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Homemade Meatballs: Bake or Fry/Brown in Saucepan. Which do you do?

This is similar to what I do. I fry them up, remove the MBs and drain out some fat from the pan, then make my sauce in there. The leftovers from cooking the meatballs, to me, adds a nice richness to the sauce. This is how my grandmother did it. She also said, and I completely agree, the key to a good meatball is torn pieces of bread soaked in milk.

Feb 26, 2013
kws123 in Home Cooking

Crazy idea for GF baklava?

I'm making a mediterranean themed dinner on Thursday and was having a hard time with dessert. I love baklava, but can't eat it. I got this crazy idea to use homemade crispy apple slices in lieu of phyllo, similar to this recipe:

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/201...

I thought I could undercook them a little, so they weren't super duper cripsy, then bake a little less than normal baklava once it was all put together. I'd use a normal baklava nut filling and syrup. So they don't dry out, I thought of maybe doing them in muffin tins or even ramekins, so they are easier to deal with and retain all the juices/syrup.

Your thoughts - is this a guaranteed-to-fail idea, or something even worth trying?!

Feb 26, 2013
kws123 in Home Cooking

Help re: tart pan size for flourless cake

I'm planning to make a flourless chocolate cake for dessert, and the recipe calls for an 8" tart pan. I only have a 8"x11" tart pan. Would you increase the recipe by maybe 25%, or just use the recipe as is knowing it will be on the thinner side?

Feb 09, 2013
kws123 in Home Cooking

Solo dining in Chicago

Thank you! I'm looking forward to this. I checked online with a few places, and there is availability at most of them. I figure I should probably lock something down now, just in case.

Jan 18, 2013
kws123 in Chicago Area

Solo dining in Chicago

Thank you for all the suggestions! Definitely appreciate it.

It was mentioned that Boka has a bar area to sit at. Do any of the others - TRU, Acadia, NaHa, North Pond, Everest, Spiaggia or Moto - have bar seating, or something similar (chef's counter/table, etc). As a solo diner, I find that to be a little less awkward (might just be me though!).

Jan 18, 2013
kws123 in Chicago Area

Solo dining in Chicago

I've never been to Chicago and am headed out there for a conference in April. I have dinner plans Saturday and Sunday, so I'm trying to figure out Friday and Monday night. Not sure if things are closed that day or what reservations are like.

One night I am thinking casual, the other something more fancy.I always like to sort of treat myself to a really nice dinner when I go to these things, and dining solo at an amazing meal is great.

So, any restaurant suggestions for a solo female? I eat anything and am willing to try something new - sadly I guess would consider myself a "foodie" (I hate that term).

Oh, I'm staying in the Chicago Loop area, so if there is anything worth checking out there, that would be great. If not, definitely can cab it.

Thanks!

Jan 17, 2013
kws123 in Chicago Area

Jim H.'s cross rib roast recipe

I came across a bunch of posts about cross rib roasts, and it seems that Jim H's method is a keeper. I've got a 3.17lb cross rib roast in the freezer that I plan on making for a casual, easy dinner before the Xmas cooking storm. The slow and low seems perfect.

Two questions about the recipe and process:

1) Anyone ever change up the seasonings of the marinade? I assume that one does not need to have the Asian influence, but perhaps something about those ingredients is key to the tenderizing? I was thinking of doing something more "herby", if possible, possibly getting some orange in there.

2) How long of a resting period do you recommend?

TIA!

Dec 15, 2012
kws123 in Home Cooking

Scandanavian vegetarian entree? (esp. one good for Christmas Eve)

I also agree with the split pea soup. I was going to do a Swedish Xmas Eve this year for everything, but decided to only do a Swedish cookie spread. That soup was going to be part of the plan, along with Jansson's Temptation and gravlax with rye bread.

Epicurious has a recipe for the soup. Just don't use the salt pork during cooking (the rest of the meats are to serve alongside the soup).

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Also search for one by Marcus Samuelsson - I'm sure I've seen one floating around. Soup is a great option b/c it is make ahead too. Less work the day of is always a plus, in my opinion!

Dec 13, 2012
kws123 in Home Cooking

Comments on my Christmas dinner menu please!

Oooh, that does look good! I do love the Ritz Dining Room.

I'm getting worried about crab though - the fishermen are on strike still, which means no crab (shudder!). It is entirely possible that I'll be out of luck. So my alternative, I guess, will be to serve a chestnut soup followed by the salad, as planned.

Dec 11, 2012
kws123 in Home Cooking

Comments on my Christmas dinner menu please!

Interesting. I never thought to put the persimmon and crab together, but that does sound good. Butternut squash soup is out - the husband is not a fan (sad, really), but I could definitely work around that.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone! Much appreciated.

Dec 11, 2012
kws123 in Home Cooking

Fave Gluten Free cookie and baking recipes?

Look at these websites - always great stuff:

http://abakinglife.thedailymeal.com/ (I can say that her pie crust is fab

)

http://www.latartinegourmande.com/

http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/

I've got some recipes that I can share, if you'd like. A great roll-out sugar cookie one, as well as a "kitchen sink" cookie and an amaretti.

Also, since cookies can be fairly foolproof, you can generally sub out GF flour for regular flour, using 140gms GF flour to each cup of regular flour.

You'll want a good mix too. Check out this post from Gluten Free Girl - it will give you good ideas for a good, all purpose GF flour mix.

http://glutenfreegirl.com/how-to-make...

And don't buy into the xantham gum stuff when baking. Use psyllium husk instead, at the same ratio that the recipe might call for xantham gum.

Good luck! Cookies are really easy GF!

Dec 10, 2012
kws123 in Home Cooking

Comments on my Christmas dinner menu please!

That could work. I was originally going to use the crab on Xmas eve for a soup, but decided that I wanted the crab to really be the focus of the dish. Perhaps I could get rid of the asian pear from the salad and add some crisped prosciutto. While it will still be cold, it might set it apart more.

But, I will look for a celariac soup as well - that does sound good.

Dec 10, 2012
kws123 in Home Cooking

Comments on my Christmas dinner menu please!

I'm trying to refine my menu. I'm getting meat from our local coop, and am really dying to get the persimmons and asian pear from them as well. Also, since it is crab season in SF, I need to use some fresh crab somewhere. So, here's what I'm thinking. There will be 9 of us.

Apple - Celeriac Remoulade with Crab
Persimmon and Asian Pear Salad with Chevre
Roast Leg of Lamb with Juniper and Rosemary
Yukon Gold Potato Gratin with Horseradish and Parmesan
Sauteed Green Beans with Carmelized Shallots
Pear Frangipane Tart with Chocolate Drizzle

Also, regarding the remoulade. I'm planning on using this recipe:

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

Anyone have an idea as to how many it serves? Either I'm blind, or it isn't there. I'm assuming 4, but would appreciate other thoughts.

Thanks!

Dec 10, 2012
kws123 in Home Cooking

Lamb sirloin roast - use for stew?

Nope, it is smaller and more "ball" shaped (not sure how else to describe it). I'd be horrified if there wasn't enough - both men tend to, uh, overeat when meat is involved.

Nov 29, 2012
kws123 in Home Cooking

Lamb sirloin roast - use for stew?

This was my concern - it is never good to barely make it, you know? Gotta love the husband for springing this on me last minute.

So, stew it is. Thanks so much!

Nov 29, 2012
kws123 in Home Cooking

Your favorite recipes that use ground almonds?

I second the crusting of meat. I'm gluten-free, so I've done this a lot and it works great. Trout crusted in ground almonds and pan seared in butter is fabulous. Almonds work well with a lot of meats.

You could also make amaretti cookies. Really easy - basically ground almonds, almond extract, whipped egg whites and some sugar.

Nov 29, 2012
kws123 in Home Cooking
1

Lamb sirloin roast - use for stew?

We ordered a lamb sirloin roast from our local meat coop, but I'm not sure what to do with it. My husband invited another couple over for dinner, but seeing that the roast is only 1.5lbs, I'm not sure that would be enough as a standard roast for 4 people. So I started thinking about a stew, which usually requires less meat per person.

Question is, can I cup up the roast and use it for the stew? I know that generally the lamb shoulder or leg cuts are used. Just not sure how sirloin roast will translate to stew. I assume it could work, but figured I'd check in here. And if not, would 1.5lbs of meat suffice for 4 adults? Possibly serve it with a couscous bulked up with garbanzo beans or something - go the Moroccan route.

Thanks in advance.

Nov 29, 2012
kws123 in Home Cooking

Pork Crown Roast - does this $ seem crazy low?!

Great, thanks! Seems a bit easier. Although now my husband is asking me about elk.......

Nov 28, 2012
kws123 in General Topics

Pork Crown Roast - does this $ seem crazy low?!

Thanks. That is what I was thinking re: WS, SLT, etc, but the price discrepancy was so wide, it made me wonder. But yeah, I'd never buy meat from them for that reason.

A follow up question. What about foregoing the whole crown thing and just doing a rack of pork? It is essentially the same thing, just different presentation, no?

Nov 28, 2012
kws123 in General Topics

Pork Crown Roast - does this $ seem crazy low?!

I'm contemplating doing a pork crown roast for Christmas this year - something I've never attempted, but have always thought would be fun.

I called our local meat shop, and was told they'd have to make it for us. That makes sense. I asked for the price, and they said that the pork rib chops are $6.99/lb, and we'd have to have at least 10 to make the crown. Each chop is about 0.5 to 0.75 lb, so it could be anywhere from 5 to 7 lbs for the whole crown roast. Based on the price per pound, that would be $35 to $49 for the whole roast, assuming we did just 10 ribs.

Does that seem right, or absurdly low? I feel like the guy I talked to is missing something. When I see them online through WS, Sur la Table, etc, they are more like $150 to $200, unstuffed, for about 12 to 15 ribs.

Nov 28, 2012
kws123 in General Topics

First timers to Portland - need winery, brewery and dining recs please!

I should have been more clear about the events - food / beer events were mostly what I was asking.

We were already planning on doing the Farmers Market for Saturday breakfast.

I did some research, and what comes up as looking good to me are:

-- Broder for brunch (love Swedish food, and it is hard to find)
-- Le Pigeon
-- Little Bird
-- Clyde Common
-- Central
-- BEAST (but probably can't get in this short notice)

The menu at Ned Ludd is slightly intriguing, but seemed more so/so. Paley's Place looks too ordinary. Andina looks a lot like what we can get in SF. Park Kitchen is possible. Then maybe just find some food pod areas for lunch, or eat at the various brewpubs we're going to tour one day.

Thoughts on the above restaurants, or have I clearly missed a great one?

Aug 27, 2012
kws123 in Metro Portland

First timers to Portland - need winery, brewery and dining recs please!

My husband and I are headed to Portland for a long weekend. Everyone that knows us says we will love it - hailing from SF and NYC, and being wine / food people, they say it is our "mecca" outside of Napa / SF.

We are totally clueless on where to eat and where to go to check stuff out. We're staying downtown at the Monaco hotel, which seems like it is a good location for biking, walking and streetcars. We will have our car, as well, to get to the wineries or other sights outside the city. We'll be there for 3 nights, and will have 2 full days and one 1/2 day to explore.

The hotel has complementary bikes for guests, so one day we want to bike around the city and go to a bunch of breweries. Caveat - I'm gluten-free, so I know I won't be able to sip at quite a few, but from what I've read, Deschutes and Widmers both have GF beers at the Public House / Gasthaus. For my non-GF husband, any recommendations that are must? Or know of any others that serve GF beer.....or at least good cocktails?

Would love some recs on wineries in the Willamette Valley. We're planning a day trip, so a few good ones would be great. We'd like to stay more towards the north, rather than heading down all the way to Corvallis.....but if it is worth it to get some good wine, then so be it, we'll go.

Lastly, food. We're looking for anything from food trucks to 5 star. I'd love at least one night with a great chef's tasting menu, or something similar. The rest could be more casual. Something that will embody all that Portland is. We'd be open to having pre-dinner cocktails and snacks at one place, then heading out to another for dinner.

It will be Labor Day weekend, so if there are any fun festivals or other events to check out, that would be great too. And in general, other sights - the gardens, etc.

Thanks!

Aug 27, 2012
kws123 in Metro Portland

In LA for work Sat - Tues.....where to eat alone?

Thanks everyone! I live outside SF, so I've had Umami Burger - the whole idea was intriguing that I could have a very ADD eating experience. But, given my limited time there, some of the other options seem better. I took a look at The Spice Table, Lazy Ox Canteen and Blue Cow Kitchen - those look like great choices. I'll investigate some of the others too......such hard decisions!

Apr 12, 2012
kws123 in Los Angeles Area

In LA for work Sat - Tues.....where to eat alone?

Hmmmm, I'm intrigued by this Umamicatessen. So at one location you can get all of the stuff on that menu? And there is seating? That might be a winner, for sure. Would you say it is within walking distance of the Westin Bonaventure, or more of a subway/cab trip?

Apr 12, 2012
kws123 in Los Angeles Area

In LA for work Sat - Tues.....where to eat alone?

I'm heading into LA this weekend for a 4 day work trip. I'll be staying in downtown LA and won't have a car, so I'd like to stay around that area for dining. So far I've made reservations for myself at Le Comptoir on Saturday night, but other than that I'm lost.

Any recommendations for places that are great for a 30-something woman on her own to eat dinner? I will eat anything, really, just want to go places that are good for one - think counter service or bar seating rather than white table cloth by myself.

Apr 12, 2012
kws123 in Los Angeles Area

Gnocchi with Persimmon.....thoughts?

I like the bread pudding idea a lot - that would be a good way to go. Thanks for the idea!!!

Nov 10, 2011
kws123 in Home Cooking

Gnocchi with Persimmon.....thoughts?

I couldn't find a persimmon gnocchi recipe, but did see that salsify one. I'm going to give it a try. Maybe I just make a persimmon sauce and top with the pork. We'll see.....

What I meant by balancing it was that unlike some pumpkin or butternut gnocchi recipes, I'd still use potato so it wasn't so "persimmon-y".

Nov 08, 2011
kws123 in Home Cooking

Gnocchi with Persimmon.....thoughts?

Yeah, that was my thought too. But I figured if I used potato too, it might balance it out. Might try a small test run just to see.

Hachiya's are really only good when really ripe, so a chutney wouldn't work that well I don't think. The fuyu type would be better for that. Hachiyas are used in applications where they are pureed, for the most part.....so custards, cakes, cookies, etc.

Nov 08, 2011
kws123 in Home Cooking

Gnocchi with Persimmon.....thoughts?

Okay, there are a number of recipes out there that use pumpkin puree or butternut squash puree for gnocchi. I'm wondering, is there any reason that Hachiya persimmon puree wouldn't work?

I'm trying to find a new an innovative use for persimmon that I want to pair with some crispy spice braised pork shoulder.

Nov 08, 2011
kws123 in Home Cooking

Why do people love red velvet cakes/cupcakes?

I don't get it either. My thought is that, if the food coloring does nothing but add color, then wouldn't the cake/cupcake taste the same without it? You'd still have all the flavors, just not a red cake, right? Just make a slightly chocolatey cake and add cream cheese frosting. Perhaps I'm missing something too!

Jul 29, 2011
kws123 in General Topics