Weekend eats. Drank plenty of Colt45 in the past but never together with pickled pig parts from the gallon sized jar that used to be found on the counter of most NewYork bodegas, though not so much anymore. My pickled pig knuckles came off the supermarket shelf. From my first and only mouthful of knuckles my whole face puckered from the vinegar brine that had totally infused the fatty meat. Right away it was not my taste, even the cold beer had to work to get noticed by my taste buds after that. Speaking with my southern in-laws about pickled pork they talk about it with so much love. Back in the day it was a cheep bar snack that was useful to the stomach for a night of heavy drinking much like Jamaica’s mannish water/goat head soup. This is not a delicacy only found in the south, it exists all around the world made with just about every part of the pig with any combination of spices and vinegar. If you see pickled pig parts in a bodega give it a try because it’s part of a vanishing New York.
I Stoped by China towns Kamboat Bakery & Cafe on the Bowery in NYC. It was my second visit to this Chinese bakery. From the outside you see the sun faded prop cakes that are on display in the window. Up against the window I could see inside, the place was filled with seniors sitting at tables and many more selecting food from the cases of food that lined the wall. Although they also sell hot food I didn’t explore that menu, instead I concentrated on their variety of baked goods.
Available is a selection of sweet and savory items to choose from. The price of the items in front of me ranged from a dollar to two dollars enticing me to try everything, which I did resist. As I made my selections they were individually bagged and placed on my orange plastic tray by a young lady assigned to assist me with. She was armed with a pair of long silver tongs. The servers move you along at a quick pace as you make your choices. If there is any hesitation in making a choice an item will be quickly pointed out and suggested, so you had better think quick.
During the time I was there people were elbow to elbow waiting to be served in the intimate space. This is what I bought, a fish sandwich for two dollars, so far my favorite, a coconut tart, egg custard tart, pork jerky rainbow roll, sesame roll, Napoleon taro bun, black pepper chicken Danish, curry chicken Danish, sausage roll, and a chicken pie. What I particularly like is that sweet or savory they are a combination of flakey, puffed or a firm dough. I’m not going to say this is the healthiest food you can eat but it was a fun experience in food tasting at a very good price. Check them out for yourself at 111 Bowery, NYC.
Sometimes you see something you just want to photograph and eat. I have cut down on my sugar intake, but I still long for it in some forms. I see these graphic superman cookies behind the glass case at my local store whenever I’m in there, so here is one of them. I did take a small bite with some milk after I took this photo. Yumm!
My simple way to cook pork ribs, in this case rib tips! No barbecue grill needed! I bought the ribs from my local Asian market here in Brooklyn. It was a long narrow strip so I had the butcher chop them into smaller pieces. Once I got them home I washed and trimmed away some of the excess fat. How you might season yours is up to you. This is how I cooked mine…
1-lb of pork rib tips
½ tsp salt
3 cups of water
Two medium sized chopped garlic cloves
¼ tsp dried chili pepper flakes
1 tsp. Old bay seasoning or any rub that you like
1 cup of barbecue sauce
Scallions for garnish
On the stovetop place your meat in a pot wide enough to spread out the meat. Add water, garlic, salt, chili peppers and Old Bay seasoning or any rub that you like. The idea is to steam the meat so don’t let the water completely cover it. Bring to a boil then turn down to a very low simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 40 minutes then remove from the heat. Transfer the liquid to another container; let it sit for several minutes or so to allow the fat to rise to the top then skim it off. Transfer the meat into a shallow pan and cook at 250 degrees in a pre-heated oven for another 45 minutes, if needed add a little of the juice that you set aside earlier to avoid it from drying out. At this point the meat is fully cooked and it’s now time to add the barbecue sauce. I used a sauce that came right out of a bottle but it was a little too thick for my liking so I thinned it just a little with some of the juice that was left after the fat was skimmed from it. Pour the sauce over the meat and return it to the oven to cook at 350 degrees for an additional 20 minutes. You can determine if you want to change the amount of time you cook the ribs at this point based on how thick the sauce gets as the moisture in it evaporates. I like mine with a lot of sauce although some people only need a hint of barbecue flavoring. When it’s ready to plate up add the dark green end of the scallions as garnish. The meat was tender, delicious, and nicely coated with the sauce. The chili pepper flakes gave the ribs a nice heat. I paired this dish with an ice-cold glass of Japanese Sapporo beer.
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Recently during an impromptu backyard barbecue the subject of school lunches came up. We talked about the the kids going back to school and what they will be eating for lunch from the school cafeteria, which then prompted us to talk about the cafeteria food we loved eating as kids. I have my own memories of school lunches growing up in London.
The lunch ladies cooked everything from scratch, you could smell the food being prepared by 10:30 am; I loved it. Here is a little of what was said.
I spent this past Saturday at a farmers market not far from where I live here in Brooklyn, NY. I wanted to know how people were going to cook the food they were buying from the market that day. Listen to some of the ways they describe their cooking. In some cases I also asked them about the food they loved from childhood.