Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

VPL's Profile

Title Last Reply

Baking fail: Tunnel of Fudge Cake

this is one of my absolute favorite cakes ever!! i really find this recipe does the historic one justice. i have made it a couple of times, following the recipe exactly, and it has turned out perfect. they still run the CC episode on occasion. may be worth investing in the proper bundt pan size. i do recall it took some extra time, but keep an eye on it so not to overbake. you want it just starting to pull away from the sides. good luck! i attached a photo below.

Apr 02, 2011
VPL in Home Cooking

Restaurant suggestions in the Shanendoah area?

strongly second the thornton river grille.

Apr 10, 2009
VPL in Washington DC & Baltimore

Share Your Favorite Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Love brussel sprouts! i run them through the slicer blade of the food processor. Saute some thin sliced leeks in olive oil, then add the brussel sprouts. Can add a bit of low sodium vegetable broth to remove any bitterness and cook it down. Can wilt them a bit or keep them a bit more crunchy.

Oct 31, 2008
VPL in Home Cooking

Drinks after work in Reston?

Any suggestions on where to go for a couple of drinks after work in Reston (wine, cocktails)? Thanks!

Sep 14, 2008
VPL in Washington DC & Baltimore

Mini Key Lime Pies

Try The Pie Gourmet in Vienna, VA. They have amazing key lime pie. They have 3" tarts listed on their website.

Sep 09, 2008
VPL in Washington DC & Baltimore

Feta Cheese

Try the Reston farmer's market on Saturday mornings at Lake Anne, 8a-12p. The Blue Ridge Dairy Co. has a stand. Nice variety of very yummy cheeses, including feta.

Aug 28, 2008
VPL in Washington DC & Baltimore

Quiche.. Northern VA

the pie gourmet in vienna for carryout quiche. 507 Maple Avenue West Vienna, VA 22180 • Phone: (703) 281-7437. the nw corner of nutley street and maple/123. nice variety, very fresh and tasty.

Oct 21, 2007
VPL in Washington DC & Baltimore

looking for a tasty lentil soup recipe

this is one of our favorites from wegmans.

Spicy Red Lentil Chili

Serves: 6 Active Time: 30 min Total Time: 1 hour
1 cups red lentils
4 cups + 2 Tbsp water, divided
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup onion, diced small
1/4 cup (about 1 stalk) celery, diced small
2 Tbsp garlic, chopped
1 medium (about 1/2 lb) tomato, cored and diced medium (1 cup)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 Tbsp Tabasco Sauce
1/8 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp chili powder
2 Tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup finely diced green bell pepper

Bring lentils and 2 cups water to boil on HIGH heat; turn off heat. Remove half lentils and liquid; place in food processor or blender and puree, about 1 min.
Melt butter in soup pot. Add onions and sweat(soften without browning)2 min. Add celery and garlic; sweat 5 more min. Add tomatoes; cook 5 min.
Add vegetable broth, 2 cups water and seasonings. Bring to simmer.
Add reserved whole and pureed lentils plus liquid, and cook until lentils are tender, about 15 min.
Combine cornstarch and 2 Tbsp water to make a slurry. Bring soup to boil; add slurry and stir 30 seconds to thicken slightly. Turn off heat; add green peppers. Season with salt.

Recipe featured in Wegmans Menu Magazine Winter 2004, on pg.61.

Aug 25, 2006
VPL in Home Cooking

Ho-hum.. same ole Chinese Chicken Salad-Anyone want to share a new recipe?

Coriandered Chicken with Mustard Sauce

(i don't care for cilantro, so i use italian flat leaf parsley instead)

1 3/4-2 pounds fresh whole chicken breasts, with skin on and bone in (to yield 3-3 1/2 cups shreds)

for cooking the chicken:
2 nickel-size slices fresh ginger
1 thin whole scallion cut into 3-inch lengths

Salad ingredients:
1/2 pound firm sweet-smelling tomatoes (use 3-4 small), or 1/2 point firm sweet-smelling cherry tomatoes
1 large red bell pepper
1/2 pound firm seedless cucumbers, or 1 pound firm cucumbers with seeds
1 bunch fresh picture-perfect coriander (or flat leaf italian parsley)
2 teaspoons freshly toasted sesame seeds

cooking and chilling the chicken: rinse the breasts and put them in a heavy pot that will hold then snugly. lightly smash the ginger and scallion to spread the fibers and bring the juices to the surface, then add them to the pot with enough cold water to come 3 inches above the chicken. bring to a rolling boil over high heat, reduce to maintain a steady simmer, and simmer the chicken uncovered for 25 minutes. about 3 minutes before the chicken is done, fill a large bowl with 2-3 trays of ice cubes and enough cold water to cover the chicken. once the chicken is done, remove it from the pot with tongs and plunge it immediately under the ice. chill, submerged for 15 minutes. drain and pat dry.

shredding the chicken: discard the skin, then remove the meat from the bone in a s much of one piece as possible. remove the thin membranes encasing the breast and fillet, and discard any tendons or fat. by hand, shred the meat with the grain into strips 2 inches long and pencil width. if you need to work in advance, the shredded chicken may be sealed airtight and refrigerated overnight. bring to room temperature before serving.

slicing the vegetables: slice the vegetables just before assembling the salad, so they are fresh and perky when served. cut larger tomatoes in half lengthwise, then core. place cut side down, then cut across the width into slices a scan 1/4 inch thick. if working with very large tomatoes, cut the slices in half lengthwise to make them manageable. cut cherry tomatoes in half lengthwise to one side of the stem, then slice off the stem mark. if the cherry tomatoes have pretty stems, leave a few of the stems intact for color. cut the pepper in half lengthwise, and remove core, seeds, and ribs. place cut side down, then cut across the width into thin slices 1/8 inch thick. trim the cucumbers and peel them if they are waxed. seed, if necessary. cut the cucumbers into strips, half circles, or seeded arcs cut off the lower stems of the coriander/parsley, just above where they are tied. was the sprigs in cold water, pat or spin dry, then discard any imperfect leaves. chop the leaves and upper stems coarsely into 3/4 inch bits. i like to drain the wet veggies, like cucumber and tomatoes, so the salad does not get too wet.

Dijon mustard sauce:
1/2 cup mild unflavored dijon mustard (Maille brand mustard)
1/2 cup chinese or japanese sesame oil
2 T unseasoned chinese or japanese rice vinegar
1 T plus 1t chinese rice wine or quality dry sherry
fine sea salt, to taste

blend the ingredients until thoroughly emulsified, in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel knife, in a blender, or by hand. taste and adjust with salt. let mellow several hours at room temperature or refrigerate overnight in a clean, airtight container. use at room temperature for best taste and bouquet. For best consistency, whisk or return briefly to the processor or blender before each use. i add this right before serving. it makes plenty of sauce.

Assembling the salad:
toss the chicken with the sesame seeds. then either toss with all vegetables and the mustard sauce and plate. or arrange in separate mounds, chicken, vegetables, etc. for others to assemble. personally, i like it fully assembled. serve at room temperature or slightly chilled. i like to toss it all together pretty close to serving time, again so that it looks fresh, doesn't soften, or get wet.

Jul 22, 2006
VPL in Home Cooking