Beer Bratwurst

With Oktoberfest upon us, it’s time to cook some classic German recipes.  There’s no Oktoberfest beer bratwurst with onionswithout bratwurst.  I recently came across an article that features a recipe for bratwurst cooked in a beer-based marinade, the perfect thing to put on your grill for the last months of the year where outdoor cooking is possible.

Ingredients:

4 cans of beer – For this, don’t choose a light beer; dark beers tend to be much better.

1 large onion, diced

10 bratwurst

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat.  Lightly oil the grate when it gets hot.

2. Combine the beer and onions in a large pot, and bring it to a boil.  Submerge the bratwurst in the beer and add the red pepper flakes, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

3. Reduce heat to medium and cook another 10 to 12 minutes.  Remove the bratwurst from the beer mixutre, reduce heat to low and continue to cook the onions.

4. Cook the bratwurst for 10 minutes, turning once every several minutes.  Serve beer onions as a topping or a side.

 

Arrogant Swine in Brooklyn

Tyson Ho smoking

Pitmaster Tyson Ho smoking some hogs

While barbecue might be a traditionally southern style of cooking, in recent years pitmasters have started to stake out claims up north in Brooklyn: Fette Sau, Hometown Barbecue, Briskettown, just to name a few.  And this summer, East Williamsburg has added yet another name to that list: Arrogant Swine, a beer and barbecue hall set up by Tyson Ho.

Arrogant Swine’s format is designed to emulate the feeling of a communal pig picking, which Ho tested out during his Hog Days of Summer pop-up meals from last year.  He’ll be honoring the Carolina tradition he was trained on by serving west Carolina-style outside brown, and the menu will also include a selection of country hams from around the US, aimed at establishing the restaurant as what Ho calls a “church of pork”.

Ho has been searching for a place to start a restaurant since Hog Days last year in an effort to make a name for himself and feel out possible restaurant locations in Greenpoint and Long Island City.  Since he quit his financial technology job two weeks after his final event in September last year, Ho has devoted most of his time to finding a new space for his temple of swine.  Although both prospective neighborhoods supported his endeavors, Ho discovered a lower-rent East Williamsburg location that could be just what he was looking for.  For him, the experience from eating whole hog is part of the communal aspect around pig picking, which in North Carolina is a party, which people have to celebrate everything, from birthdays to weddings.  While replicating that party tradition in an urban setting proved challenging, Ho was able to find a wildly spacious yet relatively isolated space that’s allowed him to do just that.

Although Ho grew up Flushing’s Chinese community, he doesn’t identify too strongly with Chinese culture.  While he grew up with such flavors such as chili paste and soy sauce, it’s been barbecue that Ho really feels to be his own.  Ho doesn’t identify as Chinese, but rather as American, and for him, barbecue was a way to carve out what it means to be an American.

Cooking Homemade Pasta

You can always get pasta pre-made at the store, and usually it isn’t half bad.  But what if you want to make it yourself?  Thankfully, it doesn’t require any special ingredients or equipment to make, and the results tend to be quite tasty.  I recently came across an article with the necessary steps to create your own pasta, listed here:

1. Start your dough

Wendy Ingorvaia flour bowl

When it comes to ingredients, all you need for egg pasta is flour, salt, eggs and olive oil.  Start by whisking together 2 cups of flour and ½ teaspoon of salt in a large bowl.  Make a well in the center of the flour, and add three large eggs and one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.  If you want to add some extra flavors to your pasta, then you should mix them in with the flour and salt before you add the eggs.

2. Whisk & knead the dough

Wendy Ingorvaia whisk

Whisk the eggs and oil in a fork, slowly incorporating some of the flour from around the edges as you go.  Once the dough becomes too thick to whisk with a fork, then turn the dough out onto a clean work surface, along with any leftover flour from the bowl.  Knead the dough and remaining flour until you have a smooth, stiff ball of dough.

3. Let the dough rest

Wendy Ingorvaia resting dough

Wrap the dough loosely with plastic, and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.  If necessary, you can also store the dough in a refrigerator for up to a day.

4. Divide the dough

Wendy Ingorvaia divide

Once you’re ready to make your pasta, then divide the dough into four smaller portions.  Work with one portion at a time.  To prevent the other portions of dough from drying out, cover them with plastic until you’re ready to tackle them.

5. Roll the dough

Wendy Ingorvaia roll the dough

Generously dust the dough with flour before you flatten it into a rectangular shape with your hands.  Once you’ve flattened it, start to roll the dough into a long, thin sheet, dusting with flour on both sides as you progress.  Roll the pasta as thin as possible, keeping in mind that it will plump considerably when cooked.

6. Slice noodles

Wendy Ingorvaia slice noodles

Once again, generously dust the pasta with flour, and then fold it into a wide, flat roll.  Folding a pasta into a flat roll instead of simply rolling it up into a tube will help prevent it from being squashed as it’s cut.  Once you’ve rolled it, use a sharp knife to cut the pasta into strips.

7. Loosen the noodles

Wendy Ingorvaia loosen noodles

Shake the cut pasta strands into a loose pile and dust it with flour.  At this point, the pasta can be dropped into boiling water to cook, or can also be piled onto a baking sheet into single portions and frozen.  If you’re freezing your pasta, then transfer the individual frozen pasta nests to an air-tight freezer bag for storage.  To dry this frozen pasta, hang the strands through a hanger over a clothes drying rack, or over the back of a chair in a cool, dry place.  Once the pasta’s dry and brittle, it can be stored in an air-tight container.

8. Cook the pasta

Wendy Ingorvaia cook the pasta

Keep in mind that fresh or fresh-frozen pasta cooks much faster than dried pasta.  A quick three- or four-minute boil in lightly salted water is all that’s needed for a plateful of homemade pasta.

First Post

Welcome to my very first blog post!  Be sure to stay tuned, something delicious is sure to be cooking up!