ENGLAND SLINGS LIKE A PENDULUM DO

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What’sat?

You’re planning a trip to London and you’re wondering about British food? Well, take it from me, London is not what it used to be back in the dark ol’ days of 1980s when if you elected to go native (instead of McDonald’s) you’d be hard-pressed to find a good meal, whether breakfast or dinner.  London has changed! You might even say that it’s leapt to the top of the great gastronomic capitals on the planet (but then again, you might not). Nevertheless, Brit food has never been cooler, and it’s not just the modern and the ethnic – British classics are being done to a T, both in trendy hotspots and venues that have been going for 100 years or more. A quintessentially British feast awaits you.

Let’s not forget about the Fishy Chips… or rather, the Fission Chips. The first “chippy” – as Brits affectionately call them – is thought to have been established in the Jewish quarter in the East End of London in the mid 19th century and some stalwarts still serve the best. The Golden Hind in Marylebone has passed its 100th birthday and still tops the list for serving fish and chips as they should be – fresh, crisp, and don’t forget the side of yummy mushy peas (yes, really yummy)! With the gleaming chrome 1950s’ frying station and rock-bottom prices this place is sheer nostalgia. For a contemporary take on the classic, chase up Hix’s FishDog, a 1970s’ food truck serving “The Rolls Royce of fish finger sandwiches” (a lovely slab of battered fish in a hot dog bun), and you’ll also get a taste of London’s vibrant street food scene. 

 

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Of course, you can’t do London justice and not try a meat pie. Ask any Brit what their favourite comfort food is and they’ll probably say a good pie. Classic British pie and mash shops can still be found in the city, proud to be serving in the traditional environment of checkered tiles and wooden booths. Feeling extra brave? Try jellied eel or parsley liquor – but you probably have to grow up with these delicacies to appreciate them! Pie and mash shop, M. Manze (link is external) in Islington offers “the same recipes today as were used in 1902”, and using even better ingredients to meet today’s high standards. For a truly gourmet pie selection, look no further than The Ginger Pig, with various locations around London, using fresh, naturally reared meat from their own farm in Yorkshire, topped with handmade butter pastry. 

 

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However, if olde World charm is what you’re after, you can’t go past Rules, London’s oldest restaurant, established in 1798 – a time when eating in restaurants was strictly for the elite. You’ll see how little has changed (bookings are essential), and the menu is traditional with a capital T, straight out of Downton Abbey. There’s a leaning towards wild game dishes and the restaurant walls are heaving with mounted horns. Save room for their golden syrup sponge pudding with custard – a truly scrumptious traditional British dessert. 

FOR EVEN MORE, GO HERE

 

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HOTDOG CHILI WEST-VIRGINIA STYLE

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This is the go-to recipe for hotdog chili sauce at my house and at work. We used to sell hotdogs as a fundraiser for a United Way day here and this chili sold hundreds and hundreds of hotdogs. I make it at home and freeze in meal-size containers and also can it.

Difficulty: Easy

Servings: unlimited!

Cook Time: several hours  

Ingredients

Hamburger 10 lbs.
Tomato Paste 4 cans (the 12 ounce cans)
Black Pepper 2 Tbsp.
Garlic Powder 5 Tbsp.
Dehydrated Onion Flakes 1/2 cup
Fresh Garlic Cloves, minced 1+
Oregano 1 1/2 tsp.
Chili Powder 3/4 cup
Tomato Sauce (29 ounce cans) 2 cans
Ketchup 32 oz.
Prepared Mustard 1/4 cup

Directions

Add very hot water to meat (while stirring over medium heat) to break up the meat particles – add as much water as you need – it will cook off. When meat has been broken down into tiny pieces by the hot water, add all the rest of the ingredients. Simmer for a while, stirring often. Taste & adjust seasonings, adding more garlic, onions, etc. as needed. Simmer and taste until desired consistency is reached – it will thicken as it stands, so keeping it a little less thick than you want the finished chili to be is best. Buy brand name tomato products – it does make a difference in this chili. If in doubt about the flavor, make a hotdog & try the chili as you will serve it – that is the best test. If the chili thickens up too much as you use it, add a little water. Don’t go leaner than about 80/20 on the hamburger – the fat adds to the flavor. I like to add some cayenne pepper to mine, some folks add red pepper flakes.

To Can: Fill hot clean jars with hot chili, debubbling and leaving 1″ headspace. Wipe jar rims extremely well. Cap. Process in a Pressure Canner: Pints for 75 minutes, Quarts for 90 minutes at 10 lbs. pressure (adjust if needed for your altitude).  The chili will thicken a little with the canning and the meat will be even finer textured. We like it just fine after canning – I have always canned leftovers of this after cooking a large batch. Might be even better if cooked less and then canned.  Sometimes I cook a pint of this down a little to thicken, add some cumin, and use as a soft taco filling!

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BABY BLUES BARBEQUE – VENICE CA

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When two Southern guys moved to LA, they found themselves missing real, authentic BBQ. So they opened up a bottle of bourbon, swapped family recipes and came up with a plan to bring their favourite southern-inspired BBQ to the people of Los Angeles.They decided a cross country road trip was in-order to find the best recipes from each of the BBQ hubs of the U.S. Once their journey was complete, they scoured California to find locally grown produce, top quality ingredients and the best meats around. With the flavour of each BBQ hotspot on the menu, they had everything from the meats to the fixin’s. In 2004, the first Baby Blues BBQ opened with an amazing crew and that home-style vibe giving customers quality comfort food, on par with those “fancy” LA restaurants, but with the warm, comforting feel of being at home, wherever that home may be. People loved it so much they’ve since taken their award-winning BBQ and memorable atmosphere to San Francisco and Philadelphia.

 

WHAT IS BABY BLUES BARBEQUE?

What will you find when you walk into any Baby Blues BBQ? A music filled joint with the smell of great food and the friendliness of a party you never want to leave. The regionally inspired menu features all of our favourites — Memphis Ribs, Baby Back Ribs, a Texas-style Beef Brisket, and a North Carolina-style Pulled Pork that we slow-cook in Guinness beer, served with an array of house-made sauces that hail from our travels. We use the freshest produce and best ingredients in our award-winning fixin’s including our Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Collard Greens, and Blues on the Cob. From our delicious appetizers to our signature Banana Pudding, you’ll find the comfort foods you want paired with the atmosphere that embodies Southern hospitality.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Venice: 310.396.7675
W.Hollywood: 323.656.1277
San Francisco: 415.896.4250
Philadelphia: 215.222.4444
info@babybluesbbq.com

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THE PANCAKE PARADE of RANCHO CORDOVA

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The Pancake Parade is a virtual gustatory institution in Rancho Cordova California. It was making pancakes when I was a high school student there back in the 1960s and it’s still playing host to high school reunions today. This was the place you’d take your date to, before or after the drive-in.  The food was good and the prices, well, the prices were great. And it was always open. Take a peek at what they had on offer back in the day.

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RECIPES FROM WASHINGTON D.C. or “the biggest dive in the country”

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Did you resolve to try something new in 2016? Why not start with a recipe from the Republican Congressional Cookbook, circa 1962?

Republicans from all 50 states contributed to a compendium of regional dishes, including Chicken Luau, Maine Lobster Pie, and Scalloped Cabbage, Spaghetti, and Wisconsin Cheese.

Check out the stuff your they were eating in Washington D.C. during Gerald Ford’s time in office.  It’s all HERE

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ROTIERS RESTAURANT – NASHVILLE

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Home of the Famous French Bread Hamburger!   Rotiers offers (arguably) the best southern food in Nashville… staff have been there for 20+ years. Good ol’ grub for the soul. You won’t regret it. 

Rotier’s has been serving cold beer, burgers, and handmade milkshakes since 1945. John and Evelyn Rotier started the restaurant after WWII, the building was originally a carriage house for the Elliston Mansion. Rotier’s started as a beer joint with cheeseburgers and pinball machines, and later evolved into a full scale restaurant soon after gambling became illegal in Tennessee. The meat and three menu came along, or “meat and vegetables” if you are not from Tennessee, so patrons could choose from several different home cooked meals. John and Evelyn had three children: John, Margaret, and Charlie Rotier, who all worked in the restaurant.

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BIG CHIEF 1940s DELICACIES

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INGREDIENTS

BIG CHIEF BRISKET:

1 whole beef brisket, untrimmed, 9 to 12 pounds
1 (12-oz) bottle beer – e.g.: Lone Star
Oak or mesquite wood chips, soaked in water for 30 minutes
Chile Hot Sauce (recipe follows)

BIG CHIEF RUB:

1 1/2 cups kosher salt, preferably Morton
1/4 cup (black) peppercorns, coarsely ground, or about 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
Chile Hot Sauce
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1 tablespoon red chile flakes, or more to taste

BIG CHIEF CHILE HOT SAUCE:

1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1 tablespoon red chile flakes, or more to taste

 

DIRECTIONS

Build a charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill.

Pat the brisket dry with paper towels. Do not trim any excess fat off the meat; this fat will naturally baste the meat and keep it moist during the long cooking time.

Using your hands or a shaker-top jar, sprinkle the brisket liberally with the rub. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and pat the spices into the meat but do not rub-this mixture will form a dark savoury crust on the meat, often referred to as the sought after “burnt-ends.” Set aside on a clean tray until ready to cook.

If using a charcoal grill, place a drip pan between the 2 piles of white-gray ashed briquettes (on the charcoal grate). Pour the beer into the drip pan. Before placing the meat on the grill, place the soaked wood chips directly on the coals. You will need to add charcoal every hour to maintain the heat. If using a gas grill, place a drip pan with the beer in the upper left corner of the gas grill directly on top of the flavorizer bars or ceramic rock. Place the soaked wood chips in a smoker box.

Place the brisket in the centre of the cooking grate, fat side up, over indirect medium-low heat. Cover and cook slowly for 4 to 5 hours at 325 degrees to 350 degrees or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the middle of the brisket registers 190 to 200 degrees. The meat should be very tender and falling apart. It will feel like the consistency of butter when you insert it with the probe of the thermometer. Remember: Do not turn the meat during the entire cooking time.

Let the meat rest for 20 minutes or until cool enough to handle. The recipe can be made in advance up to this point and, once it is cool, wrapped in 3 layers of heavy-duty aluminium foil. To reheat the brisket, leave in foil and heat for about 1 hour at 250 degrees. For a crispier crust, remove the foil at the end and put it back in the oven for another 15 minutes. Slice against the grain and serve with the Texas Vinegar-Chile Hot Sauce if desired.

For the rub:

In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well. The rub will keep in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Good for Seasoning: Beef (brisket, beef shoulder); pork; chicken

For the sauce:
Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium nonreactive bowl. Pour the sauce into a glass bottle with a top. It will keep indefinitely, covered in or out of the refrigerator.

Makes 1 1/2 cups

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