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Greater Phoenix Area: Best Chinese Dumplings Options?

We think the pan fried dumplings at China Magic Noodle are the best in the city. Plus, we love the hand pulled noodles, and the shaved noodles.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/China-...

Jan 17, 2015
kittyfood in Phoenix

where can i buy pig brain in the phoenix metro area?

Try one of the Ranch markets.

http://www.losaltosranchmarket.com/en...

Jan 03, 2015
kittyfood in Phoenix

too old for cooking school?

At age 45 I was exploring the possibility of going to culinary school in LA. I talked with several prominent chefs around the city and every one advised me to get a job in a restaurant and find out if I liked it. I got a restaurant to let me work with the pastry chef, unpaid, and after a few months I was able to get a job at another respected restaurant as assistant to the pastry chef and preparing salads and cold appetizers. After that I returned to the original restaurant as a pastry chef. I loved the creativity but hated starting work at 4 a.m. It was quite an eye-opener to learn that I had to immediately take my paycheck to the bank for cash before the account ran out of funds. It was hard work for very little pay, and because of other circumstances in my life I went back to an office job two years later. While I worked at the restaurant they hired another employee who had just graduated from culinary school and she lasted a much shorter time than I did before she returned to her previous accounting career (and she was not paid more than I was).

I am very glad that I had the experience, because I would have always wondered if I missed my chance if I had not done it. I am also very glad that I did not spend thousands of dollars on culinary school. If you are thinking of attending a night school program, why not instead find a restaurant that will let you work an evening shift to see if you really like the environment. Many restaurant owners are very happy to take on an enthusiastic unpaid or low-paid worker who wants to learn the business. Culinary school can always come later if you still want to do it.

Where to Buy Fresh (as opposed to frozen) Turkey

Sprouts, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods all sell good quality fresh turkeys.

Nov 15, 2014
kittyfood in Phoenix

Bean problems

Most likely you got a bag of beans that had been around too long. When I've cooked a bag of beans that was buried in the pantry for too long I have found that they take way longer to cook than expected and never really achieve that perfect soft-but-not-mushy texture.

If you refrigerated them overnight, then heat them up again and see what you have. If they still seem off, you probably shouldn't waste good sausage.

Oct 19, 2014
kittyfood in Home Cooking

Dining Solo in Phoenix

Definitely visit the 20th St. Pizzeria Bianco. It does have a small bar but the whole place is very casual and you wouldn't feel out of place dining alone. I haven't eaten at the original location for years so can't compare the pizza but it is good, and that location has an expanded menu that includes some excellent pasta. It's one of my top favorites in Phoenix.

I don't live in that part of the city so I will defer to those with more familiarity of the area for other recommendations.

Oct 18, 2014
kittyfood in Phoenix
1

Tough duck

The duck legs are sold pre-packed at Whole Foods, and I braised them in stock and wine on the stovetop at medium-low heat. I took them off the heat a little after three hours and removed the meat from the bones the next morning. Some of the meat still resisted being pulled apart. However, after being shredded it simmered for a few more hours in the braising liquid and the meal was a success. Maybe these were free-range ducks so the muscles were more developed?

Oct 05, 2014
kittyfood in Home Cooking

Tough duck

I am making the duck ragu with gnocchi from Nancy Silverton's Mozza cookbook (we had it at the restaurant on our last trip to L.A. and hope to recreate the fabulousness). I am using duck legs that I bought at Whole Foods this morning, and I'm at the braising step. The recipe says that after 1 1/2 hours the duck will be falling off the bone. Well, it's been braising for three hours now and it still hasn't reached that stage. Has anyone else had experience with this recipe, or with braising duck legs?

Oct 04, 2014
kittyfood in Home Cooking

Salty snack for office gathering

Thanks for all the ideas -- this should take me through the next few months. This time I think I will make a variation of the sun dried tomato dip, since I have a lot of home-sun-dried tomatoes in the freezer, and I got some sesame pita chips at Trader Joe's. I may try Dorie's cheeez-it-ish crackers next time. There is always so much food at these events that we have a lot left over and it is put out in the coffee room to be scavenged so I don't want to put a lot of time into this.

Sep 07, 2014
kittyfood in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? September 2014 edition! [old]

I had resisted buying Nancy Silverton's Mozza book when it came out a couple years ago because I'm trying to pare down the collection in preparation for a cross-country move. But we recently visited LA and ate at Osteria Mozza and were so enthralled with the duck and oxtail ragus that I went online and bought a used copy (which I was happy to find when it arrived had been a library copy). It does have the duck ragu and I haven't tried it yet but will do so soon. The oxtail ragu isn't included, but since Mario Batali is a partner in the restaurant there are plenty of Mario's oxtail ragu recipes be easily obtained. The book also includes the wonderful Torta della Nonna, which I will be making soon as well.

Sep 06, 2014
kittyfood in Home Cooking
2

Henry

Haven't eaten there, but we have not been impressed with any of the Fox restaurants lately. Most have average but not inexpensive food, and a lot of turnover with the servers resulting in mediocre service. I think they have become too big and corporate. The same is true for the growing LGO empire.

Sep 06, 2014
kittyfood in Phoenix

Salty snack for office gathering

Every month my department has an afternoon gathering for those with birthdays in the month. Last month I made the big break-apart cookie from Dorie Greenspan's "Around My French Table." Mostly people bring sweet things so I'm looking for an easy salty contrast this time. Inspiration has not yet struck. Ideas for something more interesting than salted/spiced nut mix?

Sep 06, 2014
kittyfood in Home Cooking

Breakfast suggestions

If you will have a car you might want to drive out to La Place for brunch on Saturday or Sunday at Wayne Jacobs Smokehouse. Also pick up some excellent Andouille to take home. It contains no preservatives, so they are not allowed to ship it, but I've carried it home on the plane unrefrigerated with no problems.

http://www.wjsmokehouse.com/

Aug 16, 2014
kittyfood in New Orleans

Cheap Foods that Become Popular

Oxtail. It sells now for $4.98 to $6.98/lb and the weight is mostly bone. But I still love oxtail stew and make it at least once a year.

Chicken Fried Chicken

Does Lo Lo's Chicken and Waffles do this dish? Or maybe Mrs. White's Golden Rule Café.

May 24, 2014
kittyfood in Phoenix

Near Camp & Gravier with no car - suggestions?

I had the most wonderful crawfish bisque at Luke a couple weeks ago. That is very close to your hotel.

May 02, 2014
kittyfood in New Orleans

Tacos Atoyac saga . . . gone and sort of returned

Many Tacos Atoyac fans were sorely disappointed about a month ago to find the door locked, and a Facebook posting that said it would be closed "indefinitely." Hearts were broken. Meanwhile, my husband drives past on his way to work most days, and has been gazing longingly at the sad building. Two days ago he reported that a new sign appeared on the side of the building: Restaurant Atoyac Estilo Oaxaca. Yesterday he called to report that he was inside, eating his favorite chorizo quesadilla.

It is the same but not the same. Big Dan is missing, but Pablo who does the cooking is there. My husband was not able to elicit any information about what happened or where Dan might have gone. The food seemed to be the same. Very little English is spoken by the employees.

So if you were already a fan of Tacos Atoyac, the news is good. If you had been meaning to try it but never got there, and you don't speak Spanish and you are a bit timid about trying dives, you might be a little hesitant. But the prices are still low, and you can't lose by trying some of the unfamiliar items on the menu.

May 02, 2014
kittyfood in Phoenix

ethnics

We have not been to the Persian Room (although I frequented small Iranian cafes when I worked in downtown Los Angeles), but a cousin and her Iranian husband recently visited the area and ate there. They reported that it is quite good and worth a visit.

Apr 29, 2014
kittyfood in Phoenix

Boiled Peanuts in Phoenix? (No, I'm serious.)

China Magic Noodle serves boiled peanuts as an accompaniment to every meal. The flavoring may be slightly different, but you could ask at the restaurant where they buy their peanuts (or perhaps they buy them already prepared?). Most likely they come from a wholesale purveyor, but you might be able to purchase a bag when you identify the source.

Apr 19, 2014
kittyfood in Phoenix

Cochon Butcher Expansion?

We were there last Friday night (4/11) and they said they would be closed for the following week in preparation for opening the expanded space.

Apr 18, 2014
kittyfood in New Orleans

french quarter fest

You can download a French Quarter Fest app that lists all of the food and music venues and includes a map.

Apr 02, 2014
kittyfood in New Orleans

french quarter fest

I forgot to mention Mrs. Wheat's meat or crawfish pies. Always a favorite.

Mar 30, 2014
kittyfood in New Orleans

french quarter fest

We are visiting too at that time (my husband and I are past and future NOLA residents ). I just printed the food list and highlighted a few things that I plan to seek out:

Praline Connection - fried chicken livers with jalapeno jelly (an old favorite)

K Paul's - Butterbeans and rice; chicken grillades with cheese grits

Café Reconcile - white beans with shrimp

WWOZ mango freeze (a must have)

Royal House - chargrilled oysters

Lakeview Harbor - crawfish bread

Mar 29, 2014
kittyfood in New Orleans

Looking for some food advice for April trip

Nooooo, don't resort to stadium food! Since you really want to go to Pizzeria Bianco, it is within walking distance of the stadiums where you will attend baseball and basketball games. Another much better alternative to stadium food is the Japanese restaurant Nobuo, just across the Heritage Square walkway from Bianco .

Mar 29, 2014
kittyfood in Phoenix

Central Phoenix - Sunday evening meeting restaurant?

The Arrogant Butcher in downtown Phoenix has a separate room. It may be a little pricey for the budget, but if you stay away from alcohol it wouldn't be too far off.

Feb 08, 2014
kittyfood in Phoenix

PHX- Where to buy '00" flour

The Hayden Mills flours are pretty expensive if you're doing to do any baking in quantity. But they are made from locally grown, non-GMO grains, so they are not mass produced and which is why they're pricey. They are definitely worth trying if you are making something special.

Feb 08, 2014
kittyfood in Phoenix

Bought 3 lbs of pigtails on a whim today

The last time I had pigtails was in a soul food restaurant, cooked with greens. Delicious, if you like fatty meats, which I do. I'm sure they were cooked for a long time. Also, when I was a child my parents would bring home a pigtail from the butcher (probably thrown in for free after they bought meat to freeze and use for several months) and I would roast it on the barbecue while my father was grilling his steaks. To eat it, I would hold it in my hands and nibble like corn on the cob.

Nov 23, 2013
kittyfood in Home Cooking

Need great Thanksgiving dinner

We ate Thanksgiving dinner at the Mission in Scottsdale a couple years ago -- not traditional American fare, but delicious.

Oct 26, 2013
kittyfood in Phoenix

La 15 y Salsas

We ate there the other night, and were the only diners. My husband had the chicken with mole sauce, which he liked a lot. He is a big fan of mole. Me, not so much, but I did try the tamale with mole sauce since it was highly recommended in the New Times article. It was fine, but mole really isn't my dish, so I will try something else next time. There are lots of intriguing choices on the menu board.

The server was friendly and courteous. However, for the less adventurous, the location and setting might be a bit off-putting at night -- I would recommend going in the daylight, at least for the first time.

Oct 26, 2013
kittyfood in Phoenix

Help for Phoenix Visit end of October 2013

Nobuo at Teeter House, very fine Japanese cuisine with some western touches, is just across the walkway from Pizzeria Bianco at Heritage Square. This is a creative menu that is different from Asian restaurants you're likely to find in San Diego, and is one of my top favorites for special occasion dining. http://www.nobuofukuda.com/

On the subject of Bianco, Trattoria Bianco is a fairly new addition to the Bianco group. It's in a shopping center at 20th St. and Camelback. If your wife loves Pane Bianco, she should love this one as well. http://www.pizzeriabianco.com/#italian

Oct 12, 2013
kittyfood in Phoenix