s

sweetbasil's Profile

Title Last Reply

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza in Austin?

There's none to be found around here. After extensive research (way too many hours on a pizza forum), I learned to make my own. The finished product is not 100% but I'd say 95%.

You can't get the right sausage around here but you can approximate it, & you may have to hunt down the right kind of mozzarella. I did order the pans & ground tomatoes online.

BTW, I found the most accurate recipes to have a bit of semolina & corn oil in the crust.

The results were actually pretty great... for someone desperate, anyway! YMMV.

Oct 18, 2013
sweetbasil in Austin

Vanilla Malt Frosting

Jul 12, 2012
sweetbasil in Recipes

Via313 for Detroit Style Pizza

I'd guess that "Detroit style" might be like Buddy's pizza -- thick puffy dough (deep dish, but not at all like the awesome Chicago style deep dish, iYKWIM), crispy edges from lots of oil in the pan, minimal sauce, square or rectangular in shape.

Honestly, Via313's claim of "Detroit Style Pizza" is the first time I've EVER heard that term. Detroit has no "style" to its pizza. Unless you consider "bad" or "Dominos" to be styles. ;)

I think it's totally made up... would be like moving to Detroit and opening an "Austin Style Pizza" joint.

Mar 15, 2012
sweetbasil in Austin

Butternut squash soup -- seeking mix-ins

Most kinds of nut butter go really well with butternut squash... I am a big fan of toasted hazelnuts with it, personally. Chestnuts would go well, or peanut butter if you want to go in a thai direction with cilantro & lime.

Mar 13, 2012
sweetbasil in Home Cooking

Novice Needs help cooking for my 3 year old's birthday party

Wanted to second the rec for refried beans on Amazon. if you're not making from scratch or buying from a restaurant.

I buy the "instant" beans (just add boiling water) and they're really good... MUCH better than canned (I find canned refried beans pretty nasty).

Honestly, the instant beans are just as good as the middle of the road local Tex-Mex joints (and I'm near ground zero for Tex-Mex). Plus, they don't have that slimy texture like the canned ones.

These are the ones you want:

http://www.amazon.com/Santa-Fe-Bean-S...

Mar 13, 2012
sweetbasil in Home Cooking

Novice Needs help cooking for my 3 year old's birthday party

Are you sure that will be enough meat? Remember that ground beef will cook down considerably. As far as cooking it, I've done huge batches in the oven. YMMV. :) Just remember not to crowd it in the pan when you cook (whether oven or stovetop) or it will steam instead of brown. If you want more fat than Costco's beef has, you could mix it up with some chuck or straight-up beef fat from the local grocer.

Mar 13, 2012
sweetbasil in Home Cooking

Buttermilk Party--Help!

Soak chicken in it overnight before breading/battering & frying.
Make ranch dressing.
It's delicious in soda bread or scones, too.

Mar 11, 2012
sweetbasil in Home Cooking

acorn squash nutmeg fettucini? what to do with it?

I think it would be great with roasted hazelnuts and frizzled sage. I'd toss it with some kind of butternut squash cream sauce.

Oct 05, 2011
sweetbasil in Home Cooking

Recommendations along I-35?

Aster's Ethiopian

Sep 23, 2011
sweetbasil in Austin

Need recipe for a really awesome cheesecake with "a ribbon of Port" :)

DH has requested this for his birthday dessert, and while I could probably wing it, I was wondering if there are any tried and true port cheesecake recipes out there?

Also, which port do you think would work best? Or do I need to take that question to the Spirits board?

Thanks for any help/guidance!

Sep 23, 2011
sweetbasil in Home Cooking

Is the water in my new town preventing my beans from softening?

Hard water will do that. Add a t or so of baking soda to a big pot of beans (as much as 1T if the water's really hard) and you'll take care of the issue.

Sep 15, 2011
sweetbasil in Home Cooking

What were your FIRST three cookbooks?

I used my mom's Joy of Cooking and Mastering the Art of French Cooking books when I was at home, but the first I that I actually owned:

Great Bread! - checked out of my middle school library (and...uh...still have!)

The Moosewood Cookbook

The Bountiful Arbor (from the Jr. League of Ann Arbor)

Jul 08, 2011
sweetbasil in Home Cooking

Christmas Brunch in Lieu of Dinner

I do a brunch every year, except I host it on Christmas Eve. That leaves Christmas Eve night and Christmas Day drama-free (the inlaws are, um... difficult), and we're able to really relax and enjoy a more unconventional Christmas meal.

A few favorites:

Sweet and Spicy bacon (bacon brushed with maple syrup & ground chipotle, oven-baked on racks - great way to prepare large quantities of bacon)
Cranberry butter - made with leftover spiced cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving
Orange Scones
Fruit salad (kiwi, grapes, clementines, etc) with a honey yogurt dressing
Quiche- Lorraine and spinach
Spanish Tortilla
Mimosas
Sangria

Sometimes I serve ham or sausage, sometimes I add a dish or two, but generally, I keep it simple so that it's fun and stress-free to prepare. Have a great time!

Dec 11, 2010
sweetbasil in Home Cooking

2010 Thanksgiving Wins and Losses

Hi all! I used the recipe for Bourbon Cranberry Sauce (the bourbon is added after cooking), and did half with Bourbon and half without. Since the baked cranberry sauce has no water added, the cranberries are almost candied -- a bit caramelized in flavor, although not tremendously so. You do need a deep wide pan since the sauce bubbles up significantly while it's baking.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

I also made Spiced Cranberry Sauce with ZInfandel (which I've made for several years now). This one is always a hit!

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Nov 27, 2010
sweetbasil in Home Cooking

2010 Thanksgiving Wins and Losses

I caramelize onions and shallots and blend them into the gravy with an immersion blender. Thickens it a bit and adds a really wonderful rich flavor.

Nov 26, 2010
sweetbasil in Home Cooking

2010 Thanksgiving Wins and Losses

I think we had all wins this year!

Dishes that had the most raves:
Salad of mixed greens with tart apples, crumbled Coastal cheddar, toasted nuts, dried port-soaked cranberries & a port wine vinaigrette
Ina Garten's Spinach Gratin
Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish (raw cranberries, sour cream & horseradish)
Ina Garten's Sagaponack Corn Pudding (really lovely --not sweet-- with ricotta & herbs)
Ciabatta Stuffing with Chestnuts & Pancetta
Brussels sprouts with bacon, maple syrup and pecans
Baked Cranberry Sauce (I'll prepare it this way from now on)
Paul Prudhomme's Sweet Potato Pecan Pie
Lemon Curd Cheesecake

Losses:
The Mustardy Creamed Onions Gratin were just meh. The returns weren't equal to the efforts IMHO. But I might try them again :)

Nov 26, 2010
sweetbasil in Home Cooking

What are your go-to spices?

If you're headed to Penzey's, definitely stock up on the crushed Aleppo pepper. It's a warm, not hot chile, great on everything.

Other less common staples in my pantry (which are used many times a week):

Smoked Spanish Paprika
Ground Chipotle
Whole Nutmeg
Cumin (ground and whole... whole is excellent, toasted, in chili)
Lemon thyme
Candied ginger

Sep 03, 2009
sweetbasil in Home Cooking

Chola in Round Rock

Totally agree with you on the Saag, and everything else we've had has been excellent - on par with what we've had in Chicago & NYC. They do have naan, it's quite good and has just the right amount of charring. I've never actually had the buffet, but will have to try that sometime soon.

We used to go all the time when the previous owners were there, and they had great things to say about the new (current) management. Think they're from Dallas?

Thanks for the post!

Jun 06, 2009
sweetbasil in Austin

Where to eat with young kids? (sick of Chuy's!)

We really enjoy Happy Hour at McCormick & Schmicks with our 3 children -- we sit outside on the patio and enjoy the weather. The food is pretty great, and cheap; for example, $1.99 will buy you an awesome hamburger and fries. I had king crab for $6 that was fresh and very well prepared. The sweet potato fries are excellent, BTW, truly the best I've had.

There are tons of menu choices and it changes frequently. It's a common stop on our way to Costco. :)

I just wanted to add that my children aren't as old as yours and we can go pretty much anywhere (except the swanky places) because, like yours, they're well behaved (and used to eating out). We typically go out for Indian, Chinese, Sushi, Korean, Thai, etc. We don't generally like chains, and avoid them.

Oh another place you might like (if Chuy's chains are kind of your vibe) is Mimi's Cafe. Cheerful, very child-friendly, and solid food. Not "exciting" but good.

Dec 13, 2008
sweetbasil in Austin

Cover 2,3? whatever

Sounds just like Champps, which is a successful nationwide chain I've been to a few times. The food at Champps is actually quite decent, although it's more of a destination for atmosphere than food. It will be interesting to see how Cover 3 does in that location.

http://www.champps.com/

Nov 23, 2008
sweetbasil in Austin

Has anyone tried the new Silver & Stone in Georgetown?

The menu looks promising (although not adventurous), and there's a wine bar and 2900 sq ft balcony (restaurant is on the 3rd floor of a new bldg near the town square), so it's a nice location.

Some of the menu items that caught my eye:
Salt Roasted Ruby Trout Salad
Pastrami Cured Muscovy Duck (interesting, altho I would think the spices would overwhelm)
Pot Pie of Red Tasmanian Crab
Steak Frites (wonder if it's a good rendition)

http://www.silverstonerestaurant.com/...

I'm hoping someone has checked it out already -- I'm considering dragging my parents out there when they're in town next week, but I don't have time to go before then.

Nov 20, 2008
sweetbasil in Austin

Where can I find an ice cream cake?

Shake's Frozen Custard sells them. I bet they're good, but I've never had one. You can sample one by ordering a mini version, called a "Baby Cake".

Nov 17, 2008
sweetbasil in Austin

ISO Asian Sesame Balls filled with sweet red bean paste

The ones at Asia Cafe are really, really good. I've also had them served at that Dim Sum place out by Highland Mall. Those were even better. HTH!

Nov 17, 2008
sweetbasil in Austin

Please help renew my faith in Austin Chow!

Thank you, scrumptiouschef. That's exactly the kind of post I needed. ;)

Will check out something new this weekend and report back.

Aug 29, 2008
sweetbasil in Austin

Please help renew my faith in Austin Chow!

After 5 years here in Austin, I am starting to feel resigned. Sure, the Mex, Tex-Mex and BBQ is some of the best in the country, but besides the outstanding Asia Cafe, everything else has fallen flat.

I've lived in or spent a lot of time in several major cities here and abroad, and I know it's not fair to compare, but I've always been able to find a few gems in *every* city. Austin, however, has proven to be a challenge. I've found the food here to be, with the exception of the aforementioned, far overpriced for disappointing quality.

I don't care much about atmosphere (although condescension is a huge turn off), I'm just looking for a few gems to renew my faith in the Austin dining scene. Or do I just have to accept my fate and hope for new restaurants?

Aug 28, 2008
sweetbasil in Austin

Best French Fries in Austin

I had the best french fries I've had in the 5 yrs since I've been in Austin at Mimi's Cafe, of all places. They were sublime. Perfectly thin and delicate skin, balanced saltiness, crisp but not greasy, perfect thickness... I can't say enough. I was very, very surprised.

Aug 27, 2008
sweetbasil in Austin

Monument Cafe

The new location will be farther up Austin Ave, just N of the courthouse on the West side of the street.

My 2 cents: several yrs ago Monument was consistently good and had great waitstaff with low turnover. All of that has changed, unfortunately, and we avoid it now. It's also overpriced.

Good things: the peppered bacon, Dublin Dr. Pepper, the limeade and lemonade; pies are tasty but not amazing. They serve agave syrup with your pancakes if you ask, and they have great diner coffee. Their french fries can be great or awful.

Here's hoping the new place is better, and they put a great restaurant into the current location.

Jul 26, 2008
sweetbasil in Austin

What's a Chick-Fil-A?

You all have to try the carrot & raisin salad. It's more of a dessert than a salad, but wow, it's tasty.

I always go for the grilled chicken with lettuce & tomato on a wheat bun (usually I prefer fried chicken, but not here for some reason) with lemonade. Oh and you have to get the Smokey Honey Mustard BBQ sauce - terrible for you but really delicious.

Overall, though, besides the fact that they serve *real* chicken (not pressed and formed), my favorite thing about Chick Fil A is the extremely kind and helpful employees.

Jul 09, 2008
sweetbasil in Chains

Fast-food chains with best coffee?

Tim Horton's. There's absolutely no comparison.

Gosh I miss it.

Jul 09, 2008
sweetbasil in Chains

Galloways Soul Food:Feeding The Neighborhood

Thanks for the great review -- but you have to tell us what your friend thought of the meal!

May 29, 2008
sweetbasil in Austin