kariin's Profile

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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.

1 day ago
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.

1 day ago
kariin in General Topics

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

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

Good catch LBD - you're right, sorry i left that out.

Sep 06, 2014
kariin in Southeast

Mac 'n cheese help

this is on target MarkC.

Hot sauce, preferable vinegar-based,not hot red pepper flakes. Depending on amount of mac-cheese, a few tablespoons of Texas Pete or another American version of hot sauce makes a big difference.
I got this when making pimento cheese and the same problem showed up. Sriracha is wrong flavor profile I've discovered.
But texas pete or Louisiana Trappey does the job.

Sep 06, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

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

Go-to pimmener cheese? your own, made at home, with that Duke's you brought back, little pimentos (jarred is fine but drain), a little minced garlic, a little onion juice,shredded 'rat cheese' or hoop cheese or extra sharp white cheddar, mix everything except cheese together, then add it all to cheese, fold lightly and cover, let it set in the fridge for a while (as long as you can stand it).

Make a sandwich, cut some watermelon, eat while drinking a very cold Cheerwine (vodka optional) or a B&B: Blenheims red-top extra hot and good bourbon w/a lime twist.

Now maybe we can start another 'pimento cheese making' war.

Freeze smoked tofu?

these are great suggestions Tt, I'll let you know
I'm adding to a hummus and tomato open-faced sandwich. the tofu flavor is mild, I may not need to freeze anything, these are all good ideas.
thanks for the help

Sep 06, 2014
kariin in Vegetarian & Vegan

Freeze smoked tofu?

Great ideas - i think I may be able to use it all up but i will freeze if needed - thanks for all the infformation.

Sep 06, 2014
kariin in Vegetarian & Vegan

Freeze smoked tofu?

thanks Tt, I'll do that if needed. Do you have any suggestions for good eating? I don't get this very often and I'm not sure of tastiest use - one friend suggested fine dice and mix with scrambled eggs, topping with spicy tomato salsa. What do you think?

Anybody have other ideas?

Sep 05, 2014
kariin in Vegetarian & Vegan

Pimento Cheese - who knew?

Good catch - I like his writings (in Charleston City Paper)and
this one seems well-documented. Like many other good things to eat, pimento cheese may have started someplace else but it's landed in the South and we're keeping it going.
Here's another POV, also from NC:

"It Was There for Work: Pimento Cheese in the Carolina Piedmont" by Emily Elizabeth Wallace


right now I'm going to make some for lunch.

Sep 05, 2014
kariin in Food Media & News

Salon.com:'12 absolutely delicious apples you’ve probably never tasted'

+1 for Arkansas Blacks. We get them @ Western NC farmers's mkt just outside of Asheville or the many roadside stands in western NC and SC. where are you??

Sep 03, 2014
kariin in Food Media & News

ISO a good lobster roll in Myrtle Beach area

We have family in NMB, My husband is from Wilmington, we go there and I don't think you're gonna have any lobster-roll luck there either. Why look for L. rolls in SC or NC? Seems like looking for great shrimp and grits or fried catfish and hush puppies in, I don't know, maybe Maine? kinda Wierd.
Boil up some shrimp, make some cocktail sauce and chill the beer.
good luck

Sep 03, 2014
kariin in Southeast

Sigh .... turnips

Thank you all Chowheads! I will try everything i can.
Definitely will do the Lebovitz pickle thing - I have some roasted beets in the freezer and I'll add them for that beautiful color. Other suggestions are also appreciated - its 98' here and i don't think i can face oven-roasting or baking !! maybe I can do the mashed pot/turnip blend.

why did this otherwise smart, nice woman in my co-op
buy heads of cabbage, turnips, potatoes but NO tomatoes, watermelon, peaches, muscadines, patty-pan squash ???
well, next shopping trip (09-16) is my turn - no cabbages and no damn turnips till November.

thanks for all the help. Add more please!

Sep 03, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

Where can I buy GIANT glasses?

Restaurant supply. Glassware/smallware may include oversize
drinking glasses or clear glass table vases Where are you?
Prices will be much better especially if you purchase full dozen, be sure to know your capacity (ounces), most places will carry lines from suppliers and send you to a website - you may want to order direct but the larger web wholesale places will
supply your local seller.

Restaurant supply is my first place to check for everything.
Prices and quality beat everything such as Target etc.

Sep 03, 2014
kariin in Cookware

Freeze smoked tofu?

A friend gave me some smoked tofu - too much to use right now
but can I freeze it? How to do it best? It's made from extra-firm, baked then smoked and it tastes great.

Sep 03, 2014
kariin in Vegetarian & Vegan

Any cheap ideas for knife storage with little to no counter space & no wall space?

This: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/795232

from 2011 - similar problem, lots of good suggestions.

Good prices on plastic knife guard covers at restaurant supply
I'm sure there's one near you that sells retail, call around. And please look at knives at the same place. The knives are serious but inexpensive and they are the work horses of
restaurant kitchens. knife sleeves are between $3 and $10 made of rigid plastic.

Cheap and easy? DIY - rigid but thin cardboard/cardstock
(think FedX envelope or thicker.
Cut rectangle to knife length plus 1" - width plus also:
fold and outline knife shape plus 1-2" extra room. The up-grade trick is to line this form with felt and/or kevlar material (easy to find at fabric store. I deconstructed
(aka cut-up) some old oven mitts from a thrift store and used the metallic-cloth. Glue felt or cloth to inside of knife sleeve. Dry well. Insert knife and wrap sleeve carefully with gaffer's tape (duct tape), heavy duty silver. Fold/tuck in bottom edges.

These are dead-easy to slip on and off, lets you keep the knives in the drawer and make great travel guards.
they actually take less time to make than to describe the process once you have the materials.

And yeah - learned this from prep chef friends. They only do what works (thanks Steve).

Sep 03, 2014
kariin in Cookware

Sigh .... turnips

My produce co-op order arrived. Each member takes turns shopping and bagging and this time the shopper must have had a mental flash forward to November.

Lots of turnips, cabbage (2 heads) potatoes and red onions.
I can handle everything but the turnips. And they aren't little sweet purples either: these are small-fist size. I don't hate turnips but its September - still summertime hot and I have....
these turnips. Either I get help or they go into compost - or maybe I can find someone with a hog to feed.
any ideas?

Sep 03, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

Anybody got a good suggestion for Red Velvet Sheet Cake?

Please let us know how it works out - and add what you learn. I'm hoping you have a big success. What size sheet pan and where did you get it?
good luck

Aug 30, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

Lard, Beautiful Lard!

Yep - that's the way the old folks did it - and it works. I don't use really big amounts so a few times a year is all I need to do. But the meat department had never been asked for
fresh pork fat before. so I made them some biscuits.

Aug 30, 2014
kariin in General Topics

Lard, Beautiful Lard!

The lard sold in most grocery stores is NOT what we want.
It's hydrogenated to be shelf stable and tastes horrible. If it isn't refrigerated at point-of-purchase don't buy it. Fresh lard needs to be refrigerated or frozen. I make my own (from pork fat cap off large cuts) or buy from a slaughterhouse that processes fresh meat (we have several that process deer and anything else) or from a local Mexican/Hispanic store where I can see the meat counter (carneceria). Good lard freezes well is wrapped tightly and lasts forever.

why? Biscuits. that is all.

Aug 30, 2014
kariin in General Topics

Anybody got a good suggestion for Red Velvet Sheet Cake?

I made red velvet 3-tier wedding cake for a family member - and extra sheet cake: 50+ guests were served.
You may already know these tips - if so, I'm very glad.
maybe another baker can benefit from them here.

I learned all of this from an experienced baker/caterer - her lessons were solid and saved me many mistakes - she was right about everything!! this may be long but worth it.

This is actually a technique challenge, not so much
a recipe challenge. These are my suggestions:

Any good red velvet recipe will work. If you have a favorite
use that one. I recommend a red velvet pound cake recipe - holds shape better - and add more powdered cocoa (cut flour equally), tastes much richer.

What size is your sheet?? a regular cookie sheet will not work- too shallow. A 1/2 sheet pan, restaurant grade, is best.
You can also get a 1/4 sheet pan; both are available at restaurant supply and are worth every penny; actually they are very inexpensive: heavier means less burning and warping.
Multi-use, that's why you find them in every restaurant kitchen. Call - most sell to the public. And the prices/quality are so much better.

You will need a cooling grid/rack same size as your sheet pan. These are also available @ rest. supply and worth it And be sure you have parchment paper roll. not waxed paper.

Grease sheet pan well (not butter - milk proteins cause sticking) sprinkle pan w/cocoa powder. The layer of parchment paper - same process : grease and spread powder. I use a mesh strainer and 1-2 Tbs of cocoa powder. I use a non-Pam spray - canola oil. This is not a wasted step. A sheet cake that sticks can be much harder to handle just because of size and shape. The large, rectangular grid/cooling rack is key here - round racks are awkward, wrong size, easy to screw up the cake.

Watch time and temp: sheet cake is thinner than round layers and edges will cook faster - they can dry out and burn fast. I usually reduce temp by 25' (to 325) and start checking at least 10-15 minutes before done time for round layers. For last 10 minutes i will turn/reverse pan carefully and cut heat off completely. It only took 1 over-cooked, dry, stuck cake to teach me what really works.

Remove cake and let cool briefly (5 min) still in pan. You can elevate on any rack. Have a large well-greased parchment piece and your same size rack ready. Loosen edges of cake slowly and carefully with long thin spatula but don't try to lift the interior. Place prepared parch. paper over cake, then top with rack; put your hand (w/glove or large pot protector)
under the bottom of the sheet pan, other hand on top of the cooling rack. Get stable, then reverse (flip) smooth and fast.
Set down on stable surface. SLowly and gently Peel off the parchment paper that lined the pan from thewarm cake. Work from outside edges FIRST. I do all edges - working slowly, no hurry. This is where most tearing and cake damage occurs because of hurrying.
There is no need to rush, sometimes a few minutes of cooling and moisture evap. are all that's needed. When sheet pan paper is removed, let the cake cool. Reverse again onto similar sized serving platter and gently peel off other parchment paper. I also spray the serving platter - this helps keep bottom of cake from glueing to the plate and makes serving much easier.
If frosting, let cool completely - and refrigerate cake well before frosting. Always use a thin base of frosting first before final layer.

Please consider an alternative: use a doily as a stencil (or use a cake stencil) and top with confec. sugar for a beautiful effect. I serve a thinned vanilla cream cheese glaze in a pretty pitcher on the side (label in front) for those who love cream cheese w/cake). But the white stenciled cake is really different and adds no extra sugar.

Sorry for a long post - these steps were amazing. I have done more sheet cakes and others for parties and helped several friends and these steps made BIG difference. A crumbling, sticking shredded cake disaster = depressing.

I hope this helps. please tell us how things worked out.

Aug 30, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

What "typical American Foods" would you serve to foreigners?

Oh... tomato pie. Is that a thing in the heartland too?
Adding pimento cheese sounds suspiciously South Carolina :->

I'd probably have to go with a corn and shrimp chowder w/scallions. And some fried catfish (after soaking in buttermilk) - I'm w/you on the macque choux and everything else.
Maybe almond white pound cake with muscadine sauce or sliced fresh peaches.
For somebody in the heartland this is sure soaked in the south!
sounds great. where are you?

Aug 29, 2014
kariin in General Topics