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Brighton, MA: The Proper Slice

Please learn the difference between "course" and "coarse."

What's essential for spanish rice?

Agree with erin. I tried terribly hard to make the kind in every Mexican restaurant here in Texas and failed miserably until a good friend (may her name be remembered) told me that one of her Latina coworkers told her just to dump in a bit of Knorr's chicken and tomato buillion. Throw in a few peas and diced carrots if you like.

Road Trip: Kolaches at Rao's Bakery in Beaumont, Texas

Homesick Texan has a good recipe in her archives. I've made it, and while my kolaches weren't quite up to Czech Stop or Kolachek (a little farther into West) standards, they were quite respectable and not difficult.

Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Watermelons?

There is a Georgia Rattlesnake (called so for its markings) melon, but not, so far as I can discover, a "Georgia Rattlesnack."

Where has all the Clam Dip Gone?

A good recipe (I sometimes add some minced pickled jalapeno) from Fiery Appetizers:

4 green chiles, skinned & chopped (canned are fine)
1 TB prepared horseradish
1 6&1/2 oz can minced clams, drained (reserve liquid)
1 8-oz package cream cheese
1 small onion, minced
2 TB finely chopped fresh parsley

Combine all ingredients. Add enough clam juice to make mixture smooth. Allow to sit at least 1&1/2 hour to blend flavors.

NYC: Pulino's Bar and Pizzeria

@ Nick Solares
I think you mean "exalted" rather than "exulted."
Terminal English major.

Dinner Tonight: Chipped Beef Gravy

I'm rather fond of it. My dad, having been in the army, would never eat it himself, but it was a popular lunch special at his first restaurant. I love what Nika Hazelton adds to her recipe: "If avid for a less stark dish, add about 1 cup sauteed sliced mushrooms and/or 2-3 tablespoons sherry, or season with a dash of ground nutmeg or mace."

My mom's meatloaf is better than yours...

@MaresyDotes--Oh ick! I'll happily leave it to the birdfriends. They need it, especially in the winter. Paula does not; nor do I.

Manhattan: Fanelli's Cafe (Yes, It Serves Pizza)

Nick--In last graf, I think you mean "exalted" rather than "exulted." It sounds as though there's little for this pizza to celebrate.

My mom's meatloaf is better than yours...

One of the very few Hints From Heloise that I have remembered over the years is to bake the meatloaf not in a loaf pan but on a baking sheet or in a pie plate with a couple of slices of bread underneath the meat. The bread soaks up the grease and the suety "trencher" makes the neighborhood birds very happy.

Just watched a gentleman eat roadkill...

I wondered the same thing. Love Hiaasen.

What makes a "chili" a "chili"?

I'm a sixth-generation Texan and am quite picky about chopping one's own meat (must be trimmed VERY lean & NO ground beef or "chili grind" will do) and about not using commercial chili powder (though if you must, Gebhardt's is the best) --a combination of ground pure chiles (pick your hotness level and store in freezer), comino, and Mexican oregano, plus salt, garlic, onion, etc. is better. Also, beer will do wonders to round the flavor.

Heretically, I do not regard beans as anathema unless they are kidney beans. I often add my spicy pintos.

Mayonnaise in Your Chocolate Cake?

Works fine. I've used the recipe in The American Century Cookbook (maybe a reprise of a Depression rec.?--anyway, good).

Ridiculous kitchen gadgets

I would have said that that I had wrongly located the apostrophe--should be "Chefs'" for plural possessive, but I just looked and it seems to be altogether missing from the name of the catalogue. So much for exactitude.

Ridiculous kitchen gadgets


If the pineapple slicer is one of those two-part thingies (you slice off the top of the p, stick the toothed part on top, and crank the handle part round and round), it's great. I would never pay what they're going for in the Chef's catalogue ($20+), but my mother and I each scored one for $6 at a warehouse sale several years ago, and free is even better. If you want slices, it's great--very quick and it gets ALL the eyes. It is a unitasker, but it has made me much more willing to deal with pineapples.

Lamb and Rosemary Brochettes with Apricot Crème Fraîche

Made this tonight (although I had to use sour cream for the sauce b/c that was what I had). It was delicious. I highly recommend.

Hot Dog Of The Week: Zweigle's

@Hawk Krall

Glad I could contribute slightly to your mavenitude. I greatly enjoy your posts and hope you make it to the Coney someday. Best to be driving through the Panhandle in the morning of a wet (relatively speaking) spring. Otherwise, you'll understand only too well the punchline of the joke about how God thought he'd keep Hell and rent out Texas.

Hot Dog Of The Week: Zweigle's

Harking back to the "Texas" hot dog: I am from a small town in the Texas Panhandle and grew up on a version of these. They came (and still come) from an appropriately long and skinny little space called The Coney Island and opened in the thirties by a Greek immigrant. His sons ran it all the while--and long after--I was growing up and it is now owned by a former schoolmate of mine who waitressed there for years. The original had mustard, a thin "chili", and onions (as did the ham sandwiches). Nowadays, one can have cheese also, though this was not an option in my youth. In the unlikely event that you ever find yourself in Pampa, don't miss the Coney, where nothing is ever written down and the pies are to die for.

Onion soup mix

Do you ever make the quick dill bread with cottage cheese (there are a gazillion recipes in cookbooks and online)? One version I've made calls for a couple of Tbs. of onion soup mix insteat of the minced onion and it's actually quite good. You'll have some left over, but just roll up the envelope tightly; as thehostess says, it won't go bad.

Taking Nominations: Funniest SEer of the Year

Salpico--I have taught the Checkers speech for years (for material fallacies--what is unethical, but alas, effective). Loved your pastiche.

Eat for Eight Bucks: Black-Eyed Peas and Greens

As a Southerner, I've been eating blackeyed peas on NYD forever, though I could use a bit more luck lately. The combination of rice with the peas (some people cook together--I don't) is called Hoppin' John. Traditionally served with cabbage--the peas are for luck in general and the cabbage for money.

The story I've heard about the luck of the peas is that after Sherman went through Georgia, among the few things left to eat were the black-eyed peas still in the fields--the Yankees, being unfamiliar with them, took them for cattle fodder and left them alone. I don't vouch for this story, but it is the tale that I heard told. But they are definitely nutritious food for hard times.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Zingerman's Praise the Lard Gift Box

I'm a Texan who loves barbecued brisket. But many years ago a friend and I hosted a huge party whose central feature was Memphis-style barbecue--85 pounds of pork shoulder painstakingly cooked all day. Utterly delicious.