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Eat, Drink and Be Merry

Madaracs's Avatar Picture Madaracs – January 09, 2008 10:39AM Reply Quote
Great food, good food, sad food...

Soft Drinks, hard drinks or maybe beer or port...

Got Milk?

Cooking class, Cooking advice and what not to eat.

A place for discussing all food and drink... show your keen culinary prowess here, folks.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/09/2008 10:40AM by Madaracs.

SoupIsGood Food – October 04, 2008 01:47AM Reply Quote

Diet Cherry Coke is in every way superior to Cherry Coke Zero, which chemical-strips my tongue. Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi rules over all.

tliet – October 04, 2008 02:43AM Reply Quote
Is there any difference in Zero and Diet apart from the marketing?

Steve Cordova – October 04, 2008 03:45AM Reply Quote
History passes the first time as tragedy, the second time as farts. - Roy Edroso
Zero is Original Coke recipe, Diet is New Coke recipe.

rino – October 04, 2008 11:41AM Reply Quote
In America, the only respectable form of socialism is socialism for the rich.
The 90 Minute IPA:

>> In case you care... the average 12 oz. serving has 294 calories.

I always know i'm eating 1/2 a loaf of bread when I have a few beers but damn!

Has been a beer month for me too, the coming winter calls.
But, I got in two 3.6mile runs this past week avg 8.25/mile.

johnny k – October 04, 2008 08:01PM Reply Quote
Soooop, let's go get one of those beers at Charlie's. I finally got my house (not for the faint-of-heart these days) and moved in this week, so that's some time freed up for nobler pursuits. I live in Porter Square it's on the way home even. How can I contact you?

John Willoughby – October 04, 2008 08:33PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
Use the Soup Signal!

SoupIsGood Food – October 16, 2008 10:29PM Reply Quote
I will have nooooo time for carousing with internet perverts until November. First I must make it thru the marriage*, then I'm moving to new digs.

I'm moving to Providence rather than Boston, because:

1) Best Beloved still works and goes to grad school in Newport. She was upset at having to give up her career and her college credits just so my commute wouldn't suck. By moving to Providence, I take the train, she takes the bus, and we both hate our commutes equally, but neither has to actually drive any of it.

2) I'm a Rhode Islander, goddammit. They never heard of stuffies**, chourico, linguica, quahogs, coffee milk, johnny cakes, Dell's, NY System Weiners, saugies, littlenecks, cherrystones, clam cakes, roman pinwheels or gravy samplers up there. They look at you funny when you ask for white vinegar for your french fries and fried clams. They give you tartar sauce with your calamari. Let that sink in - no marinara or bannana peppers, tartar-freakin'-sauce. The pizza sucks - thin, floppy, greasy. The gyros suck - watery sauce, mass-produced pitas and baklava like corn-syrup drenched cornflakes.

No, no. I can never be a Masshole. The food up there is terrible.


*This happened all in one day while I was at work today:

1) National Rental cancelled my Caddy at the last minute, and offered me a Buick†† instead. A brown one. Then my sister flaked out and forgot to book the bridal suite for the wedding night at the local, ultra-posh B&B, and the room was no longer available. Spent my lunch-hour (hours) tracking down a black Lincoln Towncar thru Budget and a nice suite at the Hotel Viking, in the oldest part of the building, where they all but guarantee you'll see a ghost.


2) Bro-in-law-to-be booked a flight at the wrong airport, so best beloved had to haul ass up to Boston to go get him. She got hideously lost on the way back, trying to find the dress shop in in the depths of Fall River, because she hadn't driven there on her own before, and well, it's Fall River (my mom went and picked it up instead.)

Once she found her way back to RI, she clipped a curb and popped a tire. Shiny new Hyundai has tires no-one except Hyundai has in stock (but, because she accidentally bought the "roadside assurance" package, the dealer wound up paying for the tow, the tire and installation, which wound up more than canceling the cost of the package. First. Time. Evar.) Then everyone in her family went out for dinner... except for her. They made her stay at the dealer and wait for the car, because it's somehow her fault her brother is too stupid to breathe. She called me while I was on the train home, crying, so I brought home some grilled salmon & veggies from the local gourmet-mart, a bottle of nice riesling and a big bouquet. All better... except she's going to try to bribe the reception hall into poisoning her side of the wedding hall. Then my mom called her mom and expressed concern about "raccoon eyes" makeup, and now she wants to poison everyone.

** The secret to a great stuffie, as opposed to a merely excellent one, is the cornbread stuffing. The stuffie, like the johnny cake***, is, at its heart, an American Indian dish. (As I've recently learned, American Indians like to be known as American Indians, or just Indians. "Native American" is an anti-patriotic and/or gringo-imperialist plot.) This means cornmeal, and cornmeal means stuffing! A more robust and sweet flavor... some prefer Portugese sweetbread (Portuguese culture in RI cuisine deserves a whole other post), but too my taste, it's really too sticky and mushy when taken out of its natural form. So, let's say you live somewhere that has markets that carry cornmeal stuffing. Buy that. Then buy as many clams as you have guests, because, believe me, they're all gonna want two. Atlantic clams are best, RI quahogs (which does not trip the spellcheck, Apple is awesome) are better than best, as they're larger, meatier and more tender than other varietals. Plus, you can make wampum from the shells when you're done.

Plunk the clams into a big bucket or tub of seawater and a cup or three of cornstarch mixed in. The clams will suck up the cornstarch and spit out the sand and muck in around two hours... grit free clams! Steam and shuck the clams. Mince the clams whole, and measure. Then, if you're a pussy, weigh out an equal measure of linguicia, which is a mild Portuguese sausage. If you like the idea of fathering daughters who need to shave... their FOREARMS... measure out an equal measure of chourico (pron. sha-reese) instead. Mince it all together, but not too fine. Then mix it in with "sofrito portogesh" or the "Portuguese Holy Trinity" - onions, bell peppers and celery, sweated in a pan with a stingy amount of butter, before the clams and sausage are stirred in. The sausage will more than make up for any lack of butter in the sauté process. Toss it all in in the skillet until the clams and sausage are brown and the onions soft. Mix all that in with the cornbread stuffing mix, made up according to the directions on the package, and, if you want to father daughters who have to worry about a five-o-clock shadow at noon, slap in some chilli powder (or red pepper flakes, if you're Italian, or some greenhorn hawt sawce, if you're Port-a-guesh, or pickled banana peppers if you is Ga-reek-ah.)

Take that mix, and ball a great big lump of it on half a quahog shell, smoothing it over, and sprinkle paprika and celery salt on top. Do this until you run out of mix... if you run out of shells first, you're doing it WRONG! Go back and try again, you stingy bastard. Add some toasted-and-ground coriander and celery seed, while you're at it, why doncha?

Bake it at 350º until a toothpick or bamboo probe comes out clean. Serve, on the half shell. Bask in the praises of your guests, and then gloat when you tell them it's =both= an Amerindian =and= a Porta-guee/It-talian-oh/Opa!Greek!Opa! recipe! OK. Screw the guests. Eat them all on your own, with a twelver of Newport Storm to wash away the burn. That's the Soup way.

*** This is rhode-islandese. Tolkien had it right when he called them "Journey Cakes" - cornmeal pancakes that would keep for a goodly while, while you traveled from your summer lodge to your winter lodge, away from the beach (and nor'easters) and into the forrest, a few days walk. Read 1491 - best damn science book of the past 5 years, no doubt.

† There is, in Newport, a huge stone structure. It's been there for as long as records have been kept by colonists in Newport. No one knows what it is or why its there, and everyone calls it the Old Stone Mill. It's almost certainly pre-columbian, and it's equally certain to be european. Since everyone knew about the Vikings in Newfoundland and Greenland, everyone assumed Vikings built it, and they might have, as it resembles Scandinavian churches built around the turn of the millennium before last. New scholarship indicates it's more likely Basque or ancient Irish, who were known to fish on this side of the pond. But, the Viking association stands, so every other business on Aquidneck Island since the 1860's has "Viking" somewhere in the name. The Hotel Viking is the nicest hotel in Newport, and believe me brother, that is saying one hell of a lot. I know who to call, and what names to drop, so I get a last-second room reservation at a "William Shatner Approves" rate - $300 for one night. For antique furniture in a three room suite in a building that had that "new house smell" right around the time Anne Hutchinson was kicked out of Plymouth, and has had money and attention lavished on it ever since.

†† Spell check recognizes quahog, but not Buick. Poor GM, can never catch a break.

tomierna (Admin) – October 16, 2008 10:57PM Reply Quote
Hideously Unnatural
As always, Soop, you rock.

El Jeffe – October 17, 2008 07:03AM Reply Quote
What a journey.
Who manufactured the Quahog? Harley?

SoupIsGood Food – October 19, 2008 09:15PM Reply Quote
Let me tell you about the gravy sampler. Gravy is rhodeislandese for "spaghetti sauce", which is itself a term much in contention. A tomato base is agreed upon for this exercise, much to the shrieking howls of derision from the guardians of fine RI cuisine who's grandsons are all quahoggers... yes, clams and butter broth do go nicely on spaghetti. It ain't gravy, tho.

Marinara is gravy, as is bolognese and napoletano and vodka sauce, which is made from brandy or grappa rather than vodka. Which is the best? And, once determined, more importantly, whose is the best? The tool for determination is not pasta, which everyone agrees is best served with clams and mussels in a butter broth, but the Gravy Sampler.

It's like a tomato sauce test kit. You get: A meaty-but-small piece of tenderloin, a sweet italian sausage, and a boneless pork chop, extra thick. Drop 'em inna da gravy. Simmer a few hours until they really soak up the essence of the gravy. Then serve over noodles - spaghetti, linguini, egg noodles, gnocchi, cous-cous, rice noodles (what? Vietnamese and Lebanese kids don't got granmas with tomato vines, too?) or even risotto.

The best cooks all take into account the beef-and-veal-and-pork essences from the simmering meat, so when you get your plateful, the meat tastes like the sauce and the sauce tastes like the meat, and your heart seizes from the twin assault of cholesterol and carbs. You die happy, so no wonder the Vikings were coming here.

What if it's a tie? What if Gummy's gravy is just as good as Memé's? What if Pop-Pop's crop of tah-may-tahs is just as good as Paw-paws this year?

You break out the big guns. The Roman Pinwheel.

Get the biggest piece of flank steak you can find. Beat the everloving shit out of it with a tenderizer, one of the heavy steel ones with a flat whacking edge, until it's half the thickness it was. Now, you could go conservative, and rub on some kosher salt and black pepper and call it a day. I like to marinade in a mix of salt, pepper, balsamic and bar-b-queue sauce in the fridge for a few hours. Just dump all of it in a big zliplock bag, and agitate-and-flip the bag once every half hour.

Get some sweet* italian sausage, next, the type that comes in a tub from the meat counter, not the ones in a casing. Slather it thick atop the steak. Then comes the baby spinach, and strew the tender young leaves generously, very generously, atop the sausage. Two layers thick, at least.

Now, we come to an area of contention. To play it safe, sliced buffalo mozzarella goes here. If you want to get into an argument (and hey! You're a Rhode Islander! Of course you do!) you will lay down a layer of see-thru-thin-sliced tomatoes with the mozza, or a layer of pesto, or instead of the buffa mozza, a layer of feta with hummus or babaghanoush... or tomato, walnuts and brie, if you're a frenchie from Woonsocket. Or cream cheese and fish-sauce if you're Vietnamese.

Roll it all up into a spiral, and tie off like any roulade, but at 2" intervals. Let it all set up in the fridge at least three hours, a last minute marinade is acceptable but not essential. Slice it exactly between the strings, and lay the slices out flat. Take one slice... this is a Roman Pinwheel.

Drop 'em inna da gravy. Simmer a few. Drink a few. Serve on toppa da noodles. This separates the good from the great. Argue over who won. N'joy!

SoupJustGot Married

*Sweet sausage has no sugar. Instead, it has no hot pepper flakes or paprika. It should be called "savory Italian sausage", but, hell, we're talking about a cuisine where tomato sauce is called gravy. Savory sausage is better known as the stuff they use down there where cousins get married, and that we get with brunch buffets at the Atlantic Beach Club when they run out of bacon and we're too lazy to wait for them to bring more.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 10/19/2008 09:24PM by SoupIsGood Food.

tomierna (Admin) – October 19, 2008 11:46PM Reply Quote
Hideously Unnatural
Soup, when are we going to meet up and get some food and beer? For $diety's sake, we NEED TO.

SoupIsGood Food – October 20, 2008 12:17AM Reply Quote
Starting this spring, we'll see. We have a new three bedroom apartment on the East Side, one of those bedrooms will be turned into a guest room. Once the Ol' Battle Axe (notice how yesterday she was Best Beloved?) has the guest room set up to her satisfaction, visits from Out of Town will thence commence. One weekend out of every three is a long weekend at my new gig, so picking folks up from the airport/Amtrack depot on Friday is do-able.

From thence to the Trinity Brew Pub, which deserves a post of its own some day...

Madaracs – October 24, 2008 09:07AM Reply Quote
Ooh! Scary! Scary! Don't we look mean? You can't see me! But I can see you!
I will come to the party too. I self invite.

Cloudscout – November 10, 2008 08:31PM Reply Quote
Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!
I made burgers tonight... and I put bacon-salt in the ground beef.

It's perfect. A bacon burger without having to deal with strips of bacon that refuse to sit properly atop the patty and clumsily shift out of the way when you take a bite.

SoupIsGood Food – November 10, 2008 09:52PM Reply Quote
A damn fine notion! We have a Kitchen-Aide mixer, and went and got the meat grinder attachment. Next time the occasion presents itself, I'll experiment further on your theme, and bacon goes in with the chuck for fresh patties. We'll see how that works out. Or, maybe some panchetta and a half-drop of liquid smoke, so it's not so salty.

stan adams – November 10, 2008 11:16PM Reply Quote
did i not post this before? http://www.flickr.com/photos/sazerac/sets/72157600735136176/

For "meat diversity" I like to top 'em with either strips of hanger steak or gyros...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/10/2008 11:21PM by stan adams.

Cloudscout – November 24, 2008 06:18PM Reply Quote
Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!
I just received my order of Miracle Fruit Tablets.

Weird. Weird, weird, weird.

My first test was to fill a shot-glass with straight lemon-juice. It was, as I had read, like the sweetest lemon-drop candy I've ever tasted. Not even a hint of sourness.

The next test was a bottle of Sam Adam's Octoberfest. I wanted to try some kind of stout but didn't have any in the house (a crime in itself). The Octoberfest tastes like caramel. Again, very weird experience.

I need to go to the grocery store and pick up a few items now... cranberries, rhubarb, lemons, limes, etc.

El Jeffe – November 24, 2008 10:01PM Reply Quote
What a journey.
A girl at work sent out info on those.

rino – November 24, 2008 10:06PM Reply Quote
In America, the only respectable form of socialism is socialism for the rich.
OK the cornbread for dressing is made. Hard boiled some eggs too ... and thus it begins!

I tried a Geary's London Porter this past weekend -- very nice beer!

Cloudscout – November 25, 2008 12:49AM Reply Quote
Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!
I'm trying it again... this time I had a delicious glass of sweet lemonade made with nothing but water and lemon juice.

Salsa ends up with an interesting sweet flavor to it, too.

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