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Food

Vintage Recipes with Dorothy Dean

From 1935 to 1983, Dorothy Dean was the face of The Spokesman-Review's Home Economics department, publishing recipes, operating a test kitchen and fielding thousands of telephone calls from cooks.

Each week we re-publish some classic recipes from our archives. If you'd like to contact our food writer, contact us at food@spokesman.com

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A&E >  Food

Cooking at a vacation rental? Here are 6 tips for success

For home cooks, vacation rentals are full of booby traps. Dull knives that make dicing an onion a dicey proposition. Warped and scorched pots. Ancient electric stoves with inconsistent or puny burners. If you’re cooking away from home, you might feel unmoored even before you consider shopping on unfamiliar terrain.
A&E >  Food

How to make vegan pub sliders that satisfy

I'm not going to apologize for liking an Impossible or Beyond burger every now and then. Sometimes I feel like I should, given the criticism they face for being highly processed, not focused on recognizable vegetables, etc. (Cue the self-righteous, "gotcha!" commenters with their tired "Why would vegetarians and vegans want something that reminds them of meat?" questions.)Instead, I want to focus on how easy they can be to cook and what a boon they can be to plant-based eaters like me who, yes, enjoy the taste and texture of a well-made hamburger but don't want it to be made of animals.America's Test Kitchen has jumped, ideology-free, into the fray with a book on the best practices for cooking plant-based meats such as these patties.As much as I love grilling, I'm more likely on any given weeknight to be firing these up in a skillet on my stovetop, in a kitchen where the air conditioning is strong. So I was drawn to a recipe in "Cooking With Plant-Based Meat" that turns 12 ounces of the ground variety into eight sliders - just the thing for a get-together with friends (or for multiple meals with my husband).The recipe includes a few smart tricks: using a glass pie plate or dish and parchment paper to press the patties into neat 3-inch rounds; chilling them first so they are easy to maneuver and hold up better; pressing chopped onions onto one side to char as the burger cooks; and adding steam to soften the buns and to help melt the vegan cheese.With their sweet-and-sour sauce, the diminutive burgers reminded me of those little darlings from White Castle, but without the same impacts - to the environment and to animals - of meat. Win-win-win.- - -Vegan Pub Sliders35 minutes4 to 8 servingsFor best results, use a block of ground plant-based meat by Impossible Foods or Beyond Meat rather than patties. Note that in testing, we preferred these with brioche-style slider buns; sweet Hawaiian-style rolls competed with the slightly sweet/sour sauce. Serve one slider per guest as an appetizer or two as a main.Make Ahead: The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 4 days before you cook and assemble the sliders.Storage Notes: Refrigerate for up to 3 days and microwave to reheat.INGREDIENTSFOR THE SAUCE2 tablespoons plant-based mayonnaise1 tablespoon ketchup1 teaspoon sweet pickle relish1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar1/2 teaspoon white vinegar1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepperFOR THE SLIDERS12 ounces plant-based ground meat, such as Impossible Foods or Beyond Meat1/4 teaspoon fine salt1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper8 slider hamburger buns4 slices plant-based cheese, such as Violife cheddar slices4 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided1/4 cup finely chopped yellow or white onion, divided1/4 cup water, dividedDIRECTIONSMake the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, sugar, vinegar and pepper.Make the sliders: Fold a sheet of parchment paper in half, then unfold it. Using your moistened hands, pinch off and roll the ground meat into 8 balls (1 1/2 ounces each). Put one ball on one side of the parchment paper, fold the other side over, and use a clear pie plate or baking dish to press the ball into an even 3-inch-wide patty. (Using something made of glass helps you see the size of the patty as you're pressing.) Transfer to a platter or a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining balls. Sprinkle the patties with salt and pepper and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes and up to 24 hours.Divide the sauce evenly among the bun bottoms and arrange them on a serving platter. Stack the cheese and cut it into quarters (for 16 pieces).In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil until just smoking. Using a spatula, transfer four patties to the skillet. Sprinkle a total of 2 tablespoons of the onion over the tops of the patties and press firmly into the patties with the back of the spatula. Cook the patties until well browned on the first side, about 1 minute. Flip the patties and top each with 2 pieces of cheese and add the bun tops. Add 2 tablespoons of water to the skillet beside the patties (being careful to not wet the buns), cover, and cook until the cheese is melted, 90 seconds.Transfer the sliders to the prepared bun bottoms, tent with aluminum foil, and set aside while cooking the remaining patties. Repeat with the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil, 4 patties, 2 tablespoons of onion, bun tops and 2 tablespoons of water. Serve warm.Nutrition information per serving (1 slider), based on 8 | Calories: 168; Total Fat: 9 g; Saturated Fat: 2 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 486 mg; Carbohydrates: 17 g; Dietary Fiber: 2 g; Sugar: 3 g; Protein: 9 gThis analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian's or nutritionist's advice.Adapted from "Cooking With Plant-Based Meat" by America's Test Kitchen (2022).
A&E >  Food

What is corn syrup, and how should you use it? Your questions, answered.

Corn syrup manages the unlikely feat of being one of the most valuable and most misunderstood ingredients in the kitchen. It can do a lot that regular granulated sugar can't, plus improve both the appearance and texture of baked goods and confections.Here's what you need to know about this baking staple.Q: What is corn syrup?A: Corn syrup is a liquid sweetener. It is made primarily of glucose, a simple sugar "and the most common sugar from which living cells directly extract chemical energy," says Harold McGee in "On Food and Cooking." Based on a method first developed in the mid-19th century, corn syrup is formed when starch molecules from corn are treated with acid or enzymes, which today typically come from molds, McGee says. This process breaks down the starch into glucose chains of various lengths, forming a syrup. Shorter glucose fragments lend corn syrup sweetness and longer ones its characteristic viscous texture. (In Europe, the starch of choice is more often wheat or potato, and the resulting product is called glucose or glucose syrup.) The syrup is "then clarified, decolorized, and evaporated to the desired concentration," McGee says.Corn syrup is typically sold in light and dark versions. Light corn syrup is flavored with salt and vanilla, while molasses and caramel flavor and color are added to dark, says Lauren Chattman in "The Baking Answer Book."It will keep indefinitely opened or unopened at room temperature, according to "The New Food Lover's Companion" by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. You can also refrigerate it, but the syrup will thicken over time.Q: Is it the same as high-fructose corn syrup?A: No. High-fructose corn syrup is corn syrup that has been further treated with enzymes to break down some of the glucose into another common sugar, fructose. Fructose "is the sweetest of the common sugars," McGee says, which makes high-fructose sweeter than regular corn syrup. Unlike corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup is not sold on the shelves to home cooks.In "BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts," Stella Parks laments the fact that corn syrup "gets a bad rap because of its evil twin." The insidious issue with high-fructose corn syrup, which is about as sweet as table sugar but cheaper, is that it is often used in processed foods "where you'd least expect it," Parks says, contributing to the consumption of more added sugars than people may realize.Q: How does corn syrup compare to table sugar?A: Corn syrup is 30 to 50% as sweet as table, or granulated, sugar, McGee says. (High-fructose is 80 to 90%.) I'm often contacted by readers tripped up by its inclusion in a recipe, so it's important to keep in mind that as with any other type of sugar in a recipe, corn syrup is doing more than just providing sweet flavor. And when it does lend sweetness, it will be less cloying than a similar amount of granulated sugar.Q: Why should I use corn syrup?A: Like butter, cream of tartar or citric acid, corn syrup is an "interfering agent" that helps prevent crystallization, Rose Levy Beranbaum says in "The Baking Bible."This ability is especially valuable in candy-making, McGee says, because the long, tangly glucose strands slow down the movement of sugar and water molecules and keep sucrose crystals from binding to each other, which would otherwise lead to a grainy, solidified texture. That's why you'll often find recipes for caramel or other confections (such as marshmallows) that call for corn syrup. Similarly, corn syrup helps make ice creams and sorbets smooth and creamy, because it interferes with the formation of ice crystals much as it does with sugar. My go-to ice cream recipes from Jeni Britton Bauer, of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, use corn syrup.As little as a tablespoon of corn syrup can lend glossy sheen to a chocolate ganache, as well as buttercream or other icings, Shirley Corriher writes in "BakeWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking." Corriher also cites the wisdom of Monroe Boston Strause, an early 20th-century pie maker and innovator who employed corn syrup in crumb crusts to keep them easy to cut. In "CookWise: The Secrets of Cooking Revealed," Corriher says that a tablespoon added to a batch of cookie dough can enhance browning and encourage a crisp exterior.The glucose in corn syrup binds water well, helping prevent moisture loss and extending the shelf life of baked goods "without the cloying sweetness" of honey or other sugar syrups, McGee says.Corn syrup is acidic, McGee explains, so when it reacts with baking soda, the resulting carbon dioxide can contribute to the rise of baked goods when it inflates the air pockets already in a dough or batter.Q: What can I substitute for corn syrup?A: As with many baking recipes, you will get the most consistent results by using the ingredients tested by the developer. Because of its specific makeup and function, corn syrup can be hard to replace without having unintended consequences, but there are a few options that can get the job done in a pinch.The best swap would be the nearly identical glucose syrup. Granted, it's not readily available on grocery store shelves, at least in the United States.Cook's Illustrated did tests with recipes for chocolate frosting and glazed chicken to evaluate brown rice syrup as a corn syrup substitute. Brown rice syrup has roughly the same level of sweetness as corn syrup (about half as sweet as sugar), though it skews thicker and has a "pronounced cereal aroma," the magazine says. That being said, brown rice syrup performed similarly in the two recipes, though that may not be the case where there aren't as many other flavors to mask its stronger presence. Moreover, brown rice syrup is more expensive per ounce than corn syrup.Beranbaum notes that you can use Lyle's Golden Syrup interchangeably with corn syrup. Keep in mind that golden syrup is thicker and sweeter than corn syrup. For minimal amounts, you may be able to get away with honey. Otherwise, it's not an ideal substitute, as honey is about 25 to 50% sweeter than sugar, while corn syrup is much less so.Light and dark corn syrup can be substituted for one another, Chattman says, as long as you take into account the richer color and more molasses flavor of dark corn syrup.
A&E >  Food

Dining like a local in New Orleans: Check your sneakers at the door

UPDATED: Mon., June 20, 2022

It was not until I arrived at Cafe Du Monde that I realized you now have to stand in line to get your beignets and coffee with chicory. The beignet – a puffy, fried doughnut swimming in powdered sugar – has been a New Orleans tradition since the city was French. Cutting Colombian coffee with chicory (a locally available plant) has been a New Orleans practice since the Union blockade during the Civil War made it a necessity.
A&E >  Food

For Juneteenth, this hibiscus red drink is steeped in history

Food and drink play an essential role in independence celebrations the world over. For many Black Americans, Independence Day is celebrated on June 19, or "Juneteenth" - the day in 1865 when residents of Galveston, Texas, learned that slavery in the United States had been abolished, two months after the end of the Civil War and 2 1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Today's Juneteenth celebrations take place everywhere: backyards, parks, as well as at large festivals and parades. And Congress finally got in on the action last year, declaring Juneteenth a federal holiday.Juneteenth gatherings customarily feature red foods, which are used to symbolize resilience and joy. Delectable strawberry pie, barbecue, red rice, watermelon, hot sauce, red velvet cake and red sausages on the grill are all abundant. But no celebration would ever be complete without Red Drink.This beloved drink is a modern take on traditional African hibiscus ginger tea, and is often said to revitalize the mind, body and soul. In fact, the color red is often associated with ancestral reverence in West African traditions. This ubiquitous elixir remains popular as it links our present to our past through food memories.Red Drink is known by many names throughout Africa, and the Diaspora: bissap in Senegal, sorrel in the Caribbean, rosella in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East, karkade in Egypt, agua fresca de jamaica in Central America, and vinagreira in Brazil.Hibiscus plants, along with other native African botanicals such as ginger and spices, were transported alongside human cargo in the transatlantic slave trade. Throughout enslavement in the Americas, Red Drink was seen as a healing beverage used to cool overheated bodies working on plantations. Hibiscus was also highly prized at that time for its ability to relieve sudden pain, reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure exacerbated by stressful conditions. Combined with the warmth of ginger and the pluckiness of traditional African spices, the bitter and sweet flavors of Red Drink were a liquid love letter in remembrance of a distant homeland. If you've ever tasted a "zinger" tea, that's it - you've tasted West Africa.Over the last 10 years or so, traditional hibiscus iced teas have been gaining in popularity. This is largely an effect of Jamaican restaurants popularizing sorrel, and thereby returning this healthful beverage to many people of African descent living all over North America. This shift is also seen as a form of resistance to food deserts and the food industry's history of marketing unhealthful drinks - such as Kool-Aid, "Quarter Water," Chubby Reggae Red Soda, Hawaiian Punch and similar sweet, red-dyed drinks - to the Black community. (Why did the Kool-Aid Man have to sound like Louis Armstrong?)Choosing hibiscus teas over artificial, syrupy, preservation-laden knockoffs is an easy sell. The attractive ruby jewel-tone of Red Drink is dazzling. When sweetened with agave or raw sugar, its crisp tartness shines through, making it the perfect palate-cleansing complement to rich cookout spreads.A quick word of caution: Hibiscus flowers were traditionally used to dye fabrics - and they still works! So protect those light-colored fabrics and surfaces.We can all incorporate this delicious sip of soul food into our next summer gathering. It's a refreshing way to celebrate and reflect on the day when all Americans knew they were finally free.- - -Sunyatta Amen is a fifth-generation master herbalist and the owner of Calabash Tea & Tonic in Washington.- - -Sorrel (Caribbean Red Drink)Active time: 20 minutesTotal time: 1 hour 40 minutes, including 15 minutes steeping and 1 hour cooling time8 to 12 servings (makes 1 gallon)Red Drink or Sorrel is a traditional tart, sweet and gingery beverage served on Juneteenth. It is made with the roselle hibiscus flower, which is typically cultivated not for its beauty, but for its tart, cranberry-like flavor. This is not the same as the large-flowered variety found in many gardens. D.C. herbalist Sunyatta Amen, who created this recipe, recommends whole spices, with some dried options, but cautions not to use powdered versions of these ingredients. To sweeten, she says to avoid honey, which can dominate, but instead use raw cane juice, turbinado raw sugar or agave. Always stir well before serving. "We garnish with a sprig of gently rubbed mojito mint or African Blue Basil [which you can find in gardens or gardening shops] leaves to honor the ancestors that have gone before us," she said. The spicy drink can be served hot or cold.Storage Notes: Refrigerate for up to 1 week.Where to Buy: Roselle hibiscus flowers can be found at tea shops, in Asian, Caribbean, Latin and health food markets, and online. African Blue Basil leaves can be found in home gardens or gardening shops.INGREDIENTS1 gallon water1/2 cup (about 1 ounce) dried roselle hibiscus flowers, cut or whole, or 1 cup fresh roselle flowers6 whole allspice, folded in parchment paper and gently crushed by tapping with a heavy bottle or knife handle5 whole cloves3 green cardamom pods, folded in parchment paper and gently crushed by tapping with a heavy bottle or knife handle1/4 teaspoon green cardamom seeds1 whole star anise, broken, or 11 whole fennel seedsOne (1/2-inch) cinnamon stick2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger or 1/4 teaspoon dried ginger1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns1/4 teaspoon whole coriander seedsDash of crushed red pepper flakesFresh raw cane juice, turbinado raw sugar or agave, optional, to tasteFresh mint sprigs, preferably mojito or fresh basil leaves, preferably African Blue Basil or Thai, to serve (optional)DIRECTIONSIn a large pot over high heat, bring the water to a vigorous boil. Add the hibiscus flowers, allspice, cloves, cardamom pods and seeds, star anise, cinnamon, ginger, peppercorns, coriander and pepper flakes. Stir and bring back to a rolling boil for 15 minutes. The liquid will reduce a bit.Remove from the heat, cover and let steep for at least 15 and up to 30 minutes. The longer the drink steeps, the deeper red and more flavorful it will become. Stir well and strain the drink through a fine-mesh sieve into a 1-gallon pitcher.While the drink is still warm, add fresh raw cane juice, turbinado raw sugar or agave, if using, to taste, stirring until it is well blended or dissolved. (The amount of sweetener will vary depending on the type and your taste; Start with a little and taste until it's to your liking.)Refrigerate until well chilled, if serving cold, at least 1 hour. Stir well before serving, and pour into ice-filled Mason jars or glasses. Garnish with mint sprigs, basil or African Blue Basil, if using. The drink also can be served hot, if preferred.Ingredients are too variable for a meaningful analysis.From herbalist Sunyatta Amen, owner of Calabash Tea & Tonic in Washington, D.C.
A&E >  Food

In the Garden: Spokane in Bloom garden tour

UPDATED: Tue., June 14, 2022

Walking through other people’s gardens is one of the best ways to discover great design concepts and new plants. It’s always a good idea to accomplish this by going on a garden tour since you will be welcomed with open arms during your visit.
A&E >  Food

30 Idaho breweries won medals at NABA Beer Awards. Boise got 2 of the state’s 8 golds

Idaho breweries piled up a mountain of medals at last weekend’s NABA International Beer Awards. We’re talking 30, including eight golds. Boise should celebrate. But be sure to raise a toast to the rest of the Treasure Valley and state. This year’s awards were a proud fist-pound on the bar for all of Idaho. Technically, only two of the eight gold-medal recipes were concocted inside Boise city ...
A&E >  Food

A creamy guilty pleasure: milkshakes

With summer around the corner, I’ve once again started spending a little more time than usual thinking about desserts and, in particular, milkshakes. Luckily, several local haunts have exactly what I’m looking for, and then some. The Scoop offers a frequently updated list of ice creams.
A&E >  Food

Arby’s new burger is a big, beautiful and beefy blunder

In Arby's 58-year history, the fast food chain known for its sliced roast beef has never served a burger on its menu. So, this is kind of a big deal, and after so much scrambling among the big chains on the chicken sandwich side of the menu, a little action in the burger-sphere is welcome.