erica's Profile

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How can I get rid of the toaster oven on the countertop?

Here are a few ideas for a hidden microwave that might work for other appliances; I like the first one....install outlets in back of cabinet and keep toaster oven there; or keep toaster-oven in pull-out shelf in pantry.

http://www.remodelista.com/posts/10-s...

about 3 hours ago
erica in Cookware

Grocery Shopping on Arthur Avenue

I am reasonably certain that the burrata made in and around Andria, where the cheese was invented, is made from cow's milk. So I am wondering about the origin of the imported burrata.....still lots of buffalo in the Paestum area....maybe the cheese you like comes from there?

What about Calandra..do they import good burrata?

I know that Di Palo in Manhattan carries it, and they also make their own.....

I shy away from these fresh imported cheeses due to concerns about decline in quality due to long transit time..but willing to try on your recommendation!

about 5 hours ago
erica in Outer Boroughs

Spanish olive oil

And the pimenton from Murcia, which is not smoked, might also be on your list. La Odalisca puts this in cans (see lower right of photo, below) that I keep even after using the pepper:

http://www.laodalisca.es/eng/index3.htm

The company makes other brands, which also come in pretty containers, but are less commonly found, I think.

Apr 12, 2014
erica in Spain/Portugal

Food-Focused New Yorker Seeks Great Food in PBCounty

CF: I have not. We have a few by DB in NYC, and it seemed like it was a bit more "fancy" than we usually like...but if you recommend, we will certainly put it on the list for next winter season. I'm still hoping I can get one more chance at Oceana before I leave!

Apr 11, 2014
erica in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Food-Focused New Yorker Seeks Great Food in PBCounty

This winter we have eaten most of our restaurant dinners at
three spots: Pizzeria Oceana, La Buca, and Buccan. We love each, for obviously very different reasons. Just want to give a pubic thanks to all three for providing some fantastic food memories!

This week we had our first dessert by the new pastry chef at Buccan, in Palm Beach. Strawberry/rhubarb was not my favorite flavor profile--that is, until I tasted the new confection whipped up by this very talented female chef (sorry I did not ask her name). By now we have tasted many, many dishes there and not one has been anything less than very good. Many have been exciting. Will be returning tonight for a last taste before heading north next week. Yes, it is crowded and scen-ey, but it is also a pretty spot, with mostly very professional wait staff. And oh, that food! We are lucky to live within driving distance!

Apr 11, 2014
erica in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Spanish olive oil

I would not pay to ship it hone; if you can carry, fine. There are so many other items that are more difficult to find back home. For example, many of the canned exotic seafoods--aisle after aisle of these in supermarkets. Make sure you get all three varieties of pimenton. Dried beans, good rice, canned Piquillo peppers, membrillo--I often buy those, plus other things...

If I do buy oil, I go to either El Corte Ingles (high prices but convenient) or the wonderfull olive oil shop run by the Patrimonio Comunal Olivarero, in Chueca; nothing but olive oils from Spain. I doubt if they ship and you may not find English-speaking staff, but it is worth a look even if you do not buy. MAny oils come in metal cans for easier transport.

http://www.pco.es/

Apr 11, 2014
erica in Spain/Portugal

Madrid, BCN & Granada - recs for non-foodies (but still good local food)

In Granada, Puerta del Carmen is a handsome bar.restaurant with congenial staff and good versions of classics. (Do not believe they are known for frying, however) Less fenzied than some of the more famous spots...I would return.

Apr 10, 2014
erica in Spain/Portugal

Grocery Shopping on Arthur Avenue

I know it seems like a code, and I am not entirely certain if just saying "spaghetti" would net the same product as asking for the "heavy dough." But that is the phrase that the kind woman (I think her name is Joanie) told me to ask for. I do this, rather than order from the chart on the counter that shows the various widths, numbered.

Kind of mysterious..maybe ask for clarification and let us know!! All I can tell you for sure is that the pasta is sublime.

BTW: They also sell "San Marzanos." Thanks for the very interesting, and discouraging, research on that topic. Maybe try a can from Teitel and see what you think. I think they are $2.49, or $2.69. Teitel also good for good canned Italian tuna. And they have good prices on that packaged fresh pasta branded Sapori di Cilento, or something similar. That one comes in many cut shapes and is not at all bad.

Apr 09, 2014
erica in Outer Boroughs

Touristy Spots Worth Visiting

Would never recommend Grimaldi's, to a tourist or local. Long lines to enter; pizza not memorable. Motorino, or even Artichoke, would be far better. Keste was excellent, although I've not been in a while.

Apr 09, 2014
erica in Manhattan

Brisket- 1st & 2nd cut- marbled. Where to get?

I'm curious about the responses you received. As I understand, you want a whole brisket (right?) containing both first and second cut. Do those stores not carry the fattier, second cut?

I always thought that Costco had a good reputation for meat. I don't cook it much (except for things like pancetta to add to pasta sauces), so have no answer for you, but I do love a great brisket once or twice a year....!

Probably expensive because they are kosher, but maybe try Glick's in Delray (??)
I wonder, too, if there is an Asian (Vietnamese) store that would carry it since often used in pho.

There is a Western Beef in Lake Worth, and probably others, too....maybe give them a call.

On a somewhat related topic, I tried to find full-fat Greek-style yogurt last winter and could not..the only yogurts I saw in most stores were the low- or no-fat types. (When I need it next, will look in mid-Eastern markets)

Sorry I am not more help.

Apr 09, 2014
erica in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Madrid Equivalent of Hisop/Cinc Sentits?

Lua might fit the bill for you. I had a wonderful dinner there a while back (late 2012) and believe it is still well regarded. Small place, not too dissimilar to those you mention. Chef was from Galicia but dishes drew from many regions of the country.

http://www.restaurantelua.com/

Apr 08, 2014
erica in Spain/Portugal

Grocery Shopping on Arthur Avenue

I don't know much about Mike's Deli (usually make my own sandwiches), but if you buy take-out eggplant parm, you should try DiPalo's version (Grand Street, Manhattan).

I LOVE shopping in the AA neighborhood. Almost all of the vendors are exceedingly friendly and helpful and each time I go, I make a new discovery.

One item that may not have been mentioned here is the house-cured Calabrese pancetta from Biancardi (the other butchers might have it as well). It is crusted with dried red pepper (Calabria signature) and both quality and price are excellent! OH, my, I could just go on and on about this area....!!

Apr 08, 2014
erica in Outer Boroughs

Grocery Shopping on Arthur Avenue

I am pretty certain that Teitel does not sell that brand of San Marzanos. They usually have them stacked outside the store, with the price marked. But agree about the potential for mislabeling. What can you do but experiment and find a brand that suits?

The pasta from Borgatti is far and away the best I have found in the US....and it freezes beautifully. Some here will shudder, but recently I found a package that had been in my freezer for almost a year and guess what? It was fine when cooked! Prices are very low per pound; they usually cut the long pasta in the squared, chitarra shape. I ask for "heavy" spaghetti, as instructed by one of the lovely female employees. (Believe they have two or more types of pasta dough)

Apr 08, 2014
erica in Outer Boroughs

Valencia and Majorca restaurant recommendations?

Sorry..Casa Jomi is in the Nazaret neigihborhood of Valencia. Some locals might advise you to take a taxi there.

There were various types of air dried seafood, including mojama. I wrote about these in my report, which I linked above. As I recall, most of the preserved products served at Casa Jomi were air-dried and smoked; you will also see unusual items such as squid eggs. There is a whole world of these products that I do not see often anywhere else in Spain.

Also note that many excellent restaurants and bars will offer "conserved" seafood, which has been canned. Unlike the US, where canned food is often thought of as inferior to fresh, some of these items are highly prized, and very, very expensive, in Spain. (Even more expensive if you find them outside the country!) Talking here about baby eels, types of tuna, beberechos, and other products.

Just keep in mind that Casa Jomi is in a somewhat downtrodden neighborhood near the Port that does not ha e a great reputation among locals. It is unlikely that you will encounter staff with English-language skills.

Apr 07, 2014
erica in Spain/Portugal

Valencia and Majorca restaurant recommendations?

Casa Jomi, a no frills bar/restaurant in a low-income (no tourists) neighborhood near the sea, has excellent local seafood, especially the air-dried and conserved fish products. Little or no English spoken. Closed Mondays.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/785066

Apr 06, 2014
erica in Spain/Portugal

Fred Plotkin's book

Sid: I see that this is a new edition. The last "new" edition did not contain all that much that was actually new; is this one substantially updated? I adore his books! Thanks! e

Apr 06, 2014
erica in Italy

Ratte Potatoes in NYC?

Although it is no longer the season for fresh-dug potatoes, Pffaffenroth at USQ Greenmarket is excellent for various kinds of heirloom potatoes, including La Ratte. Prices lower than Mountain Sweet Berry, I think.

Apr 05, 2014
erica in Manhattan

Andalusia - tapas I should try

Notes from my last trip to Sevilla:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/879267

Apr 03, 2014
erica in Spain/Portugal

Grocery Shopping on Arthur Avenue

Good summary. Teitel is also probably the best place in the Metro area to buy DOP San Marzanos. Also among the best for imported dried pasta from quality makers.

Certainly Madonia for bread, as mentioned. They have wonderful whole-grain bread in 2 shapes..baguette and round.

Produce at the indoor market may be cheap, and you can sometimes find items like cardoons which you may not find easily in mainstream markets. But I also find quality decent to fair. No comparison with USQ Greenmarket. But look in that space for the stand with the dried pasta and other imported goods, against the north wall.

At the fish markets, look for vongole veraci (tiny clams from Italy, as long as you don't mind buying from afar!!), sea urchin, sardines, and other great items at excellent prices.

Calandra is good for all cheeses.

And the highlight of the area, for me, is Borgatti Ravioli, source of not only the best fresh pasta in NYC, but also vg for imported canned items as well as dried pastas.

Apr 02, 2014
erica in Outer Boroughs

Eastern NC Barbecue - Blackbeards

Many thanks...trying to weed through all the reports--so difficult to choose one to combine with Skylight...Blackbeard's is my choice today, tomorrow I may lean towards B's. Then last night, 2am, I read about Jack Cobb!!! I am SO looking forward to the drive, which otherwise would be quite a drag..imagine that there are people who plow along I95, stopping only at those gas-station food courts?????? And miss all the treasures just a few miles on either side of the road??

Apr 01, 2014
erica in Southeast

Food for non Patients during hospital stay

A frittata would be much easier than quiche, and can be eaten at room temperature. Throw in almost any kind of vegetable and/or cheese.

For snacks, maybe some kind of grain salad with vegetables...

Good luck to husband. Good friend just had this surgery, as an emergency, a month or so ago and is doing fine!

Mar 31, 2014
erica in Home Cooking

Eastern NC Barbecue - Blackbeards

I am planning final details of drive north from Florida to NYC, with the highlight being several BBQ stops. We changed our driving days so will now be able to visit a couple that were closed early in the week. (McCabe's in Manning (??) Blackbeard's??)

Can anyone give me an update or recent opinion on Blackbeard's? (Thinking maybe dinner at Skylight Inn (this will be on a Friday night) then drive to Hampton Inn or similar someplace between there and Blackbeard's and hit Blackbeard's when they open on Saturday, before heading to Delmarva).

(Related question: Is there any chance Skylight would be out of BBQ in late afternoon??)

Is the fact that Friday is Good Friday of any concern as far as closings??

Thanks (again!!) to all!!

Mar 31, 2014
erica in Southeast

Great mozzarella needed.

Bedner's on #441 also sells 1 or 2 of the Mozzarita cheeses.

A visit to the Pompano location is very interesting. The family hails from Puglia, and they are lovely people, who are especially welcoming if you can manage some Italian.
They offer scamorza and a couple of other cheeses not usually found in the retail outlets. They also sell a few products that they import from Italy--I bought farro, Pugliese olive oil, and a few other things when I visited last year.

In fairness, I am not saying that their product reaches the heights of NYC sources such as Di Palo, but it is very, very good, and freezes well enough.

Brief tutorial: Feel free to skip if not interested!!

Never refrigerate mozzarella on the first day, as quality deteriorates substantially. Use as much as possible on the day of purchase (I leave on counter overnight if it is not too hot). (In Puglia, mozzarella is not eaten fresh after the day of purchase)

After that, you can refrigerate, but be sure to take out hours ahead if using fresh.

After a couple of days, you can put in the freezer where it keeps for months, and it good for cooked dishes.

Mar 31, 2014
erica in Miami - Fort Lauderdale
1

Dinner near I95 in North Carolina

Better to remark on how far you are wiling to drive from I-95.

This thread might help get you started, although most of the addresses mentioned are not open daily, and are a bit of a drive from I-95. Having said that, I would drive a few hours off the highway to eat BBQ at Skylight Inn, and will do so this coming month... Trust me, this is not just a "stop along the road," it ranks in the pantheon of food experiences in the USA.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/923082

Mar 23, 2014
erica in Southeast
1

Ma Peche (NYC) vegetable recipes?

Smiingal, I never did snare that recipe, or any others from Ma Peche. But will commence an online search in the next few days and see what kind of umami-laden veg recipes I can track down. Thanks for reminding me!

I've not had the pleasure of looking at the Momo/Chang cookbook (s) so perhaps treasures are hidden within those pages !?

Mar 20, 2014
erica in Home Cooking

Countdown to the opening of Eataly's Disneyworld of Food in Bologna

I'm wondering if the opening of Eataly will have a big impact on the food scene in Bologna. Did it have a harsh impact in Turin, among everyday shoppers? (I visited the Turinese mother ship once, for curiosity, and did buy quite a bit, but found that although the offerings covered a wide range of Northern regions, that it was not a substitute for the wares offered at local, Piemontese-focused food stores.

Curious about the impact in Rome, which I suspect would not be that great.

Speaking now of the US: In my home town of NYC, I do believe that this mega-store has impacted smaller Italian food shops (thinking DiPalo here and my comment is solely from m own observation..).Eataly in NYC is skewed toward products from the northern half of the country, in my opinion and from only cursory glances...I do not see too many southern products, although lest I get criticized for this comment, there are some in the olive oil section, and some preserved items from Campania..maybe the northern companies are better versed in the import-export regs...

Mar 11, 2014
erica in Italy

Buying local produce, other than at farmers markets...

Bedner's is good; they grow some of their own produce and obtain some from farmer's further west. (They also sell some imported produce).

If you can stand the crazy, NYC-style atmosphere (shopper's carts nipping at your heels and parking lot wars) you should check out The Boys, on Military north of Atlantic in Delray. They have excellent prices on a vast variety of produce items, including rarities like cardoons, banana flowers, amaranth leaves--spotted there last week. Some is local, some not, but the variety is the best I've seen in SE Florida.

The Greenmarkets/"farmer's markets" I've visited here, in winter, have been disappointing for produce for someone from NYC. The distinction is in the rules for what can and what cannot be sold in a farmer's market. For SE Florida, one of the giants is the weekend market in Redlands, near Homestead, which deserves a thread all its own..weekends only but again, not all is local there, either. Well worth a visit for atmosphere (Latin) and prices, along with a few unusual finds.

Mar 10, 2014
erica in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Cafe La Buca in Pompano

Glad you enjoyed! As it happens, last week I had dinner there twice in four days. Like you, I've always felt in control of ordering, contrary to some reviews I've read.

Wait staff will ask if they should bring you an assortment of antipasti; if you decline, which you probably should, you just choose your own. I've been liking those brussel sprouts with pancetta lately, and always order the marinated peppers with black olives, which might be my favorite dish in the restaurant. It is easy to make a meal of 3-4 appetizers, with that pizza-dough bread.

I do wish they would change their dishes more according to season, although there is always slight variation on what is offered. I, too, like the clams very much and usually order them when available. Tiramisu was very good, too, I agree; I'd never had it there before.

I agree that price is reasonable for quality and quantity. (Last week's pizza was not as good as in the past, but almost certain that was a one-off, hopefully not to be repeated) Oddly, the price of certain dishes varies from time to time..this week peppers were $6 one night and $10 three nights later! Just add it to the quirks of this tasty and unassuming spot!

Mar 08, 2014
erica in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Greece: Way More Lamb Than Beef? Corresponding Terrain?

NYTimes article from a few years ago discussing rising popularity of goat in some US kitchens:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/01/din...

Mar 04, 2014
erica in General Topics

Countertop material: granite vs. solid surface (corian) vs. engineered stone (silestone)

Yes, absolutely you need to go to the stoneyard to see the actual slab of granite, or other stone.

Someplace like this:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-C1NWpGn7Oy8...

Lots of room for disappointment (and with some patterns more than with others) if you just order from a store sample.

Thanks for all the help here, everyone! Indeed a mind-boggling subject..I am glad I am not re-doing a kitchen in the near future!

Mar 02, 2014
erica in Cookware