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variation on shrimp and grits with Merguez??

Yes, I had thought of Manchego, think I'll go with that. But I hadn't thought of mint, and I have a whole garden full of it just bursting all over. Thanks!

Apr 29, 2011
tmemedia in Home Cooking

variation on shrimp and grits with Merguez??

I love shrimp and grits with chorizo or andouille sausage. But I've got some merguez lamb sausage in my fridge and would love to do a variation using the merguez. I think the Shrimp and merguez will marry well together with perhaps a light sauce of sherry and cherry tomatoes. What cheese do you think will work well in the grits? I like to use an aged cheddar along with roasted corn in my girts, but wonder if the cheddar will pair well with the merguez.

What do you think foodies? Also, if you have a better idea for the sauce, I would love to hear about it!

Thanks,
Teresa in DC

Apr 29, 2011
tmemedia in Home Cooking

Where to buy freshly made tortillas?

Just tried the oil spray and microwave trick and it is genius. The tortillas are soft -- love it. Now experimenting with whether I can roll them with filling and let them sit in the fridge for a few hours and THEN smother them with sauce and bake them. Rick Bayless says this will work if one doesn't dip the tortilla in enchilada sauce before rolling.
I'd like this to work so I can have the enchiladas ready to go before my guests arrive... so I'm not spraying, microwaving, rolling enchiladas for a half hour while everyone else is having a good time.

PS: justaddwater: the tortillas I'm using are homemade ones from Trader Joe's, and they do pass the squeeze test.

Jul 24, 2010
tmemedia in Washington DC & Baltimore

Where to buy freshly made tortillas?

Thanks justaddwater, will try the oil spray/microwave method. After experimenting w/both flour and corn tortillas, I agree the corn tortilla enchilada is so much better I don't know WHAT I was thinking making them with flour tortillas. I was just trying to think of a way I could make the enchiladas ahead of time so I can spend time with my guests, but I don't see that happening... the corn tortillas turn to mush pretty quickly after they've been rolled and baked.

Jul 24, 2010
tmemedia in Washington DC & Baltimore

Where to buy freshly made tortillas?

Yeah, tried wetting the corn tortilla with the enchilada sauce but they still tore. The only thing that works is to fry them on a hot griddle and then almost immediately fill them up and roll carefully while they are still hot. May be the only way to go. Still experimenting.

Jul 23, 2010
tmemedia in Washington DC & Baltimore

Where to buy freshly made tortillas?

Unfortunately, won't have time to make it out to Columbia. Here's another question: When I have made enchiladas before (not for a dinner party, just for dinner) I have used flour tortillas. I know that's a no-no -- one is supposed to use corn tortillas. It's just that it's so much easier to roll the fillings with the flour ones, they're so much more pliable and less likely to tear. So my question is: how MUCH of a no-no is it to use the flour tortillas instead? Am I sacrificing a huge taste difference?
I practiced yesterday with both corn and flour ones and as usual the corn ones broke and tore immediately, leaving me with a hot mess. However, if the difference is big, I will knuckle down and keep trying with the corn tortillas until I get it right.
Whew -- I'm so glad there is a discussion board like this !

Teresa

PS: My experimental tortillas last night involved a filling of braised pork, smoked cheddar, fresh halved grape tomatoes, carmelized vidalia onion slices, roasted yellow pepper slices, and chard sauteed in Valencia OJ and zest.

I made another filling substituting queso fresco for the smoked cheddar, but the smoked one was infinitely more delicious.

Any other suggestions for fillings? I'm thinking of one involving merguez sausages, an ingredient I am obsessing over these days. But what to add to that besides perhaps feta and tomatoes?

Jul 23, 2010
tmemedia in Washington DC & Baltimore

Where to buy freshly made tortillas?

I'm having a Mexican themed dinner party coming up, but am not up to making my own tortillas for enchilladas. Does anyone know where I can buy freshly made tortillas in the area? I live in Bethesda, but am often in Arlington and McLean.
Failing that, any thoughts on which store-bought tortillas are the best? I've tried so many of them and haven't found any that come close to the taste of fresh.

Thanks for any help out there!

Teresa

Jul 21, 2010
tmemedia in Washington DC & Baltimore

Eve--am I the only one?

>>Although I think the food at Eve is a notch below their competition, I have always had wonderful service there>>
Pappy, I am very curious -- which of their competition do you think has better food? I ask because I've booked my birthday dinner in the Tasting Room at Eve and it's coming up this weekend. I've been there 3 times and it continues to be my favorite restaurant in the area. I've just been to Komi recently and while Komi was mindblowing, I still prefer Eve for a lavish birthday celebratory event. But if you think there are better places out there, I'd love for you to share them with me -- I'm open to trying something new if you think the food is better.
(PS: Have not been yet to foodie favorites Blue Duck Tavern, Volt, 2941, Cityzen)

Jun 08, 2009
tmemedia in Washington DC & Baltimore

Buck's Fishing & Camping

I'm pretty amazed actually that Buck's is still around. While I love the concept and the cozy decor, everytime I go I feel the meal has been just okay, while the price has been astronomical. I keep going back thinking I'm missing something, but it's always the same. If we go back we'll try sitting at the bar like you advise. I'm just not inspired by the food, and I really find it offensive that they don't know where the food comes from or if it's sustainable.

Feb 07, 2009
tmemedia in Washington DC & Baltimore

Stores that sell Bison/Buffalo steaks?

A few months ago I got some great buffalo at The Organic Butcher in McLean. I called ahead and they had them for me the next day. Great service and the meat was divine.

Jan 13, 2009
tmemedia in Washington DC & Baltimore

Making Buffalo Osso Buco... flavors?

Thanks AGAIN -- pancetta it is. I agree the hickory smoked bacon would be better with the shrimp, that's where I was leaning, but was dithering.

I can't thank all of you enough!

Nov 07, 2008
tmemedia in Home Cooking

Making Buffalo Osso Buco... flavors?

You all have been SO helpful. I like the idea of frying up the bacon, removing it, then using the bacon fat to sear the bison, onions, herbs and veg. I wonder if pancetta would be ok? The butcher where I just picked up my bison had some lovely pancetta, and I bought it, but I also bought some hickory smoked bacon. So let me know if the pancetta would be the wrong move.

I'm using bison not so much because it's so healthy (although that's a plus), but because I'm having a dinner party for a Spanish guest of honor visiting the US, and I wanted to serve an "American" menu. I love osso buco for dinner parties because it's so easy to serve, and the substitution of bison for veal I thought would make it American.

I'm starting with bacon wrapped shrimp and cheese grits as a first course (very small plates!)
Then serving the bison osso buco with roasted yams and purple potatoes, along with a simple Arugula and grape tomato salad (I know, not really American but I love Arugula).
Dessert will be pecan pie with my own homemade Margarita ice cream (a Nigella recipe that is to die for and supremely easy)
Any other ideas and helpful hints would be greatly appreciated!

Nov 07, 2008
tmemedia in Home Cooking

Making Buffalo Osso Buco... flavors?

I LOVE the idea of adding bacon! Didn't think of that. And the dark malty beer is a great idea -- still can't decide whether to use that or red wine -- what do you think?

Also -- when should I add the bacon? Last half hour, or earlier?

Thanks so much everyone!

Nov 07, 2008
tmemedia in Home Cooking

Making Buffalo Osso Buco... flavors?

I'm making a buffalo osso buco for a dinner party this Saturday. I've never cooked with Buffalo before, but know it's an incredibly lean meat, and so must cook it slower and lower.

My question is, what flavors should I add to a basic osso buco recipe, since it's usually made with veal? I'm thinking already of adding juniper berries, but what else should I add to really complement the flavor of the buffalo? Also, am thinking of doing the gremolata with orange zest instead of lemon zest -- I don't know why, just think it may go better.

Any ideas would be grand!

PS I'm serving this with a side dish of roasted sweet and purple potatoes, and a simple Arugula salad.

Thanks!
Teresa

Nov 06, 2008
tmemedia in Home Cooking

Nicaro in Silver Spring, big disappointment!

So sorry you were disappointed with Nicaro's -- my husband and I went recently and I really loved it. I had the rockfish mentioned above, which I found amazing. So many restaurants overcook rockfish and this was perfect and moist. I also had the sardine appetizer and adored it. My husband had the scallops and they were also perfectly cooked. I live in Bethesda and find the restaurants there to be so boringly average, with the exception of David Craig and Passage to India. I found Nicaro's food and service to be better than what I get in Bethesda -- prices are lower too!

Apr 24, 2008
tmemedia in Washington DC & Baltimore

Ocean City/Fenwick Recommendations

You might want to try Fager's Island in Ocean City, not far from Fenwick. I believe it does serve clams casino, because it has a very traditional menu. Also, the place is enormous, with every kind of seating imaginable, so a group of 20 won't be a problem.

Now, I don't like Fager's Island myself. My favorite restaurant in the area is Liquid Assets on 94th St. in OC, and The Pig and Fish in Rehoboth. But all my aunts and uncles in their 60's LOVE Fager's Island and swear it's their favorite restaurant ever, so I think they're very popular for that set. Also, the setting can't be beat, it's located on the bay and has a huge deck where you can watch the sunset. Make reservations early, they are always full in the summer.

Apr 24, 2008
tmemedia in Washington DC & Baltimore

Red Ginger of Georgetown

I don't think it is closed. I just walked by yesterday and they looked about to open for lunch. I've been to the Red Ginger several times and the food has always been phenomenal. I like spicy food, though they'll make it seasoned the way you like. The service is incredible -- everyone is so nice and the chef likes to come out and talk to his guests -- he's the sweetest man!

The only reason we don't go there more often is because it's in Georgetown and the parking is always a nightmare. When we DO go, we go early so we can park. At least it's located high up on Wisconsin above the craziness of M Street.

Apr 24, 2008
tmemedia in Washington DC & Baltimore

Elegant/Formal dinner to impress a family

Cafe Milano in Georgetown is always fun, and the menu has plenty for picky teenagers to pick from. I nearly always spot a politico or celebrity there, and it's a cool Georgetown elite experience.

Feb 12, 2007
tmemedia in Washington DC & Baltimore