Monday, February 20, 2012

New thing #19: Little tiny cabbages

For most of my life, I've hated cabbage. Raw, boiled, pickled or stuffed - blech. And that also goes for their nasty little cousins, Brussels sprouts.

Alright, to be honest, I had never actually tasted one of those. I can't remember if my mother didn't cook them, or if she just let me off the hook when they were served (6th child burnout). Either way, I couldn't understand why anyone would want to eat a food that smells like feet. Even if it's packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Now that I'm committed to a healthy lifestyle, I'm trying to have an open mind along with my open mouth. I've learned to like plain Greek yogurt, blueberries, chick peas and kale. I've actually become a connoisseur of coleslaw, although I still hate cooked or pickled cabbage. Then one day The Girl, an adventurous taster, said that she liked Brussels sprouts. So armed with a recipe I swiped off Pinterest, I headed to the market and bought a bag.

I decided to roast the sprouts with garlic and olive oil. The recipe said to cut them in half, but I quartered them to reduce the chance of a gag reflex. They caramelized nicely in the oven, filling my kitchen with that lovely feet smell. (Side note - while these were roasting, The Boy came into the room and asked me if I was making banana bread. Either he needs his olfactory senses evaluated, or I need a new banana bread recipe.)

We had the little cabbage cousins for dinner with some grilled chicken thighs and a vegetable pasta salad. I ate them, but I didn't really like them until I mixed them in with the pasta salad. They are okay as a background filler but definitely not a headliner for me. And since I served 8 ounces of Brussels sprouts to four adults and still had leftovers, I don't think I'm alone in my opinion.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

New thing #18: American Coney Dog

I think every town in SE Michigan has at least one Coney Island restaurant. Since I'm from upstate New York, I couldn't figure out why there was so much interest in a faded amusement park town near Brooklyn. I'm guessing it's because Coney Island, NY is famous for 'introducing' the hot dog to the USA. And a staple of every Coney Island restaurant is a coney dog, a natural casing beef hot dog topped with a meaty beanless chili, a strip of yellow mustard and a sprinkle of chopped white onion, served in a warmed steamed bun. These restaurants are also known for great Greek and Mediterranean food, and for serving breakfast all day long. I love Greek food. I love breakfast. So although I've eaten at several different Coney Islands,  I've never gotten around to actually trying the coney.

nom nom nom
Back in Buffalo, if someone came to visit and wanted to try chicken wings, we'd take them to the Anchor Bar. To try a classic coney, Senior & I went to the place where the Detroit coney originated - American Coney Island. This is a cool little restaurant at the corner of Lafayette & Michigan Avenues in the heart of the city. We got a window seat with a great view and placed an order for two coneys, a small Greek-style salad, and a side of shoestring fries (which we rated a respectable 58 on the Jubie scale, where the highest possible score is, of course, a 69). Our coneys looked just like the picture and were nice and messy to eat.  The hot dogs made a satisfying pop when you bit into them. The chili was mildly spicy and heavy on the beefy flavor, almost like a gravy, and subtly flavored by the mustard and onions.  It was good, but it would have been better with ketchup.  Sorry Michiganders... is that irreverent?