It’s 10pm on a Wednesday night, and there’s nothing to do. Football is over, the Badgers aren’t playing, and I’d rather hang myself than watch the Knicks game. Well, boredom = food, so my roommate and I start rummaging through the frig.
Brussel sprouts, asparagus, Greek yogurt, beets…is there anything we can be creative with? A rush to the computer and some quick Googling turns up a recipe from a guy you may have heard of…Thomas Keller. Yeah, you know, the guy that owns world-renowned The French Laundry (CA) and Per Se (NY)? Well, turns out he likes ice cream. Actually, it turns out he likes beet ice cream. Looks like our “what should we make?” dilemma is solved. Check post-break for the recipe!
So today, we’re fortunate enough to have a guest posting a recipe! I’m a huge fan of candied walnuts, but the idea of doing it with pistachios never crossed my mind. Anyways, our guest today has a wonderful recipe that’ll turn out delicious, every single time. Click below for the full scoop!
Oh man…it’s been a LONG time since my last update! Three and a half months is nearly an eternity in the blogosphere, and a lot has happened since then–for instance, I moved to New York (finally!). It’s the greatest city in the world, the alcohol prices are making me go bankrupt, and there are more hipsters in a two block radius than all of Madison combined. It’s fantastic.
Anyways, I’ve really started to take to cooking less elaborate dishes and keeping stuff fresh, vibrant, and simple. I mean, look at these brussel sprouts! They’ve got only a couple of ingredients, take almost no effort to prepare, and are absolutely delicious. To start off the new year, I’m going to give a nice step-by-step run-through on this recipe (the whole thing is at the bottom). Click below to check it out!
This is America. And, in America, we really love our pizza. 97% of the American public eats pizza. Pizza sales total over $40 billion each year. We consume nearly 255 million pounds of pepperoni every year. Hell, even the greatest cartoon of all time–Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles–is centered around pizza.
So, this is really just my way of saying it should come as no surprise that I love pizza. When I was in Madison, my friends and I had a lot of potlucks. Each potluck tended to have a theme–Indian, Thanksgiving/Harvest, Passover (yay, Jews!), Mexican, and of course…pizza. In fact, our pizza-themed potlucks seemed to be the favored choice among my friends.
The concept was pretty simple: I had pizza stones. I made oodles and oodles of dough. Everyone brought ingredients. And then? Well, then we had a pizza party! Creations ranged from the super-basic margherita to the wildly innovative pizza Genovese, made with pesto, potatoes, and an egg (really) baked on top. They were simply…amazing. At the bottom of this post are a bunch of pizzas we made–they were all delicious!
Click ‘read more’ for the recipe, pizza pics, and ideas for toppings!
Let’s be realistic: Indian food is not aesthetically-pleasing. I know I’m pretty bad at taking pictures, but life gets even more difficult when taking photos of Indian food–I took at least 12 snaps of this dal, and you can see from the picture above that, sadly, I was pretty unsuccessful. That’s besides the point though, because it’s all about taste! And I can assure you–this stuff is absolutely delightful. Click below to read the recipe!
For those of you who aren’t aware, I got back about a week and a half ago from my trip to the Motherland–Israel–and it was absolutely spectacular. The visit was made possible as part of Birthright, a program where a bunch of wealthy Jews (did you really think I wasn’t going to be facetious with my wording?) and the state of Israel pool money together and send kids from the US, Canada, and some other countries (not sure which) to Israel. The cost? Free. Yeah, it’s totally awesome.
Before I went, I was a little skeptical about what to expect–would it be overly religious? Filled with propaganda? Would they try to get me to join the IDF? None of those things happened…at all. It was secular, everyone was awesome, and I had an absolute blast. I have no desire to join the IDF, but I’ll say this–I could definitely see myself moving to Israel. It’s an incredible (and gorgeous) country. Anyways, that’s all fine and good, but this is a blog about food and, rest assured, the food in Israel was delicious. Click below for the full scoop!
Yeah, that’s a reference to Dead Poet’s Society, and no, I have no idea why I made it. Sidenote: If you haven’t seen the movie but love standing on desks, I highly recommend watching it!
Anyways, on to today’s topic–brisket. As a Jew, I grew up knowing a very specific kind of brisket–kind of sweet, with onions, carrots, garlic, sometimes cranberries. Anyways, I’ll speak the blasphemous phrase: it sucked. Seriously. Brisket is a delicious and extraordinarily versatile cut of meat, and [we] Jews absolutely butcher it (pun possibly intended).
To most gentiles, goys, southerners, etc. brisket is a cut of meat meant for one thing: barbecue. If you have time and a lot of patience, it’s usually smoked for many, many hours. The burnt ends on the brisket? Always the best part! It’s my favorite barbecue food, and I actively seek out great places that smoke it just right.
I don’t own a smoker. Hell, someone has had possession of our grill for months, so we don’t have one of those, either. I thought it’d be best to simply move forward and try to make it in the slow cooker. That picture you see above is the result–cooked perfectly, falling apart, and absolutely delicious. I can’t recommend this recipe enough.
So, I’ve managed to take some of my trademark horrendous pictures, but at least I’ll be able to show you how to do it, step-by-step! Check after the break for the recipe (and instructions!)
Yeah, I know–this post is getting put up on a Sunday…but hey, better later than never, right?
Here in Madison, we’re rounding up a pretty rough March (mostly in the 20s and 30s) with some relatively nice weather. The two-inch thick ice at our backdoor is finally melting away and I can even see the concrete below! Yesterday, it was 55 degrees and made for a perfect day for my first bike ride of spring. 6.5 short miles later and covered in salt, I was questioning my decision. Verdict? Worth it.
I usually get very excited this time of year–in mid-April, the farmers’ market moves back outdoors and is held around the capitol. Ale Asylum debut’s its seasonal spring/summer beer, the always outstanding Bedlam. And, around Easter time, the butchers in Madison have some fantastic specials.
Specials like that steak you see pictured above (it was only $5!). It’s a good picture, isn’t it? Well, that’s because I convinced my roommate to take the picture by trading him some brownies for his photography expertise. This dish–bacon-wrapped filet mignon and roasted asparagus–is incredibly easy to make and is sure to impress anyone who tries it.
As a sidenote: That beer is Bedlam, right off the production line from Ale Asylum (it was bottled on March 26th). It’s got a big, hoppy nose from all the citra hops and a wonderful sweetness from the Belgian yeast. A stellar example of a Belgian IPA.
So anyways, how do you make this dish? Guess you’ll have to click the link for the recipe!
Well, it’s that time of the year again–NPR is off and running with their annual winter campaign for funding. After listening to the prompts all week, I finally broke down and bought a “sustaining membership” for $12.50/month. It goes to a good cause and I get a sweet mug so I can walk around Madison and act like the pretentious East Coast ass I know I am. It’ll be great!
Anyways, last week on WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi Show, renowned food critic Corby Kummer talked extensively about the tasting menus offered by chefs throughout the country at high end dining venues. In the segment, Kummer spoke about how he felt that chefs were becoming increasingly tyrannical with their cooking by offering their way (the tasting menu) or no way at all. What happened, he argued, to trying to please the customer?
You can listen to the segment right here (don’t forget to donate!).
On a personal level, I love tasting menus. If I’m ever feeling particularly spend-happy, I’ll get the tasting menu rather than a specific entree. It gives the chef an opportunity to really showcase their skills, and the consumer gets to experience some pretty spectacular flavors and dishes they otherwise wouldn’t be able to have.
How does this relate to venison and my blog title? Well, I used to think that wild game was food reserved for uncultured yokels who hunted in their backyard and then roasted the animal over a makeshift fire with a stick. However, higher end restaurants are increasingly turning out spectacular dishes made with wild game–whether it’s an incredible rabbit terrine or braised venison shank, wild game is becoming more and more a part of the fine dining scene in the US.
So, last semester I went with my roommate to Madison’s excellent Forequarter, a rather pretentious new hipster restaurant that serves unbelievable food. They’ve also been nominated for a James Beard award–and I hope they win! When I went there, I had a delicious veal meatball with escarole. My thinking with this recipe was that, with a pound of venison to kill, I could make something similar. Needless to say, it was a success. Recipe after the break!
We’re pretty fanatical about our tacos here in Madison. As a city with a fairly large Mexican population (% wise), finding authentic tacos is pretty easy. Finding authentic ingredients for authentic tacos is also, not surprisingly, fairly easy. So naturally, when I decided to set out to make authentic (running theme, in case you couldn’t tell) tacos al pastor, I knew I had to do it right.
Al pastor tacos are relatively simple and comprised of only a few ingredients–pork, a couple kinds of chilies, onion, various spices, and the hallmark of any legit pastor–pineapple. The fruit adds a wonderful sweetness to the slight heat from the chilies, giving the meat an incredible one-two punch in the flavor department. For step-by-step instructions on making your own pastor, click to read more!