Monday, August 12, 2013

Seared Scallops, Good Dog Bar and Restaurant, Philadelphia, PA

We've all seen would-be world-class chef's royally screw up the scallops on those competitive cooking shows. Whenever I see Scallops on the menu I can hear that combative scottish-brit voice shouting "RAW!!!!!" or "RUBBER!!!!!" - that said- it is easy to mess up scallops- mere seconds are the difference between raw, overcooked, and just right. It takes a deft hand to evade that mad Chef's wrath...

Maple Bacon Candy

Sometimes a picture tells you all you need to know. Melville's hand poured Maple Bacon Savory Lollipop was a tasty treat brought to me by a relative from parts unknown. The candy has a good, solid maple flavor, and is studded with actual bacon bits. There's just no way to go wrong with that.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Fried Pumpkin Blossoms

My Sicilian grandmother always used to make a big deal about getting a hold of fresh squash blossoms (usually Zucchini), breading and frying them. Often they would be stuffed with something special such as cream cheese as well, but they were an interesting snack even without the stuffing. This story starts with the area of my yeard where I intended to put up a garden this season. Early on, a stray plant that looked vaguely squash-like sprouted out of nowhere, so I let it grow just to see what it would become. A few weeks later, my vegetable garden was out of the question- the mystery plant was a pumpkin plant, and it took over basically my entire proposed garden area. The good news is that the plant is now so big, I can pick the flowers at will without stopping the plant from producing plenty of pumpkins. I've never fried pumpkin blossoms before, but the idea works just as well for just about any squash or gourd flowers.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Royal Warsaw, Elmwood Park, NJ

Many people find it easy to overlook Polish cuisine. While not as flashy as French, or as well known as Italian, it stands up against them very well. In general, you'll find Polish food remarkably simple, but very comforting. This is no-nonsense, straightforward, good food. I've had the pleasure of having authentic Polish food on several occasions, and I've never left the table hungry or unhappy. It's certainly worth a try.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Home-made Smoked Pork Ribs

A few weeks ago, I completed my preparations for summer by purchasing a new charcoal grill/smoker combo. I almost immediately used it as a grill to cook up the usual batches of burgers and dogs that most people associate with summer cookouts, but I had bigger ambitions than that for my new toy. I've never used a smoker before, and a rack of ribs seemed the bet place to start experimenting.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Bacon infused Mac and Cheese

Everyone loves Mac and Cheese. Yes, I'm sure even the Vegans secretly lust after it. So how do you improve on a classic? Simple, just add bacon. This is a riff on the classic Macaroni and Cheese Casserole like my mom used to make- only I add bacon, a whole lot of bacon. And if that isn't enough, I make  use of the bacon grease as well.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Art Restaurant at the Four Seasons Seattle

On my trip to Seattle, I didn't realize just how much of the city seems to shut down relatively early. By relatively "early" I mean early for someone more accustomed to the nightlife in to so-called city that never sleeps (New York)- So I made a critical mistake- I was killing time, and waiting to decide where to eat. When 10pm rolled around, and I still had not eaten, I was left with few choices, so I went back to my hotel and ordered room service from the attached restaurant instead of searching for a late-night bite in an unfamiliar city only a few hours after arriving.