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Nishla

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    Cambridge, MA
  1. Nishla

    Small Standing Rib Roast

    We used this method (link) on a larger roast for Thanksgiving, and it was perfect. The recipe says it works for 2 to 6 ribs, and in the associated Food Lab post it looks like he used a 2-rib portion.
  2. Love the blog so far! We have a lot of tiki ingredients collected in our home bar, but never know what to do with them, so I'm really looking forward to more of your drinks. You inspired me to make an Ancient Mariner last night--it will definitely be entering the regular rotation. I also happened to buy a watermelon this weekend, so that salad will probably show up for dinner some night this week
  3. Man, I need to get back to NY, it's been WAY too long! My vote is for Mitch's dinner, since I love both risotto and fried artichokes, but they all look great. And I definitely want to try Sam's cocktail...it's after noon, right?
  4. Nishla

    What Else To Do with White Grapefruit

    I really like grapefruit in fennel salad. I supreme the grapefruit over a bowl to catch the juice, and use that with some honey and olive oil as the dressing, maybe a dab of mustard too. You can also add shaved parmesan if that floats your boat.
  5. To follow-up on the pressure cooker idea others have mentioned, I've discovered that they work great for steaming potatoes, sweet potatoes, or other root vegetables that otherwise take a long time to cook. You can have potatoes ready to mash in less than 10 minutes from turning on the stove, and I find them more flavorful since you don't boil them to death.
  6. Noodle soup or wonton/dumpling soup. I usually make a quick base with stock, miso, soy or fish sauce, and a blob of korean chili paste. I've even done it with water. Thrown in some asian vegetables (I like baby bok choy), leftover chicken or pork, and noodles or dumplings, bring to a boil, and you're basically done. I also keep frozen bamboo shoots and fish/shrimp balls in the freezer to add to soups. Sometimes I cut up vegetables for the next day when cleaning up from dinner the night before. Chopped carrot, celery, onion, or other veg will last in the fridge overnight pretty well. It saves a lot of prep time when you've just gotten home and are hungry and cranky.
  7. Since this is a topic in the "cooking" forum, I took the original question to mean: what are the food items that you never buy now that you know how to make them yourself? Once I learned how to make a basic salad dressing, I never bought salad dressing again. Every time I make one it's slightly different, depending on what acids/mustards/oils/etc we have on hand and what the dressing is for. I would need a separate fridge just for dressings if I wanted to match the variety I can create on the fly. I also never buy stock, gravy, hummus, pasta sauce, and a few other things. I think all the foods on my list are things I can usually throw together with whatever I have on hand, without using a recipe. For me, that's what makes something "easy". Maybe it's from the years spent in labs, but I HATE having to measure things or follow recipes Also, if it's tough to find the ingredients, takes too much active labor, or requires a lot of clean-up, I wouldn't call it easy. I usually don't make cooking decisions based on the relative cost of the finished item (unless it's an absurd difference). Instead, I'm much more likely to make things that I don't find too difficult, or things that I really want but aren't readily available.
  8. I would add hummus or bean dips to the list. It's so easy, and you can adjust the flavors however you like. And pickles! We just made a ton based on the recipes in the momofuku cookbook.
  9. Got my first Maine shrimp of the season at Whole Foods tonight, $3.99/pound. I cooked them for about a minute, then had them with a dipping sauce of lemon, soy sauce, honey, ginger, and scallion. Now I'm wishing I bought more!
  10. My father in law's garlic chicken: chicken put on the grill unseasoned and cooked until it should be shoe leather, then shredded and soaked in a garlic, parsley, and olive oil dressing. It sounds like it should be awful, but it's FABULOUS.
  11. I do sesame noodles without peanut butter (husband is allergic, and I don't like peanuts). I don't have exact measurements, but it's pretty forgiving. I start with a base of soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and rice vinegar (maybe 2:1:1?) with grated ginger--I usually use a microplane so it's more like ginger pulp. I think I make about a cup of dressing for a pound of noodles, and I personally like it with a lot of ginger. I also usually add a dollop of chili garlic sauce and some chopped scallions. I toss this with the hot noodles, and the flavor soaks in as the noodles cool. After they're cool, I add toasted sesame seeds. You can also finish with some extra toasted sesame oil if you want more sesame flavor. My favorite version also includes julienned cucumber and red pepper, and shredded chicken. Cilantro optional. I believe you can also buy sesame sauce or sesame paste at an asian grocery, but many of these contain peanut powder, so you have to read the labels (if they're not in Chinese).
  12. Nishla

    New Orleans 72hours

    Bryan, I highly recommend Verti Marte for po-boys, especially fried catfish or hot sausage. It's on Royal St (1200ish?), and the sandwich counter is at the back of a convenience store. In fact, I'm still dreaming about the fried catfish. I liked them a lot better than Parkway (and not just because Parkway coincided with puking my guts out from participating in too many Tales events). I thought Hansen's was really good, but not worth the price of the cab rides (~$30 total from French Quarter). It's the best shaved ice ever, but it's just shaved ice, if that makes any sense. I second the motion for Pimms Cups at Napoleon. Also, you should try to get bbq shrimp somewhere. Mr B's in the French Quarter was good. I really did not enjoy the raw oysters...the ones I had at ACME were mushy and gross. Fried or baked were good. It's possible that I just may not appreciate Gulf oysters. If you can see Kermit Ruffins anywhere, go. Last year we saw him at the Rock n' Bowl, this year at Vaughn's, and and both were a great time. Have a great time!
  13. Last word, definitely. Can't screw up equal parts!
  14. Nishla

    Drinks! (2007–2009)

    Tried a couple drinks using orange juice tonight: 2 parts rum (Mount Gay) 1 part orange juice 1 part Madeira (Boston Bual special reserve) 1/4 lime juice 1/4 simple syrup We first tried this without the lime and simple, and it wasn't quite right, but had a great finish. I think the lime and simple balanced the drink. It's really yummy as is, but can probably use some tweaking. 2 parts tequila (El Tesoro Anejo) 1 part orange juice 1 part campari 1/2 St. Germain Orange twist I thought this was really good.
  15. Nishla

    Acidity

    Great topic, FatGuy. This discussion made me realize that learning to taste when something needs acid vastly improved my cooking. As someone suggested above, it's not really a skill you learn from following recipes, and it seems like many of us have stumbled across the power of acidity through trial and error and general experience. The "aha!" moment for me was the first time I made hummus from scratch, and I forgot to add lemon juice. It just wasn't quite right--that flatness a bunch of you mentioned. Once I added the lemon, it was perfect. Tasting that difference helped me recognize when other dishes were missing acid. The other great thing about acid, unlike salt or other seasonings, is you CAN add it at the end to "fix" a dish. If you forget to salt something at the beginning, you're pretty much screwed, but acid is much more forgiving. And if you add a bit too much of a volatile acid like vinegar or wine, just cook it a little longer and it mellows out.
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