Monday, March 30, 2009

I'm thinking Po' Boys

If there is one thing I’m a sucker for, it’s trying food and/or restaurants that have been featured in magazines (preferably “foodie” magazines, not US Weekly, etc.)

This past Saturday I flew down to NOLA to catch the tail end of our Fantasy Baseball League’s Live Draft/Man-Weekend. Aside from hanging out with a bunch of close dude friends (and staying at Stewart’s sweet house), the highlight of the weekend was trying a Roast Beef po’ boy at Parasol’s Restaurant & Bar. Sound familiar?? This month’s issue of Gourmet magazine did a feature on “the Best Roast Beef Sandwich on Earth” . . . Parasol’s was the first place they wrote about.*

First, I’ve got to thank Stew and everyone else again for going back to Parasol’s Saturday night for dinner (everyone went on Friday whilst I was at home, anticipating another Saturday morning at the office). Per Stew suggestion, I went halvsies on the Roast Beef and fried Oyster Po’ boys with Whaley which was a delicious idea. Truth be told, the fried Oyster Po’ Boy was a better sandwich. I guess I pictured more of a “deli” style roast beef sandwich (like what Arby’s in Heaven will be like) as opposed to the pot-roast variety Parasol’s served up. Don’t get me wrong, it was a tasty sandwich, and I’d recommend it just for the experience, but I’ll be ordering another fried Oyster (or Shrimp!) Po’ Boy next time I’m there . . .

* A few months ago, we were reading up on Garden & Gun’s “100 Southern Foods You Absolutely, Positively Must Try Before You Die” . . .  Parasol’s Roast Beef Po' boy was on their list as well!

Friday, March 20, 2009

How to Read a Book

I have a problem starting books and not finishing them. I know this isn’t anything unique about myself and probably happens to a good bit of the American population, but in the last year or so I’ve started (then stopped, about half-way through):

One author I really like and who I’ve actually finished two of his books (the Blind Side and Liar’s Poker) is Michael Lewis. This afternoon, I read an article he wrote last December (2008) on the End of the Wall Street Boom (a follow up of sorts to 1990’s Liar’s Poker). If you have a spare 20 minutes or so (I’m actually waiting on client information at the moment) and want some interesting perspective on the “sub-prime mortgage meltdown” and how that affected our global financial markets, I’d highly recommend it.*

Speaking of Michael Lewis (and Malcolm Gladwell), the LOML went to a local book store yesterday and picked me up Moneyball and Blink. Sadly, this bookseller just announced they are closing their doors, but lucky for you and me that means EVERYTHING IS 50% OFF!!

* If you didn’t see Jon Stewart interview Jim Kramer last week on the Daily Show, I’d also highly recommend you check it out!! Seriously, it is AWESOME!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

aka we're past the Corporate deadline, so let's drink beer at work this afternoon!

I'm also going to Workplay tonight with Jay to catch a screening of Skiptracers. Oh, April 15th is so close, I can almost taste it!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Scarier than an equity account that won't roll :O

Wow, you go and take your Blog private and then don’t even post anything exciting and/or interesting for a week (notice how presumptuous I am, to assume you think I am exciting and/or interesting).

Let’s just say it’s been a LONG week (I think this is our fourth straight 60 hour week) and the Corporate deadline is Monday. What have I been up to besides clearing review notes and tracking down missing information from clients??

Listening to a lot of rap on (Kanye, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, etc.)

Listening to Mastodon and AM! cover ZZ Top and the Replacements from Warner Brothers’ 50th Anniversary compilation

Wishing I had time to watch Zack Arias critique photographers’ online portfolios/websites

Wishing I was up in NYC to participate in the Great Annual Foodie Photo Scavenger Hunt (I think this would be a sweet idea for the Magic City as well)

Counting down the days til April 16th

Friday, March 6, 2009

if this Blog's a Rockin' . . .

I think I'm taking TMF'H private (for the immediate future) here shortly. 

Don't be scared. I'm sure it will be up and open to the Public again soon . . .

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Braised Oxtail

I guess you know you’re a food blogger when you post your Greatest Hits AND near misses!! This past Sunday, we tried Braised Oxtail, and, well, ok, I’ll just let you read about it . . .

I’ve never cooked Oxtail before, let alone this recipe, from the Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook. So what do the Mrs. and I do?? Obviously, we invite our (first) foodie friends Liz & Grant (with Daveman) over to come try this Gastronomical Adventure with us. I think Frank Costanza best summarizes this idea when he said,

“. . . I was arrogant, I was brash. I thought if I used just the right spices, cooked it long enough . . .”

Although Oxtail sounds like an exotic ingredient, you can probably find it in your neighborhood grocery. This is what 4 lbs of Oxtail look like before cooking.

The first step called for searing all sides of the OT in a little vegetable oil. After searing the Oxtail and setting aside, I cooked about 2 cups (each) of Diced Carrots and Onions and scraped up all the tasty oxen bits with Red Wine/Water and assorted spices (Thyme, Allspice).

The LOML and I are not Wine aficionados. The recipe called for a Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, or other “Robust” red wine. Staring at the wine selection at Publix, I chose the Giant 47 Pound Rooster. Both for its affordability (on Sale at $5.99) and its creative label (this is how I typically choose my wine in grocery stores). I still can’t tell you if it was robust, but it was Red, Cheap and didn’t come out of a Box.

Since our Le Creuset is a little guy (maybe 2 quarts), we finished the Oxtail in our Slow Cooker. Is there really a difference between Braising and Slow Cooking? According to Wikipedia, slow cooking (e.g., crockpots) is a form of braising, so this recipe should have worked, right?


The Lee Bros. said after about 3 hours the Oxtail meat should be very tender and falling off the bone. I checked in after three hours (when our guests arrived), and nope, still pretty tough. After four and a half hours, I made the executive decision and said it was dinner time. This is what my Braised/Slow-Cooked Oxtail looked like after 4.5 hours.


Theoretically, I should have been able to easily pull the meat off the bone and chop into bite size pieces before throwing back in the braising liquid (after skimming off some of the fat/oil first). This is how much meat I was able to pull off. Or rather, what meat I was not able to pull off.

Needless to say, Pheebes is very happy as these went in the freezer and she’ll be enjoying Gourmet, Slow-Cooked Oxtail bones for months to come.

After throwing the Oxtail meat back in the Slow Cooker, I added lemon juice and freshly grated ginger and cooked for a few more minutes. We served the Oxtail over Polenta with Sautéed Spinach and although it didn’t meet my expectations, I wouldn’t call it a complete loss.

Would I try cooking Oxtail again?? Maybe.

Will I subject my wife/friends to this experimental recipe again?? Probably Not.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Tell Me It's Snowing

The LOML and I (and probably most of the state) woke up to an Alabama Blizzard Sunday morning!! I think it’s been 9 years since Birmingham saw “measurable snow”!!