April 15, 2012 · 10:01 am
So first a little fun fact about Bloomfield, NJ (or Montclair or Glen Ridge, unless you’re from Jersey, all these seem the same to you): these townships have a limited number of liquor licenses and a growing number of restaurants, ergo many of these establishments are BYOB. So with that said, there I was minding my own business during our pre-dinner liquor store stop-by when I saw something very out of the ordinary for New Jersey:
The proof this is NJ is in their ridiculously high legal tobacco age. That noise would never fly in Texas.
YES! That’s a bottle of Shiner Bock, brewed and bottled in Shiner, Tx. and one of my favorite beers. — I’d love to comment on the FourLoko in the picture… but I was taught if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all, so we’ll move on…
If you’re from Texas, you’ll understand the miracle of being able to find such a gem in any northeastern city, let alone a suburb! So you can imagine my extreme jubilance when the kind shop owner directed me to the cooler:
Is that a SHINER SPRING BEER THAT I'VE NEVER HAD?!
Shut up! By now I am walking around the store like I’ve just entered Narnia and there are many mystical things this place can teach me. I am both thrilled for Shiner and for myself and for Bloomfield, you’re luckier than you know, I hope you take advantage of it!
Right then, I vowed to the owner that I would write this blog on his shop, Gallaghers Wine and Cheese Shop, and encourage everyone in the area to choose his establishment over your many other pre-dinner stop by options, which I am doing now: shop here. The selection is excellent and the service is impeccable. You won’t be disappointed.
I’m only one person with one URL address, but I’ll jump at the chance to use it to promote your business if you’re kind or, in this case, support something I love. POP POP.
January 24, 2012 · 2:50 pm
No, this isn’t a list of oxymorons, this is the response to my latest very specific craving. I was dying for something in the Mexican category that wasn’t overly fried or cheesed. I had chicken, I had beans, I had avocados.
My mission was clear.
Click for refried black beans recipe!
Spice rub includes: cayenne, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper
First I got the beans going, which takes some time, but I think it’s worth it. Then I rubbed my boneless, skinless chicken breast with lime juice and coated it in the spice rub pictured above.
Make sure that skillet's hot with butter and oil! You only need a minute or two on each side.
Then into the oven on a bed of limes at 350 for 30 minutes (can cover chicken with limes too!)
While the chicken’s in the oven, I threw together some guacamole and a quick pico of tomatoes, onion and red bell pepper. I figured everything was spicy enough to do without fresh jalapeños on top.
Presentation makes regular food feel fancy!
Hiding food under food... very very sneaky.
There you have it! Lime chili chicken on a bed of refried beans with guacamole and pico de gallo!
Finished off here a little bit of sharp cheese and some tortilla strips!
I recommend enjoying with a Modelo Especial, but that's up to you :-
Mission accomplished. POP POP.
Filed under Recipes
Tagged as beer, black beans, chicken, chili, cooking, food, guacamole, lime, mexican, modelo, pico de gallo, recipe, tex-mex, texas
January 6, 2012 · 10:15 am
Last night I watched Beer Wars, a unique and engaging documentary that follows jane-of-all-trades Anat Baron as she meets the craft brewers who are managing to survive (and thrive!) in the industry among the giants: Bud, Miller and Coors.
“Down to earth” doesn’t quite cut it when I’m describing Sam, owner of Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware. I say, “Sam,” because that is how he was presented on screen, just “Sam.” He drives a classic pick up truck, wears jeans to work and even stops in the middle of an interview to pick up the phone. On the other end is yet another satisfied customer calling the 1-800 number on the back on the beer bottle. Their motto is “Off centered ale for off centered people,” and they stick to it. Turning down numerous offers from venture capitalists to take his company public, Sam refuses to put himself and the “great people who work with him,” in a position where they might have to compromise their “labor of love.”
It’s this dedication to quality and refusal to compromise for the almighty dollar that I found so incredibly refreshing. Call me naive, but I still believe having pride and integrity in what you do is infinitely more important and rewarding than making money.
Dogfish Head started in 1995 with an idea and a commitment to produce quality ales with unique ingredients. They’ve managed to grow into a major player in the beer industry and they’ve done it without losing their sense of self. I tweeted at them last night, and with nearly 72,000 followers, they still managed to tweet back to me by this morning. That’s keeping it real. Respect.
December 14, 2011 · 10:31 am
This week, with the holidays right around the corner, I find myself immersed in a myriad of emotions. Beginning on Sunday with what we knew would be a close game, the Giants played more with our hearts than against their opponent. If you know anything about those residing in my home, you know this game was no joking matter. But in the end, they were victorious, leaving the anxiety of “can they do it?” to linger on.
I am blessed to spend this evening with some wonderful friends having a veggie packed meal before I return to the land of no veggies (only kidding, Texas) to be with my family. Excitement fills me as does nostalgia. My heart is heavy as I remember each Christmas from my childhood. To forget the past is to forget who we are and yet remembering can often be so difficult. It is important to remember, it is important to feel and it is most important, during times like these, to treat yo self!
Nobody knew the power of a post-work beverage better than Jeanie. So from her through me and now to you, I raise a glass of cinnamon sugar rimmed Harpoon Winter Warmer (aka heaven in a glass) to all of my family. Both those I was lucky enough to be given and those I’ve made for myself. You are the reason for the season and I’m grateful for what you’ve meant to me. L’Chaim!
November 12, 2011 · 8:56 am
As a native Texan and a frequenter of neighborhood pubs everywhere, I consider myself a nacho aficionado. If you are a nacho fiend too perhaps you’ve noticed that this delicacy can often be hit or miss. I’ve had nachos that are too dry, nachos that are too wet, nachos with all the goods on top and nothing but sad plain chips underneath, and nachos so loaded up with sour cream that everything below them is soggy. These are nacho sins. I have set out to perfect the nacho recipe with an unbeatable method for ensuring each chip’s deliciousness. I pair it with guacamole (on the side!) because, for me, nachos just aren’t nachos without guacamole 🙂
To refry beans: sauté garlic, onions and jalapeños for 5 mins, then add beans (with juice) and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer adding beer as necessary (don't let them dry out). Should take 1.5 hours or so.
I used Modelo Especial.. but you can’t tell, because I freaked it. 🙂
Once the beans are finished, you can serve them as a side dish, but I really like to hide them underneath the nachos. A fun little surprise for your guests 🙂
Take care to layer the chips, meat (in this case beef), and cheese in however many layers you have food for. (Can easily be made veggie... just leave out the meat!) Then bake at 350 for about 10 minutes (until the cheese is melted).
I urge you not to rush through this step… this is how you ensure each chip will have ample toppings. Take your time!
While its in the oven, chop up your pico veggies. I kept it simple here... just tomatoes, red onion, and jalapeño all chopped finely.
You’ll want to have a second plate on hand to place the oven-hot plate on!
Guac- chop red onion, garlic and jalapeño, add avocado and citrus (in this case lemon, but lime is fine too). Mash it all together. Then add tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste.
If you make the guac ahead of time, be sure to press plastic wrap into the dip so it doesn’t brown (although if it browns a little, just mix it in, as my mom used to say, “it ain’t gonna kill ya!”)
Mmmm... beany surprise...
Perfectly spicy, delightfully cheesy, with just the right ratio of condiments 🙂 Delish.
November 11, 2011 · 5:19 pm
Since someone had to work late, I was on my own for dinner last night. Sure, I could have just picked up a slice of pizza (that’s what he would have done). But I thought, “No. What an excellent opportunity to treat myself… to a steak.” So that’s what I did. And since I’m not made of money, I took myself down to the store and picked up a piece of tenderloin and a potato (I had cheese, milk, butter and veggies). And this is what I did…
Heat butter (and/or oil) in a pan on Medium heat. Add steak (and season however you like).
Boil potatoes for 20 min (until they fall off a fork when you stab them).
Add milk and butter (and cheese/garlic/whatever) and mash until as smooth and creamy as you like them.
For meat about 1 inch thick, cook 4-6 minutes on each side (depending on how done you like it).
Served here with a hearty salad and a pumpkin beer! But that's up to you 🙂
Was it tasty? You tell me…
It’s was super yummy sauce, made yummier by the fact that in total (including the beer) I spent less than $10. I say again, POP POP.