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HillsofBeverly's Profile

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Best New Thanksgiving Dish

Nothing. 1 cup cream, salt and pepper, bit of nutmeg if you like, and (for me) a stalk's worth of blanched sprouts. Braise covered until soft. The cream thickens into a sauce. Simple and delicious.

about 5 hours ago
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Need a better bechamel (and/or mornay), not gloppy

Great ideas, thank you. I also think that Julia's recipes seem bland by today's standards, and as an Indian and Asian food and salsa lover, my tastebuds are set for higher levels of contrast (or pain). By contrast, hubs and I have found that our 70-80 year old parents can barely eat what we enjoy (the mildest amounts of chili are deemed too much, etc.).

about 13 hours ago
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Need a better bechamel (and/or mornay), not gloppy

I made a cauliflower gratin for Thanksgiving at the parents's place yesterday, and used the Julia Child bechamel (mornay when cheese added, which I did) recipe. After looking at a few cookbooks, it seemed that her ratio of approximately 2 cups milk, 2+ TBsp butter, 3+ TBsp flour was common enough.

It was "ok." A bit too thick, not cheesy enough. A bit thick or "gloppy." A tad bland, even with mustard, cayenne, S+P and cheese added. Did NOT separate or get watery though (I had blanched the cauliflower, that probably helped).

Anyone have a bechamel/mornay they like better (more supple, less gloppy/floury)? OTOH, I don't eat this often, maybe I just am not attuned to a "normal" bechamel and don't particularly enjoy it?

Thanks!

about 14 hours ago
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Best New Thanksgiving Dish

Brussels sprouts braised in heavy cream per Cooks Illustrated. We're sprout fans, but generally prefer them roasted. Braised in heavy cream was DIVINE.

about 14 hours ago
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Make ahead (or prep ahead) Brussels sprouts for Thanksgiving not at my home?

Intriguing, thank you.

Nov 26, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Make ahead (or prep ahead) Brussels sprouts for Thanksgiving not at my home?

Yum. Or if I can't find pecan oil, pecan bits are definitely going in! Their sweetness will play well with sprouts.

Nov 24, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Make ahead (or prep ahead) Brussels sprouts for Thanksgiving not at my home?

Excellent suggestions, everyone. Thank you very much!

Nov 24, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Make ahead (or prep ahead) Brussels sprouts for Thanksgiving not at my home?

That sounds delicious! Thank you.

Nov 24, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Veggie Side Dish for non-traditional Turkey day?

I just saw this and bookmarked it for our home dinner tonight and if it is good, for Thursday too. http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...

Nov 24, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Veggie Side Dish for non-traditional Turkey day?

I'm always a Brussels sprouts fan (and cabbage is global). Roasted or stir fried sprouts (shredded if stir fried) with garlic and nut bits for crunch (or a wee bit of bacon for savor and crunch)? Green beans cooked but still crunchy with sesame/soy/garlic or olive oil/garlic/lemon?

Nov 24, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Make ahead (or prep ahead) Brussels sprouts for Thanksgiving not at my home?

Hello,

I'm a frequent reader and infrequent commenter. This year I am doing the veggies for Thanksgiving (small family, smallish quantities) but have to take whatever I make to my parents' house about 20 minutes away.

Husband and I love Brussels sprouts and oven roast them with olive oil, salt, pepper, maybe herbs at home all the time. I enjoy them most hot, fresh from roasting.

I'm trying to figure out my Thanksgiving strategy. Mom has one standard residential size oven and may have the dressing or something else heating in it. I could parboil or blanch the sprouts at home and roast or caramelize quickly in her oven, or on their grill in aluminum foil. I don't want to pre-roast and then take the sprouts, which will have cooled and gotten soft by dinner time. Or maybe that is the better option?

Any tips on getting the most enjoyable hot, browned sprouts at the dinner table at someone else's house? I sense that prepping as much as possible at my home will be key, but haven't tried this before. Other dishes (a cauliflower dish, roasted carrots) can just travel and be reheated more easily without loss of texture.

Thanks!

Nov 24, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

ISO Beef Tallow [DTW]

I bought some for plum pudding use at a grocery store (A&P?) years ago. I swear that I've seen it at the Meijer in Troy/Royal Oak. Also, call a store with a butcher counter like Holiday Market - they may have it or be able to get it and hold it for you. I don't think I'd trust Krogers etc. to have this regularly now. Or call Ronnies or the other beef sellers at Eastern Market/Gratiot Central (I'd call before you drive).

Nov 21, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Great Lakes

Best Seasonal/Holiday Trader Joe's Items.... for 2014

Almond arrived in Michigan late last week.

Nov 10, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Chains

Best Seasonal/Holiday Trader Joe's Items.... for 2014

The almond kringle freezes well and is outstanding right out of the freezer too! As others have noted, in small wedges due to being very sweet. nom nom nom this will be a repeat purchase.

Nov 10, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - November 2014 [Old]

Nay, nay, nay, barf, ptew to the seasonal Cinnamon Brooms in my TJ's floral department. The powerful odor (in enough quantity it change from "aroma" to "odor") of spice is so strong that it's an air quality issue. Woe to the asthmatics or shoppers with allergies or compromised lung capacity. Can't they just seal these?

Middle Aged Suburbanites Do Detroit #2 - Vincente's, Russell Street Deli, Detroit City Distillery

Bacon is, IMO, best suited to being bacon. Fried, wrapped around a thing, in egg dishes, BLTs, etc.

Bacon washed bourbon struck me as a waste of both bourbon and bacon.

Oct 30, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Great Lakes

Coming back to Detroit from Grand Rapids...

Heckuva lot of nice Wendy's on 96....

Oct 29, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Great Lakes
1

Middle Aged Suburbanites Do Detroit #2 - Vincente's, Russell Street Deli, Detroit City Distillery

So, these two pudgy suburbanites "do" get out occasionally. We may not be hipsters but we know where some of them go, sometimes.

In short.

Dinner with a large group ended up at Vincente's for Cuban food. We had not been there in a year or so - in the past had a mix of great and "meh" foods. This past weekend was very good to us - trout with tomato and artichoke and ropa vieja (my favorite) were excellent. The ropa was to me, a non-Cuban who likes food, very, very enjoyable with the right piquant and savory flavor in the shredded beef from olives and other seasonings. Hub's Mojito was mixed very well (not too sweet or sour or watery). Will return again in less than 1 year, we were pleasantly surprised.

Hit Eastern Market on Saturday, had lunch at the always enjoyable and crowded Russell Street Deli (I have not had a miss with egg based breakfasts, savory omelets or sandwiches and like their "Rhode Island" clam chowder (one ladle of New England and one of Manhattan). Great Ethiopian coffee and iced tea. In and out efficiently.

Read about Detroit City Distillery, found it on Riopelle (OMG, SO Brooklyn that street is now - art gallery, pet store, distillery, all artfully graffitied - my relatives who moved after '67 would not recognize parts of this town). Crowd was nearly all white, and I'd say affluent enough - either suburbanites or hip kids living in the "right" niches. For $10 drinks, everyone should be. My craft cocktail pick remains The Oakland for making a few things I thought were delicious and can't make at home - I can totally make a gin Martini or bourbon Manhattan or Negroni at home so I'm not going to order those as pricy "craft" drinks out. DCD is a cool new reclaimed space, our waitress was friendly and helpful (very good service). They don't have a ton of tables, popcorn (brown butter and Old Bay) was delish. I tried the Fashionably Yogi - a "bacon washed bourbon" cocktail with spice and other housemade flavorings in the mix. The pecan and coffee bitters stood out (what is that flavor? pecan and coffee). It was (1) good and (2) not my thing for a repeat performance. Glad I tried it once, but will not be "bacon washing" my own bourbon at home. Glad I tried it though. Frankly, I don't think I'm a craft cocktail person. I like what I like, and I can make what I like at home with the liquors and vermouths I prefer, so craft bacon-mania and shaken egg white drinks are just not where I'm going to spend much of my time and money. But more power to them, I hope they succeed.

Oct 28, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Great Lakes
1

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - October 2014 [old]

I like the chicken liver pate a lot. IMHO it is not as good as the Trois Petit Cochon brand that TJ's used to carry (in addition to gourmet stores in Michigan, though TJ's was a few dollars cheaper). TPC had more truffle and liver taste, the TJ's pate now seems a bit drier and sweeter. HOWEVER, if you like pate, it's well worth trying.

Oct 26, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Chains

Trader Joe's best whole bean coffee?

Not in my experience. TJ's Kauai whole bean is drinkable as is the Pinion ground, but we've never found a coffee we love at TJ's. I buy the Kauai most often as a backup for when spouse's favorite (more expensive, from a local roaster) runs out.

Oct 26, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Chains

Appalachian recipes ideas?

Pittsburgh as the Paris of Appalachia - this explains so much about my mother's family. Thank you, now a lot falls into place...

Coming back to Detroit from Grand Rapids...

I've done that drive for work about 100 times. There really isn't that much that isn't a chain between GR and Novi. Plenty of Wendy's and at least two Culvers off of 96, but no "must-trys" that I've found, in my opinion. Truck stop in Ionia in case you need a shower. I used to (1) eat in GR or (2) stop at One World Market for sushi in Novi before getting all the way home. For overnight, East Lansing has the Kellogg Center (MSU hotel) and some food and beer but must-have is arguable.

Oct 19, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Great Lakes

Trader Joe's "pumpkinundation" 2014

Thank you for the reminder to look in my local store for the almond - I'd much rather have an almond kringle than pumpkin caramel. I love pumpkin but the caramel makes it too sweet for me.

Oct 16, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Chains

Dinner at El Asador, drinks at Sugar House (SW Detroit)

Yes, I'm going back for more beef and the salmon wrapped in banana leaves. Also wanted to try the calamari (which I cannot make at home (no skill, no desire to learn) and enjoy out).

It is a sketchy neighborhood but VERY close to the highway - it's not like the out-of-element suburbanites are driving in unknown territory long.

Oct 15, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Great Lakes

Dinner at El Asador, drinks at Sugar House (SW Detroit)

I Googled for cream of pobalo soups and found a bunch of recipes, FYI. None too hard - mostly onions, roasted and peeled poblanos, chicken broth and some dairy. We can do this!

Oct 12, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Great Lakes

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - October 2014 [old]

It's good - bought two jars today in Michigan. I could use more Hatch chilis and less tomatillos, but I guarantee that I'll consume both jars.

Oct 11, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Chains

Dinner at El Asador, drinks at Sugar House (SW Detroit)

Spouse and I were on the Lodge last night, heading somewhere (to Green Dot and then to DIA, or "something") after a weird work and family week, and I remembered El Asador. We both liked the idea of a dinner with entrees better than sliders etc. and used Google Maps beta version "automated lady order-giver" to go to El Asador. Still haven't gotten to Green Dot.

Not the best neighborhood ever, but they have their own parking lot and we were just fine. Easy to find from 75 southbound. Every other patron, and car, were from suburbia when we were there.

No liquor license - had we thought this out I would have brought in a bottle of red wine for our entrees. We will next time though the food was not diminished and water is healthy.

Had friendly, knowledgeable service. Ordered the basalt mortar and pestle guacamole made at table - very tasty and done with an attractive, careful presentation and garnish flair by our young female server (very weird week for me, I don't remember her name, sorry, but she was sweet and attentive and did a great job). Hubs got the ribeye with poblano creme sauce, I got the Tacos de Cayos - swiss chard, caramelized onions and scallops. We both appreciated the side option of sauteed veggies (low carb, diabetic prevention etc.). As Hubs noticed, the veg side was intended as a veg side, it wasn't "odds and ends" - we received nicely trimmed and cut zucchini and carrots, well cooked and tasty.

He had the house salad with roasted garlic vinaigrette - very good dressing packed with pureed roasted garlic. I finished off the last few bites. I had a wonderful cream of poblano soup with a corn and cheese garnish - delicious pepper flavor.

Ribeye with poblano creme sauce was very good. Sauce was tasty and not too hot (since poblanos can be anything from mild to hottish). Hubs thought the cut and quality of steak were surprisingly good for the price, and better than what he's gotten in bigger name restaurants recently. Tacos de Cayos were great - the scallops were silky and smooth as they should be, and as a green leafy veg freak I appreciated the chard base. The beans were not great, kind of a mashed refried bean thing, perhaps from a can or mix (?) but everything else was wonderful and fairly priced.

We'll go back with wine next time. The table next to ours was set for champagne glasses, wine glasses, had some beers, and they brought their own floral centerpiece and were having a lovely time (a birthday or anniversary?). When we left close to 7 the place was packed (with suburbanites). We're not doing dessert right now so I don't know if it is offered for those interested.

Needing a cocktail after the week we (middle aged not very cool people though we know where the cool kids go) swung by the Sugar House in Corktown and got the last 2 person table. The joint was PACKED and swinging. We were sandwiched between young beautiful people with big hair and makeup, designer accessories and furs and two gentlemen who, to my best observation, appeared to be off duty cops getting a good drink before going home to the wives they discussed. All friendly and having a great time.

Hubs had a Rittenhouse Manhattan, I had a Negroni. Both drinks were good - but we can make quite good at home for less too, and had a more "artistic" or innovative cocktail experience at The Oakland in Ferndale the prior week (those drinks were artistry that I cannot replicate at home). Good drinks, fun setting, but I don't work near Corktown and probably won't be there often due to the distance and lack of life-changingness. We may be at The Oakland periodically because they are pulling off things we cannot (yet).

Still have to try Green Dot some day...

Oct 11, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Great Lakes
1

boston butt roast--how to cook?

Probably late, but FYI for anyone - Lidia Bastianich has a recipe on her website for a bone in pork shoulder recipe that is fantastic. It's low and slow, and the fantastic part is the meat roasting in a pan of lots and lots of onions, celery, carrots garlic and herbs (and chicken stock and white wine). Recipe calls for porcinis, I never have them so never use them. The long cooked liquid/sauce and meaty soft onions make a phenomenal sauce for the tender roasted meat - I think that 95% of the magic is the onions, and while the meat is delicious (with a crispy fat cap) the meaty oniony spice and herby sauce really caps it off. Probably the tastiest (in my opinion) sauce I've ever made at home and totally easy (just chop, cook for a long time, and then run through a strainer or food mill and reduce a bit).

Oct 05, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

What should I make with savoy cabbage?

I enjoy Savoy shredded, made into sauerkraut (delicate) and also braised. I only considered braising cabbage when we were in a CSA and got a ton of savoy one year, but it's flavor and texture were truly enjoyable in long cooked dishes (with meat, or with stock and/or cream and herbs).

Oct 05, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Home Cooking

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - October 2014 [old]

My local TJ's made and had for tasting one day the cooked, shrink wrapped carnitas shredded and heated with a jar of Salsa Verde. That's now a staple for us too - very easy and tasty when we don't have time to cook from scratch. Probably excellent with shredded chicken as well.

Oct 03, 2014
HillsofBeverly in Chains
1