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Everything posted by viva

  1. Since you'd drink an LH wine with lobster or foie gras anyway to counteract the richness of the food, I think cooking with it in those dishes is wonderful. A little for the sauce... a little for me... sauce... me. Cane, when you posted this topic, I started thinking of more dishes to work with a dessert wine in the sauce - like a LH riesling & apple sauce over roasted pork, or LH with apricots over roast turkey... yum. Best pie I ever made was with quinces poached in muscat-de-beaumes-de-venise (no idea if that is spelled correctly) as the filling. I'd love to work that into a savory dish.
  2. viva

    Shrimp shells

    I don't know why you'd want to leave the last segment on for a stew. I think of that last segment like a corn-on-the-cob holder - a slightly less messy way to eat shrimp with your fingers without it really looking like you're eating shrimp with your fingers.
  3. Apple & raisin with the raisins soaked in Calvados or Armagnac. Do a caramel sauce on top with some Scotch in it. Tropical bread pudding... Hawaiian bread with pineapple, mango? Work some tequila and guava or lime in there somehow? Mexican bread pudding... get some Kahlua, chocolate & cinnamon into the sauce. Liquor, liquor, and more liquor is definitely the way to go. Now I'm hungry for bread pudding.
  4. I'm with you up to the meat. Meat? Is the purpose to marinate the meat or to flavor the rum for drinking? Just think what you could do with meat-infused rum. Conch-and-soda? A scorpion daiquiri? Hmmm.
  5. Yep. My logic was that the casserole dish could withstand the heat of the oven, so why not the stove top? And that's when I learned the very important distinction between direct and indirect heat. Crrrrraaaaaackkkkk. There went my largest pretty french ceramic casserole dish.
  6. viva

    It's Hotter Than Hell

    I live in Phoenix, and there is no way on God's green earth that I am turning on the oven or stove anytime in the next 2 months. I live on wraps, pitas, and tortillas with any combination of the following: - The outdoor grill gets a workout - grilled chicken, shrimp & pork that I can cool & keep in the refrigerator. I like them hot spice-wise (jerk chicken, jalapeno shrimp, chipotle pork), but cold temperature-wise. Hear-hear to NulloModo on spicy food in hot weather! There's a reason most hot-temperature countries are bastions of spicy cooking. - Lots of homemade fruit salsas (mango, papaya, strawberry, pineapple, whatever) with a little bit of serrano or habanero for some heat. The mango is also fantastic grilled on kebabs with shrimp. - Fresh guacamole (also like this with fruit - grapes, mango, raspberries) - Chopped jicama, cucumber, cherry tomatoes - Creamy cole slaw - Buffalo mozzarella - Spinach & artichoke dip And, to top it all off, frozen margaritas with fruit of any kind.
  7. 1) It was grandma, and she gave me tomato soup, saltines, and ginger ale. Chocolate pudding for dessert. She would also shove Vicks Vapo-Rub up my nose, but I don't think that qualifies as eating. 2) Dunno about healing properties, but the tomato soup felt good on my throat. I would say the tomatoes give you vitamins, but Campbells cooks them too much to have any nutritional value. The ginger ale also, probably helped with rehydrating/electrolyte balancing. 3) Yes! Particularly about tomato soup. 4) Chicken and tomato soups. Unless it is my cats, in which case it is whatever the vet tells me + tuna. 5) Grandma was Swedish, but I don't think tomato soup and ginger ale have anything to do with Sweden culturally. She did make some kick-ass pancakes, though.
  8. I always give at least a buck or two for take out and a little more for delivery. It's only a couple of bucks to me, and given to someone that probably needs it more than I do. I'd rather err on the side of being generous. I waitressed in a plethora of cheap restaurants to make my way through high school and college, and the experience probably made a more generous tipper for good, friendly service. Then again, it probably makes me more cranky about bad service!
  9. Some suggestions for already-mentioned countries (damn, you guys are fast!) Brazil - I second the feijoada, and would add the beloved caipirinha as the national drink Jamaica - add jerk chicken and either Red Stripe or rum & ginger beer Singapore - I agree with the chilli crab over the satay What about these... Mexico - tequila and (this is tough to pick one) carne adovada Peru - ceviche
  10. Glad that tart was tasty, phaelon56, because it was beautiful! On the butter front, frankly, I've never used lard (!), and I don't know where to get it. I'm intrigued by the possibilities, though. I'm very lazy about cutting up the butter, usually only cut into tablespoon-size pieces before adding to the processor. I brush the crust before baking with more butter, then sprinkle with a coarse sugar (I like my fillings pretty tart, so the sugary topping gives it balance and adds a nice crispness). On the food processor front, I feel I get the best control by pulsing carefully. If I don't see pieces of butter when I'm rolling out the dough, it's too processed. Finally, on the water front, I live in Arizona, so the poor flour needs a little more water! I always use more than the recipe calls for. I've developed a good feel over time for how the dough just sticks together when I pinch it and, anyway, I tend to roll out the dough with a healthy amount of flour that seems to balance the water out. Totally intrigued by the freeze-and-bake concept for fruit pies. Seems like it would keep the fruit from getting cooked to oblivion. Does it give the juices of the fruit enough time to absorb the cornstarch and become nice & bubbly? Does anyone have Shirley O. Corriher's Cookwise? Fairly scientific approach to cooking, but a good analysis of pastry dough variables.
  11. My badly-made food cravings all come from Grandma's cooking. Grandma made a similar version of tuna casserole without carrots and breadcrumbs instead of french’s onions, then mixed and topped with shredded cheddar. It’s my ultimate comfort food. The key is for the noodles to be cooked to oblivion, so that they kind of blend into the cream of mushroom surrounding. If you have to chew, it ain't made right. Other Grandma-hand-me-downs... Velveeta on cheeseburgers and in macaroni & cheese. Sloppy Joes: McCormick sloppy joe seasoning, tomato sauce, cheap ground beef. All served on a Wonder-white bun that soaks up the sloppy joe sauce and turns pink in the process. I’m actually thinking about going to the store and getting some fixings for these right now. Ranch dressing served on any other greasy junk food. Hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, chips, fries, onion rings - you name it. It was considered a universal condiment in Grandma's eyes. Yes it is! I take any frozen pizza, bake it for necessary time, then switch to broil and get the cheese uniformly burnt and crusty (but still gooey underneath). I usually burn the roof of my mouth, but it is incredibly critical to eat the pizza quickly so you get that crusty-gooey combination. Generally, I love burnt food of any kind. Grandma’s quote was usually “Brown it’s cooking, black it’s done.” I’m a product of my upbringing.
  12. It's funny how referring to European locations with their proper pronunciations (like "Firenze" vs. "Florence") sounds more affected than using proper pronunciation for non-European locations (e.g. "Mumbai" vs. "Bombay"). Now, to tie this all together with the topic, the only time "wiener" is ever appropriate is when one is referring to something of or from Vienna. And no, wiener schnitzel is not made from hot dogs. (And you never hear anyone in the US calling it "Wiens" instead of "Vienna"!) Of course, there's the ubiquitous Vienna dogs brand in Chicago.
  13. It was probably about senior year for me by the time I grew out of the Jaeger, keg-killer, tequila shooter phase of "celebrations". I'll confess to many sins against alcohol, although this one is the worst <hanging head in shame>: My family usually gets together with some neighboring families for the big holidays. They're generally very fun, lots of good food, spirits, and conversation. One Christmas, after dessert, my neighbor cohort and I slipped into the dining room after everyone else had retired to gab in the living room. We had enjoyed the vintage port Dad had served, and wanted a little more. Our college brains being what they were, we decided that shots would be a better way of consuming said port. Hands-free shots, no less, where you get your mouth around the outside of the shot glass and throw it back. After a while, the family notices that cohort and I are having a jolly time in the dining room, and come to inspect. Dad appeared more distressed than we had expected. Dad: "Do you see the date on the bottle? That's how old it is." Me: "Oh. Wow. That's older than me." (a 1960-something vintage) Dad: "Yes." We had done shots with about 3/4 of the bottle. Dad still brings it up whenever we drink port (even though it was almost 15 years ago), and my appreciation of the crime has only increased over time. Thankfully, we all grow up sometime!
  14. viva


    Thanks for the welcome, all! I thought it was appropriate that my first post would be about cachaca. The number of cachaca brands available in Brazil is utterly amazing, rivaled in my experience only by the number of tequila brands available in Mexico. (Which, by the way, is what I am bringing as gifts to my Brazilian friends.) We had an experiment in a churrascuria where we tried caipirinhas made with different cachacas. Unfortunately, after the fifth, I barely remembered my name, let alone the brands we we drinking. Heh! I'll definitely seek out the Germana brand. I bought Ypioca here in Arizona, but it's pretty hairy compared to the smoother ones I've had in Brazil. From what I gather, it seems like the Smirnoff of cachaca. I will also query the folks in Brazil on other things to do with cachaca and keep you updated! (I do adore going there... I've consumed more red meat and feijoada in the last several months than I have in the past several years, but Brazilian beef is probably another topic!)
  15. viva


    On a similar note, does anyone have recommendations for a good cachaca? I travel to Brazil on a monthly basis, so I'd be able to find unusual/hard to find brands if I knew what I was looking for. Every Brazilian seems to have a different opinion on the way that a good caipirinha should be made, and which cachaca to use.
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