Dish of the Month (DOTM) for HOUSTON, January 2016 is PASTA

Lets order and cook pasta dishes from every country’s interpretation this month! Cheers! Na zdrowie! Salute / Cin cin! Prost / Zum wohl! 干杯 / gān bēi! À votre santé!! 乾杯/ Kanpai!

I will start with my MIL’s sauerkraut and bacon pierogi’s, hand made for the holidays. I will add a picture later, but they are delicious, and mostly gone. She also makes potato and bacon. I pan fry them to a crispieness and top with sour cream and a dash of salt.

Happy New Year Ya’ll

Pasta, eh? In ALL iterations? Well, I guess there ought to be something for everyone in this.

Some of those dishes you mentioned on the nominating thread sound really good but i just haven’t been in to Italian in a long time, so I’m thinking i’ll stick to Asian cuisines, maybe limit myself to non-wheat based noodles, maybe do something with the varieties of dried noodles from Hong Kong Market I’ve got in the pantry. I foresee possible visits to Jang Guem and Banana Leaf, both of which I haven’t been to in a long time, and Cooking Girl and Mamak, both of which I’ve been wanting to try.

Thanks for starting it off. Hope it turns out to be a good month. You seem all fired up; I hope some of it rubs off.

Now, where are those pictures of pierogies??? I’ve been salivating for 4 hours!

I am excited, despite the fact that carbs are not in my New Year’s Resolutions! But on those cheat days, it will be fun!

Here’s the back story on the pierogies. MIL is Polish. Not Polish-American, just Polish, came here after WWII with the other displaced persons, and met her husband as an infant in a German concentration camp when husband was a teen. He was in a Polish Catholic family who harbored a Jewish dentist and so became her eventual husband after the liberation. Not sure why her family was in the same camp. they had two children, one of which is my husband, and grateful for that! Anyway, it’s a long family story and quite interesting. Father died at a ripe age, but not without camp trauma.

Still, she went to Polonia and pronounced the pierogies “not authentic!” She’s a tough lady and is here with us this Christmas season. I would never doubt the authenticity of her pierogies!

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I wondered about the carbs. I thought maybe you were going to run in the Marathon :smile:.

And thanks for the story. Now I have been reminded of a pizza parlor I heard about this summer that has a secret menu with pelmeni, vareniki and laghman and some other Russian/Ukrainian dishes. Hopefully I’ll be able to remember the name before the month is up.

That also reminds me of the mantu at Afghan Cuisine and I have been needing to get back out there and see if they’re holding up.

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I have not heard from you on my post about pierogi . Tell me how you make the dough . Seems like a lot of different ways . Hot water , butter , milk in the dough . I’m confused . I want to make them this weekend . Thanks

Okay, replying to myself here…here’s a timely post by Alice Levitt, the new reviewer at Houstonia/Gastronaut.

I have been impressed with her, by the way. Not overly wordy and not just given to chasing down the latest hot new place that’s been flooding her inbox with press releases like most of the other foodie media tend to do. That is to say, exploring the new (to her) scene independently of PR agents.

Not sure how this all works here yet, but we have custody of my MIL for a few days this week, can we meet at Polonia tomorrow evening? Short notice.

I don’t make them! My MIL does! Ha!

Your a lucky one .:smile:

Not sure how this all works here yet, but we have custody of my MIL for a few days this week, can we meet at Polonia tomorrow evening? Short notice.

^^This is not going to work after all, but we should have a meet up someday at Polonia.

OK. Now that I see it executed, I think we need to rethink our criteria for the DOTM.

“Pasta” is an ingredient, not a dish. I know I’m responsible for this debacle, but there it is.

“Spaghetti with meatballs” is a DISH.

PASTA is not. My bad. (And “Yes”, I know I even enumerated the variations, almost like I had good sense, but I was mistaken, I think.)

We can adjust it for this month or leave as is. Lambsy’s choice as this is her thread.

That’s my $0.02.

I’m game to leave it. I like the diversity here.

Okay. We’ve been kind of stumbling along from month to month imo and haven’t had much discussion about this since we started it, so let’s talk about it.

What do you, or what does any of us, want out of this? To me, it’s a way to edumacate myself about different dishes and I have most enjoyed the ones that involved dishes that I wasn’t familiar with. Whether any one else is getting edumacated by that I don’t know.

I think we have a special limitation because of the small size of the group (so far, hopefully). If we had 100 people signed up from Houston and only 20% participated, that still would be a fantastic thread, to me. We have only 9 by my count, and not everybody participates as it is. So I think it helps to have broad categories, if you will, so more people will be able to find a way to get in on it.

We also have to consider Jaymes, living so far out and not wanting to have to drive into town repeatedly during the month to take part. You have to stay close to your office because of time constraints, no?

This one may be a little broader than it needs to be. I try to make the best of whatever it is. If the DISH were spaghetti and meat balls, I wouldn’t be very interested. But I can take the ‘category’ of pasta and run with it and try the sorts of pasta/noodle dishes I’m interested in. Everybody else (all 9 of us, hint, hint, hint) can do the same.

If that makes sense then that’s my $.02 worth. If it doesn’t, then obviously my account has been hacked.

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This is only partially tongue in cheek. I saw a couple of friends conversing about this ramen one day, they both love it (one is Asian) and they buy it by the case at Costco. So I started looking for it on grocery outings, and when I finally found some, it was not in the ramen, 10 cent noodle soup section, but in the Asian section of Kroger.

The spice is what makes this different from the college ramen and the noodle quality. This stuff is mouth burning, nose running, eye watering spicy and I loved it. I had it for a quick lunch today and then went and stood outside in the 54 degree day to cool off. Hehe.

There are two kinds, the regular is the hotter, the Black has an extra spice pack and and an extra dollar on the price tag, $1.19 and $2.19. I’ll definitely have it again on a cold day while needing a quick meal.

I’ve tried quite a few of those Nong Shim varieties. Consomme Style Potato is a good one and Nong Shim Black. I usually get the dry packs but I did try one udon noodle bowl. I don’t know if there’s any difference in the cups/bowls and the packs other than needing a pan to boil water.

I usually try to have some sort of Asian greens on hand and scallions to add, maybe some shrimp or a hard boiled egg.

If you go to Hong Kong Market the section devoted to these products is as big as a 7-11 all by itself. A lot of it is multi-packs and cases; it’s sometimes had to find single packs if you just want to sample one but the bowl and cup products are usually available singly.

There was a good thread about a year ago on eG in which I learned there’s a lot more out there than Maruchan and Nissin. There’s also been discussion on CH in the past and then there is this blog. I can’t find a lot of the one’s he comments on anywhere, though.

I’ve been trying some of the ones available in the refrigerated section of Hong Kong - dozens and dozens of them - like this:

The pics are from months ago but I made this again New Year’s Eve Day and just finished it off yesterday.

If you ever see this one, snap it up (and call me and let me know where you found it):

This was mentioned on the eG thread but I had already discovered it. It’s the best I’ve found, noodles are really, really good. It’s mentioned on Ramen Rater I believe as one of the Top Ten for last year.

I found it once, I think at an HEB, and have never been able to find it again! I think maybe it’s always sold out!

I mentioned upthread i might be going to Banana Leaf and Mamak for this DOTM. I’ll be trying their versions of this dish.

ETA: Oh, yes. Forgot to mention: sodium levels are sky high in all of these.

I will look for that! Is it frozen? I wonder if Trader Joe’s carries it, they have a large frozen section.

No. Not frozen. The dried noodles are produced by a different method. I noticed seven out of ten of Ramen Rater’s Top Ten for 2015 were from either Malaysia or Singapore. Do we have a Malaysian/SIngaporean grocery here? Maybe that’s why I can’t find it.

I haven’t been very impressed with most of TJ’s Asian knockoffs so I haven’t even looked for it.

I found the place with the Russian menu - Sinbad, on Westheimer @ Hillcroft. I’ll link to the Yelp page. Although there is a website, it doesn’t show the Russian menu, but there’s a picture of that single page on Yelp (and several reviews). In fact, as of today, the Russian menu is in the review at the top of the queue.

I haven’t been.

Why non-wheat based noodles? Asking because only rice noodles will remain as the major non-wheat option left.

If you are open to wheat, you’d want to check out these two comprehensive threads on Chinese noodles types (just ignore the restaurant mentions since they are for the SF Bay Area):


“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold