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What recipe are you lusting after but have never found the "exact" one?

I think we all have a dish in the back of our mind that we have spent years wishing we could experience again, but somehow the essence of it eludes us.

The restaurant closes or the relative dies & the recipe cannot ever be replicated. But wait, out there somewhere, someone knows exactly how to prepare it. A true case for Chowhounds to sniff out.

Give us some clues as to where you ate it, your closest recipe to it & why you think it is still lacking something.

My search has always been for tomato gravy, already queried here on a thread, but sadly, the flavor is still not "it". As time went on, it occurred to me the recipe may be called "shrimp" gravy since the lady that made it only fixed fresh & saltwater fish at her restaurant, so she may have finely minced some shrimp in the gravy. Well, that sends me off on a different path altogether.

Good luck, someone out here just may have what you are looking for!

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  1. I have never found a good Japanese salad dressing recipe like the one I have a good restaurants. I know there are shredded carrots and onions but the dressing is never as good. Can anyone help me?

    6 Replies
    1. re: Gloriaa

      Boy, that's exactly what I was going to post! There's a miso dressing on Epicurious that's damn close, and a ton of ginger/carrot ones other places that people swear by but isn't at all the thing I'm thinking of. Now I'm off to tinker...

      1. re: Gloriaa

        Agreed, I dream of making that at home.

        1. re: Gloriaa

          Makoto-Style Japanese Salad Dressing


          o 1 piece peeled gingerroot
          o 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
          o 1 tablespoon chopped onions
          o 1 tablespoon water
          o 1/4 cup vegetable oil
          o 1 teaspoon sesame oil
          o 1 tablespoon tomato paste
          o 1 pinch sugar
          o 1 pinch salt
          o 2 tablespoons soy sauce


          1. Combine ingredients in a blender and process until fairly smooth.
          2. Store in the refrigerator.

          1. re: AngelaID

            Is that - say - around a thumb-sized piece of ginger?
            Thanks for the recipe, I've been trying to wing this one at home and failing miserably - mine was always too weak. Never thought of using tomato paste.

            1. re: khh1138

              I worked in a string of Japanese restaurants back in the day. Ketchup or tomato paste is definitely the X-factor you are looking for in the ginger dressing that has a dark orange/reddish tint. We made it in almost grotesque quantities (kept in the freezer in a giant plastic garbage can). We kept a smaller bucket full of a ketchup-less, slightly different dressing for when discriminating Japanese customers came in… The recipe above doesn't have ponzu--a dash of that is usually added, too.

          2. re: Gloriaa

            Mandarin Sauce they use on the Mandarin Chicken at The Golden Star in, believe it or not, Boise, Idaho! I worked their for a couple of years and because absolutely addicted to that sauce!

            Here is the 'recipe' as relayed to me:

            "Mandarin Chicken Sauce

            1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
            1 cup sugar
            small can of crushed pineapple
            1 teaspoon of brown molasses
            1 tablespoon marachino cherry juice and a few halves

            Bring mixture to a slow boil
            Thicken to desired consistency with corn starch/water mixture

            Quantities are just rough approximations. Be sure and taste as you go along. We always made such large batches, it's hard to break it down."

            But I'm pretty sure they left something out, because it's not even close to the sauce I'm addicted to.

          3. An ethiopian eggplant stew, served at Harar in San Diego.

            1. Sweet potato cobbler or sonker as my Grandma called hers. I can't justify experimenting with it much any more since I don't have anyone to help eat them any more. :-( Dang, you had to make me think of it, didn't you? lol.

              My mother made a pineapple coconut cake that we took for granted all those years and thought it so simple we didn't bother asking how she made the icing. I'd love to make it for my sisters for the precious memories.

              I started another thread about pickled beets and turnips I had at a Middle Eastern restaurant. After several trials at least a year ago, I put it aside and just yesterday started another batch. Fingers crossed.

              4 Replies
              1. re: MrsJonesey

                Mrs Jonesey, I was so surprised to see that you have been seeking a sweet potato cobbler recipe. I have been searching for years. My paternal grandmother who was from Alabama made an absolutely delicious sweet potato cobbler, but unthinking girl that I was, I never thought to ask her for her recipe. Most people look at me strangely when I mention it and say they have never heard of sweet potato cobbler.

                1. re: Wtg2Retire

                  Just recently, the NY Times had an article on sonkers: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/03/din...

                  Alas, they don't provide a recipe for sweet potato sonkers, but they do talk about them.

                  1. re: sr44

                    We must have posted at the same time. You'd think if they were doing that article that they'd have given a recipe, wouldn't you? There is a link to a strawberry sonker, I believe they called it The Lazy Sonker. I might can work with that. I am going to go to Barney's in Mt. Airy to try theirs.

                  2. re: Wtg2Retire

                    Ah, a kindred soul. It was my paternal grandmother as well, only she lived in southern NC. Did you know that there is a Sweet Potato Sonker Festival in Surry County, NC? I think I just might try to go this year. Maybe if I find one like my grandmother's, the baker will share their recipe. The ones I've made have a wonderful flavor but I haven't been able to get the syrup/dough ratio just right. The dough tends to soak up all the syrup. Anyway, here's a bit of reading for you.



                    Also, Cooks Country came up with a recipe, but it is so not like my grandmother's. This should be called Sweet Potato Pie. A sonker does not use pie dough! http://www.chefscatalog.com/recipe/de...

                2. The brown style of Lobster sauce for the chinese/polynesian dish "Shrimp with Lobster sauce." Growing up in CT & MA, that's what it always was. Rich & garlicky & eggy with ground pork in it. When the polynesian restaurants went away, and the restaurants were doing more Szechuan style dishes, it somehow became the white sauce. I have tried to make it, but it's never quite right. Would LOVE to find it - thanks

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Lmrbest

                    Here is a recipe I've used many times:

                    Shrimp with Lobster Sauce (or Shrimp Cantonese)

                    • 3 T neutral vegetable oil
                    • 2 T salted or fermented black beans, rinsed, drained, and coarsely chopped (optional)
                    • 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
                    • ½ lb. ground pork
                    • 1 ½ T soy sauce
                    • 2 C chicken broth
                    • 1 tsp. honey
                    • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
                    • ¼ - ½ tsp. ground ginger
                    • 1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
                    • 2 T. cornstarch + 2 T cold water, mixed to a smooth paste
                    • 3-4 green onions, washed, trimmed, and cut into ½ -inch lengths
                    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
                    • Salt to taste

                    Heat the oil in a large skillet (or wok) over high heat. Add the black beans, if using, and stir-fry for about 15 seconds. Add the garlic and pork and stir-fry until the pork loses its pink color. Stir in the soy sauce, chicken broth, honey, pepper, and ginger; bring to a boil. Add the raw shrimp; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 3-4 minutes. Add the cornstarch paste to the shrimp and stir until the sauce thickens. Stir in the chopped green onions. Pour the beaten egg over the lobster and stir slightly until the egg is just set. Do not overcook. Remove and transfer to serving dish. Serve with rice. (Serves 4)

                    The last few times I've used Nina Simond's recipe for Lobster Cantonese, usually subbing in shrimp for the lobster. It's a slightly fussier recipe, but very tasty too. If you're interested in that one, I'll type it up for you.

                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                      Thank you so much, I will try this. Love the black beans, I always have some in the refrigerator.

                    2. re: Lmrbest

                      Like you I am driven to make Shrimp with Lobster Sauce like in the restaurants. And growing up in New England, it was always the dark version. I prefer the white version. But I once tried a recipe and ended up with the dark version just by sheer chance. It was the black bean sauce. When I added that I knew immediately that it was the key if you like the dark version.

                    3. Ebinger's Mocha Buttercream Cake

                      The must-have cake for all special occasions when I was growing up in Brooklyn.

                      Any thoughts, New Yorkers?

                      1. Here's the recipe we've been looking forL
                        Grape Salad served by the Coleman House Inn (B&B) Swainsboro, Georgia.

                        The inn has the epitome of southern cooking buffet - and the grape salad is really something special.

                        Can anyone share the recipe?

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: G8trDoc

                          The Southern ladies at our pot lucks here in West Georgia make their grape salad with sour cream, brown sugar and pecans. And grapes. That's it.

                          1. re: kitchengardengal

                            I was so repulsed when my sister-in-law told me she had made this. And then I ate it. And then I couldn't stop eating it. And now I'm going to spend the rest of the night thinking about grape salad.

                            1. re: senorahb

                              I've got a bowl of seedless red grapes sitting in a bowl on the kitchen counter that will meet their fate as a grape salad with dinner tomorrow!
                              I'd never heard of it till I had it at one of our Master Gardener potlucks. Now I make it whenever the grapes have sat around for a few days, and DH and I are tired of eating them. Like you, I have a hard time stopping once I've started on that salad.

                              1. re: senorahb

                                I grew up eating that salad, except with either blueberries or raspberries. So good.

                            2. re: G8trDoc

                              Grape salad, I think I have that salad in one or more of my spiral bound church/community cookbooks. Will do some searching for you.

                              I miss those old timey recipes too!!

                              1. re: G8trDoc

                                Grape Salad
                                I have found several recipes for grape salad, but need to ask you a couple of questions about it so I can narrow it down to more or less what you are looking for.

                                Was it a "frozen" salad? I found one for frozen grape salad.

                                Did it have whipped cream or any other type of fruit in it?

                                Was it a congealed type salad?

                                1. re: cstout

                                  It's a "soft" congealed type. Softer than Jello but firmer than say sour cream.

                                  We've tried to reproduce it with sour cream, Philadelphia style cream cheese, and yogurt. (not at the same time of course) but it just doesn't come out the same as the original.

                                  And the inn guards the recipe like it was a national secret. Actually, based on recent events, it's guarded BETTER than national secrets.

                                  1. re: G8trDoc

                                    Maybe you should email Snowden and ask him to look into it. ;-)

                                2. An Ethiopian chicken stew with lots of onion, eaten with flatbread. Can't recall the name of the dish.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: lyden

                                    Doro wat? I don't have a special recipe, but there are numerous available online.

                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                      Thanks, nomadchowwoman! That looks like the dish I remember. There's even a slow-cooker recipe that looks perfect for this hot weather.

                                  2. This was an easy one... and lust is definitely involved. A dish named Nam Kao Tod prepared at Lotus of Slam in Vegas. It's made with sour sausage, fresh chili peppers, ginger, onions, peanuts and crispy rice. After many years of trying to duplicate it, I've gotten close to the taste of the dish. I'm totally lost about how they prepare their crispy rice, and this is a key element to the dish.

                                    This restaurant has been talked about for years ever since it was named "Best Thai Restaurant" by Gourmet magazine 10+ years ago. The owners have been asked a million times for the recipe. But sadly, will take to their graves!

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Phoebe

                                      For the rice, perhaps look at Fuchsia Dunlop's cookbook - Every Grain of Rice? She provides detailed instructions for many versions of rice prep, including a "crispy" one.

                                      1. re: Phoebe

                                        Phoebe--I've been in search in this recipe too. I was going to link you to this thread until I noticed you had posted in it, too. Have you seen any of the helpful comments others posted after you? http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5236...


                                      2. This indonesian marinade / sauce that I had at a beachside cafe in bali (Cafe Bagus on Jimbaran Beach)...

                                        I just remember that this diver would come out from the water throughout the day and he would be dragging or wearing a net full of fish, shrimp, lobsters and bivalves.

                                        You then pointed at what you wanted and they would grill it up and serve with bowl of rice and a bowl of this dark sauce that was spicy, salty and fragrant.

                                        This was 15 years ago... I can't even remember what it really tasted like, I just know I went back 5 days in a row for lunch and / or dinner.

                                        ANy thoughts would be much appreciated!

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: FattyDumplin

                                          How about the fish with spicy sour sauce recipe from this book? http://www.amazon.com/The-Bali-Cookbo... You can view the recipe on Amazon. It calls for a couple of component recipes you can't view on Amazon, but those are pretty standard elements, I think: http://agungagus.blogspot.com/2010/03...

                                          If you think it's even close to the one you are seeking and end up trying it, let us know if you think it's close to "the one."


                                        2. Cranberry Orange Bread (Loaf)

                                          This is a bread I was served in my childhood by a woman who was a cook by trade. She was Canadian with a British heritage and she gave us the impression she was using a lot of her Mom's recipes so I'd say this must be a recipe from the 1960's or even earlier. It was baked in a loaf pan so I have assumed it was a quick bread. The loaf was very moist and yellow in colour with fresh, tart cranberries. I don't recall there being any orange zest in it but I do recall a lovely orange flavour as if freshly squeezed oranges were used.

                                          The closest recipe I've found is from the Ocean Spray Cranberry bag (thanks to a Hound). It was close but not the same.

                                          I'd guess that eggs and butter provided the richness.

                                          10 Replies
                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                            Here's a link to a James Beard recipe I've used. Note the cranberry-orange variation in the recipe notes.


                                            I also have a recipe for a marbled cranberry bread that's very moist and absolutely delicious, which I'd e happy to share, but I doubt that it's what you're thinking of.

                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                              marbled cranberry bread, oh please share with us. I purchased a mini loaf at a bake sale held at a gas station in a town I was passing through. That was way back when before internet & have since forgotten about it since you just mentioned it. It was so good & thought that would make excellent gifts. Do you bake yours in mini loaves??

                                              1. re: cstout

                                                Yes, I do, cstout--dozens during November and December. The marbling comes from the cream cheese mixture, btw. Here's the recipe:

                                                CRANBERRY-CREAM CHEESE- NUT BREAD

                                                ½ c. golden raisins (or dried cherries)*
                                                ½ c. bourbon (optional)

                                                4 T butter, softened
                                                1/3 c. white sugar
                                                2/3 c. light brown sugar
                                                1 lg. egg
                                                2 c. all purpose flour
                                                2 tsp. baking powder
                                                ½ tsp. baking soda
                                                ½ tsp. salt
                                                ¾ c. orange juice

                                                2 ½ c. fresh cranberries
                                                ¾ c. coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts (or combination)

                                                6 oz. cream cheese, softened
                                                1/3 c. sugar
                                                1 lg. egg
                                                grated zest of one orange

                                                In small bowl, combine raisins (and bourbon, if using). Add boiling water to cover. Let stand 30 minutes. Drain.

                                                In separate bowl, cream butter and sugar; add egg and mix well. (I use a mixer for this, but you can do it by hand.)
                                                In another bowl sift flour, baking powder, soda and salt together. Add flour to butter mixture, alternating with orange juice and ending with flour. (I use mixer on low setting.) Stir in raisins, cranberries, and nuts.

                                                Prepare filling: Process all ingredients until smooth. Pour 2/3 batter into 9"x5" loaf pan which has been greased and floured. Top with cream cheese filling. Top off with remaining batter. Use a butter knife to swirl the batter and cream cheese filling. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven until golden brown, 55 or 60 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan; turn on wire rack to cool completely. Keeps best in refrigerator and also freezes very well.

                                                Makes 1 loaf (but I also make this recipe in smaller loaf pans and adjust the cooking times).

                                                *My friend made this recipe subbing dried cranberries for the raisins since she doesn’t like raisins and had no cherries. It was good, too, although I prefer a more contrasting fruit.

                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                  Cranberry Bread - Oh Mercy!!! Thank you thank you. I have tried several cranberry bread recipes in the past & they were just so so in my opinion.

                                                  These are going in my folder called "food gifts" for sure.

                                                  Can these breads be frozen? Would be nice to make a bunch up about a month before Christmas.

                                                  1. re: cstout

                                                    You are most welcome, cstout. I hope you like this.

                                                    A tip: if you aren't going to freeze them but want to store them in the fridge for a few days, I find that the surface stays dryer and doesn't get gummy if the loaf is stored in paper rather than plastic film or foil. I wrap them in parchment paper and tie with baker's twine or a pretty ribbon when I give them as gifts.

                                                    Yes, I've frozen many loaves over the years. I've taken to freezing fresh cranberries, too, so I can make these loaves at other times of the year. But there is nothing like a slice of this when it's barely cooled. My husband has to be stopped or he'll eat the whole thing!

                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                      Love the idea for parchment paper & baker's twine or ribbon. Thanks again!

                                            2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                              My Dad's hometown is Carver, Mass, known for its cranberries, and I have one of those spiral bound local charity recipe books, fireman's (sic) auxillary, to be exact, that has an entire chapter on cranberries....anyway, the "secret" ingredient in their version of cranberry orange bread is evaporated milk....and IIRC, this makes an almost yellow-orangey-pale loaf cake, and is a bit moister than most cranberry breads, including the ocean spray version. Does this sound like the right direction?

                                              1. re: qianning

                                                Your cranberry orange bread recipe using evaporated milk - could you share that recipe with us? I am collecting cranberry recipes to make as gifts. Also, anything other cranberry recipe from your spiral book would be appreciated. Chutney, jams or other condiments. Thanks.

                                                1. re: cstout

                                                  sorry, just saw this. cranberry nut bread-
                                                  1.5 c raw cranberry
                                                  .25 c sugar
                                                  3 c flour
                                                  .75 c sugar
                                                  2 tsp b. powder
                                                  1 tsp b. soda
                                                  1 tsp salt
                                                  grated orange rind
                                                  1 c chopped nuts
                                                  .75 c evaporated milk
                                                  .25 c orange juice
                                                  1 egg
                                                  2 TBSP melted butter

                                                  -wash, dry, & slice cranberries; mix w/ .25c sugar
                                                  -sift together, flour, b. powder, b. soda, salt; mix with .75 c sugar.
                                                  -Add orange rind, nuts, cranberries to the mix.
                                                  -Add evap milk, oj, eggs, butter, mix well.
                                                  -place in well greased loaf pan, bake at 350F for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean.

                                                  As for other recipes, there have got to be around twenty in this book---more than I can type out, and most i've never tried....if you have an email address, i'd be happy to scan and send....

                                                  1. re: qianning

                                                    This sounds great qianning, I have all these ingredients on hand. If time permits (and the ice storm doesn't kill our power) I'll definitely make this. Thank-you!

                                            3. My mom used to make a freezer dessert that was very much like a sherbet. I'm pretty sure it was made with strawberry Jello and milk, but I don't know what else (if anything). She would put it in one of those double-wide aluminim ice cube trays (without the divider). It was very light and milky/fruity. Does this ring a bell with anyone? I might add she made this during the 50s.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: Pwmfan

                                                Pwmfan - freezer dessert. Yes, yes I have also eaten that & have the recipe in one of my books SOMEWHEERE. Please hang on while I do some searching.

                                                We ate a lot of that stuff, was cheap to make & took the place of ice cream, which was a rare treat.

                                                I remember the jello flavors were varied & I think the fruit was canned fruit cocktail, or sometimes fresh chopped peaches added, bottled cherries with some juice.

                                                Absolutely eaten in the 50s!

                                                1. re: Pwmfan

                                                  Strawberry Sherbet. Found this recipe in a large paper sack of old recipes I got from my mother & grandmother. Think this might be the one.

                                                  1 small package strawberry jello
                                                  1 cup sugar
                                                  1 cup boiling water
                                                  1 quart whole milk
                                                  1/2 cup strawberry jam (homemade if possible)

                                                  Dissolve sugar & jello in boiling water. Add milk.
                                                  Place bowl of mixture in freezer & freeze one hour.
                                                  Take out & beat until mushy.
                                                  Mix in strawberry jam & then place in freezer trays. Serve when mixture is hard.

                                                  1. re: cstout

                                                    Thank you very much for taking the time to find this for me. It sure sounds like what I remember. I can't wait to make some!

                                                2. Years ago, there was a recipe in (as I recall) Bon Appetit for a caramel and chocolate tart made with brown sugar. We moved, I lost it, and I have NEVER found it anywhere! Even Google has failed me. It was one of the best I'd ever made, and I would really like to find it again.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: JulesNoctambule

                                                    There is a newspaper article in the Google Newspaper archve from Feb 2001.
                                                    The Valentines related article lists a Bon Appetit recipe from the Feb 2001 magazine for a Chocolate, Pecan and Caramel Tart.

                                                    Here are the ingredients:

                                                    7 whole graham crackers, broken into pieces
                                                    2 Tbsp plus 1 cup sugar
                                                    6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
                                                    2 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
                                                    2 cups pecan halves, toasted
                                                    1/4 cup water
                                                    1 cup whipping cream
                                                    2 Tbsp unsalted butter
                                                    6 oz milk chocolate, chopped

                                                    Instructions at second link below:

                                                    Article about Bon Appetit Chocolate, Pecan and Caramel Tart - Feb 2001

                                                    Recipe for Bon Appetit Chocolate, Pecan and Caramel Tart - Feb 2001

                                                    1. re: JulesNoctambule

                                                      Hi Jules,

                                                      I found two recipes that may or may not be what you are looking for. One is from the February 1993 issue of Bon Appetit. I found it on the recipe Girl website:


                                                      The other is from the January 1999 issue of Gourmet magazine: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                      If these don't work Bon Appetit has a service where they will try to find old lost Bon Appetit recipes for you. You can e-mail your request to: askba_ba@condenast.com. Be sure to include as much information about the recipe as you can. I used this service and it took them about a month, but they found the recipe I had lost. Best of luck. Jim

                                                      1. re: AKJim

                                                        Alas, neither are it, though I appreciate it! This tart had a caramel layer topped with a thin layer of ganache, not a caramel sauce. I may have to try that recipe request - thank you!

                                                        1. re: JulesNoctambule

                                                          The recipe I posted above has a layer of caramel topped with a thin layer of ganache.

                                                    2. Curry, like in a restaurant. Mine is always too creamy or something. Not the right kind of heat either.

                                                      1. I have eaten many times at MiLah Vegetarian in Philly and love their food! I wish I could figure out how to make their Tomyum soup at home. It is delicious! I know that one of its secrets is that it has keffir lime leaves. I have tried different proportions of cocunut milk, red curry paste and broth but cannot seem to replicate it. I have search online for Tomyum recipes as well as Red curry soups. Please help!!

                                                        1. When I was a kid, there was a take out restaurant called Boston Fish Company at Six Corners in Chicago. The Irving, Cicero, MIlwaukee one. They had this fried fish that was the best I've ever had in my life, before or since. Fried to a medium dark orangey brown. It was a spicy heavy crumb coating, not a batter. No one outside my family even remembers the place and I will never know what that spice blend was and how they made that damn fish. :-(

                                                          8 Replies
                                                          1. re: Violatp

                                                            I have had the same kind if fish ( this was catfish) at a barbeque place. You went there for the fish, not the barbeque.

                                                            The coating was course ground cornmeal & maybe a touch of flour. What gave it the orange/brown color, I don't know. And as you said, it very spicy. Just a wonderful flavor that I have never experienced before. Very unique!

                                                            Perhaps someone makes this same fish at home. If we are lucky.

                                                            1. re: cstout

                                                              Wouldn't that be crazy if it was pretty much the same thing? I'm not a great deep fryer, but if I had this recipe, I would LEARN.

                                                              1. re: Violatp

                                                                Fish batter - Violatp, I don't like to deep fry either. But this will certainly be an exception!

                                                                Was looking at "Uglesich's Restaurant Cookbook" from New Orleans & noticed they used egg beaters a lot in the fried seafood coating & for the shrimp po-boy the recipe called for something called "cream meal". Have no idea what that was.

                                                                Guess we need to just keep searching for "fish batter" on the net. I will keep you posted.

                                                                1. re: cstout

                                                                  I think that cream meal is a grind of corn meal.

                                                            2. re: Violatp

                                                              Have you tried a seafood spice mixture, like Old Bay? Not local to Chicago (or Boston, for that matter), but it can be quite spicy and has an orange-y brown color....

                                                              1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                You know I haven't, but I should. For some reason I've always associated Old Bay with boils and never deep fried fish.

                                                                Never knew why they called the place Boston Fish Company!

                                                                1. re: Violatp

                                                                  Is there any chance you're thinking of Boston Fish Market? They're in Des Plaines now but apparently used to be in the city somewhere. I haven't had their fried fish yet but people go crazy over it.


                                                                  1. re: wandajune6

                                                                    Well, yes and no. I could be wrong on the correct name of the place, other than being 100% sure it started with "Boston." But, I've checked out the place in your link and it's not the same one. :-(

                                                                    But, you know what? It's worth contacting them again. Who knows, maybe the person I spoke to before was talking out of their ass. Heh.

                                                            3. I posted a request here years ago but to no avail.
                                                              When last in Portugal in 1982, I had a splendid noodle casserole with lobster, cream and Port wine. What made it so memorable were the whole claws and large chunks of tail in this heavenly rich sauce. Anyone out there with a Portuguese connection who can guide me to this "top ten" of my culinary life?

                                                              7 Replies
                                                              1. re: Chefpaulo

                                                                Try going on Jean Anderson's website and asking her...she is THE US authority on Portuguese food.

                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                  Just did so. Will keep Your Butterliness advised. Thank you.

                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                        Well, yes and no. Jean did respond indicating that my heart's desire sounded like a concoction that a French chef living in Portugal came up with as the use of cream and noodles is not of Portuguese origin. So, a national dish it is not. She suggested a number of high end restaurants in a number of cities (I usually seek out the local eateries) and provided some names of famous friends and their current operations who might be able to help. However, her admonition that my French/Portuguese chef of 31 years ago may be long retired or have moved on is most likely the case.

                                                                        I have some good Croft Port and, when my local ShopRite has their Labor Day lobster fest, I'll spring for three or four and give it a try myself. And many thanks to Antilope for the guidelines below.

                                                                        1. re: Chefpaulo

                                                                          Let us know how it works out, and post the recipe if you nail it!

                                                                  1. re: Chefpaulo

                                                                    Google Translation


                                                                    Creme de Lagosta - Cream of Lobster

                                                                    Ingredients for 8 people

                                                                    • 450 g of cooked lobster meat, cut into small pieces
                                                                    • 4 tablespoons butter
                                                                    • 100 g chopped onion
                                                                    • 75 g chopped celery
                                                                    • 40 g flour
                                                                    • 0.5 l of broth cooking the lobster
                                                                    • 2.5 dl milk
                                                                    • 0.5 l cream
                                                                    • 0.5 dl of Port Wine
                                                                    • salt and peppercorns freshly ground
                                                                    • parsley

                                                                    Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the onion and celery and simmer until vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with flour, stir with a wooden spoon, but do not let it brown. Drizzle slowly with lobster stock, not stopping to stir. Add the milk and cream and simmer about 15 minutes. Add the lobster and port wine, rectify the seasoning with salt and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes.

                                                                    Pour in blender and blend until smooth and creamy and smooth. Bring back to the boil, only the time needed to get the soup hot. Distribute it for 8 soup bowls and sprinkle the service with a little chopped parsley. Serve below.

                                                                  2. Great thread, cstout!

                                                                    I just read through your tomato gravy thread and I wonder if we are looking for the same gravy. I have posted my gravy hunt details over there, but I have been on a mission to make an etouffee gravy that is served with sweet potato fries at a Cajun restaurant near me. The etouffee gravy recipes that I have tried have not panned out, but I recently found a recipe with tomatoes that looks promising. I linked to it on that thread.

                                                                    My other recipe hunt is for a curry beef stew that my cousin’s wife, who was from Ireland, used to make. It had carrots, potatoes, onions and cauliflower, and was out of this world. I have not managed to recreate it yet. Sadly, she has passed, and the recipe with her.

                                                                    1. The recipe for roast chicken at Bandera (owned by Houston's).

                                                                      1. I can get this on occasion locally, or if I wanted to make a run to the city I guess I can get it all the time. I'd like to be able to have it whenever I want but have been unsuccessful in my search for a similar recipe. This is the most delicious bread I have ever tasted, and it is so very healthy too.

                                                                        Eli Zabars Health Loaf

                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                        1. re: coll

                                                                          I love this bread too. You can occasionally find it at Costco in my area, and at Fairway.

                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                            We have a Costco opening in the next few months, meanwhile my grocery in town imports it on a regular basis. Well and Eli has a farmers market in Easthampton if I get desperate, I'd sure like to make it myself though. However I don't blame him for hogging the recipe, it's priceless.

                                                                            1. re: coll

                                                                              That would be interesting. Have you ever tried to make it?

                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                Not at all. And even if Eli shared his recipe I bet he'd leave something out, like baking powder or whatnot.

                                                                                No worries, I have a whole loaf in the freezer right now, hoarding it for just the right time ;-)

                                                                        2. My father's catfish curry is something that has always eluded me. I've asked him for the recipe, but his imprecise measurements and vague references to adding a little of "this" and a shake of "that" make me think he doesn't really *know* how to make so much as he *feels* how to make it.

                                                                          Kerala fish curry is another dish I haven't quite mastered. Perhaps because I use tamarind paste versus the Malabar tamarind or kokum or whole tamarind usually called for, perhaps because my spices are never as fresh as the restaurant, but I've never had as good a meen curry as I did at the Miami Beach Setai a couple years ago.

                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                          1. re: JungMann

                                                                            Are you able to watch your father, sheet of paper in hand to catch/measure/release the items as he's adding them? Also capture a video of him in action, if you can.

                                                                            1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                              My wife made a salad dressing with "a little bit of this and a little bit of that". I weighed the containers before and after she made the recipe. I then had the ingredient amounts in grams. After that it was just a matter of weighing out the ingredients again and taking a volume measurement.

                                                                              1. re: Antilope

                                                                                smarty smart smart!!
                                                                                It's so tough, because that's how I learned to cook from my mum, and that's how she learned to cook from her mum - "the little bit of this (it feels right in your hand), watch until it looks right," school of cooking, and it's practically impossible to communicate it to someone else.

                                                                              2. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                We live in different parts of the country so phone is the best I can do. The one day a year I visit is also the one day a year he eats at a restaurant (so he claims), so we usually go out when I'm in town.

                                                                              3. re: JungMann

                                                                                JungMann, a number of years ago I was on a houseboat in the backwaters of Kerala. The cook just bought a fish from a passing fisherman and I asked to watch him cook. As he was making the curry I looked over his shoulder and made notes. I have not made that curry in a long time but must still have the recipe. Not sure if it will be similar to your father's but if you like I'd look for it.

                                                                              4. The duck sauce and egg rolls from the old Tea Garden Chinese restaurant in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh.

                                                                                There have been threads on both:

                                                                                but nothing that is as good as the originals.

                                                                                1. Lime soup. I love it when I'm in Mexico. I tried the Homesick Texan recipe but the cinnamon stuck was all wrong.

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                    Yucatan's "Sopa de Lima"

                                                                                    1 fresh red pepper (sliced)
                                                                                    2 ripe red tomatoes (sliced)
                                                                                    1 small sweet onion (sliced)
                                                                                    2 dried laurel leaf (crushed)
                                                                                    1 crushed garlic clove
                                                                                    3 tablespoons of frying oil
                                                                                    20 oz. of fresh chicken bouillon (salted to your taste)
                                                                                    2 Yucatan Limas (juice, pulp and a little bit of the limas' skin grindings)

                                                                                    Recipe halfway down the looooong page at this link:

                                                                                    1. re: Antilope

                                                                                      I suspect they meant "diced", not "sliced". That's the way it's typically done.

                                                                                      And I would use green bell pepper. In the Yucatan they use chile dulce, which is green and mild. Green bell would be closest, and thus you get the contrasting red and green in the broth.

                                                                                      I'm looking at a recipe in a Yucatecan cookbook and a Diana Kennedy recipe. Both add a pinch of dried oregano. The former adds a bit of chopped cilantro, not much. Some options to consider.

                                                                                      1. re: Soul Vole

                                                                                        Yum! Thank you both! I will definitely try this recipe. Funny when I googled it a year or 2 ago there was only the Homesick Texan recipe. Seems to be many more posted now

                                                                                  2. Meatloaf. My mom made it with ground beef, and sometimes a little ground pork, white bread, seasoning, egg, and a spoonful of tomato paste. I cannot, cannot, cannot (think of Don Music on Sesame Street) get it right. Worse, I'm trying to low carb it for my husband, so trying to go easy on the bread.

                                                                                    All my loaves are either too break-aparty, or blah, or too oily.

                                                                                    15 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                      This! Mine tend to be tough. I TRY not to overcook. I TRY not to over mix. But my meatloaf is le suck.

                                                                                      1. re: Bliss149

                                                                                        It took me almost 40 years, off and on, to get a recipe that is the right texture. I ditched the bread crumbs for oatmeal and Ritz crackers, just a 1/4 cup of each, and I'm finally getting there. Always Meatloaf Mix for the meat too, that's crucial (equal parts beef, pork and veal).

                                                                                        It's funny, but meatloaf is one of the hardest things I've ever tried to get right. I can't even say for sure I'm there yet.

                                                                                        1. re: Bliss149

                                                                                          Meatloaf is one of those things that has eluded me for I don't know how many years. First thing I look for in a cookbook is the meatloaf recipe.

                                                                                          I can't even remember anyone else's meatloaf tasting all that great either. (sorry Granny). Maybe it's just me.

                                                                                          1. re: cstout

                                                                                            My grandmother always put a few hard boiled eggs in the middle of her meatloaf. The meat was great but the eggs just made it over the top for me. Wish she was still around to ask.

                                                                                            1. re: cstout

                                                                                              Meatloaf is easy to make as long as you do not overmanipulate it and compress the meat too much, a few turns to incorporate the ingredients is all that is needed. As well you need to use ground beef that is at least lean to medium. I use poultry seasoning in mine. What is it about the meatloaf that you do not like?

                                                                                              1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                Meatloaf tips - thank you. I guess I have either tasted gummy, crumbly, dry & just plain tasteless stuff. Or, in the other extreme, so many spices I did not even taste the meat.

                                                                                                I do love ground meat & am hoping some day a good recipe pop up somewhere. Thanks for your concern, the poultry seasoning sounds interesting.

                                                                                                1. re: cstout

                                                                                                  If dry you may be manipulating it too much or you meat is too lean. In a separate bowl add 1 egg, and 1/4 cup of milk or ketchup and 1 slice of bread which has been chopped, let stand for 15 minutes and add the mush to the meat and gently mix together along with your spices. I put onion slices on the top of mine as my son dislikes onions in meat and I cook at 350 until done. The only seasoning I add is poultry about a teaspoon and it is gentle and delicate in flavour.

                                                                                                  1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                    Meatloaf, again, thanks for the tips, I usually get ground chuck 80/20. Never have tried the bread since I always wondered what was the purpose of the bread, but read some previous posts mentioned here & now understand the concept.

                                                                                                    Am going to make a make a meatloaf using your methods. Ruthie, you are a dear, think I am getting closer to making something tasty.

                                                                                                    Also, thanks to the other meatloaf tips posted.

                                                                                                    1. re: cstout

                                                                                                      The bread mushy stuff will soften your meatloaf and help to keep it all together.

                                                                                                  2. re: cstout

                                                                                                    Not exactly traditional, but I love Ina's turkey meatloaf. It turns out moist and delicious everytime.

                                                                                                    Tried to link recipe, but can't. It's on the FN site.

                                                                                                1. re: cstout

                                                                                                  I cannot make meatloaf to save my life despite hours reading chow tips about not overworking it, etc.

                                                                                                  Starting to think over cooking is part of the problem.

                                                                                              2. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                I had a bad run too but finally got it. Over season like crazy- mustard, catsup, Worcestershire, garlic, hot sauce, garlic..did I say garlic? Leftover spaghetti sauce from a jar is also a good addition or a topper.
                                                                                                Don't handle the meat anymore than needed to get the shape.
                                                                                                Don't cheat on the breadcrumbs and if possible use the heels of sandwich bread in your chopper or processor to make fresh bread crumbs.
                                                                                                I use an 85 to 90 percent fat ground meat. Meatloaf mix from most stores is a safe bet or just use chuck.

                                                                                                1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                  Ketchup instead of the tomato paste. Or add some grated Parmesan cheese. Try adding a bit of water to hold it together better. My dad always put water in his meatballs, but now I add milk to make my panade.


                                                                                                  1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                    Besides panade (crumbled bread soaked in milk) as other posters mentioned, you could use Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP) as the binding agent--it's soy-based. I used TVP in meatloaf when I was very low carb. You can get it in bulk bins at any health food store or places like Whole Foods. I didn't use the big ice-cube sized pieces for this, but the TVP in crumbles or flakes that rehydrates to resemble ground meat. TVP takes on the flavor of what it's cooked with, and I doubt you'd notice the taste once it's mixed in with your regular meatloaf mix.

                                                                                                    Also, as far as meatloaf tips go, I pulse a carrot, medium onion, and a good handful of raw mushrooms in the food processor until fairly fine in texture and add that to my mix (with the usual suspects of S&P, garlic, Worcestershire, eggs, etc). I think the ground mushrooms adds significant umami and richness, while the carrot and onion add moisture and taste.

                                                                                                    Other posters have good tips about not over-mixing and so on. :)

                                                                                                  2. Chicken Kiev. I can't even find a decent restaurant that makes one. I ate it in London, England, served at an Italian restaurant, and went back two more times for it. I attempted to make it once not with much success...

                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                      Hang in there, Ruthie. Complete instructions are available in "From Julia Child's Kitchen" but it does take practice. Pounding the breasts to an even thickness without tearing them (so the butter filling doesn't leak while deep frying) is the biggest challenge. Use a flat mallet for this. And make your butter sticks long and thin rather than a chunk in the middle. You'll get it, and the rewards are great.

                                                                                                      1. re: Chefpaulo

                                                                                                        It does take practice to not tear the meat, but I love chicken kiev and have Julia Child's book so I must give it a try. Thank you very kind!

                                                                                                      2. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                        I have been using the Kiev recipe from the Joy of Cooking for years and it is always the best. Funny - I started making this, when I thought I was a cook, however, where the recipe calls for parsley and other spices, it never occurred to me that these were anything other than the dried ones in my pantry! So I think what made it so good was the dried spices in the large proportion as called for in the recipe as opposed to using a lesser amount when subbing in dried for fresh.
                                                                                                        Also it really helps to make the kiev and refrigerate it on a ceramic plate overnight in the refrigerator. I never used skewers to keep them closed and only rarely did an occasional one lose some butter while deep frying. Has always been one of the best "special" meals from my kitchen - and must have the rice or rice pilaf to soak up the butter!

                                                                                                          1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                            Thank you. I just watched the video on blog by Chef John on foodwishes, he also gives a few tricks on how to make this one, and I am hoping to try it soon. I have three Joy of Cooking books so no excuses on not having a reference.

                                                                                                        1. Tomato sop. It is not called "tomato slop"! Nor is it "tomato soup," as several web browsers suggest.

                                                                                                          My grandmother, who died about 1965, used to make it and, unfortunately, I never got the recipe. I have reverse engineered it, but there may be something missing. It is not as good as I remember hers being (though it is still good).

                                                                                                          Recipe: Fry a pound of thin cut bacon until crispy. Set aside. Save the bacon drippings, filtering out sediment, if necessary. Reserve a quarter cup for making a roux, if you have enough. (See below.)

                                                                                                          Slice eight large tomatoes about a half inch thick. Salt the tomato slices heavily and set aside. Wait 15 minutes. Then fry the tomatoes in the bacon grease. You want them semi-tender but still have some body to them.

                                                                                                          Make a roux from the 1/4 cup bacon grease which you reserved and 1/4 cup flour. Fry until the roux is light tan (in other words, just fry enough to get rid of the uncooked flour flavor. This is not a deep, dark roux. It should only take a few minutes to fry this. It will be used only for its thickening properties and is not intended to add flavor to the dish.)

                                                                                                          (If you haven't got enough bacon drippings for frying the tomatoes AND making the roux, I'd make the roux out of butter and save all the bacon drippings for frying the tomatoes.)

                                                                                                          Set aside the roux. Pour heavy cream (or maybe just regular whole milk--I doubt that my grandmother used cream) into the frying pan. Heat under a low heat. Mix in as much of the roux as needed to thicken. The already salted tomato slices and the bacon have a lot of salt in them, so I do not salt the roux/cream combination.

                                                                                                          Place the tomato slices into the thickened cream or milk in the frying pan. Tear the thin-cut bacon slices into thirds and drop on top of tomato slices. Bring the entire mixture to a simmer but not a boil. The cream sauce should just barely cover the tomato slices.

                                                                                                          Cook for as long as necessary to bring the tomatoes to the softness that you want them. Gently remove the tomatoes and the bacon strips on top with a spatula and place them on slices of store-bought standard Pullman shaped loaf bread, which you have toasted. (In other words, regular old commercial bread.) Spoon on more sauce, as desired. The toast will absorb liquid from the tomatoes and the cream sauce.

                                                                                                          Sprinkle liberally with freshly ground black pepper.

                                                                                                          So, if anyone has an actual recipe for this, I would love to see it. I have wondered: did my grandmother add garlic to this? What about other flavorings? I just don't remember.

                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: gfr1111

                                                                                                              The milk may have been evaporated milk, diluted with an equal amount of water. It makes a really rich bacon roux gravy. I use it all the time for this.

                                                                                                              Dairy Ingredients - Total Fat Per Cup in Grams
                                                                                                              88.06g - Heavy Cream (Whipping Cream before whipping)
                                                                                                              48.21g - Sour Cream
                                                                                                              46.34g - Light Cream
                                                                                                              27.84g - Half & Half Cream
                                                                                                              26.62g - Sweetened Condensed Milk
                                                                                                              19.05g - Evaporated Milk, undiluted
                                                                                                              7.93g - Whole Milk
                                                                                                              4.9g - Buttermilk (2% - Reduced Fat, Cultured)
                                                                                                              4.81g - 2% Milk
                                                                                                              2.37g - 1% Milk
                                                                                                              2.16g - Buttermilk (1% - Lowfat, Cultured)
                                                                                                              0.44g - Nonfat Milk

                                                                                                              1. re: gfr1111

                                                                                                                Fried Tomato Supper
                                                                                                                The Calgary Herald - Jul 20, 1968
                                                                                                                Here tomatoes and bacon combine to provide a satisfying supper that is economical when tomatoes are plentiful
                                                                                                                3 bacon slices per person
                                                                                                                2 tomatoes per person
                                                                                                                1/2 cup flour or cornmeal
                                                                                                                salt and pepper, to taste
                                                                                                                bacon fat, butter, margarine or cooking oil
                                                                                                                2 tbsp flour
                                                                                                                1 cup whole or evaporated milk
                                                                                                                Fry the bacon and keep warm. Cut the tomatoes in half. Season the flour or cornmeal with salt and pepper and sprinkle generously over the tomatoes. Heat the fat in a heavy skillet and fry the tomatoes, turning them once only. When they are golden, remove and keep them warm on a platter. Stir the flour into the drippings, add the milk and stir until gravy is hot and smooth. Pour over the tomatoes. Serve on hot toast and, if you are using green tomatoes, sprinkle them with a little sugar. Arrange the crisp bacon slices on top.


                                                                                                                Fried Tomatoes and Bacon

                                                                                                                The Milwaukee Journal - May 16, 1933

                                                                                                                Cut in half six medium sized tomatoes, removing stem ends. Dip slices in flour. Fry six slices of bacon cut into pieces about two inches long. Arrange on a large, hot platter. Saute slices of tomato, a few at a time in bacon fat. After turning slices, sprinkle tops with sugar, salt and pepper. Try to keep sugar from getting into the fat. As fast as tomatoes are sauted place them on a platter with bacon. Finally mash two slices of the ripest tomato in skillet, stir in enough flour to make a paste, then add milk to make a gravy, allowing one tablespoon of flour for every cup of milk. Season gravy, which should not be too thick, with sugar, pepper, salt and a small piece of butter. Then pour gravy over sauteed tomatoes and bacon.

                                                                                                                1. re: gfr1111

                                                                                                                  Maybe some of these recipes will give you hints about your Grandmothers recipe:
                                                                                                                  Fried Tomatoes with Cream Gravy - Reading Eagle - Aug 25, 1957
                                                                                                                  Fried Tomatoes on Toast - The Evening Independent - Sep 2, 1922
                                                                                                                  Old Fashioned Fried Tomatoes - Reading Eagle - Oct 20, 1968

                                                                                                                2. I had an Iranian boyfriend who grew up here in a fairly non-ethnic household, as his mom was a rich girl who didn't know how to cook until she got here and cooked like an American. His older brother and his fiance got this recipe from family friends and they made it often,. It was a soup that was quite lemony with spinach and tiny meatballs and I think there must have been rice.

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                    This recipe sounds similar to what you describe:
                                                                                                                    Middle Eastern Spinach and Lemon Soup

                                                                                                                  2. My Granny used to make a dish she called Goppy Chicken And Potatoes or Chicken And Goppy Potatoes. It was basically gravy-braised chicken pieces and the MOST DELICIOUS potatoes, She would make it in an electric skillet - first the chik, then the potatoes, which were sliced and ended up soft and goppy with some kind of gravy and kind of falling apart . My mother and aunt plus my female cousins have all tried to duplicate it with mediocre results. I suppose the last time I had it was in 1985. I wish Gran would come back to whisper the recipe in my ear.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: Byrdy

                                                                                                                      I've found that a lot of family recipes came from the newspaper. Here's a recipe that sounds similar to what you describe:
                                                                                                                      Fried Chicken Vichyssoise

                                                                                                                    2. Rum rolls like the ones at the old Ferguson Bakery in Ferguson, MO.

                                                                                                                      1. Panettone like the crazily expensive stuff sold in the red tins at Williams Sonoma every year...I love this so much. I think it has brandied chestnuts in addition to the candied fruit.

                                                                                                                        Just looked at their website and it says it's made in Italy by the " Pasticceria Scarpato in Legnago".

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: girlwonder88

                                                                                                                          I like the panettone recipe from The Italian Baker by Carol Fields - it's lengthy, but not difficult. I use finely diced homemade candied orange and lemon peel and add about 1/2 tsp of fiori de Sicilia from King Arthur, where I also get the traditional paper molds. I've also made it in loaf pans, delicious and nice to slice and toast.


                                                                                                                        2. Portuguese White Bread as I got growing up on Cape Cod. It's not the sweet bread, but light airy and sublime. Can still find it up there...the folks tell me it's easy, but I never get the same effect

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                                                                            For light and airy, Google "Tangzhong Roux". This process works for any yeast bread recipe that uses all-purpose or bread flour.
                                                                                                                            1/2 cup of water and 3 Tbsp of bread flour from your bread recipe ingredients are mixed and heated to 150-F to make a pudding like roux. (I make it in a microwave in 45 seconds). This is cooled and stirred back into the bread recipe liquid ingredients. Your recipe is then continued as normal. This results in the loaf retaining moisture while baking and afterward and making the loaf very light and airy. It also results in a day or two longer shelf life. I use it on every loaf of bread I make now. Works for manual recipes or bread machine. The effect is also noticeable on whole wheat bread that contains about half white flour, but not so much on 100% whole wheat loaves.

                                                                                                                          2. Years ago I had THE BEST zuppa di pesce at some random, hole-in-the-wall, restaurant in San Diego. What made it so memorable was the non-tomato, saffron laced broth. After much experimentation I've narrowed it down to a Sardinian version with chopped fennel, celery, leeks, and parsley. Add red pepper flakes to taste. I make my stock with shrimp shells simmered in clam juice and like to use a Pinot Grigio as the wine component. Seafood is whatever looks fresh, but always includes prawns, scallops, and calamari. Finish with a sprinkling of fennel fronds, and a generous drizzle of your best finishing olive oil.

                                                                                                                            1. Years ago, my husband and I where fans of a small Italian restaurant in Cape May, NJ that served a tuna mousse with standard bread slices while you waited for your entrees to arrive. No ordinary tuna mousse, folks. It was ultra light, so creamy, just the right hit of sea and we would scrape the ramekin clean. Truth be told, this glorious whipped concoction was the reason we went to the restaurant. When they closed (sadly) I tried recreating the tuna mousse at home and never came close to nailing it down. The texture and light flavor-I can't recreate it just right.

                                                                                                                              If you have the recipe that is the mystery of the A Ca Mia restaurant tuna mousse that would be one hell of a birthday present!

                                                                                                                              15 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                I don't have the restaurant recipe, HillJ, but have you tried Patricia Wells’ recipe for tuna mousse? It is delicious! http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6777...

                                                                                                                                1. re: EM23

                                                                                                                                  Thanks, EM23. When I get back to enjoying my own kitchen, I'll try giving this a try. The ingredient list lulu posted sounds like a popular whipped tuna mousse I've had elsewhere but I don't think the elusive ingredient used by A Ca Mia was fresh lemon...and it's that "what is it" that drives me crazy! btw-nice thread (I never read it).

                                                                                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                    I have seen a recipe that has anchovies as an ingredient. Could that be your umami? I'll see if I can find it.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: EM23

                                                                                                                                      You know anchovies is worth a try just to find out! Good thinkin, Lincoln!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                        Here you go

                                                                                                                                        Compared to the PW recipe, this recipe is very light on the butter and lemon juice so I doubt the texture would be mousse-like.

                                                                                                                                        My friends had to postpone their visit for a few weeks, so the recipe testing is on hold until then. I will report back when I do finally make the Shalleck recipe.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: EM23

                                                                                                                                          You're the best, EM23. Thank you. I'm bookmarking the link until I get back to my own kitchen. Right now I'm renting in NY while on assignment. Then I'm in Spain for most of August.

                                                                                                                                          So by the time your friends arrive you'll have tested the recipe and we can talk more about it. I'm looking forward to experimenting myself with some of the suggestions mentioned here.

                                                                                                                                          Be well. J

                                                                                                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                            Same back at you, J. I'm guessing that you will be having better tuna dishes in Spain than I will here with a can of Spanish tuna.
                                                                                                                                            Eat well and safe travels!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: EM23

                                                                                                                                              The news reports via train derailment in Spain had be up early but the job is too good to pass up. I'm very much looking forward to the food! Hopefully I'll return in one piece and share all the food adventures. Thanks, EM.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: EM23

                                                                                                                                    From the cookbook, Mediterranean Summer by David Shalleck heavy cream or crème fraîche is used...could crème fraîche be the answer?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                      I have had that recipe pinned from David Lebovitz's website for some time, but I have hesitated to make it because of the addition of balsamic vinegar. I just re-read the recipe and DL deems it “fabulous”, so perhaps I will give it a try next week. I have friends visiting who will make the perfect guinea pigs.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: EM23

                                                                                                                                        If you do, pls share your results here. Txs & have fun!

                                                                                                                                  3. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                    I had come across this recipe a bit ago, and it looks delicious, but have yet to try it, perhaps this may come close?


                                                                                                                                    1. re: foodie_guru

                                                                                                                                      hi foodie g. Thanks for sharing the link.

                                                                                                                                      Beyond the ingredient list, what baffles me is how A Ca Mia managed such a silky smoothness. When you tasted their tuna mousse there was such a light but terrific depth of flavor YET still so incredibly silky. No grit from finely chopped fresh herbs, garlic, zest. Super light and fluffy. Like air-delicious, flavorful air! Did they turn their ingredients to liquid somehow before whipping?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                        Hill, they may have pressed it through a sieve to make it smooth.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: kitchengardengal

                                                                                                                                          Wow, u just blew my mind! Gotta try that!

                                                                                                                                  4. My grandmother's fudge recipe. She made this hundreds of times for us all over the years and now no one remembers anything about how to make it except that she took it outside to beat it (to cool it down, but not too quickly.) The older kids swear it was from the back of the Hershey's box and the younger ones swear it had peanut butter in it. We all agree it had no Karo in it and it would have called for margarine rather than butter. My grandmother had a lot of kids and I'm even beginning to think that maybe there were two recipes, one she did with the older kids with no peanut butter, then a peanut butter version.

                                                                                                                                    This would have been in the 50's and 60's I think for the older kids and the 60's and 70's for the younger kids.


                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                      I have an old book on fudge, did yours have chocolate in it? Someone at work gave me this recipe and although it is sweet it is so good. Someone else at work adds a little orange or banana flavoring to her fudge and I think it brings it up to another level.

                                                                                                                                      1/2 lb of butter
                                                                                                                                      3 cups of brown sugar
                                                                                                                                      1/2 can of Carnation Evaporated Milk

                                                                                                                                      Put all in a pot, bring to a boil. Once boiling stir for five minutes
                                                                                                                                      Take pot off and add up to 3 cups of icing sugar and mix with a beater

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                        Yes, it was a chocolate fudge recipe. This recipe sounds fun, though.


                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                          I could ploy through a whole dish and then have a major blood sugar rush and decline...

                                                                                                                                      2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                        Here's a link to an old newspaper article from 1984 with the Hershey's Fudge recipe that was on the back of their cocoa cans (about halfway down the article):
                                                                                                                                        Hershey's Fudge recipe

                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                          THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. You are my hero!


                                                                                                                                        2. Good falafel... I can't replicate it at home

                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: NanaMoussecurry

                                                                                                                                            Thanks to Allegra_K, I tried a falafel recipe this year from Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi's "Jerusalem." http://caviarandcocktails.com/recipes... The results were spectacular! Here you can read about our cooking adventures. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/884301 I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                                                              Thanks!! I shall try and report back asap.

                                                                                                                                          2. Rice flour baguette - like the ones I had in Vietnam, never had anything that replicates the lightness and crunchiness in the states (or anywhere else) and my 50+ attempts at different recipes have also failed to replicate it.

                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                              Have you tried to bake them with steam? I've been told the humidity in the air makes a big difference. Also, most of the baking in Vietnam is wood-fueled.


                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                I've steamed them in my home oven (which is nothing like a steam injected commercial oven but its all I got). I've cooked them in my wood burning pizza oven, I've even steamed them in that oven (not that it did much). I've tried countless ratios, different rice flours, cooking them with different methods (baguette pans, stone, loaf pans, etc) and have made decent (my standard) rice baguettes but nothing superlative.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                                  I know this is going to sound crazy, but is the difference possibly wheat flour, even part wheat flour? Because I did once have a long talk with a Vietnamese baguette baker (here in the U.S.). He bakes his loaves in a European commercial steam injected oven. I think you're right to try it in a baguette pan. When I asked him about rice flour recipes used in Vietnam, he was pretty adamant that even in Vietnam, the bakers try to use wheat flour for their baguettes because, in their minds, what they are trying to achieve are French-style baguettes. Rice, is of course, what they have ready access to, so they sometimes will substitute rice for the wheat or use half rice, half wheat or something, but he really insisted that most "French" baguettes in Vietnam were mostly wheat flour.

                                                                                                                                                  I'll see if I can dig out my notes and see if he had any other insights.


                                                                                                                                            2. A friend of mine swooned the other day remembering Chi Chi's chicken enchiladas supremas. I told her the description she gave me sounded like enchiladas suizas, until she mentioned the inclusion of mushrooms. I've done a pretty exhaustive search on the 'nets, but nothing is popping up.

                                                                                                                                              Might just have to make the Rick Bayless recipe for her and include mushrooms. Seems kind of weird...

                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                              1. The egg-oil/butter "batter" poured over shrimp at Japanese Hibachi style restaurants. Once it is poured over the shrimp/lobster it is steamed under a lid. It is usually called "Golden Shrimp" or the like. It is a thick yellow gloop. Supposedly a very eggy mayo. I have seen many way out there recipes. Very bad for one, no doubt, but oh so addictive.

                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                  Is this the white Yum-Yum sauce or is that the stuff on the side?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                    I think the yum yum is the dipping stuff on the side.

                                                                                                                                                    This is a possible recipe I found today. The shrimp is topped with the sauce and then steamed under a lid with mirin,


                                                                                                                                                    1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                      Hmm I don't think I've ever had that there but it looks great!

                                                                                                                                                2. Also have been lusting over several Bandera restaurant recipes. Bandera is a small "chain"(5 Banderas in the U.S.) which is part of the Hillstone group. The roasted peanut cole slaw, corn bread, and the cheese dip are all so tasty. The chesse "dip"is a sort of pimento cheese only made with jalepenos instead of pimentos---all are terrific. I think I have the ingredients for the latter but need to play with amounts and technique. Anyone else craving these?

                                                                                                                                                  1. Baked chicken thighs and breast in a cheesy (Parmesan) and buttery Bechamel sauce. My Aunt would make this for family celebrations. She wrote down the recipe for me which I managed to lose over the years. Haven't been able to duplicate it---yet. ???

                                                                                                                                                    1. My favorite Chinese restaurant closed about 10 years ago and to this day, I crave their curried shrimp noodle bowl. It featured slivered green peppers, pea pods, waterchestnuts, onion, large shrimp, mushrooms and rice noodles. The sauce was to die for and was a light yellow color. Another of their dishes was also a favorite -- garlic beef -- featuring thin slivers of steak, whole garlic cloves and three- to four-inch long pieces of green onion. The sauce is what made it extra special. Served over fried rice, this dish was unforgettable. Would love recipes for both :=)

                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pilotgirl210

                                                                                                                                                        The noodle dish sounds like Singapore Noodles perhaps?

                                                                                                                                                      2. Another one for me is a blitz torte. I made it a number of years ago but never matched the one that my friend's Mom used to make.

                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                          Is that the cake with the meringue topping? If so I make it all the time, from the mid-70's Joy of Cooking, the recipe is titled meringue cream tart or something a bit off-the-wall like that.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                            Or is it a plain Lightning Cake - I provided a scaled-down vanilla version recipe from Joy of Cooking at this link

                                                                                                                                                            Many bloggers wrote about the lemon version of JoC Lightning Cake and their versions come up with google search.

                                                                                                                                                          2. I would love the Clam Chowder recipe from Black Pearl in Newport.

                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: hambone

                                                                                                                                                              Here it is in a video from a RI station, recipe is also printed on the same website. The "secret ingredients" that are not listed in print, but mentioned in the video, are dill and vermouth. You can also buy the chowder online from the restaurant.


                                                                                                                                                              1. re: lyden

                                                                                                                                                                I know what I'm doing this week. Thanks. -hambone

                                                                                                                                                            2. I was on a search for Chinese Almond gravy/sauce for Almond Boneless Chicken. I found this out from the owner's wife of their now closed Chinese Restaurant. She said to use Almond Juice, which I found out is a drink called New Born Almond Juice Drink. I didn't have that so I used 3 or 4 Tablespoons of Almond Butter, thinned out with some water. Add some msg, sugar, salt and onion powder to taste. Then I thickened it with a cornstarch slurry. It was light brown and almondy in taste. It was just like I remembered. They served the breaded Chicken breast over white rice with the Almond gravy on top. This was one of my favorite meals!!! :) :) :)

                                                                                                                                                              1. my grandmother's chicken n' biscuits (which I know she used pillsbury but the rest. . .) and her apple pie recipe, including crust. She died before I really began to cook, so I never thought to ask until too late. All I know is she believed in lard

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                                                                                                                                                                1. re: autumm

                                                                                                                                                                  I blame my mom for not getting my grandmother's cheesecake recipe before it was too late.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: hambone

                                                                                                                                                                    Your grandmother's cheesecake - have you asked around to other family members if they might have the recipe? Maybe even a neighbor or whatever. Usually if a recipe is real good, other people may have latched on to the recipe. They might not even know it is your grandmother's, but just always asking around might bring you luck. Plus a local cookbook from your grandmother's area might reveal the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                    I tried that with my grandmother's yeast coffee cake - thought it was lost forever, but just mentioned it at a funeral from someone not related to Granny at all. Most folks there were Polish & one lady said she has been making a certain coffeecake for years, but did not know if it was the one I was looking for. Well, it turned out to be the "one".

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                      I have a couple of cousins/their kids I could try.

                                                                                                                                                                      Great idea. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                2. Chinese hot and sour soup. Have tried numerous recipes but the balance of the heat with the vinegar is never right. My favorite restaurant has been sold and the new owners make it mostly "hot" with little "sour."

                                                                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Hopefulone

                                                                                                                                                                    My husband would die of happiness (and an overdose of hot and sour soup) if I could ever learn how to make this. He loves it and is always searching for the perfect bowl. Me, not so much. I like noodle soups and dumplings and almost all hot and sour soups taste the same to me.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: khh1138

                                                                                                                                                                      I have devised a Hot and Sour recipe that tastes like a typical restaurant version. Lots of vinegar, so you have to be careful not to breathe too hard when eating it! I could post if that sounds like what anyone is looking for.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Hopefulone

                                                                                                                                                                          I cobbled this together from tips I got here. My husband is a nut for takeout Chinese and he loves the way I make it.
                                                                                                                                                                          HOT AND SOUR SOUP

                                                                                                                                                                          2 quarts chicken stock, with a dab of miso added
                                                                                                                                                                          ½ package of tofu, cut into matchsticks
                                                                                                                                                                          1 cup woodear mushrooms, hydrated with sherry and julienned, then cut up
                                                                                                                                                                          Small can of bamboo shoots, julienned
                                                                                                                                                                          OPTIONAL: ¼ lb pork, ham or chicken, julienned
                                                                                                                                                                          1 egg, beaten
                                                                                                                                                                          3 Tbsp rice or cider vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                          2 Tbsp cornstarch, dissolved in a bit of broth
                                                                                                                                                                          1 Tbsp soy sauce and 2 tsp sesame oil (if using meat, soak first in this)
                                                                                                                                                                          1 tsp white pepper, and a bit of crushed red pepper (adjust to your liking)
                                                                                                                                                                          3 minced scallion greens, and if you want, also a bit of chopped bok choy
                                                                                                                                                                          Salt, fresh ginger, cilantro to taste
                                                                                                                                                                          Dash of fish sauce

                                                                                                                                                                          Bring broth to a boil, add meat if using (if raw, let boil 5 minutes)
                                                                                                                                                                          Add mushrooms and bamboo shoots, simmer 5 minutes.
                                                                                                                                                                          Add tofu and seasonings. Be sure to keep at SIMMER or tofu will disintegrate.
                                                                                                                                                                          Add cornstarch mix to hot soup, stir til thickened.
                                                                                                                                                                          Beat egg, and add slowly, stirring in a figure 8.
                                                                                                                                                                          Add scallions and a dash of sesame oil just before serving.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                            Wow, thanks I love hot and sour soup but can't order takeout because of all of the sodium. This recipe looks great.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                              Between the soy sauce and the fish sauce, I don't really add any more salt to speak of. Enjoy, and let me know how you like it!

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                              Hooray and Thank you! This looks really do-able. I actually have all of this in the house except for canned bamboo shoots. I'll try this tomorrow!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: khh1138

                                                                                                                                                                                Oh I'm so glad, I know there's a few unusual ingredients but I too always have a nice stash of Chinese stuff on hand. If you leave one or two ingredients out, it probably won't make a giant difference anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. The homemade Chicken Tamales I used to get at the Flag City truck stop in Stockton CA. What made them so special was the creamy sauce inside the tamale with the chicken. There was just enough sauce to keep the tamale from being too dry, but not too much so it didn't leak out while you were eating it.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. My sister's mother-in-law's sweet and sour cabbage. One always regrets things not said to a departed soul, and I regret not asking her for the recipe. After trying several online recipes, I found one on food.com (formerly recipizaar) called Bohemian sweet and sour cabbage. It's very close, but missing just a little bit of oomph.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. Maggi Salad Dressing

                                                                                                                                                                          An ex-girlfriend (she was German) made a simple salad dressing with Maggi.

                                                                                                                                                                          I miss that dressing.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. The coconut macaroons from the BYU creamery bakery. They're more cookie-like than regular macaroons, about 4" across and soooooo good. I've made loads of different macaroon recipes, but these aren't the usual egg white, sugar, coconut macaroon.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. LAKSA as served in the Cricket Club - Singapore !

                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roro808

                                                                                                                                                                                Gosh i can relate to that, I've tried lots of Laksa recipes over the years, never found one that even comes close to the type served at a certain stall on the third floor of a certain hawker centre.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                                  I just came back from SG last week and Laksa was my final meal. It was the first time I'd ever had it and now I'm so craving it.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. All the items included in "Gosa Gosa C" at the local Blue Nile Ethiopian restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. The kringle at a Boston farmers' market I gorged myself on a few years ago. I even wrote to Gourmet asking for the recipe, then the magazine stopped publishing. Oh well, the memory tastes good.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Mid 80's. San Francisco Chronicle food section. Cioppino, the recipe was a half a page. Making the fish stock,and everything after that.I lent it out and it's lost forever.Searched hi and low for the recipe. It's my white whale.

                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: emglow101

                                                                                                                                                                                      I lent my original curry recipe to a neighbor, who said she lent it to her sister. Never able to duplicate. She borrowed a lot of other stuff she never returned either. Glad we don't live near her anymore!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: emglow101

                                                                                                                                                                                        Could this be it? I have had this pinned for some time but have never made it because it's so long.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: emglow101

                                                                                                                                                                                          Here's a link in an old newspaper to a Cioppino recipe from the San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook - 1999.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I love kringle, too. Penzey's has a great recipe for it.


                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Sorry, that kringle recipe was in response to Pavlova above but it didn't end up there. Chowhound has been acting really weird these past couple of days.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I can't duplicate my grandmother's brown sugar almond cookie. no written recipe. no one in the family has the recipe. it was crispy and sliced and baked like a refrigerator dough or icebox cookie. I loved that cookie.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Crawfish Etouffee like they serve at all the festivals and restaurants in Lake Charles, LA. It was a deep, rich brown color.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Wild rice soup from Grandma's Saloon and Grill in Minnesota.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I've gotten very close on both but not quite perfect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Malai Kofta like they serve in Indian restaurants. Mine never comes out the same. I have mastered some Indian dishes to my satisfaction, but not this one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. When we were growing up my mother made "Cherry Squares," which my sisters and I loved. We all remember it as seemingly simple: pie crust in a jelly roll pan, then cherry filling similar to pie filling, then more pie crust on top (but not completely covering the cherry filling) and a simple icing on the top crust. Cut into squares or bars. Our house burned down and the recipe was lost and none of us has ever been able to duplicate it. My mother got the recipe from a neighbor when we lived in Virginia. She believes it came off the back of a box (the flour or something) and that it may have originally called for apple filling but she likes cherry better so that's what she used. Seems like it should be so easy to do, but we've tried and can't get it right. We've discussed the possibility that the nostalgia factor is distorting our taste memories - that may be it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. My mother used to make something called "Nothings" . They were cookies that had sesame and they were very light, I think made with egg whites. (I come from a Jewish household so that might be a clue). Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: williej

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Maybe a variation of this? (not something I've made, just found using search)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. This exquisite tuna mousse served in Cape May NJ (from a now closed restaurant) that kicked started what always was a fantastic northern Italian meal. I've come close but have never gotten the recipe spot on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I am looking for a recipe for a corn muffin, with a soft (not gritty) texture and light and airy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I like the Alber's cornbread recipe. They use equal parts of cornmeal and flour. I also use buttermilk and 1/4 tsp baking soda in place of the recommended milk.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            One trick some people use is to soak just the cornmeal, overnight in the fridge, in the buttermilk. This greatly helps to soften the cornmeal prior to baking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. This one is kind of out there...but I have been lusting after it for over 25 years. A scallop in puff pastry with truffle sauce prepared by chef, Ranse Leembruggen, at a private party at his Five Bells restaurant in Folkingham, England in 1987. His duck breast dish served that same day made me fall in love with duck forever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Triple ginger cookies. I used to have the recipe, I thought from a cookie-cookbook but have never found it again. they made these thin, crisp ginger cookies that were spicy and fantastic! It used fresh ginger, dry ginger, and candied ginger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jboeke

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Triple ginger cookies - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Jul 17, 1996

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  thanks but no nuts or molasses. it produced a thin, light, crisp cookie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jboeke

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm sorry, but you can't change the rules after the game has started. ;-).

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I'll add one more to this chain... Fish Tikinxic style. I went to Isla Mujeres 10 years ago and managed to find some random place (which I now know to be pretty popular) on the beach that served a whole grilled fish. What was so distinctive was the bright orange color of the marinade and they basically butterflied the fish and put it on the charcoal grill. Then, they brought you the fish, tortillas, salsa and guac. One of my all-time great meals, but I never could remember what it was called and thus, could never find a recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Fast forward to last week and I randomly saw some thread on Chowhound about Isla Mujeres eats. And someone mentioned this place. Well, anyways, after some rampant Googling, I managed to find this website: http://explore-isla-mujeres.weebly.co..., which began to give me the framework of what I needed to replicate this meal. And so this weekend, my family finally got to experience this fish I have raved about for years. For anyone interested, this is the place on Isla Mujeres: http://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPh...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                So as a side note, I've been reading a lot of threads recently about how CH has changed for the worse or isn't useful anymore. While I agree that there is probably a lot more noise than in years past, the finds one can make make the effort 100% worth it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: FattyDumplin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That is completely hilarious. I'm the one who posted just the other day about the Isla Mujeres restaurant with the ticinxic! And at this very moment, on my kitchen counter, I have two blocks of contraband achiote paste which I brought home with me. If you can get your hands on the stuff, the fish is a breeze to make. You just add lime juice or sour orange juice and marinate the fish before grilling. This past trip the fish was something called "Sierra" but on a previous trip I think we had grouper. Both are wonderful. I plan to use the paste to do both fish and chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Nyleve

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YES! I found the achiote at our local Mi Pueblo supermarket. The funny thing is, everyone in the store kept pointing me to the non-paste form of achiote (looked like beads, which I assume is the annatto???). But luckily, one person knew what I was talking about and sent me to the right aisle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for bringing back this memory for me. This alone, like I said, is what makes CH worth it for me. So excited to add this to my repertoire.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: FattyDumplin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      For those who don't have a good Mexican grocery nearby, achiote paste is available on Amazon.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I had an amazing dish at a Mexican restaurant called La Kebrada in Fresno, CA a few years ago called "filete de pescado a la diabla" and, although there are a million recipes with the same title, none of them look remotely like what I ate. The fish used was something cheap -- I think it was tilapia -- but what made the dish really special was the sauce. It looked sort of like the salsa verde served with the tortilla chips at the beginning of the meal, but with darker red specks and a completely different taste. Much more lemony and buttery. Tomatillos (either pureed or cooked down) were one main component, as well as large chunks of mild green chile (at first I thought they were artichoke pieces, because of the squeaky texture and the way their flavour blended into the sauce). In spite of the red specks, this was definitely not a tomato or red chile or chipotle or ketchup based sauce (as described by pretty much all of the recipes I have found for pretty much anything "a la diabla" in Mexican or any Mexican-based or vaguely-Mexican-based cuisine). It was mostly green in appearance, with a really bright, smooth taste. I did once find a reference to a green "a la diabla" sauce that was from a specific region of Mexico, but the reference didn't come with a recipe and (after searching and failing for region-specific recipes) I have forgotten where it was from and can no longer find the reference. When I posted a review of this restaurant on the California board, someone commented that La Kebrada does not actually mean anything in Spanish, but that it may mean something in Portuguese. So perhaps a Portuguese connection in the food? Or perhaps it was just the invention of a great chef in a city where I no longer live and it's a hopeless search. Any ideas would be appreciated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. years ago, at a London hotel's continental buffet breakfast, I had a delicious cereal made with oats and nuts and fruits - kind of like what I presume a porridge would be - and didn't think the base was cream but it sure was delicious. I would love that recipe. Don't know if this is common in London.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Doberge cake. Lemon half/chocolate half, chocolate custard/lemon curd, with poured fondant icing, 4-6 layers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Mushrooms Soup from George's Camelot on LIdo Island in Newport Beach CA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LouisvilleFoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My mother used to make a braised rabbit dish in a tomato sauce with onions and herbs when we lived on our sailboat in Golfe Juan. I can still taste this dish but I've never been able to figure out what ingredients she used. Tiny little oven. I'm sure she had very little by way of herbs.