Saturday, March 31, 2018

Melting Potatoes

Steak and potatoes....perhaps the greatest combo in all of dining history. How many different ways do I love my potatoes? Baked...French fried...hash browns...tater gratin...there are so many ways to cook them. I stumbled across this recipe for Melting Potatoes this week...just one more way to create the perfect match for bone-in ribeye.

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 cup chicken broth
4 garlic cloves, mashed
Kosher Salt
Fresh ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 500º.
  2. Slice potatoes into 1-inch rounds. Place them in a bowl and add butter, salt and pepper. Toss and then transfer in a single layer on a rimmed, metal sheet pan (a 500º oven is way too hot for glass bakeware).
  3. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping them at the 15 minute mark.
  4. Add the broth and garlic to the sheet pan and continue baking for another 15 minutes.
  5. Serve with the broth drizzled over the top of the potatoes.

Pairing: Bone-in ribeye with melting potatoes? Cabernet Sauvignon, please.

Grogs and Goldie, 1956

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Easter Ham (Stupid Simple Recipe)

It's easter next weekend. Time for another family meal. You better have a Costco membership card in your wallet...otherwise you will miss out on one of the greatest epicurean delights known to modern man. Kirkland ham. Bone-in and spiral sliced. Pre-cooked. Hickory smoked. I'm here to tell you it is the greatest ham you will ever taste.

Not only is the taste of this ham astounding, the price will absolutely blow you away. It's just $2.49 a pound. Cheaper than ground beef. Cheaper than wieners. Cheaper than that 47-week supply of Kirkland toilet paper. You've gotta be plum crazy not to take advantage of this. The world's greatest ham at the world's greatest price.

The ham also comes with a package of glaze. My advice.....throw the glaze away the minute you get home. The pit master has put the absolutely perfect amount of hickory smoke in this ham. The glaze is over-the-top sweet and detracts from hickory greatness.

So let's tick off the boxes. World's best tasting ham. World's cheapest ham. And now for the's easiest recipe.

One Kirkland spiral sliced ham (7-10 pounds)
Aluminum foil
1 cup water


  1. Remove ham from store packaging and wrap tightly in aluminum foil.
  2. Add water to bottom of slow cooker, then add ham and cover.
  3. Turn slow cooker to high for 1 hour, then low for 8 hours.
  4. When done, remove foil and serve.

Wine pairing: The sweet and salty taste of ham goes best with a fruity wine. My first choice would be a Rombauer Zinfandel. I think it is truly one of the world's greatest wines and at $29.99 from Total Wine, just as much as a bargain as the Kirkland ham. If you are hosting your beer-swilling in-laws for Easter, grab a Rosenblum Zinfandel Vinter's Cuvee. It's just $7.99 a bottle. And while your in-laws may not appreciate the wine, you will. It's a really good wine at a really good price point.

Grogs and Goldie, 1956.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Fried Bologna Sandwich

Bologna is a much maligned and ignored luncheon meat. It originated in Bologna, Italy, where it is known as mortadella. Mortadella and bologna have the same ingredients, but the former has little flecks of pork fat in it. American bologna is just a plain shade of pink all over.

The ingredient list is identical for both cuts: beef cuts, pork cuts, pork fat, salt, white pepper, coriander, sweet paprika, nutmeg, garlic and potato flour. As a cold luncheon meat, it tastes pretty much how it looks...unremarkable.

But something remarkable happens to bologna when you fry it. It completely transforms the taste and texture. It's kind of like this formula: smoked pork belly + heat = BACON! Yes, this formula: 1 + 1 = 5! Heat + Bologna = 5!

When you fry bologna, the stars in the sky realign...allowing you to build what is probably one of the world's greatest sandwiches. But frying bologna isn't quite as simple as it sounds. It's round shape causes it to buckle and fold, making it a most unruly sandwich ingredient.

To prevent this, you need to partially quarter the slices. Keep each slice intact, but cut 4 deep notches that will maintain flatness as you fry it. Once fried, you will ask your bologna to join a troupe of sandwich all-stars that will cause you to make this sandwich again and again and again. And that's no baloney.

2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard (Gulden's is my fave)
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon finely chopped dill pickles (Claussen Hearty Garlic is my fave)
2 tablespoons pickle brine
Fresh ground black pepper
7 ounces thinly sliced bologna
4 slices seeded rye bread
A few iceberg lettuce leaves, torn to size of bread


    1. Mix mustard, mayonnaise, and chopped pickles in a small bowl to combine; season with pepper.
    2. Arrange half of bologna slices in a neat stack. Starting near the center and working toward the edges of the stack, cut four 1"-long slits, spacing evenly. Repeat with remaining bologna.
    3. Heat a dry, large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat.Working in batches, arrange bologna slices in a single layer in skillet and cooked until golden brown all over and crisp (about 2 minutes per side). Transfer to a plate as done. Save skillet with any fat.
    4. Arrange bread in a single layer in reserved skillet and cook over medium-high heat until golden brown (about 2 minutes per side). Transfer to a cutting board.
    5. To build sandwiches, spread mustard mixture evenly over each slice of bread. Grind black pepper over mustard. Divide bologna between 2 slices and top with lettuce, then drizzle with pickle brine. Close up sandwiches and cut in half. Serve.

    Pairing: If you insist on washing down your sandwich with wine, I would suggest a Pinot Noir. But if I'm going to eat an incredible sandwich like this, I'm gonna grab an ice cold Pilsner.

    1. Grogs and Goldie, 1956

    Saturday, March 10, 2018

    Corned Beef Brisket (Easy Slow Cooker Method)

    Some meals and holidays are inseparable. For me it's crystal clear what goes with what: ham at Easter; turkey for Thanksgiving; prime rib for Christmas; lobster for New Year's; and corned beef brisket for St. Patrick's day. A lot of those meals require some major work...prep and cooking. But there are two meals that are ridiculously simple...Easter and St. Patrick's Day.

    What makes them simple is the use of a crockpot. It's as simple as dump the ingredients in, walk away and come back for an absolute killer meal ten hours later. You don't even have to peel the onions for St. Patrick's Day! So if you're feeling a little Irish next Saturday and want to share a little blarney with those you love, reach for your slow cooker!

    1 corned beef brisket*, 3-4 pounds
    2 medium onions, cut into quarters
    5 ribs celery, cut into chunks
    1 tablespoon prepared mustard (stone ground preferred)
    2 cups chicken stock
    12-ounces of beer (lager or pilsner)

    *My favorite corned beef is made by that famous Irishman, Sy Ginsberg. It is available at Costco...and it's cheaper than wieners! It's so cheap, I buy three. I cook one and toss the others in the freezer for  feasts at a later date..


    1. Place onions and celery on the bottom of your slow cooker. Add stock, beer and mustard.
    2. Set brisket on top of onions and celery, fat-side up. Sprinkle meat with seasoning packet (which comes packed in your brisket). Put lid on slow cooker and cook on low for 10 hours.
    3. Remove brisket. Slice and serve.

    Pairing: You are welcome for this blinding glimpse of the obvious.

    Grogs and Goldie, 1956