indian-chinese food: mystery dish!

dry fried beef or chili beef sounds right-- i can't really name a region, because it was made by the chef of the house i was living in. but i know chindian food was his specialty so that is a good bet-- i'm googling szechuan beef right now!

Sambal Oelek!

@Kerosena-- exactly! I was really surprised, when I went to compare ingredients, to see that sugar is the second ingredient in sriracha (the first ingredient in both is chiles; there's no sugar in sambal apparently).

Sambal Oelek!

@cucumberpandan-- i think indonesia just shot to the top of my list of travel destinations!

What did you eat tonight?

gnocchi bolognese. i've been craving gnocchi and haven't been able to find good ones in my town, so i took matters into my own hands and now have a freezer full of them!

Serious Cooking: What to do with dried chiles?

crush lightly and put in a jar with oil. i keep one jar w/olive oil and just chiles, one with canola oil and szechuan peppercorns and chiles. perfect for starting stir-fries, drizzling on pizza & pasta, hummus, etc.

Questions about zest and gremolatta

any tips on drying the zest?

Nashville Eats?

thanks, stoveye! (i'm a little embarassed; should've done the googling mysef.)

Nashville Eats?

wow, you guys, thanks so much for all the awesome tips! i am going down for a wedding, so i'll have to squeeze a lot of eating into a limited time. but knowing me and my traveling companion, we'll make it work... we've been known to double up on dinners before, and we can do it again.

@stoveye-- is the farmer's market open every day? (and yeah, i'm a southern food fanatic, so while it's not the reason i'm going, it's one of the reasons i'm extra-excited to be going.)

i'll come back next week and report on what we ate.

Weekend Cook and Tell: Sriracha!

my go-to snack these days is brown rice with scallions or green garlic and sriracha. tonight i'm having a tofu-asparagus stir-fry, and you bet there'll be sriracha involved.

Where to eat in SF?

I have to disagree with the person above who suggested Stinking Rose-- I took some friends who were visiting there, and everyone unanimously agreed it was the worse restaurant experience EVER. bad food with expensive prices, and the service was HORRIBLE. i can't even walk past that place without hissing. so i would suggest not going there.

Where to eat in SF?

La Ciccia on Church and 30th. Gialina in Glen Park. Both some of the best italian in the city. Aziza out in the Avenues is amazing high-end Moroccan, great cocktails and decor and the food is fantastic. Cocktails at the Slanted Door-- go around sunset and take your drink outside and grab a table overlooking the water. A16 and SPQR are great but do get crowded and don't (I don't think) take reservations.

I know I should give up _____ (food/drink item), but....

pepperoni pizza (fake pepperoni, ew, but soooo delicious). and i know the OP excluded alcohol, but i gotta mention it, because it seems like all my 'bad' foods-- specifically, anything greasy and coca-cola-- are really only completely irresistible when i'm hungover.

What is your "give up" meal?

roasted broccoli with some spices.
rice or rice sticks with scallions and sriracha.
pasta with garlic and oil and chiles.

Fage and...?

maple syrup is good too. i love to make ground lamb meatballs and serve them with a sauce made from fage thinned with some evoo, lemon and garlic. or saute some bananas in butter and brown sugar and put that on there.

Rusty Cast Iron-- Help!

ketchup?!? you just blew my mind. i can't even understand how/why that would work! can you explain?

Help with Trader Joe's Pizza Dough

oops. i missed the herb part. i only really like the plain.

Bacon grease

calorie-wise, it's the same as olive oil (i was shocked to find this out). in terms of the kind of fat, it's probably worse. i like to use it to grease the pan for cornbread, or to sautee greens like chard (every time i do this my bf asks why they're so delicious... not telling!)

I don't go there, because I can't eat the food

seriously, the ramen salad needs to STOP! first of all, way to take a perfectly good salad and make it both gross and toxic. i'm really not sure anything with ramen in it can properly be called a salad. i lived with a bunch of other grad students last year and ramen salad was frequently served. um, no thanks, i like my salad fresh instead of deep-fried.

Help with Trader Joe's Pizza Dough

I use this all the time and love it. I agree that it's best to let it come up to room temp for about 20 min. then i like to use my hands to stretch it. Crank the oven up hot hot hot so it cooks quickly. Toppings like arugula I would put on after it comes out of the oven. Some of my fave toppings are: sausage fontina and dandelion greens, (i don't cook the sausage first, just crumble it raw onto the crust w/the cheese, this way all the yummy fat runs all over the pizza. if your oven is hot it should cook through; i've never had any problems), cheese w/prosciutto and arugula, chard and pancetta/bacon. calzones are also easy and fun to make!

have a great time!

Question: What to do with 'panini spread'?

@rasellers0: 'panini' is plural; the singular term is 'panino'.

Simple syrup, rimming salt/sugar: which flavors?

thanks for all the great suggestions-- you guys are the best! i love the idea of making ginger ale, but i usually avoid trying out brand-new recipes on other people, and this week is going to be super-busy as it is. maybe i'll whip up a test batch for myself sometime soon, then it can be one of my go-to recipes.

What's the remedy for hating seafood?

fish tacos are great-- load on as much hot sauce, lettuce, etc as you want. i like to saute some tilapia in a pan with either salsa verde or regular salsa (if it's not too chunky) until it's flaky and breaks down, then put it in crispy shells (preferably fry your own) with cabbage, avocado, lettuce, cheese, maybe some mayo (doctored with chipotle and lime). i'm not a fish person myself but i drool just thinking about these.

Best Find from Trader Joes?

i second the pizza dough. if you bring it up to room temp and crank the oven to 500 for about 20 minutes, you can get a damn good pizza out of it. also at $1 i can afford to buy an extra in case i mess one up.

no one's mentioned the frozen chicken taquitos... i cannot walk out of TJs without a package. they are strangely addictive.

He said, 'Broccoli is the anchovy of vegetables'

hard boiled eggs. they disgust me. i hate the smell, the texture and the taste. i can barely stand to watch someone else eat them. other kinds of egg are okay, though. i think this is the only food i feel so strongly about.

Soaking Dried Beans: How long is too long?

Thanks guys! I ended up rinsing, cooking and eating them with couscous and merguez. They tasted fine and so far, no digestive issues.

I think next time I will use the boil & soak method...

help: finding apple cider in Scotland

For the past few thanksgivings, the Fall Classic (a delicious cocktail made with apple cider, bourbon, and thyme simple syrup-- you can find the recipe on SE) has been a menu staple. But this year I'm living in Scotland and having trouble finding (American-style) apple cider-- not the alcoholic stuff, which they have here in abundance, but traditional non-alcoholic cider. Any suggestions for where to find it or, failing that, what might make for an acceptable substitute? I really want to keep one of my favorite thanksgiving traditions intact! Thanks!

DIY Baking Mixes

I love baking but sometimes I just don't have it in me to measure out all the dry ingredients. So I've been thinking about putting together some pre-bagged baking mixes and that way, when I want to make, e.g., biscuits (as I am likely to want to do as shortcake season approaches!) I can just pull out the mix and add in my wet ingredients. Has anyone else done this? How long can I expect the mixes to remain good for (i.e. will they go stale)? Can I double up the recipes and make several batches of mix at once, or is it best to mix the ingredients for one recipe (i.e. one batch of biscuits, or loaf of cornbread) at a time? Are some recipes more conducive to this than others? Recipe suggestions? Thanks guys!

indian-chinese food: mystery dish!

I'm trying to track down a recipe for a dish I used to eat regularly like 18 years ago when I spent some time in India. I'm pretty sure it was Indian-Chinese style food. It was some kind of beef stir-fried with peppers, but the beef was very dry, almost stringy. There wasn't really a sauce-- the dish was very dry overall. Doesn't sound that tasty but as far as I can remember it was delicious. I'd love to make it again but all the recipes I come across seem to be for a much saucier dish-- more the consistency of curry. Which is not what I'm after at all. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? Recipes or even techniques would be greatly appreciated...

Sambal Oelek!

Sriracha's been getting a lot of love lately, but I have to confess-- I think I like the flavor and heat of Sambal Oelek even better! (I'm currently eating dinner consisting of cucumbers drizzled with rice vinegar and S.O., and brown rice with a healthy dollop of same.)

Any other Sambal Oelek lovers out there? I'd be curious to hear how people use it, and whether they use it interchangeably with Sriracha or differently-- and if you treat them differently, why?

Throwing a BBQ on the cheap

the title pretty much sums it up-- i'm throwing a last-minute bbq this weekend, and am looking for recommendations for cheap cuts of meat that i can grill over charcoal, and some sides (for drinks, i'll probably go cheap beer and/or sangria).

i know there was just a weekend round-up about cheap 'off-cuts' of meat, which got me thinking about tri-tip, but i'd like to go even cheaper if possible-- and the charcoal grilling part is non-negotiable-- this whole shindig is more or less an excuse to break out the weber!

Nashville Eats?

i'm heading to nashville this weekend and wondering what/where i should be eating (or where i shouldn't be eating, for that matter). we'll be staying downtown around union station, so stuff within walking distance of there would be great. also we won't be getting in till about ten the first night, so if anyone could suggest places that serve food till late, that would be especially appreciated. recommendations for good drinking spots are also welcomed. finally, i'm a very poor grad student, so the cheaper the eats/drinks, the better. thanks!

Rusty Cast Iron-- Help!

I have a wonderful cast iron dutch oven that I got at a yard sale last year for $20. It was already seasoned when i got it, and I usually just wipe it out to clean it. But I've been lazy recently, and forgot to clean it. Now there's a fair bit of what I assume is rust-- it's definitely rust-colored build-up. Shame on me, I know-- I feel like I've let the pot down!

I've tried tackling it with steel wool and Brillo (assuming I'll have to re-season it afterwards) but it's not working very well, and it's slow going and I'm lazy! (I know, pathetic, right?)

So my question is, does anyone have any tips/shortcuts/advice on removing the build-up? Like I said, it's mostly on the inside of the lid (which has all these grooves etc, making the whole thing even more annoying).

Simple syrup, rimming salt/sugar: which flavors?

I'm going to Chicago next weekend and crashing on a friend's couch. I'd like to bring some kind of hostess gift, but I'm dead broke (and my friend is most definitely not). He's really into cocktails, so I was thinking of doing some flavored simple syrups for mixing drinks and some salts or sugars for rimming cocktail glasses. (We're having a cocktail party while I'm there.) I loved the recent post on tangerine salt, and I like the idea of ginger syrup, but I'm looking for more ideas. Serious drinkers, what flavors of simple syrup would you like to play bartender with?

Also, what's your ideal water/sugar ratio for making simple syrup? I don't want it to be too sweet, so I'm thinking 1.5/1. What do you think?

Soaking Dried Beans: How long is too long?

I've been inspired by past threads on SE to start buying dried, rather than canned, beans. Most everyone says to soak them overnight. Last night I put a pot of dried chickpeas on the stove to soak; this morning I woke up, forgot all about them, and went to school. When I got home and looked in the pot, there was spotty white foam all over the top of the water (it looked a bit like mold, but hard to say). All told, they were probably soaking on my stovetop for about 18 hours. Is this bad? Should I have put them in the fridge? If I eat them will something horrible happen to me? I'm a (very poor) grad student, so I really hate to throw out food, and I want to understand what I did wrong. Help?!

Serious Efforts: Liqueur-Flavored Marshmallows

This is my first post, and I hope it fits into the 'serious efforts' category. (If not, I apologize.) I recently came across a hot chocolate drink on a restaurant menu that was topped with Bailey's flavored marshmallows, and I really really want to make it at home. I'm familiar with the basic marshmallow recipe, and with variations that substitute an extract such as rum or peppermint for the vanilla, but I suspect I'll need more than a teaspoon of Bailey's to get the flavor to come through. My question is, can I substitute Bailey's for some of the water? If so, should I put it in the gelatin bloom or in the sugar syrup? Any suggestions would be most welcome!

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