Friday, October 31, 2008

Very Excessive With Halloween Decorations

The neighbors caddy corner across the street from me, their lawn was all deck out (in full regalia) with those giant inflatable Halloween lawn ornaments this year (as it's become a regular occurrence every year since day one when they moved in about 6-7 years ago). I am grateful my home is not directly in the line of fire of this ensemble. Which I compare to that of a large bonfire with its glow of light beaming through every window of your home! I feel for that neighbor directly across the street. Can't wait to see what NEW ornaments they have added for Christmas this year!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Basque Chicken and Chorizo Sauté

I am absolutely bonkers over this recipe,
which is fast becoming my 'go to' dish
(at least for now until another recipe
comes along to top it?) I made it
for my sister and her husband during
a recent visit to their home and it was lauded one
of the best dishes they had for some
time (as rustic family dishes go).
Serve with crusty French bread or
baguette and a nice bottle of Spanish rioja.
Or my new personal favorite, a Portuguese
red wine called Cedro do Noval from
the Duriense region.

Recipe as follows:
4 ounces dry chorizo, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 whole chicken legs, split (3 1/2 pounds)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 medium red bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips
2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 large thyme sprigs
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
¾ cup dry sherry
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper
One 9-ounce package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and pressed dry
2 tablespoons shredded basil
Crusty French bread, for serving

Heat a very large, deep skillet. Add the chorizo and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly browned and some of the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chorizo to a large plate.
Heat the olive oil in the skillet. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until well browned, 15 minutes. Add the chicken to the chorizo.
Add the bell peppers, red onions, garlic and thyme to the skillet and cook over moderate heat until barely softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, sherry, paprika and crushed red pepper and cook for 1 minute, scraping up any browned bits from the pan.
Return the chicken and chorizo to the skillet. Cover and simmer over moderately low heat, turning occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes. Add the artichokes, tucking them in between the chicken pieces. Raise the heat to moderate and cook uncovered until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a deep platter. Stir the basil into the sauce and spoon over the chicken. Serve with crusty bread.

Monday, October 13, 2008

River Street Ale House

Just a few photos from a recent
trip to The River Street Ale House
in Pittston, PA

The River Street Ale House
1575 River Road, Pittston, PA
(570) 602-6374

River Street Ale House
Chef Dave Ciminelli with bartenders
Holly Humanik (left) and Sara Gorman.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Nyack, NY: Gesner Ave. Yard Sale

My sis and a few of her Gesner Ave.
neighbors held an all day yard sale
over the Columbus Day weekend
(held Sunday). Nyack's most notable 
resident and fellow Gesner-ite 
Rose O'Donnell was not a participant
in Sunday's yard sales. Aww shucks!

Many literary books and art
books for sale.

Gesner neighbors monitor
their tables full of treasures
for sale.

Potential customers
scrutinize the recycled

Friday, October 10, 2008

Wings Of Freedom Touch Down In Hazleton

The Collings Foundation (Stow, Mass.), a nonprofit organization devoted to living history events, flew four vintage World War II aircraft into the Hazleton (PA.) Municipal Airport on October 8 and stayed through October 10 before taking off to another venue in northern NJ. Vintage aircraft included: Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Consolidated B-24J Liberator, North American B-25 Mitchell and finally a North American TP-51C Mustang. Check the Collings Foundation web site for dates and times on when they'll be at an airport or air field near you? If you're a fan of aircraft from the WWII era it is an absolute must see! It's quite the experience.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Chorizo Burgers

Anymore this is becoming my de facto recipe for making burgers as I love to jazz things up a bit instead of using only salt and pepper as the lone seasonings. I was making some hamburger patties for the grill recently one evening and  spotted some leftover chorizo sausage hanging out in the frig and immediately recalled seeing a Portuguese meatloaf recipe that incorporated the chorizo into the loaf. I thought if chorizo works for meatloaf it will work for burgers! So I grabbed a bowl, took a box grater and shredded the small link of chorizo (a couple ounces worth I guess, I eyeballed it), into the bowl it goes, add the ground beef (1-1.5lbs.), throw in a half of a finely diced small red onion, a clove or two or THREE of finely grated or minced garlic, some fresh herbs chopped up (I like thyme or rosemary), a teaspoon of olive oil, a splash of worcestershire sauce, a few grinds of fresh black pepper, pinch of kosher or sea salt. Now get your mitts in there (wash them first of course) and incorporate everything really well but don't over work it to much. The meat will look like SPAM then. You want a little bit of texture in there. So just mix the ingredients so everything just comes together. Make the patties however thick you want. I made my patties about 1/2" thick and slightly bigger than a hockey puck so I only got about 6 burgers in my batch. Deploy your Weber grill, get the Kingsford charcoal stoked up good and hot..glowing, dump coals into the kettle, put the cooking grate on and then you're ready to get grilling those burgers man! Cook 3-4 minutes a side for med. rare-ish, add a few slices of cheese (I like manchego**Spanish sheep milk cheese**), put between a toasted kaiser or Portuguese roll, with lettuce and a slice or two of tomato..Oi! Burger bliss!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Redskins 23 - Eagles 17

I was in South Philly on Sunday at the "Linc" covering the Eagles-Redskins game. The birds looked great early against Washington scoring two TD's the first quarter. One by Brian Westbrook on a 9 yd. run and then DeSean Jackson on a 68 yd. punt return. Then things went stagnate for the birds. By half time the skins closed the gap 14- 9. Then taking the lead for good in the third quarter 16-14. The birds had plenty of other scoring chances to regain the lead but could only muster a David Ackers FG in the fourth quarter from 23 yds. Skins got the ball back with 7 minutes remaining in the game and basically used the running game to run out the clock. 00:00, game over! Next up for the birds the Niners @ San Fran.  More pics from the game