Monday, July 19, 2010

Quick Bite: Steak Sandwich

Elizabeth made some delicious steak sandwiches for dinner tonight. I came home to the smoky smell of our barbeque, and found some ciabatta bread crisping up on our deck.

We laid a generous portion of brie on the toasted bread, and topped that with some thinly sliced steak. After adding some caramelized onions, we were ready to dig in! It was a tasty sandwich indeed, with plenty of flavor and texture from all the ingredients. I've really come around on onions - I used to stay away from them at any cost, but now I find myself thinking "You know what this sandwich could use? More caramelized onions!"

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Taco night!

We decided to make some pork tacos and Mexican coleslaw tonight. After getting some cabbage with our CSA share this week, we were reminded that we've been wanting to try to make some of the slaw we had on tacos down in Cape May last spring.

The pork was marinated overnight in a chili-lime rub, and it started cooking in the crock pot this morning with salsa verde and vegetable stock added in. It cooked for about 8 hours on low, and was literally falling apart as we started removing it this evening.

The slaw was simple enough to make:

6 cups thinly chopped cabbage
1.5 cups grated carrots
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

We cooked up some rice and beans as sides, and started piling up the tacos. Some lime squeezed over the top finished them off.

The textures were awesome. Crunchy slaw. Bready tortillas. Mmm. The pork was tender enough, although the flavors weren't really coming through as much as we would have liked. We're definitely going to try and cook it a different way next time. The flavors were still nice, though, and some bites were the perfect blend of pork, cilantro, vinegar, and lime. Certainly not the most offensive thing we've ever made! All in all it was a pretty successful taco, and we've got plenty left for lunch tomorrow - always an added bonus.

The aftermath:

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Jersey Shore BBQ

After spending the morning relaxing on the beach, Elizabeth and I decided to try a new BBQ place in Belmar thanks to the advice of some friends. It's located only a few blocks from the beach - their website can be found here.

As soon as you enter Jersey Shore BBQ you begin taking in the aroma of smoky barbeque. Their pit, "Bessie" is located out back, and the smells of oak, cherry, and other hardwoods fill the air of the small restaurant. The menu covers all of the major BBQ staples, and also offers some pleasant surprises like catfish, homemade salsa, and gulf shrimp.

The staff were very friendly, and after realizing neither of us had ordered mac & cheese as a side, hurried out a small sample of it for us to try. It was some damn good mac & cheese.

My meal, pictured above, is the "Belmar Duo". Two proteins plus two sides and some cornbread. I opted for my two favorites - beef brisket and pulled pork. The brisket had a beautiful smoke ring thanks to hours in the pit, and the smell was heavenly. The sauce on the pulled pork was a little sweet, but the flavors were awesome. Neither meat was the most tender I've had, although the textures were far from offensive. I decided on ranch beans and sweet potato fries for my sides. Both were tasty, although the ranch beans came in a very small plastic cup and only offered a pair of forkfuls.

Elizabeth ordered a catfish po'boy sandwich, which she enjoyed. The fish had a nice flavor, and the coleslaw added a nice crunch to the meal. She loved the cornbread - no surprise there.

This fine establishment probably offers some of the most authentic southern style BBQ you will find in The Garden State. The flavors and aromas were all there, although I'd like to see how the meats and their sauces stack up next time. Prices were reasonable and the portions were modest yet filling. Definitely worth checking out if you're in the area.