Anyway, going forward concerning the future of this blog, my resolution is to absolutely never apologize anymore for not blogging enough and to never say that I will try better. Because I'm probably not going to especially when I impose these rules on myself without another higher authority. Not like God would bother to read this little old blog!
So, Christmas Eve, my sis and my bro in law drove down to visit. In a red convertible mustang. Gotta love Florida! Okay, they drove with the top up, but, it gets chilly and windy on the interstate.
We weren't sure what the deal was with Christmas Eve around here, so we just thought we would go to the little strip in "downtown" Hollywood and park and see what was open. Actually, it was a little early, but it looked like it was going to be busy. Well, busy compared to when we have been there previously.
So, we looked at almost every restaurant on the strip, then we looped back to Cafe Italia, which was right by where we parked. We had been there before and had good food, so, at least we knew it wouldn't be shit. Funnily enough, I looked to try to find the menu online, and on yelp, all I found was 2 horrible horrible reviews of the place! Well, either they read the reviews or we went on "on" nights.
So, I got the pasta alla siciliana. It's like a puttanesca. Garlicky.
My sister got the eggplant parm. Look at that pool of sauce.
The Food Pimp got the clams alla siciliana. Like mine, but with clams.
The bro-in-law got the prosciutto ravioli with cream sauce. My gut just begins to bloat looking at that picture. I can't imagine the payback my digestive system would try to bring on me if I ate that whole plate!
So, everyone enjoyed their meal, and we went home and had a few beers by the pool. A quiet, peaceful Christmas Eve.
So, the next day, we took our top down, of the Mustang, that is, and we drove down to South Beach and then drove back up to Hollywood on A1A. What a drive. I gotta say, sitting in the back of a convertible, it's way less clausterphobic passing between those high rise condos. In the Element, it really bothers me. So, we drove all the way up to Hollywood by the "broadwalk". We were looking for a place to park, so we could walk around and find a place, when my sister spotted Billy's Stone Crab. It was open, so we pulled into the parking lot.
Finally, the place we had so wanted to go to on Thanksgiving was open for Christmas. Although, we weren't going to be having the all you can eat... it's a little.... $$$$$$. So, we sat in this like swinglike patio chair on the dock. I am sorry that I didn't take a picture of it. It was like a surrey, you know, with a canvas awning deal, and the whole seating thing rocked if someone moved. And it was right on the dock. Like, we had to wonder if anyone had had to fish their kid out of the intracoastal waterway...
So, the FP had the conch chowder, of course. If it's on the menu, there's a good chance he's gonna get it. It had big fat chunks of vegetables that were love you long time, good stuff.
I got the conch fritters. If they're on the menu, there's a 50% chance I'm gonna end up getting them. These were, just okay. I've been chasing the conch fritter ever since that delicious appetizer we had so long ago in Palm Beach Gardens, also on the intracoastal....
The FP and I decided to also get the regular stone crab appetizer. They weren't the jumbos, but they still were tasty little claws! These came with mustard, which was good, but I kinda missed the mayo that we had last time....
My sis got the ... snapper? I think they had snapper, grouper, flounder, salmon, or some 4 fish like that. I think.... when asked how it was, she replied, "not bad!" So, I think it was good!
Bro-in-low (it rhymes...) got the gator bits and chips. Although I don't think that's what it was called on the menu. The gator was chewy. I have only tasted chewy fried gator, so I don't know if it can not be chewy. When we all went out to eat the day after the FP and my wedding, my brother in law had gotten blackened gator tail that he said was delicious and tender. So, this wasn't quite the same... chasing the gator tail....
So, afterward, we went on the beach for a bit. It was kinda cold to go in the water, so we walked. And we looked at all the jellyfish lined up on the shore. There were a lot. Tiny man o wars and big huge moon jellyfish, and some in between. The FP thought it was funny to almost step on them and then not. So every time, it would be like, watch out! And he would avoid it. And then he stepped on one. And then another, and then one he stepped on right in the middle. Luckily for him, they were the moon jellyfish, which are not really supposed to be toxic, and they were right side up anyway.
After that, we went back, cleaned the pool, and stuck our legs in. Again, the water was too cold to go all the way in. But it was nice an peaceful.
So, I needed to go to the apartment to get some stuff, so in the meantime, the FP prepped everything as my little sous chef. He asked how big I wanted to pork diced, and I said, not too big, not too small. And he got it right.
So, I decided to try to make pork adobo more like my mom used to make it. So, I browned the garlic and the peppercorns. I forgot to get bay leaves, but it was ok. Then I browned the pork. Then I took it out of the pan. Then I sauteed onions, and I added mushrooms, which, while not in my mom's recipe, is pretty standard in mine. Then I added several cups of vinegar, about a cup of soy, and little less than a cup of brown sugar. And I put the pork back in and let it stew. After what seemed like way too short, maybe 2 hours, the pork looked tender. So, I took the pork out. I took most of the sauce out, except for the fat, and I heated it up, and then I attempted to fry the pork in it. The pork was already so soft, that it didn't turn out quite the way I wanted, so I put the sauce back in and let it reduce a bit, and then it was done. Voila! And it tasted pretty similar to my mom's, except for there was way more sauce.
The FP also roasted some green beans and artichokes, yum.
We never got a chance to get rice at the asian market, so we got jasmine rice at the grocery store.
So, here was the finished product. I think it was a pretty damn good meal, if I do say so myself!