Free Range on Food: Glen's Garden Market, Greek salad, Washington Post cookbook and more

Apr 17, 2013

The owner and chef behind the new regionally-sourced Glen's Garden Market join us to talk about the store. David Hagedorn shares his riffs on the Greek Salad. And we'll take your questions about our new cookbook, released this week and available for order at www.washingtonpost.com/cookbook.
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 Free Range! We've got things to celebrate today -- particularly the publication of the FIRST Washington Post Cookbook! Have you ordered your copy yet? Do that right here! Bonnie did a great job pulling it together, and we're plenty proud.

To mark the occasion, we are giving away a signed copy of the book today to the chatter with our favorite question/query. Do your darndest, and you can get a book!

Bonnie won't be joining us today, because she's on assignment, but we have two very special guests to help us out today: Danielle Vogel and chef Sean Sullivan of the about-to-open Glen's Garden Market, which Tim wrote about today. I don't know about you, but as a neighbor interested in buying locally produced food, I'm expecting to be a regular!

We will also have the fabulous David Hagedorn in the house to answer questions about his Greek salads and more.

Let's do this!

Mazel tov!!! Can't wait to get a copy.

We can't wait for you to get one too!

The recipe for ordinary carrots braised with maple syrup and Spanish smoked paprika makes my guests eyes roll back in their heads like Great White Sharks chomping. This is a combination of pantry foods that is only good fresh, room temperature or reheated.

Ha! Thanks for the amazing visual. With an endorsement like that, I'll have to try the dish soon.

Smoky-Sweet Glazed Carrots

I bought a bag of shredded cabbage/carrots intending to make an interesting coleslaw as a side, but decided against it. What to do with this bag of cabbage that is not a coleslaw? Vegetarian options preferred, thanks!

You could use it for an asian style stir fry. Use a hot pan, preferably a wok, and cook until it is soft. Season with soy sauce and seasame oil and it should be great!

And I DO mean HATE. Any suggestions?

No, no, no! The key to moving past your vegetable hatred will NOT be found in a bottle of supermarket salad dressing. I hate to be the one to break this to you, but it's true. The key will be found in learning to cook the vegetables in ways that show off their particular qualities, and to find recipes that inspire you to do just that. Did you see my review of the new Deborah Madison book, "Vegetable Literacy"? That might be a good place for some inspiration. Or perhaps "Mr. Wilkinson's Vegetables," which came out in February in the US. Of course, I'm hoping that you keep an eye on my Weeknight Vegetarian recipes for things that might prompt you to at least LIKE -- if not LOVE -- your veggies.

But back to your dressing question. I think you're much better off just learning to make your own. It's so easy, honestly. My favorite basic recipe is 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 minced garlic clove, salt and pepper to taste. (This is more acidic than the classic vinaigrette.) Try whisking that together, and then add more honey to make it sweeter, more vinegar to make it more sour, more oil to make it richer.

You can switch up that basic recipe in so many ways: different oils and vinegars, of course (sesame oil, walnut or other nut oils, rice vinegar or sherry vinegar or champagne vinegar etc), but also adding extra ingredients like miso for something Asian, chopped almonds for something Spanish, fresh herbs of all sorts, and so on.

I'm very excited to read the new cookbook! I ordered my copy and look forward to getting it soon. Congrats to Bonnie and team for putting it together and getting it out. I've noticed that recipes in the Food section are often adapted from other sources. I'm curious whether the book contains such recipes and, if so, did you have to get permission from the original source to use them? As a food blogger, I always cite sources when I use or adapt others' recipes, which seems to be generally acceptable, but I'm wondering if there are different issues when using such recipes for printed publication.

Absolutely, we got permission and gave credit where it was due!

too much garlic. Anything I can do besides add more of all other ingredients?

Not that I can think of. It's a proportion problem: too much garlic, not enough eggplant, tahini, etc. The only fix, I think, is to add more eggplant. The smokier, the better on that eggplant, too!

I am one of those people who has NEVER thought there has been too much garlic in anything. So I suggest you merely rename your dish: Garlicky Ganoush!

Seriously, Tim's right about more eggplant, but since that involves cooking it, first try tahini -- and maybe a little honey and vinegar...

Loved the article about Glen's Garden Market and I'm looking forward to checking it out! Will butcher cuts of meat be available? I'm always looking for ways to have my beef and get it locally grass-fed, too...

We're offering a full range of cuts, all of which will come in frozen and cryo-packed to maximize the time you have to enjoy them. If there is something you'd like that you don't see, let us know and we'll bring it in for you!

We will also be offering the same meats from our case, cooked and prepared to be taken home, put on a sandwich or pizza, or can be eaten in our cafe!

Thank you, thank you for the new Washington Post cookbook! I've been looking forward to it for a long time, and can't wait to get my hands on a copy. In your opinions, what's a girl to cook first from the book?

You could start with the two dishes we ran in today's paper:

Rhubarb and Ginger Compote

Not Derby Pie

Not Derby Pie

I'm so delighted to have this recipe now. Every little bit of home I can recapture without having to make the trek across the mountains is a delight, especially with Derby Festival (and my accompanying homesickness) kicking off this weekend!

Excellent! Glad we can help.

I am slowly getting into beets and see all these great sounding recipes for roasted beets...any chance I could roast the canned variety or would that end up in a mess as I'm presuming? Or should I just stick with adding my matchstick beets to salads and buy a fresh beet?

Your second option is correct. Please do not roast canned beets. And consider giving them up altogether. Some weekend (or whatever day you have a little hands-off time), just rinse a few big beets, wrap them in foil, and roast at 400 degrees until they're tender -- could be up to an hour or so depending on the size of them. You can check without opening them by sticking a fork or skewer through the foil into a beet. When they're fork tender, let them cool enough to handle and then slip off the skins. You can drizzle them in oil and vinegar and keep in the fridge for a week to slice onto salads and to use for all sorts of other dishes.

Here are other ideas for roasting beets.

 

The canned beets are already cooked. If you are going to roast them, use fresh.

Your recipes are usually pretty well edited, but I like the missed query in Joe's recipe! If you send me a copy of the Washington Post Cookbook, I promise to look through and find any typos/errors that should be fixed for the next edition! I used to do that for elementary school spelling books. It was the most boring job I've ever had, a cookbook would be much more fun!

What do you think my reaction was when I saw that this morning? I'll leave it to your imagination, but suffice it to say that I might have a little cleaning up to do in my condo when I get home. Sigh.

Is it available everywhere or just in the DC area?

Yes, everywhere, thanks to the Internet. You can order it at www.washingtonpost.com/cookbook or, of course, through Amazon.

I have a small steak defrosting for dinner. It is a good bone-in piece of meat, but it is small for 2 people and I want to feed 3. I have various rices/pastas and cheeses. I have tomatoes and an avocado. I have some veggies (zucchini, bok choy, scallions, onion, frozen corn) but not a ton (no red/green peppers, so can't do fajitas). No salad greens. Help!

I would cook(grill or saute) the steak and slice it. You can spread it out for 3 people. You could also cook the veg on the grill and have a early season BBQ!

I agree with Sean that grilling the vegetables would be fun. Do you have any spices you could use to turn the avocado and tomato into guacamole? (Of course, for that you need chips.) You could turn that rice into a pilaf or casserole to go on the side, too. What about a cheesy rice casserole? Boil it until tender, saute onion and chile powder in butter, toss with the boiled rice and cheese and salt and pepper, and bake until the cheese melts.

Forgetting to put the lid on the electric coffee grinder before starting it. A face-full of flying espresso beans, traveling at what seemed like at least 20 mph, offers as much of a jolt as two cups of joe. And it packed a rich aroma, too!

Not to mention the sheer, pulse-racing frustration that comes with picking all those coffee beans off the floor!

I have an almost one year old who is a pretty good eater. We've moved on from purees and are now strictly eating finger foods. This has meant lots of basic frozen veggies such as peas and corn plus some roasted foods like sweet potatoes. I would like to add more greens into his diet as he loved the purees with spinach, but how do you turn spinach into finger foods and any other suggestions for incorporating a wider range of vegetables into his diet. Thanks.

I don't have any great ideas for turning spinach into finger foods without making the greens fairly unhealthy, like frying them into chips. I guess you can dehydrate them and turn the spinach into raw chips. But you'll need to buy a dehydrator. Here's a recipe for that.

 

You might try adding broccoli and cauliflower into your child's diet. I've read that if you cut the veggies small enough, put them into a baggie and treat them almost like candy, kids will gobble them up. But this is all just theoretical to me. I don't have any rug rats.

 

Chatters with kids, any other ideas?

I just got an iphone and I'm looking for any food apps that you can suggest. Free or paid, recipes or recipe storage, or anything else...totally open to suggestions. thanks

I have a mixed relationship with recipe-based apps for my iPhone. I'll download a few, use them for a week or two, then forget about them forever. I just don't find the phone a handy tool to use when cooking. It's better, I think, for food apps just to read or educate yourself. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has an app on sustainable seafood, which you can check before buying fish at the market or in a restaurant. I also find the online reservation apps handy, whether the one from OpenTable or CityEats.

A reader asked for the recipe last week (from Lynn Alley's The Gourmet Vegetarian Slow Cooker)

Ingredients:

2 cups dried chickpeas

6 cups water

2 tsp pure chile powder

1 tsp turmeric

1 russet potato, peeled and diced

2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk or coconut cream

1 to 2 tsp palm sugar or brown sugar

salt to taste

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

1/4 chopped fresh cilantro

1 jalapeno pepper, seeds & veins removed, finely chopped

Thoroughly rinse the chickpeas and place them in the slow cooker insert along with the water. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hrs, or until the chickpeas are just tender. Remove the cover and gently stir in the chile powder, turmeric, potato, tomatoes, coconut milk, and sugar. Add salt to taste, replace the cover, and continue cooking for about 1 hr longer (took much longer for me), or until the potatoes are tender. Spoon into bowls and top each serving with 1 tablespoon each of chopped mint & cilantro, and a pinch of jalapenos. (serves 4)

Thanks!

Don't you feel kind of silly having an "interactive" bracket that doesn't advance the winners of the interactive voting? One of your "finalists" - the Legend pilsener - actually lost three of the four rounds of voting, yet it still keeps advancing. Honestly, that's not only worse than the NCAA, it's worse than professional wrestling.

Does the public vote on the NCAA? Or wrestling? Nope. It's fun to see what the public thinks about the different beers, but we pride ourselves in evaluating them carefully -- and evaluating them blind. That's really the only way to do it. The online votes are based on people's perceptions of the beer or the brewery, and they actually might not have even ever sipped it, or sipped it recently, or sipped it next to the beer it's matched up with, or certainly sipped them both without knowing what they were.

something good about pressure cookers? I've never used one, but I hate to have nothing but bad associations with a word that should be good (kitchen gadget!) or at least neutral. What do you do with them? Are they hard to use? Are there things that can really only be done with pressure cookers? Or are they mostly time saving devices?

This is the great thing about the InterWebz: You always have easy access to the Post archives. Our own Jane Touzalin wrote the book on pressure cookers back in May of 2012. Take a look.

You can do great things with a pressure cooker, /like braise meats, canning and speeding cooking on slow cooking items. They can be very helpful and only a few tricks to learn.

I agree. I've been so, so sad and upset about the bombing in Boston, where I have so very many friends after living there for so long, and while it seems silly to focus on this, I also cringed at the idea that a device that is capable of producing deliciousness and happiness was the tool for terror and destruction. So let's reclaim the pressure cooker! I'm going to pull my out and make something gorgeous this weekend in honor of the Boston dead and wounded.

Do any of your garden? Favorite veggies/herbs/spices that you grow? any favorite recipes you use with homegrown foods. Also any reccs for a Mole recipe

I try to garden! My favorite things are herbs that are hard to kill: rosemary, basil and mint.

I like to use the mint in the sauce for this Greek Chicken Wrap. Basil and tomatoes, when aren't eaten by the squirrels, get thrown into a basic pasta dish with some olive oil and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Hot peppers are used in Easy Chickpea Curry.

I put rosemary on my foccacia. And this year I'd like to use it for Peaches With Rosemary-Mascarpone Whipped Cream.

Peaches With Rosemary-Mascarpone Whipped Cream

As for mole, you probably can't do much better than the sauce in this Turkey With Oaxacan Mole. Based on a Diana Kennedy recipe.

Turkey With Oaxacan Mole

Use it in layers with rice to make a baked casserole?

That might work, but I believe the chatter was asking how to fix the dish so that it's still baba ghanouj.

Can blue cheese get "too blue"? I have had some in the fridge for a while . . . .

Any cheese will go bad. Once cheese is purchased, it is best eaten within  weeks. After that they become questionable, and need to be checked.

Aged cheeses, I'll interject, can last longer if they're properly wrapped and stored. Your best bet is to use paper that helps the cheese breathe, like this cheese paper.

Ack...Joe. You don't need foil to roast beets. You can scrub and roast them whole tossed with a little olive oil, then peel afterwords; or roast peeled, diced beets tossed with a little olive oil and salt, which will get you better roasted flavor (and keep your hands cleaner.) If you wrap beets in foil they steam, not roast. Plus afterwords the foil is too dirty to recycle. (Remember the 'reduce' part of 'reduce, reuse, recycle.') Seriously, every recipe for roasted beets says to wrap them in foil and it is completely unnecessary. Thanks for listening.

I didn't say you NEEDED foil to roast beets, but I like the way they come out when I do. Keeps them nice and moist. But without foil works, too, of course.

Sorry wont pay premium prices for something that is frozen. I like my beef fresh and not frozen since its changes the texture and the taste. Same with lamb and prefer local lamb to Aussie lamb anyday.

I totally understand your point, but our thinking was that you'd get a much better product if we brought the meat in frozen and sold it frozen, as opposed to bringing it in frozen and defrosting it before selling it to you, as many others do. Additionally, we wanted to minimize spoil. We really are happy to bring in whatever you'd like though -- our ranchers are producing some exceptionally wonderful meat.

I also wanted to mention that we are only selling locally ranched meat. No aussie lamb here!!

In May we will have an amazing local lamb coming in. As a chef, I think this is a better product than any Aussie lamb I have ever tasted.

I recommend Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything app, which is basically his cookbook but with updates and useful searching features that make it cut above an eBook. It's the only recipe app I've really liked. In contrast, I've been disappointed with the Mario Batali Cooks app, which I've found has some significant mistakes in the recipes (well one recipe, but that was enough to really irritate me).

Any and all contributors who can answer this would be great! What is the number one recipe (sources could be from family, friends, restaurants, wherever) that seems impossible to recreate at home? No matter how many times I read my grandmothers recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie it *never* turns out quite like hers. Is this common? And many congratulations on the cookbook!

Are you sure you are using the same ingredients? And did she pull an old cooks trick (like my grandmother used to do) and leave out one ingredient. They can be tricky like that.

What's to stop you from using the spinach in an eggy frittata or quiche, or as filling for some other sturdy-ish kind of food, and cutting it into bite-size pieces for dinner?

I'm having some friends over for a vegetarian Middle Eastern (ish) dinner Saturday. I'm planning to make hummus, baga ghanoush and quinoa tabbouleh. I haven't yet picked a "centerpiece" dish and thought you might have some great suggestions.

A few ideas from our database:

Chickpea and Zucchini Saute With Couscous

Chickpea and Zucchini Saute With Couscous

Imam Bayildi (The Imam Fainted)

Imam Bayildi (The Imam Fainted)

Yogurt Kuku (if your veg friends have dairy and eggs)

Yogurt Kuku

Ah, the beet haters like my brother Eric, may succumb to bow tie pasta tossed with sauteed roasted beets, sliced garlic and chopped blanched stemmed kale (scooped out of the pasta pot before dumping in the pasta). Crumble feta onto the combination and toss gently. The beets stain the feta and pasta irregularly and the flavor is mild, fresh and converts those frightened off beets by nightmare memories of the pickled canned atrocities. Gardeners will smugly substitute their beet tops for the kale!

Love it!

HI there, long time lurker. Recently I tried to make Pho Ga (not an overly experienced home cook but the recipes seemed fairly idiot-proof). Unfortunately, some of the ingredients, like five- star anise, proved difficult to find and I ended up mixing and matching the aromatic ingredients from two different recipes based on what I was able to find. While it smelled beautiful, the end result in taste was a bit... off. Not terrible, mind you, just not Pho Ga. Do you have any leads on a single recipe for it that uses ingredients a little more easy to find? Or maybe meant for a person who is less adept at dealing with needing to make substitutions, etc.? Many thanks!

That's the thing about pho, whether beef or the chicken version you're asking about: It seems like a simple dish, but a good bowl requires a lot of time (if not much skill) and the right ingredients. Here's a straightforward pho ga recipe that doesn't call for star anise, but still requires fish sauce (which you can find at Whole Foods and Asian supermarkets).

 

Now I really want a bowl of beef pho, fully loaded!

Where do you live? I see star anise at the Whole Foods right near me...

I so agree with you Joe. I was devastated by what happened in Boston. And then to find out that pressure cookers were involved...As an avid home cook, it just really made me upset.

I know. I feel exactly the same way. It's not logical, of course, because a terrorist could use just about anything, and the thing itself wouldn't be blamed, but to take something capable of nourishment and ... well, just really sad.

I like Pinterest, which is more than just recipes of course. I've found all sorts of random stuff on there! Fun to browse when you have some time to kill on the metro, etc.

Cool. That almost makes me want to join one more social network!

There are some local producers of really interesting flours. Amish and other sources. Any possibility you'll stock some of those? Durum, real whole wheat, etc.

We have Virginia wheat being ground in Virginia. We also have flour coming from Penn.

Our flours come from Woodson's Mill in VA and Daisy Organic in PA. Come in to check them out, they're great!!

A few weeks ago you ran an article and accompanying recipes on using a sponge in bread baking. I tried one of the recipes and to say it was a disaster doesn’t cover the territory. (I’m not a skilled bread baker, but I usually do OK). I encountered many problems, but I’ll stick to the biggest: the dough seemed to spread too much in the rising after I had formed the dough into loaves. Therefore the sides were not as thick, or deep, as the center, which threw off the baking time. I attribute this to not using a pan, which I had never done before. So how do you make those really cool shaped, rustic-looking loaves without using a pan?

The cool loaves are because of the dough being stiff. Soft doughs, like a ciabatta, or even softer, will start in a loaf, but will quickly form whatever shape that can rest into. The book "Bread" by Jeffery Hamelman is a great tool to grow your bread knowledge. And it has great recipes.

To the commenter with the small steak. One thing I have learned over time is to not get boxed in by definitions. You may not be able to do steak fajitas, but why not steak burritos or another name. Just because you do not have peppers does not mean you can't make a mexican inspired dish with steak, spices, tomato, cheese and avocados. If you have some beans and rice you can further extend the steak.

I've been tasked with making a strawberry cake for my older sister's birthday. She wants something light and spring-like, with possibly chocolate chips or drizzle or somethign worked in. After flipping through all of my cookbooks, I have not found anything that is right for this. Any ideas?

It is almost stawberry season here in the DC metro area. Why cook fresh strawberries when you could make and amazing strawberry shortcake and use all fresh local ingredients?

Howdy from the Left Coast ... I don't cook; I just read about it. Vicarious thrills, you know! But I'm going to order a couple of Cookbooks (gifts) to show my support to WaPo for having these food chats. We all need a sense of community and the weekly Chats are great for that!

Thanks much!

hello free rangers! i have recently made the conscious decision to change my eating habits and lifestyle so that the person i see when i look in the mirror looks reflects how i feel inside. after numerous bouts of dieting and deprivation, i have finally gotten to the point where i know what makes my body feel nourished and powerful and energetic, and more importantly, i know what doesn't make me feel that way. i have found that my body cannot tolerate gluten, rice, and dairy. i have been *loving* experimenting with ancient grains (teff, quinoa, amaranth), nut milks, and a rainbow of vegetables. do you have any favorite recipes or cookbooks that would help me along my journey? i *love* that Joe has found his path as a vegetarian.....i'm more of a pescatarian right now, but that might change :)

We ran a series of recipes last year from Maria Speck's cookbook "Ancient Grains for Modern Meals." So you might want to check that out. Here are the dishes (some have meat -- wasn't sure whether you were implying you don't eat it): 

Mediterranean Mussels With Farro and Wine

Mediterranean Mussels With Farro and Wine

Cinnamon-Spiced Bulgur With Almonds and Chicken

Cinnamon-Spiced Bulgur With Almonds and Chicken

Greek Millet Saganaki With Shrimp

Greek Millet Saganaki With Shrimp

Cumin-Scented Quinoa With Beef and Beets

Cumin-Scented Quinoa With Beef and Beets

"Roots" by Diane Morgan is a great book for root veg.

Green beans were the only green vegetable that my oldest daughter would reliably eat as finger food when she was around a year. She refused to eat broccoli until after she was 2. Oddly enough, she does not like butter, cheese or other seasonings on her broccoli.

Green is not the only color veg that she should be eating. Carrots, in all colors, beets and anything that can be steamed would be great to her.

Use your bok choy! sautee the onion until nice and golden, then throw in garlic and bok choy, and sautee all together. I like marinating pork (but the steak would work) in a mix of asian-ish spices/marinade, then finely slicing and then pan fry. Then add it to your bok choy mix (along with the remaining marinade to make a sauce) until it all melds together and the marinade/sauce is cooked enough. My go-to marinade is about 1 tbsp fish sauce, 1 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp, some powdered ginger- a hearty heap, chili powder, and a squirt of sriracha if I have it...and lemon grass if I have it....serve it all over rice.

Fabulous. Many thanks.

My mother does that! And she'll proudly announce it, too. I asked what would happen to all those wonderful foods when she's gone and she said, "I guess they'll just go with me." I love her, but really! I've started writing down all of my recipes (the good ones) and if I've used a recipe, I write notes. Right in the books (with date notations, use of dish, etc.). I figure it may come in handy if anyone ever wants to recreate a dish or just know what life was like in the beginning of the 21st century. Good luck with YOUR book!

Yes, mark up those cookbooks!

It takes planning but most, if not all, ingredients can be found online and delivered right to your door. It's worth it for a good bowl of pho, no?

Hi - Where can I get fresh fava beans in the DC area?

At Glen's when they come into season. Just not yet!

Farmers markets will also have them -- usually in June and July around here.

I'm a neighbor to the shop and I can't tell you how excited I am to see Glen's open up. The article intrigued me even more! I can't wait until you open and will certainly be there often. Congratulations on all your hard work and best wishes for your future.

Thanks so much! We can't wait to show you the store and introduce you to some fantastic locally made foods you may not have come across before. Please make sure to say hello when you come in!

I always get soup when dining out; however, I am reluctant to attempt at home. Can you share a "foolproof" black bean soup? Also, regarding Greek salad, what is David's type of feta? Thanks for listening!

About the feta cheese: Dodoni feta from Greece is the best choice; it's made with sheep and goat's milk, had a bold but not musty flavor and a note of creaminess to its texture. The bulk feta sold at Whole Foods Market, by contrast, is made from cow's milk and seems a bit chalky to me. 

 

About soup-making. The key to making good soup is to layer flavor at every step of the process. I often start with sauteed celery, carrots, onions and garlic, then add dried herbs and a bouquet garni (a tied bundle of bay leaves, fresh thyme, parsley stems, other appropriate herbs) chosen to reflect the the profile I'm going for.  Fresh thyme and bay leaves are pretty much all-purpose.

Then, a great stock is essential. If it's a vegetarian soup, make a good mushroom stock or a vegetarian dashi--something with body. Even when using good stock, I sometimes bump up flavor with bouillon cubes or—a bit of Thai fish sauce or an anchovy. (They don't read as fish at the end.)  

At the end, I may add richness with a bit of cream (or a dollop of cream or sour cream as a garnish) and chopped fresh herbs and garlic. (No use adding chopped herbs at the beginning; their flavor rarely carries through to the end.)

I never use a recipe for soup. For your black bean soup, I'm not sure if you mean something chunky or pureed. I'd saute chopped onions, carrots, garlic, celery, dried thyme, add canned black beans (no need to rinse them), stock, bouquet garni (thyme, bay leaves, parsley and cilantro stems), and a couple of chopped chipotle peppers in adobo and let the soup simmer for 15 or 20 minutes. (You could even saute the vegetables with bacon if you wanted.)  Don't use too much stock. You want the soup to be hearty. Stir in some chopped cilantro and garlic at the very end.  Garnish with sour cream or crema, chopped cilantro stems and perhaps some slices of jalapeno pepper. Maybe even some strips of fried, julienned corn tortillas or some crushed tortilla chips.

 

You could also puree the soup (remove the bouguet garni first, of course) or puree some of it and stir it into the soup. This makes the soup look creamy and less brothy, but still affords the texture you get from whole beans.

We buy daikon at a Japanese grocery store. Lately it hasn't been lasting as long. It gets really rubbery after only a week. I was wondering if storing it in the fridge (wrapped in newspaper) was a bad idea? Should daikon be stored at room temp? Thanks!

Daikon, alas, is not a keeper. It tends to get flabby after a few days. It will keep up to a week, at most, if tightly wrapped in plastic and stored in the fridge.

for the "beyond frozen peas" chatter, for finger foods, my kids always liked: edamame, diced cucumbers (peel if they can't chew the skin), steamed zucchini and yellow squash, butternut squash cubes, cooked beets (they LOVE the purple fingers they get after eating them!), cooked carrots, steamed broccoli, steamed cauliflower.......basically whatever veggies we were having just cut up smaller and steamed to the right consistency based on their chewing capacity!

I love the beets suggestion. I would have loved purple fingers as a kid, too. Though my parents probably would not have...

I recently learned about Don Ciccio and Figli liqueurs (made locally, which is always nice to see). I picked up the fennel-flavored and coffee-flavored ones and have started experimenting with them in cocktails. I saw that Jason wrote a piece about these liqueurs awhile ago and was wondering if he had any good suggestions for what to pair them with. Thanks!

Jason's not with us today, but I've sampled these -- amazing! -- and have thoughts. I've had the limoncello and the Concerto, and they're fabulous with dessert, IMHO (and actually, there's so much going on with them that I prefer to sip and not use them as mixers). The limoncello is great with custards, creams, lighter desserts, certainly anything citrus or anything that goes well with citrus (obviously). The Concerto, because it's got that espresso note in it, goes amazingly well with coffee, nuts, and cheeses.

If your sister wants a full layer cake, why not make a strawberry cake (like the one at Smitten Kitchen, for example) and stir in some chocolate chips? Or chocolate frosting over a strawberry cake, with some fresh strawberries sliced on top and between the layers?

It is much harder for smaller, local producers to provide fresh meat year round. Typically a claving season or lambing season will be in the spring and then there will be a window when the animals will be ready for slaugther. Slaughter the animals too young and they will be less flavorful and have less marbling. Slaughter the animals too old and they will be tough or mutton tasting in the case of sheep. Quick freezing in blast coolers causes minimal product quality defects and allows for the local producer to provide meat year round.

We haver great sources of meat that is availble year round. And quick freezing does preserve it best. Everyone needs to remember, that when it is "fresh" you don't know when it was slaughtered, and truly how long it has been on the shelf. Frozen, you know it has been stored safley, and you can see when it has been thawed or frozen more than once. You will end up with better product, if it is frozen right after slaughter.

I use broccoli slaw (minus the dressing, of course) in place of noodles when I can't find spaghetti squash. I'm sure traditional cabbage slaw would work just as well.

I was just looking at the rhubarb compote recipe, and saw the reference to ginger wine. Now that my rhubarb is coming up, I'm thinking about what to do with it, but what is ginger wine and where can I get some? Ginger is one of my favorite flavors, and I've never heard of this.

Stone's-- made "by blending the finest quality raisins and pure ground ginger" -- seems to be the brand I'm seeing the most in a quick web search. Looks like you can get it at area liquor stores, including Calvert Woodley and Total Wine.

My mom would always get the frozen broccoli spears (the 4-5 inch ones) and told me to pick them up and eat the trees. From 2 years old until today broccoli was my favorite food. For spinach and other greens, have you tried ravioli? My greens loving finance has pointed out that really the only time you can eat spinach is if it is in something else or if you are popeye. I might take that advice and stick to asparagus and broccoli for greens and Italian food for spinach.

I still having a thick sheaf of badly-yellowed, spattered, dog-eared clippings of old WaPo recipes I loved that I cut out of the dead-tree edition (when that was all there was) starting back in the early 1970s. They're tucked inside the nearly-fallen-off front and back covers of my 11th edition of the "Fannie Farmer Cookbook" (the one from which I learned how to cook in the late 1960s). So please choose me, because I could really use a pristine copy of Washington Post recipes!

You're a strong contender for the win! (But only if you promise to get three friends to actually buy the thing. Deal?)

Throw in some beets (cooked fresh, or canned) and some vegetable (or meat) stock, to make super-easy homemade Borscht! Don't forget the dollop of sour cream, either!

Leaving an ingredient out is possible, but I also wonder if there is something to be said for sheer experience in cooking certain things that can be hard to replicate any other way than repetition.

Word.

a/k/a Offal: for health and safety reasons, I fed my feline raw. Will you be getting in offal; I'd really like to find some uncommon organs such as sweetbread, thymus, etc. Thanks.

We can. We will bring it in, based on demand. Come let us know what you want. Ask for the Chef!

Microwave zucchini coins; cut in half. Ditto for carrots. Roast butternut squash -- my 1 year old's favorite. Slice up some bright colored peppers, and you don't even have to cook those for most 1 year olds. I serve peas frozen -- my 1 year old thinks it is funny to eat them frozen. Corn fritters are a huge hit (although not terribly healthy). KALE CHIPS! (Messy -- only right before bath.) Roasted fennel, chopped up. Or the part of bok choi near the bulb, sauteed (the leaf-ier parts can be too stringy for babies).

Hi, Tim, A friend and I had a light supper at New Big Wong, basically on your recommendation. From among your suggestions, we ordered the snow pea leaves, which the menu listed as "seasonal" and which our waitress said were available, and the eggplant with garlic sauce, one of my favorite dishes anywhere. That's all we had, aside from tea and the tiny bowls of white rice that accompanied the dishes. Not the most balanced meal ever -- garlic and garlic -- but we were curious about both dishes. When the bill came, my friend looked at it and said, "It's $15.95." I said, "Not bad!" "No," she said, "you don't understand. <i>The snow pea leaves were $15.95!"</i> The eggplant was another $8.95 -- the price of almost every vegetable dish on the menu, and the price we had expected for the snow pea leaves. (The only vegetable exceptions to the $8.95 price were $9.95 and $10.95, and Chinese own choy, like the pea leaves listed as "S.P.") For our two humble dishes, the pre-tax bill came to $27.39. That's less than $20 each, yes, but a heck of a lot more than we had expected to pay for a mere two dishes, especially two vegetarian dishes! Even if they'd been superb, we would've been shocked. And they weren't superb, they were tasty-average. Well, lesson learned! Just because a dish is grouped with plates costing $8.95 doesn't mean that's the cost. And just because it's made from a part of a plant that many discard doesn't mean you won't be charged lobster prices for it. Take heed, gentle readers -- Ask before you order!

Sorry to hear that your meal was disappointing. It's a reminder that we all have different ideas of cheap eats.

My daughter's favorite finger food was polenta mixed with Reggiano Parmesan, cooled until solidified and then cut into small cubes. No reason you couldn't make polenta and mix in pureed veggies while it is still warm. Too bad I didn't think of it at the time.

One of the big nut companies out there has a product that I absolutely love: cocoa dusted almonds. However, I don't love the price, and would like to try making them at home. Any recipe ideas on how to accomplish this?

1. Toast almonds.

2. Let cool.

3. Melt really good, high-quality, high-cocoa-content -- did I say REALLY GOOD? -- chocolate.

4. Pour the nuts into a big mixing bowl.

5. Drizzle the chocolate over the nuts, and toss to combine. Repeat until they're coated.

6. Dust them with cocoa powder while the chocolate is still sticky, and keep tossing. Then spread them out on a parchment-lined baking sheet to solidify.

I love mine because of the way it makes beans taste so good. My former boss is Spanish and he would say that countries (like Spain) are a sophisticated and intelligent society because they cook with them. I was a little scared at first, but I got over it. I always check the gasket to make sure that it is not cracked.

If I remember correctly, there is a developmental phase where kids taste buds are coming on line (for lack of a better term) and they get more picky. (around 2-3 years.) but it is a phase, so keep putting out those vegetables and keep trying! Also I have found my daughter will eat things in a restaurant that she will turn her nose up at when I try at home. (and I know this isn't Tom's chat, but well-behaved kids and restaurants can mix. and yes, I bring things to entertain her and take her out if she gets noisy.)

i am OBSESSED with greek salads, i can eat them every day if given the choice. i live in michigan, where we get some fab greek salads at our coney island restaurants (little greek diners that are EVERYWHERE). the thing that sets them apart is the inclusion of beets and chickpeas on the salad, and the most amazing dressing. i think the dressing includes some of the beet juice, and something else that just makes the salad "pop". it's a nice mix of salty and sweet...any ideas on recreating this dressing at home?

I find that less is more where these salads are concerned. I would just use red wine venegar, Greek oregano, red onion and oilve oil--I would worry that the beet juice would seep into the other vegetables. Though I guess that's not such a bad thing.

I'm with you about eating them every day.  I just had one, in fact.

Speculation question: let's say you have to stay in a hotel for a month. Your room has a coffee maker and a mini-fridge. Which small appliances would you buy so you could do some cooking and quell those cravings for home cooking?

A hot plate. You can cook a lot on that. Boil water and make pasta, or saute. Not a problem. Chefs have to work like that a lot.

You might try a portable induction burner. We bought one for only about $150 to use in the photo studio, and have used it at demos/etc., and it's pretty great. A toaster oven, natch.

If you make non-pan loaves, you have a couple of choices to keep them shaped. First is to cut back somewhat on the liquid in the recipe. Wetter dough spreads more. Second is to do more shaping. Even a wet loaf benefits from being shaped. Your goal is to make the outside of the loaf act sort of like an envelope or bag to hold the rest in. Start with the puddly dough, flour your hands and the work surface and the loaf. If you want a long loaf, make a sloppy log, then fold the log in on itself - sort of like rolling it up the long way. Roll that over itself a time or two to strengthen it, andlet it rise with some support. Start the oven hotter than the final temperature should be, then turn it down after 5 - 10 minutes. For a round loaf the shaping starts like a fat version of the long loaf. Then put the roundish shape on the surface, and kind of rotate it around with your hands. This strengthens the outer coat. Good luck. Keep at it. Shapking wet loaves well takes experience.

My general fix for too much garlic -- or too much salt, for that matter -- is leftover boiled or baked potato pulp, pureed and added to a dish. I especially like to do this when I make a soup that's too strong on one or another ingredients.

No access to a grill. Plus, the dish has to travel an hour to her house. Any other ideas? Also, chocolate apparently somehow needs to be involved. She's very picky, which is why I haven't found anything on my own yet. And it has to be cake or cupcakes. Again, she's picky.

Well, you could grill them inside, on a griddle or grill pan, and take the ingredients separately and assemble there. But that doesn't solve your chocolate problem. It has to have chocolate and strawberries? Not my favorite combination, honestly -- maybe because they remind me too much of all those 1980s-style chocolate fountains and chocolate-covered berries, especially the bad out of season white-in-the-middle ones. But I suppose you could follow the shortcake idea I gave you, make it all strawberry instead of peach, and have a chocolate drizzle at the end.

Saw them at the P St Whole Foods two days ago.

If you jsut want dust and not a full chocolate coating, try this: Toast the nuts. Whip up an egg white or two and about a tsp of flour. Mix together, then toss the nuts until lightly coated. THEN dust with good cocoa powder.

Maybe this is a cultural issue that I do not understand, but I cannot make sense of giving out sub-optimal recipes (missing an ingredient). If you don't want to share, don't share (that seems strange to me also, to paraphrase GB Shaw: if I have a recipe and you have a recipe and we trade recipes, we both have two recipes....), but why give out something that just does not work? Seems borderline mean....

Hello, my eldest is getting married this summer in a barn venue. One of the rules of the venue is no glass. They would like to serve wine and it has to be box wine. She likes white sweet wines like Moscato; I adore German whites (St. Gabriel or Chateau Ste. Michelle Gewurztraminer) and we will need a red. The menu is whole roast pig and BBQ chicken. Any suggestions, reasonably priced ($20 ish).

I'll let you know if Dave gets back with any suggestions before the end of the chat. But you can look at this feature he did some time ago on box wines, as well as a more recent column (with recommendations) on wines with alternative packaging.

That is supposed to be 2 tablespoons SOY SAUCE. basically twice as much soy as fish sauce. and equal parts fish sauce and honey. Or else it taste fishy.

Joe - I live in Boston. I looked all over Market Fresh and it may be that I just didn't really know what I was looking for. Thanks for the recipe, I look forward to trying it out! :)

Boston has some great Asian markets. (Super 88!) You'd find really good, and cheap star anise there, I'm sure.

Do the guidelines that say don't rinse chicken to avoid cross contamination apply to whole chickens, too? I stopped rinsing pieces years ago, but still rinse out the cavity after pulling out the organs and neck. While I am at it I rinse the rest of the bird.

Unless you know exactly where the chickens are coming from, you should rinse them. Whole birds and cuts should be treated the same. Chickens by nature are dirty animals, and when they come from a large plant, they aren't clean by any chance. The cross contamination will come from leaving rinse water in the sink, so clean the sink after you wash the chicken, and you will be ok.

The whacky website eatyourbooks.com allows me to search my own cookbooks to use leftovers, farmers' market bonanzas, or plan menus around complex constraints of allergy, choice and occasion. This is a subscription database into which you load your list of cookbooks. It honors copyright by only listing the major ingredients and neither amounts nor directions (you have the cookbooks already, right?). The site employes food geeks to categorize by ingredient, type of food, rating, comments, ethnicity, and diet EACH recipe in a book! They have over 100,000 cookbooks indexed and constantly add new ones, including blogs and magazines. They are indexing the new Washington Post Cookbook now.

I do love EYB!

Marzetti's bleu cheese dressing, with crudites (raw veggies in bite-size pieces).

Joe, I love how you just came out with the cocoa dusted almond technique off the cuff. I think we need a Bittman-Yonan showdown.

Aw, thanks. I would be reluctant to take him on, but he IS coming to town soon and we may cook together.

Is there a trick to mixing long noodles, like spaghetti, soba, or ramen, with the other ingredients of a dish? I made a stir fry last night and mixed it with ramen noodles but the veggies and chicken didn't evenly disperse among the noodles. I have the same trouble when I make spaghetti with tomato sauce and veggies. Has anyone else had this problem or is it just me?

I find that using a little pasta water can really help. It keeps the noodles and other ingredients moist enough to get them to mix without making things so slick (as would happen if you drizzled the noodles with oil) that everything just slides off.

Is there some kind of primer on cooking oils? What's the difference between corn, canola and vegetable oil? Is one better than the other? I'm not talking for frying mainly I'm wondering because I make an awful lot of bisquik gluten free pancakes that calls for two tablespoons of oil and I want to know the healthiest oil to use

The Cleveland Clinic has a terrific nutritional breakdown of oils. Check it out.

Watch the sources of your oils. Corn, canola and veg oil can all contain oil from GMO products, that you should avoid. Canola is all modified, so you should exclude that. Corn and veg oils can come from GMO vegs but check and look for the GMO-free label.

Sauerkraut. Look online for a recipe. Sauerkraut is wonderful. By itself, or with kielbasa or sausage, on a reuben sandwich......

So how do I make the dough stiff? Extra flour? Lots more extra flour? I'm puzzled as to why a recipe that doesn't call for using a bread pan didn't explain that, and didn't suggest ways to make the dough stiff. Following that recipe was a hugely frustrating experience, partly because it suggested using things (a ziplock bag big enough to hold a cookie sheet with two rising loaves of bread, for example), that aren't easily found, at least by me. I'm not giving up though, because the bread itself had such a nice flavor. Next time, should I just use bread pans?

Hi, I'm guessing you may be talking about Marcy Goldman's Favorite French Bread I tested a few months ago.

It does sound like you may have needed a bit more flour, although the recipe does talk about a "slack" dough. You may also need to perfect your shaping technique. Pulling the dough into a taut ball to sort of stretch a membrane around it I think help stabilizes it and helps with developing gluten. I'm not sure how great this bread would be in bread pans, but if you want the security of them, you could try the other recipe from Marcy that I tested (which was quite excellent), Artisanal Walnut Bread.

Favorite French Bread


There is no such thing.

Er, OK.

What is the "forbidden fruit" Tim Carman mentioned in his article about Danielle Vogel and her new Glen's Garden Market in DuPont Circle?

It's things like spices and grains, which we do not grow locally, but I thought would be helpful in creating complete meals. I got them from a company in Baltimore, but since they are not value-added, I segrgated them into their own little spot in the store. You'll also find Martinelli's apple juice there, because that was my Dad (Glen)'s favorite.

Brown bread, cream pie, cod, baked beans, Navy bean soup, Sam Adams beer, Julia Child and Fannie Farmer, yes, yes, yes, YES!!! Not a kitchen tool turned into an IED!! No, no, no, no, NO!!!!!!

I agree with Sean. I would NEVER cook chicken, whole or not, without rinsining and being West Indian, without rubbing it with lime/lemon before seasoning. Just the thought of not washig it, UGH!!

I cook whole beets in my pressure cooker (much faster than boiling in water), then plunge the cooked beets into cold water to cool enough that I can peel them by hand.

What is that? and why is it unhealthy?

Genetically Modified Organisms. They are created when the genes of one organism are "injected into the genes of another organism.  These "foods" are untested by private testing facilities and have been banned in Europe.

You've highlighted another recipe calling for semi-pearled farro. Can't find it at Giant, Safeway, Whole Foods (tried only Silver Spring) or Trader Joe's, not even with the health/organic foods. Whole Foods had farro (not semi-pearled) ( $9.99/pound - yikes!). Can I use Trader Joe's quick cooking farro with acceptable results if I adjust cooking times? Would I also have to adjust the liquid amounts? Not knowing the cooking times or proportions for cooking semi-pearled, I'm at a loss.

You know if it's not labeled, it's semi-pearled, right? All the stuff that's imported from Italy is semi-pearled. So Italian markets, and gourmet markets. I've seen it at Cork Market on 14th Street, Dean/Deluca, Litteri. And I've seen imported Italian farro at Whole Foods on P Street.

There is just no substitute for practice in bread making. Flour differs in its power to absorb liquid, so sometimes you just have to add more than the recipe says. For shaping help, there are a zillion online videos showing you how. It is worth spending the time on them. Have fun with it, and remember that imperfect homemade bread tastes better than almost anything you can get short of a gourmet bakery.

The recipe calls for 1/2 to 2/3 cup olive oil and serves four, yet supposedly has only 349 calories per serving. Using the lower quantity of oil and assuming 100 calories per tablespoon (though it's actually closer to 120, isn't it?), that would be at least 200 calories/serving in oil alone. You're supposed to spoon any extra oil over the eggplant, so it's not that most of it is not being consumed.

Yes, I just reran the numbers and came up with almost the exact same analysis. Most of the calories are coming from the olive oil (the rest of the ingredients total 114 calories per serving). So assuming 1/2 cup (8 tbsp) total, divided among 4 people, and there are the rest of the 200 calories or so per serving.

Those guidelines were developed for a reason. More people would get sick from cross contamination. If you cook the chicken, any bacteria would be killed, especially ones that are on teh surface of the exterior or surface of the interior of the chicken. Please do not spread misinformation that can kill people.

It's true that the USDA recommends not rinsing chicken.

I was just in Santa Fe and am looking to explore making some things from a cookbook I picked up there. Do you know where to find blue cornmeal and/or leaf lard in the Northern Virginia area? I'm planning to just use masa harina, but am curious to know if anyone carries fresh/frozen masa as well. Thanks!

We can get lard at Glens. Let us know what you need and we can bring it in.

You can buy blue cornmeal online at Amazon, of course.

Moctec Enterprises in Hyattsville sells fresh masa, which is so SO hard to find. A five-pound bag of white-corn masa or yellow-corn masa will run you  $8.78.  It's best to call ahead, however, to find out which masa the company is making that day.

 

Moctec is located at 3601 West St. in Hyattsville. The number is 301-386-9090.

I have always heard this was bad. I am so confused. What about prepackaged boneless skinless breasts or thighs, etc - which are (sadly, I know) actually what I buy most for everyday use?

As long as you don't see blood and fluid around the meat, you shouldn't need to wash it, and then just cook it right out of the package. Don't store it in another container, unless you are marinating it, then cook all the marinade, or throw away what you don't cook.

Well, you've strained our liquid into a saute pan and then reduced it by half, and then poured it back over us and tossed gently to coat, so you know what that means -- we're done!

Thanks for all the great q's, and thanks to Danielle, Sean and David for helping us offer up our a's. Appreciate the expertise!

Now for the giveaway: We will send a SIGNED copy of the new "Washington Post Cookbook" to... the chatter who said s/he still has a "thick sheaf of badly-yellowed, spattered, dog-eared clippings of old WaPo recipes." How could we resist that? I never heard back as to whether said chatter would take me up on the request to persuade three friends to actually buy the book, but we'll just consider it good karma, OK? Send your mailing information to Becky at krystalr@washpost.com, and we'll get it to you!

Thanks for chatting, all -- and until next time, happy cooking, eating, shopping and reading.

In This Chat
Joe Yonan
Joe Yonan is editor of the Food section; joining us today are staff writer Tim Carman, editorial aide Becky Krystal and Smoke Signals columnist Jim Shahin. Guests: Food contributor David Hagedorn; Danielle Vogel, owner of the new Glen's Garden Market; Sean Sullivan, chef at Glen's Garden Market.
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