Some Food Porn Pictures

We’ve been busy lately. No excuse for it. Haven’t had much time to work on recipes or post up new stuff and we’ve just been doing old things around here, but I thought I’d share some pictures anyway today. One thing we have been doing is homebrewing. This picture was a few weeks ago when we brewed up an Irish Red. Due to rain and cold weather, we had to brew in the garage.  

Brewing an Irish Red

Brewing an Irish Red

While we were working on the brew, we also had two rack of spare ribs going.

Spare ribs on the Egg

Spare ribs on the Egg

Sometimes you just get a craving for a good burger. These ones were 80/20 ground rib eye. If you can get ground rib eye rather than chuck, I’d suggest trying it.

Ground rib eye burger and ABTs

Ground rib eye burger and ABTs

We recently found thinly sliced brisket at a nearby Asian store. Picked it up not being sure what we were going to do with it. How about using it for ABTs instead of bacon?

Brisket wrapped ABTs

Brisket wrapped ABTs

In an effort to eat better, we pulled the wok out and did some stir fry on the Egg.

Shrimp stir fry

Shrimp stir fry

And how can you resist some leg quarters? Half rubbed with John Henry’s Texas Chicken Tickler and half with Salt Lick Rub.

Chicken leg quarters cooking indirect.

Chicken leg quarters cooking indirect.

Brush ‘em with a little Lauren’s Spicy Sauce from Salt Lick and add some home made venison jalapeno cheese sausage.

Almost done.

Almost done.

Served up with some sautéed ‘shrooms and some kale. Um, Um good.

Dinner is served

Dinner is served

I’ll try and work on and finish up some new recipes this weekend to share with you this week. Unless March Madness ends up taking too much of my time. Sorry for the lack of new recipes lately. Hope this food porn will hold you over till then. Thanks for benig patient with us.

WHY NOT??

Old Skool Millet Lite Can

Old School Millet Lite Can

     The other day, the weather was beautiful here in the DFW. I figured I’d sit on the patio  with the dogs and enjoy the weather with a cold one. But what beer to get? The limited time old school can of Millet Lite caught my eye. Does the beer taste any different? Nah, but it does have nostalgia. WHY NOT??

Over the Top Burger

Over the Top Burger

A burger sounded good after a few beers. I’ve been losing some weight so I can afford it. Two quarter pound patties, Chihuahua cheese and two thick slices of bacon. Healthy? No! Tasty? Yes! WHY NOT??

P.S. I didn’t eat it all and I do plan on taking the dogs for a walk today after work. ;)

When the Cat’s Away…

…the mice will play. Or in this case, when Mrs. G is outta town, I often get bored and have to find ways to entertain myself. There’s only so many movies I can watch that she won’t watch (ie Sci-fi, comic book based movies like Wolverine or nerdy moveis). One way I’ve found to entertain myself is to brew beer. I’m no expert at this, it’s only my third batch, but it has been fun so far.

Boiling the wort.

Boiling the wort.

Being an amateur, I haven’t graduated up to brewing with malted grain or all-grain. Like I said, this is only my third batch, so I’m keeping it simple and using the canned hopped malt concentrate. You have to start somewhere, right?

This is the one I chose this time. Cooper's Dark Ale.

This is the one I chose for this batch. Cooper’s Dark Ale.

     It’s advertised as:

Rich mahogany colour and a creamy head. Roasted malt aromas with a hint of chocolate, generous mouthfeel dominated by roasted malt flavours, sufficient hop bitterness to give balance and a dry finish. A favourite amongst dark beer drinkers.

     We’ll see how it turns out in a month or so.

Chilling the wort.

Chilling the wort in a sink full of ice water.

     I didn’t get anymore pictures of the whole process as its kind of hands on and honestly I wasn’t thinking about it. I will report that I checked on it this morning and the yeasties are doing their job, eating the sugars and producing carbon dioxide, which you can tell by checking to see if your airlock is bubbling. I’ll keep you posted on some other steps down the road and how it ends up turning out.

     I will say that if you like to cook (especially if you like baking and using precise measurements, temperatures and yeast) and you like beer, than you will enjoy making your own beer. Yeah, it’s a labor of love and takes a lot of time and patience (mostly waiting for the next step which could be weeks down the road), but when you hand somebody a cold one, they take a sip and say “That’s really good. You made that?” it will bring a smile to you face and it makes it all worthwhile.

 

If you are a bit apprehensive about where to start, try looking up homebrew + your city and I can almost guarantee you will find a store that can walk you through what you need and how to do it. Most places will be more than happy to share their knowledge and get you started as they have a passion for beer and want to share it. If you find a place that isn’t friendly or not eager to help, go someplace else. In my experience, that is not a problem. The problem is more likely getting these people to stop talking about a subject they are so passionate about. If you are in the DFW metroplex, I can not recommend Homebrew Headquarters  in Richardson enough. These guys are super friendly and super knowledgeable. Heck, they even threw in a 12 pack of empty bottles the first time I went in and got started. I just had to wash them and get the labels off…

A Taste of Germany Part II

The Frankfurt Dreikonigskirche ( The Epiphany Church)

     The second day of our trip allowed me to explore Frankfurt by myself as Mrs. G was stuck working the trade show. I started off by taking the train to the Hauptwache Station near Romerberg Plaza because I wanted to check out some of the churches and the river that I had glimpsed the day before. With no agenda and no rush, I took my time, checking out the shops and admiring the architecture. Of course wandering around works up an appetite and a thirst.

Bayrische Weisswurste mit sussem Handelmeiers Senf, und Brezel Und Binding Romer Pilsner (Bavarian white sausage with sweet mustard, pretzel and Binding Romer Pilsner)

     I spotted a place that looked like I could find a little snack to tide me over called Hans Wurzt. Having already sampled some of the local bratwurst, I decided to be a bit daring and order something of which I had no clue….the Original Bayrische Weisswurste and Brezel, which is a Bavarian white sausage made from finely minced veal and pork bacon. It is usually flavored with parsley, lemon, mace, onions, ginger and cardamom that is stuffed into pork casings. It usually measures 10 to 12 cm long and 2 cm thick. There is a saying that the sausages should not be allowed to hear the church bell’s noon chime as there are no preservatives, they are not smoked and they are highly perishable. They should be consumed before then. These sausages are heated in water, broth or white wine just short of boiling for about ten minutes. And one word of warning….the casings are not edible!! So make sure to remove the casings before eating. It was definitely an interesting sausage, plenty of flavor from the herbs and lemon. Something I’m going to try and duplicate if I can find a recipe.

Der alte Hochstradter Apfelwein

    After finishing my snack and a bit of people watching, I made my way down to the Main River. Across from the Eiserner Steg, there is a little bier garten. It seemed like the perfect place to stop and try my first apfelwein. I would love to tell you the name, but I’m not sure what it is. At first, I thought it was Der alter Hochstradter, but later on I learned that was the name of the company that makes apfelwein. I also wrote down the name Getronkekarte, but I have no idea why anymore. I think it was on top of the menu, but it could have meant anything for all I know.

     Regardless, I ordered my apfelwein. Story goes that one year, Frankfurt had a bad grape crop. So they decided to make wine out of apples. They liked it so much, they’ve been making it ever since. Apfelwein (aka Ebbelwoi) is an alcoholic cider that can be drank straight or mixed with water, sparkling water or lemonade. There is also a sweet version which we later discovered. I can’t tell you exactly how I ordered this one. My German is pretty much non existent as was the English of my waitress. The apfelwien had an obvios taste of apple, a bit tart and sour and a little watery, which leads me to believe I got the watered down version. It tasted like a mix between a white wine and a hard cider (like Woodchuck I ‘spose, but I don’t drink that stuff) just not carbonated. Takes some getting used to, but it is refreshing and a nice change of pace from all the German beers I had so far.

Locks on the Eiserner Steg

     After finishing my apfelwein, I decided to cross the Main River to explore the Epiphany Church. While crossing the bridge (or steg), I noticed it was covered with locks. New locks, old locks, plain locks and colored locks, locks of all shapes and sizes. I later learned that it is good luck to have your name and your partners name engraved on the lock and attached to the steg. Unfortunately, I was not able to learn the story behind it. All I could learn from some bartenders and waitresses between mocking laughs was the bit about the luck and that they all thought it was “gay” and “stupid”. Typical bar staff behavior, I thought it was kinda romantic.

Inside the Epiphany Church

     Look Ma….I did something besides eat and drink. I actually went and saw a landmark….all on my own. The Epiphany Church was not what I was expecting. I guess I was expecting an old, Gothic style church. This church just seemed old and rundown. I did walk around and checked it out and donated a few Euros to the ongoing restoration, however.

Frankfurt Cathedral

     After touring the Epiphany Church, I decide to head back across the Main River to check out the Frankfurt Cathedral, also known as Saint Barholomew’s. This is a view of it across the river, with the Eiserner Steg in the foreground. (if you are really interested in that bier garten, it’s across the street (on the right) from the base of the steg). The Frankfurt Cathedral was built in the 13th and 14th centuries. It sustained severe damage during WWII and the inside was completely burned out. It was later restored in the 1950′s.

Frankfurt Cathedral

    At the front of the cathedral, you can see where some excavation is taking place. They are in the process of unearthing and restoring an old Roman bath house that was built prior to the church.

Inside the cathedral

   This was more what I was expecting to see in an old European Church.

Statue inside Frankfurt Cathedral

    A statue in the back of the church depicting the crucifixion of Jesus. I wish I could give you some reference to how big this was. All I can say is that I was shooting this over the heads of some tourists who wouldn’t get out of the way. The figures in the statue were easily larger than life-size.

Statue in Frankfurt Cathedral

     Another statue in the cathedral. I think this is a tomb, but I couldn’t figure out if anybody was buried in it or if it was just a statue. Some places in Frankfurt were really great on having English translations. This was not one of them and there was nobody around to ask.

Back at the bier garten that I don’t know the name of….

     After the Frankfurt Cathedral, it was about time for Mrs. G to finally get off work and meet me, so I headed back to the bier garten. Maybe someday I’ll learn the name of it. This is my goofy looking mug enjoying a Shofferhoffer Dunkel Weizen. Pretty tasty beer. After having a beer with Mrs. G, we went to explore the Museum Superfest, a yearly festival that spans both sides of the river for over a mile long.

Fair Food

German Bratwusrt on a bun. Can I eat that?

Yes, I can!!

    I’ll get into the sites at the Museum Superfest more in my next blog, but for now…Auf Wiedersehen!

A Taste of Germany (Day One)

Romerburg Plaza

Well….we made it back. And unfortunately, I’m already back at work. No rest for the wicked, but at least we have a long weekend coming up. We had an amazing time, saw lots of cool things and tasted many new wonderful dishes, beers and apfelweins (think apple wine/cider), so I thought I would share some of them here for you. Here are just a few from the first day.

Flensburger Dunkel

     First thing we had to do upon arrival was hunt down a SIM card for some phones that Mrs. G’s work gave us to use while we were there. They don’t have 3G or 4G, so we were stuck with some old phones and they needed cards to work. I don’t know the whole story as I wasn’t really paying attention. Work details and all and I was on vacation. Just along for the ride. After a train ride and going to a couple of stores, we managed to find the cards and I thought a beer was in order as a reward. I got a Flensburger Dunkel, a nice dark beer that did not have a very strong taste.

Binding Pilsner

     Mrs. G got a Binding Pilsner. Turns out it is brewed in Frankfurt and served EVERYWHERE. We ended up drinking quite a few of these over the trip. After our beers, it is was time to find another train and head back to Messe Frankfurt to help Mrs. G set up her show.

Bitburger Bier

     Just ’cause I was helping, didn’t mean I couldn’t try another beer. I picked up this one at the show and let me tell you…it was NOT very good. Very bitter. I’m sure it was on the same quality level as Natty Light or the Beast.

Beers on Romerburg Plaza

     After setting up the show, it was off to find some dinner. Some of Mrs. G’s co-workers have been to Frankfurt several times and wanted to head down to Romerburg Plaza to eat at Romer Bembel, so we tagged along with them. I had a very nice Kapuziner Kellerweizen (think Hefeweizen) while Ronnie (another husband who tagged along for the ride) had a Kulmbacher Pilsner. Ok…enough of beers. I’m sure you are ready to see some food.

 Schniztel

    Ronnie opted for the Schniztel with potatoes and let me tell you it was wonderful. A schnitzel is a breaded pork cutlet that is dipped in flour, egg, and bread crumbs, then fried in butter or oil to a golden brown. It is traditionally served with a lemon wedge, which you can use to drizzle fresh lemon juice over the schnitzel. For those who are not so familiar with German cuisine … if you are in a German restaurant and do not know what to select off the menu, start with a schnitzel. You will not be disappointed.

Jager Schnitzel with spaetzle

     Mrs. G loves mushrooms (and spaetzle) so it was a no brainer that she opted for the Jager Schnitzel, which is a veal or pork schnitzel topped with a burgundy-mushroom or a creamy-mushroom sauce. Traditionally, this schnitzel is prepared without flour, egg, and bread crumb coatings. However, you will often find a breaded schnitzel topped with the sauce. I thought it was even better than the plain schnitzle.

Nurnberger Bratwurst

     Being in Germany, I wanted sausage and opted for the Nurnberger Rostbratwurst (or just Nürnberger Bratwurst) which is a bratwurst from the city of Nürnberg. It is made from coarsely ground lean pork and is usually seasoned with marjoram, salt, pepper, ginger, cardamom, and lemon powder. Each bratwurst weighs around 1 oz. and it measures 3-4 inches in length.  Let me tell you…..it was tasty. You just can’t go wrong with sausage in Germany (which we kept discovering throughout the trip). The sauerkraut on the other hand…..not so much. This sauerkraut is not what we’ve come to expect in the United States. It wasn’t very sour and in fact it was quite sweet. It hardly got touched. We did find sauerkraut later on in the trip that was similar to what we are used to, though.

     After dinner, we wandered around and checked out a few of the sites before finding a train back to our hotel. Stay tuned and I’ll share some more of our trip with you over the course of the following week, but make sure to check back here tomorrow as I have something quite special to share.