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Fiesta oaxaqueña opens restaurant (Escondido)

We seldom go to El Tejate anymore; the food was getting too greasy and messy. My husband and his brother go and order the parrillada when they want a meat-fest. It's been awhile, though, so I've been thinking they might deserve another try.
Now for Esco Mexican we just do La Takiza and occasionally Paulita's. I haven't even driven by Paulita's in a couple of months; they may be closed by now. The wait for their food was very, very long, but they had some solid dishes. La Takiza does great tacos on fresh tortillas. Tacos Alex (now in San Marcos) and Vamos a Texcoco in Vista are our preferences if we can justify driving for a meal.

Dec 21, 2013
maestra in San Diego

Quince

Chow has this lamb and quince stew:
http://www.chow.com/recipes/11148-tun...
I made it a few years ago. It was nice, but prefer quinces in a sweet preparation (but not too sweet). My favorite is to poach them with cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, and whatever other warm spice I feel like tossing in. I freeze it in small portions to each as a little dessert at work. One year, I served them at a buffet with rosewater-spike whipped cream. They were a big hit. I'd do it again, but add something with crunch for contrast.

Oct 21, 2013
maestra in Home Cooking

Preserved lemon quandary

1. Roasted cauliflower with smoked paprika, pine nuts, a teeny bit of garlic, and lots of preserved lemon. Also delicious with shrimp or squid.
2. Use in blended dips/sauces instead of lemon juice. My current favorite is roasted eggplant, a dried guajillo chile or two, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, olive oil, and preserved lemon. It blends up into a silky sauce or dip for my vegetables and rice. I recently did a green harissa and used preserved lemon for the acid. Same works for sauces/dips based on roasted red peppers.
3. The cookbook "Plenty" has at least one use; I think it was a tomato, etc. saute finished with preserved lemon.

Oct 03, 2013
maestra in Home Cooking

Help me decide: Ankarsrum or Bosch Universal?

How long have you had your Bosch? I'm trying to compile info about the lifespans of both products. Obviously both outlast a new KA, but nobody on Amazon refers to having had their Bosch or Ankarsrum for many years.

Sep 18, 2013
maestra in Cookware
1

Help me decide: Ankarsrum or Bosch Universal?

Thanks for your input! I did have that thought about the size of the food processor, but the thought came to me late and night and I had forgotten it when I posted this a few days later.
You've said it's possible to make a batch of cookies in the or small bowl, but which do you prefer for a standard batch? It the small bowl small enough to make just a batch of brownies, or will I still want to use my hand beaters or just a wooden spoon for that? Also, I've never made a cake in a any kind of stand mixer -- is it easy to overbeat? I make more cakes and cookies than anything else, but I do plan to get more into bread making.

Sep 18, 2013
maestra in Cookware

Favorite add-ins for fig jam?

Thanks for the great ideas! I ended up making a fig-rhubarb with vanilla bean and a raspberry-fig with rosewater. Both are excellent. The suggestions for ginger and for coriander or cardamom were enticing, but when I tasted the rasp/fig I thought rosewater over ginger, and I'm already a little sick of the cardamom-plum jam I made a few weeks ago. I look forward to playing around again next year!

Sep 18, 2013
maestra in Home Cooking

Favorite add-ins for fig jam?

I love rhubarb, so I did some research based on your suggestion and made a great jam inspired by Christine Ferber's strawberry and rhubarb jam. It is excellent! The figs mellowed the rhubarb, and of course the fig seeds are almost the best part. I've been stirring it into my oatmeal in the mornings, which I normally make without any added sugar. That jam is just too good to resist, though.

Sep 18, 2013
maestra in Home Cooking
1

Favorite add-ins for fig jam?

I have about 3 pounds of black figs, foraged from a forgotten tee, that I plan to turn into jam tomorrow. I've already made batches this year with port and rosemary (as well as green figs with honey), and I'd like some ideas for this last bunch. I was thinking honey in place of part of the sugar, and then dropping in a star anise pod to simmer with the figs until I thought the flavor was strong enough.
What are your favorite ways to add something unique to fig jam?

Sep 15, 2013
maestra in Home Cooking

Help me decide: Ankarsrum or Bosch Universal?

I have decided to purchase a countertop mixer, and after much research have narrowed it down to these two possibilities:
http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/electrolux_magic_mill_dlx_mixer.aspx
and
http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/Bosc...

I would appreciate hearing the pros and cons of each machine from people who own them. I am leaning toward the Ankarsrum, but I could be convinced to get the Bosch instead. I like that the Ankarsrum has a metal bowl (I can't imagine the Bosch's plastic bowl lasting a lifetime), that an extra plastic bowl is included, and its scraper mechanism looks great. My main reason for considering the Bosch is a little silly: it has an optional food processor attachment. This is the other piece of kitchen equipment that after years of not owning I have finally decided deserves a space in my house. I know I can get a food processor practically free off of craigslist from one of the thousands of people who never use theirs, but the Bosch attachment would be much easier to store than a full machine. The Bosch is cheaper, but not by a very large amount after you buy a second bowl and maybe the cookie paddles. Something about the Ankarsrum makes me think it will last longer, but I'm probably just being swayed by its good looks.
Please help me decide and spend my money on something I will love.

Sep 15, 2013
maestra in Cookware

I bought a box of peaches from Costco, 11 for $11. First time buyer, tips?

I keep end-of-the-season peaches in the fridge, where they last for a long time in the drawer. I dice one up each morning to add to my oatmeal. When they're cooked in the heat of the cereal, they turn soft and flavorful.

Aug 31, 2013
maestra in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Canning problem: Residue from canning pot

Thank you all for your replies! So I can keep the jam, and the residue inside is no problem, right? Thank you for the vinegar tip.

Aug 22, 2013
maestra in Home Cooking

Canning problem: Residue from canning pot

Today I faced my lifelong uneasiness about canning and prepared a plum-cardamom jam (from Canning for a New Generation). It is delicious and seems to have set up well. My concern is about the residue caused by the pot I used for sterilizing and processing. I used a pot intended for tamales. I had not cooked in it since I bought it (cheap) some time after Christmas. I assume it is aluminum -- it is light both weight and color. Before boiling in it, I washed it with soap and water, but I definitely took more care in cleaning the pot than its fitted rack.
After sterilizing the jars, I noticed the interior of the pot had turned dark, but I remembered this being the look of previous vaporeras I had used. When I took the sterilized jars out, there was a white film on them. Having come this far, I decided to just finish the job, ask about it on Chowhound, and chalk it up to canning practice if I was instructed to throw out the batch of jam.
Now that the filled jars are sitting next to clean, unused jars as they cool, the difference is striking. There is a white filmy residue on the filled jars. It wipes away, but I am concerned about how this has affected my jam inside.
I know better than to cook jam in an aluminum pot, but did I make a mistake in using aluminum for the boiling water? Is it just because the pot was new, and this should not happen again after a thorough cleaning? Is that little bit of residue inside the jars safe for consumption?

Aug 21, 2013
maestra in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought recently, or are you lusting after? August 2013 edition! [through August 31, 2013]

Can you please tell why you prefer ibook? I was about to download the Kindle app to buy a cookbook for the first time.

Aug 18, 2013
maestra in Home Cooking

Buying Truffle Oil in San Diego

I buy from this company:
http://www.oregontruffleoil.com/
No chemicals. Delicious, delicate flavor. It's pricey, but it's nice to support a small business owner who's making the real thing.

Jul 13, 2013
maestra in San Diego

Crispy Corn Fritters

We enjoyed these. I added a good amount of powdered fenugreek to the batter, which gave them exactly the flavor and balance I was going for. I served them with saucy chipotle-cream shrimp, so no other dipping sauce was necessary.

Jun 26, 2013
maestra in Recipes

Where in San Diego / Orange County can I get dried or fresh morel muchrooms?

You should have plenty of dried morels by you. Cost Plus World Market has them, as well as Bristol Farms and probably Whole Foods.

Jun 16, 2013
maestra in San Diego

Fogo de Chao Coming to Gaslamp/Downtown

We've had several Brazilian steakhouses around throughout the years -- what was the one in Del Mar? Wasn't that a Fogo de Chao?

Jun 12, 2013
maestra in San Diego

Stone Brewing Co at Liberty Station - great space!

I've had Stone's "stinky" cheese plate several times in Escondido, including last week. My friends never seem to learn -- after a beer or two they throw money away on this boring offering. The goat's cheese last week was like a knock-off Humboldt Fog (or that's what it was, but not super-fresh). Good, but not novel. The sheep was fine, and I can't remember the third, though it was something I instantly recognized. Aged gruyere, maybe? It came with a rhubarb compote and the house-made crackers. I like the crackers, but not for $18. I used to like their plate with 3 house-made beer cheeses and crackers -- anyone remember that? I suppose it was just too much work, or maybe people were disappointed upon receiving an atypical "cheese plate."

Jun 03, 2013
maestra in San Diego

Anyone been to Bellamy's (f/k/a Tango)?

I agree that Intertwined's food is pretty good, but their wine list is sad for "wine bar." Each time I've gone, there were few choices that I couldn't pick up at Target or World Market. Vinz, on the other hand, always has interesting choices by the glass at great HH prices. I don't recommend Vinz for dinner, but they beat Intertwined for wine selection and prices of appetizers.
To my discerning Escondido palate, the best food in town is Cuscutlan for pupusas or La Taquiza for tacos. A couple of the Vietnamese places are good enough for a Saturday lunch, but they don't compare to favorites down south or up north in Garden Grove.

May 07, 2013
maestra in San Diego

Feb. 2013 Dish of the Month - CHILE RELLENO

Had the CR at the re-opened (with different owners and a different concept) Paulita's in Escondido last week. It was an average homestyle CR, just not from your best home cook. I've had both better and worse from the in-laws.
On a side note, the new Paulita's advertises itself as comida corrida but is not. There are no steam trays, just a counter where you order before you sit. The food takes quite a long time to come out, but one hopes that means there is a lot of fresh cooking going on. Also unlike the former Paulita's and a typical comida corrida, they have a full menu of tacos, burritos, sopas, etc. in addition to the 7-8 daily specials. A single main with rice (fine), beans (meh-to-lousy), and tortillas recien hechas is $7.00. I had costillas en chipotle on my first visit and declared them one of the best non-taco Mexican restaurant dishes I've had in Escondido in years. Not sure if they would have lived up on the second visit, as I obligingly order the chile relleno instead. We'll probably visit again soon and try some other things off the specials board.

Feb 22, 2013
maestra in San Diego

Whither San Diego's Avocados?

I went to Cordiano late last spring for pizza and a tasting. The view on the patio was fabulous and some of the wine was quite good, but the pizza was lousy. I ate little of my portion, deciding it wasn't worth the calories and that I'd rather have a great dinner when I got home. I can't remember which wine I particularly enjoyed, but the price was a little steep and I did not take home a bottle.

Feb 10, 2013
maestra in San Diego

what to do with hibiscus leaves besides tea?

Enchiladas de flor de jamaica (a quick search brings up many recipes):
http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2011/11/hibiscus-flower-enchiladas

Chow's version of agua de jamaica was our house drink last summer. Vodka was a great addition:
http://www.chow.com/recipes/10645-agu...

A Chow search brings up a few other ideas.

Nov 01, 2012
maestra in Home Cooking

Horchata?

Agreed that Salvadorean restaurant horchata is better, and they all make it in-house. I can't say whether one restaurant makes it better than another; all the samples I've had were great.

Oct 31, 2012
maestra in San Diego

$20 San Diego/SoCal food parcel

San Diego avocado honey was a revelation to me, so I agree that would be a great item to include. I've had it from several producers, and when it's on, it's on: rich and dark with a deep caramel flavor. A buckwheat/avocado blend was another fave. Ask for a taste at your farmers' market and see if you think it's good enough to gift.

Oct 25, 2012
maestra in San Diego

A quest for Pupusas

Yes, a baleada. Been to the Colombian place next door?

Oct 16, 2012
maestra in San Diego

A quest for Pupusas

We have often enjoyed the pupusas at the former Pizza Hut that DD mentioned and at World's Best Pizza in Escondido. World's Best changed hands a few years ago, and the Salvadorean food that was added to the menu was our favorite in the county.
I say "was" because we think we have a new fave. Last week we ate at a fairly large, well decorated Salvadorean restaurant on Imperial Avenue near 30th. Besides great pupusas (with unusual fillings offered, too, like mushrooms), they had a plethora of Salvadorean dishes, many of which I have not seen in other restaurants. In addition to my pupusa, I had something consisting of a homemade flour tortilla folded over a yummy combination of fillings. It was hearty and satisfying; sorry can't remember the name of the dish. We will return in the future to explore the menu and enjoy more great pupusas. Perhaps the biggest selling point to us, though it wouldn't be to everyone, was that the salsa was quite hot, Mexican-style, not chile-less like Salvadorean salsa.
Two doors down from the Salvadorean restaurant was a place called "Antojitos Colombianos." Has anyone been? I tried to pick up a menu, but the door was already locked at 7:45 p.m. when we walked by.

Oct 06, 2012
maestra in San Diego

San Diego Region Wines

I went to Cordiano last spring. I don't recall exactly what we tasted, but two wines (reds) were much better than what I expected to find. The pizza was lousy, but the great view from the patio compensated.

Oct 06, 2012
maestra in San Diego

What do do with bucket of green guavas?

I believe these are pineapple guava (feijoa), not apple guava. If they mealy and not very flavorful, they are not ripe yet. They are ripe when the inside becomes liquid-y or jelly-like. Our favorite use is to eat them out of hand -- nip off one end, suck out the delicious liquid filling, and then split and scrape the skin with your teeth. I agree that the skin itself is not desirable.
Breaking them down for use in jam, desserts, or even agua fresca seems like so much more work than you're in for with a regular guava, but who am I to stop you. If I had to do it, I suppose I'd make an agua fresca, or maybe a strained juice for cocktails.

Sep 09, 2012
maestra in Home Cooking

What to do with Chocolate Tahini?

I've made this Armenian Tahini Bread from Saveur several times, and it would be delicious with chocolate:
http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...

Sep 09, 2012
maestra in Home Cooking

Ruby chicken?

Maybe it's "red-cooked chicken." Red-cooking is a common method that involves stewing meat in a richly flavored liquid.

Jul 09, 2012
maestra in General Topics