Friday, March 27, 2009

Why I hate Mcdonalds...

It's sooooo damn convenient. That's it. The foods OK. I mean, it is fast food. I know it's not healthy. You can't complain about something you've know for years and you still choose to go back to. It's just fast and less than 1/4 of a mile from my house.

Those mornings when you just don't want to get out of bed are the worst. When you finally get up and realize that you don't have time for breakfast and making it work some what close to on time, you know there's only one place that can help you.

Fortunately my work has had business come in to work the cafeteria. Unfortunately, they have sausage gravy. Isn't McDonald's the healthier alternative in this instance?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Beer can chicken with the soda on the side...

Everyone has undoubtedly heard of this mythical beast. El Beercanachickacabra. The legendary easiest and bestest way to flip a bird. Any who, depending on your cooking temp, time will vary. I'm not good at providing exact times and temps to cook food with. I just go by the USDA's recommendation and do 170 in the chest and 180 in the thigh. I'll take my bird out about 3-5 degrees before and let it set for a few minutes before I pick it apart. I'll provide guidelines for the cooking impaired. On to the list of things you need ©.

Things You Need:
One chicken. I usually get a 7-8 pound chicken. Moar meat please.
Large pan for the chicken.
A rack (optional)
Mushrooms, baby portabella
Very sharp knife™ that will cut through aluminum and that you don't mind f'ing up.

For this attempt, I forgot to purchase beer at the grocery store, so I ran to sheetz and ended up with a Labatt Blue 24oz. That ended up being a pain. So note to everyone else, regular sized beer cans work best. First things first. Pop the beer can. Drink/pour out all but 3" of beer or so. You want about 1/2-3/4 of a 12oz can remaining in said 12oz can. Then take that very sharp knife™ and cut the top off the can. This very well may turn very sharp knife™ into very dull knife™. Set aside can.

Remove the wrapping from the chicken & remove inside gunk. Done.

Ha ha. Right. Use a knife to cut slits in the skin. Stick your finger in there and move it back and forth to separate the skin from the meat. Then pour whatever seasoning you want in there and rub. This time I used Soy sauce, fish sauce, sriracha, honey, and random herbs like basil and more basil. Make sure you make extra. The rest of this concoction goes in your beer. Just pour slowly as it may cause a big foamy mess.

Now it's time to put the chicken and the beer together to make, beer can chicken! The rack is an amazing device. After the last time I tried to fix one without and ended up burning myself while trying to upright and not so upright chicken in the oven (and 4-5 beers later of course...) I decided that that was the final straw. I still have a nice big scar to remind myself of that night. The rack makes it simple. Insert can into center rack, insert chicken onto rack over can. This can be done without a rack by putting your bird on the can and using the legs for a make shift tripod. This does make it difficult to test the temperatures though as it's very easy to upset an unstable bird. My friend says that all women are crazy after all...and she's one of them.

Ok. Put it in a preheated oven. I'd say 300 degrees. It took about 2 hours for my last one and I kept cranking up the heat.

So when your bird reaches the appropriate doneness; 170 in the chest and 180 in the thigh according to the FDA, remove it.

Here's the tricky part. It's hot. Very hot. I usually burn myself because I'm impatient. You need to remove the bird from the rack and put it some place to cook. The cut the asparagus and clean the mushrooms. Toss them all in a large skillet. Pour the remaining beer and chicken juices into the skillet. It should be a good bit of liquid. Cook it. I put it almost on high and get it boiling and cook until the asparagus and mushrooms are nice and tender. After that's done, drain the juice and save it. I normally pull the meat from the bird then pour and remaining juice onto the pulled meat. This keeps it moist and usually helps prevent the meat from drying, even when reheated in the microwave.

After everything is prepared, stuff your pie hole and enjoy.

That's my version and I'm sticking to it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Press Room

I'll post a picture one day. I swear....

The Press Room
129 W German St
Shepherdstown, WV 25443
(304) 876-8777

Anywho, I went to The Press Room (which doesn't have a website if my searching skills haven't failed me) Monday, 3/24/09. My adventure started as such: My friend Tabitha O'Smiley sent me an email at work at 4:17PM with the following interesting bit of information:

"hey gill just texted me, wanted to know if i wanted to grab dinner or a drink after work... do you wanna come grab dinner??"

So like any dutiful person, I shoved off my other obligations of getting a haircut (rescheduled and unscheduled appointment) and going to Wal Mart for things I needed.

So I'm finally home from work and already through one load of laundry and waiting on the detergent to do a third (Wal Mart anyone?) and working on some photos and generally slacking off, I finally get a phone call. I meet up with Tabitha and we drive down to The Press Room. We get there and the bar is packed, so we head back out to wait for her friend Gill.

Once Gill shows up, indecision rears it's ugly head. The Press Room? Busy.... Tony's? Meh.... OK, time to break out the hard core decision maker. I'm The Press Room, Tabitha is Tony's. Rock, Paper, Scissors and we end up at Tony's.

Not even two minutes later and I hear, "I'm not eating."
"Me either."
"I just wanted a Martini."

ALL RIGHT ALREADY!!!! We left Tony's and walked back to The Press Room.

So the only time I've been there previously was for a drink or two at the bar. Tonight, we dine on the flesh of vegetables, fruits, and dairy products (hell no, I'm definitely a carnivore at heart). I just had an appetizer special and a dessert. The Appetizer was grilled artichokes. I though it was hearts. It wasn't. It was just a giant artichoke cut in half and grilled. Not bad, but not a lot there to eat and it's something I could have fixed at the house.

Next was the desert. I ordered one of their desert specials. It was blue cheese with pears, candied walnuts, something that I thought was dates, and honey from some foreign land. That was good. Not too sweet and just enough. Gill had the creme brulee and Tabitha had something that resembled and ice cream heart.

Any ways, that was an amazing review. You can praise my writing skills any time you want. Hey, what can I say? I'm better at cooking food and telling you what I did than eating at a restaurant and trying to remember it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Soup. Thai Stylez, Yo!

So I don't forget. And no, there's no pictures or witty commentary.

8 cups o' chicken broth
2 cans of coconut milk
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cup asian basil
Crushed red peppers
Bok Choy
Shiiiiiiiiiitake! (2 packs)

I think that's it.

Cut everything up, toss it in a pot, turn on the heat. Add spices. Don't burn mouth testing flavor. Ingest.

Reminder: It's better if it sits over night. Add chicken if you want. Maybe shrimps or mussels.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Asparagus Stuffed Chicken

So I got ambitious a while back and decided to skip the Ramen noodles. I saw something about stuffing chicken breast a while ago and figured that it couldn't be that hard; just fill it with your favorite foods. Unfortunately bacon & scotch stuffed chicken breast wrapped in bacon and marinated in scotch would work since I didn't have any bacon at the time and by the time I did, there wasn't any scotch.

What you'll need:
3 chicken boobs
Olive oil
Asparagus, lots & lots of
A block of mozzarella cheese
Bacon - extra is always good to much on, since it's the most important food group ever.
Spinach. On second thought, skip this.
Mushrooms. Little itty bitty baby portabellas. Lots.
Garlic cloves. 2, specifically
Tooth picks

Directions, in some sort of way:
First you need a cutting board. Bigger than mine. Stop laughing. Do the usual. Remove the bottom parts of the asparagus, chop and clean the mushrooms, chop the garlic cloves, and cut the block of mozzarella into slices.
Next you need to place a chicken breast on the cutting board. trim the fat, get it how you like. Once that's done, lay about three slices of bacon length wise on the chicken. Place a few pieces of asparagus across the bacon on the chicken. Brush the asparagus with olive oil. Lay three slices of cheese on the asparagus, that's on the bacon, that's on the chicken. Then you roll the chicken up, starting from the left or right side as in the picture. Shove a bunch of tooth picks in and take out some of that aggression. Repeat with the others and toss the chicken in an oiled pan.

Remember that oven I forgot to tell you to preheat? Well if you read directions like me, you're not going to find out until Turn it up to chicken cooking temp. I cook everything low and for a while. I think you can manage 300 for an hour? That might sound right. I cooked mine for two but I think I was at 250ish. I don't remember. Just don't overcook the chicken. You want juicy. The bacon helps with that.

OK. Take the rest of the "asparagus, lots and lots o'" and put it in a large skillet with the mushrooms and two cloves of chopped garlic. Cook until done.

That's it. Take the chicken out when it's done, shove it in your pie hole, and enjoy.

Welcome to Slough Roast

Welcome to yet another food blog. I'm going to put stuff here. You can read it. Sounds like fun, no?