The food thread

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Cleaning kale seeds today brought me back to ‘the good ol’ days’ ! :p


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Joined 2019
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I give them away to friends and family, drop the rest at the food bank distribution place, and of course use some for fall and spring …….doesn’t cost me anything but some dollar store envelopes.
You want some? It’s Ethiopian kale (Abysinnian mustard) very mild mustard/collard green flavor……also makes a great raw salad. I can mail some in a letter for anyone who wants to try (its easy to grow) just PM your mailing address.
Sweet and spicy mango pickles...

The unripe mangoes were washed, chopped, dried, coated with spices and jaggery, and left to dry for a couple of days, then coated with boiled and cooled corn oil.
There were two varieties of mango, so the left and center jar have two slightly different pickles.
The right side jar is a sweet preserve of shredded raw mangoes.

The pictures are not in sequence, sorry about that.



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Joined 2011
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Seeking meatball recipe advice. Application is spaghetti and meatballs with tomato sauce.

1. Ricotta cheese in the meatballs, yes or no?

2. Cubed bread in your meatball panade? Or dried breadcrumbs?

Seeking input especially from inhabitants of the land of Amerigo Vespucci (Italy) or the land of Tony Soprano (New Jersey). Thank you!
Joined 2011
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Half ground beef, half ground pork is common around here.
Regrettably, around here, ground beef is 80% lean + 20% fat, but ground pork is 92% lean + 8% fat. So meatball cooks are forced to employ --- ugh --- algebra to calculate how much extra fat to add in order to achieve an 80-20 blend for the entire mix. You can imagine how terrible everyone feels about this ugly development.
I don’t add cheese to my balls. I don’t use a panade. I don’t use egg. What I do is to add my seasoning to liquid for at least an hour before mixing with the meat. This works best if you grind your own. Store bought ground is a bit too moist to begin with and you don’t control the coarseness. I like to use a combo of fine and medium grinds.
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Cooking time for spaghetti sauce around here is a minimum of 8 hours, of course at low heat once it begins to boil. Some folks actually use domestic “pear shaped” tomatoes, many stick to the Italian imports. I have even heard very nasty rumors some may use beefsteak tomatoes!

Even supermarket butchers around here can provide ground meat to your preference. A very few shops in town can accept your orders in Italian. Some in Yiddish, (called Jewish by a few folks), others in German, Arabic and even a few are fluent in English. (Almost forgot Polish in one great deli!)

When I used to walk to high school I would pass four butcher shops. Today the same route is down to one who was not around then.

There is not a stand alone butcher shop within walking distance of where I live, but there is a very nice one a few blocks from where I work. The better butcher shops (expensive) will deliver.
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Joined 2019
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Well y’all can do it wrong if need be ;)

My second family growing up was Sicilian and Nonna taught me to make meatballs at a early age, seeing as this woman barely spoke english i’m gonna roll with her version :)

she did always complain about the lack of pine nuts in the stores, and always used Cento San Marzano canned tomatoes. I’ve grown Marzano tomatoes just about every year but supposedly its like the vidalia onion…..if it isnt grown in the Campania region its not the same. The ones i’ve grown are still better than a regular roma……..i’ll get some pics of my plants later.
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I'm thinking about trying this YouTube video recipe. Its panade uses cubed bread, not breadcrumbs. He puts ricotta cheese in the balls. And egg, as a binding agent. No he's not from Naples or New Jersey. Lawn Guy Land, as his accent profoundly demonstrates.

  • For The Meatballs:
  • 4 slices white bread - ends removed, then cubed
  • 1 cup (120g) ricotta
  • 1 pound (454g) ground chuck
  • 1 pound (454g) ground pork
  • 1 cup (100g) Pecorino Romano cheese - grated
  • (1/2) cup flat-leaf Italian parsley - minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cloves garlic, ground into paste
  • 1+(1/2) teaspoons kosher salt
  • (1/2) teaspoon black pepper