Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Do you make Deviled Eggs for Easter???

It almost seems inappropriate to eat something with that name on Easter, right? Well, add a little ham and things certainly get better - at least for the taste buds.

If you are about to have a house full and feel like you just make the same stuff every year, here's a twist for you. Take a shot at it and let me know how you do.

Deviled Eggs with Ham

From “Ham: An Obsession with the Hindquarter,” by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough (Stewart Tabori & Chang, 2010)

6 large eggs

1/2 cup or about 4 ounces spiral-cut ham, diced

1 medium green onion, minced

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons minced celery

2 teaspoons jarred white horseradish

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon minced tarragon leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon cayenne, optional

Several dashes hot red pepper sauce, such as Tabasco sauce, to taste

SET eggs in a large saucepan, and cover them with cool water until covered by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 2 minutes, then cover the pan and set off the heat for about 15 minutes.

DRAIN pan over sink, leaving eggs inside. Run cold tap water over eggs to bring them to room temperature. Peel off shells.

SPLIT eggs in half lengthwise. Scoop the yolks into a large bowl. Place whites on a plate.

MIX yolks with ham, green onion, mayonnaise, celery, horseradish, vinegar, tarragon, mustard and cayenne. Use a fork to mash the yolks fully. Use a small spoon to mound the mixture in the halved egg whites.

PLACE on a platter, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or up to 24 hours.


12 servings

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Monday, March 29, 2010

eeZ on Sunday

In looking for a non-conventional brunch time meal, eeZ certainly fits the bill. The fact that they had a certificate on in December when I loaded up - BONUS!

eeZ Fusion is in Birkdale and opens earlier than just about anywhere else in there that does not service breakfast. We were taking our daughter to use some giftcards at a clothing store (that opened at 1pm apparently), and wanted to eat. eeZ it was and we are happier for it. They have a good lunch menu. During the week it comes across a little on the pricey side, but it's available 7 days a week, and on a Sunday, it's a good deal.

One lunch combo had a Samurai roll with spicy tuna, albacore, cream cheese and other goodies in a jumbo roll, dipped in tempura batter and flash fried. Pair with a salad for $12. It was just enough for an adult male like myself. My beautiful wife got a Cali roll combo (customized) and we were so-so on it. It was fine, but lacked any presentation. It was rolled loosely, so it started to fall apart putting it onto the soy for a quick dip. Our daughter got a chicken teriyaki stir fry with miso soup. First off, their miso is quite good. The large bowl makes it winner, the flavor was right on with not too much bonito flake and just the right amount of tofu and other goodies. The stir fry was a little heavy on the onions, which are not her cup of tea - but I have some lunch for today. It really was the best of the lunch deals.

Our server was above and beyond - even our daughter noticed. Drink glasses were well kept, he had casual conversation with us and really made a valid effort for a busy day.

I am not sure if they are coming back onto any time soon. Birkdale gets busy in the warmer months, so it may be a while. We still have another certificate stored up. If you do find places you like that are on the program, they are good for 12 months. Stock up.

eeZ Fusion & Sushi on Urbanspoon

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Food Lion now Food Spying

There have been a couple articles recently about grocery stores using the video cameras to watch shopping instead of theiving. That's right, they watch the people that PAY for their groceries. It's the newest thing in marketing strategy - watch the people in the store and see what they look at and buy. You would think that the sales at the register would give them most of the info... think again. They may want to know what you look like, bring kids, what else is in your cart, etc... Intriguing. Thanks to some great discounts at Bi-Lo and Harris Teeter, I won't be getting a close up any time soon. That is unless it is going to snow - gotta get the milk and bread (HAHA).

Here is part of an article from the New York Times:Such clips, retailers say, can help them find solutions to problems in their stores — by installing seating and activity areas to mollify children, for instance, or by lowering shelves so merchandise is within easy reach.
Privacy advocates, though, are troubled by the array of video cameras, motion detectors and other sensors monitoring the nation’s shopping aisles.
Many stores and the consultants they hire are using the gear not to catch shoplifters but to analyze and to manipulate consumer behavior. And while taping shoppers is legal, critics say it is unethical to observe people as if they were lab rats. They are concerned that the practices will lead to an even greater invasion of privacy, particularly facial recognition technology, which is already in the early stages of deployment.

According to the Charlotte Observer, this is only in two stores now. There are 1200 stores in their chain. There will be two more using it in the next several months. Considering their corporate offices are in Salisbury, these stores are probably not far away.

Food for thought Stop sneaking grapes in the produce section :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ever eat at eeZ in Birkdale? Then this is for you

New SouthPark restaurant: Cowfish

As in The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar.

When he describes the concept, says partner Marcus Hall, owner of eeZ Fusion & Sushi at Birkdale, "most folks look at me like I have snakes coming out of my ears. They ask: 'How do you expect to market something like that?' and I say, 'Well, you just looked at me like I have snakes coming out of my ears: It should be easy.' "

The idea is to pair a fusion sushi place (not traditional, notes Hall) with a comfortable burger bar, and give proper attention to each: "the best fusion sushi in town and the best burger in town, in a place you can come with your kids or when you've just got done at the gym ... (but also a place you can) propose to your girlfriend. You can spend 8-10 bucks at lunch or dinner or spend $100 a head if you're going a la carte sushi."

Hall began with the Birkdale site five years ago as a franchise out of Canada, and when that didn't quite work, went independent, "tweaked and massaged it and now it works!" He'd been looking for a second location for some time; now plans call for Alan Springate of The Counter by SouthPark and Hall to fold the Counter's space and that of the former Grape into the new venture.

Look for a July-or-so opening, with renovation beginning on the Grape side, to keep closing time to a minimum for the Counter space, says Hall.

The menu at eeZ will give you a good sense of what's to come, sushi-wise, at the new place, but you can also expect "burgushi": "rollers" are sushi rolls made of burger components, such as one with seasoned ground beef and jalapeno, rolled with sushi rice and nori, tempura-battered and fried. Then there's "pick-up" sushi: a sandwich made with sushi components -- a sushi-rice-filled patty loaded with sashimi or Asian slaw.

"It's going to be weird and wild," Hall says, who's also at work on "The Legend of the Cowfish," a children's story about a cow and a fish who buddy up to create their dream place.

"It's fun to be able to create."

Monday, March 22, 2010

Say it isn't so!

Davo's Chicken Shack is Taylorsville CLOSED

Well after a long history of hosting the locally famous Harry Deal and the Galaxies, Davo's is now history as well. It does not really come as a surprise, with "Davo" Deal passing in September. I am sure the economy, the heartbreak of his death as well the age of his parents (the famous Harry Deal of course and his bride) all contributed to the decision.

We will all remember that Hawaiian night as a group, as well as all of the other amusing things that made Davo's such a local treasure.

Gone but not forgotten.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

As we all prepare to eat some form of Irish fare, I have attached a healthy stew recipe for the left over Guiness you might have (or might not depending on who is reading this :)

Funny detail I just learned, corned beef is not Irish. I had no idea. It's what I am having tonight - and can't wait. Traditional Irish cooking for this event was cured bacon slab (done similar to the corned beef) served with cabbage. This style bacon slab was nearly impossible to come by in America during the early Irish migration, so they elected the close Jewish meat - corned beef. Not matter how you slice it (haha, easy pun), I love corned beef. I do enjoy Irish stew and have had the luxury of eating mutton stew in Ireland a couple of times.

This recipe keeps it on the healthy side, but seems full of flavors. I will certainly take a shot at it in the next week or so and let you know. If anyone makes it before I do, post a comment so I can hear all about it.

RECIPE: Beef and Guinness stew
By Margaret Johnson

Yield: 8 servings

Serving size: about 1 cup


2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 tablespoon butter, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 pounds boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt, divided
5 cups chopped onion (about 3 onions)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 cups fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
1 (11.2-ounce) bottle Guinness Draught
1 tablespoon raisins
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups (1/2-inch-thick) diagonal slices carrot (about 8 ounces)
1 1/2 cups (1/2-inch-thick) diagonal slices parsnip (about 8 ounces)
1 cup (1/2-inch) cubed peeled turnip (about 8 ounces)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons butter to pan.

2. Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle beef with 1/2 teaspoon salt; dredge beef in flour.

3. Add half of beef to pan; cook 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove beef from pan with a slotted spoon.

4. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons butter, and beef.

5. Add onion to pan; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.

6. Stir in tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.

7. Stir in broth and beer, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Return meat to pan.

8. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, raisins, caraway seeds, and pepper; bring to a boil.

9. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

10. Uncover and bring to a boil. Cook 50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add carrot, parsnip, and turnip.

11. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

12. Uncover and bring to a boil; cook 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with parsley.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

BBQ Start to Finish

Now that we see the warmer weather making it's way into the area, it's time to think BBQ. I don't just mean hanging out back in front of the grill either (though there will be plenty of that). I mean Festival BBQ. Charlotte seems to start and end the season for us with two events. The first, coming in May:

Beer Bourbon and BBQ Festival Charlotte, NC
Saturday, May 8 10:00a
at Symphony Park at SouthPark, Charlotte, NC

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They close the season for us as well, with:

Blues, Brews & BBQ
Friday, Sep 10 10:00a
at Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC

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Mark your calendars and remember to take a driver :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

RiRa back in business

Tonight is the official Grand Re-Opening party at RiRa. After a long period of rebuilding/restoration, it's time to enjoy Ireland in the Queen City again. I guess timing is everything... St Patty's Day is close at hand and they will be back just in time.

A renewed menu, a renewed interior, should lead to a renewed experience right? Well great. Thanks for agreeing. Who's going with me? We need a expedition party to go into the jungle of Charlotte and seek out good Irish fare. Are you up for the challenge? Can you find your way around the urban jungle to seek gastro-utopia? Well, sign ups are right here.

As the Guiness guys used to say: BRILLIANT! Just comment to me and we will pick an expedition time and team. I think it will take at least 6 people to properly sort through the bush (and Bushmills) and get to the bottom of the situation.

Erin Go Bragh

Ri Ra the Irish Pub on Urbanspoon