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Everything posted by Nishla

  1. Thanks for the comments! I actually learned most of my chinese cooking from my grandmother, but of course she didn't have real recipes. The eGullet forums have been great for getting more specific direction. Dejah, I don't bother blanching the bitter melon. I like the bitterness, but I cook it for a few minutes with the cover on the pan so it's not so crunchy. I got the pork belly in Chinatown for ~$2.00/pound. It's usually pretty inexpensive there, but I don't make it too often since it's SO fatty. We've got plans to make mapo tofu later this week since we found some real sichuan peppercorns last weekend. I've never tried this so we'll see how it goes!
  2. My Chinese cooking seems to come in bunches... Tonight we had bitter melon with black bean sauce and pork: And some leftover braised pork belly from the weekend:
  3. Wow. That's going to be a SERIOUS sugar high...you may want some insulin on hand...
  4. Tepee, thanks for the compliment! I'm actually half Chinese (mom's side). My mom calls the green soybeans "mao dou", and I get them frozen. At Japanese restaurants you usually see them still in the pods. I like them with pork, shrimp or chicken, or in fried rice.
  5. I've really been enjoying everyone's posts here. You all make some great looking dishes! Last night I made pork, five spice tofu and soybeans:
  6. Can I place an order? I'm really looking forward to reading about your week. When I saw the teaser photos I guessed we'd be in store for some great drinks! Also, I'm curious to know what you did with all that everclear
  7. My best friend brought us an entire case of pink grapefruit the other day, so we're looking to use some of the juice in drinks... AJ cocktail: 1.5 oz applejack 1.5 oz grapefruit juice .5 oz homemade grenadine This was very good, but I'd probably cut back a bit on the grenadine. Midnight Sun (I saw a few different variations, this is somewhere in between a couple of them) 1.5 oz aquavit (Aalborg, Jubilaeums Akvavit) 1.5 oz grapefruit juice .5 oz homemade grenadine Also really good, and the flavor of the aquavit still came through.
  8. Two more drinks tonight from cocktaildb, both with chartreuse: Widows kiss variation: 1/2 egg white 3/4 oz parfait amour 3/4 oz yellow chartreuse 3/4 oz benedictine This was quite good, although it was hands down the most disgustingly UGLY drink we've ever made. Yellow, purple and brown don't make a nice combination The texture was fairly thick from the egg white, but not syrupy. Scoff Law Cocktail: 3/4 oz Rye (rittenhouse bonded) 3/4 oz dry vermouth (vya) 1/2 oz lemon juice 1/2 oz green chartreuse 1 dash orange bitters yum yum...nice and citrusy, great flavor from the rye and chartreuse. I liked this a lot. Also, speaking of holiday drinks, I had a cranberry rosemary cocktail last night at Eastern Standard in Boston. It had a nice piney flavor which reminded me of a christmas tree, and the cranberry flavor developed over a few minutes. Really different than any drink I've ever had, in a good way
  9. That sounds really good. I, too, was inspired by the chartreuse thread today...but I also wanted to use some homemade grenadine (don't want it to go bad!). I found one drink on cocktaildb including those two ingredients that wasn't a pousse cafe variation: Razzberry Cocktail 1oz applejack (I used 1.5 oz) 3/4 oz raspberry syrup or grenadine 3/4 oz yellow chartreuse Stir and strain into cocktail glass I'm glad I increased the apple jack--it was still on the verge of being too syrupy. Also, I think a lemon twist would be nice but I was too lazy. I'll definitely try this again with a few tweaks.
  10. Rachel, you made me late for work this morning! I had a few extra minutes and decided to check eG, and had to read every word of your blog before I could leave. You've opened the floodgates to so many amazing stories, at the perfect time of year. My grandmother (wai po, chinese for maternal grandmother) was the cooking influence in my family. She's in a nursing home now and can't cook, but I managed to get some lessons from her when she was still able to get around in the kitchen. Chinese meat pies, scallion pancakes, braises, egg drop corn soup (and not the goopy stuff you get for takeout). Last night I made one of her really simple soups: sliced lamb, cucumber, garlic and cilantro. It took me right back to her kitchen...
  11. Another parfait amour drink tonight... I found this doing a google search through egullet, but of course I closed the thread and now I can't find it again, so whoever originally posted this--thanks! 2 oz gin (plymouth) 1/2 oz parfait amour 1/4 oz campari My husband LOVED this (he'd like anything with campari), and it was a nice blend of sweet and bitter.
  12. I tried posting in the Taipei thread in the "elsewhere in asia" forum, but it looks like there's more on Taipei/Taiwan over here... My husband and I will be in Taipei at the end of December, and are looking for recommendations on where to eat. Everyone's one response is Din Tai Fung. Are there any other places we shouldn't miss? What are your favorites? We'd be interested in anything from street snacks to full meals (although we probably won't do anything too fancy). Thanks in advance!
  13. I got a bottle of Marie Brizzard Parfait Amour over the weekend, so I decided to try it in a drink tonight. I found a Parfait Amour Cocktail on cocktaildb. The original recipe called for: 1 oz gin 1 oz parfait amour 1/2 oz maraschino liqueur I figured that would be disgustingly sweet, so I upped the gin (Junipero) to 1 1/2 oz, and cut the parfait amour down to 1/2 oz. I also added one dash of orange bitters. It's not bad flavor-wise, but still a bit syrupy for my taste. I guess this just calls for more experimentation
  14. Erik, I've definitely learned a lot from your posts in the cocktail threads, so I'm really looking forward to this blog. Will we get a peek at your alcohol collection?
  15. Not sure if I should post here or start a new thread, but here goes... We'll be in Taipei at the end of December, and are looking for any recommendations on places to eat. Seems like Din Tai Fung is one definite place to visit, but are there any others? I haven't seen anyone reporting recently on Taipei, so any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  16. I tried them the second week I was here since they are around where I work. I was pretty dissapionted. I would have to say probably some one of the worst Thai I have ever had. ← Sorry to hear that. I should also have mentioned that I haven't been there in two years or more...if it's really some of the worst you've ever had, you must be pretty lucky, because I've had MUCH worse Come to think of it, that's probably why I don't eat a lot of Thai food...
  17. I haven't tried this place, but I'll definitely keep an eye out for it next time I'm in that area. If you're in Newton, I would highly recommend checking out Russo's in Watertown. We go for produce, cheese and some deli items almost every weekend. In Chestnut Hill, you've got Oiishi for sushi which is really good (but they only have 13 seats). For Thai, I think King & I on Charles St is pretty good, but I don't eat a lot of Thai, so I may be way off base. I'm a lot more familiar with Chinese in the area, so feel free to PM me for suggestions.
  18. This sounded good to me so I mixed one up on Friday night with Gilbey's gin and Old Fitzgerald's 1849 bourbon . . . Thanks to Nishla for pointing this one out. I'll be adapting W.J. Tarling's recipe to my tastes but it's definitely a keeper. ← Ummmm...so I went to make one of these tonight, and realized the recipe actually calls for dry vermouth and not gin So I tried the real royalist recipe, and it's also very good. Not sure if the gin version is a real drink, but I guess I've now got two for the price of one! Sorry for the total brain cramp. ← What the . . . ? I double-checked that recipe at CocktailDB for cryin' out loud. How did I miss the gin/vermouth switcheroo? Okay, so now what? If Nishla's original version of the Royalist isn't the Royalist what is it? I checked CocktailDB and a few other drink recipe sites and came up empty in searching for something similar to Nishla's (and my) misreading of the Royalist recipe. So, I think that leaves us with only one option: to give Nishla's cocktail a name. I submit that it should be called The Nishla or, if she's feeling modest, The Royal Gin Cocktail. Nishla, this is your baby whether you came up with it on purpose or not. What do you want to call it? Kurt Edited to correct an obvious oversight in the proofreading department. ← I looked into what the term "royalist" means, and generally it's someone who supports a monarchy. In particular, it can refer to supporters of the House of Bourbon, which originally ruled in France (thus, the dry vermouth). Since gin is often associated with Britain, maybe we can call the gin version a Monarchist, which refers to supporters of the British monarchy.
  19. I'd say that Boston food is pretty diverse. Yes, seafood is a big thing here, and visitors often think of lobster and clam chowder. However, you can really get it in many ways, from Chinatown, the North End (Italian), American (Legal's, Atlantic Fish, Great Bay), Portuguese (in East Cambridge), and many more. Down by the waterfront, there are a couple places where you can buy fresh fish. There is a LOT of variety in ethnic food, especially over in Cambridge. Near Harvard and MIT there's a lot of Indian food, of hugely varying quality. There's also Ethiopian, Thai, Tibetan, North African, Middle Eastern, etc. In East Cambridge, there's a decent Portuguese population, and there are a number of bakeries and restaurants. Cambridge also has Savenor's for specialty items and high-end meats, and Formaggio Kitchen for cheese. On the Boston side, there are a lot of food areas: Newbury street--generally overpriced and touristy, but some good eats are sprinkled in there. North End--mostly Italian, from hole-in-the-wall cheap to white tablecloth nice dinner and everything in between. Some interesting small markets and butchers too. Fanueil Hall/Quincy Market--generally VERY touristy, but I love the food court. Kenmore Sq--Near Fenway and BU, so a lot of bar food and student hangouts Chinatown--Decent range of Chinese cooking here, my favorites are Taiwan Cafe, Peach Farm (for Cantonese style food) and HeLa Moon (dim sum). There are also several large asian supermarkets here. South End--There's a huge concentration of restaurants here, lots of good stuff. I could go on indefinitely, but I'll spare you for now Have fun exploring!
  20. First off, hello everyone. I've been a lurker on this board for several months and finally decided to join in. At any rate, the Bijou is definitely a favorite around my house, a very rich cocktail. I learned it from Drinkboy's site, which calls for equal parts of the ingredients. I find that this works well, but last week I picked up a bottle of Boodles and tried a Bijou. Wow, it was like having the drink for the first time all over again. The no-nonsense bone-dry heavy juniper Boodles made its presence felt and really brings the drink to life. I just might have to have one tonight, in fact. -Andy ← Welcome Andy! My husband decided to try your version of the Bijou (equal parts), using junipero gin instead of plimouth. It's really fantastic. Thanks for the tips
  21. This sounded good to me so I mixed one up on Friday night with Gilbey's gin and Old Fitzgerald's 1849 bourbon. I liked it but I'd have liked it more with only a 1/4 or 1/2 ounce of the Benedictine. It was easily the dominant flavor of the drink. This worked for me because I like Benedictine and bourbon together (see the Manhattan Special) but this recipe didn't strike me as particularly well balanced. The Gilbey's is a nice junipery gin (particularly good for the price) and the Old Fitz is eight years old, 90 proof and full-flavored so I don't think the Benedictine's dominance was a matter of using wishy-washy spirits but YMMV. Another change I made, though, was to shake it instead of stir it. I saw at CocktailDB that the original recipe called for shaking so that's what I did. I'm not sure why shaking was called for but as the only real difference should be the texture I took the easy route. Thanks to Nishla for pointing this one out. I'll be adapting W.J. Tarling's recipe to my tastes but it's definitely a keeper. Kurt ← Ummmm...so I went to make one of these tonight, and realized the recipe actually calls for dry vermouth and not gin So I tried the real royalist recipe, and it's also very good. Not sure if the gin version is a real drink, but I guess I've now got two for the price of one! Sorry for the total brain cramp.
  22. We had our rehearsal dinner at the hotel where all the out-of-town guests were staying, for similar reasons as baw mentioned above. We wanted to encourage people from both sides of the family to meet one another, so it was set up more like a cocktail party (but with only beer and wine). We had a number of food stations around the room (pastas, salads, carving station, dessert), and a bunch of tables of various sizes, armchairs, tall bar tables, etc. so people could mingle, but sit if they wanted. The food was way better, and had a lot more choices than a standard buffet. The set-up really helped to stimulate conversation between the different groups of guests, since they couldn't really segregate themselves at a large table for the whole evening.
  23. I love the wild boar bacon from Savenor's. Not at all a seafood market, but I also love Russo's out in Watertown. If you have a car, it's well worth the 15 minute drive for awesome produce, cheese and deli meats. The only seafood markets I'm familiar with are Courthouse seafood (also on Cambridge St. in Cambridge) and Sea to You (at the Fish Pier, for sushi grade fish). I'd love to find some other seafood markets around the Boston/Cambridge area!
  24. The first time I heard of cardoons was in hathor's blog a few weeks back...since then I've seen them numerous times in this thread. When I went to the store last weekend (wholesale produce place), what did I find? .....cardoons! I cooked them with onion and tomato for ~30 minutes. They were more bitter than I expected (probably not a great selection here in New England), but quite tasty.
  25. Tried a bunch of new stuff over the last couple of days (all from cocktaildb.com). First a bijou cocktail: 1 1/2 oz gin (plymouth) 1/2 oz green Chartreuse 1/2 oz sweet vermouth (cinzano) 1 dash orange bitters Stirred and served in a cocktail glass with a lemon twist The gin was a bit too dominant here for me, so I tried this variation Emerald cocktail: 1 oz gin 3/4 oz green Chartreuse 3/4 oz sweet vermouth 1 dash orange bitters I liked this better, but I think I would really prefer something between the bijou and emerald. Tonight we tried to make use of our peach bitters (picked up on a whim a few weeks ago at Kalustyans) Royalist cocktail: 1 1/2 oz gin (Plymouth) 3/4 bourbon. (Maker's Mark) 3/4 Benedictine. 1 dash of peach bitters. Stirred and served in a cocktail glass This was REALLY good. Very easy to drink
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