Stacy Zarin Goldberg
THE WASHINGTON POST – The Washington Post Food staff recently answered questions about all things edible. Here are edited excerpts from that chat.
Q: I have about 14 fluid ounces of heavy whipping cream that I bought on a whim. Do you have any suggestions for pasta sauces it could be used in? Or other vegetarian lunches or dinners? I know it’s more of a dessert thing, but I don’t cook desserts often.
A: Biscuits! – Kari Sonde (KS)
Q: I really want to like hummus and because it’s so high in fibre. However, while I don’t dislike it, I don’t particularly like it either. I just find it kind of boring. Do you have suggestions for either a store-bought hummus that does a good job of adding flavour?
A: Drizzle it with really good extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with excellent za’atar, smoked paprika or sumac. – Joe Yonan (JY)
Q: So I have half a bag of glutinous rice and would like to know what else I can do besides sticky rice and rice pudding. I am thinking about onigiri, perhaps horchata, but what else is out there? Is it possible to ferment?
A: So many ways to use it up… onigiri is a great idea. Another thing you can do is make make poke bowls with it. You can make congee with it. – Olga Massov (OM)
Q: I remember reading that Parmesan rinds can be used to make something, but can’t remember what. Can you help?
A: Throw them into soup! They’ll infuse flavour into the broth. – KS
A: Agree with Kari! Adding them to soup will give your liquid so much flavour! I also throw them into a pot of simmering chickpeas and save the broth to build a simple eggy soup topped with Parm. – OM
Q: I tried to start a sourdough starter that came in a sealed envelope. I threw it out when it grew mold. My house is kept in the high 60s during the winter – would that have caused the failure?
A: That is doubtful – my house is in the high 60s right around now and my sourdough starter is thriving. Could be that the jar you used wasn’t clean enough when you started. Or that the jar wasn’t covered properly. You can even start you own starter with nothing more than flour, water and time. – OM
Q: I have just discovered Parmesan crisps, which are now my favourite one-ingredient snack that isn’t a fruit or vegetable. The recipes I looked at online say to put spoonfuls of Parm on a baking sheet that is covered by silicone or parchment paper and cook at 400 degrees for five minutes. Do you agree? Will any Parm do? Have you tried this with other cheeses, like Swiss and cheddar, and was the result similarly delicious?
A: It’s really that simple! It can actually be done in a non-stick skillet, too! I’ve used Gruyere and Parm, and both were great. – JY
Q: I absolutely love eggs, in any form, and believe they make almost all dishes better. I also rely on them pretty heavily for nutritional value as an active person and most-of-the-time-vegetarian. That being said I’m just not sure what to buy! They’ve all got 10 different descriptor words that all seem to mean very specific things about how the chickens were raised/eggs were laid and treated- and those lead to wildly difference results in quality. Anyway, I’d just like to stay on the side of environmentally conscious and ethically sourced products (happy to spend more), and high quality. If it makes any difference my go to is a 6.5 minute boiled egg. Any advice on words or brands etc?
A: I agree with you! Eggs make just about everything better! If money is no object and you prize quality (and animal welfare) above all else, consider getting your eggs from a trusted farmer at your local farmers market. – OM
Q: What do you guys prefer to eat for dinner when you have nothing in the house and the thought of cooking something is just more effort than you feel like putting in? Do you open a can of soup? Make a boxed mac and cheese? Order out (where and what)?
A: Sometimes I’ll make a spicy pasta dish that a roommate of mine used to make for us when we got home from our respective restaurant shifts, sometimes I’ll make boxed mac, sometimes I’ll get pho. Sometimes I’m very kind to myself and have frozen pierogis already ready to boil. Sometimes I’ll just fry up a bunch of chickpeas and eat that. – KS.