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nessa

eG Foodblog: nessa - Dallas, Texas... Feel the burn!

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Hmm, Austin. Thank you, nessa, for enlightening me to all that good stuff you've got there.

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Gimme an earthquake anytime.  I don't miss tornados at all.

Isn't it funny, how every region has its threat and everyone thinks theirs is the easiest? When I go back to California people say "however do you put up with the blizzards? I'll take an earthquake any time!" Out here in Minnesnowda folks say "how do people live the threat of earthquakes? I'll take snow any time!" The Floridians seem quite attached to their hurricanes...as opposed to anything else.

You picks your poison, I guess! :laugh:

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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:

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Thanks for the rest of the quote, Ruth. I thought the next word might be "abandon," but I wasn't sure.

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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.

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Hmm, Austin. Thank you, nessa, for enlightening me to all that good stuff you've got there.

Truely, its my pleasure :biggrin:

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'nessa, those Central Market photos are something else! From a New Yorker's perspective, the most amazing thing about the store is the width of the aisles! It looks like you could drive a truck through that store and do no damage. The produce and meats look good, too.

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.


Edited by SethG (log)

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'nessa, those Central Market photos are something else! From a New Yorker's perspective, the most amazing thing about the store is the width of the aisles! It looks like you could drive a truck through that store and do no damage.

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!!

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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.

colestove

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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:

i7807.jpg

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

i7808.jpg

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.

i7809.jpg

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.

i7810.jpg

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.

i7811.jpg

Then fold sides up, and roll!

i7812.jpg

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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.

i7815.jpg

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.....

i7816.jpg

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:

i7817.jpg

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.

i7818.jpg

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:

i7819.jpg

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?

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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.....

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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:

:rolleyes:

Ok then....

Thank YOU for reading!!!

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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.

colestove

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!

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I have been kinda budy the last few days and have not been able to keep up with this great blog (not to mention when I could check in I was on a dial up connection-eGullet SUCKS with dial up and a PII). I read it from start to finish and have really enjoyed it. Thanks.

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

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

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

i7820.jpg

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:

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

Testify!!

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:

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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:

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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.

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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:

The first time I had these I took an oriental cooking class -- just the basics: egg rolls, fried rice, etc. The instructor called these 'spring rolls'. Then, I adapted to the terms I saw restaurants using of 'summer rolls'. And now the last restaurant I had them at had them on the menu as 'fresh rolls'.

All I know is that they are fresh, light & great-tasting. I just read the descriptions on the menu until I find the right roll! :raz:

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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:

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Wow, I wish we had a Central Market here. As it is I can only seem to find decent produce once a week, when the farmers markets open up on the weekend. If I need veggies on a weekday I have to suffer through the abominations Acme subjects its customers to...

We used to have a great local chain called Genaurdi's, with tons of fresh produce, great selection, knowledgeable people, all in all a great place to shop. Then Safeway bought them out and they have since turned to shit. Such is the way of things lately...

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Central Market is indeed heaven in a grocery store. My hubby and I travel 90 miles about once a month and stock up on all sorts of veggies, prime beef, wines and various other stuff. I love the 9-grain honey wheat bread, and the cheeses are to die for.

Great blog. I see some spring rolls in my future....

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Great Blog, Nessa! Thank you for sharing. I have always appreciated space. And at this time, we are living in a city where it's scarce. Big open space is one thing I miss about home. :rolleyes:

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