Tag Archives: mustard

Girls can Grill!

27 Aug

 

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Girls can grill. And very well I might add. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Many folks think that grilling is a guy thing. I beg to differ! Not only do I grill a lot, so does my sister.

As is true for most things, my sister and I have very different (read opposite) methodology and philosophy in life. It is something we marvel over. It truly delights us. Raised by the same parents in the same house going to the same schools and having the same brothers, we couldn’t be more different. And we love it. Predictably, same goes for our grilling.

My sister and I conflict (agreeably) with one another on grilling techniques even when making the same thing. For ease and timeliness (I live in a perpetual state of whirling dervish mode…) I use a gas grill. It’s quick to start, temperature management is a no brainer, and it is easy to clean.

So while I go to my gas grill for speed and control, my sister goes full on charcoal grill. I say that with envy. She has WAY more patience than I do when it comes to the finesse of grilling, and she can really rock the charcoal grill.

On to the brats!  They are a grilling favorite. Let’s compare and contrast, shall we? I start cooking my brats in beer and onions on the stovetop. A bit ordinary but the outcome is delish. My sister, on the other hand, starts hers on the grill. With beer. And onions. And buttuh!  Nothing ordinary about that!

 

When the brats are cooked through and have beer and onion deliciousness wrapped around them, they go onto the grill. A gas grill for me-charcoal for my sister. She usually tosses some good hot dogs on a s well. Hey-we are german, so why not load up on the sausages! Look at those grill marks!

 

On to finishing the grilled brats. Again my sister and I express core philosophical brat differences. We disagree on sauerkraut, but we also differ with our buns and mustard, My buns are lightly toasted, hers are not. And my mustard is yellow. Hers is dijon. And she loads those succulent tender onions on her brats as well.

 

My sweet Denis sides with my sister here (in homage to family peace). He is all about the dijon mustard with his brats. But not me. Out of sheer pride I won’t even entertain a dijon mustard option here.

So here you have it. A grilling story.  With very different techniques-but all with great outcomes. So gals, go get a grill and fire it up. Let me know what you are grilling and remember, girls can grill!

 

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Food Foul

5 Mar

I was short on time tonight.  I dashed from work to the gym.  After my workout, I zipped into my grocery store.  They usually make pretty good sub sandwiches there, so I was going to cheat a little and get subs for supper.  I figured I would grab subs, a green salad and some fruit.  That would make an acceptable supper on a busy weeknight.

In the store I stepped up to the deli counter sweaty, rushed, and really hungry.   I ordered a sandwich for my son.  After that sandwich was made, the deli guy asked what else I wanted.  So I proceeded to place the order for my sandwich.

Me:  I would like turkey with swiss cheese on a whole wheat sub, toasted.

Him: (as he began getting the meat and cheese) And you want it toasted?

Me: Yes please.

Him: Okay.

Now this is where the major food foul occurred.  He got the 6 inch sub roll, sliced it open, put the cheese on it, and then the turkey on top of that.

Me silently screaming in my head: DUDE!  A sandwich being toasted ALWAYS has the cheese on top to get hot and bubbly!

Me for real: (Stifling my indignity) Excuse me, can you please place the meat on the bread and the cheese on top of that before toasting it?

Him: Um, oh, sure.  No problem.

I could not believe my eyes.  Who in the world puts cheese and then meat on a sandwich to toast in an open face manner?  I wondered if that is my food quirk or just plain proper protocol to put cheese on top of the meat when building a sandwich.  When I got home, I recounted the food foul for my son as we were eating dinner.  He too was incredulous.  “Everyone knows that cheese goes on top of meat when making a sandwich” he said with a snort and an eye roll (a somewhat innate response that all teenagers have perfected when stating the obvious).  There.  A teenager validated my position, so I must be right…right?

I am the first to acknowledge food quirks. Everyone has them. Eating involves preferences, and one can get…uumm…perhaps a tiny bit demanding  when expressing food preferences. It can, at times, be challenging to maintain proper decorum when observing a serious food foul with regards to a preference that has been expressed.  In the spirit of being a proper food fan, one must maintain good manners and control in food foul situations so as not to let our quirks get the best of us.

Basic sandwich building, for me, begins with the bottom part of the bread.  Depending on the toppings, an initial slather of some type of mustard is usually in order.  Next comes the sandwich meat.  Then the cheese.  (Toasting, if preferred, occurs now). After that, the veggies get piled high.  Then the top bread of the sandwich finishes it off.  This is appropriate sandwich order in my opinion.  And it is my layering preference.  It’s the order of a sandwich building system.   And it’s just how I like my sandwich.

So is this really protocol for building a sandwich?   Do I think that this is the way a sandwich should be made because this is how my mother taught me, and then I taught my kids?  Was this a major deli food foul?  Let me know what you think about proper protocol for sandwich making.  What is your order of ingredients?

Quirky

12 Jun

Everyone has their food quirks.  Something that makes our food distinctly ours.  My oldest son?  He likes what I call a “naked” sandwich.  No condiments.  Bread, meat, maybe a little lettuce or banana peppers from a jar.  That’s it.  I say eeww to that.  Too quirky.  I simply cannot eat a naked sandwich.

And ketchup.  Does it go on the pile of fries, or next to them to be dipped?  Or do you forgo the ketchup all together and go for the European way with mayo on those fries?

Then there are hot dogs.  Kind of a sacred food for this Chicago girl.  Being of german heritage with Chicago as my home town, no hot dog is edible without that bright yellow mustard slathered o it!  In fact, I am into a Chicago Dog all the way.  That includes mustard, celery salt, peppers, tomato wedges, and never ever ever does a Chicago dog done right include ketchup.  In fact, just forming that last sentence, the very thought of ketchup on a hot dog made shivers go up my spine.  No kidding

And Rice Krispies are not at all edible unless there is a ripe banana (no green whatsoever!  It must be soft, yellow and well on it’s way to brown!) cut up in neat little slices plopped into the bowl of  snap! crackle! and pop! in milk on my breakfast table.  But my friend will not eat Rice Krispies unless they are mixed in with a heap of melted marshmallow.  It’s just his thing.

Being a foodie, I, of course, will try just about any food prepared any way.  But I must hail back to my roots and recognize my quirks.  Deleveloped somewhere along my forty-something years of eating, I am not certain quite how my quirky food habits formed, but I allow them air time.  I embrace them.  I also very much enjoy hearing and observing others food quirks.  We all have ’em.  They are fun, and distinguish us from one another.  As in all things, I celebrate differences.  I find differences in food preferences, eating habits, and individual quirkiness intriguing.  Interesting.  Thought provoking.  Fun.

Try all foods, expand your palate, but for comfort…embrace your food quirks!

 

Brats versus onion breath

15 Dec

That’s right.  Brats on one side, onion (and a wee bit of garlic…if there is such a thing as a wee bit!) breath on the other.  Decisions decisions!  As a foodie, this is the never ending battle.  Food versus breath.  Blue cheese breath only works if you are talking to other blue cheese eating folks all night.  Onions are another offender.  Double offense as this has some hang time with our breath, as well as a being a solid gas producer.  You get the picture.

As a foodie, I happen to be a chronic tooth brusher and self breath tester.  I am a big fan of mints too.  As much as I love great food, I am aware that while socializing with friends or anticipating a possible  romantic moment, good breath is a must.  But when you enjoy good food, lets face it.  There is the possibility that our breath can become unpleasant sometimes.  Fresh breath is fantastic, but it isn’t realistic after certain food indulgences.  So do you indulge in good food knowing that bad(ish) breath is almost certain to follow?  Heck yes!

I am an eastern European mix, but raised mostly influenced by my german heritage.  And I was raised in Chicago, a city with proud ethnic diversity and celebrations.  Brats were one of the basic food groups of my youth.  And, of course, where there are sausages-or most any protein for that matter- in any german influenced kitchen, you have sauerkraut.  How delightful!

Brats, in the home of my youth and now the home of my children, are cooked first in German beer and onions.  They simmer on the stove top, filling the house with the most amazing earthy scents.  The house smells like brats, onions, yeasty beer, savory herbs.  The delicious steamy aroma of this cooking stops one in their tracks, and taking a moment to just breath deeply is involuntary. Your head drifts back, nostrils flair, eyes drape closed, and a satisfying moan might even escape as the senses are treated to these aromas!

After bubbling in the kitchen for a bit, the pot of brats is then ceremoniously taken out to the grill.  Popping the brats onto a piping hot grill creates quite another gift for the senses. Loud sizzling, satisfying smoke wafting off the grill, and nose twanging scents float through the air.  Black grill lines begin to appear, adding to the immense satisfaction of cooking these sausages.  While these are cooking, sauerkraut is quickly heated, buns steamed, and a plethora of mustards stand at the ready as the perfect accoutrement to the brat.  Aaahhh!  Major yum!

Ah yes.  Back to the bad(ish) breath. Can’t eat this without the casualty of altered breath, and probably even a solid belch or two.  But it’s oh so satisfying!  Totally worth it in my book!  It’s the never ending dilemma for any one that loves good authentically prepared food.  Eat a marshmallow and there is no party foul.  Eat an oniony brat, your gonna pay.  But go for it anyway.  Grab the Altoids, a piece of gum, or simply giggle in a charming manner and ask your companions to excuse you.  Better yet, make these for your friends.  After all, a skunk can’t smell himself.  Eat fantastic (albeit offensive) food with friends.  Then your all in it together!   Let me show you my brats in picture story form.  Then you too will choose onion breath!

Brats simmering in beer and onions.  Prick the brats with a fork first so they don't explode.

Brats simmering in beer and onions. Prick the brats with a fork first so they don’t explode.

Brats go onto the grill!  Look at those grill lines!  Great job Denis!

Brats go onto the grill! Look at those grill lines!

Steam or grill those buns!

Steam or grill those buns!

While the brats are cooking, heat  up that sauer kraut!

While the brats are cooking, heat up that sauerkraut!

Grab some mustard!  Do not leave those brats naked!

Yikes! Grab some mustard! Do not leave those brats naked!

Oh yeah!  There you go!  A loaded brat!  Grab a beer, some potato salad, and enjoy!

Oh yeah! There you go! A loaded brat! Grab a beer, some potato salad, and enjoy!