I first had this shot on Halloween. It was at the Bottom Lounge before we went somewhere else. We simply went up to the bartender and I asked to make a shot, anything. We ended up with this awesome thing that tastes exactly like cinnamon toast crunch. It is a great shot that I highly recommend.
1.25 Parts Rumchatta
0.75 Parts Goldschlager
Shake with with ice strain and enjoy, you can also drink it as a cocktail if you like.
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Friday, December 6, 2013
With the first roll of my foodie dice I ended up with the following combination:
I had to go to work that day so I couldn’t find any millet at the nearby grocery store and with no time to go to whole foods or Trader Joe’s to look for it so I subbed in the closet thing I could find which was bulgar. For the beef element I decided to go with beef shanks. And I wanted to braise them along with some mushrooms.
A slight problem arose along the way since I was cooking at work. This means I didn’t have the chance to be in constant attendance of the food. I lost the mushrooms to them burning and the beef was overcooked as well. Still everything turned out to be alright and outside of those two faux pas, I ended up with a pretty successful meal.
What I ended up with was a braised beef that was seasoned with spicy cayenne pepper, over a salad that was a play on the Middle Eastern tabouleh salad. For the salad I sautéed the cooked bulgar with bacon and kale and finished with the basil.
Anyway here’s the recipe
2 Beef shanks about 1.5 lbs
1 Tablespoon Cayenne Pepper
2 Slices Bacon
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Cup Bulgar
3 Cups beef stock
1 Bunch Basil
3 Handfuls of Kale
1 Teaspoon dried rosemary
½ pint mushrooms
- Soak bulgar in 1 Cup of hot beef stock for one hour
- Cook the bacon until crisp and reserve
- Season the beef with salt, black paper and cayeene pepper, cook on both sides. Remove and Sautee mushrooms until tender.
- Deglaze the pan with one cup of the beef stock and add beef and simmer over low heat until tender.
- Add the remaining beef stock and bulgar to a medium saucepan and simmer over low heat until liquid is absorbed.
- Sautee the bulgar with kale and basil in butter, stir in crumbled bacon
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
I’ve been wanting to work with Oysters for a long time. This Thanksgiving presented me with the perfect opportunity to do so. Oysters were one of the items that were likely at the first Thanksgiving so I wanted to stay true to that. This recipe is also a good use for left over cornbread. I got invited to dinner, so the most practical thing for me to do was to make appetizers. I decided to go with two good ones. First off, I made a nice little play on a Oysters Rockefeller, substituting the breadcrumbs with cornbread and adding a little bit of pancetta. The other was a tasty and smooth mushroom pâté.
I’ve only really worked with oysters once before in the kitchen and it wasn’t that crazy, though this time I learned a lot. The main thing is shucking oysters is kind of a pain in the ass. It’s one of the reasons you should definitely enjoy them fresh (my favorite place to have them is a Fishferman’s Warf in San Francisico, where you can dine on them for just 50 cents each).
A Dozen Oysters
1 Clove Garlic
1 Bunch Chives
1/8 Pound Pancetta diced
¼ of a small pan of corn bread or two prepared corn muffins
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter (I’m picky about butter and my favorite big brand of butter is Kerrygold)
- Clean the outside of the oysters.
- Cover the bottom of a baking pan with salt. This will keep the oysters stable when cooking
- Cook the pancetta over moderate heat until almost crisp
- Add minced garlic and sautee until crisp and remove the mixture from the heat. Reserve half of oil
- Crumble the cornbread and sautee it in the combination of reserved pancetta fat and unsalted butter, mix in chives and sautee for about a min.
- Shuck the oysters discarding the top shell and leaving the meat in the bottom shell.
- Allow to cool and top the oysters with the mixture.
- Bake at 375F for 20 mins until browned
1 four ounce bag of wild dried mushrooms
1 Pound mushrooms of any variety (I used cremeni and button, but most any variety would work, you would want to remove the stems if they are woody like in shitakes).
8 Ounces Neufchâtel Cheese (You can use plain old cream cheese if you so desire)
3 Tablespoons unsalted Butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
- Add dried mushrooms to blender and run until the mushrooms become a fine powder.
- Sautee the fresh mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of butter until browned and tender and season with salt and pepper
- Allow mushrooms to cool
- Add everything to blender and puree until smooth.
- Refrigerate overnight to allow the dried mushrooms to absorb moisture of the cheese for a smooth texture
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
This sandwich is amazing. It is basically a huge upgrade on the traditional BLT. It comes from getting rid of the bread. There is absolutely no need for it. The bread gets replaced with awesome crispy fried green tomatoes. When I initially made this I only intended to eat two of them, but I ended up eating all of them because it is so tasty. I also cheated on the traditional recipe by adding in a bit of smoked Gouda. Everything in this sings together. You can also make it vegetarian by subbing in Tempeh bacon or smart bacon.
I’m only going to include the method of the fried green tomatoes themselves. I combine it with some arugula, mayo, bacon and cheese to make a sandwich.
- 2 Medium Green Tomatoes
- Creole Seasoning to taste
- 1/8 Cup Panko
- 1/8 Cup Cornmeal
- ¼ Cup Buttermilk
- ¼ Cup All Purpose Flour
- Oil for frying (If you’re using regular bacon you can just use the bacon grease)
- Slice the tomatoes to 1/4 inch thick slices.
- Season one side with creole seasoning and place that side down on a cooling sheet for 15-30 minutes. Season the other side and flip and let sit on the cooling sheet for 15-30 minutes. (This is to draw some of the moisture out. If you’re just making fried green tomatoes it’s not fried green tomatoes the wait is not necessary, but in order to keep the sandwich a little neater and make the tomatoes a little drier and more bread-like.)
- Dry off excess moisture from the tomatoes
- Combine the cornmeal and panko.
- Dredge the tomatoes in the flour. Coat them in the buttermilk and then the panko cornmeal mixture.
- Fry over medium heat for about two minutes each side until golden brown
The first trip I had to Milwaukee, in some time, wasn’t that eventful. I went up to see Cage The Elephant. I thought it was a good deal originally because they had a show and all you had to do to get in was buy an album. I have been a pretty big fan of the band since seeing them a couple of years ago and by pretty big fan I mean I causally listen to their album every now and then.
The show was at the Exclusive Music Company, it was a record store. Despite the fact that I paid for the preorder in order to get in, I didn’t get a chance to get the lithograph I was promised since they were on a first come first serve basis. I’m guessing once they all ran out they just let everyone bum rush the place. This was slightly irritating. I guess I should have gotten in line a little earlier.
It didn’t matter much because I still got to see them preform a rather short but good four song set. It was done acoustic and was their four best songs. I enjoyed the show quite a bit, but the line to get my things autographed was far too long. Not to mention the fact that I no longer had anything to get autographed.
From there we walked around the corner to a little speakeasy. The Standard Tavern is a bit off of the main drag and it was a cool little spot. Their beer selection was pretty big, and that is something that is not uncommon to Milwaukee bars in general. If there’s two things Wisconsinites know how to do well it is cheese and beer. The bartender was pretty quick which is all that you can ask for in a place like this.
The one thing that could be a plus or minus depending on your mood could be the music. It is an interesting mix of Jazz and oldies. The musical range is from 1930’s to 1950’s. Anything is worth listening to after you’ve tossed back a few drinks anyway. One of the things I did like about the bar was that the sink was on the outside of the restroom. That way if you saw someone come out of the bathroom, you could look disapprovingly if they did not wash their hands after.
The hotel we stayed at was the Doubletree MilwaukeeRiver. It was only a couple miles away from where we were. The room was pretty spacious and I had a good view of the river. Honestly it wasn’t exactly much to brag about.
|Epic cheese curds of amazingness|
We stopped at The Old Fashioned to get dinner. I couldn’t come to a place called The Old Fashioned and not try the Old Fashioned. Some might describe Old Fashioned as an outdated disgusting grandpa drink. I am still admittedly more of a Manhattan person, but I had to go for a change up. You have to keep people on their toes you know. The drink was well mixed and sweet but not too sweet.
For an appetizer we decided on the cheese curds. It was kind of a no brainer since the y appeared on Food Network’s Best Thing I Ever Ate and that was one of the draws to get us into the place. They came with a choice of sauces and thinking I would probably never be there again, I thought why not pay the extra 50 cents per sauce in order to try them all.
|Old Fashioned at The Old Fashioned|
The sauces were:
-Ranch: Pretty much self-explanatory and one of the only ones I probably could have skipped, but then again, ranch is a perfect combo with cheese.
-Roasted Garlic: My hands down favorite, but admittedly I am a bit of a garlic fiend.
-Blue Tiger: Which I didn’t know what to expect but it kind of tastes like a spicy blue cheese dressing
-One of them was pink, and I thought it was the best to be fair our server didn’t tell us which one was which.
|Burger at The Old Fashioned|
Real burgers have that soft cooked egg. There is no better feeling than to pick up your burger, take a big bite and have that yolk run down your hands coating the burger in its magical goodness. It wasn’t long before I finished that burger and was nearly too full to walk. We had about an hour left before the concert, so we opted for a couple more drinks. The Old Fashioned has a beer list that truly does a Wisconsin establishment proud.
|Animal Collective Live in Madison|
Hindsight is 20/20 though. After the fact I started listening to Centipede Hz and I kind of feel in love with the album. There was something about the song Today's Supernatural that hearing it kind of shook me to the core. It has that good bit of edginess and is sort of a celebration of randomness.
The show started quite late and in the meantime we got a drink. I was so upset by the pricing because the drinks were outrageously priced even by Chicago standards. $16 is an absurd price to pay for a rail long island, concert or not. Especially at such a small venue in a college town with incredibly sticky floors. So sticky that at one point during the performance DMC tried to jump which ended up in a miserable fail since his feet stuck to the floor.
An hour late we finally got our first opening act. Deradoorian gave a very interesting performance, but after being up from being on my way to work since 4 am, her vibe was just far too mellow for me at the moment. It wasn’t as though I didn’t find her music interesting at the time, I was just not in the mood for it.
The performance was a lot better than I expected it to be. I truly underestimated how entertaining psychedelic rock can be. It is rare that I walk away from a musical performance really impressed after being mostly unfamiliar with the artist, but they nailed it in this case. To be honest, I really couldn’t hear well enough to make out most of the lyrics, but it was impressive none the less. The stage setup was pretty crazy, with giant teeth that played videos on them. It was one of those see to believe type of performances.
|Duck Confit Poutine|
The hotel is a little older, but is very nice on the interior. It gives you a bit of that nostalgic feel, similar to that you feel when you walk into an iconic hotel like The Drake. We were upgraded to the parlor suite, which had tons of space and a kind of weird setup. It was a very large open room which is setup much like a studio apartment. Nothing to divide the bedroom from the rest of the room. That aside it was still a very nice room.
|Very Tasty Cupcake|
There were so many things on the menu that I wanted to try, but when else could I be able to go for a poutine made with duck confit, Fontina cheese and beer gravy. I must admit, I didn’t want to eat anything for hours after this extremely heavy breakfast but it was worth it. I even took most of the soup home for lunch later. The fries were amazingly crisp, and the duck was plentiful considering the low price point. The beer gravy lends a slightly hoppiness as well. It is the perfect way to enjoy French fries.
|Cupcake Box From Comet Cafe|
Next up we made it to Lakefront Brewery just in time to go on the tour. The tour was a blast. Amazingly cheap and entertaining and is well worth it for what you get in beer alone. You even get a coupon to use later on at surrounding restaurants. Unfortunately, after the big breakfast and such we were much too full to take advantage of it. Beer tour after a huge meal is not necessarily the best idea.
|Inside Tour At Lakefront Brewery|
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
So my birthday honestly got off to not the best of starts. I went out to eat with my friends at one of my favorite bars and it was horrible. I really expect so much more from Tap House Grill. I really have never been disappointed by them up until that point. Everything I’ve had there thus far has ranged from really good to just okay. This time they were out of most of the beers that I wanted to try. Additionally, I think they served us the most horrible wings on the face of the planet. I mean honestly for that I would have come out better going to a TGI Fridays.
That little blip aside I did have a totally awesome birthday cake, so I can’t really complain about things too much. It was a San Francisco 49ers cake. I loved it. It had the logo on top and the names of players along the side. I started to drive to Detroit, and along the way a small rock hit the windshield of my car giving me a little crack. I’m all but ignoring said cracks, and eventually I will have to get the entire windshield replaced, but I just let my insurance cover the glass repair people filling in the cracks to prevent them from spreading.
|Sicilian Pizza at Buddy's|
There were a few things that surprised me about the place. One was that they had pretty good quality local craft beers on sale for only $4.50 each. The place was very straightforward well priced and not too fancy. Another surprise is that Buddy’s decided that Vegan people shouldn’t be allowed to starve and they offered a vegan pizza. I decided to go for the New Yorker. It seemed simple enough and you have to be able to nail the basics. Though my favorite pizza topping hands down is mushrooms, I don’t really get mushrooms on pizzas from every pizzeria because it usually ends up in a bit of disappointment.
This pizza was pure bliss. The crust was nice and crisp. The sauce had a nice kick to it without being too herbaceous or spicy. I was instantly a fan. Detroit style square pizza deserves it’s own notoriety alongside the ranks of Chicago and New York style. The great thing about the pizza was that it was that the cheese goes all the way to the edge and gets a little crispy at the edges.
From there we went to the concert. We probably should have stopped at the hotel first to check in but It was kind of close to 8 and the show started at 7 and I didn’t want to chance missing any of Robert’s set. The shelter, where it was held was a small venue. It had a decent bar. The prices at the bar weren’t exactly as cheap as I expected them to be either. Long Islands for $7 is nearing Chicago prices.
We got there well in time to see both opening acts. The first one had a pretty decent sound but the most memorable thing about the band was the extremely long dreds on the lead singer. Still they sounded alright. The next group up was Ghost Beach. They somehow make things work without having a bass player at all in their band. I think it is more or less because of the strength of their synth. The one thing about that particular performance was that the music was so loud that you couldn’t really make out the vocals that well. That aside they did a pretty good performance.
This was my third time seeing Robert Delong. It has been one of my weird obsessions musically. I remembered I first heard the song Global Concepts on the radio when I was driving from Atlanta to Miami after the NFC Championship game(The one that my niners ended up winning in order to unfortunately loose in the Super Bowl on some BS calls against Baltimore but I digress). Once I heard that song I wanted to hear more. The track was for free on Amazon MP3, but I decided to go for the whole album with all the remixes. I must have played that song like 30 times on the drive home.
In between sets, I went to get my face painted. I don’t think I ever got my face painted as a kid and as soon as she started I was like man this feels weird. I had the impulse to like scratch my face a bunch of times, but I totally didn’t want to mess up what she was doing. Later on she said that it was one of the best she’s ever done, It was pretty cool and she was probably right. Oh, to fill in some necessary information, Robert’s girlfriend does the face paint at the shows. She is super creative and came up with the iconic X logo.
Later on when I finally decided to look up this character on YouTube, after a bit of random boredom, I was completely blown away. It was one thing for me to hear this song and think it was pretty amazing. It was another to watch him create the entire song on his own. He is quite literally a one man band. Since seeing that video, I’ve done everything to spread the good news about Robert Delong short of going door to door like a Jehovah’s Witness.
There was something about this performance, that was just amazing to me. Maybe it was because it was my birthday. Maybe because I was just a few feet away from the stage from where he was preforming, but it just turned out to be my favorite of his performances, and one of my favorite all time live performances. It’s crazy to even watch because when you play as many instruments as he does in a show, there’s got to be a lot going through his head.
In his set, you see him go from Keyboards, to a mic to drum pads, Wii Motes, Xbox Controllers, Joysticks, Drums and more. What really caught me off guard was when he went to the Acoustic guitar on “A Few Years”. It is one of his deepest tracks on the album and that addition kind of gave me chills. It’s incredible to watch him make music the way he does. I wanted to pee pretty bad during the performance but I toughed it out. I couldn’t miss even a moment.
Robert Delong is amazing.
After the show I went to track down my friend who had my CD in his pocket that I wanted to get signed. He went outside to smoke and they wouldn’t let us back in, because you can’t go back inside after the show is over. I was that version of mad where I was too overcome to be able to say anything at all. The only thing I could manage to say to this bouncer with a handlebar mustache was “But dude it’s my birthday.” Probably honestly sounded like a bunch of bullshit at the time, but I just wanted to get my CD signed.
Drama ensued when he walked away from the door to make it look as if he was leaving from the night and he flipped his shit when we tried to go back in. It wasn’t as if he was standing like two feet away from us when he walked away from the door he could have easily said “I’m going to get something out of my car, don’t try to sneak in I will maybe see if I can let you in to get your CD signed after the crowd thinned out.” After some shouting back and forth there was some rational talking and he let me in to get the CD signed.
I was so excited that I completely jumped a line of people. In that moment I wasn’t really thinking about what all of those other people were doing there. In that moment my excitement matched my rudeness. I was so happy that I had the chance to get my CD signed (which has amazing artwork btdubs).
Later, we were all still standing outside all stalkerish because my friends wanted the chance to say what’s up to Robert. Then we all just kicked it and had a drink with him. It’s kind of cool to see that he was so down to earth. It is crazy how humble and down to earth he is, that in a couple of hours I went from completely star struck to being like oh that’s just Robbie. Dude was so cool he even bought us shots.
After a few hours of drinking we went climbing around through a random abandoned building what looked like it was some old theater. Took some pretty cool pictures but It is kind of a shame that such a place is about to be demolished. I could see how it could be pretty nice if it was remodeled.
Anyhow Here's a ton of pictures from that escapade:
Anyhow Here's a ton of pictures from that escapade:
We finally got to the hotel at about 3am. They had already marked me down as a no show and were doing the nightly report, so we had about a half hour wait in order to be able to check in. This was my second stay at the Doubletree Downtown Detroit, so I knew what to expect. The rooms are huge and value wise, it is one of the best deals you’d be able to score on a Doubletree.
On the way home, I was tried of driving and we made a little stop at a little winery, simply because I got a little tired of driving. We stopped at the Cherry Creek Winery, and tasted quite a few wines and walked around the vineyard for a little bit. Their wines were pretty good but the one that I found the most intersting was the Maria Sangria that had a little bit of chipotle pepper.
|Vineyard at Cherry Creek Winery|
Anyway as a bonus I’ve decided to do a little recipe writing in here.
I wanted to redeem my birthday from those shitty wings I had to start off my birthday with and make some awesome ones. I was inspired by the night tat made a good wing to bring thigns back full circle from my totally awesome birthday experience partying with Robert Delong. I know insane that I got to party with one of my favorite artists for my birthday Robbie ordered the wings at the bar and favorite liquor being Jameson, I decided to bring things full circle here with named for one of my favorite tracks on the album here are Change wings. For more on my birthday go here.
For frying I use the T-Fal fryer that has a integrated filter system. It is a little large, yet convenient.
For the wings:
Up to 5 lb chicken wings (For vegan varation use Gardien Wings)
¼ Cup flour
¼ Cup fine Corn Meal
Salt and Pepper to taste
Oil For Frying
1 Tablespoon dried Thyme
For the Sauce
½ Cup Jameson Irish Whiskey
1 Cup Butter (For a vegan variation use Earth Balance Butter Sub)
1 Cup Hot Sauce (I use Frank’s For This)
3 Cloves Chopped Garlic
2 Tablespoons Siraccha (Ease back if you don’t like wings pretty spicy)
To Cook the wings:
Season the wings as desired with salt and pepper.
Mix the flour and cornmeal together and dredge the wings in the mixture
Let the wings rest on a wire rack for about 5 minutes before adding to the oil
Preheat Oil to 350°F.
Fry until fully cooked and golden brown and cooked throughout.
Let wings rest on wire rack to get rid of excess oil for a minute before saucing.
To Make the Sauce:
In a medium sauce pan, add the Whiskey, garlic.
Cook over medium heat until liquid is reduced in half.
Add Butter and stir until melted
Add hot sauce and stir until incorporatedMix in the sirracha and toss wings in sauce
For frying I use the T-Fal fryer that has a integrated filter system. It is a little large, yet convenient.