Saturday, October 24, 2009

Peter Luger's steakhouse, Brooklyn

The steak last night at Peter Luger's was cooked perfectly (medium rare, duh). However, while juicy and tasty, it didn't do it for me the way other steaks have. Luger's has been voted the best steakhouse in New York City, but if it's the best, I won't coming looking for steak in NYC anymore. The filet mignon at Lewnes' in Annapolis, MD Lewnes Steakhouse on Urbanspoon  or The Keg in Toronto, or the the grilled skirt steak with red wine butter at Red Drum in Mt. Pleasant, SC are much better.
Red Drum Gastropub on Urbanspoon

Luger's did have a very good house ale, a dark, hoppy, refreshing beer that did compliment the steak well. (They also have really good salt sticks and onion rolls with onion in them, and service is pleasant  -Robin) I also had the apple strudel for dessert, and that came with Luger's "schlag" - aka whipped cream. Needless to say I was stuffed.

Sent from my iPhone

Peter Luger Steak House on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 23, 2009

Walter's hot dogs

Walter's in Mamaroneck, New York. The best hot dogs and homemade mustard since 1919. Also excellent french fries and sweet potato fries, and chocolate milkshakes. I had 3 dogs, 2 orders of fries, and a chocolate shake.

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, October 19, 2009

Where to eat and purchase sustainable sefood...

Charles Clover has created the site Fish2Fork as a way to categorize those restaurants which are willing to spend a LOT of time sourcing sustainable, and animal friendly seafood. This is not an easy task considering the long lines of travel fish take to get to the plate, and the fact that it is nearly impossible to police every boat on the open waters of our fine planet.
I hope that by trying to police the way we catch and treat the fish we will look more into policing the way we slaughter land animals, and the way we treat them.
Unfortunately the restaurants on the list are all in Europe. Come to America.
I know that for a few years the Aquarium in Charleston South Carolina has put out a list of Ocean Friendly Seafood Restaurants which I have always appreciated, and apparently other aquariums are doing the same.
Here is an article from Clover about the project...
I do think that based on the article, and some of the verbiage on the site, that Clover is painting restaurants who aren't as cognizant of this issue as being a bit evil. To me this is an unfair way to look at the situation.
We all need to be more considerate of, and responsible for the food we eat, and the ways it gets to our plates. If we demand, and encourage, and help support, and teach each other about sustainability and consideration for living things than we will all be happier in the long run.
No one has the right to pretend they are holier than thou for the decisions they make.
Anyway, I'm getting a bit preechy. You think whatever you want. Thats what I think.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cider Braised Pork Belly with Turnip and Parsnip Puree and Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

Last night we had a pumpkin carving party.I made my first ever muffins, from scratch. Then I made Peppermint Patties (Homemade Hot Chocolate with Peppermint Schnapps), and hot spiced apple cider. We grilled up some sausage for everyone and had a great time.

I knew there would be leftover cider so I had planned on making pork shank...

Chris already reported his side of our visit to the restaurant which inspired me, The Old Stein Inn. I love their pork shank and wanted to try to make some myself. My favorite part is trying to scoop out the bone marrow with a straw after I can't eat another bite of meat, this time to the dismay of my fellow diners. My friend told me he had never seen another person do that besides his Grandma. I felt proud.

Chris also left out the delicious beer three of us ordered, the Aventinus Dopplebock from Kleheim, Germany. This beer was absolutely incredible. I have never tasted any beer so rich in flavor. Its reddish hue was alluring, and I loved that it came wrapped like a present, for this was a late birthday celebration. This beer had such complex notes of caramel and wheat.

Anyway, for some reason the butcher didn't have any shank, and when I called Whole Foods I was tolled they didn't either, but they did have pork belly, so my menu changed slightly. I have never made Pork Shank or Pork Belly, so hopefully everything comes out alright.

When I actually got to Whole Foods it turned out they did have Pork Shank, but my plans had already changed so I stuck with the Pork Belly. Thanks to Daniel for helping me find this. By the way, pork belly is basically the cheapest meat ever. I bout 1 and 3/4 lbs of meat for about $6.

While at Whole Foods I also found out they don't carry Veal Stock. What's that about?

Here's how it all went down...

Cider Braised Pork Belly

1 and 3/4 lbs or pork belly, skin on
2 Med diced Carrots
3 Small Celery Stalks Diced
1 Whole Onion Diced
2 Bay Leaves
2 Sprigs of Thyme
1 Bottle of Beer
1 cup of Chicken Stock
1/4 gallon Apple Cider
salt and pepper

Season and brown pork belly slowly in a pan until it is browned on all sides. Remove the belly to the side.
Pour off all but about 1tbsp of the fat and let the pan cool a tad. (reserve fat if you might use it later).

Add carrots, celery, and onion, two cloves of garlic, two thyme sprigs, two bay leaves, sand alt and pepper into the pan and sweats until the pan begins to develop a light brown glaze.

Deglaze with beer and reduce for 5min. Add chicken broth and cider to cover veggies by an inch. Reduce liquid, skimming fat the entire time, until liquid reaches height of veggies.

Put pork belly back in the pan and add more cider until liquid reaches about 2/3 up the pork belly.

Cover and put in a 300 Degree oven for 3 hours, or until tender. Flip every 45min.

Delicious, everyone loved it. Except me, I was nauseous :o(
But it tasted yummmmmmy!

Turnip and Parsnip Puree

3 Parsnips, diced
1/2 stick butter
1 Turnip, diced
1/4 Onion diced
1.5 cups chicken stock
1/4 c milk or cream
extra butter

Melt the butter in a pot. Sweat the Onions with a little salt.
Add the Turnips and Parsnips to the pot and sautee till they start to brown.
Add the chicken stock to the pot and simmer covered until veggies are tender and all the liquid is absorbed. If the veggies aren't tender and the liquid is absorbed then add more liquid until they are tender.
Strain the pot over a bowl and save the liquid.
Put the veggies into a blender or use a hand blender (like the awesome one my boyfriend bought me). Add stock and mike until creamy. Add a pat or two of butter and salt and pepper till taste.

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage
Cook it for at least 1hour. 30 min isnt enough.