Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Smoked Egg Salad Sandwich & Budvar Czech Pilsner

I live in a house divided by eggs.  There's those who love them (Sarah) and those who definitely do not (that's me).  Don't get me wrong.  Eggs as an ingredient are brilliant.  They make soufflés rise and give breakfast real meaning.  A poached egg over short rib hash?  Absolutely!  Soft boiled, halved and floating in a Tonkatsu ramen broth?  Of course!  A Scotch Egg?  No question there and also the topic of a future post.  But the idea of a plain hard boiled egg (or worse - *gag - a deviled egg!) is something I've never been able to stomach.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Biscuits and Hot Link Gravy & Appreciation Pils

I miss diner food.  There I've said it.  It's not at all the thing I anticipated missing - I'd prefer my homesickness to be a bit more highbrow - but I do.  I miss grease, hash browns, the miracle that is corned beef, cheap ketchup and absurd breakfast skillets with seven different kinds of meat.

I also miss grease.

And grease.

(Although, this just in: Danes sometimes smear pork lard on their toast which is as good as grease and, obviously, one thousand percent genius).

American diners boast a special kind of cuisine. Hovering over the sweet spot of junk food and home cooking, good diner food can both fill you up and make you hate yourself for hours after.  It also cures hangovers.  And diets.  Back in our roaring twenties, Sarah and I enjoyed a lot of diner meals, mostly at our favorite spot on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago.  It had sticky pleather booths, burned coffee and a mustachioed owner who affably slapped your backs on your way in and out.  Sadly, it's closed now but memories of our indulgent brunches/late night, post pub eating extravaganzas, still linger.  Sarah usually got a skillet, always with ham, never with green peppers and I always, ALWAYS got the biscuits and gravy.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Texas Smørrebrød & Warpigs Lazurite IPA

And ... I'm back!  Back and slightly bug-eyed over the fact that it's been six months since the last post.  Yep, six months.  Man, nothing derails one's blogging momentum like an international move.  Oh, and opening a new restaurant.  That takes some time also.

*Insert sheepish shrug here.

It's been worth it, though.  Sarah and I are happily settled in our new home, a somewhat sparsely furnished but very cozy three room flat in Copenhagen's Vesterbro neighborhood and I'm proud to say that Warpigs - that's the new restaurant -  is off to a great start!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Chili Chocolate Tart With Spiced Cashews & Darkness

I've been absent the last few weeks.  I have a good excuse - Sarah and I packed up our entire loft,
stuffed it into one tiny storage unit and then wrestled 6 large suitcases across the country on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (aka the most hellacious travel day of the year).  It was kind of a bear with one semi embarrassing freakout involving me and a loose luggage cart wheel but we did it and landed happily in California with most of our sanity intact.  The downside of course, is that between madly cramming our lives into boxes and bidding adieu to our city, blogging kinda took the backseat.  

Not to worry, though ... We're back!  And we're back with dessert.  And chiles! And chocolate!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Texan Eggs Cocotte & All Day IPA

If you read last week's post you might remember that I cooked up a mighty batch of chili.  Rich, smokey, bean-less Texas chili, laden with a whole mess of peppers and spiked with chorizo and bacon.  We had our friend Paul over and he and I proceeded to eat like we'd never seen food before.  Still, even post voracity, there was still a ton of chili left over.  Like half the pot.  I sent Paul home with a to-go bag that he, quite brilliantly, had the good sense to cook with eggs the next morning.  It inspired me - the thought of chili for breakfast - and I set to making my own chili eggs. 

My version is something in between shakshouka (a Middle Eastern specialty of eggs cooked in spicy tomato sauce), ouefs en cocotte á la créme (French for eggs baked in cream and also French for amazing) and Chilaquiles (the Mexican classic which, if you've never had before, you absolutely should - here's a great and traditional recipe).  So this dish is a little bit of a culture cluster but it's also a really solid breakfast. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Texas "Red" & Indian Brown Ale

As some of you may have heard, Sarah and I are on the cusp of a pretty big change.  If you read the Smoked Beef Brisket Benedict post you might recall that I had some important guests visiting from the far off land of Denmark about a month ago.  In actuality, those guests were the fine folks from Mikkeller (yes, that Mikkeller!) who were in town on business and, among other things, interviewing me for the barbecue chef position at Warpigs, the soon-to-be legendary collaboration brewery they are launching with the equally fine folks at 3 Floyds.  Well friends, I am very pleased to announce that I was offered and have accepted that barbecue chef position which means that Sarah and I are soon moving to Denmark!  That's right, in the very near future, The Beer and Food Project will set up post in the exciting city of Copenhagen where I will help to lead the introduction of American style barbecue to the Danish people.  Pretty damn exciting!

So aside from barbecue - which has pretty much occupied most of my culinary brain for the last month - for nostalgic reasons, I've also been spending some goodbye time with the foods I find to be distinctly "Chicago." Chili is definitely one of them.  Technically it didn't originate in Chicago (like barbecue, it's mostly associated with Texas) but Chicagoans LOVE their chili.  It's the food of Sunday football games and family get togethers and most every Chicago person I know has their own "best" version.   I'm no different and like my chili making counterparts, I'll cockily assert that mine rivals most others.  The difference between them and me, perhaps, is that I'm actually willing to share it here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Smoked Tonkotsu Ramen with Seared Pork Belly & Arctic Panzer Wolf

Alongside a good portion of the eating public, I've recently developed an infatuation with ramen.  It's not very original - everyone is obsessed with it right now - but it's something I'm taking seriously. Maybe it's because High Five Ramen (arguably the city's bet) opened up just blocks from my house.  Maybe because on my last trip to NYC I discovered the glory that is Totto Ramen, a tiny basement restaurant with 12 seats that Sarah and I waited an hour and a half - in the rain, sans umbrellas - to get in to.  Or Maybe it's because the wisdom of Japan rings true … That ramen, with it's warm, silken broth and curly noodles is the ultimate comfort food.   Whatever the reason, with the onset of Fall, it's become our go-to Sunday wind down treat and this week I decided to make my own.