Hockey fans tailgate, too

When the Carolina Hurricanes were playing for the Stanley Cup a few years ago, Canadian fans were stunned by the Canes fans’ tailgate culture – it’s not something you see in the frozen north. I believe Canes fans brought tailgating to the NHL.

I’m excited to tell y’all that my cookbook “Fan Fare: A Playbook of Great Recipes for Tailgating or Watching the Game At Home” will be included in the VIP gift baskets for  the NHL All Star Game. The game will be played Jan. 30 at the RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C. Visit here for more information.

Food news roundup

If you’ve ever wondered why restaurant critics don’t all weigh 300 pounds, Greg Cox, restaurant critic for the News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), shares his eating strategies here as part of the N&O’s series on diet and weight loss.

At the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, a Grinchily worn down Kathleen Purvis devises a plan to spread out the holidays. See if you agree here.

Do not adjust your computer: Those are actual animals made into beer containers in the photo with an article in the Independent Weekly (Durham, N.C.) about the year in beer. Despite the frightening roadkill bottles (limited edition versions by BrewDog), the article here is interesting. Did you know home brewing is still illegal in Alabama and Mississippi? introduces us to the Grease Beast: A cheeseburger between two grilled cheese sandwiches with onion rings, cheese fries and ranch dressing. Defibrillator, anyone?

“Foraged food is the new organic produce” declares the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as it gazes forward into food trends for the coming year. Read more here.

Things are wild in the food world today. The Minneapolis Star Tribune writes about farm-raised wild boar. I tell you, they are some ugly looking hogs.

A charging station for electric vehicles at a wine bar? Only in Portland, Ore. Read more of the Oregonian’s 100 Things We Love here.

If you’re planning a trip west to escape the cold, check out San Francisco Chronicle restaurant critic Michael Bauer’s picks for the best Bay Area restaurants of 2010. It’s here.

As corny as Kansas in autumn

You people think you know something about excess corn. Over on Facebook (yes, I’m over 50 and use Facebook, which means it must be passe) people have had a lot to say about my recent Sunday Dinner column. By the way, I will not load up a cooler and distribute excess frozen corn to people just because they ask for it.

I received several suggestions for creamed corn, despite the fact that I clearly stated that I needed non-dairy uses, thanks to the Hub. And to Bill D., I did force the Hub to undergo food-writer premarital testing, but he must have faked the results. Happens on “All My Children” all the time.

Bacon is non-dairy, which makes this recipe offered by Mark Hutchinson suitable, provided I use non-dairy margarine. Here it is, exactly how he wrote it.

1. Fry a rasher of bacon until crispy.
2. Set the bacon aside to dry.
3. Add one large (29 oz) or two regular size (15 oz) cans of drained whole corn to the pan with the bacon grease – in this case, Debbie would shuck enough ears to equal this volume. If the bacon was particularly fatty, you might pour off some of the grease before adding the corn.
4. Add 1/2 stick of butter
5. Keep stirring the corn as it fries.
6. When the corn has caramelized, drain excess grease.
7. Move the corn into a bowl/dish – helps if it is microwavable.
8. Crush the bacon and stir in the bits

Feel the thud

The winter urge for Thud Food has arrived. The Hub defines Thud Food as victuals that settle satisfyingly in the tummy, as opposed to feathery things like salads and steamed spinach. When the highs are in the 40s, humans in my house crave warm food that will hang around a while. Meat loaf, spaghetti (old-school spaghetti sauce made from ground beef and tomatoes, cooked for half a day) or chili. You’ll notice that Thud Food is generally beefy.

A pot of chili is in the slow-cooker right now. It’s a combination of chunks of sirloin, onions, garlic, tomatoes and beer. I altered the recipe a bit. Mine uses only black beans because the Hub prefers them, and I threw in some Chimayo chile I got in Santa Fe.