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allez

Kale+Pasta+Marinara=Dinner?

Tried it last night. Sauteed the kale like many of you suggested and added it to the sauce right before serving. It came out great! So good that we're going to make it all the time now! Thanks for the tips, all.

Advice on Starting a Small Food-based Business

Great advice! I will look into the laws regarding this. Glad to hear some of you think it's a good idea, at least, so thanks.

Tales from Tales of the Cocktail: A Little Advice

"The people are nice, but that doesn't mean that they won't kill you." is one of the funniest/saddest things I've heard about my hometown.

A Sandwich a Day: Banh Mi at Dong Phuong Restaurant and Bakery in New Orleans

This is one of my favorite neighborhoods in New Orleans with a fascinating history. Really has to be one of the most unique places in the U.S. Everyone I know in New Orleans calls them Vietnamese Poboys. I really had no idea what a banh mi was for the longest time, even though I at them all the time.

Cordova Farmer's Market International: The United Nations of Food In Memphis

SinoSoul's comments are a perfect example of why foodies have a reputation for elitism and pretentiousness. Despite your assumptions, the entire "rest of America" is not composed of people who have such immediate access to exotic ingredients that duck feet become mundane. Many of us (millions!) live in places where these types of resources are exciting because it means we can get food we previously couldn't have without traveling to another city. It doesn't make us uninformed, ignorant, or less interested in trying new things. It just means our resources are limited.

So thanks, Ben. I'll be checking out this market this weekend, and I hope you keep writing for SE so I can learn more about good food in Memphis.

A Sandwich a Day: Las Tortugas Oreja de Elefante Torta in Memphis

To clarify: I love barbeque and fried things, but as a recent transplant to the area, I've found it hard to find good food recommendations outside of those two categories. Especially Mexican, so thanks.

A Sandwich a Day: Las Tortugas Oreja de Elefante Torta in Memphis

A SE article about Memphis that doesn't involve BBQ or something fried?? Keep em coming!

Forget Tahini; Make Hummus with Peanut Butter Instead

Genius! The only reason I don't usually make hummus at home is that I never feel like buying tahini. Thank you!

Sauces for Chicken breasts

A classic and great go-to:

Dredge the breasts in flour and saute in a pan with oil. Once they're cooked through take them out of the pan, add minced garlic and/or shallot and 1 cup of liquid - mix of white wine and stock, just stock, stock and water, lemon juice and stock... whatever you've got. Scrape up the brown bits from the pan so they dissolve in the liquid. Reduce by 1/2, add parsley, thyme, or other fresh herbs. Turn off the heat and melt in a bit of butter.

'International Influences on New Orleans Cuisine': NOLA History in Six Courses

There is some fantastic Italian-American food in New Orleans that is totally unique to the city. Whenever people come to town I always tell them to go to a place like Mandina's. I'm still trying to replicate their red gravy.

Bouillon Cubes

Thanks for the comments. I do prefer to make homemade stock, but right now that's just not an option b/c of time (job, kid, house blah blah blah).

So the general consensus seems to be that the cubes are OK for adding salt and a chicken-ey flavor, but if I want to make some broth I should get BBB. Seems like BBB would still be cheaper than boxed or canned, and it lasts longer. After reading your commends I've come to the conclusion that I should think of bouillon cubes as gussied-up instant ramen seasoning packets. I can work with that!

Bouillon Cubes

I have used better than bouillon's chile (chillie? chili?) base a few times and thought it was OK, but I realized that my chile was just fine without it. Going to use the bouillon to make a quick pan sauce with chicken tomorrow so I'll just under-salt in the beginning and taste as I go. That sauce is pretty simple so it will probably give me a good idea of the bouillon's flavor.

Popeyes' New Louisiana Leaux Menu: 'Healthier' Naked Chicken Options

I'm with ekeog and twa1972 - Popeye's red beans are usually pretty good and many people in New Orleans swear by them. Either you got a bad batch or they just don't know how to cook them outside of New Orleans. They are pretty mushed up but that's how a lot of us cook our red beans. Also, their biscuits are reason enough to go there. I once watched a couple get into a serious argument when one stole the other's Popeye's biscuit.

Bottom Shelf Beer: Blue Moon Winter Abbey Ale

This stuff literally made my stomach hurt - and not because I drank too much. My wife said the same thing. You could fill up an empty bottle with Franzia and I'd call it better beer.

SE Staff Picks: Kenji Opts For The Cheese Course

A hunk of Roqeufort with a glass of port is one of my favorite things in the entire world, and I also usually eat that when my wife's away. It doesn't make her sick but she doesn't like it. If we're splurging on fancy cheese we get something we'll both enjoy.

Drinking the Bottom Shelf: Olde Savannah Sweet Tea Wine

This had me laughing out loud in my office. Kind of sad that this stuff is so bad, though. I was thinking of trying it.

Eyewitness Booze Investigation: Mercy Hangover Prevention Drink

In college I worked at a smoothie shop where we had all kinds of additives for the drinks. Two things in particular made the best hangover cure - powdered caffeine and electrolyte powder. Electrolytes are the main "thirst quenching" ingredient in sports drinks and they are what helps you get rehydrated. A healthy dose of that plus the caffeine mixed in a shot of water (it tasted awful) worked wonders. So maybe check out a smoothie shop or health food store to see if they have it.

KitchenAid Grinder Attachment - Yay or Nay? Kenji?

You've probably already seen it but Kenji's meat grinding article is great - http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/06/how-to-buy-use-clean-and-maintain-a-meat-grinder-attachment-recommendations.html

I've never had a problem with my KA, and agree with dbcurrie that it seems like something would have to be seriously wrong with it to be spitting out sludge. I've only had mine 6 months so I'm still a novice, but have gotten great reviews of everything I've made with it so far. The only real con I can think of is finding a place to store it, but that'll depend on your kitchen situation.

Sweet Pea Crostini

Sounds like it would also be tasty if tossed with pasta. Might do it tonight...

Snapshots from New Orleans: Grilled Oysters from Drago's Seafood Restaurant

One of my absolute favorite dishes in town, and one I always recommend to visitors. Even if you don't normally like oysters you will love these, and dipping your bread in the leftover butter is essential (kind of like the sauce at the bottom of a plate of steamed mussels, but with a charred flavor). Drago's has a modified fire truck that they bring to festivals that has a giant grill on the back and beer taps on the side, along with big flat screen TVs all over. I was lucky enough to get into their private tailgating party before the NFC Championship Game in 2010, where they had the truck parked near the Superdome. Free charbroiled oysters & Abita on tap, and the Saints going to the Super Bowl! One of the best days I've ever had!

Sauced: Chimichurri Sauce

Also great if you sub cilantro for the parsley and lemon juice for the vinegar.

A Sandwich a Day: Hot Muffuletta from Napoleon House in New Orleans

@ex_snob: I'm with you, and I'm from New Orleans, still live here, and eat muffalettas all the time.

While you can get them cold, I think most people prefer them warm (not piping hot). Usually if you order one in a sit-down restaurant they will bring it to you warm, and most sandwich shops offer to heat it or just give it to you warm by default. Central Grocery will warm them for you, and often does, but I think they don't offer if it's busy so you have to ask. I also think Napoleon House's muffalettas are overratted - not bad but not worth all the hype. Aside from Central Grocery the best place to get them is Nor-Joe's in Old Metairie. Off the beaten path for many but so, so worth it and not just for the muffalettas.

Food souvenirs from New Orleans?

I live here so I'm not really sure what you can or can't get elswhere, but here are the the things most frequently requested by people who don't live here for us to send to them: Tony Chachere's Seasoning, Roux in a jar (Savoies or Richards), andouille, boudin, Zapp's potato chips, and beignet mix.

For cooking-related stuff I'd suggest Roux Royale at the corner of Royal and Toulouse - kind of touristy but it's all geared towards food and cooking. Lots of aprons, cookbooks, kitchen accessories, etc. For actual food get out of the quarter because you will be overcharged. Go to a local grocery like Dorignac's, Langenstein's or even Rouse's (largest chain in the city, not New Orleans owned but Louisiana owned).

Have fun, the weather will be great this weekend!

Drinking the Bottom Shelf: Old Crow Bourbon

This column is quickly becoming my favorite on SE. Keep them coming, please!

Gatlinburg Area Restaurants

Bummer. At least the place we're staying has a kitchen!

Kale+Pasta+Marinara=Dinner?

I'm at the point in my monthly budget where I'm clearing out the fridge to put together some kind of dinner - an exciting and harrowing time that brings out the best and worst of my creativity.

I've got about a pound of kale and some good quality marinara. Thinking of cooking the kale in the marinara and serving it over pasta. I've never had kale this way and wanted to see if you guys think its a good idea before I subject my wife to it.

Thanks!

Advice on Starting a Small Food-based Business

I'm looking for advice on an idea I've bee throwing around. Here it is:

The town I live in is fairly small, but has an active Saturday farmers market. It is quite popular with locals in the area. Most of the booths are produce, with some crafts worked in, a bakery or two, and a few people selling pickled/jellied things. I am considering getting a booth at the market selling prepared food that people could take home and have for a meal. I would start off with soups (something I know I'm good at and can make in large quantities for cheap) sold in individual and family-sized servings. I'd like cook with produce I bought in the market the week before, making sure that everything is seasonal and local. In the future we could expand to some specialty baked goods, as this is one of my wife's talents. Eventually we could offer other types of foods as well.

Is this something you would purchase at your farmer's market (assuming they taste good of course)? Has anyone tried a similar business?

I'm obviously not trying to make a living off of this, just trying to bring in some extra money doing something I enjoy. Any advice is appreciated!

Stir Fry Without a Wok?

Can I stir fry using a large skillet instead of a wok? I know a wok is preferable because of the shape, but I don't have the space/money for one and I really want to start stir frying if I can. Any tips are appreciated!

Broiler Temps?

I've got a recipe that says to heat my broiler to 500 degrees. My (gas) broiler only has a "High" and "Low" setting, and I have no idea what temps those two cover. So which should I go with?

Some more detail - I'm making broiled tomatoes, and the recipe says to have them about 3 inches from the heat for 10-15 minutes. I'm pretty sure that if I had it on high for that long I'd end up with tomato charcoal, but maybe I'm wrong...

Bouillon Cubes

Like many people I've got a pecking order for my stock and broth preferences - homemade, then the good stuff in a box, then canned. Due to time and money restrictions I just bought some beef and chicken bouillon cubes, even though I've never used them before. Am I taking a step down or are they just as good as store bought boxed or canned stuff? I know it won't be as good as homemade, but sometimes you just gotta make do. I'm hoping they'll at least be better than just adding water to sauces, soups, etc.

Getting to Know Memphis Eats

We just moved to Memphis and are excited to try out a whole new city's worth of restaurants. Anyone have any recommendations, both for specific restaurants and for good websites/publications for learning about the food scene? Don't worry about letting me know about BBQ and Gus's Fried Chicken - we got that!

Trading Gas for Electric

I'm about to move to a house with an electric stove after having gas for the past 10+ years (during which time I learned to cook). It's very unlikely that I'll get a gas stove any time soon because for some reason they are not common in the area I'm moving to. Has anyone else had to deal with this very difficult transition? Any tips or suggestions for handling my soon to be flameless kitchen?

Gatlinburg Area Restaurants

We're taking a trip to the Gatlinburg, TN area in a few weeks and I'm looking for good places to eat, especially a fine dining place or two for dinner. I've heard it can be kind of touristy-cheesy around there, but I'm assuming there's still got to be some good places since it's a fairly popular desination. Any and all recommendations are appreciated.

New Meat Grinder - What to do?

My wife got me a meat grinder attachment for our Kitchenaid mixer for Christmas! I've already made burgers and will have fun perfecting that, and I want to get into sausage making. What else can I do with it? I'm looking forward to experimenting. It also came with the strainer attachment, which we've been using to make fresh juice.

Thyme on my hands

Any fun ideas for what to do with a whole bunch of thyme? Long story short, I have a ton that I never used on Thanksgiving, and want to do something with it .

(sorry about the title, couldn't resist)

Leeks in Stock?

I just saw a recipe for stock that called for leeks to be added, in addition to the typical celery, carrots, and onion. I don't really see the point of doing this. It seems like the more delicate flavor of the leek would be boiled out or covered up by the other flavors, especially since the onion has a similar but much stronger flavor. Am I missing something?

Red Velvet w/o Food Coloring

I'm looking for a red velvet cake recipe that does not use red food coloring. I've always been under the impression that "real" red velvet is made with some other coloring ingredient like condensed tomato soup. I know there's a bit of a debate around this,but it seems like the best red velvet I've had has been the kind made without food coloring. However, I can't find any such recipes. Anyone have one?

Plating Food For Guests?

When I have guests over for dinner, I lay out plates and cutlery, point them to the food (either in serving dishes or still in the cooking dish), and let everyone serve themselves. If I want to be fancy I set the table and bring the serving dishes to the table, but I still let people load up their own plates.

It occurred to me the other day, though, that some people think you aren't having a real dinner party unless you plate the food yourself and serve it up to your guests like in a restaurant. I've seen this sometimes on certain TV shows or in magazines. I don't think I'll ever do that but was curious to see if anyone does. Have you ever plated food for your guests and served it to them individually?

Favorite Cooking Shortcuts?

We've got a new baby at home, and with two working parents our time to prepare a decent meal each night has been drastically cut back from what we were used to pre-baby. Do you have any favorite hints, tips, or shortcuts that cut down on cooking time when you're in a time crunch? We've got some good quick recipes, but I'd like to figure out ways to shorten the cooking time of some of our longer-cooking favorites.

Thanks for any help you can give!

How to pomegranate?

Seeing fresh pomegranates in the store recently has me thinking about trying to do something with them for the first time. I have to admit though that I'm a little bit intimidated by them. How do you get the pomegranate goodness off of the little seeds? Maybe I should just buy one and play with it instead of asking for advice online, but they've always seemed incredibly laborous - like the fruit equivalent of picking bits of chicken meat off a whole carcass. Is there some method I'm not understanding?

Freezable Dishes?

My wife will be having our first baby soon, and I've heard it's a good idea to have a stash of pre-made and frozen dinners ready after the baby's born because we won't have the time or energy to cook for a while. I usually only freeze a handful of the things I make - soups, pasta sauces, lasagna. But a family cannot live on soup and lasagna alone! Can anyone give me other suggestions for dishes that freeze well?

Zucchini Flowers

We've got a large zucchini plant in our garden that is producing lots of flowers, but so far no zucchini. Does anyone have any tips on getting it to produce? Also, I've heard the flowers are edible. What do they taste like and what can I do with them? Are they worth messing with on their own or are they more of a garnish? To me it seems like a case of "just because you can doesn't mean you should," but then again I've never actually eaten them.

Cheap Dinner for Guests?

We're having a few friends over tonight and I'm looking for something dirt cheap to make for four people. One catch - my wife is pregnant and can't stand eating chicken or pork right now. Second catch - it's raining so the grill isn't an option. I've got a pretty good selection of spices, plus some fresh thyme and oregano.

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