Saturday, September 27, 2008

How Much For That Yoke

I had asked my wife to get some eggs at the farmers market while she was there. I usually get these really nice, fresh eggs from one of the stands for $3.50. A little expensive, but they are super fresh, put in the carton that morning from chickens that get to hang out in a pen eating their feeds and whatever bugs and stuff they can get their beaks on.

My wife gets back, and I must admit I wasn’t too specific when I had asked her, but she had a quizzical look son her face. She asked something like “You buy THESE eggs?” and I looked at the carton she was showing me. Nope, they weren’t. But hey, eggs at the farmers market were probably all pretty good, right? Then she told me what they cost and I almost fell over. Six dollars for a carton of eggs? Was she nuts? Well, she didn’t want to disappoint me, but there was no way in hell I would have bought six dollar eggs. And I’m not sure who the hell would, but apparently the person who had ordered the carton hadn’t picked them up and it was the end of the day, so my lucky wife got to buy them.

I opened the carton to find rows a very different size eggs, real small, real large and everything in between.

Then…then I cracked one open to make my son a couple of eggs. The yoke was bright yellow, I mean YELLOW. The albumen was wonderfully clear and held itself together in a way I had never quite seen. These were beautiful eggs. I scrambled them really soft, fried ever so lightly and made a frittata for the boy. The yokes were so flavorful with a real intense yokey(?) taste, and hell they looked oh so good on the plate. The simple egg, breakfast food for the many, and I had really amazing specimens. I carefully cooked each one, not wanting to waste them, not just because of the price, but because they were special. I wondered if this is how eggs should be, or what they had been, before the onset of the factory laying facilities. Worth six bucks? They were probably the best eggs I ever had, but not sure if I would fork over that much on a weekly basis. But maybe when I want, perhaps need, a nice plate of eggs…

Monday, September 22, 2008

Check out Photographer Carl Warner, his work is sick!

and one for the people that are not obsessed with pork...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A MId-Street Dinner

We have managed to get an invitation the past three years or so, even though we don’t live on the block. The yearly Sackett St. “International Dinner”, held every September on the block between Smith and Hoyt Sts, in Brooklyn. The whole block gets shut down, tables are dragged out into the middle of the street and food placed on a large communal table set up in the middle of the block. The ribs went quick, there was some wonderful Chinese noodles, our friend Liz, who always invites us, made a killer eggplant dish. I’m always amazed at which the ease, or at least the what looks to me like ease, that Liz can whip up, put together, or in any another sense create something from ingredients that are in her kitchen and recipes that seem to just flow out of her mind.

The light was fading, the wine was flowing and bellies were being filled, all to the cacophony of music, kids riding various wheeled objects, a baby crying and talk from the half dozen tables of people, well, neighbors actually, sitting at the half dozen tables along the block. Honestly, the food is never bad, and often skews to very, very good.

My dish was a simple pasta with a sauce made from three different kinds of tomatoes I had gathered out local farmers market. Some Plum, beefsteak and red and yellow cherry tomatoes. I used a little more olive oil than usual, hoping to make it a little lighter than a sauce that is cooked way down, and tossed three cloves of crushed garlic in the pan to slightly brown before putting in the tomatoes and softened some small yellow onions. I wanted to try and keep the freshness of the tomatoes, that with the coming of mid-September, will soon be gone, gone, gone. So I resisted cooking down the tomatoes to long and left the cherry tomatoes to put in last, about half way through the cooking. I threw some fresh basil on top, put it in a big bowl, and walked up to the next block to see what Liz was making. With-in twenty minutes we were eating al-fresco, in the middle of the street, a soft breeze, and with friends and just met neighbors. There is a reason I live in Brooklyn.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bacon Flow Chart

Yes you probably have this posted on your fridge, but just incase you missed it...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Mickey's Ok

Sometimes all it takes is the most humblest of foods. After hanging out at the Xcel Center during he RNC in St. Paul waiting for something to happen, Mike B. and I decided to actually leave and go outside the security perimeter and get some lunch instead of eating the God awful arena food. My boss told us about a diner that was not far away, and after half listening to his directions to get there, off we went. Of course we got lost, and after too many wrong turns navigating the cordoned off perimeter, and one Secret Serviceman telling us with a gleam in his eye and a half, no maybe a quarter, joking tone in his voice that the dog with his ears up was going to eat us, we found Mickey’s Diner.

Now Mickey’s, a real honest to goodness Art Deco diner car, looks like it hasn’t changed since it opened before WWII. Really, there is a picture on the cover of the menu, and the place looks eerily the same. And the cooks are very, VERY, good. Nothing really beats a short order cook that knows what the hell they are doing. The grill is maybe three, three and a half feet wide and it’s all cooked there. Burgers, eggs, omelets in a small pan right on the grill, bacon and most importantly, and most beautify, hash browns.

“Yeah, Yeah hash browns.” You say, big deal maybe. But these things are the most amazing pile of potatoes you will ever eat. Mike and I, without expressing it to each other were a little worried. We ordered from the cook, she slapped on a pile of potatoes on the grill and preceded to cook all kinds of other stuff, just sort of leaving the potatoes sitting there. Burgers, fries, omelets and the potatoes just sat there. I was getting kind of nervous for her. Sweat dripping from her brow and lip. Expressing her desire to leave in 15 minutes or so when her shift was done. I all but assumed the hash browns were toast, burnt, and not tasting so good. Well, what a jackass I was, (and later found out so was Mike). Because they were absolutely perfect. Perfectly brown on the grill side, and perfectly steamed on top. The nutty taste of the browned crust, the silky, mellow taste of the rest of the potatoes had me so wanting more of them. I was able to squeeze in one more trip to Mickey’s, a late night meal after day three of the convention. Again they were perfect. I just didn’t, or do , want them again, but crave them. I swear it would be reason enough to go back to that fair and self described friendly city

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Get Your Twink On

What’s better than fried food you ask? Well fried food at the fair of course! While in Minnesota for the RNC, for work, trust me, not anything Republican related, a bunch of co-workers took advantage of the hurricane reduced workload to hit the famous Minnesota State fair. Famous for what? Well I’m sure for many things, but fried junk on a stick seems to be right up there. I had the pleasure of indulging in something I had always heard about, always imagined I would never partake in, but ultimately was inclined to indulged in. Much to the chagrin of my stomach and arteries. Yes, the infamous deep fried Twinkie, and yes on a stick. To sounds of “Get your Twink on!” from the vender I ordered my delicacy, with powered sugar and choice of a topping no less. Now, I grew up in the late 70s when a trip to the corner store on my bike to get a pack of Twinkies and a Dr. Pepper, (when Dr. Pepper was owned by Canadian Club and was much better), was a highlight of my day. So I have consumed many a golden sponge cake, filled with white stuff that they call cream, a mouth full of heaven. (Although not so much in the past 20 years or so and I’d kill my kid if he ate one, which he wouldn’t because he’s grown up on chocolate croissants and wouldn’t lower himself to packaged junk food.)

I stood gazing at my fried wonder, attached somewhat mournfully to a stick through its innards, powdered and chocolate drizzled, wondering what the hell I was doing. Ah, but one bit and I realized what all the fuss was about. A warm, crunchy outer coating, the white stuff reduced to a near liquid, infusing itself into the golden outer cake. Just amazing. Was it food? Yeah, I guess. Was it a culinary highlight? I guess that depends on your definition. Would I eat one again? I’m not sure my body would be able to take another hit like that, but I sure the hell would be tempted.

And btw, thanks to Justin for being so obsessed with finding Famous Dave’s place, next time you’re at the fair, look for it and get yourself some chocolate dipped bacon.