two recipes here.  The Fancy Sandwiches p 245 from the cucumber chapter and the Cherry Tomatoes in Basil Vinegar p 275.

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The sandwiches layer a radish spread (radishes, butter, cream cheese, mayo and radish greens) with cucumber slices that have been salted, drained and tossed with lemon juice.

I modified them to open face on thin slices from a small loaf of multigrain bread instead of the original white bread triangles with crusts trimmed. If I find myself in possession of some white sandwich bread in the next little while, I'll give that a try but I kinda like this version.  I added a few radish slices and minced radish greens for garnish.

 

The Cherry Tomatoes in Basil Vinegar provided a nice contrast to the buttery little sandwiches.  They are rather a labor of love because the recipe asks you to PEEL the cherry tomatoes, not something I normally do.  

The first step is to make the basil vinegar with lots of basil, rice vinegar, peppercorns and a little salt and sugar and let it sit for 3 days - 2 weeks.  Mine went a little over a week.

In the photo below, I was short on the rice vinegar by about half a cup, once I got a new bottle and added the rest, all the leaves were submerged but I wanted to get the photo while the leaves were still pretty and green.

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Next, the basil and peppercorns are strained out and the PEELED cherry tomatoes are added.   

I used 3 different varieties of cherry tomatoes - one red, one gold/orange and one with green & red skins (I think they were called Jellybean) that came out a darker red after peeling.

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The recipe says they should sit for at least 2 days and will improve for slightly for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.  She advises against water bath-canning them because the heat will damage the texture.

They are quite nice and I look forward to playing around with them.  A little of that basil vinegar and some olive oil should make a nice vinaigrette,  Vivian suggests using them as part of a pickle plate and I'm afraid I'd want to put a little sigh on them that said, "Look here - I PEELED all of these dang little tomatoes for you!"

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On 9/21/2017 at 11:21 PM, Katie Meadow said:

I see that I have just used canned corn as a punch line for the second time in one day. Weird.

 

"Call backs" are good comedy technique. Well done!

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blue dolphin, those multi-colored cherry tomatoes look so great in the jar. You couldn't pay me enough to peel a quart of cherry tomatoes. I bet Vivian makes her husband do it. I am sure  they are yummy. Perfect meal: those tomatoes and a grilled cheese sandwich. 

 

 

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