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Charleston. An arterial adventure.

Cotton country.

It’s hard for me to believe that Burgergal and I went to Charleston, SC, nearly a month ago.  It served as my third foray into the American South in the last few months, and I was looking forward to experiencing yet another region’s unique food and historic offerings.  Going to the Low Country, I knew that shrimp and grits, fried chicken, and other unhealthy goodness would be in my future.

Rather than bore you with endless words, I think I will take a different approach to this post and treat you with a photoessay about the burgerbuddies’ trip down to South Carolina.

Continue reading ‘Charleston. An arterial adventure.’

So much to write about, so little time.

Another weekend down South, another set of food pics to come.

Just a teaser… all you can eat whole hog bbq at Sweatman’s, in Holly Hill, South Carolina.

Herrre, piggy piggy piggy.

Image from Daily Mail

Although I was greatly intrigued with tea cup pigs like everyone else that watches How I Met Your Mother Last night, a link sent over by my friend Arielle quickly changed my feelings towards pigs.

It made me want to eat them.

More than usual.

Cochon 555 is the road show of pork, dedicated to heritage breed pigs, where chefs around the country compete with the hopes of making it to the main event at the Food and Wine Festival in Aspen.  Who will be there on March 21st, 2010, in New Pork City (to their credit, they have that on the website)?

This guy.  And Burgergal.  And maybe other people I know, but they haven’t bought tickets yet, so probably just the burger duo.

Check it out.  It is going to be awesome.  Say it in French (“cinq cent cinquante cinq”) and it’s even more awesome.

Image from Cochon 555 (2009)

Two new obsessions: One Seasonal, One Not

Three things today for all of you guys:

1) First of all, I have only recently discovered the joy of the sunchoke, or jerusalem artichoke.  These little tubers are delightful.  Roasted plain, they are delicious.  They are like an artichoke heart, but better.  I cannot believe that it’s taken me this long to discover these little guys at the farmer’s market.

Get yourself some and try them for yourself.  They are delicious.  Just cut them in half and roast them up with some oil, salt, and pepper.

2) Num Pang.  12th St. and University.  Get there.

The place opened up last year in March, but somehow escaped my realm of cognizance.  But not any more.  They have a few sandwiches, but I can only speak to the pork and skirt steak sandwiches.  They arrive with some cucumber, carrots, and cilantro, on a toasted piece of bread with a spicy mayo.  A few squirts of sriracha, and we were good to go.  The pork is fatty and smoky, and as the picture above illustrates, it’s as tender as can be.  The softness of the meat is offset by the toasty crunch of the bun.  Just load up on napkins, it’s juicy.

There’s another shot.  Just because.

On another occasion, I had the skirt steak.  It’s more or less the same, but features some freshly griddled skirt steak.  It takes a little longer than the pork, which is already prepared, so be ready for a little bit of a wait.  The steak showed up with a lovely crust on the outside, but was just a little too medium for my taste.  I actually prefer my skirt steak cooked all the way through, especially when it’s been marinated, but this was still pretty good.  I still prefer the pork, but the steak was pretty good, too.  They have some other stuff, too, and I think they will soon be tried.

3) Monsanto gets named Forbes company of the year.  Quite a recovery from all of the negative press and the slamming in Food, Inc.  I haven’t read the article yet, but it definitely piqued BB’s interest.

When pigs fly, they soar.

Settling down from a weekend filled with football and business school applications and babies, in whatever order you please.  Fantasy football is such a mixed bag this season, and my squads have been suffering from a general lack of attention on their coach’s part.  But alas, I digress.

I did some solid eating this weekend, from two of my favorite sources: burgergal and the flying pigs farm.

Flying pigs farm piggies.

On Friday night, after a long week slaving away at the office, BG treated me to a turkey meatloaf.  I treated both of us to a bottle of wine.  The meatloaf was great– sauteed mushrooms, fresh breadcrumbs made from the guys at not just rugelach, sauteed leeks, and some fontina cheese.  The cheese really added in a great earthiness that probably would have been missing since it was turkey meatloaf and not beef.  I’m not sure where she got the recipe, but just throw “turkey meatloaf fontina” into the google or the bing and see what happens.  I made a little root vegetable puree, since they are all showing up at the farmer’s markets these days.  All in all, a great weekend.

On Saturday, we headed out to the BK to visit the newest member of the b4b family– li’l G.  Once he gets teeth and starts eating solid food and is able to speak, he’ll be a regular contributor to the blog.  His favorite burger is at shake shack, but mostly because he likes their onesies.

Anyway, we took some Jane’s So Sweet Italian sausages out there, which we had purchased from the Flying Pigs Farm at the Union Square market last weekend, and they were awesome.  First of all, I have never seen so much fat render out of a pork sausage.  Those guys are doing something right with these pigs (actually, I think it’s that others are doing something wrong), and the quality of the meat is a testament to that.  Their breakfast sausage is also great.  We did that up with onions grilled in the pork fat (how could you go wrong?) and a salad with fresh figs, tomatoes, and blue cheese.  BG rocked the dressing, and we had some leftover meatloaf, which was just as good on the second day.  All in all, a great saturday afternoon.

Yesterday I hung out in my batcave for most of the day, but did manage to get out to the UWS farmer’s market, which I had never really been to before.  It had a pretty solid showing, so I was happy, since I needed some supplies.  I bought some of the usual things, fingerlings, tomatoes, not just rugelach bread, and then I got suckered into some bacon from the Tamarack Hollow Farm.  It was pretty pricey, but I guess quality bacon is always pricey.  I haven’t tried it out yet, but I’ll be sure to report how it compares to my peeps at the Flying Pigs.

A reason to go to the Seaport

Slow Food NYC New Amsterdam Market

As I have mentioned, today marked the day of the New Amsterdam Market down in front of the old Fulton Fish Market.  Thanks for all of you guys who came out at 5.30am to lend your support and see the BB in action.

You basically  missed the best damned setting up of a farmer’s market that you could have imagined.  It was pretty strange being up a) up at 5.30am and b) being at the seaport at that time.  In any event, the set up was great, and when I awoke from my nap afterwards, it all seemed as though it had been a dream.

The market itself was awesome once populated with all of the local vendors who brought their products to sell– a few restaurants showed up, most notably Marlow and Sons/Diner (BK) and porchetta (East Vil).  Most of the other purveyors were cheesemongers, local vineyards, and a chocolate shop from Somerville, MA (shout out for my peeps at Tufts!).  Fairway was a corporate sponsor and they used their space to promote their selection of breads.  Considering this is about all that they actually make that might be organic or locally sourced, it was probably a wise move.

Some highlights for me from the market:

– Brooklyn Brine: Great pickles, I liked them much better than Rick’s Picks, which was also there.  I just can’t get behind RP.  Even their Phat Beets don’t do it for me.

– The Bent Spoon: This is one of my all time favorite ice cream shops in the world, located down in Princeton, NJ.  They always have great locally sourced ingredients (some from the owner’s and owner’s friends’ yards), and a lot of unique flavors.  If you are ever in Princeton and they have sweet basil ice cream, go for it, it’s awesome.  Anyway, they were representin’.
Bent Spoon NA Market

– porchetta: As mentioned, the East Village pork-house was in full effect, and Sara Jenkins was there putting together mini porchetta sandwiches.  My only complaint was that the crackling didn’t really survive the trip, and was a little bit overly gelatinous.  But, it was great to see her there.

– Marlow and Sons/Diner: The laid-back guys from Marlow and Sons were there, serving up mini ham and brisket sandwiches.  I also just want to add that these guys were really cool and chatting with the crowd, which was pretty much in line with what I’d expect.

Brisket Sandwich- Marlow and Sons

– People’s Pops: Since it was a pretty warm day today, these guys were probably raking in the most business, serving up their shaved ice and organic/local fruit pops.  I went for a lemon-basil shaved ice, which was actually made from a giant block of ice (their supplier is located out in bushwick, if you’re ever looking for a giant block of perfectly clear ice).  BG went for a raspberry frozen pop, which looked awesome (and apparently tasted awesome, too).

– Bo Bo chicken: When all is said and done, this is the only place from which I actually bought anything to go.  The story is pretty simple– they raise all of their chickens with access to pasture, at the foothills of the Catskills.  Then they transport these healthy little chickens down to Williamsburg, where they suffer from death by flannel and skinny jeans.  The facility is USDA approved, and the label says “eviscerated” on it, which is pretty intense.  Anyway, they sell chickens, for a relative bargain ($13 bucks).  For the great taste and local sourcing, I’m more than willing to spend this much on chicken.  And, they even throw in the head and feet, just for good measure.  Thanks!

Now, they sell regular chickens and silky chickens.  If you haven’t seen a silky chicken alive, they look like this:800px-silky_bantamApparently, their feathers are soft like silk.  Not only that, but they also have black bones, skin, AND flesh.  Dead and processed by Bo Bo, they look like this:

Silky Chicken

Needless to say, it’s not quite as cute anymore.  I am really curious to see what this tastes like.  For a mere $5 you could buy the spices to make a Silky Chicken Soup, but I want to taste this thing in its naked state.  I am going to roast it at some point in the near future, and I’ll be sure to post when I do.  I can’t even imagine what it looks like in there, it’s going to taste daring, I can just sense it.

All in, it was a great day at the market, and being a part of it was even better.  Hanging out with all of the passionate purveyors is always great, and with any luck, this small segment of the market will become even bigger.  The food is just too good for it not to.  Check it out next month when it comes back to town.  I unfortunately will be in Paris.  Poor me.  Àla prochaine…

And, two more reasons to be happy today:

– I survived running four miles in the Fitness Road Runners race yesterday

– The NFL is back on air, brining gut-wrenching fantasy football anxiety to its zenith.  One weekend almost down, one 31-point stupid decision already made– shoulda kept Philly defense!