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nessa

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

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Yep. However, that old addage about everything being bigger in Texas is simply untrue. I hate to debunk myths, but I was 4'8.5" on the Arkansas side of the border, and still 4'8.5" on the Texas side of the border. Thus, one can conclude that everything is NOT bigger in Texas. Much to my dismay, of course. :blink:


Edited by nessa (log)

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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.

Yes to Korean. I live near the Koreatown on Royal Lane in west Dallas. My most convenient Asian grocery store is there on Harry Hines. It's very Korean-centric so they also have a pretty decent selection of Japanese goods as well.

I love taking a spur-of-the-moment dinner run over there and walking into a little storefront that looks like a restaurant (I can't read Korean) and simply trying to communicate. I know of at least two places that don't have English menus. At one point I remember trying to have a poor conversation with my waiter in Spanish!

It's funny that on my last trip to NY I stayed near Koreatown there and, having sampled alot of Korean here, was excited to try the top reccomendations there from this board. They were great, but the better news is that Dallas Korean, at least at select places, stands up to the Northeastern variety very well.

Nessa, I usually don't read these blogs but I caught a bit of yours and got sucked in. Good job. Keep it up.

Edit: I wish I were bigger in Texas.


Edited by Lyle (log)

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Yes to Korean.  I live near the Koreatown on Royal Lane in west Dallas.  My most convenient Asian grocery store is there on Harry Hines.  It's very Korean-centric so they also have a pretty decent selection of Japanese goods as well.

I love taking a spur-of-the-moment dinner run over there and walking into a little storefront that looks like a restaurant (I can't read Korean) and simply trying to communicate.  I know of at least two places that don't have English menus.  At one point I remember trying to have a poor conversation with my waiter in Spanish!

....

Nessa, I usually don't read  these blogs but I caught a bit of yours and got sucked in.  Good job.  Keep it up.

Edit:  I wish I were bigger in Texas.

Lyle, I'm ever so glad that you stopped by!

I want to know more about Korean Town! Pretty please? This is one area of oriental cooking and cuisine that I am not very well versed.

And on the subject of oriental food, I ran across this thread and discovered a name for the breakfast bundles that I've been eating.

Click here

They are called noh mai gai. I love having a name for them. Its a very informative thread, check it out!

Edited to add: They apparently freeze well! WHOOOOHOOOOO time to stock up. :wub::wub:


Edited by nessa (log)

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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:

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!

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.....

Nessa, do you mind being alittle more specific about your spring roll recipe? They look mahvelous. :smile: I love that you just take cooked/marinated things and can put them together, no frying. However, what do you marinate the cabbage in? Also, do you use roast chicken for your shredded chicken?

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'nessa, you've solved the mooshu sauce mystery for me, thanks! I've been trying to figure out what that stuff was for a while.

My SpringRoll all-time favorite diiping sauce is the MAE PLOY sweet chili sauce, cut with a smidge of rice vinegar. YUM!

Thanks for your pics and tours of Dallas. The scoop on the ethnic diversity there is illuminating, and your writing is a riot to read:

WHOOOOHOOOOO time to stock up.
:wub:

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Nessa, do you mind being alittle more specific about your spring roll recipe? They look mahvelous. :smile:  I love that you just take cooked/marinated things and can put them together, no frying.  However, what do you marinate the cabbage in?  Also, do you use roast chicken for your shredded chicken?

Lets see. I tend to use what's on hand.

What simply cannot be left out, in my opinion, are thai basil, and cilantro.

I marinate the veggies simply because they give more flavor that way, you don't *have* to.

This time I marinated both the carrots and the cabbage in some cider vinegar, sweet rice vinegar and mushroom soy sauce.

The chicken I had was boiled dark meat, that I had used to make that chicken stock for the aforementioned chicken and green chile soup.

I just took the cooked meat out of the freexer, threw on some mushroom soy, and a spalsh of dark sesame oil. Then I nuked it to defrost, and then put back in the fridge overnight since I didn't get around to making them. When I was ready, I put the chicken in the food processor and pulsed a few times to get it shredded.

You can use any meat, or tofu, or leave it out. Leftover meat is great for this, in my opinion. I actually considered shredding some of the brisket for them but figured the smoke flavor might just overpower everything.

Roast chicken would be delish!

I haf oder planz for de brisket... muahhahahhaaaaa :laugh:

edited for color!


Edited by nessa (log)

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'nessa, you've solved the mooshu sauce mystery for me, thanks!  I've been trying to figure out what that stuff was for a while. 

My SpringRoll all-time favorite diiping sauce is the MAE PLOY sweet chili sauce, cut with a smidge of rice vinegar. YUM!

Thanks for your pics and tours of Dallas. The scoop on the ethnic diversity there is illuminating, and your writing is a riot to read:

WHOOOOHOOOOO time to stock up.
:wub:

I looked for YEARS for that **** sauce. Folks would tell me it was a black bean sauce. Fine. I bought ever black bean sauce that I could find. :blink:

Nothing came close. Others told me it was hoisin sauce. Close, but no cigar. I tried all manners of Hoisins. Good stuff, though. Then I was told it was a plum sauce. Same deal, bought a thousand varieties, and nada. Recipes were unsuccessful.

In Chicago, I worked with a Chinese mother and daughter, who took me under their wings. They introduced me to the "north chinatown" which really isnt chinese...

But there was this one huge grocery store on Broadway and Argyle I think?

They introduced me to so many new things, tastes, condiments, methods of prep. etc. Fine people, those women. :wub: In exchange, I taught them how to cook some traditional "American" Food. Namely, Thangsgiving Dinner. I had them over and we did everything from start to finish. WHAT a blast that was. It was a very cross-cultural day. They brought over some light goodies for lunch, as we cooked and then of course we all pigged out for dinner.

I'm digressing again, aren't I? :hmmm:

So anyway I was just moseying down the condiment isle of said store, pretending like I was gonna find that sauce, or whatever.... I picked up a bunch of new ones, read the ingredients, and put them down. Then I picked up the bottle of Chee Hou sauce. I got prickles on the back of my neck. It *looked* like it could be the one, so I took it home with me. They frown on sampling the sauce in the isle, so what choice did I have?

It was spot on. Now, I do dilute it a bit with water, but other than that I use it as is.

So far thats the only brand that I've found.

But hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Johnnyd

I'm just pleased as punch that you are enjoying my blog :biggrin:


Edited by nessa (log)

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They introduced me to so many new things, tastes, condiments, methods of prep.  etc.  Fine people, those women.  :wub:  In exchange, I taught them how to cook some traditional "American" Food.  Namely, Thangsgiving Dinner.  I had them over and we did  everything from start to finish.  WHAT a blast that was.  It was a very cross-cultural day.  They brought over some light goodies for lunch, as we cooked and then of course we all pigged out for dinner.

That sounds like a LOT of fun. Good friends of mine have neighbors from Taiwan that they cook with from time to time. Trading recipes and memories is a great way to learn about the culture. I asked them to try to sell that house next door to a nice Indian family. :laugh:

Thank you for the tip on the sweet chili sauce. I have a recipe that calls for it and haven't been able to find it. You have probably saved my condiment collection from an additional 248 jars of god-knows-what. :biggrin:

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My SpringRoll all-time favorite diiping sauce is the MAE PLOY sweet chili sauce, cut with a smidge of rice vinegar. YUM!

Oooh, I picked this sauce up in a random go and grab through my local chinese market. It was so good I took it for granted and thought all were this good...that's not the case.

Well I'm making myself a grocery list:

mushroom soy (I know Soba raved about this too)

Chee Hou sauce

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For breakfast, I made a masoor dal porridge. I guess thats the right term. Masoor dal is actually pretty sweet, as far as beans go. It cooked in like 10 minutes, while I was in the shower. I laced it with cinnamon, honey, apricots, dates and a dollop of yogurt. I brought it with me to work. I only got to have a bite or two, but it was really quite delicious.

i7844.jpg

For lunch, I was weak. A sales rep showed up with pizza and cookies. I succumbed to free, fattening food and indulged in two slices of combination pizza with a liberal smattering of red pepper. I didn't get pictures, but I think y'all all know what pizza looks like.....

I'm stuffed, and I wish the boss would leave so I could go home and take a nap!

I can feel my arteries clogging as I type. :shock:


Edited by nessa (log)

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Yep. However, that old addage about everything being bigger in Texas is simply untrue. I hate to debunk myths, but I was 4'8.5" on the Arkansas side of the border, and still 4'8.5" on the Texas side of the border. Thus, one can conclude that everything is NOT bigger in Texas. Much to my dismay, of course. :blink:

Maybe you're just using the wrong ruler/tape measure/scale.

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Yep.  However, that old addage about everything being bigger in Texas is simply untrue.  I hate to debunk myths, but I was 4'8.5" on the Arkansas side of the border, and still 4'8.5" on the Texas side of the border.  Thus, one can conclude that everything is NOT bigger in Texas.  Much to my dismay, of course. :blink:

Maybe you're just using the wrong ruler/tape measure/scale.

You're just using the wrong word, my dear. You're not 'short' -- you're 'petite' :hmmm: But you are very tall in terms of personality; whatta great blog. :biggrin:

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I swear that Central Market looks twice as big as any supermarket here. I'm jealous, and I have a wealth of great food at my fingertips: Whole Foods, Andronico's 99 Ranch (for asian specialties). I spent about a month in Dallas 5 years ago for work and really enjoyed myself. Of course, my company was paying for meals, so I ate pretty well, and made friends with one of the locals, who took me to some of his favorite places. I got addicted to Dickey's bbq and Sonic cherry limeade. The company sent a car to pick me up at the airport each weekend when I flew back in (I got to go home every weekend - and wanted to, mostly because I'd just moved into my first house and was still unpacking), and the same guy picked me up every week. After a couple of weeks, I asked him to drive me through Sonic just so I could get some of that cherry limeade. :biggrin:

Your spring/summer/fresh rolls look fantastic Nessa. I've only ever made them with pork and shrimp, Vietnamese style. I'm glad to know what the mushu sauce is - like you I've tried a bunch of different things and nothing's quite right. And we always run out of it before the container is gone. Why do Chinese restaurants only give you 4 pancakes and maybe 1 TBS. of sauce and a full container of mushu filling? :blink:

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So Nessa, is there going to be any Chili in this blog? I ask simply because you live in Texas and I am making a broad sweepering generalization ;).

I tend to cook it about once a week myself, and have been experimenting a lot with Cincinnatti style (with cocoa, poached meat, lots of spices, etc) but would love to see an in depth look from a Texans POV, if that is in the plans that is ;).

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After a couple of weeks, I asked him to drive me through Sonic just so I could get some of that cherry limeade.  :biggrin:

I was pleased as punch when my local Sonics started selling diet cherry limeades! The perfect no-sin soda for the summer.

Nessa,

Any good Texas barbecue joints around you? Of course, looking at that incredible brisket on page 1 of your blog, who needs another barbecue joint? :wink:

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Ok, I forgot to add pictures of yesterday's breakfast and lunch, and now I can't edit them. So here they are:

Breakfast:

i7845.jpg

Lunch:

i7846.jpg

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So Nessa, is there going to be any Chili in this blog? I ask simply because you live in Texas and I am making a broad sweepering generalization ;).

I tend to cook it about once a week myself, and have been experimenting a lot with Cincinnatti style (with cocoa, poached meat, lots of spices, etc) but would love to see an in depth look from a Texans POV, if that is in the plans that is ;).

In a word? No. Chili to me is more of a winter dish. Its gonna make you sweat. It sure helped, in Chicago. I get a hankerin' for it about once a year and make a big ol' vat of it. One bowl and I'm pretty much done for the year. Its good, but.... I don't know. If I start craving chili now, you're in for it! For whatever reason, the combination of spices and chiles that I use absolutely rip my innards apart. I can have off the scale hot Thai, Ethiopian, or what have you....

But that chili is hell on this little red. :raz: Even if its mild. But what the point of mild chili is, I'll never fathom.

I think that a Texan's POV of chili would take up a whole 'nother thread.

Oh Damn. Now I AM craving chili. THANKS. :angry:

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After a couple of weeks, I asked him to drive me through Sonic just so I could get some of that cherry limeade.  :biggrin:

I was pleased as punch when my local Sonics started selling diet cherry limeades! The perfect no-sin soda for the summer.

Nessa,

Any good Texas barbecue joints around you? Of course, looking at that incredible brisket on page 1 of your blog, who needs another barbecue joint? :wink:

OH MY $%@#$#%%&*$ ### They have DIET Cherry limade NOW??? No one told me! I'll be back in a bit......

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Toliver......

I could just KISS you, I swear!

i7849.jpg

I just had to go get me one!

And you know... the carhop FLIRTED with me. This kid, at LEAST 10 years my Jr, came out with the drink, and called me beautiful in the first sentence. He sure knows how to milk a tip. He called me pretty, cute, and then we proceeded to have a conversation about why women who don't need diet drinks order diet drinks :wub: . Smooth operator, that one. Had me all blushing and stuff. Totally made my night, and I owe it all to you, Toliver, so... bottoms up, this cherry-limeade is for you.

:hmmm: I wonder how it tastes with tequila........

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Yep.  However, that old addage about everything being bigger in Texas is simply untrue.  I hate to debunk myths, but I was 4'8.5" on the Arkansas side of the border, and still 4'8.5" on the Texas side of the border.  Thus, one can conclude that everything is NOT bigger in Texas.  Much to my dismay, of course. :blink:

Maybe you're just using the wrong ruler/tape measure/scale.

You're just using the wrong word, my dear. You're not 'short' -- you're 'petite' :hmmm: But you are very tall in terms of personality; whatta great blog. :biggrin:

Awwww, thanks guys!!! Y'all are just such a great crowd, you make a bloggin' gal feel mighty good!

And now time to post dinner........

Stewed veal with mushroom and wild rice risotto, and sauteed spinach with garlic.

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Brrrrrr. This drink sure does cool you off! :cool:

Ok. So last night, I took the marrow bones :wub: and the onions and the juices from the veal, and let them have fun together in the crock pot. Does that make a confit? I'm unclear on the confit concept, I need to do a little research.

There was much goodness in the morning. As you can see here, I am putting them in the pot, and next to that is all that lovely rendered marrow fat.

i7850.jpg

Today, I started with some of that fat, and browned some chopped onions, then added a cup of aborrio rice and then a cup wild/brown/something else mix from central market. Lots of short grains in that mix so perfect for risotto.

Here it is browing before I started adding liquid.

i7852.jpg

I added a bunch of chicken stock and white wine, mushrooms, parsley, and garlic.

Here it is after all the liquid has been added, if you can see it through the steam.

i7853.jpg

And for the final touch, 8 oz parmesan. The SO is a parm hog.

i7854.jpg

For the sauteed spinach, I again reached for the marrow fat. Its all gone now.

To the fat, I add thinly sliced garlic and let it toast a wee bit.

i7856.jpg

Then in goes baby spinach...

i7857.jpg

And all done, with some salt and cracked pepper. Simple, and my second favorite way to have spinach.

i7858.jpg

So I took the veal out and removed residual fat and sinew, then cut it into medallion sized pieces. I put in the stock with all the onions, thyme, and olives.

I added parsley, more onions and mushrooms. I put in another cup of shiraz and let it simmer for about 45 minutes.

i7851.jpg

Then I added some left over Morbier cheese. It seemed like a good match.

i7855.jpg

It was a lovely pairing, if I do say so myself.

i7861.jpg

And here is dinner :biggrin:

i7859.jpg

And yes, the cherry-limade goes passably well with tequila

i7860.jpg

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Toliver......

I could just  KISS you, I swear!

:blush: :blush: :blush:

Fate is funny....because of something trivial written in a (wonderful) blog, you went out for a soda, got flirted on :rolleyes: and discovered a new cocktail, the Sonic No-Sin Margarita.

How's that for serendipity? :laugh:

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Beautiful pictures once again, Nessa!

I was under the impression that confit has to be cooked in duck fat. Not according to a general dictionary, Merriam-Webster:

One entry found for confit.

Main Entry: con·fit

Pronunciation: kOn-'fE, kon-, kän-

Function: noun

Etymology: French, from Old French, preparation, preserves, from past participle of confire to prepare -- more at COMFIT

: meat (as goose, duck, or pork) that has been cooked and preserved in its own fat

I just Googled for "dictionnaire culinaire" to get a more authoritative definition. And what do you know? It's the same definition:

confit n. m.

Pièce de viande ou de volaille conservée dans sa graisse de cuisson.

• Exemple: confit d'oie, de canard.

(Piece of red meat or poultry preserved in its cooking fat.

• Example: confit of goose, of duck.)

There is also a definition of the verb confire:

confire v.

1. Conserver une pièce de viande ou de volaille dans sa graisse de cuisson, tout particulièrement l'oie, le canard, la dinde, le porc.

2. Conserver des fruits en les enrobant de sucre ou en les imbibant d'alcool.

3. Conserver dans le vinaigre des légumes: cornichons, câpres, etc.

(1. To preserve a piece of red meat or poultry in its cooking fat, especially goose, duck, turkey, pork.

2. To preserve fruits by enrobing them with sugar or soaking them in alcohol.

3. To preserve vegetables in vinegar: cornichons, capers, etc.)

For those of you who read French, enjoy this culinary dictionary (Click the underlined text dictionnaire culinaire complet!)


Edited by Pan (log)

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Yes, Toliver, most serendipitous!

Pan: Oh well, not a confit then. It *sounded* cool anyway.

Whatever it was, it was sinfully good. How could it not be with all that fat and juicy bits of whatnot. I'm going to have to put my talk into action after this blog is over and get my butt over to the gym.

The *only* reason I've not made more desserts this week is 'cause who has the time? Thank goodness for small blessings.

Tomorrow I am meeting another Egulletier at the Jasmine Market and Cafe. I'll discuss with her and see if she wishes to be mentioned :raz: .

My plan, at this point :blink: is to make kofta and stuffed grape leaves and some kind of yogurt sauce.

I've some plans for making a Tex-Mex meal on Sunday.

I forget when I tag someone, Sunday morning? Or Sunday night?


Edited by nessa (log)

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      On the right is our guide, Tong, who is now a very famous and highly sought after guide in BKK.... at the time, we were among here first customers.  I had a chicken broth based noodle soup with fish ball, fish cake and pork meatball, and my wife had yen ta fo, which is odd because it is bright pink with seafood.  I have a lime juice, and my wife had a longan juice.
       
      This is what a lot of local food places look like:

       
       
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