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kathleen440's Profile

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In Search of Spice

Etete is great, but I think Zenebech Injera's food is just as good, and a little hotter.

What to bring home from Morocco?

I brought back argan oil and spices. Argan oil is fantastic for dressing salads and couscous, and it's a lot cheaper over there. And I got a great deal on saffron and ras el hanout.

Aug 01, 2012
kathleen440 in General Topics

Moving to DC from NYC, help!

I've lived in DC for 5 years and have lived in both Columbia Heights and Shaw (which is just south and east of U Street). My favorite places in/around each of those neighborhoods are:

Adams Morgan - Amsterdam Falafel, Jack Rose, The Blaguard (for your Irish dive bar needs)

Columbia Heights - Meridian Pint, Room 11, Pollo Sabroso, Pho 14, Taqueria Distrito Federal, El Rinconcito II

U Street/Ledroit/Bloomingdale - The Gibson, Eatonville, Smucker Farms (Amish food market), Etete, Zenebech Injera, Thai X-ing, Boundary Stone

Chinatown/Convention Center - The Passenger, Sundevich, Seasonal Pantry (boutique food market), Proof, Matchbox, Jaleo, Zaytinya, Chinatown Express

Places in other areas I think are well worth seeking out - The Atlas Room, Ethiopic, Rasika, Great Wall Szechuan House, Ghana Cafe, Birch & Barley/Churchkey, Pearl Dive, Sushi Taro, Ardeo+Bardeo, and of course the farmer's markets and food trucks.

You won't starve :) DC is completely different from New York, but there's plenty to eat here.

Inexpensive (Wedding) Catering options in DC

Capitol Catering has gone out of business, sadly! The owner retired several months ago.

Help With Celebration Dinner

Ardeo would be a great option - I remember their scallops and homemade pastas being absolutely excellent, so you'd definitely have some good non-meat options.

Not available in the US

I tried to find Amer Picon in France 5 months ago and no one had it! Oh well. I did come back with two little bottles of Chartreuse Elixir Vegetal, which is a GREAT find for anyone living in the States. It's about 10 euros a bottle in Paris, and I love using it as bitters.

May 23, 2012
kathleen440 in Spirits

We Moved! Any must-hit spots in Logan/Shaw?

If you walk to 11th and Rhode Island, you can hop the G8 - it goes all the way up RI to 4th St. NE, Catholic and beyond :)

What great ethnic chow in DC won't I find in NYC?

Ghana Cafe is also tasty - I love their fish stew.

We Moved! Any must-hit spots in Logan/Shaw?

I love Red Toque and Zenebech Injera. They're both inexpensive, no-nonsense places with great food. Red Toque will deliver.

At Red Toque, the vegetarian stuff rules - especially the palak paneer, chickpea curry, falafel sandwiches, samosas, hummus, and homemade bread. The lamb kebab sandwich is also good. At Zenebech, you can't go wrong with the vegetarian combo or the kitfo.

Shaw's Tavern and Bistro Bohem are both very good, but considerably more expensive than the other places in Shaw. I think the brunch at Shaw's is a better value than the dinner. Get the pastry basket! Bistro Bohem has great cocktails, and I love their chicken schnitzel.

And how could I forget Boundary Stone? It's awesome.

Welcome to the neighborhood :)

Catering Company DC- Navy Yard area

Susan Gage has absolutely excellent standards (especially for service). But if your budget won't allow you to hire the Susan Gages and Occasions of the world, Windows and Ridgewells are also worth a look.

Name a surprising/intense/unusual American dish.

A food from my hometown, Nashville - hot chicken! It's basically just fried chicken, but the batter is made with copious amounts of cayenne; it is HOT. Hotter than hot wings, and without the vinegary taste of bottled hot sauce. The hot chicken joints in Nashville will generally refuse to serve anything above "medium" to someone who isn't a regular (or they will, but they'll laugh at you as you try to eat it with tears streaming down your face).

Serve it on white bread with pickles. It's some great stuff.

May 14, 2012
kathleen440 in Home Cooking

Say what?? Cooking comments that baffle you

Sadly, that is a real condition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquageni...

May 14, 2012
kathleen440 in Not About Food

Say what?? Cooking comments that baffle you

Why even order steak out, if they can't do it to your liking? It's cheaper to cook a hockey pick at home, anyway...

May 14, 2012
kathleen440 in Not About Food

Could something in Margarita's make me unable to sleep ?

+1. I like a 3:2:1 tequila:lime:orange liqueur ratio. ALWAYS use freshly squeezed lime juice. I prefer reposado tequila and Cointreau, but that's just me. I think El Jimador is a pretty good value - it's 100% agave but still pretty cheap.

May 14, 2012
kathleen440 in Spirits

Mint coming out my ears!!!!

Make a mint simple syrup to use in cocktails and NA drinks. It's great in everything from mojitos to tea to seltzer. It's also great drizzled on strawberries.

May 14, 2012
kathleen440 in Home Cooking

Catfish?

I almost never see them whole, but catfish filets are plentiful and cheap in the DC grocery stores. It's my white fish of choice.

May 14, 2012
kathleen440 in General Topics

Looking for niçoise olive in DC metro, Annapolis, Baltimore area

The Wegmans in Lanham, MD is about 25 miles from Annapolis - it's just one exit south of the Beltway/Rt. 50 junction. Not close enough to go very often, but well worth a special trip a couple of times a year :) I rent a car every now and then to load up on meat for the freezer and pantry items, it's a fabulous store.

Looking for niçoise olive in DC metro, Annapolis, Baltimore area

Whole Foods carries them - I've definitely seen them on the olive bar at the P Street store.

Say what?? Cooking comments that baffle you

I... could cry.

May 09, 2012
kathleen440 in Not About Food

Chicken and Waffles in DC

The Birch and Barley version is wonderful - definitely worth hunting down a brunch reservation.

Bitter? Sour? Please help me come up recipes

Along the same lines, a gratin with greens would be yummy! Alton Brown has a recipe that you could use as a basic template:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al...

May 05, 2012
kathleen440 in Home Cooking

Nigella/charnushka seeds.

Sweet! I'm glad I could help. BTW, this is my favorite application for panch phoron, you should totally try it:

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/sp...

May 02, 2012
kathleen440 in General Topics

What do you wipe your counters with?

I use either a 1:1 vinegar-water solution, or Clorox wipes if I've spilled something.

May 01, 2012
kathleen440 in Not About Food

Bottle sizes for tonic water/club soda

The smallest cans I can find are 8oz (Polar brand), and even those go flat before I can use it all! Tonic usually goes flat overnight for me.

If anyone ever made tiiiiny 4oz cans, I would be first in line.

May 01, 2012
kathleen440 in Spirits

Nigella/charnushka seeds.

Hmm, sounds like panch phoron, a Bengali blend that usually includes five whole seeds - fennel, cumin, black mustard, fenugreek, and nigella. It goes amazingly well with potatoes (try it in a breakfast hash!). So, you could look for that too.

May 01, 2012
kathleen440 in General Topics

Cooking without tomatoes, onion, garlic, chilli, coconut, dairy

Asafoetida (hing) will be your best bet to replace the garlic/onion flavor. It smells like a foot when it's raw, but when you fry a little pinch in oil, it tastes wonderful. You can get it at Indian groceries or on the Internet.

Along the same lines, tofu is a good substitute for certain dairy applications - either pressed, cubed, and pan-fried for "paneer" curries, or whisked silken tofu as a substitute for yogurt or cream in curries, desserts, and smoothies.

I would substitute roasted red peppers for tomatoes, if your family can tolerate bell peppers. (Are they allergic to nightshades, or are they just sensitive to the heat of chilis?)

Apr 25, 2012
kathleen440 in Home Cooking

Desperately seeking bay scallops

Eastern Market should have them, if you can't find them at the supermarket. I've definitely seen them at the P Street Whole Foods, though.

HELP! Cooking with very specific diet restrictions??

Increasing the quantities of very pungent, aromatic spices (especially cumin) should help. I also find that it's easier to cut out salt in dry curries and stir-fries, since the vegetables take on a bit of blackened/charred flavor. A good example of that is one of my favorite side dishes from Raghavan Iyer's 660 Curries - the "Saucy Eggplant and Green Tomato," which is vegan, salt-free and has only a little bit of oil (which you could easily cut down on).

Also, sumac and mango powder are good substitutes for citrus.

Apr 20, 2012
kathleen440 in Special Diets

Buying six bottles at once- what would you get?

Good catch, St. Germain is at least $35 a bottle where I live.

Apr 11, 2012
kathleen440 in Spirits

Buying six bottles at once- what would you get?

I have to admit I've never tried the Hayman's Old Tom - I have Ransom at home. But the Ransom is $35+ a bottle. Old Tom as a general style is indeed sweeter and less juniper-y than London Dry. It was the most popular type of gin before Prohibition, so it works really well in classic cocktails - especially the sweet ones (Martinez, Tom Collins, etc.) If you're willing to spring a little more money, though, the Ransom Old Tom is great - it's barrel aged, so it has a really complex flavor.

Seagram's is my rail gin of choice. I like it better than both Gordon's and New Amsterdam. I've never tried Plymouth, simply because I haven't gotten around to it - at that price point I'd rather buy Bombay Sapphire or Tanqueray.

Apr 11, 2012
kathleen440 in Spirits