Thursday, February 28, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
The beef does not stop coming until the diners give their final dismissal (or the room's collective sodium level reach code red). At this point, the evening's entertainment began. A local comedy-hypnotist took the stage, along with my buddy Mark, a willing volunteer, to put on a wholesome family show. One would think that after providing the attendees with about 4,000 calories of beef and fries each, the food availability would cease for the hour-long show. But then one wouldn't be thinking like a true Jersey Beefsteak host. About twenty minutes into the show, plates of cheese puffs, Doritos, and pretzels arrived on paper plates, and, alas, we polished them all off.
I really can't recommend the Beefsteak enough. The admission was only $35 (could you even get all-you-can drink Bud for three hours in Manhattan for $35?), the crowd was a lot of fun, the beef was real tasty, and the money went to support the local volunteer firefighters. A patriotic and gluttonous success all around.
[Special thanks to Fidel Gastro for the photos]
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
Caseophiles, step right this way...Murray's Cheese now offers cave tours! I went on one Saturday.
There are four caves below ground, each with different aging processes and types of cheeses. It was pretty cool (Literally. I'm glad I had my scarf with me!). We learned all about mold and bacteria and the affinor's job as both artist and scientist. The aging process is fairly complex, though at times it is similar to what old people go through...think liver spots and sensitive skin masking a wise, complex interior.
Quite interesting, I'd recommend it. The cost is $10 for a 30-minute tour, and this includes a couple of samples.
On the way out, I purchased a bag of real Wisconsin cheese curds and had two of my fellow cave touring friends over for cheese and Belgian beer. This turned out to be the perfect way to spend the third Saturday of the month (which is when the tours take place).
Details at Murray's Cheese
Monday, February 11, 2008
My yogotherm arrived on Friday, so I took it out for a test drive this weekend. The lady and I eat a lot of yogurt, and I generally don't care for all of the additives that most store brands contain. So I bought me some bacteria and some good Ronnybrook milk and got down to business.
The whole process is pretty simple--heat the milk, let it cool down a bit, then mix in bacteria and some dried milk powder and let it sit in the yogotherm for about 12 hours. My first try was a success, although a little runnier than I prefer, which is why I bought some Bulgarian bacteria too.
Overall, a successful mission, and the first of many bacterial triumphs to come.
Friday, February 8, 2008
I know a place where you can buy 18 different sizes of heart-shaped cookie cutters. Ga ga ga goo! But really, if you need a gift for the chef or baker in your life, and you find yourself in Midtown East (near the UN or the Japan Society), stop by Bridge Kitchenware. I discovered this family-owned, gadget-filled store not too long ago, and it’s worth checking out.
I’m definitely not alone in this thinking, as the place has been around for more than 50 years. The (sometimes dusty) shelves house an eclectic mix of earthenware, appliances, serving equipment, utensils...all sorts of good stuff.
Some of the basics you could probably find cheaper elsewhere, but if you’re looking to buy a unique (or slightly odd) tool for the kitchen, this might be the place. I picked up a nifty linzer tart cookie cutter set, as well as a tool to help cut onions (on first glance, I mistook it for a hair pick).
You’ll also find items like artichoke cookers, gelee molds, ravioli cutters, and percolator pots. They have a decent selection of pastry equipment too. It’s a fun place to browse, and every time I’ve been in there, the staff has been eager to answer questions (e.g. "What the flip is that for?").
If you search really hard, you might find a gem like the one I saw last week…a two-foot long pizza cutter that was in a jar marked Thanksgiving Special. You figure that one out!
711 3rd Ave (at 45th St.)