Archive | January, 2009

A correction…and a Thank you!

31 Jan

I posted an article and a picture yesterday that said the Bacon and Sausage Explosion was from BBQ Masters.com. The correct name of this website is BBQ Addicts, and the correct address is:

http://www.bbqaddicts.com/bacon-explosion.html

They should get full credit for their efforts!

Gastronomic Monstrosity: Bacon Sausage Explosion!

31 Jan
//www.bbqmasters.com

photo courtesy of http://www.bbqmasters.com

Oh. My. Ever. Loving. GOD!!!!!!!

I saw this ” culinary delight” on Inside Edition tonight, and I went all slack-jawed at the very thought of it.

A roulade of sausage and bacon, grilled and sauced with bbq sauce. I got chest pains just looking at it.

For those who are curious, it is a dish made entirely of bacon, sausage, barbeque sauce and seasonings. The website, BBQ Masters.com gives  step-by-step instructions on how to make this.

Oh the Humanity!!!!!!!

Ideas for throwing a Superbowl Party on a Budget

30 Jan

Well, I’m poor and maybe so are you.

But, you want to watch the game with a few friends, and don’t mind having Cletus and the gang over.  Don’t fret; there are ways you can still entertain and do it on a budget. All it takes is some planning, and a bit of creativity.

Have a Pot-Luck Party

There is nothing wrong about pot-luck. Suggest to the masses if they want to watch the game on your brand, spanking-new plasma tv that you bought, they may wanna bring a dish or two. It just takes some coordination, never leave it up to the masses. You are supplying the venue, so provide the paperware and beverages. Guide your guests to what they should provide. Everybody you invite should be willing to bear some cost. Have the guest that can’t cook bring some chips, a dessert or a dip. Tell them to bring enough for the amount of guests you are having.  Tell them if they are briniging a guest, the guest should bring something as well. Nobody shows up empty handed.

Avoid some pre-packaged food

Ideally when you buy that bag , box or tray of prepared food,  you should look at the realistic serving size, not the one put on the package. Example: Frozen Buffalo wings from some of the leading companies cost between $8.99 and $9.49 a pound for a 2.5 lb. bag. That’s spending between $3.59 and $3.79  a pound for just over 3-4 servings, especially if you have a bunch of hungry guys over. It’s just cheaper to make your own, especially if chicken wings cost between &1.69 and $2.49 a pound.

But CC, I don’t want to spend time making food; I just want to order it or just pop it into the oven and be done with it.

Only you can be the judge between the cost of convenience versus time. If you want to order wings from your local wing joint, call them NOW and make your reservation. You aren’t the only one wanting wings of fire for the shindig.

Making your own cold cut tray has its advantages. First, you can use sale cold cuts and cheeses and choose the ones you like.  Second, it’s just cost effective.   For $28, you can have 2 meats and 2 cheeses and have enough to feed a hungry crowd. Why pay extra for the kale and the  pile of unidentifiable lunch meat that nobody ever eats?

B.Y.O.B.

Alcohol ain’t cheap, y’all. How many times you’ve had to empty half-full cans of beer? It is a proven fact that people are less wasteful of things if they had to pay for them, and alcohol is no exception.

A note, however: You should be diligent with your guests if you are serving drinks. Cut them off if they appear to be too inebriated, and never serve alcohol after the third quarter ( this always eliminates that guy who won’t leave until all of the alcohol is gone).  You may save yourself a headache later on, especially if your state is one who holds a homeowner responsible for how much his guests drink.

The idea is to have fun. If you need any ideas for something to either serve or bring, try one of the following recipes:

Beer-Battered Chicken Fingers

Warm Crab Dip

Chicken and Brown Rice Meatballs

Dirty Rice

My soon-to-be famous Sangria

Now go and root for your favorite team!!!

National Irish Coffee Week & bonus recipe, too!

27 Jan
//www.liquerious.com

photo courtesy of http://www.liquerious.com

This is National Irish Coffee Week, and if you’re located in the northestern United States, it couldn’ve come at a better time. It is just a hot mess outside today weatherwise, all icy and whatnot.  I tried my first Irish Coffee when I was 18 or 19 years old. I was trying to appear sophisticated, so I ordered it with a group of co-workers on a frosty winter day way back in 1981.

I was surprised when the server brought this concoction in a glass mug piled high with whipped cream. She then artfully drizzled green creme-de-menthe and chocolate syrup all over the top.  It was spectacular; the swirls of stiff cream looked like a minature mountain while the irridescent ribbons of green and brown slowly glided in between the  crevices of whipped cream. Iwondered aloud how to drink it, and someone said to drink a bit of the coffee through the small red and white coffee stirrers provided.

As I took the  first sip it was incredibly hot , and the bitter, sharp sting of the whiskey proved a bit challenging to me. I wasn’t accoustomed to the taste; you see, I cut my drinking teeth on frozen daquiris and other sweet drinks. Another person said to stir the cream into the coffee slowly, so that as the cream melted it would cool off the drink. I followed their instructions, and secretly felt like I was in an exclusive club. That was before I went to Ireland and had the authentic version.

The chef intructor took us to Slain Castle ( the same place where U2 filmed one of their videos), and had a great dinner. We had some pink trout among other things, and at the end I ordered an Irish coffee. What I got was nothing I had ever seen before. Instead of the glorious mounds of whipped cream and the familiar drizzles of green and brown oozing their way down the sides of my glass, I was greeted with a pedestrian-looking coffee with some cream floating on the top.  The only thing spectacular about the dring was the ornate crystal glass it was housed in. What I wasn’t prepared for was the taste.

Our instructor saw the look on my face and said, ” Just sip it through the cream, and don’t stir it.” Following his directive, I sipped the coffee carefully. The sensations were great; first came the cold and suprisingly thick cream, and then a warm rush of the coffee chasing it. I remembered closing my eyes, and thinking, “Where had THIS been all my life???”  Instead of a bitter wash of whiskey and coffee, it was warm, sweet  and simply sublime. I didn’t miss the cream de menthe or the chocolate syrup at all.

So my friends, you too can have the same experience I had in Ireland at home. Here is a recipe I’ve culled from my memory; it’s simple!

Equipment:

Two large mugs

stainless steel bowl

whisk

measuring cups and spoons

 

You will need ( 2 servings)

 2 cups brewed coffee, strong

1/2 cup whipping cream, cold

2 healthy shots of your favorite Irish Whiskey ( John Powers, Jameson, or Bushmills)

4 T. turbinado sugar, or your choice of artificial sweetener.

Boiling water

Refrigerate stainless steel bowl until cold. Pour cream into bowl and whisk by hand until cream is thick  and still pourable, not whipped. Set aside.

In two large mugs pour boiling water into each mug and let sit for two minutes.  Discard water, and add desired amount of sugar to each mug and stir. Add one shot of whiskey to each mug. Add coffee, leaving an inch below the rim of each mug.  Spoon the stirred cream into each mug and serve. It is imperative that you don’t stir the cream into the coffee; sip the coffee through the cream carefully in order to appreciate the whole experience.

My Official Inaugural Drink : The Barackatini

20 Jan

I first ran into the Obama cocktail a few days ago while pleading to Anthony Bourdain to let me give him a proper tour of Baltimore in a recent post.  In his blog, he wrote about this ghastly concoction containing come form of cocoanut  (probably Malibu rum), Blue curacao, and pineapple juice. Besides making your teeth chatter with all that extra sugar coursing through your veins, it just sounds just plain nasty.

Obama has an elegance about him, with just a hint of swagger. I suggest that a drink named after him contain these elements. I suggest we make something similar to the drink pictured above. This is the official (at least according to the website) Barack Rocks Cocktail.  The recipe is from The Nibble.com and can be found here.

After consulting a few buddies of mine, we decided to make up a martini (elegance) with a kick ( swagger). We came up with the Barackatini.

Note: This is what we thought a proper tribute to our next president. I am acutely aware that this may just be another form of another drink out there somewhere, so save all of the ” hey, that’s just a (insert drink name here) for someone who gives a fark, thank you very much.

The Barackatini ( serves two)

In a shaker with ice, pour the following:

2 healthy shots of raspberry vodka

1 heathy shot of Cointreau

splash of pineapple juice

splash club soda

Orange twist for garnish

Blue decorating sugar for rimming glass

Chill martini glasses for 20 minutes. Run a twist of orange around the rim of one glass and drop into martini glass. Repeat with the other glass. Place the rim of each glass into the blue sugar and set aside.  Shake  contents of shaker until well blended, and strain  into martini glasses. Enjoy!

In the spirit of the day, let us all rejoice in the realization of a dream deferred.

Mazel Tov!

Peanut Butter Recall Update

18 Jan
Kellogg issued a recall on some of its products containing peanut butter today in a press release on the Food and Drug Adminstration’s website Friday.
The FDA is advising that all consumers stat away from all products containing peanut butter.
The current list of products recalled containing peanut butter include products made by Little Debbie, Famous Amos, Austin’s ( shown here), and products containing peanut butter including some brands of candies, cookies and ice cream.
For a complete listing, go here

A letter to Anthony Bourdain

12 Jan

Dear Anthony Bourdain,

I ran across your blog the other day, and  was ecstatic that you came to my hometown–Baltimore, Maryland.  Then, I was surprised at your choice of eateries; Mo’s Crab and Pasta Factory. I’m sure you went there as part of the show, and to meet some of the cast of  “The Wire.”

While I appreciate that you may have enjoyed yourself at the fixture that is Mo’s ( BTW- What the EFF is an Obama drink???? I am a martini, Irish whiskey and Grand Marnier girl, and will not entertain anything the color of Windex to enter my gullet) ; I would like to formally invite you back to my fair city to take you on a tour of some of my city’s best, but little known eateries.  I feel that you missed some of the best food that we have to offer.

By the way; I’m not talking about some high-priced chi-chi, frilly place, but good food and great atmosphere.  Places like The Blue Moon Cafe, who serves the best breakfast in the city. Big portions, and all of it is homemade.  And, Peter’s Inn, with  ambitious food and atmosphere crammed into a  tiny Fell’s Point row home. And, while in Fell’s Point, we have to go to Bar, the original hole-in-the-wall.

Can I get an Amen? Amen.

Oh, and we can explore Hampden, hon for some of the local bars, and then make our way to the Real Deal Jamaican-American carry out for some of the BEST jerk chicken I’ve had to date.

Afterwards, we can stop by Club Chuck for a nightcap before I put you on the train back to New York. Did I mention you will have to pay, because I’m poor. Really poor. But that’s another story for another day.

Please entertain the idea of escorting a retired chef around town so I  can show you all the flavors of the town I love so dearly, warts and all.

Sincerely yours,

The Culinary Chick

PS: Anyone within the Baltimore-area who wants to throw in their two cents, feel free to do so.

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