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neel2004's Profile

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Linguisa (or Linguica...) - Where to buy in Atlanta area???

As wabbitslayer mentioned, all of the Publix stores in the Marietta area carry Gaspar's brand.

There are also many Brazilian butcher shops (and restaurants) in the Delk Road / Power's Ferry area of Marietta, as well as Brazilian grocery stores.

Mar 15, 2014
neel2004 in Atlanta

Finding Schezuan peppercorn / Thai chili flakes in Atlanta metro?

Thanks for the reply -- I'll have to remember to print your post and take it with me the next time I head that way. I've been through the aisle you mention several times, and the closest I could find was 5 spice powder, which contains a little bit of the peppercorns.

Aug 26, 2012
neel2004 in Atlanta

Banned Pantry Items

As far as the cigar issue, most zippo or bic type lighters aren't very efficient. Because you hold a lighter to a cigar much longer than other smokables, you really can taste the lighter fluid as you're lighting the cigar.

Torch-style lighters that burn a lot more efficiently are perfectly fine, but wooden matches just have a nostalgia that appeals to people that smoke cigars...

Aug 26, 2012
neel2004 in General Topics

Finding Schezuan peppercorn / Thai chili flakes in Atlanta metro?

I've been looking for a place to buy Schezuan peppercorns and Thai chili flakes (the kind available at every Thai restaurant) in the metro Atlanta area. The pepper flakes I'm looking for are spicier than what's sold as pizza topping, have a more complex flavor, a darker color, and (to me) a more pleasant burn.

So far, I've tried looking at Assi, H-Mart, Buford Highway Farmer's Market, and Cobb International Farmer's market, and had no luck at any of these locations and the staff had no idea what I was talking about.

I feel like I'm overlooking somewhere simple that would sell these ingredients. Does anyone know where I can get these two things? The closer to Marietta or Kennesaw, the better, but I know that's probably a pipe dream...

Aug 25, 2012
neel2004 in Atlanta

What to do with small bass / bream?

This sounds great. I got 5-6 tiny fillets off of the smaller fish for which I will use this method tomorrow for lunch. That and some fresh cut fries should be a great Sunday lunch.

Mar 10, 2012
neel2004 in Home Cooking

What to do with small bass / bream?

I did something similar to this with the two that are for dinner tonight. I worked off of Alton Brown's recipe, by roasting them on a bed of parsley, onions, and dill and then covered with the same. The fish were a lot smaller than I guessed -- when I weighed them, the biggest was 3/4 lb and the smaller ones were 1/2 lb.

Mar 10, 2012
neel2004 in Home Cooking

What to do with small bass / bream?

I just had one of our customers give me a few fish from his fishing trip this morning. The biggest is a bass that is probably right under 2 lbs, and the smallest bass is right over the catch limit. There are also a couple Bream, which in my area are right about 8" or so right now.
What can I do with these fish other than fillet and fry them? I'm not really in the mood for a fried, greasy meal, and am open to any suggestions.

Mar 10, 2012
neel2004 in Home Cooking

Largest, affordable food processor

I like the thrift store idea -- I'll have to check around me.

A nice immersion blender is on my list, but I probably won't be buying one in the near future.

Another reason I like a bigger FP is that we use it to process really large amounts of garlic, ginger, and peppers, as well as large batches of doughs. I can certainly make do with the 11-cup, but the extra 5 cups were really nice to have in the old machine.

Sep 10, 2011
neel2004 in Cookware

Largest, affordable food processor

Hopefully I'm not asking the impossible here, but I was wondering if anybody was familiar with a large (bigger than 12 cup) food processor for around $100? It seems like food processors are getting smaller -- the last time I bought one, several companies were offering 16-cup models in the $100-$200 range. However, the largest I am seeing right now that doesn't cost above $200 is 11 or 12 cups.

I am looking for a replacement for my 16 cup GE (Wal-Mart) food processor that was recalled for problems with the lid latch mechanism. It was only $50 brand new (1 year ago), and had enough power to handle pasta and other doughs, as well as all the chopping I wanted to do.

I bought a 11-cup Cuisinart for $95 on sale, but it seems like I'm getting a weaker, smaller machine for less money.

I'd like to have a larger bowl because I tend to use it to smooth out sauces for curries and other Indian foods for large family gatherings, and the liquid level on the 11-cup Cuisinart is really low.

Any ideas from the chow braintrust?

Sep 09, 2011
neel2004 in Cookware

Eggs Weigh Less Than They're Supposed To!!!

I have tried that -- I'll often end up with a dozen carton with a few eggs from each store (separated and different sides labelled with the right date). The difference still stands.

Aug 18, 2011
neel2004 in General Topics

Eggs Weigh Less Than They're Supposed To!!!

I find that egg sizes vary pretty strongly by store here in Atlanta. I've never thought to weigh the eggs, but I have seen several times (when alternating where I buy eggs) that Wal-Mart large eggs always seem to be larger than Kroger's. I don't think Kroger's are out of spec, but Walmart's are always bigger.

Aug 18, 2011
neel2004 in General Topics

Has anyone made lo mein noodles at home?

Thanks for the response. Unfortunately, I'm pretty ignorant on the regionality of Chinese cuisine, so I'm not sure what region's noodles I'm looking for. The only English on the refrigerated noodles I've been buying is "Refrigerated Fresh Lo Mein Noodles" and "Boil for 8 Minutes and then use as desired."

You've given me a good point to start from, and hopefully I can find a recipe I like. Buying them ready-made is a chore, since all of the good Asian markets in Atlanta are over 30 mins away from me, and they cost something like $4 for a pound of noodles.

Jul 16, 2011
neel2004 in Home Cooking

Has anyone made lo mein noodles at home?

I've seen several recipes for home cooked lo mein that uses dried spaghetti or linguine, but have not been able to find a recipe for making fresh lo mein noodles. I regularly make pasta using the James Beard food processor dough and a pasta roller, but that is nothing like the lo mein noodles I can sometimes find in the refrigerated section of the Asian market that is 35 minutes away from me.

The noodles from the Asian market are almost yellow in color (more eggs, I guess), and firmer than pasta, with more of a chewy texture. They are also square, and thicker than supermarket spaghetti. Does anybody have a good dough recipe for this type of noodle?

Jul 16, 2011
neel2004 in Home Cooking

Who cooks in a hotel room?

I can provide a view from the other side -- my family owns a motel, and I have lots of friends and family with the same occupation. The biggest reasons that hotels (including ours) bans cooking is that a lot of guests are just plain filthy (won't clean up after their cooking) and because of fire codes. I personally have no problem with guests cooking, but have posted rules banning cooking because we get skewered in a fire inspector sees hotplates, indoor grills, etc inside of rooms. We even get fined if you store a small propane grill in your room (and use it outside) and the inspector sees it.

A lot of hotels also cannot allow cooking because their wiring can't take that sort of load -- leading to everything from tripped breakers to electrical fires. Hotel microwaves are on the smaller side, so they do not draw a lot of current when operating. Also, a lot of hotels have microwaves and fridges connected together so the fridge does not get power when the microwave is on.

Property insurance is also more expensive if guests are allowed to cook.

That being said, I've had guests in the situation that a couple posters have mentioned where they stay for an extended period of time. If they are clean when they cook (I'm not paying housekeepers to clean up your spills, grease stains, burn marks, etc), and I know about it so that I can skip that room during inspections, I don't have a big issue with people cooking in rooms.

Jul 06, 2011
neel2004 in General Topics

IKEA Envis Spatulas -- anyone have / used them?

Nobody has used these or a spatula like the shorter one pictured?

Jul 04, 2011
neel2004 in Cookware

Budget gas grill?

In that case, the Huntington sounds like it may be the fit for you. I did see a half charcoal / half gas barrel grill at my local grocery store for $199, and the gas half would be easily big enough for two spatchcocked chickens.

Just remember -- 90% of grilling is about your talent on it, and not the grill. I threw some excellent dinner parties in college with my $18 Wal-Mart propane canister grill -- it just took 25 minutes to get to a good grilling temperature, and i had a drill some holes into it and tape on a dollar store fan to get the heat even.

Jul 04, 2011
neel2004 in Cookware

Budget gas grill?

For under $200, I would recommend one of three things:

1. Wait until the end of summer until Lowes and Home Depot do their annual grill clearances. You will be able to get a $300+ grill for $200.

2. Buy the $99 stainless portable grill from Costco -- I don't remember the brand off the top of my head, but it had a decent grill surface / size, can be taken to a tailgate, and can take mini or full size cylinders.

3. You can often get a really good deal on Craigslist for a gas grill. They are pretty simple in how they work, and you can often find a grill that is sold because the owner is moving or because it needs a simple part or two replaced. I helped a buddy with a Weber he found on Craigslist last weekend -- replacement parts, the grill, and giving it a good cleaning came out to less than $150 for a $700 new grill.

Jul 04, 2011
neel2004 in Cookware

IKEA Envis Spatulas -- anyone have / used them?

I was bored in downtown Atlanta yesterday, so I ended up wandering around IKEA, and saw the Envis Spatula pair there. I didn't buy them because I wanted to see if there were any reviews of them (since IKEA products always seem to have reviews), but I didn't find any. Has anyone bought and used these? What did you think? If you have used something similar, does a short, wide spatula end up being useful?

I liked that the handles (melamine) had some heft to them, but I had no idea how "springy" the blades are since they were in a blister pack. The blades are made of silicone, and I liked the idea of a wide scraper style spatula.

It seems like something that might be useful, but I could not really tell because of the blister pack. They weren't really expensive at $7, but I also have enough useless kitchen gadgets laying around that the "little purchases" are beginning to really get expensive.

I've attached a picture of the spatulas, and their page is http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/pro... .

Jul 03, 2011
neel2004 in Cookware

Why do people often not tip for Chinese take-out?

I don't tip for Chinese takeout because pretty much every Chinese restaurant I've picked up from has 90% of their business in carryout or delivery sales. The transaction involves the cashier (almost never a server) picking up the bag from the kitchen windows and handing it to me. There is no server involved, and no prep done by a server. More times than not, I have to ask for chopsticks, sauces, more than 1 napkin, etc.

That level of service at most Chinese take-out centric places is no different than a McDonalds -- sometimes even less because the meal comes already bagged from the kitchen.

I do tip for takeout at our local diner, chain steakhouse, or other overwhelmingly sit-down restaurant.

Jun 27, 2011
neel2004 in Not About Food

CLEANING FRIDGE & SEPARATE FREEZER AFTER TWO WEEK POWER OUTAGE

I'm glad the coffee grounds worked for you, but I had a horrific experience with them. Our extra freezer (in a storage room) melted on me last year because of a gasket that came loose, and I did the whole bleach / water / cleaner/ baking soda bit, and then put a bowl of coffee grounds in for a final de-stinking. It never did get the rotten food smell out, and I could not get rid of the coffee smell either.

I ended up with a mixed smell of coffee and spoiled food that was just revolting. I ended up taking the freezer apart to clean it, and even replaced all of the gaskets, etc, but the smell would just not go away. I eventually ended up dropping off the freezer off at a scrap recycler, since nothing I could do made it smell good enough to put food into.

I was surprised how bad the freezer smelled -- there were no meat products in it all -- mostly garden vegetables from the last season and some store bought frozen vegetarian items.

Jun 24, 2011
neel2004 in Not About Food

best cruise food

We had an interesting experience on my family's first cruise on Carnival when we went about 10 years ago. My parents and I enjoyed the regular menu cruise food, but after the first meal, the maitre d asked if the rest of our group (we were 4 families) would enjoy Indian food more than what was being served to everyone else.

It turns out that since so many of the crew were from India, there was a really good Indian chef on board for staff meals. Those those chose the Indian food from then on were quite satisfied, and even I had to admit that the quality / taste of the Indian food was better than the steaks, lobster, duck, etc that was served on the regular menu. The Indian food was really a lot better than most restaurants in the US that I have been to.

Jun 18, 2011
neel2004 in General Topics

Spanish Beer in ATL?

Funny -- I remember almost all of the beer we drank in Spain when I studied abroad there as pretty terrible. Kind of the Busch Light of the European beer scene, but I don't remember trying Cruzcampo while I was there.

I would try Total Wine -- they can also order stuff they don't have on their shelves.

Edited to Add -- Apparently its a Heineken brand, so you may be able to find some through a better beer store contacting their distributors.

May 07, 2011
neel2004 in Atlanta

Wanted: Cold Spinach Dip without mayonnaise & portion question

Wow, thanks. For some reason, searching newspapers / Google news didn't cross my mind. I did a Google web search, but got some pretty terrible results.

May 06, 2011
neel2004 in Home Cooking

Wanted: Cold Spinach Dip without mayonnaise & portion question

I offered to make 2 dips for a family member's party of about 200 people. I figured that hummus and a cold spinach dip would be easiest for preparation purposes, and could be made the night before.

I, however, forgot that there are a lot of attendees that don't eat eggs. Does anyone have a good recipe for a cold spinach dip that doesn't include mayo?

For 200 people, I'm figuring that I will need 1 full sized aluminum pan full of each dip. Is that overkill? There will be other appetizers present, but the dips and crackers will be the only non-spicy, non-fried options.

May 05, 2011
neel2004 in Home Cooking

Does anyone else do their vacation souvenir shopping at local grocery stores?

On my last trip to NC from Atlanta, I realized I forgot to buy Cheerwine and Diet Cheerwine right as I hit southern SC on my return leg. I am still angry at myself for that one.

Apr 27, 2011
neel2004 in General Topics

Trying a grape... taboo?

I think its perfectly fine to sample a grape. Everywhere I buy fruit, the grapes are sold in perforated ziploc bags and sold by weight -- not by the bag. I've even taken a half or quarter bunch when I only need a certain amount. To me, its no different than breaking off however many bananas you want to buy from a bunch.

Apr 18, 2011
neel2004 in Not About Food

Restaurants.com -- Thoughts for a first-timer?

I haven't had great experiences with restaurant.com. It only seems to be a decent deal for higher-end restaurants, since most of the coupons cannot use sodas or alcohol towards the minimum purchase amount. I've also seen coupons / restaurant policies that automatically add up to a 25% tip on restaurant.com certificates,. or some where the credit is towards entrees only.

I've also seen restaurants refuse to take the coupons people have bought there and should still be valid. I've called two places to make sure they take the certificate, and they said that they stopped taking them months or longer ago, but the restaurant.com won't stop selling the coupons.

It never ends up being as good of a deal as you think once you factor in the cost of the certificate, excessive tip, and having to over-order and pay for drinks or appetizers separately.

Apr 11, 2011
neel2004 in General Topics

refreezing uncooked chicken

In that case, I just fail at reading.

Mar 27, 2011
neel2004 in General Topics

One month 'til moving: how to empty my pantry, and what not to buy?

Now is a good time to start gathering newspapers so you can wrap your glassware, etc for the move. I also place newspaper between pans, and make bundles of silverware, etc when moving. I also use crumpled up newspapers to hold kitchen stuff in place in moving boxes.

Mar 27, 2011
neel2004 in General Topics

refreezing uncooked chicken

I've done it quite regularly with chicken breasts -- I buy a pack from Sam's which I assume was shipped frozen to the store. I then clean, individually portion, and refreeze them, and they turn out fine.

I'm surprised nobody has suggested turning the chicken into some chicken soup for everyone fighting the flu.

Mar 27, 2011
neel2004 in General Topics