sarinaL's Profile

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need mortar and pestle education

Lao versions are made of clay, with a wooden pestle. They are taller and hold a higher volume, as we tend to use them for everything from making sauces to green papaya salad. My gram taught me that the trick to keeping garlic, peppers, and other spices from flying around is to always pound them with a little salt.

Feb 03, 2014
sarinaL in Cookware
1

Best Finds at Local Asian Markets?

Wakame, not nori. Asian stores sell the salad already made, as it is purchased in bulk, even at sushi restaurants. You should be able to find it in the prepared food section of the refrigerator.

Feb 03, 2014
sarinaL in Washington DC & Baltimore

Ramen Noodles - not instant soup, just the noodles

I think that fresh noodles are the absolute bee's knees. In my Asian stores, you can find them in the refrigerated section, neatly bundled into little bird nest configurations and sold in bags or blister packs. If you can't find them that way, then get them dried in the same bird nest shape--those will generally be the better quality dried noodles.

Jun 12, 2013
sarinaL in Home Cooking

Favorite Convenience Food?

you're so lucky!

May 31, 2013
sarinaL in General Topics

Dinner Party Help - Dessert: Cheesecake and ??

Truffles are crazy easy--you just melt some chocolate with a bit of cream and roll it in sugar, cocoa, chopped nuts... anything really.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/basic-tr...

May 28, 2013
sarinaL in Home Cooking

Dim Sum cooking time

Same here, I steam freshly made siu mei for 12 minutes. I would test it out with one of each to start, make sure you have a good rolling boil.

May 28, 2013
sarinaL in Home Cooking

Dinner Party Help - Dessert: Cheesecake and ??

What about some simple truffles? You're bound to have leftovers with only 7 people.

May 28, 2013
sarinaL in Home Cooking

Papaya Question

I like diced papaya with scallions, cilantro, and lime juice with grilled shrimp... sort of a quick papaya salsa.

May 24, 2013
sarinaL in General Topics

Favorite Convenience Food?

Whoa... I can't remember the last time I had a Lunchable! I love the way everything fits on the cracker and there's exactly enough ham and cheese. It's the perfect OCD snack.

May 23, 2013
sarinaL in General Topics

Favorite Convenience Food?

I can honestly say that I don't think I've ever had an authentic bagel.

May 23, 2013
sarinaL in General Topics

Favorite Convenience Food?

I'd sooner go to a local restaurant than a big chain, and I'm often up with the birds to go to the farmers' market on the weekend. That said, there's nothing wrong with the occasional convenience food indulgence.

Last night, I had an individually wrapped brownie from 7-11 and you know what? It was FANTASTIC--chewy, not too sweet, big enough to satisfy without having to drag out a mixing bowl.

What do you like to pick up on the fly, calories, fat, and sodium aside?

May 23, 2013
sarinaL in General Topics

Do you give a restaurant a bad review?

I'm sorry, but my writing a review that a restaurant sells frozen oysters in their $13 signature sandwich is hardly seeking fame. I don't "post every photo and life event" online--the vast majority of my reviews (all but 2) are all positive.

I review restaurants online because I live in a suburb with nothing but chain restaurants and I want people to know about the cool neighborhood spots that pop up. The owner went out of her way to figure out who I was based on my order, track me down based on my credit card information, and contact me at home. That was WAY beyond inappropriate (yet somehow, not illegal). The interesting thing is, my review wasn't even as bad as most of her other bad reviews. I don't want to threadjack, so msg me if you want to know anything else about this.

May 23, 2013
sarinaL in General Topics

First time in DC, and a week in Virginia - Tips?

Shilla Bakery in Alexandria, VA is excellent for Korean baked goods like sponge cake rolls, sweet buns, and bubble teas. You might want to stop by on your way to Cville for supplies. The biggest center for SE Asian cuisine is Eden Center, where you can find excellent Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants. It's located off Rt 50.

May 23, 2013
sarinaL in Washington DC & Baltimore

Ideas for an awesome birthday cake flavor?

Making a traditional Smith Island cake would be very impressive--10 thin yellow layers and cooked chocolate frosting

May 21, 2013
sarinaL in Home Cooking

Good Sunday brunch which is "like" Masa 14 but that "is not" Masa 14

I like The Brixton, but it gets mixed reviews. It's only $20 and you can order absolutely anything on their small plate menu--add $15 for bottomless mimosas or Bloody Marys.

May 21, 2013
sarinaL in Washington DC & Baltimore

Ideas for meals taken to sick friend and family

I would suggest a really delicious soup like potato leek with bacon or tomato bisque, some baguettes, and good butter. You could add some cookies and a simple salad for a full meal.

May 21, 2013
sarinaL in Home Cooking

Do you give a restaurant a bad review?

Yes--I think people are always looking for the truth when it comes to trying new restaurants, and the popularity of review sites reflects that.

I recently wrote a relatively bland, 2* review of a place that used frozen fried oyster patties in their signature sandwich. For $13, I felt like I'd been ripped off--who uses frozen oyster patties??? The owner wrote back a very nice apology, asking that I give them another try since they went back to their original oyster vendor. Well, I did, and the 2nd sandwich was even worse. The oysters were somehow mealy, flabby, cold, and bland all at the same time. I wrote an update to my review saying that, after 2 bad sandwiches, I wouldn't be back. I don't think that people should go there looking for fresh, fried oysters! *stepping off my soapbox*

BTW, the owner's response to my updated review was anything but nice... and sent to my home after she googled my name from my credit card and wrote me a scathing letter informing me that she'd posted my photo in her restaurant and kitchen...

May 21, 2013
sarinaL in General Topics

duchess/dauphine sweet plantains -- will this work?!?

You're welcome! I hope the dinner goes well!

May 16, 2013
sarinaL in Home Cooking

Cooking For Highschoolers?

I love dirt cake! Fruit pizza is always good--sugar cookie crust, a swipe of frosting, topped with sliced strawberries, blueberries, and kiwis.

May 16, 2013
sarinaL in Home Cooking

What TV/movie/book restaurant would you want to go to? What place would you avoid?

I want to go to Amy's Baking Company, sheerly for the entertainment value... But I second the vote for The Whistlestop Cafe.

May 16, 2013
sarinaL in Not About Food
1

duchess/dauphine sweet plantains -- will this work?!?

To me, the beauty of ripe plantains is how they caramelize and crisp up when simply fried. What about cutting them into a different shape, like dramatic, long planks instead of the traditional oval? Then you could do a simple rum glaze to drizzle on the plate... What about mofongo fritters?

May 16, 2013
sarinaL in Home Cooking

duchess/dauphine sweet plantains -- will this work?!?

Reading through both recipes, I don't think that sweet plantains would have the right amount of starch to get the proper presentation you're looking for.

May 16, 2013
sarinaL in Home Cooking

Prediabetic to Diabetic- what to do?

I'm helping my dad through the same situation, and I find that having delicious low carb food consistently in the fridge helps because you can't ever say "there's nothing to eat."

Some of our favorites include: roasted cauliflower with olive oil, s&p, shrimp deviled eggs (add chopped cocktail shrimp and shallots to regular deviled eggs), ham and cheese frittata, and grilled fish with garlic butter. Add in a big tub of fresh greens with some herbs and garlic vinaigrette, and you'll always find something yummy to eat.

May 16, 2013
sarinaL in Special Diets
1

Thai stir fries?

1:1 fish sauce and oyster sauce is what's used in most Thai restaurants. Start your wok with oil, add some crushed garlic (about 1tsp per "order"), then your meat. Drizzle on the sauce and then add your aromatics--thai basil, chili paste (not the instant-curry-just-add-coconut-milk kind), onions, etc. If you're doing a ginger and black bean stir fry, this is when you'd add your fresh ginger matchsticks and black bean sauce.

When it's about half cooked, toss in your blanched veggies and flip flip flip. If you want it "saucier", add a ladle of chicken stock. Whole thing should take you about 5 minutes or so. The important thing is having your mise en place ready. Standard mise at our restaurant was the 1:1 mix, flash-fried crushed garlic, chili paste, dried pepper flakes, chicken stock, and sugar. Everything else changed by the dish.

May 16, 2013
sarinaL in Home Cooking

Ideas to use marinated sweet garlic?

I'd use them as a counterpoint with a charcuterie plate... maybe some nice cornichons and olives as well. Maybe they'd be good as the base for a fresh white pizza too.

May 16, 2013
sarinaL in Home Cooking

College kids in D.C. for the week

Eastern market for a nice grazing lunch and to pick up supplies!

May 16, 2013
sarinaL in Washington DC & Baltimore

How do you eat your avocados?

Yup, in Haiti, we'd take the slices and dip the end in sugar as a snack.

May 16, 2013
sarinaL in Home Cooking

Light summertime flavors?

Dorie Greenspan's orange almond tart is AMAZING... you can use orange, raspberries, anything with a little zing, actually, and it turns out incredible. Not too sweet, and well worth the effort. Whatever fruit you do use, don't press it into the almond cream, it will puff up around it while it bakes.

http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbc...

May 15, 2013
sarinaL in Home Cooking

Short Stay in DC - Suggestions For Friday Night

Yup, and the OP is from Canada. Just because it's a chain doesn't mean it's bad. For the authenticity, variety and quality of items served, Fogo has it down pat.

May 02, 2013
sarinaL in Washington DC & Baltimore

fishsauce ideas

If you mix fish sauce and oyster sauce in a 1:1 ratio and keep it in a jar, you'll have a go-to sauce for any basic Thai/Lao stir fry. A little oil, some smashed garlic, your meat, and a drizzle of the sauce. Add your veggies and flip, flip, flip.

May 02, 2013
sarinaL in Home Cooking