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All this talk about quality cookware . . .

Was the food good?

Because pros do not give 2 s---s about impressing w/Martha Stewart or Southern Living or WS or Sur-la-T, or FoodandW(h)ine. They/we are impressed by pushing out 50-100-200 covers of delicious food during service: consistency, production, quality, speed, no appearance drama other than the plates look good, clean. Some(most) high end onsumers/shoppers are all eyes - how does their highly expensive stuff (cookware, knives, tools - everything 'color-coordinated) _look_ to friends and family. Expensive, high-end cooking stores know about the envy factor and that most of these folks
buy to impress their friends/family with stuff that looks (and is) expensive. Yeah, friends who owned the stores reported what they observed.

Back-of-the-house got nobody to impress with how the tools look to civilians.

Nov 18, 2014
kariin in Cookware

What's Cooking While It's Freezing?

Thanks, Querencia - I didn't know. Is the honey-baked-ham-bone thing for real?? Do you just go in and ask, no purchase necessary?? Holy cow (ok pig in this case)!! Have other people done this? do you have to call ahead? I love ham bone like no one really should.

Here in the deep south we are (relatively) cold. People in real cold places, it's OK to laff @ us. I'm working to clear out freezers before re-stocking w/Tksgvng and Christmas. And i rec'd produce co-op box w/apples, 2 cabbages, irish potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes. No collards yet, but soon cause we had a good freeze

But its a good excuse for cooking:
*Braised cabbage w/smoked pork chops, onions and apples, jalapeno cornbread w/pear chutney,

* Potato, corn(last ears), green onion w/smoked pork soup
rye rolls,

* Ukranian borscht (not smooth) Beets and beet greens, onion, carrot, turnip, potato, cabbage, roast pork and kielbas from freezer, last of the smoked pork (save bones for split pea later), pumpernickle bread w/stinky cheese, cucumber and dill salad w/sour cream,

* key change: Scallion pancake w/seafood & fish, stirfried cabbage w/snow peas, kim-chee on the side, dumplings in fish broth (purchased kim-chee and dumplings)

more later - keep the ideas coming - this is a great thread.

Nov 16, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

Favourite type of rice?

Double on Carolina Gold. Sometimes I cook it just for myself, add a little butter and don't share w/anybody.

Can you help me replace walnut with hazelnut in this recipe?

Smart chowser. Absolutely best thing anyone can do when cooking/baking w/nuts. Its the secret to the best pecan pie ever; well, toasting all the pecans and getting rid of the white karo syrup. If you _must_ use syrup it should be sorghum all the way. But toasting nuts is a huge difference.

Nov 09, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

Food or food related magazines?

Agree, elegraph. Saveur does excellent profiles of 'foodways' by regions, cities, ethnic communities, families, ingredients, traditions and new approaches,etc. It gives a window into the context for recipes,foods, drinks, celebrations, utensils, habits and much more. I'm slowly accumulating all issues going back to #1, so if any CH wants to let go of their copies let me know here and I'll let you know how to reach me. And I'll pay!(reasonably).

This will be the last year I subscribe to Cooks Illustrated for the same reasons. I have almost every issue back to #1 and I'm done with their heavy-handed marketing and lousy treatment of subscribers. Obnoxious is exactly the right word.

Fine Cooking is the only other one that interests me but not enough to subscribe.

Does anyone else here use 'Eat My Books'?

Nov 07, 2014
kariin in Food Media & News

Why are kitchen tools so expensive?

Hi - but we're here! no, seriously, there's a wealth of experience here and the collective smartness of CHs can let you know what we know.

Case in point: storage. I discovered 'Cambro' storage
at restaurant supply. I'm gradually moving to their stuff (check them out). I quit buying or accepting pass-along of cheap plastic storage containers ; eventually all I will have is Cambro, Tupperware, freezer quality Ball containers (same size top,container varies). I look for other stuff @ flea markets etc. but I quit buying junk.
And OK, I still have round soup containers from the chinese restaurant (pt. and quart) but those get moved along too.

We will give you good feedback. I read lots of info here and its made a difference.

Oct 30, 2014
kariin in Cookware

Breville Smart Oven

Six years and used it every day since i put it on the rolling cart on the top shelf above the microwave. The blue light dimmed after year 4 but no other malfunction or problems. Best $$ ever spent for a kitchen appliance.

I live in the deep south; turning on the oven is a bad idea from June through September. I've done roasts (chicken, lamb, beef) cakes, tarts, basically everything. Timing my toast ?? not significant - it toasts fine. Front crumb tray - small smart idea.

Using it today to make 2 person portion of roasted potatoes, carrots, asparagus. One tray: potatoes first, then carrots, then asp.

Large amounts or multiple cakes, etc go in the big oven. Everything else in the Breville. For a single person or couple this is a great choice. I'd buy another in a heartbeat.

Oct 27, 2014
kariin in Cookware

What to make with giblets

In what way is that a 'problem'? If nearby
I would come and try to help you with your problem
and I bet lots of CHs could help too, cause we are
so helpful.

+1 on the chicken hearts.

Oct 26, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

Greenville SC to Charleston with perhaps stop at Columbia? Looking for eats along the way

By category:

Compton's Kitchen (W.cola)
Anthony's Dairy Bar (Two Notch Rd, get the livers
and gizzards)
Food Gallery and Soul Food (former gas station
across from Edna's Hot Dogs on River Drive and
Sunset) ox-tails and turkey wings

Mama Js Jamaican (inside the Inter. Market on
Decker Blvd)
Taste of Jamaica (Beltline)
MoBay (Parklane Rd)
Skyaa's (Holland Ave Cayce)

Salina (Main St, Cola)
Harambe (off Harden St, on right next to Food Lion, set back from the road)

Wurst Wagon (mobile food truck, follow on
Julia's Stammtisch (Ft Jackson Blvd, just
past Whole Foods)
Eli's Gasthause (Prosperity)

O'Bok (Decker Blvd just off I-77)
Arirang (Decker)
Seoul (Decker)
Korea Garden (Decker)
notice a trend? :->
Hero (Two Notch Rd.)
Blue Cactus (Greene St. near USC)
Korean-Mexican, takes a while but worth it.
Hyundi (Asian market run by 2 ladies, homemade
Kimchee and other great stuff plus massive
choice of produce, ingredients, utensils and
stuff you didn't know you needed).

More later

Oct 26, 2014
kariin in Southeast

Greenville SC to Charleston with perhaps stop at Columbia? Looking for eats along the way

we go up to the 'berry where friends live, love the place.

Oct 26, 2014
kariin in Southeast

What to make with giblets

I'll be over with Tara hazel and coll. I'd double heart them all if i could. Dirty rice needs no recipe, after a while its just what you do.

Oct 26, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

What to make with giblets

Louisiana rice dressing (aka dirty rice).

This one serves it with eggplant but rice dressing is good with anything or by its own self.

I simmer necks and backs for broth, add gizzards to make them tender enough to grind or chop.

i keep a freezer bag just for giblets, necks, backs, wing tips
to make rice dressing. Or fried livers and gizzards. or chicken heart ragu; stock made from (very clean) feet.

Oct 26, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

Pig Roast - What to do with the "Nasty bits"?

Head cheese; souse ??


Oct 26, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

Pig Roast - What to do with the "Nasty bits"?

Great ideas from CHs below. Shecrab knows her stuff; Wattacetti, Porker etc.

JudiAU has solid advice. If you've already got lots to do, maybe freeze these and do something interesting later??

Like this - Liver and lights stew:


Put the word out that these are available. (many) Cooks will be ready. If I was nearby and had the space in my freezer they would be already gone.

Also: liver nips; head cheese; souse; chittlins. There's learning and some work involved but big payoff (if you like good, unappreciated stuff).

good luck and let us know how it all turns out - updates please.

Oct 26, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

Tips from the commercial kitchen for the home kitchen

Commercial grade; restaurant quality. Which means
'non-reactive, washes easily, doesn't break'.
'Retail pretty' is irrelevant. Tough, efficient, completely reliable, well-designed is it's own kind of 'pretty'.

Oct 23, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

Tips from the commercial kitchen for the home kitchen

FYI. I'm stealing this right now

help. Peppers (green and yellow) giant Zucchini, giant cukes

Co-op buyer strikes again. Different buyer, same problem:
6-7 big green peppers, 2 big and 3 small yellows, 2 giant
zucchini, 3 giant cukes. And next co-op date is Tuesday of next week...

I can can. But I've never made a mixed vegetable chow-chow.
(or any chow-chow for that matter) That's all I can think to do with this mother-lode of stuff, unless I treat each item separately (cold cucumber soup; zucchini fritters, roasted zucc., lots more work. And what-the-heck to do with all these peppers. I don't have any cabbage and i'll be damned if I'm going to buy _more_ vegetables on top of what i already have.

I just finished multiple pints of golden pear chutney (from gift of a bushel of old-fashioned sand pears) and I don't mind
canning. I can get to this on Sunday and Monday, booked up till then.

I'm hoping CHs can help or at least suggest. Damn, I wish i had a hog in the backyard.

Oct 23, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

Appalachian recipes ideas?

Soup beans, onions, chow-chow, buttermilk corn bread.
My idea of supper to be thankful for.
I don't think this was what she had in mind.
(Smoked trout dip with crostini, ya know).

Oct 23, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

Best grease cutter for overhead exhaust?

Yep - professional supply for everything - and they have
environ. better products also. If I'm out of the pro stuff
I go for straight ammonia for really bad grease and 2/1 Amm to water if not - ammonia breaks down and I use mask. Incredible on grease. NEVER mix bleach and ammonia or put one on top of the other. Yeah - I know CHs know this but reminding is OK.

Oct 23, 2014
kariin in Cookware

Talk to me about cooking wild game (venison)

This is a good place to start:

I'll be back w/more later. My favorite deer/bird hunters were in the family and we had lots to process. Squirrel too.

All of the whole cuts benefit from a soak in salt/vinegar/water and a marinade strong on oils _after defrosting_. Combo ground venison and bacon/pork belly is slap-yourself delicious.

Curry flavors and venison may be any 'iffy' combination but try a small amount before you make a big comittment and let us know.

Low and slow braise is always good. I did a very large roast for a holiday dinner (after soaking for 5 days in vinegar/salt water) that was meltingly tender. I larded it with pork fat and garlic, browned it briefly and oven-braised it, covered, at 250' for several hours. Fall-out-of-the-chair good.

German recipes for venison are excellent, as are ours from the mid-west and southern USA.
good luck, let us know what you learn.

Oct 20, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

ISO, The Best Dried Herbs and Spices

Penzeys. Buy quantity of those you use most often and keep a small jar tightly closed in/near the kitchen. Store the bulk
sealed in the zip bag, in the freezer till time to refill. Much much less expensive than retail brands and much better quality.
I buy a small amount of something I'm less familiar with, test/use then purchase a larger bulk order when I know I'll use it up within a reasonable time (example: star anise and 5 spice).

Yeah, I have an extra storage refrig/freezer on the back porch, paid for itself many times over.

I buy spice blends from Indian or Middle Eastern grocery and do the same - huge price difference from Whole Paycheck or Earthfare. Anything else I buy from a small locally owned natural food store.
good idea.

Subbing fresh lima beans for dried?


Absolutely traditional southern and delicious.

Please don't miss a chance to do this, no matter how small
the quantity of fresh beans. We can get dried any time of year, but from May till October I don't have any but fresh: lady peas, pink eyes, crowder peas, field peas (which are not black eyes) and best of all fresh butter beans.
best wishes

Oct 19, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

How does this recipe sound for Swedish Meatballs?

Thanks, Stockholm. that's good, updated information. Do you think it was that common in the late 1880s? I often wonder if the foods brought by our foremothers is the food they cooked and ate at the time they came to this country, taught to their children who did not want to change what Mother and Grandmother cooked.
Kind of frozen in time - things change back in the old country but we want to stay connected to that 'taste of the past'. What do you think?

How does this recipe sound for Swedish Meatballs?

Gingersnaps? No. Not in swedish meatballs.
Swedish-american person here. One side of my family is all swedish. We lived in the Swedish neighborhood in Chicago. My Aunt made meatballs and was an excellent cook. Her mother and 4 sisters emigrated from Sweden to the midwest in 1880s.

Our family's meatballs do not contain gingersnaps or shallots. I don't know anyone who put these ingredients in. They would probably be quite good in yours but they are not swedish, if that is important.

Meatballs are browned in the oven and are not served with cream (or other) gravy. Many people do this but it is not a Swedish custom, if that matters. A dill sauce on the side might be good and yes-ketchup was the choice of my Swedish Uncles. Mostly they were browned and crispy outside, we had them with potatoes dressed with butter and dill and red cabbage and cold cucumber salad.
best of luck

Oct 19, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

What are you baking these days? October 2014 Edition, Part One [old]

Chocolate-Whiskey cake and Muscadine grape hull pie.
I regularly make Chocolate-Whiskey cake (NYT Melissa Clark) for a coffeehouse kitchen I run. Served w/berry sauce. Never fails.

I made muscadine syrup last week from a bushel of muscadine grapes; deep purple crimson and this time I separated pulp and seeds, saved the skins and will attempt a double crust grape hull pie - made with pulp and skins, cooked again, run thru food processor, a little added sugar and lemon juice, a bit of cornstarch/flour for body - the recipe is from Southern Foodways Alliance cookbook.
Has anyone else made grape skin pie? tips for success??

Oct 10, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

My Chinese supermarket items to get

* Whole dried shitake mushrooms (price/oz is ridiculously low
* Large bottle toasted sesame oil
* Large size sriracha
* really good fish sauce
* cocoanut milk (including dry pkg.for emergency)
* many types of soya and shoyou
* rice noodles and wraps - many widths, types
* soba noodles, noodles of all kinds
* rice wine vinegar, black vinegar all kinds of vinegar
* chinese sausages
* spices of all kinds: schezuan pepper, star anise, 5-spice
cloves, cinnamon, pepper
* rice - all kinds of rice

and fresh stuff: lemon grass, eggplants,coriander (fresh) and on and on....
* bean curd, miso soup base,

Oct 08, 2014
kariin in General Topics

QUICK BREADS! Home Cooking Dish of the Month (October 2014)

Does any CH have recipe/suggestions for old-fashioned
southern rice bread or rice muffins; very little wheat or corn additions. These are 19th century, using cooked rice or rice
flour, very crisp. I'd like to bring them back.
thanks for any help.

Oct 03, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

Issue roasting chicken thighs on foil lined baking sheet?

Discard ??? You actually threw them out ????? I'm just...baffled.
I'm guessing that as a veg. this is unfamiliar territory for you. Temperature is the key indicator, not the appearance.
The chicken was _fine_ and safe to eat. Please don't worry or do this again. Also, when meat rests it usually increases slightly in temperature. If i have any question when cooking - I go by internal temp. 5 xtra minutes in Microwave, well covered will also increase the internal temp.
I cook chicken 'short-legs' regularly, never had even one problem in more than 30 years.

Why did you not cook them a little more if you were uncomfortable??

Great pieces of inexpensive equipment?


Restaurant supply or out-of-biz sale. If i didn't get it @ thrift/Goodwill/yard sale then It came from restaurant supply. I buy from them regularly, pizza and all-purpose pans, sheet pans, cooling racks, small-ware, specialty items for desserts (cakes, pie cutters). Agree totally about knives, utensils,
sharpeners, steamers, carbon steel saute pans.
Retail stuff is so vastly over-priced, not durable, non-standard sized, melts, warps, breaks, falls apart, mostly worthless and/or ridiculously expensive.
I've discovered some people really just want bragging rights for the latest trendy name in cookware/equipment. Stuff that really works under pressure for little $ is not what they want.
hard to figure.

Sep 15, 2014
kariin in Cookware

Southern Ingredients: What should I pick up when I'm in NC/VA next week

I second recommendations of Guilford Mills grits (buy as much as you can fit in your freezer - and assuming you and friends like grits - get yellow). Cases of Cheerwine (if you like it) and Blenheims Giner Ale (a SC item but I'm betting its not in Ohio).

Carolinadawg's list is good.
Neese's pork products of all kinds
the Biggest old-style cured country ham you can find and afford
It might last you till Christmas. It's our style european ham
Sorghum syrup
Muscadine syrup, jam, wine


BBQ sauces if you like Q and they are available. Is Stamey's Q
still good?

eat lots while you're there - esp. NC vinegar/pepper Q, boiled p-nuts. muscadines.
Carry home the memories of how those foods are supposed to tast
(like pimento cheese and ham bisuits) so you can make them at home.

Sep 06, 2014
kariin in Southeast