Monday, September 28, 2009

Recipe: Swiss Chicken Supreme version 1.0

4 split chicken breasts (or 8 small, individual chicken breasts)
8 oz swiss cheese
6 scallions
1 garlic clove chopped finely
1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 cup water reserved from boiling chicken
Salt and Pepper

Boil chicken breasts in a large pot until cooked through (I normally don't time this and just check them occasionally with a knife).  While the chicken cools, quickly grill the scallions and chop.  Stir the chicken, scallions, garlic, water, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and swiss cheese until combined.  If the chicken has cooled down dramatically, place the mixture over low heat on the stove/grill in order to melt the cheese.   Spoon onto toasted bread to serve.

The Verdict
This was my first attempt at recreating a sandwich my family would order out from the Holiday Inn in our hometown.  I guess you could actually consider it a type of warm chicken salad served as a sandwich.  Overall, it turned out ok.  In my memories, I remember the filling of the sandwich having a much creamier texture than mine.  I wouldn't call my version dry, but it definitely wasn't what I was aiming for.  By using some of the water reserved from boiling the chicken, I was hoping to thin out the chicken mixture since just adding cheese directly to it would certainly have made it too thick, but I'll absolutely have to look into other possible methods of making it creamier.  Maybe add some buttermilk or heavy whipping cream and let simmer?  Still, I am pleased with how the scallions and smoked paprika added some additional flavor while not being too overpowering.  Adding chopped celery could also be a nice touch in my next version.  And if you couldn't tell, this recipe was meant to have a large amount or leftovers, so who knows how the flavors could meld in the fridge for a day or two.  If there's a big difference, I'll make an update to this post.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Beer Pong!

Plastic cups?  Check.
Ping pong balls?  Check.
Table/door/any flat surface?  Check.
Very cheap beer?  Check.

Beer Pong:  The Universal College Tailgate Activity

Yes, my friends, this is from Fallout 3.

Any drinking activity that influences behavior like the video below should be encouraged.  Who cares that the beer is most likely swill?  Have fun and leave the beer-snobbery at home for once! 

So enjoy the games today and have a few cold ones.  

Beer: Lagunitas A Little Sumpin' Extra Ale

Beer Advocate Profile

Lagunitas Brewing Company
Petaluma, California
Double IPA
8.74% ABV

Talk about a helluva beer for a helluva price.  Expect a solid DIPA with a strong citrus/fruity character (grapefruit, orange) that is balanced with a good amount of bitterness from the hops.  The earthier elements of the hops (pine, grass) are also present, but the fruity characteristics of the beer dominate my palate.  Mouthfeel is probably a little heavy and syrupy, especially after a few sips, but that may be personal preference.  In my epinion, you can sacrifice a little of the hop profile in a DIPA for a crisper feel if you intend on emphasizing the fruit as much as this beer does.

Along with the Lagunitas Hop Stoopid, you can pick up a 22 oz of the Sumpin' Extra for about $4.50 which is absolutely ridiculous.  And I have to admit, the first couple of beers I tried from Lagunitas (can't remember which ones...) left me less than enthused, but this beer and the Stoopid have completely changed my mind.  I've had a few DIPAs that have cost a decent amount more, yet I would consider these two beers to be on par with those (Bell's Hopslam, I'm looking at you).   So pay that Loch Ness Monster tree fiddy to get off your lawn and head to your local store to pick up A Little Sumpin' Extra for fo' fiddy.

Very Highly Recommended.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Recipe: Lemon, Garlic, Rosemary Pork with Asparugus and Sauteed Polenta

-1 butterfly porkchop
-1 clove garlic
-1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
-1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice x2
-Olive oil
-1 tablespoon butter
-2 tablespoons chicken stock
-Salt and Pepper

Chop garlic finely.  Pour olive oil over the garlic and add rosemary and salt.  Mash into a paste.  Rub paste onto pork along with lemon juice.  Add olive oil as needed so the quick marinade sticks.  Saute in pan until cooked (poke test FTW!!!).  Remove from pan once cooked through.  Pour chicken stock into the pan and scrape up any bits of tasty goodness.  Add butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper.   Let the pan sauce simmer for a bit and then pour onto pork.

-Some asparagus (some being the technical culinary term)
-Montreal Spicy Steak Seasoning (McCormick's: good for some quick flavor)
-Olive oil

Mix it together, throw it over medium high heat with some additional oil in the pan, and cook it until tender but not too flimsy.  Easy enough?  Catfish?  (Name The Simpsons reference.)

Sauteed Polenta:
-Pre-cooked, packaged polenta
-Horseradish cheddar cheese 
-Smoked Paprika
-Olive oil

Cook in the same pan as the asparagus.  Cut polenta into manageable pieces (1/2 inch or so).  Saute in pan with olive oil and sprinkle smoked paprika onto each side.  Once flipped (5 minutes or so), place cheddar cheese on top to melt.


250 years.  Congrats, Arthur.  Something about this beer has grown on me very recently.  It may not stack up against some of the highest regarded stouts (Dark Lord, KBS), but there is still some solid flavor in this beer and it is highly drinkable.

The Verdict
Overall, the meal turned out well for something I put together very quickly.  Would've liked to have marinated the pork for a longer time while substituting lemon zest for lemon juice, but the flavor from the garlic and rosemary was pleasantly stronger than I expected.  The pan sauce also helped with a nice kick of lemon and it actually worked well poured over the asparagus.  Polenta was something that I had for the first time recently, and I am really looking forward to working this into many more meals in the future.  The precooked stuff is very easy to manage and cook and it brings a lot of flavor.  Next step:  polenta from scratch!

this is not the blog you are looking for

here is my first pointless post - more surely to follow

Welcome to Not Just Bacon!

So what the hell is this blog?  Rather, what the hell is this blog going to be?  Not Just Bacon will be your home for a wide range of food and beverage related topics:
-Fancy, highbrow recipes
-Half-assed, spur of the moment recipes
-Beer "reviews" and discussion
-Restaurant commentary

Basically anything that has to do with food and beer (and probably other alcoholic beverages).  One day, we could post a breakdown of a meal at a fancy restaurant and the next it could be the burger joint around the corner.

So enjoy the content and please feel free to jump in with comments.  If we put up a recipe where you see an improvement, let us know.  If you think we suck, let us know.

Respect food.
Respect beer.
Not Just Bacon.