Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fired Up for Festival Season

The time has come again.  Festival season.  Whether you're camping out or dropping money on hotels, you can expect to be sweating your ass off, fighting against the heat in some of the hottest places in our country at the hottest times of the year, to see (or hear in my case...downfall of being short) our favorite musicians.  Coachella, Wanee, Jazz Fest, Memphis in May, Hangout Fest, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits Fest, etc. 

But I want to tell you about a festival food vendor I stumbled across on a NOT so hot festival weekend.  They are called Fired Up Kitchen.  I found them at Harvest Festival a few years back.  And I have been thinking about their delicious pizza ever since my teeth made their journey through the freshly crushed tomato, sweet basil pesto, creamy ricotta and mozzarella cheeses and finally the perfectly cooked wood-fired crust of a slice of Hill Country Stomp.

I didn't need drugs, I had pizza.  It was my drug.  It transported me to an Italian village where I made ravenous love to a piece of mouth watering, pizza.  That in turn, burnt the hell outta the roof of my mouth, the no good, rat bastard. 

Look for it at the next music festival you find yourself at.  You will not be disappointed.  Happy festival, drink lots of water, say no to drugs and Buon Appetito!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Getting Crabby

 Snow Crab Legs...mmm...mmm...good. (photo by me)

I think my most favorite food on the planet has to be snow crab legs.  The ones referred to as Opilio crabs on the Deadliest Catch, if you watch that show.  Now I get a bunch of crap when I say that snow crab legs are my favorite.  People always want to argue that King Crab, Blue Crab and Dungeness are the best.  So here's why they are my favorite.

A.) They taste much better, in my opinion, than Alaskan King Crabs.

Alaskan King Crab.  Good, but Painful. (photo by Google images)

Don't get me wrong, I won't pass up crab meat of ANY kind...unless you spell it with a K.  But the Alaskan crabs taste more bland to me than the snow crab.  Not to mention that trying to bust the meat out of their enormous shells usually draws blood at the very least and requires a trip to the ER at the very worst.  So for these reasons, I choose snow crab over king crab.

B.) They are MUCH less of a hassle than eating the sweet, delicious meat of the blue crab.

Blue crab.  Oh, so delicious, but time consuming and not filling. (photo by Google images)

Blue crab is GOOD.  The meat is sooooo sweet and tender and goes wonderfully with a cold beer with a lime.  Oh.My.GOD, I would kill for some blue crab right now.  But the truth is, they are a pain in the ass to deal with and for the amount of meat you get out of one, you have to deal with about 30 of them to even feel full.  They are fun to catch, too.  Get yourself a net, tie a raw chicken leg to it and drop the net in the water (who knew crabs ate chicken...I guess they get tired of the same old thing).  Wait 30 minutes or leave and come back, pick the net up and there you have crab.  Maybe 1, maybe 5, that's the fun of it.  We used to catch blue crab with our grandfather in Virginia.  I will never forget hearing their shrill screams as we threw them into boiling water!  Ahhhh...childhood memories! 

C.) They are much cheaper (at least where I live) than Dungeness crabs.

 Dungeness crab.  Delicious, but costly. (photo by Google images)

We might have ourselves a pretty close tie if Dungeness crabs were the same price as snow crabs, but in my landlocked neck of the woods, they aren't.  But Dungeness crab is SOOOO GOOOD.  If I was in San Francisco, I'd choose Dungeness over Snow.  But we're not.  And unless you straight up ram the tip of the claw into your hand, like a dumbass, it's very hard to cut yourself on a Dungeness crab.  They don't have as many pointy, sharp things on their legs.  Ok, I take that back.  All these crabs can be dangerous...especially if you eat them as quickly as I do.

My point is this.  Snow crab legs are salty, juicy, meaty, easy to work with (once you get it down to a science, which I have), readily available (let's cross our fingers it stays this way) and pretty cheap.  When you buy them, they are already cooked, so you really only need to steam them for about 10 minutes to warm their meat back up.  You can add some Old Bay to them if you want a little more flavor.  You don't need butter for this crabbies.  Just a squirt of lemon will do.  But butter makes everything better, so dunk away. 

And that.... my crabby friends... is why I like the snow crab the best.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Friend Rachel

I'm a craving type of girl.  I get cravings and I MUST have the thing that is in my head to be in my tummy ASAP.  Sometimes these are simple cravings that I can easily satisfy, for example a bowl of chocolate ice cream with milk, or a piece of cinnamon toast.  Other times these cravings consist of pepperoni rolls from WV, or crepes from the Baker's Crust in Norfolk, VA.  Neither of which I can just run and get, seeing as how I am in Tennessee. 

Most often, when I'm craving something I can't get nearby or that just isn't up to par in my high (ha) standards (eg., a good Caesar Salad), I have to recreate my craving on my own, and hope that I am happy with the results.  This particular time I was!

Say hello to Rachel.


Rachel is Reuben's girlfriend.  Instead of corned beef, she's got pastrami.  Instead of sauerkraut, she's got coleslaw.  She's so tasty, I just want to eat her up.  

Here's How you make her:
Get some deli sliced pastrami (I know, it would be better if I had made my own, but that's a LOT of work and I have a craving to tend to)...Boar's Head brand is my favorite.  All of their meat rocks. 

Swiss Cheese slices (depending on how many sandwiches you are making...I used 2 slices/sandwich)

Coleslaw (again, I would have made my own, but I had a craving...I had no time to waste.)

Thousand Island Dressing (if you want to make a REAL Rachel.  I didn't think I needed the extra dressing with all the coleslaw creaminess).

Pumpernickel or Rye bread, toasted

Here's What To Do:
Place your pastrami in a skillet on medium heat and toss around until heated through.  Add swiss cheese to the pastrami and cover with a lid for about 40 seconds, or until the cheese melts.  Top your toasted bread with the pastrami/cheese melt, top that with coleslaw, add or don't add thousand island dressing.

I've never seen one of these in Memphis, which is why I probably crave it from time to time.  It's delicious.  You should be craving one now too.  And now you know how to make one.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Screw New Years Resolutions...You Only Live Once

Ever had a burger, deep fried in 100-year old grease, then placed on a bun that has been dipped in said 100-year old grease and topped with cheese, onion, mustard and pickle?  Have you ever sat at a counter, stuffing your face with a burger so deliciously bad for you, you worry that you might be making inappropriate sex noises because the ecstasy you are now experiencing is unworldly?

I have.  You get it at a little place called Dyer's.  It's in Memphis, TN.  You should eat one before you die.  Or better yet...die eating one.