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Pumpkin Curry

I was confused about whether I should be using fresh coconut (as stated in the recipe) or dried (as specified in the Chow note) so I went with fresh. Unfortunately, I had about the same results as lazygirl ... chunks of pumpkin in something more like a broth than a sauce, with oodles of coconut floating around (7 oz. is a HUGE amount of fresh grated coconut btw ... is that a typo?) I was baffled by how it could've gone so wrong. (In hindsight, I'm looking at one of calowell's comments and wondering, "wait, were you supposed to drain of the cooking water from the pumpkin?" That would certainly explain the problem.) I doctored it by adding a can of chick peas for body, plus about a 1/4 cup of red lentils and 1/2 cup of brown lentils, to thicken it up and absorb the excessive liquid. Of course, that extended the cooking time, too, which meant the pumpkin got somewhat mushy, helping to thicken it overall. However, once I got the texture fixed I thought it was kind of bland. It had heat but no taste. I adjusted the salt, added a tsp. of curry powder and a tsbp. sugar. After all of that, it was finally passable. It was actually a bit better the second day. Frustrating recipe though. I should've stuck with my standard pumpkin curry recipe from Linda McCartney's "On Tour" cookbook.

Nov 08, 2010
mckerr in Recipes

The Four Worst Restaurant Etiquette Gaffes

Wow, conquer. A sweeping generalization that Insults the entirety of parents as a group. Thumbs up on that sweet nugget of etiquette.

Feb 11, 2010
mckerr in Features

Stain-Free Partying

I have Merlot-colored slipcovers, so anyone who isn't interested in White Shag's party can come on over to my house that night. My wine rack runs cheap tho, so if you like the good stuff, BYOB.

Seriously tho, I suppose I can empathize with the host in a way. I have a kid, so I don't have nice stuff. But someday I might and I'd want to keep them clean. I went to a Superbowl party at my boss's house this year. I watched as this one woman in big boots kept going outside to smoke - in the wet, muddy yard - and then would come in and resume her place on the couch and *tuck her feet up under her* on the couch. I almost passed out watching her streak goo all over their nice, pale gray couch. It that was my couch, I might've needed to use EWSflash's advice about the peroxide for the blood stains.

Sep 07, 2009
mckerr in Features

Creamy Carrot Casserole

I made this for Thanksgiving. It's a week later now, and my eyes still nearly roll up into my head from the memory of how delicious this is. I was ready to push aside everything else I'd spent 2 days cooking and set the whole casserole dish on my plate. I think the only thing that stopped me was the nagging voice in my head reminding me how much butter and cream it contained (Per Meredith's warning, I didn't even bother trying to lighten it up.) I have to disagree about the reheating though. I found the texture completely changed upon reheating -- perhaps the breadcrumbs had absorbed the sauce at that point? The flavor was still excellent, but the overall experience was not nearly as exquisite as when freshly prepared. I made a lot of my Thanksgiving dishes in advance, but I'm glad this wasn't one of them.

Note: I found panko breadcrumbs easily in my regular supermarket, but they were located in natural/organic foods section for some reason.

Dec 04, 2008
mckerr in Recipes

Desperately seeking Irish Bacon... in Philly and 'burbs

Just an update ... my hub called the Irish Coffee Shop and they do indeed stock Irish Bacon, they say. And practically in our back yard! I think my hubby's doing an Irish jig even as I type. Thanks jimc! Thanks everyone!

As always, Chowhounds Rule.

Aug 06, 2008
mckerr in Philadelphia

Desperately seeking Irish Bacon... in Philly and 'burbs

All good thoughts. Thanks for your input, fellow Chowhounds!

Aug 04, 2008
mckerr in Philadelphia

Amada - Recent Visit

I had my first visit to Amada approx. 3 months ago, and I was similarly wowed. I had misgivings about it beforehand, because I knew I would be the only vegetarian in our party of 4, but it all worked out better than I could have imagined. Only one of our party of four had ever done tapas before so we were not a decisive crew. But our server was patient and helpful, explaining, advising and allowing us all the time we needed to make a decision. She even warned me off ordering the Ensalada Verde, because another member of our party had ordered it and she insisted that two orders of it would be too much for the table (she was right). The Ensalada Verde was excellent, as was the fava/lima bean salad (Habas a la Catalana), and a chickpea dish (Garbanzos con Espinacas). There was a baked goat cheese with a tomato-based sauce that we all agreed was too reminiscent of pizza, but it looks like it has since been replaced by another variety of baked goat cheese, and I'm sure it's excellent. My favorite plate, hands down, was the Tortilla EspaƱola -- so incredibly simple and yet so savory -- a complete delight. I will probably spent the next year trying to duplicate that little masterpiece at home. I can't vouch for the meat dishes, of course, but my three fellow diners raved about everything they tried. The prices were somewhat higher than I would have liked, but probably not unreasonable. We each ordered three plates, plus the Mixto (a three cheese sampler) and had one round of sangria plus at least one bottle of wine (maybe two, my memory's hazy on that.) I don't remember the total of the bill but I know that after tip and all, it was well above $75 per head, probably edging up toward the $100 mark -- significantly higher than we usually pay at our quarterly girls-night-out gatherings. But I won't complain, but it wasn't just food, it was fun. And that's what we were there for.

Aug 04, 2008
mckerr in Pennsylvania

Desperately seeking Irish Bacon... in Philly and 'burbs

Several weeks back, we had a visit with family in the Adirondacks in NY and we were introduced to something called Irish bacon, which came from a local butcher. It seems similar to bacon but with relatively little fat. From a bit of Googling, I've discovered that it's sometimes called Irish back bacon and sometimes referred to as bacon rashers, and that it's a bit similar to Canadian bacon -- I'm not entirely certain how it differs. But the hubby swears it does taste different (I'm a vegetarian -- but I've come to you, my Chowhound friends, because I like keeping my guy happy).

Trouble is, now that we're home in the 'burbs of Philly (Lansdowne to be exact), my husband is going nuts trying to find the stuff. We found a blog that said the Wegman's in Cherry Hill NJ had it, but we were just there yesterday passing through, and they didn't seem to have ever heard of it.

Does anyone know where I might be able to buy the stuff? My husband checked online vendors, but said the shipping costs were prohibitive. All leads welcome!

Aug 04, 2008
mckerr in Philadelphia

At a loss for Dad's Day Brunch locales

I'd like to take a clan of 7 to brunch for Father's Day, but I'm at a loss for where we might go. I live in Lansdowne, PA, and hoping to keep it within a 20-25 min. driving distance (the closer the better, with gas as it is these days), while avoiding Center City, because City driving gives my husband hives. Also, it can't be particularly ethnic because my father doesn't do ethnic, beyond Italian (sigh.) Any suggestions?

May 20, 2008
mckerr in Pennsylvania

Philly Moroccan - recommendations please?

Hello my favorite foodies,
I'm meeting friends for a Moroccan "girls' night out," and we have yet to select a restaurant. My fave is Casablanca (in the burbs), by that's not a good locale for the rest. I've been to Fez, and it was fine. But I'm wondering about Marrakesh. I just read a slew of reviews that were either love it or hate it, with nothing in between. Made me wonder. I'm also getting mixed messages as to whether it's BYO or has a wine list. Are there others to pick from? Shold I stick with Fez? I defer to the collective vast knowledge of the board.

Thanks!
Michelle

Jan 24, 2007
mckerr in Pennsylvania

Indian Row In Malvern, PA

Desi Village is just across from the mall, on S. Gulph Rd. in K of P (same small complex as the Peace a Pizza, if I recall correctly). By the way, it's a BYOB, but there just happens to be a wine & spirits shoppe next door, which is is quite convenient! Better directions may be on the website www.desi-village.com/

Dec 06, 2006
mckerr in Pennsylvania

Indian Row In Malvern, PA

Where is Jaipur, by the way? And where is Aman? I also can't find ATOI -- I think it may be too far from my Exton office for a lunch hour visit. Any guidance from those who know the area better is most welcome.

By the way, I must defer to the superior knowledge of this board. My lunch at Devi today (non-buffet, for a change) was just barely above sub-par, as many of you had written. I was a big defender of Devi back in July when I began working in Exton (I'm a vegetarian, so I was giddy when I discovered Devi), but my experience there has been hit and miss -- with a growing emphasis on the misses... the last buffet experience went as far as downright inedible! Today's Vegetable Kurma was spicy (all heat, no flavor) and with a distinct coconut taste, but otherwise completely tasteless, the sauce overly watery. The alu partha bread wasn't bad though. Himalayan may be a longer drive from my job, but it's worth every precious drop of gasoline to get there. Their vegetarian dishes are a delight every time. (Note: if you're dining solo, bring cash - they don't take credit cards under $10, irregardless of tip.) AGTI is nice too. My one trip there was disappointing from a vegetarian standpoint... I don't like okra, so my only option was a potato-heavy dish -- I'm not carbophobic, but I sort of felt that potatoes over rice with a side of bread might be pushing the envelope. Regardless, I would try it again, probably. The staff members were very, very nice. I haven't been to Royal India yet -- the inclusion of "Chinese" on the sign threw me off a bit. But based on some of what I've read in the more recent posts to this thread, I will definitely give it a try.

FWIW, my husband and I really love Desi Village - but we've only been there twice. The first time we both ordered the specials of the day and they were simply amazing. We were blown away. When we talked to the staff, they also offered to make any Indian dish we wanted, whether or not it was on the menu. If you happen to be in the area, at least give it a try.

A last question: I live in Lansdowne, and my husband hates trekking into Center City. Is anyone aware of good Indian in the nearby suburbs? We went to a small one in Ardmore about 4 years ago (Can't remember the name of it), but we were unimpressed. The flavor was just OK, and the portion sizes were incredibly stingy. So far Desi Village in KofP has been the best we've found within reasonable distance from home. Any suggestions appreciated.

Michelle

Dec 05, 2006
mckerr in Pennsylvania

More about the burbs - Middle Eastern?

I'm lucky enough to work in the vicinity of Indian Row (Malvern/Frazer/Exton), but I'm also a big fan of Middle Eastern food. Anyone know of any establishments in the area?

Sep 28, 2006
mckerr in Pennsylvania

Vegetarian restaurants preferably in the burbs?

Thanks! Oddly enough, I went to Devi for lunch after posting that and had a less-than-pleasant experience. Somewhere between a watery Vegetable Kurma and a strangely bitter-tasting rice-cashew dish (nothing was labeled), it wasn't one of my happier lunches. Power of suggestion or genuinely bad? Who knows. I have a lunch date at the Himalayan next week, and I'm really looking forward to it. I've noticed that many on this board rave about A Taste of India and I'm not sure where it is, so I'll make a point of finding it soon.

Sep 28, 2006
mckerr in Pennsylvania

Vegetarian restaurants preferably in the burbs?

Obviously, I'm a latecomer to this thread, but I recently started working in the area and was delighted to discover "Indian Row." I'm curious though, about the comment about Devi. As a vegetarian, I find it a blessing to have access to a 100% vegetarian Indian restaurant. I've hit the lunch buffet twice and found it to be fine. The channa masala wasn't the best I've ever had, and the dosa was a little greasy, but otherwise, I had few complaints. I don't claim to be a connoisseur of Indian food - just a huge fan. What am I missing about Devi? I've been to Gateway once, and maybe it was just a bad day, from a vegetarian standpoint. I'd be willing to try again. I haven't been to Himalayan recently, but I've always enjoyed it in the past. If anyone would care to elaborate further on Devi, I'd appreciate it.

Sep 27, 2006
mckerr in Pennsylvania