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21st birthday dinner for NYU actor student

Veselka has a new-ish Bowery location that's quite large and is good for larger parties. Their entrees are between $11-17, so you could swing $30 pp w/o drinks on that. I've been to a group birthday there and it was awesome. Big, hearty food perfect for creating that nice binge-drinking stomach fortress!

Jul 17, 2012
ebeth00 in Manhattan

Halal Yellow Rice - How Can I Make My Own?!

I am obsessed with that ungodly-yellow, salty, slighty spicy rice you get with your chicken or lamb at halal carts all over the city. Anyone know how I can make a close approximation at home? I'm assuming turmeric is involved...and since it tastes so darn good I'd bet there's loads of oil in it, too. I don't care, though, I NEED its savory goodness in my life! HALP!

Jul 17, 2012
ebeth00 in Home Cooking

Your mom's weird cooking ... and other stories? (recipes encouraged)

Growing up, my mom wasn't a great cook. And we're FAR from Italian. Hence, until about age 20 I thought spaghetti sauce was supposed to made like my mom made it: green bell peppers and onions, ground beef, and KETCHUP. Just a giant bottle of Hunt's (not even Heinz!) dumped in. And oh yeah, some mustard for good measure. We kids loved it because, well, kids love ketchup. (I make it properly now.)

We also were fed pre-dinner "quit whining" snacks of...wait for it...just mayonnaise on bread. I never thought that was weird until I moved to the North and everyone thought my love of mayo was strange and disgusting (I'm from Georgia).

My boyfriend's mom (from PA) always makes peanut butter, cucumber, and Miracle Whip sandwiches. Sounds horrible, but once you try it, you're a believer. Still weird though.

Apr 17, 2012
ebeth00 in Home Cooking

Your Best Recipe For Chicken Paprikash

First off, I'm not Hungarian, just an enthusiastic home cook, but here's the Paprikash recipe I make. It's easy and good for weeknights.

3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
vegetable or olive oil
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 medium white onion, sliced into half-rings
salt and pepper
lots of Hungarian paprika - I just sort of add dash after dash until the color looks about right, but I use several tablespoons
1 small can tomato puree
several big spoonfuls of sour cream
fresh parsley, chopped, for serving

Heat the oil in a pan. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Add to the pan, add salt and pepper, cook until chicken is slightly browned. Add the onion and pepper and cook until beginning to soften. Add paprika and cook a little more. Add tomato sauce and more s&p and paprika. Cook a little more, until some of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the sour cream. Taste and adjust seasonings. If sauce is thin, simmer until reduced a bit. Add a little water or chicken broth if too thick.

I serve ladled over boild, smashed new potatoes, mashed potatoes, rice, or egg noodles. Sprinkle with parsley.

The boyfriend ADORES it!

Feb 16, 2012
ebeth00 in Home Cooking

Bought too much plain yogurt.. What do you make with it?

I know this sounds weird...but my favorite breakfast EVER is a big dollop of plain yogurt with a little honey stirred in - then I make a slice of wheat toast with unsweetened peanut butter, and I dip the peanut-butter toast in the yogurt. It's so delicious. Also, you could make a sour cream based dish (such as Hungarian Paprikash or Beef Stroganoff) and use yogurt instead of the sour cream.

Jul 11, 2010
ebeth00 in Home Cooking

Vegetarian Grilling: Ideas?

Thanks, everyone!! I love these ideas!

Jun 23, 2010
ebeth00 in Home Cooking

Vegetarian Grilling: Ideas?

I'm a generally creative home cook, but when it comes to vegetarian grilling options (as in, outdoor charcoal grilling), I'm stumped. (Note: I'm not a complete vegetarian, just a mostly-vegetarian with lots of vegetarian friends.) Other than the classic veggie kabob, any ideas for non-meat grilling options? Specifically any tips/recipes for grilling tofu would be awesome! Thanks, chowhounds!

Jun 13, 2010
ebeth00 in Home Cooking

Beyond Hummous: Living (and Chowhounding) on the Mediterranean Diet

Bob, interesting question(s). I am certainly not from the Mediterranean (I'm just an American), but I do eat a diet similar to what you've described simply because I like it (and like being healthy). I want to specifically address your other-ethnic-food cravings. I think you could make a pretty good fish taco - whole wheat tortilla, grilled fish with some lemon juice and oregano, some sliced olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, even some crumbled feta (which is a healthier cheese), or some Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Not truly Mexican, I realize, but maybe a way to quell the craving? Also, I know a lot of people who simply dislike whole wheat pasta. I happen to love it because it's more filling. I think a nice "gateway" pasta might be a 50-50 whole wheat/regular pasta blend, tossed in a bold (maybe spicy) tomato sauce - lighter sauces that don't coat every pasta piece allow the whole-wheatiness to really come through. A strong tomato sauce could mask some of that. I also find that cooking whole wheat pasta for longer than you'd cook white pasta makes the texture more palatable. And as for pizza - maybe try making your own Mediterranean flatbread - whole wheat dough, fresh tomatoes, mozzarella (again, one of the better cheeses), and lots of veggies (I love spinach, broccoli, or just green herbs as toppings). Asian flavors might be harder to replicate in a Mediterranean way, but surely there's wiggle room in your diet for one Chinese meal every blue moon or so? One last thought: since olive oil is a huge part of eating this way, maybe invest in a really, really delicious, good quality olive oil for drizzling - I find that it makes healthy meals seem more indulgent - not to mention taste great. Best of luck on your new healthy journey!

Jun 09, 2010
ebeth00 in Home Cooking

Rhubarb-Braised Chicken Thighs

I made this last night and loved it! And I even changed/forgot some things: instead of using orange juice, I used the juice of one lemon, and I forgot the honey and ginger. The sweetness of the honey would've added a nice balance, but I really liked the sourness of the rhubarb! the chicken thighs came out great - moist and tender, just as they should be. I served it with fingerling potato baked fries and steamed asparagus.

Jun 09, 2010
ebeth00 in Recipes

Need quick portable breakfast ideas

I like to make home versions of Egg McMuffins. Just buy English muffins, cheese (I admit I like American but you could use whatever), Canadian bacon (or just sliced deli ham), and eggs. I microwave the eggs in a pinch (1 minute in the 'wave). But just scramble the eggs real quick, assemble the sandwich, and pop in the microwave at work for 20 seconds or so.

Oct 09, 2009
ebeth00 in Home Cooking