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April 2015 COTM Announcement: POLPO

I was really nervous about the whole return/refund process. After a google search, I found numerous complaints about paperback shop and really debated on keeping the broken covered book. But I balked bc it's such an expensive book and with that price, I wanted it to start off with attached covers. It seemed to take a long time but it was probably less then a month. I also did constant follow up and emailed them receipts, etc. and they came through.

Unfortunately, I don't think you are alone with your horrible experience. I think I was lucky because they had many copies of the book in stock.

Apr 17, 2015
beetlebug in Home Cooking

April 2015 COTM Announcement: POLPO

Yes, that was me with the broken cover on the new book. I'm happy to report that paperback shop has been great to work with. They refunded me the return shipping charge and sent me out a new book. I received it earlier this week and hope to make my first dish tonight.

Note: paperback shop were fairly responsive to emails. On the most part, it wasn't an immediate response but always within a business day. Regardless, I was pleased and will order from them again.

Apr 17, 2015
beetlebug in Home Cooking
2

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Happy hurry up and be Spring already, April 2015 edition!

Maybe you should encourage having mother's day earlier this year? Who says it has to be on a Sunday? And, you can try and sell it as, an off day mother's day makes everything easier because prices and reservations won't be marked up.

Apr 17, 2015
beetlebug in Home Cooking
1

Oriental Gourmet v. Hunan Taste - quick questions

I *think* I really dislike A&J's version of dan dan mien for that reason. But, their suan la mien more then makes up for it.

Oriental Gourmet v. Hunan Taste - quick questions

Also, Peter Chang's is directly across the parking lot. For whatever reason, they hung up the electronic open sign. The sign wasn't on but it was the first thing I saw. That location will have to fire on all cylinders at all times in order to compete with Sichuan Jin River. My parents and their friends have dropped Bob's (Nan Xiang) already bc of inconsistent quality, especially in the xlbs.

Oriental Gourmet v. Hunan Taste - quick questions

I'm not sure it's seasonal, it's whether or not the chef has made it. I've had it in the winter during my traditional visits.

The dan dan noodles are with soy and chili oils, ground pork and a tad bit of sichuan pepper. Simple but effective. I think it's one of those things where there are different versions. I've had it was sesame sauce in places and don't like it as much.

Sichuan Jin River was so fired up that we couldn't stop ordering things. Let's just say we had to have things immediately packed up because we didn't have room on the table. We were using the shelves behind us as well. My parents have leftovers for the week.

Oriental Gourmet v. Hunan Taste - quick questions

We ended up at Shanghai Taste for a lunch and Sichuan Jin River for our last dinner. Shanghai Taste is still my favorite especially for the cuisine, but Sichuan Jin River was significantly better now then in the past. It was always good but nothing as outstanding as it was last night.

Standout dishes:

Their cold dishes have improved by leaps and bounds. The soy noodles were particularly good (gan si) as was the taiwanese homemade sausage.

Seafood with Crispy bread.

Dun dun Noodles - excellent rendition.

Soup - I know, vague, but it's like a smooshed bean soup. It looks like a miso soup, how the miso can sink to the bottom and then you stir it and it melds into the broth. This was with beans and it was such a comforting taste.

Fish fillets - not the water cooked ones. If you look at the pictures, it's the one on the right hand corner. These are fish fillets with hot peppers, but it looks like black pepper on the fillets (it's not). There was nothing wrong with this dish.

Dry fried string beans - excellent fry job to get the beans shriveled but still tender.

Good - ground chicken with ya cai and the steamed buns. It's not fair to the dish, but I was pretty full by the time this came out. It's also not my favorite, stuff in the buns, but everyone else likes it.

Not good at all -

Suan La Tofu - the picture looked good and from the chinese characters, I thought it had promise. But, meh. Deep fried tofu with tons of hot peppers and sichuan peppers. Kind of one dimensional to me. And, misnamed.

I wish they had a menu online because I could do a better job as to what we ordered. But, we were full and happy.

Oriental Gourmet v. Hunan Taste - quick questions

We had a fantastic meal at Hunan Taste. I wish I had the time to look at the prior threads on this place, but I just did a general search for restaurants in VA. It was so hard to choose which dishes since we didn't want to leave leftovers in the car while we went blossom peeping.

We ordered:

Mao's Braised Pork with Brown Sauce - outstanding porky goodness.

Steamed Fish Head with Red Peppers - this was the standout dish. There seemed to be chopped tomatoes on top as well. This was a huge fish head/neck and it was just perfectly seasoned and steamed.

Sauteed lily root with corn and celery - this was good but could have been better with younger corn. Good flavor though.

Spicy hot pepper - another tasty dish. I love how you never know if you are going to get a spicy one of not.

Chinese Leek with dried bean curd and pork - competent but I've had better.

I know we ordered at least another dish. I'm sure it was good, just not memorable.

Regardless, this was the perfect spot for us coming from Dulles and on our way to the tidal basin.

ETA: it's been years since I've seen the cherry blossoms and I forgot how stunning they were. I'm really happy that my visit coincided with the peak bloom.

April 2015 Openings and Closings

I *think* Cafe Podima on Beacon Hill has the same kind of frozen yogurt machine. I thought the two were somehow connected.

Apr 13, 2015
beetlebug in Greater Boston Area

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Happy hurry up and be Spring already, April 2015 edition!

I'm with you. I tried a bunch of stuff from milk bar, years ago and didn't like a single thing. Everything was way too sweet I could feel my teeth rotting. I also doing get the appeal of the crack pie.

Apr 10, 2015
beetlebug in Home Cooking

Oriental Gourmet v. Hunan Taste - quick questions

Thanks. Hunan Taste it is. I'm sure I'll be trying Peter Chang's in Rockville during the winter holidays.

Now the big question is where do I have my one Rockville meal, Sunday night. Shanghai Taste, A&J, Jin's or Bob's. Decisions decisions. I'm leaning towards Shanghai Taste since that one always ends up being my favorite. I just wish service was better there.

Oriental Gourmet v. Hunan Taste - quick questions

Are reservations necessary even for lunch at PC? I suspect it will be Hunan Taste in case of delayed flights and/or traffic.

Thanks.

Oriental Gourmet v. Hunan Taste - quick questions

I'm coming in for a quick visit this weekend. My parents are picking us up from Dulles, lunch and then Cherry Blossoms (here's hoping for no rain). I am very familiar with the Chinese restaurants in Rockville since my parents live there. But, I don't want to drive to Rockville and then head downtown. And, my parents aren't familiar with the Chinese restaurants in VA.

I've narrowed it down to these two.

1. Is OG located at 2502 N. Harrison? One of the yelps said it was closed.

2. 3 of us like spicy foods but mom can not eat anything with spice (it now makes her physically ill). Are there a few tasty non-spicy dishes at either place?

3. And, if you have a chance, quick favorites at whichever place.

Thanks.

September 2011 COTM Companion Thread: Nigel Slater

Beets with Sausage and Rosemary, EAT, pg 85, US edition

First outing with this book and it was a major success. It was a pantry ready dish with leftover winter CSA veg and sausages from this fab meat store in Maine. I was a bit skeptical because it was too simple of a dish. But, the flavors were perfect for a chilly NE night.

The ingredients consisted of sausages, beets, carrots, rosemary, garlic and red wine vinegar. I made some slight changes. The previous page listed an alternative of brussels sprouts and potatoes. I decreased the amount of beets, added brussels sprouts and increased the amount of garlic and rosemary to compensate.

Saute all the ingredients except the sausage and sprouts. When the hard veg starts to soften, add the thirded sausage links and brown. At a certain point, I added the sprouts. At the tail end of cooking, add 2T of red wine vinegar.

I honestly don't know why this dish was so good. I'm sure some of it was the great sausages. But, really, such a simple dish and such deliciousness, I couldn't quite get over it.

It's an auspicious start for this cookbook. I think that this cookbook alone could be a worthy standalone COTM.

Apr 09, 2015
beetlebug in Home Cooking
2

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Happy hurry up and be Spring already, April 2015 edition!

App is probably the wrong word. On the computer, it's probably the kindle program. Bummer about cutting and pasting being a PITA on the computer.

April 2015 COTM: POLPO - Chapters 1 & 2, Cichèti & Breads

I am coveting that plate.

Apr 06, 2015
beetlebug in Home Cooking

April 2015 COTM: POLPO, chapter 5, Vegetables

Welcome to COTM. FYI, to make it a bit more streamlined, if the dish has been posted already, reply to that poster. That way, the drooling readers (meaning me) can follow the evolution of the dish if any changes or subs were made.

For example, on April 1, Breadcrumbs posted her report on this dish, followed by a few comments by MelMM and Nomadchowwoman. Post your dish as a reply to Breadcrumbs so that the same dish will be together.

This looks like a super fun month to jump into COTM.

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Happy hurry up and be Spring already, April 2015 edition!

I think you have to download the kindle app onto your laptop/desktop computer. From your computer, you can access the kindle cloud and read your book on the laptop as well as copy and paste.

FYI, I don't have a kindle, I have a nook. But, I have a friend who reads her book on the computer (during slow times at the office. shhhh.).

April 2015 COTM: POLPO, chapters 6 & 7, Desserts & Drinks

These are really neat looking. It's funny, I'm reading the new Maisie Dobbs book, A Dangerous Place, by Jacqueline Winspear. There was a reference to Esse cakes and I had no idea what they were. Then, I read your post and it saved me a trip to wikipedia.

April 2015 COTM: POLPO, by Russell Norman

Thank you so much for your kind and generous offer. I'll keep it in mind as I drool over the reports.

Apr 01, 2015
beetlebug in Home Cooking

April 2015 COTM: POLPO, by Russell Norman

I'm loving the reports. It makes me extra sad that my defective copy is on it's way back to the vendor. I'm sure it will be at least two weeks until I receive my replacement copy.

But, I'm excited that I'm excited about cooking something new again.

April 2015 COTM: POLPO, chapter 5, Vegetables

I think Zuni has one as well. Perfect breakfast potatoes.

Apr 01, 2015
beetlebug in Home Cooking

April 2015 COTM Announcement: POLPO

What I've done is to copy the conversion out of a compendium book and then pasted it into the UK book. My favorite is from Hesser's Essential New York Times cookbook since it has gas marks as well as the metric conversions. I have that chart pasted in at least two cookbooks (Ottolenghi I and Dunlop EGOR). As I cook from the recipes, I write the conversion in so I don't have to re-look it up every time.

Frozen Four at the Garden

The only Azure that I am aware of, closed years ago. It was down by Copley in that hotel (on Boylston Street) near the BPL. Maybe another one opened somewhere else?

ETA: maybe OC is thinking of that seafood restaurant that's on S. Charles Street. Again, blanking on the name. Clearly, I need more coffee.

Mar 31, 2015
beetlebug in Greater Boston Area

How to shop for / select major kitchen appliances?

I went through a kitchen renovation about 18 months ago. The appliances were overwhelming. I found it was easier to eliminate and hone in on a few options and then research those options. The Gardenweb appliance forum was extremely helpful.

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/appl

Anyway, to start, think about going on to the Home Depot or AJ Madison website. Put in your parameters of price, size and features and see what pops up. A friend is currently looking for a fridge and her fridge space is odd. When she did her research, I think only two fridges would fit in the space. So automatic focus on fridge research. For your range, if you are constrained by only gas or only electric, that's another parameter that helps the process.

Lastly, I can't help you about that double oven in the range. I angst about it as well. But, ultimately, I went with the single oven with the warming drawer. I have an excellent toaster oven (Breville smart oven) that I've used as a mini oven, especially in the summer months. I didn't think I needed three ovens total. As it is, I don't even use the warming oven. But, people who have the double ovens really like it since it's faster to heat and the versatility. I was worried about two cookie sheets in the larger of the two ovens.

Anyway, once you've narrowed down the appliances, post back and people will give feedback on their experiences.

Good luck.

Mar 31, 2015
beetlebug in Cookware

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Happy scrag end of winter March 2015 edition! [old]

River Cafe was a COTM. And, if memory serves, it was a success as was Smoke and Pickles. Just think of it as saving money since you would probably acquire these at some point anyway. It's hard to beat those book outlet prices for new books.

Mar 30, 2015
beetlebug in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Happy scrag end of winter March 2015 edition! [old]

Better yet, bribe him with home made cookies.

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Happy scrag end of winter March 2015 edition! [old]

You and me both. While I've shown restraint with book outlet, I really want the taiwanese cookbook (I posted in a separate thread).

Mar 30, 2015
beetlebug in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Happy scrag end of winter March 2015 edition! [old]

I've ordered from them before. Shipping is a little slower because it's coming down from Canada. But, less time then they estimate. Also, just looked at the price for 660 curries. Can't go wrong with $5.94.

In the regular section, Daniel Boulud's Braise is $8.99. Melissa Clark is also the co-author.

Mar 30, 2015
beetlebug in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Happy scrag end of winter March 2015 edition! [old]

Fuel to the fire…

Bookoutlet's scratch and dent section is an additional 30% off until next Tuesday (april 7). There is a lot of great books including many COTMs (660 Curries, Smoke and Pickles, Beyond the Great Wall), at least one Piglet nominee (Heritage), and many books that pop up on these threads.

At the very least, it's a fun browse.

http://bookoutlet.com/Store/Browse/co...

Mar 30, 2015
beetlebug in Home Cooking
1