Monday, May 23, 2011

A Midnight Goose Egg!

The Sign Of Good Things!

Saturday morning 'dawned' with a deep, misty fog. The air was so thick I could barely see across the street and when the dew dripped off the leaves it sounded just like a spring rain.

This morning I was headed out to the eastern fork of Long Island, on a Tango Spice road trip. Destination, North Sea Farms to meet Julia. I had received an email from Julia a couple of days before and she expressed an interest in samples of Tango Spice. From reading Julia's blog I knew I was in for a treat, North Sea looks like one of those ideal little gems which really must be experienced in person. I was looking forward to a drive out her place, and the destination. 

The night before heading out to the farm I had read one of Julia's posts, this one about Steaming Goose Eggs, which included instructions for steaming them and a picture which just made me hungry. While in the shop at North Sea I asked if there were any goose eggs available and as luck would have it, there were two. Those two had my name on them and were soon in a sack of goodies I was going to take home.

Ok, let's get to the egg! This being my first experience with goose eggs, I decided to follow Julia's post about steaming. Well, I was going to follow the directions until I strayed, which I usually do.

The first thing I noticed was the size and heft of the goose egg. Even if compared to a jumbo chicken egg, these would make the jumbos seem like quail's eggs. Also, when you crack the shell, it does take a little bit more force to get to the goodness awaiting inside.

Here is what I had gathered for this test run.
One Goose Egg
1 TBS water
Tango Spice Midnight Espresso (see, already straying)
Good frying pan and a lid that will fit down in the pan, and cover the egg.

Heat the pan over a medium flame until water drop dances. Add a little butter, enough to insure the egg done not stick. I would say a TBS should do the trick. Have your water and lid at the ready.
Crack the egg into the pan, then pour the water around the edge of the egg, then cover with the lid. Let the egg steam for about a minute, or until it is done to your liking. Lift the lid and take a peek at the yolk, if it is still a bright yellow, replace the cover and steam for a few more seconds. During this look, I sprinkled some Midnight Espresso on the egg, and oh what an aroma this created! 
Once the egg is done, just slide it off onto a plate and enjoy with a cup of coffee and some toast.

Well, I will be the first to admit that I made a couple of novice goose egg cookery mistakes. First, I had the heat up a little too high, and this crisped the edges a little more than some folks like. Not wanting to complain to the chef, I did not tell myself about the crispness. Another thing is that I did let it steam just a little bit longer then I should have. I am a runny yolk fan, and this yoke was just a tad past that stage. Either way, it tasted great.

As an egg fan, I can say that I am totally into the taste and texture of the goose egg. One thing you notice when you crack one of these into a pan is the shear amount of egg you are cooking. The yoke alone looked bigger than an entire large chicken egg. The white expanded out and I thought to myself that this would make a great egg sandwich on extra wide sourdough bread.

The texture was also a pleasant surprise. The only way I can describe it is that it was more 'meaty' than a chicken egg. Perhaps it has to do with the amount of white and yoke you get, but it felt more substantial than I expected. As for the taste, if you are an egg fan and have yet to try a goose egg, then treat yourself to a big egg taste sensation. Everything good about eggs is just amplified, I am hooked. I will have to head out to North Sea often or get myself some geese!

I was also pleased with how the Midnight Espresso went with the goose egg. The flavor of the espresso coffee, the ancho chile and the brown sugar was excellent. Heck, it is like eggs and coffee in one tasty plate.

North Sea Farms is going to be a place I stop out at time and again. With free range chicken, farm fresh vegetables and my new friend Goose Egg how could I not go back? If you are ever out on the east end of Long Island, head to the north fork and stop by and say hello to Julia.

North Sea Farms
1060 Noyac Road
Southampton, NY

Lil Smokey Loves Eggs!

Steaming Right Along!

A Little Too Hot, Yet Oh So Good!

Midnight Espresso & Goose Eggs - Oh Yeah!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

2011 New England Regional Chili Cook Off!

Team Gad~Zukes Reporting! 

It was just like a family reunion! The kind of reunion where there are faces you recognized and are happy to see again and family members you are meeting for the first time. This is what it feels like to be part of a chili cook off, a crowd of like minded chili-heads all there for a good cause, good times and great food!

The 2011 New England Regional Chili Cook Off was held in beautiful Somers, CT. When I say beautiful, I am not exaggerating! The drive down from the hotel in Enfield brought us through some spectacular pastural scenery. Over hill & dale we went until just over a rise it came into view, all the colored tents and a beehive of activity. Excitement was in the air for sure.

This being only our forth time cooking in a chili cook off, the newness was still there. What was a big help was how well the entire event was run. From set up to cooks meeting, serving the hungry crowds all the way to judging. the awards and break down, everything seemed to move in a frenetic, yet orderly fashion!

Fist off I want to thank (blame) Mike & Kat Freedman for getting us more involved in cooking for 'the cause'. After meeting them at last year's Long Island Rocking Chili Cook Off we were hooked. Their enthusiasm for all things chili is quite a sight to behold. The way the NERCC turned out so great is testament to their dedication. Of course, they make it look easy, but they put in A LOT of work, hat tip to you both.

Two more faces we are getting to know are Audrey & Steve Falkowski. We also met them at the Rockin' Chili and more recently when we were at the NYC Cook Off in Staten Island. Wow, these two people are very much into chili and it shows in the professional way they go about the 'business' of chili! Bravo to you both!

Now, as for the cook off itself, WOW what a great event to be a part of! The shear number of teams competing in all categories was much larger than we had anticipated. Red, Verde, Salsa & People's Choice! This was only the second time Team Gad~Zukes had competed in all four categories and I will be the first to admit, what a RUSH! Get your tent set, get your tables and tools set, get ready, Fire Up Those Stoves. Love It!

The day started off with sunny skies, warm temps and excitement in the air. As the chili began to heat up the aroma which wafted around the booths was incredible. All the differing meats, veggies, spices all melding together into the sweet smell of chili cooking in the great outdoors!

Throughout the day the sun shone and the crowds were very enthusiastic. Everyone we met was enjoying a perfect spring day and some of the best chili ever cooked. As the day sizzled on the skies darkened a bit, then opened up. The rains came and went rather quickly and were not enough to 'dampen' the spirits of the crowd or the cooks. As quickly as it started, the rains moved on and the cooking and eating continued.

All in all it was a spectacular day! I would like to ask everyone, if you see an ICS Chili Cook Off in your area, head on down and have yourself a great time. Not only will you be meeting some of the friendliest folks ever, you will be supporting a local charity as well. That's right, all this fun and food does have a superb side benefit. Worthy charities are well taken care of through your enjoyment of 'a cup of red'! The NERCC was speeding the love to two such organizations, the Somers, CT Fire Department and the Patriot Guard Riders!

Yep, Chili Folks Are Great Folks!

Now, let's head to the winner's circle! 

Best Booth - Reading (MA) Hot Chili Peppers (Firefighters)
People’s Choice – Alison and Mario Sacciccio CT
“Jim Heywood Yute division” – Max Tankis

1st Place - Wendy Hennesey – NH 
Wendy will be representing the New England Regional at the 2011 WCCC
(her first time going to the WCCC)
2nd - Fran Bergami - CT
3rd - Jason Frechette - CT

Chili Verde
1st Place - Steven Stark - MA 
Steven will be representing the New England Regional at the 2011 WCCC
(his first time going to the WCCC)
2nd place -  Mike Scranton - NJ
3rd Place - Linda McGrath - CT

Red Chili
1st Place - Judi Omerza - PA
Judi will be representing the New England Regional at the 2011 WCCC
2nd Bob Hall - IL
3rd Patrick Sweeney - CT
4th Marc Frechette - CT

Thank you for taking the time to read about this super event, see you on the Chili Trail!

Team Gad ~ Zukes Gets Cookin' 

Presenting The Colors

Somers Finest

Big Jim & Uncle Mike

Booths Of All Shapes & Sizes

Miss Connecticut Stopped By

Drawing A Crowd

Booth Decorating Was An Artform

Wild Coyote Hot Sauce

The Eats Kept On Comin'

The Higher Ground Band Rocked

Hey, It's FUMBLES The Clown (on the left)

Ominous Skies Did Not Stop The Awards

Mad Mike Being Mad Mike

The Lovely & Gracious Judi Omerza - Red Chili Champ

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

13th Annual 81 Thunder Run!

Hello Spice Lovers!

This past Sunday, May 1st, Tango Spice Company was fortunate enough to be able to have booth space at the 13th Annual 81 Thunder Run chili cook off in Bohemia, NY. We here at Tango Spice would like to thank Rod from the Hell's Angels Long Island for getting us into this super event and also the Mixed Blood Line MC for hosting  the festivities at their club house.

The day started off just a little chilly, but the sun prevailed and kept the clouds at bay. We were on site early to set up our booth and our spices in anticipation of the hungry crowds who would be coming in for a great day of hot chili, rockin' music by The Buzzards, cold beer and great camaraderie.

All morning the site was full of action as the teams set up their stations and started to get cookin'. In no time the air was filled with the incredible aroma of sizzling beef, pork and of course bacon. Add to this all the spices and we knew this was the beginning of a great day!

I was pleased to hear from quite a few contestants who told us that they knew who Tango Spice is and were glad to see us. Even better was when a couple of the cooks told me that certain blends from our stable of bottled goodness had made their way into a few chili pots. 

When this event rolls around next year I do believe that not only will Tango be there supplying some great spice rubs and blends, we will have our stoves lit and chili pots full as well. 

Here are the results, top five people's choice and all the judged chili in order of finish!

Peoples Choice
1) Queensboro MC
2) TnT Dynamite BBQ Team
3) Restless Spirits MC
4) Trashed MC
5) Sacred Steel MC

1) Sparrow Tattoo
2) Wes Tex BBQ - BBQ Brethren
3) TnT Dynamite BBQ Team
4) The Baldwin Butt Burners BBQ Team
5) The Babylon Grill Billies - BBQ Brethren

6) Team Renu
7) Leather Necks MC
8) Mixed Blood Line MC
9) Fat Heads Bar
10) Mutt & Geoff Chili Champs

11) Restless Spirits MC
12) Road Reapers MC
13) Bridge Runners MC
14) Iron Heads MC
15) Queensboro MC

16) The Hot Dawg Truck Team BBQ
17) U.S. Veterans MC
18) Demon Knights MC - west
19) I Dont Know MC
20) El Guapo Chili Team

21) Trashed MC
22) Sacred Steel MC
23) Mortal Skulls MC

You have to give a hat tip to Sparrow Tattoo of West Hempstead for their first Place finish! They were located directly across from or our booth and we had the chance to talk to them a few time, great folks!

I'd also like to thank Wes Tex BBQ, The Baldwin Butt Burners, The Babylon Grill Billies, Team Renu, Fat Heads Pub and Trashed MC for treating Tango Spice real well. Great cookin' by you all!

The ultra cool Gas Tank Trophy went to the Leather Necks MC. Their name will be put on the tank and it will be kept at there club house for the year. This is like the Stanley Cup of chili, only way cooler! Next year the tank will be returned at the next chili cook off to be taken by the winner in 2012.

I have to mention again The Buzzards. This rockabilly band SMOKED the place. Excellent music by a real powerhouse trio, If you see that they are playing somewhere, do yourself a favor and check them out! Guaranteed Great Time!

So there you have it, a great day was had by all, and we were very glad to be a part if The 81 Thunder Run 2011!

And Now For A Few Pics!
Tango Spice - Ready To Go!

Super Cool Trophy!

The Awards Table!

These Were Excellent Medallions!

The Banner Says It All!

Hungry Crowds Gettin' Their Fill!

The Buzzards!

Trashed MC Doing Green Chili!

First Place Winner's Sparrow Tattoo!

TnT Dynamite BBQ Team!

Big Crowds & Blues Skies!

Best Knife Holder Ever!

Gathering Around The Buzzards!

Getting Ready For The Winners!