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Thursday, July 2, 2020

'Ole Fashioned Bologna Sammich Omelette


For some reason, bologna seems to be a controversial food.  I happen to like it, and so do many of the people here and around the country, so this recipe is for you.  For those who aren't fans, no worries, you can plug in another protein, but this one is awesome, just the way it is.  Bologna comes in many different mediums like pork and chicken, beef, chicken, beef and pork, beef, chicken and turkey etc...and some are better, much better than others.  With some on hand ingredients and a little chopping, you can stave off hunger and enjoy a deconstructed Bologna sandwich, with all the components of a country store version, all in one bite.  

Recipe:
3 large eggs, beaten with a splash of milk or water
3 oz. red ring Bologna,  cut into small chunks, from the roll
Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 oz. Hoop cheese, small dice
1/4 c. diced tomato
1 green onion, trimmed and sliced, white and green parts
Olive oil for drizzling
1 pat of butter
SPST
Over medium high heat, in a medium pan, sauté the bologna chunks in a pan drizzled with olive oil and the 1/2 pat of butter.
Sauté until showing signs of browning on the sides and add green onion.
Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes and remove from pan.
Wipe pan clean and drizzle again with olive oil and add remaining butter.
Pour beaten eggs into pan, and swirl around to coat bottom.
Using a rubber spatula, push the curds inward in the pan, so all the liquid egg comes in contact with the bottom of the pan. 
Shake pan back and forth, often.
Reduce heat to medium, and continue with spatula, going around outer edges as well.
Sprinkle Hoop Cheese dice on one side.
Sprinkle entire omelette with cheese.
Add filling to one side of omelette.
Spread tomatoes atop filling.
SPST (Salt and Pepper to Suit Taste)
Angle the pan and flip the light side onto the other side.
Garnish with more cheese if desired.
Serve Immediately.
Makes 1 hearty omelette or 2  portions for sharing.







I served this omelette with pancakes with fresh blueberries and pure Maple Syrup.


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Atlantic City Sliders, North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: A Review







Aside from fun in the sun, a good tan, some much needed relaxation and copious amounts of libations, a trip to the beach  is its own reward.  We normally vacation in North Myrtle Beach every year, sans this year for me and my bestie. Nothing could make that any better, unless you're talking about dropping by Atlantic City Sliders and copping a flight of mini burgers, fries and an ice cold beverage.

 Atlantic City Sliders has a simple and comprehensive menu containing something for all tastes.  My Bestie and I went with a varied selection of sliders, including cheeseburger, bacon cheeseburger, steak and cheese, hamburger and barbeque, plus chicken sliders and cheese balls to go.  Each and every slider was as good as the next , fresh, hot and juicy, with pillowy, soft bread and complimentary sides of pickles, house made slaw and an atmosphere that will call you back for another round.  
The décor is an exciting and nostalgic collection of pop culture favorites, 50's diner setting, complete with neon, checkerboard and license plates, photos, records, you name it. It is situated directly beside the liquor store by the Food Lion, so it's right on track with two very important stops.  The staff was amiable and diverse, immediately creating an I've been here before vibe!  The owner was on site and right there, in on the grill action.  He was  pleasant and interesting, he even came out into the dining room and chatted with my bestie and me for a bit. He was intrigued by our obvious chemistry (or hysterical laughter ) and  he was amazed at how well we interacted.  He wondered how we managed to still to smile, as some of the couples he's seen, are together but distant, stone faces and grumps.  Part of it is that we are outgoing and bubbly, a dynamic duo, with years and years of experience, when it comes to friendship. We met in college with no pretense or expectations, then blossomed into soul mates.  The rest is living history, love and understanding.  Our dads actually share the same name and we are from a similar demographic.  Things just worked out and we are incredibly supportive of one another.  He is my biggest literary and culinary fan and I am his friend to the end, confidant and homie.

The prices are reasonable and encourage extra ordering. 
 The fries were hot and crispy, fluffy and flaky on the inside. 
 I was delighted that the barbeque was made on site as well. I am a bit skeptical usually, because all barbeque sandwiches are not created equal, but these sliders proved their worth, with the right amount of zing and zang, subtle smoked porkiness, especially accompanied by a dab of the house made slaw. The steak and cheese sliders provided an ample ratio of meat/peppers and onions/cheese, melty and seasoned.
  The classic cheeseburger held its own with properly cooked beef, not over cooked and cardboardy, like some dine and dash burger joints.

 The breaded chicken sliders were simple and delicious, nice and crispy on the outside, supple in the middle, not limp and sogged out in places. 

The cheeseballs were good too.  They had a crunchy outer coating and a molten center.
 We tried to order as many items as possible, amassing a critique for our fellow vacationers and my readers alike.  Atlantic City Sliders was new to us, but it felt like home, and we wondered how we had made it through so many vacations without it, up until then.  We can't wait to go back, for the atmosphere, the food and the owner, he has top notch passion, and it shows in the sliders!  


Atlantic City Sliders
1000 Hwy 17 N
 North Myrtle Beach, SC, 29582  

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

See and Slay: Italian Style Beef Short Ribs w/ Parmesan Cheddar Mash



The cool weather days at the cabin made for a deliciously decadent comfort food recipe.  I found some short ribs at the local grocer for a virtual steal and grabbed them up, just in case the opportunity arose for some soulful and hearty mealtime.  If the chance would not have presented itself, they simply would have been frozen and transported back home to our freezer there.  The temperatures at the lake plummeted around Tuesday, bringing cold, overcast and pain filled days, as my RA would not be still and all my rebuilt parts reminded me that it was only around 50*F out, even cooler in the wake of dawn.  So much so, that my hands felt like ice and were prickly when I came inside from having coffee on the deck.  Not really what I had mind for summer vacation initially, but every day is a good on vacation, right? I had some fresh herbs on hand and some fire roasted tomatoes and wine, plus the usual aromatics like onion and garlic, so I went forth and created this recipe, full of warm flavors and depth, comforting and soothing to my stomach and bones.  
The twins came over the next day, and I was able to share with them also, my brother in law too.  This made an awesome impromptu elevated lunch and I felt like the 'Belle of the Ball', with no leg work other than a masterful reheat and thoughtful service.  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my older sisters and I did.  My tween and teen were somewhat passé on the whole deal, but they did try it and liked it well enough.  This is 'grown folks food' I later went on to say, you guys wouldn't understand' and with a jovial laugh, I then proceeded to plan a more teen and tween friendly dish to accommodate the 'youngins', Bronwyn's Omurice.  

Recipe:

3 lbs. beef short ribs, bone in
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 green onions, trimmed and sliced, green and white parts
3 cloves garlic, smashed 
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 c. beef stock
1 cup full bodied red wine, I used a 2016 Malbec
1 15 oz. can diced fire roasted tomatoes with juices
1/4 c. fresh parsley, rough chopped plus more for garnish
2 tbs. butter, unsalted
1 tsp. Italian seasoning mixed with 2 tbs. ap flour
Olive oil for drizzling
AP flour
SPST (Salt and Pepper to Suit Taste)

In a heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat, drizzled with olive oil, a pat of the butter and the smashed garlic.
 Brown short ribs that have been SPST.
Brown in batches, as not to crowd pan, add the second pat of butter for additional batches.
After final batches browned, toss in fresh herbs and onions.
Cook to for several minutes until fragrant.
Transfer to a medium sized heavy bottomed saucepan and add stock and wine.
Bring up to a boil, for about 3 minutes to burn off alcohol, then reduce heat to medium and add tomatoes .
Simmer , covered for about 4 to 5 hours or until ribs are tender and ready to fall off bone and liquid is reduced.
Make a slurry with 2 tbsp. flour and 1 tsp. Italian seasoning and remove pot from heat and stir in.
Put back onto heat and simmer for an additional 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Adjust seasonings as necessary.  
Makes 6 to 8 servings.


Parmesan Cheddar Mash
3 lbs. russet potatoes, cooked
1/4 c. 2 % milk
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c. shredded Sharp Cheddar
2 tbs. butter, unsalted
Olive oil for drizzling
SPST

Mash hot potatoes in a medium bowl, add milk, butter and cheeses.  Blend into rusticly smooth mash . Drizzle with olive oil and scallop the top for an interesting presentation.

Makes about 8 servings.
































Monday, June 29, 2020

Grillin', Chillin' and Avoiding Electrocution



If you enjoy having a nice flame kissed protein on the grill, now is the time.  Going out is a real treat if it's in your budget or can be done safely, but you can save time and money, just doing it at home or on a family outing.  The cabin where we stayed offers a fabulous grilling area that includes a picnic table, grill and a post for hanging and cleaning fish or lanterns, the choice would be yours.  With the price of beef, pork and chicken beginning to skyrocket in some places, it may be a good idea to grab a cut of steak or two now, as opposed to later, when the prices may be insufferable.  I was able to get these steaks at a great price on this particular day, under $15, for 5!!!  I chose thinly cut Ribeyes and New York Strips, all quickly marinated in a combination of Dale's, fresh garlic and olive oil.  I like to add a splash of seasoned rice vinegar for a burst of acid and tang.  Also for its tenderizing properties.  The zucchini were marinated in an item new to me, Mushroom Flavored Soy Sauce, I found at the local grocer on location and also a bit of the rice vinegar and fresh lemon juice.  
I fought the rain in an effort to get my grill on, while on our trip.  There was a small break in the maelstrom of torrential downpours of about an hour.  By the time I infused the steaks with enough smokiness from the hickory chips and had them browned on both sides, they had cooked through because of their thin cuts.  Like many times before during that week, I had to run for cover, of course not before snapping a couple of photos to share. The rain wasn't so much of an issue, as was the rumbling and tumbling of the thunder, accompanied by lightning, that reverberated through the sky and objects around me.  'High stakes grilling, with a lot at steak' lol pun intended without a doubt, but I had to get at least one grilled dinner out of 7 nights. Afterwards, I was free to chill and finish dinner with leisurely sides I had on hand.  I do not recommend the aforementioned, even remotely playing around with weather notices, thunder and lightning, only the grilling portion! 














Sunday, June 28, 2020

Cotton Candy Clouds and A Strawberry Jam



For this post I had to feature a photo I took  of some bodaciously buxom clouds that remind me of many things, one of which is cotton candy.  They seem light and fluffy, spun on a long, paper cone, full of sugary sweetness, pink and blue that screams childhood fancies.  They seem to smell like bubble gum and blue raspberry, staining your tongues and fingers, sticky, not unlike toffee and fun to share with friends.  I invoked these happy thoughts because they soften the blow of this strawberry 'jam' that I have found myself in at present. 
 I tried my hand at making this popular and spectacularly country feeling condiment, as they are in season and abundant.  I wanted to add this to our pantry for now and down the road, for a burst of fruit goodness, anytime during the rest of the year.  As simple as it should sound and seem, I had a couple of oversights which turned my blue skies grey.  The first mistake I made was add water, way too much.  Additionally, I started the berries in my canning pot instead of my usual heavy bottomed, sturdy pots that promote even heating and cooking.  I knew better, but continued anyway, too excited I guess and a bit distracted, fatal flaws when sailing new culinary waters.  I could have done my homework, as I normally do, but this time was different.  I should have at least returned to some of my past references for guidance, alas that I did not do also. 
 The beautiful bright, scarlet berries' color leeched away and the darn things started to adhere to the bottom of the thin, poorly insulated pot, and then scorch, I removed them from the pot, washed and scoured said vessel and repeated the same fiasco, the strawberry flavored, blackberry looking slurry stuck and scorched a bit further. The fact that I was doing chores at the time likely facilitated this initial scorching, but I thought at least one pair of the nostrils in the house would detect this scenario the first time.  My ego is a little bruised, yet not so much that I would even consider not retrying.   I am human, a Culinarian, a Kitchen Warrior and in order to appreciate a recipe gone well, one must also appreciate one that goes horribly awry.  I have gained hands on experience, which is good to have.  I am going to finish what I so hastily started and see if there is any salvage possible, therein lies the lesson and hopefully not be in this 'Strawberry Jam' again! And to think, I successfully made Mulberry Jam for the first time, just 3 weeks ago. SMDH. 





















Friday, June 26, 2020

Low Country Boil: Less Trouble, Less Toil


A low country boil makes for a low maintenance, filling and inexpensive way to entertain your family or guests and make a memorable experience out of an ordinary day.  With some simple layering and timing, crusty bread for dipping and a green salad, the table can be set for a hands on, fun filled social occasion not soon forgotten.  
When the meal is done, you can either serve in large trays or drain and pour contents out onto a picnic or large table onto some newspaper, with the juice as a dipping sauce!  This was a dinner prepared while on vacation at Occoneechee State Park to accompany some gorgeous Catch of the Day Catfish, the crew caught while fishing at Buggs Island Lake.  I also found some frogs' legs at the local supermarket for a splurge-fest of goodies, as I hadn't had them in about one year. 
 
Dinner was amazing, especially with good wine, great food and the best family, the twins and my brother in law, who came down also, we got together several times during the week.  Everyone had a role to play as we prepared the meal, making it a breeze.  We all cleaned the fish together, scaling, fileting and butterflying , depending on their sizes. Every hand wheeled a knife, pliers or gadget, making light work of  a potentially time consuming endeavor, considering we had about 30.  Together we're better, indeed.  Our haul included both catfish and crappie.  Some of the fish were soaked and packed in Ziplocs, then frozen to make the trip home and be enjoyed at a later date, while some was fried up nice and golden for dinner as pictured below.  A good salty, briny soak is essential for fresh fish to eliminate any 'fresh out of water' taste and also rid the fillets of a bit of the excess water it holds, which can prevent the crust from adhering the protein while frying. 
The whole pageantry of it all was soothing. The dance of the fishing and preparing and sharing, the communion and the preserving, for moments like this, when we return home to the rest of the family.  Memorable. One day at a time and being thankful for fellowship another day, Priceless. 
Recipe":
3 lb. potatoes, I used Russet, cut into manageable even sized pieces
2 lb. Polska Kielbasa or favorite smoked sausage, cut into 2 inch pieces
3 lb. 31-40 count shrimp, raw
4 ears of corn, cut into quarters
1 stick butter
Seafood Seasoning
Fresh Lemon Slices and Lemon Wedges for serving
Fresh Parsley for Garnish, optional
Olive oil for drizzling
SPST (Salt and Pepper to Suit Taste)

In a large pot, bring about 1 1/2 quarts of seafood and lemon seasoned water.
Once water comes to a boil over medium high heat. add potatoes. 
Drizzle with olive oil.
Cover with lid.
Reduce heat to Medium, so that the water is a simmering boil.
After about 15 minutes, add Kielbasa pieces.
After another 5 minutes add corn nubbins.
After another 3 minutes, add shrimp. Sprinkle, Drizzle and SPST.
Continue to cook until all shrimp are pink and translucent.
Place pats of butter across top of contents and cover to melt.
Sprinkle with Seafood Seasoning as desired.
Serve with lemon wedges, cocktail sauce, crusty bread for dipping, beer, wine, friends and family.
Serves 8 to 10 comfortably with extras and a side of happy!










Tokyo Treat July Box Rocks!



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Smokinhotchef
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