Free Range on Food: We're here to answer all your cooking questions and what to do with sourdough discard, bread baking, this week's recipes and more!

May 27, 2020

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Past Free Range on Food chats

Greetings, all, and welcome to today's chat!

Ann is on vacation this week, so I'm back as your chat moderator.

We've published so many things I think/hope you found interesting this week, but I've got to start with bread baking and sourdough management because Olga wrote about easy ways to use your sourdough starter discard, and we have Daniel Leader, author of "Living Bread," joining us today -- so ask him ALL YOUR BREAD QUESTIONS! Exciting!

Speaking of baking, we just published Becky's piece on making your own naan. Must do, right?

Ellie Krieger wrote about shrimp burgers that get a little jolt from kimchi and ginger.

I wrote about a chickpea salad good enough for royalty -- or your weekday table.

Kari wrote about ways to get your green-pea fix for spring.

Cathy Barrow wrote about a curried chicken pie that you can make in slab, round or mini form.

Ann wrote about the broiler as your best path to shrimp nirvana.

Mary Beth's latest Quarantine Cooking video is about using the cedar plank to cook salmon indoors.

We also are launching our new email newsletter series: Voraciously's Essential Cookbooks. It's a virtual cookbook club, written by the great Charlotte Druckman. Sign up here!

For you print readers, we had that great freezer guide we published online recently. Such good info!

Let's get this going. Ask whatever's on your mind!

I successfully grew a starter and have used it (and the discard) for all sorts of baking. But I'm having a hard time finding clear guidance on starter maintenance. I am feeding it at a 1:1:1 ratio on my counter, but how much starter should I keep after discard? I ballpark about 1-2oz, but I've read that people do a lot less. However, recipes usually need much more, so do I just build it up a day or two ahead of when I want to bake with it? Also, how long should I keep it at room temp, before moving it to fridge storage? Is it better to keep feeding it and let the culture 'age', or is that going to happen with time independent of feeding cycles? Thanks very much! Thanks!

Keep your sourdough process simple and consistent. I work in grams so I generally keep 50 grams of fed starter in the fridge and add 100 grams of water and 100 grams of flour to it and let it ferment in a cool place overnight and then return 50 grams to the fridge for future use.

I got hold of some absolutely wonderful fresh halibut over the weekend. I baked it in the oven with some fresh herbs and it was delicious! However, I have quite a bit left, and have no idea how to use it. Would you please give me some ideas?

Good problem, amiright? You can use leftover cooked halibut in place of cooked salmon in the fish cake in this Quarantine Cooking video

I'm not sure how to use it. It's called saf-instant yeast. Directions say to mix it with flour or add to dough during the first stage of mixing. I guess that means no proofing? Or should I proof anyway?Thank you!

SAF yeast is excellent. No need to do anything other than add with your other ingredients. It does not need proofing in advance.

When the recipes calls for one-half cup of chopped walnuts, does that mean before or after the nuts are chopped?

Measure after chopping!

If it had said "1/2 cup walnuts, chopped," you would measure the walnuts first, then chop.

Sourdough discard article earlier this week? - I can't find it and have discards to use today. Please send link.

Here it is!  In addition to the crumpets recipe the main story links to, there's a popovers recipe, too!

Hi, Joe, I got "Cool Beans" through my local Independent Bookshop, and I Have Questions: 1. Dry black beans are impossible to find in my locale, yet your "bean equivalents" listing doesn't offer an equivalent. Is there one? 2. I tried your hummus recipe, which is good, but I found that there was a slightly "raw" taste to it (despite the chickpeas practically collapsing). Any advice? 3. I did score some heirloom Marfax beans from Maine Grains; can you point me to a good vegetarian/vegan Boston baked bean recipe?

Glad you're on board. Some answers for you:

1. Black beans are unique, so there's not a true equivalent. But that doesn't mean you can't use another bean. Pinto beans play so nicely in Mexican cooking the way black beans do you can often use them instead. The recipe will be different, but not bad! And you can't do it everywhere. Refried beans? Sure. Arroz negro, where the rice cooks in the inky black-bean cooking liquid? Nope.

2. I'm not sure what you mean by the raw taste of the hummus. Can you explain further?

3. Make the Homesteader's New England Baked Beans, of course!

On Saturday, I noticed that brown goo was dripping from my range hood onto a frying pan below. The range hood is about 25 years old and has two screens, one on each side. I took the screens outside (they were covered with grease), sprayed them with oven cleaner, and rinsed them off after an hour. I cleaned a lot of goo out of the channels that the screens sit in. I didn't realize that grease would accumulate there.

I just did the same thing; "goo" is the perfect word for what gathers. I soaked the screens for an hour in my sink, in scalding hot water, with a little baking soda and dish detergent. Then I scrubbed them with a brush after. I am amazed at how much better the vent works on both smoke and odors.

I just wanted to circle back and say that, in particular, the "celery, celery, celery and walnut" salad is excellent - so surprising given how simple it is! I've had no problems using up all the celery, between putting a celery-inclusive Bolognese into my mix, making my mirepoix soup for the first time in about a year, having a number of the salads, making a simple roasted chicken thighs dish, and in general taking all these recipes and simply upping the celery a bit. If a recipe calls for a celery stalk it works out fine if one uses two! Thanks for the response of a week or two ago.

I love that salad, too -- ever since the first time I had it at Etto!

Celery, Walnut and Pecorino Salad

Finally using the first of my homemade vanilla extract and wow! You were right, I may never go back to storebought. Just beans plus vodka plus time, and even in brownies I could taste the difference. Now I've poured some bourbon over the partially spent beans and will see how that tastes after a while -- no big deal if the experiment fails. Now for the question -- I picked up a huge container of pine nuts (a quart? definitely more than a pint) from one of the local restaurants temporarily selling groceries, and it's certainly more pine nuts than I've ever had on hand before. Besides putting some aside in the freezer to keep them fresh, what would you make with them? I do have some basil and could make pesto, but other than that, just toasting them and throwing them into salads is my go-to.

Music to my ears!! I'm not-so-secretly trying to get everyone to make their own, because it's easy and the ROI is incredible!

Hello! My grocery delivery came with more yogurt than I ordered. I now have a huge tub of non-fat Greek yogurt and one of plain yogurt. I'd ideally like to bake something, sweet or savory. Any favorite recipes for how to use them? Thanks!

How about this yogurt cake from Dorie Greenspan? It looks simple and adaptable and delicious!

Hi. Can you please suggest a few beet recipes that even beet-haters would like, that's not sweet. That might be a tall order, but 1) trying to lose weight; and 2) trying to lower my blood pressure, and I've read that beets are the #1 food for lowering your BP. Thanks.

It's me, your resident beet-disliker. I think they're best pickled or in borscht, and we have this roundup here with 7 more beet recipes to try

Someone asked last week about what to do with citrus peels. I chuck them in a zip-top bag in the freezer. When I am cooking fish or something with strong, lingering odors (even if they are delicious odors!), I put a few peels in a pot of water with some vanilla and rosemary stems or other aromatic herbs (mint and vanilla is a good combo). Let it simmer and it will cut the other odors nicely.

Great idea! I also put zest in an airtight container with kosher or Maldon salt and use it to sprinkle on seafood. I grill a lot of fish/shrimp/scallops in the summer so the citrus zest salt is a great quick seasoning.

I cooked 1.5 lbs. of them using Joe’s “Simply Perfect Pot of Beans” and they’re great. No soaking. Was feeling brave since the pkg. said best by May, 2017! I have a lot of ‘em. Any fun suggestions for this particular kind of bean? I think I’ll end up freezing some though.

So glad to hear it!

These are related to navy beans, so you can use them anywhere you'd use those or other white beans, like cannellinis or Great Northerns. 

They'd be great in several of the recipes I linked to from that Simply Perfect one:

Garlicky Beans and Broccoli Rabe Over Toast

Harissa-Roasted Carrot and Bean Dip

Peruvian Beans and Rice (Tacu Tacu)

I bought a container of mozzarella pearls for a Memorial Day picnic offering. I now have most of the container left that I need to use up. Catches: I'm single, my freezer is almost (but not quite) full, and I try to avoid eating large quantities of dairy in a single serving. The only thing that comes to mind is mini-pizzas. But I can only eat so many of those before my love of pizza would fail me

I love the freshness of BLT cups, and it's lot less precious than it sounds. In a single lettuce leaf (try to use a small one--I use gem lettuce when I can find it), put in chopped bacon and halved multicolor cherry tomatoes and mozzarella pearls.

I just read Joe's reply to the person wondering about why s/he would need to add baking soda to canned chickpeas to soften them. Since no one else said it, I'll be the one to do it: Since chickpeas are legumes, like beans, and a teaspoon of baking soda is supposed to work like Beano, perhaps the addition of baking soda is the recipe writer's sneaky way of addressing that problem.

Thanks! But no, this was about getting the skins off.

Four months ago who would have guesses that finding King Arthur regular flour on the grocery shelf would result in a victory dance right there in the middle of the aisle?

Or that we'd be ordering flour in 50-lb bags :)

Also, vanilla/bourbon person -please report back on how it works.

I just provided a general framework on making it; and I also often make mine with bourbon/brandy. I never have vodka on hand. Email me at olga.massov@washpost.com so I can walk you through the homemade version.

Just for the Halibut of it make fish tacos

Well played.

I don't drink milk, but I cook a lot. A lot of recipes call for a small amount of milk. If I buy it, it's just going to go to waste. Can I substitute plain, unsweetened almond milk for a tablespoon or two or 1/2 cup of dairy milk?

Different non-dairy milks will do different things for you! Almond milk should be just fine. Check out Becky's substitution guide here

I have always made mine with rum. I like amber, but crystal will do too.

Rum is also lovely! 

On a whim, I brought home a can of tuna labeled "hot pepper tuna" -- the rest of the label is not in English so I'm not sure what else might be in there, but the picture on the front just shows tuna and little red bird's-eye type peppers, so I'm going on that. Any fun ideas? Or should I just go with regular tuna salad, or maybe that tuna and farro recipe from the archives?

That sounds delicious! You might try using it in any recipe calling for canned tuna that you think needs a kick. 

I understand the are good raw in salad. Any other uses? Will they survive being added to a stir-fry at the end?

I like to add them to white wine vinegar and get chive blossom white wine vinegar once it infuses. Sherry vinegar also works well. As does rice vinegar.

Love Olga's idea, because the blossoms have more concentrated flavor than actual chives. I've never tried them at the end of a stir fry but that sounds amazing. I also use the chive flowers in my garden to make compound butter (which is just butter and chive blossoms), which takes advantage of the blossoms' intensity.

My favorite use for them is as a garnish to a white gazpacho, the Spanish ajo blanco that's an easy blend of garlic, sherry vinegar, bread, almonds, water and salt! The lavender blossoms are so gorgeous against that creamy white backdrop.

So, I am fascinated with the names that people give their sourdough starters. I get that you have to feed it and water it and take care of it like a pet, so a name seems appropriate, but the names are so quirky. Can anyone explain their philosophy of starter names? Are they ones you really wanted to give to a pet, but got vetoed by someone else in the household? Something else? Just curious....

I can't speak for everyone else, but mine was inspired by Peter Frampton's, Frampton Comes Alive. Because, the starter is, well, alive. I also heard that one of my starter "children" has been named Vincent van Dough and another Bread Pitt. I think that people like to give their starters punny names that evoke bread, grain, etc. 

Well, my son in law and daughter live in Hyde park near Chicago and right by Obama's house. So they named their sourdough lactobacilli Obama. 

Mine is Olga's starter's baby so its name is Frampton Jr. 

Someone last week wrote in about an oven that is off in its calibration. Check your owners manual — some ovens can be adjusted by tweaking a control that’s accessible in the back of the knob (which can be pulled off). Also you can always just set the temp higher to reach what you need, since you have a thermometer. (It didn’t sound like this had been tried.)

I also cook a lot but don't drink milk so never have it on hand. What I do is I always have dry milk powder on hand which is cheap and shelf stable and ideal for mixing up that cup or so that you might need for a recipe (although I did recently have a bit of a hard time finding it - normally it's not an issue).

It's the best! It turned up presumably because restaurants and bakeries are using less. I hope my mom and pop store keeps stocking it and don't go back to the little packets and overpriced jars.

Do you think that would work with regular (not Greek) yogurt or would it be too runny? Maybe if I strain it through a coffee filter? I'm still trying to use up the tub I asked about last week. I did make a couple of recipes as you suggested where it was a marinade and they came out good. Thanks!

I think the cake will work fine. Maybe just bake it a little longer to make sure the moisture evaporates? I think these types of cakes are super-forgiving.

I followed this advice and they came out spanking new.

I made the amazing Cool Beans southern baked beans recipe yesterday and I'd love to put in a plug for them. They are scrummy - such depth and balance of flavor.

Thank you!

I don't drink whole milk, but bought some for a DELICIOUS birthday cake I made for my husband (almond joy cake!) But...what do I do with the rest of it? I have almost half a gallon left, and it needs to be used asap!

Make ricotta or yogurt! While the Post ricotta recipe has buttermilk, if you don't have that one hand, you can just use some fresh lemon juice as your souring agent. 

In response to someone in here (apologies I don’t recall who), I bought - and better yet started using - dried shiitakes when I make stock and it really has improved, no matter what veggie scraps I put in.

Great! Nik Sharma, who wrote that piece for us, will be thrilled to hear this.

How to make the most flavorful vegetable stock

The other day I made a loaf of white bread in my bread machine from a reliable recipe that has previously yielded a tasty loaf. Usually I have to stop myself from eating to much of this bread at once but this loaf has no flavor and is tough and chewy (not in a good way). I made french toast with some of it and it still tasted flat. I followed the recipe same as always and used the same ingredients - bread flour, yeast, dry milk, sugar, salt, water, margarine. The rise was good. The only difference was it stayed in the machine about a half hour after it was done baking because I was on a phone call that could not be interrupted. Why does the bread have no taste?

my guess is you forgot the salt. 

A few questions -- one, I overpurchased Heavy Cream. How long is it good for past the "buy by" date, do you think? And two -- this is GOOD stuff (from South Mountain Creamery!) Best ways to use it up, either sweet or savory, but ideally sweet, and with other ingredients I'm likely to have on hand(ish)

You should make ice cream. That way you can freeze it and have it for a longggg time :) 

Use this method for no-churn.

And if you have an ice cream maker, follow Becky's ice cream guide

was a great success at my house, but it's not your typical devils-food-type chocolate cake; it's more of a hearty cakey brownie. It has spices (though not enough; I'll triple the amount next time) and honey and cornmeal and it's good with ice cream or breakfast. But there are people to whom beets taste like dirt, like the cilantro-soap thing, so beware.

Here's the link.

I just received the cookbook as well. With my adult vegetarian daughter back under our roof temporarily, I am doing a lot more vegetarian cooking these days. Joe, what's your favorite go-to recipe in the cookbook for a quick weeknight dinner? And what is your favorite when you have more time? Thanks.

It's hard to choose between my children! But for a quick weeknight dinner these days, I love the salads, particularly the Falafel Fattoush or the Pinto Bean Tortilla Salad.

When I have more time, it's Lalo's Cacahuate Beans!

Hi. If a recipe calls for covering the top of a casserole with foil before baking but the casserole has a fitted ovenproof lid, can you use the lid or should you use foil? Thank you.

If it's really fitted, use the lid.

Is cheap Vodka all right?

Should be fine.

Hello! I am new to making my own beans (vs canned) and am trying to figure out why my chickpeas and their liquid turned brownish gray? I soaked overnight with baking soda and then simmered on the stove with garlic, onions, and a bay leaf. They looked good initially, but after cooling, the broth tuned dark and they were kind of brownish gray. Not very appetizing. Any thoughts on what happened?

This happens when you use baking soda to cook chickpeas. I have a recipe from Little Sesame that I love, for hummus, in my book, and the broth turns dark like that. The taste was still great.

IF it's really fitted. I use the foil even with my fitted-lid pots because the sealing is really important.

A friend just gave me a dessert cook book, but most the recipes call for caster sugar. Do I really need to grind my regular sugar down every time I want to bake something?

Why not just get superfine sugar? I think that's what caster sugar is.

Honestly I've never had an issue just subbing in regular granulated sugar. 

RECIPE?!

Here you go! You can vary the garnish to your heart's desire. Sliced grapes are traditional in Spain, but I do love the cherries here.

Recipe: Almond Gazpacho With Cherries and Flowers

For the baker who asked about this: I drink very little milk but do like it in tea, so I like to have a little on hand but it's hard to keep fresh. My solutions are: (1) shelf-stable milk that comes in small juice-box-like cartons of 6-7 oz., & (2) during the pandemic, buying regular milk & freezing the left-over in small, recycled plastic water bottles.

Like many others, I've started baking sourdough and I made my first successful loaf over the weekend (used King Arthur's no knead recipe). The loaf was great in terms of texture, but I noticed there was almost no sour taste. What can I do to make the sour flavor come out more when I bake?

I'm don't know that recipe but sourdough breads need a long cool fermentation at least 12 hours to develop the acidic flavors

Do you have unflavored gelatin? Make vanilla panna cotta and serve with fresh strawberries that are now in farmer's markets! You wanted to use ingredients you have on hand but IMHO it is so worth a trip to a farmer's market for local berries!

I'm reading a lot of how-to articles and one of them said to clean the dishwasher drain trap if the dishes aren't coming out clean. They look clean to me but our family has never cleaned the drain and the dishwasher is 15-20 years old. Uh-oh!

Whenever I have heavy cream to use, I made ganache. That keeps longer and who doesn’t like ganache? Or cream scones. Recently we just tried mint popsicles for my son. Tastes like mint ice cream. 1c each cream and whole milk (I used a bit more cream and skim) to soak 1/3c sugar ground with 1 cup fresh mint, soak a few hours then strain and freeze. Internet recipe now committed to memory.

One thing I did at the start of the lockdown was to buy a 12-pack of shelf stable milk in 1-cup packages. (Meant for kid's lunches I guess.) Tastes just like regular milk and available in whole or lowfat versions. Works great for those tiny amounts of milk you need for a recipe. I don't feel so bad throwing away 1/2 cup of milk instead of 1 gallon of it.

Haha, I almost always have vodka on hand, not for drinking, but for making vanilla extract but also infusing with fruit to make liqueur. I’ve made some lovely ones from tart cherries and blackberries, so now is the time to buy a large, Costco-sized bottle.

I didn't see any roasted beets in your recipes. Beets are one of those veggies that I love roasted, and hate boiled (brussel sprouts are another). Peel them, cut in thick slices, toss with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast until soft.

Putting eggshells in coffee is supposed to make the coffee more mellow, less acidic. I love the idea of using eggshells in these days of less waste, but hate the possibility of ruining my morning cuppa. So I'd like feedback (ha - "feed"back) from anyone who's tried it or can offer reasons not to.

You know I've not heard about the coffee, BUT if the goal is not wasting eggshells, you can rinse and crush up your eggshells and add them to your garden if you're growing vegetables. My grandmothers do this and swear that this is why they have such luck with their vegetables. 

I've never added eggshells to coffee to reduce its bitterness/acidity. It just sounds messy and overly complicated to me.

 

A far better solution is to buy a Chemex pourover brewer. It relies on thick, bonded filters, which are known for extracting the flavors inherent in coffee beans, but without as much of their natural acidity.  The Chemex system makes a reliably smooth cup of coffee. Plus, you don't have a crack an egg every time you want to make coffee.

What's a suggested substitute for hard cider to add zip to today's barley risotto recipe? Thanks

White wine.

How do you calculate the time difference between baking regular-size and mini-muffins? I figured it's twice as much batter for the big ones so twice as long baking, but that wasn't long enough for the test batch, which took almost three times longer. I'm out of paper liners for the minis so need to continue using the bigs for these and future muffins.

Becky wrote a great guide to subbing different-sized pans. Check it out.

Is there any reason I can't clean my range hood screen in the dishwasher?

I'm not going to answer for all hood screens, but I know mine are dishwasher safe. It's just that they were really so covered in goo, I decided to do a deep clean in the sink. Also: I'm not someone who generally gets a lot of satisfaction from cleaning, but I am thrilled by watching--in real time--something so dirty become so clean with so little work.

In the interest of the environment and use of resources, I've taken to putting a random lid on my cast iron pans as I pop them in the oven. One isn't really tight, but I've never had a problem with it. It sits well on the top, but the pan has a slight 'pouring' dip. The best sit snugly a half inch or so into the pot. Just be careful to make sure all parts of the lid is oven proof Used the Dutch oven top for my southern baked beans ... .

We had a lot of broccoli in our farm delivery basket this week - the Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry was great for us, as we don't love broccoli. But this recipe proved its stuff - better than any Chinese takeout version we've had and without the MSG and other less than awesome stuff. Also, we're looking forward to hearing Joe tomorrow with the Smithsonian program on pantry cooking!

So glad to hear it about the stir-fry -- Ann will be happy to hear it! And glad you'll be "attending" the event tomorrow!

 

Can the chatter who made the almond joy cake please share the recipe?! That sounds delicious!

My husband, also a beet disliker, enjoyed them roasted. Try roasting and adding to salad (either still hot or cooled). Or steamed, then marinated in balsamico and olive oil. Add goat cheese or feta, a leafy green and cress.

We've had to replace it every 5 to 10 years. We did manage to get 30 years out of the cooktop and double oven, but they probably should have been replaced years sooner. At least I never had to worry about a hood over the stove.

I've become allergic to gluten - and I find most grocery stores have little in the way of selection in bread, cereals, crackers etc. Do you or anyone out there know of grocery stores that have a good selection of gluten free items? Thanks!

Are you local? I find lots of selections at Mom's and at Whole Foods.

Perfect timing for the naan recipe! I am making an Indian inspired meal this week but my store didn't have any naan. I don't have a cast iron skillet. Will my regular hard-anodized work? Thanks!

You should be OK, yes.

I made a lovely marble pound cake on Monday, using the Tartine recipe. There is a basic formulation plus three variations. The oven temp and steps are laid out on the first page, with the variations on the second, each saying “bake as directed.” All good, right? Well. The only direction given is to bake until the center is set and a knife comes out clean. NO TIME INTERVAL anywhere on either page! (It seems to be an oversight. I looked at some other recipes at random and all offered a suggested time.) I’m not a novice baker by any stretch, but I only ever use loaf pans for bread or a particular banana bread that has a very thick, doughlike batter, so I didn’t have anything as a ready comparison. It was a (not) fun guessing game, meaning I had to open the oven to check the set way more than I wanted to (can’t really tell just looking through the window). Upshot was it took about 70 minutes; I think an hour will be right without extra door openings. I have notated the book accordingly. Is there a general guideline for figuring out how long to bake something when the info is missing? I would think type of batter and pan are relevant?

Really, the only guidelines are other recipes and your senses, and you were smart to use both!

I have a pot lid designed to fit almost any pot. Amazon carries a variety of these.

First - thanks for always having such a good variety in the print edition. I really appreciate it! (20+ year paper subscriber). Can I make the Bakewell tarts with regular flour? Just substitute the gluten free for regular APF? Anything else? Also - thanks for the freezer article, though - I could have used it last week! I've finally been eating the stuff in my freezer, and it had gotten to a low enough level that I was able to empty it out, clean and inventory the contents. (it's a bottom freezer fridge which is hard for me to keep organized). There was some frozen squash soup from 2016 at the way bottom. That got tossed, but good to know my other items are still ok.

Yes, as Becky notes in the piece, she tested it both ways, so use AP flour for those tarts if you'd like!

Make quick, easy, unctuous posset

absorb the coffee oils where the bitterness is supposed to reside. That's the theory at least, but I thnk this only works with boiled coffee.

Ha! I see you are not a Scandinavian midwesterner! Eggs in the coffee are a classic but it's a complicated process and the users usually make it too strong for me. Google "Lutheran coffee" for the process.

I sent in the original comment about the goo dripping from my 25-year-old range hood. I just want to say, it HASN'T been 25 years since I cleaned the screens. Maybe one year.

I have a lot of leftover challah.

I think it'd be good! Just taste, and add more vinegar if you'd like.

I got a cocktail kit from Shaker & Spoon based on your review, and it was amazing! I definitely felt like I got a little piece of a great cocktail bar in my kitchen, which has been a really nice distraction/twisted sense of normalcy. Thank you!

Will let her know!

All the local stores seem to have a gluten free section, but the best one is at Wegmans. David's Natural Foods is also good. Both are better than Whole Foods and Moms. Schar is the best brand for crisp bread, cookies, and crackers---it's European, and the supply lines are interrupted. King Arthur mixes are good, but as with all flour these days, scarce. Bob's Red Mill is also good. I still prefer GF Bisquick for pancakes and GF Betty Crocker mixes for brownies and chocolate chip cookies.

Somewhere (Beanilla.com maybe?) I read that cheap vodka is better for making vanilla extract and I've found that to be true. Something about it being "flavorless."

Yes, bits of the mesh can fall off and jam the motor. Don't do it. Ask me why I know...

Egg shells mixed with the coffee grind is an old cowboy trick and was meant to keep the coffee grounds in the pot, and not pour them into your mug.

What do I need to add to all purpose flour to make it self rising flour? I can't get self rising here, and a lot of recipes call for it.

King Arthur has the answer here!

Good timing! I made pita bread with my sourdough discard last night. I just adapted a recipe to account for the flour and water in the starter. I probably could have let it rise a little longer, but it turned out nicely soft and puffy after a few minutes in the oven.

It was AMAZING. Coconut Buttercream, chocolate cake, chocolate ganache. SO easy too! 

Make butter in your food processor. It's really kinda fun and the leftover is homemade Buttermilk. Lots of videos on you tube.

Can anyone recommend a basic book on cooking in a Webber charcoal grill? My husband was the master, so I’ve got the chimney, oversized long resistant gloves and a full crate of pans, grills, tools, etc. Everything but the know-how!

Weber's Big Book of Grilling!

I find it hard to believe that cowboys carried fresh eggs with them.

I saw this was brought up last week and wanted clarification, if you can help? I searched for "kombu" at H-Mart for nearly 1 hour. I asked other patrons, who didn't know what I was talking about. I asked employees and got sent to various aisles (none of which were the seaweed aisle). I didn't expect it to be written in bold letters on the package, but I read every shelf label and every package that wasn't snacking seaweed. I even googled and found the Korean name for it and...nada. After running around the store, I went back to the seaweed section and chose a package of kelp--it being the most similar to what I think kombu is (which is something I discovered in a Shabu Shabu joint in Fairfax, VA.) Based on what you said last week, it appears kelp was the correct answer, but is it ANY kelp or a specific kind? What do you look for to determine if it's the right stuff? BTW, thanks for all you guys do! You've inspired me to try cooking things that are unusual to me and having someone to ask advise is priceless. You all ROCK!

If you found it at H Mart, and it's labeled kelp, and it looks like the photos you see online of kombu, which is just a term for edible dried kelp, I think you're fine.

Thank you for your columns. I usually buy wine on impulse when I'm at the Rockville and Wheaton Rodmans or the various MoCo liquor stores. So I rarely remember the names of the wines you have recommended unless there's a sign with your column. Can you recommend any importers that reliably bring good wines to market and have good exposure in Rockville? I think those names would be easier for me to remember. I used to be a fan of Robert Kacher but I don't see his name around anymore. I've also been happy with M. Touton wines, which are readily available in my area. Thanks for your help.

Dave McIntyre says:

Thank you for the feedback, and for reading the column! Your instincts are spot-on to look for reliable importers. Winebow is another importer/distributor that has pretty good coverage in Montgomery County, especially I believe at the White Flint Rodman's. Lanterna, Grapes of Spain, Dionysos and Artisans & Vines also have a MoCo presence. Bobby Kacher sold his business and retired a few years ago. He was one of my favorites as well.


Well, we are out of time, folks. Thanks for the great q's -- sorry we didn't get to all of them! -- and happy cooking, eating and reading! See you next week.

In This Chat
Ann Maloney
Ann Maloney is the Food team recipes editor.
Joe Yonan
Joe Yonan is the Food and Dining editor of The Post and author of "Cool Beans." He writes the Weeknight Vegetarian column.
Carrie Allan
M. Carrie Allan is The Post's Spirits columnist.
Tim Carman
Tim Carman is a staff reporter for Food and writes a weekly column on casual dining.
Tamar Haspel
Tamar Haspel, a freelance writer based in Cape Cod, has been writing about food and health for the better part of two decades. She writes The Post's Unearthed column.
Kari Sonde
Kari Sonde is the Food editorial aide.
Mary Beth Albright
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Becky Krystal
Becky Krystal is a staff food writer at the Post.
Dan Leader
Leader is the founder of Bread Alone and author of "Living Bread."
Olga Massov
Massov is a Food team assignment editor.
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