Thursday, September 26, 2013

Leftover Pasta Pizza

Well, not really pizza. But it is an easy to prepare breakfast or lunch that get's rid of your leftover pasta from the night before. This works well with almost any pasta dish but homemade pasta puttanesca is my favorite. I have also made it with leftover linguini in a white clam sauce though.

First step, and not necessary, you caramelize some onions. This is the most time consuming part because it takes a good hour over low heat to really get nice caramelized onions.

Quite Delicious When Finally Done

Then you grate up a bunch of Parmesan cheese. I find a small food processor works well for this, unless you really want to give yourself a workout. And don't be stingy with the cheese.

Dan's Time Saving Tip

Now for the fun part, mix the leftover pasta (homemade pasta puttanesca in this case) with a couple of eggs and about a cup of the grated cheese in a bowl and then plop it into a frying pan (I prefer cast iron) with about a tablespoon of olive oil to coat the bottom.

Plopped Pasta

Now you just turn on the heat to a low medium and then leave it until bubbles start to form on top and most of the cheese is melted. Then you top it with about another quarter of a cup of grated Parmesan cheese and put it under the broiler for about ten minutes or until the cheese starts to brown.

Should Look Like This When Done

Next you top it with the caramelized onions.

Ready To Eat

Well, not quite. I cover the pan with foil and let it rest for a good ten minutes. Otherwise you end up with a mouthful of hot melted cheese. Then I like to slice it like a pizza and have it with a nice glass of Chianti.

A Great Little Brunch

This is good hot or even cold if you have leftovers of the leftovers. The Mysterious Chinese Woman always makes extra pasta just so she can have this the next day. Try it, you will like it.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Lost In Brooklyn

Wow, I actually got somewhat lost today, and in my neighborhood. I hope this isn't the early onset of Alzheimer's. I was coming back from my eye doctor in Manhattan and decided to take the N train back to Brooklyn instead of the usual local 6 to the Brooklyn Bridge and then transferring to either the 4 or 5 to Brooklyn. Anyway, the N skipped the stop where I usually get off (don't ask, it is the New York subway system). I got off at Atlantic Avenue/Barclays Center, another stop I am familiar with. But I exited somewhere, well, different. They have redone the station so there are new exits. With all of the new buildings and the mirrored front of the Barclays Center I got confused and started to walk the wrong way for a couple of blocks. Then, when I recovered my bearings, to my horror I discovered that Hank's Saloon now opens at 11:00 AM instead of 8:00 AM so I couldn't stop in for an Old Crow and water to steady my nerves that were unsteadied after that horrific disorientating experience. Luckily I could get a beer in a paper bag (hah, they ruled against stop and search, although I don't really fit the profile anyway) at a deli just down the block. I am better now.

For those of you not familiar with New York laws, you can't buy beer in a liquor store. Or anything other than liquor and wine. for that matter. No mix, no olives, no nothing. All beer is sold either in delis or bodegas (small convenience stores), grocery stores, supermarkets, beer distributors and, interestingly, drugstores. But even my local drugstore has a good selection of beers.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fletcher's In Brooklyn

A buddy of mine, John, has been trying to drag me to his American Legion for the longest time. It is a bit out of my wandering range, a couple of miles away, but it was nice out yesterday so The Mysterious Chinese Woman and I decided to walk there. Well, we got there but no John. Oh well, for $1 gin and tonics and 50 cent glasses of beer I could afford to wait for awhile. But after a bit we decided to head down the street to pop into a place we passed on the way.


As you can tell, I am having a bit of a problem with pictures. The Mysterious Chinese Woman took these with her iPhone and I am not sure how to go about formatting them to get rid of that big white margin. Oh well, I will use my camera from now on.

 Anyway, let me tell you that this little place is a real gem. I take pride in my own smoking and barbecuing, and I am not going to suggest that this place had better ribs than mine, but they did have dynamite ribs. Dry rub with sauce on the side, just the way they should be served. And Brooklyn Brewery's Sorachi Ace on tap. Sorachi Ace is named for the lemony smelling hops that were created by the Japanese in 1988 when they crossed the British “Brewer’s Gold” and the Czech “Saaz” hops. It is one of my favorite beers and is a relatively strong 7.6% ABV (Alcohol By Volume).

Aces Will Get You High
So I settled in and had myself some ribs and beer. Seemed like the thing to do.

What Could Be Better?
The people here were quite friendly, including the guy I was sitting next to. We discussed smoking and barbecuing and Matt, the Pitmaster and Executive Chef joined in. It turned out that he had spent time in Minneapolis and we liked some of the same music (Tom Waits, The Replacements, Hold Steady). Stuffed pork shoulders were coming out of the smoker and he generously provided us with tastes. Quite delicious.

Lookin' And Tastin' Great
They did there own smoking on the premises and they had some pretty significant smokers.

A Bit Big For My Apartment

I can give a whole-hearted recommendation for this place. It is located at 433 Third Avenue in Brooklyn, between 7th and 8th Street. A bit out of the way but you can easily walk from two nearby subway stops and it is on a bus line. Well worth the trip. Oh, I did pop into Hank's Saloon for a quick Old Crow and water for old times sake. I hear that it only has about another couple of months left before the building is torn down and replaced with Who knows what? The place really should be land-marked.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Back At It

Don't get excited, no more thousand bar treks or anything like that. But I have been going to some interesting places and I am beginning to miss blogging a bit after almost a year layoff. So if I do or see something interesting I will make it a point to blog about it. I have been far too lazy for far too long.

I did get potted at Harry Potter's favorite pub.

Damn That Butterbeer

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Just thought I would pop up a quick post to let everyone know that the Mysterious Chinese Woman and I escaped the wrath of Hurricane Sandy completely unscathed. We are in a part of Downtown Brooklyn that is high enough about sea-level that we wouldn't have to evacuate even if there was a category 5 hurricane. At least according to the evacuation map . And we didn't seem to get much wind damage either. I walked around the neighborhood yesterday and aside from a few fallen branches didn't see any damage.

Of course my main concern was:

Pete's Waterfront Ale House
Pete's Post Sandy

It looked a bit forlorn, but then it was early and not open yet. I was happy to see that Sam didn't let the storm curtail his entrepreneurial instincts.

What Else Would You Expect
 Pete's Hurricane Rum Punch

I did pop in there last night and the place was packed. They were really short staffed and everyone was working their tail off. Mary, the bartender, was into her second shift and even Sam was serving drinks and clearing tables. Hats off to the hard-working crew.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Mash Up

Okay, I know, I am way behind on posting about Alaska and Canada. But the Mysterious Chinese Woman and I just got back from a barbecue eating expedition in Memphis so I will kind of shuffle between the two. The Memphis trip was kind of a spur of the moment thing. I got the hankering to go after watching a Food Network show that featured Memphis barbecue. We got to Memphis on a Tuesday afternoon and left on the following Monday morning. In the five and a half days we were there we hit eight barbecue places and had ribs in six of them. I shall be reporting on each of them.

But first, before we left we had a little barbecue at my sister-in-law's place. Mostly the same stuff except for the beef tongue.

Ready For Smokin'

I didn't do much to it, just trimmed off some of the fat and then lightly salted and peppered it.

Had To Have Some Chickens, A Duck And Lamb Too

And Everything Assembled

Did a few racks of ribs too. Nobody starved. The tongue was a bit bland, will do more to spice them up the next time. The ribs came out perfectly and I did a throwback rub in honor of my other sister-in-law's birthday. I made the original rub for one of her birthdays many years ago and it is one of the few recipes I have ever written down. Quite flavorful and packs a nice kick.

We flew out of LaGuardia on Delta and I must say that I was really impressed by the new Delta terminal. Not your typical waiting area.

Like The Future


Those iPads are provided free as well as the internet connection. You can also use them to order food and drinks. Pretty cool, if you ask me.

Even The Restaurant Had Them

Well, One Of Them

And they had kind of a futuristic looking bar island where you could grab a quick one.

Conveniently Located

It is a pretty short flight to Memphis and once we checked into the hotel, right around the corner from Beale Street, we wasted no time in hitting our first barbecue joint.

Rum Boogie Cafe

It looked promising enough, a few people at the bar and a hundred or more guitars signed by their famous and not-so-famous owners. Lot's of old posters hanging on the walls.

Looks Good To Me

Well, looks can be deceiving.

Pulled Pork Sandwich

I wouldn't say it was bad, but it was bland. And the coleslaw, served on the side, was bland as well. I like to put the coleslaw on the pulled pork, but it didn't help in this case. No smoke flavor either so I suspect they just cooked the pork in the oven. The French fries were okay, though.

Mystery Gumbo

The Mysterious Chinese Woman ordered some what turned out to be mysterious gumbo. Mysterious because it seemed to lack most of the ingredients that were listed on the menu. Thing like the sausage, shrimp, chicken and alligator. About the only chunks that were big enough to identify were chunks of celery. The gumbo was flavorful, I will have to give it that. But if something says it has shrimp in it you would expect to see at least one shrimp. Same with the rest of the stuff. Oh well, I guess this is what you get for just stopping into the first place you see. The Ghost River beer, a local product, was quite good.

Okay, next post it is back to Alaska.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Pig Island

Okay, another break from my Alaska posts. Yesterday the Mysterious Chinese woman and I headed out to Governor's Island which had been renamed Pig Island for the day for a beer and barbecue festival. One of the great things about where I live is that we were able to just walk a short distance to catch the free ferry. The first ferry departed at 11:00 AM and then they run about every twenty minutes or so. We got there about 10:30 AM and the lines were already starting to form. And then people just kept coming.

Waiting For The Ferry


And Here Is The Ferry

Amazingly, there was room for everyone. But it was pretty packed.

Top Deck

The bottom deck was packed too with everyone who brought their bicycles and strollers for the little kids. But we got our seats and just chilled out for the short ride.

Just Chillin'


I don't know why, but I didn't get any pictures of the beer tents. Only Six Points beer was being served but they had several types and there was no problem getting as much as you wanted. Although the event was sold out I think they reduced the number of tickets this year because it wasn't as crowded as last year and the lines weren't nearly as long. Much more pleasant. But that isn't to say that there weren't a lot of people.

Having A Wonderful Time

Last year there were several smaller bands playing around the festival. This year they just had one band but it  had more of a stage and was at one end where people could gather and not get in the way of the food vendors and the lines.

The Band

Joe Doe was my first food stop, probably because it was right next to one of the beer tents. They, like most of the vendors, were here last year.

Joe Doe's Big Sandwich

And Joe Doe's Sandwich Maker

They also had some pate and a big jar of pickled stuff that included sausage, okra (too tough) corn, radishes and who knows what else.

Mysterious Stuff

One of the things they had this year that was new was a pig butchering demonstration put on by Wusthof Knives. And it was quite interesting.

How You Butcher A Pig


And, of course, a few of the many vendors that participated.




Now this is a neat little smoker that would be fun to have. Perfect for pedaling to a park for a picnic.

The Ultimate Portable Smoker

I was happy to see that my hometown of Minneapolis was represented as well.

Made Me Kind Of Homesick


And my friend Sam and his Fuhggeddaboutit barbecue team representing Pete's Waterfront Ale House was there.

You Can't Fuhggeddaboutit

His smoker isn't as portable as the little one, but it does the job.

The Big Smoker

And Smilin' Sam Himself

I had the pulled pork, delicious as usual, and his really delicious homemade headcheese. Sam was nice enough to cut off a big hunk for me to take home. And it didn't take me long to dig into it once I got back to my place.

There Is Always Room For Headcheese

Speaking of Pete's Waterfront Ale House, don't forget that September 30th is the Atlantic Antic, far and away the best street fair in New York, in my humble opinion. He will have that smoker out in front of his place and be serving up more pulled pork sandwiches. The line is always long and hopefully the Black Coffee Blues band will be playing as well.

And that was my day on Pig Island.

Here's Looking At You

More on Alaska next time, I promise.