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Who's carving your turkey? Whats your method?

Nice article in todays Times food section (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/21/din...) about carving the bird. I was surprised and pleased to see that we already use the method they describe (no, we're not butchers!). We always carve in the kitchen and then arrange everything back into a turkey shape on a beautiful platter. We carve off all the parts whole and then cut them into serving sizes - the breast, especially, is unbeatable this way. The job goes to my husband, who relishes it (great knife skills!). We have a beautiful carving set that belonged to my great grandparents, but it usually gets abandonded for a nice, sharp contemporary slicing knife out of our block.
What do you do? Whose job is it at your house?

Nov 21, 2007
glorypea in Not About Food

Whipped cream quandry - what do people actually like?

Thanks so much, everyone, for your incredibly helpful input. Between the suggestions to use rum (I'll actually do a bit of bourbon I think) and the immersion blender, I'm definitely doing the real thing.

Nov 20, 2007
glorypea in Home Cooking

Whipped cream quandry - what do people actually like?

I'm only too happy to make whipped cream to accompany pumpkin pie after my Thanksgiving meal - but it occured to me that lots of people like the spray stuff in cans or even cool whip. It wouldn't hurt to not have to deal with more dishes (no dishwasher) at that point in the evening. Ultimately, I just want to please my guests - what do you do? What do people like? Many thanks...

Nov 20, 2007
glorypea in Home Cooking

Thanksgiving Day Timing - Tips?

Every year, what I do is type a list of every dish I'm making and count back from my target serving time and to figure out when every dish needs to be started. For example, a spinach casserole can be made ahead on Wednesday, but on my list I'm noting to put it in the oven half an hour before dinner. I know my rolls take three hours, so I put on my list to start them around 2 pm. Organizing every thing like this really helps me see my work clearly and its also a great time to list all the ingredients and things I have to buy. Once you list everything and how long it will take to prep and cook, it should become clear to you how to manage your oven space. Have fun and enjoy it!

Nov 14, 2007
glorypea in Home Cooking

Food mill for mashed potatoes - what do you think?

The article in today's NY Times about mashed potatoes (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/14/din...) got me thinking. I have only the "practically useless" old fashioned kind of masher, but I have a great hand-cranked food mill. What if I run the cooked potatoes through that then combine with warm butter and milk and just keep warm on the stove til serving time? Will the food mill over-process the potatoes? Which disk should I use - small, medium or large holes? Many thanks in advance for your input...

Nov 14, 2007
glorypea in Home Cooking

Food and Jazz for Nawlins newbies

Two favorite shameless tourist suggestions: Central City Grocery for a muffaletta (take it to sit by the river with a bottle of wine - and plenty of napkins for the sandwich!) and Fiorella's for fried chicken.

Nov 07, 2007
glorypea in New Orleans

Plum infused vodka - drink recipe and hors d'oeuvre recs, please!

We had a glut of damson plums from the CSA in early October, so we used them to infuse a liter of vodka. I would like to serve it as a cocktail with an hors d'oeuvre at Thanksgiving, but I'm no mixologist. We have only two stemmed martini glasses but an abundance of other types of glasses.
For the hors d'oeuvre, I've been thinking of something with pork, like a chorizo or bacon kind of thing, but I want it to feel American for the holiday. I'll be having seven guests. Any suggestions? Many thanks in advance...

Nov 07, 2007
glorypea in Spirits

Subway directions to Sriphaphai?

Hope you're not going tonight - they are closed Wednesdays.

Nov 07, 2007
glorypea in Outer Boroughs

Weekend of 11/2-3-4...what did you cook?

I also made a big pot of chili, but since what I really wanted to make was ragu Bolognese, I made the chili basically according to Lidia Bastianich's Bologonese recipe (http://recipes.lidiasitaly.com/Produc...) but used chili seasonings (chili powder, cumin, cayenne), more onions, beer instead of wine, more tomatoes, and two different types of beans. Simmered it for about three hours and it was fantastic - my big pot of chili didn't turn out so big after all, because everyone loved it so much. I made a salad of mixed CSA lettuces, cornbread and browned butter rice krispie treats (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/31/din...) to accompany. The football watchers in attendance were satisfied, indeed.

Nov 05, 2007
glorypea in Home Cooking

Stuck on Stuffing

Hi Valerie,
Every year, making the stuffing is my favorite part of cooking the Thanksgiving meal. My mother made an awful stuffing, so my first thanksgiving on my own, I did a lot of research on concocting stuffings and have come up with some guidelines. I always use cubed bread - if you have to buy fresh, cube it and let it sit out a few days before you cook it. Then, I get about every allium in my grocery store: shallots, onions of all colors, garlic, scallions, pearl onions; chop them and sweat them, along with some diced carrots, in butter. I season with lots of fresh thyme and salt and pepper. Then I add in the bread cubes, tossing them with the butter and onion mix. Then I wet the whole thing slightly - it shouldn't drip when you squeeze a handful, but it must stick together and feel somewhat spongy - with wine, stock, or beer. I love the flavor beer adds, but suit yourself. Simple, but always gets raves. I have done cornbread, oysters, chestnuts (a royal pain, unless you can get good prepared ones somewhere), but I love the recipe I just described and so does everyone I've made it for.
As for the Giada recipe, it sounds wonderful, but no one I cook for seems to like surprises when it comes to the Thanksgiving standbys. What if you made it for roast chicken to give it a try before hand? Good luck...

Nov 05, 2007
glorypea in Home Cooking

Browned butter caramelized rice krispy treats

I just made these this past weekend and they were SO DELICIOUS. Amazing that such a simple little adaptation could take these so far beyond the standard recipe.

I used 6 ounces of butter instead of the 8 recommended, 10.5 oz mini marshmallows and only a 9 ounce box of cereal. I thought that the ratio was fabulous, they turned out really crunchy and have a lovely carmelly flavor. A definite keeper!

Nov 05, 2007
glorypea in Home Cooking

Best Tacos on Roosevelt Avenue?

I can't say its the best since I haven't tried many others, but the truck right outside the 52nd Street station of the 7 train - El Rey de Oro - is consistently, outstandingly delicious in the opinion of my husband and I. Pastor and carnitas are always great, my husband also loves the chorizo and has gotten the lengua and though he liked it, thought it wasn't worth the extra 50 cents they inexplicably charge for it. The truck offers all the traditional fixins - radishes, salsas, different types of fresh and pickled peppers. Its on Roosevelt between 51st and 52nd.

Oct 31, 2007
glorypea in Outer Boroughs

Top Chef Finale! (spoilers)

Totally. And it must have been really hard for her to watch the finale and then have to be on live TV after hearing what they said about her food.

Oct 04, 2007
glorypea in Food Media & News

Top Chef Finale! (spoilers)

The first words out of my mouth were that my mom wore an astonishingly similar dress as a bridesmaid in my aunt's 1978 wedding! Talk about a wardrobe malfunction...
I think Hung deserved to win, but I have to say his duck sous-vide looked repulsive to me. That color and texture just freaked me out. He did seem humbled by the win and extremely happy.

Oct 04, 2007
glorypea in Food Media & News

Top Chef Finale Part 1 (spoilers)

You're right on, there...plus I think people want to see him get eliminated because it *might* send him a message that he isn't as great as he thinks he is. Its not xenophobia, its simply dislike for arrogant people who refuse to take responsibility for mistakes or accidents they caused - not to mention can't take a bit of constructive criticism.

Sep 28, 2007
glorypea in Food Media & News

Dinner near the Kanc

Charcuterie, it ain't - but we had a nice meal at The Common Man in Lincoln about two years ago: http://www.thecman.com/HTML/Restauran.... For what its worth, though, they do have a sort of free cheese and cracker buffet in the bar area. It's not worth a major detour, but it beats fast food!

Sep 25, 2007
glorypea in All New England Archive

Anniversary dinner in Knoxville

Thank you for the suggestions. We ended up dining at By The Tracks Bistro and it was quite lovely. My husband had a steak, which was, well, a steak. But I had the scallops, which were served on creamed corn and accompanied by three brilliant sides: spicy carrots sauteed with country ham, sauteed spinach, and pickled red onions. It was marvelous, and we had housemade chocolate mint ice cream for dessert which was fantastic. It was a nice experience, waitstaff professional and attentive and not pretentious at all. I recommend!

Sep 24, 2007
glorypea in General South Archive

Filipino food in Woodside

We just had our second meal (and frankly, our first proper meal) at Engeline's yesterday night and it was superb! There were four of us and we ordered thusly (forgive me, i don't know the Filipino names but you wouldn't have any trouble ordering these items based on the descriptions):

Lumpiang Shanghai - there are different types of Lumpiang, this is a common type which is wontons wrapped around delciously seasoned sausages and deepfried. We plowed through three orders and would have eaten more. Delicious!
Pancit with seafood and special sauce - there are also various types of pancit on the menu, this one is made with rice noodles, calamari, shrimp and onions. The "special sauce" is, according to my Filipino friend, crushed up pork rinds with something else - they end up turning a sort of orangey color and get soft. Sounds odd, I realize, but it was so tasty that we went through three orders.
Chicken Siopao - the only thing we ordered not worth getting. My friend said they were frozen. The filling was okay, but there was an awful lot of sweet flavored bread around it. Not recommended, save your stomach space for the other dishes.
Jackfruit with pork and shrimp in coconut milk - this is what they recommended the first time we visited and it is lovely. The jackfruit, you'll swear for all the world that its some odd meat but it is indeed a fruit.
Eggplant omelette with ground pork - mmmmm...so tasty. Basically this was two smallish eggplants, cooked til soft, with a pork filled omelet somehow cooked around them. The eggplants remained mostly whole. I loved it, but the eggplant flavor is the most prominent taste.
Our dining companions got extra food to go, ending us in a grand total of 5 orders of lumpiang shanghai, 5 orders of special sauce pancit, 4 siapao, 1 jackfruit with coconut milk and 1 eggplant omlette and five beers and one piece of cake for $100!
The staff was so sweet and seemed really glad that they were there. I'm not a professional food critic, I'm afraid, but I'm happy to share with you all that Engeline's is definitely worth a visit. Enjoy!

Sep 24, 2007
glorypea in Outer Boroughs

Top Chef what the %$@#!!!

Howie's behavior totally reminded me of someone who gets called in to the boss's office, knows he's about to get fired and quits instead.
But as for Padma - ugh. So sick of her! At last season's finale in Hawaii, she was saying how she was getting irritated by the poi at the exact second that the Hawaiian chef was saying how well-made it was. and he totally brushed her off. She needs to be brushed off a bit more often! So high maintenance.
And who the heck was that guest judge? A total jackass.
Agree about Sara, she should have gotten something.
Bourdain, thats going to be great...I'm travelling next Wednesday though so may miss it. Oh well...theres always the numerous replays.

Sep 06, 2007
glorypea in Food Media & News

Strange Pairings that Taste Uncommonly Good

My grandmother made cream cheese and jelly sandwiches. She called them "bar-le-duc" sandwiches. She also used to put margarine on pb and j!

Sep 05, 2007
glorypea in General Topics

Anniversary dinner in Knoxville

Thanks for the suggestions! I'll be eager to investigate.

Sep 05, 2007
glorypea in General South Archive

Anniversary dinner in Knoxville

My husband and I will happen to find ourselves in Knoxville on our anniversary in two weeks. I've browsed the Knoxville posts but would love to hear your recommendations on a special occasion restaurant in the area. It doesn't have to be "romantic" in a cheesy restaurant way, and we both eat all types of food. It should just be special and serve delicious food. Your suggestions are much appreciated!

Sep 04, 2007
glorypea in General South Archive

I now understand the fuss about Fage...

I'm a Fage lover myself, and someone who generally avoids all low-fat/non-fat products. Except with Fage - their whole milk yogurt delivers a whopping 90% RDA of fat! Fortunately, their low-fat is delicious enough. Try it in Tzatziki with grilled meat...mmm....

Aug 27, 2007
glorypea in General Topics

Feasting on Asphalt #3 Season 2

I'm not from Iowa or Illinois and I've never had a Maidrite, but I have a mild obsession with them since watching this sandwich documentary (got it off Netflix, it is done the same way as "A Hot Dog Program" on PBS if you've ever seen that). In any case, I was kinda freaked out by the huge tubs of cooking ground beef in the preview but they are pretty fascinating - they use steak cuts as well as lesser cuts, they use a special local cattle and special seasonings. To the numerous Maidrite experts, please expound on my meager description. But to everyone else, get that program. The big high school football player looking kid saying, "I eat two or three of these a day!" is priceless.

Aug 27, 2007
glorypea in Food Media & News

Top Chef Aug 22nd. [Spoilers]

I thought it was cute, too...until Hung said "Sara and Joey who?" I mean, come on! They were the most recently eliminated. I was starting to warm up to Hung but when he said that, I realized all over again that he's just pretentious and self-important.

Aug 23, 2007
glorypea in Food Media & News

Sapori d'Ischia - great experience! (long post)

55-15 37th Avenue in Woodside, Queens.

Aug 16, 2007
glorypea in Outer Boroughs

Dread pesticides; can't afford all-organic diet.

MakingSense, this is an excellent point. I am a licensed pesticide applicator (I don't use it, though, my last job paid for me to get it) and I can tell you that organic food does NOT mean pesticide-free food, and that there are pesticides approved for organic agriculture that are every bit as poisonous as some of those approved for conventional agriculture. Many of the most toxic substances in the world are directly plant-derived (water hemlock (Socrates' undoing), laburnum, and foxglove to name just a few) and hence "organic" in the ag sense (and the chemical sense, too).
Pesticides often have some sort of oil (called a "sticker" or "surfactant") added to help them adhere to the produce and stay on through irrigation and rain. Hence, water alone won't get this off (assuming it remains by the time you buy the product) - use a tiny bit of soap and rinse well if you're worried.
By all means, buy local and organic when you can, but don't believe that its necessarily pesticide-free.

Aug 16, 2007
glorypea in Not About Food

Sapori d'Ischia - great experience! (long post)

I was just a teeny bit nervous about dining here last night to celebrate my birthday, but being in walking distance to our apartment and given the occasion, decided to go for it. We were treated really well from the second we approached the place, when an elderly man sitting at a sidewalk table greeted us. We were told to take any table in the place and had menus and water within seconds. The olive oil they serve with their bread was really wonderful.

Wednesday night they do indeed offer their prix fixe, although they don't exactly advertise it. For $30, you get your choice of appetizer, entree or pasta, and dessert. A pretty amazing deal, considering the prices on the menu. The reasonably priced wine list was most welcome.

We started with the beef carpaccio and the insalata di funghi. The carpaccio was thicker than you find at most restaurants, but had a really delicious beefy flavor. The mushroom salad was a little weird - cold, wet mushrooms are not all that appealing, actually - but they were served on a bed of frisee which was placed on a bed of prosciutto, and when all was tasted together, it was more than the sum of its parts.

For entrees, we went with the two most frequently recommended dishes: the Fettucine al Alfredo (the one prepared tableside in the cheese wheel) and the short ribs. Both were genuinely delicious and well-prepared. The fettucine is absurdly rich and very cheesy - but its interesting in that its strongly flavored of cheese without actually eating a lot of cheese (you can easily pick out the chunks of parmesan to control the cheese consumption). The tableside preparation was a fun flourish, but while they were going through the tossing, the short ribs and potatoes lost a lot of heat. Still, we really, really enjoyed them.

For dessert, I had house-made strawberry gelato and my husband had the raspberry tart. Both were nice, but I would recommend the gelato - besides, after such a heavy meal, its about all one can stomach!

The water thing really didn't bother me, as that is how its done in Italy (which, of course, has some of the best municipal water in Europe). The first bottle was on the house, the second one was $4.

There was live entertainment - a very expressive singer/guitar player delivering light-rock classics - but I think it just added to the quirkiness and I found it amusing.

The total at the end of the night - two three course meals, two bottles of wine and one bottle of water - $160. The service was fine, no complaints at all. We will definitely be back, even if its just for pizzas or appetizers.

Aug 16, 2007
glorypea in Outer Boroughs

Burmese Cafe in JH

Just went for the first time this weekend, and we really enjoyed it. We had the tea leaf salad, and its as compelling and tasty as everyone says it is. We also had the pork and mango curry which was delicious. On another post, someone said that the pork was dry, but ours was falling off the bone tender and marvelous. Just not all that much of it in the dish - still, a fine dish for the price. We also got one of the Chinese style dishes, it was chicken with vegetables served on rice in a brown sauce. It was very good, tasted extremely fresh and each item maintained its integrity. However, it was hard to get excited about, after the complexity of the salad and curry. I recommend it, give it a try - great prices, too.

Aug 13, 2007
glorypea in Outer Boroughs

Italian Honeymoon - We are hungry

When in Rome, I - and many others, I'm sure - can heartily recommend Armando al Pantheon. It is literally right down the street from the Pantheon (look for the light blue neon sign - its small, though). While not especially romantic, the restaurant is small enough to be intimate and the marvelous food will definitely put you in a romantic mood. Enoteca Antica, near the Spanish steps on Via de Creci (I believe) is a dimly lit wine bar with delicious selections for nibbling. I still dream about the plate of simple but amazing marinated vegetables we had there. It won't feel romantic when its crowded, though (and it does get crowded!) so try early afternoons (like lunch times). David T is right, though, there are tons of great suggestions here on this board. Enjoy your trip and don't let the bread charges get you down!

Aug 13, 2007
glorypea in Italy