Friday, September 25, 2009

Fried Chicken

As fall settles in here in New England my thoughts start to focus on comfort foods. Soups, stews, mac and cheese, anything that warms the soul. For me, nothing can do that better than fried chicken. Juicy meat, crispy skin, a salty crunchy batter; fried chicken has it all. It just may be the perfect food. It might not be the easiest food to prepare at home, but it's not as difficult as some people think. The biggest tip I can give is to move the operation outside. I do all my deep frying outside on a propane burner (turkey frier), in my cast iron Dutch oven. This way I don't need to worry about hot oil splattering all over my kitchen, or the smell of fried food lingering in my house for the next 3 days. This chicken got a quick marinade in buttermilk and hot sauce. Then a flour, egg wash, flour dredge. Then directly into 350 degree vegetable oil. When golden brown and cooked all the way through, put them on a rack to drain and season with salt. Eat the chicken hot, room temp, cold, the next day for breakfast, it doesn't matter. It will cure what ails you, fix what's broken, and will guarantee a smile on your face.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

GC Ique
RGC I Smell smoke
3rd Lakeside Smokers

Yes, 34 degrees

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Last weekend Kris and I competed at The Bar-B-Q Pit at the Oyster Festival in Norwalk, CT. The competition had drawn some controversy in the months preceding it. A lot of teams felt the high entry fee would not be worth it. They were wrong. And, yes, I would have said that even if we had not done well. The entry fee was about $100 more than the 'average' entry fee in this area. All monies collected from entry fees, and then some, went back to the prize pool for the competitors. The prize money was also spread out quite nicely. A lot of teams walked away with some big money. Calls (and money) through 10 place, lobster dinner on Friday, team breakfast both Saturday and Sunday, multiple gift bags, t-shirts, free ice, free oysters, trash removal, and the list goes on and on. Getting in and out of the event was not even a slight issue as most had speculated. Saturday was very busy with a grilling event, a whole hog competition, and chowder competition. Throw in a KCBS comp on Sunday, a peoples choice wing competition, and it made for a very hectic weekend. The organizers said they will learn from their mistakes and try to make it better for next year. Sounds reasonable to me. I just hope they don't change too much, because I liked everything about that weekend.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Norwalk kcbs
GC Lakeside Smokers
RGC Ocean County Pig Assassins

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Norwalk whole hog
1st jacks down home bbq
2nd I smell smoke!!!
Norwalk Chowda
3 men and a baby back
Norwalk Grilling
GC: Yankee Butcher
RGC: The Perfect Butt

I Smell Smoke's Whole Hog

Norwalk, CT

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Now They're Pickles...

After two weeks in a pickling brine, these garden fresh cucumbers have made the tasty transformation into pickles. They have a nice balance of dill, garlic, and heat. They will add a nice acidic crunch to any sandwich.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Aebleskivers are a Danish pancake that is spherical in shape. They are light and fluffy and usually contain apple slices on the inside. Kris and I first heard of these wonderful confections on the Food Network Show: The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Aaron Sanchez was raving about aebleskivers from this little dive in New York City. After that show, Kris was on a mission: to find aebleskivers! Much to her dismay, no diner, bakery, or dive in our area made them. So, even better, she was going to make them. I was real excited for two reasons: one, Kris always makes kick ass confections, and two, we were getting a new cast iron pan!

The first step in making aebleskivers is to heavily butter your pan.

Pour the batter into the pan and cook for about 4 minutes, or until the bottom is set and starts turning golden brown.

Carefully flip the pancakes over and cook the other side for a few more minutes. This is traditionally done with a knitting needle, but Kris uses a wooden skewer.

She did several batches. Some with fruit, some without. The ones we liked the best had a small chunk of ripe banana nestled right in the middle batter. She serves them with Vermont maple syrup for dipping. Not traditional, but damn good!