arashall's Profile

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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

Our loves we will not admit

I work at a large corporation and order lots of catering for meetings. There are lots of fancier things I could choose, but the guys all love that goopy King Ranch casserole.

Dec 22, 2014
arashall in General Topics

Specifics on making a meyer lemon shrub?

Thank you.

Dec 18, 2014
arashall in Spirits

Specifics on making a meyer lemon shrub?

Yes, I've done some research and looked at other threads, but I need a little specific guidance, please.

I would like to make meyer lemon shrubs to give as gifts. Can someone advise proportions of lemon, sugar, and vinegar (recommend the best vinegar choice)? Should I include pith? Some say yes, some say no.

The lemons on our tree are very large, relative to grocery store-sized fruit. More the size of a large orange, or small grapefruit this year.

About how many will I need to yield a pint jar of shrub?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Dec 18, 2014
arashall in Spirits
1

barbecue "alternate" meats

Just so you don't feel too bad about your local prices, I ate at Louie Mueller BBQ last weekend. It's consistently rated one of the top places in Texas. Brisket and ribs are $19/pound. And worth every penny! I'm paying for their skill and hard work, in addition to the fabulous meat.

Most useless/useful kitchen thing you've ever been given?

Useless - huge, heavy, rectangle, stainless steel, "fish turner" spatula from my Mom, who saw it in a fancy cookware store.

Useful - light, flexible, nicely angled, silicon fish spatula.

Nov 25, 2014
arashall in Cookware

dessert uses for egg yolks

Crème brulee!

Nov 21, 2014
arashall in Home Cooking

Thanksgiving with a small single oven

Ha! You brought up some memories :-) My roommate in college made stovetop stuffing and boxed mac & cheese in one of those electric kettles.

Nov 20, 2014
arashall in Home Cooking

Frosting without Butter?

This got me to thinking. Can you get corn syrup in Korea? If you can, you could make homemade marshmallow fluff (egg whites, corn syrup, flavoring, coloring) and use that to decorate. It would be really sticky, but the kids would probably like it. If the kids don't really have a baseline idea of what a cupcake should me, then they won't know the difference, and will enjoy the special project and all of that sugar!

Nov 19, 2014
arashall in Home Cooking

Austin Food Truck App?

I will. Thanks!

Nov 17, 2014
arashall in Austin

Austin Food Truck App?

I'll be visiting from Houston this weekend and want to fit in some food trucks. Is Roaming Hunger the best app for Austin food trucks, or can someone recommend a better alternative? Thanks!

Nov 17, 2014
arashall in Austin

Are Meyer lemons in season now?

Ours in Houston are just about ready. We usually harvest the first ones in December, depending on the weather in any given year.

Nov 13, 2014
arashall in Los Angeles Area

housewarming gift?rude

I'd say it depends on how well you know the friend, and the situation. If it's someone you've known for many years, and you happen to know that they have just managed to get boxes in the door, but not get to the grocery store, it might make a nice gift. A more casual acquaintance, and an official housewarming party, maybe a little odd.

Nov 10, 2014
arashall in Not About Food
1

Solo dining in downtown Houston vicinity that won't break the bank?

Pappas BBQ is just around the corner. It's not the most fabulous ever, but it is good enough that it's full for lunch most days. Massa's Seafood is also about a block away. Again, not the most fabulous seafood you've ever eaten, but very good, and very nice service. If you don't pick the priciest thing on the menu, you can easily do dinner for $40. You would probably need a reservation for lunch, as it is full with business lunches. A couple of blocks away is Bouray's Burrito Bar & Pho. An interesting Houston hybrid and popular spot for lunch. One side is build your own burrito, and one side is build your own pho. A husband & wife operation.

Just FYI- a yellow cab to anyplace downtown is a flat fee of $6 cash.

You could take longish walk, or a cab to Phoenicia Specialty foods and eat very well.

There's plenty of good food around. I'm sure the staff at the Doubletree can help you find whatever you're looking for.

Nov 10, 2014
arashall in Houston

More and more Whole chickens/turkeys coming WITHOUT giblets?

They were in Thailand, so you just buy the chicken out of the butcher shop. They were not wrapped. Just stuffed down inside. I think that's how they missed them. I think they just ate around the edges.

Nov 10, 2014
arashall in General Topics

Pseudo-Ice Cream cake recipe ideas?

If his focus is more on the ice cream than the cake, we used to assemble a nice dessert as follows in a pie tin:

- graham cracker, oreo, whatever cookie you like as a crust

- icecream flavor of choice

- dress-up topping or mix-ins of choice

Our favorite was an oreo crust, peppermint ice cream, sprinkled with chocolate chips, or drizzled with chocolate syrup.

You get the idea. It could be sized to whatever container would fit in your freezer.

Nov 10, 2014
arashall in Home Cooking

More and more Whole chickens/turkeys coming WITHOUT giblets?

That makes me laugh! I gave what I thought were very detailed instructions to friends of mine who were baking their first whole chicken, but I apparently left out one little detail. I my defense, I was giving the instructions from literally halfway around the planet. Although the instructions told them to wash out the chicken, and to put herbs and such inside, they somehow managed to bake it with the giblets inside. Yuck! I'm glad I wasn't there to actually witness the results! :-)

Nov 10, 2014
arashall in General Topics

Cheaper Alternative to Skirt Steak for Beef Taco?

My favorite taco is barbacoa. Hopefully this won't start an argument about "authenticity". In the average-American, busy-family kitchen it can be made from shoulder roast in a slow cooker. If you're up for it, you can slow cook on the grill, then shred. If you're really up for it, get the pickings from a cows head from your butcher. Alternates also include cabrito and pork.

Nov 06, 2014
arashall in Home Cooking

Meyer lemons

Choose your recipe carefully, because the flavor is not as tart, or acidic, as standard lemons. Since you don't have enough for trial and error, I'd look for a recipe that specifically calls for meyer lemons.

Nov 05, 2014
arashall in Home Cooking