Ridiculous Food Society is no more! See Mr. Dave's Pantry for Mr. Dave's new blog as well as links to the old posts.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
I usually don't like to steal other blog's thunder, but this was too good not to share. This is off one of my new favorite pages- "This is Why You're Fat". See the original post here. This is the "Sandwich of Knowledge", with the following description-
The bottom tier contains eight strips of bacon, six sausages and four burger paddies; followed by a second tier of black pudding; topped by a third tier comprised of two diced chicken breasts and six fried eggs.
(submitted by Luke)
Pretty much the most awesome thing I have seen in a while. I love the title.
I picked up this little gem at the Center for Natural Wellness in 20 Mall out in Guilderland.
It is the Bible Bar, advertising proudly, "Contains the 7 foods of Deuteronomy 8:8". I was at the Center for Natural Wellness picking up some fenugreek capsules for the wife. She claims that fenugreek stimulates the production of breast milk, so Giblet (the daughter) should be pleased. I saw the Bible Bar as I was leaving the store and had to pick it up, biblical health food is a gimmick that I have not checked out yet.
I am not overly religious or very well versed in the bible so I did not really know what they meant by the "7 foods of Deuteronomy." Luckily, I discovered that the back of the package contained the passage-
"A land of wheat, and barley and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of olive oil and honey."
So I guess the Bible bar includes all of these mentioned foods, i.e. wheat, barley, raisins (the vine), honey, figs, pomegranates, and olive oil (along with a little holy brown rice syrup and blessed raspberry fruit powder).
I ripped open the holy cellophane shroud that contained my Deuteronomy bar hoping for some real holy land flavor. It was brown and wrinkly as if composed primarily of raisins. I studied the bar carefully for the faces of Jesus or Mary in hopes that I could sell it on ebay, but I couldn't find any miraculous images so I bit in. The Bible Bar was a pretty standard fruit/granola type bar that you might have had previously. No "revelations" here (haha, have I worked the biblical puns to death yet?).
Anyhow, I like the Center for Natural Wellness. They have a nice little selection of healthful, all-natural foods and a very expansive selection of supplements and vitamins. It has not appeared to me the last few times that I have been in that the Center is doing very brisk business. Next time you are off to GNC for your latest herbal miracle maybe give a thought to this place. I always like to support independent merchants, not to beat on the whole "support local businesses" drum. Just a thought.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
I picked up some Angelo's 677 Prime steak sauce at Price Chopper the other day. I have been seeing this around for a while and have been vaguely curious, however, the 5.90$ price tag for a 16 ounce jar seemed a little prohibitive. As always, my curiosity overcame my thriftiness and into the cart went the jar of sauce. If you don't know, Angelo's 677 Prime is arguably the best steak house within about a half hour's drive of my home (in Guilderland). I am sure other people have their own opinions on this issue, but I have always left the place satisfied.
Before we go on, I think I should lay my steak sauce philosophy on you. If I am bellied up to a 55 dollar porterhouse at Angelo's, I am probably not going to ask for any of their steak sauce. If I am going to put anything on that beautiful piece of beef it will probably be the Gorgonzola Bacon Butter that they have on the menu. As many steak lovers will agree, good dry aged beef does not need a whole lot of condiment. This is not to say that I think that so called "steak sauces" don't have their place. My favorite way to enjoy anything in the cheese steak or steak sandwich family is slather it with A1 or a comparable product.
This is where I found myself this afternoon. That is to say, in front of a nice pile of thinly sliced leftover London Broil. Perfect fodder for a steak sandwich on which to sample Angelo's sauce.
Upon opening the jar of sauce we see a deep burgundy colored sauce with a tart, vinegar aroma. There are small chunks of vegetable matter present, it is not the smooth consistency of many steak sauces. I read the ingredients and was immediately apprehensive when I saw that corn syrup and sugar were the first two ingredients. I was encouraged, however, that horseradish and anchovies paste were included. I was hoping for a rich spicy/savory sauce.
First, I dipped a spoon in and gave it a lick. OK folks, I am probably going to get ripped a new one for this, people seem to freak out every that I slam a product. This stuff is seriously, unsettlingly sweet. I meen, cloying and saccharin tasting like a cheap ketchup. There is some depth of flavor behind the sweetness, I like the tomato that comes through and the molasses/vinegar tones, but the sugary-ness of it all was off putting to my sensibilities.
Next, I put some slices of the London broil on some fresh baguette and topped with a couple tablespoons of the sauce.
It is kind of the same story on the sandwich. The stuff is not necessarily bad per se, it is just too sweet for my tastes. I think it would benefit from a much heavier dose of the horseradish to give it some kick. At 5.90$ a jar this is not something that I will be purchasing again. The label proclaims, "You can taste the steak right in it!", I am going to go ahead and call bull shit on this claim.
I am not going to hold my feelings about this steak sauce against the culinary staff at Angelo's. The stuff is probably made in some enormous contract food factory. Who knows how much input the Angelo's guys even had into the recipe, but when you put your name on a product you should ensure that is up to your own standards.
As you can see by somewhat lengthy treatment of this product, I am somewhat condiment mad. Pickles, mustards, hot sauces, relishes, etc... are essential parts of my diet and I take them very seriously. So anyways, sorry for stealing 5 or 10 minutes of your life by blathering about some silly steak sauce.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
So, tonight I roasted up that pheasant I picked up at Eats yesterday. I am a lover of poultry. Put a perfectly roasted duck/turkey/chicken/goose on my table and you can count me a happy man. Because of this I will generally purchase any fowl that I haven't tried in hopes that it will be delicious and enter my culinary arsenal. Until now the only bird I have run into that I have not entirely enjoyed was emu, the steaks were a bit too vivid a shade of purple for my tastes. I had higher hopes for the majestic pheasant.
I paid about 15 bucks for this approximately 2.5 pound bird (frozen, from a Wisconsin farm). An exorbitant price in light of the present economy I know, but I work hard and have few other hobbies or vices.
Here she lies out of the plastic wrap.
See those little black things. They be feathers. I didn't mind this a bit, I find that seeing remnants of the animal that once was gives me a connection to the reality of what I am eating. It is not so sterile as the lily white and flawless poultry we are so used to purchasing.
When I am trying a new ingredient for the first time I always favor the simplest of possible preparations in order to get a true sense of the unadulterated flavor. I decided to roast the bird with nary a spice or herb save salt and pepper. Oh yeah, I just wouldn't be myself if I did not wedge bacon into the recipe. I covered the breasts with two hearty strips of center cut bacon. You can't blame me though, this is actually a very traditional way to maintain a juicy pheasant breast.
Into the oven at 500 went the bacon draped bird for 15 minutes. After this time you are going to want to (gasp!) remove the bacon. If you don't you are going to end up with burnt bacon and ugly pale pheasant skin. Here is a picture of the lovely bacon to sate your bacon lust.
Back into the oven goes the bird at a reduced 400 until the juices run clear and the skin is browned, about 25-30 minutes. The pheasant came out looking pretty enticing.
I let it rest for a while and then pulled off a drum stick and sliced off some of the breast.
The color of the breast meat closely approximates that of chicken, however, the flavor is much stronger. There is distinct flavor and aroma to the meat that is common to game birds. If you have ever eaten wild turkey you will know what I am talking about. It is as if you can taste a little of all the herbs, seeds, and nasty little arthropods and worms that the bird snacked on during its life. There is a natural, almost herbaceous taste that many will find off-putting. I myself enjoyed the texture and flavor of the pheasant but I will say that I would probably favor a cooking method that included stronger flavors. I could see pheasant being very good in a fricasse or cacciatore type recipe. I think I will probably wait until the next time I see pheasant on a restaurant menu before I try it again. I would like to see how a more experienced cook treats this particular poultry before I hazard another attempt.
Friday, March 6, 2009
No matter how I try, I can't seem to get out of Eats in Stuyvesant Plaza without at least a 40 dollar ding to the wallet. I was only going to treat myself to a hunk of nice cheese after a hard week but ended up with the above pictured assortment of random gourmet goodies. I know that a lot of people seem to think that Eats is overpriced, but I actually find the prices to be comparable to any other "gourmet" type store in the area. Besides the rotating selection of world cheeses they stock some good beers and have a very solid assortment of frozen exotic meats (bison, elk, rabbit, cayman, to name a few).
Tonight I walked out with a half pound of Tilsit with ale, a whole pheasant with giblets, some of the shockingly black charcoal crackers that I love, a four pack of Ommegang Three Philosophers, and tube of Kavli cheese spread (think gouda flavored cheese frosting). The Tilsit with ale was a little underwhelming, but the tube-cheese is excellent. I plan on roasting the pheasant up in the proper English manner tomorrow night, so stay tuned if you are interested.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
I awoke this morning jonesing for some pizza. I usually order from Paesan's on Western Ave. in Guilderland, they do pretty solid product. I am usually a pizza minimalist, cheese and sauce suffice for me. However, this afternoon I spied two toppings on the menu that I thought would work together harmoniously. Bacon and Ricotta pizza sounded sublime to my somewhat beer addled mind (my wife would only let me get it on half). I heartily recommend this combination, it was thoroughly tasty in a greasy sort of way. Also, kudos to Paesan's for being very generous in their bacon distribution, there was just enough on the pie.
Doesn't it look like the bacon/ricotta side of the pizza is poised to invade and conquer the plain cheese side?
So I was on my way home last night from celebrating the 30th B-day of my friend Rebus and I was in the mood for just a couple more oat sodas. The wife and I were kind of tired and due to the fact that we needed to get gas I decided to go ahead and settle for some of the piss wasser beer that they sell at the Mobil. That is when I noticed this stuff, the Budweiser brand "American Ale."
This brew has been out for a while and I have been seeing it around enough to be a little curious. It seems to me that is a somewhat lame attempt by the new Belgian overlords of Budweiser to cheaply capitalize on both patriotism (by throwing America in the name) and the recent craft/micro-brew craze. Lame on both counts in my book, but I decided to give the stuff a whirl. As you may or may not know, I am a self proclaimed and unabashed beer snob of the worst ilk. I turn up my nose at many mass produced domestics, so I just wanted to warn you of my bias before we continue.
Upon pouring the stuff into a glass we are greeted with a copper color and a pretty anemic half-inch head. Also, the bottles are not twist offs! You actually have to get your church key out. There is something very strange about having to use a bottle opener on a bottle of Bud. I gave it a sniff and there actually was a little hoppy scent, much more so than in any of Budweiser's typical lager. I sucked down a big old sip and sat back to ruminate for a minute. Color me not impressed. My first thought was, "don't patronize me Mr. Budweiser." This stuff is working under the impression that if you simply give a fake hoppy flavor to a crap beer people will think that it is fancy. I could only drink 1 of these bad boys, the cloying sweet flavor was a little much for me, imagine Newcastle minus any of its good qualities.
As I expected, the Budweiser American Ale is a thin and over carbonated imitation of other more finely crafted Ales out there on the market. Do any of you home brew? Early on in your brewing career you might have been suckered into buying one of those pre-hopped malt syrup kits that you pretty much just add water and cheap corn sugar to and then let sit. This is what the American Ale tastes like. It tastes like it was brewed in a bucket in the closet of some frat boy's dorm room. Blech.