Put It In a Jar: Pickled Blueberries

“So. Pickled blueberries, huh?” …was along the lines of what I was thinking when I decided on this as my next victim. To be perfectly honest, I was a bit hesitant at first. Once I began looking up ways to use pickled blueberries though (more on that later), I was sold.

I used this recipe from Saveur, and lemme-tell-you, it is the perfect way to stretch out those pickling muscles. Minimal ingredients, no stovetop prep, plus it’s ready to be devoured in 24 hours. All y’all lazies out there who think pickling takes days and weeks to take effect will love this. Do yourselves a favor though and make this recipe now while blueberries are in season!

Pickled Blueberries

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Sandwiches in the City

New Yorkers are obnoxiously proud of our lunchtime options. We don’t do chains because we don’t have to. Not when you can find everything from banh mi hot dogs to Brussels sprouts sandwiches for under $10. That’s exactly why I’ve been so bothered by the rapid proliferation of Cosi, Pret a Manger and the like across Manhattan in recent years. Are New Yorkers really lunching at these places now? Sure, these semi-upscale sandwich chains are better than Subway or Quiznos, but I’d still take a Boar’s Head bodega roll any day of the week.

Recently entering the midtown sandwich contest and blowing the chains out of the water is City Sandwich, a Portuguese-style sandwich shop from chef Michael Guerrieri. Now, you foodies may be noting that there’s not really any such thing as a Portuguese-style sandwich. This is true. Like most refined Europeans, the Portuguese prefer to sit down and eat their meals with knives and forks. So Guerrieri, who was born in Naples, raised in New York and spent 13 years cooking in Lisbon, has taken traditional Portuguese meals and turned them into an array of newly-invented sandwiches.

The crispy bread is brought in twice daily from a Portuguese bakery in New Jersey; the insides scooped out to make room for fillings and to ensure the sandwiches aren’t too heavy. Each one is spread with high-quality olive oil and built using unique ingredients you’d be hard-pressed to find in any other sandwich shop in the world. For example, the Bench Girl, pictured above, contains alheira, a smoky, spicy sausage that was pioneered by Portuguese Jews during the Inquisition. In an effort not to stand out among their pork-eating compatriots, the Jews invented this chorizo-like link that is actually made from chicken, but looks enough like the real deal that no one could guess they weren’t dining on swine. Apparently, back in the day on the Iberian peninsula, not eating pork was enough to get you burned at the stake. Today, a little bit of pork has managed to sneak into most versions of alheira currently produced in Portugal, but it’s still a superbly rich and flavorful sausage that’s not quite like any other. It’s paired here with an omelet, grilled onions, spinach, and melted mozzarella, for a savory breakfast-y sandwich that is appropriate any time of day.

For a look at City Sandwich’s other inventive, Portuguese-influenced sandwich creations, keep reading after the jump.

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Attack of the Meme: Hipster Ariel on Food and Drink

Fuck being a doctor, president or a flying My Little Pony. All I wanted to be when I grew up was Ariel, the mermaid. Turns out, it would have been a rad choice – Ariel is now a Chuck hi-top wearing, PBR drinking, music snob hipster. And being a hipster, she clearly owns some outlandish ideas on culinary appropriateness. Here”s the best of Hipster Ariel, from casino Fuck Yeah Hipster Ariel, on food and drink.

5. Not Something to Brag About


(Photo: teenage lobotomy)

4. Utensils Are Too Conventional


(Photo: Fuck Yeah Hipster Ariel)

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My First Pickle

pickle ornament

This summer my little brother and his girlfriend moved in together. She keeps the apartment beautifully in shape. This includes their classy Christmas tree this holiday season. I’m not sure if my brother ever lived with a Christmas tree before. My first experience with a tree occurred during college; my roommates even presented me with my first stocking.

(Actually, funny story. That same year we also arranged a house Secret Santa and my roommate bought me a slow cooker cookbook, as I knew nothing about cooking. She bought it as a joke. She took “slow cooker” to mean not smart. Of course, the joke was on her.)

For his first Christmas tree occasion, my brother’s girlfriend bought him a few ornaments: a soccer ball, a menorah and a pickle. It’s nice to know food shows up at all the most important moments. Even if it’s porcelain.

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Slow Cook, Taste It Easy

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So Alex got me this sweet crock pot for my birthday this summer, and I’ve been waiting months for a perfect cold Sunday to kick back and cook up some BBQ pulled pork.

Now before anyone gets all up in my face and yells that this is not BBQ at all (I’m looking at you, Tim), let it be known that I fully understand this is not BBQ at all, but merely a city kid’s indoor imitation of it. You might even call it cheating, but you had better not, because it took me 12 effing hours.

I searched around quickly for this, but the basic recipes (here, here, here) are all pretty much the same, with the only main argument about how long you should cook it for. So I went out to the supermarket and bought a giant pork shoulder, which surprisingly cost about 8 bucks – pretty great considering I’ve got a good 10+ meals coming out of this. The shoulder was so big that I actually had to chop it up a bit to get it to fit in the slow cooker.

Now, ya’ll might yell at me again ’bout this, but as much as I love pulled pork, I’m not a huge fan of the sauce. I often find traditional BBQ sauce too ketchup-y, and you know how we feel about ketchup. So instead I whipped up my own semi-hot sauce: Sriracha, white wine vinegar, worcestershire sauce, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper.

So I poured the sauce on my pork shoulder, set the thing on low and let it cook there for eight hours! I am not the most patient chef ever, to say the least, so as you can imagine I was a little antsy all day. I checked it after 8 hours, and, as one of the recipes recommended, at that point began to remove the fat. I felt like a pretty hardcore butcher chopping off fat.  The meat tasted good, but not quite as tender as I wanted, so I put it back on to simmer for another four hours. This of course meant I didn’t even get to eat it for dinner that night, but I was determined to get this one right…

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Pickle Juice: Officially Makes the World Go Round

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Editors Note:  Some of you may remember the controversial pics of beer can chicken earlier this week.  Well, in conjunction with clawing at a bird until only the carcass was left – we also devoured brats.  And serious brats they were, as we now have our friend Weber, a descendant of the great cheese making state, telling us how to really cook up a brat.  Enjoy his simple, yet brutally honest, directions.  And not to steal Weber’s thunder, but I’ll be posting about the concept of eggplant at a tailgate in North Carolina and what I made with it.     

Wisconsin Beer Brats

Johnsonville Brats (or fresh ones from Farmers Market)
beer (Old Style or any cheap kind,  i.e. Milwaukee Best Light)
1-2 onions (big chunks are fine, peel the layers)
2 cup, roughly pickle juice (serves as a water base and adds flavor)

For Good Results:

Combining the beer, onion, pickle juice, & brats in a kettle and boiling on the stove for 20 minutes will yield “good” results and add tons of flavor.  You then can put beer and onions in a container with the brats to let them soak if you are bringing them to a tailgate.

For Best Results:

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