Hot Dog Still Life

The 4th of July is upon us! A time for family, fun, food, and fireworks. Our focus today is on the food. More specifically, hot dogs. For many years it has been a tradition to fire up the grill on the 4th, and cook hot dogs. Whether you take yours with ketchup, mustard, chili and cheese, or something a bit less common, the 4th is the perfect time to grill!

 

Another 4th of July tradition is the Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest. According to legend, the first ever hot dog eating contest took place on Coney Island, the contest’s current location, in 1916. It is claimed that four immigrants to the U.S. wanted to settle an argument over who was the most patriotic of the bunch. Though no one is able to confirm the validity of this story, it is certain that it inspired the modern day Nathan’s contest. The hot dog eating contest as we know it today has been a summer staple since 1972. The first winner, Jason Schechter finished off 14 hot dogs in 3.5 minutes. In more recent years, Takeru Kobayashi of Japan, and America’s own Joey Chestnut have dominated the competition, regularly devouring 50-60+ hot dogs in the competition. That’s a whole lotta dogs!

 

Here are some more fun facts about America’s favorite summer fare…

  • 1900: The year the Oxford English Dictionary recognized the term “hot dog”
  • 20 billion: The reported number of hot dogs consumed in America per year
  • 7 billion: The number of hot dogs consumed by Americans between Memorial and Labor Day
  • 818: The number of Hot Dogs consumed per second in the United States during summer months
  • 69: The world record for hot dogs consumed in 10 minutes. Set by Joey Chestnut in 2013
  • 669: The length in feet of the world’s longest hot dog
  • 20 million+: The number of hot dogs consumed in Major League ballparks each season

 

Now go fire up the grill, throw on some hot dogs, and have a great 4th of July!

It’s hard to find someone that doesn’t like pasta. Culture to culture, different takes on the food have been consumed for centuries. Who invented pasta? Why is it so popular? Why do we enjoy it so much? Let’s take a look at the history of everyone’s favorite carb!

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Though it is argued who invented pasta, The Chinese have the oldest recorded evidence of pasta. It is said that they were eating pasta as early as 5,000 B.C.

It is rumored that Marco Polo discovered pasta while in China, but that is not the case. Ponzio Baestone, a Genoan soldier, requested a small basket of macaroni in his will in 1279. This was 16 years before Polo returned from China.

Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing macaroni to the United States. He discovered the dish while serving as an Ambassador to France. He enjoyed it so much that he ordered crates of macaroni, along with a pasta-making machine to be sent back to the U.S.

The first pasta factory in the United States began production in 1848 in Brooklyn, New York. A Frenchman named Antoine Zerega was the owner and operator of the facility. He dried his spaghetti by placing strands of the pasta on his roof to dry in the sunshine!

Meatballs were invented in America. Italians only consumed meat a few times a month in Italy. It was when arriving in the United States, where meat was far more plentiful; the Italians began adding it to more dishes. This is when meatballs came to be.

Italians consume more than 51 pounds of pasta per year! That’s over three times more than we do here in America, where the average person consumes about 15 pounds of pasta per year.

Approximately 2.75 million tons of pasta are made in Italy each year, and 1.9 million tons are produced in the United States per year. That’s a whole lotta pasta!

There are more than 600 different shapes of pasta produced around the world!

Are you hungry yet? Go eat some pasta already!

 

 

March is here and that means that St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner! Have you ever wondered about the history behind your favorite traditional St. Paddy’s Day cuisine? You may be surprised with what you find out!

Corned Beef and Cabbage

One of the most popular St. Patrick’s Day dishes is corned beef and cabbage. You will see restaurants all around offering corned beef sandwiches, as well as people cooking the dish themselves. The crazy thing: this dish doesn’t trace back to Ireland. Instead, poor Irish immigrants came up with this pairing when they came to the United States. Traditionally, the Irish would eat boiled bacon on St. Patrick’s Day, but it was too expensive for the poor settlers. Beef brisket was the cheapest meat available, and they decided to brine the meat instead of boiling it. The beef was paired with one of the cheapest vegetables they could find, cabbage, and a new tradition was created.

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Guinness Beer

This beer is a product of Ireland, but the inspiration for it came from Great Britain. Visionary Arthur Guinness started the brewing company in 1759. He negotiated an outrageous 9,000-year lease contract for an unused brewery in Dublin. That location, St. James Brewery, is still active and is a must see tourist attraction for beer lovers and history buffs alike. Guinness made it to England 10 years after it’s inception, and over 70 years to make it to the United States. Today in the U.S. the beer is enjoyed year round, but has become synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day. Be sure to grab a pint on the 17th!

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Colcannon

This Irish dish traditionally consists of mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage. Here in the United States, it is a traditional St. Patrick’s dish, however in Ireland it is a Halloween tradition. The Irish would use charms hidden in the dish for the purposes of marriage prediction. Other times colcannon was served with a ring and a thimble concealed within. Prizes of small coins like threepenny and sixpenny bits were hidden in the dish.

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tacos.jpgIngredients
1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, halved
1/3 cup orange juice
1/2 cup beer
2 limes, juiced
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 cup chopped red onion
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
12 corn tortillas

Directions
Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to slow cooker. Add onion, garlic, jalapeno, orange juice, beer, lime juice, soy sauce and cumin to slow cooker. Stir gently to combine.

Cover and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours or low for 4 to 5 hours, until chicken is done. Use slotted spoon to transfer chicken to a large bowl or cutting board. Shred into bite-size pieces.

Ladle out some of the juices from slow cooker, leaving enough to mix with shredded chicken. Place shredded chicken back into slow cooker. Warm tortillas and serve with chicken, red onion and cilantro.

Be sure to watch Great Groceries on 21 WFMJ every Tuesday and Thursday during the 6am hour and Wednesdays at Noon!

IMG_5057 copy.jpgIngredients
4 Portobello mushroom caps
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup pizza sauce
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
pizza toppings: sautéed green peppers or onions, pepperoni, sausage, olives, etc.

Directions
Preheat oven to 425º.

Season Portobello mushrooms with salt and garlic powder and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until slightly softened. Drain off any excess water.

Top mushrooms with sauce and sprinkle Italian seasoning overtop. Top with mozzarella cheese and your favorite toppings. Bake 10 minutes more and serve immediately.

Be sure to watch Great Groceries on 21 WFMJ every Tuesday and Thursday during the 6am hour and Wednesdays at Noon!

IMG_5052.JPGIngredients
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. honey
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. water
1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup flour
2 lbs. shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
3 eggs
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
4 Tbsp. oil
Cooked white rice for serving

Directions
Whisk together mayonnaise, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, salt, honey, pepper and milk in a large bowl. Set aside.

Add sugar and 1 cup water to a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Add walnuts and boil for 2 minutes. Drain sauce pan and transfer walnuts to a clean surface.

Add flour to a large resealable plastic bag and add shrimp. Toss to coat. Whisk together eggs and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl. In a separate small bowl, place panko crumbs. Dip shrimp in egg, then breadcrumbs to coat.

Heat oil in a large pan or skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes until shrimp turns pink and breading is lightly browned. Add cooked shrimp to sauce bowl and toss to coat. Serve with cooked rice and top with walnuts.

Be sure to watch Great Groceries on 21 WFMJ every Tuesday and Thursday during the 6am hour and Wednesdays at Noon!

IMG_5032.JPGStart the New Year with healthy recipes! Apple cranberry walnut salad makes a perfect lunch or dinner. Add chicken if desired.

Ingredients
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup olive oil
1 small head Romaine lettuce, chopped
8 oz. baby spinach
2 apples, thinly sliced
1 cup dried cranberries
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup Feta cheese crumbles
3/4 cup pecans

Directions
In a medium bowl add apple cider vinegar, honey, sugar, garlic powder, poppy seeds, salt, onion and olive oil. Whisk to combine; refrigerate.

In a large bowl, toss lettuce, spinach, apples, cranberries, bacon, pepper, onion, cheese and pecans. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing and toss to combine.

Be sure to watch Great Groceries on 21 WFMJ every Tuesday and Thursday during the 6am hour and Wednesdays at Noon!

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