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The BUST Lounge > Forums > Absolutely Fad-ulous
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I have to agree, chowhound gives me a bit of a headache. but my beloved has expanded beyond nyc... apparently it has menus for sf, la, chicago, philly, dc, and boston now. and the nyc listings have been expanded to include brooklyn, YES. obviously I use it to find restaurants I want to go to, or to facilitate plan-making, but I also like to browse the menus of the priciest, swankiest joints in town and ponder what I'd order if I could. mmm.

it's been way too hot to cook, but yesterday mr. frog suggested some kind of cold rice salad for tonight's supper. so I put it together this morning to allow marinating/chilling time: brown rice cooked with ginger, poached shredded chicken boobie, tons of fresh snowpeas, a chopped red pepper, a bunch of scallions, a can of mandarin oranges (drained), dressing made of rice vinegar, soy, veggie oil with a splash of toasted sesame oil. very simple. smells very delicious. I may sprinkle some chopped cashews on top before serving, if the mood strikes.

oh, and I discovered this amazing thing: sabra frozen ginger cubes. tiny little squares of chopped fresh ginger, frozen in a tray. just pop one out and throw it in the rice/sauce/dressing/whatever and stir it around as it thaws. no peeling. no ancient shriveled ginger root lost in the back of the fridge. I guess it's a lazy cop-out, but sometimes I'm lazy. and I always love the taste of fresh ginger.
hey, i just keep the whole ginger bulb in the freezer in a little baggie. i learned that from a friend who travelled all over the place, no idea where she picked it up though. it stays as fresh as it ever was, i just pull it out and fine grate as much as i need at a time. works terrif!
where the frell is tes? BECAUSE! she has some secret place for reviews/recs, and i want to know where it is. coz when i was driving from cali to illinois last year, i was on the phone with her, gabbing while i was lookin' for a place to eat (coz i hate eating at the major chains/franchises)... anyway, she had her secret place, and i had the yellow pages, and her secret place gave an awesome rec...

...sooo if you're ever in flagstaff? the beaver street cafe is awesome. simply awesome

i'm pretty stoked about this weekend. for one, the weather is soooo nice. for two, it's supposed to stay this way for a whole week! a week! so i'm going to go grocery shopping and actually cook this week. it'll be a nice change. a bonus? i'm gonna be at the cubefarm this week, which means i can bring my lunch. (the plant's an hour drive away...) so right now, i'm crafting up a vague idea of what to make, and will be hitting up the open market and farmer's market tomorrow. (the difference between the two, btw, is pretty simple - the produce people at the open market are vendors who buy their produce pretty much from the same place that the grocery stores do, so it tends to be the same quality ... the farmer's market tends to be .. yak now .. farmers, and higher quality produce AND there's usually a booth or two with heirloom tomatoes, which are seriously the best shit on earth)

one of the things i really want to do when i get my own place is have a nice sized south-facing balcony, so i can make a container garden of heirloom vegetables. because i lurve them. so brightly colored and tasty even if they are kinda ugly.
I love heirloom tomatoes! We just got them in at work and they are so big and nice and fresh. Marvel Stripe is my favorite. I'm currently growing German Stripe tomatoes in my yard and the ugly-ass little fruits apeared the other day. I can't wait until they are ripe and ready!
Hmm, so you can freeze ginger; can you freeze garlic? I bought one of those 3 pound jars of peeled garlic cloves from Costco and it's taking me longer than I thought to go through them. They started to eminate through the plastic and the fridge really stank, so I got one of those canning jars with the rubber o-ring and the buckle to clamp down and it's worked- no more stink. But then I got a big jar of the minced garlic (I know, against Anthony Bourdain's advice) and put it into a regular glass jar, like from a jar of spaghetti sauce, and now the fridge stinks again. I'm thinking that if I froze it, maybe I'd solve the stink issue and prevent it from going bad sooner?

Hmm, I need to stop sleeping until noon on Saturdays so I can get to the farmer's market and buy heirloom tomatoes. I actually got some really good tomatoes at the grocery store the other day, called campari tomatoes- they're greebhoouse tomatoes from Canada, no pesticides or herbicides and have a really good flavor. They're a little bigger than golf balls, and round.
Polly, i've never actually refigerated garlic. We keep cloves for months sitting in a little glass container, dry, on a pantry shelf. We've never had it go bad. Sometimes it starts to grow, but we just break off the growth and use the rest.

Minced garlic, I dunno though. I always just buy the cloves and mince it myself...even though the damned garlic press is difficult to clean.
fwiw, my mom's old remedy for keeping garlic was taking a baby food jar, filling it with vodka, and sticking the ginger in there. kept pretty long, and then after she was done with the ginger, she'd strain the vodka and use it in this ginger chicken recipe...

like erinjane, i just buy heads of garlic and mince it myself... though at my parents', they use SO much garlic that they just buy the big garlic jars ... maybe lasts a month.

polly, when you say stink, is it a normal garlic stink, or an icky garlic stink? could be, something's gone bad... my parents haven't ever had that problem with minced garlic.
I've always heard that as garlic ages it gets bitter, and when it gets to the point where it's sprouting, it's beyond that point. The labels on the whole cloves and minced said to keep it refrigerated.

Yeah, it's a bad garlic smell. I can't imagine that it's spoiled, though. I think it's just that the regular jars don't have as tight as seal as the canning jar.

No more Costco-sized garlic! I think I'll make some 40 Clove chicken with the whole cloves, toss whatever's left and put the minced in the canning jar. See if that helps.
garlic does get bitter by the time it's old enough to have sprouted. ruins the flavour imo. i think i'll try it in the freezer, it should be fine to grab a clove, let it soften a bit and mash it with the press. i can't see why it wouldn't work. minced too should be ok in the freezer, i don't think oil freezes though.
actually, I noticed that sabra's made frozen garlic cubes, just like the ginger. so it must work fine if you freeze the garlic yourself instead of paying $3 for someone else to mince it for you and form it into twenty teeny cubes...

I freeze fresh herbs, too, because they always come in bunches bigger than what I need in recipes. wash 'em, pat 'em dry, secure in air-tight plastic wrap or baggie. the color and texture goes off a bit but the flavor is fine for throwing into cooked dishes.

and speaking of garlic (which makes me think of roast chicken), I found this peculiar gadget in a clearance bin at the local housewares store... a vertical chicken roaster. I was skeptical, but it was like $4, so I gave it a try. and in fact it does turn out a roast chicken faster and with less grease than a normal roasting pan. added bonus: it's fun to see the chicken kind of rearing up on its legs in the oven. I found a photo online, but I am still learning how to hyperlink in the new lounge.

but ugh, I've been working all day and am way too pooped to cook anything, even a vertically-roasted chicken. I have a bad feeling it's a cereal-for-supper night.
(just to mention...Chowhound used to be simpler and involved fewer people. I think that's where things went wrong.)
I'd just like to say that I have pizza dough rising for a spicy ass pizza with hot hot hot sausage, spicy tomato sauce, onions and mushrooms....AND....I have peach sorbet turning in the ice cream maker right this minute.

I dunno what came over me this afternoon, but I'm glad it did!!
Oh, jenn, can I come over for din-din?

The other day I made the most delicious cold noodle salad. It was:

Soba noodles
sauteed mushrooms
Arame (seaweed)

pk - you can come over for dinner anytime!!!

The pizza was fab, and I was really too stuffed for more than a spoonful of the sorbet, but I think I'll chuck some of it in a 'rita this evening. Is it bad that thoughts of dinner trickle through my mind long before I even get to work?
the markets this weekend were quite fabulous - i got some great steals (1.5 # of shiitake mushrooms for $5, 2 HUGE beef shanks for $5), and some great looking produce (some champagne grapes, white peaches, just ripe grape tomatoes, and a pint that was mixed purple and red potatoes), and a nice crusty loaf of bread... and surprisingly, with all the food i bought, it wasn't even $50. i had to double check that to be sure, because i know that at the store, it woulda been easily twice that.

anyway, so my plan for the week: tonight will be saffron pasta with a quick pan sauce of grape tomatoes, white wine, butter, garlic, and crushed red pepper and a salad... tuesday, salisbury steak with shiitake gravy... wednesday, i'm going on a picnic on the lake.. thursday, i have a late meeting that work's feeding us for.. and friday... that depends on how wednesday goes wink.gif

and on that note... anyone have any tips for saving shrooms? i don't think i can go through that many within a week, not with me not cooking two days ... they're currently stored in brown paper bags.
Okay, I'm xposting from What I ate:

Just made and ate pasta from ingredients I had to use up in fridge:

papardelle with chorizo, asparagus, button mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and red onion in a sundried tomato, basil and garlic sauce topped with cubes of feta.

It was delicious, the smell, the colour and especially the taste: there was an abundance of flavour but it so worked!

q'spice, brown bag and fridge usually do it for me - as mushrrom are a fungus I find the usually keep their freshness for a while longer than other veg. I don't know how tupperware container would work with them?
A paper bag really is the best. Tupperware will cause them to mold and the paper will let them breathe.
This is my recipe for Tom Kha Kai soup, as requested by hellotampon in the "What I Ate" thread. This is the complete recipe, found in The Everything Thai Cookbook:

Serves 4-6

2 cups chicken broth (you could use vegetable broth, of course, hellotampon)
1 teaspoon sliced kaffir lime leaves
1 2-inch piece of lemongrass, bruised
1 1-inch piece of ginger, sliced thinly
4 tablespoons fish sauce (leave this out, hellot!)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces (you can substitute tofu, or nothing)
5 ounces coconut milk
2-4 Thai chilies (to taste), slightly crushed

**I also like it with some straw mushrooms, maybe some onion, a wedge of tomato

- In a medium-sized soup pot, heat the broth on medium. Add the lime leaves, lemongrass, ginger, fish sauce, and lime juice.

-Bring the mixture to a boil, add the chicken and coconut milk, and bring to a boil again.

-Reduce the heat, add the chilies, and cover; let simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 3-5 minutes

-Remove the chilies and the lemongrass stalk with a slotted spoon before serving.

What does "bruised" mean in regards to the lemongrass? It says that it helps enhance the flavor- do you just bang it up a little?

thanks polly!

oh man, tom kha is very possibly my hands-down favorite thai dish. up there with panang curry, they are fighting to the death for the title.

i seem to be cooking a lot and well lately, which is unusual for me. maybe i will give this a hand, though it has many complicated ingredients and i'm sure it would be cheaper to just buy it at my favorite thai restaurant......maybe for a special meal.

love it tho!
I know, I love tom kha. I love Thai food because they know how to make non-dessert dishes sweet, by using coconut and fruit.

My other favorite is pad se eiw, but I haven't been able to find a recipe for it, at least not in a cook book. There's a few online, but they seem to be people's personal idea of the recipe and I'm not sure how accurate they are.

There's a Thai place by me that does a banana duck curry. So amazing.

Then they have the bananas in coconut milk for dessert. I'm a sucker for anything with bananas in it.
Polly, you take the end of them lemongrass and bang it up a little with either the handle of your knife, or if you have a knife steel, you use the handle of that to bang. It should be smooshed a little and that will release all of it's flavors.
I made southwest chicken sausage penne for dinner and it was scrumptious!

I took the sausage out of the casing and browned it, added diced onion, red pepper, and a jalapeno and sauteed until tender, then added a few cloves of minced garlic, some cumin, coriander, crushed red pepper, new mexico chile pepper, black pepper and salt. Then I added a can of tomatoes, some lime zest and the cooked pasta, let it cook for a few minutes to let the pasta absorb the sauce and turned off the heat. Then I added a table spoon of butter, a squeeze of lime juice, chopped scallions & cilantro and grated some enchilado anejo cheese over the top. I also made a salad of romaine, pepitas, cotija cheese and cilantro lime vinaigrette. It was deeeelicious.

lovely salad, fresh corn on the cob, spaghettini with alfredo, grilled fennel, leeks, mushrooms and prawns, and char-b-qued guinness buffalo sausage for the man. oh yes, and wine. i had seconds. and then thirds, ha ha!
oooh... grilled fennel. I love fennel. I will eat it raw, grilled, braised, any ol' way. I've never tried it with leeks, though. mr. frog and I once made, for a celebratory kind of dinner, cod over fennel-bacon ragout. we tweaked an epicurious recipe, and I wish I'd written down the changes we made, cause it came out a-mazing.

the end of the heat wave made things seem so cool I turned on the oven and made whole-wheat-maple-banana bread. which made me very excited for actual autumn and more quick breads and crisps.
*totally selfish off topic post*

quantum, you lived in ABQ? i just moved here. what are the good restaurants in town?? i would kill for some advice on where to go...

yes i did!

what kind of food do you like, and what kind of budget, and what part of town?

i think my all time favorite restaurants were: the taj mahal (indian, on carlisle), pars (middle eastern, off of i25), el patio (mexican, on harvard)... there's an AWESOME burrito joint on the sw side of time with great chile that i'll hafta look up. there's a great american-type chinese out bythe smith's on golf course rd nw (just south of where paseo del norte ends).

lots of people rec the frontier, but it didn't agree with me (BUT i also can't eat at denny's and ihop for the same reason, so take that with a grain of salt). the little dining hut by the SW side of main campus (actually ON campus) has some pretty good breakfast burritos, though! dining in the campus area is pretty hit and miss.

the weekly alibi and the duke city fix both have pretty good recs.
Help, Busties! I've had a bottle of white wine vinegar sitting on my counter for a few months now, unopened, still sealed. Well, I go to open it and tip the bottle down into the measuring cup (I was going to make a salad dressing, but looks like that plan is on hold for tonight) and what do I see but little something-or-others FLOATING AROUND IN THE VINEGAR! What the hell is going on? I smelled the vinegar and it smells -- you guessed it -- vinegar-y. I don't think it's gone bad (has it?), but why are there little floaty particles in my white wine vinegar?

a) Is it safe to use?

b ) What happened to my vinegar?


c) Has this ever happened to you?

d) What do you think caused it and how can I prevent it from happening again?

I'm so bummed out. I went to the trouble of cooking dried chick peas (yes, after soaking them all day long) for 2 1/2 hours on the stove, only to find crap floating in the vinegar I wanted to use for the dressing. Grr!

it sounds like you've got a mother developing. run it through a coffee filter and you'll be good.
Oh wow, thanks, Quantum. You're a lifesaver. I've never heard of that! Huh. Learn something new every day.

So basically these little particles look unappetizing but are harmless. I'm still a little skeeved out. It looks like sediment. Why is it called a mother?!

Just my luck I use a French press and don't have any coffee filters or empty tea bags. OH! I think I have some cheesecloth. ::runs back into the kitchen::

ETA: Ingenious ghetto idea -- use a paper towel instead! WHOO! It worked. Now I can sleep soundly.

Q, that Alton guy has a lot of fans. I'd probably be one of them, too, if I watched that station.

This is what I'm having tomorrow for lunch, stolen from Epicurious. I only use red onion if I have it on hand (usually I don't). If it's going to sit around for a day or two, better to add the cucumbers and tomatoes closer to the time it's to be eaten. I eat it with pita on the side. I think it would be too messy to stay inside a half of a pita. The dressing makes more than enough for this recipe. You'll have extra that you can throw on some lettuce or something. The spice combination makes it really yummy:


If you can't find the Moroccan spice blend at the supermarket, combine 1 tablespoon ground cumin with 1/4 teaspoon each of ground coriander, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper.

1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
4 teaspoons Moroccan spice blend
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained (or 1 3/4 c. if you're not using canned and already have some cooked chick peas on hand)
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped seeded tomatoes
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped seeded peeled cucumbers
1 cup coarsely crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
4 whole pita bread rounds, halved crosswise
Plain yogurt

Whisk together olive oil, white wine vinegar, and Moroccan spice blend in medium bowl. Place drained garbanzo beans in large bowl and mix in enough vinaigrette to coat. Let stand 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

Add tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, red onion, and parsley to garbanzo beans. Mix in enough vinaigrette to coat. Season bean salad to taste with salt and pepper. Fill pita halves with bean salad and top with dollop of yogurt. Place 2 pita halves on each of 4 plates; pass remaining vinaigrette separately.

Makes 4 servings.

Bon App├ętit
August 2003
coz the mother is what creates vinegar from wine!

(and hey, i only know because ab did a vinegar episode for GE that aired this summer!)
We wondered at work why our bottles of Apple Cider vinegar had a label that said "Contains The Mother."

It's similar to making sourdough really.

I learned a great salsa trick. This may be common knowledge, but.
Chop your onions, garlic and jalapeno first, pour lime juice all over and let sit while you chop everything else. The lime takes away the sharpness of the raw onion and garlic while leaving the good flavors behind.
Another one: rub the bowl with a clove of crushed garlic, if you're making pico de gallo. mmmmm!
you know, raisin, the only reason i have cable is for the food network and hgtv and tnt and usa and the history channel. sad, but true. his shows are on dvd, and i've highly considered buying them because they've got great reference info (like the mother bit).

that sounds delish! i'm not a huuuuuuuuge fan of chickpeas, but i love the combination of spices in moroccan foods.
You know, I was sadly disappointed when I bought one of AB's DVD sets. I'm seriously hearing impaired and this was the first. ever. DVD. I've ever seen that was NOT either closed captioned or subtitled!

It was virtually useless to me. mad.gif

I am going to have to mix myself up some of that moroccan spice...I bet it'd be awesome on sweet potatoes this fall.
It's completely safe to use the vinegar just as it is!

Most (if not all) natural vinegars contain the "mother," which is needed to actually MAKE vinegar what it is. Distilled vinegars don't have it, because it's been removed. But that means they also don't have the benefits. Some people insist on the mother being in their vinegars. I reckon it's a personal preference, though.

Just shake before using. smile.gif

Can anyone recommend a good Greek (or Middle Eastern) cookbook?
Oooh, Treehugger, that burns me up! I know it's after the fact*, but it doesn't hurt to advocate for captions by writing letters to the producers and the networks in addition to the distributors of DVDs, and tell them that the AB sets were useless to you. I share in your disappointment.

*"After the fact" meaning that you already bought those particular copies, but future pressings of these DVDs could very well be captioned (like if enough people complain and/or the federal mandades change).
**second off-topic selfish post**

quantum, thanks for the recs. i'm going to have to check some out this weekend.

i went to los cuates yesterday and holy shit they have the best salsa ever. its like a savory chocolate-salsa mix. yum.

This is my favorite Greek cookbook, bunnyb. It's got great recipes and lots of interesting info about Greek history and culture without being boring.
Thanks polly! It looks really concise and fun as well as informative. Does it happen to have taboulleh in it? I really want to make it after having some home-made last week.
ferraro - burrito alinstante!! cheap and some of the best chile i had in abq. and i was wrong, se side (on broadway) not sw side .. but they ARE opening one on coors nw, up by cottonwood mall.

and, stufy's is another place for cheap chile - stuffed in sopaipillas. their savory sopas are pretty good, and you can walk away with enough food to feed a small army for about $5. they've also got this guac salad, which is basically guac with shredded lettuce mixed in... it's interesting, but i prefer the guac down at taco cabana (whose chicken flautas i was totally addicted to when living there!).
Nope, sorry, no taboulleh recipe. It's pretty strictly Greek and I don't think there's a Greek equivalent of it (unless someone knows of one?) But I looked in the salad section and I don't really see anything with similar ingredients.
Anyone have any relatively simple pear-based desserts they want to share? The trees in my department's mediaeval garden have started to drop their fruit and I'm collecting like there's no tomorrow...
I've never made it, but roasted pears always looked good to me. Try this for some ideas, though. Here's some more.
Hey Lys, I've made these vanilla poached pears and they were a hit with everyone.

Thanks guys! yuefie, I LOVE poached pears (esp. in mulled wine with creme fraiche with a little caster sugar), but unfortunately, this is something I'm taking to a BBQ (shoulda mentioned that before), so I have to make it ahead of time and cart it twenty minutes up into town...but I'm definitely saving that recipe.

Has anyone ever *made* a baked dessert with pears, like a cake or pie or something? I got one recipe from the allrecipes link you send, polly, but I'm wondering about anyone's first-hand experience in here.
POACHED pears- that's what I was thinking of- I've seen them with a little brandy and caramel....yum.

Drive-by post...

Mmm, poached pears... ::drooling::

Lys, in general, you can substitute pears for apples in things like cake and tartes and the like and not have much of a problem. I've made cakes with chunks of pears in them (where the original recipe called for apples) as well as the regular old standby of pear crisp, same topping as apple crisp. And a long time ago I made a pear tart which was real purdy. I don't make pie because I don't like making the crust for the top. rolleyes.gif So my vote would be to find your favorite baked recipe that uses apples and then use all those nice pears you have.

ETA: Bunny, if you're still looking for a tabbouleh recipe or something to work with that you can alter as you please, let me know and I'll dig up one of mine.
raisin, I definitely am. I should invest in a Middle Eastern cookbook at some point but the Greek one is a necessity for baklava and dolmades alone.
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