Tuesday, May 27, 2008

classy hangover food

Let's face it, when you have a really horrible hangover the last thing on your mind is food. But we all know that getting some of that all important greasy goodness in your stomach is one of the only things that will put you back in the land of the living. That and a half a bottle of aspirin. The problem is that our mushy brains tend to gravitate towards fast food at dire times like these. Quick and painless, that's what we want. It doesn't have to be that way. Or at least not if there is someone else nearby who can still manage to make a grilled cheese sandwich. I think that the grilled cheese is the perfect anti-hangover food. Greasy and cheesy enough to rumble with whatever booze still lurks in your body. Why else do you think it has American classic status? Because of it's healing properties, that's why. It can be as simple as American cheese on white bread pressed in a buttery pan or something quite noble and elegant as my version of the classic. Either way, you'll be on your way to no longer wishing you were dead.

Grilled Cheese with Black Forest Bacon and Pink Lady Apples

8 slices of good dense artisan bread
1/2 lb Beecher's Smoked Flagship (see sidebar)
1/2 lb black forest bacon
2 pink lady apples
Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp butter

Easy stuff. Cook the bacon until done. Preheat a grill pan over medium heat. Slice the cheese and apples. Spread some mustard on the bread. Layer on some bacon, cheese and apples. Put you sandwich together. Spread a little butter on the outside of the sandwich and place on your grill pan (or even on your BBQ). Cook for about 4 minutes each side or until the cheese is melted.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I think I'm disappearing?

All of my old comments disappeared when I revamped my account. Very strange. No big deal I guess but I just wanted to tell you that If you leave a comment I will comment back. I'm not a jerk, really. xo

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Da Pino

On a semi-seedy strip of Rainier Ave on the outskirts of Columbia City (a pretty newly-hip neighborhood near the International District lies a tiny hole in the wall called Da Pino. Blink and you'll miss it. To help find it keep your eyes peeled for the tagged up Chicken Shack across the street and it's not that far from the gutted out Chubby & Tubby. What we have here is Calabria, Italy native Pino Rogano's tiny charcuterie deli/restaurant.

When you walk in you'll trip over a few tables of old Italian men snacking away at plates of a in-house cured salami and lamb prosciutto. That's right, I said lamb prosciutto. It's what Pino is best known for. The only problem is that he runs out before it even leaves the curing room. Not to say that everything else he makes isn't amazing. His spicy salamino is moist and peppery and makes a kick ass sandwich with a little garlic aioli and arugula. Maybe even on one of the scrumptious sandwich rolls from nearby Columbia City Bakery. Also if you happen to see some of his wild boar salami hanging in the case buy a few because you're likely to eat them before you make it home. Slightly gamey with an amazing richness and a hint of acidity from the wine he adds to it. Thinly sliced with a nice double cream brie and a few glasses of a spicy red wine and I couldn't be happier (well, unless I won the lottery).

Yes, I did mention something about people eating lunch there. He has a small menu of assorted sandwiches, soups, and salads. He also has a few pasta specials up on a chalkboard. I recently went to Da Pino with a friend and we were slightly intimidated by Mr. Rogano. He is a very no nonsense guy. After getting over the butterflies in our stomachs I decided to ask him if we could eat there. He pointed to a menu on the counter and we escaped to confines of a table in the corner. He walked over and said we should have sandwiches with the fresh mild Italian sausage he just made. They were so delicious. Nice crusty bread with fresh marinara and melty mozzarella. Oh god, and the sausages were so moist and flavorful. Amazing.

I know Pino doesn't have a kid on the Food Network but that doesn't mean he isn't one of Seattle's kings of charcuterie. Just be sure to call ahead so you can get some lamb prosciutto.