Latest Comments

Spicy Margarita recipe

Try infusing a Jalapeño into your tequila - split a jalapeño and put it in the bottle of tequila (I like reposados for this) and let it sit for a day, then take out the jalapeño - a bit of spice in your base and then you can add whatever fruits you want to the basic margarita of tequila, cointreau, and lime juice.

Hoja Santa

Kalustyan's sells them, and I'm pretty sure they have an online shop. I've occasionally found them in bags along side dried chiles, sometimes called hierba santa or yerba santa as well.

Drink the Book: Cocktail Techniques by Kazuo Uyeda

My first true cocktail love was the Aviation, deceptively simple but oh so intriguing, and still, probably, my all time favorite.

But my new fave may be a cocktail called the One One One from Death & Co. that is gin, aquavit, and vermouth blanc with a dash of orange bitters. Crystal clear and with amazing depth and complexity.

Best Places to Eat Near NYU

Absolutely Num Pang - that place is awesome, the catfish is fantastic, as is the pork and steak

Taïm for amazing falafel isn't too far either

how to get my pretzels more crusty and pretzel-y

How long are you leaving them in the soda bath? It sounds like you probably need to let them sit longer. I've been experimenting with soft pretzels quite a bit, and have found that 1) lye isn't worth it for the trouble and 2) egg only makes it glossy, but doesn't affect the chew.

That being said, on times I've tried to make smaller pretzels, I tend to not let them boil long enough in the soda bath and they don't get the right chew.

Keep trying, 'cause when they do turn out well, they're really really fantastic.

tamale question

I second this - Maseca is good, but I find it always needs a lot more water than what it calls for on the bag.

You may also try adding some lard to the mix, it's pretty traditional for tamale masa and can help it to be softer and richer once you cook it as well.

Where can I buy squab?

Sometimes Dickson's Farmstand in the Chelsea Market has Squab - not sure if they would before Thanksgiving, but it's worth a try - plus that place is just awesome and they might have another option for you that would work.


I don't have them myself, but a good friend of mine has the full flavor spectrum (and an assortment of various OK soda cans) - ahhh the weird 90's drink crazes ;)

Another Question About Fresh Pasta

I don't cook it first, it cooks so quickly anyway, and the added starch makes for a really beautiful lasagne. The noodles are more flavorful too as they're only soaking up sauce.

Side Suggestions for Curry Dish?

When I'm making Indian food I'll often do this Madhur Jaffrey recipe for Chickpeas Cooked in Tea - it's really simple and looks different, and is very tasty - here's a link to a Google Book Result for it, hopefully this works - although something cool and creamy sounds nice too - maybe a Raita of some sort would be nice too?

Pickling salt question

You can also use kosher salt, but you need to use slightly more of it, as pickling salt is a smaller crystal :

Pasta machine?

I'll second the Atlas recommendation - I don't have room for a KitchenAid, but I use my Atlas all the time, and I've had it for Years - although I think the attachments are probably a waste for it, just get it rolled thin and you can cut it how you want.

As dbcurrie said though, it does feel like you need a 3rd hand, but it's definitely doable.

Serious Heat: Sriracha and Peanut Butter, and Other Odd Spicy Combos

Yes.. absolutely heat and PB - my personal favorite is Peanut Butter with Sambal Olek, I eat it on these puffed spelt crackers and it's incredibly addicting.

As someone that doesn't really like sweet snacks this sort of hits all the right notes for me, hot, salty, just a little bit sweet, and also really filling.

Looking for a simple food processor sauce

I've made this Jose Andres Romesco Sauce in a food processor and it's pretty great. Nice on seafood and steak, and keeps for a long time too.

Scooped: Brown Ale and Buckwheat Honey Ice Cream

This sounds absolutely fantastic - any tips on where to find the buckwheat honey? do any of the purveyors at the Union Square market sell it?

Other uses for pepper jelly?

I second the sandwich idea - there's a cheese shop by me that does only one sandwich a day: a cured meat, a cheese, and some type of spread all on a baguette. My favorite ones are always the ones with pepper jelly - usually a pretty funky cheese that's beautifully offset by the heat and sweet of the jelly..

Searching for Alum in NYC

Ha, @seriousb - I actually have culinary lime that I bought a long time ago for making fresh masa, still haven't brought myself to use it though... I should get on that :)

I'm actually pretty surprised I haven't found it either where i bought the canning jars or at any of the grocery stores that have tons of McCormick stuff.. and with the resurgence of people making their own, well, it's a missed niche market! (especially in Williamsburg where I am)

May try a batch with the Lime and let y'all know how it turns out.

Searching for Alum in NYC

Thanks Alaina, I'll give them a try - don't know why I always forget about them.

Good onion rings?

My favorites are at DuMont Burger on Bedford in Williamsburg, well balanced onion to batter, although a bit on the big side. They're really good.

what's your new thing?

I can't stop making ceviche! I've been making some 2-3 time/week. It seems to be all I want in what has been a ridiculously hot NY summer

Recipe Search- Mint Chutney

@CJ happy to help! hope you find something that hits that taste memory : )

Recipe Search- Mint Chutney

One of my favorite Chutneys sounds really similar, and comes out of an old betty crocker international cookbook that I grew up with.

1 cup cilantro
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons mint leaves
1 tsp. chopped ginger
1 jalapeño (although I usually put in 2-3)
1/2 an onion
salt, pepper

blend this all together in a blender until very smooth.

I bet you could play around with the proportions of cilantro to mint (this one is referred to as cilantro chutney) and up the heat level, and it will probably get you pretty close.

Garlic and Onion Powders: Recipe Red Flags or Tasty Short Cuts?

I think it depends on the context. The Thomas Keller fried chicken recipe (which is excellent) uses both mixed in with the flour dredge. Obviously fresh garlic and onion wouldn't mix too well with dry flour.

Dinner Tonight: Spaghetti with Crab, Chile, and Mint

@missvenuz he did!

I made something very similar inspired by it a couple weeks ago, and it was really delicious. The chile and mint play well with the sweetness of the crab, and I love the idea of adding shallot.

Raw onion/garlic/shallot substitute?

Can you eat them pickled? I've found that letting the raw onion soak in vinegar and salt (or lime juice for quacamole) helps really cut down or even eliminate the sensitivity. Even 15 minutes in lime juice will drastically change the onion (think ceviche). I used to have to leave onions out of my guacamole for a friend that can't handle raw red onions, and since I started doing this it's no longer a problem.

If you like the taste, but just can't handle them, give it a try.