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Splendid Spatula's Profile

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Is it too soon to talk about Thanksgiving?

Thank you for this nice reminder that the better usually exceeds the bitter at these complicated family gatherings.

Whatcha doing with the rum infusion?

Sep 18, 2014
Splendid Spatula in Home Cooking

Jamming, canning and preserving 2014

Holy cow, grilled cheese - that sounds fantastic. I'm making it, done!

Sep 18, 2014
Splendid Spatula in Home Cooking

Jamming, canning and preserving 2014

Would you call the peach sriracha a condiment, like for pork or turkey?

Sep 17, 2014
Splendid Spatula in Home Cooking

Jamming, canning and preserving 2014

Thank you both! Our area is actually urban, but was an orchard before being heavily built up in the second half of the 19th c. I have done a bit more research, and think that they are an old British variety called Vicar of Winkfield. Looks exactly the same as far as I can tell, and still grown in the UK. They're good for perry, which is pear cider, I've learned!

Sep 17, 2014
Splendid Spatula in Home Cooking

Cheap Beef Meals

I often get WF's chuck roast and then pot roast it - most excellent leftovers, stretch into sandwiches or just re-heated the next day. Nice to do on a Sunday and have for the week.

Where to buy Red Star yeast, other quality baking ingredients?

Whole Foods has lots of Bob's varieties (at least to my unsophisticated eye). And SAF yeast.

Jamming, canning and preserving 2014

Thank you! Ours stay green, so I'm not sure it is the same. I shall have to keep searching.

Aug 26, 2014
Splendid Spatula in Home Cooking

Tomato preserves. Ever made it ?

http://chickensintheroad.com/farm-bel... This is a lot like the other posted recipe, and I think it is the one I grew up with. We called it tomato jam, and it is terrific with baked chicken, pork chops, that sort of thing. Elevates a chicken sandwich to the stratosphere. My husband once said that there wasn't much that didn't taste better with tomato jam on it.

I make it about every other year (my recipe is at home, but this is the same on, and my mom says it was from the back of a sure-jell box!). I don't know anyone else who makes it, but they should.

Aug 26, 2014
Splendid Spatula in Home Cooking

Jamming, canning and preserving 2014

What's a Kieffer pear? We have a very old pear tree, and it produces very hard pears that despite chilling and weeks of ripening, never soften. I'd like to do something with them, but am not sure what!

Aug 25, 2014
Splendid Spatula in Home Cooking

Jamming, canning and preserving 2014

hahaha, I was thinking ground, as in, sent through a grinder!

Aug 25, 2014
Splendid Spatula in Home Cooking

Jamming, canning and preserving 2014

thank you!

Jul 23, 2014
Splendid Spatula in Home Cooking

Jamming, canning and preserving 2014

Can you post the raspb-cassis recipe, please? That sounds like a tasty variation.

Jul 18, 2014
Splendid Spatula in Home Cooking

Need quiet, slightly upscale place for weekend lunch/brunch in Cambridge

Wondering how your Abbey experience was for brunch? We were there last night for dinner, and the food and service were excellent. But it was LOUD. Shout-y, can't hear your partners across the table, loud. I would love to go back, since we live nearby, but am not sure I want to do that again!

What's the best recipe off a supermarket item label you have made recently?

Cream Cheese Raisin Poundcake from Sunmaid Raisons. This is required by my kids for any breakfast-time school event (or really, any time): http://www.sunmaid.com/recipes/recipe...

Jul 16, 2014
Splendid Spatula in Home Cooking

Caribbean Cookbook

Maybe Rousseau and Rousseau, Caribbean Potluck? I heard them interviewed here: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014...

Jul 16, 2014
Splendid Spatula in Home Cooking

Native Corn

Saw some at the Harvard farmer's market yesterday, two farms had it

Kate's Buttermilk

We find it regularly at the Beacon Street Star Market

Family with teens

I took my 13 and 8 y.o. to Sylvain, and it was indeed dark but not at all a place to skip because of bringing kids. Pretty casual vibe, and an outstanding burger.

Best dishes at Sarma?

Just went last week, based on Hound recco, and it was terrific. Standouts for us were that fried chicken, hot dates, asparagus, and the persian beef rolls. Still wondering why on earth I skipped that soft-shell crab special.

Cooked grains staying fresh in the fridge ... ?

I'm finishing a bucket of farro that has been in about ten days. I put some olive oil and vinegar on it while warm. It is still good and an excellent base for many lunches!

Jun 09, 2014
Splendid Spatula in Home Cooking

making fresh pasta with gorgonzola - need help

Marcella Hazan's recipe is splendid. I found it online here: http://pasticciomio.wordpress.com/tag... It does not make a lot of sauce, just enough to flavor the pasta. Also, don't know if this helps but the reference is dolce, in Italian (not dulce), if that helps with your search.

Jun 04, 2014
Splendid Spatula in Home Cooking

french or warehouse?

We just stayed at the Roosevelt, and LOVED it. Reserve via the website, and look for a package that includes breakfast. It is very good, but very expensive if not included in your rate. Sazerac Bar is a winner!

Jun 03, 2014
Splendid Spatula in New Orleans

Birthday dinner- Ribelle, Sarma, or Alden & Harlowe?

So glad you asked . . . I have a birthday coming up too, and wasn't even thinking about Ribelle or Sarma. (Been to Alden and Harlow, liked it, esp. scallop crudo.) But what is this fried chicken ? I don't see it on Sarma's current menu.

freezing chicken liver pate

I'm so glad you asked this, and for all the positive responses! I make a lovely chicken liver pate at New Year's, and it makes a ton, and there is always a lot left. It sits in the fridge for a few weeks and then gets tossed. NO MORE!

May 22, 2014
Splendid Spatula in Home Cooking

The saddest beef I ever did see...

I'm with you, that does not look like beef to me!

yet another trip report - long!

We did not reserv, and sat downstairs. Easter Sunday early evening it was not crowded at all.

May 21, 2014
Splendid Spatula in New Orleans

yet another trip report - long!

That's funny, I read your report and thought to myself, that kid sounds more adventurous than mine, he's going to really like this! I think what my son liked was that even the most elaborate restaurants were not stuffy, and he was treated like a grownup, and, well, the food was SO good. He even got a kick out of sporting a jacket for Galatoire's. Have a super trip!

May 19, 2014
Splendid Spatula in New Orleans

I am a Victim of Their Success

Island Creek. How far in advance do I have to call, a year?!

yet another trip report - long!

Inspired by the trip reports of others, I’ll present ours here. We were in New Orleans for five days, staying at the Roosevelt. We ate spectacularly well! Here are the highlights:

Dinners

NOLA – seafood gumbo was a knockout, so deliciously fishy. Best we had on the trip. Pork belly special appetizer was meal-sized, shrimp and grits had a great kick. Lonely Planet commented on the friendliness of this staff, and they were spot-on. Everyone in NOLA was friendly but these folks were the tops, and it never felt forced or disingenuous. This is a big resto, we were able to get a Saturday 7 pm reservation here about a week in advance.

Galatoire’s – all that and a bag of chips as we say here in New England. This was Easter Sunday, so not crowded at dinner, we walked in ca. 6 pm and there were still tables available when we left. Some Easter revelers were wobbling out as we started, handing out bunnies and things to little girls like my daughter (who found that bewildering – we just don’t do that in New England!). Oysters Rockefeller spinach is more pureed than I’m used to, but had a kick and big oysters and went down nicely with a Vieux Carre. My husband and I went all out for crabmeat – Yvonne for him, Sardou for me. You like spinach, said our waiter. Well, yes, one has to get one’s greens where one can on a trip like this. And hollandaise, which you just don’t find in a lot of restaurants anymore. Yvonne was the winner, though. Daughter was enchanted by the soufleed potatoes. Wishing I’d had finfish, just so I could have had a longer discussion about it with our waiter.

Coquette – this was a surprise addition to our itinerary, taken there by an uncle. Red-snapper crudo and fried oysters were a highlight, as was an absolutely gorgeous vegetable platter. You never know what you’re going to get when you order the vegetable platter, my dining companion and I agreed, but this was full of colors, and teeny local veggies and apparently delicious. Dessert is intriguing – there is the classic and the modern menu. Examples that we ordered were the classic strawberry vacherin, a meringue filled with strawberry sorbet and whipped cream, and the modern take on strawberries and cream. The centerpiece of this was a long rectangular tube of candy-like strawberry substance, very thin and lightly crunchy filled with a kind of mascarpone-y filling, and a couple of scoops of a strawberry sorbet, AND a strawberry and tarragon foam – it was visually lovely and delicately delicious. The ambrosia pops brought with the check were unfortunately lost on me and my husband (no pineapple for him, no coconut for me) but others pronounced them tasty.

Sylvain – what a lovely old room and romantic courtyard, too bad it is SO DARK in there that you can barely see anything. While the pineapple mint sorbet was incredibly refreshing, the highlight of this meal was the Southern antipasto platter (although the presence of an admittedly lovely Vermont cheese mystified us). We were particularly taken with the pickled green strawberries and pork rillettes on this. I also had the grilled pork shoulder, which was not quite what I expected – more like two loose patties of pulled pork, crispy on the outside. The collards underneath were zippy and the grits sublime, but what a huge portion – went half un-finished.

The Grille – a break for burgers was needed, and duly satisfied.

Lunches

Mother’s – I guess it is a tourist place but that was the best damn oyster po’boy I’ve ever had.

Peche – we had a dinner reserve here, but when we figured out how close this was to the WWII Museum, AND that we wanted to spend the day there, we changed up that plan and took a break for a terrific lunch. I recommend this strategy for that museum, it is worth a full day. Smoked fishes were particularly excellent – tuna dip and a (was it drum?) salad with sunflower seeds and pickled radishes I think – and their version of fish sticks were excellently restorative. This is one that I definitely would like to go back to.

Snacks etc.

Angelo Brocato – the ice cream is good, but the cookies, the cookies! Such a selection, well beyond what you see at most Italian bakeries. Those clove-y ossi dei morti were out of sight, as were the hard orange ones and the fig filled ones and and and.

Imperial Woodpecker sno balls – we tried for Hansen’s but they were closed. IW wooed me with a flavor called “orchid crème vanilla” which was basically a mild vanilla colored a lovely purple, but kind of dreamy to eat. My husband had a deeply refreshing grapefruit basil, which actually tasted like a spa treatment, in a good way. Kids had flavors that turned their tongues many colors.

Café du Monde with the hordes. But beignets are awesome, you know?

Did I mention that the Roosevelt’s breakfast shrimp and grits had a tasso cream that elevated that dish into the stratosphere?

Oh and speaking of the Roosevelt, we sampled a number of Sazeracs,
but those at the eponymous bar were, to my taste, the best. Maybe it was the setting.

Finally a trip to Central Grocery just before heading to the airport for the best plane snack ever, a whole muffaletta. Man, those things hold up well – all the way home, and still some for lunch the next day.

Some observations – we were everywhere with our almost-9-year-old daughter and 13 year-old son, and never felt less than entirely comfortable and welcome. The former found dinners a little long, and really just wanted a grilled cheese most of the time, but a cheese omelette served with some ceremony at Galatoire’s got that girl through. The older one has reached the hoover stage of development, and ate pretty much whatever he could get his hands on, especially if fried (alligator, shrimp, eggplant). What he really liked best of all were the bottomless Shirley Temples at NOLA and Galatoire’s. Every time he turned around, there was a fresh one at his elbow. I LOVE this place! he announced with a grin. As did we all.

study snacks for a crowd

Thanks everyone, these are some great suggestions. I appreciate it!