vvvindaloo's Profile

Title Last Reply

stuffed mushrooms

Happy Holidays, once again. These mushrooms have become a staple at our Christmas Eve family celebration, and I wanted to say thanks. Still love this recipe! See you next year-hope it's a good one :)

Dec 27, 2013
vvvindaloo in Home Cooking

stuffed mushrooms

Here I am, at the stove, sauteeing the mushroom filling and thinking of you again! Merry Christmas, everybody :)

Dec 23, 2012
vvvindaloo in Home Cooking

What cookies are you baking for Christmas this year? 2011 Edition

Oh, I think there must already be at least one Christmas cookie thread started for this year by now- if you look back over the years, you'll find they usually begin in October/November!
I bumped this one because I had a direct question regarding roxlet's recipe above... Thank you and happy baking!

Nov 15, 2012
vvvindaloo in Home Cooking

What cookies are you baking for Christmas this year? 2011 Edition

Roxlet, I am so tempted to make these (we call them Cassatelle) because one of our most favorite things to eat on the entire island of Sicily (which we spend a decent amount of time) are the cassatelle. You have to go eat the ones made by that specific bar (Italian-style coffee bar/pasticceria, of course) in Castellamare -the name escapes me at the moment- where they are served piping hot all day and evening and the line at the bar is a steady stream of customers who could support the business and turn a tidy profit purchasing that one product alone.
If you are interested, let me know and I will hunt down the name for you.
Anyway, my concern is that they won't be much good after day 1. When they are fresh and warm is when they are best, and I have managed to wait long enough to try them fresh and room temp :), and they were still very good. But I've never tried them the next day. Is the ricotta filling still creamy or does it dry out? If you couldn't eat them until day 2 or 3, would they still be worth making? Thanks in advance.

Nov 15, 2012
vvvindaloo in Home Cooking

stuffed mushrooms

making it again this Christmas eve!

Dec 23, 2011
vvvindaloo in Home Cooking

Are you thinking about Christmas cookies yet? (Seriously!)

If I were making these cookies, I would probably prefer an uneven type of crush- perhaps just pulse them a few times in a grinder or food processor, then remove half of the almonds and pulse the second half a few more times until I get a rough powder. Then I would mix it all back together. You don't want the almonds for the exterior of the cookie to look too powdery, in my opinion. But this is really a personal preference in terms of getting the texture and look that you want. The cookie itself should have a crumbly but smooth texture- no big chunks of almond, but small pieces here and there work well.
The almonds are not blanched, but whether or not my aunt buys them roasted is anyone's guess. I would guess no- her almonds always look very white.

Dec 13, 2011
vvvindaloo in Home Cooking

Are you thinking about Christmas cookies yet? (Seriously!)

OK, here goes:

Almond Raspberry Sandwich Cookies dipped in Chocolate

2 Cups all-purpose flour
2 Sticks butter + 3 Tbsp
1/4 Cup sugar
1/2 Tbsp almond extract
1 Cup crushed almonds, divided in half
Red Raspberry Preserves or Jelly for filling
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate for dipping

For the Dough:
Cream the butter and sugar, add the almond extract. Then mix in flour and add 1/2 cup crushed almonds until combined.
Roll the mixture into logs of equal size, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter consistently throughout the length. Wrap the logs in plastic and refrigerate 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove the logs and slice into cookies about 1/4 inch thick. Bake on cookie sheets for 8-10 minutes until firm but not brown.

Melt together the chocolate, 3 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon of hot water.

Pair up cookie slices according to size and shape (they should match for nicer looking sandwiches).
Make sandwiches with red raspberry and dip one end of sandwich into warm melted chocolate mixture, then into the remaining crushed almonds.

Dec 08, 2011
vvvindaloo in Home Cooking

Are you thinking about Christmas cookies yet? (Seriously!)

Well, as coll implied, they are not difficult cookies to make. But I will say that they definitely require the most steps of all cookies I make, and take the most time of all the recipes I listed. I'm not sure which recipe coll uses, but mine does call for mixing, baking and assembly all to be done in one day, weighing it down for several hours in a refrigerator, and chilling the layers thoroughly before assembly.
However, it's true that cutting them is the most tedious part and the only part you can really mess up :)

Nov 17, 2011
vvvindaloo in Home Cooking

Are you thinking about Christmas cookies yet? (Seriously!)

Yes, I will get the recipe and post it for you. I will have to ask a family member for it, as it is not one the cookies I usually make.

Nov 17, 2011
vvvindaloo in Home Cooking

TRIED AND TRUE CHRISTMAS COOKIES?

Nov 15, 2011
vvvindaloo in Home Cooking

Are you thinking about Christmas cookies yet? (Seriously!)

Yes. Whatever it is about fall that makes me want to bake always brings me to thinking about Christmas cookies before the Halloween candy is even finished :)
My list this year looks a lot like my list from last year, except for the fact that I agreed to take over the cookie cutter butter recipe, as no one else wants to attempt the patience that the butter dough requires for thin crispy cookies. I'm thinking about relinquishing the Mexican wedding cookies (pecan balls) to someone else, or risk not having them at all (!) because I just won't have the time to add another cookie without giving one up. 6 cookies is really the right amount for me- if I attempt to do any more, I start to get stressed and end up rushing at the last minute.
Here it is:
1. Seven layer cookies/Rainbow cookies/Venetian delights
2. World Peace cookies
3. Jam thumbprints (hazelnut dough)
4. Buccellati (liquor-soaked, fig-stuffed, glazed)
5. Coconut macaroons
6. Butter cookies

Cookies other family members will be making:
1. Apricot foldovers
2. Chocolate-dipped raspberry-filled almond cookie sandwiches
3. Assorted Rugelach
4. Pizzelles
5. Hopefully, the pecan balls

Cookies I've never made but would like to try if I magically end up with extra time:

1. Jacques Torres' chocolate chip cookie (with dark chocolate pastilles and sea salt)
2. Shortbread

Happy Baking, everybody!

Nov 15, 2011
vvvindaloo in Home Cooking

Does anyone remember the two Italian-American brothers from Louisiana?

wow- thanks james!

Jul 11, 2011
vvvindaloo in Food Media & News

I say talEggio, Giada says talAggio...

well... yeah, we americans all know what "prozhoot" means. ethnoculturally speaking (i may have just invented that word, not sure), "prozhoot" represents a sort of evolution of americanized southern italian dialect. it is used both by people who don't know better and/or are simply used to hearing the word pronounced that way and saying that way, themselves.
however, americans born in rome and raised by italians from rome (not american parents) don't say "prozhoot".
with regard to giada's kind of odd pronunciation of words, such as "spaghitti" and "talayggio", i really think it is due to a combination of laziness and "californian"accent.
she does not speak italian like a native, which i think is weird. she speaks italian with a western american vowel emphasis trying to sound european.
i don't say this because i want to hate on giada- i just think that, for a girl who probably learned italian as a first language, she ought to speak much better. i don't get it.

Jul 11, 2011
vvvindaloo in Not About Food

I say talEggio, Giada says talAggio...

I don't mean to tout myself as an authority here, but I do speak fluent Italian and have lived and traveled throughout Italy rather extensively. While it is true that there are regional differences in how certain words and letter combinations can be pronounced, this is not the case when it comes to Giada's pronunciation. She has some very odd-and incorrect- ways of pronouncing certain words (my biggest peeve being the way she always says "spaghitti") that don't make sense at all. They certainly do not reflect speech habits in the Rome area, where her family is from. I am pretty sure that Giada was born in Italy and raised in California. To me, she is much more a 'California girl' who likes to make pretty-looking simple Italian-inspired dishes than an 'Italian chef'.
But still, her mother and aunt, whom she has had on her show, are Roman. They must know better.

Jul 09, 2011
vvvindaloo in Not About Food

Does anyone remember the two Italian-American brothers from Louisiana?

I have been searching every which way to find out what happened to these guys- they were funny, jolly types who had a cooking show, probably during the '90s. I am not sure, but I would guess that they were on PBS. I am pretty sure they were from Louisiana, definitely Southern. Can anyone tell me the name of the show/brothers? Thanks!

Jul 09, 2011
vvvindaloo in Food Media & News

Food Recs for Central Sicily?

I do have some recs I need to look up in my very sophisticated database (ok, business card collection!) for several of the places you mention. When do you leave?

Apr 13, 2011
vvvindaloo in Italy

Food Recs for Central Sicily?

Antica Stazione is one of my very favorite restaurants and definitely in my top 5 ever in all of Sicily. You can't go wrong here- the ambiance, the service, the wine and the food are all top notch by Sicilian standards.

Apr 12, 2011
vvvindaloo in Italy

Sicily or Sardenia

I've done the food- tour -of -Sicily-in-a-rental-car three times now, visiting new spots and revisiting favorites each time. Depending on how 'in-depth' you plan to explore each area (or one city in particular, which I would say Palermo warrants), I think the 10-14 day window sounds right, and maybe you should lean toward 14, if possible. If you consider the island in terms of a triangle, with the province of Messina representing the NE, the province of Siracusa representing S and Trapani the NW, then each corner, in terms of food, poses rather different traditions and local flavors. Sicilian cuisine is so much more than fish, and their wine production is so much more than Nero d'Avola. There is definitely a 'right' place to sample certain delicacies, such as pasta with pistacchio, cassata, North African seafood couscous, and granita, to name a few. The landscapes and even linguistic accents are different in each area, too, but I wouldnt worry. The Sicilians are, by and large, highly adaptable to visitors' language and accustomed to communicating at all levels of mainland Italian :). Also, while I would counsel against completely ignoring the interior of the island, you really don't need to plan on spending any overnights inland. IMO, any visitor can sample the best of each corner and nearly all points in between, by choosing 3 base cities for 3-4 nights each and making good use of an automobile for day trips near and far. Ideally, I would recommend 4 nights each in the Etna/Taormina and Siracusa areas and 5 nights in the Palermo area. That way, no destination will ever be more than 1-1.5 hours from your base, and you will definitely complete your tour with a sense of having grasped the complex culture of Sicily. This is totally doable in April- a heavenly time on that particular island. I would be happy to provide specific restaurant/agriturismo/specialty shop recommendations for each area, if you would like. Moreover, I'll be spending a month or so on the island this year, and hope to do a little chronicling on this board while I am there :)

-----
Nero d'Avola
vico Spuches 8, Taormina, Sicilia 98039, IT

Apr 11, 2011
vvvindaloo in Italy

First meal in Rome, Sunday lunch, somewhere between the Vatican and Campo de' Fiori

I second Pierluigi. In fact, I responded to this post with the intention of recommending it. They are a pretty popular spot for Sunday lunch (and dinner) and have a knack for pleasing locals and tourists, alike.

-----
Pierluigi
Piazza Dè Ricci, 144, Rome, Lazio 00186, IT

Apr 11, 2011
vvvindaloo in Italy

What were you eating in Manhattan in the late 90s? Are you still seeking out/ordering those foods today?

Jaiya Thai is still good.

-----
Jaiya Thai Restaurant
396 3rd Ave Frnt 1, New York, NY 10016

Mar 15, 2011
vvvindaloo in Manhattan

Does anyone prepare chickling? I'd like a recipe.

I have a bag of dried chickling (Italian "cicerchia") that I would like to use, but am not sure how. I know that Italians often use these legumes in soups or stews (or they used to). It's kind of an old-fashioned food, but I found some and would like to try making my own. Any suggestions? Thank you in advance.

Mar 15, 2011
vvvindaloo in Home Cooking

What were you eating in Manhattan in the late 90s? Are you still seeking out/ordering those foods today?

Where do you go these days? I'm all about Toloache and Mercadito. Can't seem to tear my self away! But, to my palate, there's really nowhere else worth going for Tacos (I also love a quick bite at the La Esquina taqueria).

-----
Toloache
251 West 50th Street, New York, NY 10019

La Esquina
106 Kenmare St, New York, NY 10012

Mercadito
179 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

Mar 14, 2011
vvvindaloo in Manhattan

What were you eating in Manhattan in the late 90s? Are you still seeking out/ordering those foods today?

Tse Yang- lots of stuff, on and off the menu, especially their Peking Duck, which I believe to be the best in the city. It's still my go-to special occasion Chinese restaurant.

Koh-i-Noor- now closed, one of the few good Indian places (I'm probably remembering it mid- '90s more than late) on East 6th. They had the kindest staff and, believe it or not, no twinkling lights. They also had the best Tikka Masala (scoff if you must!).

Veselka- still going, still ordering the fried potato pierogi and the occasional stuffed cabbage. Still love their mugs of American style coffee It's been about 20 years now since I was a high school student taking a Ukranian Easter Egg decorating class at Ukranian home next door and my teacher introduced me to Veselka. I'll never forget it.

John's Pizzeria (Bleecker) (again, more in the early-mid '90s than late). Still go occasionally, still enjoy myself immensely :)

Joe's Pizza for slices- Enjoy them less than before, but hey, so few things stay the same. I still like their slices, but miss the classic corner store.

The Saloon (Lincoln Center)- sadly, closed. The food wasn't nearly as good during the later '90s as it was earlier, but at one time they had great everything, especially people-watching.

H&H- no longer my favorite, but still THE bagel store to visit when buying lox next door.

Bagel Bob's on University- still great, though my current favorrite is Murray's on 6th ave. It will take a lot to top Murray's.

Ruby Foo's- boy, did I frequent this place (original UWS location) throughout the '90s. Also closed.

Il Forno (Little Italy)- it was actually pretty good, as was da Nico. Da Nico is still open (don't bother) but Il Forno is gone.

Rosa Mexicano- UES. Awesome margaritas and guacamolem but I haven't been in a long time. I'm sure it's still enjoyable, but I've definitely moved on in terms of going out for Mexican food. If I were to go today, I'd probably choose the Lincoln Center location.

Katz's- yes, and the same: corned beef on rye with extra spicy mustard.

Arezzo- Tuscan food in Flatiron. Closed, but they had great flatbreads, salads and risotto to die for.

Mei Li Wah- the one and only late night spot for steamed pork buns and coffee in Chinatown. Officially closed, but sort of taken over. Or not. It's complicated.

Magnolia Bakery- Frequent layer cake slice customer (preferred these to the cupcakes). Summer of '97 will forever remain the summer of Magnolia banana pudding to my memory.

Assorted "Szechuan" Chinese joints on the west side of Manhattan. I think they're all gone now.

Sam's falafel on Thompson- good cheap student food. As far as Manhattan goes, I have only eaten Taim falafel since I first tasted it 3 or 4 years ago. Seriously, it's that good.

I'm sure I'll think of more as soon as I hit "post"...

-----
Bagel Bob's
51 University Pl, New York, NY 10003

Rosa Mexicano
9 E. 18th St., New York, NY 10003

Ruby Foo's
1626 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

John's Pizzeria
260 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

Arezzo
46 W 22nd St, New York, NY 10010

Da Nico
164 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10013

Tse Yang
34 E 51st St, New York, NY 10022

Veselka
9 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003

Mar 10, 2011
vvvindaloo in Manhattan

Biscotti-- eggs or butter?

my family's recipe calls for oil, too. i think they're great that way- the darker and crisper, the better. you never really see oil in printed or online recipes for biscotti- only on faded, stained pieces of paper from nonna's kitchen drawer!

Feb 24, 2011
vvvindaloo in Home Cooking

In Search of the best old fashioned Southern Caramel Cake Recipe

that makes sense- thank you!

Feb 22, 2011
vvvindaloo in Home Cooking

under-used treasure or garbage? what ingredient do you think people are wasting?

Celery leaves- perfect in a chilled bean salad, tuna salad, yogurt/cucumber dip, in a bruschetta topping, or for a light herbal hint in green salads.

Feb 12, 2011
vvvindaloo in Home Cooking

Does using a stand mixer to mix meatloaf negatively affect the texture?

Nice. Thanks.

Feb 05, 2011
vvvindaloo in Home Cooking

substitute for cilantro

That is the the best idea I have heard yet for a cilantro sub. Not the same as cilantro, but still refreshing and brighter than parsley, with a hint of citrus. I personally love cilantro, but often find myself preparing something simple-like pico de gallo or guacamole-and having to either make two versions, or put up with groans...

Feb 05, 2011
vvvindaloo in Home Cooking

I have recently fallen in love with Polenta

I started serving creamy polenta on the side with pretty much all braised meats. We still enjoy mashed potates sometimes, but for a nice Italian flair with "pork osso buco" or even an Italian-style meatloaf, polenta is a wonderful alternative accompaniment. It's also a great option for meatless meals, with lentils and mushrooms. My grandmother often used to make baked polenta and serve it with her version of "sunday sauce", meaning tomato sauce slow-cooked with sausage, meatballs, pork ribs, etc.

Feb 04, 2011
vvvindaloo in Home Cooking

Haagen-Daz carton size chg. but no price change

yeah... it's sad. i recently saw it for $6.50 in a deli in the west village. i bought maybe three "pints" over the past year. i am sorry to say that my favorite flavor, coffee, doesn't even taste quite the same anymore.

Feb 02, 2011
vvvindaloo in General Topics