Free Range on Food: Uyghur food, cooking with lima beans and more.

Mar 08, 2017

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

Greetings, and welcome to today's chat! Thanks for joining us today. Hope you're enjoying our food stories and recipes this week, including Maura's piece on Uygher cooking and restaurants; Emily Horton's ode to the humble lima bean (and recipes to try to convert the haters); Jim Shahin's look at the influence -- now and then -- of immigrants on American barbecue; and much more.

Emily and Jim will join us for today's chat. Maura is on assignment, so we'll have to wing any questions about Uygher cuisine without her (or by pinging her by email in case that helps!).

For you PostPoints members, here's today's code: FR9689 . Remember, you'll record and enter it into the PostPoints site under Claim My Points to earn points. The code expires at midnight, so be sure to enter the code by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday to get credit for participating.

We'll also have giveaway books for our favorite chatters today: "Veganize It!" by Robin Robertson, source of this week's Weeknight Veg recipe for Hearts of Palm and Artichoke Cakes; and "Posh Rice" by Emily Kydd, source of this week's DinMin recipe for Coconut Rice and Thai Beef.

Before I forget, remember that this week, you can keep right on chatting at 1 p.m. with Dorie Greenspan! You can ask now at this link and then go back there to participate live after we're done here.

Let's get going!

My mother told me that when she first started feeding me solid food, when she'd spoon in vegetable soup I'd spit out the Lima beans. This broke her heart, because they were one of her favorite vegetables. Unfortunately, I must have inherited my father's taste buds, because 70 years later I STILL can't stand them! On the other hand, my dad and I loved beets and the related Swiss chard, both of which my mother hated.

Such a familiar story! Nevertheless, if you like other dry beans, I'd encourage you to try the dry ones--they really have a different flavor and texture than the fresh/frozen/canned beans.

ARTICLE: If you think you don't like lima beans, these recipes may win you over

I know, I know, St. P's Day is not for everyone, but can you please point me to your best tried and true recipes? Know I can use Recipe Finder, which I do all of the time, but would love any recommendations that you or chatters might have. Thanks to Fritz for beer recommendation.

Way to plan early! :) Check the Food section online for a slew of ideas very soon (Friday or early next week), but in the meantime, here's one that you should start early -- it needs five days to cure:

Corned Short Ribs

RECIPE: Corned Short Ribs

I have been baking all our bread for the last six months using the terrific and virtually foolproof New York Times no-knead bread recipe. After the first 18-hour rise, I pour out the dough onto a floured polypropylene cutting board, fold it over itself a few times, then cover it and let it rest for about 15 minutes. There are times then, like today, when the dough becomes very difficult to manage, sticking to the floured work surface and to my floured hands and making it very difficult to form into a ball and place in a bowl for the next three hour rise. It seems to happen most often when the bread I am making is just wheat flour and not mixed with rye or whole wheat flour, although there are times when the dough is sticky and difficult to form into a ball with those mixes as well. It is likely related to the air temperature, but we do not have an overly heated house and I am working in what I consider a normal ambient temperature. Any suggestions?

There may be two things going on. Rather than temperature, the issue may be humidity. When it's more humid, your dough is going to be wetter, too. When you say it happens more often with "just wheat flour," I assume you mean regular all-purpose? The reason it may happen less with whole wheat flour is that it has more protein, which means more gluten, which means a less slack, stronger dough. I haven't baked as much with rye, but it sounds like rye can actually lead to a slacker dough because it won't form as much gluten.

So, where does that leave you?

If you're consistently finding that your dough is too wet, you might as well try adding a little more flour to start with. Or you could incorporate a bit more when you form it into a ball (eliminating some of the no-knead charm, but whatever). Hope that helps.

Are any of you familiar with this spicy Korean soup? It has gojuchang and kim chee in it. I made it recently and it was too spicy to eat! Other than adding more broth, is there any way to tame the spice?

Yes, I am! I wrote about a great version from Vedge/V Street chefs Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby awhile back. I'd say the easiest way to tame the spice is to, yes, increase the proportion of non-spicy broth. Transfer half the broth (keeping the solids, of course) into another vessel, then add plain vegetable (or chicken, if you're going that way) broth back into the original stew. You could freeze the strained broth and make a second batch of stew another time.

RECIPE: Korean Soft Tofu Stew

I've never seen the diluted, refrigerated "coconut milk beverage" that today's recipe for Coconut Rice requires. By how much should I dilute regular canned coconut milk to get the same effect? Or would using coconut water be preferable?

Coconut Rice and Thai Beef


Hm, maybe one fourth (or a little less) the amount of canned coconut milk and the rest water. You could also start with light canned coconut milk, then dilute that.

But I'll bet if you look at the "alternative milk" (you know, almond, soy, etc.) section in a grocery store, you'll see the coconut milk in a carton. Silk is a widely available brand.

I made pho for dinner with a friend and learned some lessons in my attempt to take a shortcut when I was running behind - I softened the noodles in hot water and then figured instead of boiling them separately, I'd just toss 'em into the big pot of broth. It may not surprise you that when we went back for seconds, almost all of the broth had been absorbed into the noodles. My question is - is there any way to repurpose this? I have a lot of soggy noodles with tasty bits of chicken mixed in leftover that I'd hate to go to waste, but I can't take another night of reheated gummy noodles!

Puree it in a blender or with a hand blender, then reheat and add water or broth to thin it out to the consistency you like. Then add lots of garnishes for crunch and visual interest: scallions, bean sprouts, fresh herbs. If I ate chicken, that's what I would do!

I don't think this is an appropriate question for either you or Tom, but I'm going to ask it anyway. I was in Germany recently and had lots of good bread. Nice hearty stuff with good flavor. Do you know any good places to buy something like that here? I live south of Alexandria, so a trip to Bread Furst is not very easy. (I'll make my way up there eventually, though.) In or near me I see Bread and Water, Firehook Bakery, and Buzz Bakery, although Buzz seems to make more pastries than bread. Do you know these or have any other suggestions for wheaty pleasures? No dietary restrictions. Many thanks!

Totally an appropriate question for us! I've not had much from Bread and Water or Firehook, but you're right, Buzz doesn't really do bread. I really like breads from Atwater's, which sells at farmers markets in Northern Virginia and elsewhere. Year-round they're at the Westover, Fall Church and Arlington Courthouse markets. Best Buns in Shirlington also does pretty good bread. A trip into Union Market is definitely easier than getting to Bread Furst (I know, I live in NoVa, too), so if you're up to do that occasionally, Lyon Bakery does fantastic loaves. Here are a few other ideas to consider, from Northern Virginia Magazine.

Another tip, depending on your recipe and the kimchi you are using: perhaps hold off on adding gochujang or gochugaru. Your kimchi may be providing enough spice.

Of course, when starting from scratch -- but this question was about how to fix an already made stew, so the gochujang was already added...

For their IACP nominations - love your writing!

Preciate the props. Thanks so much. 

I froze, then thawed, a beautiful, fresh ginger root, but now that it is thawed, it is very limp and soggy. Grating it is possible, but not very appealing. Is this still usable, or should I just relegate it to ginger tea? Thanks!

If you're just going to grate it, I don't see why you couldn't pop it back in the freezer to firm it back up.

Hello, I am the reader who asked if I could DIY a tube pan with a removable bottom for Aunt Sophie's Yum-Yum Cake. I'm happy to report that I was successful: I used a ramekin in the center of a springform cake pan, and it turned out perfectly. The result was delish, and I thought the cake part was good even without the filling and topping. I plan to experiment with different fillings and toppings at some point.

So great to hear this! Cathy Barrow will be thrilled to know.

RECIPE: Aunt Sophie's Yum Yum Coffee Cake

If you accidentally bought a pound and a half of boneless skinless chicken thighs, what would be the most likely thing you would do with them? The only restrictions are that they could not be deep-fried, and nothing too spicy. Otherwise, anything goes. Thank you!!

I'd make this one from Claudia Roden: 

Minty Carrot Chicken

RECIPE: Minty Carrot Chicken

Or this: 

Cashew Eggplant Chicken Stir-Fry

RECIPE: Cashew Eggplant Chicken Stir-Fry

Or Chicken Sate With Peanut Sauce!

And here's one that has a little frying, but it's shallow:

Chicken Schnitzel With Braised Red Cabbage

RECIPE: Chicken Schnitzel With Braised Red Cabbage

Tim, Last chat, you wrote that for one cup of coffee, "Grind four tablespoons of fresh coffee beans, to a medium-fine grind." Do you really use 4T coffee per cup? I think I'd be as jumpy as a kitten swatting at a dangling string. Isn't the old rule to use 1T beans per cup, plus "one for the pot?"

Yes, he does -- and so do I. But keep in mind that this is for whole beans, not ground. And recipes for coffee have gotten a lot better than the old rule!


We received a wonderful box of fresh mushrooms and would love some simple and creative ways to prepare them. We love all types of cuisine, so we’re open to pretty much anything. The mushroom types are: white oyster, yellow oyster, cremini, Portobello, shiitake, and enoki. Thanks for your help!

How about this one?

Mushroom Flatbreads

RECIPE: Mushroom Flatbreads

One of my favorite things to do with a plethora of lovely mushrooms is to put them over pasta. I love pairing them with Sfoglini Pasta Shop's porcini trumpets (saw them at Glen's Garden Market the other day), and the company has quite a lovely recipe here for a mushroom cream sauce. I've made it many times and can vouch for its deliciousness.

I love them but wish a few didn't ALWAYS stick in my front teeth! Any tips on how to prevent this? Wish someone would develop a strain of colorless poppy seeds or non-stick ones.

Have a glass of water handy, and prepare to swish!

what the heck do I do with the dark green part of leeks? They smell like, well, like leek. So it should be possible to cook them enough to not be too tough, right? Is there a secret? Cut it up small and against the fibers? Cook a long time? Cook a long time in liquid? High heat? Low heat? Any suggestions? Thanks. I really like the taste of the white and pale green parts that are more familiar in texture, but the tops are intimidating.

My first suggestion definitely would have been... save them for stock! However, you can cook the darker green parts, too. I tend to cut off the very darkest, top, rather fibrous parts (compost), slice the rest very thin, and sweat gently until tender, which I don't find takes much longer than the light green parts. The flavor may be a little bit stronger, but not a bad thing, as long as you love the flavor of leeks.

I always make a cake in the shape of a lamb, but it is not vegan. Do you have a vegan recipe that will work well in a cake mold?

These are both vegan cakes that I think will take well to a mold. Of course, you may need to scale up depending on how big it is.

Double Chocolate ‘War’ Cake

RECIPE: Double Chocolate 'War' Cake

Vegan Champagne Cupcakes With Passion Fruit Frosting

RECIPE: Vegan Champagne Cupcakes With Passion Fruit Frosting (you should be fine using this batter as a cake instead of individual cupcakes).

I'm thinking of preparing the Caldo verde with mushroom and would like to know if it freezes well as I live alone and don't need 6 servings.

Sure! For the best possible results, I'd try freezing it without the sauteed mushrooms that you stir in at the end, because mushrooms don't always do so well when frozen and thawed. You'd just saute some fresh and add them in when you thaw/reheat.

Or ... use our handy-dandy scaling function on the recipe and cut it in half from the get-go!

RECIPE: Caldo Verde With Mushrooms


For a staff potluck, I brought in lima beans in bbq sauce. I had them in a ziplock bag, ready to reheat. The next day I brought in my crock pot, went to get the beans, and they were gone. Someone at work had thrown them away. Lima hater? I'll never know.

Unforgivable! I would prefer to think, at least, that some lima bean fanatic stole away with them for their own dinner, but I guess that's not much better...

Back in the 1970s when I was growing up on rural Long Island, my European parents despaired of finding good bread. Mum went into the City a lot and would fuel up at Orwasher's with loads of loaves. They froze well and we enjoyed good bread. So - the freezer is your friend if you can't get to a good bakery regularly.

Good point. I have had pretty good luck freezing bread, although it's pretty hard to imagine ever needing to in our house, where it's eaten so quickly!

(I think I lost my question, so disregard if this is a duplicate). I volunteered to bake bread for a dinner event for about 60 people. I'm making three kinds of bread to have in a bread basket at each table. The thing is, I just don't know how much to make. Making 60 servings of each kind is too much (there are appetizers, entrees, and dessert), so I was figuring on about 40-50 servings of each kind. For example, one recipe makes 10-12 servings, so I was planning on quadrupling it. Does that seem reasonable, or too much, or not enough? I love baking (especially bread), but I hate numbers...

I'd triple each recipe rather than quadruple. If you think about how much bread from a basket most people will eat, and I'd say an average of 1 1/2 pieces. Some will take none, some will take one, some will take two. A few might take three. So if you trip each recipe, that's 90 to 108 pieces, which is 1.5 to 1.8 per person, which seems perfect.

I love baking -- and numbers!

Loved the articles this week! Lima beans made me gag as a child. I apologize, but I just cannot eat them. I appreciate your attempts to make them more palatable, though, Emily! I live in CLT, and have had the privilege of eating at Seoul Food Meat Co., and let me say that their BBQ chicken, pimento cheese & corn dip, and everything else really is just superb. Finally, a few years ago I read On the Noodle Road, which is a travel foodie memoir down the Silk Road. The author spends a great deal of time learning about Uygher food and culture. It is a fascinating read. My next visit to DC, I plan on patronizing one of the Uygher restaurants. Thank you, WaPo food section, for writing about the intersection of food & culture in all parts of the US, not just DC.

    Thanks for the report from the BBQ front. Glad to hear you liked Seoul Food Meat Co. 

ARTICLE: Immigrants bring new touches to American barbecue. Just like they always have.

And thanks for the general compliments!

Thank you for making me rethink lima beans, which I used to spit into a napkin and toss under my little bro's chair (he, who dutifully ate his lima beans was always stunned when parents discovered them). Feeling guilty, so making some lima beans. Your article was incredibly interesting and informative, and the recipes sound delicious - even to a lima bean hater. But must ask - how in the world do/did Peruvian cooks peel lima beans? The image conjured in my brain . . . teeny, tiny paring knife? Seriously, which is best recipe to reintroduce lima beans into my life?

Glad you enjoyed! To your first question, while I have never peeled lima beans myself, my impression is that the process is similar to peeling dried fava beans. When they have been soaked, the skins come away from the bean enough so that peeling them may be tedious, but not technically difficult. 

On  which recipe to try first... if you like heat, I'd go with the chard and harissa; if you love fresh herbs, I'd try the turmeric/herb version. Although, the beauty of the basic recipe is that you can tailor leftovers to your taste and pantry any time of year. Would love to hear feedback when you try them!

Get a bread machine and bake it? I know some bakers sneer at the bread machine, but I've gotten consistently good results from mine. And the neat thing is, once you figure out how bread recipes are proportioned and how gluten works — in other words, once you start branching out from the boxed mixes — you can pretty much make anything you want. Whole grains? Cheese? Fruit? All doable. If the OP had a bakery with good bread right down the street, I could see the appeal of buying it pre-baked, but I have to admit, running a bread machine requires very little in the way of skill or time.

Of course making your own is always an option, but I would argue you don't even need a bread machine (I know I don't want another appliance taking up space). We've got some pretty basic recipes in our database should the OP decide that's something they want to tackle.

Cutting up and eating a cake shaped like a lamb might not be vegan friendly ... .


Mushroom risotto is sublime.


So it this:

RECIPE: Mushroom Risoniotto

Smitten Kitchen has a great recipe for mushroom pate - a vegetarian alternative to chopped liver.

I made a pot of (vegetarian) green chile stew this weekend with the last of my frozen roasted green chiles. I used to make this with a mix of hot and mild chiles, but I only had hot left, and no means to get any more (my source dried up and I'm a thousand miles from New Mexico). So it's far too hot to eat as stew. I made a batch of too-cheesy enchiladas, and (with sour cream) the spice was perfect. If I dilute the stew with broth, it's too thin to eat. I loathe bell peppers, so I can't substitute. I think it's too hot to pour over potatoes or noodles, without prodigious amounts of sour cream. Do you have any ideas about how can I tone down the rest without compromising my waistline any further?

What are the other ingredients in it? Can you follow my lead on a similar earlier question about Korean stew and strain out some of the liquid and then replace it with water -- or, to keep from making it too thin, perhaps water pureed with a little potato or cooked rice? Then save the strained liquid for another use -- maybe the same stew made another time?

I have several people I like to bake for who like apple cake, but despite being a decent baker have not had great luck with apple cakes. Do you have any no-fail recipes, including for a Jewish apple cake? (Other types welcome, too.) Thanks!

What is the fastest (and best) challah recipe I can make in under two hours?

Here's one that can be made in about an hour. If you don't like anise, leave it out.

Pain Petri (Anise-Flavored Challah With Sesame Seeds)

RECIPE: Pain Petri (Anise-Flavored Challah With Sesame Seeds)

My KitchenAid mixer's dough hook totally rocks for making bread.

Yes, mine is indispensable too.

OP here. I must confess I always make it with red velvet cake for the shock factor.

Oh, that's hilarious. I like the way you think.

I made these and I couldn't believe how good they were. The hearts of palm give it the texture of crab cakes and The Old Bay the flavor. We are not vegan but my husband is allergic to crab meat so this was a way for him to try "crab cakes". I was short on time so I didn't fry but baked them in toaster oven. They were still delicious. Thanks for providing the recipe.

So glad you liked these! I thought they were super fun, too. My hearts of palm had a little more crunch in parts than crab would, but I still loved them.

BTW, have you rated and commented on the recipe online? Please do! It helps point other readers to potential new favorites.

RECIPE: Hearts of Palm and Artichoke Cakes

It looks great, but the measurement for how much orzo is a bit odd. 13/19 cups?

Oh, man, is it ever! Thanks for spotting that technical glitch; we fixed!

Can you use tomatoes do bulk it out and adjust the seasoning?

Yes, canned tomatoes is a great idea. Depending on consistency, might want to do my take-out-half-the-liquid trick, too.

OMG I went to a vegan restaurant in Clarksville, MD and had the crab cakes made with hearts of palm and I really thought they had snuck in some real crab. It was out of this world good and hard to know it was NOT real crab. One of these days I am going to make those crab cakes when my sister comes to visit and surprise her.

Re-reading Jim's wonderful article on comfort food (Reader's Digest) reminded me -- how are you doing?

     Doing great. Thanks for asking. Glad you liked the piece - published in WaPo first, incidentally! 

Fairly frequently, my wife and I are invited to small potluck meals where the host makes the entree and everyone else brings sides. Usually, the entree tends to be beef or chicken. My wife is a vegetarian, so it sometimes becomes difficult for her to have enough to eat. What can we bring as a substantive side that could double as her main, with the additional restrictions that we keep kosher and my wife hates eggplant.

My partner and I are also vegan and vegetarian, so I'm familiar with this scenario! We often bring a bean, grain, or bean/grain salad, for the reasons that it travels well, won't need to be reheated before serving, and can double as a main dish for us. A few favorites are chickpeas with diced carrots, parsley and a harissa-lemon dressing... or a brown rice-cabbage-carrot-herb combination with a toasted peanut oil-rice vinegar dressing (can add cubes of smoked tofu to that one), or a shredded brussels sprout-rye berry-white bean salad with a lemony caraway dressing and some toasted walnuts. 

So easy to vary, and you can always add more dressing/veg/herbs until you get the mix just right.


Honestly, I'd say that most of the dishes I write about in my column would qualify, if they meet your kosher and no-eggplant requirement, even though they're mostly meant to be stand-alone meals. What would be a satisfying main to her would, in lesser quantities, be a perfectly great side for everybody else, you included.

I find that the plastic blade on my food processor kneads bread dough well, too. Of course, the processor only accommodates ca. 4 cups of flour's worth of dough, not big batches (but there are only two of us eating the bread).

Yup yup, although at least some folks will say you don't even knead (sorry, couldn't help myself) to bother with the plastic blade. Regular one is fine, too.

Could we cook the creamy lima beans in a pressure cooker, or what about cooking it in a slow cooker? Is stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat absolutely essential? 2 to 2-1/2 hours is a long time, hence this question. Thanks so much.

Good question! I have not used either, but some internet research suggests that both will work. 

The positive with dried lima beans is that it's difficult to overcook them (at the worst, you'll have a very creamy pot of broken down beans, which will still be delicious). 

Would love to hear results if you try either of these methods!

Hi Food Rangers, I've got Chef Drewno's Asian Roast Pork in the oven as I type, and it's making my house smell amazing. I can't wait to taste it later (I let it sit in its crust for two days!), but I will admit that I organized its creation without thinking of the end in mind. I know about the complicated Dan Dan noodles you recommend it with, but I don't have that much time tonight to make that second recipe. What else can I use the shredded, roasted pork for that will make a delicious dish for dinner? Thank you!

I bet that would be great in some fusion-type tacos. Maybe with some kimchi or quick-pickled vegetables, cilantro, scallions, etc.

How about a vegetarian Stroganoff?

Actually, the old measure was 2 TB per cup. I have a coffee measure from my grandmother (who would be 124 now) and it's the same as my old Foley measures--2 Tbsp. But, that's for ground coffee, not whole beans.

There you go. Thanks.

Well, I' not sure about those fancy ones, but I love to make a plain old mushroom stroganoff. Sauté the heck out of them, add some stock and thyme. Take off heat and add sour cream to taste. If you like you can thicken the sauce (before the sour cream) with something (normally would have been the flour from cooking beef strips) but you don't have to.

I've fooled many a dinner guest with my Spaghetti Faux-Bolognese made with baked, then crumbled, veggie burger.

I know so many chatters try recipes that the great WaPo staff works on, but I would love to see feedback - we all learn from others, and just from the Chats, I know I can learn much from you.


For the person with a lot of chile stew - you could make a baked chilaquiles or stacked enchilada dish. Like a lasagna but with tortillas. I often do this with leftover homemade salsas and it works really well with very spicy things because you can add cheese and sourcream and beans and things to dillute the spice.

You mean like this one? Sure.

RECIPE: Chilaquiles With Squash and White Beans


I have had success adding the juice of a lime, or some sugar, if the recipe will tolerate it.

The writer hoped someone would develop a colorless poppy seed. They're already out there and are often used in Indian cuisine. They are very pale tan or creamy white, not bright white.

First, can't wait to try them. Second, thanks for another Lent-Friendly, non-meat recipe. Third, can you please provide some clues on how to introduce them to my picky, sometimes ungrateful audience. Thinking if say "Kind of like crab cakes," might not work.

How about ... Hearts of Palm and Artichoke Cakes? You can explain to them just what those cool things are.

Or, Crispy Sea Cakes?

easier. As in automatic. As long as you don't stress about the kitchen and dishes, which it sounds like the reader doesn't since they are eating dinner out with friends who don't share at least some of their restrictions. The only issue I can think of is eggs that were fertilized (have a little blood spot) aren't Kosher. And that is so rare these days.

Boeuf Bourguignon (with meat or meat-substitute)?

Hello Food Gurus. Looking for ideas for portable food to bring along to brewery tours/tastings. Something hand-held most appreciated so that we don't need utensils. Maybe a stuffed bread or hearty sandwiches. Looking for something fun for folks who love good food. Thank you!

I have pasties on the mind from my story the other week. 

Reuben Pasties

RECIPE: Reuben Pasties

More recipes at the bottom of the story.

ARTICLE: Virginia bakers travel 3,000 miles to prove their prowess with a British hand pie

All of those poppy seed recipes look so good, and I actually have a bag in the cupboard, and I love them. But I'm always a bit nervous to cook with them -- are the stories about people failing drug tests after eating poppy seeds just rumors, or is there truth to them? I cook for people who can be randomly selected for work-place tests, and I don't want a good career to be destroyed because of some cookies!

Yes, 'tis true (see NY Times article here), but hopeful news reported a few years ago by Smithsonian mag:

For years, the federal government set the test threshold for opiates in urine at 300 ng/ml. But false positives abounded in poppy seed bagel lovers. A single teaspoon of poppy seeds, for example, produce opiate concentrations of 1,200 ng/ml. And so eventually, the National Institute on Drug Abuse raised the cut-off way up, to 2,000 ng/ml. The army took an even more cautious approach, setting the cut off at 3,000 ng/ml.

After years of discouraging people from eating poppy seed pastries prior to job interviews (and perhaps missing some heroin users in screening tests), researchers from King's College London think they've finally found a fix. They analyzed street heroin and compared its components to poppy seeds until they found a unique molecular ingredient in heroin that poppy seeds lack: a glucuronide metabolite called ATM4G. The metabolite, they say, dependably turns up in users' urine but is not present in seed-lovers' systems.

But yes, better to play it safe and avoid poppy seeds if drug tests are a concern. 

ARTICLE: 8 reasons to buy poppy seeds in bulk

Is it feasible to boiled some cubed potatoes in the broth? The spuds might absorb some of the "heat," mildening(?) the broth while seasoning the potatoes pleasantly.

I've tried this, and IMHO it doesn't really work if you're eating the potatoes, too. I've tried boiling potatoes in a broth and then removing them to take out some of the heat, and that does a LITTLE bit, but not nearly as much as changing the proportions as I described. There's no magic spice-vanisher, I'm afraid.

Buy some squash and stuff it with the pulled pork. Make stuffed baked white or sweet potatoes. Eggrolls. Make an Asian style pork pizza on naan bread.

The very very best Irish Soda Bread can be found at Talking Breads in Silver Spring. I have never had any as good as Shana's. I contacted her to let her know to hold three loaves for me - yummy!

I think the bread at Le Pain Quotidien is quite good, and I know they have stores in Alexandria and at Tysons.

White poppy seeds are readily available from Indian grocers and spice merchants, but the flavor is less sweet than black poppy seeds.

I've been looking to increase my intake of plant-based protein as I decrease the animal protein that I eat. The problem? I have a soy sensitivity (I can eat small amounts, but large amounts leave me feeling icky.) Apart from beans and lentils, what other plant-based protein sources should I be exploring?

We're getting short on time, but ... grains! Many of them have more protein than you might think.

Also, do you have the same sensitivity with fermented soy, like tempeh? Fermenting improves the digestibility generally, so wondering if this would work for your issues.

Poach, then use the liquid and shred the meat in Chicken Avgolemono Soup?

As a kid, I really liked lima beans, but we only ever had the frozen kind. We then went to visit relatives in Mississippi who grew their own. I liked those, too, but asked at the dinner table what they were. "Lima beans." I was told. Yeah, right. "Nuh UH! Lima beans are green!" I explained. At which point I was taken away and reminded not to talk that way to my elderly relatives, and yes, those ARE lima beans, and now go back to the table and apologize for contradicting Aunt Marta. I only now realized I have never once since that time had lima beans that were not frozen. Now it must be done! Thanks for the recipes and the reminder of some really nice relatives that I only met a few times.

Although being Southern I suspect your relatives would have agreed with you that not all lima beans are equal!

Growing up, I mostly ate lima beans with my grandparents in north Florida--we called the large, dried white varieties lima beans, and the small green fresh ones butterbeans. Of course, if you leave the green ones in their pods til they dry, they'll turn white, but there is a botanical difference between the large and small ones, even though they're all limas. 

Glad to remind you how tasty they are. Happy lima cooking!

I make this all the time and am amazed at what a terrific recipe it is. I usually use sesame seeds instead of anise, but given today's articles, poppy would work well and look nice tooPain Petri (Anise-Flavored Challah With Sesame Seeds)

I'll just say, " I cooked your dinner. You are welcome."

Marinate in a soy mixture and cook over a charcoal grill. Heat and thicken the marinate and use for a sauce. Great with rice or noodles.

I love Fordhooks--fresh or frozen only. We grew Fordhooks, calico beans, and baby limas and the only ones I'd eat were Fordhooks. The others are too mealy. Dried ones and canned ones are not on our menu ever. My husband loved favas raw from the pod, but I reacted to them. When we lived in Europe, I missed limas so much (and okra--but that's another story).

I hear you--living in the Pacific Northwest, fresh limas are nowhere to be seen, and okra comes from a few rare growers in the eastern part of the state for a couple of months in late summer. Those tastes burrow in...

I do like lima beans, and I know Emily’s point was the dried beans can appeal to fresh-bean haters, but I have to say that truly fresh beans, when compared with frozen ones, are….a revelation. And with fresh corn for succotash….is it summer yet?

Agreed! Yes, yes, succotash sounds about right.

We bought a digital subscription (WaPo doesn't offer the Sunday only add-on we enjoy from NYT) to show our appreciation for the Live Q&As. This Food Chat is the best. And now we get the benefit of the intense investigative journalism. Kudos.

Thank you.

Thanks for the recipe! We added chickpeas for added protein. Out of curiosity, why does the recipe call for a dish towel to go over the pot?

Great thought on the chickpeas! (Please go add that as a comment and rating to the recipe so others will know...) The reason the dish towel goes on is to absorb some of the evaporating water and help the rice grains stay nice and separated and not mushy.

RECIPE: Armenian Cheesy Rice

Here's something about lima beans (is anyone so politically correct that they call them "lee-ma" beans. Or is that on the way? They were named for Lima, Peru.) that those who travel in third world areas should know. The wild forms are often loaded with lethal amounts of cyanogenic glycosides (hydrogencyanide). Never eat them raw! The ones cultivated in North America have had this quality bred out of them .

Good point! Although my understanding is that those compounds were bred out of all domesticated types, including the large varieties that were originally cultivated in Peru and the small sieva type that were originally domesticated in Mexico. 

Well, you've cooked us until we've begun to break down (!), so you know what that means -- we're done!

Thanks for the great q's, and thanks to Emily and Jim for helping with the a's.

Now for the giveaway books: The chatter who asked about toning down green chile stew will get "Posh Rice." The one who asked about vegetarian sides that can feel like mains will get "Veganize It!" Send your mailing info to, and she'll get you your book!

And don't forget that you can go right on over to Dorie's chat and keep up the food talk.

Until next time, happy cooking, eating and reading!

In This Chat
Joe Yonan
Joe Yonan is the Food and Dining editor of The Post and the author of "Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook." He writes the Weeknight Vegetarian column.
Carrie Allan
M. Carrie Allan is The Post's Spirits columnist.
Kara Elder
Kara Elder is the Food section editorial aide.
Becky Krystal
Becky Krystal is a staff food writer.
Jim Shahin
Jim Shahin writes the monthly Smoke Signals column on barbecue.
Emily Horton
Emily Horton is a freelance writer based in Seattle.
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