Friday, September 30, 2011

Grilled Cheese with Southwest Grilled Chicken

I've mentioned several times that I have a mild obsession with Grilled Cheese. Something so simple and easy to make, that has infinite variations is intriguing to me. Also, anything with a gooey, runny, cheesy center makes great Food Porn...

Today's brunch/snack was a basic grilled cheese on wheat bread with american cheese. To make things interesting, I tossed a few pieces of leftover grilled chicken on the grill to give it a little color, and seasoned it with salt, pepper, a shot of tabasco sauce, and a little chili powder. The richness of the cheese balances out the spicy notes, and the little bit of acidity from the vinegar in the tabasco adds a little brightness to all the fats from the cheese and the butter.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Brasitas - Norwalk CT

Mariscada Caribena
I recently had the good fortune of taking a business trip in good company. The trip went well, and for me, one of the highlights was getting together to go over the plan for the next day, and generally talk about what's going on back at the office. One of my co-workers suggested a small Latin Fusion restaurant called Brasitas- and it turned out to be a great idea.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Grilled Cheese + Pulled Pork = Food Porn

Grilled Cheese as "Food Porn"
A well-formed brown crust, oozing cheese, a saucy pork filling, all melding together and drooling on the plate... The humble grilled cheese never disappoints when it comes to alluring food photos- even for a mediocre photographer such as I.

Today's lunch was a simple grilled cheese sandwich- store bought slices white bread, swiss cheese, and about a tablespoon of leftover barbecued pulled pork. The sauce from the pork makes friends with the cheese, and produces something greater than the sum of it's parts when encased in a crunchy, yet still slightly chewy bread shell. Next time I make one of these there will be a little cole slaw on it too... oh yes, there will be cole slaw...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hoagie Hut - Bridgewater New Jersey

Hoagies, Subs, Grinders, Heros... there are many names, but they all translate to "really big sandwich." New Jersey is one of those places that has a long tradition of great hoagies/subs/whatever. The New Jersey style hoagie has a few distinguishing features- but they are probably not all that unfamiliar to people from other areas.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Eggplant Parmigiana over Vermicelli

Eggplant Parmigiana over Vermicelli
If you've been paying attention to this blog, you've probably figured out that I am about as far from vegetarian as you can get. Even so, there are a few vegetarian dishes that I enjoy so much that I don't miss the meat- which is, I think, the hallmark of a great vegetarian meal. The classic Eggplant Parmigiana is probably the best example of this, in my opinion. It is simple in concept, but surprisingly difficult to execute. It is also a dish close to my heart, for a variety of reasons...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Labor Day Picnic at VFW Post 7164 - Avenel, NJ

Our food adventure for the weekend was a family trip to the annual Labor Day Weekend picnic at a nearby VFW post in Avenel, New Jersey. We've been going to this picnic for the past several years, and they always have plenty of simple, but good food to go around. This year, I made an effort to sample a little of everything- not that I consider that a hardship...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fennel Scented Pork Roast

Fennel Scented Pork Roast
Well, we survived Hurricane Irene's relentless onslaught on the northeastern US with no appreciable damage. We were very lucky- some of the neighbors did not fare so well- with problems ranging from downed trees, to power outages. Less than a mile down the street was where some of the worst flooded areas of the state began. We were very lucky.

My poor vegetable garden, however, was not so lucky. Few of my plants survived, and the ones that did  probably won't have time to produce any more fruit. My fennel plant in particular, was doing well, but ended up broken and mostly uprooted, so I needed to find a way to make some use of it rather than discarding it altogether. I also had a pork roast in the freezer, and a limited selection of other groceries to work with until the roads re-opened, and the (flooded) local grocery store re-opened, but something good was well within reach- and, personally, a big juicy hunk of pork is a great way to celebrate our good fortune.