Sunday, February 26, 2012

Poetry Corner

From my Bacon Haiku Series

I have one question,
Is all that bacon for me?
Cause I ate it all.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Goat Head Soup

Now this looks like a hearty soup.

Fat, handmade, doughy dumplings bob among roots, tubers, plantains and goat pieces in this Jamaican specialty available on Fridays at C&J Jamaican restaurant and bakery.

This soup is more accessible than you may imagine, and neither overpowers nor disappoints, providing a smooth, silky ride that fills you up and keeps you coming back for more.

This is one of the irregular shaped dumplings.
The thick and fatty broth is wonderful and full of deep goaty flavors. The kind of soup that may just win people over for more goat in their lives.

This is one of the plantain slices. The first time I had this, I couldn't figure out what it was, thinking it was a strange tuber or root vegetable, of which there are many in this soup.
The tubers, roots, and starches all thicken the broth, adding creaminess to the body that plays well with the meatier flavors from head meat. This soup fills your mouth with flavor.

The goat pieces are tricky, but delicious. Go for the ones with obvious meat on them. Some are just fat and connective tissues and such, and should be enjoyed with caution as it can be quite an overpowering flavor alone, but the slow stewed tender meat strewn throughout is more than worth the trouble.

The goat head soup is only available on Fridays. Show up on a random day and you may be sipping on some chicken foot (delicious) or some cow foot (not so much).

The other food is really good too, but the place is really small and always crowded (because it's good).

It's always a fun time in there, as the cast of Brooklyn characters and Caribbean accents fill the small handful of booths and tiny front end, everyone waiting for their number and a spot to sit. Most people get the food to go, but I've eaten in there every time, except once, when I had some goat head soup in my car the very first time, skirting back to my seat to enjoy the fascinating meal and splendor of exotic eats.

Do not be alarmed if there is a very small hair or two, about the size of an eyelash; chances are, it is one.

Friday, February 17, 2012


Check this out!

I'm sure some of you out there will feel some nostalgia over this one.

It looks fun, and probably makes a pretty slamming grilled cheese. I bet it would also be really good with french toast and caramelized apples! (Topped with ice cream of course)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Citrus Close

I never officially ended citrus week. I got caught up in all the fruit and juicing and vitamin C.
I would have liked to post about a few more notable fruits, Cara-Cara oranges, for instance, and maybe kumquats and some other things.

It was fun, why would I want it to end?

The good news, is that now that this super-long week is ended, I can post a bunch of citrus pictures as a wrap up.

These are kumquats, and they're delicious. These little guys are weird and unlike any other citrus. The juice is sour, and the skin is sweet. You pop them whole into your mouth. When I let people try these for the first time, it takes some encouraging for them to keep chewing until the sour dissipates and the sweet skin takes over. They are delicious in stews or braises, and cooking with them can be a lot of fun.
These are a Jamaican specialty called "Ugli Fruit." They appear to be a grapefruit hybrid. The more I look into citrus, the more everything looks like a hybrid. The taste was subtle and not sour. There is a slight tang finish and a lot of juice. The Ugli fruits were good, but not remarkable. I would much rather eat a navel orange. They were also really fibrous and made for some strange snacking.
I really like this picture, and the food that was made with these ingredients was delicious and easy. The two oranges in the background are sour oranges. They had an incredible amount of seeds. The scotch bonnets were pretty big, and were also super cheap (ten for a dollar!) The halved fruit is a Meyer lemon. A sweet, seasonal lemon, without all the fuss and bite of a regular lemon. Some people are obsessed with them.
Anyway, I made crispy Caribbean pork with these things plus some other ingredients. Basically chop up a whole pork shoulder and then marinate in a bunch of spices and citrus juice, then put it in the oven and let it fry itself crispy, turning occasionally.

And now, I say goodbye to citrus week, as a continue to enjoy the bounty of this wonderful family of fruits.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Citrus Week: Charted Territory

Check out this awesome Venn Diagram of the Citrus Family


Also, I got some Sour Oranges today, a.k.a. Seville Oranges.
Keep a lookout for a post about their Caribbean and British uses, and perhaps a recipe for famous Seville Orange Marmalade.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Citrus Week Day Four: Honey Tangerines

Honey Tangerines!

I love tangerines. Their characteristic tang and high sugar content make them a very enjoyable snack.

Honey tangerines are delicious, and exceptionally sweet when in season. I picked these up just browsing through a store. I can't pass up good citrus.

These two came from the same store, but had different stickers - indicating different groves.

It was cool to compare the fruits, but really the main difference was the overall appearance. The Heller's Bros fruit was noticeably cleaner and sharper in appearance. It's a good thing it's the taste that matters!

I have no problem buying ugly citrus, as long as it smells good and feels heavy.

Try out honey tangerines if you like a sweet juicy tangerine with more flavor and heft than a clementine. The skin is thin and easy to peel. There is little pith, but some stringy pieces may stick to the segments. There are often seeds, but seldom many.

Overall it is a wonderful fruit, and worthy of a day on Citrus Week.