Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by hazardnc

  1. I find the "no caffeine" thing so interesting. When I was pregnant the first time (20 years ago), a middle-aged co-worker told me flatly "my mother spent her entire pregnancy sitting at the kitchen table, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes."

    I will admit - the guy was weird...... :raz:

  2. I had just posted with my lame suggestion when I realized that all I had in the fridge (besides a fourth straight day of ham) was  . . . chicken. So I made this:
    Chicken Frarej is what we're having tonight - it's been a favorite of ours since the recipe first appeared in the Dallas Morning News in 1988:

    1 chicken, quartered

    2 potatoes, cleaned and cut into large chunks

    3 or 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-3 inch slices (we add more)

    3 - 4 cloves of garlic

    2 lemons

    2 tomatoes, quartered (we omit these in the winter)

    . . . . .

    I used four thighs instead of a cut-up whole, and for color, I added some blanched asparagus with the lemon. It was very tasty, and a loaf of crusty bread helped us sop up the pan juices. It was also gorgeous:


    That looks delicious! We too used all thighs since that's what I had in the freezer. I have never added asparagus, but will try that since I love oven roasted asparagus.

  3. I can't imagine anything you eat while the baby is in the womb will affect his or her future food likes and dislikes. It is the blood in the placenta that provides nourishment in the womb.

    As for breast milk - an entirely different matter. Early in my daughter's life (she was days old), I had a big meal of spaghetti and garlic bread. She ended up crying all night long - screaming in fact. The pediatrician said the breast milk probably had lots of garlic which may have given her gas. Your diet definitely impacts breast milk! Maybe I should have eaten a bunch of parsley after the spaghetti.

    If you all promise not to throw stones at me - I breast fed both of my kids, but not for that long. I managed for one month with my daughter, but I produced far more milk than she could ingest and I spent much time engorged and in pain. I gave up and resorted to bottles. I breast fed my son for two months, but had to bail after I tried pumping milk at the office. I leaked all over my suit, even with the breast pads. It just didn't work for me. Neither of my kids have food allergies, even though their dad was once allergic to strawberries and eggplant (he outgrew them).

    On the flip side, my sister-in-law breast fed her daughter for nearly three years :shock: The poor child is 16 and was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis when she was 7, asthma when she was 10 and scoliosis at 14.

  4. Chicken Frarej is what we're having tonight - it's been a favorite of ours since the recipe first appeared in the Dallas Morning News in 1988:

    1 chicken, quartered

    2 potatoes, cleaned and cut into large chunks

    3 or 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-3 inch slices (we add more)

    3 - 4 cloves of garlic

    2 lemons

    2 tomatoes, quartered (we omit these in the winter)

    Preheat oven to 775 or 500 degrees if it will get that hot). Wash and dry chicken. Place in a large baking pan, season with salt and pepper, then add potatoes and carrots to the pan, drizzle all with olive oil. Rub oil in to coat. Put the pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until skin is golden brown and juices run clear.

    Meanwhile, peel and mash garlic and place in a small bowl. Juice the two lemons, measure the juice then add an equal amount of olive oil and mix with the garlic, stirring well.

    Add tomatoes to the pan (if using), and pour in the lemon juice-olive oil mixture, coating all the ingredients. Return the pan to the oven for 5 minutes to heat through. Serves 2-3.

    The marinade is wonderful and with the pan juices, is excellent served over the roasted potatoes. The carrots caramelize - yum! We have added cauliflower in the past as well.

    BTW - expect a smoky kitchen and a dirty oven in the end!

  5. I was once a sorority girl who lived in the house and I am now a mother of a college student who lives on campus and works for dining services at an all-women's college that receives high marks for "best Campus food" by the Princeton Review.

    Back in my day, poor Ms. G (the house mom) had to plan the menus and keep us on a strict budget (we weren't rich girls!). I was ALWAYS on a diet, and therefore avoided most of the meals as they were heavy on the starch, even though our houseboys were the cutest things from Phi Gamma Delta!. My go-to meals always involved soup and salads.

    I love your idea of a daily soup and an jealous your diners have the omnipresent salad bar. Today's college kids are more adventurous than you would think. Hummus, falafel, sushi (think California roll) are familiar foods to these kids. Ditto for goat cheese, mesclun mix, pine nuts, pesto and the like. When it comes to proteins, most will still avoid fish, but mainly because it so often turns out plain bad when cooked for a large crowd. International food night (especially Indian and Thai food) is very popular. There are many kids at my daughter's school that come from Asian and African counties, so the cafeteria has regular offerings of International dishes to remind them of home. I don't know if your soroity girls will be diverse (my house was decidedly not), but quesadillas, taco salad, tacos, chicken fajitas go over well for everyone. Stir-fries are big - even with tofu!

    For the salad bar, a variety of greens (arugula, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, field), crunchy veggies, low-fat dressings and simple vinaigrettes, nuts (pine nuts, sunflower seeds, pecans) crumbled cheeses (goat cheese, blue, cheddar). It's very "in" these days for colleges to go local as much as possible, so if you can get away from Sysco on the fresh produce, all the better.

    For soups, I'd think Soup Nazi and try to offer a meatless and a "With meat" option if possible. Beer cheese soup, corn chowder, tomato bisque, black bean, minestrone, mushroom, lentil...

    On comfort food nights, think of what you missed from home - good mashed potatoes, rolls, mac-n-cheese, meat loaf, spaghetti, chocolate pudding. Sweet potato fries are popular. My daughter's favorite meal at school is their Thanksgivig dinner with turkey and all the trimmings and from what I hear, no one misses that. For brunch, hash browns, sausage (turkey sausage), muffins, fruit and yogurt and granola, pancakes and muffins as well as soups and sandwiches.

    My daughter's school has a recipe contest at the beginning of the year, and the winning dishes are incorporated into the menu.

  6. I am so glad this thread exists, since I began wondering the same thing after seeing the Rick Bayless Avocado Scooper in the Sur La Table catalog. Add to the list the Rick Bayless Masher, the avocao masher and slicer/pitter at William Sonoma (have people never figured out how to peel and pit an avocado with a plain old knife?) the tomato knife, the Calphalon deseeder, any egg slicer, bagel cutter, and the asparagus peeler/tongs!

    Remember the old hot dog cookers that are like pop up toasters? If you eat so many hot dogs you really need one of these things, I want to know your cholesterol count!

  7. I have made the quiche several times using the pastry ring, and luckily, I've never had a leak. I have to say, however, that on at least two occassions, I screwed up and put in both cups of flour before adding the butter, and I personally have found the dough is easier to work with in the end.

    Every time I make the quiche, my SO makes Keller's Bibb lettuce salad. This is a perfect foil to the richness of the quiche - try it!

  8. Thanks for the suggestion. My question is that I don't know what kind of fat content I have in the true buttermilk I have now. Can I use it as a straight substitution for the cultured buttermilk in those recipes? The ice cream won't have a tang from it, I suppose. I guess it's time to experiment?

  9. I made the butter featured in the Times mag article today with 3 pints of Horizon organic heavy cream (cost $12 for all three), and ended up with about 1 pound 5 ounces of butter and 3 cups of buttermilk.

    The Times article's vichyssoise recipe sounds good, but I think I would prefer to make peach ice cream from the incredible South Carolina peaches we are getting. How do I substitute my uncultered buttermilk in an ice cream recipe?

  10. Some great ideas here! Need to bookmark this thread.  :biggrin:

    Of course, though, the first thing I thought of when I read the thread title is that the packages make great icepacks. . . :hmmm:

    :biggrin: I was going to say that too! Frozen peas are the go-to veggie when I need to ice an injury!

    Has anyone mentioned fried rice?

  11. Wow - thanks to you both.

    Busboy, I have just skimmed your Athens and Crete pages.  Again - WOW!  We will be spending time Crete and have somewhat regretted all along not just sticking to Crete and skipping the other islands, but this is a first (and hopefully not LAST) trip to Greece.  I have already found the villa to rent - now I just need to start saving up the funds.

    I will carefully read through your Athens suggestions - we are so looking forward to this!

    Boy, if you're getting a villa and have access to cooking facilities, I strongly urge you to find a nearby fish market. The stuff I saw there was incredible. Also: sea urchins. Get yourself a bunch and eat them fresh.

    Do any restaurants serve sea urchins? Since I won't be getting the villas this year, I can't buy them from the market and cook them myself.

    Speaking of fish markets - the one in Venice was truly spectacular as well. I always swore I'd go back to Venice and rent an apartment just so I could cook the fish. To be honest, that was about the only thing I liked about Venice!

  12. Wow - thanks to you both.

    Busboy, I have just skimmed your Athens and Crete pages. Again - WOW! We will be spending time Crete and have somewhat regretted all along not just sticking to Crete and skipping the other islands, but this is a first (and hopefully not LAST) trip to Greece. I have already found the villa to rent - now I just need to start saving up the funds.

    I will carefully read through your Athens suggestions - we are so looking forward to this!

  13. I will soon be traveling to Crete, Santorini, Milos, sifnos and Athens. I know Santorini has some decent wines, but what about everywhere else? Luckily, the spouse actually likes restina, but I am not so fond. I hope you oenophiles have some suggestions.

  14. Well, it's been more than 15 years since I've eaten at Dusty's, so a decline is perhaps expected! And as a native Texan new to Atlanta, my taste in pork barbecue was not to be trusted!

    Bill Jagger had a goldmine when I was working there - back in the mid-80's. I too am surprised nothing can survive in that strip given the proximity to Emory. Where do the kids go out for food? Didn't there used to be a place called Lullwaters or something like that too?

  15. Yes - sorry! I should have posted sooner.

    Let me qualify this by saying I am no food critic, so please accept my humble descriptions. My husband and I do love good food - I just can't write about it very well.

    We had our first dinner at Cordavi. Our reservations were for 7:45. When we arrived, we were asked to wait in the bar as they were working two large parties and the kitchen was a bit behind with the food orders. Since we were offered free cocktails, we didn't mind. After being seated, we were offered an amuse bouche of portobello foam. The foam had a deep mushroom flavor and excellent texture. Think essence of mushroom. Light and delicious.

    For starters, I had the seared sonoma foie gras with french toast, sauterne sorbet and blackberry gastrique. The foie was perfectly cooked and the sauterne sorbet was the perfect foil to the rich fattiness of the liver. My husband had glazed kumamoto oysters with melted leeks and american caviar. This was truly delicious, with tiny oysters nestled in a bed of leeks.

    For mains, I had the sous-vide of lamb with cassoulet of mixed beans and braised lamb. The texture was excellent and I loved the "cassoulet" of beans, but I will say overall this dish was a bit too salty for me. When I was mentioning this to my husband, the waitress overheard and asked if I would like to send it back. I almost never send a dish back (it has to be pretty darned bad) and given that I think I am "salt sensitive" I thanked her but said no. My husband had moullard duck breast with tomato confit, foie gras and honshemenji mushrooms. The duck was also cooked to perfection, but there was no "wow" factor here. The foie gras was a teeny piece - one very small bite's worth, which is okay by the husband (not a foie fan) but I hope that's not what drove the price to $30.

    A couple next to us tried the sonoma foie gras torchon with sauterne jelly on blackberry fluid gel. The gentleman mentioned he had never seen torchon on any menu in Charlotte and so he had to try it. He described it as one of the best things he's ever eaten in his life.

    Service at Cordavi was excellent and we got a fabulous wine suggestion from our waitress - wish I could remember what it was! Bottom line I recommend the place and I would definitely return.

    Lunch the next day was at Justines. We've been here once before and thought it was fine. I was in the mood for a veggie plate (greens, mac-n-cheese, etc) and rather than drive over to some of the more respected places for soul food, we thought we'd return. All I can say is BLAH. Service was extemely slow, they give you honey butter for your cornbread (I can't stand this - why do people do this?) and the fried chicken was severely overcooked. Why folks wait in line for this place is beyond me.

    In our strolls around the area, we found a new place called La Forchette (on King Street not far from John St). The menu looked enticing because one of their signature dishes is pommes frittes cooked in DUCK FAT! We decided to give them a shot. Luckily, given that it was a Friday, we were still able to snag reservations for 7:30 when we called at 4 PM.

    The atmosphere at Forchette is very Paris bistro - brick walls, cafe tables with bentwood chairs, etc. I had a delicious cream of cauliflower soup that came to the table hot (so rare these days) while the hubby had an app of those famous frittes. They were perfect - crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and hot. And the portion was huge - it would have served 4 easily. For mains we had the moules frittes (for me - and I didn't need any more frittes) and bouillabaisse. The former were actually very good due to the huge amount of garlic in the broth try diping those frittes in there! The latter was so-so. Presentation is awkward. They bring it to the table in a Le Crueset cassrole with a side of the aioli. No ladle is provided - just a big spoon to scoop it into the bowl. The soup was loaded with nice chunks of monkfish and several shrimp, but not much else, while another table got more shellfish in their dish. It wasn't bad - just not great.

    Dessert was profiteroles with ice cream and chocolate sauce. The sauce was wonderful - I don't know what kind of chocolate was used, but it was rich and thick. The profiteroles tasted as if they'd been made and frozen. But I still ate everything :biggrin:

    The oddest thing about Forchette is probably the owner. He appears to be a crazy Frenchman who micromanages the place. He stood at the bar, drinking wine, checking his watch and anxiously watching the door for patrons to arrive. I woud describe him as outright hyper. Twice I saw him call people who had reserved tables but were no-shows. I can understand that, however, since it's a small space and empty tables means no money. What I did not like was when he informed a woman and her two kids who walked in without reservations that he had no room for them that night, then promptly went out to the sidewalk to hawk his restaurant to passersby and actually convince 4 people to come in. I guess the mom of two didn't look like the kind of patron he was after. La Forchette either has a limited liquor license or they can't figure out what to stock. My husband wanted an after dinner brandy. No bandy, but they had port and Baileys Irish Creme. They can make gin and tonics but not martinis? Maybe they didn't have any vermouth?

    Would all of this keep me from going bac? Porbably not - the fries are that good :wub:

  16. I had to read this thread out of curiosity. I left Atlanta 15 years ago, and many of my favorite spots are still around. The Collonade, Atkins Park (did they change hands?), Mary Macs, Harolds, Highland Tap...is Woody's still around? I seem to recall they make a mean cheese steak. I also used to love Dusty's BBQ - but mostly I loved their Brunswick Stew. I used to sling pizzas at Jaggers, but I heard Bill sold out - too bad, b/c they made a very unique pizza crust that I adored.

  17. Ach! Herlockers is the place I was thinking of - can't believe I missed it before it closed.

    Thanks for the other tips. I have always meant to explore Statesville. Wish there was something good in Salisbury too, b/c that's a cute little town.

    Snappy Lunch and Mount Airy are going on my summer "must see" list!

  18. Thanks, Kathy. My daughter attended Northwest School of the Arts which is on Beatties Ford and I know the UHoP there. In fact, the teachers often get lunches to go from that location.

    You should know the answer to this one - isn't there some great old fashioned burger joint in the Concord area? I seem to remember reading about a local drive-in up there that I would like to try myself someday.

    This thread made me think of some southern-style restaurants around the state that are not bad day-trips from Charlotte.

    First, there's Tony's in Gastonia for an old-fashioned soda shop experience. Here, you can get grilled cheese sandwishes, burgers with pimiento cheese, fried bologna and darned good milk shakes that you need to eat with a spoon they are so thick.

    In Spartanburg, SC there is the The Beacon Drive-In, which is the closest thing to the Varsity in Atlanta you can get around here that I know of. They make banana splits the size of your head here!

    In Tryon, NC (about 1 1/2 hours from Charlotte) there is the Caro-Mi restaurant where they serve food family style. You pick your meat (mountain trout, country ham, fried chicken) and they bring bowls of veggies for the table to share. There are rocking chairs on the porch overlooking the Pacolet river. I haven't been here in years, but I sure did like the place. It kind of reminded me of the Loveless Motel in Nashville. Tryon is a charming town, known as horse country. The Tryon Garden club manages a great, short walking trail leading to the head of Pearson's Falls. Mizducky, if your sister and kids have not yet seen any North Carolina waterfalls, this is easy to get to and easy to see. The hike is only 1/4 of a mile long and easy.

    Bridges Barbecue in Shelby - love their hushpuppies too! The location on 74 is the one I always visit.

    One place that has been on my list for years is the Snappy Lunch in Mount Airy (the inspiration for Mayberry, RFD). They are know for their pork chop sandwich which Jan and Michael Stern reviewed in Gourmet probably 10 years ago. This place is on my list of places to see before I die! Sadly, Mount Airy is over 2 hours from Charlotte, so it's not a good day trip unless you're really craving that sandwich!

  19. Thanks for the tips on Sifnos. I am sorry to learn (from reading guide books) that we will miss the traditional Sunday chickpea soup cooked in clay pots. Our ferry leaves on Sunday.

    I would love more tips on Milos, Crete and Santorini if they are out there. I am very excited about Crete and wish I had more time there. Come on fellow travelers and egulleteers! Whet my appetite

  20. I haven't tried the Granville, but we have eaten at the Bookstore Cafe many times - they have a wonderful breakfast! This trip, in addition to Cordiva, we are returning to Fleet's Landing. The Fried Green Tomato Crab Salad stack is a true taste sensation, and if the weather's good, I'm sitting on the deck and watching the boats. Does anyone know if Bowen's Island is open again?

  21. Brent, Where is Down to the Bone? And you reminded me anout UHoP - I have been hearing about them for years and need to get there. Back in the day, we could go to McDonald's Cafeteria for soul food, but I have heard UHoP is a worthy sub.

  22. Foodiehall, sorry. I didn't write that sentence well. I know the Hominy Grill is not across the bridge. I was actually referring to going to Mt. Pleasant to Siena.

    I made reservations at Cordavi and will probably make them for another night at Fig, since we enjoyed that so much the last time. I will do my best to take good notes on Cordavi, and post them here.

    Also looking forward to going back to Paolo's Gelateria!

  23. Concord is a bedroom community of Charlotte, and therefore most of the restaurants there will be of the chain variety. I believe there are a few fish camps in Concord, which while not unique to Charlotte, I think worthy of a visit for a southern experience. Think FRIED seafood.

    Charlotte cuisine is not really distinguishable from other southern food. We are not a Charleston with low country influence, nor a New Orleans with it's Cajun and Creole slants. Southern/soul food and barbecue are the trademarks of North Carolina. The former is easy to find here. The latter is not so easy.

    On the 'cue front. Personally, I think Bill Spoon's BBQ here in Charlotte on South Blvd. is darned good - and I have compared this to more famous 'cue from Bridges in Shelby, Lexington BBQ and Allen & Sons in Chapel Hill. I have never tried Gary's in China Grove (north of Concord), but have heard good things about it. Off Sunset Rd. is another good place for 'cue called Rusty's - but I still prefer Spoon's.

    As for southern/soul food: you must try Price's Chicken Coop on Camden (near uptown Charlotte - WARNING: Closed on Sundays and Mondays) for very good fried chicken. It is a true Charlotte institution and if your sister hasn't tried it yet, she will truly enjoy the experience. I'd say the family venture into Charlotte as a group on Saturday, stopping at Prices to pick up a picnic lunch of chicken and biscuits and extra sweet tea, then drive into uptown (what newcomers call it) or downtown (natives call it), and eat your picnic at the Green (on Tryon between 1st and 2nd streets). Walk 6 blocks down College St to Reid's Fine Foods @ 7th Street station. Here, you can find some southern staples for your trip home. Before you leave, have the kids try to make the building play music by touching the special panels on the building. If the kids are young enough, pop over to the Imaginon and/or Discovery Place. Definitely walk around to admire the fountains up and down Tryon Steet. If you're in town long enough to be hungry again for dinner, you can go to Merts Heart & Soul for more southern style food.

    Another Charlotte landmark is the Coffee Cup (also uptown) - great soul food, best for breakfafst. Here, you can get your country ham with red eye gravy, very good grits, salmon cakes, pork chops, chicken and waffles and excellent biscuits. Hmmmm. Coffee Cup is open Monday through Saturday.

    For some local color, head over to the Plaza/Midwood area (again, near downtown Charlotte) where you can hang at the Penguin on Thomas Street. I think their burgers and corn dogs are pretty darned good, but you really go there for the fried pickles (yes, I said fried pickles) and the atmosphere. This is one of the few places in town where the bankers sit next to the bikers. Across the street from the Penguin is Dish - more Southern food, but mediocre in my book. Their fried green tomatoes are not bad, but I cannot abide by the honey butter they serve with the biscuits. It's just not right.

    You personally may enjoy a visit to the Charlotte Regional Farmer's market, though it is best seen on Saturday mornings when you will find the local farmers and their produce. Much of the other stuff is trucked in from Florida or California. I believe the King's market (near uptown) will be open by the time you arrive. They sell some local produce and are open Tuesdays and Fridays. If you're lucky, the guy selling fresh seafood from South Carolina will be there and you can buy some shrimp.

    One thing I wish you could find here is boiled peanuts. You gotta try 'em. I like to call them redneck edamame. They are best purchased from an old man boiling them in a recycled metal drum. If there's no one at the farmer's market selling them, the Petro Express on 4th street heading out of town has them - but I haven't tried them yet. I love boiled peanuts.

    I hope this helps! Email me if you want directions or other stuff.

  • Create New...