Category Archives: Beef/Pork/Poultry

NoLa

A few months ago, The Girl and I went to New Orleans for a little getaway.  As a properly organized food person, I had a list (a very long list) of places to eat.  That was pretty much my agenda.   Sure, there are tons of things to do in New Orleans and we did a few of them, but my main objective was food.  How could it not be?

NoLa 029

So, our itinerary pretty much looked like this Every Single Day (swapping out restaurants, of course):

  • breakfast : CafĂ© du Monde
  • lunch: Antoine’s
  • dinner: Pesche

Oh, did I mention it was restaurant week when we were there?!  Yeah, that’s like putting a fat kid in a candy store and telling him to only pick 3 things.  Not likely… 

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Get Your Game Face On…

Break out the fat pants… It’s Super Bowl Party time.   Oh, don’t give me that face!  You know as well as I do that no matter what, you and I will be eating more than we should.    I love football parties;  a gathering of friends, yelling at the television in unison, eating, drinking and being merry… until of course there is a fumble or an interception.  Then the merriment seems to dissipate.

This year, I will have my very first Super Bowl Party.   I love throwing parties and I will use any excuse to have friends over and feed them.  The fact that there will be a football game on is a bonus!    The smile that creeps across their lips as they taste something heavenly (or sinful)… that’s the stuff I live for.  Seriously.

Here are some of the things that will be on our Super Bowl party menu:

photo courtesy of Cravings of a Lunatic

photo courtesy of Cravings of a Lunatic

http://www.cravingsofalunatic.com/2014/01/jalapeno-bacon-poppers-appetizerweek-savorx-giveaway.html

She had me at bacon…  Dang.   You know those (GASP) frozen jalapeno poppers that people seem to be a fan of?!   Make these and they will NEVER think those are a good idea, ever again.  These little babies pack a punch and leave you reaching for more!

 

Who doesn't love a corndog?!

Who doesn’t love a corndog?!

http://www.pookspantry.com/guilty-pleasures/

This is serious.  I don’t recommend eating these often, but once in a while… You need a corndog.  Especially if they are mini size!   These are so much fun!  They are a taste of childhood for me.  It was a special treat that we used to get and that sweet corn batter, deep-fried to  golden brown delicious makes me smile every single time.    A tray of these will make your friends very happy.

 

photo by: Alex Farnum coutesy of: Leite's Culinaria

photo by: Alex Farnum
coutesy of: Leite’s Culinaria

http://leitesculinaria.com/87995/recipes-soft-pretzels.html

These little gems are on my menu.  I love a soft pretzel more than any reasonable person really should…   If I am somewhere that has them, I’m not walking out without one.   I’m making a BIG batch of these and stashing some for those nights when the craving strikes.    These are absolute snack perfection.

 

photo courtesy of: Pastry Chef Online

photo courtesy of: Pastry Chef Online

http://pastrychefonline.com/2014/01/23/turtle-graham-crackers-candy/

Tell me your brain isn’t thinking “how do I get some of that?!”  After all the snacks have been devoured, your guests are going to need something sweet.   Jenni has come up with something that fits the bill quite nicely. 

 

photo courtesy of: Pass the Sushi

photo courtesy of: Pass the Sushi

http://passthesushi.com/huli-huli-bacon-chicken-bites-captainstable/

If these don’t scream “SUPER BOWL PARTY”, I don’t know what does…  Check them out & tweet with #captainstable to help donate a buck to ending hunger!    Chicken wrapped in bacon… that is all kinds of right.

 

photo courtesy of: Foodie with Family

photo courtesy of: Foodie with Family

http://www.foodiewithfamily.com/2014/01/29/garlic-parmesan-stadium-style-baked-steak-fries/

Is there ANYONE on the planet who doesn’t love fries?  These are not just ordinary fries… Look at that cheesy, herb-laden goodness.   These would be good for a party, movie night, dinner, a random Tuesday…  You get my point.

 

Sweet Corn Fritters & a Cold Beer= Perfection

Sweet Corn Fritters & a Cold Beer= Perfection

http://www.pookspantry.com/445/

Sweet Corn Fritters.  What else is there to say?  A plate of these & a cold beer and all is right with the world.   There are so many ways to dress these up.  You can leave them plain, as I did here, or mix in some bacon or crab.  Wanna keep it vegetarian?  Roasted red peppers, chipotle in adobo for a little kick or scallions would be nice.  

 

Thanks to all of my generous friends who allowed me to use their images & links!  Please check them out…  And a big THANK YOU to all of you who take a few moments to read this blog!

 

#SuperBowl  #GameDay  #Food

Franklin Barbecue

Franklin-BBQ

It’s a rather unassuming-looking place, isn’t it?   Don’t let that fool you.  The incredible things that happen on this little corner down a nondescript side street will blow your mind.

We all have those places on our “food bucket list” that we hope we will be able to get to someday.  One of mine was Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas.   It is the epitome of what barbecue should be.  Smoky, full of flavor and soft as butter.  The brisket was so tender I nearly wept, the ribs literally fell off the bone when picked up…  This was it, this was what I had been waiting for.

Franklin-BBQ-3

It was our first stop on the “Tour de Tex”.  We had checked the website and unfortunately found that due to the holiday schedule,  there was only day they would be open while we were in Texas.  So, here is how it went:  We woke up at 3:45 in the morning, got on a plane to San Antonio (our original destination), went straight to the rental car place from baggage claim,  made an hour long drive on a wing (or a rib) and a prayer to arrive at Franklin Barbecue by 11:45 am.    If this seems like a reasonable time to arrive, you’d be mistaken.   The line started at 8:00am, which means we were pretty far back and it wasn’t looking good for us. 

Franklin-BBQ-2

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Chirmol

As many of you are fully aware, I have an exploding tomato population.  I went a bit “Little House on the Prairie” thinking I needed to sow all my seeds to get me through the long, hard winter on the farm apparently.  Well, now…  I am reaping what I have sown.   PUN. FULLY. INTENDED.

It’s mass chaos back there.  I think the tomatoes get together in some sort of secret society at night while I’m sleeping, plotting to overthrow me.  One day I may wake up to them all crouched down waiting to pounce (think: Lord of the Flies).  OK, clearly I’ve gone off on a tangent… Continue reading

Pulled Pork

This is the kind of food I want to have bubbling away in the oven making my kitchen smell of divine porkiness while I am preparing to entertain a group of friends waiting for my beloved Buckeyes to take the field.
(whew…  how’s THAT for a run-on sentence?!)

For most people, this is summer food… For me however,  I equate having my oven going for over 4 hours with cooler temperatures and for me, cooler temps automatically mean football.

I’m sure this seems absurd to most of you.  Everyone else in the blogosphere is making pumpkin this and cinnamon that and here I am making pulled pork.  Well, I’m sure someone somewhere understands my particular brand of crazy…  it’s called football people and it’s not just football, it’s my Ohio State Buckeyes. 

If you are from the Midwest or the South where meetings are rescheduled and Saturday afternoons are off limits “on account of there’s football”, then I needn’t explain any further. 
To the rest of you who can’t quite conceive of this, it’s irrational.  Those of us that love football with the fervor of a sale-seeking Jersey Housewife with a platinum card understand what it’s all about.

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Here’s the Rub…

The weather in Brooklyn is perfect today…  mid 70’s, sunny and breezy.    These end of summer days are the ones I really cherish because I know too well that before long, they will be gone until the spring.

It is nearly unthinkable to cook dinner inside today.   The days left in this year that we can enjoy being outside are numbered and I want every last second of warm sunshine I can get. 

Although, grilling in inclement weather is no foreign concept to me.  I have memories of my grandmother grilling in the rain, tongs in one hand & umbrella in the other…  I guess once she decided what was for dinner, there was no turning back.   Luckily for me, the weather this weekend has been picture perfect. 

If you are among the throngs of apartment dwellers with no access to a grill or outdoor space, this is delicious done on a grill pan or even a saute pan.    Speaking as one of the aforementioned,  I’ve cooked many a steak on top of the stove and they are almost just as good.

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Thai Chicken Salad

 

Thai Chicken Salad

In my continuing effort to avoid turning my kitchen into the sweltering fires of hell,  I decided that this time I would cheat a little.  Just a little,  and it’s for the greater good.   The heat index is hovering in the triple digits while beads of sweat are pooling at the nape of my neck.  The least entertaining thought at this moment is “let’s fire up the oven”.

Store-bought roast chicken: In the winter months, this would be considered sacrilege… but in the blistering heat of summer, it is sweet salvation! 

As if buying the chicken wasn’t enough, the food processor is going to do the majority of the work!  Yep, this might be the perfect summer recipe.  The amount of work involved barely even registers.  If you don’t own a food processor it isn’t the end of the world, just a bit of chopping & grating.

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Chicken Soup for My Soul…

Last I checked April showers bring May flowers, right?  Well, someone missed the mark on that…  The weather here in New York has been unusual to say the least.  We had 80 degree days in March, freezing temps in April and it feels like it’s been raining for weeks… 

Chilly, gray days make me want a bowl of something good.  I had a quart container of “liquid gold” in the refrigerator that had been giving me the stink eye every time I opened the fridge…  It felt neglected, and rightfully so.  

A few weeks back, I had braised some chicken, strained the liquid and set it aside for another use.  That is liquid gold.  It is intensely flavored, uber-chicken-y goodness and while looking around the kitchen I realized I had almost everything I needed for tortilla soup (otherwise known as Mexican penicillin).

So, with a quick trip to get an avocado and a lime it was time to get cooking…

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Viva Mexico

The smell of the lightly singed corn tortilla & the memories instantly flood my mind.  I inhale deeply and let the smell fill my head.   

I close my eyes and it’s 1993…  I was leaving home for the first time to do a semester abroad.
I was on my way to the state of Jalisco, Mexico to attend the Universidad Autonoma De Guadalajara. 

I remember very distinctly the feeling of stepping off of the plane, walking alone through the airport and realizing that I was on my own in a foreign country…  and speaking Spanish was now a necessity.
The realization that I was the minority in this country where its people were the minority in mine.

Everything was so different; the sounds, the smells, the food…  nothing was familiar to me and as terrifying as that was, it was also the thing that was most exhilarating. 
The most tedious of tasks at home had become an adventure in Mexico, some of them less amusing than others…

I learned more about this country in the few months I lived there than I did in all the years I had been studying it.  Being immersed in a culture other than your own is something I think everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime.  It opened my eyes to things that changed me for the better, giving me a greater appreciation for what I had.

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Sticky Sweet Bacon Goodness

It’s bacoooon!  Who doesn’t love bacon?! (besides vegetarians and even some of them come to the dark side for the love of the slab)

My Mom had come across a recipe for bacon jam and being the good Midwestern woman she is, promptly got my Dad to make it.  When she called raving about how delicious it was, I knew it had to be shared.

I will forewarn you that while the bacon jam is simmering away in the crock pot you may want to focus your energy elsewhere.  The smell is incredible and the hours waiting for it to be done feel like years.

This is something that would make a great gift sealed in pretty glass jars or a topping for crostini for a holiday party.  I took my Mom’s lead on how I chose to enjoy my bacon jam…

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