The Jealous Crumpet

A sweet little blog


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Aussie Night at Outback Steakhouse

1Y2B4084Outback Steakhouse is upping their steak game by unveiling a new center-cut sirloin.  I got invited to a VIP tasting event at Outback on Whitesburg to sample the new steak and east some of their tried and true fare (a blooming onion).  1Y2B4060I very rarely feel like a VIP, but I had a cool super-star moment at this event. Being Outback at dinnertime, there were many, many people waiting for tables. My husband and I walked up to the event (late as usual) and I was mentally preparing myself to wait. I told the host that I was there for the VIP Tasting and she ushered me to the back, no wait at all! The servers immediately started bringing us cocktails, appetizers, steaks, etc. I felt so much more important than I am.1Y2B4023There were also fellow ‘VIPs’ in attendance, including the illustrious Christy Jordan, super-star blogger and creator of Southern Plate, (sorry I didn’t get a photograph) and the amazing Bo Williams, duel blogger for Rocket City Mom and BoWilliams.com. 6 3I tried to pay attention to the names of all the dishes but I wasn’t as good as I should have been.  If I have messed up a dish please let me know.

We started with drinks and bread. I like how Outback violently stabs their bread through the middle when they bring it to you. I’m not sure what that says about me, but when the bread isn’t stabbed I feel really let down.  1Then came shareable cocktails, which was a weird concept for me. Why would you share your cocktail. They were delicious though, despite the shareable issue.  I tried the strawberry peach sangria and my hubby went for a fresh fruit gin cocktail. Both were great, but I loved mine. I’d totally get it again.1Y2B4027Of course there were some blooming onions (did you know the blooming onion has its own wikipedia page #goals) and Aussie cheese fries.

We then got two types of steak: Center Cut Sirloin and Slow Roasted Steak. Both were lovely.4They also served Bacon Bourbon Salmon, which was to die for. 1Y2B4062We ended with Oreo Mousse, which unfortunately I couldn’t partake in because of current allergy issues, but it seemed like a hit.5Thank-you Outback for the invite! See you again soon!


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Blog Tour Hildegard’s Biergarten #dineHSV

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Our second stop of the Food Tour for Restaurant Week brought me and my fellow bloggers to Hildegard’s Biergarten.  This was the one restaurant I hadn’t yet visited so I was especially excited to dine here.

Hildegard’s was voted the Best International Restaurant in the Valley, the Best German Restaurant in The Valley AND the Best German Restaurant in Alabama, so I went into the restaurant with high expectations and I’m happy to report that I wasn’t disappointed.

Hildegard’s has two locations: one on Whitesburg Drive and the other on Heathland Drive, which is across the street from the Madison Square Mall. We visited Hildegard’s on Heathland and it was a little bit difficult to find, so I used my GPS to get there. Once you know where it is, it is easy. feature1

The restaurant is large, which makes it ideal for big parties, but I saw plenty of couples there as well.  The decor is cute with, appropriately enough, lots of garden (or should I say “garten”) paraphilia. As you walk into the restaurant, you are greeted by bundles of flowers, gardening accessories and even a bird bath. feature8They have very comfortable patio and picnic tables, and booths decorated with floral themes.
feature6Though the decor is lovely, the star of the restaurant is definitely the food. We met the owners Sabina and her husband Jeff, and they were happy to talk to us about the restaurant’s history and cuisine.feature9Then Sabina brought out dish after dish for us to try. In fact, there were so many different things that I started to lose track and didn’t even photograph the pork schnitzel, which was to die for! Everything we ate was perfectly cooked, amazingly seasoned, and most importantly delicious (even the stuffed cabbage, which I was never a fan of before now). feature3 copyBeing a biergarten, they also had an extensive selection of beer (my kind of place!) and I had an Amber Ale with my meal.feature2When we were so full we doubted we would be able to walk out of the restaurant without assistance, Sabina brought the desserts.  I actually lost count of how many I tasted, but my favorites were the Black Forest Cake and the Blueberry Cheesecake. Her mother makes all the desserts in-house and she is a culinary artist. Everything was wonderful.feature7As an added bonus, I made my first TasteMade Video about Hildegard’s Biergarten. Check it out at the link below. Note: Be kind, this is my first video! Also, I don’t know why it is so hard to say “Hildegard’s Biergarten”. 

Hildegard’s Biergarten

We also had a new blogger with us on this leg of the journey, Bo Williams, who blogs for Rocket City Mom.

Make sure you check out all of the bloggers’ wonderful posts.

Clint Cantwell with Grillocracy

Phillip Fryman with Southern FATTY

Bo Williams with Rocket City Mom

Constance Smith with Cosmopolitan Cornbread

Katie Wright with Katie Actually

Website:

http://www.hildegardsgermancuisine.com

Location:

1010 Heathland Dr Huntsville, AL 35816

Phone:

256 – 513 – 8260

Hours:

11: 00 am to 9:00 pm Mon-Sat

Closed Sunday

 


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Cooking with Craft Beer: Porter Braised Brisket Sandwich

Mmmmmm! Brisket is way better than Campbell's soup to stay warm.

Mmmmmm! Brisket is way better than Campbell’s soup to stay warm.

So this week every state in the US hit freezing level temperatures. Even Hawaii! Brrrrrr!

In southern states we are ill-equipped to deal with frigid weather, so people are pretty miserable.  Not Buffalo, New York, 7 feet of snow miserable, but still cold enough to complain loudly about it to whomever will listen.  To help us all get through what promises to be a chilly winter here is a recipe for a delicious and more importantly warm sandwich: the Porter Braised Brisket Sandwich.  It is made with craft beer, so you can sip on the leftovers and get toasty.

Singin' River Brewing Company

Singin’ River Brewing Company

This recipe was created by the super-talented Lily Plauché.  The recipe was originally posted in a craft beer article in NoAla magazine.

Singin' River Brewing Company

Singin’ River Brewing Company

The recipe features beer from Florence, Alabama brewery: Singin River Brewing.  The brewery was super fun, with excellent beer and super stylish decor.  It is an hour and a half drive for me, but well worth the trip.feature3

Porter Braised Brisket Sandwiches

Recipe by Lily Plauché

Serves: 8

The main purpose of the beer in this recipe is to tenderize the meat while providing another layer of flavor. Use the meat for these sandwiches, in quesadillas, or serve as a stew over potatoes or rice.

4 pounds beef brisket, trimmed, cut into 3-inch pieces

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1 cup Singin’ River Porter

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 cups beef broth

8 sandwich buns

Slaw

1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Sprinkle brisket with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large ovenproof Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add half of brisket, browning on all sides. Remove brisket and set aside. Brown remaining half of brisket in Dutch oven; remove and set aside.

2. Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic to the pot; cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add beer, stirring to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Stir in tomato paste and broth. Return brisket to the pot, nestling it nicely into the liquid. Cover and bake until brisket is very tender and can easily be shredded with a fork, about 3 hours.

3. Shred brisket with 2 forks; serve the meat on buns topped with slaw.

Stay Warm!

Stay Warm with Beer!

Stay Warm with Beer!

 

 

 


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North Alabama Photography Contest

Update:

We have a winner for the social media food photography contest.  Congratulations to Alice Tanghe who will be dining with me and super awesome fellow bloggers on Sunday at New Market BBQ.  Thanks to all that participated.  Photos of all the yummy dishes are coming.10616041_10203611804727677_1214057757983964187_n

Hello North Alabama Folks!  I’m very excited to be participating in Alabama’s Restaurant Week!

Sorry, you win free lunch with me not Lola the adorable doggie.

Sorry, you win free lunch with me not Lola the adorable doggie.

In celebration I am holding a food photography contest. Post to your social media platform of choice food photographs (that you have taken) with the hashtag #DineHSV and tag me in your post from now until August 12th (tomorrow).

The winner will get to have lunch with me and fellow bloggers on either Saturday, August 16th or Sunday, August 17th (your choice).

The contest in open to all so feel free to share this post with any foodies wanting to participate.

Disclaimer: Though open to all I will not pay for airfare, so faraway folks keep that in mind.  If non-Alabama residents want to participate I do have a less fabulous, but still awesome prize of blueberry muffin mix.  Can’t wait to see your yummy food photos.  I’ll post them on the blog next week so you can see them all!

Instagram tag: @sarahmbelanger
Twitter handle: @S_M_Belanger

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Jealous-Crumpet/160521760642518?ref_type=bookmark

Win Free Lunch


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S’more (or is it S’mores) Soufflé

Smores SouffleWhen I was first dating my husband we decided to go on a camping trip with several international friends.  I wanted my husband to have the true ‘American’ camping experience, since he was french and hadn’t been in the states very long.  And what’s more American than getting sick and sticky on s’mores.  I couldn’t make it to the grocery store so I asked him to pick me up graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate.  He came back with saltines, impossibly tiny marshmallows that would never fit on a stick and Nutella (chocolate spread).  Needless to say the s’mores were a french interpretation of the american dish.

ingredientsThe S’more Soufflé is a perfect combination of American and French cuisine.  It is a light and sweet dish, enhanced by pouring dark melted chocolate for the top of it.  Yummy!  It is also impossibly hard to photograph.  Soufflé is stunning… for about 30 seconds and then it collapses into a delicious dish of flatness.

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The recipe was created by New York City Chef Elijah Belanger.  It is perfection.

S’more Soufflé

Preheat Oven 375 F

Serving Size 6

1/4 Cup Milk

 1/2 Tbs Water

3 Tbs Sugar

8 Marshmallows

3 egg yolks

6 egg whites

1/2 Tsp Salt

1 Graham Cracker

1 Dark Chocolate Hershey Bar

2 Tbs Butter

 

1. Heat milk in saucepan, add marshmallows, heat lightly as marshmallows dissolve.

2. Wisk egg yolks in medium bowl, slowly add heated milk, then transfer back into sauce pan and lightly heat until mixture thickens enough to coat spoon. Remove from heat/Allow to cool.

3. In kitchen aid mixer, whip egg whites with a teaspoon of salt, until soft peaks start to form, add 2 tbs of sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. Do not over whip, or the whites will begin to fall apart.

4. Add crushed graham crackers to the milk/marshmallow/egg base. With a rubber spatula, Fold 1/3 of the whites into the then another third, then the rest.

Note: Be careful not to over mix, as the air you have whipped into the whites, will then escape, and you’ll have non rising soufflés.

5. Butter soufflé dishes, coat insides with sugar, carefully fill with soufflé mixture, and then with any flat tool, butter knife, back of chef knife etc., scrape the top of the soufflé off creating an entirely flat soufflé. Then with a towel, clean the lip of the soufflé dish, so that there is no uneven residue that may bake on and then cause the top of the soufflé to bake on to the lip of the dish.

6. Bake soufflé’s in oven, should rise 1″, take about 15 minutes, depending on size of soufflé dish.

7. While baking, place Hershey bar in bowl over a pot of bowling water, allow to melt, wisk in butter, and pour into butter warmer, or dish for serving etc.

8. Serve soufflé immediately, before it collapses, stab middle with spoon, pour in chocolate. Enjoy.

For another recipe from Elijah check out his Arnold Palmer.

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Bacon (yes, bacon) Old Fashioned

Bacon Old FashionI have been completely remiss in blogging the last two weeks, but I refuse to let another non-blogging day go by.

Recently I had the pleasure to photograph (and sample) several amazing drinks and dishes at local restaurant, Below the Radar.  The restaurant is currently about to start brewing beer on their premises, which is very exciting for the hop heads of Huntsville, Alabama.

Craft Beer at Below the Radar

Craft Beer at Below the Radar

They also rolled out their spring menu, and North Alabama folk, it is great so go today.  All of the food was excellent, but the tofu stir-fry dish was amazing.  Even the most die-hard carnivore will love it.

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Left-The amazing Tofu Stir-Fry Right-The same dish an embarrassingly short time later

But the star of the show was the Bacon Old-Fashioned created by Bar Manager Chase Shelton.  Chase was kind enough to share his recipe with me.  Untitled-2

The Bacon Old-Fashioned 
Recipe by Chase Shelton
Bacon bourbon:
Find the smokiest bacon you can find….I prefer Benton’s or Nueske’s, both of which can be ordered online. Well worth the investment!
-Take the slab bacon and cut it into half inch cubes
-Render all the fat from the bacon in a skillet
-Drain fat into a large jar or other glass container that requires a lid
(the amount will have to be trial and error. I used about two pounds and produced about a cup of fat. Depending on the cut and fattyness of the bacon, results may vary)
-once the bacon fat is in the jar add a liter bottle of your favorite bourbon (we used pritchard’s Tennessee whiskey)
-Whisk the fat and bourbon together and place lid on container
-place the container in the refrigerator and allow to set overnight
-the next day, the fat will have rose to the top and the liquor will be on the bottom
-with a large spoon or spatula, cut around the fat and scoop it out
-strain liquor through 2 coffee filters to remove any excess particles. Once it looks clear again your ready to enjoy
Maple Simple Syrup 
-take grade (a or b) maple syrup and mix 1:1 with boiling water. I use kirklands maple syrup from Costco
Bacon old fashioned
2oz bacon bourbon
3/4oz maple simple syrup
2 dashes angostura bitters
Splash soda
Garnish with a piece of the rendered bacon and an orange twist
Note: cut orange twist wide and long so that you can squeeze the essential oils over the glass once complete.
If you would like to get more recipes pick up a copy of Huntsville Event magazine or visit their website.
BTR15a


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Amendment XXI

Cocktails at Amendment XXIIt was December 5th, 1933 when the twenty-first amendment was ratified, a joyous day that ended the oppression of alcoholic freedom.  For 13, almost 14, long years the United States prohibited the production, transport and sale of intoxicating liquors for any use other than medical or religious.  I’m guessing there were no Friday night keggers at the frat houses.  This was an era when it was good to be Catholic, so you could at least get the occasional sip of wine; or have a medical condition that required booze, though I can’t imagine a doctor prescribing tequila shots for any ailment.  

amend2Prohibition led to an overextension of the police and law enforcement agencies, an increase in organized crime and a nation that wept for the occasion pint of brew or well-crafted cocktail.

I actually had a great-grandfather who spent a number of years in prison in northern Maine for bootlegging during prohibition.  I’m not sure of the exact terms of his crime or incarceration, but some stones are best left unturned.

But thankfully the United States decided to let us once again legally enjoy alcoholic beverages, well those of us that are over 21.  Take that youth of America, sometimes it pays to be old.

Amendment3Several weeks ago I had the pleasure of photographing a Huntsville, Alabama bar and lounge, aptly named, Amendment XXI, for Huntsville’s Event Magazine.  I had so many photos, (classic photographer, taking exponentially more than needed) that we decided to feature Amendment XXI in a blog post.  For more photos and recipes pick up your free copy of Event Magazine today or you can view it online.  My article is on page 44.

Amendment2Being at the heart of downtown Huntsville, Amendment XXI is a fun place to hangout and people watch.  It is also a great place for delicious, handcrafted cocktails.  The bar is a big supporter of all things local, so when they can, they use locally produced ingredients.  They also change their drink menus with the seasons, so I came just in time to photograph and sample their spring collection.  If you are in North Alabama go immediately and order a Tears of Joy, you will be so happy you did.

amend1Amendment XXI was also kind enough to give me two of their signature recipes to share.  The first one is the Spring 123 and is described to be so fresh it is like a salad in a martini glass.  Perfect for a hot and humid Alabama summer, which is currently peaking its ugly, sweaty head around the corner.

spring123Spring 123

Recipe by Amendment XXI

Fresh basil, cucumber, and ginger

1 ½ oz Absolut berri açaí vodka

½ oz lime juice

1 oz simple syrup

 Muddle basil, cucumber and ginger together in a glass. Add vodka, lime juice and simple syrup, and mix in a cocktail shaker. Strain cocktail into a martini glass and garnish with cucumber slices.

Amendment23The second recipe is a the Northside 75, a drink inspired from the classic French 75.  I LOVE cocktails that come in a flute.  They make me feel very romantic and celebratory, so the Northside 75 was my kind of drink.  Plus it is lavender flavored, which is a bonus.

Northside 75

Recipe by Amendment XXI

1/4 oz Lavender-infused simple syrup

4 oz Pressco sparkling wine

Lemon zest

Mix together syrup and Pressco, add lemon zest and garnish with a lemon twist.

Amendment27aIf you are local go visit Amendment XXI and drink a cocktail to celebrate 80-ish years of responsibl-ish drinking.  The rest of you will have to make your drinks at home.  Either way, cheers!

Amendment24