Monthly Archives: April 2009

home fries

De-evolution self-execution no-solution

I’m a potato and I’m so hip

“I’m a Potato” by Devo

I’m a home fry kind of guy, they have much more character than plain old hash browns.  This is just one attempt of many to try to master this important breakfast sidekick. I wen with sliced potatoes over cubed, just a preference.  There are no real rules here, just make sure your taters are nice and crispy.

Serves 4


2 large russet potatoes, sliced into 1/8 inch discs
1 medium onion, sliced into ½ inch wide chunks
1 red pepper, large chop
1 pasilla pepper, large chop
1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence
Vegetable oil, enough to coat to the pans (don’t be shy)
Salt and pepper for seasoning


1.    Heat vegetable oil over medium high heat in a pan sauté onion and peppers, season with salt and pepper, cook until caramelized
2.    Heat iron skillet or griddle over high heat with vegetable oil
3.    Lay the potatoes flat, season top side with salt, pepper, and brush with oil, let them fry until brown
4.    Flip potatoes
5.    Season brown sides with salt and pepper
6.    Cook potatoes until brown
7.    Add sautéed vegetables and Herbes de Provence to potatoes
8.    Season with salt and pepper


Filed under Breakfast, Side, Starch, Vegetable

grilled bratwurst

Roll out the barrel, we’ll have a barrel of fun

Roll out the barrel, we’ve got the blues on the run

Zing boom tararrel, ring out a song of good cheer

Now’s the time to roll the barrel, for the gang’s all here

“Beer Barrel Polka” by Will Glahé

The big debate in Wisconsin is to pan fry, grill, or parboil.  While I am not a bratwurst connoisseur, I have slung my fair share of sausage.  I like parboiling them, it prevents you from making bratwurst jerky on the grill.  If you do parboil, make sure not to let them cook too long or you will be rewarded with an interior that resembles instant oatmeal. Eat more brats! Viva Wisconsin!


3 cans of beer
1 onion sliced


1. Medium pot bring to a boil, keep an eye so it does not boil over
2. Boil onions until soft about five minutes
3. Using a fork, poke three sets of holes lengthwise down the sausage
3. Add brats simmer for 10 minutes
4. Meanwhile, heat up the grill
5. Finish the brats on the grill to crisp up the casing


Filed under Lamb, Meat, Pork, Wisconsin

homemade bratwurst

Yeah you`re pickin up fat records

Go ahead you go pick them up fat boy

Pick em up, fatty, sausage gut

“Sausage Gut” by Jurassic 5


A while back I made my own sauerkraut, it looked so lonely in my fridge, I thought it needed a friend.  The friend that I decided to introduce to my kraut was some homemade sausage.  Most of my faithful readers know my Wisconsin roots, so it is no surprise that my first sausage attempt was bratwurst.  I have adjusted the seasonings to this recipe because while good, my brats were a little bland.


1 1/2 lb pork butt
1 lb veal shoulder
1/2 lb pork back fat
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons ground mace
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground caraway seeds
1 teaspoon ground celery seeds
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 cup milk
Hog casings, thoroughly washed


1.    Grind meats with 1/8 inch plate
2.    Add spices and milk, knead until well combined
3.    Place in fridge for 1 hour
4.    Place casing on the stuffing tube, tie off the end
5.    Stuff chilled meat mix into casings
6.    Twist the meat every six inches like a balloon animal


Filed under Meat, Pork, Wisconsin


Sometimes I think You’re trying to kill me

With your stars and stripes

And sometimes, sometimes your Liberty Cabbage goes dry

But still your arms are strong

Your blood runs furies inside me.

Cities of gold, mountains of purple,

Hot dogs and hamburgers eaten on your laps,

While you sit and watch them kill me with their stars and stripes

While you sit and watch them kill me with their stars and stripes

“Liberty Cabbage” by Rufus Wainwright


Today is the start of the baseball season.  I am currently on my way up to Portland, Oregon, so I missing the opening weekend of baseball in Bay Area. That’s right, no A’s, no Giants, no nothin’.  What made it especially hard is that there is a large Wisconsin contingency that will be in town to watch the Giants play the Brewers.  Last year’s Giants/Brew Crew extravaganza was tons of fun and I am disappointed I will not be partaking in the festivities this year.  The posts for this week will be honoring two things that I love, baseball and my Wisconsin roots.  Today: sauerkraut.  It doesn’t get much more Wisconsin than to make your own sauerkraut.  This recipe is easy and worth the little effort that is involved.  The end result is a sauerkraut that has a good, nutty taste to it and is not so, well, sour.  Try it, it is not very difficult.


1 head of cabbage, shredded
1 tablespoons of salt (non-iodized)


1.    Sterilize a one quart mason jar
2.    Tightly stuff cabbage in the jar, one inch from the neck
3.    Sprinkle cabbage with salt
4.    Fill water to the neck of the jar
5.    Place the inner lid upside down (rubber ring facing up) and loosely screw on cap
6.    Do not seal the lid, this will interfere with fermentation
7.    Place the jar in a dark place, let sit for at least one month, or as long as it takes to taste like sauerkraut
8. Flip the inner lid back to normal and store in the fridge
9. This will last in the fridge for a looooong time, toss it if it turns pink or loses it’s flavor


Filed under Side, Vegetable, Wisconsin

spaghetti with black pepper and pecorino cheese

It was twenty years ago today,

Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play

They’ve been going in and out of style

But they’re guaranteed to raise a smile

So may I introduce to you

The act you’ve known for all these years,

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” by The Beatles


This is a wonderfully simple method for preparing pasta. The Italian name is, Cacio e Pepe, but to me it is Italian mac and cheese with pepper.  I like to leave the pepper in pretty big chunks, which produces little firecrackers that explode between your back teeth.  If you don’t feel like having pepper pop rocks, just grind it into a finer powder.


4 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, freshly cracked with a pan or mortar and pestle
1 pound spaghetti
4 oz. freshly grated Pecorino Romano (use a microplane)


1.    In a large pot of salted water, bring to a boil
2.    Cook spaghetti until al dente
3.    Remove the pasta with tongs (DO NOT DRAIN IN COLANDER) and place in a large bowl, reserve the pasta water
4.    Mix in butter
5.    Mix in pepper
6.    Mix in half the cheese, add a little pasta water to make the mixture creamy
7.    Mix in the other half of the cheese, stir in more pasta water make the pasta creamy
8.    Serve while the spaghetti is still hot

1 Comment

Filed under Cheese, Italian, Noodles, Pasta, Starch

search for the perfect bánh mì #3

Well, come on all of you, big strong men,

Uncle Sam needs your help again.

He’s got himself in a terrible jam

Way down yonder in Vietnam

So put down your books and pick up a gun,

We’re gonna have a whole lotta fun.

“Vietnam Song” by Country Joe and the Fish



Name: Lee’s Sandwiches

Location: 625 Larkin Street San Francisco, CA (Civic Center/Tenderloin)

Out of five Saigon Stars

Bread: 4

Pork: 3

Condiments: 3

Price: 4 (I don’t remember, but it was cheap)

Overall: 3.5 Saigon Stars

Notes: Like the Subway of bánh mì they are everywhere, unlike Subway, these sandwiches are edible


Filed under Asian, Barbecue, Pork, Sandwich