Episode 299: Risotto, French Toast, and Good Enough
Hi I'm Marie maclellan Author Food Jars and I'm joy manning up who'd writer and editor welcome to local mouthful. We're here to talk shop with Obsessive Home Cooks everywhere this week. We're talking about RISOTTO Vegan. French toast and meals. That are good enough but first. Let's compare notes notes on something we read this week. Okay so By the time this episode airs. This'll be a little bit of Old News. But it's an interesting topic because it's come up so much and that is is the recent romain lettuce recall another recall. This is I feel like the third or fourth in as many years. GROUNDHOG's day we have Romaine and it's too bad because Romain lettuce is certainly one of the most popular lettuces you know used to be that was iceberg and now everybody in it's like it's the basic acceptable lettuce and it keeps getting you know E. coli infestations. I haven't bought it in a year. At least really yes. I mean I told you when we were prepping to record that they don't need it anymore and I guess what I meant. I don't buy it anymore. It's often included in like a restaurant. Salad yeah so I guess I eat it then but I don't buy it. You know I never really I stopped buying it and maybe and I feel like maybe at this point I probably should Because you know there's just more than Scott and you you know me and household so I don't want to expose the babies to anything like that not not that. They're eating right now and maybe they won't be for years but you don't WanNa bring something contaminated the coli into your home right But the problem is I really love. remained like it's crunchy. It's you know easy. A Romain heart chopped up is one of the easiest basis for for a salad that I know But it's just been so many it has been so many this article you know poses the question of why does it keep happening. But it doesn't really answer it. Yeah it doesn't seem like it's you know we anybody is really figured it out. Well I mean I think one of the things that keeps half. The reason that keeps happening is because of sanitation situations in the agricultural sector I know that like the farm workers aren't always given Sanitary sanitary bathroom facilities or the time to use them if they are available and so they will end up. You know relieving themselves in the field if it rains or water comes through through washes You know that fecal material into the the farmland and so that can be part of it. The article said that contaminated agricultural troll. Water is a prime suspect in these outbreaks is out with that man. Yeah that's gross. It is terrible. Yeah I mean so there's these human rights and You you know respect issues tied up in it that no one's really talking about It's funny My my brother-in-law Andrew refuses to eat lettuce because he grew up around and so he grew up in Carmel Valley. which is right near Salinas? Which is where you know a huge chunk of the nation's Romain lettuce grown and he doesn't eat lettuce because he it remembers the smell of lettuce rotting in the field. Who will and it makes him so nauseated that he cannot eat lettuce to this day? Well what have I been eating instead. You might be wondering under. I am still having lots of Salads. you know. I go hard on a Kale Salad. I love celts. There's this mix in that they sell at sprouts I think all the supermarkets have their own version of this called a super greens and it's like baby Kale and baby Charred and other all kinds of things And what I love about that you can get it in the big box and it's good salad but you can also cook it. You can sort of use it in place of herbs if you I need something instead of parsley or what have you. So it doesn't go to waste even though I buy it in a big box or maybe a ruge which I think is a preference. I got from you. Oh baby regular baby spinach. I'll go back to or big spinach. Cabbage always the cabbage joining us. All out there. It's true and I feel like I almost always have cab in my fridge and to me that can release substitute for Romaine in a good way. If you shred it finally MHM Because it offers that same sort of neutral flavored crunch that is a large part of. What's the appeal Romaine lettuce and cabbage last even longer in the Phraya Korea? So do you think you're there you're gonNA stop buying it probably think it'll be a while before I buy like a bag of Romaine Hart's because I just it makes cleaner you know. The article said that starting in January twenty twenty two which is still a ways off. Farmers will have to test the groundwater four times during the growing growing season but it also said that they're already testing once a month so I can't see how that's GonNa make a difference. Yeah it's just it's an issue that has I think needs a larger solution and we. The agriculture in this country is not a place where it's ready to deal with those larger solutions Because it's I feel like it's this issue and we're just not dealing might. It might be a while before I by Romain Lettuce again yeah Anyway I'll have a link to that story we referenced in the show notes and If you are shopping in the produce section for salad for dinner tonight fiery where her yeah seriously speaking of dinner tonight. Yeah what are you making. RISOTTO I left out. It's another wintry dish. That doesn't We don't talk. We even talked about as much coaches some other. wintery things How do you make your is that oh I am a stove? Top risotto person. I don't necessarily think that you have to stir like constantly for half an hour or anything like that but I do like the process of kind of watching it evolve that you get when you make it on time how about you. I was a longtime stove. Top user but then I switched to the instant pot a couple years ago interesting I think that instant PUTT coaxes more starch out of of the grains of rice to make a creamier and result also hands off. Yeah always nice. I was thinking about doing it on the stove top today because I'm just is GonNa like freestyle risotto so it helps to be able to look at it and and sort of test as you go But I'll probably just do it in the insult. Mm for that reason. I like especially. If you'RE NOT GONNA use cream it's really you really want the starches to get to get out of the rice and into the liquid and and I also have some beautiful mushrooms. I got from fully food works then on different kinds like waster and I think there's a trumpet and Head of the woods in there air and some other ones that I'm not even sure where they are so I'll tell you those up and stir them in at the end And of course my frank brothel use mushroom unofficial. NFL look better than billion mushroom flavor. Excellent so yeah I am. I haven't made resulted in a in a long time. Part of it is that It's not wanna Scott's favorite things but I love it It also I the things I like to put in. RISOTTO are things that aren't his favorite Britt like butternut squash like you're talking about mushroom-lover mushroom risotto. And so you know. It's one of those things I often save to make when he's not eating dinner together other And you know in the last year or so. It's either that life life has been so intense that there's just no time to cook something where it's the everybody in the household can eat it right. You know what I mean. That's a good point so but There is this butternut squash risotto recipe. That's on epicurious. that as someone who doesn't follow a lot of recipes was just kind of making things up as I go along. This is a recipe. I go back to over and over again. There's just something about it leaks. It's but roasted butternut squash It does call for some cream although I never add it because I feel like it's rich enough just on its own but there's something about the kind of intensity of the onion flavor that you get from those leaks I- lovely. Yeah and then the real sweetness that the butternut squash brings And I've made it with other squash squashes to like you could also do Co. Boccia or one of those Fancy Farmers Markets Mazda's. But Oh my God. It's so good and so like wintery and satisfying thing and visit heavy makeup broth from the squash skin and strengthen scenes. It doesn't My favorite. Yeah that's a very cooks little stroll yet approach I. Why do it a lot though when I when I made a squash thanksgiving I made my squash? Bra didn't really like it happens fast in it is really full of flavor. No it's an it's so smart because then you're not wasting any part of that squad. Throw those things away but after you'd like to infuse I mean certainly they. They've given they've given their all by the time you have made us squash liquid but Yeah resort oh I just. It's one of those things I need to kind of pull back into my regular Focused you know I. I had originally planned have pasta tonight. But I've been eating so much pasta lately. Yeah than I thought. What Guy Habits Different Than Pasta now do you ever do risotto? With like Pharaoh or stuff like yeah yeah for rotel for wroto. Yes yes I like that. That's not a starchy. Though yeah I do I have some like aging are boil rice in there that I wanNA use. Yeah but I do love a for Pharaoh I also have some are Borio rice at home that I keep looking at thinking that this yeah. I've done it with Freika as well which I I love. I love It's like a green roasted. We it's very common in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food. That's wonderful on a risotto style dish. What are we missing? Is there anything else barley. Oh it's really starchy. Sally would be great. Yeah Love Barley. My favorite risotto. Trick that I can't use anymore because not eating cheese. You know how it's often finish with butter at the end. Yeah if you like peel off the rind of a nice hunk hunk of like three. Oh my God and you melt the brain to at the end. Yeah that's like my best result of that I have. Oh my God that sounds so incredibly dense so good I mean you can use a lot to make it very decorative and are you can use a little. Oh what is that incredible delicious Flavor Dasher. I do love making risotto. That you've crammed a bunch of vegetables into so like a mixed roasted vegetable risotto. was that you don't do the vegetables on other salad on the side or roasted vegetables got Salad always looking at Cram as much vegetable matter into whatever. I like to eat vegetables too but I I wanna like even the mushrooms. I don't want to cook the mushrooms in the Rosetta. Want them on top. That makes sense so I get it. Sounds good. I looked to my instagram for photos. I'm a little jealous of the dinner. You'RE GONNA have terribly bad photos if I I was this. We're GONNA talk about this next actually the today. I was experimenting with them. Begin French toast. A friend of ours is like a Krige food photographer was like I thought that was steak. That's a uh-huh that's how bad my who'd photos are but I will probably take a few of the result. I am looking forward to seeing it so speaking of Vegan French toast. I WanNa hear more about this. Okay so I love French French toast and I have not been eating it for reasons of eggs. Milk and butter. Yeah and so. I've been researching recipes. Like how you do it. How how do you make a beacon French toast and there's a lot on a different things out there? People use Aqua fabriga people use coconut milk and cream which is out for me because coconut is loaded with saturated fat. Not that I'm never gonNA coconut but like yeah People use cornstarch People use chickpea flour and people use egg replacers which I bought a bag of Bob's red mill's egg replacer which is really just a blend of like finally mill Chia Flax and like stuff that you would usually use into. Yeah Bacon Egg and something something so I actually wrote it down. It was just for me because I didn't want to run some kind of crazy Vegan experiment on Dan so for two slices of bread. This is what what I did. One tablespoon of chickpea flour One Third Cup non dairy milk of your choice. I used Soy One and a half teaspoons egg replacers. Oh come and then to season it up I did an ATC and cinnamon cardamom one quarter order Teaspoon Vanilla and listed up he went and this is just for me. If I was going to have to it for me I would double it And then I got my earth balance buttery stick out. I filmed my nonstick skill with butter. And then I sprinkled once I you know I spoke the bread and smuggled the side I was Gonna put down with a little bit of sugar bigger. which gives it like? This is what I do on my normal French toast. That gives it like a little bit of a crunch in. Yeah criminalization. Yeah so then I just Then proceeded as usual with your French toast making and I was surprised at how good it was. Yeah it sounds like I mean basically. You're just looking for something to kind of create a little bit of Creston coach. You know custody. Ns Yeah and the you want to thicken it up somewhat. Yeah and there is something about chickpea flour that is like egg Jason. If you know what yeah I can see that so oh I would not hesitate to it for Dan now You know I didn't want to do a failed being experiment. I tried Vegan cookies earlier in the week. They were good but this French toast is more like regular French toast than the cookies. Were like regular cookies. You know what I do So I know you've probably never gone down that road. No although I it was when it's making me think of I've been having sort of a dalliance with non dairy eggnog ex You get one a trader when I got the Almond NOG from trader. That and I had it on the grocery list and then I told Dan not to buy it because I was feeling like conscientious about sugar or whatever you know. It's so good I had been getting a couple of different Non Dairy dogs recently. And I I try to coconut one and it was too sweet But the almond NOG from from trader. Joe's is not super sweet. It's really heavy on the NUTMEG. which kind of conveys Eggnog even without that edginess and it's just very it's the right thickness? It's very satisfying. And so it makes me think that you should. You should make Vegan French toast with Ominami. That's so smart because then you're going to get more of that flavor. It's already ready trying to replicate a sense of s and so that will give you a more satisfying finished product. Plus I think I definitely need to have it because when I go to like my mom's house and my mother-in-law's house like these are there's not going to be like Vegan sweets. Yeah on offer so that might give me a little feeling of yes. Yes celebratory necessary. You know I had my eye on that you think that's the best I mean I've only tried like three different ones so far this season but the I find I like it enough that I don't feel like I have to look elsewhere for different dogs. Yeah and it's not so sweet it makes me feel like I'm drinking some melted piece of candy. Andy when right coconut one really did And Yeah I like it. That's good Intel. Yeah I'M GONNA I'm definitely going to get. We're we're still recording writing this first week. Would you call this. Like beginning of the middle of December. I Dunno beginning of. Do you put a tree up in your apartment. We do. We have a little victory. I I can't recall seeing it but I must have. You know I mean I come from a family. The never really put up a tree until like December fifteenth the week because we always had real trees and my mom. My mother the Jew had grew up putting up Christmas. She would never put lights. They never put lights on the House and in my childhood we weren't allowed to put lights on the outside because she was Jewish but we were allowed to have a Christmas tree. It doesn't make a lot of sense but that's how it worked. And so but my mom prefers a real Christmas Christmas tree to a fake one and so and she liked leaving it up until New Year's Day go later in the month and so. That's kind of my expectation like the my built-in calendars like. Oh you don't put your tree up until so you have not put it up yet. We haven't and I do prefer real trees. But there's an ordinance in Philadelphia that if you live in a multi unit dwelling swelling. You and I think that's totally reasonable. Yeah the reason I was thinking about. It was my sister. I don't get involved with the Christmas tree stuff I don't know why could be migraine. She could be the fact that I don't have kids not sure but Jill wanted me to come help her Trim her little Gold Lemay type. Trade Yahoo also. I thought that I would bring Eggnog. Like the non dairy eggnog is like a tree trimming snack but it was the day after Thanksgiving so I didn't feel I needed to add. eggnog to leftover Thanksgiving Trieste. You know but that would have been a nice accent. I'll be curious to see here what you think of the the Onondaga I you know. I haven't had really Noggin so long. Now that I'm not sure I've ever had. I've had it out of the carton but homemade up never no I've never had homemade it either but like like the thick dairy is it. I think it's milky. It's supposed to have eggs in it. I don't know what I don't know but it you know it's basically like Turkey heavy cream. Yeah I know that when you make it at home there's exiled but the dominant one. It's satisfying yeah. I appreciate it. Albacore back on it after. I have dry sample. Let's talk about your good enough meal. Okay so unless you brand new to the show. Oh you know that I have five month. Old Twins. Life has been intense and I've been making a lot of dinners. That are a good enough. They're not great they aren't you know something necessarily to write home about but I'm feeling very satisfied with. It's just good good enough. It's not perfect and you can go an example yes. So for instance last night I was making roasted potatoes and roasted cauliflower. The Flower and chicken I had some chicken breasts and a previous version of me would have put the potatoes on one baking sheet and put the cauliflower another baking sheet and unlike done some really Nice pan-fried treatments to the chicken breasts to make it all kind of make each element as good as it could be before combining them instead out of simply cooked. Yes and so the good enough version of me that exists in this current day and age. Cut It all up. Put It on a giant. Baking sheet added. added all the leftover herbs from Thanksgiving so like I had some sprigs of time in some Rosemary and sage poor a healthy glove olive oil on it. Salt and pepper tossed it together and roasted everything together. Now what does this yield. You may ask. It yields own array of components. None of which are perfect. But couldn't we ran this as a sheet Japan dinner though you could. But they're still like it's you know. No element is achieving. Its highest aspiration. You know the potatoes. Don't really get any crust. The cauliflower was fine. The chicken gets a little dried out. What regret I was using breasts? Because that's what's got likes but here's the thing. It was good enough because I could use more of that. You know because the the options were either throw everything on a sheet pan and bake it or call for Chinese food and I had the ingredients. I didn't want to eat some. You know greasy chicken and you know string beans thing doesn't make you feel good uh-huh and and also it made enough that they're leftovers that I think with the addition of like I do is reheat some and put it on a pile of baby rubella and call it sort of a warm dinner salad and be very satisfied with it you ever feel. This is when I make something is maybe just kind of good enough satisfactory. Like I think that when I eat leftover almost like it more because and that I go round I'm comparing it to the effort involved in making it and it doesn't compare that favorably reheat it. It's just food that you have there. Yeah and somehow I appreciate it more. Yeah I'll I never not appreciate leftovers. people disagree agreed with US really a lot of people hate leftovers since Jila Mike moved back from Farmville. I have learned that Mike hates leftovers. Really so strange to me. So much etched food is better the second day on instagram and the other social. Media's I see people crying about leftovers and stuff and with the meal kits. That's usually a selling point no leftovers. I'm like leftover. Yeah I don't I never want to invest the time to cook something and not have at least lunch the next day. I'm with you but yeah I I'm just I'm just pointing out something. That seems very obvious to us. Like selling point is other people are not. I mean I can understand that and it's funny I have a a friend in Chicago Who May or may not be listening to this? PODCAST but She she is a relative that she's told me about once before who they yeah. They don't like leftovers. They have to have a fresh meal every night. And like what do you do with leftovers. And she said they just throw them away and like how do you like leftovers are like gold gold their gold money especially when you. That's responsible for cooking all the time. I can almost but not quite understand how you might have that point of view if you are not the person cooking. Yeah but as the person cooking like I hate it when I don't have leftovers and almost cheated because then you have to do it again right away but I mean in this. I'm just saying in this case you might find yourself feeling better about the good enough meal because yeah now it's prepared food. Hey I I am just grateful that you know I'll have to do tonight. Right is add some vegetables as you're adding element with yeah sometimes use it up exactly. I'M GONNA literally. This is what I'm going to do with these leftovers. I'm going to heat them up in my a crazy. Fancy microwave that we haven't talked about yet but It's coming soon. Yeah coming soon and then I'm going to put a handful of baby rubella in a a flat bowl I'm GonNa pour my microwave leftovers on top. I might add a little vinaigrette. Just to Kinda add some moisture and that is going to be dinner and Arab Unlike something you'd get it sweet green green exactly and it's going to be good enough totally good enough. I had a thing over the summer where I had all these extra eggplants and red peppers laying around So I- roasted hosted them and then I added some tomatoes and like I toured chopped chopped it very roughly and it became like this tomato sauce. Slash Ragu yeah situation than I was not a super crazy about but it was like good enough. Yeah too good to throw away so I put it in all these little one cup containers and stuck it in the freezer and A couple of days ago. Oh I need it lunch kind of in a hurry so I- defrosted it. I made some pasta and I mixed it with some leftover cashew cream from Thanksgiving and I was so happy I was like this is actually really great. Well and I think that what the the topic that we're kind of skirting around here is not every meal needs to be. You know five star. Yeah Culinary adventure that we we put so much pressure on ourselves that everything has to be great all the time. Sometimes it's good enough just to have cooked something to have warmed. Usually yeah and that we need to take a lot of the pressure off of ourselves and make it okay to you know. Have a meal or three that are just fine. Sometimes I feel guilty about something coming like salad and potatoes which you know is like almost every week thing because it's so like repetitive. And so good though ring we always love it always love. There's really nothing better than like roasted potatoes. I in my opinion now I love her as to potato and they are very simple so yeah it does helped cut yourself a a break. It can be hard to do in the world of Blake Dazzling instagram. Dinners and like all the food magazines and especially you and I I feel certain connection to our identity is like home cooking like well and I mean. Don't even get me started. This is a topic could open a whole nother can of words worms about all the Christmas cookie packages that are coming out right now in the various news papers wherever cookie has to be extraordinary. Let's do a cookie segment on a WH- whoa yeah anyway. I was just mentally calculator episodes till Christmas. Time very here but I just want to say it's okay to have good enough Christmas cookies like a sugar cookie with some sprinkles sprinkles on it. It's still fine right right. Well you know you have to have something for the photographs. Yeah if your food publication. I must feel like when you do like food. E Book a little cookbook. That's like good enough food. Yeah like food that you will really cook. Yeah and really eat exactly and I'm very sexy. It's not but did you specialize in unmarketable but useful. Yes and photographing photograph food that is satisfying satisfying and easy to make. Oh we could go on and on but we won't let me tell you about an extremely unqoute will tell me. I'm Popular Opinion Union than I have here in our loving segment. Are you ready him right. Up everybody out there sit down. Don't throw stuff at your phones or your computer or whatever but I am in two truffle oil right now. Nothing wrong with that super reviled ingredient. And I'll tell you how this happened. I was interviewing Rachel Klein who was like a genius Vegan. Shafiul the Greater Philadelphia Area for Thanksgiving Story. I was writing about how to throw a Vegan thanksgiving and she uses just touch truffle oil in her mushroom gravy. Yeah and I said I was like trefoil. Don't people hate that. She's like no people love it. You just just use a little bit like started hated because it was being abused you know like a time the tiniest drop of trail in something like gives it a real depth the flavor of wonderful complex aroma. You know you don't WanNa be like it's something that you use like an eyedropper and not by like a teaspoon you know. Yeah it does when you're not eating meat it really does give a sense of like Urfi News and Mommy and to me. There's almost like a cheesiness about about it so I have been using it in things like in my gravy I I will probably put a couple drops in my mushroom risotto tonight And it's just we have talked in the past on this. PODCAST truffle. Salt yeah which seems more socially early acceptable. Somehow I think I don't think that there's anything wrong with trefoil. It's just that over the years. It was so abused in. I remember going to It's gotta be like eight or nine years ago go into a restaurant and ordering something and it was so overwhelmingly doused and triple oil to the point where it's like you couldn't it. It blew out your pal. Couldn't taste anything about the truffle oil. You can smell anything and it became really unpleasant but I think in that situation it was it was kind. You've portioned by the tablespoon. What you want is like more of a like not like what is that? Yeah action not like a trefoil royal reaction. Yeah if you can tell the Oil Too much has been used right eyedropper not teaspoon so you're feeling subversive go buy yourself a bottle and see what I mean. I think I think the problem started when people started making truffle popcorn. Did you ever get served triple popcorn over. Probably like it became one of these things like a free starter at certain restaurants or like Little Moose Bouche and people expect popcorn to kind of be buttery and so the trefoil would stand in for the butter and then it was too to much right right. Well nothing will ever take the place of our what we're loving from a couple of episodes ago nutritionally popcorns. BFF Right. That's right for other things. I will have a drop or two of truffle oil now. I think it's you know. I think it's great. Come at me in the comments for the show notes and tell me how wrong I am and how much you hate it but if you take if you take this piece of advice give yourself opportunity like it. I want to hear about that too. All right. I think that's it for this episode of local mouthful. Our thanks go out to Dan. Call for editing. The show to Saul Rosenbaum for designing our logo and terrain arose for providing the music. And thank you for listening if you like what you hear. Make sure to subscribe describe the itunes or your favorite podcast APP. Follow us on facebook twitter and Instagram at local mouthful sign up for our newsletter catch up on past episodes and check out our show notes at local mouthful dot com until next time happy eating.