Monday, December 19, 2011

My Favourite Rasher Sandwich...

Everybody's got their favourite Rasher Sandwich; this is mine. It's not up for discussion, my mind will not be changed, I do not need suggestions on how to make it bettter, it does not need ketchup, brown sauce, onions or tomatoes. It is what it is: Fucking Delicious.
Everything works together perfectly; all the individual parts compliment the shit out of each other. I've been eating these lads for years and have tried them with other bits and nothing tops this.
Ok? Wonderful. Let's go.

Only a few ingredients are needed, Rocket (Arugula to the Americans), White Cheddar Cheese, Rashers (Bacon, again for the Americans), Soft White Rolls (any shape or size) and mayo.

First off throw a few rashers under the grill, cooking them at a nice high temperature not only ensures that the fat gets really nice and crispy but also reassures you that your smoke detectors are functioning properly.
About 2 (big) or 3 (small) rashers per roll is plenty. While they're cooking get your other shit ready.

Put a little effort in; the way some people hack up a roll or a block of cheese is nothing short of criminal. A nice evenly cut roll and neat slices of cheese is not a lot to ask.
It'll taste nicer and you'll feel better about yourself.
The only negative about rashers is they tend to go cold very fast; following my steps will have you eating the sandwich within 30 seconds of the rashers safely exiting the grill.
Keep a close eye on the piggie strips, when you think they're done (they're not, they can handle another minute) pop the roll into the toaster for about 30 or 40 seconds; it's delicious when it's really really lightly toasted.

Like this.

Mayonnaise up both sides of the roll.

Take out the rashers.

When Bruce Springsteen cooks rashers they look like this.

Throw on a couple.

Then a nice layer of cheese.

Top with a decent handful of rocket.

Close it up and get it into you.

If you're like me and you never eat just one sandwich, don't assemble your subsequent sandwich at the same time as the first, turn off the grill and put the rashers you're gonna use for the next sandwich back in to keep them hot without burning them, you don't want a delicious first sandwich followed up with a slightly colder and thus inferior second one.


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Monday, December 5, 2011

The Boozey Swine's Guide To... Enjoying a Fast Food Delivery

In my first instalment of "The Boozey Swine's Guide To..." series I tackle the seemingly simple but actually quite intricate task of successfully ordering, receiving and enjoying your favourite food.
While getting a delivery may seem like the laziest option,
and don't get me wrong; It fucking is, a little effort is required to make the most of it, thankfully though a lot less effort than actually going to the chipper* yourself.

Here's one I ate earlier.

Keep these helpful tips in mind and everything should go smoothly:

Menu Organisation
Keep ALL of your delivery menu's together, while this may lead to endless deliberations and arguments both with others and with your own brain, it is better than ordering from the Italian and realising 5 minutes before it's due at your door that you'd prefer an Indian. Knowledge is power people.

The Phone Call
Know what you want, and what everyone else wants, BEFORE dialing the number. Write it down if need be and if ordering for others make them leave the room, the call is a high pressure situation and you don't need someone in your ear nagging away at you to make sure they don't put onions on their burger.

Salt and Vinegar
If you want them: ASK FOR THEM. It's happened to me with every Chipper in Newbridge that delivers; most of the time they don't ask you if you want Salt and Vinegar, maybe they presume you have some at home but even if you do it doesn't taste as nice as when they put them on.

"COLD" Drinks
Bear in mind that if you're getting drinks with your order that they generally only keep cans and small bottles in their fridge. If you order a large bottle chances are it'll arrive at an inappropriately warm temperature. Make sure to always have the ice tray in your freezer stocked up on the clear stuff.

It's Get Your Shit Together Time
After the call is gone through this is the time to get your Glasses / Ice / Napkins / Sauces / Knives / Forks etc. ready, stick some plates in the oven, it's an absolute fact that chipper chips on a plate in your own home taste better than from the bag. You want as quick and smooth a transition from the handover of goods at your door to your final eating position as possible, you've got 20 minutes or more between the call and the food so make them count.

Pepper? Yes. Pepper is delicious on chipper chips. End of story.

The "Phantom Driver" Phenomenon
The closer you get to your advised delivery time the more seemingly acute your hearing will become and the more your brain will invent car sounds tricking you into thinking your food has arrived early. Try to stay calm. You will hear the doorbell when the driver arrives.

If you have pets, especially dogs, you'll need to keep them quarantined for the delivery and duration of your meal, actually from the time you order the food would be better because the bastards can see it in your face that you're getting the good stuff and they'll want in on it.

Appropriate Dress
When your food arrives you, or some other designated person, will have direct contact with another human being who you may or may not be familiar with. I know this is a less than ideal situation but it is one we must all deal with and so you must dress accordingly. This person is just doing their job and they don't need to be left mentally scarred after seeing someone who has been rolling around in their own filth all day. While shoes are optional, socks are not, put on a pair of socks. Now. While we're at it maybe you'd like to rethink those shorts?

If you're planning your evening around a movie, have it ready to play when your food is in front of you, do not start watching it before your food arrives, the greasy anticipation will only distract you.

Clean up
That's tomorrow's problem baby.

*While I refer to Chipper throughout this article these helpful tips apply to any and all take-away/delivery businesses regardless of their style or country/region of origin.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Jalapeño and 2 Cheese Fried Sandwich *UPDATED


*UPDATE: 17/Jan/2012
"Without too much deliberation I've decided that this is my favourite sandwich of 2011, I revisited it today with a view to making it less of an awkward bollox to make and have succeeded. I'll leave the original post intact but proceed to the end to see a much easier way to obtain and prepare the Jalapeño part of this phenomenal sandwich."

Let me make two things perfectly clear from the outset on this sandwich:

1. It's a bit of a pain in the bollox to make. 10 minutes is enough time to put into a toasted cheese sandwich, this is gonna set you back about half an hour.

2. If you don't like Jalapeños or spicy things in general don't go anywhere; simply by leaving this hot green lad out of the recipe you will have just about the nicest toasted/grilled cheese sandwich you've ever had.
I guarantee it.

I'd been looking around the net for a while for ideas on how to put Jalapeños into a sandwich when I started to see a few recipes that took their inspiration from the "Jalapeño Popper". For those who don't know what that is it's basically a hollowed out Jalapeño stuffed with cream cheese, battered and deep fried. They are tasty. Very much so.
I had to do a bit of looking around for fresh Jalapeños in Newbridge, I found some in Tesco in a packet of hot mixed chillies, other than that you just need some cream cheese, ie Philadelphia, cheddar cheese, white bread, scallions, pepper and butter.

Now the awkward bastard of this is the preperation of the Jalapeños, first off you have to roast them.
(See UPDATE at the end of the post for a much easier way of going about the next 3 steps)

Give them about 10 minutes on a hot plate or under a grill or whatever, this was all a bit of guess work to know when they were done but they turned out good.

After you've taken them off the grill put them into a sealable bag for another 10 minutes, this will steam them and make the skin easier to remove which is what you've got to do next.

Peal off the skin, cut off the ends, then slice them open and remove the seeds.

Next finely chop up some scallions and mix them along with some black pepper into a good dollop of the cream cheese till it's good and smooth.

Just like this delicious mess.

Give 2 slices of bread a very generous spread of this gear.

Give it a layer of the Jalapeños.

Followed by a layer of  cheese. Close the sandwich over and butter the top half.

Place on a preheated (medium heat) frying pan, butter side down, then butter the top half.

Give it a couple of minutes on either side until it's golden brown.

Here it is, a great grilled/toasted/fried/whatever you want to call it Jalapeño cheese sandwich. I didn't last long and you'd easily put 2 or 3 of them away, if I figure out a quicker way to prepare the Jalapeños I'll let you know but this way is definitely worth the effort. The combination of the spicy, but not to the point of painful, Jalapeños combined with the 2 types of cheese is in my opinion one of the tastiest things you can eat.
I only had enough Jalapeños for one sandwich but was only a little surprised to find that the second sandwich I made without them, but with everything else mentioned here, was the MOST DELICIOUS CHEESE SANDWICH I've ever had.

This is definitely in my top 5 sandwiches of all time, try it and if you've any suggestions or ideas let me know!


Buy a jar of these lads. They are in supermarkets in the jar isle. Take the necessary amount out of the jar to cover a slice of bread (how densely populated depends on how hot you like your food, don't be a coward, the more the better) and throw onto something hot, a frying pan or a hot plate or whatever for about 5 minutes, prepare the rest of the sandwich while your doing this. No need to take out the seeds or remove the skin, they taste just as fantastic as the original method above. My only other advice is to not get lazy and throw them onto the sandwich straight from the jar, while this won't make a bad sandwich it definitely will be an inferior one.

Oh and one more thing... GRATE THE  CHEDDAR CHEESE instead of slicing it, this way it'll melt much better!


B.S  Jan 2012

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"Grilled" Cheese Sandwich, with Pesto and Tomato

A sandwich without meat is an unusual occurrence for me. The only situation that I can think of when I choose to eat them is when I'm in the middle of nowhere at some petrol station without a deli and only a few precariously close to their sell by date sandwiches in the fridge beside the calvita and suspicious looking pre packed ham, I tend to go for a "Ploughmans" sandwich or something similar without meat, egg or tuna as these tend to be the safest bet.

Now I was never a fan of pesto, it, along with a lot of other shit we got on fine without before, was snuck in about 6 or 7 years ago by the Celtic Tiger in his man bag and immediately I was suspicious of it. My first encounter of pesto was on a pre made sandwich I got while rushing to get the poxily long train from Dublin to Galway.. "Fuck it, it's on it anyway so I may as well try it" was my attitude. Now maybe it was the early morning, the hangover or the beer I was washing it down with (relax, I was on my way to a  Bob Dylan gig) but I was very unimpressed and decided it was something I could live without.

Roll on 2011, it's the middle of March and I'm 11 hours into an 8 hour flight from Dublin to New York, I'm very sick thanks to the man flu and had managed about 2 hours sleep in the previous 48. The flight is fucking torture thanks to the fact the plane is a leaking(yes water was dripping onto me from the window on the emergency door for the whole flight), slow, no tv, ball of shite. Add to that the fact that the only 10 minutes I managed to sleep during the whole flight was during dinner service, and as I had instructed Gary Wickham not to wake me for any reason, even if we're crashing, I had no dinner. Well I was starving. And then it happened. The pre-landing snack service. Pizza Slices. Thank you Lord. Gary being on the isle sees what type of pizza they are serving and sensing my reaction mildly panics. "Cheese Pizza with Pesto." Just fucking wonderful. Being in the epic state of hunger that I was wallowing in I didn't give a shite what it tasted like... But to my absolute surprise I loved it, "Hunger is great sauce" as the fella says.

Which brings me to today. A few vegetarian friends (I know, I know, but it's 2011 and we have to respect peoples decisions) had asked me to do a sandwich that would suit them and it's been in the back of my mind for a while, so last night rummaging through the net I found a couple of sandwich ideas that I could combine into this.

Before I go on, and I know I've been talking enough shite already without even showing you a picture of a measly slice of bread, I'd just like to say "Toasted Sandwich Machines are shit." I don't know what size bread they were designed for but I've never found a slice that fits one. And don't say the George Foreman grills are good for toasting sandwiches made with regular bread cos they're not. They squash them and all the cheese runs out.The solution is to turn to the American method; Fry the bastard. Not in the Texas Death Row kind of way, I mean the more literal way. Now the Yanks refer to fried cheese sandwiches as "Grilled Cheese", who knows why but they also call the grill a "broiler". I'm not even gonna try to figure them out.

So what you'll need is: 2 slices of white bread, butter one side of each making sure to use plenty of butter, giving them an even coat and not tearing the bread; ask a parent for help if you're not capable of doing this yourself.
Pesto; the green kind, 4 slices of tomato, some light in colour colour but mature in flavour cheddar cheese; I like the Kilmeaden in the purple pack, and some grated parmesan cheese.
Heat up a frying pan over a medium heat while you are preparing this.

When your pan is hot place one slice of bread, butter side down, on it and lay enough slices of cheese to cover it.

Spread a nice amount of pesto over the cheese (using a tea spoon is handiest) and place the tomatos on top.

Place the other slice of bread on top, butter side up. Keep an eye every 30 seconds or so on how the sandwich is cooking by lifting the corner of it with a spatula as it can cook very fast and this will not be nice if overdone. It'll take about 2 minutes a side.

Flip it over and it should look like this.

While the other side is cooking sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top. I'm well aware that pesto contains parmesan cheese but it's no harm to add some more (I have no idea if this is true, it may well be harmful, consult a doctor or your local county counselor if you're concerned).

And it's done, a lovely tasty snack, suitable for vegetarians the world over... Just be careful as with any hot sandwich containing tomato, said tomato may be hotter than the surface of the Sun, but sure that only adds a little excitment to things.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Dog Father Hot Dogs

A lot of the best times I've had in recent years have been in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny... While some places can tolerate the carry on of me and my comrades, the people of Thomastown actively encourage it. It's not first time a Thomastown musician has featured on this blog (see Nathan Conway's Sandwich) and I doubt it will be the last.

Joe Glynn, drummer with one of my favourite bands Neon Wolf, has set up a business that brought a tear to my eye, I caught up with him for a slightly drunken (me, not him) chat when I spotted him set up side stage at a recent John Martyn tribute concert in Carroll's of Thomastown. The reasons a simple hot dog stand has brought a tear to my are two-fold; Firstly this is not a simple hot dog stand... It's the Rolls Royce Phantom of hot dog stands, it's the size of an average Manhattan appartment, and secondly is his passion for a great product; he refuses to use cheap or inferior ingredients, he simply believes there is no point selling hot dogs if they're not gonna be the best... I'll be the judge of that!

Now given that my primary purpose for being in the venue was music and beer, and being bound to the rule of "Eating Is Cheating" I restricted myself to 2 hot dogs (most would only manage one of these bad boys), any more and I would have been having an early Saturday night instead of the early Sunday morning it transpired to be.

First off I had a traditional and delicious hot dog topped with ketchup, mustard and onions. Top marks on that one. I went back to the gig very happy, had a few more beers, listened to a few more tunes and decided there was room for one more. This time I left it up to Joe as to how to top it off, and top it off he did! Ketchup, mustard and sauerkraut, it was like being back in New York...

Hands down the best hot dog I've ever had in Ireland.

Simple as that.

Listen to and download Neon Wolf's brilliant tunes here

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cheese on Crackers? Yep that's all...

"Well this is just plain lazy!"... Things aren't always gonna be elaborate and fancy round here ("When were they ever" says you)...

One of the main reasons I started this blog was to try to force myself to be a little bit more adventurous in the shite that I eat, now cheese on crackers might not seem adventurous to you but for me anything outside of standard red cheddar on cream crackers (and microwaved for 15 seconds) was none of my business up to recently.

The Dempsey family, who have "tolerated with great patience" (being the most appropriate term) myself and the rest of my band for about 8 years now, are never ones to shy away from trying different types of cheeses and are constantly in their infinite generosity, or maybe pity, trying to get me to taste them.
In fairness it's very rare that they have gotten me to taste something I haven't liked and I've decided to start seeking out these nice things for myself for my own home.
Now I didn't have any red wine to properly acompany this posh snack but I did have some red lemonade.

The crackers are Jacob's Mediterraneo Olive Oil and Oregano and the cheese is Marks and Spencers Cornish Cruncher, Extra Strengh Cheddar with a Strengh of 7 and it won a gold award in 2009 if you wouldn't mind!

Now this is grand stuff altogether, tasty aul crackers and the cheese is the kind of cheese that that girl off the Calvita packets, after presumably growing up and getting a degree in something pointless in Trinity, should now be putting her face to. Try this stuff, it's grand.

Now if I could only figure out how to deep fry 'em!

Boozey x

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

The BLT Hot Dog

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions... To have a hot dog or a BLT sandwich?... A question surely posed somewhere at sometime... I present the solution to the problem you didn't know existed:
The BLT Hotdog.
I won't for a second claim that I came up with the idea, all kinds of weird and wonderful hot dogs exist in the U.S.A if you're willing to seek them out; I came across this in New York earlier in the year, I just want to show that you don't have to be restricted to the standard hot dog toppings.

What you'll need:
Hot dog Rolls
Streaky Rashers
Hot dogs; I used jumbo size ones for this, regular are just as good

I haven't figured out a decent way of doing this better or easier other than using a George Foreman Grill, I wouldn't advise trying this without one or something similar. You're gonna need some of those wooden cocktail/tooth picks to hold the rashers onto the hot dog, I suppose you could staple the rashers on but I would seriously advise against that.

Break the sticks up, start at one end and roll the rasher around the hot dog using the sticks to hold that precious bacon in place, it takes about one and a half rashers for a jumbo hot dog, one will do for a regular size dog.

Now it's time to get it on the George Foreman, heat it up to the hottest temperature and fire the dog on.

Close the lid down so it applies pressure which will bond the 2 pig products together, about every 2 to 3 minutes rotate the dog a quarter, after 4 of these turns it should be ready. After this check that all parts of the rasher are well cooked and crispy, give it an extra few minutes if you're not sure, it's much better to overcook this than undercook it because the rasher should almost be brittle and break away easily with each bite, it should look something like this when done.

While this is cooking you'll wanna get the rest of the shite ready, lightly toast the bun or warm it in the oven, I threw it under the grill for a couple of minutes, and chop up the lettuce and tomato into small pieces.

Mayonnaise up your roll and add some of the lettuce and tomato.

Put on that double dose of meat and top off with more lettuce and tomato.

Enjoy... It's obviously delicious, the rasher and the hot dog are fused together into a kind of a super meat, the toppings are a cool and refreshing contrast to the dog. Mess around and add more ingredients to your taste if you like.

Boozey x

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Aoife's Cheesy BLT Bagel!

My good buddy Aoife Byrne finally tells all about her favourite bagel...

I've been meaning to share this little beauty for a long time now. Finally, I felt today was a good time to do it due to the hangover after a brilliant night of music with friends in Flanagan's. I knew as soon as I woke up that I wanted this in my belly asap.
So here it goes...

What you need:
Bagels (sesame or plain, just make sure they're fresh)
Rashers (I prefer the streaky ones, they work well in this bad boy)
Tomatoes (big juicy vine ones)
Lettuce (iceberg, it's gotta be iceberg)
Cheese (Charleville cheddar is my cheese of choice here)

The great thing about this baby is that you can get the ingredients in Centra without having to drag yourself into Tesco, which can be an awful experience when you're hungover.
So first off, grill the rashers. I like mine nice and crispy. While they're grilling, chop up the lettuce and slice the tomatoes.
When the rashers are done half the bagel and throw it under the grill on a low heat. The trick here is not to overdo the bagel. It's better when it's just warmed. If the bagels are nice and fresh they only need to be warmed.
Next, slap the crispy rashers onto one half of the bagel and grate some cheese over it. Stick it back under the grill until the cheese is melted (again, don't overdo it. Burnt cheese is manky).
I don't grill the tomatoes because I like when they're really juicy. It's a good combo with the crispy rashers (I really do like crispy rashers!)
Ok so after that it's just a matter of layering all the rest of it up. Whack a load of mayo on the other half of the bagel, followed by the lettuce, tomatoes and the other half of the bagel with the rashers and cheese. I really didn't need to tell any of you how to do that, just slap it all together. It's going to be amazing anyway.

So that's it. I love this bagel because it's so quick to put together  (it took me longer to write this yoke) and it's tasty as bejaysus.
This creation goes particularly well with a nice cuppa scald, chili heatwave doritos and an episode of Breaking Bad. (Although today I'm finishing it off with a choc chip cupcake that I made myself!)

Ps. Here's a pic of Sushi my dog enjoying some of the crispy rasher!!

 Aoife Byrne

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

J.J's Jambons

J.J Fleming...

He could ruin me and this blog if he wanted to; The food ideas that this gentleman that I'm lucky to call my friend has going around his head far exceed anything my pickled brain could ever come up with. But he's a nice guy and is gonna use his powers for good and contribute to this blog on a regular basis... Much to my relief!

Here's his first post:

"Patatas Bravas Mince Jambons"

Patatas Bravas paste
Shop bought puff pastry
200gms mince
Suitable melty cheese (I used Port Salut and Cheddar)


First fry up the mince until cooked.

Put the Patatas Bravas in a suace pan and simmer for 2 minutes, as per the instructions add the mince and 100mls of water and reduce the mixture down. Add cream to suit your taste.

Here's the mixture you're left with being left out to cool.

Next unroll your puff pastry and cut up to suit how many Jambons you'll require, I cut up 15 squares.

Spoon the mixture into the centre of the square.

Plonk your cheese on top...

And another dollop of mixture on top...

Brush the corners with milk or beaten egg and fold the corners to get something that looks like this.

Here's the 15 brushed with milk and ready to be boxed off into the oven.

Heat your oven to 200 degrees and put them in the bottom rack for 12 minutes and then move to the middle rack for another 6 minutes.
Here's the finished articles:

J.J Fleming

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