Regarding Lake George, New York in February 2012

Winter Festival Lake George, New York February 2012

  Being my first visit to the lake since I was a young boy, I had high hopes for the annual winter festival. However due to a very mild winter the lake had not frozen over. Many of the major events had been cancelled and many local restaurants and shops were not open for business on the final weekend of the festival (February 24-26 2012).

  I stayed at the Fort William Henry Hotel which was decent for the price and the staff seemed friendly. They did have an indoor pool, sauna, and jacuzzi, but no fitness center. They also had a tavern which was opened from 5 P.M. till midnight and had a dining area opened for breakfast (7-11 am) and dinner (5-10 pm).  The food was mediocre but the convenience of dining in and the tavern in the hotel were nice.
   One of my pitstops was at the Old Post Grille right on route 9. More of a lunch stop I would say, dinner menu wasn't very impressive. Grab one of their Irish specialty sandwiches and a pint of Guiness. Don't forget to ask them about the soup de jour "MMMMM that sounds good...I'll have that." Waitstaff  had a good sense of humor.
   In kind of a ghost town-like weekend the highlight was at Shepards Cove. They offered a full restaurant downstairs, and full bar featuring live entertainment upstairs. Good pub food, and great atmosphere. Live entertainment courtesy of Scott Price. Check him out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5QE54usVoc Also thank you to the Southern Comfort girls for the free samples and T-Shirts. GRRRRRR.



Chicken Sausage with Spinach, Pasta, and Chick Peas


Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausage with Spinach, Chick Peas, and Pasta


Here's what you need:
  • 1 to 1.25 lb package of boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 12 oz. package of roasted garlic chicken sausage (or your favorite) I use precooked AlFresco brand, sliced into thin 1/3 inch slices
  • 8 to 10 oz bag of fresh spinach (I use baby spinach) chopped
  • 1 can chick peas drained and rinsed
  • 1 lb dry rotini pasta (or whatever pasta you prefer)
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove elephant garlic minced
  • 8 oz chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup light cream
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet or saucepan add olive oil to a preheated pan over medium heat. Add chicken and lightly season with salt and pepper. Toss chicken for 5 minutes until it is almost cooked through. Add onion and garlic reduce heat slightly and cover. Continue to cook for 10 minutes. Add chopped spinach and toss well. Replace cover for about 5 minutes until spinach is lightly wilted and add lemon juice. In a small blender combine stock, flour, and cream and blend until well combined. Add the stock blend to pot. Add strained chickpeas to pot. Season with salt and pepper,taste, and reseason if necessary. Reduce heat to medium low and cook uncovered. In a large stockpot bring 5 qts of water to a boil for your pasta. Follow pasta directions and cook until al dente. Strain pasta but reserve some of the pasta water(1/4 cup)and add to chicken and sauce pot. Toss well and remove from heat. Pasta will absorb much of the excess sauce.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

     
 
 





LAKE GEORGE NEW YORK

Off to Lake George, New York in the morning. I will be visiting local restaurants and pubs, writing reviews, and giving you my opinions. Off season? Yes! Lake Frozen? No. Plenty to do? More to follow. 

Mangalitsa Pork

What is Mangalitsa Pork?


   Mangalitsa are a Hungarian breed of wooly pigs that have a thick curly coat like that of a sheep. They are a lard-type pig which were originally bred for the large amounts of fat they produced. With less of a demand for lard the breed had  almost gone extinct. Today it is becoming increasingly more popular for its strong distinct pork flavor and double the amount of marbling of more commonly available pork. Don't expect to find Mangalitsa in your local U.S. supermarket. Look for specialty farms that raise mangalitsa exclusively.Check this link for U.S. farms :http://woolypigs.com/_others.html Also look for it on the menu of some of the more upscale restaurants. Restaurants pay anywhere between $10 to $15 per lb. for butchered cuts of mangalitsa pork, so you can expect a hefty markup if you are able to find it at all.
   Other links:http://www.pastureprimewagyu.com/category-detail/2/mangalitsa-pork

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/01/dining/01pigs.html?pagewanted=all



Superbowl Wings Superfast

Superfast Superbowl Wings


If you've got a need for speed and need to crank out large amounts of wings during the big game follow these simple tricks.

  • Buy wings pre-cut (disjointed) with the tips removed. Sometimes frozen bags of wings are offered at local supermarkets for a lower price already cut. If you want fresh look for large savings packs (many supermarkets will cut the wings for you and remove the tips)
  • Bring a large stock pot of water with 2 tbsp salt to a boil. If you have a large deep fryer or want to splurge for the oil the wings may also be deepfried.
  • Cook in boiling water or oil for 15-20 minutes
  • Remove from water and place in collander, pat dry. Or remove from oil and place on paper towels to soak up excess oil.  Toss in your choice of sauces.
  • Place wings into a preheated 425 degree oven or  onto preheated grill and cook until desired level of skin doneness(10-20 minutes) turning halfway through cooking time.
  • Remove from grill or oven and toss in a large mixing bowl with more sauce if desired. Serve with bleu cheese dressing or ranch. Garnish with carrot sticks and celery.

Easy Hot Wing Sauce

Ingredients:

Equal parts of hot sauce to Melted butter(unsalted) or margerine
1 1/2 tablespoons  vinegar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
salt to taste


WTF IS PINK SLIME ????

         Why Was McDonalds Adding Pink Slime to Burgers?


 Ammonium Hydroxide commonly used in household cleaners, fertilizers, and possibly homemade explosives, is the chemical additive Mcdonalds' once used in their ground beef production.
It is used by the food industry as an anti-microbial agent(An anti-microbial is a substance that kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria or fungi). This process can make lower quality (dog food quality) meat safe for human consumption. According to the USDA ammonium hydroxide is considered "generally recognized as safe" not very convincing if you ask me. Thankfully McDonalds' announced that they stopped using the chemical additive in their production of its ground beef patties as of last August.
See more food additives you might not be aware of:http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/pink-slime-removed-from-mcdonalds-burgers--but-other-weird-food-additives-remain/2012/02/01/gIQAdfvAiQ_blog.html