Free Range on Food: Gorgeous peas, dry-aged Peeps, perfectly brined chicken, this week's recipes and more!

Apr 24, 2019

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

Family will be in town for an early Sunday breakfast, so I'm looking for something easy to prep the night before and pop in the oven. I made frittatas the last time they were here, so I'd like something different. I saw the Post's recipe for kale and butternut strata, but that seems a little wintry, considering this week's temps. But all of the other breakfast casserole-type recipes I've found are so ... similar. And kind of boring. Any ideas for a dish with a little something extra, beyond just eggs/sausage/cheese? (Not that there's ANYTHING wrong with those ingredients!)

Ask and ye shall receive:

Breakfast Strata Primavera

RECIPE: Breakfast Strata Primavera

Greetings, all, and welcome to today's chat! Hope you've been eating up what we've been serving, including:

We will have David Leite joining us today. He can answer questions on much more than just brined/roast chicken, of course!

For you PostPoints members, here's today's code: FR7276 . Remember, you'll record and enter it at 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 a giveaway book for our favorite chatter today, so make your questions good!

Let's do this.

OMG, there's a boneheaded mistake in the salt quantities for the recipe. We expect the salt volumes to be different, but the weight should be the same. I would weigh the salt, but how much? 271grams and 190 grams are wildly different.

Hello. I'm the creator of the recipe? We're fixing this, but here's the math:

1 cup of Diamond = 135 g, so 1 1/2 cups = 202.5 g

1 cup of Morton's = 250 grams, so 3/4 cup = 187.5

When you make it a "generous" 3/4 cup, you get about 200 g.

If you're using a scale, shoot for 200 grams of your salt.

RECIPE: Better Brined Roast Chicken

I have almost a whole bunch of each dill and parsley left over from a spinach pie I made on Easter. What should I make with them (vegetarian please)?

Go with this Parsley Soup as an easy way to use up a LOT of parsley in one go.

You can swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth. 

For dill, maybe a dip

Dill and Mint Yogurt Dip

Or these fantastic Sweet Pea Toasts with Feta.

I purchased a package of organic 14 bean soup mix. I followed the directions on the package and was not pleased with the final outcome. Specifically, the lentils turned to mush and the kidney beans were tough. What do you suppose Happened?additionally,could you recommend a place to purchase green lentils as I plan to prepare Joe's recipe in today's paper.

Beans are a tough one (literally). The age of beans has so much to do with how long you need to cook them. Lentils and kidney beans definitely cook at different rates. I really love the beans from Rancho Gordo. Superb quality.

Yes, there's really no universe in which those two things would turn out right together! Unless it was red lentils, and they're meant to turn into mush? 

As for where to buy green (de Puy) lentils, if you're in the DC area, I buy them at Mom's -- look for Timeless Foods brand.

RECIPE: Roasted Radishes, Potatoes and Crispy Lentils

So, given that I live in a small capitol hill row house with zero space for book shelves, I can't indulge in my love for cookbooks anymore..and have to depend on the internet for new recipe research. (Love the WaPo for that!) But leading up to Easter I wanted to scream. Why can't food "bloggers" just let me see the darn recipe? I really don't care how they were "inspired" to come up with this recipe when they were contemplating their naval in the early spring mist! I now try to completely avoid clicking on anything that looks like a food blog and just go to the main recipe sites (allrecipes etc) Occasionally a blogger will have something that look's different - but if it take's me more than a second or two to see the actual recipe you're off my list!

There was a huge Twitter thread about this a while back ... and, I have to say I must respectfully disagree with you. Especially as someone who is a food blogger essentially who writes sometimes longer headnotes.

Yes, sometimes you want to write about your inspiration, sometimes you want to write about what you learned or tips to help others. But you know what? It's their blog, which I'm assuming you are accessing for free, and they can write however long they want.

I really don't think it's that big of a deal to scroll down to the recipe if you don't want to read the intro material, and anyway, I think some people do enjoy that kind of thing. The writers are people with lives, interests and experiences, not just recipe machines -- like you said, if all you want is a recipe, feel free to go onto an aggregation site, but I do think those are totally lacking in the human element.

Agree with Becky. Someone put in the time, care and effort to build, test and organize a recipe for you to consume for free. It's not an easy task to come up with a recipe from scratch or translate an old family recipe into something that can be replicated. Scrolling is not as arduous as recipe developing, testing and photography. 

I'll add that some sites offer printing options that allow you to check off what you want (and therefore don't want) to print, and that can include the photo, the intro, the nutritional information, etc. I love that feature. You might not be able to skip the overview when you're first going to the page, but when you print you can. (We are hoping at some point to add better printing for our recipes, btw.)

I hear you! And I have done the same on occasion. That's why I've added a "Jump to Recipe" button at the very top of every post. So if you're up a little bit of storytelling, great. If not, and you're hangry, hit that sucker and you're all set! More bloggers should use that!

I made a chocolate mirror cake for Easter. It was truly a mirror... for a couple of hours. I made it late Sunday morning to be eaten at about 3:00, but as soon as it cooled completely off it became as dull as a brick. I followed Mary Berry's recipe to the letter: chocolate, cocoa, heavy cream, water, sugar, sheet gelatine. I weighed all the ingredients, I could not have been more careful. The only thing this recipe did not call for, which most others do, is glucose or corn syrup. Has anybody else had this experience? 

I haven't made a mirror glaze before, so props to you for giving it a go! Have seen a lot on Great British Baking Show, so using a Mary Berry recipe seems fitting. I think you're on to something, though, in that the lack of glucose or corn syrup might be part of the problem. Those ingredients would definitely help keep things shinier and a bit softer/more fluid.

I was gifted a pound of Rancho Gordo Sangre de Toro beans - they look like small kidney beans. Google only reveals recipes for red beans and rice, which does not excite me. Can you think of anything else I could do with them? Thank you!!

There is this recipe from their site.

I encourage the reader from last week to check with The Times customer service folks, because what they describe is not what I get. There's no 'extra' cost for recipes.

It must depend on your subscription, because my husband and I have an online subscription and it does not include access to the recipes. I get a prompt to sign up for the separate NYT Cooking access.

I wish comments could be banned. Anyone with something to say can think of a thoughtful way to present it in either this chat or as a Letter to the Editor. The comment format leads to extreme ill-thought-out belligerence.

I'm not convinced that it's all about the format, but I hear you. We try to moderate comments to feature the most constructive ones, as a way to encourage, well, constructive commenting, and I think it works to a point. But on this topic especially, too many people just seem to get caught up in a cycle of judgment and defense.

I plan to have an " All Day Rose'Wine party and would like your suggestions on make ahead horsd'oeuvres?

For me the answer is always stuffed dates. Who else has an idea?

stuffed dates

RECIPE: Stuffed Dates

For the past few months, the garlic I buy has shrivelled up and dried out before I get a chance to use it. I keep it inside a cabinet, usually in the small stoneware garlic keeper inherited from my MIL. I have not been cooking as much lately but previously garlic would sprout or get brown spots when it got old. I select firm , well formed heads and try to get ones with the root still attached since I understand the heads without roots are Chinese imports. Do you guys have any ideas to keep garlic heads from drying out too soon?

Garlic will keep best and longest when it's stored at 60 to 65 degrees in moderate humidity. Most kitchens are too warm for that. You can try the fridge, but they will sprout. Also you can puree the cloves, spoon the mixture into ice cube trays and freeze.

I have some leftover sour cream and creme fraiche from other recipes (Joe's mushroom orzo, for one, yum!). Can I sub them for heavy cream (along with milk) in scalloped potatoes, or will the sauce break? I'd like ideas for using either in cooked or baked savory veg or meat dishes.

Creme fraiche should be fine to use, as it won't break cooked in sauces, but sour cream will likely do so. Still, it will taste delicious, so if you don't mind slightly unattractive look, sour cream will work for you in that role.

I had a pink mole made from beets in a restaurant in Ciudad Juarez. It was delicious with a great earthy flavor. Your article reminded me of it. Is there a recipe for it in the book, or does anyone have a good recipe? Pro tip: don't google "pink mole" unless you are interested in skin cancer info.

If you search for "beet mole recipe," you'll avoid all of those nasty overly medical images and find some interesting dishes.

Exactly! I just did that and found this one.


No beet mole in Olvera's book, but exactly what David Leite and Joe said.

Are spring onions (the ones with the little bulbs) the same thing as ramps? I bought some at the farmer's market and they are delicious.

They are not, but they are delightful nonetheless. They're both alliums, though, so definitely easy to get them confused. People really like to use ramps in pesto, whereas spring onions are used more like regular onions or scallions.

As luck would have it, both are in my recent post on spring produce.

spring produce

ARTICLE: Spring is here, so embrace it with these tips and recipes for 5 of the season’s produce stars

Ramps are stinkier -- in a good way!

My husband and I are trying a new recipe every night, using America's Text kitchen and other cookbooks. Some of these recipes are so complicated, makes making dinner an hours long process and filling up the sink with cups, spoons, pots and pans. Some of the steps in the recipe seem ridiculous (toasting flour for Chicken pot pie?) Can you suggest cookbooks that offer tasty recipes but are respectful of time and talent?

Look for 5 ingredient cookbooks. You'll find a bunch here.

Hi, a family member just came off several months of prednisone and unfortunately put on a lot of weight as a side effect. I'm committed to helping by cooking healthy meals. Can you suggest a website or cookbook where I can pull several fairly easy recipes for a rotation?

You should be poring over Ellie Krieger's weekly Nourish recipes for us, naturally!

You can see links to them on her author page here.

May I also add a plea for a printable recipe from a video recipe? I hate clicking on a link to something that sounds delicious and only getting a video.

cheese. lots of cheese.

I don't care for ham, so Hawaiian pizza isn't really my thing. But I do love pineapple + pepperoni on pizza. The sweet and spicy combination is really good! (and this is coming from someone who doesn't like fruit in salads, unless it's a fruit salad)

I hear you! One of my favorite pizzas is the Bee Sting from Roberta's. It has spicy soppressata and honey, and the combination is incredible!

ARTICLE: Pineapple on pizza is easy to hate -- at least in theory

Was planning to make an italian cheesecake with the ricotta but plans fell through. Any suggestions for (fairly) healthy recipes using ricotta?

There is this recipe (full disclosure: it's from my site). But is a favorite. Baked Ricotta.

I had a failed pastry cream. Tastes great, too runny for the dessert I was making. I have too much dessert now and it won't keep long enough in the fridge. I know it won't freeze as is, but is there a way to turn it into something like a frozen custard?

Don't know about that, but maybe you could stabilize it a bit by folding it into some whipped cream for a kind of airy pudding/mousse.

I made a delicious Easter dessert using a vanilla bean (Ina Garten's pear clafoutis), but was surprised at the price of a single vanilla bean in a spice bottle in the baking aisle at Safeway. I'm wondering if you all have any sourcing tips, in the DMV or online? And if it's cheaper to buy in bulk, do vanilla beans keep? Thanks.

Vanilla beans, unfortunately, are one of the more expensive spices you'll find out there, however, they're worth every penny (IMHO). Part of the cost has to do with how the flowers are pollinated (I believe it's still done by hand and is immensely labor intensive. Also, vanilla is part of the orchid family!) I wouldn't buy them in bulk as they will try out, but I think you can find online retailers that might give you better price. In any case, there are ways of stretching that vanilla bean further than just the recipe you need it for. I rinse my used ones out and throw them into my homemade vanilla extract, which I make with inexpensive brandy and used up beans. You can also throw it into your vat of sugar and get vanilla sugar. Hope this helps!

Sorry team, I have to agree with OP. If bloggers could post a "jump" link before launching into the diatribe, I would love that. I've already made it to their site so they are still getting my clicks/hits... so it would be nice if I could just get to the recipe...

Sure, a scrolling feature is nice to give people the option, if you have it (we don't even have that capability at the moment). But again, a few seconds of scrolling is not a big ask on a site that is free that you are choosing to go to.

Jump buttons are awesome! But still, if you're going to use someone's recipe, that they have put time and effort into providing to you for free, you cannot demand that they keep quiet about the process.

Throw leftover parsley into your morning smoothie! It adds a wonderful green flavor. Cilantro works well, too. (Not sure how this would taste in an all-fruit smoothie, but we always make ours with a mix of veggies and fruits -- kale, carrots, beets, blueberries, bananas, etc.)

Great idea! I also add it to out homemade juices, which we make with vegetables we might have forgotten about but don't want to waste.

I made Jim's grilled, butterflied leg of lamb. It was delicious Sunday and in homemade gyros last night. Unfortunately, my guests had to cancel Sunday, so there is quite a bit of meat left. Is it possible to freeze the already cooked lamb and use it for something else later?

I would think so. I've been successful freezing leftover roasted meat and letting it defrost in the refrigerator when I'm ready to eat it again. I think, maybe, gently reheating and serving it alongside a nice, green salad with a punchy vinaigrette might be a good pairing. This one looks really good to me!

I never knew the USDA has a Tautology Division. How do I contact them?

The only way to contact them is the single way you would get in touch.

Pour it over some sort of fruit pie or tarte. I come from the UK where either cream or custard is rigour on a these things and I would think the pastry cream would be fab.

Rename/reuse. It's a sauce!

You can lightly grind it yourself to mince, or, chop it roughly. Mix with leftover lamb broth, diced carrots,cover with a "lid" of mashed potatoes......delicious!

De rigeur, yes, although the first time I was asked in the UK whether I wanted custard on top of my pudding I was pretty nonplussed....

We are having a square party soon. Everyone in our household will be at a square age (16, 49). I'm trying to come up with ideas for food to serve. So far, everything I've come up with is some version of bread. Any ideas of something impressive we can make that is square shape?

First of all, I *love* that idea! How cool! And happy birthdays to all. Secondly, the first thing that popped into my head was lasagna, and the second -- brownies. But why stop there, why not make frittata in a square dish? 

I know this was last week's subject, but the other day I saw a show of hers where she used mail-order chorizo and said she uses mail order because it is less expensive than grocery stores. Grocery stores are closing left and right. Doesn't anyone care anymore about seeing, smelling, touching what we buy? (sorry about the rant, but we are losing our local Safeway next week)

You have my vote. If it's a special order ingredient that I can't find locally, yes, I'll order. But I don't want anyone squeezing my tomatoes or smelling my cantaloupes but me!

I use Instacart sometimes to grocery delivery, but I try to stick to products that I really know, and try to avoid produce, because of exactly what you say. I need to see, smell, touch, yes!

I feel you, sorry about your local Safeway! I love going to the grocery store, it's like DisneyWorld for me. I'd definitely special order a rare ingredient, but I'd absolutely hate to order things all the time. Not for me. Have to note that ordering is a fantastic tool for people who are housebound/have limited mobility though. 

Hi all, carrot top greens are often a large part of the plant and it seems a shame to waste them. Any ideas (pizza topping,, said tongue-in-cheek?)

Funny you should ask, because I JUST (two days ago) made carrot tops salsa verde and it's now hanging out in our fridge ready to top whatever we feel like: steak, salad, matzo with cream cheese, or (next week) a piece of bread. You can also make pesto with it. If you search for a recipe on the internet, you will no doubt find something good.

I've also chopped them up and added them to a salt and into a chimichurri sauce.

I'm sorry if my question wasn't clear - I'm looking for a recipe for Rancho Gordo Sangre de Toro beans (small kidney beans) that is NOT red beans and rice. Any other ideas? Thank you!!

Check out this idea!

I don't demand that, but I do want to know right up front (as in Jump button) whether the recipe contains an ingredient I either can't eat because of a sensitivity or because I hate it.

You should have seen my husband when he was asked if he wanted brown sauce on his sausage sarny.

Another vote for a jump button directly to the recipe. Some bloggers excessively gaze into their navels on the way to the recipe and some are so enamored of their photography skills that each ingredient and implement is pictured multiple time t before the recipe. Much of it it is irrelevant. Just the fact, ma'm.

I need an easy dessert for an event that does not need refrigeration and incorporates the jar of lemon curd I made with the lemon juice leftover from making limoncello. Any Ideas?

Make shortbread sandwich cookies! Pick any vanilla shortbread cookie recipe, make sure you make them all equally-sized, and then sandwich them together with lemon curd. Yum. We've got this Brittany Butter Cookie recipe that could work. 

I bought a dry aged chuck roast and the packaging included a small black packet of what looks like salmon roe, stuck on the bottom of the meat. Not realizing it was there, I accidentally sliced it open and got some on the steak. Any idea what it is and if it's safe? Happy to send photos. (And relieved to have found the packet after failing to find any version of "steak roe" online, lol.)

It might be silica crystals that absorb moisture. Properly clean the steaks. 

I’m so glad to see bay leaf in the chicken brine as I am a huge fan and have my own tree. I’ve been asked why I use it because it has no flavor! I beg to differ. I use it in simmering stock after roasting chicken and to make soup. I CAN taste and smell it!

Praise the lord and pass the peas! I am so happy you say that. I was adamant about adding it to the recipe as it give such a great flavor. I'm Portuguese, and we use it in everything.

Chop it or just slice it and make gyros. Just bring it to room temperature, or heat gently if you don't want it cold.

Uh, Lemon Squares???

A friend was waxing nostalgic about her Eastern European grandmother's beet-horseradish Easter relish for which no recipe was ever written down. She thinks it had a touch of vinegar and honey in it. Any ideas?

Here's a WaPo beet horseradish sauce. There is also this recipe.

You can also buy, on Amazon, the dried seeds of many vanilla beans already scraped out. I forget the brand name but opening a bag smells heavenly.

I guess I'm just clueless because I had no idea that Hawaiian pizza was such a divisive issue. I'm also a little offended that one of the panelists said it was low class to like it. When I was a kid we used to frequent a place that offered smoked oysters on pizza. I loved that too.

A colleague just returned from a family trip to Paris, along with photos of the flower-shaped gelato cones that they each enjoyed EVERY day. Do you know of anywhere in DMV that serves these? I did first check the WaPo website and found many informative articles on gelato and gelato places, but none on gelato flowers. Thank you!

I don't know of any! Dolcezza, are you reading this?

This is probably a dumb question, but is there an art to reheating things in the microwave? I feel like I'm either nuking dense things (casseroles, lasagna, etc.) to high heaven to get the center warm while the outside is re-cooked, burn-your-tongue hot, or I just end up settling for a cool center. At home I always default to the oven but that's not really an option at work. I've accepted the stop-and-stir for my soup, but there has to be some techniques for other things, right?

There are certain things you can do. I find that covering things in the microwave somehow gets the center to cook, if not as fast as the outside, at least faster than it usually would. A friend of mine likes to dampen a paper towel and drape that on top, and somehow that seems to work for her. That paper towel method is great for reheating rice & pasta, which tends to dry out when you store it and dry out even more in the microwave. 

*Almost forgot: You can use a knife or fork and poke holes in a dense casserole or something, sprinkle a little water, cover and that should also help. 

And, they want them served warm. The one and only time I cooked Thanksgiving in the UK (in the galley of a former WWII Polish gunboat converted into a houseboat, still my most interesting cooking site!), none of my guests would touch the pecan or pumpkin pies until they were warmed up.

Intrigued by the sound/look of the Sweet Pea Toasts With Feta. What would be a good way to make this into a full well-rounded (pescatarian) meal?

Shrimp would seem to be a natural fit here.

Is he part of the WaPo now? I love him on Splendid Table!

He wrote a great piece for us, and hopefully will do more. But he's got his own great gig! (Right, David?)

Thanks for the kind words!! 

Yup, Joe, got a pretty good gig for the past 20 years at my own site, Leite's Culinaria!

My patented method is to heat at half power and take it out and stir a few times. Stirring is important as it gives uniform reheating. It takes longer and you have to pay attention. This is the best way I've found to have the food not taste like it's been superheated in a microwave.

Better yet, buy in the bulk section.

I haven't seen French green lentils in bulk -- where do you see those? (These are not the larger brown/green lentils that get softer, but the little ones that really hold their shape.)

Stop and stir is the best way to get an even temperature, and so is giving the food a minute, then a bit of stand time, then another minute. It's still a great convenience.

Perfect for math nerds who like to eat and cook! Something beyond Pi Day. I am inspired to have a Cube Party for my upcoming 64th (4 x 4 x 4). Probably my last opportunity because I do not think I’ll be around for my 5 x 5 x 5! A Cube Party will be a good way to practice knife skills —- lots of dicing!

You could dice in different sizes: large, medium, small, and that cheffy one - brunoise (1-2mm dice!) if you want to go really wild! :) Happy upcoming cube birthday!

I have a store with a double oven. One is smaller than the other but it fits into the stove place in my kitchen and gives me options. Our toaster has seen better days and we are considering a counter top toaster oven. Do you think that is too much oven going on? Do you know if toaster ovens are considered more energy efficient than a regular electric oven? I'm in suburbia so I do have counter space. Thanks for your thoughts.

I have a double oven and a counter top toaster and it all gets used. My toaster oven heats up almost immediately, and because it's faster and smaller, I'm sure it uses way less energy than a full oven. It's great for reheating and if you just want to bake a few cookies or whatever.

I've discovered that in Portugal one of the common pizza toppings is cut corn kernels. They're not bad, actually, but pretty flavorless. I'd rather have onions or leeks. And Linguiça for omnivores.

That's weird. I've never seen corn toppings all the years I've been to Portugal. Even when I lived there. But I agree: There is nothing like chouriço or linguiça for meat lovers!

In Memphis you can get a barbecue pizza. Cheesy with real barbecue pork on top. Pretty delicious.

Looks like a terrific recipe. Because my husband is observing Passover this week, I'd need to leave out the lentils. Anything you'd substitute, Joe, or just try the potatoes and radishes only? I think mushrooms would work with the potatoes, but I don't know about with the radishes, since I've never roasted them. Thanks!

Anytime I answer what people should eat for Passover I seem to make a mistake. So, how about piling them on matzoh?!

Actually your mushroom idea sounds lovely, actually. That would bulk it up nicely. Try shiitakes, and try to get them nice and crisp so they offer some of that same textural variation...


I used to see it all the time on pizza when I lived inthe UK in the mid-80s. Didn't appeal to me.

We have a food culture, too, and we also vary by region. What you get as home-cooked food vs. Gordon Ramsay's London food vs. outer isles of Scotland can vary dramatically. Being from the outer isles, some of our dishes would be unrecognisable to our more southerly neighbours.

Back in the mid-nineties I hosted Thanksgiving for 15-20 with a smattering of vegetarians. You may know that British cookers are a good deal smaller than American, so when ordering my turkey form the butcher I asked him if it would fit. He did that squint of someone in Deep Thought and said 'yes, it will - it'll be tight but it will fit'. He was right - I had about an inch on each side - phew! And yes, pies and tartes are to be served warm!

I think you're right, the chatter with the steak found a silica gel packet. The good news is: silica gel is not poisonous! When my son was a toddler, I found him chewing on a dessicant packet labeled "Do Not Eat" and I called Poison Control. Still, wash it off, don't eat it.

Okay, I could swear I'm buying them in Arlington, but will check next time to see if perhaps I was confusing them with black lentils. Will report back in a future chat. Thanks!

Please do! And, hey -- I love black lentils, too, so thereyougo.

I read her pieces religiously and always learn a lot. I've been scratching my head at all the "uncured" bacon available in my local supermarkets and health food stores, so this particular piece was very welcome.

Yes, Tamar is fantastic! Thanks for the nice words -- I'll pass them along.

Glad you enjoyed this piece.

My order of this from just arrived and I may try it after the chat is over. Have any of you or my fellow chatters tried this? If so, did you like it? any cooking tips?

I haven't, but maybe chatters have? Maura did try the Just Egg alternative.

I thought Passover was one day?

Passover is 8 days with 2 seders that kick off the holiday. We're currently on day 5, and day 6 starts tonight after sunset.

Ooo, thanks for the thumbs on mushrooms and the specifics on shiitakes. Sorry, didn't think about Passover being a potential trick question :-).

Ha, no worries! It's definitely not you, it's me!

Would the person with the excess lemon curd please tell me how to make limoncello?

Easy peasy. The recipe is right here.

How about if people whine less about what they're getting for free online? If you don't like the format, buy a cookbook (or several). Though I've not tried, I think it provides a way to do online searching of many books by ingredient, so you can quickly find recipes across your collection of hardcopy.

That's exactly right, re Eat Your Books!

I actually tested this thanks to Pepco giving access to usage by the hour. Two days running, with only background electricity, I heated lunch at 350 for 40 mins. I have a stove with two ovens, the top one being smaller. It was the same electricity use. My analysis is this: the countertop convention oven come up to temp faster but has much poorer insulation than the small top oven. So - I think it depends on a. if you have that small top oven and b. how long you are going to be using the oven. The longer you use it, the better off with the stove oven,

Pasta sauce. Mix with a little parmesan, or add some greens, or something.

Just 2 in family. We toaster oven most of the time

I adore Hawaiian pizza, but prefer bacon to ham -- or in addition to ham. I grew up at a time -- 1950s-70s -- when East Coast pizza menus routinely included anchovies (ugh) but not pineapple. Now I never see anchovies -- what happened? -- but happily see pineapple all the time. Not sure how often it's little pieces from a can, tho...

Forgot to append to my praise of Tamar -- what's the best way to evenly cook bacon that is half meat? We've been getting bacon lately that is very difficult to pan-fry because the heavy meat portion burns before the fat part is done. I've started tearing them apart and cooking separately but that is a pain. Would oven-baking help?

You can cook it in the pan, but on a low heat. You need time for the fat to render a bit while not burning the meat.

While I share the frustration my fellow veg*ans (vegetarians and vegans) feel at some of the comments by the carnivores on veg recipes, I'd ask them to please be thoughtful in how you respond to their comments and to any veg recipes generally. Remember that you are not speaking just to that person, but to hundreds and maybe thousands of people who will see your comment. When we make plant-based eating look inviting and welcoming, we engage others for what we care about. When we appear hostile, strident or perfectionist, we drive away the very people we hope will consider veg choices.

Thank you!

I emailed them and got to answer, maybe you can help? I NEED to know if the coconut and black sesame flavors will be returning to retail. I was buying them regularly at Whole Food before they disappeared and I don't live near any of their locations. I'd really like my gelato fix back!

Shoot me an email and I'll see if I can get an answer for you!

Well, you've loosely tented us with foil for 15 minutes, so you know what that means -- we're done!

Thanks for the great q's today, and many thanks to David for his help with the a's.

Now for our giveaway book: The chatter who asked about making a Passover-friendly version of the roasted radish/potato dish will get Mark Bittman's latest, "Dinner for Everyone." Send your mailing info to, and she'll get it to you.

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.
Bonnie Benwick
Bonnie S. Benwick is Deputy Food Editor and recipe editor at The Post. Cook with her each week at Dinner in Minutes.
Carrie Allan
M. Carrie Allan is The Post's Spirits columnist.
Becky Krystal
Becky Krystal is the lead writer for Voraciously.
Olga Massov
Massov is a Washington-area food writer and editor.
Cathy Barrow
Cathy Barrow is the author of "Pie Squared: Irresistibly Easy Sweet and Savory Slab Pies" (Grand Central Life & Style, 2018).
Tim Carman
Tim Carman is a food staff writer at The Post. He writes a weekly column on casual dining.
Kari Sonde
Kari Sonde is the Food Editorial Aide.
David Leite
David Leite is a three-time James Beard Award-winning food writer, cookbook author, memoirist, and web publisher of Leite's Culinaria (
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