Archive for May, 2008

Know Your Pig: Pork Neck

Posted in BBQ, KNOW YOUR PIG, Pork, Pork Neck with tags , on May 27, 2008 by chomposaurus

For our Memorial Day BBQ, “Big Meat Mike” brought over some big ass pork necks he’d been marinating in curry sauce for several hours. I’d never eaten them before, but they were giant hunks of meat from a pig so I was not afraid.

Situated directly forward of the shoulder, pork neck comes from the bones of the pig’s spine closest to the head. When barbecued, the result can best be described as the combination of a good pork rib with a chicken wing. It’s easiest to eat it with your hand, and you’ll encounter a lot of globs of tasty but possibly chewy fat. The flavor was that of a very juicy, very fatt pork chop. It’s not for the faint of heart, literally: your arteries will feel this one. Also, the marinade didn’t seem to effect the taste of the meat, but it probably made it easier to eat by juicing it up.

Pork neck, which is the same as “pork neck bones” (a term for the meat of the neck, including the bones), is also popular boiled with vegetables. No matter how you prepare it, you’re in for one of the more adventurous pork experiences.


The Hushpuppy of the Sea

Posted in Restaurant Seafood with tags , , on May 27, 2008 by chomposaurus

I have an idea: let’s find a way to eat delicious Rhode Island clams that is even more ridiculously inefficient than just frying them! Fortunately for me, there are lots of wonderful places along the shore of The Ocean State like Aunt Carrie’s that deliver just such a product, the monolithic round of grease that is the clam cake.

A clam cake is a ball of what can be described as buttery clam-dough which is deep, deep fried and served by the half-dozen. You’re basically eating a hunk of pure fried-ness when a clam occasionally pops up. While the clams:batter ratio is not as good as the typical fried seafood, in some ways it’s more rewarding, sort of like digging for treasure with your mouth. And instead of a sand, there’s grease. Highly recommended for your next trip to our smallest state – and don’t forget the onion rings, which I must say were better here than at The Clam Box.

Hope your Memorial Day on the beach was full of good meat and mellow tides. If you had some good fried clams somewhere, let us know. And I would be in trouble if I did not mention that the chowder at Iggy’s, next door to Aunt Carrie’s, is supposedly the best!

Happy Barbecue Season!

Posted in BBQ, Meat Devices with tags , , , on May 26, 2008 by chomposaurus

It’s Memorial Day, the first day of the Official 2008 BBQ Season in the Northern Hemisphere! GI Joe & Chomposaurus encourage you to watch this brief video regarding grilling safety:

For more (read: real) information, check out the FDNY’s Grilling Tips.

I’d like to add a few of my own:

  1. If you’re a filthy hippy, wash your nappy hair so the oils in it won’t burst into flame.
  2. Do not attempt to grill in a moving vehicle unless that vehicle is a Chevy El Camino.
  3. Taking your George Foreman Grill out onto the porch DOES NOT COUNT as grilling once official grilling season has begun, and you will be penalized for it.
  4. Tempting as it might be, don’t grill your feelings. The smoke will only make things worse.

Happy grilling – Chomp O’Saurus will be back tomorrow with more delicious meat.

Sunday Protein: 104 Chickens in Your Garbage This Year

Posted in MEAT POLITICS on May 25, 2008 by chomposaurus

American throw out way too much food. This fact is not under debate. Unless you believe the Armageddon is coming with in the next five to ten years, there is simply no excuse for throwing out over 25% of your food uneaten – that’s average for a typical American. The NYTimes offered a nice summary last week:

As it turns out, Americans waste an astounding amount of food — an estimated 27 percent of the food available for consumption, according to a government study — and it happens at the supermarket, in restaurants and cafeterias and in your very own kitchen. It works out to about a pound of food every day for every American.

So you throw out about two nice roasting chickens per week. That’s the equivalent of one hundred and four chickens being born, raised, slaughtered and possible cooked simply so you can have the pleasure of throwing them straight into the garbage because you impulse bought them but now feel like ordering a bucket of general tso’s tonight.

Sure, it’s a slightly exaggerated hypothetical situation, but the problem exists, and it’s massive. Most articles tend to focus on large scale ways to fix the problem: composting, collecting donations from restaurants and instituting federal programs. But there’s a much simpler solution: BUY LESS FOOD. Plan a bit before you go to the supermarket. If you’re not sure if you’re going to be able to eat something before it expires, don’t buy it. Yes it’s nice to have organic unpreserved hotdog buns, but if you’re not going to eat all eight in the two days before they become covered with mold (happens to me everytime w/Trader Joe’s organic buns), then consider sacrificing a bit of your hipster cred to buy the 7-11 hotdog buns that last two months.

As far as meat goes, do what I’ve always said: buy less and buy better. It takes like two minutes to come up with a menu for the week; do so and you will find yourself with a lot less crap to carry home and with fewer random, expensive impulse buys.

If you don’t make these small sacrifices, you’ll pay for it. Now that world food supplies are being squeezed, prices are rising, and you’ll end up paying a premium equivalent to the 25% of food that you waste.

For more (and better coverage) of this issue, check out the Wasted Food blog.

Ipswich Clams & Top Notch Mams

Posted in Seafood with tags , , , on May 24, 2008 by chomposaurus

I apologize for the subject of this post; P. Sundae demanded it in exchange for the pictures he took with his new SLR.

Ipswich, MA (and the neighboring town of Essex), located an hour north of Boston, is THE place to go for clams in northern New England. A half dozen restaurants specialize in serving them fresh; some in gourmet settings, but mostly in their famous fried configuration. My favorite place to go is The Clam Box, which has a secret double-frying method that leaves the batter firm but with a subtle chewiness and the clams with a lot of flavor.

Legend has it that Ipswich fried clams were invented by a local potato-chip entrepreneur looking for a way to make some money and/or delicious food out of the local delicacy. In those days, you could easily catch 200 lbs of clams per day in the Great Marsh around Cape Ann. Of course, pollution and over-harvesting have now devastated the area’s hauls. So, while clams are now brought in from places outside of Ipswich, including the southern coast of Maine, to meet the demand, it’s only in town that you can get them prepared just right.
Check out Road Food’s MA guide for more places to get great clams.

Click to see the best picture of your meat correspondent ever, along with a shot of The Clam Box’s menu. I recommend the “Two-Way Combo,” which will net you some zesty scallops as well as clams, onion rings and fries.
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Question of the Day

Posted in MEAT POLITICS on May 23, 2008 by chomposaurus

One of the best things about WordPress is that the stats page tells me what links people click to get to the site. It also lists search queries from various webpages, etc to let me know what searches are leading people to Chomposaurus. Here is, by far, the best of these searches so far:

“which part of the cow is steak?”

My anonymous friend, the answer is simple: ALL OF IT.

I Want To Eat Hogzilla

Posted in Pork with tags , , , on May 23, 2008 by chomposaurus

But I can’t because of the boar taint.

Ladies and Gentlemen, my new favorite Wikipedia category: Famous Pigs

Seriously, I was looking at Javelinas and seeing whether they were edible, which led to the entry on Razorbacks, which led to the entry on Hogzilla, which led to me reading about every famous pig on the site. They even have an entry for George Clooney’s pig, Max.