Sunday, 1 May 2011


I like eating biscuits and a while back I was craving them and ribs so last sunday I got together with some friends to do a little hee haw ass southern brunch. We did it up proper with two kinds of ribs, smoked country ham, mac & cheese, potato salad, biscuits, corn pudding, bread pudding, collards, apple pie and some bullshit ass hummus that a korean brought for no goddamn reason. Anyways this post isn’t about that, this is about biscuits. I really wanted some southern style biscuits and wanted to figure out how to make them super flaky and fluffy.
I initially started with this recipe for Black Pepper biscuits because it just sounded dope. These tasted good but were real heavy, just didn’t have the flakiness I was looking for. After that I decided to do more research wondering if it was the recipe or of I was fucking up.
Turns out it was both, my baking powder was like 3 years old (I don’t bake much) and apparently that matters, you want fresh. The other thing was the recipe telling me to bake them 2 inches apart, that’s stupid, they should be touching, it helps them rise. This makes sense but fuck I don’t know man I never made fucking biscuits. Someone else always hooked them up so I never knew how easy these things were to make. It takes less than 10 minutes to whip up a batch of dough, fuck eating biscuits from a tube. Pillsbury is trying to rob your ass with their bullshit. Fresh biscuits are the motherfucking knock.

After this batch I started looking for southern biscuit recipes specifically. I found a lot of people were using southern self rising flours that I can’t buy in San Francisco and didn’t have time to order online. Then I found this post on Pinch My Salt explaining the differences in types of flour. Depending on the flour the percentage of protein it contains differs.
The reason that self rising flour works is the type of wheat used to make it. Southern flours are typically made with winter wheats that are softer than the hard spring wheats used to make northern flours. I didn’t know any of this fucking shit so I look at my flour and I’m using goddamn bread making flour. WTF, I don’t think I even looked at the type flour I was buying when I grabbed this shit. Bread flour has the highest amount of protein which weighs the biscuit down, pretty much the worst shit you can use.
Her post included a break down in flour percentages taken from a book that I should stop being stupid and buy. Using this breakdown you should mix flour types to achieve the appropriate protein percentage.  Everything made sense so I grabbed some regular all purpose flour and decided to try her recipe. I looked at the ratio of cake flour to all purpose and it seemed backwards. I didn’t make any exact calculations but mathematically I thought the amount of all purpose should be higher than cake. It’s whatever though, I tried her shit out just to see the difference.
The pinch my salt biscuits were a lot fluffier than the epicurious joints I made the first time, but there was a cakeiness to the texture of the biscuit. Also her recipe called for baking at 500 degrees, got them done faster but the bottoms of the biscuits were drier. After that I decided to go with my own bastardized biscuit recipe that was just a combination of all these recipes I had come across.  I used more all purpose flour, less cake flour, more baking powder and more butter. My last batch came out super fucking proper, hella buttery though so I can cut back on that but it had the rise, fluffy crumbly flakiness I was looking for. I still did the black pepper bit too.  I like pepper, it’s easy as fuck and a nice touch.
My last batch came out super fucking proper, hella buttery though so for the recipe I cut it to 3/4 stick of butter. A whole stick isn’t necessary and you could cut it down even more if you want but I wouldn’t do a 1/4 stick or less. Also with more baking powder there is a chance of a bitter taste but I didn’t have any of that. If you do cut down to 2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp of baking soda; you should be good with that.
Black Pepper Biscuits:
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 stick chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup chilled buttermilk
  • Whipping cream
  • Coarsely ground black pepper

    Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 450°F.
    Combine first 5 ingredients in processor; blend 5 seconds. Add butter; using on/off turns, cut in until mixture resembles very coarse meal. Transfer to large bowl. Gradually add buttermilk, tossing until dough begins to come together in moist clumps.
    Gather dough into ball. Transfer to lightly floured surface; pat out to 10-inch round, about 3/4 inch thick. Using 2 3/4- to 3-inch-diameter biscuit or cookie cutter, cut out 8 rounds. Place on baking sheet so that all the biscuits are touching. Gather dough scraps together; press out to 3/4-inch thickness and cut out additional rounds. Place on baking sheet.
    Optional: Brush biscuits with cream; sprinkle with coarsely ground black pepper.
    Bake biscuits until tops are golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    Wednesday, 27 April 2011

    Pig Out

    Sunday I spent the afternoon watching this pig lose a battle to man with a knife. Ryan Farr and the folks over at Coffee bar set up this cutesy dinner where for 35 bucks you could watch him work the pig and eat it. I think you got some drinks or some shit too but I don’t fuck with old shitty grape juice. I hollered at some Big Daddy IPAs and watched him do his thing. At some point I told them to save me the eye just because that’s what my grandfather always yelled out when there was fish around. When the head came back from the grill they offered it up, it wasn’t too crazy. I was expecting it to be juicy and salty but it felt like really tender cartilage and flavor wise it was kind of lacking.  It wasn’t bad or anything, but the texture was more interesting than the flavor. When Ryan was breaking down the leg he offered up some bits of the skin, super crispy and that was the best thing I’d eaten that day.

    The food was served up like a buffet, with a variety of cuts, some salad, cheese, and rolls. I think there was a potato salad in there too but I didn’t fuck with it. I got some pieces of leg, cheek, tenderloin wrapped in pork belly and a bunch of other cuts that I’m not sure what they were. It was dope though because a good opportunity to experience all the different things pigs can do. Fuck some swine flu made for TV bullshit, pork is amazing. The only thing that was kind of lacking was just the set up of the whole thing. It was hard to hear Ryan just because the place has these high ceilings, there was a dj playing down tempo stuff (he dropped some liquid swords on the random though). The acoustics of the spot though aren’t that big of a deal, just get a Sham Wow headset and you’re good. It was totally worth it and I definitely want to take a butchering class now.
    tenderloin wrapped in pork belly
    home made corndogs, these were the knock
    long ass chicharron, these were super tasty. Even more flavorful that the packaged ones he makes too.
    fuck now I want to bbq

    Wednesday, 20 April 2011

    My God.

    I got a call yesterday afternoon from my friend Jeff advising me of some potential content for the site.  Before telling me what it was he kept saying that it may not be what I’m looking for, then he dropped this bomb:

    Yep.  Battered and deep-fried White Castle cheeseburgers.

    I have no idea what kind of batter they used but it looks almost as scary as the oil in which the glorious burgers were fried. 

    But whatever, right?  My bros had the vision.  They took the initiative to step outside of the norm, thinking outside of the crave case if you will, and take this shit to another level.  I honestly can’t imagine what else is in the future for Grocery Eats but I’m sure as hell excited.  Stay tuned homies.

    My god this shit looks both disgusting and delicious.

    Thursday, 14 April 2011

    Jalapeno/Bacon Infused Vodka?

    Forgot to post up this shit, made it some time last week, I don't even remember.

    Perfect for the Sunday brunch Bloody Mary.

    Three strips of bacon and one whole jalapeno, sliced length-wise were placed into the vodka chamber tonight.  Sarah said, “the fat rising to the top of the bottle looks like a lava lamp”.  Brunch at our place in three weeks! 

    Bacon Ice Cream!

    Wondering what to do with my leftover bacon we decided it was ICE CREAM TIME!

    It sounds aweful at first but think about it:

    -Bacon and maple syrup
    -Bacon, maple syrup and waffles (choc. chip?)
    -Bacon and chocolate. Those bacon chocolate bars are pretty good.
    -Waffles and whipped cream
    -Waffles and ice cream

    Add all that and you get bacon ice cream with a maple syrup swirl. Scoop it on top of a chocolate chip belgian waffle for a sexplosion of flavor. Just in case the bacon ice cream tasted like shit (and to appease Sarah), I decided to split the base and make half bacon/maple and the other half Nutella, raspberry/ameretto and hazelnut.

    Last night Sarah and I prepped the base and all of the ingredients for both ice creams. The base recipe is pretty rich and called for 3 cups of half and half, 1 cup cream, 8 egg yolks, 9 ounces of sugar (apprx. 1 1/8 cup) and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. We simmered the cream and half and half while the sugar and eggs were whisked together. Once the eggs and sugar went pale, we tempured the eggs/sugar with the dairy and moved the mix back to the heat until it hit 175 degrees F. After a 20 minute rest we added the vanilla and placed the base in the refrigerator overnight.

    Because I was going for a hint of bacon we minced 2 strips and removed all the visible fat. After the bacon was prepped we focused on the maple syrup which was too thin to create a swirl. Approx. 1/4 cup of Vermont’s finest was simmered until it hit thread stage and then cooled to room temp before moving everything to the refrigerator for overnight storage.

    After the bacon prep was out of the way we started on the other ice cream.  Roughly a handfull of frozen raspberries were simmered with 1/8 cup of sugar and some ameretto. Once cooked down, I strained the mixture to remove seeds and let it cool while I chopped up the hazelnuts.

    This morning I poured the base into our ice cream maker (I highly recommend this Krups model) and let it go for 25 minutes. Here’s a shot of it before we mixed it in this morning.
    After the base was out of the ice cream maker we split it in half.

    When I took the syrup reduction out of the refrigerator this morning it was way too stiff so a few seconds in the microwave got it to proper mixing consistancy.   We mixed in the bacon thoroughly and then followed with a few folds of the warmed maple syrup before moving it to the freezer.
    This one was pretty easy too. I mixed in the hazelnuts, folded in the raspberry/ameretto syrup with 3 large spoonfuls of Nutella and then moved it to the freezer.
    I got a chance to taste both of them and while the bacon version was odd, it didn’t taste bad. In all fairness, the raspberry/Nutella version is amazing.  Looking back I’m so glad I took out that extra insurance policy.   Ice cream and waffles for dinner tonight!

    Wednesday, 13 April 2011

    The Meat House


    A few months ago I was talking about things that I really want to do, such as:

    1. Shoot someone with a submarine sandwich out of a potato gun.
    2. Buy a shitty $200 car and do stupid shit to it like installing dual functioning toilet seat moonroofs and coffee can exhaust tips. After all of the abuse and it can hardly drive anymore, shoot the gas tank with a flaming arrow then drive it off a cliff hoping it explodes in mid-air.
    3. Run down a steep gravel trail really fast then try to stop.
    4. Pizza Burger
    5. Brew my own beer.

    Then my dude Shovel enters in the conversation with pics and details of the “Motherfucking Meat House“.

    Here’s what he had to offer:

    ~20 sausages
    12 rashers of bacon
    1 kg of sausage meat
    2/3 packet of bread crumbs
    =5870 calories

    The grass is sausage meat with food dye

    the walk is bread crumbs

    All he asks is that you play “Party Up” by DMX when you look at these pictures.

    Saturday, 9 April 2011

    Big MacChicken

    This was rough.
    I feel the need to give everyone a little backround before I start flashing some truly amazing photos.
    “One of the greatest things my friend ever came up with was a double big mac with McChicken patties as the bread. It has yet to be achieved but its defo on the list.”
    We have been going back and forth about this burger for quite a while and I’ve claimed multiple times that “I’ll make it tomorrow during my lunch break”.    The next day would come around and I’d either left my camera at home or completely forgotten about it.
    Today was the exception. I vowed to create this Atkins-friendly masterpiece.  Consider it achieved, except for the double part.
    Behold the Big MacChicken:
    The whole time I was assembling the burger I kept reminding myself of the calories and fat content but it had to be done, for science of course.  After ordering 3 McChickens and a Big Mac I found a quiet corner of the restaurant and sat down and began dissecting the sandwiches.  The McChickens came apart easily and I stacked the buns to the side.  I kept some of the mayo on the patties as I knew that some sauce would be lost on the bun of the Big Mac.  Each bun was removed and immediately replaced with a chicken patty while trying to keep as much of the secret sauce, lettuce, onion and pickle intact on the burger patty.  The sandwich ended up being much taller than the Big Mac and was heavy for it’s size.  After looking around the restaurant to see if anyone was watching I dove in.

    With the first bite I found myself going through a crunchy/juicy layer after layer and the texture was to die for.  Everything just worked.  Clouds split as a bright ray of sunshine beamed down to my table.  The elderly couple a few tables over started playing a harp as a unicorn walked by during my second bite.  I was in heaven for a few seconds then the guilt hit me.   Was I really doing this?  4 sandwiches at once?  I had to stop.  There was no way I could finish this monster.

    Fast forward 35 minutes and I’m presently at my work desk and miserable.  Thoughts of running to the restroom to vomit are racing through my head.  I have a conference call in 20 minutes and I don’t know if I can make it.   Fuck.  Is it really my stomach that is aching or am I psychologically telling myself to vomit.  All I know is that my mind is telling me that the sandwich was absolutely delicious but my body is rejecting it.

    Friday, 8 April 2011

    Nacho fountain

    This is what happens when I borrow my friend's chocolate fountain.  Hilarity ensues.

    So I just bought a turkey fryer…

    …and the game done changed.  I want to deepfry a turducken.

    A few hurdles to overcome:

    -Hot oil and stuffing
    -Large mass = long cooking time = overcooked turkey

    Some suggestions were to:
    -Cook each bird separately and then assemble
    -Eliminate the stuffing all together
    -Batter (whoa)

    How do we do this properly?