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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Best Fast Food Burger In the USA

Spicy Food Guy was already jealous of the folks on the west coast, given that they have days of endless sunshine, the Pacific Ocean, movie starlets, and mobile fish taco stands.

They also have a secret, called the In-N-Out Burger, that is unavailable to those of us in the Central and Eastern time zones.

A regional favorite, the In-N-Out Burger is a juicy, flavorful, and luscious burger that makes the folks at McDonald's and Wendy's seem like rank amateurs. Kid you not, one lunch hour in LA, Spicy Food Guy watched hundreds of customers, in a line twenty-some deep, ordering 2X2s and 3x3s like there was no tomorrow (and we are talking LA here, so the whole no tomorrow thing may be right).

And it gets better. In-N-Out has a secret menu that allows a major league burger upgrade. Spicy Food Guy orders his 2x2 animal style, and the grilled onions make all the difference. If you are forced to travel to California, the In-N-Out is a must do.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Best Way To Improve Lamb Vindaloo

When Spicy Food Guy goes out for a curry, he invariably orders Lamb Vindaloo. Vindaloo, which is a Portuguese word for "wine, vinegar, and garlic", is almost always the spiciest thing found on an Indian Restaurant menu.

A strongly flavored and very spicy dish, vindallo has a strong taste of garlic, cumin, mustard, turmeric, and chiles. And lamb has the right amount of gamy flavor to really complement the spice. Note that in a pinch, Spicy Food Guy has substituted venison for the lamb, with terrific results.

The problem? Lamb Vindaloo is served as big chunks of lamb, big chunks of potatoes, and sauce. That's it. Early on in his Indian culinary adventures, Spicy Food Guy surmised that something important was missing: crunch!

So taking a lesson from his favorite Chinese dish, Kung Pao Chicken, Spicy Food Guy decided he could vastly improve his homemade Lamb Vindaloo by adding some peanuts. Bingo! The crunch of the peanuts was the perfect offset to the tender lamb and soft potatoes.

Taking the Westernized Chinese Indian fusion a step further, Spicy Food Guy cut the lamb into smaller bite size chunks, as opposed to the larger cuts of lamb usually served in Indian Restaurants. He also added some diced green and red bell peppers, and, what the hell, some dried chick peas.

The result is the spiciest curry you have ever had with all the benefits and culinary experience of chinese takeout. Some people look at highly spiced foods and say "why?" Spicy Food Guy looks at spicy foods that never were and says "Why not?"

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Best Salsa To Mix With Velveeta

Spicy Food Guy ran into Lawrence Kling and his Stagecoach Salsa Company at Zestfest 2007.

Lawrence is a very well mannered older gentleman who makes two types of salsas: 1) Mild, which is tomato based, and 2) Green Extreme, which is tomatillo based.

The guys at Fire Dawg Salsa Blog don't care too much for the Mild version, pointing out that the salsa is a little bit too, well, mild. Catch on quick, they do, those guys at Fire Dawg.

Kids of Spicy Food Guy loved the Mild, making it a nice family salsa. Green Extreme is about 20 times as spicy, and Beautiful Spouse of Spicy Food Guy (BSOSFG) claims it clears out her sinuses from across the kitchen. Spicy Food Guy loves the tomatillo taste, and managed to snap this quick picture of his one sort-of-gross-almost-eaten jar before he snarfed it all up.

And while pretentious foody types would shudder at the notion of mixing a first class salsa with Velveeta, Spicy Food Guy is here to tell you that three heaping tablespoons of Green extreme mixed with some melted Velveeta makes for one of the most spicy and flavorful NFL Game Day dips ever to debut on a Sunday afternoon. Folks at Kraft, take note; Spicy Food Guy has found a winner.

The issue? Stagecoach Salsa is not available in any major retailers, or anywhere on the internet that Spicy Food Guy can find. The Stagecoach Salsa Company does not even have a website. Mr. Kling does have a business card, however, and lists his e-mail address as Encourage Mr. Kling. Write to him and ask him nicely to make his Salsas available on the web and that by doing so, he can make the world a better (and tastier) place.
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