variaas's Profile

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Advice on a good club/lounge

For the foodies that live in the city or enjoy the night life in the city, I need your help finding a place to go out this weekend. We have 10 people with us and were originally considering Enclave, but due to the reviews and anecdotes about the smugness of the bouncer and staff it's off the list.

We are looking to dress up (not too much) as we bid farewell to a friend who leaves on Monday. We're trying to stay in the River North general area, and trying to keep the cover price on the lower side. Any suggestions would be awesome.

Thanks!

Jan 29, 2009
variaas in Chicago Area

Reheating a homemade queso

I've pasted the recipe I used to make queso last week (from Homesick Texan). It makes a great queso (except a little too much sour cream). The problem is that I refrigerated the leftovers and the next day tried to reheat the queso in the microwave. Now I assume its because I used the microwave, but the queso seperate and was grainy.

So I'm asking for thoughts here -
1. What's the best way to reheat the queso?
2. Is there a way to prevent the queso from seperating in the microwave?
3. What other queso ideas do you got? (Trading the cheddar for asado, etc.)

Chile Con Queso
Ingredients:
1/2 onion diced (about 1/2 cup)
4 cloves of garlic minced
3 Serrano peppers diced
3 jalapeno peppers diced
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of flour
1 cups of milk
6 cups of shredded cheese, can use any combination of Longhorn cheddar and Monterrey Jack
1/2 cup of cilantro, chopped
2 plum tomatoes, peeled and diced (about 1/2 cup, can use canned if tomatoes aren’t in season)
1/2 cup of sour cream
Salt to taste

Method:
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan on medium-low heat, and then cook the onions and peppers for about five minutes or until onions are translucent.
2. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
3. Whisk the flour into the butter, vegetable mix and cook for about 30 seconds.
4. Add the milk to the pot, and cook on medium, whisking constantly until sauce is thick, about five minutes. Stir in the cilantro and tomatoes.
5. Turn heat down to low, and a 1/4-cup at a time, slowly add the shredded cheese stirring into the white sauce until completely melted. Repeat.
6. Stir in the sour cream.
7. Add salt to taste.

Dec 02, 2008
variaas in Home Cooking

Italian Wine Glasses?

Thanks all!

Sur La Table - a little too modern for my taste

Ikea - haven't found the glass yet, but I'll check it out the next time I go

I found a glass I like on Amazon (link below) but they sell it by the case, so 36 glasses. Anyone want to go in on some glasses? :)

http://www.amazon.com/Gibraltar-Rocks...

Sep 25, 2008
variaas in Wine

Italian Wine Glasses?

Does anyone know where to find the small wine glasses that is used to serve table wine? It's not your common wine glass with a stem, but just a small glass. I'm having trouble finding the right kind.

Sep 01, 2008
variaas in Wine

Collection of Non-Burger Recipes

olives...great call!

Jun 05, 2007
variaas in Home Cooking

Collection of Non-Burger Recipes

Alright, I just finished watching the burger cook off on the Food Network and I want to create the best veggie burger. Before I worry about spices and themes, I want to create a base veggie burger.

I'm going to the grocery store today to buy ingredients to try out a couple recipes, and I would love suggestions. I'm not looking to create a veggie burger that tastes like meat, but one that gives you the same feeling of biting into a big, juicy burger.

Thoughts on a base ingredient - black beans, chick peas, split peas, tofu, mushrooms, etc?

Jun 05, 2007
variaas in Home Cooking

Sifting Flour

I would suggest making sure you keep your flour in an air tight bag.

Apr 27, 2007
variaas in Home Cooking

Sifting Flour

What scale do you have?

Apr 25, 2007
variaas in Home Cooking

Anniversary in Houston

That's a new place for me. I'll have to fly down to Houston for a weekend and do a tour of Indian restaurants. I asked my parents to provide me an invitee list and it's gone well above 100 people now. Looks like I may have to resort to catering from one of these restaurants and rent out a hall.

Apr 25, 2007
variaas in Texas

Sifting Flour

So I need help improving my workflow when sifting flour. There are two scenarios I usualy face:

* 1 cup flour, sifted - For this I would put 1 cup of flour into the sifter, and sift on to parchment paper and then transfer.

* 1 cup of sifted flour - This is where I face issues. I don't have much space in the kitchen, so I repeat my process from above and then pour the sifted flour back into a measuring cup until I hit 1 cup. Afterwards I have to pour the extra flour back into the bag. This process is much more cumbersome and I was hoping that someone out there has a better suggestion.

Should I invest in a big air tight bowl to hold flour and sift over that bowl? Should I invest in a scale and forego any sort of sifting? If so, what's a good scale? How do you guys work with flour?

Thanks!

Apr 25, 2007
variaas in Home Cooking

Homemade Pasta Recipe?

Here's an update on my homemade pasta recipe. I found out that my original recipe worked if I used a food processor or my standing mixer to make the dough. It made my dough softer and I even found myself putting extra flour with some batches. I've also tried a 50/50 mix with semolina flour and loved it even more. So the lesson I learned is that its extremely difficult to make dough by hand.

Apr 24, 2007
variaas in Home Cooking

Anniversary in Houston

Thanks for the suggestion Mary Ann! But I couldn't afford it for my parent's 25th when she (Kiran) owned Ashiana and as great as the food probably is at Kiran's my budget just can't handle it.

Apr 21, 2007
variaas in Texas

Testing Image Upload

I've been having issues uploading a picture, so I wanted to test it out on this thread.

Apr 21, 2007
variaas in Site Talk

Anniversary in Houston

I'm throwing a celebration for my parent's 30th anniversary and need some suggestions on venue. We're planning on having 80 people attend (mostly of Indian decent). I haven't been to Houston in a couple years so I'm not sure what has sprung up.

Can anyone suggest a good restaurant (preferably Indian) that can service a group of 80 people?

Apr 20, 2007
variaas in Texas

The Mushroom

Great suggestions. I actually have a fondue set lying around that I haven't taken advantage of yet.

Apr 14, 2007
variaas in Home Cooking

Homemade Pasta Recipe?

I just bought a bag of semolina, so I'll let you know my thoughts once I get a chance to make it

Apr 13, 2007
variaas in Home Cooking

Homemade Pasta Recipe?

Ordered and waiting for delivery!

Apr 13, 2007
variaas in Home Cooking

The Mushroom

I like the idea of a spice cake...

Apr 13, 2007
variaas in Home Cooking

The Mushroom

Haha wow! What a response! Thanks guy...I currently have portabella mushrooms, but the store is around the corner so I could get others if I needed to.

Apr 13, 2007
variaas in Home Cooking

The Mushroom

I'm in a Iron Chef mood today and the ingredient of the day is the mushroom. I'm a vegetarian and am thinking up ideas for an appetizer, entree, and dessert. For the appetizer and entree I have a couple ideas but am open to suggestions. I'm completely stumped on a dessert. Does anyone know how to make a dessert with a mushroom?

Apr 13, 2007
variaas in Home Cooking

Brunch in Lakeview/Lincoln Park?

I'm looking for a good place for brunch on Sunday near Belmont and Broadway. Any good suggestions?

Apr 06, 2007
variaas in Chicago Area

Homemade Pasta Recipe?

Sounds good...thanks!

Apr 03, 2007
variaas in Home Cooking

Homemade Pasta Recipe?

Don't worry, I'm saving up for one right now. Well that and a nice pasta maker.

Apr 03, 2007
variaas in Home Cooking

Homemade Pasta Recipe?

I know it must be difficult to describe, but how thick should the dough be?

Apr 03, 2007
variaas in Home Cooking

Homemade Pasta Recipe?

Hmm ... I'll admit I was using 1 cup packed. I was going off a recipe I saw on the Food Network. I'll give it a try with unpacked flour.

Apr 03, 2007
variaas in Home Cooking

Homemade Pasta Recipe?

I made homemade pasta for the first time today and have a couple follow up questions. I used the following proportions:

* 1 cup of American Unbleached White Flour
* 1 egg
* 1 tbsp of EVOO
* 1 tsp of salt

I tried to use just 1 egg but it wasn't enough to bring the flour together. I added a whole another egg the first, but it turned too egg-y (good for Chinese food but not Italian). The next time I just added an extra egg yolk and not the egg white. This seemed to get me the result I wanted.

Every recipe I've read only calls for 1 egg, so I ask is there something I'm missing? 1 egg isn't not close enough to bring the flour together for me. Should I use extra water instead of an extra egg yolk?

Apr 02, 2007
variaas in Home Cooking

Fudge Kiwi Cups

hmm the picture didn't upload

Mar 26, 2007
variaas in Home Cooking

Fudge Kiwi Cups

This is my first post, so I hope to make a good one.

I made this dish for a brunch the other day and could use some help coming up with a better name. I hollowed out kiwi halves, filled them with fudge and pieces of blackberries, cranberries, blueberries, and strawberries.

Note: the picture won't upload, but here's a link to it http://www.amitvaria.com/2007/03/18/k...

Mar 26, 2007
variaas in Home Cooking