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Absolute Best Risotto You Will EVER Eat: Toasted Pistachio Gorgonzola Dolce

I just ran across this recipe while looking for interesting risotto recipes, and I absolutely loved it. Very rich, even after cutting down on the amount of Parmesan, Gorgonzola, and butter, but still quite heavy. I ate it as a main course, in a smaller portion than I usually would with risotto. So rich.

I used the sweet onion as prescribed, and used carnarolli rice because that's the best risotto rice I'm able to find in these parts. I used a cheaper wine, and it wasn't chardonnay, but was still pretty tasty (good enough to drink for sure, and a similar flavor profile). And I'm usually a beer guy, too. I used frozen stock that was 10 bucks for 28oz. Even with a halved recipe, I had to use the whole 28oz plus a little bit of water. Must be doing something wrong, but it wasn't al dente until I used all that liquid. Maybe I was cooking at too high a temp? I used my Le Creuset 3.5qt braiser, which is my usual risotto pan.

My grocery store of choice actually had two options for Gorgonzola Dolce, one was Gorgonzola Verde Dolce and one was Gorgonzola Dolce Creamy. I tried both before buying them and while the Verde was stronger flavored, the creamy was obviously softer, although the other wasn't hard either. I ended up using them each in equal measure. Worked great.

And for the record, I don't think anything that I "changed" represents a major departure from the original recipe. And heck, I loved it. This will be a frequent dish for me now, I think. Hopefully leftovers are good too.

Mar 15, 2014
TheFormerVeg in Home Cooking

So what's the average Chowhound's age?? (Part 2)

What little alcohol I had in high school was usually wine with my parents on special occasions. My parents weren't big beer drinkers, so neither was I.

Jun 02, 2013
TheFormerVeg in Not About Food

Stupid easy recipes you really love

When I lived in a dorm my first year of college and had only a microwave to cook with, I'd have pasta with pesto nearly every night. Pesto is as simple as throwing the ingredients in a food processor (I had a mini version) and then putting it on the pasta. I have a "Fasta Pasta" which allows me to cook pasta perfectly in the microwave. Even now that I have a full kitchen I still use it because it saves me so much time and does such a darned good job. I can make up the sauce or whatever while just putting the pasta in the microwave and 15 minutes later I'll have a top notch meal that took me no effort at all to prepare. Best 10 bucks I've ever spent on Amazon.

Jun 02, 2013
TheFormerVeg in Home Cooking

Worst experience at a "fancy" restaurant and why?

I've been pretty lucky. I have great taste in restaurants, and can't think of a time when I've gone to a "fancy" restaurant and been disappointed. The one thing I dread, which has happened a few times, is feeling hungry after I drop a week's pay on a meal. The food could be absolutely amazing, but if there just isn't enough of it, I'm gonna leave a bit annoyed.

Jun 02, 2013
TheFormerVeg in Not About Food

Worst experience at a "fancy" restaurant and why?

Hey now! I was vegan for 5 years and I was able to have a very amazing meal at Daniel in NYC without any trouble.

Jun 02, 2013
TheFormerVeg in Not About Food

So what's the average Chowhound's age?? (Part 2)

21 as of about 2 weeks ago. And yes, I'm now as much of a beer snob as I am a food snob. Didn't take long for that to happen.

Jun 01, 2013
TheFormerVeg in Not About Food

Oak Dallas

I ate at Oak last night, and it was very, very good.

The waiter was very personable, and somehow he was able to predict exactly what dishes we were going to order. Maybe it was just that his descriptions of the food were so good we couldn't *not* order the food after he described it.

I had the Octopus and Pork Jowl, and it was amazing. Without question the best preparation of pork I've ever had. Perfectly crispy on the outside and melt in your mouth tender on the inside. The apples and cilantro worked very well with the dish as well. The pork was so good I'm still thinking about it, trying to discover a recipe that allows me to come as close to approximating that texture as I can. I suspect it might have been confit. My *only* issue with the dish was that after eating the octopus and drinking from my glass of water, the water began to get an unpleasant fishy taste to it. I had the glass replaced during my entree without any trouble.
My parents both had the Ligurian Caesar, which was very tasty. I don't recall getting a ton of mint flavor, but the presentation was beautiful and the flavor was excellent.

For the main course, my step-mother got the Strozapretti with Dandelion pesto. She thought the pasta was a bit dense at first but got used to it later. I tasted it and thought it was very good, and didn't think the pasta was dense at all. Perhaps she's not familiar with that style of pasta.
I had the Duck breast with puy lentils and burgundy foie gras sauce, which was very good, the brussels sprouts served with it (not as a side) were some of the best I've had. The dish was very filling, and perhaps a bit more than I would have liked, but it was very tasty. The sauce had this great molasses quality to it. My only problem with this dish was that the flavors got a bit boring after a while.
My Dad had the lamb shank with kabocha and merguez. He loved it, although his New England Palate would have appreciated a warning about the spiciness of the dish. The merguez were made in-house and were really incredible. I thought the lamb was a bit dry, but my Dad didn't have any problem with it.
We ordered pommes sarledaise as a side dish and while it was very tasty, none of us needed more food! I brought it home and will eat it for breakfast the next few days.

For dessert, I ordered the Roasted Banana panna cotta with gianduja gelato, salted caramel, and kumquat marmalade. They didn't have the gianduja panna cotta on the menu, otherwise I would have gone for that.
The Banana panna cotta was amazing. My parents asked only for a side order of two spoons, but I didn't let them use them too much. The caramel and marmalade were perfect accompaniments with the banana flavor, as was the gelato. The gelato was the thickest and creamiest I've ever had, and the flavor was great.

Our final bill with drinks and all was 210, the tip brought it up to 250. My parents loved their drinks, but as I'm only 20 I cannot report to y'all the quality of them.
We sat in the covered patio, and the glare from the sunset was annoying for a while, they don't yet have shades set up. The place was very empty for our 6pm reservation, but filled up more by the time we left, which was before 8pm, the service was very fast.
As an added bonus, the Valet saw us leaving through the window and had our car out front by the time we walked out the door, which earned him a nice tip.
Oak is without question among the best few restaurants in Dallas, we had gone to Al Biernat's the night before and while we were blown away by their steaks, we appreciated having a more complete meal at Oak. While the entree was a bit disappointing, that was only because the appetizer and dessert were so absolutely incredible. I would have ordered the octopus and pork jowls 3 times over in lieu of getting an appetizer and an entree if I could. I'm still thinking about it. If anyone has a better idea than confit on how they prepared that pork jowl, let me know. I have to try to replicate it.

Mar 12, 2013
TheFormerVeg in Dallas - Fort Worth
1

Simply Calphalon Enamel Cast Dutch Oven vs Lodge, Tramontina, LC???

I have the Tramontina one, and it works great. Comes with high recommendations from Cooks Illustrated too, a great, affordable version of the Le Creuset. This is the link to the one I have: http://www.sears.com/tramontina-usa-i...

Jan 02, 2013
TheFormerVeg in Cookware

Which blender to replace my old Kitchenaid?

You could get an immersion blender, they're much cheaper, easier to clean up, and they make smoothies very easy. Great for soups and sauces, too. Cuisinart makes a good one that is very much below your $100 price range.

Jan 01, 2013
TheFormerVeg in Cookware

2 lbs of Blue Cheese...

Oooh, those look really good! And I'm not giving away any of it, haha.

Dec 19, 2012
TheFormerVeg in Cheese

2 lbs of Blue Cheese...

Yeah, but then I don't get to eat any...and cholesterol isn't a concern for me!

These have all been great ideas so far, thank you all so much!

Dec 19, 2012
TheFormerVeg in Cheese

2 lbs of Blue Cheese...

I'm with you on the awesomeness of Smitten Kitchen, I do believe that Santa is bringing me her cookbook in a few days. I did a blue cheese and potato tart of hers a few weeks ago, was amazingly beautiful, but as its basically cream + eggs + blue cheese + butter + flour + potatoes, my dad isn't too keen to try that one. =)

Maybe those biscuits are doable, even if they aren't as healthy as he'd like I'd probably eat them all anyway.

Dec 18, 2012
TheFormerVeg in Cheese

2 lbs of Blue Cheese...

While I love both of the above ideas, my dad is looking for healthier ways to use it...is there such a thing? He rarely eats pasta, its too heavy for him. My step-mom is the same way. I love it on salad, but you couldn't possibly make enough walnut/blue cheese and pear salad to use 2 lbs of the stuff.

Dec 18, 2012
TheFormerVeg in Cheese

Matching a cake recipe to a photo?

Is there some way you could see the cookbook and flip through it to find the recipe? If not...my best guess would have to be either a chocolate cheesecake or possibly a very beautiful flourless chocolate cake.

Dec 18, 2012
TheFormerVeg in Home Cooking

2 lbs of Blue Cheese...

So my Parents just got a 2 lb wheel of Maytag blue cheese as part of a Christmas gift, and while I was amazed, recognizing how good a cheese this was, they were daunted. How on earth would they be able to eat 2lbs of blue cheese? They try to stay healthy, although my Dad loves blue cheese, so I assured them I could find a use for it.

Aside from the awesome idea of just eating it straight (which I'm fine with) does anyone know any blue cheese recipes that we could use this in, or just general ideas on how to use it? The package it came in says we can freeze it, but I'm not too crazy about that idea. Has anyone had any success with that? I'd love to know!

Dec 18, 2012
TheFormerVeg in Cheese

What kitchen items would be MUST HAVES on 'the desert island'?

Is saying "I'd bring a Thermomix" cheating? If you have a Thermomix, you pretty much have everything (I don't have one).

Dec 18, 2012
TheFormerVeg in Cookware

Pie dough in the food processor

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

Use Alton Brown's pie crust recipe, I've never had any trouble with it. Alcohol works even better than ice water, producing as little gluten as possible while still bringing the dough together. Plus it adds a bit of flavor too. I do the whole thing in a food processor and it works great for me.

Nov 24, 2012
TheFormerVeg in Home Cooking

Fruit Salad...that doesnt include "an arm and a leg"

My fruit salad recipe is definitely a summer one, but I'm sure you could figure out a way to make it a winter one.

I take a big Hami Melon (Flavorwise similar to a cantaloupe, but a stronger flavor usually) and chop it up small, my favorite season apples and juilienne them 1/8" on my mandolin, and mix together. For the sauce, I take a bunch of raspberries and half as many blackberries and pour some sugar on them until they turn into a sauce. I chiffonade some basil and mint and mix that in with the sauce, and pour it over the melon and apple. The combination is absolutely lovely.

I julienne the apples because I don't really care for large, hard, crunchy chunks of apple in what is mostly a softer, smooth salad, because they just don't mix well. Thinly Juilenning makes the apples much easier to deal with.

For a winter version, you could throw in some nice citrus, double up on the apple instead of the melon, and maybe add some asian pears as well?

Nov 24, 2012
TheFormerVeg in Home Cooking

piecrust--epic fail!

Not sure what went wrong with yours, but I've never had anything but success with Alton Brown's pie crust recipe for his amazing apple pie: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/go...

I replace the shortening with more butter and use whatever alcohol I have on hand that goes best with the filling I'm using. I usually use dark rum for apple pie, grand marnier for pumpkin, etc. Cheap vodka always works if you're not sure of something better. Its easy, and if you use the tart pan he recommends, you'll have no trouble getting it into the pan rip-free. Generally, never use water for pie crust when you have alcohol available. The alcohol binds the dough together without forming the gluten that water would, so you get the flakiest pie crust you can get.

Nov 24, 2012
TheFormerVeg in Home Cooking

Brussels Sprouts

I will be roasting mine in goose fat this year, because I'm cooking a goose. I hear that cooking them in duck fat per this recipe here: http://chezus.com/2009/11/24/duck-fat... is one of the best ways to eat them.

Nov 19, 2012
TheFormerVeg in Home Cooking

Thanksgiving Goose Side Dish Ideas

Hmm, maybe you're right. But the Souffle just uses the apple as a container, and I'm not giving up the pie. Maybe I could find a different compote?

Any ideas?

Nov 19, 2012
TheFormerVeg in Home Cooking

What recipe is your Unicorn?

When I was vegan I would make fried chicken for my non veg friends, completely blind, unable to test it or anything, and they told me it came out great, I had at least one southerner telling me it was the best they ever had. I used Cook's Illustrated's recipe, the buttermilk brine one right here: http://whatsonmyplate.net/2009/07/29/... I've made it twice now, it's worked perfectly every time.

If I as a vegan could do it on my first try, I'm sure it couldn't be too hard.

Nov 19, 2012
TheFormerVeg in Home Cooking

Thanksgiving Goose Side Dish Ideas

So I think I've finalized my menu:

Roast Goose
Prune and Apple stuffing with sausage
Apple, Pear and Cranberry compote
Foie Gras and Apple Soufflé
Goose fat roasted brussels sprouts

and

Alton Brown's apple pie for dessert (I've never had a better apple pie in my life)

Thoughts?

Nov 19, 2012
TheFormerVeg in Home Cooking

VEGAN THANKSGIVING

Back when I was vegan, I played around with several options. My favorite was what I did last year, which was seitan chopped small and cooked with shredded brussels sprouts, brown sugar and cranberries. If you're trying to do a gluten free thanksgiving, that wouldn't work well though, since seitan is 100% wheat gluten.

Nov 17, 2012
TheFormerVeg in Vegetarian & Vegan

Thanksgiving Goose Side Dish Ideas

Sounds great! If it's anything like the deep fried bacon I had at the Texas State fair about a month ago, it's gotta be amazing.

Maybe healthy was the wrong word to choose, but I guess I just don't really care for pilaf in general. The other suggestions I've seen look great though!

Nov 17, 2012
TheFormerVeg in Home Cooking

Thanksgiving Goose Side Dish Ideas

I don't care for pilaf, it's too healthy. Thanksgiving is a time to gorge, healthy food can stay far away in my opinion. The lyonnaise might be an option...

Nov 17, 2012
TheFormerVeg in Home Cooking

Thanksgiving Goose Side Dish Ideas

Hello everyone, I've decided to try my hand at a roast goose recipe (the one on this website) this Thanksgiving, but I'm unsure of what side dishes would go best with it. Currently I'm doing a prune and apple stuffing with sausage (also on this website), and some goose fat roasted brussels sprouts. I'd like one more side dish, preferably a starchy one, plus an idea for a chutney or relish of sorts that would go well with the goose too.

I've never had goose before so I'm unsure of what kind of flavors go well with it, I'd love some input from y'all!

Nov 17, 2012
TheFormerVeg in Home Cooking