Thursday, January 2, 2014

Philly Cheesesteaks all gussied up...another way to use that leftover Roast Beef

         From the numbers of people who have clicked on James Beard’s Roast Beef Hash recipe just this week (1703 and counting), my guess is there’s a lot of Prime Rib leftover from our Holiday menus.  That’s the case here and after I’d made the hash, I still had a surfeit of delicious and wildly expensive beef.  I have a tremendous weakness for Philadelphia Cheesesteaks, which is generally satisfied by visits to a food truck that’s stationed right on the corner of our New York City street.  Their version is about as basic as you can get:  Thinly sliced beef goes on the flat top where it’s cooked till it’s grey.  Onions, mayo and green peppers are optional. Cheese Whiz is not.  The finished combination is loaded into a soft bun and handed over in a sheath of aluminum foil.  I can’t vouch for the legitimacy of the Potluck Café Truck’s  version. I only know they are my guilty pleasure about once a month. So as I stared at the remaining roast, I decided to see if I could make a reasonable facsimile of the original.  I ended up with quite a fancy version that might not fly in Philadelphia but which sure hit the spot.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The 5 Most Popular Recipes of 2013

         We’ve had a banner year on Chewing the Fat.  As of right now, we’ve consistently increased readership month after month.  Our readers come from all over the globe – China is just 16 readers under Australia.  I’m particularly proud of our Canadian friends.  The whole country has a population of 35 million and 35,000 of them have found a path to our door.  And what have our readers come to see?  If you go back to the very beginning, there are some outstanding figures.   Old favorites like Enchilladas Suizas have over 10,000 reads.  James Beard’s Roast Beef Hash would have you believe there’s a lot of leftover roasts that need a recipe, at least 9674 people seem to think so.  And without a doubt, Austrian Cookie recipes, with their 6457 views are amazingly popular.  But for purposes of this list, I wanted to see what recipes published just this calendar year were the most popular.  The longer a recipe stays up, the more views it gets.   The following list represents only those recipes published here between January 1st and December 30th 2013.  Some have had big lifts from being recommended by other sites.  Some are the creations of super popular food personalities who bring their own audiences whenever they appear.  Think Ina Garten and Thomas Keller.  And some just have mass appeal that surprises even me.  Here, without further ado, are the top 5 recipes of 2013 and my guess as to why they are so popular.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Triple-Chocolate Cheesecake from Abigail Johnson Dodge in Fine Cooking Magazine


I needn’t tell you the Sweets Factory at our house has been in overdrive ever since we arrived here for the holidays.  There have been dozens of cookies, a Red Velvet Cake, even a Norwegian “Fyrstekake” a Cardomon Almond confection, beautifully decorated with star-shaped pastry.  But I would have to say that the piece de resistance so far this season has been a Cheesecake that combined three kinds of chocolate – cocoa powder, bittersweet chocolate and chocolate graham cracker crust.  It was a cheesecake lovers dream. But Andrew still managed to gild the lily by topping the cake with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.  This cake serves at least 16 people.  It was taken to a dinner party and then brought home and it’s been steadily diminishing in size ever since.   It is the perfect thing to bake for New Year’s Eve because it will actually taste even better tomorrow.  Andrew assures me it is easy to make.  I’ll take his word for it.  And also pass on a couple of hints he wanted to share with you. And here they are. Thanks to Andrew and Abigail Johnson Dodge who shared the recipe in Fine Cooking, one of our go-to sources for great recipes.