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Can I substitute pineapple for berries in crumble recipe?

We found ourselves with three whole pineapples. I cut them open and they are incredibly sweet, but this is a lot of pineapple and it won't be finished before it goes bad. In the meantime, I have to make a dessert for an event tomorrow and I have an incredible recipe for mixed berry crumble.

Can I just use pineapple instead of fresh berries? Will that be a disaster, or will angels sing? Any modifications suggested?

May 29, 2013
VJA in Home Cooking

How Long Does Duck Fat Last?

Thanks!! You guys are awesome.

Apr 29, 2013
VJA in General Topics

How Long Does Duck Fat Last?

Was just looking through the fridge for an ingredient for tonight and found a sealed jar of duck fat that I rendered about a month ago. Is this still good to cook with? I smelled it and it has no smell at all, and the color is still yellowish white throughout (same as the day I stored it).

If I wanted to fry chicken and veggies in it tonight, would that be healthy?

Apr 29, 2013
VJA in General Topics

Where can I find Colicchio's mashed potatoes?

On Top Chef they were discussing the dish that launched Tom Colicchio's career and it was mashed potatoes with uni and crab. It appears that it's not on the menu at Gramercy Park anymore, so I'm wondering if you can still get it there if you know to ask for it, or if there's another Tom C restaurant that serves this. It sounds amazing and I'll be in NYC next week, so want to savor while I have the chance, or in LA, if it's on the menu anywhere here (it's not at Craft). Please let me know.

Jan 25, 2013
VJA in Los Angeles Area

Looking for AMAZING X-Mas Day buffet in WeHo/Bev Hills/Century City

Wound up at Scarpetta and it was awesome! May be a new tradition.

Jan 24, 2013
VJA in Los Angeles Area

Where can I find Colicchio's uni and crab mashed potatoes?

On Top Chef they were discussing the dish that launched Tom Colicchio's career and it was mashed potatoes with uni and crab. It appears that it's not on the menu at Gramercy Park anymore, so I'm wondering if you can still get it there if you know to ask for it, or if there's another TC restaurant that serves this. It sounds amazing and I'll be in NYC next week, so want to savor while I have the chance. Also, I live in LA, so if it's on the menu anywhere here (it's not at Craft), please let me know.

Jan 24, 2013
VJA in Manhattan

Looking for AMAZING X-Mas Day buffet in WeHo/Bev Hills/Century City

Four Seasons is booked and we're on the wait list for Scarpetta. Both great and I have my fingers crossed that Scarpetta opens up. Still looking, though -- just in case.

Thanks for the replies! Keep 'em coming.

Dec 22, 2012
VJA in Los Angeles Area

Looking for AMAZING X-Mas Day buffet in WeHo/Bev Hills/Century City

The Better Half and I will be doing multiple holiday/family events on Christmas and have a five-hour window, 12-5, that is not spoken for. Would love to go to an amazing holiday buffet in the area, just the two of us. The kind with raw seafood, carving stations, etc.

Any recommendations?

(I searched for this topic before posting, but the latest I could find is from 2011, and two of the places mentioned aren't even open any longer)

Dec 22, 2012
VJA in Los Angeles Area

Favorite pork ragu recipe?

The pork ragu I regularly make is from a restaurant. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/03/mag...

Jan 12, 2012
VJA in Home Cooking

Help -- I over salted Pork Ragu

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/03/mag...

I'm making this recipe, which I've done several times, but somehow added far too much salt this time. It literally tastes like sea water. So strange.

Jan 12, 2012
VJA in Home Cooking

Help -- I over salted Pork Ragu

Just pulled the braised pork out of the oven and the braising liquid is way too salty. This has to be reduced by half to become the sauce. Is there anything I can do to fix this without starting over?

Jan 12, 2012
VJA in Home Cooking

Okay, LA Trailer Park Hounds -- your advice needed

I promise, I searched first for a pre-existing thread, but the latest one I could find was from last year.

So my question is -- for foodies (including junk foodies and deep-fried-is-a-ok foodies), WHAT IS THE CAN'T MISS FOOD AT THIS YEAR'S LA COUNTY FAIR?

Going next week, and would hate to fill up on a flaccid corn dog when there's a culinary delight at the next stand over.

Share all thoughts.
Thanks!

Sep 13, 2011
VJA in Los Angeles Area

Good Inexpensive Sushi nr cnr of Larrabee & Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood?

The lunch special at Sushi Dan is one of the best bargains in town, and if you get it with the crunchy onion albacore sashimi or the salmon and scallop roll, you can't really go wrong.

-----
Sushi Dan
11056 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

May 17, 2011
VJA in Los Angeles Area

Anyone ever buy a Whole Roast Duck in Chinatown? ISO advice and recommendations

I wanted to give this thread a bump. Since this was such a hit last year, it has now become an Easter tradition, so we're thinking of driving to SGV in the morning to have dim sum, then get a whole duck for dinner.

I wanted to see if anyone had any updates on past recs or fresh suggestions for the best spots. We're happy to travel to more than one location, as well, so don't need a place that has both great dim sum and great whole duck. All thoughts welcome.

Apr 19, 2011
VJA in Los Angeles Area

fave restaurant on hollywood blvd

Yep -- that's the place. A really good happy hour, too.

Sep 23, 2010
VJA in Los Angeles Area

Your Most Favorite Dim Sum is?

Can't believe BBQ pork rice noodle hasn't made an appearance yet. That's my husband's favorite, and the first thing he always asks the cart ladies if they have.

My personal is siu mai.

We also prefer the cart places to the ordering places. I realize that's sacrilege, but I like seeing everything that's available and getting what grabs me. We've also discovered a lot of great new things this way (like baked BBQ buns with the crispy topping - yum!)

Sep 23, 2010
VJA in General Topics

I don't want to be the mom who always brings the salad...

First -- smack your son for not falling on his knees to thank you for raising him, keeping him healthy enough to play college football, supporting him by coming to his games AND making a salad. Few kids are so lucky.

As to your dilemma -- my mom had a potluck recently and the most RAVED about dish was the coleslaw. The generous cook gave us all the recipe, and I've served it twice to guests now, who also raved about it, and asked for the recipe. It's simple, tasty, healthy and can be served under your circumstances.

Mix in very large bowl --
one pound cabbage chop-chop-chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pecan halves
2 T red onion, chopped very fine

Mix together and pour over--
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup mayo
1T cider vinegar

Just before serving, mix in
8-10 slices crispy bacon, crumbled

They will love it.

Sep 23, 2010
VJA in Home Cooking

Parents' 1st visit to LA: Where to take them? (Animal, Rivera, Jitlada...)

I am a direct descendant of Aaron and Shiffra Peterman, of the famed Peterman's deli in Newark, and I can tell you that the best pastrami in LA is at the Oinkster in Eagle Rock.

Great burgers are great burgers wherever you go, but if you want the ultimate Cali-burger experience, go to 26 Beach and get the California Roll Burger. It is unreal.

-----
26 Beach
3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292

Oinkster
2005 Colorado Blvd, Eagle Rock, CA

Sep 23, 2010
VJA in Los Angeles Area

fave restaurant on hollywood blvd

There's a gastropub next to the Arclight that's got decent bar food. Can't remember the name, but it's not pricey and great for a gaggle of drunken bridesmaids.

Sep 23, 2010
VJA in Los Angeles Area

Inexpensive Japanese and Korean Must-Trys in LA area

I want to toss in an added voice for Kyo-Chon fried chicken, in case that rec gets lost in the mix. You really won't taste friend chicken like it anywhere else. I prefer the original to the spicy, and almost everything other than drumsticks and wings is mediocre, but I promise - you will crave the taste once you are back in Texas.

Sep 23, 2010
VJA in Los Angeles Area

Catering a wedding, need vegetarian main course

I was a vegetarian for a year and created a couple of great main-course dishes, and though they are Italian by nature, could easily be spiced to lean towards mediterranean. The first is a veggie pesto lasagna and the other is an eggplant "trifle" (what I called it anyway)

Veggie pesto lasagna (make and par-cook the day before, each pan serves 20)
slice and saute a pound of mushrooms, 2 zucchini and 2 yellow squash with crushed garlic (to taste)
toss in a large bowl with a bag of uncooked spinach (the heat will slightly wilt the spinach)
add a pound of shredded mozzarella and 6-8 ounces of fresh (real!) pesto.
In a lasagne pan, layer noodles, crushed Italian-style tomatoes (about 2 cans per layer), ricotta (or feta - to go with your theme), the veggie pesto mixture and parmesan.
Cover tightly and bake at 400 for 45 minutes, then another 15 minutes at 400 uncovered (sprinkle more cheese on top first) right before serving.

For the eggplant, it's much simpler. Thinly slice an eggplant and grill the slices. Saute mushrooms, garlic, fresh parsely and onions. In a lasagna pan, layer grilled eggplant, cheese (I prefer sliced provolone for this, but pick what you like), mushroom mixture, cheese, sliced tomatoes, then start again with the eggplant. If done right, you should have three layers in all. Add your seasonings of choice to make it your own.

Hope that helps!
Valerie

Aug 10, 2010
VJA in Home Cooking

How do you stretch bacon fat?

I have a recipe that calls for frying something in bacon fat, but after cooking a pound of regular (not low fat or low sodium) bacon, I don't have nearly enough fat to fry everything. What is the best way to stretch it? Crisco, vegetable oil or butter? I don't have time to run out and buy another pound of bacon. Any thoughts would be welcome.

Aug 10, 2010
VJA in Home Cooking

ISO Recipes that use A LOT of milk.

WOW! I just saw the rest of the replies. Thank you all so much! I'm totally making the cassata -- that sounds amazing. Ditto for the Dulce de Leche. As for paneer, that may be a bit adventurous for me. Damn, now I have to go buy more milk...

Jul 18, 2010
VJA in Home Cooking

ISO Recipes that use A LOT of milk.

Quick follow up -- I decided to use up a lot of ingredients we had in the house and took my best shot at Coconut Shrimp soup, which turned out delicious.

Chopped a sweet onion and sauteed until brown in 3 TBSP butter. Added four cups of fish stock (from a batch I made last week), a cup of white wine, half a cup of chopped parsley and basil, brought to a boil. In the steamer over the pot, steamed 30 frozen shrimp for six minutes, stirring for the last three. Dumped the shrimp in ice water to stop cooking. Turned down the heat to simmer the broth. Added one large sweet potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, salt and pepper. Simmered for half an hour.

Peeled shrimp, chopped fifteen of them into chunks and divided them into three soup bowls. Put the other fifteen in the blender with three cups skim milk, six TBSP flour, half a cup heavy cream and a quarter cup of coconut cream (not coconut milk, but the sugary stuff you make pina coladas out of ). Blended on high for a minute.

Stirred the foam on top into the liquid until it was smooth, slowly poured it into the simmering broth, stirred constantly for five minutes until it thickened slightly (it was still pretty thin when served), poured it over the shrimp chunks in the bowls and served with toast points.

It turned out great. I toyed with adding chopped tomato and jalapeno for a little spice, but decided not to, as it would have overpowered the coconut flavor.

The milk that started this whole thread is still completely fresh (gotta love organic milk), so I'm making the rice pudding tomorrow. Thanks Cheryl.

Jul 18, 2010
VJA in Home Cooking

ISO Recipes that use A LOT of milk.

I just discovered in the back of the fridge an unopened half gallon of milk dated yesterday. I know that means it is good for another 5-7 days, but no one here drinks that much milk, and I hate the thought of throwing it out, so does anyone have a really good soup recipe that calls for a quart of milk or more? The more milk needed the better (I'd love to use the whole half gallon). Thank You!!

Jul 17, 2010
VJA in Home Cooking

Should You Tip on Takeout?

The writer states that one should tip because "filling your take-out order takes work."

Yes -- everything we pay for outside out home takes work. Should I tip the guy who changes my oil? How about the sales clerk in the shoe department? I recently had a big copy job done which took a lot of work -- does that require a tip? The "tip" is paying $16 for a cheeseburger you could have made at home for two bucks -- that's how a restaurant gets paid for the work you require of them for the audacity of ordering their food. (Yes, $16 -- I live in LA and the best burger in town [The Counter] costs that much once fully doctored.)

Tipping is getting ludicrous. The other day, I was at McDonalds and there was a tip jar on the counter. I had the snack size yogurt parfait which cost a dollar and required someone to do the back-breaking labor of taking a plastic cup out of a mini-fridge. I s'pose I should have spotted her 10% for that.

Jul 17, 2010
VJA in Features

Anyone ever buy a Whole Roast Duck in Chinatown? ISO advice and recommendations

Quick update -- we went to Yum Cha for dim sum that morning and it was AWFUL -- truly inedible, and we didn't want to take a chance on the duck being that bad, so we went to Lucky Deli, had a few orders of very tasty dim sum, and bought a duck, which came with half a dozen mantou for $16. We reheated it for 10 minutes at 400 to make the skin crispy again, carved and served and it was AWESOME! Thanks for all the great tips -- couldn't have gotten this right without you guys.

Apr 11, 2010
VJA in Los Angeles Area

Anyone ever buy a Whole Roast Duck in Chinatown? ISO advice and recommendations

ipsedixit -- re: Chinatown = desolate; is there a better place to get a roast duck (Arcadia, etc.?) If there's a substantial difference in quality, we might be up for making a Sunday drive.

Apr 02, 2010
VJA in Los Angeles Area

Anyone ever buy a Whole Roast Duck in Chinatown? ISO advice and recommendations

For Easter this year, we are going into LA's downtown Chinatown for dim sum for breakfast and then buying a whole duck (the ones hanging in the windows) for Easter Dinner. No one in our family has ever bought one of these before, so I have a few questions:

1. Is there a place that is THE place to get a whole duck? One that is particularly better than the others? What places do you recommend, and what should we look for?

2. Once bought, should I refrigerate it (it will be served about 5-6 hours later) or just leave it on the counter? How does it get re-heated without drying out, or should it be served room temp?

3. Are there any traditional sides we should be making? Right now the plan is stuffing and sweet-and-sour chard (I have a great recipe for this). I'm totally open to suggestions.

As always, thanks for your incredible insight and help!

Apr 02, 2010
VJA in Los Angeles Area

Recs needed for Fremont, CA

Yep. LOVED it.

Dec 13, 2009
VJA in San Francisco Bay Area