roamin' catholic: karin rosner

Posts Tagged ‘Food

ImageNew Yorkers believe that ketchup always goes on hamburgers, and never belongs anywhere near a frankfurter. (New Yorkers also usually do not call this same sausage a “Wiener” or  Hot Dog” or any other variant than by its first name, “Frank”).

I’ve started avoiding ketchup (or catsup) altogether except on french fries, unless there’s a bottle of brown sauce available in an irish pub, or malt vinegar.

Traveling outside of New York City when I was a kid, I encountered a weird habit that I and my family thought was disgusting: putting mustard on fast-food hamburgers. When we drove on summer vacations, McDonald’s and Burger King topped their burgers either with mustard-only, or with a squirt of the both mustard and ketchup. New Yorker food neurotics, who don’t like different foods touching each other on the plate, would not do well here.

Mustard on anything except a hot dog or a ham sandwich was weird. New Yorkers do not like their normal foods to be made weird.

I made a huge dietary change this year. I tried mustard-only on a burger (which I got at the tiny Steak-n-Shake outpost in Times Square) on a whim. I just had a thought. The counter-actress gave me a choice, and I chose mustard.

Oh my goodness.

Mustard on a burger was… amazing. The tiny grains of mustard brought out all of the flavor of the crusty meat.

I tried it again at a diner the other night known for their perfect burgers. The counter guy handed me a an unlabeled squirt bottle of deli style mustard he used for sandwiches.

I’m hooked.

I also believe that a genuine Chicago-style hot dog made with a genuine Vienna Beef wiener has one or two advantages over a New York frank with sauerkraut and mustard, unless that sausage is from Grey’s Papaya or Papaya King and is covered in onion sauce, accompanied by a Papaya drink. Papaya  always wins, just like you know the Samoan wrestler will always pin the other guy, wherever he hails from, to the mat.

I also really like deep-dish pizza when it’s executed correctly (not available in New York City). I like New Haven-style pizza, too.

So shoot me. Line me up against the wall and shoot me for the traitor to my City that I am. I have embraced the common sense of Other Places.

Mustard. Amen.


ImageWhat you will need: 100 OREO cookies, 1 toothpick, 1 huge glass of milk

Step 1: Disassemble the OREO. Place the lid to the side.

Step 2: Using your toothpick like a pen, write “Happy Birthday” in the creamy middle.

Step 3: LICK the center cream off the OREO. (No other way of eating OREO cookies is allowed today. )

Step 4: Dunk the chocolate  OREO lid in the milk and consume  gobble.

Step 5: Repeat until all of the OREO cookies are gone.

You are allowed to share, but would you, really? I mean, really?

ImageI love Brussels Sprouts. I really, really do. I can eat them all year ’round. At lunchtime yesterday, I went to one of the Korean Salad Bars near my office, and scooped up a little cold angel hair pasta, a cupful of roasted Brussels Sprouts, some mushrooms, tomatoes, olives, a little mozzarella cheese and  and a little chopped hardboiled egg, and I was perfectly content for 30 minutes and created a absolutely delicious and healthy Midtown Lunch for under $7.00.

Brussels Sprouts come in to season in the USA just as the weather turns colder, Thanksgiving appears on the calendar and we light the first candle of the Advent Season. In the northern hemisphere, in the UK and throughout Europe they are a feature of the Christmas table. If they’re cooked properly, the major turn-offs to this tiny member of the cabbage family go away. There is no smelly kitchen, and no smelly eater of the little green guys, either.

Here’s my observations on  Brussels Sprouts and how Jesus acts in our lives. Can you add more?

  • Brussels Sprouts can get dirty, so you need to soak them in water. (Baptism)
  • When cooking them, it’s really helpful to slash their cores with a cross. (Conversion)
  • Fire-roasting them makes them loose their bitterness and they become sweet. (Release of the Holy Spirit)

Transform your table, and get to know my little green friends. Here is Nigella Lawson‘s great recipe that I haul out on Christmas and Thanksgiving for Brussels Sprouts. Pancetta is an Italian bacon-ham thing and you can substitute a really good quality, thick-cut American premium bacon if you can’t find Pancetta. You can find vacuum-packed chestnuts in gourmet shops, and I’ve found frozen ones in Trader Joe’s. The jarred ones do not work as well, but they will do if they’re all you can find (compare sugar content on the label; there should be no sugar added!). If you have time, you can carefully roast fresh chestnuts; they also need a cross hatched into them!

Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts, Pancetta and Parsley (Nigella Lawson from Nigella’s Christmas Kitchen, 2007)


  • 2 1/4 pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 9 ounces pancetta, rind removed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • About 8 to 9 ounces vacuum-packed chestnuts
  • 2 fluid ounces Marsala wine
  • 1 large handful fresh parsley, chopped, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Slice the bottoms off each of the Brussels sprouts, cutting a cross onto the base as you go. Place the Brussels sprouts into a large saucepan of salted boiling water. Cook the Brussels sprouts for 5 minutes, or until they are tender but still retain a bit of bite.

Remove the pan from the heat and drain the excess water from the Brussels sprouts.

Heat the oil in a large clean saucepan. Add the pancetta cubes to the pan and cook until they are crisp and golden-brown in color, but not cooked to the point of having dried out.

Add the butter and the chestnuts to the pancetta saucepan and with a wooden spoon or spatula, press down on them to break them up into pieces. Once the chestnuts have been warmed through, turn the heat up and add the Marsala to the pan. Cook until the mixture has reduced and thickened slightly.

Add the sprouts and half the parsley to the saucepan and mix well. Season the Brussels sprouts with freshly ground black pepper.

To serve, place the Brussels sprouts onto a warmed serving plate and sprinkle the remaining chopped parsley over the top.

(Serves 8 )

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