Thursday, October 30, 2008

See, Bacon IS Good for You!

I always knew my whole body felt the same way about bacon that my mouth does.
Click here to see how bacon does a body good.

Thanks Heather and Brandon for a Sunday pork feast. I think the sweet pig that was slaughtered in our honor, in a roundabout sort of way, would be pleased to know that it wasn't the only thing devoured on the sabbath, seeing as how the Skins stomped Detroit. Yeeha! Now I just need the coveted coleslaw recipe to post here. I'll be on the lookout for it ;)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Chesapeake Chicks

This is a sad, sad post, only because I had such high hopes for Wood Chicks BBQ in Chesapeake, VA. This place has won nearly every award in the southern bbq book, which makes me wonder: Is my bbq palate simply not up to snuff? Do I have some serious affliction affecting my taste buds unbeknownst to me? Am I just impossible to please? I am choosing for now to believe that we just went on a bad day; after all, even the best have their unfortunate moments, don't they?

Jon and I both ordered the pulled pork sandwich platter, as usual, and with the spicy tomato-based bbq sauce. The sauce was damn good, but it was too overpowering and just too much for the dried-out pork. I know they cook their pigs for 16 hours, but this poor swine seemed like he laid in a smoker for a full day and then sat out in the hot sun for another. A sauna would have been better, then maybe some moisture would have found its way back into the meat where it belongs.

The baked beans were infused with the smokiness of Chick's own beef brisket, and I could have eaten a whole pound. Ditto for the mac n cheese, save the brisket, but sides should never outshine the star of the show. I think we might have to go back for part 2, because I'm hoping this show ain't over.

Friday, October 3, 2008

So Long Summertime

Summer is officially over, and it has been for a few weeks now, it's just that I've been in denial, as usual. The fall wakeup call usually comes when I realize that it's dark outside by the time I've finished making dinner, really dark, and this makes me a little depressed, so I hang on to every morsel of summer bits that I can, like frozen silver queen corn from my mom and dad's garden.

Summery sweet corn, smoky bacon, and an autumn-esque milky warm broth is the perfect seasonal soup marriage, and a good way to get inventive with leftover chicken in my case. Even though soup recipes are never to be followed exactly, here is a place to start:

A few cooked chicken breasts, or any leftover chicken, pulled (about 2 cups)
4 ears fresh corn, removed from the cob (this is kind of a pain in the butt, but you simply cannot use canned corn, frozen maybe, maybe, but i wouldn't recommend it, just drink a glass of wine and it will be ok)
1/2 pkg or a little more thick cut bacon, diced
1 box organic low sodium chicken broth
1 chopped onion
2 stalks of celery chopped
1 medium potato peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 or 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tbsp olive oil or so

Add olive oil to the pan and cook the bacon til just starting to crisp. Scoop the bacon out and leave all the lovely bacon juices in the pan, and set aside. Add celery and onions to the pan. Reduce the heat and cook on med-low while the veg softens, about 6 to 10 mins. Add the potatoes, corn, and thyme. Continue to cook until onions are fully soft, about 6 to 10 more minutes.

Add a full box of organic low sodium chicken broth. Bring it to a simmer over med-high heat, and then turn it down and simmer for about another 10 mins. until the potatoes are tender. Add the bacon back to the mixture, and then add the cream and chicken. Return to a simmer, and season with salt and pepper. Serve it up with a green salad, some crusty bread and your favorite wine, if you have any left :) Enjoy!

Maybe fall isn't so scary after all.

You may want to double-up on this recipe. We ate nearly all of it since it was so dang delicious, and my hubby is a very big boy.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Give Me More

This might have been one of the best bacon bites ever, sadly, just a bite. It all started with a communication breakdown. Alright, so I started things off in kind of a gay way in any regard. Freakin wine spritzer. I just didn't want to get drunk, and my tolerance is really lacking these days. One of those things that goes with age that no one lets you in on. I wanted something light, not too much albeit not too little. I asked the bartender at Evening Star Cafe in Del Ray, "I'd like a wine spritzer please," which made me feel a little stupid, and to make matters worse, "with ice...and how is the mixed grill app?" He said, "well, how hungry are you?" To which I replied, "not very, why? Is there only one scallop or something." He chuckled, and said "yeah, you want soda or sprite?" "Sprite," I said, and regretted it later. I had never ordered a wine spritzer out; I'm too cool for that, and I guess before I'd had it with soda water. It was gross, yet slightly refreshing.

Back to the scallops. For some reason, I thought the bartender was joking about the scallops. I half expected a full plate of scallops, wrapped in bacon. Old school. But when the plate with one scallop was placed before me, I felt like I made a bad choice. This sure as hell isn't preventing any hangover at this rate. But what the one scallop lacked in size, it was made up for by the giant rectangle of fresh, house-cut, juicy, slabby, fatty bacon. It was like a sparerib, but saltier. I don't usually eat this much fat, even on a piece of bacon, but this time I couldn't get enough.
Soft, velvety even, melt in your mouth fat.

Creamed corn and avocado puree accompanied the land and sea combo. So small yet so good, I needed the two friends i was sharing my table with to try it. They refused, "I feel bad, it's sooo little." I implored them, and "yummm, mmm, wow, man," were the responses. A baby plate topped with a flavor bomb. Good things really do come in small packages. More please.

Evening Star Cafe is located on the corner of Mount Vernon Avenue and Howell Avenue in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, VA.