Top 10 Things to Eat Before the End of the World

It’s no secret that May 21, 2011 is Judgment Day—the end of the world—as so eloquently articulated (or do we mean ridiculously predicted?) by Family Radio Worldwide’s Harold Camping. Here at ES, we think the best solution to eminent annihilation is to indulge at one of our favorite foodie destinations. And if some of us survive, at least it’ll be easier to get a reservation.

10. English Pudding All Night

The stickiest way to finish up your time on Earth is at the  Three Ways House Hotel in Gloucestershire, England, where they have created the Pudding Club, an “end of the world” experience where you can indulge in a tasting of no less than seven puddings, from oriental ginger to jam roly-poly, and even stay the night in a pudding-themed bedroom. Talk about going out with a bang.

9. Salt-Baked Fingerling Potatoes with Bacon Butter and Anchovy Mayo

Chef Megan Johnson at Elsewhere Restaurant in New York City has created a deceptively simple dish combining the best of all things fatty, starchy, salty and creamy—all the palette pleasers you’ll miss when forced to live on dirt and ants if you’re lucky enough to survive.

8. Mexican-Style Street Corn with Cotija Cheese and Ancho Chile Powder

Austin’s La Condesa restaurant not only serves up more than 100 varieties of blue agave tequila (an essential for pre-Judgment Day partying), but also offers this signature south-of-the-border street corn side dish. If the world really were ending soon, we’d start covering every vegetable we eat in cotija cheese and chili. (Photo: Shelly Roche)

7. East Mountain Pork Live Paté

A beautifully decadent house-made paté is accompanied by onion confit and rye toast at Mezze, a classic bistro and bar nestled in the Berkshires with views straight to heaven. (Photo: Gregory Nesbit)

6. 1949 Chevalier-Montrachet Maison Leroy

Our bomb shelter of choice would have to be the St. Regis Deer Valley’s wine vault, stocked with more than 1,000 different rare labels. Acclaimed sommelier Mark Eberwein recommends popping one of these 60-year-old whites for your last night on earth. (Photo: My Wines and More)

Next: Top 5 Things to Eat Before the End of the World

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America’s Best New Sandwiches, Part 2

Last month ES brought you our list of America’s top 10 new sandwiches. But blogga always said that reader knows best.

Many of you commented on our original story to tell us which of your favorite innovative sandwich should have been included. We chose the ten tastiest suggestions and now present an encore list: America’s Top 10 New Sandwiches, as selected by Endless Simmer readers.

10. Steak Poutine Pita — U Needa Pita St. Catharine’s, Ontario

What could be better than poutine, Montreal’s signature street food? How about throwing that poutine — cheese curds, fries and gravy included — on a pita, so you can actually eat it while walking down the street? Add some steak and you’ve got yourself one helluva sandwich. And yes, for the sake of U Needa Pita, we’re including Canada as part of America this one time only.

9. Westside Monte Cristo — Melt Bar and Grilled — Cleveland


We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: there’s no food so good that it can’t be made better by a trip to the deep fryer. Kudos to Melt for being brave enough to test this theory out on the monte cristo breakfast sandwich — honey ham, smoked turkey, Swiss and American cheese — all battered in beer and deep fried.

8. Chacarero — La Sombra — Austin

We’re officially placing money on Chile’s signature sandwich — the chacarero — to become the next bahn mi, and La Sombra‘s version is the most sumptuous one we’ve seen yet. Shiner Bock marinated sliced hangar steak topped with green beans, avocado, tomatoes, pickled cucumbers and spicy mayo, all on a thin, toasty bolillo.

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Labels are for Soup Cans

It is a question I’ve had to answer again and again.  If it doesn’t come up the first time meeting me (what tipped you off — the obviously thrift store jeans or the decrepit Earth shoes?) I know it still dwells in my new friend’s/coworker’s/grocery store checker’s mind. Maybe they open my fridge for another beer and encounter a meat drawer full of cheese. Perhaps they suspiciously eye my container of leftover tofu pad Thai.  Whatever sparks it, I always know it’s lurking below the surface like Jaws, if Jaws ate black beans instead of people.  “Are you a vegetarian?”

The answer, strictly speaking, is no. The answer, compared to most Americans, is basically, yes. I first heard the term flexitarian a few years back, and I actually suppressed a gag reflex.  Sorry ES, I know they once received a nomination for eater of the year, but I am not ready to unite my eating habits with the soy hemp pomegranate latte crowd. At a recent foodie gala thing, I overheard someone say, “I don’t know what I’m going to eat when I go home because this is my first Thanksgiving as a pescatarian.”  Cue aforementioned gag reflex, and accompanying eye roll.  I mean, come on, you could practically cut the sanctimony with a fillet knife.  Blech.

So, my answer, like most real ones, is, it’s complicated.  I like happy meat from happy cows and you likely won’t find any animal parts in my fridge unless my husband has a hankering for sausage on his homemade deep dish pizza.  One coworker dubbed all of my leftovers “nut-berry casserole.” But…I believe in hospitality, both giving and receiving, so I will eat (and enjoy) any lovingly prepared food, animal or otherwise.  Don’t knock the West Virginia pickled hot dog ‘til you’ve tried it.  And if the only place to watch the Illini game is Buffalo Wild Wings, bring on the hot and spicy wing platter.

I don’t think telling you how great vegetarianism is will convert you any more than telling you how often I go to church is going to make you a Christian.  But St. Camillus does have a fabulous 10:30 mass if you ever care to join me, and if you come for lunch afterward, I dare you to leave any nut-berry casserole, I mean Gado Gado, on your plate.

Gado Gado (A dish so nice they named it twice)

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Super Bowl Grub: Pub Food Triple Play

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of bar food, my waistline can attest to that. However, the biggest conundrum I encounter when I find myself seated atop a bar stool with a pint of beer is what to order — there really are so many great choices. Chicken tenders, nachos, potato skins, how to choose!

From time to time I’ll have a light bulb moment and with what I’m about to tell you is, I think, one of my best light bulb moments ever, and just in time for the Super Bowl.

Potato skins loaded with nachos and topped with chicken tenders. Incredible.

Read on for the recipe.

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Top 10 Foods Only Australia Could Have Invented

Regular ES readers know that I love to celebrate/poke fun at the deep-fried ridiculousness that is American cuisine. My 2008 expose on the Top 10 Foods Only America Could Have Invented remains one of our most popular posts, and by far the most controversial. Every few days a new reader finds this story via social networks and leaves an outraged comment, intimating that I clearly must be a communist for daring to disrespect corn dogs. The BS haters’ favorite line of attack is pointing out that America is not alone in our attempt to deep fry every food. For example, Tav68 rails:

Someone needs to set this poster straight. America is actually number 11 on the list of the worlds fattest nations. This is Directly from the UN web site. Not from some reporter who wants to bash America but from the UN who keeps statistics on this type of thing NOT used for the purpose of Nation Bashing. Australia is the world’s fattest nation, with 36.2 percent of adults being obese…

Hey, point taken. While I have long believed no country can top America when it comes to the great art of artery clogging, I’m willing to give any of them a chance. So in honor of January 26 — Australia Day — and the fact that there is a bring the KFC double down sandwich to Australia facebook petition — I bring you the top 10 foods that only Australia could have invented:

10. Australian Hamburger with “The Lot”

australian hamburger with the lot

The Aussies may not have invented the hamburger, but they sure have taken it to levels not many cultures could have imagined. Ask for one with “the lot” and it will come loaded with a runny fried egg, bacon, cheese, beets (!), pineapple, tomato, lettuce, onions and ketchup (which they call tomato sauce). Makes the New Luther look like snack food. (Photo: Vanessa Pike-Russell)

9. Burger Rings

burger rings

Speaking of snack food, when you can’t find a burger with the lot in Australia, you can always grab a bag of burgers — a.k.a. these beef-y snack rings. If the thought of popping burger-flavored snack rings into your mouth makes you want to gag, then you probably won’t want to know that these things reportedly taste like semen.

8. Chiko Roll

Chiko_roll_in_bag

Found at football matches and many Aussie fish-and-chip shops, the Chiko is basically a Chinese egg roll, only upgraded so that it’s large enough to serve as a whole meal. Inside, you’ll find more than just shredded cabbage: usually beef, barley, carrots, green beans and onions. (Photo: Wikipedia)

7. Bacon and Egg Pie

Egg_and_bacon_pie_with_chips

This is what I call a solid breakfast. As in most countries formerly ruled by Britain, Australians are obsessed with savory pies. The meat pie has even been referred to as the national dish here, and it can be made with anything from minced beef to lamb and steak. But how can you beat one stuffed with good ol’ bacon and eggs? (Photo: Wikipedia)

6. Potato Cakes

potato cakes

Now this is where the Australians really start to challenge us for the deep-fried crown. Smartly realizing that a plate of fried fish and chips just isn’t substantial enough for many people, many chippers here serve their fish with potato cakes — basically giant circles of mashed potatoes deep-fried within an inch of their life. This is one oversize side that puts french fries to shame. Check out Good Food Gourmet for a recipe.
(Photo: jbennett)

Next: Top 5 Foods Only Australia Could Have Invented

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Gridiron Grub: In the Pocket

Rendell

Well the holidays are over and the east coast is in the process of clearing out from the first significant snowstorm of the year. Because of this snowmageddon/snowpocalypse, or whatever else weatherman say to get us to stay tuned in, my beloved Eagles moved their game from Sunday to Tuesday night.

It is a move that did not go over well. Even Gov. Ed Rendell came out and called America a nation of wusses. To be fair this is the same man who years ago admitted that when he was a Philadelphia-based district attorney he offered cash to anyone who could reach the field with a snowball. Despite the snow being cleared, the Iggles must not have been told that they were supposed to play Tuesday night because they barely showed up. Their lackluster effort ensured that the high point of the night would be the pierogi we had thawed out for dinner.

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Leftovers Week: Roast Chicken Pot Pie

HerbedRoastedChicken

As regular readers of ES might know I have difficulty pleasing my BF — in the kitchen. One of the food items that doesn’t sit well with MrsBritannia is dark meat, and I have to be honest it doesn’t sit well with me either, especially on the bone, unless it comes in a basket sitting on a bar with a beer.

The day after Christmas, at least in the U.K. and many parts of the Commonwealth, is known as Boxing Day, a Victorian-era tradition when the wealthy would provide gifts and leftovers to their servants, so they could enjoy a day off for the holidays themselves.  I was brunching across town on Christmas, so I didn’t have any leftovers the next day (fortunately I didn’t have any hired help to disappoint, either). So for Boxing Day dinner we decided to make a roasted chicken and vegetables. As most of our friends were recovering from Christmas themselves it was just the two of us, which made for plenty of post-Boxing Day leftovers, including dark meat. I put out a call for what to do with the meat and I was given a couple of good suggestions, including chicken croquettes and a pastel de choclo. But I played it safe and went with chicken pot pie.

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