arashall's Profile

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Children of the Corn: Baby Corn, Demystified

I love it when I lived in Thailand and could by it fresh, for cheap, in the produce section of TOPS.

Apr 30, 2015
arashall in Home Cooking

Steak near Houston airport

Definitely faster to go downtown. If you're going to Vic & Anthony's, take the Highway 59 South exit out of IAH. Follow 59 south to the "Downtown/Jackson Street" exit.

Go down the long ramp that will take you into downtown. You'll be facing Minute Maid Park (our baseball stadium). Jackson will end at Minute Maid and Congress. Turn right on Congress. Go 2 blocks and turn left onto LaBranch. 3 more block to Texas Avenue. Vic & Anthony's is in a red brick building.

For any other downtown destination, you can take the same Jackson Street exit.

To get back out of downtown, go one block over to Crawford, and head back along side the ballpark. Turn right on Franklin, then turn left on CHENEVERT. You'll see signs for Hwy. 59. This take you back up the other side of the same ramp you used to get into downtown, and you are pointed back toward IAH.

Hope you enjoy your short visit to Houston :-)

Apr 24, 2015
arashall in Houston

Steak near Houston airport

There is always more potential for traffic problems on I-45, and ongoing construction right before the mall (which is the area where you'd be going). But if you have 5 hours, you should still be OK. Time and day matter, too. It will be more congested on the weekends because it's a popular location for shopping and dining.

Apr 24, 2015
arashall in Houston

Steak near Houston airport

Hi! Since I actually live near the airport (IAH), and work downtown, I'm going to chime in. The cab fare from IAH to downtown is about $52-55, depending on your exact destination. If you rent a car, I'd recommend driving to downtown. It's about a 20-25 minute shot straight down Highway 59. I frequently shop in the Woodlands, and it will take you longer and probably be a more frustrating drive for someone not familiar with Houston (lots of highway construction in the area right now). There are a number of good steak houses downtown, but the consensus seems to be Vic & Anthony's is best. As others have pointed out, you have plenty of time to go wherever you want.

Apr 24, 2015
arashall in Houston

Too many restaurants withholding ice!

You can actually buy the type of ice machine that Sonic uses. It takes some extra hardware for home installation. Ken Hoffman, a columnist with the Houston Chronicle, has all of the details and puts them in his column periodically when people ask about it. If I remember correctly, it's in the neighborhood of $5,000 for a home machine.

Apr 02, 2015
arashall in Austin

Good lunch place near downtown Houston (Hyatt)

If you're looking for casual, but fun, and representative of Houston, Bombay Pizza is a good option. It shows off our multi-cultural side.

Apr 01, 2015
arashall in Houston

Good lunch place near downtown Houston (Hyatt)

Well, some more detail would help, but... Shula's in the Hyatt does very well with steaks and seafood, and handles groups very well. If the budget is bigger, Brennan's in nearby. Damian's does very good Italian and has a nice business atmosphere. The list could go on and on. FYI - yellow cab does a $6 cab ride (cash only) anywhere in downtown. Three Forks (chain) handles groups well and you can take the Green Link from the Hyatt. If you want to give more detail on budget, size of group, preferred type food, I can help. I work downtown, and part of my job is includes a wide variety of business meals and events.

Apr 01, 2015
arashall in Houston

Chicken Fried Steak

James,
I have never heard this bit about pounding the flour in, but it makes sense. I can't remember the last time I made chicken fried steak, but the next time I get a hankering, I will try this. Thanks for the tip!

Fast and easy way to cut a mango

You can skip the spoon and the sink. I was in India (Gujurat) when mango was in season. My friends showed me how to make a mango "popsicle". Roll the ripe mango around in your palms to squish up the pulp. Pop the stem off and squeeze the fruit out the top. Eat what comes out. No kitchen tools required. But in the case of amateurs like me, it might still require some cleanup.

Mar 30, 2015
arashall in Home Cooking

La Carta de Oaxaca - good?

Oh no! I hate to see this. I went 2 years ago when I last visited, based on what I'd seen about the black mole. I thoroughly enjoyed the rich complex mole, but admit that whatever my sister chose (not mole) was good, but not fabulous. I was going to drag the whole family up there in August and make them all order the mole, but it sounds like it may have gone downhill. I'm from Houston, so we have every kind of Mexican food from the gifted Hugo Ortega to cheap, greasy Tex-Mex. We certainly don't need any more Mexican unless it's really outstanding. Opinions? Has the masterful mole lost its mojo? Thanks!

Mar 27, 2015
arashall in Greater Seattle

Peeps!!!!!!!

What a great idea! We used to do that with Tootsie Roll Pops. Wish I had thought of the Peeps.

Mar 25, 2015
arashall in General Topics

Is it possible to connect bread together?

Where are you in Thailand? If you have an Indian restaurant nearby, chapati make an acceptable substitute. And I'd bet that any Mexican restaurant in Bangkok or Chiang Mai would sell you a few tortillas.

Mar 24, 2015
arashall in Home Cooking

Tilapia (farm raised)

There is tilapia that is farm-raised in the U.S., and in South America that is farmed under much better conditions than the infamous Chinese import. However the price might reflect the difference in quality. A good alternative for you might be U.S. farm-raised catfish. It's very mild in flavor, and can be cooked in any way imaginable.

Mar 17, 2015
arashall in General Topics
1

Closeby small town places where you like to eat for a mini roadie

And great chocolate malts made with Blue Bell at the Dairy Cone!

Mar 17, 2015
arashall in Houston
1

Texas Itinerary Help

Yes! We want a trip report!

Feb 13, 2015
arashall in Texas
1

Bleach usage in the kitchen

Ooh! Thanks for the great idea. Why didn't I think of that?

Feb 13, 2015
arashall in Cookware

A more lemon-y lemon bar?

Based on my experience, plain lemons make better lemon bars than Meyer lemons. They Meyers are not as tart or strong in flavor. If you want to use the lemons from your tree, you might try adding just a touch of lemon extract along with including the zest.

Texas BBQ

Love Louie Mueller!

Feb 09, 2015
arashall in Austin

What are some of your favorite kitchen tricks that you'd be hesitant to admit to foodies?

We use Wolf Brand, but "real" chili dogs always call for canned chili.

What are some of your favorite kitchen tricks that you'd be hesitant to admit to foodies?

I have a marinade recipe that calls for something ridiculous like 1/2 Tbsp of minced onion. I just threw in onion powder on a lazy day and could not tell the difference. Now it's standard practice for that recipe unless I happen to have onion already chopped.

What are some of your favorite kitchen tricks that you'd be hesitant to admit to foodies?

Our family tradition is making peanut brittle for Christmas. We use Parkay because my grandmother's recipe says "oleo". We know she used Parkay later in life, so we stick with it. I would not touch it for anything else. We always throw away the rest of the box after making a few batches of peanut brittle.

Jan 22, 2015
arashall in Home Cooking
1

Opions of popcorn poppers

I've got one, too. I nursed a garage sale version from the 70s until it died and I had to get a new one. Easy and good popcorn.

Jan 21, 2015
arashall in Cookware

Texas Itinerary Help

Another opinion. I'd skip Chuy's. Maybe the old one, but definitely not any in the suburbs. Too many better options.

Jan 19, 2015
arashall in Texas
1

Texas Itinerary Help

I'm all about that moist brisket, too. Ribs are OK, but brisket's where it's at. They will pretty much cut it however you like it.

Jan 19, 2015
arashall in Texas
1

Texas Itinerary Help

Yes, it does. Also true of Houston. Almost as well known for Asian as Tex-Mex. I'd get off the River Walk in SA. I have fond memories of the Blanco Café when I was in college, many moons ago.

Jan 16, 2015
arashall in Texas

What are you lusting after?

A pizza oven in the back yard.

Jan 16, 2015
arashall in Cookware

Texas Itinerary Help

Prepare to be bombarded! I'm in Houston, but Texas is a really big place, with lots to eat, and lots of opinions. The Tex-Mex list for Houston alone could take months to work your way through. Off the top of my head, I'd add Louie Mueller BBQ (Taylor, TX), and Gatlin's (in Houston). Killen's for steak in Houston. Oh, and Hugo's for Mexican (non Tex-Mex). See how tis goes? Are you skipping seafood? That's a big category in Houston, too.

Your kitchen in a word (or two, or three...)

Oh, I'm jealous of that!

Dec 31, 2014
arashall in Not About Food

Cooking whole 6lb Halibut on big green egg - HELP!!

I do whole flounder on the grill, in foil, with various herbs and stuff.

I'm thinking that if you don't want to wrap the whole thing in foil, you could use grill sheets if the fish will fit. I get them at Lowes, and have seen them at our grocery store. They are heavier than foil, like a disposable pan, and have small holes all over. Even if you had to double them up, they would hold the fish and aromatics, and still allow the benefits of the egg. If you can't find them in your part of the world you could make some from a disposable roasting pan (the first ones I knew of were home made, before they turned up commercially).

Our loves we will not admit

King Ranch chicken is a Mexican-ish casserole with many variations involving tortillas, chicken, mushroom soup, tomatoes, chilies, Ro-Tel, cheese,more cheese and occasionally sour cream. Despite the name, there does not seem to be any real evidence that it originated on the King Ranch.

Dec 22, 2014
arashall in General Topics