Free Range on Food cooking Q&A: How to cook summer corn.

Aug 05, 2020

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We eat a lot of corn. When we say we, we mean the collective we.

“Americans dispatch 160 pounds of it per capita each year — imagine 69 million football fields of corn…” Post writer Laura Reiley wrote in a 2019 story exposing 5 myths about corn.

Of course, not all of that corn is eaten, but cooking is what we’re all about, so this week we took a closer look at summer corn – the still-in-its-green-sleeve cobs of sweet, tender kernels that are so abundant and so much better in these hot months.

Becky Krystal wanted to help folks get the most out of corn when it is at its best, so she created a primer to explain how to choose it, how to prep it and how to cook it, offering a batch of dishes, such as Joe Yonan’s take on a gorgeous summer salad that calls for uncooked corn, a mixed grill with sausages and corn (see below) and the summer triple-threat of corn, okra and tomatoes.

Chef, farmer and cookbook author Abra Berens, who gave Becky advice for her piece, will join us today on our chat.

(Search our Recipe Finder with “corn” and a seemingly endless string recipes will appear at your fingertips.)

We also can recommend four great methods for grilling corn

Still, while corn is sweet, it can engender controvery. As food writer Ali Slagle, who shared her corn and chorizo taco recipe, noted: “The best method for cooking corn on the cob is a deeply personal matter best left to debate with relatives.”

With that in mind, do you have any question about corn, tips or recipes? Share them here and let’s talk -- amicably -- about corn.

Or, we can talk about any of the other summery delights we made this week, such as a summer squash sausage skillet dinner or a delightful take on frozen banana treats with chocolate, tahini and sesame seeds.

We've got plenty of warm days ahead. How are you keeping cool as you cook?

Please note: We will give away a free, 30-day subscription to The Washington Post to the person who sends in our favorite comment of the week!

Chatters, a quick note to say that technical difficulties kept Abra Berens from being able to join us today after all. We hope to have her on another week!

Right now is the peak time for fresh corn as well as tomatoes and peaches. Combine equal amounts of diced tomatoes and peaches with corn off the cob. Put in a little lime juice or other acidic to keep it from turning. Add salt and parsley, cilantro, or any other herb you like to flavor. Or no herbs. Let it sit for an hour or so and enjoy.

Beautiful. Add a chopped jalapeno or serrano, and I'm in heaven.

is that corn raw?

OP poster here. I use cooked corn.

Thanks!

Is it okay to just stick an uncooked corn cob, husks and all, in the freezer? Some sites say it's important to parboil corn cobs before freezing, while other sites say go ahead and freeze it as is. Similarly, if I strip the kernels before freezing to save space, should they be pre-cooked? This is a new concern for me as COVID has stopped me from going out to buy fresh corn every other day. Usually I pull back the husks, rinse the inside, then pull the husks back up and nuke a cob for 2-3 minutes. No pots to wash, and no waiting for water to boil. Would it taste better boiled? Thanks for your input.

Yes, I really don't think you're going to find a consensus on the answer. Our former colleague Jane Touzalin offered guidance here, and she was pro-blanching, usually for about 4 minutes, whether she was going to stash cobs or kernels. I would also be okay with stripping the kernels raw and freezing those, especially if you know they'll be cooked in some capacity. With kernels, be sure to freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet until they're completely frozen before popping them into a bag or container. That way you won't end up with big clumps.

More corn tips in this primer I just wrote!

How to pick, store, clean and cook peak summer corn

I'm in DC now but grew up on a dairy farm in Western NY, and my family freezes a lot of what we grow in the summer. The process for everything, including corn, is blanch, then into freezer bags. For corn we blanch whole (after shucking) then take the kernels off the cob. It's a mess, but fresh tasting home grown corn in February is worth it!

Thank you!

Thank you to the first poster for the reminder to FREEZE CORN! We did it last year, and it was so lovely to have sweet summer corn in December (we parboiled & froze the kernels). This year, I'm so distracted with the stress of the world that I forgot freezing was a possibility...I'm already mourning the end of summer corn season, so great reminder for us to pick up a few extra ears today. Luckily I'm in southern NJ, near a bunch of roadside farmstands that sell great corn (& tomatoes!) that I can easily pick up without too much concern about COVID.

The past two weeks, the corn from a local farm stand has been wonderful, delicious, at it's peak. I want to try making Mexican street corn. Do you have a recipe with readily available ingredients? I need a substitute for cotija cheese.

Here's one.

Elote Corn With Charred-Corn Mayo

RECIPE: Elote Corn With Charred-Corn Mayo

As far as readily available ingredients, this does call for dried chili peppers, which I tend to find in the produce section at a good number of supermarkets. Use whatever type you can find or go with dried ground pepper, if you need to. Feta is a fine swap for the cotija.

We raise and harvest so much sweet corn each year that we wouldn't have space in the freezer if we tried to freeze it on the cob. So we freeze the cut kernels instead. Besides heating it up the corn and serving the traditional way with butter and salt, we like to use it to make corn chowder, corn quiche, and even sprinkle a spoonful or two of leftover cold cooked kernels on our green salads.

#jealous

How do I get corn as good as August farm fresh Grown in Hadley, MA? I now live in San Diego, And retired, so unlikely to move back to Hadley, MA in the Connecticut River Valley?

I imagine your best bets are likely a farmers market or a CSA box from a local grower. 

I had some corn which I planned on grilling, which I do poorly, btw. Anyway, too hot to grill so I wound up making corn quiche. Have to say, worth firing up the oven. I don't know why I don't make more quiche. Great way to use up ingredients.

I like to cut corn off the cob and saute it with browned butter, black garlic, smoked paprika and smoked salt.

Just made this last night (from Cooking Light). Toast the corn, mix into the goat cheese, add a little onion. Spread on tortillas with some salsa verde and cook in a pan coated with veg oil spray. Yum!

I mostly always sugar the cooking water, just like I often add a pinch of sugar to other fruits and vegetables to help bring out their flavors. I find that I do not have to add anything else once cooked to perfection.

My mother used to put a pitch of sugar in green peas. I found that out later in life. I had wondered why I liked them so much better as a kid.

A query about enormous onions came up in the July 29 chat. Here's what I do: I buy individual organic yellow onions which range in size from really big to huge and I leave them on my counter in an open brown paper bag. When I need an onion, really I only need half of one because they're so big, so I take one, cut it in half through the root end and refrigerate one half in a plastic bag. Next day or two I'll take that out of the fridge, and it has never been mushy or problematic. In fact, bonus, I find that the refrigerated half seems to exude less of whatever it is that irritates my eyes when I chop an unrefrigerated onion. Occasionally I'll forget that there's a half onion in the fridge and cut up a new one, but it's been fine to use a half onion that's been refrigerated for a few days. They might start curling a bit around the cut edges but they are perfectly usable.

Thanks! Yes, after you cut the onion it's absolutely fine to refrigerate -- and you've hit on something about the crying thing. Chilled onion indeed causes fewer tears. (Some people freeze an onion for a bit before cutting for this reason.)

I made Olga's yellow sheet cake recipe for my brother's birthday and it had great flavor. Plus I love that much frosting! But I did have an issue I am hoping you can help me resolve. It was a bit dry. I am wondering if I overwhipped the cake batter. I let it keep going in the mixer while I finished another chore. Also, I wasn't able to order cake flour on my on-line grocery order. They had something Wondra brand (same as the cake flour) quick mixing flour, which sounded like superfine flour with no additives which I used. Could that have been the problem?

Hi! So, I'm glad you made it, yay! It's actually Jessie Sheehan's recipe and I just tested it. I think the cake was dry because you used Wondra, which is a great flour, but particularly so when frying things as it's drying. I think that is probably why the cake was dry. This version is really moist and we couldn't stop eating it in our test kitchen (just ask our recipes editor, Ann Maloney!) Try making it again but with the proper flour - and I guarantee you will have success!

 

I bought it thinking it was similar to feta. It's strong and I was using it on salads. Suggestions please. Thanks!!

Goat cheese can be used in many ways. You can sweeten it with honey and a little lemon zest and spread it on toast. Use it on tartines or crostinis. I've whisked into eggs for omelets or frittatas. I love it dotted on roasted beet salads. I've had success with grilled goat cheese sandwiches with crisp bacon. In this recipe: Pasta With Goat Cheese, Spinach and Walnuts, I turned it into a sauce.


Check out this piece: If you ask us, goat cheese is the GOAT. Here are 7 recipes that prove it.

Here are a couple of other ideas from our Recipe Finder.

Corn Spoonbread With Goat Cheese and Chives

Mushroom and Goat Cheese Lasagna

One of my favorite snacks as a kid was making caramelized onions with a little balsamic at the end, and putting those in a quesadilla with goat cheese. No idea which magazine I got it from but it was one of my favorite afterschool snacks.

A quick and delicious treat: crumble goat cheese over tomato sauce and bake until warmed through. Shred some basil over the top and use bread to dip. If the tomato sauce has a little heat, so much the better.

I just moved back to the US from Central America, and am looking to find some key ingredients that I fell in love with when I was living there. Specifically, fresh passion fruit, aji amarillo peppers, and tamarind pulp. Ideally this place will be in or close to Arlington, but willing to travel if needed.

There are lots of Latin markets around. H Mart also tends to carry a lot of those ingredients, too. Of the ones I've been to, I recommend the Food Star on West Glebe near Del Ray (although I think it was something else when I went) and Fresh World near Springfield, which was absolutely amazing.

Hi, I get my nieces and nephew a back-to-school gift every year. I was hoping you or the chatters might have some clever suggestions for me this year. I like to get something consumable or at least related to food or cooking because although I'm never quite sure what their latest interests are, everyone likes to eat, right? One year I gave those Miracle Fruit Berries that make sour things taste sweet. Another year I went to Chinatown and bought all kinds of snack foods that had no English on the packaging so the snack flavors would all be a bit of a surprise. I've been thinking about personalized cookie cutters or maybe mugs they can draw on. Do you have any good ideas?! Thanks :)

Best aunt/uncle ever. You didn't mention ages but here are some ideas based on my 12-year-old: build-your-own crazy straw sets, ice-cube makers that look like Darth Vader or the Death Star from Star Wars, a cookie cutter set that has all letters of the alphabet, bottles of artisanal honeys from different kinds of flowers (for taste comparison), bags of pasta shapes they don't see often (bucatini, radiatori). 

I'm interested in this dish - BUT - I hate sweet potatoes. I'd like to sub regular potatoes, but it might be kind of bland since regulars have little taste. Any suggestions?

Yeah, it's really not going to be the same with white potatoes, but you could add some nice powerful seasoning, like a Creole blend, or if you don't have that, maybe a combination of smoked paprika, cumin and a pinch of cayenne?

Southern Collard and Sweet Potato Hash

Does the boycott of Goya extend to Goya partners? I am reluctant to post this question, as I expect the answer will be "Yes" .. But ... I noticed a two-page ad in one of the Post's Sunday advertising inserts, pairing Perdue and Goya ... and a quick look online took me to http://www.perdueandgoya.com/ where the two brands are called "Simply Perfect Together." Is it acceptable to boycott Goya but continue to buy Perdue chicken when it's offered at a reduced price?

That feels like more of a question of personal ethics. You already think the answer is yes. Investigate why you think the answer is yes. 

Howdy! I'm novice cook/baker, and I'm starting to buy some kitchen appliances - but my current budget allows for one major purchase - at least for the next few months. I'm torn between getting a food processor (I have a good blender) and a stand mixer (I don't have a handheld mixer currently). Which of the two appliances would you get first and why?

What kind of cooking do you do mostly? What do you primarily make? It really depends on what you do in the kitchen. I find both useful, but I use my mixer more, because I bake weekly challah. Do you have a hand-mixer? If so, I would lean toward a food processor. Having said that, while i love my food processor, I absolutely loathe washing 6 different parts every time I use it :) So, tell us more about how you cook, so we can be really helpful.

Like Olga says, it really depends on what you see yourself cooking. I personally would go for the food processor if I didn't already have one because I make a lot of sauces and pie/tart/galette dough, and can get by on kneading bread dough by hand when I want to do that. 

Agree with Kari and Olga. A less expensive hand-held mixer and a food processor, especially because you already have a blender, would be my choice.

If you decide to go with a hand-held mixer, check out Becky's piece: Don’t underestimate your hand mixer. Here’s how to put it to work for you. It might help you with your decision.


I have reached my breaking point with cleaning the seal on the Cuisinart. It is the older spring based seal. Which food processor are you using? This one is used for everything from gazpacho to pie crust to slaw.

When I got married, we received a top-of-the line die-cast Cuisinart food processor, which I thought I loved, until the motor died a few months ago (on my birthday no less! and while i was making a tart dough - the nerve!) All in all, the machine lasted me about 7 years and I'm really disappointed in how little time that is. Given I do what I do for a living, I had to get a good size food processor to replace it, and since I got burned on Cuisinart, I went with Breville and have been very happy -- despite its high cost -- the motor is much quieter and the smooth sliding of the bowl to lock and unlock is really satisfying.

Count me in the ‘love’ camp! In the article, it says whole roasted eggplant can be torn into shreds. How long would you cook it so that it can be shredded? In my experience, you roast a whole eggplant until it is soft enough to make baba ganoush.

I would actually take it to about that same point. In my experience, you can still pull it apart into strands when it's fully roasted.

eggplant

ARTICLE: Eggplant can be a love-or-hate proposition. Here’s how to treat it right.

 

I'm looking for guidance on what seasonings would make a soup taste more "Georgian." (The nation in the Caucasus, not the Peach State.) Last week I saw in a fancy deli a jar of vegetable soup from Georgia that looked interesting but was expensive. I noted down the ingredients -- tomatoes, potatoes, rice, onions, carrots etc. and "herbs and spices" -- and went home to try to reverse-engineer my own. The result was thick, hearty, and perfectly nice but not very exciting. I used a bay leaf, some dried thyme, and a bit of chopped fresh oregano. If I make the soup again, what could I add to make it taste more authentically Georgian, or at least more unique? More/different herbs? A glug of red wine? More garlic than the modest amount I sauteed with the other aromatics? FYI, I wasn't able to find an exact equivalent for this soup online. A search turned up recipes for "Kharcho," which looks pretty close but is based on beef (the product in the jar was vegetarian) and a similar Georgian soup/stew based on chicken.

Khmeli-suneli is a beloved Georgian spice mixture that adds a unique Georgian flavor. The spice blend is a ground mix of:  coriander, celery seed, basil, dill, parsley, blue fenugreek, savory, bay leaf, mint, marjoram, hyssop and marigold (or a mixture of them but blue fenugreek is key). I've always gotten mine at Russian groceries, but I'm sure you can find it online.

I have some nice Portobello mushrooms which I like to stuff and bake. I want to try something new for stuffing. Any suggestions? Vegetarian no soy.

Stuffed mushrooms are so lovely! My family almost always stuffs them with the chopped up stems sauteed with onions, garlic, herbs and then mixed with blue cheese. But I love the color of this stuffing, which is based around sweet potatoes and gets some additional substance from kale and corn.

Given the forecast, on Monday I cut all the herbs I needed for my week's recipes: mint, basil, rosemary, curly parsley, flat parsley, and oregano. I put them in glasses by the kitchen sink window. It was so pretty my husband said I should do that every week. Of course keeping the cats away is another matter!

That is a lovely idea. I wanted to grow herbs on my patio, but knew my cat would eat them, so we had to buy pots that hang high on the fence. 

If anyone else finds themselves with an abundance this time of years, these pieces might help:

When life gives you herbs by the fistful, put them to use in sauces, salads and drinks

How to make the most of your fresh herbs.




Last night I made your recipe for Chickpea Salad With Red Pepper, Cucumber and Mint. The recipe says to bring canned chickpeas to a boil, then drain them and mix with the other ingredients. Why do you need to boil canned chickpeas? I skipped that step and thought the dish was fine, if a little bland. (I added some chopped red onion and thought that was good.) BTW, in the reader comments at the end of the recipe, someone else asks this same question.

I tend to find canned chickpeas a bit on the hard side, so I suspect it is to help soften them. I usually make my own now thanks to my Instant Pot, but when I would make this Easy Chickpea Curry with canned, they definitely benefited from more cooking.

Easy Chickpea Curry

Received a 10 lb. brisket in my grocery order. There are 4 adults eating in household. Limited freezer space. It’s Vacuum packed, expiration date Aug. 28. I’m thinking to cut it into 3 pieces to make reasonable size. Open to suggestions for my cave man chunk?

Great idea to cut it up and try it different ways.

The cooking times would vary with a bigger cut of meat, of course, but this Passover brisket recipe was easy to accomplish and turned out moist, tender brisket. (You can scale it up to 3 pounds, but watch the cooking instructions/timing.)
Or, try this traditional brisket or this brisket braised in beer.

Love ideas, Joe, about prepping and freezing tofu to add to future recipes. Mine's too spongy and pretty tasteless. I know all the techniques. They're just not working. And I'm wasting precious ingredients. Thought I'd ask an expert ... !

Interestingly, I haven't done much freezing of tofu that's already prepped! Freezing and thawing whole blocks of tofu before you prep/cook it, though, is a trick that can help it become porous, absorb sauces/marinades better, and makes it (pleasantly) chewier...

Here's another thought: This is my favorite tofu recipe to just have around to add to other things. It's tofu chorizo! Freezes really well.

Can I use collards instead of kale in Samin Nosrat's Tuscan Bean and Kale soup? Open to other suggestions, too. I have tons of collards and broccoli leaves. (Yes, I looked in the recipe finder. Just appreciate additional endorsements as well.)

I've used collards in this recipe with great success, so I think you should just go for it. Samin would approve!

any suggestions? Also, do you have any suggestions for interesting home made coleslaw? I'm not much for mayo based anything. But cabbage is a great long lasting vegetable when you are trying to limit trips to the grocery store.

Hey, when vegetables get a bit wilted, I like to add them to stir-fry recipes or maybe an omelet or frittata. 

We have a good selection of coleslaw recipes in our Recipe Finder.

Give this piece a read more more ideas: Here’s how to transform coleslaw from cookout supporting player to star. The writer Angela Davis has a lovely light Apple-Fennel Slaw recipe in it as well.

Try Ellie Krieger's New Classic Coleslaw, if you want something light.

You know celery is easy to refresh, too? Just cut the bottoms and stick the stalks in a glass of cold water, put it in the refrigerator, and they'll recrisp! See some more ideas about rehydrating wilted vegetables in this piece

Then, you can make this nice salad with it.

Celery Salad With Blue Cheese Dressing

What are your thoughts on leaving a pizza stone in the oven all the time? Are there any reasons to not? We have a gas oven, if that makes a difference. Thanks!

I have a double oven, and each one has a pizza stone in it all the time. Definitely can help protect against oven temperature fluctuation. Don't leave it in on the self-cleaning cycle, though. There are some people who say it makes it take longer to heat your oven, but I haven't found that to be the case.

Second the pizza stone endorsement - love mine and swear by it. Wildly jealous of Becky's double oven situation!

The produce box I’m getting this week includes two mangoes. I have never really liked them — hard to put a finger on why. Not sweet enough for my taste, maybe. Anyway I’m looking for an idea to do something with them so they don’t go to waste. If I make the mango salsa from the black bean taquito recipe what else can I use it for? I can’t make taquitos as I don’t have tortillas or anything like that (I do not go to stores. I do all my shopping at the farmers market or online for pantry items, with an occasional fill in box from Keany produce. The only flour I have is all purpose).

What about this delightful mango chutney? It would go so well with so many things!

Hi there! My garden runneth over with regular old (non canning/kirby) cucumbers. What can I do with them? I used 4 to make some dill fridge pickles (Merged two of FoF Cathy Barrow's recipes from her great book), but I'd love to get something else too. What can you cook with cukes?

I've fallen in love with smashed cucumber salads — the juices from the cucumbers mix with vinegar and seasonings to make the dressing and infuse everything. Here's a recipe, which is served with chicken yakitori, but would be a nice side to almost any summer meal. In terms of pickling them, in addition to Cathy's pickle recipes, kimchi-style cucumbers are another way of preserving their crunch and flavor.

Like so many families, we are cooking more and sharing recipes. We've always used Evernote as a central repository but it isn't easy to move things from notebook to notebook. We'd like to have a landing spot for new recipes and then move them to categories later. Any suggestions? We've all made the orange olive oil challah discussed on a recent chat - it is fabulous! thanks

Seems like maybe you could just get away with something like Google Drive, OneDrive or Dropbox. Then you can create folders in there.

Lots of fans of Olga's challah out there!

Aw, thanks, guys! I'm tickled pink this recipe is working for so many! :)

I'm trying to find a recipe for a bean/veggie burger that I can throw on the grill (and survive grilling) that isn't one of those new meat alternatives. Bean burgers I've tried in the past have fallen apart or stuck, even with adequate greasing. Would like to avoid the big portabello thing as well.

Here you go. It's my mushroom-chickpea burger, and the key is the you bake it first! Then you can pan-fry or grill right away, or you can refrigerate/freeze and grill later. And it has exactly none of the texture problems that plague too many veggie burgers.

You're welcome.

Mushroom-Chickpea Burgers

I am so tired of figuring out what to cook! My kids used to have lunch at school, but now I'm making them lunch and dinner and I'm tired. I'm a vegetarian, my husband dislikes tomatoes and onions, and my kids prefer bland food. What can I do that's easy and healthy and tastes good? There's only so much mac and cheese, quesadillas, spaghetti, and pizza I can eat!

I think the answer is a grain bowl. Keep rice, legumes, some roasted veggies ready to go and you can microwave them together, that way you're cooking less often. And make YOURSELF a really exciting sauce to keep on hand so you can liven up whatever your kids are eating. Husband of OP: you cook now. 

6 spectacular sauces to improve any meal

Herb sauce, salad and drink recipes to use them up by the fistful

 

Aji amarillo paste and huacatay are always in stock when I go to Global Food on N. Beauregard in Alexandria.

Haven't been there, good to know. Thanks!

Sounds lovely, but I don’t have raisins or cranberries nor half of those spices (no coriander, fenugreek, mustard). I’m way more pedestrian.

In that case, you can slice the mangoes up, then sprinkle them with lime juice and ground chile - and eat! :) Favorite snack.

If anyone else has had this happen to them, please share what you know: Something that looks like rust spots is turning up on the inside of my cups after the dishwasher cleans (or is that in quotes "cleans") them. There's no rust on my cutlery -- except that a spot appeared on the blade of one knife after it was dishwashered (is that a verb?) -- and nothing else metal goes in the dishwasher. I've tried scrubbing the spots out ("Come out, damned spot! Out, I command you") but except for the knife, which I eventually cleaned with another knife blade, the spots remain ("What's done cannot be undone"). After the latest wash cycle, I'm de-commissioning one of my mugs because it has so many brown spots on the inside. Is there a way to avoid this, besides hand-washing? Thanks!

So strange! Check if the dishwasher itself needs to be cleaned?

I do that too, halving the onions out and then putting the unused half in the fridge - except I leave it open on the top door shelf. It doesn't smell up the fridge and can live there fine for a few days. I don't notice any deterioration.

Yep, I don't cover mine either. I usually use it up soon enough! Guess what? I do the same with avocado halves -- I use half, cover the remaining half with the empty shell of the used half, and use the other one the next day. There might be a little browning, but no biggie.

Something from the past... always good Napa Cabbage Salad 1 head Napa cabbage, grated 6 green onions 1 package Ramen noodles (uncooked) ½ cup slivered almonds ½ cup sunflower seeds ½ cube butter or margarine 1 cup salad oil [or ½] 1 cup sugar [or ½] ½ cup cider vinegar [or ¼] 2 Tbl soy sauce [or 1] ¼ tsp salt [or 1/8] ½ tsp pepper [or ¼] Use only the wrinkled part of the cabbage, remove heavy center spine. Slice green onions Melt butter in saucepan. Sauté onions, uncooked noodles (break up into smallish pieces), almonds, and sunflower seeds in melted butter till light brown. Remove from heat. Combine oil, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Blend Toss together at serving time. Substitutions & Notes: -- Napa cabbage is sometimes called Chinese cabbage. For the Napa cabbage, substitute regular green cabbage. -- I find that the listed amounts for the dressing ingredients produce twice as much dressing as is needed; I always cut it in half. I also usually use less sugar. -- To prepare ahead or take to a potluck dinner, put grated cabbage in large zip bag, sautéed noodles & nuts in a smaller zip bag, and dressing in a mason jar. Before mixing, kneed noodles and nuts to break up any large clumps. Original from: Aunt Margaret

I've been trying to use sweetened condensed milk in cold brew, but I can't seem to avoid making a mess with it. Should I set it out so it's not as thick when I try to pour it? Sometimes I just try to wrap it around a spoon, but if I don't wind up with enough I wind up double dipping.

I don't think you're doing anything wrong! It's the nature of the beast. Honestly, I just use two spoons! Scoop out with one (often a tablespoon measuring spoon) and scrape it off with the other. Then just lick whatever little bit is left on the spoon(s), lol. As far as dissolving, I make Thai iced tea with sweetened condensed milk just about every day, but the key is I put it into the glass first, so when I pour over the hot water to steep the leaves, it is easy to stir in after. Not quite the same with cold brew, but you could always shake it around in a jar if you're also finding it hard to incorporate.

Don't pour. Take off the whole lid with a can opener, and use a spoon. And keep stirring, cause it tends to sink.

I've actually done the side by side: peeling is better. And it makes sense if you think about it since you expose more cuke to the water. If not peeling, cut the cukes in very long slices.

I'm trying to think of a bottle of something to give to a friend. She's been drinking Aperol spritzes this summer, but giving her Aperol seems like just replenishing her supply. Do you have any suggestions for another summery drink that could inspire a new fixation?

Oh yes! If she's a spritz fan, there are so many variations of them -- there are a lot of similar but different Italian bittersweet liqueurs that would hit some good notes in a spritz (I like Luxardo's Bitter Bianco, and Campari is a classic). You can also try some variations with other fruit and herbal liqueurs -- I've actually been making a passionfruit Aperol spritz lately that I really like (just passionfruit syrup added to the mix -- adds a nice tropical note). And of course, the G & T is a summer classic, but that template works nicely with some other bases too, especially rum.

My Cuisinart motor dates from the late Eighties ... . New bowl though. Interestingly, the blade was recalled.

I think it's the more recent models that are problematic :( I know people who've had theirs since the 80s also.

A neighbor just gave me a bunch of zucchini and says she always cuts it up into chunks and freezes, no blanching. What say you? I don't want to try this and end up with a soggy mess. Thanks.

I think briefly blanching isn't a bad idea. Zucchini is very watery, so if you freeze it raw, I worry about the ice crystals just shredding it and making it mushy when it's thawed. Here's a post from the Kitchn.

Your smashed cucumber salad reminded me of this delish Meera Sodha recipe. I bet cukes would be nice too ... or maybe too wet. I don't know, but I'm tempted to give it a whirl. Meera Sodha's vegan recipe for sesame noodles with smacked courgette

Those kinds of business partnerships (lets do marketing together!) take ages and normally involve contracts that could be set years in advance. If you want to send a message to Purdue, send them a thoughtful letter. It will have more impact if you say you aren't going to buy their products as long as they partner with Goya, but just giving them a heads up that you think they should abandon that partnership is also useful. It would be a LOT more useful if you could get 50,000 people to send similar letters.

I’m laughing at the guy who said don’t bother with a skillet to reheat pizza. I had never even heard of that method till about a month ago but having tried it it’s now absolutely my method of choice. It’s way faster and I get a superior result! Plus it doesn’t make my kitchen hot. I’ve also perfected microwave reheating of all my leftovers. I learned real fast that the reheat option overdoes everything, so I use timed cooking on low to medium powers, depending on what the food is, and with an occasional minute on high. It was trial and error but for the most part now I just know.

Hey, whatever works for you! I really like the hands-off approach and results I get in my oven or toaster oven, but I know the skillet method has a lot of fans, too.

ARTICLE: How to safely reheat all those leftovers without ruining them

Looks like Glebe Market is Latin American - https://www.yelp.com/biz/glebe-market-arlington. Grand Mart or Good Fortune at Seven Corners might be possibilities. I've not shopped for Latin Americans at either one myself, but I believe that both have international options beyond Asian.

Thanks!

We aspirationally want to bake bread, pies, tarts, and cakes. This mainly comes from looking at a bunch of recipes and determining that we just don't have the equipment for it. We're just looking for the right combination of a new appliance and our blender to get the most utility and breadth out of the new appliance.

For breads and cakes - you want a mixer (though you could knead by hand) and cakes do just as well with a hand mixer; for pies and tarts, you could make the dough in the food processor or by hand. Though tart dough is a little harder to do by hand. I think I use my mixer more, so my vote is with that :) 

Recipe?! Sounds amazing.

So easy! I just buy the Thai tea leaves online or at an Asian market. Heaping 1T tea, heaping 1T sweetened condensed milk. Steep for 5 mins. Add a splash of milk, stir and done. I usually do this in the morning so I can chill it in the fridge until I'm ready to have it at my afternoon low point. :) Then I usually add ice as well.

This always gets compliments from friends and family: Toast slices of rustic bread (I usually use Trader Joe's Tuscan bread. Let them come to room temp. Spread with room temp goat cheese. Sprinkle chopped red onions and capers on the cheese and top with smoked salmon and a few grinds of pepper and some chopped chives. It's pretty and tastes good.

Sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing.

I'm going to make vegetable samosas using frozen puff pastry for the first time. Any trips or tricks? Thanks in advance!

Love the sound of this! I've never made samosas with puff pastry, but my advice would be to make sure you keep the puff pastry cool as you work with it, and chill the shaped samosas before you bake them. This will keep the pastry flaky, and from leaking too much butter out as the samosas bake. Let us know how they turn out!

If your sage and rosemary plants are working overtime, consider giving them a haircut and making tuscan herb mix - a dried mixture you'll be glad you have come cooler weather. Actually, it is great on grilled meat and veggies in summer too. Sage, rosemary, fennel seeds, garlic and salt - super easy. David Leibovitz dries it on a sunny windowsill; here is swamplandia I toast in a low oven. Italian Herb Salt.

Is that blackened garlic? And what was the I think sulphur question about garlic last chat? Do we now want to eat sulphur? (It's a word I associate with h-e-double-hockey-sticks -- according to Wikipedia, "Brimstone [is], an archaic term synonymous with sulfur")

Black garlic is aged/caramelized garlic. Amazing. And you can make your own!

Our house, and especially the kitchen, stays quite warm during the summer. What's the best way to keep produce fresh, especially things like tomatoes that shouldn't be refrigerated? I go to the farmers market on Saturday mornings, and the nectarines, tomatoes, etc., that I buy and keep on the counter ripen super fast and then deteriorate quickly. Any tips? Should I just put them in the fridge knowing I'll sacrifice a little quality?

The tomatoes and stone fruit can go into the fridge once they're ripe!

Since I had a surfeit of peppers and onions, I made this recipe for Quick-Braised Pork With Sweet Peppers and Onions a couple of nights ago.  I followed the recipe to a T. It was...underwhelming. I'm a good and adventurous cook, and know how to time a meal so the various parts (main/sides) come out on time. But the pork (braised for 40 minutes) was tough and dry; the apparent fix for that is "braise longer," but roasted root vegetables won't be well treated if they hang around for the meat to get done. Or more done. Any solutions? Amended directions?

Did you start with country-style pork chops? I'm not sure those are all that easy to find under that name, but you could look for country-style boneless ribs, and that would be the same. Or boneless blade chops. I'm worried that you might have used center-cut pork chops, which would be a disaster with this.

If I substitute black beans into Ellie Krieger’s refried beans recipe do I need to adjust anything else?

Not sure which recipe you're referring to, but I'm guessing no! 

Hi there, any good ideas for using yellow split peas, that doesn't include soup? Thanks!

How about dal? The mango dal recipe I published a few months ago can take whatever legume you want, really. 

Mango Dal

RECIPE: Mango Dal

How about these fritters?

How's Brother Andrew Corriente doing these days? Presumably he's involved in projects to help feed people in need. Could you please run an update on him? (Loved him so much on "The Great American Baking Show"). Thanks!

More of the same! I do know he's been doing his regular charity work, as well as doing baking for frontline workers. He is potentially cooking up another recipe for us come holiday time, so stay tuned!

Eagel Brand/Borden makes it in a squirt top bottle

Is it wrong to peel the cukes before adding them to a pitcher of water? I can't remember how I used to do it and my cucumber water seems less tasty this year. Of course, the cukes might be less tasty this year ...

I don't think it's wrong, but try it both ways and see which way you like better?

I don't think of cucumber water as something particularly powerfully flavored, but you certainly don't need to peel the cukes for this, either.

Hi all,
Thanks for joining us today. We see that many of you are enjoying summer's bounty of herbs, fruit and vegetables as much as we are.

We especially enjoyed the conversations around summer corn.

Our pick for the top comment of the week is from chatter who shared his recipes for corn salsa. If you shared that recipe, please send your email to kari.sonde@washpost.com and she'll send you details on how to receive a free 30-day subscription to The Washington Post.

Thanks again for chatting with us about cooking today.

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.
Becky Krystal
Becky Krystal is a staff food writer at the Post.
Daniela Galarza
Daniela is a Food staff writer.
Olga Massov
Massov is a Food team assignment editor.
Abra Berens
Abra Berens is a chef, former farmer, and writer. She is the author of "Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables."
Kari Sonde
Kari Sonde is the Food editorial aide.
Mary Beth Albright
Mary Beth Albright is the Host and Editor of Food Video at The Washington Post.
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