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Perfect Margarita

Mar 23, 2015
vvv03 in Recipes

Accidentally bought pork loin instead of pork shoulder -- help!

Thanks, everyone! It is a whole loin (boneless, though). Okay, so higher heat, shorter cook time. My mother's is always dry as a bone. Hope mine fairs better. Grrr. Teach me not to read labels...

Mar 22, 2015
vvv03 in Home Cooking

Accidentally bought pork loin instead of pork shoulder -- help!

I bought what I thought was pork shoulder at my Food Coop (vacuum packed, lots of fat on top with the webbing around it, looked just like it!) I already marinated it in the Melissa Clarke marinade (rosemary, olive oil, dijon, garlic, salt and pepper). Now how do I cook it so it's not a terrifically dry mess?

Mar 22, 2015
vvv03 in Home Cooking

ISO UK Easter candy

Where can I get real British Easter chocolate now that the evil Hershey empire made it contraband ? Will Myers of Keswick still have it ? Even online the pickings look slim.

Mar 22, 2015
vvv03 in Manhattan

Park Slopers -- what are your go-to spots for take-out?

We've lived here for 12 years and have take-out once a week. I have always found the choices relatively mediocre. This week for Indian I decided to try an Indian place called Sapid instead of our usual Joy based on Seamless reviews and it was kind of terrible. I will stick to Joy for Indian (Kinara is a bit too hit or miss for us) but even Joy is only meh. We ordered from Wangs recently. The wings were terrific though I will pass on the sides next time. We will order from El Viejo Yayo on 9th St for arroz con pollo and pernil (the 5th Ave one isn't as good), Yamato for sushi/Japanese (many people prefer Taro, but we like Yamato), Purbird for chicken and La Villa for pizza (sometimes Pino's because we can pick up there but honestly the crust can be so tough there it can borderline suck.) What places are we missing? We are open to any cuisine. Is there anything new and wonderful?

Mar 15, 2015
vvv03 in Outer Boroughs

Great coffee in Brooklyn

I feel weird replying to an original post that is nearly ten years old, but since everyone else has, here goes. I drink simple black drip coffee which should be easy but actually is really hard to find great stuff. I like a medium roast with a lot of body (I don't like it flat, but I also don't like it too bitter.) In Park Slope, I go to Cusp on 7th Ave and 9th Street. They use Stumptown for their espresso but Dallis Brothers for their drip and it's simple and generally quite good (though some days it's better than others and I can never quite figure out why that is.) They are also just delightful there. Fast, friendly and they remember you. The sfogliatella is also really good! I sometimes go to Cafe Grumpy, but I find their drip a bit tangy, which I feel douchey even writing because it sounds so pretentious, but there is a bit too much going on with their coffee, if that makes any sense. I know. I'm a major PITA when it comes to coffee...

Mar 15, 2015
vvv03 in Outer Boroughs

Favorite brand of canned beans?

FWIW, Marcella Hazan noted that she prefers Goya Chick Peas over prepared dried beans.

Feb 28, 2015
vvv03 in General Topics

have you had any luck with Food52 recipes?

I'm an experienced cook, too. I think the thing is that a lot of the recipes clash with my personal cooking credo -- the simpler, the better. I don't like fussy food -- cooking it or eating it. There is a lot of fussy food on the site. The three recipes I have tried that fall into that category are the Faulknerian Spice Cake (which I have made a few times, it's easy to overbake it and then it's really not good at all, but even when you nail it with the baking, it's A LOT of ingredients), Short Rib Ragu (this one was definitely not worth the effort. It was fine, but then again it's hard to screw up short ribs so why go to that amount of effort?) and the Sausage and Lentil soup (I posted above, I found the addition of ketchup off putting in the end). Now that I think of it, another one I made that wasn't worth the effort was the Absurdly Addictive Asparagus which gets rave reviews. It's okay. I like Melissa Clark's way of pan frying them much more and it's a ton easier.

Feb 04, 2015
vvv03 in Home Cooking

have you had any luck with Food52 recipes?

The lentil and sausage soup was the recipe that inspired my post! I loved the picture and the description, but I found it to be quite a few steps and ingredients and at the end, I really didn't like the flavor profile. I could taste the ketchup which was weird and I wasn't crazy about the marjoram. As I was making it, I was tempted to throw in a heel of parmigiano, but I thought that flavor would clash with the other ingredients. In the end, I vastly prefer an Italian style lentil soup which is much simpler to make, but maybe it was just that I personally wasn't too keen on those flavors.

Feb 04, 2015
vvv03 in Home Cooking

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

My old roommate's Polish mother used to put a few slices of white American cheese in her mashed potatoes. You didn't taste them, but they certainly upped the creaminess factor.

Feb 02, 2015
vvv03 in Home Cooking
1

have you had any luck with Food52 recipes?

I really like looking at the blog Food52 and I've been inspired to try a few of the recipes. but I'm realizing now that each one I have tried has been A LOT of work with a bunch of ingredients and they turn out anywhere from not good to meh. Definitely not worth the effort. But it's strange that it would be a consistent theme, given that various people submit recipes. I usually go for recipes that appeal to me (obvioiusly) but also that get a lot of good ratings. Just wondering if I'm doing something wrong and everyone else is having good luck with them?

Feb 02, 2015
vvv03 in Home Cooking

Park Slope Food Coop Members -ever have trouble with their meat?

We've been members of the Coop for about 8 years. We buy most of our meat there not because the prices are so great, but because I felt comfortable that it was "happy meat". Over the past year or so, on at least 4 occasions, the meat I have purchased smelled so foul I had to throw it away. I usually don't do anything about it as I have no intention of schlepping back raw rancid meat and didn't think they would take me for my word later. But tonight really ticked me off. This afternoon I bought ground pork and when I opened it, it was spoiled. I checked the date, which was not listed, instead it said "Special Sale" on it. I didn't notice that when I bought it since it was right where the ground pork always is with no special sign. My bad, I guess, but "Special Sale" or no, I would never pay $6 for a pound of rotten meat. I called them this time and after a longish hold was told to bring my receipt for a refund, which I will. But my bigger issue is -- what the heck is wrong with their meat? Is it a date issue (with the exception of my Special Sale pork, none of my rotten meat was beyond the expiration date) or a storage issue? I sometime wonder if it's the vacuum packed nature of the meat. It's gross to think about, but it can't be good to sit in that blood like that. Shudder. It's enough to make one a vegetarian. But before I do that, I have two questions -- has anyone else had this problem? And where else can I buy non factory farm meat (grass fed, humanely raised) besides Fleisher's, which I *think* is more $$ than the coop (though I could be wrong?)

Jan 22, 2015
vvv03 in Outer Boroughs

How many people really use shallots? I generally don't.

I used them a lot. I started using them more often when I read Kitchen Confidential. Anthony Bourdain lists them as one of the secret ingredients that makes restaurant food tastier than home cooked meals might.

Jan 16, 2015
vvv03 in Home Cooking

Vacuum packed La Quercia Pancetta is a bit old -- can I use it?

Thank you!!

Dec 27, 2014
vvv03 in General Topics

Vacuum packed La Quercia Pancetta is a bit old -- can I use it?

I've had a vacuum sealed package of La Quercia pancetta in my deli drawer for a while. Honestly, not even sure how long -- 6 + months..? I can't find an expiration on it. It looks fine. Do you think it's okay? Will I know if it's bad when I open it? I suspect that since Pancetta is cured and it's sealed, it may be okay. I don't want to get anyone sick, though. I plan on using it with a roast, so it will be cooked. Thoughts..?

Dec 27, 2014
vvv03 in General Topics

Where can I buy live cockles near Park Slope?

We usually get our cockles for spaghetti and clams from Bensonhurst, but I am working on Christmas Day and don't have time to get there. Is there any nearby seafood shop that sells them?

Dec 22, 2014
vvv03 in Outer Boroughs

What can I make with ground beef?

That is NOT: chili, picadillo, meatloaf or shepherd's pie? It's such an easy, quick ingredient, but I'm out of ideas. Thanks!

Nov 30, 2014
vvv03 in Home Cooking

Tell us about your Thanksgiving disaster

Oh yeah, I also made the cranberry sauce with port and figs everyone loves on the board. I didn't like it. I have to admit, I like my cranberry sauce a little sweeter and less complex.

Nov 28, 2014
vvv03 in Home Cooking

Tell us about your Thanksgiving disaster

Mine wasn't a disaster, but a disappointment. I am generally a good cook and I'm pretty good at following recipes, but none of my recipes really hit it out of the park. I did the Food52 dry brine turkey.http://food52.com/recipes/15069-russ-... It was a bit dry. I did Sunday Supper at Lucques stuffing http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/ch..., quite a bit of work and seriously lackluster results (once again confirming the fact that I am simply not good at fussy recipes) and I did this bean casserole, which was recommended here http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20... and it was typical overwrought Americana cuisine (I am Italian American and it was my first stab at a bean casserole. I never understood the concept but given the good review I figured I would try it.) My mom did the mashed and sweet potatoes and they were fine. My pumpkin pie was okay. Overall, just a general disappointment for quite a bit of work and money. I guess I should be grateful it wasn't a disaster, though!

Nov 28, 2014
vvv03 in Home Cooking

ISO advice from seasoned cookie bakers and/or crafty types

My 11 year old daughter is having a birthday party mid-December in our relatively small apartment and we will likely have around 10 girls over to bake a few different cookie recipes. I am looking for tasty/relatively easy/foolproof recipes and any advice on how you would organize "the line". Meaning, would you have stations where groups of kids do different things, etc.? I am probably crazy to be doing this. I'd love a good cookie cutter or otherwise decorate-able cookie, but I find that many of them taste like drywall. Let me know if you have one that doesn't. Any and all advice/recipes/encouragement very much appreciated!!

Nov 28, 2014
vvv03 in Home Cooking

The Most Fabulous Candy Bar Ever

You are wrong (though I will try one out of morbid curiosity.) But seriously, try this and then rewrite the article. Yummy and beyond fun! http://chuaochocolatier.com/chocolate...

Nov 10, 2014
vvv03 in Features

What am I doing wrong with my new stove?

Thanks for the replies. To clarify, I get the smoke even when I am using the normal bake setting. I know the Broiler is always on top, but in my past experience there was a lower drawer that you put things in to broil. This has that flame at the top of the oven, so that even when I'm simply baking, it's easy to cause smoke.

I will try the wipe down the oil method and see if that improves things.

Thank you.

Nov 10, 2014
vvv03 in Home Cooking

What's great for dining with an old friend -- West-ish Side btwn Soho and Flatiron?

I'm meeting an old friend for drinks and dinner tomorrow night. I rarely get to do this, so I don't want to blow it with a mediocre meal. what's a nice place that you like for meeting a friend? I'm thinking good cocktails, good food, not too noisy so you can chat. Just a general positive ambiance. Mid price range. She's on the UWS, I'm in Park Slope, so I figure we'll meet somewhere in the middle. Open to different cuisines. TIA!

Nov 10, 2014
vvv03 in Manhattan

What am I doing wrong with my new stove?

We are renters in a smallish apartment in Brooklyn. I recently decided to buy myself a new gas range because the one in our unit was awful so I went for a middle of the road GE gas range/convection with a self-cleaning feature. Overall, it's been an improvement from the last oven. But I'm having a few problems I can't find answers to in the owner's manual and I'm wondering if it has something to do with technique. Most importantly, the broiler flame is on the top of the range, not the bottom. This means that whenever I am roasting something that has been marinated in oil, the whole apartment fills with smoke. I don't just mean sets the smoke alarm off, which of course it does, but fills with smoke so the rooms look cloudy, even with the fan going and windows open. I can't figure out if I'm doing something wrong or if there's a problem with the oven itself but THanksgiving is steadily approaching and I'm having a bunch of guests and would prefer if we wouldn't spend the pre-meal time dabbing the tears from our eyes from the smoke. Any suggestions on how to remedy this problem?

Nov 09, 2014
vvv03 in Home Cooking

If anyone is awake question about letting bread dough rise -- I'm tired!!

I started make a pan de muertos this evening to bring to my daughter's class tomorrow afternoon. It's basically a sweet Mexican bread to celebrate the Day of the Dead. I started too late and just finished mixing it about 15 minutes ago. It said to let it rise 2-3 hours, punch it down, put in the fridge, then the next morning take it out to proof. No way I am lasting 2-3 hours. Am I better of putting it in the fridge overnight or letting it rise over night outside? Thanks!

Oct 30, 2014
vvv03 in Home Cooking

Pan de Muerto in Brooklyn?

Hi, where can I get a loaf of Pan de Muerto in Brooklyn? Closest to Park Slope preferable. Thanks!

Oct 29, 2014
vvv03 in Outer Boroughs

Suggestions for authentic Mexican dish to please 3rd grade class

My daughter's class is having a celebrate Mexico day on Friday. They asked if anyone wants to bring in a Mexican dish. Any good suggestions or recipes would be appreciated. It has to please most 3rd grade palates and not be too complicated (I am a good cook, but work fulltime so this will be made at night after I've made our family dinner.) Thanks!

Oct 29, 2014
vvv03 in Home Cooking

Any quick suggestions on where to lunch in Tribeca today?

My friend and I are going to lunch, we work in Battery Park. We thought we'd go somewhere nearby in Tribeca (but not too far north or east). Any suggestions? Nice sit down lunch, good ambiance, good food, not insanely expensive but not cheap either? Thanks!

Oct 10, 2014
vvv03 in Manhattan

Question on crowds at Au Cheval and South Loop suggestions?

I am coming to Chicago this week on business. I am staying at the Hyatt McCormick Place, which I understand is near the South Loop neighborhood. I had wanted to go to Au Cheval on Tuesday evening, maybe around 9pm, to have dinner at the bar (assuming they have one), but I read on Yelp and it looks like the wait times are nuts. Do you think that would be the case on a Tuesday night, too? If so, can you recommend a nice restaurant in the South Loop where you can sit at the bar, have a nice cocktail and a decent meal? Thanks!

Sep 15, 2014
vvv03 in Chicago Area

ISO great empanadas for takeout -- Brooklyn or Queens

Thanks, everyone, great suggestions! And I like them baked, Aubwah!

Sep 09, 2014
vvv03 in Outer Boroughs