Another Day in Paradise with Dave & Lisa
De-mystifying the Foodie Universe since 2010.
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Tuesday, February 28, 2012
The triumph of the 21st Century: J. Val and Myra’s mother’s meatloaf
Century is truly amazing when it works. Sure, nobody is cruising around in George Jetson™ brand flying cars, but who would want to? Now, I think it would be cool to fly around town and hover into place right in front of The Mall. But let’s get real: all those blockheads who cut you off in traffic and drive with a phone stuck to their ear would be even more of a menace in a flying car. Imagine if you will, these same people, who, after 8 or 10 pints of Guinness, plow into utility poles and other vehicles crashing into a shopping mall or perhaps, your house. But it’s not just the drunken that should scare you. Just think, all those really stoo-pid people you went to high school with – the ones who never passed a single class except driver’s ed – would be allow to fly around the ether, causing chaos and carnage.
No, I didn’t think you really want that to happen. Flying cars are better on television.
Still, things are pretty cool. With email and webinars, one no longer needs to transport one’s DNA to where the business is; it can mostly be handled virtually. The internet allows for all kinds of things to occur. Email, You Tube ™, Google™, Twitter™, -- all are genius and allow human being to connect with one another. I went to three different high schools and Facebook™, the latest killer app, has allowed be to connect with folks from my oh, so distance past.
Which brings me to meatloaf.
Long version: I was posting and cross-posting on Facebook about the predicted inclement weather (sheet), when the conversation drifted, as it almost always does, to food. I mentioned that I was doing chili (as I usually do on the first snowfall of the year), when
Sulli McKelvey Schultz
posted about her astonishing sounding pot roast. Then,
Jan Valentine Schields
started riffing about Steak San Marcos (to be the subject for another column) and the next thing you know, it’s a discussion about a glazed meatloaf recipe from when they were both young moms.
Short version: It’s starting to sleet. Got a meatloaf recipe?
I recently spoke to Myra and asked her where the recipe came from.
“We were both young and
didn’t really know what to do for dinner,” Myra said. “I would call Jan and ask “what are you going to do chicken? Serve it raw?’” She laughed. “There was only so much we knew how to do. We had our hand written recipe cards from our Moms.”
1 ½ pound ground beef
2/3 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup milk
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp salt, or to taste
¼ tsp fresh cracked black pepper, or to taste
1 tbsp of Cantazaro Herb blend (dried sage, dried basil, dried oregano, dried thyme, dried rosemary)
¼ cup ketchup
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp dried mustard power
1 tsp cinnamon or nutmeg
Soak breadcrumbs in milk. Mix together with other ingredients. Bake at 375 for 1 hour. Pour the glaze over top of meatloaf for last 5 minutes and broil, in order to caramelize the top.
It’s the perfect centerpiece for you Post-Eisenhower Sunday feast.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Brunch: œufs en cocotte with prosciutto and spinach
Regulars to this space know I detest e
ating Sunday Brunch out.
That’s why I almost always cook on Sunday mornings. It’s comforting on so many levels. I typically find some jazz programming on cable and make the house smell yummy.
But with inclement weather on the way, I didn’t want to brave the throngs of panicked shoppers at the local market so I had to take what I had and make what I needed. This recipe is a derivative of one I saw in a magazine and wanted to amend based on what was in the fridge. The eggs are shirred, meaning baked. The whole thing is so simple anybody can do it; while the presentation is so amazing you’ll look like a genius.
4 ounces of thinly sliced prosciutto (most of one package)
½ yellow onion, diced
2 handfuls of spinach, coarsely chopped
One small diced Roma tomato or 1/3 diced red pepper
About a cup of a mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Sauté the veggies until soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from the skillet and allow to cool. Next, grease a muffin tin (that’s right) with olive oil. Then, line the muffin tin with sliced of prosciutto and add your veggie mixture. Top with mozzarella cheese, making sure to leave a well in the center. Next, crack a fresh in the cup on the cheese. Garnish with a bit of parmesan, salt and pepper. Once that’s done, pop them into your oven for 12 to 18 minutes, depending on how runny you like the yolks. Serve atop a toasted English muffin.
Now, isn’t that better than waiting in line for the mediocrity that serves as Sunday brunch in most commercial establishments? Bon appétit!
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
The London Bridge Pub and Chuck’s
is a great guy. He was always one of our favorite barkeeps at
on Glenwood South, as evidenced here in my write up of
. Indeed, when Das Kinder had to interview a local business person for her Girl Scout business merit badge, I took her to see Darren, who had just opened The London Bridge and has known her since she was a “wee nipper”.
The London Bridge
is not a restaurant; it’s a private club, meaning you have to join. It has a magnificent beer (and cider) selection, probably the best in The Triangle. It also means that he doesn’t have a kitchen. So he doesn’t have food. But in an odd twist, he actually does have the best food in town: in fact he actively encourages folks to bring lunch or dinner in and that opens up a world of possibilities.
This brings me to
, one of the other new Ashley Christiansen’s restaurants. Chuck’s is located literally around the corner from Darren’s place. My last visit to one of her locations –
Beasley’s Chicken + Honey
– was extraordinarily disappointing, prompting my first and only bad review. However, Her Imperial Majesty wanted to give Chuck's a run. I’m glad she insisted.
Chuck’s is a burger joint adjacent to Beasley’s. They specialize in high end, fresh ground burgers with hand cut fries. This is definitely not a “have it your way” kind of place. Here, the burgers are prepared with specific pairings. For example, I had a “Dirty South”, which is a spin on a Carolina burger done with chili, mustard, onions and slaw. I ordered it medium and was pleasantly surprised when it showed up pink in the middle. Her Imperial Majesty ordered the Bradley-Time, with roasted beets, buttermilk blue cheese, red onion, endive, and banyuls aioli.
Yeah, I know. Beets on a burger? Get over your misconceptions; it’s actually very good as was my Dirty South. We also ordered fries with a side of aioli and "comeback sauce" and I must say, they are as good as I’ve had. Absolutely marvelous. The prices are a bit on the high side but the portions are generous.
We paired our burgers with a pint of Ace Pear Cider on draft for the wife and an ice cold Bud in a bottle for me. They were sublime pairings (although her's was probably better than mine). All in all, it was a fabulous meal. Darren, with his spectacular beer / cider selection and by letting us bring in dinner, is truly a genius.
The London Bridge Pub
110 E Hargett St
Raleigh, NC 27601
Bring your own
A dark private club
Average pub noise, unless we’re listening to a game
After 3 pm most days. Unless Liverpool is playing, then he opens early.
Are you crazy?
Cash and credit cards.
237 S Wilmington St
Raleigh, NC 27601
Urban hipster, but we took ours to go
We left, so who knows….
Mon-Wed, Sun 11:30 am - 10 pm; Thu-Sat 11:30 am - 12 am
Are you crazy?
Cash and credit cards.
a really good burger
Beasley's Chicken + Honey
Darren Nigel Bridger
The London Bridge Pub
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Das Kinder and Pancakes
Das Kinder loves pancakes. And really, what’s not to love?
Plenty – look at the ingredients on the side of any pre-made store bought mix. Strange unpronounceable things that one shouldn’t eat: corn syrup solids, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, mono and diglycerides. Do you really want to feed that to your kid?
But there is a better way and it’s incredibly easy and fiendishly simple. So simple in fact, Das Kinder is an active participant.
The Dry Mix
2 cups of all purpose flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt.
Put all the dry ingredients in a sealed Tupperware® container and do a little Zumba™ to mix thoroughly. In a sealed container, the mix should be good for at least a month if stored in cool dry place.
To make the pancakes, place in a mixing bowl one cup of your pancake mix. Next, microwave a quarter of a stick of butter. In a separate bowl, whisk one large egg. Once the butter is melted, slowly whisk the melted butter into the egg. Add this to your dry mix. Next, add one cup of milk or buttermilk to the mixture and stir until you have thick batter. Then, and this is the important bit, wait for a few minutes until the mixture starts to bubble. That’s a sign that the ingredients are starting to get to know each other. Once it starts, then cook the pancakes in a hot skillet the way you would normally.
The result: pancakes that are light and fluffy, while still having a somewhat crisp exterior. Better than store bought with none of the chemicals.