Open Water Grill: Avon, NC

Open Water Grill

Open Water Grill was literally a stone’s throw from the condo.  Now, the original website I found for OWG did not have a menu on it and when I googled around, I found a Yellow Pages site that had the menu.  My daughter was excited that  there was BBQ brisket on the menu. (Our last vacation last year was to the Wisconsin Dells and we had dinner at Paul Bunyan’s and we had the BBQ brisket and she was quite taken with it.)  Well, turns out that menu was from 2015 and there was NO BRISKET !!!!

2_Fish n Chips

 

My daughter ended up getting chicken tenders and hush puppies.  They were really good she said.  I got the fish ‘n chips.  They are made with the catch of the day and I’m not sure what it was, but it was great.  The crust was kind of a combination of breading and batter.  When cut with a fork, it didn’t all crumble and fall off.  Came with an unusual spicy kale slaw that was good.

This was an expensive dinner.  With tip it was about $70.  That’s how the food bill adds up quickly !

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The 16 Minute Steak

Everyone has their own super secret way of cooking a steak.

I don’t have a secret.

It’s really just not too difficult.

I use a gas grill, have for almost 30 years.

I like it for the convenience and the ability to control the heat.

So here I go with my 16 minute steak:

 

 

On this day, it was filet.

Never my first choice and one of my least favorite cuts of the cow.  But the in-laws were coming over and the grocery store had filet on sale for $4.99 for 6oz.  Much higher than my price point for steak, but that’s what I got.  Filet is just always too dry for my taste.

There are just two ways to cook a steak:

Rare

Medium rare

Anything beyond that and you should just go have a boneless skinless chicken breast.

 

Bacon Fried Mashed Potato Pucks

So for Easter, I made a nasty good bucket of some of the best mashed potatoes that I have made in quite some time and there were plenty of leftovers.  Rather than just eat “plain” mashed potatoes, I thought I would try frying them up.  This batch of spuds was already great, but frying them should turn it up to “eleven!”

I suppose I could have just plopped a pile of the potatoes right into the skillet, but I wanted to do this with them:

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I’m using two cutting boards as rails so I can roll out the potatoes to an even thickness.

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Using the biscuit cutter for the pucks

The ultimate edible playdoh !

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I don’t like to fry in the house, so outside on the side burner of the grill while I cook some burgers.

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Tops and bottoms got a nice buttery crust on them

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Off the grill with some “tasty burgers.”

Now, here’s where I lied (just a little).

I didn’t use my stash of bacon grease.  Quite literally I have not added to the stash or used the stash in about a year.  It sits in a jar in the very back of the fridge, completely hidden.  I opened the jar and it did not smell rancid, but I wasn’t really sure what the time limit was of grease going bad, so I didn’t use it.  Instead I used some Ghee that I had.  Potatoes fried in butter, that’s almost as good as frying in bacon grease.

Home Ground Beef, A Tasty Burger

 

 

 

We often watch “Cook’s Country” on television.  Their forte is taking well known or classic recipes and try to make them better.  One episode they wanted to recreate the classic greasy spoon, roadside restaurant fried burger that was popular in the late 50’s and early 60’s with people taking long car trips.  The interesting part of the recipe was that they ground their own beef with a food processor and it was something we wanted to try.  Now, my wife had tried it a couple of times and it wasn’t really that good.  The biggest problem was she was using “petite sirloin”.  WAY TOO LEAN and there is too much gristle and other connective tissue left on that cut and the meat was still to chunky.  So, I wanted to try it again, this time using a piece of boneless chuck.

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Starting with a nice piece of boneless chuck.

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Cut them into about 1 inch cubes

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The cubes go into the freezer for about 10 minutes just to give the chunks a slight firmness.  Other wise, when they get run through the food processor, they might just turn to mush.

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I ran the meat through the processor twice.  I first used the slicing attachment.

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Then the meat meets the real chopper blade.

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I did a couple of batches.

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By golly !! Dang if that at least doesn’t look like ground beef!!

Nothing like nice bright pink beef !!

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Now, because the meat is actually small bits and pieces and not long fibers like real ground meat, there is a lot less cohesion and because I do not pack my burgers very tight, these would probably not do well out on the grill.  I only want to have to touch these once when I flip them so the don’t fall apart.  Do you see the dimple in the middle of each burger?  That’s so when they cook, they don’t expand up and end up like meatballs.

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Some tater tots done on the waffle iron.  Mmmmmm, crispy !

There are a whole bunch of websites/blogs that show what can and cannot be cooked on a waffle iron and tater tots was a good one.

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Lightly toasted bun with a little lettuce and some thousand island style condiment.  Another burger tip, toasted buns provide a little buffer so the juices of the burger don’t make the bun soggy as fast.

Despite all of the food nazi warnings about under cooked ground beef, I still LOVE my burgers PINK.  An interesting thing about grinding the meat this way is that because the bits and pieces are small, I think the burger can be cooked a little more closer to medium and it would still be good because there is not a lot of bite resistance.  It doesn’t fall apart like a sloppy joe but it has a good chew.

Hardware

Had the occasion to take the wife out for her 50th birthday and we went to a “new” restaurant in our area.  I say new because we haven’t been there.  I think the place has been open for a couple of years.

Hardware:

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I of course started my dinner off with a beer flight.  4 different 4oz beers for $10. Surprisingly the Black IPA was my favorite.

 

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The wife ordered Poutine for an appetizer.  Everything with a fried egg on it is good.

One of the drinks of the night was the Mojito.  The wife got one and instead of rum, it was made with whiskey

 

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Several good items on the menu that I wanted to try but I went with the “Sticky Chicken.”  Fried thighs with a whiskey based glaze.  This was really,really good !!!

 

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The wife ordered the “Pork Belly Korean Fried Rice.”  Again, with a fried egg on it, how could it not be good??