Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

Athena's Profile

Title Last Reply

Laurie Colwin’s Baked Mustard Chicken???

I made it last October for a friend's birthday lunch and it did not turn out at all like janniecooks - it was crisp on the outside and and moist inside and everyone loved it and fought over taking leftovers home.

Mar 17, 2015
Athena in Home Cooking

Irish Soda Bread recipe that isn't too dry?

I make a brown soda bread - it's the closest I've come to what my Irish friend would make on Christmas Day to go with the Irish smoked salmon. It's from the Ace Bakery in Toronto:
http://www.acebakery.com/recipe-box/r...

Mar 15, 2015
Athena in Home Cooking

Easter Lamb Recipe

I made Ottlenghi's lamb last Easter - I left it butterflied and grilled on the Weber - could also be done in the oven - it was a huge hit.
http://www.ottolenghi.co.uk/barbecued...

I served it with his eggplant recipe:
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

I've also made this variation on the eggplant which uses saffron:
https://theottolenghiproject.wordpres...

Mar 08, 2015
Athena in Home Cooking

What do you serve for drinks at dinner parties?

Pinot Grigio is a sweet white wine?

North American destination city for culinary vacation with young kids?

hotoynoodle, I was only speaking of my personal experience staying with friends on the Cape, it was magical and I still remember the little roadside diner with great pies. As for paying dearly, it depends where you're coming from, Bermuda is really expensive in comparison.

Jan 05, 2015
Athena in General Topics

What is the correct sauce to accompany meat?

I've been reading Harter's responses for enough years to know that he is not denying the existence of British foodways in general - he is English first and foremost and from a particular part of England that has its own foodways that are different from the foodways found in other parts of the country, let alone Britain or the UK. However, there are certain sauces to accompany meat that some Britons recognise as being part of their overall foodways such as mint sauce, bread sauce, Cumberland sauce, etc.

Jan 04, 2015
Athena in General Topics

North American destination city for culinary vacation with young kids?

Growing up in Bermuda made me acutely aware of the tourist experience versus the locals' experience, and I have been so fortunate to have friends scattered around in interesting places. Montreal was especially interesting - I had never heard the terms "Anglophone" and "Francophone", and although my friends were the former they could switch to Quebecois without missing a beat.

Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard are also great - I used to take my son to stay with friends there for several summers.

Jan 04, 2015
Athena in General Topics

North American destination city for culinary vacation with young kids?

I love Montreal, but I stayed with friends who lived there - which I think makes a difference especially given what susancinsf said below. It can be hard going into a city cold and not knowing where to go. I dound that I would have had that amazing dim sum experience - small children were in tow - if I weren't with that family.

I can recommend the area around Little Deer Isle, Maine for a wonderfully relaxing vacation. I have friends who have a house there and it was endless lazy days of watching seagulls swoop and catch mussels then drop them to crack them and swoop down to gobble them up - we also collected lots of mussels to steam. I was there for the Fourth of July - a delightful parade followed by fresh lobster. I'm not American, I love experiencing that holiday!

Jan 03, 2015
Athena in General Topics

Accommodating a Party Guest-What is Reasonable?

Oh my, he sounds like a trencherman along the lines of the men of the Gilded Age like Diamond Jim Brady, and it sounds like this is his normal way of eating rather than binge eating as defined as a disorder - but that's between him and his doctor.

It sounds like you have the kind of relationship where you can put it on the table with him and work out a strategy to deal with his appetite that allows him to enjoy the party without hoovering up everything in sight.

Dec 29, 2014
Athena in Not About Food

Help needed: Good gravy from red meats

Yes, there is a little supermarket where I live where the butchers make it from scratch and freeze it. There's also commercial concentrated demiglace available which I have used when the former is not available, not as good, but still still gives colour and depth of flavour.

Dec 28, 2014
Athena in Home Cooking

Help needed: Good gravy from red meats

A beef fillet is not going to give you the fat that a rib roast will - and I don't know that you want a roux-based gravy with that - I've always gone the Julia Child route - deglazing the pan with some madeira, adding some demiglace and a bit of water to dilute and thickening with a bit of arrowroot. There's something fairly similar for lamb fillet that I found on the BBC food board (obviously different flavourings. But that's just my preference.

Dec 28, 2014
Athena in Home Cooking

Help needed: Good gravy from red meats

You need an equal amount of fat to flour - have you checked that you are doing that?

Have you tried adding a steady stream of stock as you whisk?

Unless you have a great deal of dark brown fond in the pan to begin with, you may not get that burnt umber dark gravy.

Dec 27, 2014
Athena in Home Cooking
1

NYE dessert suggestions needed

Yep - pavlova! I use Jamie Oliver's meringue recipe which uses 6 egg whites, no cornstarch. You can add chopped pistachios and white choc to the meringue before piling on the parchments paper to bake. Or not.

I've used pomegranta seeds, cranberry sauce, lemon curd folded into the whipped crem - you are limited only by your imagination and it looks so pretty and festive!

Dec 26, 2014
Athena in Home Cooking

1st time cooking a leg of lamb--tips?

Oh my, it never occurred to me to leave the netting on! I take it off and mix up a marinade of smashed garlic, rosemary, s+p, honey and white wine warmed in a saucepan then cooled, then I put everything in a plastic bag to marinate overnight. Sometimes I flatten it and roast it, sometimes lay a stuffing of spinach/goat cheese/breadcrumbs then roll and tie it before roasting at 375 until the thermometer tells me it's medium rare.

Dec 25, 2014
Athena in Home Cooking

Thanks Mom

I am so sorry for your loss. My mother died some 30 years ago, she loved Christmas and all the cooking and baking that went with it, every Christmas since that first one in 1983 I feel she is with me as I bake and cook my way through December. I remember how she would cut a slice from her cherry and walnut cake "just to make sure it was OK", and she is there with me as I pull the golden brown cassava pie from the oven on Christmas Eve. Just keep on keeping on.

Dec 11, 2014
Athena in Not About Food

First Married Christmas

Congratulations!

Julia Child's filet steaks with Madeira mushroom sauce is a pre-Christmas special dinner favourite, I have served it with little red potatoes roasted in the oven or mashed potatoes, sometimes with carrots either simply cut in sticks and steamed, or roasted, or cherry tomatoes roasted with fresh thyme and a little olive oil. I usually serve a simple little salad on the side too - a few leaves of arugula or butter lettuce with a little walnut vinaigrette.

I've also covered thick filets of firm white fish with a mix of finely chopped hazelnuts, parsley and panko crumbs, started on the stove top and finished in the oven, served with roasted, thinly sliced potatoes and peas tossed with a dollop of creme fraiche.

I'm not big on appetizers - a dish of almonds or marinated olives with a glass of bubbly or wine.

Dessert is usually just a scoop of coffee or vanilla ice cream with a really dark, homemade chocolate sauce - David Leibovitz has an excellent recipe.

Dec 10, 2014
Athena in Home Cooking

Basically asked/guilted into cancelling our New Years Party - did I react in the right way?

You did the right thing. The suggestion that you both throw a party and let people choose sounds totally bizarre - what a waste of time and money – and reeks of adolescent drama.

Parents of Adult Children: When should kids start picking up the check?

That just broke my heart pine time, so many elderly people have to choose between food and medication, so glad you were there to help and so sad they found themselves in that situation.

Nov 13, 2014
Athena in Not About Food
1

Who Makes Mac & Cheese without Bechamel/Mornay?

That's pretty much how we made it, Bada Bing, in 1950s/60s Bermuda - always elbow macaroni, evaporated milk and loads of 'rat cheese' - i.e. New Zealand cheddar.

Nov 09, 2014
Athena in Home Cooking

Parents of Adult Children: When should kids start picking up the check?

My son was 7 when I divorced his father, I chose to give him the best education I could which meant many lean years until he graduated from university, landed a a great job and got his own debit card - he has not allowed me to pay for a meal when we go out since then.

Nov 09, 2014
Athena in Not About Food
2

TUMS at a dinner party?

I confess, I cannot wait to hear about Roz's annual Christmas Blowout.

As for the TUMS on the table. You keep inviting her to your table for whatever reason, so you know by now to expect the unexpected, the rude, the attention seeking, the downright social cluelessness – she is an overgrown toddler and I don't see that changing any time soon - so just roll your eyes and go with it.

I had a Roz clone up until last year when she behaved so badly at a birthday lunch that it was the last straw for me. We are also work colleagues, I am polite and professional but we will never sit down to a meal ever again.

Guest Calling the Shots

I'm sorry that there is that one jackass who is taking advantage of your generosity - and I get the feeling that for you it's less about the expense than it is about the taking advantage, I don't think you're getting in a snit at all - you just didn't expect that someone would be so rude and thoughtless. It looks like everyone is going to have to pay for his bad behaviour - I agree with Hobbert - arrange for a fixed menu with choices and beer, soft drinks and wine to drink.

Dinner music - the host or the guest decides?

Yes, the Rozs are real. I have one in my life but she is no longer invited into my house .Not for a meal not even for a drink. I got to the point where I just couldn't deal with a 50-odd-year-old toddler. As entertaining as she was, the endless disruption and narcissism just wasn't worth it.

Fairmont Hotel Hamilton Bermuda

That is daily breakfast from 7-11 am - I think the OP is referring to Sunday brunch which the Hamilton Princess no longer serves.

Fairmont Hotel Hamilton Bermuda

No, they don't.

Imperial v. Metric issue

Growing up in Bermuda we had American cups but butter came in blocks from Australia and NZ - so much time spent softening butter and squooshing into those cups!

These days I have the equipment to use whatever the recipe is written in. I still find it impossible to visualise metric quantities when reading a recipe though.

Jun 15, 2014
Athena in Home Cooking

Caribbean babymoon - hotel/resort recommendations? Need great food!

I second The Reefs. I live in Bermuda and I go there for staycations with friends – it is the perfect place to be lazy - on the beach, around the pool, at the spa – and the food has improved a lot - it got a bit wobbly for a while there.

Easter Dinner Ideas

I too am trawling through recipes for next Sunday, all I know for sure at this point that dessert will be individual white chocolate and pistachio pavlovas and the meat will be lamb.

Anyway, the soup sounds wonderful, and as other have said it can be a small bowlful.

If you want a green sauce with the lamb lollipops I can recommend Ottolenghi's sauce that goes with his grilled lamb:
http://www.ottolenghi.co.uk/barbecued...
When I made the recipe I marinaded a butterflied lamb leg and then grilled on the barbecue - no reason why you couldn't use lollipops - the herby/almondy sauce is really delicious - if cilantro is a problem Italian parsley works just as well, and the orange blossom water will not be missed if you don't have it.

So, a green sauce, roasted tomatoes, crusty bread and a simple green salad maybe?

Apr 12, 2014
Athena in Home Cooking

looking for ideas and tips... "nest' cake for Easter

Nigella Lawson uses a flourless chocolate cake recipe (it's originally Richard Sax's recipe and I have made it many, many times) it sinks in the centre as it cools so you have a nest- like bowl, and she fills it with Cadbury mini-eggs:
http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/e...

Apr 12, 2014
Athena in Home Cooking

Do Chowhounds Tend To Be Creative/Artistic?

I say creativity lies within your process of tweaking! Art and design is frequently derivative.

Mar 23, 2014
Athena in Not About Food
1