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Mexican in RI?

We recently went to Taqueria Lupita on Dexter Street in Central Falls for lunch. Food was pretty good, but not nearly as fantastic as my favorite La Casa del Pueblo that closed a few months back :-(

We tried the sopes -- great, but a little heavy, 3 of them for $6 topped with black beans, crema, and queso fresco. The tacos al pastor were disappointing -- really quite dry, surprisingly so! The tinga tacos (chicken, onions, a tasty sauce) were great though, as was the agua de jamaica (made in-house). The agua de jamaica was lovely, actually -- probably the high point of the meal with the tingas.

Our waiter, son of the señora who owns the place and cooked all of our food, was charming and accommodating. I might try a tingas burrito but I wouldn't ever order al pastor there again.

Now that La Casa del Pueblo is closed I have to find I new favorite! Lupita was good, but I prefer Chilangos and, for tacos, the tortilleria on Atwells (Tortilleria Piaxtla).

Jul 23, 2009
foxy fairy in All New England Archive

The food at Starbucks-Yay or Nay?

Agreed on the excitement of delis at local gas stations. One near my parents' house is something I always enjoy -- not only gas, but they are also my parents' mechanic, actually, with a little an excellent deli inside. I peruse the options happily on each visit -- so many good sandwiches without the infuriating $7 price tag of many sandwiches at this point! Great pastries too, all made in-house of course, and my dad would often surprise us with a box of those if he came back from getting his oil changed or getting any minor work done on the car ;-)

Jul 22, 2009
foxy fairy in Chains

Yo Mama: kitchen train-wreck or kitchen saint?

thanks! mmmm

Jul 22, 2009
foxy fairy in Not About Food

Yo Mama: kitchen train-wreck or kitchen saint?

Any chance you have a recipe for that brownie pie? I think I can imagine just what you're talking about --- and now I want some! LOL!

Jul 22, 2009
foxy fairy in Not About Food

Is it possible to cook deliciously without salt, sweeteners, soy, milk products, eggs, non-fish animal protein, alcohol, caffeine and wheat?

3 ideas: (second two are paraphrased from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone)

A refreshing summer salad of Quinoa packed with mango, nectarines or peaches, scallions, tomatoes, red bell peppers, avocado, and a dressing of lime/cumin/olive oil. I made this to bring to a Fourth of July party and my sister (very restricted diet) wouldn't let me b/c she wanted to eat it all herself. It is quite tasty! The fruit/veggie/quinoa combo is great.

Pinto Beans with Tomatoes and Chiles -- found this one last summer, and it's just delicious. Simple, and the flavors are surprisingly bold.

Start with two cups raw pinto beans (soak overnight and cook yourself in a pot with 2 quarts water and some garlic, onion, and epazote). In a skillet sautee four tomatoes and their juice, 1 to 3 serrano chiles, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, a few minced cloves of garlic. Cook and smush the tomatoes so they break up into a sauce that thickens -- about ten minutes. Then add this sauce to the beans, and simmer it all together for 15 minutes or more. Eat with some corn tortillas (is that allowed?)

(For those who aren't cleansing, I love these beans topped with queso fresco or feta).

Stir-Fried Roasted Eggplant
Roast an eggplant at 400 for 35 mins to an hour, until very soft. Peel the eggplants. You want to pull/cut the flesh into 1-inch strips. Meanwhile, combine chili sauce, a little veggie stock, rice vinegar, tomato paste and make a little sauce (usually contains some sugar and soy sauce) Then sautee some scallions, ginger, garlic for one minute. Add the eggplant and stir-fry two more minutes. Then add a few diced tomatoes and the sauce from above. Simmer a few minutes until it's all hot (five minutes).

Jul 22, 2009
foxy fairy in Home Cooking

Worth a Visit in New Haven?

Agreed! Pepe's. My parents turned me on to this one when I was a teenager and I must have been a mini-chow, b/c I immediately adored it too . My parents' fave has always been the clam pizza at Pepe's. They would drive more than two hours for this pizza, making a day of it! So that answers the question of your post, right? They nearly convinced me to attend Yale, dreaming of four years of Pepe's every time they visited. Half-kidding. I can't imagine the amount of pizza I would have eaten if I had ended up at Yale!

Jul 21, 2009
foxy fairy in All New England Archive

Olive and Cream Cheese Sandwiches a Baltimore Only Treat?

YES -- on pumpernickel. Also great with thinly sliced deli ham! I mentioned this upthread, too, but it deserves a double mention :-)

Jul 21, 2009
foxy fairy in General Topics

cooked radishes

Yes, braised! I was so surprised that I just really enjoyed radishes when braised. I forgot about that! I used the guidelines in Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

We had a garden with radishes when I was little, and I was never very excited about them. That changed when I tried the braised radishes. mmm.

Jul 21, 2009
foxy fairy in General Topics

Cravings and Binges

Really enjoying this thread, Candy!

I tend to crave savory.

Most often:
*Salt and vinegar chips and a really great Italian grinder (that's a sub for you non-Rhode Islanders).
*Slow-cooked yumminess involving protein, usually chicken -- I satisfy this one by cooking in my Le Creuset (picking up lots of ideas and tips here at chow and from Cookbook of the Month)
*Cheese (lately Fontina, sometimes Brie) and crackers, or a heavenly dip and crrrr-unchy baguette (including two dips I found here-- chefchicklet's hot garlicky artichoke dip and Michael Field's hot mushroom dip)
*Breakfast sandwiches, greasy, involving sausage or bacon, mayo, tomato, cheese (no egg for me)
*Ravioli or tortellini with a cool filling (mushroom or artichoke and cheese of course) in velvety creamy pink sauce
*Sesame noodles
*creamy curry, Indian style

Whenever I crave one of the above, I prepare it, unless I'm really feeling low-energy, in which case the craving will disappear, or insist that I energize and get myself to the kitchen. I try not to buy prepared food any more and I don't eat in restaurants unless someone is treating :)

Then, the memory aspect:
As JungMan said above: "I'll go months and sometimes years without eating something before its resurfaced memory makes me crave it and eat it for a week."

I don't go that long (months/years), but I always crave dishes that carry specialness in my memory. My mom's classics top that list, but certain ones I will not recreate myself because it's just not the same unless she prepares it :) I do make my mom's scalloped potatoes, her broccoli salad, her blue cheese and black olive dip -- I need to make these every couple of months, more frequently for the potatoes. I will not even consider fancy-schmancy scalloped potato recipes (with truffle oil or whatever to make them "gourmet") b/c I only want these the way my mom has always made them, and honestly they are perfect as is.

Also I long for certain treats that I have discovered while traveling, like Pambazos -- these fabulous little chicken sandwiches that I discovered in Jalapa, Mexico. I found a local Mexican place that has these, but I don't indulge too often.

Jul 21, 2009
foxy fairy in General Topics

Cravings and Binges

YES! Pesto -- this is so true for me too -- I am active with lots of tapas-style meals. I just told a friend the other day that I am doing the many mini-meals and happily maintaining the same weight I had in high school! But then, I tried the mini-meal approach when working a really stressful job and it didn't work for me -- at that time, though, I had a dizzying social life with dinners out, drinks, late night snackfests, etc. So you know what the trick really has been, too? Now, I cook pretty much everything I eat, and I rarely get take-out, and eat in a restaurant MAYBE once every two months. The giant portions in restaurants seriously baffle me at this point -- I know that's been said again and again, but now that I am not in that dining-out trance, it strikes me every time.

Also -- I used to eat when stressed (like 99% of women??) and now I actually make it a point to be relaxed and to eat slowly and savor every bite.

When I have a craving, I go for it, every time. I find that when I honor what my body wants, I end up satiated and pleased, not desperate for more. Interesting.

Jul 21, 2009
foxy fairy in General Topics

If it has to be a chain, it has to be...

Hmmmm That is making me want to zoom down to McD right now!

Jul 20, 2009
foxy fairy in Chains

If it has to be a chain, it has to be...

tastiest:
Wahoo's Fish Tacos (I saw just one mention of Wahoo's above -- YUM -- only on the West Coast I think? I used to go there all the time when I lived in soCal)

on a road trip:
Arby's -- lots of options
Subway (chicken bacon Ranch sub, or these cool little side salads they'll do at some Subways for just $1.50 after days of CRAVING greens while on the road)

fast road trip breakfast: (and greasy, please)
McDonald's breakfast biscuit sandwiches, and the coffee isn't bad either, plus they have fantastic green Shamrock Shakes in March!
Au Bon Pain the jalapeño cheddar bagel with sausage, cheese, tomato, mayo

(sticking chow nose in air--) But then, I'm not really a Chain Restaurant kind of girl... just kidding... after driving cross country I have acquired a new appreciation for fast cheap food that one knows (in advance) will be decent. But don't tell anyone I crave those McDonald's breakfast sandwiches even when I'm NOT on the road, okay? LOL

Jul 19, 2009
foxy fairy in Chains

If it has to be a chain, it has to be...

CPK is my favorite airport food. Au Bon Pain gets the silver medal. I used to fly frequently between New England and South America, and I *always* made a beeline for the CPK in the Miami airport. I used to get one of their salads just as often as the pizza...

Jul 19, 2009
foxy fairy in Chains

never cooked with mushrooms--where to start??

Creamed mushrooms: I love white button mushrooms cooked with some wine, shallots, and at the end add cream! I love this with a crunchy piece of sourdough toast or any good bread, really. (I use the paper towel method to clean the mushrooms, by the way)

And this is just AMAZING, in my top three dips EVER. Be hungry. Perfect to devour while watching a movie. This becomes dinner when I make it, though of course it's also great as an hors deuvres to bring to a party.

*Michael Field's hot mushroom dip, discovered here on chow courtesy of JoanN:

Saute 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots in 4 tablespoons of butter for about 4 minutes. Add 1/2 pound finely chopped mushrooms and cook until moisture has evaporated. Sprinkle mixture with 2 tablespoons of flour until it's no longer visible. Add 1 cup heavy cream and bring to a boil until thickened. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook another minute or two. Remove from pan and stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley, 1-1/2 tablespoon finely chopped chives, and 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice. Can be refrigerated until ready to use. Fill whatever container, sprinkle with Parmesan, dot with a bit of butter, and bake about 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

I make a great mushroom strudel. Mushrooms sauteed with shallot, then mixed with cream cheese and sour cream, wrap in phyllo forming logs. I have brought this to holiday dinners as the vegetarian option and everyone RAVES. I will post the recipe if anyone wants it -- found this in the original Moosewood cookbook. Mollie Katzen's books also contain lots of great ideas for mushrooms!

Jul 17, 2009
foxy fairy in Home Cooking

Olive and Cream Cheese Sandwiches a Baltimore Only Treat?

Growing up in RI in the 80s -- my mom made Ham Supreme sandwiches. Thinly sliced deli ham, and then the mixed cream cheese with olives. Mmm. I think we usually had these on pumpernickel. I am going to request these for my next visit home :-) Thanks for reminding me of a great treat! We often had these packed in the cooler for lunch at the beach, and my sister and I would get wildly excited as my mom prepared them that morning!

Jul 17, 2009
foxy fairy in General Topics

RECIPE REDUX: Recipes you've made 3 or more times that you love.

I said this, but I'll repeat b/c I was just thinking about cole slaws tonight ---

I like that Flay's cole slaw includes two Tbsp *grated* red onion in the dressing -- for that special TANG! Dressing is a mix of mayo/sour cream with white vinegar, sugar, celery salt, mustard -- all to dress the cabbage and some grated carrots.

I like broccoli slaw too.

Jul 17, 2009
foxy fairy in Home Cooking

RECIPE REDUX: Recipes you've made 3 or more times that you love.

fern -- How sweet is the honey baked chicken? I am not a huge fan of very sweet sauces, but I do like all of those ingredients on their own.

I made Chicken Dijonnaise -- similar -- spread 1/3 cup mustard (1/2 Dijon, 1/2 grainy) over about 3lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces, and let that sit for two hours. Then put in baking dish. Pour 1/2 cup white wine over (I used white grape juice with a little vinegar) and grind on some pepper. Cook at 350 for 55 minutes, or maybe a little less or more.

Take chicken out of the pan and put it on a plate, covered. Scrape the mustard off the chicken and put that and the pan drippings into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and lower the heat. Add 1/2 cup heavy cream. Cook down by 1/3. Serve room temperature or hot.

EASY. Thank you, Silver Palate, for another yummy easy dish.

Jul 17, 2009
foxy fairy in Home Cooking

So good that you make it over and over again (or at least 3 times!)

Ha! Thank you alkapal! You know I was imagining noses wrinkling in disapproval!

Once I was living in Laguna Beach and missing home (Rhode Island) like crazy. My mom came for a visit and the first night she made a giant batch of the broccoli salad. The next day I opened the fridge -- gasping with dismay -- one of my roommates had gotten into it and consumed half the cavernous bowl of broccoli.

It is *that* good that a roommate will gobble half of it up, in the middle of the night! We ate the rest, and then my mom made a second batch. Um, I insisted on that second batch. Nothing like the taste of my mom's cooking for feeling cozy.

Jul 17, 2009
foxy fairy in Home Cooking

E-A-S-Y, no brainer, Party Food for 100 ?

For a potluck in December, I brought Mario's chicken cacciatore -- I did it as a stew. It is delicious, filling, unusual, and everyone went crazy over it. I just pulled the meat off the bone and shredded it. Basically -- onions, celery, mushrooms, pancetta, wine, basic tomato sauce, and chicken thighs. You can make it in advance and since it's chicken thighs, you won't break the bank.

People go crazy over this dish, really. Just serve it in bowls and watch them slurp it up.

Jul 16, 2009
foxy fairy in Home Cooking

E-A-S-Y, no brainer, Party Food for 100 ?

I would agree with alkapal on the cold sesame noodles. I have been making this really delicious version, posted here on chowhound a couple of years back by Brownie Baker. I have made quite a few versions of sesame noodles, and this one is FANTASTIC. You can sautee up some red bell pepper, and then some ginger and garlic just for one minute, and add those to the noodles along with steamed broccoli. Pretty, filling, and sooo yummy! I like to use bow ties and they really catch the sauce well!

The sauce: (for about 10 ounces noodles)

2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2-1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
2-1/2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons vinegar
chili oil, to taste (optional)

Place sesame oil in mixing bowl. Add other ingredients one by one, and stir until smooth before adding another. Pour over hot or cold noodles.

(again -- credit to Brownie Baker for this recipe)

Jul 16, 2009
foxy fairy in Home Cooking

So good that you make it over and over again (or at least 3 times!)

Ha! I was being uncharacteristically vague with the recipe b/c I didn't want to spill the SECRET dressing, LOL, as I inherited this one from my mom. It IS magically delicious -- and so easy -- mayo, vinegar, sugar. My mom uses craisins too. I highly recommend the cashews. mmmm.

Jul 16, 2009
foxy fairy in Home Cooking

JULY COTM (Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone): SANDWICHES, SOUPS & SALADS, SAUCES and CONDIMENTS

I just turned back to this book too, Gio! I was remembering a fantastic eggplant dish I made last July, and also a really simple easy cauliflower gratin with feta, and some pinto beans with tomatoes -- simple, yummy. Mmmm.

Jul 16, 2009
foxy fairy in Home Cooking

So good that you make it over and over again (or at least 3 times!)

Can I hear more about the broccoli with blue cheese sauce please?

Mmmmm! I make a great broccoli salad again and again, in all seasons -- raw florets with dried cherries, red onions, & cashews, in a very simple light/creamy/tangy dressing. Let it sit one day in the fridge and magic happens. The broccoli really sucks up the sauce!

Jul 16, 2009
foxy fairy in Home Cooking

*July 2009 COTM* SPICE: Parsley, Mint, Dill, and Sweet Basil

Well, I bought these ingredients at Stop and Shop -- basic grocery, not a Whole Foods or anything snazzy, not a Price Rite or Asian/Latin grocery either. jen kalb -- I do definitely frequent the ethnic markets but I don't have time for multiple stops this week -- plus, multiple-stop-shopping all over the city costs gas money too.

$1.50 each for mint & dill & arugula, 99 cents parsley -- so that is $5.50 there (I guessed $6)

$2 English cucumber, $1.50 Romaine (buy one get one free -- so now I have LOTS of Romaine)

So that's $9 for the produce, not even talking the dressing... I also use Greek yogurt all the time in salads, on granola, etc and I do love to have fresh herbs around, so I figure I'll make a potato salad with the dill, add the mint to iced tea and sandwiches, etc.

But still. I"m just saying that fresh produce is pricey, and lots of times when I contemplate making a dish for COTM I really need to make sure I can spring for it!

Jul 16, 2009
foxy fairy in Home Cooking

*July 2009 COTM* SPICE: Parsley, Mint, Dill, and Sweet Basil

I am going to try this salad to accompany Chicken Dijonnaise (Silver Palate -- I'm serving it room temp not hot) and just to eat something light and fresh. I don't know how I feel about --grated-- cucumber. Hmmm. Was that weird?

My only other issue with this recipe is that for a budget-conscious-girl, this salad adds up with the cost of produce. The fresh herbs alone will be six or seven dollars. But I want to try it. It's just a little daunting to add up the cost!

Jul 15, 2009
foxy fairy in Home Cooking

Top 5 Best restaurants in Rhode Island, Not fancy

I have been hearing great reviews on the food (not atmosphere) at the Vietnamese place, and I'm eager to check it out!

I disagree about the "zero" atmosphere at Not Just Snacks. I like the faded Bollywood movie posters! To me, that IS atmosphere, LOL! No seriously, I just like it there, and I often buy spices across the street. I haven't tried Rasoi yet - -though it's on the list.

Jul 15, 2009
foxy fairy in All New England Archive

Top 5 Best restaurants in Rhode Island, Not fancy

late to dinner -- here is a very! late response:

Kings Garden was fantastic! I went with two dear friends and someone is always saying "remember that FABULOUS meal we had?" I got so many points for "discovering" it, and of course I'll pass the points along to you. YUM.

I lived in Sichuan province for several months and ate hot pot all the time there! I didn't know that KG served hot pot. I might try it next time! Once I swallowed an entire hot pepper and learned the trick of downing vinegar (fast) to cool my throat.

Could you give me some other ideas on what to order next time I make it to Kings Garden?

Jul 15, 2009
foxy fairy in All New England Archive

Top 5 Best restaurants in Rhode Island, Not fancy

A couple of years ago, after a Garden City outing, I insisted on going to Fat Belly with my mom after reading about it here. Maybe it was a case of inflated expectations.... but we were kind of like "Eh."

I am curious about Mike's Kitchen in the VFW though!

Jul 15, 2009
foxy fairy in All New England Archive

Top 5 Best restaurants in Rhode Island, Not fancy

I am always looking for a phenomenal pink sauce. mmmm.

Jul 15, 2009
foxy fairy in All New England Archive

**AUGUST 2009 COTM Suggestion Thread** [Ottolenghi Chosen]

Has anyone snagged a used copy of the book for under $40? This moderator, foxy though I may be, cannot afford $40 for a book right now! I can't get it at the library either!

Gulp.

Jul 15, 2009
foxy fairy in Home Cooking