See ordinary RVs transformed into outrageous, bad-ass, 21st-century mobile mansions. Rock My RV follows legendary rocker Bret Michaels as he leads his handpicked, insanely talented design/build team to rock someone's RV.
Board a Luxury RV in Phoenix and experience the Sedona Red Stones, Oak Creek Canyon, Bell Rock and Cathedral Rock. Then head to the Grand Canyon for a 9-hour tour from Flagstaff through the Navajo Nation.
Inspired by a casual meal on the road outside of Budapest, this easy stew is a classic.
The Best Beef Stew
2T canola oil
4 cloves garlic sliced
3# dry aged chuck or arm roast of beef, cubed and trimmed for stew
2 onions, sliced
2 chopped leeks, trimmed well and cleaned well
1 cup chopped rutabaga
2 cups diced carrots
10 new potatoes, quartered
Bouquet garni of bay leaf, 3 thyme sprigs, 3 tarragon sprigs and 3 parsley sprigs bound with kitchen twine
1T dark brown mustard
2T red wine vinegar
1 cup beef stock or rich chicken stock…homemade works best!
1 bottle (12 ounces) Duvel or other strong dark Belgian beer
Place 1T oil in a large Dutch oven or casserole pan over medium heat, caramelize the onions and leeks being careful not to scorch them. Remove the leeks and onions and add the 2nd T of oil.
Add beef and brown, in batches being careful not to scorch the meat or the bottom of the pan. Borwn streaks on pan are great, black ones are not..
Add the onions and leek back to the pan, add the bouquet garni and paprika and stir, cooking for a few minutes…then add the stock and beer.
Bring to a light boil, cover and bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 90 minutes.
Add potatoes, rutabaga and carrots, stir and bake for another 30 minutes.
Stir in the mustard and vinegar, remove and discard the bouquet garni. Season with sea salt and freshly ground white pepper and serve over egg noodles, with bread dumplings or spaetzle. If the sauce for the stew is too thin for your liking, simply simmer on stove top for a few minutes to reduce.
This recipe can be done completely on the stove top as well. Cook at a light simmer, covered, for the duration of the cooking time.
Tuesday evening we air our Hungary episode, a show that features one of my favorite scenes in Bizarre Foods history. The family of Roma, a Gyspy clan, hosted us for a day in the hillside village they call home when not touring the continent playing psycho-billy gypsy music. Just listen to the insanity (and remember that all clichés aside, and admitting freely that I am devoted to global understanding). At one point, I found myself alone with our van driver trying to prevent five of the little kids from boarding our bus and making off with all our personal goodies. Now I have to say right off the bat here that these kids were not hellbent on stealing. It’s just that some Roma are culturally attuned to hustling and grifting. I was howling with laughter at one point simply because the clichés of life sometimes rarely seen, and yet here I was trying to protect our knapsacks. In the end, I traded a case of soda, a box of candy bars and five bags of chips for peace of mind and an assurance from the oldest kid that they would treat our van like a no-fly zone.
Nothing like the thrill of traveling.
Second thing you need to pay careful attention to is Bock Restaurant, the laboratory of an evil genius with the sense of humor that comes straight out of the Louis CK playbook. Lemme know what you think of this guy. Tweet me at @andrewzimmern and give your two cents worth. Enjoy!
Watch Bizarre Foods: Hungary on 3/22 @ 9pm E/P on Travel Channel.
Happy Friday from Food Works HQs. Hope everyone had a fun (and safe) St. Paddy’s day. Cause some folks’ brains might be a little fuzzy today, thought I’d pass along some online fluff.
Nearly every road trip I’ve ever taken involves listening to Jerry Seinfeld’s I’m Telling You for the Last Time. Amongst other observations about nothing (airplanes, scuba diving, dry cleaning), he has this to say about New York cab drivers:
I don’t even know what it takes to get a cab driver’s license. I think all you need is a face. This seems to be their big qualification.
The “all you need is a face” concept resonates with a very specific aspect of my job. Most emails sent to firstname.lastname@example.org are filtered through yours truly (no worries, Andrew does eventually read your emails, too), and one type of email that continues to pour in are of the “I’m Andrew’s Twin”variety. And here’s where we tie it back to Jerry:
I’m pretty sure all it takes to think you look like Andrew is a bald head.
Here are some of my favorite look-a-like photos. Some of them are actually pretty good. Others, I just have to shake my not bald head. By the way, the above portrait by Raphael (the painter, not the Ninja Turtle) is of “Papa Leone X con i Cugini” aka “Pope Leo X and his Cousins,” shared by Sarah R… hysterical.
Without further ado, here are the AZ doppelgangers:
Hernan A. from Katy, TX…. Personally, I think he’s a dead ringer (and he’s got the clothes down!):
Dr. Bob, a dentist from Austin, TX is Andrew’s personal fave. When he saw this photo he literally was trying to figure out when and where it was taken. Sorry bub, it’s not you!
Mitch H. from Souix Falls, SD has the look nailed:
I’m liking the slightly unhinged look in this one:
Combine all the ingredients except the pears in a large sauce pan.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat to maintain a slow boil.
Peel the pears.
Working carefully from the bottom, core with a small melon baller.
Place them in the poaching liquid and poach for @ 20 minutes until tender but not breaking.
Remove pears and refrigerate until cool.
Wrap and store.
Use within 24 hours.
Reduce the poaching liquid until the syrup thickens, Strain and cool for service.
To serve, plate the pear with an ounce or so of the cheese, spoon sauce over the pear just to glaze and add a few drizzles of the syrup on the plate.
* * * * *
Bread Pudding with Irish Whisky Sauce
2T sugar mixed with 1t cinnamon
4 eggs plus one yolk
¾ cups sugar
2 and ½ cups milk
2 and 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup bourbon
¾ cup raisins
¾ cup toasted sliced almonds
1T vanill extract
¼ t salt
1 pound pullman style white bread, sliced ½ inch thick and cut in 1 inch squares.
2T melted butter plus extra for greasing the pan.
Plump the raisins in the bourbon for 30 minutes.
Grease a 13×9 baking dish
Whisk eggs, yolks and sugar together, adding the milk, cream, bourbon-raisins, almonds, vanilla, nutmeg and salt. Stir 4/5’s of the bread cubes, mixing to moisten.
Let stand 15 minutes.
Pour into baking dish.
Scatter remaining cubes on top.
Push down on the pudding.
Brush top with the melted butter.
Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.
Bake at 325 for 45-50 minutes or so until browned and rising up the side of the pan.
Let cool for 90 minutes, racked.
Serve warm with Irish Whiskey Sauce.
Irish Whisky Sauce
8 egg yolks
2 and ½ cups milk
1 half of a split vanilla bean
Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and salt.
Combine the milk and vanilla over medium-high heat in a sauce pan and scald.
Slowly whisk it into the egg mix.
Return to a clean pan and cook over medium heat, stirring gently until sauce coats the back of a spoon, @ 5 minutes.
Pour custard immediately into a stainless bowl and place bowl into an ice bath.
Stir until cold, and strain.
Season to taste with the best Irish whiskey you can lay your hands on.
Greetings from Bizarre Foods HQs! This past weekend was the first I’ve spent at home in about a month. From Milwaukee (where my boyfriend Josh and I got trapped in a blizzard) to Miami (where we got trapped at a Jersey Shore-esque party at the Fontainebleau), it’s been crazy… but lots of fun. Here are the highlights:
My sweetheart and I headed down to Milwaukee to celebrate his sister’s birthday. We hit up Lakefront Brewery for a tour (that basically means walking through a warehouse filled with giant vats of stuff while drinking *generous* beer samples). Let me just say, these guys craft some pretty delicious barley pops. I loved LOVED the East Side Dark… If you think dark is synonymous with heavy, give this brew a shot. Your mind = blown.
The brewery hosts a big Friday fishfry from 4 – 9pm (if you’ve been to ‘Sconnie haven’t done a Friday fishfry, go back three spaces). It was fantastic grub and they had a polka band to boot. Skip the combo platters and just go for the beer battered cod– it’s the best by far.
The following weekend, we swapped fried food and whiteouts for white sand beaches. Andrew did a few events at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival; the boyf and I decided to get in on the fun. We stayed at the Fontainebleau, which turned out to not be our speed. However, we did get this flattering photo snapped of us in the lounge… hot pink lighting apparently suits us well (although the price tag on drinks did not… yikes).
We were fortunate enough to spend a good portion of Saturday night at the Best Thing I Ever Ate at the Beach party. For the record, the best things I ever ate at that party were Lee Schrager/Epicure Gourmet Market’s mini brisket sliders on challah and matzoh ball soup shooters (doesn’t sound beachy, but it worked). Joelle’s Desserts banana cake pops– pictured below– were ridiculously moist (worst word ever, but best descriptor I can think of) and so fun to eat. I’m not a dessert girl, but uff-da, these did it for me.
And I have to give it up for AZ and the folks at Montaco Truck. Their fish tacos killed it. However, I think this was AZ’s highlight of the night. I’ve never quite seen him so giddy. It was hilarious:
Four days after returning from our beach getaway, the boyf and I (along with seven friends) headed to Lutsen, MN for skiing– near Canada. Yes, we have ski hills in Minnesota. It’s nothing like out west, but you do get spectacular views of Lake Superior, and you can still eat like a pig and burn it all off on the slopes. This year, I made the cover recipe from the March 2011 Bon Appetit. It’s a fancy Pimiento Mac and Cheese, but I added ground beef and hot sauce to jazz it up. It was almost as big of a hit as our Hot Tub Time Machine-inspired onesies:
You gotta love an 80′s-inspired long butt:
So this is how I’ve been beating the winter blues. How are you guys escaping (or simply enjoying) the cold? Please share!
I want to see me eat Gold Coin sandwiches at Manor restaurant, dine on the world’s best seafood at Sai Kung and learn what it’s like to go airborne in one of the world’s best martial arts studios, the Hit Hut. That, and the fact that one of the world’s greatest eating cities is yours for the watching makes this must see TV.
Have you heard of kau kee? It’s a simple little place on the hill, they have been open for decades and basically only serve one thing: beef brisket and noodles swimming in simple beef broth. It’s the best thing I ate all week in Hong Kong…well except for the coins, and the soy sauce noodles, and Maks shrimp dumplings and all the crew meals at the little pork bbq joints and dumpling shops around town. This place is a must for eaters looking to expand their culinary horizons and a trip to HK will increase your street cred with your food buddies by a factor of 10. Rest assured that you will never find a dining companion as beautiful, poised and food-smart as Amy Ma. I love my work.
AND JOIN ME FOR A LIVE TWEET DURING THE SHOW! I’ll be sharing my thoughts, comments and responding to your questions via Twitter throughout the premiere of Bizarre Foods: Hong Kong, Tuesday, 3/15 @ 9pm E. Make sure you’re following me (@AndrewZimmern) and my sidekick Molly (@in2BizarreFoods). Use the hashtag #BizarreFoods to follow the conversation. It should be a great time.
Now next week is the Hungary show, let me assure you the visit to the Roma, the gypsy family, was like a bad acid trip, all laid behind a sound track of electric psycha-gypsy-billy music that has to be seen to be believed. That, and the incredible facial hair on display, the meltingly delicious Mangalitsa pork and the sights and smells of shabat in the Jewish Quarter. I love this show and you will to. I will send you a nice Hungarian recipe later in the week.
How do I celebrate Mardi Gras? By going to Greece! Sit down on the couch and get stoked on Shrove Tuesday for all things Greek, especially my visit to Kalymnos in the Dodecanese isles. This remote island is a rock climber’s paradise and one of the last truly ‘ontouched’ islands. If you want, check out this amazing Greek treat for yourself and serve it up to some hungry friends as you enjoy the show… Tuesday, March 8 @ 9pm E/P on Travel Channel.
Garides Saganaki…Grilled Shrimp with Feta and Tomatoes
2# Shrimp, u-15 size
One third cup olive oil
half cup chopped onion
Pinch of hot chile flakes, or more to taste
4 minced garlic cloves
2t ground fennel or anise seed
One third cup white wine
1 cup finely diced chopped tomatoes, canned is fine, drained
One quarter cup chopped parsley
1T lemon juice
2T fresh oregano leaves
Two thirds cup crumbled fresh feta
Peel and devein the shrimp, reserve.
Place the oil in a large oven proof saute pan over high heat. A 14” sauteuse works best.
When hot, add the onion, garlic, fennel seed, oregano, parsley and chile flake.
Saute until glassy.
Add the wine and the tomatoes, cook until most of the liquid has evaporated .
Add the shrimp and toss quickly for 60 seconds.
Place under a hot broiler to cook through, this will only take a few minutes.
Add the feta, sprinkled over the top and the lemon juice.
Place under the broiler again and color up the cheese.
Here’s a video I took in Athens last summer at one of the best souvlaki joints in town. Think skewered beef, lamb, chicken or pork served on pita bread with onions, tzatziki, grilled peppers and scorched tomatoes. This dish is to Greece what the hamburger is to the United States, and Monastiraki Square, near the Plaka a half-block from Hadrian’s Library, is the best place to get your souvlaki on. Though many restaurants specialize in the dish, two legendary (and always packed) spots vie for top honors: Bairaktaris, run by the same family for more than a century, offers a full menu in its dining room as well as a quick-service takeaway for folks on the go. Thanassis boasts essentially the same menu. So which one is the best? Hard to say—eat at both and decide for yourself.
Catch the all-new Bizarre Foods: Greece Tuesday, 3/8 @ 9pm E/P on Travel Channel.
Now that spring seems to be nudging its way closer, I am all about breaking out the grill and using it for one of my best small fish recipes. I love it with trout, but it works for just about any small fish I can think of– from bass to mullet to porgy to walleye.
Grilled Trout with Almond Chermoula
4 fresh trout, cleaned, heads on…if trout are not available, try small red mullet or mackerel
3 cups loose pack fresh cilantro leaves
1 large handful fresh mint leaves
½ cup sliced almonds, toasted
3 plump garlic cloves
1 minced small fresh hot chile, I like to use serrano chiles
2/3 cups extra virgin olive oil
Lime juice to taste
½ cup raisins
1/2t saffron mixed into 2T water
1 small finely minced onion
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes.
Place the onion, raisins, saffron and half the almonds into a large bowl and set aside.
Pulse the remaining ingredients, except the tomatoes, in a food processor and cut 2 or 3 slashes horizontally into both sides of the fish, do not penetrate past the spine with your knife.
Take 1/3 of the pureed mixture and rub into the fish where you made the slashes. Season the fish with salt and pepper and brush with oil.
Take the remaining 2/3 of the pulsed herb mixture and combine with the onion-raisin mixture to make the chermoula.
Grill the fish for several minutes on each side until just cooked through, and serve with the chermoula poured over the top. Toss the tomatoes in salt and lime juice, season with olive oil and garnish the plate.
After the last plastic wine cup has been picked up off the beach let me tell you I am finally recovered from a whirlwind SOBE Wine and Food Fest. Lee Schrager and his team did another amazing job. Say what you want but the collection of food star-power at these things is UNBELIEVABLE and if you are not attending SOBEWFF or NYCWFF or the soon to be announced LAWFF you are missing out on some great weekends. Ducasse Dinners sit side by side with Diners and Drives, there is something for everyone and while I am sure you have read a lot about it, here’s a personal view.
It was Noah’s 6th bday on Thursday so we flew down Saturday to Miami. Sorry I missed the Pulled Pork and Moonshine party, the Bubble Q event and the Burger Bash. Michael Symon deserves to win Burger awards in perpetuity, but I am biased. We walked the tents on Saturday with my pal Gail Simmons who is so insanely kind and classy to her fans, she is a supremely cool human being. We chatted with all the Food + Wine Mag folks about my upcoming recipe spread in the May issue. My wife and I walked GS up to the tent where she had to intro Morimoto for his demo. We hung in green room for a while, said hi to some friends like Gabriele Corcos and Debbie Mazar (way cooler in real life than you can even imagine, they are hysterical… I love his shirt in the above pic) , Food Net execs Alison Page and Bob Tuschman, Michael White (a king), Bobby Flay (one of the nicest people I knonw, and very supportive of everyone), Michael Symon (most down to earth genius I know in food biz), Lee Schrager (busiest man in any town he is visiting and a force of nature), Dana Cowin (what can I say, she is my ultimate food crush), Rocco Dispirito (he works out!), Duff Goldman (very withdrawn these days) and about a hundred others.
Dana told me she is hanging a pic from our FW photo shoot in her office of me with an octopus coming out of my mouth. That’s true friendship. Flay and I compared notes on his latest Cambodia trip, White introduced my wife to Alain Ducasse, and Symon was there with his lovely wife who is as much of a saint as mine is for putting up with all this nonsense. I spent some time with my buds Melissa D’arabian and Alex Guarnaschelli, who just opened Darby in NYC on the heels of Butter’s success. Check it out next time you are in NYC. Rachel Ray and Paula Deen need 20 security people to move from one place to another down here and its horrific how some fans treat them, screaming yelling and pushing to get at them. Seems needless.
We went out to Best Thing I Ever Ate on Beach party and Robert Irvine, Duff Goldman, Scott Conant, Jeffrey Zakarian, Daniel Boloud, Sunny Anderson, Marcela (the smoking hot one from Cooking Channel) and 20 other chefs tried desperately to make a dish that even approached our charcoal kissed fish tacos in blue corn tortilla with cabbage salad and steamed corn dredged in queso blanco, lime and chiles. They couldn’t. My buddies at Montaco (www.montaco.tumblr.com) came down from NY and kicked ass all over that party. The truck winters in Miami, summers up north and is one of the best food trucks in America and I am blessed that they helped me out and made me look so good. If there was a peoples choice award, we would have owned it 10 minutes after the party started. I was so proud of all the Montaco folks. They killed it. Zakarian and Conant are two of the funniest guys I know and sitting around with them before the event dissecting the weekend was one of the festival highlights for me. Same for Mr Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat, future hall of famer and Bizarre Foods super fan. He stopped by our booth (he had one serving some killer wings) and made my year by taking the time to eat and say hi. As you can tell in the above pic, I was on the verge of peeing in my pants in excitement.
The after party was hosted by Cosmopolitan Hotel in Vegas and standing on the roof of SOBE’s new art center pounding down Blue Ribbon Sushi and catching up with Giada DeLaurentis, Morimoto, Tim Love and my Team Z peeps was a blast. Morimoto and Love are class acts. Tim is doing so much these days with Love Shack and Lonesome Dove but just announced a globally inspired taco restaurant is in the works for him as well… that is sure to be a hit. Morimoto just opened in Napa and Waikiki and is killing it (of course). They are both vets of BF eps and I love those guys. Class acts. I went to grade school with Giada’s aunt. Small world.
After too little sleep we got up and hit Paula Deen’s Gospel Brunch. Rick Tramonto’s shrimp and grits was awesome as was Myron Mixon’s pulled whole hog and Tim Love’s short ribs. The place was a scene, way too many glutsters fighing over pitchers of not fresh squeezed OJ. We left quickly. The tents were rocking all day. I went to see Bourdain and on the way bumped into his wife Ottavia and hung out backstage. Tony was awesome as always, and in middle of his talk started in on me, so I jumped on stage to help him out. If he’s making a Zimmern penis eating joke, I figured the least I could do was stand in and take a few pitches. We had a blast and afterwards he told me he is off to Cuba this weekend to shoot No Reservations in Havana. I am thrilled for him. The whole time I was down there last year I thought of him. The food, the music, the rum, the history…its all right up his alley.
I went and did my demo (Cambodian beef skewers and Thai Chile Shrimp with Lemongrass… check out www.andrewzimmern.com for recipes) followed by a book signing and then on to Guy’s BBQ Beach Party. I wanted some killer BBQ after missing the Moonshine and BubbleQ parties earlier in the week. No ‘cue in sight at Guys Bash, so we left and grabbed dinner in town at Pasha’s with some friends, checked out SugarCane the next night (awesome food) and hit the road.