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beethoven's Profile

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Recipes You've Never Heard of Outside Your Family

That's what my Pennsylvania side calls "Pot pie".

Jul 04, 2013
beethoven in Home Cooking

What is your absolute favorite dish from your cultural heritage?

Shoo-fly pie and scrapple!

Jun 23, 2013
beethoven in General Topics

Where to buy tapioca flour in Winston-Salem?

I've looked in Whole Foods and Fresh-whatever-their-name-is,

in the starch section next to the arrowroot,
in the specialty flours next to the rice,
in theBob's Red Mill display,
and in the "International"/Latin/Caribbean/African sections.

I don't care if you call it fufu or manioc or cassava or yuca, label it in Spanish or Portuguese or Swahili, and I'll happily drive to anywhere in town to get it -- I just need a good 3 lbs!

Jun 23, 2013
beethoven in Southeast

Ickky Party Dishes

It probably was for on top of the jello.

May 31, 2013
beethoven in General Topics

London Broil

Sure, why not? Just pat it dry first, and oil the pan after. People get waaay too worried about cast iron.

PS: try a saurbraten marinade for London Broil sometime.

May 25, 2013
beethoven in Home Cooking

Looking for wedding caterer that can roast a whole lamb (or 2) in Southern Vermont - any ideas??!!

Track down the folks from Sarki's market -- the storefront operation is closed, but the family is still producing and catering. They'll either be able to do it themselves, or they'll know who will.

Apr 24, 2013
beethoven in Greater Boston Area

It's nettle time!!!

Anybody else as happy as I am?

May 06, 2011
beethoven in Home Cooking

It's nettle season!

Anybody else as happy as I am?

May 02, 2011
beethoven in General Topics

What exactly are collard greens and how do I cook them?

So, do you just use the vinegar/juice? or spoon out the whole peppers and eat them, or what?
(ignorant Northerner here...)

May 02, 2011
beethoven in Home Cooking

What Food Trend are You So Sick Of?

Describing anything with the phrase "xxxx of xxx-y xxx-ness."

Bowl of chocolatey goodness, plate of porky deliciousness....pfeh.

Bring me my spear of ow-y sharpness...

Mar 02, 2011
beethoven in General Topics

Favorite thing to cook in a cast iron skillet

Anything with brown crunchy bits.

Dec 27, 2010
beethoven in Home Cooking

High quality ramen - is there such thing?

I don't mean the restaurant kind, I mean the cheap bricks in the plastic pouches.

I tend to buy things on impulse in ethnic markets with labels I can't read at all, and over the years I've gotten some pretty good ramen but I have no idea what the brand was or what the flavors were (shrimp? Something seafoody, in any case)

Asian chowhounds, are there any good ones out there? Care to describe the label or what to look for? Any particular country put out better stuff?

Dec 20, 2010
beethoven in General Topics

If you could wear your food as perfume...

Heck, I did this when I was a kid - snuck the almond extract out of the cupboard and dabbed it on my wrists. Drove my mother nuts.

Dec 16, 2010
beethoven in Not About Food

I miss my mom's______dish!

Sand tarts.

Very very flat, thin, round sugar cookies, tops shiny with egg wash, a single black walnut in the middle.

You have to make them ahead and let them cure out on the screen porch for a couple weeks so they get the right amount of bendy in the middle.

Mine still aren't like my grandmother's. I think I have the wrong kind of screens on my porch.

Dec 15, 2010
beethoven in General Topics

Food and Drink Choices Inspired by Fictional Characters

Warm hard-boiled-egg sandwiches, on toast, lots of mayo/blackpepper.

Thank you Sue Grafton/Kinsey Milhone.

(the most comforting food in the world)

Dec 04, 2010
beethoven in General Topics

Apricot kernels -- what to do with them

I bet baklava would be an interesting experiment.

Nov 27, 2010
beethoven in Home Cooking

Best Sandwich in the World

Grilled aged cheddar on good sourdough/french.

Peel it apart and insert bread-and-butter pickles.

Nov 22, 2010
beethoven in General Topics

ISO Lovage

Plant some in a spare corner and you will never run out -- and once in a while it'll bolt a flower stalk seven feet high like gimlis', plus it'll be a haven for swallowtail caterpillars. In the meantime, just use celery leaves and noone will know...

Sep 28, 2010
beethoven in Greater Boston Area

What is scrapple?

Nobody mentioned the buckwheat version, which is pretty much the same bluish-grey colour of the faces of dead martyrs in medieval paintings, and tastes even better than the cornmeal-only version.

The trick to getting a nice crust is to fry it on one side in a cast iron pan until it's almost brown enough, and then turn the heat DOWN. The slices will release from the pan after a few minutes and all the fond will stay together w/ the slice, not stuck to the pan. Flip it over and turn the heat back up. It's similar in its crunchy outside/tender inside contrast to fried polenta or a good croquette.

Aug 14, 2010
beethoven in General Topics

My braised/pot roasted beef/pork roasts always come out dry, hard

Go on ebay, search under Descoware/Dru Holland/Copco and get yourself a vintage dutch oven for about 1/10th the price of new LeC -- but watch the shipping charges, those suckers are heavy! Get someone who will ship it low and slow ...

Aug 09, 2010
beethoven in Home Cooking

Which foundational cookbook would you give a beginning 23 YO cook?

"The original Moosewood recipes are loaded with saturated fats, sodium, and calories."

Yup :)

Aug 09, 2010
beethoven in Home Cooking

ISO Salsa Lizano, fresh epazote, plantains...

Anyone know where to find them in the greater Boston area?

I'm a recent transplant and have pretty quickly found Russo's, the Mt Auburn Armenian nexus, any number of Asian/Indian markets, and a few Italian groceries.

Where do I look for Mexican/Central/So. American food supplies?
I've got friends in the DR community up in Lawrence, but I'm looking for closer-to-home.

-- not afraid of "bad" parts of town, They're usually not. --

Aug 08, 2010
beethoven in Greater Boston Area

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

I've been eating the same sandwich for years, but with the pickles as bread-and-butter slices, not relish. It's basically a "ploughmans lunch" stacked up instead of on a plate.

Mmm...that classic combination of salt/fat and crisp/sweet... and it's just not quite right unless you let it sit in a lunchbox for three hours.

Jul 30, 2010
beethoven in Home Cooking

Which foundational cookbook would you give a beginning 23 YO cook?

I'm surprised that no one has yet mentioned the Moosewood cookbook (and the accompanying Broccoli Forest).

Folks under forty won't get it, but there was a time when arugula and tahini were foreign words (my mother thought arugula was a tropical island). I suspect we over-forties might think of Moosewood as a relic of our hippie pasts, but there are many good recipes in there that were once novelties and are now standards.

The quirky illustrations and indeterminate amounts ( a "glob" or a "splat" or "pile") can be very comforting for folks who find the wordier tomes intimidating.

Some cookbooks are laid out like an encyclopedia (little teeny letters) some like a busy webpage (sidebars! headers!).
Moosewood doesn't feel like a textbook -- there's one recipe on a page and lots of white space. For anyone with reading issues or even just newbie fear, it can be a welcome respite from information overload.

Jul 30, 2010
beethoven in Home Cooking

Three VERY different eaters just did Coppa (yum!), Istanbu'lu's next, then what?

I'm the adventurous foodie, my husband is the meat guy, my stepson is the sweet, hesitant-but-curious 17 year old vegetarian.

We have a newish tradition of going out for a good meal for birthdays/milestone events - restaurants are good politically neutral territory, neither mom, dad or stepmom's house.

I kept a close eye on board discussions of ethnic/excellent/veggie friendly/meat oriented places in the Boston area, and headed to Coppa last week as a result. Score! Everybody happy!
(thanks, hounds!)

Istanbu'lu sounds like the place to try next, as does Toro. Anybody else in a similar situation have favorite spots you want to share? Doesn't have to be uber fancy/pricy, just good.

Extra points if it's on the quiet side; it's hard to work on your family dynamics in the midst of the loud/hip crowd.

PS the kid's a vegetarian, but not savvy enough to ask if the arancini risotto was cooked in chicken broth... and we don't always tell him. (bad parents, I know)

Jul 28, 2010
beethoven in Greater Boston Area

Weekday breakfast Waltham, Belmont, Lexington area?

I've had good luck so far at Uncommon Grounds, if you're willing to cross the border into Watertown -- and then you can do your lunch/dinner shopping at Sevan/Arax/Massis.

Uncommon Grounds
575 Mount Auburn St, Watertown, MA 02472

Jul 22, 2010
beethoven in Greater Boston Area

Searching for secret dip recipe...

About sixteen years ago I used to go to a monthly potluck before a contra dance (google it) in very rural New Hampshire.
A big bunch of us bleeding-heart-liberal-Birkenstock-wearing-starving-artisan-neo-hippies would gather around and just inhale the dip that one guy (we'll call him Dan) would always bring. It was warm and orange and spicy and just fabulous, and he would NEVER tell us what was in it. We loved it.

A little later I got to know Dan (ahem) rather well, and during a somewhat...personal...moment I decided to take advantage and asked him what was in that dip.
He STILL wouldn't give me the exact recipe, but I DID learn that it involved a double boiler, horseradish, and a great big chunk of (Oh Horrors!) ---- Velveeta.
We dancing hippies woulda DIED if we knew we were eating that icon of all-we-rejected.

I've already searched various threads here and it definitely wasn't the Ro-tel stuff (which also sounds kinda good) Does this ring a bell with anyone? Got a recipe?

Jul 13, 2010
beethoven in Home Cooking

Where must I eat (preferably locally produced and/or organic) in southern VT and NH?

Go to Burdick's in Walpole, and try to pick a cool rainy day so you can have the hot (dark!) chocolate.

Authentic ethnic of ANY ethnicity except N.C. , IN N.C.

Hoo boy. My English teacher would not approve of my first post - not clear enough.

OK, I'm looking for authentic ethnic food IN N.C., specifically anywhere between and including Winston-Salem and Charlotte, but not looking for BBQ, liver pudding or any other authentic southern specialty. (altho I DO like such things, a lot.)

Authentic Mexican, Peruvian, Hungarian, Senegalese... but not North Carolinian.

Especially hoping to find places that haven't made their food "safe" for the average American eater - left out the offal, or the fermented fish, or half the spices - or "fused" it with something else just to be trendy.

Help me out, and if you ever come to Vermont I'll make you pancakes w/ maple syrup and fried Lebanon bologna on the side.

Jun 17, 2010
beethoven in Southeast

AUTHENTIC (fill-in-the-blank) in North Carolina

I love places that are truly authentic -- regular people who cook the regular food they grew up with, without dumbing it down, making it safely "American", or fusing it with something else just to be trendy.

Where can I find food that's just like Grandma made back in the Old Country, any country?
Between Winston-Salem and the Charlotte airport?

Cheap scary dives, takeout trucks and hoity-toity elegance all ok. Thanks!

Jun 13, 2010
beethoven in Southeast