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Classic old dishes I remember

This is inspired by
a) The "carpetbag" and "remember these restaurants" threads
b) The LA magazine food issue out now
c) Julia Child's quote on nouvelle cuisine but could also apply to fusion dishes "It is so beautifully arranged on a plate - you know someone's fingers have been all over it ".

I love the diversity of LA cuisine but sometimes I have a craving for the old classics. Here are just a few I remember - what are yours ?

Tableside dining apart from Caesar Salad and Guacamole such as Bananas Foster, Cherries Jubilee, Crepes Suzette, Steak Diane and Au Poive
Dover Sole fileted tableside
Veal Oscar
Anything in papiotte or savory in puff pasty shells
Sole Veronique and Almondine
Duck Montmorency
Strawberries Romanoff
Coquille St Jacques
and last but not least for breakfast - simple half grapefuit broiled for a second with brown sugar, REAL homeade corned beef hash extra crispy and quiches.

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  1. Many of those tableside preparations are still available at the venerable Dal Rae in Pico Rivera.

      1. re: ozhead

        a la Tour d'Argent, with the big silver duck press done tableside? Now you're talking!

        1. re: Caroline1

          Exactly! They used to do that on the Queen Mary!

        2. re: ozhead

          There were a couple of great Chinese restaurants that served a fantastic pressed duck in plum sauce.

        3. I love old-style recipes. There's a current thread elsewhere on Chow which mentions Boston Baked Beans -- those are pretty much alive, still.

          But I agree that table-side presentations have disappeared, and so have many dishes I enjoyed in the '70s and '80s:

          Coquille St. Jacques
          Veal Oskar
          ... and to add to the list:

          Crab Louis
          Beef Stroganoff
          Chicken A La King
          Eggs a la Russe
          Oeufs en Gelee (Eggs in Aspic)
          and speaking of aspic, when was the last time you had Tomato Aspic?
          "Wilted" Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon/Sugar Dressing

          Does anyone remember the "canapes" made by spreading slices of Olive Loaf (a cold cut like bologna with green pimiento-stuffed olives shot through) with cream cheese and making pinwheels by slicing and skewering with a toothpick?

          Around the same time people were serving "sweet and sour meatballs" with a sauce consisting of nothing but warm ketchup with jelled cranberry sauce melted into it -- ick!

          31 Replies
          1. re: shaogo

            That spinach salad was revelation! First time I can remember spinach served "raw." BTW, Crab Louis is still served. The Grill has the best. SM Seafood has a decent version, which is acceptable if the line next door at Huckleberry is long.

            1. re: shaogo

              Lots of Crab Louie salads around; I've never ordered, so I can't comment on the authenticity.

              Beef Stroganoff is another that I see reasonably frequently (I know it's on the menu at Smitty's in Pasadena, for example). Chicken a la King - definitely an old time dish, but they serve it at Musso & Frank.

              What is coquille st. jacque? In French, it is simply the word for scallops (however prepared or served).

              I personally serve a version of those meatballs - chili sauce & currant jelly, though, rather than ketchup and cranberry sauce (which, to this day, remain a huge hit at cocktail parties - people have actually asked me how to make them!)

              Finally, best wilted spinach salad w/warm bacon dressing I ever had was, I kid you not, at Marie Callender's (early 80s).

              1. re: Jack Flash

                The last time I had Chicken à la King, ironically enough, was at the lunch break for an all-day Adobe Photoshop seminar at a hotel in Nashville, about 25 years ago. Here were all these young tech-savvy people learning the latest in digital image manipulation, and our lunch was convention food from our parents' era!

                The upside was that it was pretty damn good, if you didn't mind pimentos.

                Chili sauce and grape jelly is the standard presentation for cocktail weenies at parties in Nashville. Well, it was back in the '80s, so I'm pretty sure it still is. Those folks don't change real fast.

                1. re: Will Owen

                  "The upside was that it was pretty damn good, if you didn't mind pimentos."

                  I've been told time and again by old timers / old school diner cooks that the pimentos are there purely for color. I still hate them in there though.

                  1. re: Gastronomos

                    Just curious...what is it you don't like about pimentos??

                    1. re: The Professor

                      What about vinegar in a cream sauce makes sense??

                        1. re: The Professor

                          clearly not. they are still adding those pickled jarred red pimentos to Chicken à la King in the few places that still make it. I also won't make a stink about the fact that Chicken à la King has mushrooms. have you seen any? or just the pickled red jarred pimentos?

                2. re: Jack Flash

                  Coquille St Jacques is a classic French dish of scallops served in a white wine cream sauce, topped. Wi breadcrumbs or cheese and broiled briefly. It is commonly served in a scallop shell. And the word coquille is French for shell, not scallop.

                  1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                    Coquille may be shell, but Coquille St. Jacques is Scallop.

                    Thanks for the description of the dish. Sounds like a preparation from the old days.

                    1. re: Jack Flash

                      Not "may", it IS shell. And St Jacques refers to the preparation of the scallops. Not the scallops themselves. The French do not refer to scallops as St Jacques. Yes, I'm being technical. I'm a foodie who was a French major.

                      1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                        I've got my 10 years of French plus living there for a while, too. I know what I was taught by my (from France) French teachers, thank you very much.

                    2. re: Dirtywextraolives

                      Conevenience and elegance married in some "haute cuisine" dishes in the French restaurants of America during the last century. What would b e called "scalloped scallops" in American English was "Coquille Saint Jacques au Gratin" in French, and was customarily served in the scallop's own shell. The world has changed. Scallops -- what we now call "diver scallops" in the U.S. -- once had HUGE shells, so when the scallop mussel was prepared and the sauce gratin was added, there was often messy overflow in the oven.
                      See picture #1. Additionally, they had to be steadied by placing them on a bed of rock salt so they didn't tip and spill all over the oven.

                      Then some brilliant soul realized that if you pipe rosettes of mashed potatoes around the rim of the scallop shell, then paint it with an egg yolk glaze and baked them that way, the potato rosettes acted as sort of a dam, covered/prevented any char around the edges, and viola! Even a "coquille Saint Jacques" recipe a home cook could handle. see picture #2

                      But it was widely adopted in French restaurants in the U.S. from around the 1950s forward, with the end result that many Americans think THAT dish *IS* "Coquille Saint Jacques"! Of course it's not, but as long as I get what I think I'm going to get when I order something, I don't much mind what they call it... '-)

                      1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                        In Europe, served w/ the pinky shaped roe.

                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                          I'd like a double order of that, please!

                      2. re: Jack Flash

                        Crab Louis is a dish I look forward to every fall: fresh local Dungeness crab (the best crab there is, and I will tolerate no arguments on this), home-made dressing, cold, crisp Romaine lettuce, served with a loaf of sourdough and a nice California white. - I can't wait.

                      3. re: shaogo

                        shaogo, at least the ketchup and jelled cranberry sauce was a "compound sauce." What about that pure Welch's grape jam melted and poured over meatballs? That's a toe curler on the gourmet circuit! '-)

                        1. re: shaogo

                          had a hankering for chicken a la king just today when i was looking at puff pastry shells.

                          1. re: alkapal

                            Vol au vent, Baby, vol au vent!

                            Go for it, and never mind that your age is showing. It's a GOOD thing! '-)

                              1. re: alkapal

                                Your poor mom. I hope you weren't a messy eater!

                            1. re: alkapal

                              You should have come over last Wed. night then. LOL
                              I used fresh lobster mushrooms instead of 'buttons'.

                              1. re: Puffin3

                                OT, but reading marcella hazan's "more classic italian cooking" (awesome introduction by the way), she says "magic" happens when you combine and sauté together rehydrated dried boletus mushrooms and fresh mushrooms.

                                i don't think i've ever had a lobster mushroom, but i love every mushroom i've had (as long as it is cooked. i'm not crazy about raw mushies).

                                i love the vols au vent for creamy dishes of all sorts.

                            2. re: shaogo

                              The spinach salad is still going strong in this region.

                              1. re: shaogo

                                My Mom detests cooking but she makes a mean tomato aspic!

                                1. re: shaogo

                                  I would gladly eat a whole tray of those, but no, I have never heard of them.

                                  1. re: shaogo

                                    Shaogo sez:
                                    Does anyone remember the "canapes" made by spreading slices of Olive Loaf (a cold cut like bologna with green pimiento-stuffed olives shot through) with cream cheese and making pinwheels by slicing and skewering with a toothpick?

                                    You're kidding, right? The only difference between "Then & Now" is that you no longer have to make them yourself. You can pick them up already assembled and ready to go in the freezer section of any Sam's Club in the country, as far as I know. Not that buying them ready made makes them taste any better. '-)

                                    1. re: shaogo

                                      I used to make those pinwheels with cream cheese and smoked salmon. They were always a hit!!!

                                      1. re: wincountrygirl

                                        I tried making them myself once. They didn't perform well for guests because they "fell apart at the seams," so to speak. So I reverted to the... I can't remember if it had a name but you sliced the crusts off a long brioche loaf, then cut it into horizontal slices -- 4 to 6, depending on the loaf -- then starting with the bottom slice put about a quarter inch layer of different strongly flavored and brightly colored cream cheese mixtures. The final step for presentation was to encase the whole thing in whipped cream cheese, then decorate that as elaborately or simply as you liked. Each guest then sliced themselves a piece and ate it from a cocktail plate with a fork.

                                        Hey, look, Ma! No silly piinwheels breaking apart in guest's hands and getting walked into the carpet!

                                        The worst part of big parties was always the morning after, and I am NOT talking about a hangover.

                                      2. re: shaogo

                                        Had tomato aspic last week. It's on the menu at the Woman's Industrial Kitchen (Women's Industrial Exchange) in Baltimore. Deviled Eggs, Tomato Aspic and Pickles.

                                      3. Chipped Beef on Toast, Welsh Rarebit and Scotch eggs.

                                        10 Replies
                                        1. re: wienermobile

                                          I love the first two; have wanted, but never been able to find, the third.

                                          1. re: jmckee

                                            The Shamrock restaurant in Thurmont, MD serves scotch eggs currently.

                                            1. re: melpy

                                              LOVE Scotch Eggs! They're so easy to make at home, I do up a few at least once a month. A Scotch Egg, a wedge of cheese, a crusty roll, and some Branson pickle is the perfect lunch. A glass of Wells' Bombadier ale to wash it all down makes it even more perfect. And a glass of Traquair House ale elevates it to a gourmet meal. :-)

                                              1. re: The Professor

                                                I so agree. Sadly, the Traquair Ale is out of the picture for me as it contains gluten (have celiac) but man, I love to bake Scotch eggs.

                                          2. re: wienermobile

                                            There are a couple of English style pubs near me that have Scotch Eggs and even Bubble and Squeak on their menus!

                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                              I can't remember where you live- is it in New Mexico? That sounds pretty risque, even for there.

                                              1. re: EWSflash

                                                LOL! I live in a Dallas 'burb. But there a lot of large scale and regional scale "bistros" across the country that are aiming for that Brit or Irish pub ambience to bring in the crowds, and such places often feature several dishes to underscore their theme, though rarely a whole menu of it. Beside Scotch Eggs, you often find one or two of these:
                                                Irish Stew
                                                Bangers and Mash
                                                Bubble and Squeek
                                                Spotted Dick (dessert menu)
                                                Fish and Chips (in a "newspaper" cone)
                                                Corned Beef & Cabbage
                                                Shepherd's Pie, aka Cottage Pie if they don't use lamb
                                                Cock A Leekie soup (Scots)

                                                But the menus in such places are also likely to feature hummus and gyros right along with the Bubble & squeak.

                                                As I've said before, the whole wide world seems to be on a fusion quest that will eventually end up with no distinct flavors to anything, it will all be FUSED...!!!! <sigh>

                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                  Ahhh....Caroline, the pub by me has both Spotted Dick and Banofee Pie. God Save the Queen.

                                                  1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

                                                    Yeah, the Queen and and a few princes too! '-)

                                            2. re: wienermobile

                                              I have made Welsh Rarebit twice this week. I just love it. Tomorrow is Scotch eggs!

                                            3. I would have to say any restaurant dish garnished with fluted mushrooms! How long since you've seen a fluted mushroom? <sigh>

                                              And I also liked "steak houses" where the refrigerated, dry aged for at least a month, USDA Prime grade prime cut was brought to your table-side and your steak was cut to your specification on the spot. Do ANY restaurants do that any more?

                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                I'm 40 and had to Google "fluted mushroom". Nope, never seen one!

                                                1. re: cant talk...eating

                                                  LOL! That just underscores that being 80 DOES have some very nice advantages! I still have my fluting knife (Julia Child used hers to dice some things on her early TV shows) and just to check out whether I still remember how to flute a mushroom, I just went in the kitchen and I happily report, "I remember!" Doesn't make the mushrooms taste any better, but it can sure add a touch of glamour to a dish! '-)

                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                    Didn't Juliea put the white mushrooms in a water/vinegar cold bath for a minute to keep them from going brown?

                                                    1. re: Puffin3

                                                      The best remedy to keep them from oxidizing (turning brown) is to cook them immediately after cutting, but I'm not convinced it's a meaningful precaution since they change color somewhat while cooking anyway. I'd be more concerned about the mushrooms absorbing enough vinegar flavor to make the finished dish taste as if I'd used pickled mushrooms! '-)

                                                    2. re: Caroline1

                                                      Caroline, you remind me of my MIL, only she was a Midwestern Home Ec graduate with too much Betty Crocker in her. If she had your culinary expertise, she would be superhuman. You already are.

                                                      1. re: EWSflash

                                                        Boy oh boy oh boy, do I ever have you fooled! '-)

                                                        Thank you.

                                                2. Loved the Wednesday Cassoulet special at Robair's and the every night cassoulet at Xiomara when they had a French Country kitchen.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: trimtab

                                                    Robair's! Forgot about them. I think they had a great Duck a l'Orange.

                                                    Or was that Andre's?

                                                      1. Thanks for the memories, how could Ihave forgotten duck a la orange or the fluted mushrooms (did thousands of those). I worked my way through college with those dishes, also I remember turned potatoes and carrots and having to carve two fifty pound bags one Easter. I have read about pressed duck but never had it. There was mention of olive loaf, my mother when she had cocktail parties used to wrap a grapefruit in foil and put the meat, olives etc. on skewers in the grapefuit on the coffee table.

                                                        1. Chicken Jerusalem from the 1960's -- chicken pieces in a sherry-mushroom sauce with artichoke bottoms and other stuff. (You don't see sherry in cooking nearly as much nowadays as you used to.)

                                                          Vol-au-vents (a.k.a. "patty shells") were used to fancy-up presentations of things served with a generous amount of sauce, such as creamed oysters, etc.

                                                          8 Replies
                                                          1. re: Sharuf

                                                            Peach melba?
                                                            Glazed ham with pineapple rings studded with cloves.

                                                            1. re: Puffin3

                                                              Pineapple rings held in place by a candied cherry on a toothpick! NOW we're talking vintage baked ham! '-)

                                                                1. re: melpy

                                                                  Yes, but the cloves never went in the pineapple, they went in the ham. I have no real idea how many people in the world today still bake their own "raw" Virginia cured hams for holiday meals, but the procedure was:
                                                                  1. If the ham was salt cured, it came still packed in the full pig skin, so first you had to soak the ham in water in the fridge for a couple of days to pull out some of the salt, or you could blanche it several times to reduce the salt.
                                                                  2. You had to remove the hide from at least the top half of the ham when laid on its side, but you left the full amount of fat intact. THEN you cut long "v" shaped channels about 1/4 of an inch deep across the full ham in rows that made up a "cross hatch" design, with the rows about an inch or inch and a half apart. The whole cloves were stuck in the places where the grooves crossed each other.
                                                                  3. Then a glaze was made, often with honey or sometimes dark Karo syrup, mustard (French's, Dijon, Pommery, or mustard powder), cinnamon, allspice, and possibly a touch of citrus zest of your choice, then this very thick heavy concoction was rubbed all over the ham, including the parts that still had the skin attached, and then was SLOW slow baked in the oven uncovered for many hours, sometimes a day, with an open pan of water on an oven shelf to keep the humidity up so the ham could not dry out. The glaze had to be reapplied regularly during this period. At this point the ham was "cooked" and ready for human consumption. It was often prepared to this stage a day or even a week ahead of time.
                                                                  4. On "feast day," the ham was placed in a roasting pan, scored side up, and either more glaze was applied just to the scored top of the ham, or a completely new glaze was used. The ham was put in the oven at about 325 for about 15? minutes a pound to bring it to serving temperature, and either before or after this final step, the pineapple rings were put in place and anchored with either a maraschino cherry on a toothpick, or a candied cherry on a toothpick. An alternative for some was to use drained crushed pineapple mixed into the final glaze, in which case the pineapple rings anchored with bright red cherries were superfluous. My mom, and later I did the same thing, used the pineapple rings and cherries on Christmas hams.

                                                                  Sigh... Today a lot of people just buy "honey glazed" spiral cut hams and sit back and relax....

                                                                  Anyway, traditionally the cloves should be in the ham, not the pineapple rings!

                                                                  Just thought I'd make this clear.... '-)

                                                                    1. re: melpy

                                                                      No doubt! But the original reason for using the cloves in the ham itself is to allow the cloves to flavor the ham during baking. But if some one likes clove flavored pineapple rings better than ha, who am I to stop them? But your photo is the first time I've ever seen it done that way.

                                                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                                                        yes, i always saw the cloves put in the intersections of the slits in the fat cap on the ham.

                                                                    2. re: Caroline1

                                                                      I hate to have to say this, but I now have an even bigger appreciation for non-honey glazed spiral-cut hams that taste good when you're done baking them. Not a big ham fan in general, but I'd hate to have go go through all that brouhaha for something I didn't really even like that much. Unless it tasted like prosciutto, that's a whole different story! I just saw some at Costco, whole prosciutto hams, and have been trying to figure out a reason to justify buying one. They're pricey, but per pound a screaming deal. Although I'd have to get one of those meat slicers, I think

                                                            2. <<and speaking of aspic, when was the last time you had Tomato Aspic?>>>

                                                              Last Sunday with dinner after Church. Sliced avocado on the plate too.

                                                                1. re: laliz

                                                                  Do tell. I've never heard of city chicken.

                                                                  1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

                                                                    City chicken was always a favorite of mine. Basically, it is seasoned and skewered chunks of pigmeat, breaded and fried like chicken. Delicious!
                                                                    I may need to make it soon. Last time I had it was probably when my mom last made it...more than 40 years ago!

                                                                    1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

                                                                      The Betty Crocker Cookbook (60's ed.) gives a recipe for city chicken that uses chunks of veal and pork, alternating, prepared the way The Professor describes.

                                                                  2. Mom's stuffed veal breast, fried chicken and potato pancakes.

                                                                    11 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                      Mmm . . . Haven't had my mom's stuffed veal breast in decades! It was delicious!

                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                        Mom is 91 and in the nursing home, confined to a bed or wheelchair, BUT Next Wed night the first night of Chanukak I'll be making that same menu and taking it tio the nursing home and the family will dine in a private dining room to celebrate the holiday with food she taught me to make 50 years ago.

                                                                        1. re: bagelman01

                                                                          How sweet & honorable..... I can only hope one day one of my boys would do the same for me....

                                                                          1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                            Mom's mind is slipping, she hasn't stood up in almost 3 years and doesn't always know me by name, BUT her appetite is still fine and she enjoys non-institutional food brought from the outside.

                                                                            I make a point to cook a meal of her favorites and bring it at least once a week. I'd do it more often, but too much of a change from the bland can upset her system.

                                                                            It's amazing how are shopping and cooking habits are shaped by our parents and we do it on autopilot............

                                                                            1. re: bagelman01

                                                                              You are a diligent son, bagelman. I wish you the best through the holidays.

                                                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                                                thanx Veg................
                                                                                how're things down south?

                                                                                1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                  All is well. In the last week I enjoyed 2 excellent dinners out with delucacheesemonger, (who also went to Penn, but ahead of us) and he brought me enough fine cheeses from France to enjoy at Thanksgiving with friends.

                                                                          2. re: bagelman01

                                                                            ok you really need to not do this when i don't have anything to get the stuff out of my eyes thats bringing these tears.
                                                                            bless you.

                                                                            1. re: bagelman01

                                                                              Bagelman, wishing you & yours a happy Thanksgiving with your mother.

                                                                              When you get a chance, would you share the recipe for the stuffed veal breast (perhaps on Homecooking, if it's off-topic here)? My mother, who is somewhat older than yours, made it occasionally but I never got her recipe and I suspect that, at this point, she neither remembers how she made it nor has the written recipe. I'd love to make it.

                                                                              1. re: masha

                                                                                have the butcher cut a 3 or 4 rib veal breast and cut the flap for a pocket. You can easily do this yourself with a boning knife. Make a basic bread stuffing mixing in 1 extra large egg and about 1 cup leftover assorted cooked vegetabkes from your refrigerator, salt pepper and garlic powder to taste.
                                                                                Stuff the pocket and use one or two toothpicks to close.
                                                                                Season the veal breast with salt, pepper, a little garlic powder and paprika. Rub the seaoned stuffed breast with an apricot glaze or Saucy Susan or Chines Duck sauce.
                                                                                Place on rack in roasting pan. Roast at 350F for about 2 hours until the outer 'skin appears crispy and mahogany colored. The cap over the pocket will shrink back reavealing the stuffing layer.

                                                                                Remove to platter, let stand about 15-20 minutes. carve between the ribs, lay one rib on its side on each dinner plate and spoon some of the pan juices over it.

                                                                                Don't get breasts bigger than 4 ribs, it usually is better to roast several breast if having more than 4 people as it allows them to cook though and not dry out.

                                                                                We accumulate leftover vegetables for stuffing or to throw in soup, so there's always some in our fridge. Back in the 60s mom would use Veg-All and leave out the salt when seasoning. I don't use canned veg (except mushrooms) in our home.

                                                                          3. Franks (Hebrew National) and beans (Heinz vegetarian).

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: CindyJ

                                                                              Another one of my favorite meals! I think I may have that for lunch or dinner tomorrow! :)

                                                                              1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                a common Sunday lunch in our house

                                                                              2. Mmmmmm...strawberries Romanoff. A now defunct seafood restaurant near me used to have them regularly on their dessert menu. I haven't seen Chateaubriand or Steak Diane on menus in decades, it seems.

                                                                                Now I want to throw a 70s dinner party.

                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                1. re: tardigrade

                                                                                  Don't forget the Port wine cheese spread in Ritz crackers, the spinach dip in the hollow boule, pigs in blankets and a pitcher of Harvey Wallbangers.

                                                                                  1. re: Chefpaulo

                                                                                    spinach dip in boule is alive and well, and is always annihilated at parties.

                                                                                    we have a fan club for the knorr's spinach vegetable dip. it might be described as a cult of the boule! LOL

                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                      Just made one tonight for hubs to take to work tomorrow for potluck. Pumpernickel, so good! The key is the waterchestnuts, so many omit them and they are a necessity!

                                                                                      1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                                                                        yes!!!! pumpernickel is the bread! don't you also love the bread itself that has been "sopped" with the dip? (when you start tearing down the "bowl").

                                                                                        to make the dip, i double the amount of water chestnuts and use two entire bunches of green onions, using all the tender green, too. (i think the "recipe" on the knorr's package says to use three green onions).

                                                                                        when i make it i have to taste it, but really it isn't good till it sits overnight in the fridge.

                                                                                        i'm still threatening to add in chopped artichoke hearts, too -- best of both worlds…maybe. i'm also wanting to try it as a hot dip.

                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                          Oh my yes! We fight over the soaked bread. You are correct, of course, it must sit overnight to reach perfection.

                                                                                2. Sadly, I only remember knowing people that actually knew how to cook. I remember these "old dishes" because don't nobody know how to cook nomore. I go to fancy restaurant, I'm bored by the lack of culinary skill in the kitchen. I go to pedestrian restaurant, I get plain grilled protein. Or, worse, I goto fancy restaurant and get plain grilled protein, which is all too often the standard situation with most of these menus.
                                                                                  After all these people left their careers for the food industry and becoming "chefs", one would think that restaurant kitchens would be turning out Chowhound worthy grub. I go out to eat and I feel like the neighborhood paperboy could whip up a better dish with what newspaper he has in his hand.

                                                                                  1. New England clam or fish chowder, fish cakes and beans for breakfast and the hard to find salt fish on mashed potatos W/ pork scraps and diced raw onion.

                                                                                    1. Duck a la Orange and Baked Alaska was what I made for my Dad's birthday one year, when I was 10.... It was the first meal I made, and came out pretty well.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. real southern/low country food:

                                                                                        okra pilau
                                                                                        charleston red rice, aka tomato pilau
                                                                                        heck, _any_ rice pilau
                                                                                        stewed beef with onions over rice (not same as beef stew)
                                                                                        roasted coon or possum
                                                                                        rice bread
                                                                                        chaney briar
                                                                                        rice croquettes
                                                                                        blackberry acid
                                                                                        sand pear chips
                                                                                        muscadine syrup
                                                                                        oyster pie
                                                                                        shrimp pie (James Island)
                                                                                        pickled shrimp
                                                                                        potted shrimp
                                                                                        pine bark fish stew
                                                                                        bucket dumplings
                                                                                        mud hens
                                                                                        sweet potato pone
                                                                                        stewed oxtails
                                                                                        fried livers and gizzards
                                                                                        sievy butter beans and ham hocks

                                                                                        what's served in Charleston @ white table cloth restaurants is sometimes good, but mostly a narrow and very short list of 'for the tourists' items. plain low country and south carolina dishes are apparently not 'edgy'enough.
                                                                                        sad face here.

                                                                                        1. When we moved to the Bay Area in the mid 70s, some of the Chinese restaurants here had a dish called "Happy Family", that had a chewy, mostly tasteless ingredient that may have been sea cucumber. I recently realized that I haven't seen it in years: is anyone still doing it? I haven't seen Ants Climb Tree recently, either.

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: tardigrade

                                                                                            no clue about the bay area, Happy Family is still available on Chinese takeout joint and a few old style Cantonese-American restaurants here in southern Connecticut

                                                                                            1. re: tardigrade

                                                                                              Yes, still ubiquitous in the Northeast. Usually a combo of beef/chicken/shrimp (sometimes with pork) and vegetables.

                                                                                              1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                That's what Happy Family is here too - similar to chicken and broccoli with a great variety of protein

                                                                                              2. re: tardigrade

                                                                                                I believe I've seen them both on menus in LA.

                                                                                              3. By golly I love Veal Oscar. Also hardly anyone makes a good Veal Saltimbucca anymore.

                                                                                                1. Duck a L'orange - very hard to find these days

                                                                                                  25 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: wincountrygirl

                                                                                                    Is it fair to assume you don't make it at home? EVERY frozen duck I've bought in the past decade or more comes with a packet of frozen "L'Orange" sauce packed in the cavity. It's an abominable sauce, and the first thing I discard, but I have to assume that a lot of home cooks use it else why would they continue to pack it in the quacker...????

                                                                                                    On the reality side of NON-home cooking, I do still see it on restaurant menus sometimes. I'm a compulsive reader of on-line high end restaurant menus, and Duck L'Orange seems to still make the "popular favorites" list. Just for the record. But if you don't go jet-setting around the world to such restaurants for dinner once a week, it's easy to miss it! '-)

                                                                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                      Yes its fair. I don't make it at home.If I did I would not use the packet - I'd toss it. I am talking about having it at a good restaurant not a package of "sauce." They don't have duck on the bone very often either -its usually the breast so even if that has a lovely orange sauce, it's not the classic. Neither is a supermarket packet of sauce.

                                                                                                      May I ask where you are finding this as a popular favorite?

                                                                                                      1. re: wincountrygirl

                                                                                                        hmmmmm... Your profile offers no information about where you live, however looking over the boards you participate in, my guess is that you live in New York state, but not NYC, so here's a start in that general area:
                                                                                                        At Artisanal, they feature Duck L'Orange as their Thursday Plate du Jour.

                                                                                                        As I said in my post, I enjoy reading the menus of elite restaurants all over the world. To find more in your area I highly recommend Google. Good luck with your quest, and if all else fails, it's not that difficult a dish to make at home, but I would suggest you buy your ducks fresh from an Asian market if you have one near by. Happy Thanksgiving.

                                                                                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                          That menu looks good, but where is this place? I live in Northern Westchester.

                                                                                                          1. re: wincountrygirl

                                                                                                            lol! I have absolutely NO idea. I live in a suburb of Dallas, Texas, but you can get their address from their website, then feed it AND your home address into MapQuest and it will tell you how to get there. It will even tell you how to get to restaurants in Paris, France, but the directions MAY instruct you to swim the Atlantic Ocean. If they don't any more, they used to.

                                                                                                      2. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                        Reminds me of the mint jelly that is supposed to be served with leg of lamb. Totally unnecessary, IMHO.

                                                                                                        1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                          Unless you LOVE mint jelly or sauce with lamb! '-)

                                                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                            The Crosse & Blackwell mint sauce is not as cloyingly sweet as most mint jellies and I prefer it with lamb. Texas frowns on sheep eaters, and grocers rarely feature lamb racks and loin chops in their premium meat case. Go figure.
                                                                                                            I also skip the package of orange goop in the ducks, I put a few tart apple slices in their cavity.

                                                                                                            1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                              I hear ya on the lamb in the meat case. It seems to be hit or miss.
                                                                                                              Dont know where you live, Veggo, but i live in Austin, and i can usually find good deals on leg of lamb and chops at the Costco. Well, i say that, but i haven't been a member for about a year so i'm going on past experience.

                                                                                                              1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                For us, Costco is our go-to for lamb. Boneless legs, loin ribs and racks. Having a rack for Thanksgiving dinner.

                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                  I always get the boneless leg and either put it on the grill or make a great lamb curry

                                                                                                                  1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                    We butterfly, marinate for a bit for flavor and then grill.

                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                      Exactly. I cut the leg into 4 slabs marinate 2 and use a dry rub on the others.

                                                                                                                      1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                        Butterflying keeps it all in one piece. We recently got a smoker that we LOVE. Maybe need to do an unbutterflied leg in it.

                                                                                                              2. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                If you're sneaky like me you can probably find some pretty good lamb near you... Almost every city in America today (fortunately) has a mosque or two (some even have minarets!) and there is almost ALWAYS a halal butcher shop or small meat market in that area. If you can't find one, call the Mullah/Imam of the mosque (often fun to talk to) and ask where the best lamb can be found. I strongly prefer lamby lamb that tastes like lamb. Most American raised and imported New Zealand lamb are aimed at the general public and rarely have that rich gamey flavor any more. A big fat roasted leg of lamb with mint sauce and roasted potatoes brings back childhood memories!

                                                                                                                Damnit, I'm HUNGRY! <sigh>

                                                                                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                  Lamb chops/racks I always grill outdoors, but there's something about a roasted leg of lamb aroma wafting all through the house I enjoy. I last did one at Easter, and I was surprised that one guest didn't care for lamb.
                                                                                                                  Quite unlike Texas, lamb in Australia is everywhere, and half the price of beef!
                                                                                                                  Denver has a wonderful area on S. Colorado Blvd. with numerous halal butcher shops and middle eastern restaurants, not the case here in central FL, although I can get a decent lamb shank at a nearby Greek restaurant on Sundays.
                                                                                                                  In the Yucatan, lamb (borrego) is pretty much a Sunday only dish.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                    We have a few local ranchers raising sheep, cows, pigs, etc. The duck at Costco is halal. As far as I know, halal just refers to the method of slaughtering and nothing to do with the meat itself. I've never understand the term "gamey" when referring to lamb since it's not "game."

                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                      Anytime I've tasted lamb that another has described as 'gamey' I have pretty much been able to determine that what was served was mutton. Meat from an animal too old to be called a lamb. This stronger mutton taste is often misdescribed as 'gamey.'

                                                                                                                      I do not eat the imported NZ or Australian lamb so cannot reply to Caroline's observations about its 'mild' flavor. I order my lambs each year from a local farmer and have them slaughtered by a kosher ritual slaughterer (who also does some local beef and veal and poultry for me). In terms of the lamb, I take the forequarters and a neighbor takes the hindquarters. There is a definite flavor difference based on where the lamb is raised and what it has for a diet. The equivalent of 'free range' to factory farm yields a more distinct flavor.

                                                                                                                      1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                        We bought a couple of chops at our co-op from a local rancher and the difference was strikingly better. I need a bigger freezer and then want to get a lamb (or two) and a goat, also available locally.

                                                                                                                2. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                  True, Caroline. If you like it, you go go head on eating it. I find that if i cook it right (i.e. not overcooked) it is less gamey and the mint jelly isn't necessary. Now (as Veggo mentions below) if you have a good recipe that isn't as cloyingly sweet i'd be interested.

                                                                                                                3. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                  lamb lovers, if you haven't tried a persian saffron marinade for your lamb, do try it. often has pomegranate, too.

                                                                                                                  the photo is of saffron/herb-marinated NZ double lamb chops and a pilaf with orange peel and nuts at our local persian place, amoo's in mclean, virginia.

                                                                                                                4. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                  I've been buying frozen ducks at Costco for a while. No packets of anything.

                                                                                                                  I've never understood the mint jelly thing. Guess I figured it was for people who don't really like lamb. Or who grew up eating mutton which is stronger in flavor.

                                                                                                                5. re: wincountrygirl

                                                                                                                  When I went to Paris in 2001, my friend and I were unable to find Duck a l'orange. I've made it myself a few times but the best I ever had was at a long-gone restaurant call Gourmanauts in Los Angeles.

                                                                                                                6. Love that "Steak Diane" and fortunately for me and DH, I have the recipe from a decades old copy of Bon Appetit (back when it was a give-away magazine) and still make it a
                                                                                                                  couple of times a month. BUT where oh where can you fine
                                                                                                                  an acceptable "Tournedos de Rossini"? The Tack Room in Tucson made a fabulous version in the early 60's & 70's (complete with fluted mushrooms) and I loved every bite. I 'd drive from San Antonio to Tucson to have that again!

                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: amazinc

                                                                                                                    Here's how to make a classic Tournedos Rossini. The requirements are:

                                                                                                                    1 tournedos steak per guest
                                                                                                                    1 baguette French bread or other great bread such as brioche for croutons
                                                                                                                    Slices of foie gras, 1 large slice per steak
                                                                                                                    slices of large fresh black Perigord truffle, 1 slice per steak
                                                                                                                    classic beef demi-glace (flavored with Madeira)

                                                                                                                    Directions and explanations:

                                                                                                                    The steaks: First off, a "tournedo" is NOT a "filet mignon." Chances are your butcher doesn't have a clue so go armed with knowledge when shopping! The "tournedo" is cut from the big fat end of the whole tenderloin and the filets mignon are cut from the small end, which is why they're dubbed "mignon." The transitional part of the whole tenderloin where it goes from big and fat to smaller and slimmer is traditionally used for the "Chateau Briand", which was originally made by the creator of this dish by putting this superlative cut of steak between two lesser cuts, broiling it until the outer steaks are well charred, then discarding those (throwing them to the dogs) and serving the perfect medium rare chateaubriand with appropriate sauces and vegetable garnishes. ANYWAY, you'll need one excellent tornedo per guest cut about an inch and a quarter thick.

                                                                                                                    Cut slices of bread the same thickness as the steaks, and then cut/trim those bread slices down to the same diameter as the steaks. Butter the bread liberally and then "toast" them in a buttered frying pan until they are golden brown on both sides. If you can somehow manage to toast the edges of the bread (croutons), that's optimum! Set them aside to drain on paper towels and keep warm.

                                                                                                                    Cook the steaks on a smooth surfaced frying pan. No grill marks, please! You want a nice crust and the traditional level of doneness is medium rare. If you sous vide, this is a great time to use your sous vide equipment, then crust the steaks with a quick pass through a VERY hot frying pan or with a kitchen torch, but not too much char flavor. Set steaks aside on a warm platter, tent loosely with foil, and allow to rest while you:

                                                                                                                    Season the foie gras slices and dust lightly with flour. Saute quickly to brown in butter. You want the pan fairly hot because cooking foie gras at lower temperatures will render too much of the incredibly expensive and delicious fat out of the liver. You just want the surfaces of the foie gras to be lightly browned. Set on paper towel and keep warm.

                                                                                                                    Black Perigord Truffles: Ideally, you will need a very large (and incredibly expensive) slice of a large truffle with a diameter very close to that of the steak and of the foie gras slice for each steak. If your truffles are smaller, then several slices will work.

                                                                                                                    Madeira sauce, aka "demi-glace." THIS recipe calls for the very old fashioned and traditional version of Careme's demi glace, which includes the Madeira when it is made and NOT the Escoffier version of demi glace that includes Sauce Robert in its preparation, which has flour in it. If you're investing the kind of funding this recipe requires, I strongly suggest you "fake" a true Careme demi glace by making it ahead of time and refrigerating it until needed.

                                                                                                                    That said, perhaps an explanation that a "demi glace" is simply an EXTREMELY concentrated highly flavorful stock, in this case, beef, that has been made with a roasted mirepoix (mixture ratio of 50% diced onions, and 25% chopped carrots and 25% chopped celery. These are placed in a roasting pan with beef knuckle bones, marrow bones, joints of beef with a good bit of beef still attached, then roasted in the oven until the bones are nicely colored a rich beefy brown. The vegetables and all of the bones and such are scraped into a large soup kettle, covered with water, then skimmed and boiled for 2, 3, 4 hours or maybe if you're a truly traditional cook, for a day or two, but NO SALT! Let the pot cool, then strain the broth through several layers of cheese cloth. Maybe repeat because the goal is to get a crystal clear stock. When you've accomplished that, then you pour the stock into a clean pan, add a good glug or so of good quality Madeira wine, and set it to boil some more. Gentle boil, not rough boil. You want to reduce it to about 1/4 or less the quantity you started with. Allow the "demi glace" to cool, but while that's happening, pour some into the bottom of a ramekin and set it in the freezer for a few minutes to allow it to gel. Check the gel for consistency, texture, and flavor. Sometimes the bones have plenty of collagen, and your stock will gel so well you may think you've made "beef leather" instead of "fruit leather"! If your demi glace does not set to a pretty firm consistency, you may need to dissolve a packet or two of Knox unflavored gelatin in a bit of the stock, simmer gently to dissolve it thoroughly and then stir it into your reduced stock. But you still DO NOT add any salt. This produces a VERY traditional Careme style demi glace in which the flavors are so concentrated that it only takes a tablespoon or so to add to the fonds in a pan after cooking steaks to produce a very luxuriant "pan sauce."

                                                                                                                    So now, for the tournedos Rossini, and how to assemble it...

                                                                                                                    Make your Madeira sauce by adding a tablespoon or so of your demi glace (per steak) to the pan you cooked the steaks in and allowing it to melt. Taste and add enough salt to "float" the beef flavor. At this point you MAY (optional) further season the pan sauce with more Madeira, or with a touch of really good vintage Port (ruby!), or a splash of really excellent brandy. Bring the sauce to a simmer, remove from heat and stir in a knob or two of butter, which will slightly thicken the sauce and give it a great sheen! Keep sauce warm.

                                                                                                                    To assemble:

                                                                                                                    On each WARM plate, place a crouton (the toasted bread) and top it with a tornedo. Place one slice of warm foie gras on top of each steak. Top the foie gras with a slice of truffle. Now gently nap the truffle with enough of the Madeira sauce that it makes the truffle glisten in the light, and then cascades down over the steak. But not a huge amount. Just generous enough to allow a bit of sauce for each bite as the steak is eaten.

                                                                                                                    In today's world, this original recipe is often seriously compromised (in MY opinion) because the crouton that rests under the steak to absorb all of those incredible juices that escape while you're cutting and eating the steak is rarely if ever sill used today. For anyone who has had this original version, that's pretty much a crime in my book. And in this original recipe, a starch was rarely served with the dish simply because that lovely juicy crouton is starch enough!

                                                                                                                    And now I'll indulge myself by sharing a dinner party tale with you. I used to serve tournedos Rossini to guests for dinner parties a couple of times a year. A new couple had just moved to town and didn't know many people. The husband worked with my husband. We invited them as the new kids on the block to our dinner party. When the tournedos Rossini were served, the husband got up from the table without so much as a "by your leave," marched into the kitchen, retrieved a bottle of ketchup from the refrigerator, returned to the table and brushed off the foie gras and truffle and proceeded to DROWN the tournedo in ketchup! <sigh> After that, he was only and ever invited for hot dogs and potato salad!!!! End of dinner tale!

                                                                                                                    The side veggies I most often served with this were either really young tender asparagus with a tad of clarified butter, or pared and trimmed artichoke hearts simmered, then filled with a touch of sauce Béarnaise OR gratineed with a dusting of bread crumbs and parmesan and browned under the broiler.

                                                                                                                    So now, amazinc, you can have all of the tournedos Rossini your heart desires! If; you want to make it as close to the original recipe as possible (and it does make a flavor difference) for the steaks use grass fed dry aged USDA Prime organic beef and NOT grain fed wet aged beef. It won't be cheap but it will be delicious! '-)


                                                                                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                      Caroline darlin', you are the classic here. God bless you and a wonderful Thanksgiving to you.
                                                                                                                      Your diligent friend,

                                                                                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                        LOL He if you hadn't escaped Dallas, I'd invite you for tournedos Rossini for Thanksgiving dinner! But be happy you're not here or you'd have froze toes! ICY! Happy Thanksgiving!

                                                                                                                      2. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                        Carolyn, you really should start a journal of your posts here, not to mention your incredibly far-ranging food knowledge. You know so much. Really.

                                                                                                                      3. re: amazinc

                                                                                                                        I haven't made it in ages but always love the Julia Child & Company recipe for Steak Diane. So delicious, so easy and has a real wow factor.

                                                                                                                      4. Lobster Thermidor
                                                                                                                        Seafood Newburg
                                                                                                                        Nesselrode Pie
                                                                                                                        Pheasant Under Glass

                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                          You read my mind on the lobster dishes, BM. I was about to post that myself yesterday when I had to go out.

                                                                                                                          1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                            Me, too! All of the above have disappeared along with first courses of jellied beef consomme and marinated herring in sour cream. Oh, and a Neopolitan ice cream bar for dessert.

                                                                                                                            As for Nesselrode sauce, I still make my own when I can get good chestnuts.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Chefpaulo

                                                                                                                              Nesselrode Pie is quite different from a sauce............
                                                                                                                              for many years I was searching for Tortoni for dessert, used to be one of two choices, the other Spumoni at Italo-American restaurants in NY/CT. Last year I found a small Italo-American restaurant nearby in Westport, CT (been around for about 70+ yeaqrs) that still serves Tortoni for dessert.

                                                                                                                              1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                Oh yes! I'd always get the spomoni and my sister the tortoni when we went out for Italian, visiting family in NYC

                                                                                                                        2. It probably doesn't qualify as a dish, but we just had Kaukana Port wine cheese spread on cocktail sized bread with old fashioneds, a taste of the early 60s.

                                                                                                                          1. After reading Caroline's recipe and directions for tournedos
                                                                                                                            Rossini, I wonder how any restaurant served that dish for
                                                                                                                            less than $50.00 per. That's what I remember the restaurant
                                                                                                                            in Tucson charging for it. With the costs of beef and truffles
                                                                                                                            now, the dish should cost $200+ per. Please, please Caroline, make it for Veggo and me.! I don't know where Veggo lives, but I'm near San Antonio and we'll drive to Dallas for the feast!

                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: amazinc

                                                                                                                              LOL! Veggo lives in Florida (when he's not in Mexico). Wanna pick him up on the way? '-)

                                                                                                                              Seriously, the recipe is from the earlier part of the 20th century. I made it most often during the last half of that century. In today's world, if anyone (including great chefs) wants to make an authentic version of the dish, they have to try to duplicate/match the ingredients that were used back then, which includes beef that has been dry aged for at least three weeks. A side of beef will loose around 30% of its original hanging weight during the dry aging process. Today most beef is wet aged, which bypasses the weight loss due to dehydration, but it also changes the flavor profile of premium cuts. Most USDA Prime grade of beef today is dry aged, but it makes up a very small percentage of the beef that goes to market.

                                                                                                                              The thing that many people don't understand today, including too darned many chefs, is that the traditional "Haute Cuisine" of those legendary chefs Careme and Escoffier were healthy eating simply because the grass fed beeves of that day, including the dairy products of the day, did NOT have the heart problems associated with them that today's American and Canadian grain fed feed lot cattle present. EVERYTHING was fresh and made from scratch. A nifty way to fly... if you can afford it. '-)

                                                                                                                              You've piqued my curiosity... How long since the last time you had tournedos Rossini? They don't appear often on today's menus simply because of the reasons you state.

                                                                                                                              And here's a fun toy for figuring out cost differences between "then and now."


                                                                                                                              For example, if you buy $141.71 worth of something today, it would only have cost fifty bucks in 1980! I wish someone would hurry up and invent time travel because I want to earn now and shop then!!!

                                                                                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                I can get dry aged, grass fed beef at my Reno WF. Yes, you pay a premium but it's easy to find.

                                                                                                                              2. re: amazinc

                                                                                                                                Pray tell, what restaurant was it? I've lived in Tucson since 1958, and I'm guessing it was the Tack Room, Charles, or the one other Continental restaurant that I can't remember the name of.

                                                                                                                              3. Egg Foo Yung. I know it's Chinese American food, not Chinese food, but I still love it when it's done right.

                                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                                                                    I have a recipe for it somewhere, in a c. 1960 Asian cookbook (a whole continent in 200 pages! If you can't find miso use beer as a substitute!).

                                                                                                                                    There used to be an all-you-can-eat sushi place in my town that was run by a Chinese-speaking family. The sushi was not that good, to put it charitably, but they always had a large selection of Chinese and Chinese/American dishes, including roast duck and egg fu yung, which were pretty good. And yellow Jell-O.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                                                                      Still on all the Chinese-American (sit down, take-out, buffet) restaurant menus/offerings in Southern CT.
                                                                                                                                      In fact I had Mushroom Egg Foo Yung for Lunch Friday at Fortune Pavillion in Derby, CT. An old school (45 years) Cantonese Chinese-American restaurant..with the waiters in gold waist length jackets.................

                                                                                                                                      1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                                                                        i used to make a grocery store kit's version (chun king?) in my dorm room on a hot plate. all the ingredients were included in the kit except the eggs. i wonder if they still make that product?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                                                                          My understanding is that it is an adaptation of a Chinese dish made by a Chinese immigrant who couldn't find all of the ingredients used "back home." For me, it has been the most inconsistent dish I can think of. As many times as I've had it, there only seem to be two versions; incredibly delicious and what was I thinking when I ordered this crap? The very best I've ever had was in a restaurant in El Paso where you had to order everything on the menu by number or in Chinese because the only person in the place who spoke English was the owner, and he didn't wait tables. Their egg fu Yung was deep fried so it was shaped more like a ball than a pancake and the eggs were moist and custardy with bean sprouts, onions, some incredible ham, with a few other veggies I don't quite recall. And the sauce was "Best Ever!" There were three good sized "pods" per order that easily served three. All of the cooks were fresh off the plane from Hong Kong, sponsored by the owner and under contract to work for him for a year or so, after which they were free to go their own way. I loved that place and ate there at least once a week. Then they had a kitchen fire and closed forever... <sigh> The last time I had egg fu yung was a couple of weeks ago from a local Plano take out. It was definitely of the what was I thinking variety. Pity!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                            that deep fried one sounds wonderful! i've actually never ordered egg foo yung in a restaurant.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                              That sounds like some great Egg Foo Yung. The best I've had was at a very old school Chinese (read "Americanized Chinese") restaurant in Upland, California, now defunct, called Dragon Palace. Boy that stuff rocked.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                                                                                Oh my gawd does that sound good. I make them about once a month, and they're tasty enough, but have NEVER come up to my gold, holy-grail standard, which I found at a horrible, scary divey place in Vallejo. Eggs foo yung were a house special and the waitress got very excited when I ordered it, and she sent me off to wait in an even scarier back room which had a bar and where you could still actually smoke. (Or, if you couldn't legally, people did anyway.)
                                                                                                                                                Anyway, she brought my order and I took a look and those things were light; high and fluffy with none of the horrible browned leathery skin that I was used to finding, and they were absolutely delicious and I have nowhere near as much success at home, and I wish I had some right now. :)
                                                                                                                                                Thanks for the memories and the inspiration for dinner tonight.

                                                                                                                                          2. I became foodie (or hound) during the '70s, when there was a lot of stuff going on. Some of it good. I've had coquilles st. jacque once, Chateaubriand a few times, and crepes suzette once.
                                                                                                                                            And I have puff pastry shells in the freezer, not entirely sure what to do with them, how they're best used. Any input is welcome, unless you're telling me I'm a turd for not knowing what to do with puff pastry.

                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                              Fill them with turkey a la king made from leftovers at the end of this week.

                                                                                                                                            2. Is Waldorf Salad still served? Simple and delicious and can sometimes fill in as a side where nothing else does.

                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: BangorDin

                                                                                                                                                Still being served in my house! I don't think I've ever seen it on a menu, though.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: BangorDin

                                                                                                                                                  One of the best episodes of "Fawlty Towers" revolves around an American's insistence on Waldorf Salad, which Basil, of course, has never known existed.


                                                                                                                                                2. To EWS Flash ... It was the Tack Room. My MIL lived in Tucson and DH and I would visit on our way either to or from Mexico (from KC, MO) Each time we were there, we'd eat at least one meal at the Tack Room. I never ordered anything
                                                                                                                                                  but the Tornedos Rossini and still long for that superb meal.
                                                                                                                                                  For all the good food available in San Antonio, I've found nothing to compare!

                                                                                                                                                  1. So how come we're up to 150 posts and not one mention of escargots Bourguignon? Huh? Why is that?

                                                                                                                                                    One of my all-time favorites! For almost a year I raised my own. My then-local Del Mar, California snails came from France as stow aways hiding in grape vine cuttings brought in by the shipload for grafting onto diseased vines in early 20th century vineyards. I do love the canned variety, but fresh are incredible! So tender. We had them at least once a week, and even the kids loved them. And then I finally realized how much more expensive they were than canned. They were feasting on every lovely plant in my yard! so I bought some snail killer pellets and reverted to canned. hmm... I think I have two or three cans in the cupboard right now. And maybe now I know the answer to what's for lunch! Hey, I could cook them in fluted mushrooms instead of their shells. How retro is that!

                                                                                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                      those snails are currently on menus of the french places i've gone to. it is always a MUST ORDER dish.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                        I tried cooking some of the localized snails: after purging them for a week on cornmeal and lettuce, I sauteed them in a garlic butter. Maybe it's because they were free-range snails from my garden, but they weren't very good. The commercially raised ones I've had weren't much better. So that's one dish I'm not sorry to see gone. They weren't bad, they were just - nothing.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tardigrade

                                                                                                                                                          oh, you cracked me up with the "free range snails"!

                                                                                                                                                          i love escargots in a french restaurant. on the other hand, i cannot abide the idea of canned snails (although i'm sure that's what the restaurants use), but my aversion is because one time i ate some from a can at a friend's house -- years ago -- and i got violently ill.

                                                                                                                                                          i'd be just as happy with mushrooms a la bourguinon! as far as i'm concerned, it is all about the sauce! ;-).

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                          Your story about the garden snails reminds me of the gourmet rats I had at a previous house that I owned. I had a detached garage in the back of the yard, which was easy for the rats to get into, and they were a constant battle. The garage had sort of a second ceiling that i added for additional storage. One day i went up there to get something and found a pile of snail shells about 2 feet high and about as wide. Evidently the rats were taking the snails and eating them in the garage. After that i had a sort of new found respect for the rats.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                                                            I know I should just hit "recommend" but I have to say that's one of the funniest food stories I've ever heard.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                                                              If it was in California, they HAD to be escapees from the movie, Ratatouille! That's the only place I know of that brought forth gourmet rats! How funny. Go back and find some teensy weensy toques blanche. and you can charge admission; "Remy cooked here!" '-)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                                                                Respect? Absolutely! I would have honored their good taste by putting out some melted garlic butter and a well-chilled dish of Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough region.)

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                Because escargots are still alive and well. One of my favorite.

                                                                                                                                                              3. I always think of Lobster Newburg as old-timey and a waste of a good lobster, in my opinion.

                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                                                                                                                      the only inside dish my father or grandfather could cook....a Sunday or school snow day special.

                                                                                                                                                                      This morning I made it for my daughters along with toasted seeded rye bread and home fried potatoes.

                                                                                                                                                                1. Babas au Rum! Or are they out there and I just can't find them? They were a really big deal in the 60s, but it has been a while now since I've seen them, and I'm sure of that because when I see them I order them! It's just too dangerous to make my own...

                                                                                                                                                                  1. downscale version: the foil wrapped minced chicken that often appeared in the appetizer section at old-school Chinese restaurants -- usually as part of a pu pu platter.