Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Holland Summerfest

This weekend I will be competing at the New Holland Summerfest. The event is located just outside Lancaster PA in the heart of Amish country. This is my favorite contest of the year. 72 teams will be competing. The event is in a beautiful park and the the teams have access to a great swimming pool as well. Last year they hated my food but I had such a great time it really didnt matter.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Express BBQ NYC

I was in downtown Manhattan for a meeting and noticed a new joint had opened on the corner of Church Street & Park Place (2 blocks from the Word Trade Center Site) It was 9:30 in the morning and it was open for business. I went to my meeting. At about 10:30 on my way over to subway curiosity got the best of me. I went in for a menu. The guy behind the counter was the owner. I asked if the meats were smoked. The owner replied that they were but at another location and delivered daily. I looked at the menu and decided that I would sample the cheapest item on the menu. They had BBQ wraps for $3.99 where you could choose either chicken, pork, or brisket. I asked for a combo of brisket and pork. He asked if i wanted lettuce tomato and cheese on it. I replied to make it plain with a little sauce . He proceeded to make the wrap taking the meets from small metal pans behind the counter. The meat was all cold in these little pans. He then proceeds to bring the wrap over to a microwave. I really thought I was in trouble at that point. The wrap was huge and had plenty of meat in it. I then unraveled the wrap and studied the meat. The brisket was cubed into little 1/4" x 3/4" strips. The pork was shredded. Smoke ring was visible on all of the meats and it had a nice aroma of smoke . When i requested " a little sauce" i guess he was still in wrap making mode and put thousand island dressing on it. ??? I guess I should been more specific and asked for "bbq" sauce. My first bite was a hesitant one. I took a bite and you would never believe it, it was good! The meat was a tad dry but considering it was held cold and microwaved wasn't to bad. The thousand Island dressing was a bit odd but was only on the top layer of meat.The BBQ sauce tasted like a commercial sauce that I have had before but I couldnt put my finger on what it was. The place has been open for 2 months. The owner said business has been slow but steadily picking up.

Express BBQ

(646) 861-1410
Financial District
27 Park Place
New York, NY 10007

Friday, August 14, 2009

Crab Season

These are crabs from the canal behind my house that my kids caught.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I am a big fan of sloppy joes. I have been wanting to go to Shnippers after watching them on the Bobby Flay Throwdown episode. I took my wife and kids there for dinner. The sloppy joe was probabably the best I have ever had. The mac n cheese was a bit strange.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Wilson's BBQ Mac n' Cheese

Mac n' Cheese, Please

Posted by The Artful Diner July 29, 2009 8:07AM

Categories: Recipes
When working out in the fitness center where we live, I usually tune the TV to the Food Network for a bit of background noise. And it is inevitable that, at some point in my workout, Guy Fieri's "Guy's Big Bite" will come on the tube.

On a recent program, Ed Wilson, chef/proprietor of Wilson's Barbeque (which had also been featured on Guy Fieri's "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives), put in a guest appearance. And the recipe that caught my eye was Mr. Wilson's take on macaroni and cheese, the most popular side at his Fairfield, CT, restaurant.

So... first of all, let me share the recipe:

2 quarts water
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
2 eggs
1 ½ cups evaporated milk
½ stick butter, melted
Freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar
Dusting of paprika

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Bring water, salt, and oil to boil over high heat. Add pasta, bring back to a boil and cook until al dente, 8 to 9 minutes. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

In a large bowl, mix together eggs, evaporated milk, melted butter and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in ¾ of the cheese and add the pasta. Spray an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with nonstick spray and add the pasta mixture. Top with remaining cheese and dust with paprika.

Bake until the cheese is golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Serve hot.

I should note that Food Network added the following disclaimer at the bottom of the recipe: "This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The FN chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results."

Well, the recipe looked like a winner to me and I decided to give it a shot... The results were a mixed bag. The consistency was very good, and the proportion of ingredients seemed correct, but I found that the creaminess of the evaporated milk effectively mitigated the appetizing "bite" of the sharp cheddar, which, to me, is the appeal of a good mac n' cheese recipe.

Interestingly enough, when a portion of the recipe was reheated in a saucepan the following day, every thing seemed to fall into place. The various elements apparently had time to meld themselves together, and the result was a taste memory of a childhood favorite. And I would suspect that this is precisely what makes the recipe so popular in the restaurant... It is undoubtedly made up in huge batches and then reheated in side dish proportions.

This is definitely a recipe worth savoring. My advice is to cook up the recipe, let it sit overnight in the fridge and then heat up individual portions the following day... or day after.

Bon Appetit!