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Cooking with Deep Run Roots by Vivian Howard


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Today's breakfast was a riff on the Country Ham--Wrapped and Roasted Peaches from Deep Run Roots p 456. 

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I've made these before, as written except for subbing prosciutto for the thin-sliced country ham.  The wrapped and roasted peaches are served on a pool of gingered goat cheese, drizzled with balsamic honey and sprinkled with pecans. 

For this round, I spread the gingered goat cheese on toast.  I suppose it's a little more luxurious without the bread but this did seem a little more breakfast-like 🙃!

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@blue_dolphin  As alwys, I want to be your friend at the table! I noticed when I was watching some of Vivian's shows that she has a bit of "ginger love". Does she explain in th book (still resisting and library won't order) if ginger is a part of her Eastern North Carolina culture? Course I recall star anise as well which I don't think has a deep basis. 

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I made up a half batch of the Spiced Pecan and Pumpkin Seed Crumble from Deep Run Roots p 135.  The header notes say this is like a savory granola, meant for a snack, salad or cheese plate. The savory spices (cayenne, fennel, Worcestershire sauce) appeal to me and I thought it might take my ordinary fruit and yogurt up a notch. 

I encountered one oddity in the instructions. You're to whisk 2 egg whites until "quite foamy" then add additional ingredients, including 1/4 cup grapeseed or sunflower oil, and continue to whisk until you have stiff peaks.  I'm not sure who can get egg whites to form stiff peaks with that much oil in there, but it's not me.   

No matter, it seemed to come out fine anyway.   After baking and crumbling:

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With Greek yogurt and fresh peaches:

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On 7/25/2018 at 1:37 PM, blue_dolphin said:

 I'm not sure who can get egg whites to form stiff peaks with that much oil in there, but it's not me.   

 

The crumble looks great, but I was always taught that you needed scrupulously clean beaters and bowl to whip egg whites because even a trace of fat will interfere. So yeah, that is a very weird instruction.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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I finally got around to making the Roasted and Fresh Tomato Pie from page 272.  Yesterday was another day full of canning tomatoes so I figured it was a good time to make this since I was peeling tons of them anyway.

 

@blue_dolphinmade this first over here

 

She loved it and and we did too.

 

Highly recommend.

 

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Since I don't have the book I don't know if I got this recipe from a loaner or somewhere else, but it is definitely a Vivian recipe: Okra Oven Fries. Really simple and really good. They are crispy and the roasting intensifies the flavor the way it does for green beans. For anyone scared of okra these are a no-brainer, since the thing you think you don't like about okra has no way of happening. Vivian says to eat them hot or just warm, but they do lose a bit of crispiness if the sit around. My husband and I scarfed down a surprisingly large quantity as a side to a tuna and rice salad. Like green beans, they shrink a bit in the roasting, so buy generously. Straight out of the oven these would be great for apps. 

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For New Year's Eve, I made the Collard Dolmades with Sweet Potato Yogurt  (I previously posted about them here) from Deep Run Roots p 438.

I made these smaller, with ~ 1 T of filling and they were a hit.

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This left me with leftover collard stems, collard leaf trimmings and half a roasted sweet potato so I made a small batch of Stewed Collards p 426 and used them in the Creamed Collards with Pickled Collard Stems p 429.  I also made a small pan of Mom's Cornpone p 28 which was a bust so I spread the creamed collards on toasted slices of pan de pueblo bread made a at local bakery from corn and wheat flour.  

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The creamed collards are very rich so the pickled stems are a perfect addition.  They were also good to perk up my bowl of black eyed peas.   I will never throw collard stems away again. 

I used the leftover roasted sweet potato to cook up a few slices of Grandma Hill's Candied Yams p 314 subbing in the Baharat spice mix from Shaya for the seasoning. The sweet potatoes were also very good and made me wonder why I don't keep them around more often. 

 

The cornpone batter is just cornmeal, water, salt and a touch of sugar and it's cooked in bacon fat in a  screaming hot cast iron skillet.   Mine came out dry in the middle although the edges were crisp and tasty. 

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I could probably play around with the amount of water and thickness to make it better but not sure it's the kind of thing I should be eating a lot of. 

 

 

 

 

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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.

'

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I've been rhapsodizing over on the Corn Cook-off topic about smoked sweet corn, courtesy of my husband's daughter. Yesterday I realized that Deep Run Roots talks about that very thing, and that smoked corn mayonnaise is an element of the Elbow-Lick Tomato Sandwich. My notes from trying it (2 years ago!) was that the mayo was too sweet for my liking, but the idea had promise. I put some of that corn into a chicken salad instead, and made my own version of that sandwich: chicken salad with smoked corn, a fat slice of ripe tomato, a generous hunk of lettuce.

 

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Ms. Howard is right: I should be eating more tomato sandwiches. :x

 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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On 1/2/2019 at 1:29 PM, blue_dolphin said:

For New Year's Eve, I made the Collard Dolmades with Sweet Potato Yogurt  (I previously posted about them here) from Deep Run Roots p 438.

I made these smaller, with ~ 1 T of filling and they were a hit.

fullsizeoutput_393c.thumb.jpeg.2e1162d2d885688efc17cbaa3e008d37.jpeg

 

This left me with leftover collard stems, collard leaf trimmings and half a roasted sweet potato so I made a small batch of Stewed Collards p 426 and used them in the Creamed Collards with Pickled Collard Stems p 429.  I also made a small pan of Mom's Cornpone p 28 which was a bust so I spread the creamed collards on toasted slices of pan de pueblo bread made a at local bakery from corn and wheat flour.  

fullsizeoutput_3939.thumb.jpeg.a564d6b9d82d2024b4e37dd0fdc4fb86.jpeg

 

fullsizeoutput_392b.thumb.jpeg.0da0b7ae51b0ad9293fb9f0b692965f2.jpeg

The creamed collards are very rich so the pickled stems are a perfect addition.  They were also good to perk up my bowl of black eyed peas.   I will never throw collard stems away again. 

I used the leftover roasted sweet potato to cook up a few slices of Grandma Hill's Candied Yams p 314 subbing in the Baharat spice mix from Shaya for the seasoning. The sweet potatoes were also very good and made me wonder why I don't keep them around more often. 

 

The cornpone batter is just cornmeal, water, salt and a touch of sugar and it's cooked in bacon fat in a  screaming hot cast iron skillet.   Mine came out dry in the middle although the edges were crisp and tasty. 

fullsizeoutput_392d.thumb.jpeg.666bdfa68aac61a610628429531ae6ae.jpeg

I could probably play around with the amount of water and thickness to make it better but not sure it's the kind of thing I should be eating a lot of. 

 

 

 

 

 

Just reading through this tread.   Years ago one of my cousins had started a backyard garden and was growing Collards and Brussels sprouts .  I gathered up all the larger leaves from the Brussels and some of the more tender leaves of the collards and made dolmas or as we called them cigars.    Worked quite well 

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I finally got around to trying the Sweet Potato Onion Bread from Deep Run Roots p 321.  The wet, sticky dough was a bit of a challenge but I got an edible loaf at the end so no harm done.  

Vivian says to resist the urge to add more flour and just give it more mixing time.  My decision to make a half recipe could have contributed to the problem. My dough finally began wrapping around the dough hook ~ 30 minutes into mixing and only after I raised the speed to 8 on the Kitchen Aid, something I've never done with the dough hook.  It still looked more like a batter so I added 2 T more flour and gave it 10 additional min at that speed.  As you can see, it's still pretty liquid at this point:

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but I figured that rather than adding more flour, I'd give it a longer first rest and a round of turns and folds to see if that helped it come together.  Not so much.  Here it is in an oil-sprayed bowl after an hour rest.  Still pretty stir-able. 

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I added 3 T more flour and gave it another rest and turns until it was something I could imagine incorporating the caramelized onions into without having them sink directly to the bottom.  The onions are incorporated over 4 additions, folding the dough over the top and giving the dough a rest each time.  That part went OK, though the dough wasn't something you could grab on to -  I needed to use a silicone bowl scraper to scoop it up and over the top.  And as for flipping it seam-side down - liquids don't really form seams 🙃 so that didn't exactly happen. 

There's a 2 hr 40 min rest after the onions are incorporated  then the dough is shaped.  I was was rather surprised that I was able to make it into a round and eventually make a hole in the center. 

Here it is ready for the oven:

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I dropped the oven temp from 450°F down to 425 at the half way point because the crust was already very dark.  Probably should have put foil on the top.   Here it is out of the oven last night:

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It baked up into a round about 9.5 inches in diameter and a little over 3 inches tall. 

And sliced this AM:

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Just out of stubbornness, I may give it another try with a full batch to see if that was the problem.  If I make it again, I'll make rolls and/or a ciabatta shape as I don't find this shape all that handy to use.

 

 

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3 hours ago, heidih said:

@blue_dolphin  Totally get the frustration but how was the taste and texture  

 

I love caramelized onions but they are also quite sweet so I'd say it almost reminds me of a raisin bread but with savory overtones. It doesn't scream," Sweet Potato!" but the bread is flavorful. Texture-wise, it's nicely chewy and browns up nicely when toasted. The crust could be a bit more crunchy but when toasted, it becomes quite nice. 

So far, I've enjoyed it toasted with butter, as a cheese toasty with grated Pecorino Romano and black pepper:

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and also as an open-faced chicken sandwich - lightly toasted bread, mayo and meat from a CSO-roasted chicken thigh. I've enjoyed them all so far. 

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Fried Yams with Five-Spice Maple Bacon Candy from Deep Run Roots p 326

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I will surely turn to the boiled, then fried trick for sweet potatoes.  They develop a lovely crisp crust that can be best enjoyed if you serve them fairly promptly,  I recently enjoyed something similar in a roasted, then fried sweet potato dish from another book.  The rest of this preparation was OK but I'm not a lover of the bacon in syrup situation.  I'd make the bacon fat/ginger/five-spice/maple syrup but crumble crisp bacon over the top of the dish instead of putting it in the syrup to get soft.   Personal taste.  

I used both regular orange and white Japanese sweet potatoes.  I saw some purple ones around and thought they might be fun but they eluded me at the market so I went with just the two colors.  The recipe only uses orange ones.

One-inch thick slices are first boiled to some magical window in which they can be smooshed without falling apart, something they will do if they are either over (as Vivian warns) or under done (as I demonstrated for myself.)  Like the purple sweet potatoes, that window of doneness also eluded me so about half of my slices fell apart and ended up more like hash when I fried them.  The white sweet potatoes got crisper and stayed crisp longer than the orange ones.  I have read that they have more sugar.  Regardless of the color, all those little hash bits I ended up with are delicious with some crisp bacon crumbled over them - with or without the syrup. 

 

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18 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

I used both regular orange and white Japanese sweet potatoes.  I saw some purple ones around and thought they might be fun but they eluded me at the market so I went with just the two colors.  The recipe only uses orange ones.

One-inch thick slices are first boiled to some magical window in which they can be smooshed without falling apart...

I'm curious if this is related to Kenji's trick of parcooking sweet potatoes to convert the starches to sugars, so they taste sweeter and brown better. It's basically the sweet potato equivalent of the beer brewer's mashing grain. https://www.seriouseats.com/2014/11/food-lab-sweet-potatoes-mashed-science-not-sugar-thanksgiving.html

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MelissaH

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Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

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On 12/11/2019 at 8:01 AM, MelissaH said:

I'm curious if this is related to Kenji's trick of parcooking sweet potatoes to convert the starches to sugars, so they taste sweeter and brown better. It's basically the sweet potato equivalent of the beer brewer's mashing grain. https://www.seriouseats.com/2014/11/food-lab-sweet-potatoes-mashed-science-not-sugar-thanksgiving.html

 

Good question.  The length of boiling here is much shorter than Kenji recommends for maximum sweetness but it could still be playing that role. 

 

@gfweb's posted about the Roasted Grapes, Brussels Sprouts and Sausage from Deep Run Roots p 541 a couple of times, here and and tweaked here.  

I decided to start with the recipe pretty much as written, except that I couldn't nicely slice the raw Italian sausages (a mix of hot & sweet)  so I went with pieces that approximated the recipe's slices.  Of course, no muscadines, so I used regular red grapes.  I cut some in half and left  others whole:

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I could have pulled this out earlier but wanted to get some nice browning on the sausage.  This was 25 min @ 425°F on convection. 

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I ate that pan full with some crusty bread, washed down with a glass of red wine for lunch and I'm not complaining about it.  The flavors work very well together. 

Obviously, the grapes were pretty much disintegrated, though it's not really a bad thing that they pretty much turned into a glaze.  The sprouts could have had a little more bite left, too, so I"ll give it another try with smaller sausage crumbles and a shorter baking time.  

 

 

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On 12/26/2019 at 3:07 PM, blue_dolphin said:

 

Good question.  The length of boiling here is much shorter than Kenji recommends for maximum sweetness but it could still be playing that role.

 

Except that if you boil the sweet potatoes, you'll get them hot enough to denature and kill any enzymes that would convert starch to sugars.

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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