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Tex Mex restaurant on Lavaca

Jorge's!!!

Jul 21, 2011
raj1 in Austin

Tex Mex restaurant on Lavaca

That's it, but it also had a proper name. Something like Don Jose's Uptown Enchilada Bar...What was it? The place was refered to by the name and not by "Uptown Enchilada Bar."

Jul 21, 2011
raj1 in Austin

Tex Mex restaurant on Lavaca

Does anyone remember the name of a restaurant on Lavaca that used to be in the El Mercado space? I believe they had a satellite restaurant down the street too. This was back in the day. Mid-late 80s. Thanks.

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El Mercado Restaurant
1702 Lavaca St, Austin, TX 78701

Jul 20, 2011
raj1 in Austin

butter & sugar

As long as the butter hasn't melted or isn't as soft as mayo, it should be fine. If you can touch it and it feels like a ripe avacado, put it back in you mixer and let it cream again for a minute or so and go ahead with your recipe.

Jan 08, 2010
raj1 in General Topics

all-clad 6-qt 'saute pot'

I bought one of these pots at Marshalls at a really great price. I use it all the time now. I've made beans in it, stock, stew, soups, chicken dishes...

I like it because it's just big enough and it has the long handle and the gripper on the other end making it easier to dump contents into a strainer and whatnot.

Feb 15, 2008
raj1 in Cookware

Ethnic cookies?

I was going to suggest these too! I try to have one whenever I go home to South Texas. They remind me so much of childhood.

Also, don't forget pan de polvo! The little sandy cookies that are just delicious.

Jan 30, 2008
raj1 in Home Cooking

Cookie Cookbook Recommendation Needed

The King Arthur cookie book is terrific. I made 3 recipes from it in one night as soon as I got it in the mail. The salty oatmeal cookies are delicious. The brownie recipes are good too. I especially like the fact that the book gives you the option for cakey, fudgie and in-between brownies.

I also like Tish Boyle's "The Good Cookie". The peanut butter cookies are delicious, although I don't make them as large as she recommends. The cookie section in her book "Diner Desserts" pleases too.

Jan 09, 2008
raj1 in Home Cooking

Pie Cookbooks

I made a pie crust from RLB Pie book that was very detailed and somewhat techinical. I followed the directions slavishly--chilling the flour and the fat in the freezer and everything else she recommended. The pie crust was amazing! It practically shattered when you put your fork to it and it tasted delicious; the crust was like its own component that complimented the filling and not just a shell to hold the filling. I only made the crust a few more times after that. It's time consuming and takes some planning.

On the other hand, Marion Cunningham's "Fannie Farmer Baking Book" has a terrific section on making pie crusts. She shows you how to do it by hand without a pastry cutter or with a machine if you want to do that. She's really fast and loose with her directions. She doesn't see a need to chill the pie dough after you've mixed it and she directs you to roll it our right away. It's really a no fuss recipe. It really tastes terrific too.

My boss is coming back to the office very soon so I better finish up...you can learn a lot by trying different methods and finding your own way eventually.

Dec 13, 2007
raj1 in Home Cooking

Baking Tips

Cook's Illustrated rated the China Cassia cinnamon very high at one time. It is a very robust cinnamon that works well in most recipes. The Vietnamese cinnamon is preferred by many people for its more subtle qualities. If you make Mexican or Middle-Eastern dishes, I would suggest the Ceylon cinnamon; it has a more dusky and exotic flavor.

I used to buy the double-strength vanilla, but I switched to the single-strength. I don't really think it makes an appreciable difference, though I'm sure people have other opinions. I think the single-strength is less expensive too, isn't it?

Dec 12, 2007
raj1 in Home Cooking

white rice...cooking tips and tricks...PLEASE!!!

I was going to post this advice too! I didn't get the rice I wanted until I started doing this. The steam that usually condenses on the lid and drips back into the rice (making it soggy) is absorbed by the towel.

I usually place the lid in the middle of an unfolded kitchen towel then wrap the towel up around the lid. Be careful! You don't want your towel to catch fire.

Dec 06, 2007
raj1 in Home Cooking

Help me beautify my pie crust edges

Roll out your pie crust to about 13 inches for a 9 inch pie plate. Make sure the rolled dough is pressed into your pie plate and cut off any uneven excess so that you have about an inch overhang all the way around.
Tuck the overhang under so you have a double thickness of dough resting on the rim of the pie plate. This should create a good, sturdy edge for you to crimp, twist or do whatever you'd like to do to it.

Dec 04, 2007
raj1 in Home Cooking

Favorite Chocolate Dessert

Brownies! Preferably fudgy ones with toasted nuts. I've grown really fond of the King Arthur Flour brownie recipes that use cocoa and no melted chocolate.

Nov 30, 2007
raj1 in Home Cooking

Regional Cakes

In Texas we have Italian Cream Cake (there's nothing Italian about it) and Texas Sheet Cake. You can easily find recipes for both on the web.

Italian Cream Cake is a white buttermilk/pecan layer cake usually topped with cream cheese icing.

Texas Sheet cake is a chocolate cake usually made in a jelly-roll pan and topped with a chocolate and pecan icing. This great for a barbecue or any large party.

Nov 28, 2007
raj1 in General Topics

Pecan Pie w/ Homemade Crust - Blind bake?

Partially-baking reduces the chance of a soggy, underbaked crust. I've seen this with quite a few custard pies. The rim looks great--brown and crisp--but the underside is yellow and doughy.
For a lemon meringue or cream pie the crust is fully baked.

Partially baking the crust means about 15-18 minutes in the oven with foil and pie weights, then another 8-10 minutes without. I usually pour the filling in while the crust is still warm. The crust finishes baking with the filling in it.

Nov 21, 2007
raj1 in Home Cooking

Pecan Pie w/ Homemade Crust - Blind bake?

Yes, a big yes, to par-baking your crust! Don't worry too much about the crust burning. It may get darker than your comfort zone, but that's a good thing. The deeper brown your crust gets just means that the sugars are carmelizing, making for a tastier crust. If it does color too much you can always do the aluminun collar thing to keep it from going over the edge, but I've never had that problem.

Nov 21, 2007
raj1 in Home Cooking

Thanksgiving Pies

Pumpkin and pecan are definitely on the menu every year at my house. I use recipes from Cook's Illustrated. The recipes call for the pie filling to cook a little in a saucepan on the stovetop before pouring it into a pre-baked pie shell. These recipes are great and will never make them any other way. It may be a little more labor intensive, but the texture of the pies is just so much better than the usual mix-and-pour recipes in most cookbooks. The color on the pumpkin pie is just amazing--sort of a deep brownish orange.

Nov 19, 2007
raj1 in Home Cooking

Brownie Mix for Work Pot Luck

I forgot my secret ingredient! The box calls for vegetable oil. I use half roasted peanut oil from the Asian grocery store--Lion and Globe brand--along with canola oil.

Nov 15, 2007
raj1 in Home Cooking

Brownie Mix for Work Pot Luck

Mash 4 tbs softened butter into a cup of light brown sugar. Mix in a cup of chopped pecans into this mixture. Prepare the brownie mix as directed on the package and spread in pan. Sprinkle sugar-nut mixture on top and bake. This is really, really great.

Nov 13, 2007
raj1 in Home Cooking

secret to making cookies

That sounds like a good idea. I really think is has something to do with the mixing rather than the ingredients. I was thinking that maybe she cut the butter into a flour and sugar mixture rather than creaming it with the just the sugar and then added the eggs to moisten and bind the dough.

I was also thinking this also sounds a little like snickerdoodles. They puff up and fall back on themselves creating that wrinkly top as Adrienne was suggesting.

Nov 08, 2007
raj1 in Home Cooking

Favorite brand of Mexican hot chocolate?

I've heard tales of Mayordomo but have not been able to find it. Can't wait to check it out once I do. Wish it were more available.

Nov 07, 2007
raj1 in General Topics

secret to making cookies

A co-worker and I were talking about baking today. He told me that his grandmother made chocolate chip cookies in an unusual way. She didn't follow a recipe (although she claimed the recipe was based on the one of the packet of chocolate chips she used), building the cookie by feel. When baked, the top of the cookie separated from the bottom creating a pocket that was filled with a skein of crystalized brown sugar. This sounds to wonderful to be believed. His grandmother passed away some time ago and no one ever got her method.

I know I'm going out on a limb here, but does anyone know of a recipe or a cooking method that would create such wonder?

Nov 07, 2007
raj1 in Home Cooking

Favorite brand of Mexican hot chocolate?

Let me correct my pronunciation here: poh-pooh-LAHR. That's more like it.

Nov 07, 2007
raj1 in General Topics

Favorite brand of Mexican hot chocolate?

Ibarra is widely available and very good. I prefer it to Abuelita. Another brand that I've found readily and that I like is Popular (pronounced in Spanish pop--oo--LAHR, or close to that). Popular is sold in thin slabs about the size of a large Hersey's bar and is easier to cut.

You can also buy a more boutiqey Mexican chocolate through Zingerman's of Ann Arbor, MI. Some Americano in Oaxaca is mixing it up and selling it from what I understand.

Nov 05, 2007
raj1 in General Topics

Pink Cake

I would like to make pink cake (the kind you find in big sheets at Mexican bakeries) from my childhood days growing up in South Texas. I suppose it's just a white cake with pink icing. Has anyone out there worked in a panaderia (or is it panederia?) who can tell me the secret to making that armor-like pink frosting? Thanks.

Nov 01, 2007
raj1 in Home Cooking

Fresh poblanos... Now what?

Char, peel and devein as directed in the other posts. Slice into strips and add to a cheese quiche filling. If you want a recipe look in Rose Levy Berenbaum's Pie and Pastry Bible.

Oct 31, 2007
raj1 in Home Cooking

Russell Hobbs Electric Kettle

My Bodum 5500 kettle has worked like a charm for a few years now and I use almost everyday.

Oct 29, 2007
raj1 in Cookware

Recipe DISASTER!! Help needed!!!

Can you pick the meat off the bones, boil a bag of egg noodles, mix it all together, cook at 350 for 45 minutes and serve it as a casserole? Maybe TWO casseroles if it's that salty. Does the concoction taste any good beyond the saltiness and fishiness?

Jun 07, 2007
raj1 in Home Cooking

Help My Pancakes!

You listed the ingredients, but not your method of cooking them. Is your pan hot enough? Are you over-mixing?

You might also replace the milk with buttermilk and add a quarter or half a teaspoon of baking SODA along with 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder (instead of the 2). BTW, you state 2 tablespoons of baking powder. That's A LOT of baking powder! Do you mean teaspoons?
Roger

May 30, 2007
raj1 in Home Cooking

cardamom smell?

Rubber tires? Maybe?

May 21, 2007
raj1 in General Topics

"Make a well" for the wet ingredients. Does anybody actually do this? Why?

It just a good method to use. Place the wet ingredients in the well and begin stirring from the center of the well working out incorporating the dry ingredients to the liquid. It's a bit faster and creates a more uniform batter.

Dumping the wet ingredients on top of the dry is fine (or vice versa), but you may have to work to get all the dry ingredients moistened and you might end up with clumps.

May 21, 2007
raj1 in Home Cooking