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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Two Brothers BBQ in Presto PA is a Hidden Gem

Three signs that a BBQ joint will serve excellent food:

1) It's a trailer

2) Cash only

3) It shares a parking lot with a beer store

Two Brothers BBQ in Presto Pennsylvania (motto: "We let the Kindergarten Class name the town"), right outside Pittsburgh, shares all of the above qualities.

In addition with sharing a parking lot with a beer store, Two Brothers is also directly across the street from a fire department. So when you really sit down and think about it, Two Brothers has the best and most strategic location of any BBQ joint anywhere in the free world.

But Spicy Food Guy soooooo digresses.

Three more reasons to make the trek to Two Brothers: baby back ribs, pulled pork, and BBQ nachos. All excellent, smoky, juicy, tender. SFG usually orders a full rack of ribs, a pound of pulled pork, a container of cole slaw, and sides of cornbread cake and mac & cheese. Not all for himself, of course, for all the non-vegetarian family members of SFG (5 out of 6).

The one problem Spicy Food Guy has with Two Brothers is that the pungent smell wafting around the parking lot makes SFG's middle aged tummy growl like a pride of lions. But if you can get through that and a maddening drive home with BBQ smells attacking all your senses, the reward is ample and just.

Two Brothers, you want this. So says Spicy Food Guy.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

All American Soup -- Cheesy, Hearty, Delicous

OK, first of all, Spicy Food Guy acknowledges he is in the midst of a soup creation frenzy.

Recently, SFG picked up a copy of "365 Easy Soup Recipes" at the Half Price Books Store and decided to give one of the recipes, All American Soup, a little spin.

Because SFG is revealing the recipe without the express and written consent of Cookbook Resources LLC, SFG fully expects that lawsuits will fly, financial institutions will fall, and the balance of the universe may fall out of alignment.


Start by sauteing an onion and the strips of 3 chicken breasts in a favorite saucepan. SFG had no chicken, so he subsituted 2 turkey breasts instead. Also, SFG added 3 to 4 cloves of garlic (off recipe). He also added a cup of chopped celery (off recipe). Set aside.

In a great big pot, put in about 4 cups of chicken stock, 1 10oz can of tomatoes with green chiles, and 3 cubed russet potatoes. SFG subbed in Yukon Gold potatoes instead of russet potatoes for the flavor factor.

Add the turkey/chicken, onion, celery, and garlic to the big pot. Boil all that stuff up until the potatoes are nice and soft.

Next add a can of creamy celery soup, a can of milk, and a teaspoon of basil and a teaspoon of salt. Off recipe, SFG added a teaspoon of onion powder and a teaspoon of garlic powder.
SFG added about 6 oz of Velveeta, and about 6 oz of sharp cheddar (off recipe). Finally, stir in a half cup of sour cream. Spicy Food Guy let all that get happy for another 30 minutes.

After ladling into bowls, SFG garnished with bacon bits and garlic flavored dried fried onions.

Everybody ate like hungry dogs.

Soup's on at SFG's house.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Roasted Red Pepper Soup for a Wintry Day

On a recent snowy and icy Pittsburgh December day, Spicy Food Guy cooked up a terrific roasted red pepper soup from a Giada De Laurentis recipe on

SFG is attaching her picture here so we can all be reminded of sandy beaches and warm sunshine.


To get her full recipe, click on this link:

Now here are some additional hints from your local neighborhood Spicy Food Guy:

Double the garlic, add a can of tomato paste; these additions will add a nice depth of flavor. Also, add a teaspoon of onion powder and a half teaspoon of garlic powder. Instead of a regular blender, puree the soup with an immersion hand blender. Why? Because it's a way funner kitchen toy than a blender. The hand blender is basically the kitchen equivalent of a vibrator, so using it brings a naughty sort of sexual connotation not often found in soup preparation.

But Spicy Food Guy sooooo digresses.

Spring for the mascarpone cheese (as the recipe calls for) because it has the correct consistency and flavor to marry with the pureed soup.

The soup is excellent, but not as hearty as SFG's version of creamy chicken green chile soup. Serve the red pepper soup with warm garlic bread.
Fabulous for a winter day.

Word out, spicy fans.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Best Green Chile Soup for a Snow Day

Spicy Food Guy woke up to the first dusting of snow in the 'burgh this weekend, so it was time for some hot and hearty soup.

The day called for something creamy and spicy at the same time, so SFG elected to prepare a creamy green chile soup. To see the original recipe as it is written at, click on this link below.

Creamy Green Chile Soup.

Credit to Sandra Lee (pictured here for sheer bibliography purposes -- riiiiiiiiight) for supplying the recipe to, but SFG deemed it in need of some extra punch.

Sandra's recipe calls for a teaspoon of crushed garlic. SFG increased that by at least threefold, maybe four. The recipe suggests three cans of diced green chilies, so SFG added one. Then Spicy Food Guy added a couple of chopped up fresh jalapenos. SFG would have thrown in a couple of habaneros, but Kids of Spicy Food Guy (KOSFG) planned on eating the soup, so SFG reigned himself in a bit.

Instead of the Mexican Crema, SFG used a clever substitution of cheddar and jalepeno sour cream dip.

Nowhere at all does Sandra's recipe call for a rotisserie chicken, but Spicy Food Guy thought the addition of pulled breast meat from a roasted chicken would take the soup from appetizer status to winter entree worthy. SFG was correct.

Finally, SFG used corn that had been grilled on the cob over the summer and then frozen for just this purpose. And next time, SFG suspects he will add additional flavor to the dish by roasting fresh peppers as opposed to using canned chilies.

Creamy green chile soup is everything you want in winter -- hearty, hot, spicy, fattening, and delicious. So says Spicy Food Guy.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bone-In Bison in Rhode Island and an Apology to Munch

We interrupt this blog entry for the following announcement.

Spicy Food Guy had an "Oh Shit" moment this week when Munch posted a comment on SFG's recent blog entry. As my 3 regular readers probably know, Munch is a REAL food writer for a REAL newspaper, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

Now Munch's comment was nice and helpful enough, but SFG sensed an underlying recalcitrance toward SFG that is wholly deserved.

See, when SFG started this blog a couple of years back, he copied Munch's literary device of referring to himself and his friends in the 3rd person and using initials. For example, Third Rate Food Blogger Fan of Munch would be designated as TRFBFOM in Munch's column. SFG should have published a disclosure about this when he began his blog, but frankly, SFG never thought anybody would ever give his blog any meaningful attention.

So anyway, Munch, I apologize for not having acknowledged how I copied your literary device. To correct this, I have added a permanent disclosure box to the left of my posts and below the blog labels. Let me know if this disclosure brings justice to your Munchly heart. And, also, if you don't mind me asking, what the hell do you think of my blog?

OK, SFG has soooo digressed from the subject at hand, which is bone-in bison.

But first, let's start by stating that for reasons best left unknown to the American public, Spicy Food Guy found himself in Providence, Rhode Island (Note to Munch, this "best left unknown" thing is an oft repeated phrase in SFG's blog. You''ll be happy to know I made it up).

So anyway, SFG and a group of Very Polite and Gracefull Colleagues of Spicy Food Guy (VPAGCOSFG) went to dinner at the ultra-swanky, superbly elegant, and rather arrogant (really) Mills Tavern. Mills Tavern has won a ton of awards and accolades, and the waiter's state, with very real confidence, that "the lamb will be the best lamb you have ever tasted". He said that. Really.

Now, on this particular evening, the entree in discussion between the waiter and VPAGCOSFG was the wood grilled 28oz bone-in bison tomahawk rib chop glazed in peppadew ketchup. The waiter insisted it was an experience not to be missed, that, cooked medium rare, the bison chop would be one of the most succulent culinary experiences of our collective lifetimes. VPAGCOSFG were concerned about the serving size -- 28 ounces -- it seemed like too much.

So the waiter said, with a straight face, and SFG swears he is not making this up:

"The bone itself weighs about nine ounces."

VPAGCOSFG nodded thoughtfully and graciously. Spicy Food Guy gurgled a sort of high pitched choke. Because, in his boyishly immature soul, SFG was shrieking hysterically.

"The BONE weighs nine OUNCES", silently shrieked Spicy Food Guy, the operative word being silently, "That's what SHE SAID. Maybe for YOU, little man! Maybe you need a NEW BONE!" SFG was convulsing.

"Are you OK?" VPAGCOSFG asked politely.

"Ummmpphh,huhhuhhuh," SFG answered, desperately trying to keep the lid on.

In the end, SFG and VPAGCOSFG agreed to order the mixed shellfish platter, bison, the lamb, the venison, and just kind of split it up so that everybody could try everything.

Let it be said Mills Tavern has earned the right to be arrogant. The roasted lamb, encrusted in horseradish and mustard, served on a bed of goat cheese mashed potatoes, was indeed some of the best lamb SFG has ever tasted. The bison was rich and delicious, and SFG Noted that one of the VPAGCOSFGs didn't share as much of the bison as SFG had anticipated. The venison was spectacular. For sides, the group had pan roasted mushrooms, mac & cheese, and old fashioned baked beans.

All in all, Spicy Food Guy considered Mills Tavern one of his finer dining experiences, an experience that could almost make SFG a Foodie. A real Foodie. Like my buddy Munch.
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