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May 16, 2012

12:01
P.M.

Free Range on Food: Five-ingredient recipes, ice cream, a new produce saver and more

Total Responses: 58

About the hosts

About the host

Tim Carman

Tim Carman is the Food section staff writer. Joining him are interim Food editor Bonnie Benwick, recipe editor Jane Touzalin, editorial aide Becky Krystal and Spirits columnist Jason Wilson. Guest: Kavita M. Shukla, inventor of FreshPaper.
Q.

Tim Carman :

Good afternoon, Rangers!

 

According to the little weather app on my phone, it's supposed to hit the mid-80s today in Washington, which sounds like ice cream weather to me. (Then again, I'm not one of those types who insists on eating the frozen stuff during hot months only.) Yes, it's a perfect day to give Jamaican ice cream a try, whether you buy a couple of scoops from York Castle or make your own at home.

 

Those who plan to hit the FreshFarm Markets in Silver Spring and Dupont Circle this weekend might want to check out the FreshPaper stand there. As Jane Black explains, the miracle paper will help keep your organic produce fresher, longer.

 

Then again, you might want to use that farmers market produce right away, using one of these five-ingredient recipes that Jane Touzalin compiled to keep your meal times manageable.

 

Clearly, we have a lot to talk about as spring turns to summer and the farmers markets start to bulge with good things to eat. So let's crank this thing up in earnest.

Q.

Yous cream, Ice cream

Hi foodies! I'd like to make ice creams and sorbets but I don't have an ice cream maker. I have big plastic tubs I can freeze. Can you point me to some basic recipes that can be just frozen in a tub or mixed around to increase creaminess while in the tub? For the record, I like granitas, but it's not what I'm going for this time.
Q.

Maret market

Can you provide details? I want to pick up some of Kavita's magical sheets.
A.
Kavita M. Shukla :

This weekend, you can pick up FreshPaper at FreshFarm Markets in Silver Spring on Saturday and in Dupont Circle on Sunday (proceeds go to the Matching Dollars Program for nutrition assistance). Starting today, you can also pick up FreshPaper at Farm 2 Family’s mobile farm stand.

– May 16, 2012 12:02 PM
Q.

Fresh paper (Fenugreen)

Loved the article on Fresh Paper produce saver. Are any stores carrying it yet? It sound like something Whole Foods should sell.
A.
Kavita M. Shukla :

Thanks -- FreshPaper is now in several stores in New England, but planning to launch in DC retailers very soon! This weekend, you can pick up FreshPaper at FreshFarm Markets in Silver Spring on Saturday and in Dupont Circle on Sunday (proceeds go to the Matching Dollars Program for nutrition assistance). Starting today, you can also pick up FreshPaper at Farm 2 Family’s mobile farm stand.

– May 16, 2012 12:02 PM
Q.

Cooking Sprays

I posted a few weeks back about the cooking spray issue I was having. One of my pans was practically brand new and I was still having the same problem. I ultimately went back to the way I was taught by my mom, butter and flour the pan. A little more time consuming but my cake looked PERFECT coming out of the oven. Thanks!!
A.
Tim Carman :

Sometimes the old techniques work the best, don't they?

– May 16, 2012 12:02 PM
Q.

Food Demos from last week

Last week I asked about you guys doing food video demos. The question was asked who I wanted to see most. Well, I'd like to see ALL of you :) Whoever is the expert on the particular demo would be who I'd want to see. As for things I'd like to see, I'd like to see bread recipe steps, like how wet/dry the dough should be before taking it out of the mixer to knead, how it should look when needed or the techniques to knead etc. I always feel like I add too much flour to my recipes. I'd also like some chopping demos, a hummus demo etc. I would be great just to see some basics you guys love in demo form! Thx!!
A.
Bonnie Benwick :

Thanks for the foloup. I've been talking about this with our video team at The Post and with Stephanie Witt Sedgwick, who would be great at these kinds of videos. Hummus demo, eh?

– May 16, 2012 12:03 PM
Q.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

My friend who has to eat gluten and dairy free is coming over for dinner and I'm a bit stumped. Despite having cooked for her many times I'm just blanking. I have rice noodles and shrimp and lots of veggies, so I was thinking stir fry, but I'm blanking on a sauce since soy sauce has gluten in it. And good sauce recommendations? Thanks!
A.
Becky Krystal :

Actually, you can buy gluten-free soy sauce -- I'm having a tough time finding many sauces in our database without it! But I think this recipe I recommend time and time again, Hot and Sticky Vegetable Stir-Fry With Honey and Ginger, has a sauce that will work. It's really good.

– May 16, 2012 12:04 PM
Q.

for Kavita

What a great idea. I WANT your sheets. Any chance of mail order or other non-farmers-market sales outlet? Also, would you consider selling your grandmother's special tea? It sounds wonderful.
A.
Kavita M. Shukla :

Thanks so much! You can also order FreshPaper on our website (www.fenugreen.com). 

Many folks have been asking about my grandma's mixture ... for now, we're focused on FreshPaper, but perhaps it's something to consider ;)

– May 16, 2012 12:05 PM
Q.

Best low fat but delicious Ice-cream recipe?

I got an ice cream maker ready but Im looking for lighter alternatives besides the usual sorbets.
A.
Becky Krystal :

I've got my eye on this recipe for Strawberry Creme Fraiche Sherbet.

Strawberry Creme Fraiche Sherbet

– May 16, 2012 12:08 PM
Q.

Grape-Nuts Ice Cream

This ice cream reminded me of the Grape-Nuts pudding found in New England. The pudding usually has a lot of spice (nutmeg, cinnamon), however, and I'm surprised that isn't found in the ice cream, as you emphasized that strong flavors are key in Jamaican ice cream. Is it in any way related?
A.
Tim Carman :

I've seen Grape-Nuts ice cream recipes both ways. This one from Epicurious does not include cinnamon or nutmeg but this one from Food.com does include cinnamon (plus it's topped with maple syrup, in another nod to New England).

 

I wish I knew more about the history of Grape-Nuts ice cream in New England. This looks like a subject ripe for further research.

– May 16, 2012 12:09 PM
Q.

Ramp disappointment

This being my first spring in DC, I was looking forward to acquiring ramps at my local farmers markets. However, I live in downtown DC and not once did I see this spring delicacy appear. Are all downtown farmers markets here destined to disappoint someone looking beyond the most basic of produce? Have I sadly missed my chance this year, or are there any markets within walking distance of downtown that can provide me with ramps? Are there any grocery stores that might carry them? I didn't see myself as someone crazed about ramps, but having not spied them once, I'm getting a little desperate. Thanks!
A.
Tim Carman :

Sadly, you have missed your chance. The representative of FreshFarm Markets tells me that ramp season has come and gone.

 

Look for them in early Spring. You'll definitely find some around.

– May 16, 2012 12:13 PM
Q.

Cheese ideas

Hey guys, I've got a half a pound of some really nice Muenster cheese. I've already used it in mac and cheese - any other ideas on how I can polish this bad boy off? I can always go the cheese and crackers route, of course, but I'm afraid it will go bad before I can do that.
A.
Bonnie Benwick :

I have a soft spot for Muenster. I think it was the first cheese I learned the name of, as a kid; fascinated for obvious reasons ("a cheese named after my brother!). If you can slice it thin, you could make rolls/roulades with prosciutto and scallions, a little schmear of cream cheese, even. It's also a very good cheese for souffles.  Chatters?

– May 16, 2012 12:14 PM
Q.

Veal recipe

That veal chop recipe sounds really good. Are they easy to find? I can't recall seeing them at Whole Foods, but maybe it's just because I haven't looked for them. I'm a little nervous about the raw egg in the aioli. Is there a substitute or a different type of sauce that would also go well with the chops?

A.
Bonnie Benwick :

That's why we called for the yolk from a pasteurized egg. Use one of those and you shouldn't have a reason to worry.

– May 16, 2012 12:14 PM
Q.

blender recommendation

Our reliable old Osterizer has finally given out, and we want to replace it. Cook's Illustrated and Consumer Reports offer contradictory advice, and the user reviews are confusing, so we are asking your advice. We do not need to crush ice or make smoothies, just puree, whip, etc. What do you and chatters recommend?
A.
Tim Carman :

To further complicate your decision, Good Housekeeping also put various blenders through the paces and drew some conclusions. Personally, I've tried a number of different blenders over the years, both cheap and expensive, and have come to the conclusion that the more expensive ones, like Vita-Mix, really do perform better. They last longer too.

But if you're looking for something more affordable, I've been happy with my Cuisinart SmartPower Deluxe blender, which I bought recently to replace the absolutely dreadful Black & Decker blender that died an ugly death.

I suspect Bonnie, Jane and Becky might also have some blender suggestions.

– May 16, 2012 12:15 PM
A.
Becky Krystal :

Well, I hate to contradict Tim, but I've had a Black & Decker Crush Master for years (maybe seven?). Not fancy, but it gets the job done for me.

– May 16, 2012 12:15 PM
A.
Jane Touzalin :

I'm very happy with my Osterizer, but I can't say that I ask it to do anything challenging. One criterion I kept in mind when buying it was that I didn't want a blender with a plastic jar; I had one a couple of years ago and the jar became horribly scratched, hard to see through and hard to clean. Feh.

– May 16, 2012 12:15 PM
A.
Bonnie Benwick :

I've had a classic Waring for years. It has two speeds, the higher of which never fails to get the job done. I also like that it's solid, with a stainless-steel base that's easy to clean.

– May 16, 2012 12:15 PM
Q.

Wedding cocktails

I know this sounds picky, but I often have a hard time finding something I actually want to drink at weddings. I'm allergic to beer, I don't like Chardonnay, and rum/cokes just taste like college to me. Is there anything that you guys like to order at a simple wedding bar that's good but not you run of the mill gin/vodka plus tonic or juice?
A.
Jason Wilson :

Weddings can tough, because the open bar is so often an after thought, and stocked with low-end "rail" brands. I've never understood this myself...I mean, after all the fuss and expense over wedding planning, to serve Banker's Club gin and bad overoaked Chardonnay... I guess I'd scan the bar for any brands that are decent, a Tanqueray or Beefeaters, or maybe a Jim Beam bourbon or a Jameson Irish whiskey? You could always sip Jim Beam or Jameson on the rocks. A gin and tonic with Beefeaters, as long as they use a passable tonic, should be fine, right? And anyway, I think you'll live. Remember, you're drinking for free!!

– May 16, 2012 12:19 PM
Q.

Gratin of Peppers and basil

Hi Rangers - I'm looking forward to try the gratin of roasted peppers, basil and feta. I'd love to make additions to it. I was thinking olives and maybe some hot peppers. What else could I add?

A.
Jane Touzalin :

You're breaking my heart! I work and slave to find five-ingredient recipes, and now you want MORE INGREDIENTS?! Seriously?

Well, sure you can add stuff! I'd go easy on the hot peppers, because I think they would throw off the balance of the dish. Olives or capers would be fine; so would marinated artichoke hearts. If you wanted to turn it into more of a main dish, you could saute some bulk sweet Italian sausage (not in casings) and crumble a little of that over the layers as you build them.

– May 16, 2012 12:20 PM
Q.

Fresh Paper

Where can you purchase this new product besides Farmer's Markets? I life in North Carolina and would like to try the product.
A.
Kavita M. Shukla :

You can also order FreshPaper on our Web site. We hope to have FreshPaper available in stores in NC very soon!

– May 16, 2012 12:20 PM
Q.

Random question

I know MD wines aren't up to CA or VA standards, but there are still some good ones out there, especially for summer drinking. Do any of you go to Wine In The Woods, or plan to go this year?
A.
Tim Carman :

Dave McIntyre responds:

I have never attended Wine in the Woods, but I agree that Maryland wines are improving and well worth the attention. In fact, I'll be writing about a very interesting new Maryland wine in a couple of weeks.
 
Some nice ones are Boordy's chardonnay reserve from their replanted vineyards, anything from Black Ankle Vineyards (they always run out of white wines, but new releases come this month!). I've also liked the wines from Knob Hall and Slack.
– May 16, 2012 12:22 PM
Q.

Jamaican Ice Cream

Thanks for the great article on Jamaican ice cream! My boyfriend is Jamaican so I've learned to love grape nuts ice cream and crave fresh mango ice cream in the summer. We've only found it near his parents house in Silver Spring, however. Are there any places in DC that sell it? I've found ones that are close at WF but nothing that matches the original. Jamaican Joes was going to sell it for a while but I think decided to stop completely.
A.
Tim Carman :

The shops mentioned in the story all sell mango ice cream, all allegedly from fresh mangos. The shops are York Castle in Rockville, Island Style Ice Cream in Mount Rainier and Tropical Ice Cream Cafe in Silver Spring (which sounds like it's your current stop).

Chatters, know of anymore places that sell Jamaican ice cream?

– May 16, 2012 12:22 PM
Q.

Kavita Shukla's FreshPaper -- 3 things

1) Congratulations Ms. Shukla! ! I plan to buy @ Eastern Mkt this weekend. 2) R U (or anyone) considering another product -- for preventing/treating traveler's diarrhea or even purifying water? 3) Recyclable, non-plastic FreshPaper has environmental advantage over Hefty's ziplock FreshExtend and other plastic bags, but has anyone done a functional comparison? As Hefty et al. have been available for more than a year, I'm surprised Jane Black seemed not to know that anything was available before FreshPaper. Thanks.
A.
Kavita M. Shukla :

Thanks so much for your support! Right now, we're very focused on FreshPaper, although we're starting to look into other applications of this simple solution, including purifying water.

FreshPaper is different from the plastic bags because it's made only with edible organic ingredients that inhibit bacterial and fungal growth. The mechanism of action is different from plastic bags (in addition to the environmental benefits! )

– May 16, 2012 12:23 PM
Q.

Freshpaper

Hi, Kavita, Your product sounds wonderful and I hope to give it as gifts as well as using it myself. Two quick questions: Does the paper itself have a shelf-life -- meaning, can I buy it now to give as a hostess gift when I travel in July? (and how should it be stored)? And, does it impart any flavor to the food? Thank you!
A.
Kavita M. Shukla :

Thanks! I'm excited to hear that you're sharing FreshPaper with others. When stored in the original packaging, FreshPaper sheets last at least 6 months (so yes, they should be a great hostess gift in July!)‚Äč The sheets do not impact the flavor/taste of food.

– May 16, 2012 12:24 PM
Q.

Whipping Cream

I needed only a quarter of a cup of whipping cream for a recipe, but had to buy a pint (store was out of smaller sizes). I have no other use for it right now - can the remainder be frozen?
A.
Becky Krystal :

I assume you're talking about heavy cream. If so, yes, it can be frozen. Just don't expect to be able to whip it once it's thawed.

– May 16, 2012 12:25 PM
Q.

Five ingredient recipe

One of my favorites: saute some onions, add black beans and chorizo (I use soy, but to each his own). Top with chopped avocado and a fried egg. Such a good weeknight meal! And in the fall I swap out the avocado for some roasted squah or pumpkin.
A.
Jane Touzalin :

Okay, well, I count *six* ingredients there (unless you're going to be frying the onions without any oil) but it still sounds good! 

– May 16, 2012 12:26 PM
Q.

Gratin as panini?

The roasted pepper - basil - feta combination sounds like it might make terrific panini filling! What do you think?
A.
Jane Touzalin :

I think yes!! Great idea. Make sure you drain the peppers really well to avoid making a soggy sandwich.

– May 16, 2012 12:26 PM
Q.

For Kavita

Hi...love the idea and have been struggling with throwing things away myself. I study/work in the hospitality industry and would love to talk to you further about the benefits of your paper...
A.
Kavita M. Shukla :

Thanks so much! We love to hear from folks about how they are using FreshPaper. Please send us a note on our website or email us (hello@fenugreen.com).

– May 16, 2012 12:27 PM
Q.

Summer Side Dishes (Another face of food spoilage)

While we're on the subject of food going bad--I've been invited to a lot of outdoor potlucks recently. I love bringing starchy goodness (my favorite is a bacon potato salad) to complement the grill, but I worry that when I bring that dish and it sits in the sun, people who get to it close to the end of the party are going to get sick from my food. Are there any similar summer-y recipes that can stand up to the heat?
A.
Bonnie Benwick :

You can bring your potato salad! I assume it's got a mayo-based dressing? All you need to do is seat the bowl (preferably glass or stainless steel; something that conducts the cold) in a much larger bowl filled with ice, preferably crushed and sprinkled with some kosher or rock salt.  Make a lid with foil and you'll be all set.

And of course there are potato salads dressed in other ways, including this rather unorthodox but terribly delicious German Potato Salad from our own David Hagedorn. I make it every summer. Check out some other possibilities here.

– May 16, 2012 12:27 PM
Q.

GFDF

GF soy sauce is a good idea and works well with what you already have. I'm a huge fan of corn pasta. It doesn't get gluey like rice pasta can (the kind meant for tomato sauces, that is), and most non-GF people I've served it to don't notice a difference. Wild rice salads are good and versatile. Wild rice, long-grain white rice, vinaigrette dressing, nuts, dried fruit, and scallions go nicely together in just about any proportion. Serve with grilled or broiled chicken or pork tenderloin.
A.
Becky Krystal :

Here you go, host of the gluten-free guest.

– May 16, 2012 12:29 PM
Q.

Freshsheets

Are there instructions on the Freshsheets? In other words, do you leave the bag of whatever open while putting a sheet on top, or in-between layers?
A.
Kavita M. Shukla :

Simply drop a sheet wherever you store produce - you don't have to wrap items individually. (Some of our customers call FreshPaper a"dryer sheet for produce!") A single sheet of FreshPaper keeps an entire bowl, bag or carton of produce fresh.

– May 16, 2012 12:29 PM
Q.

Hot and Sticky Vegetable Stir-Fry With Honey and Ginger

So, I was skeptical that this recipe could actually be good enough to justify it's nearly weekly recommendation, but I finally made it a few weeks ago, and it is fantastic! I've made it a half-dozen times since. Thank you so much!
A.
Becky Krystal :

Whew. I feel vindicated. :)

Hot and Sticky Vegetable Stir-Fry With Honey and Ginger

– May 16, 2012 12:30 PM
Q.

YAY! for Fenugreen

I am so delighted to hear about this product. I live alone, and it's just about impossible for me to eat all my produce before it goes bad. I can't get to the farmers' market -- I'm in New York -- so where can I buy this? thanks so much, Maggie
A.
Kavita M. Shukla :

Thanks for your support! You can also order FreshPaper on our website.

FreshPaper will be launching in NYC soon... let us know about your favorite local/independent stores (hello@fenugreen.com).

– May 16, 2012 12:32 PM
Q.

TWP cookbook

I recommend that you include the mixed berry custard pie recipe that was a winner in your Thanksgiving pie contest in 2008. I make this at least 5 or 6 times a year and it is a true family favorite. But I routinely have two problems with the recipe: (1) The flour does not incorporate well with the liquids in the filling, so the pie has unattractive flour blobs interspersed with the berries on top (not like the picture in the recipe finder!). (2) It always takes much longer to bake than the recipe says. I actually wrote to the chat once about this before, and tried several suggestions about the flour lumps (including one to toss the berries with the flour), none of which solved the problem. Despite these problems, it's good enough that I keep making it!

A.
Bonnie Benwick :

Hmm...guess we'd want to make sure the recipe is no longer problematic before we included it! Have you tried a) Wondra flour b) rice flour? Are you using fresh berries?

– May 16, 2012 12:34 PM
Q.

ramp substitute

I had ramps for the first time this year at a friend's dinner party and loved the flavor. I read above that the season is over, is there a a vegetable or combination of vegetables/techniques I can use to approximate the flavor? I'm too impatient to wait a whole year for the next crop! I would particularly love to use said substitute(s) in this roast chicken with ramps recipe: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/09/dining/splayed-roast-chicken-with-caramelized-ramps-recipe.html
A.
Tim Carman :

According to "The Food Substitutions Bible," you can substitute leeks (white and light green parts only), green onions (white and light green parts only) or shallots, which are sweeter than ramps.

– May 16, 2012 12:34 PM
Q.

re: more healthy summer icy treat

I love this frozen yogurt recipe. I often don't even use the sugar, and if I do, I cut it way down. I also tend to use a good, homemade vanilla. 

A.
Becky Krystal :

Oh, cool, that looks like a wonderfully simple recipe from Dave Lebovitz. I'm going to have to try it.

– May 16, 2012 12:34 PM
Q.

Ice Cream with no machine

Back in the dark ages, I used to make ice cream all the time. I'd freeze until pretty stiff, but still mushy, beat with electric mixer, repeat 3 times, then freeze. Make it a day ahead (but I don't remember why you "shouldn't" eat right away). I made it in a stainless steel bowl; and used another stainless steel narrow, but deep bowl for the mixing and kept it and the beaters in the freezer in between beatings. Seemed to work well.
A.
Becky Krystal :

Wow, I think I am way too lazy for that!

– May 16, 2012 12:35 PM
Q.

low sugar ice cream

We have an ice cream maker but want to cut down on sugar. Can I substitute stevia or cut back on sugar? If go with some stevia in place of sugar how much to use? All the fresh strawberries have me pining for fresh strawberry ice cream.
A.
Becky Krystal :

I would more readily try cutting back on sugar than go with a substitute. That recipe for Strawberry Creme Fraiche Sherbet I linked to earlier has a half-cup of honey, but no sugar.

– May 16, 2012 12:35 PM
Q.

Something fishy

How far inland should a cook or diner expect to find fresh seafood? I live in Illinois, where I don't buy seafood and seldom order it in restaurants because the ocean's hundreds of miles away. Am I missing out, or am I smarter to eat my beloved scallops only when visiting Maine or the Maritimes?
A.
Jane Touzalin :

I think the situation has improved markedly since my childhood in Ohio, when the only seafood you could find was fish sticks. Really, I don't think distance matters much anymore. What does matter is the quality and commitment of the places you're patronizing. Use a good fishmonger and ask what's freshest. In restaurants, ask where the seafood came from and how fresh it is. (And if it doesn't taste right to you, send it back.) If customers demand good quality, smart businesses will provide it.

– May 16, 2012 12:39 PM
Q.

pasteurized eggs

Bonnie mentioned pasteurized eggs. I feel stupid asking this, but here goes: I've read of pasteurized eggs but don't think I've ever seen them. I do not live in the Mid-Atlantic any more but in a southwestern town. What form does a pasteurized egg come in--is it in a cardboard carton, like egg substitutes? Or is it in the shell? I'd appreciate your help in identifying them. Thanks.
A.
Bonnie Benwick :

Are you in the D.C. area? Harris Teeter carries Davidson's brand pasteurized eggs. They're packaged just like regular eggs, in egg cartons in shells, and will be alongside the other fresh eggs.  They cook and whip up like regular eggs. We've used them lots, in frozen souffles and sauces.

– May 16, 2012 12:39 PM
Q.

Freshpaper as a gift

Yay, now I know what to get my SIL and brother for Christmas...it's right up their alley. Thank you!
A.
Kavita M. Shukla :

Love that you're sharing FreshPaper with family...look out for our "Get One, Give One" program during the holidays!

– May 16, 2012 12:40 PM
Q.

Apple Pie Recipe

Looking for W.F. Woolsworth dime store apple pie recipe that was served at their lunch counter in Los Angles, CA in 1940's - 1950's
A.
Becky Krystal :

Chatters, can you help a friend out? We haven't been able to track this down.

– May 16, 2012 12:40 PM
Q.

Washing Fruit

Is it ok to wash fruit before you put it in the fridge. For some reason I have it in my head that this will make it go bad faster, but it sure would be easier to wash all the fruit when I get home from the store and not have to worry about it when packing lunches in the morning. What do you think, if I wash it and then store it in the fridge will that make it go bad faster?
A.
Tim Carman :

The Ohio State University Extension office suggests storing your fruits and veggies in the fridge without washing them. The reason is obvious: Moisture is the playground for bacteria.

Read more here.

– May 16, 2012 12:40 PM
Q.

freshpaper

How do you know when it's reached the end of its lifecycle? Do you somehow clean it between uses?
A.
Kavita M. Shukla :

With typical use, FreshPaper sheets usually last 2-3 weeks or until the paper's maple-like scent starts to fade.

– May 16, 2012 12:40 PM
Q.

Ramps

I found ramps at the Penn Quarter market two weeks ago. The seller that has all the mushrooms had them (she made me buy mushroooms with the ramps). Maybe see if she would have them tomorrow?
A.
Tim Carman :

Nope, all the FreshFarm Markets are out of ramps for the season, alas.

– May 16, 2012 12:41 PM
Q.

Clam sauce

I opened a large can of clam sauce last night and only used about one-fourth of it on pasta. Is there something else I can do with it before it goes bad -- and how soon will that be? (I transferred it to a Tupperware-like lidded plastic container.) BTW, it's got a high oil ratio, so I don't see using it as broth, but maybe I'm wrong. Thanks!
A.
Bonnie Benwick :

How about a clam (pizza) pie? Or perhaps you could use it as the basis of a seafood-y stew, or stir it into your favorite dip base. Or stir it into a fritter batter. Or maybe toss a bunch of garlic slivers and chopped spring onions and bake it in ramekins, for an appetizer. 

– May 16, 2012 12:45 PM
Q.

Cashew and Cardamom Fudge Recipe

Just what is "super-firm tofu"? I buy tofu often, but I've only ever seen silken (in firm and soft varieties), soft, firm, and extra-firm. Since your ingredient list specifies that it's not extra firm, what are you looking for?
A.
Becky Krystal :

Ah, yes, I tested that recipe multiple times, even trying it with extra-firm since I knew people would ask! (For the record, it doesn't work.) Super-firm tofu will be labeled as such, and as you can guess from the name, it's sturdier than extra-firm. It's not at all stores, but I found it at Whole Foods and Safeway in big blocks.

Cashew and Cardamom Fudge

– May 16, 2012 12:46 PM
Q.

Leftover ladyfingers

I bought a package of savoiardi ladyfingers for a charlotte russe I never made. Any ideas for something simple I can use them for? The two recipes in your database both look lovely, but I don't have time for complicated cooking now (which is why I abandoned the charlotte). I haven't opened the package to try them, but I imagine they're too bland to enjoy just as cookies?
A.
Jane Touzalin :

Why not treat them sort of like pound cake; place on a dish or in a bowl, brush or drizzle with a fruit syrup (you can make an easy one by melting apricot jam in a pan with lime/lemon juice and a little sugar) and top with a little ice cream, creme fraiche, whipped cream, or maybe even some mascarpone. Fresh berries would be a nice addition, too.

– May 16, 2012 12:46 PM
Q.

re Gluten-free Soy Sauce

It can indeed be tough to find. However, Braggs Liquid Aminos (you can get it at ANY health-food store) is a very good substitute. Liquid coconut aminos is groovier and buzzier and possibly tastier, but harder to find and more expensive. Go with the Braggs. Or turn in a Thai direction and use fish sauce instead of soy.
Q.

Promocode for Fenugreen Paper?

I am very interested in trying this miracle paper, so I went to the website. Is there an initial buyer promotion code we can enter? The shipping almost doubles the cost of the small package, so I am thinking about buying the big package and sharing with friends!
A.
Kavita M. Shukla :

We would love to have you try FreshPaper. Are you in DC? You can pick up FreshPaper at a few different locations, including the Silver Spring (Sat) and Dupont (Sun) FRESHFARM Farmer's Markets this weekend! We're trying to get FreshPaper into stores across the country so stay tuned...

– May 16, 2012 12:48 PM
Q.

Uses for Meunster

One of the first things I learned to cook from my mom, probably around age 5, was to put a slice of meunster on a sheet of foil and broil it for a few minutes until it's bubbly, browning, and crisping at the edges. Sprinkle with a little table salt and try to get it on to crackers before your baser instincts kick in and you just gobble it straight from the foil. Actually, I want some now.
A.
Jane Touzalin :

Me, too!

– May 16, 2012 12:51 PM
Q.

Kavita

Thank you for channeling you obviously bright mind for good.
A.
Kavita M. Shukla :

Thanks so much for your kind words -- the response to the article has been overwhelming. We can't believe how many people are reaching out to us -- we're getting closer to "Fresh for All."

– May 16, 2012 12:51 PM
Q.

re FIVE INGREDIENT RECIPE

Soy chorizo? Where?
A.
Becky Krystal :

Trader Joe's offers it. Might want to call your closest location (the one in Foggy Bottom has it in stock).

– May 16, 2012 12:56 PM
Q.

oregano

The little oregano that I planted last year has turned into a bush and generally taken over my herb garden. Is there a way to dry and store oregano? How can I use quantities of it (especially in a salad dressing)? Do you think I could transplant it easily enough in the back of the garden where nothing else grows?
A.
Bonnie Benwick :

There are several ways to dry it: oven and microwave are the two I've had success with. Not sure I understand your question about the dressing...I might go with fresh oregano for that, but I'd certainly use the dried oregano for tomato sauce, chicken Parm, in spanokopita, to season bread crumbs or a stuffing for mushrooms, or to simply sprinkle on lightly oiled vegetables for the grill.

 

Re the transplanting of it, Gardening columnist Adrian Higgins says:  It requires a sunny site and well-drained soil, perhaps amended with sand or pea gravel. You could move it now if you had to, but cut back half of the top growth when doing so.

– May 16, 2012 12:56 PM
Q.

yogurt v sour cream

I had to cut back my fat intake so switched to reduced-fat sour cream. Lately I prefer to just use yogurt instead, especially Greek yogurt when I have it on-hand. Are there scenarios where this is a bad idea? So far I've only made the substitution for stirring into something already cooked or glopping on top of tacos and such.
A.
Tim Carman :

By and large, yogurt can be used in place of sour cream. But you should drain the yogurt first since it is thinner in texture than sour cream.

– May 16, 2012 12:57 PM
Q.

frozen shrimp

I bought a bag of frozen shrimp and I wasn't sure what to do with it. a) do I thaw it? b) do I need to dry it before stir-frying? c) do you have tasty sauces to use with it?
A.
Jane Touzalin :

(a) Usually you thaw the shrimp; if the recipe wants you to keep them frozen, it should say so. (b) In general, you want to dry just about anything that you saute; otherwise you may end up just steaming your food instead of frying it. (c) Not just a sauce, but here's a keeper that Bonnie Benwick made for a Dinner in Minutes (15 minutes, to be exact) this month. Check out Pan-Seared Shrimp With Sweet Soy-Ginger Glaze.

– May 16, 2012 12:59 PM
Q.

Soy lecithin

This may sound odd, but I have a big container of soy lecithin powder...and no idea what to do with it. Is there some sort of kitchen magic I can concoct with it?
A.
Becky Krystal :

Caramel Popcorn, Liquefied, from "Alinea." (That's our friend Carol Blymire in the picture.)

Caramel Popcorn, Liquefied

– May 16, 2012 12:59 PM
Q.

Freshpaper

All this praise and enthusiasm for Freshpaper sure gives off the odor of an advertising plant - you sure the makers aren't using fake posters to turn this chat into an infomercial?
A.
Bonnie Benwick :

I appreciate your skepticism. But I think the enthusiasm's naturally occurring...who among us hasn't had to toss/waste fresh food?

– May 16, 2012 12:59 PM
Q.

smoothie

I don't have the means to make ice cream but I have invented a fantastic smoothie based on what I had on hand. In the blender goes frozen pineapple (doubles as ice without diluting), green grapes, leftover banana from the kids, and plain yogurt. Awesome!
A.
Jane Touzalin :

Summer is smoothie time -- sounds like a good one to keep in mind.

– May 16, 2012 1:00 PM
Q.

pate brisee

I made a pate brisee dough that I learned in cooking class then threw it in the freezer because I wasn't sure what to do with it. Any easy/newbie ideas for dinner that might even tempt the kids?
A.
Bonnie Benwick :

I'd tempt the kids by having them roll it out and top the center portions with whatever they want (okay, no gummy bears).  Fold in the edges (an inch or two) like a crostata

– May 16, 2012 1:00 PM
Q.

Extra heavy cream = homemade Irish Cream

It's delicious and even people that don't like bailey's rave about it. Recipe from Serious Eats, but I'd recommend omitting the honey unless you like super sweet. It keeps for a month in the fridge, but I've never had a bottle make it through a party.

A.
Becky Krystal :

Awesome.

– May 16, 2012 1:01 PM
Q.

pre-cut chicken

I bought a package of chicken (raw) pre-chopped for use in stir-fry. It struck me as a bit slimy. Does it just need a rinse or has it gone off?
A.
Bonnie Benwick :

Smell will tell -- as in, if you rinse it but the chicken's got a strong, slightly sour aroma, hit the disposal button.

– May 16, 2012 1:01 PM
Q.

Tim Carman :

Okay, after that incredibly fast hour, I feel like I need to wrap myself in some FreshPaper.

 

Now for the important finishing annoucements: The cookbook winners! For the person who asked about whether Grape-Nuts ice cream is related to Grape-Nuts pudding, we have a copy of the "Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book." And for the person who broke Jane Touzalin's heart by wanting to add more ingredients to her five-ingredient recipes, we have a copy of the "Home at 7, Dinner at 8" cookbook.

To get your cookbooks, please contact Becky Krystal at krystalb@washpost.com.

 

Thanks for the invigoring chat. See you next week.

 

 

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