Thursday, April 30, 2009

Il est gratis!

I'm a sucker for the Taste of Home magazines. I can flip through one at a newstand, and it takes me about 10 seconds before I find a recipe that reminds me of a dish I sampled at a church supper when I was a yout.

If you'd like a FREE Taste of Home mag, go here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Down in mud-bug land ...

If the southern-third of Louisiana wasn't home to oppresive heat and humidity nearly year 'round, I could see myself living there. (I too-vividly recall being in New Orleans in November 1999 and sweating like like I was in Tennessee in August.)

That said, I almost -- almost -- wish I was living down there when I read stuff like this:

Every foodie worth her salt knows New Orleans is a destination for eats all year 'round, but the last weekend in April and first in May are something extraordinary.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is about far more than the music. Though craftsmen display their wares all around the fairgrounds and music saturates the air, the food provided by about 70 different vendors is a huge draw. For some, it's the main draw -- so it's worth knowing that tickets to the second weekend of grub and tunes are still available.

Jazz Fest, which since its debut in 1970 has become the second most popular party in New Orleans, takes place during the beginning of the hot, sticky season in bayou country. This spell lasts about eight months, so it's no shock that good food and strong drink are so popular. Though NOLA is not technically a Cajun city, during the Fest one would be hard-pressed to find a better place for Louisiana's Cajun grub.

There's gooey, cheesy crawfish bread hailing from Marksville, classic spicy Cajun boudin (sausage) from Belle Chasse, rich crawfish etouffee from Gramercy that marries tender crawfish to a roux-based tomato sauce, and a beautiful, dark pheasant, quail and andouille gumbo from Prejean's restaurant in Lafayette.

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Good ol' knaidel soup

As promised, I made a big ol' pot o' matzo ball soup last night ... about two and a half weeks late. Here 'tis:

I don't want to toot my own horn, but my latest batch of matzo ball soup was pretty damn good. I toted about 90 percent of what I cooked to work with me today, and my co-workers devoured it with smiles upon their faces (ask Eric J. if you don't believe me).

Here's my recipe for simple matzo ball soup, for those who wanna know ...

Joltin' Django's Matzo Ball Soup

4 split chicken breasts
5 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 medium white onions, large-diced
2 tablespoons kosher salt (more to taste)
1 tablespoon course black pepper
1 tablespoon dried thyme
8 cups water
1 1/2 cups matzo meal
1 egg


Place chicken breasts in a deep backing pan lined with foil. Cook for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Place cooked chicken on a plate to cool for 20-25 minutes; reserve rendered juices.

Lightly beat egg in a mixing bowl. Add matzo meal and chicken juice. Mix well and let stand for 15 minutes.

Pour water into a heavy-bottomed pot and add carrots and onions. Place pot on stove and turn to "high." While pot is heating, shred chicken (discarding skin and bones). When pot begins to boil, add salt, pepper, and thyme. Turn heat to medium-low and cover.

Meanwhile, roll matzo mixture into balls 1/2-inch in diameter. Drop balls into pot until all of the mixture is gone. Lower heat to slow-simmer.

Simmer soup for 25 minutes. Add additional salt and pepper as needed, and serve with seasoned matzo "crackers."

Monday, April 27, 2009

So deserves repeating ...

From April of last year ...

We'll get a slawburger, fries and a bottle of Ski
Bring it on out to my baby and me

-- "Dumas Walker," The Kentucky Headhunters

When I was a young'un, my dad worked at the Tennessee Farmer's Co-op in Lavergne, TN. There was a little market next to his office that always had a big "barrel" of Double Cola - in glass bottles, of course - chilling on ice. Whenever I went to his office, he'd always take me into the market for a Double Cola and some chips or something.

I remember one day I peered over into the iced-down Double Colas and spied something in a green bottle, something called Ski. It kinda looked like Sun-Drop, which my grandparents always had on hand, so I decided to give it a try. It was sweet and tangy, but I quickly noticed that it wasn't quite as carbonated as the soda pops I was accustomed to drinking. Thus, I didn't particularly care for it.

A few years later when I was playing Little League baseball, one of my teammate's parents would bring a big cooler of cold drinks for after-practice refreshment. What did they always bring in their big cooler? Bottles of Ski and Sprite. I couldn't stand Sprite so I would drink the Ski. The more I drank it the more it grew on me. It didn't take long before I was asking my mom to pick it up at the grocery store (and since I was an only child, she usually obliged).

By the time I graduated from high school, Ski was getting harder and harder to find in Nashville-area markets and grocery stores. In the years that followed, I would find it from time to time in little markets when I was traveling 'round Tennessee - especially West Tennessee - on business. Eventually, I couldn't find it anywhere.

Imagine my surprise when I found Ski in a convenience store over the weekend ... about two miles from my house. I was toting beverages of a more adult nature toward the cashier when, out of the corner of my eye, I seen something that looked subspecialty like little bottles of Ski. I turned on my heel and returned to the soda pop cooler. Sure 'nough I had seen Ski! I probably had a smile on my face like I'd found a $100 bill.

I walked out of that store with four bottles of Ski and six bottles of ... well, that's not important. What is important is that the Ski I drank sitting in that convenience store parking lot tasted every bit as good as the ice-cold bottles I drank after baseball practice when I was 9-years-old.

Learn more about Ski here.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Turn-up the green-ee-ohs ...

The thing I hate most 'bout cooking fresh turnip greens is cleaning 'em. Now comes these clean things ...

Simmer such -- for about two hours -- with some thick-slab bacon, and you get bowls like this:

Now you know what I had for dinner ce soir. And my "dinner" was drenched in this.

Big shock, n'est-ce pas ... ?!

Highball du nord

Take off!
To the Great White North
Take off!
It's a beauty way to go

-- Bob & Doug McKenzie

Back in 1992, I spent three weeks in Québec -- Montréal's Old City, to be specific -- learnin' how to speak good French. Ever since then, I've been particularly attuned to things that happen in the Great White North.

Like this:

In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2008, Canadians boosted alcohol sales by 4.3 per cent, funnelling more than $18.8-billion into the economy. Sales of red wine more than doubled and white wine experienced a 44-per-cent hike.

I'm ready to go back North. Who wants to come with?!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Phở-nominal homemade soup

If you're a regular AMGE reader, you know how much I love Vietnamese phở soup. I got me a wild hair recently and purchased a couple of jars of Por Kwan Phở Vietnamese Beef Flavor Paste from an outfit in Los Angeles ...

... I decided to give it a whirl tonight.

While I was getting my broth going -- I added about half of my jar of Por Kwan Phở paste to about 8 cups of water -- I thinly sliced a small white onion; I sliced 8 Vietnamese meatballs, which I purchased at my favorite international market, in half; I chopped three green onions; and sliced-up a jalapeño pepper, seeds and all. All that went into a pot with some thin Vietnamese noodles and some bean sprouts (both of which were also procured at my favorite international market). To wit:

When the soup was done I poured me some in a bowl I specifically purchased, at the Nashville Flea Market, for homemade phở-eating purposes. I added a big dollop of my favorite Asian hot sauce, and I went to town.

This, my friends, was pretty damn good:

Come by my place if you want left-overs. I won't promise you that there'll be any left!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

An interesting concept ...

One of my favorite things to eat is a bacon, lettuce and tomato sammich (with Duke's mayonnaise, of course). Indeed, I reckon I make a me a BLT about, oh, once every eight days or so.

On this morning's Bob & Tom Show, the B&T gang talked about a product called Baconnaise, which, apparently, is a bacon-flavored mayonnaise. They talked about how it's now possible to have a BLT sans bacon.

One of my favorite things to eat is a bacon, lettuce and tomato sammich (with Duke's mayonnaise, of course). Indeed, I reckon I make a me a BLT about, oh, once every eight days or so. Now, as much as I'm intrigued by the prospect of bacon-flavored mayo, I can't imagine why anyone would eat a "BLT" with just bread, lettuce and Baconnaise. That's just plain wrong, especially considering that a house in which bacon has been fried smells great for the next four or five hours.

Lest you think I'm not up to trying Baconnaise, hold it right there. I'm gonna get me a jar of the stuff to see how it peps up some grilled hamburgers. Stay tuned for a review.

Check out the Baconnaise Web site here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Buon ristorante

The folks at Slashfood have up their list of the best Italian restaurants in the U.S.A. Knoxville's Savelli's Italian Restaurant is included in the list. To wit:

Blink and you'll drive right past the hole-in-the-wall where Mama Savelli's Chicken Surprise, bursting with artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes and a creamy lemon sauce, will take up permanent residence in your best food memories bank. We really amore the BYOB policy.

I've been to Knoxville many dozens of times; but this is the first I've ever heard of Savelli's Italian Restaurant. The place kinda reminds me of Nashville's Mama Mia's hole-in-the-wall Italian joint ... which is my favorite in-town Italian restaurant. (Note to Slashfooders: Mama Mia's has a strict BYOB policy, too.)

Next time I'm over near where the Tennessee River begins, I'm gonna make it a point to head to Savelli's. You'll hear about it when I do.

"Help" yourself ...

If you're a regular AMGE reader, you already know how much I, ahem, love Hamburger Helper. To wit:

I have a confession: I love Hamburger Helper. No, I freakin' love Hamburger Helper. If'n I ever decide that I would look quite smashing as a 400 lb. tub, I will go on an all-Hamburger Helper diet -- Cheeseburger Macaroni or Double Cheeseburger Macaroni, of course.

All kidding aside, let me say this:

Whenever I want something fast and simple for dinner, I'll whip up a box of Helper, open a can of peas, and drench the whole shebang in Trappey's Louisiana Hot Sauce. Heaven in a single skillet, indeed!

Kansas City Star columnist Jill Wendholt Silva ain't too keen on Helper; thus, she recently came up with a recipe for a one-skillet meal a la Hamburger Helper.

I'm gonna try this soon ... and I'll let you know how it turns out:

The Star’s One-Skillet Italian Meal takes a worthy concept and freshens it up: Add sliced mushrooms (buy them pre-sliced in the produce department), green pepper (buy chopped in the freezer case), fresh zucchini, canned tomatoes and fresh spinach.

Finally, substitute Italian vermicelli (ver-MIH-chell-ee) noodles, literally "little worms," for regular noodles. Vermicelli is thinner than spaghetti, and it’s easy to break up the noodles and add them to the pan. They cook through as the meal simmers on the stovetop.

•Spinach tips: Feel free to substitute alternative vegetable combinations to suit your family’s tastes. Instead of 1 cup fresh spinach, try adding an equal amount of chopped Swiss chard, small chopped broccoli florets or frozen peas. Or use frozen spinach, thawed and drained well. Be sure to adjust cooking time accordingly so the vegetables remain crisp tender.

•Cooking tips: The ground round used in this recipe was 90 percent lean.

If the kids aren’t crazy about tomatoes, use kitchen shears to snip the tomatoes (while still in the can) into small pieces that cook down and nearly disappear.

One-Skillet Italian Meal


1 pound ground round
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 zucchini, cut into 1/2 -inch cubes
4 ounces dry vermicelli, broken into 2-inch pieces
3 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added whole tomatoes
2  1/2 cups sodium-reduced tomato juice
1 cup fresh spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Spray a large (12-inch) skillet with nonstick spray coating. Cook ground round, onion and garlic in skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until meat is browned and onion is tender. Drain and set aside.

Return skillet to heat and add olive oil. Add mushrooms, green pepper and zucchini; stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes. Add dry vermicelli pieces. Cook, stirring occasionally and very gently, until pasta is golden-brown and vegetables are crisp-tender.

Spoon cooked meat into skillet over pasta and vegetables. Add seasonings, tomatoes and tomato juice. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes.

Stir in spinach, cover and continue to cook 5 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan just before serving.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Not very Damm good

I was visiting a local international market today when I stumbled across a beer I'd never seen before: Estrella Damm.

Estrella Damm is a Spanish beer. Its packaging says it as a lager, which it is. If you go to Wikipedia, however, you discover that Estrella Damm is a "pilsener." Well, I'm here to tell you that Estrella Damm ain't no damn pilsener. (Hell, the picture on ED's Wiki page shows that it's a lager. So much for relying on Wikipedia for any-damn-thing.)

Estella Damm has a nice, deep color. It doesn't have a deep flavor, though, and that was disappointing. I didn't detect much hoppiness up front, but ED finished very, very bitter. And not a good kind of bitter. It kinda reminded me of Budweiser. Again, not good.

Needless to say, I purchased my first and last six-pack of Estella Damm lager today.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Gyros, Chicago-style

Let's talk about Chicago Style Gyros on Harding Place. I first stumbled across this fine establishment, which is housed in an old Long John Silver restaurant, 'bout 3 years ago. I'm ashamed that it's taken me this long to tell you about the place.

I love me a good gyro. Always have. When I was a kid, the closest thing to ethnic food that I knew was the gyro joint in the food court at Hickory Hollow Mall. I can still remember how out-of-the-ordinary it was to watch a feller slice meat on a grilled pita from a spinning vertical meat-tube. That kinda thing will stick with you, indeed.

I still love me a good gyro. (Friends and family who've been to Nashville's Greek Festival avec moi can attest to such.) And every time I want a good - nay, a great gyro - I head over to Chicago Style Gyros.

I've probably been to Chicago Style Gyros 20 times, and every time I've ordered the same thing: gyro 'n' fries 'n' a drink ($5.49) ...

Chicago Style's gyros come on grilled pitas just bursting with juicy grilled meat -- and lettuce and tomatoes and cucumber sauce, and hot peppers upon request.

Chicago Style's fries are not only, well, fried to order, they are dusted with a spicy seasoning prior to being served. I've tried to figure out what's in that seasoning, but I've come up short at every taste-filled turn. (Oh, well, just means that I need to try and try again ...!)

I don't think I've ever left Chicago Style Gyros without exclaiming - either to myself or to those with whom I've dined - "Damn, that was good!" And I've never, ever left the place hungry. Indeed.

Get thee over to Chicago Style Gyros sooner rather than later. And tell 'em Joltin' Django sent you.

Chicago Style Gyros
346 Harding Place
Nashville, Tennnessee 37211

Sunday, April 19, 2009

"HP" sounds good to me ...

Given that I grilled some cheap steaks for dinner this ev'ning, and given that I drowned each bite of said steaks in HP Sauce, this needs repeatin' ...

If I were to compile a list of my Top Ten Favorite Condiments -- I'm talking about condiments here, not hot sauces -- HP Sauce would surely be in the top five. If you've never had HP Sauce, son, you're missin' out.

A Scottish fellow with whom I used to work, name o' Craig, turned me on to HP Sauce (HP stands for "Houses of Parliament) some six or seven years ago. Craig was eating a turkey sandwich one day, and he was absolutely coating it with a bottle of something that looked like store-brand A1. "What is that?" I asked. "HP Sauce," he replied. (In his quick-talk Scottish brogue "HP Sauce" was one syllable.)

Craig told me how folks in the United Kingdom put HP Sauce on everything: potatoes, chops, steaks, fish, vegetables, and, yes, sammiches. At that point, I just had to try it. He put a big dollop on a Lay's potato chip and handed it to me. As soon as the tangy, sweet , and spicy brown sauce hit my tongue ... let's just say I was immediately hooked. Indeed, it didn't take long before I was pouring HP Sauce on potatoes, chops, steaks, fish, etc.

HP Sauce has a pretty exotic ingredients list: dates, malt vinegar, tamarind extract, sugar, and spices (among others). I'm not a big fan of dates, so it's kind of funny that I enjoy eating something that features dates as a main ingredient. Enjoy it I do, however, and every time I break open a new bottle I can't help but think about Craig the Scotsman and his turkey sandwich.

In Nashville, you can find HP Sauce in the "British section" at your local Publix supermarket.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

"It's only natural to combine them ...."

Food and sex. Those are my two passions.
It's only natural to combine them.

-- George Costanza
Seinfeld, "The Blood"

The Hardee's/Carl's Jr. commercial featuring Padma Lakshmi was just bound to get some "sensitive" folks all worked up. Like Los Angeles Times columnist Dan Neil:

The sexualization of fast food takes us down the same path of old cigarette advertising that showed doctors, athletes and cowboys smoking like crazy and living active, aerobically challenging lives; or beer commercials, in which everybody is as sleek as ferrets. These products have definite, measurable health consequences, and it's the job of the advertising's imagery to push these consequences as far offstage as possible.

Neil closes his column with this:

And so you have the impossibly lean and beautiful Lakshmi wolfing down a 1,000-calorie burger. Now that's hard to swallow.

I have a good friend whose wife is a personal trainer. She'll flat-out tell you that she heads to Krystal two or three times a month for a ten-bagger -- that's a sack of 10 "small, square" Krystal burgers for those who've never heard of such. She's 5'7" and, like, 120 lbs and she'd probably have a few bones to pick with Mr. Neil vis-à-vis his "hard to swallow" quip.

So there.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Me so saucy

I recently received an e-mail from a young lady who wanted to know what's my favorite store-bought BBQ sauce. I told her Sauer's, which is available at any Nashville-are Publix supermarket.

While I'm talking about Sauer's BBQ sauce, please to enjoy this classic A Man's Gotta Eat post on the subject from 2007 ... before a feller could easy find the stuff in Music City. To wit:

I usually shy away from BBQ sauces that feature sugar as a major ingredient. Sauer's does list sugar amongst its ingredients; however, Sauer's has enough pepper and spice in its blend to burn away its already muted sweet flavor.

The only grocery store in the world in which I've been able to find Sauer's BBQ sauce is a little food mart in Camden, TN. I cannot drive through Camden - which I do quite often on my way to my aunt's cabin on Kentucky Lake - without stopping to get me a half-dozen bottles of my second-favorite BBQ sauce in the world (click here for my favorite).

Last night, I cooked a small pork roast with new potatoes, onions and peppers. While the meat - which I'd seasoned with a rub of cayenne, garlic salt, and Cavender's Greek Seasoning - was plenty flavorful by itself, it was absolutely mouth-watering when I added a couple o' squirts of Sauer's.

If you spy Sauer's BBQ sauce in a Nashville-area grocery store, drop me a line and tell me where. Joltin' Django will appreciate it.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Yesterday, Mr. Jimmy gave me a big container of his "Camp-Style Beenie Weenies." I heated 'em up and ate 'em tonight, and, Boy Howdy, what a meal ...!

Mr. Jimmy's bean-dish had big sausage chunks and lots o' onions it, and it came in a delicious red sauce. (It looked like ketchup; it tasted (kinda) like ketchup; but, brother, it wasn't ketchup!) Oh, and it had just -- and I mean just -- enough heat to get a feller's tongue tinglin'. (I needed more tongue-tinglin' so I added me some additional hot sauce.)

If Mr. Jimmy wants to be a peach of a feller, perhaps he'll give us his recipe for camp-style beans.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Re: Taste of Russia

After reading Gots to get over there, Mr. Mordecai reports:

Professor Django:

Indeed, I have already visited Taste of Russia with Mrs. Mordecai and Little Miss Mordecai. Alas, I was underwhelmed.

I've visited two Russian cities twice each, and have enjoyed a good bit of Russian eats.š Maybe I set the bar a bit high for Tennessee Russian food. Maybe it's because Kvaternyuk is ÕËÒÁÉÎÅÃ (a Ukrainian). Whatever the reason, I found the pelmeni too thick, with bland meat filling (though the pork was slightly more interesting than the beef... ain't that always the case?), and they were served only with sour cream, whereas mayonnaise, spicy mustard,šor melted butter would have been authentic additions.š And if that hole-in-the-wall in Moscow was the standard, there should have been a ratty-lookin' cat roaming around the place.

The piroshki were dry. The "meat" filling was almost grainy it was so dry, and the crust was baked, where fried would have been better (a real shock, I know). They reminded me of the piroshki I picked up at Aleksey's on Thompson Lane (where, incidentally, I once ran into the lead singer from Bering Strait). But the cabbage filing was pretty good. Sweet. Could have been cooked a tad less, but alright. Mrs. Mordecai ordered potato piroshki, and was more pleased than I was, whatever that's worth to you.

The borsch was good; nothing to criticize.š More beef than you'd find in a genuine Russki place in Russia, but that's a good thing. There are lots of versions of borsch, but the kind I had at Taste of Russia was the only kind I've ever had. Tasty... beetalicious. The brown bread served with the borsch was dead-on. Just like Aeroflot serves! That's a bad thing.

Two Russian food stories. In Vladivostok, our driver disappeared. He showed up a little later with beef piroshki and strawberry juice for everyone. I don't mean a strawberry-flavored drink, but little "juice boxes" of pureed/strained strawberries. The piroshki were fried dough stuffed with (what seemed like) minced McDonald's burgers with the onions. We had been warned DON'T EAT STREET FOOD but I did and it was frappin' delicious. No Stalin's Revenge, either.

Same town, different day: Our translator took us to a Chinese place named "KAFE." (Keep in mind this place was about eighty miles from the Chinese border.) She ordered for us. They brought us several mystery items with french fries instead of rice. I guess they figured Americans eat fries with every meal. Anyway, Mrs. Mordecai asked what one dish was, and Svetlana said "It's squash salad." I said, "That ain't squash!" It was squid salad, Korean-style with a nice sesame sauce. Methinks Svetlana confused her "squ-" words.



I'm lovin' THIS ...

I've been boycotting Hardee's ever since their "big burger" re-tool began (I'll explain at a later date.)

This ad has convinced me to end my boycott:

Wow. That's all I can say.

Oh, and I'm going to Hardee's tomorrow. I'll post a review soon.

Gonna make Viper-room for this in my pantry

Last week, a co-worker told me about a hot sauce I'd never seen nor heard of before, Mama Rose's Viper Venom Hot Sauce. He brought a bottle of Ma' Rose's Viper Venom to work today, from which he allowed me to take a generous sample, and I told him: "I gots to get me my very own bottle of this stuff!"

Viper Venom ain't the hottest hot sauce I've ever tasted, even though it has three different hot peppers in it (santack, jalapeño, and habañero). However, Viper Venom might just be the most flavorful hot sauce I've ever tasted, mainly 'cause its list of all-natural ingredients includes vinegar, water, chili powder, cilantro, salt, garlic, onion, cumin, and oregano.

As regular AMGE readers probably already know, I love chili powder and onions and cumin, and I just can't get enough garlic, vinegar and cilantro. Couple them ingredients with the peppers in Viper Venom hot sauce, and no wonder my knees almost buckled when I tasted the stuff.

Here's where you can order you some Viper Venom.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Happy Day Before Passover!

Sometime this week, I'm gonna make a big pot of matzo ball soup. Stay tuned for a recipe/picture.

In the meantime, check this out ...

Passover starts at sundown tomorrow and we've got you covered over at AOL Food. Check out our Matzo Ball 101 (the secret ingredient, as we reveal, is schmaltz -- more than a sentimental moment, it's literally chicken fat!) and oodles of other recipes including a delectable-lookin' merlot-drenched beef brisket. So take a gander before you hustle out the door to do your shopping tonight.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Gots to get over there ...

I missed the story in the Nashville City Paper 'bout Williamson County's newest -- first? -- authentic Russian restaurant:

Tucked in the back of an unassuming strip mall in Cool Springs, Taste of Russia may be Williamson County’s best kept culinary secret. But with an extensive selection of authentic dishes served at reasonable prices, this charming restaurant already has attracted a loyal following within the local dining scene.

"Everyone seems to like to try something new," said owner and chef Yuriy Kvaternyuk, who relocated from the Ukraine nearly seven years ago, bringing with him a culinary degree and a knack for Old World flavors. "We bring in the best ingredients to make the best dishes."

Three years ago, Kvaternyuk and his wife purchased Aleksey’s Market on Thompson Lane, a popular grocery/delicatessen specializing in foods from Russia and Eastern Europe. But he received so many requests from his customers regarding traditional dishes and recipes that he decided to open Taste of Russia in November.

Read the rest here.

Mr. Mordecai and I are gonna have to get over to Taste of Russia, soon.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Boneless bliss

Regular AMGE readers know how much I like country-style pork ribs. Yesterday, I purchased a big ol' package of boneless "country" ribs at Sam's Club. I think I might have a new favorite ...!

As far as I'm concerned, there ain't a better way for a feller to spend a Sunday than to cook a big dinner for family and friends. I did just that today. I made mashed potatoes and homemade gravy, scratch-made macaroni 'n' cheese, and a big pot o' green beans. And I cooked-up my boneless ribs, like this:

First, I made a barbeque sauce. I put about four and a half cups of Hunt's ketchup in a saucepan. (Hunt's is preferable for bbq sauce because it's sweeter than most ketchups.) I added two cups of cider vinegar, a tablespoon of black pepper and a tablespoon of red pepper flakes, and small pinches of onion powder and garlic powder. I brought it all to a boil, covered the pan, and slow-simmered it for about an hour.

After that, I seasoned my boneless pork ribs on both sides with salt and pepper. I put 'em in my Crock-Pot®, covered 'em with sauce, and turned 'em several times to make sure they were well-coated. I put my Pot on "low" and just let it be for four hours.

My ribs were fork-tender when they finished cooking. You shoulda been here!