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Posts posted by nessa

  1. Tryska

    :laugh: True we should not be cribbing :smile:


    I guess the problem is also the type of ingredients - apart from what Bong has mentioned about the eggplants, there is also the 'density' of the liquids/semi-liquids. I'm going to use canned coconut milk and thick greek yogurt.

    Pardon my ignorance, but I did not realize that there was uncanned coconut milk. Thick greek yogurt sounds really good, I love that stuff.

  2. I don't care for what it does to the meat structurally. Basically it opens a pocket where you inject the marinade. You also create yet another hole for juices to escape. Its also a real b**** to inject, since you have to force apart the meat to allow the volume of liquid in. Its that whole two bodies of the same mass cannot occupu the same space at the same time. Or something like that. I never was good at physics. Its a good concept, in theory, but in practice.... eh.

  3. I've worked for CM for 8 years. The aisles are really wide, come to think of it. It's all food porn there. Great food, great people.

    And an Amen Sistah to that!

    I applied for a job there, once during college, many moons ago. Maybe after I get my degree in nutrition they will have a place for me? I've waxed poetical on some thread about how nice the people are. They are so helpful, gracious and knowledable.

    My father gets greeted by name, even. Granted, thats most likely because he goes in at LEAST every other day to get fresh pain au levain. And cheese, and olives, and and. Drives my frugal mother nuts. Dad is the shopper. But she melts when he brings home her weekly flowers. :wub: Knows the ladies, does Dad. :raz:

  4. Wow! It's spring rolls tomorrow for me. Wish I wasn't already full from dinner earlier! This blog is fantastic.

    Vielen Dank!

    I really wish I could get a definitive answer on spring versus summer rolls versus eggrolls. Fried, or not , wonton versus rice pasta etc. In Germany, they called eggrolls springrolls. And they were HUGE!

    They were made with a burrito sized wonton thing (I guess) I don't think it was a rice pasta. They were huge, but flat. Like a stuffed envelope, not enough filling to fill that huge wrapper. And MAN were they greasy. But they called them springrolls.

    The springrolls are really good with shrimp, also. :wub:

  5. Once again-Central Market is the greatest grocery chain in the Known Universe.


    Can we get an AMEN brother? I'm glad you have enjoyed it. When I was in Chicago, I would have my mother and sister send me contraband from CM. Mainly salsa and that Austin Slow Burn Habanero-Rosemary jelly. DANG, thats another thing I forgot. :angry:

    That, on fresh sourdough, with good butter is one of the finer things in life. I'd rank that right up there with excellent chocolate mousse. Its that good. Honest.

    Jeeze. And I wonder why I can't get rid of some pesky extra pounds. Ok, well I don't *really* wonder, I'm smarter than that. :rolleyes:

  6. Took me so long to post, that the veal and bones are done.


    Ok..... marrow always used to gross me out. Please, I'm not a bone sucker. Ok that doesn't sound right, scratch that. Whether I am, or am not a bone sucker is not the point of this blog... :rolleyes: What I mean to say is, I'm dainty. I don't pick up bones and gnaw. Until now. :hmmm: Dems good eatin'. What a rich, lovely flavor. I'm definitly going to throw them in the crock pot and let them get their mojo on until tomorrow. Maybe I'll thicken, maybe I won't. But that fat IS goin' in the risotto. :wub: I'll freeze the rest. That is not to be wasted. :unsure:

  7. Kileen/Copras Cove(and lets not forget Lampassas). LOL When I was called up in the Berlin crises in 1961 I wouldn't let my wife move down because of the lack of civilization in the area. One of my expressions about the area was " If ever they give the world an enema Kileen Texas is where they will insert the tube." Great blog, I am enjoying it greatly.

    When the best place to eat within 30 miles is the NCO club(built from Elvis Presseleys stay at Fort Hood) you know it is a culinary wasteland.


    Its truely a frightening place. Land of the pawn shop and chinese food buffet. BAD chinese food buffet. My Ex was stationed at Ft. Hood. Twice. Why do you think we got divorced? :raz: Luckily for us, he was stationed at Darmstadt for 3 years inbetween. Now THAT was an experience!

  8. Funny...that was my impression too...look at all that room. I'm used to climbing over bodies at Gourmet Garage....

    What a great blog! To be Texan for a week. Thanks 'nessa!!

    You know, thats very true. Its something that we Texans take for granted. We have space. Tons of it. I missed that while living in Chicago. Everything was so close, streets were narrow, stores were cramped, because of course, real estate is at a premium...

    Here, theres room to breathe, we can drive anywhere and everywhere except to the courthouse downtown, and not pay a month's rent in parking. Just one more thing to love about this great State. I'll keep my mouth shut about its one embarassment. I don't discuss politics. Ok, well any more than that. :wink:


    Ok then....

    Thank YOU for reading!!!

  9. Are the breads always wrapped in plastic like that, or just at the end of the day? Whenever I see fresh breads wrapped up like that in a store, it makes me sad.

    Edit: you know, I can see now that many of the breads are not wrapped at all. I thought it was a trick of the lighting, but it looks like they do store a lot of the breads right on the shelf. Good.

    The ones that are in plastic are sliced. I tend to get them from the front (first picture) then have them slice it for me, if I'm in a slicey-dicey mood :biggrin: I'm just sorry I got there when the supply was depleted. I go through there even if I don't need bread. Its free food porn, man. Besides, they usually have free samples!

    The isles are large enough to drive a truck by, but don't go on a saturday at noon.....

  10. Finally! The springrolls are done. I just love these things for a light meal. They are very healthy, and packed with flavor.

    First, the springroll wrapper is a sheet of rice pasta that looks like this:


    Next, you have to soak it for a few seconds in hot water.


    This softens it so you can work with it.

    Then you lay it down, spread it out and start building the roll. First, I added marinated napa cabbage and carrots, well drained.


    Then I add the green onions and shredded chicken that I've let sit overnight with some soy sauce and a touch of sesame oil.


    Then comes the rice vermicelli, also soaked and drained, and then chopped cilantro and chopped thai basil. Can't have too much of either, in my opinion.


    Then fold sides up, and roll!



    All done! After this, I eat a few :wub: then wrap each one individually in saran wrap, and put in the fridge for future enjoyment.


    At the Vietnamese store, the owner recomended the two products on the left.

    I usually make a peanut sauce or use the Chee Hou sauce. Thats the sauce that comes with mushu, in case you are wondering. Not hoisin.....


    In preperation for tomorrow, I've started a veal dish. I'm going for a mediterranean flavor, and it will be served with a mushroom risotto and sauteed spinach.

    This is my first time cooking veal, so I'm rather winging it. If I make any obvious veal faux pas please alert me! I found these shoulder blade steaks on sale so naturally, being both woman, and scots, I snatched them up!

    I've started with a layer of white and purple onions, a bed for the veal to rest upon. :biggrin:


    To that, I've added the veal, salt, pepper, fresh thyme from my "garden", some coarsly chopped garlic and some kalamata olives. They called to me, lets hope they go well with veal. I also put a good glass of shiraz in there for liquid.


    I then covered it in foil and am letting it slow cook in the oven.

    Tomorrow I suspect I will make some kind of sauce, perhaps with stock made from these:


    There's a lot of rendered fat, maybe I'll use that for fat in my risotto, instead of butter? I keep forgetting to pick up butter. :angry:

    Right now, I'm having a glass of the aformentioned shiraz. Its not bad, but its really just *ok* as far as shirazes go. I had to try it, it was inexpensive. And, its drinkable so who's complaining?

  11. I have to admit to having harbored a bias against Texas...I won't go into the nasty details. However, just within the past month a couple things have occurred to make me sort of turn my opinion around alittle. One was going to San Antonio and being impressed with the Riverwalk area (and wishing Seattle could do the same with their waterfront) and the other is Nessa's blog and what she tells us about Dallas. :smile:

    And I love Central Market too, only I would never ever pass the wine section. :laugh:

    Awwwww :wub::wub::wub: .

    That really is one of the nicest things that I've heard in a while, thank you, Sequim!

    Dallas is just one unique part. I've lived in Austin, Bryan (shudder) and Dallas. Oh yeah, and Killeen/Copperas Cove. I try to forget that. :hmmm: Thats pretty much hell on earth, for a foodie. Bryan wasn't much better but there are some good find there as well.

    All the Texas metropolii have a lot to offer, really. I guess the same can be said for most metropolii. I'd go into more detail but its sooo off topic. Well, no its not.

    So Dallas and Austin and Houston are all very culturally diverse. San Antonio, though I'm not as familiar with it, is also but in a different way. Houston is known more for its diverse oriental population, and therefor its cuisine. Austin is just a jumble of exciting ethnicities partly due to the university, and partly due to the high tech industry. There probably isn't a cuisine that you can't find in Austin. Austin is also a lot more.... granola than Dallas tends to be. I think you can find more vegetarian and organic restaurants and stores there than here in North Texas. Here in Dallas, there are three major ethnic cuisines that stray from your average Eyetalian, Barbecue and Mexican. We have a large and diverse oriental population, like Houston, which gives us a plethora of Thai, Chinese, Vietnames and I think, Korean stores and restaurants. We have a relatively large Middle Eastern and North African population, and a huge Indian and Pakistani population.

    There are enough Russians to support a couple of Russian stores and restaurants, and the same but less so for the Ethiopian population.

    Its there if you look for it. And let me tell you, I've a nose for it!

    Thats really the tip of the iceberg, but thats what I've discovered so far in my explorations this year. I was a little dismayed that we were moving to Dallas from Chicago. I was more familiar with Houston and Austin and had these odd prejudices. I was right about the traffic, however. There are ways around it that, as a bonus, take you through neighborhoods and more mom and pop shops. Thats how I've found most of the gems. Nearly getting whiplash and rear-ended is always a risk :raz:

    I never get bored here. There's greenery and parks-a-plenty for the nature lover, theres opera and plays, great restaurants of every tier, and we have two airports for when ya just gotta get outta town! ]/infomercial[

    Did I mention free wine tastings? There's this wonderful company called Winemasters that puts on a tasting every month or so, for free. They serve awesome food along with, and usually bring in other experts, depending on what vinyards they are featuring. Last week they did Spanish Riojas. Talk about some price performers!

    As we speak, I've got some veal in the oven. I figure that will be part of tomorrow's dinner. I'm also roasting some beef marrow bones. I'm not sure how, or if that will be incorporated....

    I just finished the spring rolls and will be posting pictures shortly.

  12. The cheese section alone of your "home" (it would be mine too) makes me consider employment options in Texas. :)

    Come on down!!!! Or over, or up, wherever you are, just come!

    Texas really is hallowed ground, you know. :biggrin: I almost kissed the ground when we got back from Chicago. As much as I moan about the heat, and as much as I like to travel, it just gets in your blood. We used to refer to Texas, jokingly, as the Promised Land, when we were up north. I've loved every place that I've lived, to be honest. But there's just something about Texas. Maybe its that the heat makes you crazy?

    Just make sure you settle somewhere that has a Central Market :rolleyes:

    Speaking of which, I might need to stop back by today to get that camembert that I forgot. And I've a hankering for some good bleu. :hmmm:

  13. Breakfast today was the other bundle from the Vietnamese store, and a nectarine.

    This bundle was quite different yet every bit as delicious. I'm going back for more, thats for sure. This one had in it yellow mung beans, pork belly, and a lot of black pepper :wub: . The nectarine was out of this world. The smell alone was worth its weight in gold.

    #pictures to be added later#

    Lunch was the Larb. I had it cold, and loved it. I think I'll be making this on the dog days of summer. I put it on a bed of marinated napa cabbage and julianned carrots, which I took them from my spring roll stash. :hmmm:

    I *have* to make those tonight. The rest I'll decide when I get home, I guess.

    #pictures to be added later#

  14. The recipe is correct, at least its the way I made it. I took careful notes. The coconut milk and yogurt do go into the batter, and the water is used to thin it a bit. I didn't have any trouble with the batter not sticking to the slices, so I am clueless how to advise. I cut the slices and then immediatly dipped them into the batter and then right into the oil.

    I'm at a complete loss as to why the batter isnt sticking for you. :blink:

  15. Ok, here is my home away from home. Just kidding.

    I forgot to take a picture of the outside.

    After dinner, which was just across the street, the wind picked up, the skies blackened, and we debated just making a run for home. But we were already *there* and I needed coffee. I also wanted to spread the good word, if you know what I mean. I'm a believer :rolleyes:

    So, I rather rushed through the store in record time, and probably saved myself a bundle in the process.

    So, as you enter you start in the veggie section.


    I can easily spend 30 min or so browsing all the different varieties of peppers, herbs, potatoes etc. I've never seen their produce look anything but fresh and delicious. Heaven.

    Moving right along at a rather smart pace for my short little legs, we come to the fruit area. I had to get some nectarines, just look at em! I also snagged a big ol' mango.



    We briskly breeze though the fish counter...


    to the meat counter:


    I couldn't find ground lamb, so I summoned one of the meat goddeses and she pointed the package out to me. Above my eye level, of course. Figures :hmmm: .

    This lamb. :wub: Its so pretty it made me jump up and down with joy, much to the amusement of said goddess, and the embarassment of my beautiful dining partner. I thought it was beef at first, it was so... red. Its a bit of a thick grind, and doesn't have nearly the fat content of ground lamb that I've found everywhere else. I can't wait to use it. I'm thinkin' kefta/kofta are in my near future. Depends on when I get to the Middle Eastern market. I wonder if I should freeze it just in case......

    I digress. We flew past the wine section, listening to the ominous rumbles and grumbles from outside.


    That brought us bustling to the bulk section. After adroitly pilfering two cups of sample coffee, I filled up on some coffee beans. I am an adultress. I like flavored coffee.

    I also like unflavored, but I'm weak. They didn't have what I wanted so I mixed a coconut, cinnamon hazelnut and amaretto. Last week they had one similar but this time they were out and only had it in the ever-so-pointless-to-me decaf :wacko: So, I improvised, as they were all the same price.

    Here's one third-ish of the coffee selection.


    On we ran, past the bakery....



    which was alarmingly depleted. Granted it was what, an hour before closing or something? This is where I come when I don't feel like baking bread. Superb.

    This does not do their cheese selection justice.


    And dang it, I forgot to grab me some camembert. Just as well, I suppose. I have no control.

    And, finally, by the checkout, their floral section.


    Out we scampered to the car, in vain hopes of making it home before the rain hit.

    Well, thats it for tonight, who knows what tomorrow will hold? Kefta? Something with veal? Anyone know how long ground lamb is good in the fridge?

    Y'all be safe!

  16. Yes, it was with chicken, basil, cilantro, mint, lemongrass, lime juice, lovely red onions, and a healthy dose of chile. the did offer it with pork or beef

    Its all over a bed of lettuce, and I was really all over it! I've got enough leftover for lunch. Which is a good thing, considerin' my lazy butt ain't making diddly tonight. I'll post my pics from CM and toddle off to bed.

  17. Ok, I'm home (safe and sound thanks y'all)

    I've got pics edited and I'm having technical trouble uploading.

    The weather is hellish, I ended up driving the last 15 minutes in pouring rain and gusting winds. Bad timing, nessa, but hey.... I was out of coffee, capice?

    Anyway, I think I've created too many albums and can't view em all. So here are the shots of dinner, and I'll work on the rest in the meantime.

    Here is the restaurant


    This is what my ever so beautiful dining partner had:

    Tom Yaum Gai. And yes, I made dirty jokes with the name. Bad nessa, bad.


    This stuff is ambrosia. Its major flavors are keffir lime, lemon grass, chicken and cilantro.

    And I had larb. At least I think thats what it said.


    I hate to cut this short but I think my power surge protector just was triggered. Back in a bit I hope.

  18. Ok, breakfast pictures updated, and on to lunch.

    Lunch was the aloo gobi mattar and saffron rice, garnished with one of my favorite stuffed pepper pickle. I also snuck one of the Indian sweets.


    On the way home, I stopped at this place called 99 cent only. Its a nifty dollar store grocery.

    On the right are two of the items I found, that might be interesting to try with the aloo.


    And now, off to feed the Man some of this:


    Then off to dinner!

  19. Its in a questionable part of town, but in the same complex as a cop shop so I think its pretty safe. 

    Cop shop must mean something different where you live.

    Is that a mini-police station?

    Yes, thats exactly what it is. Apparently well needed in that area.

    But that restaurant is really quite neat. They had the traditional tables with covers, in a private area, cordoned off by gossamer curtains. It looks like a nice place for a group to meet, earlier in the evening :wink:

    There is also an african convenient store in that complex that looked to have some very interesting items. Unfortunately, at the time we visited, it reeked of what smelled like urine? But I bet there are some neat finds in there in any case.

  20. Great blog, nessa! I'm incredibly jealous of all your convenient ethnic markets.

    As to the asafoetida... I've been cooking tons of Indian food lately, but, try as I might, I just can't get past the smell of the asafoetida. Even though the dish ends up perfectly delicious, if it smells of stale cat pee it just lowers the enjoyment factor some. Does it bother you at all? Maybe the just a pinch is the key (although I don't think most recipes call for very much).

    We are discussing this very thing here:

    Asafoetida thread

    The raw smell reminds me of onions just about to rot. But I swear as soon as it hits the oil, (and it needs to) the chemistry changes and the aroma simply enhances the dish. As I understand it, its exceedinly rare to just use raw asafoetida, it needs to be cooked in oil first. Or roasted on a hot pan, but I'm not entirely sure about that.

    I only used a pinch in the aloo dish, and next time I will use more for sure.

    Dallas is indeed culturally blessed. Not only is there the huge Taj imports, but there are a plethora of smaller mom and pop shops sprinkled around the area that often have things that Taj doesn't.

    Dallas is a dream come true for me, I discover a new ethnic shop just about once a month, at least. Some months I hit the jackpot and find 3 or 4.

    Now, I'm not using ethnic in any derogatory way, in case anyone is offended by its usage, just using it as an umbrella term for the diverse cultures that all coexist in the Dallas metroplex.

    I'm truely becoming spoiled.

    And to top it all off, we have two Central Markets! :wub::wub:

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