Always Fun to Walk into a “Real” Bucher Shop- Followed by Grilled Elk-Blackberry Sausage

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This past weekend I had the fun time of heading over to Philadelphia and walk around the Italian Market Festival. Streets were lined with vendors selling all different types of products, fresh produce stands were out in abundance, and along the streets in the storefronts you had everything from pastry shops, cafes/restaurants, cheese shops, to one of my favorites- the butcher shop.

Of course they had the traditonal styled butcher shop- got all of your beef parts in one case, pork in another (I did get a nice 4.5 lb. piece of pork belly), and others with poultry, lamb, etc. It was when I went into another more “exotic” shop, that the fun began.

It started off just by looking at the display in the front window…quail, snake, kangaroo…the list goes on. So when I went inside i started looking around and the variety was quite distinguished. And so I ended up buying a nice package of quail for future cooking endeavours, however for this post we will go into the sausage that I obtained: Elk sausage with blackberry.

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Now, some people may be turned away by some of your gamier meat- but not me (especialyl when it is cut with something like blackberry to add a slight sweetness and some mositure when cooked. So at that point it was sausage (check), then I needed to get some rolls (check) and well a look in the fridge and we found some toppings (check).

I started off by throwing the sausages on the grill. While that was happening outside, I had a pot of water boiling (with salt added) on the stove and tossed in some broccoli rabe to cook for about 2 minutes. When it was done I drained in the sink and flushed with cold water to stop the cooking process. I then had a pan set up with some olive oil, butter, diced garlic, and black pepper. I then checked on the sausage and at the appropriate time I sauteed the broccoli rabe so it was nice and hot just as I borught the sausages inside.

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I started off with cutting the rolls. I then grated some cranberry-cinnamon cheddar onto the roll, tossed on the sausages, and then topped with the broccoli rabe. Overall, a nice flavorful meal which did not require too much time or effort. If you happen to stumble upon elk sausage, I would say buy some and try it- you won’t be disappointed.

Enjoy.

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Scampi with some fresh squeezed lemon

To be honest, I am quite unsure of the last time I had made a shrimp scmapi myself- I’ve had it out to eat at places or in the past when visiting my parents but making my own- hmmm, at least before I started blogging.

I started off with some uncooked shrimp (26-30 count per pound variety) and I took them out of their shells and placed on paper towel to get rid of some of the extra water weight. I then put them in a large bowl, zested 1 lime (yes a lime, not a lemon), tossed in some ancho chili powder, a little bit of salt, and some cilantro and mixed together.

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In a medium pan, I heated up 3 teaspoons of butter and 2 of olive oil. While slowly heating I diced up a couple of garlic cloves (4 or 5) and tossed this into the now hot butter/oil mixture. I sauteed the garlic for a minute or two and then tossed the shrimp in on top. I let them cook for a few minutes and then added in 1/3 cup of Rose wine (did not have a bottle of white open but this is just as good). I then simmered this mixture until the shrimp turned pink.

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Separately, I had a pot of water boiling and had tossed in some thin spaghetti. Once the spaghetti was ready i drained it out and tossed the shrimp/sauce mixture into the pot. I then squuezed the juice out of two lemons and tossed in about 1/2 cup of fresh diced parsley and mixed it all together.

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As you can tell, the wife was happy, so scampi was a success.

Enjoy.

Quick Pic Birthday Cake

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At the beginning of the month my older brother had turned 30. We had a nice little get together (had a surprise as my parents came down as well) and we had a nice little meal (crab stuffed shrimp, filet mignon, and a good amount of homemade Sangria, champagne, wine…). It all ended with a cake I had made. It is an Italian style cheesecake in 3 different sections: plain, chocolate glaze, and cannoli.

A Couple of Meals

Well back from my Easter mini-trip where I got to eat some good old Polish food and so some nice hiking in Northern New Jersey where we had nice weather for the couple days I was up there.

A little different from how I normally do things, which is usually just going through the stuff I have and trying out random concepts (For many meals I hardly do the same thing twice- always some type of variation), but today was different. Talking to my one friend back up North, he was planning a “mock” website for a local Italian restaurant and was looking for some stock photos. I had given him some of stuff I had done in the past and I told him I’d be able to whip up a few quick things that he can use.

Today’s Lunch: Fresh oil-seared Chicken in a homemade Alfredo Sauce.

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Today’s Dinner: Fresh boiled mussels in a spicy pepper-marinara sauce.

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Both pretty simple, quick meals.