Hardcore Feijoada

@mayan - the names of some of the Brazilian peppers are malagueta, cumari and dedo-de-moca.

You can make a hot sauce to go with the feijoada with chopped up chile pepper (if you don't have malaguetas and dedo-de-moca), you can use fresh scotch bonnets and/or jalapenos to taste), 4 chopped cloves of garlic, one medium chopped onion, a cup and half of lemon or lime juice, and a bunch of chopped cilantro. You can blend all the ingredients in a blender or simply combine them. Some people make this sauce with a cup of olive oil. I like it without for feijoada because it needs the acidity to cut all the fat in the meats. Bom apetite!

Best Chicken Fried Steak in NYC?


I checked out the yelp thread, but I wondered if anyone had any solid recommendations for CFS in NYC.

I've been "dared" by a Texas friend to eat a CFS dinner, complete with cream gravy, mashed potatoes, and a side. I don't have to wash it down with a beer or eat a dessert afterwards, but I can if I want to!

Acme? Delta Grill? Chat n Chew? Live Bait? Duke's Place?

do you remember elementary school cafeteria food?

We had something called hamburger sundae that other kids loved. I didn't. Chunks of ground beef in beef gravy over mashed potatoes.

We got lazy pierogi with our kielbasa - egg noodles mixed with sauteed onions and cabbage or sauerkraut. Lazy pierogi was and is awesome!!!

I loved the way the rice was so sticky they served it with an ice cream scoop. We always ate very fluffy rice with every grain separate in my house, so the sticky rice was a cool change of pace!

Whoopie pies are popular in New England where I grew up and we used to get those for dessert fairly often. Two chocolate cookies filled with marshmallow cream. Quick, get two before the lunch lady sees you!

6 leftover egg yolks...need some ideas!

I made alfajores [filled shortbread cookies] recently using a recipe from Leite's Culinaria. The recipe called for 4 egg yolks. The cookies were SO good that the recipe could and should be increased by 50% (i.e., 6 egg yolks)!

Anyone know about Saratoga Springs??

Chez Sophie is very good, a nice French bistro. The Adelphi Hotel is lovely.

Grocery Ninja: What to Do With Condensed Milk

You can make brigadeiros, Brazilian chocolate caramels, yum yum yum. Empty a can of condensed milk into a saucepan over low heat and stir in a tablespoonful of butter and 3 tablespoonsful of cocoa. Cook until thickened. Let cool until cool enough to handle. Butter your hands, roll into small balls, and then roll caramels in sprinkles, chocolate shot, or sweetened flaked coconut.

You can also dip your churros in sweetened condensed milk, too!

Dinner Tonight: Caldo Verde

We grew up eating caldo verde, but never made with carrots or celery or cabbage, always 2 potatoes, 2 onions, a bunch of collards or kale cut in chiffonade strips, and chourico, and often with broa de fuba (cornbread) on the side. I agree with kmporter - water is better than stock. I've tried both and the stock covers the sausage's flavor.

Leite's Culinaria is great, all due respect to David, but I think I'll stick to our family recipe, which is Brazilian-American (Brazilian-Portuguese part of Massachusetts).

Babaganouch without tahini - is that possible?

Many of my Israeli friends make babaganoush with mayonnaise. If you use a good quality mayo, it's delicious!

Cambodian Sandwich Shop Num Pang Now Open in Union Square

I hope they have the bacon sandwich and the tofu sandwich there. I love the num pang at Kampuchea.

Are Blondies the opposite of Brownies?

Blondies are the cousins of brownies, or maybe spouses, the way Mrs. Salt is married to Mr. Pepper, or the way the Knife, Fork and Spoon are part of a family, or the way that Ketchup and Mustard are rivals, but sometimes get along.

Yes, dbcurrie, you ARE thinking too hard about it, but it made me laugh!!!

Budget and Vegetarian Friendly?

Buddha Bodhai and Vegetarian Dim Sum House in Chinatown.

Canned Collards?

There was a stand-off between the cops and a man in my neighborhood recently. The cops were standing on the street and the man was screaming obscenities at the cops from his second storey window. He was holding something in his hand to throw at the cops. It was a can of collards. I kept on walking. Later on I saw the can of collards on its side in the gutter.

Dinner Tonight: Channa Masala

Really good garnished with chopped onion and a little squeeze of lemon. Great with rice, as you noted, as well as pooris and chapatis. I don't make poori at home anymore because I don't like the lingering smell of fried food, but chapatis are very easy to make at home.

What food(s) did you love as a kid and now can't stand?

There was a salad that was popular when I was very young that I liked that was made with green peas, square chunks of orange cheese (Cheddar?), and occasionally, square chunks of ham that were ideally the same size as the cheese, all tossed together in some kind of mayonnaise dressing. Thankfully, like "Fluffy Mackerel Pudding," you hardly ever see this salad anymore. I saw it a few years ago at a salad bar and I felt repulsed.

Chef Tell -- does anyone remember him?

"Very simple, very easy, very good." He was great.

Vegetarian Brunch

You can make a vegan french toast by dipping bread in chickpea flour-watter batter, to be fried in good quality vegan butter substitute. Serve with fruit salad and syrup.

Kedgeree - Breakfast or Dinner?

Kedgeree is the British adaptation of Indian kichari, a rice and lentil porridge that doesn't typically contain fish. Starting the day with kichari is +1, especially if you don't always like starting the day with sweets. And it's also very good for a light evening meal, what we used to call "tiffin" in India. Many good recipes for different kinds of kedgeree. I'd be happy to send you some, if you like.

What to do with sour clementines?

I recently made a compote in the slow cooker with some sour clementines and black olives that turned out very well. If I remember right, I sliced up about 5 clementines into 1/4" slices and mixed them with 1/2 cup of sugar and 12 chopped pitted oil cured black olives and I cooked them on low for about 5 hours. When it was finished, I stirred about a TBSP of Grand Marnier into the compote. Delicious.

I used the rest of my sour clementines to make a Caribbean-style marinade for pork shoulder. I usually use sour oranges (naranja agria, I think they're called) and mix their juice and rind with garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and olive oil.

In Videos: Thai Street Vendor's Balletic Coffee Mixin' Tricks

Coffee is made this way in South India as well, but instead of condensed milk, it's hot frothed milk, tossed back and forth between two stainless steel tumblers, a process which mixes and cools. I never saw any kaapi-wallah lose a drop, it's fun to watch, and so good to drink!

Get Your Butter Chicken a Better Way at Jaipur in Chicago

Yes, I second JungMan's comments. European cuisine doesn't have a monopoly on the use of dairy products. Indian cuisine, which in and of itself is extremely varied region to region, has many dishes that utilize milk, butter, cream, yogurt, etc., not to mention Indian cheeses like panir and chenna, which were not the result of European influence in India.

Where Did the Swedish Chef Muppet Come From?

I thought Chef Tell was Swiss. He often ended his segments with the catchphrase, "very simple, very easy, very good."

Wasn't it "save the giblets?"

Mark Bittman's Savory Oatmeal with Scallions and Soy Sauce

My ex-boyfriend used to make this for me for breakfast, plus he would add a teaspoon of tahini. YUM!

Uses for Yogurt Cheese?

Julie Sahni has two great recipes for yogurt cheese spreads in "Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking" that unfortunately I don't have in front of me, but if you google "khadi dahi" (that's Hindi for yogurt cheese) you should be able to find them.

Sagatiba Cachaca: Any Tips for Making Caipirinhas?

Yes, Sagatiba is a brand.

Cooking without onions or garlic

Many Hindus who do not eat onions or garlic use a pinch (very small one at that) of asafetida powder, which has an onion/garlic flavor, in their cooking. I've used "hing" in Indian and non-Indian dishes that I've made for my allium-allergic sister-in-law, and they've come out well.

Mark Bittman's Fried Herbed Chicken

Mark Bittman's recipes are dependably good, and the above, featured in his "Minimalist" column in the New York Times was no exception. Did anyone try it? If so, how did it turn out for you?

You mix together a chopped onion , 2 TBSP of tahini or peanut butter, 1-2 TBSP fresh herbs (I used cilantro), and EVOO in the food processor until a smooth paste forms. Rub it on the chicken (I used turkey cutlets), dredge it in flour, rub the herb mixture on the chicken again, dredge again, and fry in approx. 1/4" of EVOO. Serve with lemon wedges. Fast, easy, delicious.

Are you giving food gifts for Christmas?

My family likes food gifts. My dad had the ingredients for a New England clam bake sent down to my brother in Florida. My other brother is putting Toblerone bars in the stockings.

I got my dad some duck bacon. I've never tried it, but Dad loves bacon and he loves duck, so I hope it's good.

Has anyone ever made the Ghirardelli "Grand Fudge Cake"?

Sort of a continuation of a thread I started several months ago about my fascination for recipes on packages. (Ritz Mock Apple Pie!)

It's my daughter's birthday tomorrow and she asked for a repeat of the cake I made for her birthday two years ago - the Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate Cake" (recipe from the package) with the Seven Minute Icing from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook.

It's a great recipe, super easy, and you'd think I'd be smart enough to leave well enough alone. But no. I saw the Ghirardelli "Grand Fudge Cake" recipe on the package, and I got curious, principally because it's made with butter (the Hershey's cake is made with veg. oil) and baked things with butter just taste so good!

Has anyone ever made the Ghirardelli cake? Has anyone ever made both, and if so, which was one the winner, in your opinion?

I'm looking at the recipes side by side and they look very similar. The only substantial difference is the 1/2 cup of veg. oil vs. 1 cup of butter. So maybe the real question is -


I've lost my taste for chicken, I think

Was it knowing how chickens are raised on factory farms?
Or was it because chickens have been genetically modified to be bigger but not necessarily more flavorful?
A grilled boneless chicken breast has about as much appeal for me as eating cotton balls.
I'd still eat my dad's roasted chicken with gravy and stuffing maybe once a year, but chicken has really lost its appeal for me.

I'm afraid that salmon might be next.

Jack the Horse Tavern in Brooklyn: nice find!

Our plans for dining out at Queen at Sheba fell through since one of our friends didn't show up, so we resigned ourselves, somewhat unhappily, to heading back to Brooklyn. When we hit High Street, first stop in Bklyn, my companion said, "Let's get out here and maybe we'll find something."

Walked down Henry Street, thought about going into Henry's End, walked by Le Petit Marche and saw two waiters out front, both biting their nails, got grossed out, and kept walking. Passed by Noodle Pudding, already crowded at 6pm.

As we crossed Hicks and Cranberry, we noticed on the corner: Jack the Horse Tavern. "Let's go in there."

I am so glad we did! What a great place, both in terms of atmosphere/decor and food/drinks. We sat at the bar. My companion had one of their "highroller" cocktails, their take on the Sazerac. Pricey, but worth it. I seem to be developing a taste for beer (again) so I had a Brownstone...mmm. For dinner we had pork loin and fish, all expertly and deliciously prepared.

If I lived closer to Brooklyn Heights, I could easily see the Jack the Horse becoming my neighborhood place. As it is now, I'm not too far away, and I look forward to going back soon.


I had a very nice evening at Kingswood recently. I had heard some so-so things about it, that it was loud, but my cocktail and meal were lovely, the decor and ambiance were wonderful, and it was not overly loud at all.

I'm not usually a burger eater, but since they were out of the Goan fish curry that night, I got their burger, and it was delish. It satisfied any burger jones I might have for a LONG time.

I would go back again. Very pleasant evening! A great date location.

Czech restaurant in New York City area

I am planning a farewell dinner for a Czech colleague. We work in NYC. So far, I've found just one place, called Zlaha Praha, which means Golden Prague. It looks good - I would definitely go - but it is in Astoria, which may prove to be a deterrent to some of our colleagues. Any suggestions for a Czech restaurant, or perhaps a Hungarian place? THANKS!


I recently got a gift certificate to Picholine. Have you been there recently and if so, what do you recommend?

Great night out at Kampuchea/LES

I'd walked by this place many times on Rivington, always thinking, "I really should try Kampuchea..."

I finally went in on Friday night, and I'm so glad I did. It was really, really good! We had crabs in rum sauce, which were delicious - the only thing that was missing were tongs and nutcrackers, which would have made getting to the goodies much easier. Grilled corn slathered with chili mayonnaise, which reminded me that I do like mayonnaise in the right setting, and this was one of them.

I'm a big banh mi fan so it was a very pleasant surprise to discover that Cambodia also has its own sandwich tradition, thanks to the French colonial presence. We got the sampler platter of sandwiches: catfish, bacon (which was the best BLT ever), grilled pork, shrimp, catfish, and oxtail, all on really good sandwich size baguettes.

Those sandwiches are going to become a serious addiction, I can tell!

Assunta's Beans (Marcella Hazan) - one of my favorites

One of my new favorites (one for which I haven't lost my mojo with, and if anything, seem to getting more mojo!) is Assunta's Beans from Marcella Hazan's "Marcella Cucina."

Her recipe calls for cranberry beans, which I love, but I had some dried cannellini on hand, so I soaked them using the quick soak method for an hour, and then cooked them according to Marcella's method, with water, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and fresh sage.

They were done last night just in time to eat with a vegetable gratin (a Deborah Madison recipe, which recommended serving the gratin with white beans and braised carrots). Really good.

I combined the leftover beans with some tuna in olive oil and some chopped red onion for nom nom...

Have you used recipes on food packages?

I'm always fascinated by recipes given on food packaging. The mother of them all for me is the Ritz cracker "mock apple pie." I contemplated that one many, many was it possible to make a cracker taste like pie?

Finally in college for our dorm's weekly wine and cheese party, I made the mock apple pie. People ate it, but they would have probably eaten styrofoam after all the cheap wine and *ahem* other things that they had consumed.

I recently bought a package of fair trade turbinado sugar. It has a recipe by Marcus Samuelsson for "Marcus's Coconut Cookies" which looks good. I love coconut, and I've had good luck with other recipes by Marcus Samuelsson. I know it's not tuna noodle bake with canned mushroom soup, but it ought to be pretty good!

Slow cookers

I've noticed an upswing in the use of slow cookers...maybe because I use one, too!

I went to a dinner party and the hosts served beef brisket that they had cooked in the crock-pot. They used a recipe they got off (I think) a southern food web site. The sauce was made with dark beer and a little brown sugar. It was delish.

My brown rice and chorizo is cooking back home. When I get home tonight at 6pm, the house will smell good. It's a Spanish rice dish that I got from "Not your mother's slow cooker cook book," which has lots of good recipes.

I've also adapted the long cooking, traditional Italian red sauce for the slow cooker, and it is mighty tasty.

What are some of the things you like to make in yours? Are there sites and cookbooks that you like?

Pasta with sardines

I've heard again and again that it's a good idea to switch to the smaller fish that haven't been overfished, and which are also goldmines of healthy oils. I really love fish, so I decided to start eating more sardines.

I had a few cans of sardines in the cupboard, and I considered cooking them the way my Malaysian neighbor used to, in a spicy tamarind sauce, but I didn't think my 7 year old was quite ready for that. She's not big on hot/spicy foods...yet.

I also had a head of fennel in the fridge, so I decided to make Sicilian-style pasta con sarde. I'd always wanted to make it. I sauteed the fennel with olive oil and garlic, threw in some pine nuts, and then a can of San Marzano tomatoes, some raisins, basil, a splash of white wine, pepper flakes and the two tins of sardines, and let that simmer away for 30 minutes. When it was done, I stirred in a half-pound of cooked pasta. Green beans on the side tossed with fresh thyme.

Shorty grated some Asiago on hers; I sprinkled dried bread crumbs on mine for the authentic Sicilian topping. It was very, very good! An easy, relatively fast, delicious dinner that my kid will eat.

Next time I will add a few anchovies to enhance the sweet/salty/fishy contrasts.

When you lose your mojo with your signature specialties... is damn sad, and I'm not sure if you can get it back. You've just got to move on to new dishes.

I mark the passing of two particular Lady Marmalade favorites. I used to make a vegetable stew with chickpeas, eggplant, tomato, and spinach. I learned how to make it in India, and it was a great dish to take to potlucks in college or to feed a crowd. It was a zesty, spicy, soul-satisfying main dish. Sometimes if I felt ambitious, I fried up some pooris (puffy Indian breads) to go with.

Somewhere along the line, I stopped being able to work my usual alchemy with the sauteed eggplant, the coriander and the cumin, the cooked-down tomato. I tried again about a year ago, but I just can't make it work anymore.

Same thing with caldo verde, the Portuguese soup made of potatoes, collards and chourico (or its Spanish variant, caldo gallego, the same thing, but with the addition of white beans or chickpeas). Some Portuguese-style cornbread (broa na fuba) on the side, that was a wonderful meal. A while ago, the potatoes started to taste/feel chalky, and I haven't been able to make it anymore.

*sigh* I suspect it's a matter of one's palate changing.

Heinous processed foods

Over the weekend, my dad picked up a package of Bisquick three cheese biscuit mix. I was skeptical from the get-go, since neither he nor I eat many processed foods, but he reminded me that Bisquick is often (from his point of view) a useful product.

They did smell good as they baked in the oven.

But they had a terrible bitter, stale baking soda taste. I didn't notice that they were particularly cheesy. The mix had tiny squares of some kind of dried orange-ish cheese in it. Overall, weird and icky.

Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine

I'm heading down to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania for my great-aunt's 100th birthday! I haven't been down in about ten years, when my grammy died, and I was thinking it will be nice to get re-acquainted with some of the regional specialties. (But not scrapple, LOL)

First and foremost, I want to pick up a nice big sack of John Cope's toasted dried sweet corn so that I can make stewed corn or just eat it out of the bag.

Since it's not new year's day, I guess I won't be getting any pork and sauerkraut, but definitely lots of pickles and chow-chow are in order. I remember we used to get fasnachts - I think they're like doughnuts, but I'm not sure.

What else can I try (or re-try)?

What on earth do I do with these two jars of mussel salad?

A well-meaning co-worker gave me a jar of mussel salad, which broke on the way home, so I was off the hook, hating to throw away food, like I do, but not craving to eat mussel salad. Stupid me, I lied the next day and told co-worker that I loved it. So he gave me two more jars.

I still have that hating to throw away food thing. These two jars of mussels in vinaigrette are sitting in the cupboards of my cubicle. *sigh*

I'm thinking I might make a marinara sauce, throw in some anchovies, and then when the sauce is just about done, add some chopped parsley and the mussels. Or maybe a variation on tapenade, with the mussels rounding out (okay, I'm not sure if these mussels can really do any rounding out) the tuna. But if anyone else has any other bright ideas, tell me. PLEASE.

Food guilt, oy.

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