Free Range on Food: Char as a flavor enhancer, the versatility of ketchup, this week's recipes and more.

Oct 10, 2018

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

Good afternoon, and if you're one of the few folks in the DC area who are NOT sniffling with a head cold, we salute you! Editor Joe's out with such a malady today, but don't you worry. We have Philly author Joy Manning on hand, who gives ketchup its due as a mother sauce, and the rest of the Food team. Congrats to colleague Tom Sietsema for another stunning and jam-packed Post Fall Dining Guide! Love the inclusion of a Hall of Fame,  as well as Tim Carman's top 10 cheap eats, don't you?


We hope you liked our other features this week, incl:

-- Maura's fun assessment of two new pizza museums and Mayochup;

-- Tim's story on a new effort to reduce our food waste;

-- Joe's Weeknight Veg, with a mushroomy and meatless bourguignon;

-- Kara's helpful tips on ingredient substitutions in recipes;

-- Becky's test of Michael Solomonov's 30-minute Sesame Candies (just pubbed!) and her guide to pairing apples with the right recipes;

-- a shrimpy Dinner in Minutes, and more!

We'll have a cookbook for our favorite chatter today, and I'll sign it: "The Washington Post Cookbook: Readers' Favorite Recipes." 


For you PostPoints members, here's today's code: FR1643 . 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.


Already, your questions have poured in. Let's do this.

It was a pleasure to read Joy Manning's piece on ketchup. Given her Philadelphia roots, it was a surprise and a mild disappointment the she did not mention the one use I have for ketchup.


There's always a bottle of ketchup in the fridge, and it's there for one purpose only: to slather on thin, crisp, fried scrapple. My mom, a Philadelphia girl, introduced us to this treat, and over the years I've shared it with friends. It's so good!

Thank you! It's true that ketchup and scrapple are very good together :) There are almost unlimited uses of ketchup. I'm sorry you missed seeing this one. I hesitate to introduce the topic of scrapple because not everyone even knows what scrapple is or how to enjoy it. Perhaps that's an article for another time! 

I really like to grate the ginger for this on the ceramic horseradish grater- it makes it very fine- then filter it out with a coffee filter after.

I am trying to whittle down my collection of recipes clipped from newspapers and magazines, where I know that I can now access them online. I have Post recipes from the early 2000’s that are not in Recipe Finder. How far back does your collection go? Do you (or do you plan to) delete recipes after a certain period of time, or if they don’t have a certain number of views?

We consistently started adding and publishing recipes in the Recipe Finder in 2005. There are lots of other recipes from years before that in there, but it's spotty -- mostly to 2002, but we have also gone back and added some from the '80s and '90s. And no, we do not delete recipes!

I made this last week, substituting green beans for asparagus. We have a winner! You were totally spot on about doubling the recipe for an entrée-sized portion. I didn't make enough (my husband was eating hotdog buns to fill up) but next time I will. My husband said it tasted like the filling for a pot pie.

Another great recipe from Ellie Krieger! We will pass along your comments -- and if you haven't done so alreayd, add them to the file in our Recipe Finder?


RECIPE Creamy Spring Parmesan Vegetable Skillet

I have half a butternut squash in the fridge, and I’m thinking about using it in a risotto for dinner. How would you cook the squash? Roast? Boil? ???

Depends! You could roast and then add the flesh to the risotto, or cube it and have it cook with the rice. Here are some recipes you can riff on.

Curried Butternut Squash Risotto

RECIPE: Curried Butternut Squash Risotto

Barley and Squash Risotto

RECIPE: Barley and Squash Risotto

I really enjoyed the article on ketchup. I thought I was too sophisticated for ketchup for a long time, but I fell back in love with it learning to make omuraisu, a Japanese yoshoku (western style) recipe that has a lot of interpretations, but is essentially ketchup-fried rice topped with a thin omelet that's drizzled with ketchup. It's salty, sweet, hot, creamy comfort food, and a great way to use up leftovers because you can basically toss any leftover veggies or meat into the rice as you fry it. The ketchup flavor ties it all together, and now I'm never without a bottle in the fridge.

That sounds completely delicious! I love ketchup with egg dishes of all kinds. I will have to give that one a try.

If I drain a can of chickpeas, can I freeze the liquid to use later in desserts?

Resident aquafaba expert Kristin Hartke says it should work fine!

Nina's Vegan Aquafaba Butter

And in case you didn't see it before, here's her piece on aquafaba and a few ways to use it, including a very good vegan butter, pictured above.

ARTICLE: Trust us. You can use the liquid from a can of beans to make dessert.

So why are some of my meat loaves crumbly & do not slice well vs. others that slice perfectly, almost like bologna? I realize that my "recipe" varies some each time, but which ingredient determines the outcome? -- My basic = pedestrian "recipe" is 1 pound or so of ground beef (20+% fat), 1 pound or so of ground pork, 1 envelope of onion soup mix, 2 or 3 eggs, 1/2 cup ketchup, and some bread crumbs so the mix is not visibly "wet." Then baked to 160° -- Thanks for any insights.

Good question, ML! Here are a few that come to mind:


A successful recipe typically calls for meats that aren't too lean (20 percent is a bit low). The binder, in your case bread crumbs (fresh or dried?) is often mixed with milk or other liquid to make a panade/mush that helps retain moisture during cooking -- especially if you are starting with dried bread crumbs. The ones that don't have a bread crumb or oats binder often will use cooked vegetables instead. The mix needs to be very thoroughly combined.


And I assume you give the meat loaf a brief respite before slicing; just like other meats, this rest allows juices to be redistributed. That said, I don't mind a bit of crumble, and most often when I go to slice a crumbly meat loaf after it's been refrigerated/chilled, it cuts neatly. Love a good ml sandwich!


P.S. That packet of onion soup mix really takes me mom used 2 of them when she cooked brisket. 


P.P.S. Go ketchup!

When I make meatloaf I always plan to make it a day in advance. After chilling and reheating, it slices very cleanly. I think the flavors meld and it tastes better, too.

Can you recommend a substitute for the apricot jam? I do not like apricots and do not want to buy a whole jar just to test this recipe - and have to toss the rest. Or can I just leave it out? I do not need my food to be "sweet." Otherwise it looks yummy. Thanks.

The shrimp needs to be coated with something to help it stay moist. Honestly, the apricot jam doesn't come across as overly sweet here, but I get that you don't want to buy a jar. So toss them with a mix of olive oil and a little grated lemon zest instead. 

Good morning I am submitting early. There was a wonderful recipe for Hawaiian chili in the Parade section of the Post. One ingredient was 1/4 cup chili powder and then there were pepper flakes cayenne and black pepper. Could it be that the 1/4 cup chili powder would have made it way too hot? I used scant half tablespoon and it made it quite spicy and tasty.

I think I found the recipe you're talking about. We don't have anything to do with those recs, but I agree, on a first glance that seems like a lot. I'd say if you're happy with the way the dish was, don't add any more.

Thank you! I"m not the OP, but I often skip main-dish or savory recipes entirely when there's an ingredient like apricot jam in it (and I love apricot jam). There are a lot of us who don't care for the current trend of putting sweet ingredients in everything (any more than we want bacon in our chocolate).

I just wanted to extend my thanks for taking my question (and to the responsiveness of Alex Levin) last week on turning this already great cake into an even better cake with the addition of chopped apples. We threw in 1/4 cup of raisins as well. In a Bundt pan, it makes such a pretty result! (Can't stress enough the importance of adequate flouring and greasing the pan with shortening.) In its consistency and balance of moisture, density, and sweetness, it reminded my dad of a beloved childhood pound cake. You all do a great service for home cooks.

Aw, you are so sweet! I will be sure to send this to Alex, too. Such a great recipe, and I love that you are finding new ways to play with it.

Simple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

RECIPE: This classic coffee cake is what good mornings are made of

Good morning, foodsters. I would appreciate help planning a meal that I can drop off at a friend's home in the fridge for their return from a week at a family funeral. I was thinking an easily reheatable casserole/soup, prepped salad with a dressing on the side and a dessert. The salad and dessert aren't too difficult but I am not a casserole fan and am drawing a blank. Many thanks for any ideas (no food restrictions).

Personally, I'd be the happiest man on earth if someone slipped a thick, homemade lasagna into my fridge after a traumatic life event. The dish is comforting, it's hearty, it reheats better after a day or two in the fridge. 


Try this one from our database:

Lasagna Alla Bolognese


When reading this week's recipe for the shrimp and pea couscous, I realized that I never buy shrimp. Do you just look for the bags of shrimp in the grocer's freezer section or should I go to the seafood counter? (Where they would presumably not have frozen shrimp, right?) Thanks for allowing a safe space for a basic question :)

Because we use Dinner in Minutes Pantry ingredients for the DinMins recipes, I'm referring to bags of frozen, uncooked shrimp, which are often in the freezer case right near the seafood counter at your grocer. 


And I'd wager a bet the shrimp that does not look frozen at the counter was previously frozen....

My high school freshman is interested in learning to cook. Are there any classes for his age range? L'Academie de Cuisine used to have them, but that's no longer an option. Thanks.

Cookology in Virginia has options for teens. Ditto Culinaria. Sur La Table has them too, but I think they're more geared to summer.

You could contact a local private/personal chef organization and book someone who could teach a small group of teens that you assemble. 

Unless it's actually alive, you can assume shrimp has been frozen.

Just this past weekend crumbs fell in between the counter and the stovetop and b/c of the article, I remembered I have skewers and could use those to get them out. I tried to use my turkey baster but wasn't as effective for this use. Sad to say that if it wasn't for the article I probably wouldn't have thought to use them and the crumbs may have stayed there for all eternity. Thanks!

Hey, you're welcome! Glad we could help.

cleaning tools

ARTICLE: Six cheap tools to keep your kitchen sparkling clean

Just curious why you'd oil the dish rather than use parchment?

Sesame Candies

ARTICLE: These honey sesame candies are a chewy, nutty, 30-minute snack

The mixture is pretty tacky. I think with parchment you would be battling the paper lifting and sliding around as you try to smooth out the warm candy. Would probably even stick to the paper, too. It does take some manhandling, and I feel like it would not be as cooperative as a solid, greased pan.

My mother is coming to visit. I'm a vegetarian (ovo-lacto); she eats nothing but meat loaf and roasted pork anymore. She doesn't like eggs (eggs are OK as an ingredient, but the food can't taste "eggy"). She also hates grainy foods (e.g. rice, quinoa, kasha); it's something about the texture, so I'm afraid vegetarian meat loaf recipes won't work. She thinks/complains that I never cook, but I do cook for myself when she's not around; I just hate making (and cleaning up after) -two- meals every night. Do you have any dinner ideas (aside from the mushrooms bourguignon over mashed potatoes, which I've already decided to make one night)?

How about a nice frittata or quiche? Hearty vegetable lasagna?

Good luck...

I'm obviously a big advocate of hummus for dinner. It is filling, it can be topped a lot of different ways, and even carnivores tend to love it. Also, in this situation, I often default to pasta. Who doesn't love pasta?


RECIPE  Hummus With Spiced Lamb, Scallions and Dill

Three months ago I made a batch of brandied plums (no heat, just mix into a jar with cinnamon, sugar, etc and sit in a dark place for a few months, shaking occasionally). Opened them up last weekend, and they are meh. Somehow the liquid is even more alcohol-burn forward than it started (did a comparison with the base liquor), and both the liquid and plums are almost bland aside from the burn. That the liquid is a lovely color is about the only good thing I can say. I've boozed & bounced fruit for a few years- though never plums before- and it's the first time I've had a fail that I can't identify the source of... maybe the fruit was underripe- it went in whole/pricked- but I'm pretty sure I snacked on some of the plums that didn't make it into the jar the same day. Any ideas on how to salvage this, or should I just bin it?

Hm, where is the recipe from? It sounds similar to our recipe for Slivovitz, which I've got steeping in my apartment now (and cannot recommend highly enough! I am making five times the recipe because it's that good!).

I would let it keep steeping and see what happens. Maybe it just needs more time to develop flavor and for the harshness to mellow out. (Three months is a long time, yes, but it might need more.) Or if you're impatient, you could try adding a bit of simple syrup and seeing if that helps round out the flavors. Or you could add more spices -- a few cracked cardamom pods or a little more cinnamon might help. Or add prunes, to get a little more depth/plum flavor?

And since you call it brandied plums, I take it that means you're meant to eat the plums? I want to say three months is a long time to let them steep and then have the plums still taste good -- generally when I've infused things, even for less time, the fruit ends up being inedible as it's given all its flavor to the booze and no flavor is left. But then again the recipes I use are definitely for fruit infusing alcohol, not alcohol flavoring fruit.

My understanding is that ALL shrimp is frozen right on the boat.

Depends where you live, really, as well as the season.

Regarding your article on the pizza museums, I enjoyed it, but NYC isn't the pizza capital. Italy, and more specifically, Naples is. And if you want to mock me for eating my VPN pizza with a fork and knife, well you just don't know how to eat good pizza. ;)

Yes, but the actual quote in the story was that New York is "the culinary capital of America," and you could say it's the pizza capital of America, too.  Not disputing Naples' world dominance! Though I wonder what the Neapolitans think of the New York pizza museum's plan to put ranch dressing on its slices ...

Instead of bread crumbs I toast 3-4 slices bread and cut into small cubes. I then soak in milk, stir in the egg(s) and catsup. I also layer strips of bacon all over the top- it provides a seal, the melting bacon adds some moisture and who doesn't love bacon? I also use one of those blue/white specked roasting pans and will add a bit of water and finish cooking with the pan covered.

Hi, I'm going to bring a fruit salad to a work potluck. Do you have any recommendations re a dressing?

Feelin' minimalist these days, so I'd recommend honey  + your favorite fresh citrus juice + a little neutrally flavored/light oil + a touch of salt. Maybe some poppy seeds or pomegranate seeds, for crunch?

Another easy option would be a flavored simple syrup -- could use mint, vanilla, citrus, etc. Whatever you'd like to steep in there.

All the supermarkets I've been to have a sign saying "previously frozen" for each such item in the seafood section.

Any chance you are close to Frederick MD? KitchenStudio runs awesome summer camps for kids.

Thanks for the rec.

Does how you say it reveal anything about you?

My research indicates no. Only your snobbery around ketchup or lack thereof says anything about you :)

One of my go-to staggered dinners is warm lentil and potato salad with red wine vinaigrette from the '90s Joy of Cooking. It's starch and protein, it sits very well and eats well warm or cold, and packs well in a thermos or not. My kids like it. Also, nearly any type of dal and rice dish reheats very well indeed and does well in a thermos, or in my daughter's case, a tiffin at room temp so the rice and lentils don't touch.

I like the way you think! Thanks for following up on this from last week.

Can the OP share this please? It sounds great!

May I suggest, there is nothing easier or more delicious than sliced Jonagold apples paired with St. Andre cheese. Unbelievably good! Leave the peel on.

Haha, you are speaking my language. Big fan of apples and cheese together. Often add sliced apple to my grilled cheese.

How about some of that quince jelly that is so good with cheese?

Might be kinda thick/not coat so easily, but I'm game to try it.

The gap in mine goes all the way to the floor, and I used to drop all kinds of stuff in there. If it's a recurring problem, you can get specially-made strips that cover the gap (and look nice too). I had metal ones for a while, but after getting a new stainless range with a black top, I switched to black silicone ones.

Regarding the differences in canned tomato types (from a prev chat). Many recipes call for whole canned tomatoes and then the first step is the squeeze or 'crush' them. This produces a thinner, more juicy product than buying commercial crushed tomatoes. A can labeled crushed tomatoes is a product with more solids.


Also, diced tomatoes are treated differently so that they do not cook down, lose their shape and blend into the finished product. They keep their shape and provide a different consistency. Many people (particularly children) find that objectionable in their food. Substituting one type for another definitely causes a difference in end product, but not necessarily one that a cook might care about.

I am remodeling the my kitchen and want to get one of the flat glass top electric ranges to ease cleaning. A chef friend told me that I could not use my beloved cast iron pans on that type of range without a burner cover. This is supposedly due to the uneven seasoning bottoms. Is this true? If so, what is a burner cover?

Sometimes a cast-iron skillet with an uneven bottom surface can scratch a glass cooktop, but that pan can be used directly on the surface. Burner covers come in a variety of types; some help promote conduction of heat ( a la making a pan useable on an induction stove top) and some just look like flat disks that protect the surface. Others cover a glass or electric-ring burner. 

I asked about my sons and was told by Sur La Table (Pentagon City) that teens are welcome at all posted classes.

Good to know! I was wondering about that.

It goes bad so fast in the fridge. Someone told me to freeze it & someone else said to bury it in a flower pot. What do you recommend? I have to make a special trip to buy it so prefer to buy a bigger piece than for just one recipe.

I cut my fresh ginger into 2-inch lengths, wrap each piece in plastic wrap, and then store the lot in a zip-top freezer bag. It stays fresh this way for months and you can grate it from frozen with a microplane. 

Thanks for taking my question! I can't recall where I found the recipe, unfortunately, though I'm 80% sure that seeing your slivovitz recipe is what made me think to look for a recipe in the first place (I'm sure it's delish, but I had brandy on hand instead of clear spirits at the time, so I looked for a recipe that would account for that additional flavor. Fairly sure the recipe was meant to result in edible fruit, though like you I'm used to the liquid being the keeper, especially after a few months. I'll try some of your additions and give it another few months, not trying to keep the fruit at the end of it. Thanks!

Sure thing! Report back one way or the other.

Lol shoulda known- if it wasn't WaPo, it was NYT.

Hm the article that went with the recipe does indeed indicate that you're meant to eat the fruit. I'm curious enough to try it myself, but might have to wait until next year when I get some good plums again!

What kind of brandy did you use, btw?

Over the weekend we made the Mushroom and Rice casserole that was featured in the online WaPo a week or so ago:  This is MOST DEFINITELY a keeper. It's savory and hearty with a nice "tang" to it (I assume from the crema), and even a smaller serving is nicely filling. We rough cut the various types of mushrooms into different sized pieces for some additional difference in texture, for added interest. Looking forward to this one again, especially when the weather finally turns to autumn.

#Loveourchatters #here'swhatitlookslike


Sometime in the past few weeks you posted several recipes for easy meals. One was for a pita with some broccoli pesto and an egg on top. I found that one but there was another similar recipe which called for pasta sauce. Basically, I'm looking for non-traditional breakfast ideas but totally can't find these now. Does this ring any bells? I know I haven't given you much to go on but it's all I have.

ding ding ding:

Not just easy meals, *pizza* meals. (Not that you need my approval, but I totally endorse eating any of these for breakfast.)

Three-Cheese Spinach Orzo Bake

RECIPE: Three-Cheese Spinach Orzo Bake

For the requester: one of my favorite recipes that includes a discussion of kid's menus in Japanese department stores and family history is from Makiko Itoh's blog Just Hungry.

I've been using a cast iron skillet on a glass top range for over 10 years and it hasn't scratched the stove's surface yet.

I've had mine for about four years and cook almost exclusively with cast iton and have had no ill effects on the glass range. And I cook a lot.

I have this problem too, but my stove is up against a wall--do they make those strips for this kind of setup? Any other suggestions?

A few weeks ago, someone asked about making a recipe veg. I thought about that when I subbed chicken for tempeh in the Georgian chicken recipe. I thought tempeh would have a good texture for this recipe and that the slightly nutty flavor would enhance it more than, say, tofu. So think about the flavor and texture parts and what might work well with the rest of the recipe. It was excellent - and I used the leftover sauce on halloumi! I rated and reviewed - of course.

Two weeks ago, Free Range was questioned about the soundness of chicken packed in a vacuum sealed package that was thawed for 5 days. The reader was told that the meat was no longer good, according to the USDA chart (I believe by Kara Elder). That chart does NOT apply to meat packaged in this way. Meat in those sealed packages is good for an extraordinarily long time, as long as the seal is intact. I hate to see people wasting good food.

Hi there. I fully support your idea to limit  food waste. (See my latest story.) But I'm also looking over USDA pages on thawing. All of them are consistent: If you're thawing chicken in the refrigerator, you need to cook it within a day or two after it's thawed. (Red meats can last 3 to 5 days in the fridge after thawing.) I don't see any exception for poultry thawed in vacuum-sealed packages. I'm not saying such an exception doesn't exist. I just couldn't locate anything that supports your claim.

Make a veggie lasagna! No eggs or grains, and with enough cheese, nobody notices that there's no meat. I like to use broccoli and shredded carrots in the non-cheese layer in mine, but I'd think you could probably use just about whatever you wanted, as long as it's not too juicy...

I'm even more minimalist. I used fresh-squeezed lemon (or lime) juice, the zest from the lemon (or lime), and a sprinkling of extra-fine (not powdered) sugar. Proportions vary depending on the sweetness, ripeness and identity of the fruit, but usually one lemon/lime and one or two tablespoons of sugar will do for a 2.5 quart bowl of fruit. Whether to use the lemon or the lime depends on what seems to "go with" the fruit better.

The two "bizarre" bits of trivia I recall reading about Richard Nixon are that he liked driving on the freeway (in Los Angeles, California?) to relax, and that he put ketchup on cottage cheese. Turns out the ketchup on cottage cheese is pretty good.

I'm not sure I can endorse that combo, but I probably shouldn't knock it until I try it. 

The texture is totally addictive to me. Ever since I was a kid I loved mellowcreme candy in pretty much any form. You used to be able to get a harvest mix with yellow corn and chocolate pieces (turkeys maybe?). So good.

You might be interested in our upcoming taste test of candy corn! Though I know that people who like mellowcreme don't necessarily like candy corn, and that candy corn is a highly controversial, radioactive topic every October. Anyway, it's our next video!

I made a batch of these as hot dog buns. Our hot dog consumption shot up, which isn't good, but those buns sure are! They also freeze very well.


Did anybody read the article about the disgusting food museum in Sweden (I think)? I would love to visit that museum. Fascinating.

So glad you liked my story! If the exhibition is successful, the founder hopes to take it around the world. His last museum, the Museum of Failure, made a stop in LA. 

Read: This new food museum expects to upset your stomach — and then make you think about why

riffing of the lasagna suggestion (which i also endorse)... you could also do eggplant involtini! IMO, it's easier than lasagna. Serve it over some basic spaghetti or on it's own. It looks v. fancy coming out of the oven, especially if you cook it in a round dish and place the eggplant in a pinwheel shape.

Hello! I am a long-time fan of you all so I say this with only good intentions - what the heck is happening with the photography in this section? It seems that every photo that accompanies recipes lately is lit with the fire of 1000 suns and makes the product look super dry and even blocks out the ability to see texture, detail, etc. In one case (cinnamon coffee cake) I know that recipe will be delicious and people in the comments kept saying it looked dry. It's the photo! Just curious if this is some new trend that I'm not aware of or perhaps looks great in the print section and less so on my computer?


From our art director Amanda Soto and photo editor Jen Beeson Gregory:

The visual approach to our new Voraciously branded content is to employ a technique we call high contrast, though some photographers would consider it a mixture of high-key and low-key lighting. This allows rich colors, a pillar of our exciting new site design, to come through on every photo. Meaning, reds are more red (tomatoes!) and greens are more green (herbs!).


This style of photography is especially interesting when creating still-lifes of simple objects like fruits and frying pans. The photo becomes about not just the food, but the design.  As for the coffee cake, it’s a delicious recipe best served with coffee!


It's New Haven, not New York

Fair! But New Yorkers would probably disagree. 

If I may jump in here: It's all arbitrary, right? If you love pizza based in the Neapolitan tradition, you'll claim New Haven as the pizza capital of America. If you like big, foldable slices that you can eat while walking the streets of Manhattan, you'll claim New York City for the title. If you like deep dish pies with sauce on the top, you'll locate your capital in Chicago. If you like smoked salmon pizza with creme fraiche and caviar, you'll erect your capital in Southern California and elect Wolfgang Puck as its president. 


In other words, there are many pizza capitals, not one. A pizza capital is simply a place where that style was made famous and continues to attract eaters from all over the globe.

And this is why the dueling pizza museums have gotten so much buzz. Everyone loves to fight about pizza!

It's in season!

We tried SO MUCH candy corn earlier this week. 

I recently discovered this ancient grain as a healthy and diabetic-friendly alternative to regular wheat. What do you think about making my own spaetzle from spelt? Would I use the same amount as the flour called for in a recipe? Any other suggestions for how to use spelt in our diet? Thanks for any tips you can offer!

Mm, spaetzle from spelt sounds delightful. I'd look for a recipe that calls for spelt flour specifically -- maybe this one or this one

As for other recipes, we've got a few in our Recipe Finder:

Giant Spelt Pancake With Squash Blossoms

RECIPE: Giant Spelt Pancake With Squash Blossoms

Fig, Olive Oil, Sea Salt and Spelt Challah

RECIPE: Fig, Olive Oil, Sea Salt and Spelt Challah

Spelt Buttermilk Pancakes With Pear Butter

RECIPE: Spelt Buttermilk Pancakes With Pear Butter

I also substitute about half all-purpose flour for spelt flour in any given bread recipe, and haven't had a bad loaf yet. 

two articles from WaPo have recently changed my life (I'm a little late here, sorry): - first, the one about Bar Keeper's Friend. I am never using anything else to clean my kitchen ever again. Whoever coined "elbow grease" sadly never got their hands on this stuff. -second, how to cook quinoa so it's not a mushy mess. I've made quinoa many times and tried to convince myself I like it but it was soggy and sad; the toasting method and reducing the water completely changed my experience and now I actually LOVE it. ya'll are doing the Lord's work, thank you.

Great to hear! Joy Manning's responsible for the quinoa piece, fyi.

Gotta think that the whole purpose of food pics in this setting is to make the food look appealing and worth making at home.

Try Vermont Country Store online

Wow, just saw the sesame see recipe posted an hour ago- THANK YOU!

That may be true, but there's only one Tomato Pie capital of the U.S.: Trenton, NJ

is the ricotta or cottage cheese. I don't like the taste or texture. If I were to leave it out, how should I adjust a recipe to make up for any change in consistency?

Use a bechamel instead!

Bechamel Sauce

RECIPE: Bechamel Sauce

Well, you've stirred us into some mayo, so you know what that means....we're mayochup done! Thanks to Joy for joining us, and to you, dear readers, for hangin' in even with Kleenex and Puffs in hand.


The  winner of this week's cookbook goes to the Meat Loaf chatter: send your mailing and autograph info to, and she'll get right on that. Till next week, happy cooking and eating!

In This Chat
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.
Kara Elder
Kara Elder is the Food section editorial aide.
Becky Krystal
Becky Krystal is the lead writer for Voraciously.
Joy Manning
Joy Manning is a Philadelphia food writer and cookbook author.
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