I'll be popping up with open faced sandwiches at the next installment of Found Sound Nation at Pioneer Works on Friday, March 27th. More details and RSVP here. $10 suggested donation for admission.
Here's what I'm cooking:
I had to talk Jeff out of soaking the beans with wood chips. He was on a smoke kick. He wanted every ingredient to be smokey for the then upcoming Brooklyn Chili Takedown. It was going to be tricky. We both were traveling on family business the two weeks prior to the contest, so we started three weeks early. Charred leeks? Nah. What kind of beans? Something new! This would be better if we had a smoker...
We landed on a recipe we were ecstatic to share and dubbed it THE SMOKEMONSTER (yup, from LOST). Also, not sorry that I made this dumb video:
Beans take forever. That is my only takeaway from this. If you don't have a smoker, you can dry the tasso in the oven on low, the door held open with a wooden spoon.
|Things you'll need:|
|1 pack of Roman beans
1 jar of Pepperoncini (de-stem, chop and keep juice)
1 can of peeled tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
2 jalapenos, stemmed and chopped
1 chile de arbol, soaked in hot water
1 guajillo pepper, soaked in hot water
2 lbs of boneless pork shoulder|
"I want everything to be smokey" Jeff said again.
I broke down each component in a Google Doc. How can we infuse smokiness in every single level of our competition chili? It had to start with our protein. Been a while since we cured anything, so I headed straight to my copy of Charcuterie. The recipe for tasso ham sang out at us and we had to test it.
Basically you make a curing salt rub and leave the meat in the fridge for a day. You rinse it and coat it in a thick rub consisting mostly of allspice. It goes into a smoker and then you can dice it up for any gumbo or in our case, chili. The only real modifications we made were in the rub, where we put in a diluted mix of ghost pepper powder and breadcrumbs.
We were lucky enough to have access to the smoker at Montana’s Trail House in Bushwick (thanks Nate!). If you don’t have a smoker, don’t worry, you can still accomplish stellar tasso in an oven on the lowest setting with a wooden spoon propping the door open.
When we tested 6 types of beans, our hands down favorite was the Roman variety (better known as the cranberry bean). It is very similar to a pinto bean but this Italian strain has a thicker skin. We liked that it didn’t disintegrate after long hours of cooking and still had a chewy yield.
Our beans were soaked overnight and rinsed. Don’t ever cook beans in the soaking liquid because it includes the indigestible sugars that makes you toot toot. But if you value flavor over gaseous comfort, by all means!
We threw the beans into the slow cooker with a can of whole peeled tomatoes, a whole jar of pepperoncinis (juice and all) and water to cover. As they were finishing, I charred the onion and jalapeños in the broiler, mashed those up and stirred that into the beans. Took the chile de arbol and guajillo, took their stems off and pureed them. Mixed that into the beans, too.
For competition day, I diced the tasso and tossed them in sugar for a quick broil before throwing them at the last minute into our chili. Usually I would advocate for putting the tasso into the beans right away to meld together, but I knew we’d have at least 2 hours of standing heat at the venue.
We ended up getting 2nd place, people's choice! Hooray!
Would you like us to make you a batch for your party? Let us know.
We were really happy to be introduced to Ben & Lucy last Summer. Together, we brainstormed a menu to feed two hundred people at their October 2014 wedding. Our venue was Pioneer Works, a large indoor gallery with a backyard garden and grill.
It was a team effort with Lucy's sister who made six assorted cakes for dessert and her mom who coordinated salads as well as jars of pickled goods; peach salsa, beets, cucumbers, piccalilli, and dilly beans. Fort Defiance, a local restaurant, handled the bar and cocktails.
|Ben & Lucy's Wedding Menu|
Sliced baguette, crackers, jam, dried fruit,
fresh figs, bitter greens and nuts.
Prosciutto, bresaola, speck, chorizo,
salumi and pate Sliced baguette, mustard, cornichon
PULLED PORK sandwiches on focaccia
Hot pepper vinegar & herbal raita
|CORNISH HENS with herb butter
SHRIMP SKEWERS with lemon
ZUCCHINI SLAW with pesto, lemon and kohlrabi
Imagine large wooden boards, abundant with colorful food. Sizzles and smoke swirling into the night sky in a dewy garden alongside a bluesy brass band. It was quite a night!
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My absolute favorite thing about Thanksgiving is leftovers. If you've been following me on Tumblr, you'll notice that I adore figuring out what to do with last night's leftovers. Back in November, my friends Julia Sherman and Sarah Keough organized Leftovers Special at Flux Factory. Here were my entries:
My friend Jessica was moving away and I already hadn't seen her in months. It's hard to keep up with good friends in New York, even if you live about a mile from each other. I promised to make her a random sandwich before she left for L.A. Our schedules clashed and smashed together, but we finally found a time. She invited me to a small, casual show she was playing with another band called Psychic Twin. I went to a nondescript loft building at the edge where Bushwick and Williamsburg kiss. Up, up, up about four flights of very long stairs and I found myself in a very welcoming living room.
I found Jess and she was loading in many keyboards. We caught up a little while she ate her bresaola sandwich. She introduced me to Erin, the singer from Psychic Twin and we hung out, sitting on the floor. What happened next was nothing short of a New York moment. About thirty people gathered around a small stage in the living room and a band started to play. All of their undivided attention. Not a clink of a glass or a tss from a beer can. How amazing it felt to be around these bands and people who love music.
One Thousand Birds is a mixing studio and sound design company who hosts this monthly get-together as "OTB: LIVE!" Three bands play 20 minutes, much like CMJ short sets but in this warm and intimate atmosphere. I had noticed that barely anyone descended down those four flights of stairs through the whole night. They must be hungry! I spoke to Laura and enthusiastically volunteered to bring food next time in exchange for donations.
- St. Patrick's Day Brunch Menu
- Tomato Confit
- Kale salad with lomo chips
- Beet relish
- Duck fat colcannon
- Shortcut corned beef
- The Marrows ginger molasses cake by Mo
Later on this past October, we had our first cold snap and I arrived with two batches of soup. I've found that people who are passionate about finding new music are also open to new food experiences. Upon entering the kitchen, people would exclaim that it smelled like fall.
Other bands I've discovered through OTB: