Free Range on Food: Beer Madness, Rammys, Lent and more

Mar 19, 2014

Every Wednesday at noon, Food section staff members and guests answer your burning culinary questions.
Past Free Range on Food chats

Greetings, all, and welcome to today's chat! We're mad about beer these days -- as we are every year about this time. (Well, other times of year, too, but this is when we kick off our Beer Madness!) Have you taken a look at the 2014 bracket, cast your votes online, and/or made plans to get to Meridian Pint to taste them yourselves? Did you scope out the bios of our judging panel, the one that has the REAL power to advance beers (because they tasted them blind, which makes a HUGE difference)?

And on other topics, what did you think about Tim's piece on Rammys judging? Finally, if you observe Lent (or even if you don't), Bonnie rounded up some swell recipes that avoid meat.

For all your beer geeks out there, we have your king in the house: Greg Kitsock, editor of Mid-Atlantic Brewing News, longtime Post columnist and 9th vote on the Beer Madness tasting panel. Hit him up with ANYTHING beer related. Trust me: The man knows his stuff, inside and out.

Let's do this thing!

Oh, before we start: We know that the Recipe Finder is having some trouble at the moment; recipes aren't displaying, and the recipe files are coming up blank when you click through. We've got our tech team on the case, and hopefully it will be fixed ASAP. (We were hoping for it to be fixed before the chat started, but, well, there you go.)

Not to be negative for what is a worthy endeavor, but who is advising you on the initial beers for the competition? For example, some of the world's great IPAs such as Scullers, Ninkasi, Elysium, Boundary Bay, Stone Ruination, Racer 5, and Indica (to name a few--all brewed in the USA), are missing. Is there any kind of entry qualification, such as Beer Advocate rating?

You name some excellent beers, but we made the decision a year ago to limit Beer Madness to local breweries, more or less with a 150-mile radius of DC. Also, we wanted our readers to be able to try the beers -- some of the brand you mention are not available locally, or only appear on a sporadic basis. 

I really like taking some roasted mixed nuts to work to snack on throughout the day, but I'd like to switch them up. I've made a spiced nut mix before that was really delicious but also involved a decent amount of butter and some sugar. If I just toss some walnuts, cashews and almonds in some olive oil and chopped herbs and bake, I find that the herbs tend to just flake off once I've put them in a baggie. Do you have any suggestions, or maybe I'm cooking them wrong?

Egg whites work really well to help form a crust for your herbs and spices to adhere to the nuts. Whisk one or two with a tablespoon or two of water and a little salt, then toss the nuts in it. Let them drain in a colander for just a few minutes, then toss the nuts in your oil and herbs. Slightly different strategy in this Martha Stewart recipe.

Hi Rangers, I wrote in about a month ago regarding a Vitamix I recently purchased that shorted out my electrical outlet. After the skepticism about the question, I ended up sending my Vitamix back to the company for repair. Evidently there was a manufacturing problem with the motor, because they fixed it right away and returned it to me. Since then, there were no problems with using it at any outlet. Throughout the whole thing, Vitamix was a wonderful company to work with and their customer service was excellent, cannot recommend them highly enough. If anybody else has this problem, consider contacting Vitamix to have them check it out.

So glad to hear this!

Fascinating article, Carrie. Could you provide some info about the base wines used for both red and white vermouths? We love Dolin dry, Carpano Antica Formula and Cocchi sweet vermouths.

Almost all vermouths traditionally start with white wine (even the red/Italian vermouth, where color and sweetener is added). Traditionally, part of the idea was using local wine in the product, something most of even the more inventive American producers are continuing to do. From what I’ve read, grape varietals have included Clairette, mixed with Piquepoul, Ugni Blanc (the main base for your Dolin), Tempranillo, and muscat (which is supposedly the base for Carpano Antica). But I suspect there are more being used and probably more to come, what with all the experimenting that’s going on.

This recipe sounds awesome! I'd love to try it. Kudos to you, Joe, for continuing to come up with interesting vegetarian recipes. I'm not vegetarian, but I'm also not a carnivore (as no human should be), so I appreciate creative vegetable recipes like this. I'm having trouble with the first instruction. Could you be more specific? What do you mean to trim the core but not cut it fully? Like cut off the bottom couple inches of the thick part that sticks out? Like maybe cut just at the point just below where the bottom florets are attached? I get that you're trying to end up with big pieces, but just wanted to clarify. Thanks.

Thanks! Glad you like the look of this one.

Sorry if that wasn't clear -- but you interpreted it correctly! I want the florets attached to the core so that the steaks hold together, but not a big extension of core hanging off any of them. Hope you like it!

 

Is there a resource to look at to find a private cooking lesson from a local famous or semi-famous chef? I'm thinking of arranging a surprise for a birthday in 2015.

Have a look at our cooking class list. I don't know if those folks meet your threshold for fame, but there are some very good people on there. I think wrangling a restaurant chef for a private lesson might be tough, but sometimes they offer classes at the restaurant for groups. Check with some of your favorites.

Joe, it is clearly documented around these parts that you are kimchi man. I love it too, and just found that Trader Joe's discontinued their kimchi, which is a big bummer because it was vegan and delicious. As a vegetarian, what brand do you get? I assume the kimchi at Korean markets has fish in it. thanks.

My favorites are: 1) The one I make myself. 2) The one from No. 1 Sons.

Following up on an OP's question a couple of weeks ago, Under the Olive Tree in Tysons Corner Center, and Secolari in Bethesda (and now Columbia) offer tastings of all of their oils.

Cool, thanks for the additional options. The chatters helped us build an impressive list.

Is that natural or artificial?

Natural.

I want to thank you for doing these weekly chats. They are fun to read and most informative! I have been searching the archives for your list of area cooking schools but I can't seem to locate it. Can you please provide the link to them. Thanks very much!

Help! I have a pot of beans on the stove which I'll combine with chorizo and jalapenos later today. I'm embarrassed to admist that I didn't read the recipe very closely -- the chihuahua cheese is supposed to be added for the final cooking, not (as I hurriedly surmised) grated and sprinkled on top. I have cotija cheese, which I doubt will perform as intended. The only other cheeses I have on hand are probably too hard -- Parmesan, and aged Gruyere. No cream cheese, sour cream, or yogurt, either. Given that I can't get to a cheese counter before dinner, what do you recommend to recover from my carelessness? Thanks!

Sub with Monterey Jack! I think that'd be the closest.

No matter how hard I try, every time I cook rice and imagine how it will come out fluffy with separate grains it comes out sticky. I've tried different brands of long grain rice and follow the directions to a T, including no stirring after the rice is added, but the rice is still sticky. What could I be doing wrong?

Rinse, rinse, rinse! And, hey, here's a short piece from 2008 with advice.

When I try to print out your recipes, somethign on your webpage is blocking the top few rows of any page after the first one. I found this out to my total annoyance after I printed out a recipe to take tothe store for shopping. when I got home and was going through the recipe I realized that two ingredients were hidden and so I had failed to buy them. Please --This needs to be fixed!

Ah, yes, we'd have sporadic reports of this. I'll pass this along to our tech folks. Out of curiosity, what browser are you using?

A week or so ago I asked where to buy kimchi locally, and you mentioned making it yourself--as you did again today. So can you share your recipe?

It's in my cookbook. Actually, make that plural -- I have a kimchi recipe in both "Serve Yourself" and "Eat Your Vegetables." In the former, I add Asian pear; in the latter, I don't, and I also give options for making it vegan.

Have a great recipe for the poster. Peanuts with lime juice, chili cayenne roasted in a 250 degree oven. Will post exact recipe if she's interested.

Growing up, my mom always made chicken fried cauliflower in bacon grease. Any reason that would not work with this recipe?

It would certainly work. Whether it would make the recipe continue to appeal to vegetarians, of course, is another story!

this reminded me a little of a breaded and deep fried cauliflower my mom used to by off the schwann truck which would come to our rural home. What is the texture like of your recipe? Also, the gravy looks pretty thin? Can you make a milk or cream based gravy which is more traditionally used on chicken fried steak?

This way leaves the cauliflower just tender inside and crispy outside. Sure thing, you can make a cream or milk gravy. I wouldn't characterize my gravy as thin, but it's not as thick as the traditional, either.

Joe, my friends and I loved your article on food in Paris!!! How I wish I could get such good bread and cheese here.

Thanks! I had a blast working on this one. How could I not?

Sweetwater did run a follow up ad after their win. It was clever.

Tim's on assignment; do you have a copy of that subsequent ad, perchance?

My husband and I were watching something on the Food Network where a chef was making pies. She lined a docked pie crust with foil, then put dried beans on top for the blind baking. I know why blind baking can be necessary, but my husband and I were talking about if the dried beans could be soaked and cooked. I'm thinking no, Husband says "Why not? The beans are dried anyway..." Also, why is it called "blind baking"?

Dried beans or rice or ceramic beads called pie weights provide just enough heft to keep a pre-baked crust from rising or forming bubbles (as does docking by punching holes with a fork). For easy extraction, they are placed on a sheet of parchment or aluminum foil; otherwise, you'd be plucking them out of the dough. Because the paper/foil covers the dough, it retards browning -- must be where the "blind" reference comes from, or the term can simply mean a pie shell that's baked blank/empty. So once the weights have done their work, the common practice is to lift off the weighted paper/foil so the crust can brown properly.

You could cook the dried beans after you used them for blind baking, but a quick spin of the ol' Web seems to indicate some loss of texture/freshness. I've certainly reused rice, with no ill effect. 

As a non fan of beer, particularly hops, do you think there are enough local makers of cider for you to do a cider taste off yet?

If you included multiple brands from the big producers (Boston Beer's Angry Orchard, Woodchuck) plus imports, I think we might be able to put together 32 varieties. I'd like to see how the locals like Distillery Lane in Maryland and Albemarle Ciderworks in Virginia stack up against the bigger players. 

Well, that's just MAD!

What would you suggest in place of flour in the chicken fried cauliflower recipe?

You mean to make it gluten-free, I assume? Rice flour.

I am half Persian and have watched my mother make rice for decades by just pouring it into a big pot of boiling water (as you would for pasta). When it is done (tender or a little al-dente), just drain and serve. Of course, as Persians, we add a second step, which is to saute the rice with vegetables, nuts, raisins, saffron, etc, but even the plain boiled rice is delicious and comes out perfect every time. We generally use basmati, but it works for regular long grain rice as well. Even my brother, who is totally helpless in the kitchen, can make perfect rice this way. Try it!

Yep, that's a good one to keep in mind -- I like to then bake it briefly.

As a single person, I find it impossible to use up fresh herbs before they go bad, especially cilantro and flat-leaf parsley. I've heard they don't survive being frozen. Is this true for all herbs or just the more leafy ones? Any suggestions appreciated.

The best way to freeze so many herbs, IMHO, is to blend them with oil to make a paste, and then to freeze that. Check out this recipe (or, I should say, save this link and check back later in the hopes that our technical problem has been fixed). And then check out Susan Belsinger's great piece on that technique, and more herb-saving ideas.

The bad printing happens with both internet expolrer and firefox.

Thanks for the details.

Why are two different sizes of rice used in the recipe? Why are the lentils soaked? I thought lentils didn't need soaking.

This dish is all about creating a porridgelike consistency. The two rice grains provide a slight contrast in texture. Soaking the lentils is said to remove some of their flatulence-inducing powers, is all. Might in this case help with texture, too. I didn't test the recipe with unsoaked lentils, but if you do, let us know how it turns out. 

I was reading through the article on RAMMY award winners and it says that a restaurant cannot be nominated if it's not a member of the Association. I guess I never thought of it before, but what is the reasoning behind that? How does a restaurant actually come to be a member, and are there any benefits, other than being able to win the award? Do they have gatherings? Now I'm very curious...

They pay dues to become members, based on revenue, and they get training discounts, industry partnerships, the ability to participate in Restaurant Week, and more. Here's what RAMW says about membership.

Hello. I love to roast broccoli florets and end up throwing away the stem. I am sure I am missing out. What do you do with it? I am thinking to finely chop it, cook it in olive oil and add to a risotto. Would that be good? Any other ideas?

Jacques Pepin's always peeling broccoli stems and slicing them for stir-fries. I like the sound of your plan, but I guess I'd peel them first, too. 

Been daydreaming of summer lately. Part of the dream involves grilling at the pool, sipping a low-cal (reasonably) hoppy Ale. There are multitudes of IPAs out there, but they all seem to be creeping up in alcohol and calories, both of which are not my thing. Seems like there is a major hole in the market for a low-cal brew that emphasizes bitter and nose exclusively. I know there is Sankaty Light Lager that almost fits the bill, but it is hard to find and is a Lager, obviously. Any reasonable ideas on this front...especially ones in cans that we can drink poolside?

Actually, I'm seeing an increasing number of what are termed "session IPAs": beers with low-to-moderate alcohol but a nice hop content. Founders Brewing led the charge with its All Day IPA, Lagunitas followed up with DayTime IPA, and Stone Brewing Co. just released Go to IPA (only 4.5% alcohol). 

A good pilsner might also fit the bill. 

First round matchup: Dogfish Head 60-M v. Mad Fox Orange Whip? That should be the regional final. How were the matchups done within each category?

Sam Fitz, beer director for Meridian Pint, helped us arrange the beer selections and match-ups. I can't answer for the other judges, but I remember a lot of really tough decisions. I think the score sheets will show more 5-4 squeakers than 9-0 or 8-1 blowouts. 

We blanch any extra herbs, cool them in ice water and then hang them in front of windows to dry. It is kind of rustic. After drying, you can store them in an air tight ccontainer.

If you are vegetarian, vegan, or allergic to seafood--try looking at an Asian market for "white" kimchi. It's not as spicy as the regular but it generally does not have fish sauce or shrimp in it.

Thanks!

Julienne cut and added to salads. Or used in place of cabbage for tacos, etc.

Not only do I make a paste, as Joe suggested, I freeze it in ice cube trays, then store the cubes in air-tight containers. That way I have single-serving dollops available that thaw quickly.

Yes!

Italians fry cauliflower (or almost any vegetable): dip in egg, then in bread crumbs seasoned with Parmesan, parsley, salt/pepper (and garlic if you wish) and fry in half olive oil/half vegetable oil. Heaven! By the way, I know everyone says don't use extra virgin olive oil for frying, but all the Italians I learned from growing up used half olive and half vegetable oil for frying.

Heaven, indeed. Thanks!

This continued snowing and winter has made me look more at the seed catalogues. Do you have any particularly new species or varieties of veggies you will be planting in your gardens this year?

Last year, I became a little obsessed with hot cherry peppers. If I can swing it, I'd love to get some of those going in my yard.

I'm writing about plans for my new front-yard garden in this week's Local Living. Check it out! I'll Tweet and FB it when it goes online, too. As for new things I'm trying to grow, two jump out: asparagus beans, which are yardlong beans; and cocozelle, and Italian striped zucchini squash variety. Wish me luck!

I made a pot of dried beans for the first time this week. They turned out well but the recipe said to let them cool in the liquid, when they were done cooking. I did this but then the liquid just solidified. I have used them and just washed them off before using but should I have drained them initially? Am I missing out on nutrients or flavor by washing off the liquid? I assume if I made them for soup I would keep the liquid but I was using the beans for salad. thanks.

The liquid solidified? What else was in there? I've never had this happen! You mean the liquid gelled, like with stock? I assume that was when they were refrigerated, so I bet it would think back out at room temperature.

A bigger point: Yes, you're missing out on flavor (I'm not sure about nutrients, but probably some of those, too), bigtime. That stuff is gold. So delicious. Beans freeze well when covered in it, too.

I'm already thinking ahead to Passover, and I'd like to serve a fish entree that I can make ahead and won't take up precious oven or stovetop space. In the past, I've made poached salmon, but I won't buy farmed, and wild-caught is cost-prohibitive. Any ideas? No shellfish, dairy, or grains/leavening.

We're impressed! It's all about the planning. We're having some Recipe Finder display issues right now, but once they're resolved please take a look at the Passover Halibut Plaki and Baked Whitefish for Passover recipes.

 

If  you are possibly swayed by results of our taste test and Tamar Haspel's piece on sustainably farmed vs. wild salmon from a while back, I'd point you in the direction of our Salmon With Pink Peppercorn Sauce. I've made it for the past several years and lovelovelove it. 

If I wanted to add more vegetables to the Black Bean Patties, do I need to add anything else to make it stick together? I like to include shredded carrot, zucchini, and lima beans or peas (and maybe corn) so that we get more vegetables in each patty. Should I just add more bread crumbs, or is there a different rule of thumb? Thanks!

the mashed beans and egg are enough of a binder to add more shredded veg, I think. You'll be able to feel the mixture with your hands, and assess whether or not to add more bread crumbs. 

I made a red curry dish this week that was supposed to have Kabocha squash. I could find no such thing and thought butternut might taste odd with red curry so I used Tofu, which was lovely. But, what else can one substitute?

You're more likely to see kabocha squash in the fall. I bought some at the farmers market last year to make Joe's Thai Kabocha Curry (yes, link not working for now, but it will eventually!). You can substitute buttercup or acorn squash. Butternut, Joe says, would be too watery.

I thought the cookbook Bonnie discussed today might be a good bet for my teen-aged son, who likes to cook and enjoys experimenting with farmer's market produce. One catch -- he's vegetarian. Would the cookbook have a good selection of recipes for him? (Someone asked a similar question on the Arcadia website, but there's no reply yet.)

It looks like a majority of them are meatless, so yes! I think it'd be a good choice for him. 

Hi all, I'd love to eat more kale, but it seems so bitter. Just recently learned that there are different varieties, but what those are, and what we might find more tasty, we're not sure... can you help? Thanks

I don't find too many flavor differences between the varieties, I have to say, but my favorite way to eat kale is massaged in a raw salad -- and with a very pungent dressing: spicy, sour, garlicky, or all three. That seems to balance out the bitterness, to me. Now, if the bitterness REALLY bothers you, you can blanch or even boil kale; that'll make it a lot milder, kinda like what happens with broccoli rabe to tame it.

I've been making a Julia Child recipe for rice pilaf for years - use an oven-proof pot or casserole; saute one cup of very long grain rice (I use Basmati) in about 1 tbl olive oil until the rice turns milky. (you can add thyme and a bay leaf, or other seasonings). Pour in 1 1/2 cups of boiling liquid - chicken stock, water or other type of broth. Cover and put in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. As long as you have really long grain rice, the grains come out nice and separate.

Thanks for sharing. My mom used to boil rice like pasta -- in lots of water. That worked, too. 

Isn't displaying past my question - I want to see what to add for the home bar and the other goodies that I missed. I'm in Windows Explorer and only about half the chat is on display. Help!

Yup, sometimes apostrophes and quotation marks can break the chat in Explorer. I think I fixed it, so refresh the page and/or check back later once the cache has cleared. Or you can switch browsers for now and see it just fine.

Not the OP, but yes, please, to the recipe offer. I'd probably use cashew because I have a bunch on hand.

You guys rock. Thanks!

I use butternut in curry all the time and have never found it watery. In addition to being my favorite, it is the most commonly found and also the easiest winter squash to peel and cut. Try the curry at Bangkok 54 with squash!

I love butternut, but once I had kabocha in a curry, I never looked back. Its drier texture soaks up the sauce, leaving it nice and intense. Yum!

My guess is that the beans (we don't know what kind they were) were cooked to the point where some of them broke down and thickened the liquid they were cooked in. I often do this when making frijoles refritos, and continue to add water to the beans as they cook until they essentially puree themselves. Much deliciousness went down that drain. Too bad.

Indeed! Those sound like they'd be perfect for my Enfrijoladas -- if you keep the liquid, of course. (Note: That recipe is still showing up blank, but hopefully this will be fixed and you'll be able to get to it.)

Legal Sea Foods has a kung pao cauliflower appetizer which is amazing. Lightly battered and fried and slightly spicy.

Good to know! Like the sound of it!

I drank Sweetwater's IPA when visiting family in the SE US and was bummed out to learn none of that brewery's products were available locally. Asked my beer-geek nephew to suggest an IPA I'd find similar and he couldn't come up with one. Recently, however, I've spotted them in my usual shopping haunts. Have you tried this IPA and if so what did you think (and what others do you think are similar)?

You'll be happy to learn that Sweetwater Brewing in Atlanta, last month, began shipping its IPA, its 420 Pale Ale and its Sweetwater Blue to the DC/Northern Virginia area. 

I think their IPA is pleasant but not overly aggressive, nice citrusy hop character, not so strong that you couldn't down a pint or two. I believe Lost Rhino Face Plant from Ashburn, Va. is similar in alcohol and hop character.

1) When I clicked on ths recipe, there wasn't an actual recipe on the site - it was empty. 2) Even though you're a vegetarian now, Joe, would you mind sharing your tips on how to make an excellent country-fried steak? I've been burned by a couple recipes that did not give me what I consider an excellent country-fried steak. I'd love any tips you could share! (I promise I'll still try the cauliflower version - it sounds yummy, too.)

Hopefully our Recipe Finder will be fixed and you'll be able to see the recipe soon. That, and my recipe for CFS, which I think you'd love.

Thank you for taking my question. I want to make cherry pie, which requires sour cherries. They aren't in season and I prefer not to use canned cherries. Does anyone know where I might be able to find frozen sour cherries? A google search indicated Persian markets might carry them, but a Persian friend says they would only have dried cherries and I don't know how to make pie form dried cherries. I'm in DC, any suggestions for a source of frozen sour cherries appreciated!

Plenty of sources online to order from, including Amazon.com. I've had spotty success over the past few months finding frozen "tart" cherries at Whole Foods and Wegmans. I think rehydrating dried sour cherries for pie is worth a shot...you might think about using a liqueur (amaretto?) instead of plain hot water. 

Or ... just wait until they're in season! Nothing makes a better cherry pie.

Two of my new favorite ingredients are coconut bacon, and Kala Namak salt (the tinge of sulphur is great in mock egg salad). What new ingredients have you become fond of after going veggie?

Tempeh!

I grow Lacinato kale. Very mild with dark green leaves. I use it instead of romaine in salads all the time. Can be difficult to find even in farmers markets but well worth the hunt.

Not difficult to find, in my experience. Ubiquitous, even. This is the kale -- also called dinosaur kale and Tuscan kale -- that I think is largely responsible for the trendiness of the vegetable in the last couple of years.

I'm curious about your reactions to the beard nominations--always a fun list to comb through. I was disappointed DC wasn't better represented in the restaurant categories. Even the Mid-Atlantic Chef category had only one nominee from the city proper (ever good Rasika). But on the journalism side, it seemed our area made out fairly well. Especially pleased to see Food section contributor Tamar Haspel get a nod. I've really enjoyed her Unearthed series. And her pig-raising series from 2 years ago was probably the only thing I ever read in a Food section that made me cry. Powerful stuff.

Thanks for the thoughts on the journalism awards! We're very excited about Tamar's nod for Unearthed, as well as Monica Hesse's for that great Gwyneth piece and Eli Saslow's for the food stamp project. All very well deserved. As for the chefs, let me turn this back around on you: What DC chef do you think should've made the cut -- and at the expense of which nominee?

Shred them for a cole slaw!

3 T. lime juice 3 T. chili powder 1 teas. kosher salt. 1 teas. cayenne pepper 3 cups unsalted dry roasted peanuts (or any other nut) Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Whisk everything except peanuts together. Add nuts, tossing to coat. Bake, stirring every 15 minutes for about 45 minutes. Let cool Stores in airtight container for about 3 weeks, not that mine last that long!

The Nourish recipe today sounds really good. Definitely the kind of thing I'd make. The recipe note says to choose a bacon with deep, smoky flavor. Any particular recommendations, especially from Whole Foods? My favorite bacon in the city is from Harvey's at Union Market, but unfortunately Union Market is a bit inconvenient for me for regular visits.

Harvey's carries Benton's, I believe, and that's about the smokiest most wonderful bacon you can find. I've taken to ordering it online, then freezing it or bestowing it upon people I really, really like. 

The spicy black bean patties sounded good until I got to the sweet potato on the ingredient list. Is there something that can be substituted for the sweet potato? I have never liked sweet potatoes but have tried using them in healthier recipes but I can still taste the them. I don't know if it is mental thing (since I have never like them and know that they are in the dish) or if I actually taste them. I enjoy your chat and hve tried many things I would not have tried without reading about them in the WaPo food section or the chat. Healthier Okie (or trying to be healthier)

I liked the slight sweetness they add here, so I'd recommend using parsnips instead.

Who do you think serves strong Thai food in the city, preferably with takeout or delivery? Someone asked Tom that in his chat today, and he recommended Thai X-ing and Little Serow. Sure, they're two great restaurants, but neither deliver, one doesn't offer carry-out, and they're both damn near impossible to get into. Can you recommend one or two places for the masses?

Tom also liked Beau Thai when he visited its second location last year. Site says they do carryout and delivery.

Other favorites?

What is the difference between Rye IPA and just regular IPA? I've seen so different types of IPA's around.

Most IPAs are brewed from 100% barley malt. "RyePAs" are made with a percentage of rye in the grist that adds an extra spicy, pumpernickel-like flavor. 

If you search for the recipe, you can find it. http://www.washingtonpost.com/pb/recipes/chicken-fried-cauliflower-miso-mushroom-gravy/13949/

This one seems to be popping in and out of visibility. Glad it's there now, and hope it stays!

will you please share your recipe for vegetarian kimchi??? thanks.

It's not online anywhere, I'm afraid -- and I'm not typing it out here; too many other q's to answer! If you want it, you'll have to buy it!

Yes, please, that would be fabulous. I tried a Virginia cider and it was terrible (can't remember the name). It would be nice to know what is available locally and how it ranks up.

Let us get through the current madness, and we'll consider!

Must just be me, no-one else seems to notice.

Interesting -- well, it is in the brassica family, and its cousin cabbage certainly has that problem, especially when cooked for a long time. Has that been when you've noticed it?

I am thinking of taking a trip to Northern Italy this fall, and hoping to spend a week at a nice farmhouse/cooking school and another truffle hunting and more cooking, maybe in Umbria or Piedmont. (Also hiking to work off the calories) Any suggestions of places to go? Thanks.

Here's our Travel story from not too long ago on Umbria. In the details box, Tony Faiola recommends La Montagnola, which offers cooking classes.

Your mention of this is timely, I am thinking of getting rid of most of my yard and having an "edible yard". We already have a fairly large garden, but the rest of the yard is a wasteland of grass that I would like to change over to produce food/herbs. However, I am having a hard time figuring out how to do this. Are there any good local classes or planners that you know of? Looking at books on the subject is helpful, but I could really use some hands on help planning it out. Thanks!

Running out of time, but follow me on Twitter and FB and you'll see the link I post to my piece coming out tomorrow, which also has a list of resources, including classes and an online planner. Or come back next week and I'll share the link once it's available. Or read Local Living tomorrow!

Any new recipes or ideas on how to use up hard-boiled eggs? Eater is a month away and my kid have already dyed a dozen and are asking to do more.

A perennial request writ early! Aside from egg salad, potato salads and chopped salads, think about adding hard-cooked eggs in Salvadoran-style filled empanadas and finely crumbled over poached asparagus. I see some enterprising bakers add finely crumbled yolk to shortcake dough!  

And stay tuned for a hard-cooked egg piece, coming right before Easter.

Will anyone ever make a low calorie cider? I am a huge fan of the drier ciders, especially Strongbow, but that big yellow can is 200 calories. Angry Orchard is being carried by more and more local distributors, but it's 200 calories per BOTTLE! Is there hope for a cider lover who also wants to watch calorie intake?

Consider your plea published.

Although I might just suggest smaller portions! Joe says you can cut it with sparkling water, too.

It broke for me in all browsers last week. Did not submit a question.

Doing my best to fix it! But I see it fine in Chrome.

Okay, so if one has a bread recipe calling for Pyrex (cheddar bread from last week), could one use a metal pan and INCREASE the oven heat by 25 degrees?

Sure, but keep an eye on it for doneness. 

Is all about wine. There is even an article about a picnic at Virginia International Raceway with recipes and wine recommendations. However, none of the recommended pairings are VA wines they are all Cali wines. Does the inept editor of F&W know VA makes wine too and some Va wines rival the best of CA. After subscribing for over 30 years I am seriously thinking about not renewing F&W has become very pretentious over the last couple of years.

O to the y (as in, oy). Need the mag's email address?

Try tossing in a few chopped-up stalks of celery while cooking members of the cabbage family. It seems to absorb the worst of the stench, yet is edible afterwards.

Interesting!

bon appetite had a suggestion a while ago to peel the tough outer layer and cut them down to long ways and score them like you would meat. Roast along with the florets. They are awesome.

Hi Rangers, Escarole. Where on earth can I find it? I've checked various upper NW grocery stores with absolutely no luck. Is it just not in season yet? I'm itching to try a chicken thighs with escarole recipe out of "The Glorious Vegetables of Italy," but no luck so far. Thank you!

It's a tricky one. Usually you can ask a produce manager to order it and you'll have it within a few days. Stay with it -- we endorse Domenica Marchetti's recipes! 

While I do enjoy some beer, I will happily choose cider anytime. So I second the motion for a cider taste-off!

I know that some people simply like the fruity taste of cider, while others drink it because of gluten allergies (cider is fermented from fruit, not grain, and is gluten-free). 

I'd be happy to do a cider tasting! 

Well, you've sipped us blind in matchups and chosen one over the other, so you know what that means -- we're done!

Thanks for the great q's today, and thanks to Greg and Carrie for helping with the a's!

I forgot to announce that we'd have a giveaway cookbook this week, and this time the choice is easy: The chatter who asked about "The Arcadia Mobile Market Seasonal Cookbook" will get... (drumroll here) ... "The Arcadia Mobile Market Seasonal Cookbook"! Send your mailing info to Becky.Krystal@washpost.com, and she'll get it your way.

Until next time, happy cooking, eating, reading -- and drinking! Cheers!

In This Chat
Joe Yonan
Joe Yonan is editor of the Food section; joining us today are deputy editor Bonnie Benwick, staff writer Tim Carman, Spirits columnist Carrie Allan, Smoke Signals columnist Jim Shahin, Beer columnist Greg Kitsock and editorial aide Becky Krystal.
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