Sunday, March 28, 2010

Forgotten Caps

When trying to decide on your weekly meals, remember the lowly, and often overlooked by the general population, mushroom. Mushrooms can easily become the star of your meal and a great cheap substitute for meat, and not much else could be as simple to prepare. All you really need is one or two large portobello mushroom caps per person, some garlic, olive oil, butter, and salt and pepper. Once cooked in a pan until soft or grilled on a bbq, these tasty woodland morsels can rival a good steak any day, and hands down beat many of the cheaper cuts that you will find in your local grocery. So don't be afraid of your fungal friends, chances are you will enjoy them more than you think.

Friday, March 26, 2010

A few thoughts on Turkey

Turkeys are one of those familiar items that we all prepare, or at least try to prepare, on several occasions throughout the year. To many people the thought of cooking a turkey fills them with dread, but this does not have to be so. Turkeys are not only relatively easy to cook, but delicious and should be enjoyed more than two to three times a year. You can typically find good deals on turkeys throughout the year, and these deals should not be passed up. There are a few tips and trick I would like to share with you to make your turkey cooking and consuming more enjoyable. First and foremost, if you are not completely in love with turkey legs buy the turkeys that are free of them. You may need to buy two of these breast only turkeys depending on how many people you are feeding and how many leftovers you want, but they are much more approachable and easier to cook well than their leg bearing counterparts. Secondly, throw away your turkey bags, boxes, iron maidens, and attachments. These items are no more cohesive to a moist turkey than the weather and should be avoided if simply for the ease of cooking the darn thing. The real secrets to a great turkey are simple: a good digital cooking thermometer and BUTTER. Lots and lots of butter. When you are preparing your turkey make a pocket between the skin and the breast with your hand and fill that sucker with butter seasoned with whatever you like, then rub the outside with butter as well. Make that turkey think that it was just in a cage fight with Paula Deen. After that simply roast your little legless friends in a roasting pan with a combination of white wine, water, beer, stock, or whatever liquids you like under the rack and covered with tinfoil on 325 until your digital thermometer reads about 160, making sure to uncover your birds at about the 145-150 mark so they can brown up a bit. Turkeys are simple, delicious, and often times very affordable,and should not be relegated to holidays out of fear and mistrust. So go out and buy yourself a turkey, and when you are enjoying that leftover turkey sandwich when everyone else at school or work is eating bologna, you'll thank me.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Big Cheese

The most exciting purchases I ever make at the grocery store come from the cheese case. We are lucky enough to have a Murrays' Cheese Shop in our local grocery store, which is like having one of Jesus' apostles preaching at your local church. Having a bit of money to play around with today we picked up a large variety of cheeses for our munching pleasure. Needless to say we sampled our newly acquired treasures of dairy and mold as soon as we walked in the door. Here are a few of our purchases from today's excursion and our thoughts about each of them.

Irish Cheddar 12 Months
Cost: $5
Milk: Cow
Upon viewing this cheese is milky white and is firm, yet moist. It is a smooth cheese with notes of grass and finishes with a familiar cheddar flavor. While not spreadable by any means, it would also not be very fit for crumbling. Great by itself, with beer, or with sausages or salamis.

Don Juan Manchego
Cost: $5.70
Milk: Sheep
This cheese has a tannish colored rind with black markings. It is firm and well suited to crumbling. The interior is off white in color and has a very rich flavor with a hint of sweetness. Great pairing with fruit or wine.

Gorgonzola Dolce
Cost: $5.46
Milk: Cow
White rind with a creamy white interior. Perfect for spreading with a smooth creamy taste full of familiar gorgonzola flavours. Our cheese specialist at Murrays' let me sample this particular cheese on a crispy cracker with a drizzle of honey, and it was delicious.

Shropshire Blue
Milk: Cow
Hard, earth toned rind with a beautifully veined cheddar yellow interior. If cheddar and blue had a baby, this cheese would be the offspring. It is amazingly complex, with the familiar flavors of cheddar streaked with bursts of blue cheese heaven. One of my favorites.

We purchased several other cheeses as well as other great items today, but we will delve into that in a future post. Have a good night and don't forget to try new things!

In the Beginning

While sitting on the couch after our evening meal Shay and I had a bit of an epiphany. We were discussing the recent items we had purchased at our local grocery store and both came to the conclusion that we should keep a record of the foods, beverages, and items that we purchase so that we don't forget the ones we enjoy, as well as the ones that we don't. Upon further thought we figured we would share these thoughts with others so that individuals besides ourselves might benefit from our experiences. Now it must be understood that neither of us are experts per-say concerning any of the items that we will henceforth be writing about, but simply lovers of the finer things in life. Whether it is cheese, meat, wine, beer, liquor, cigars, pipe tobacco, recipes, household items, clothing, clothing accessories, or anything we may purchase, we will give you our honest and unabashedly brutal thoughts and opinions. Our hope is that we will inspire you to try new things, be adventurous, and live well. We look forward to your thoughts and feedback.