Friday, April 10, 2009

Ask Eat With Me

Naturally Dyed Eggs Image Source

Wishing everyone a Happy Passover & Happy Easter.

This past week I received a few questions that I thought I would answer here on the homepage of Eat With Me.
Catherine asked...

I am looking for the perfect Easter dinner menu...Which is your personal favorite--ham or lamb? And what appeals to you in the way of dessert? A wine suggestion would also be most welcome.
I have to say, I don't remember Easter dinner in my family. I know I spent time with my grandparents and would often dye eggs with my grandmother. She always had dozens and dozens of eggs. Lots of fun! But I don't remember the food.

As an adult, I tend to make the same Easter dinner and will be doing so this Sunday. I am a ham person; I'm not fond of lamb. So I will be doing a glazed ham and rosemary parmesan au gratin potatoes. I usually also serve an orange fennel salad, which pairs very nicely with the rich ham and potato dishes.

I'm not sure about wine, but with the ham, I might try a Beaujolais or Pinot Noir for red or an extra dry Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc for the whites. Catherine, I hope this helps.
Megan asked...

So I've been reading your blog for almost a year now, and I don't think I have ever commented. I was wondering where you are from originally because I have a huge debate with a friend of mine over Chicken and Dumplings. I grew up primarily in WV, but my mom always made what I now know to be considered Yankee Dumplings - Who knew right? Southern Dumplings are much denser etc. At least according to my friend, and what I've read online. Your first dumplings pictures looks like southern dumplins but the new one looks similar to mine, but I make mine very very differently. (I think mine are probably easier to make).
My response to Megan: I am originally from Wisconsin. I never had Chicken & Dumplins like this back home. My grandmother made Chicken & Dumpling soup, which is delicious, but those dumplings are more dense and firm, made with flour & eggs. These are very light, made with flour and butter.

Megan followed up with her own recipe for dumplins and you can find it in the comment section here. Thanks!
SteRfanie asked...

Hey -- I have 2 questions for you.

1. When a recipe calls for a "dry white wine," what does that mean? What are some examples of what I could use?

2. I've gotten a few new pans recently -- what is the difference in how would you use a stainless frying pan vs. non-stick? What is each one better for, or are they interchangable?
And my response: Dry is not sweet or soft/floral wines...sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio are the best. chardonnays can work. I would stay away from rieslings, gewerts, chenin blancs, viognier, those sweeter wines reduce during the cooking process and they become too sweet. As most chefs will tell you, if you're not willing to drink the wine because it has gone bad, don't cook with it.

For the pans, it really depends on what you're cooking. If you plan on making a pan sauce, the non-stick doesn't work as well. I use my two skillets almost interchangablly, so it really doesn't can still get good results. Non-stick is good for more delicate things...eggs, fish, veggies. I like to make my skillet potatoes in the non-stick, I can get a better crust on them and they don't fall apart. The stainless for hearty cuts of meat that can take the abuse from the heat and things that you want to get a solid sear/crust on, and again, if you're planning a pan sauce, the stainless still will hold onto bits of the meat. All those little bits that stick to the pan (called fond), those can dissolve into the liquid (wine/broth) of your sauce enhancing the flavors.

Hope this helps, pans aren't really an area of expertise for me. But the two that I have work well for my needs. Also, if you're buying pans, buy something that is oven safe, so no plastic or heat proof handles. With an oven-safe pan, you can make start something on the stove top and move it to the oven to finish cooking. This is great for braises and egg dishes like frittatas.

Thanks for the questions, keep them coming and I'll answer when I have the time.


Stef said...

Thank you!!! You are such a great resource for all of us who are still learning. :-)

The Kara said...

I love the question and answer blog post! Happy Easter, Scott!