Wednesday, March 31, 2010

More Pickle Dog Scoop

Turns out there's more to the Pickle Dog story than meets the eye.  And, if demand is high enough, we may even see the Deep Fried Pickle Dog.

Details at Ben's Biz Blog.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Enter the Pickle Dog

My beloved Charleston Riverdogs just announced their new additions to their already splendid food offering at the Joe.   Their lineup of hot dogs is already legendary (as discussed in this City Paper piece), but they've added a few more for good measure.

A couple seem insignificant: the Beantown Dog (top-sliced lobster-roll style bun with baked beans) and the Yankee Dog (w/ brown mustard, sauerkraut, and chow-chow).  Okay, so we have a lot of imported Northerners bouncing around Charleston these days, but do we really need to make them feel more at home?  Who needs more options when you already have the legendary Riverdog with yellow mustard BBQ sauce and a slice of pickled okra atop?

But wait . . . there's the Pickle Dog.  If the description and photo from the Riverdogs' web site is to be trusted,  this is a hot dog that instead of a bun uses a big fat dill pickle--slice the pickle, slather on coleslaw, and stuff a hotdog inside.  Let me repeat: a hotdog stuffed inside a dill pickle!

Could be legendary.  Could be revolting.  April 8th I'll be lined up at the Doghouse concession stand to find out . . .

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Riding the Bacon Explosion

Aaron Chronister and Jason Day of the BBQ Addicts blog made a viral web splash with their infamous Bacon Explosion--two pounds of Italian sausage wrapped up in a basket weave of bacon strips (two pounds worth) and grilled. They posted the recipe on their blog in December 2008 and rode the 5,000-calorie pork loaf to fame, racking up more than half a million blog hits, notices in dozens of newspapers, and a Good Morning America appearance.

I was searching around on Amazon today and noticed that Chronister and Day have now parlayed that notoriety into a book, BBQ Makes Everything Better, which Scribner is bringing out in May.  The Bacon Explosion may have launched them into the limelight, but the book looks like more of a straight-up barbecue recipe book than a collection of flagrant high-calorie eating.

Still, the Bacon Explosion express rolls on . . .

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Squashing Quail

I have a soft spot in my heart (and a subscription) for Garden & Gun magazine.  I know that it's a "lifestyle" magazine for a lifestyle that I'm quite a long way from embodying, but that's okay.  I like the pictures, and a lot of the articles, too.

My own tastes lean much more toward the garden than the gun.  The last animal I shot was a squirrel, and I was about 13, and it was with a BB gun, and the shot seemed to annoy the little guy rather than wounding him.  I can't conceive of paying $20,000 for a pearl-inlayed shotgun, though the things really are beautiful.  But, give me Robb Walsh writing about Gulf Coast oyster bars or P. J. Rourke and Roy Blount, Jr., writing about just about anything and I'm happy.

So, in the latest issue, there's a great looking braised quail recipe from Hugh Acheson of Athens's Five and Ten.  It particularly piqued my interest since Boone Hall Farms, which is about a half mile up the road from me, just started carrying whole quail and I've been looking for interesting things to do with it.  Scanning the ingredients list of Acheson's recipe (as reported by Francine Maroukian), I noted quail, sea salt, black pepper, leeks, and squash . . . wait . . . squash?

Upon closer inspection, the ingredient was not squash at all but rather "2 squash-ball-size yellow onions, peeled and halved."

Squash-ball sized?  It was like being in Toronto all of a sudden and trying to translate $3.75 Canadian dollars per liter to American dollars per gallon and figure out if it was a good price for gas.  How the hell big is a squash ball?  I know it's small--smaller than a tennis ball definitely, and, yes, probably smaller than a racquet ball, too.  I've seen golf-ball sized used a lot in recipes, but why would anyone choose to describe an onion as "squash-ball-size"?

Perplexed, I did a little research.

An official squash ball, as it turns out, is 40 millimeters in diameter, plus or minus .5 mm.    A United States Golf Association-approved golf ball, on the other hand, is up to 42.67mm in diameter.   I guess I have to admire the desire for precision in this recipe, for surely using an onion that is upwards of 2 mm too large might completely scotch the whole preparation, and, even if using a more common analogy like "golf ball" might make the recipe more accessible to the 99.8% of the population that's never seen a squash ball, you really don't want improperly-sized onions fouling up your braised quail.

But, "New South" measurements aside, it's a damn tasty looking recipe.

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