When you mix an athlete, a nerd, beer, and good ingredients this is what you get.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Real Jersey Shore

I'm down the shore with my best friends this weekend Just as a preface.

Beach all day yesterday, obviously = beer all day. Late afternoon we went to the bay. Pulled up Big Lou's crab traps, pulled out almost a bushel! 

Did them nice and easy. Quick boil with some old bay, garlic salt, red pepper, lemon juice. Drop some butter down to liquid with the same seasonings and pour it over the cleaned halves of crabs. Beautiful. Mangia!







Friday, July 29, 2011

Grilled Pizzas


Last night I had one hell of a pizza. Well two hells I guess. Nah, hell is the wrong word. They were heavenly.

This post is going to be mostly anecdotal right now since I'm on a Peter Pan bus to NJ. Me and the rest of the fratelli are heading to the shore for the weekend. I'll update with a recipe once Peter Pan gets me to Never never land.

I went to my friend Katherine's house to make some pizzas for us and her roommates. We made the dough up quickly and drank some beers while it rose. Katherine had the brilliant idea of throwing the pizza stone on the grill instead of the oven. Best. Idea. Ever. It worked wonders on the crust.

I made more of a traditional pie with red sauce, mozz, sweet italian sausage, sauteed onions and ricotta.

Katherine went with fig jam as the sauce, caramelized onions, and topped with prosciutto and gruyere to cut the sweetness and add some smoke.

Two completely different pizzas with completely different tastes.
I don't know why I'm still typing, or why I posted any words at all. The pictures explain everything.

We used to Katherine's camera, it's a little step up from my Droid if you can't tell...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Spinach Swiss Crepes



Apologize about the image quality. I was a little too excited to try this one to take a good picture.

This morning I invited a special someone over for breakfast before work (strange date but just go with it). I'm not a big breakfast guy, breakfast to me has always been functional, I eat eggs for the protein after a lift and because they're usually the best source available at breakfast, I don't like the taste of eggs. I know, blasphemy, but it's true. I knew this girl is big on eggs so I figured I could suck it up and come up with something that we'll both like. I make a pretty mean crepe thanks to Gram and Pop-pop's Manicotti recipe (coming soon) but I didn't want a sweet crepe like the ones usually served for breakfast.

I googled "savory breakfast crepes" to find a base recipe, something to work with - but they all sounded like complete failures or a "brunch crepe" which is an easy out for saying, "I made a dinner crepe but served it for breakfast." I wanted better than that so I went where I should have went first to look for inspiration: my fridge. I saw some heavy cream, swiss, and some frozen spinach that I had bought to make Mom's Quiche recipe but never got around to it. That's when it clicked, I'm going to put that Quiche in a crepe so here's how it happened:

Original recipe calls for bacon. The market was out. I was not happy. Yes. It's true. rotio.food is about to have a vegetarian breakfast dish where spinach is the star of the show. What is this world coming to...

Ok so for the crepes, 3 eggs to 1/2 cup flour to 1/2 cup milk, a pinch of salt and a drop of veg oil. Whisk it really well, the last thing you want is a lumpy crepe. Ladle about a quarter cup into a lightly greased crepe pan at medium to medium-high heat. Swirl the pan to get even coverage of the batter. About 45 seconds on each side then pull it - they cook very quickly. Set it on some newspaper or a paper bag while you make the rest of them.

Once the crepes are done (or during, if you have a helper like I did) scramble some eggs with some spinach and whatever spices you want. I think we stayed simple and just did salt and pepper. This will be your filling, feel free to add mushrooms, tomatoes, or BACON like I wanted to.

The thing that put this over the top for me was the sauce. I started with a creme sauce like in the Farfalle recipe and added about an eighth of an onion, minced; a slice of Swiss cheese; and salt and pepper. It resulted in a nice thick sauce with a very subtle Swiss flavor. Stuffed the crepes, drizzled some of the sauce over them and served. This ended up being one of the best breakfasts I've had, and there was NO MEAT. I'm kind of embarrassed. Look for me coming in hot with some meat heavy recipes to make up for this. My inner carnivore is about to start raging so I'll cut this short and go eat the leftover Redbones upstairs and drink a Keystone. Might make a pizza tonight, keep an eye out.

Also, I added a few more pictures that I found on my phone to some older posts so check them out.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Ozzy's Last Supper


Look out for an Osborne on the Seahawks. Get to know his name well. His last night at Farwell, I decided to throw together a crab/shrimp boil. Thanks for the idea, cuz. Easy as hell. Boil water. Add old bay. Add onions. Add potatoes. Let em chill for eight minutes. Add peppers. Add kielbasa. Two minutes. Add corn. Let it hang for 5. Add raw shrimp. Last second, throw cooked crab clusters on top. Let em warm. Yup. That's it. Let's eat. Sober? Nope.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Farfalle di Farwell



I've been getting some requests to be a little more specific with the instructions to make the things I post so here we go.

So I'm in a weekly Cornhole league. Before you have the same reaction as my pops ("Never tell me that again, son!"), this is Cornhole for those of you who don't know. So Wyatt and I ("The Mercenaries") had our first big win tonight over team "Caitlin and Shawna"... by forfeit. So to celebrate our epic victory, we slugged about ten beers and I made my way home to Farwell. I was hungry when I got here so I decided to make whatever I could with the few ingredients I still had in the pantry. I had about half a pound of Farfalle left so I thought I'd start with that and set it to boil.

I was in the mood for a little bit of crisp on my pasta so I decided that when it was aldente, I'd mince up a quarter of an onion and a clove of garlic and saute them together with the pasta in a bit of olive oil (top left/right images). But that's boring as hell alone so I thought about sauce options.

Looking around, I found some interesting things and decided to make a bastard child of a French bechamel cream sauce with some Italian ingredients mixed in. First step in a bechamel sauce is a roux, which is a fancy way of saying throw one part butter and one part flour in a pot and whisk the hell out of it on medium heat (left middle image).

Since this is going to be a light sauce you want to keep the color of the roux pretty light. As soon as the color starts getting the slightest bit brown you start whisking in light cream (right bottom).

Here's where the Italian comes in. As it starts to thicken (think coating the back of a spoon), add two tablespoons of red sauce - if you have some gravy premade use that or else resort to a jar of pasta sauce if you have to like I did. Lastly, throw in a few small basil leaves, chopped, and a handful of parmagiano-reggiano. Props to Julia for having a basil plant growing next to the sink. Let it all come together, nice and thick, and pour it over the pasta. Give it a toss and serve (bottom left). That's it. Not too bad for a first run. This might have to be my go to pregame meal to carb up (along with a few Bud's at Coogan's) to take on reigning champions "Bags Deep" next Tuesday.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

How to feed a 300lb lineman



My roommate is anxiously awaiting the end of the NFL lockout so he can get signed and start getting paid. Until then, he's been keeping my couch warm and adding some much needed testosterone to our house, which I've nicknamed Est Fest (I live with six girls). He makes massive breakfasts after he gets back from the gym in the morning and I thought I'd share what he sees before he digs in every morning. That's right, every morning, this wasn't a special occasion, just another morning in the life of an aspiring NFL lineman.

6 egg omelette with bacon, bell peppers, cheese
6 slices of bacon on the side
2 pieces of fried ham
3 monster buttermilk pancakes

and, of course, some Settlers of Catan in the background

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pizzagaina



My little brother took the bus over from Cleveland Circle yesterday for his "interview" at the gym which consisted of broing out with my boss for thirty minutes while I lifted. Then my roommate texted me telling me that Man U was working out in our weightroom so we took a walk across the river and finished our lift down there. Rooney gave me the alpha male eyes after turning down a 5 year old wearing a Rooney jersey who asked him for a signature. Wow. Sweet, bro. The coach, Ferguson, was a nice guy, though. He ran into my brother and me eating a cheesesteak in the square a little later and told us we'd have to work out again after eating that.



We came back up to my house and, since we are both missing home, decided to make one of mom's recipes - her take on Pizzagaina (pronounced pizza gain). It's an Italian Easter pie made with elbow macaroni, ricotta, eggs, ham, sausage, and whatever white cheeses you have laying around. After an hour in the oven the top forms a nice crisp layer while the inside remains smooth and creamy. Tastes like Easter, tastes like family, tastes like home.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Night Chicken




Quick and easy after a hard day of sitting behind the desk at the gym.

Two leg quarters

Brine:
Chicken Stock
Garlic
Onions
Apples
Red Pepper
Bay Leaf
Paprika

Threw the leg quarters on the grill while I

Rendered some Bacon
Reduced a cup of the brine by half
Added Raspberry Vinegar,
the Onions and Apples from the brine,
Bacon, and a bit of
Sweet Baby Rays Sweet and Spicy

Dumped the whole thing over the chicken.
Quick, easy, tasty and paired extremely well with the vintage 2011 Keystone Light I had on hand.

Epic Pizza Time





This may not be quite on the level of Epic Meal Time (yet) but I got bored on a Saturday and - after about a twelve pack - decided I wanted to throw together a pie. While the dough was rising, I thought about toppings and, before I knew it, I was staring at this monster and out half of my meat supply for the week and half of my beer supply for the day. I think I felt my heart hurt trying to pump this sludge through my veins when I hit the gym on Monday but it was so worth it...

Floating on top of the sauce:
1lb Mozz
1lb Steak
1lb Bacon
1lb Sweet Italian Sausage
1/2 lb Ham
1 whole onion (caramelized)
1/4 lb Ricotta
and a solid quarter inch of parm


New Photos!

Before:

After: