Traditional recipes

Discussing 'A Place at the Table' — Part 1

Discussing 'A Place at the Table' — Part 1

Most Americans don't realize the staggering reality of hunger of in our own country. More than 50 million Americans are food insecure. One in two children will at some point be on food assistance. Due to health care costs related to hunger issues and other problems, the true cost of hunger every year is $167 billion.

A new documentary, A Place at the Table, looks at the issues in our country that are contrubuting to the growth in hunger, such as unbalanced food subsidies, food deserts, and a food assistance program that often hurts as much as it helps.

We had the opportunity to speak with directors Lori Silverbush and Kristi Jacobson along with executive producer Tom Colicchio. In part one of our discussion, we delve into why the film was so necessary and how the film addresses the complexity of the issue.

Look out for part two of our interview tomorrow along with a full written interview from our Eat/Dine editor Dan Myers.

There are 15 crafting skills in Shroud of the Avatar. They are divided up into three categories:

  • Gathering skills collect resources from the game world and provide materials for crafting.
  • Refining skills take raw materials and refine them into components ready for assembly with production skills.
  • Production skills take raw and refined materials and make usable items such as furniture, decorations, armor, weapons, etc.

Gathering skills

Refining skills

Production skills

What Type of Pork Ribs to Buy

There are three main types of pork ribs Spare ribs, St. Louis-style Ribs and Baby Back Ribs. There are two other cuts that are less common for smoking, and those are Country Style Pork Ribs and Flanked Short Ribs.

For this smoked ribs recipe, we’re going with St. Louis-style Ribs!

Here’s why I love St. Louis-style ribs: Look at these ribs (below). This is right out of the package. They are beautifully uniform and rectangular with lots of meat and plenty of fat because it is from close to the belly of the animal. The biggest difference between regular spare ribs and St. Louis-style is the St. Louis style is trimmed of the tips or cartilage, so it has a cleaner shape. These spare ribs are ready to go without having to clean them up.

It’s always a good idea to give your ribs a good rinse with cold water just in case there are some bone fragments left on the surface from the butcher. Pat them dry with paper towels after rinsing.

Flemish Stew—What’s the Deal?

I n 2015, to celebrate the 1000th episode of his successful TV cooking show Dagelijkse Kost (“Daily Fare”), popular Leuven-born chef Jeroen Meus held an online public poll to name Belgium’s national dish.

The overwhelming winner was Flemish Stew—in Flemish, Stoofvlees or Stoverij (stoven is the verb to stew). In French-speaking Wallonia, it’s known as Carbonnades Flamandes. Distant runners-up included witloof (Belgian endive) with ham and a cheese sauce, steak and fries with a Béarnaise sauce, and vol-au-vent (puff pastry with chicken filling).

In the days after Meus announced the winner during his show on Eén (a public Flemish TV station, the UK equivalent of which would be BBC One), Belgian supermarket Delhaize sold 10,000 kilograms of stewing beef when on a normal weekend they might sell 4,000 kilograms. Meus appeared a few days later at the start of the famous cycling race Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne to dish out his Flemish Stew to spectators. Here together were the Flemish trinity of cycling, meat, and beer.

“Flemish Stew is comfort food,” says chef and culinary expert Pieter Declercq, formerly of national TV food channel VTM Koken and now owner of Food Studio Coeur De Boef. “Every household has its own recipe. You make it in one big pot and you put it on the table. It’s inexpensive and it’s easy. And you make it with beer, which is probably a reason why it’s so popular.”

A Potatoe Pudding

Should a pudding be sweet or savory? Where do American and British definitions of pudding and pie overlap and diverge? And, most importantly for this post, what place does the potato – or sweet potato – have in pudding and pie recipes?

All of these questions were on my mind a few weeks ago when I first read this recipe for “A Potatoe Pudding” from the Browne manuscript at Penn State. Although the recipe title calls this dish a pudding, I think it also fits the American definition of a pie because it consists of a pastry crust and a creamy potato-based filling. As a sweet dessert, it fits the capacious, British definition of pudding and it is similar in some ways to classic British desserts (such as Bakewell Pudding). It is also reminiscent of American sweet potato and pumpkin pie recipes because it combines mashed vegetables with dairy, sugar, and seasonings.

Pie was on my mind because Christina Riehman-Murphy and I were planning to bake a potato pie for the Folger Shakespeare Library and UCLA Libraries’ Great Library Pie Bake-Off. First, Clara Drummond helped us access images of the recipe book at Eberly Family Special Collections. (They will hopefully be available online soon!) When I read this recipe and I realized that it would be perfect for the event. I collaborated with Christina on interpreting the original recipe and writing an updated version. Christina was the baker representing PSU in the competition and this post includes some of her findings from baking the recipe as well as my own.

The Browne recipe book was compiled in the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century. This recipe for a potato pudding speaks to a moment when European cooks were trying to make sense of where indigenous American ingredients – both sweet and white potatoes and particular cultivars thereof – fit into established cookery traditions. Was is best to include potatoes in sweet dishes or savory ones? How would their gorgeous sweetness and earthy flavors best compliment European ingredients?

(I also baked a Lemon Tart from the Browne manuscript for The Great Rare Books Bakeoff last summer. Stay tuned for details about the 2021 competition!)

Original Recipe

Half a Pound of Butter, a Pound of

Sugar, Four Lemons, juice & Peel mix

these well together & then put one

Pound and a half of Potatoes mashed

to them. – Put a Puff Paste at the

The recipe is relatively straightforward. It instructs you to season cooked, mashed potatoes with butter, sugar, and lemon juice and peel and bake this filling in a dish lined with pastry. After trial and error, Christina and I determined that the pie achieved more structural integrity with a blind-baked crust. This prevented the dreaded soggy bottom. Since there are no eggs and milk to bind the filling, mine came out rather damp. In classic recipes for sweet potato pie (and even pumpkin pie), the mashed vegetable filling is a custard that relies on eggs and milk for structural integrity.

Updated Recipe

Halved from the original. You can also prepare both the crust and filling in advance and bake the pie from room-temperature ingredients. Christina found that a cooler potato-filling led to a pie that set better during baking.

8 Tablespoons butter at room temperature (1 stick, 113g)

2.5 cups of chopped potatoes (¾ lb, 678g)

A batch of your favorite homemade or store-bought puff pastry or pie crust.

Grease a pie or tart dish with butter or baking spray.

Roll out the pastry on a floured surface. Arrange pastry in baking dish.

To blind bake the crust, cover the pastry with foil and fill the dish with baking beans or another weight.

Bake at 425°F/218°C for 12 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350°F/180°C for 10 minutes. The crust should be golden and set, but not as brown as when a pie is completely finished baking. Keep the oven at this temperature for baking the pie.

While the crust is in the oven and cooling after blind baking, prepare the filling.

Peel the potatoes. Chop them into small cubes. Boil them until they are cooked and tender (about 15 minutes). Drain off the cooking water using a colander. Juice and zest the lemons. Put the cooked potatoes, sugar, and butter in a sturdy bowl. Mash the potatoes and integrate the butter and sugar into the mix. Make sure there are no lumps of butter or potato. Stir in the lemon juice and zest.

Pour this mixture into the prepared pie crust.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until the pastry is brown and the filling sets. Cool before serving.

The Results

Christina and I agreed that the finished pie tastes much more like a lemon pie than a “potato pie.” In this preparation, the natural sweetness of the potatoes offsets the sharp flavors of citrus juice and zest. This dish was unlike any other potato-based pie or pudding I’ve ever consumed. Personally, I found the recipe very interesting, but I didn’t particularly enjoy eating it. I’m happy to report that the pie was a hit at Christina’s house (especially as breakfast). And while pie for breakfast may not be part of any “official” British or American culinary traditions, a slice of my mom’s pumpkin pie and a cup of coffee is my favorite breakfast the day after Thanksgiving.

See our step-by-step guide to grilling, smoking and more.

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First of all, you need to get familiar with some of the Applied Energistics terminology:

Matter Energy (ME)
The core idea behind the entire mod. Think of it like the digitizing laser from the movie Tron: it converts matter into data, which is then stored within the network. Here’s how the official wiki explains it:

Matter Energy is the main component of Applied Energistics 2, it’s like a mad scientist version of a Multi-Block chest, and it can revolutionize your storage situation. ME is extremely different then other storage systems in Minecraft, and it might take a little out of the box thinking to get used to but once you get started vast amounts of storage in tiny space, and multiple access terminals are just the tip of the iceberg of what becomes possible.

Each machine, terminal or bus connected to a cable uses up one channel on that cable. You can think of channels as data capacity – if you connect too many machines, terminals or buses to a cable, some of them won’t work because the cable does not have enough capacity to process all their data. All cables except for the dense cable support 8 channels, dense cables support up to 32 channels. You can find an in-depth explanation of how channels work on the official wiki.

A network is the total sum of all cables, buses and machines that are connected to each other. Power is distributed without a loss throughout all cables and machines of the network, and each network needs at least one power supply. For each network, there can be only one single controller.

Ad-hoc Network
An ad-hoc network is a small network consisting of eight or less connected devices. They do not require a controller, but you do need to provide it with an energy supply. If there are more than eight devices connected to the network, it will shut down entirely. In that case, in order for the network to function again you will need to remove devices until there are only a maximum number of eight devices connected.

What raclette grill and other equipment do you need?

The most important equipment is the raclette grill. In Switzerland, you also use a raclette oven, but in this article, we are only discussing the conventional grill.

I am not an expert in choosing a raclette grill, but I can give you some pointers.

What to consider when choosing a raclette grill

  • How many should it feed? (you can buy raclette grills for 2 people and for 8 or more)
  • Would you like a stone or a metal grill or a combination of both?
    • Advantages of a metal grill raclette
      • Cheaper to purchase
      • A lightweight grill
      • Does not take long to heat up
      • Difficult to break
      • Some surfaces are challenging to clean.
      • Advantage of a stone grill raclette
        • Made of natural material
        • Stores heat for longer
        • Distributes heat more evenly
        • No artificial coating

        I have been using my Tefal Raclette for years. It has a metal grill and a simple on and off button. We only use it 3-5 times a year, but it has been a reliable companion over the years.

        Some Raclette Grill Suggestions (affiliate links)

        Raclette Equipment Checklist

        1. A raclette grill with pans and wooden spatulas. At least one per guest.
        2. An extension lead, if your raclette cable does not reach your closest plug socket.

        Step 5

        Courtesy of Anna Harrington Courtesy of Anna Harrington

        Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and prep your toppings in small bowls. Then take a room-temperature ball of dough and place it on a counter sprinkled with flour. Use a rolling pin to get the dough evenly flat (if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can try to spin or stretch it in your hands “pizzeria style”). Any shape your dough ends up in is great it does not need to be perfectly round or rectangular. It should be about 1/8 to ¼ inches thick.

        Recipes from At The Italian Table make you 'sit up and pay attention'

        Buy Photo

        Gina Stipo is the owner/chef At The Italian Table. Aug. 17, 2017 (Photo: Sam Upshaw Jr./CJ) Buy Photo

        Correction: This story has been updated to correct the amount of tomato sauce used in the Ragu Bolognese recipe.

        There's no such thing as Italian food.

        That sit-up-and-pay attention statement comes from Gina Stipo, chef and owner of At the Italian Table, 2359 Frankfort Ave.

        “It has taken me years to put together the piece of the puzzle of what people think is Italian food and the actual dishes that come from Italy," she said. "The regions of Italy were historically so separate from each other until 150 years ago that the food from each region was very, very different and distinct."

        "Even today, people in Italy tend to stick to the regional dishes they have always made and the way they have traditionally prepared them."

        Recipes to try from At The Italian Table:

        Regional Italian cuisine is explored at the five-course dinners Stipo serves, where communal dining makes At the Italian Table more like a private home than a restaurant.

        A majority of Italians who came to the United States a hundred years ago came from southern Italy, she said, primarily Naples and Sicily.

        "They brought with them recipes that many Americans assume is what Italian food is about," she said.

        And while, yes, those dishes are southern Italian, "there's so much more to Italian cooking," she said.

        Ragù, a delicious dish that speaks to the soul, is an example of regional dishes and varying approaches to cooking. Ragù refers to a wide range of pasta sauces, which differ depending on where you are in Italy, she writes in her book, “ecco la cucina.”

        Outside of Italy, the word "Bolognese" is often used when referring to a ragù, but the two aren’t necessarily interchangeable.

        Bolognese, originally from the food-centric city of Bologna, has become a term broadly applied to any long-cooked Italian meat sauce, kind of like using “Kleenex” when referring to “tissue.”

        A true Bolognese is made with ground veal, beef and pork, a good soffrito of celery, carrot and onion, a little milk, no herbs and no garlic.

        “The discussion of what meats should be included is always interesting. I don’t recommend spending $25 for veal that you grind up and put in ragù," she said. "Some people say to use a little Italian sausage or pancetta while others from Bologna would never put those in the dish."

        She said either red or white wine can be used, though she prefers white.

        "You’re looking for the acidity of the wine to break up the fattiness of the meat," she said. "There’s a small amount of tomatoes, about 10 percent, but it’s not what would be considered a red sauce."

        A typical Tuscan ragù, on the other hand, utilizes much of the wild game that abounds in the area along with the strong flavors of rosemary, sage and garlic.

        A ragù from southern Italy has no ground meat but is a simple tomato sauce in which large cuts of meat have been cooked. Because large pieces of pork ribs, braciola, pot roast or meatballs take a long time to cook and to flavor the ragù, this is the sauce that cooks for eight or nine hours.

        After the pasta has been dressed with the tomato “ragù” and consumed, the meat is served as a second course.

        Ragù de Cinghiale (wild boar) is popular in the hills to the south of Siena where wild game is plentiful. White ragù of duck or rabbit, Ragù Bianco d Anatra o Coniglio, is another ragù that takes advantage of the supply of game.

        Ragù is but one dish she may share with diners, and it's a subject that may arise in her weekly cooking classes.

        For those looking for a more immersive experience in Italian cuisine, she hosts frequent trips to Italy. In June, she took a group to Piedmont and Tuscany and is planning a three-week October tour to Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany.

        “We don’t go to touristy areas, much preferring to visit a hidden Italy," she said. ". Introducing our group to the locals is part of the experience. And I believe that to understand the culture and history of peoples, you go at it through food and wine, and that’s exactly what we do."

        At The Italian Table, 2359 Frankfort Ave., 502-883-0211,

        Ragù Bolognese

        The Tagliatelle with Bolognese Ragu served At The Italian Table on Frankfort Avenue. Aug. 17, 2017 (Photo: Sam Upshaw Jr./CJ)

        Serves 10 with enough to freeze for later use

        This traditional Bolognese sauce, from Bologna in Emilia Romagna in central Italy, is simple to make and yet rich and complex. There are no fresh herbs or garlic. Bolognese is used for traditional lasagna and is always served with a fresh egg tagliatelle, never a semolina-based dried spaghetti. The milk helps to soften the acidity of the wine and tomatoes.

        • 1 large onion
        • 2 celery stalks
        • 1 carrot
        • 2 pounds ground beef, pork and veal, any combination
        • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
        • Sea salt
        • Black pepper
        • 1 to 2 cups white wine
        • 1 cup milk
        • 1 tablespoon tomato concentrate
        • 3 cups canned tomato sauce

        Place the onion, celery and carrot in a food processor. Purée. Brown the meat in a small amount of olive oil. Add the vegetables. Sauté until softened, adding additional oil if it seems dry. Season with the salt and a good grinding of black pepper. Add the wine and cook off completely, then add the milk and cook off completely. Add the tomato concentrate and sauce, salt and pepper to taste.

        Cover and allow the sauce to cook for two hours. If it’s very thick, add a little water. Watch while it cooks to make sure it doesn’t burn or get too dry.

        Ragù Napolitano

        The Tortiglioni with Ragu Napolitano served by At The Italian Table on Frankfort Avenue. Aug. 17, 2017 (Photo: Sam Upshaw Jr./CJ)

        Serves 10 with enough to freeze for later use

        This traditional ragu from Naples and southern Italy is different from northern Italian ragu in that there are no chunks of meat. It is flavored by cooking for a long time large pieces of meat, like braciole or beef roasts and bones, in a pot of tomato sauce. This is the sauce that Italian Americans talk about cooking for nine hours on the stovetop!

        • Sea salt
        • 2 pounds beef shoulder or blade steak with bone*
        • Olive oil
        • 2 #10 cans of Italian tomatoes, pureed
        • 1 small onion
        • 2 garlic cloves
        • Your favorite dried pasta

        In a large pot, salt and brown the meat in olive oil. Add the tomato purée, whole onion, whole garlic cloves and a teaspoon of sea salt. Bring to a simmer and allow the sauce to simmer at least four hours on a very low flame. The longer you cook it, the more the meat flavors the sauce.

        (You can make this in the morning and let it cook all day on the stove, filling the house with lovely smells.)

        Remove the meat and set it aside. Toss out the whole garlic and onion pieces. Cook the pasta until al dente. Toss the pasta with the sauce. Drizzle with olive oil. Top with pecorino Romano cheese.

        *A combination of meats can be used (braciole, pork bones, beef ribs or roasts) but they’re always large pieces that hold together and will be served after the pasta as a second course, with vegetables or a salad.

        Ragù Bianco di Anatra (White Ragu of Duck)

        The Ragù Bianco di Anatra (White Ragu of Duck) served at Frankfort Avenue's At The Italian Table. Aug. 17, 2017 (Photo: Sam Upshaw Jr./CJ)

        Serves 10 with enough to freeze for later use

        Commonly found in the northern regions of Piedmont and the Veneto, this ragu uses no tomato.

        • 1 duck, cut into pieces, excess fat removed
        • Olive oil
        • 2 celery stalks
        • 1 onion
        • 1 leek
        • 3 garlic cloves
        • 2 bay leaves
        • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
        • 4 fresh sage leaves
        • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
        • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
        • 2 cups white wine
        • 2 cups homemade broth of your choice, or water (if using canned broth, dilute it)
        • Sea salt
        • White pepper
        • Tagliatelle or pappardelle pasta
        • Parmigiano cheese

        In a large pan, brown the duck pieces in olive oil. Remove and set aside. Mince finely by hand or in food processor the celery, onion, leek and garlic. Sauté them in the pan with additional olive oil. Add fresh herbs and the duck pieces. Deglaze with white wine, allowing the wine to cook off. Add broth.

        Cover and simmer until meat is tender and falls off bone. Salt and pepper to taste while cooking. Debone the meat pieces. Add them back into the pan juices.

        Toss with cooked fresh tagliatelle or pappardelle pasta and a sprinkle of Parmigiano cheese.