Tag Archives: feast

Feast

As many of you know, I occasionally gather with various friends to devour entire carcasses of animals. We call ourselves The Carcass Club. This latest “meating” went down at a joint aptly called Feast.

A buddy of mine, NYCFoodFomo, organized this as an Instagram influencer meal. It was on the house, given that we were going to glaze Instagram’s face with our “cam-shots” from this “pork-fest.”

I used “quotes” there so that you knew I was actually making a reference to something else besides food photos…

Anyway, here’s what you get at Feast, for just $75/pp:

First Courses

Flat bread with fried egg, smoked gouda, arugula and horseradish cream.

This was nice and crispy, and the arugula is even lightly dressed, which was very nice. This dish would make for a great breakfast, actually.

Brussels sprouts with lap cheong sausage, creme fraiche, grain mustard, dried cranberry and cider vinaigrette.

The sausage really works perfectly with the sprouts. Instead of the typical bacon, this swap for lap cheong was smart, because it has a similar meaty sweetness.

Second Courses

Suckling pig with gravy.

I was shocked at how well the flavor of their 24-hour brine penetrated the flesh of this 28lb pig. The meat really took on the peppercorn flavors. And one of their secrets is to use the whey byproduct from their homemade cheese making process as a tenderizer in that brine. So awesome.

They break the pig down for you and plate it into sections: head area, shoulder area, rib area, and ass/legs area. Apologies for not getting a shot of that stuff for you. It wasn’t super pretty, but it was pretty cool to see piles of meat and a pig skull.

Chicharrones with lime.

They also give you a bowl of the crispy fried skin, which some would say is the best part of the suckling pig.

Kabocha mac n’ cheese with gruyere and toasted pumpkin seed.

The sweetness of the pumpkin in this dish threw me off a bit. Perhaps I just needed to be in the Thanksgiving holiday zone to fully appreciate this one. Nonetheless, it was tasty.

Taro fries with miso aioli.

It’s always a challenge to get taro fries good and crispy. The sauce was excellent, but the fries themselves were more like mashed potato logs. Not a bad thing: just not crispy like a French fry.

Smoked mushrooms with a soy glaze.

These were fucking incredible. The smoke added such a great woodsy flavor to an already earthy and woodsy mushroom (oyster). This was my favorite item of the night.

Indochine ratatouille.

I’m generally not a huge fan of ratatouille, but this had some nice robust and savory flavors.

Dessert Course

Chef’s seasonal selection, which, during this visit, was a caramelized apple cobbler with cold maple whipped cream and pomegranate seeds. I think there was even some diced up zucchini mixed into this unique dessert.

That about does it. I highly recommend giving this feast a go. You’ll need a minimum of eight carnivores to take it down.

FEAST
102 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10003

Jeepney

Jeepney is a Flip joint downtown on 1st Avenue that has been getting popular for its large format feast known as “Kamayan Night,” which they host only on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

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Essentially they cover the table with banana leaves, cover the banana leaves with rice, and then cover the rice with all sorts of delicious food.

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The one caveat: you eat with your hands. It gets pretty messy, but if you’re careful like I was, you won’t slobber up your $4000 camera rig.

The drinks at this place are all very tropical island-inspired, which is fun. They have a Flip version of a pina colada, which is made for two to share:

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And smoothies made with a sweet bean ice cream:

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There’s also a variety of Flip beers to sample as well:

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So what the fuck are people eating at Kamayan Night? There’s lamb stew, rice cakes, baby bok choy, banana ketchup ribs, stewed pork belly, sweet sausage links, spring rolls, pickled cukes and onions, and a fried whole red snapper. Everything was delicious – seriously; not one item on the table was lacking in flavor and tasty, exotic island goodness.

The lamb stew, although it felt like a winter dish and a bit out of place from the other items, was really packed with spicy curry flavors. It came across more like a mountain dish to me, as opposed to an island dish. It was surrounded by sweet rice cakes which ate like a bread.

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The baby bok choy was refreshing and sweet, as was the array of pickled cukes and onions. They much needed green pop and crunch to the meal.

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The sausage links were sweet and meaty. The skin casing was a bit thick and rubbery for my liking (I like char grilled casings that snap and crunch); I assume they were boiled as opposed to grilled.

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The stewed pork belly was hiding under the bok choy. This was really great. Soft, flavorful, and super porky.

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The spring rolls were a nice texture change up as well: crisp and light.

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The banana ketchup ribs were amazing. I tasted the banana but not so much the ketchup, which I suppose is a good thing. There was a mild heat to them as well. Really nicely done.

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I think the star of the meal, for me, was the fried whole red snapper.

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It was so fucking crispy on the outside, yet tender and light on the inside. It was easy to pull apart and avoid bones as well.

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I even dug into the cheek at some point, which was nice.

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For dessert, I thought this dish was a bit small for four people to share, but it was really good and refreshing. It was sweet bean ice cream on top of coconut flavored shaved ice and garnished with flan, some small cubes of minty jelly, and then topped with Rice Krispies.

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Same thing from a second visit (ube ice cream):

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A couple of things I noticed:

1) Apparently not every Kamayan feast is the same. The table being set up next to us had shrimp as well as a clam stew of some kind for ravaging:

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2) The walls are adorned with some hot naked broads. Enjoy:

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If you’re feeling courageous, try Balut – a fertilized duck egg. Half duck, half egg. A fetus, basically. Sometimes crunchy with fowl parts.

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JEEPNEY
201 1st Ave.
New York, NY 10003

Flight of the Noble Turducken

My industrious, ambitious and extremely brave friend and co-creator of Hungry Dads endeavored to prepare a Turducken for his Thanksgiving feast this year. Lots of people these days, who are interested in indulging in such a menage-a-fowl, are buying them pre-prepared because it is an arduous task to do it oneself. When my buddy told me he made a Turducken on his own, I was extremely impressed. Below is a write-up that he provided for me to share with you, as well as a time-lapse video of his work. Well played!

Flight of the Noble Turducken

Hugh Gallon

www.HungryDads.com

When it comes to cooking, I’ve embraced the words of my high school Driver’s Ed teacher, Mr. Woods, who preached that people who claim they can’t cook are likely lazy and/or stupid. Any idiot can follow directions. Recipes are just directions. Taking Mr. Woods’ philosophy into adulthood, I’ve boldly undertaken many culinary ventures with unwarranted confidence – yielding more than a few disasters. And when I naively committed to preparing a Turducken for Thanksgiving, I didn’t expect it to be the greatest undertaking of my adult life.

For the uninitiated, a Turducken is a turkey, stuffed with a duck, stuffed with a chicken. Arrogant and uninformed, I assumed I would just need to shove a small bird into the cavity of a larger bird, repeat, cook, and eat. It turns out the Turducken is a true Frankenstein’s monster of poultry. After 3-5 hours of web research, I began to regret my fowl hubris, but ultimately ended up with a solid strategy by combining a few different recipes. Unexpected challenges included:

De-boning all three birds. I guess I could have gotten my birds from a butcher already de-boned, but I am not lazy or stupid, Mr. Woods. The internet provided some good instructions with photos, which I promptly ignored and instead just hacked away at the poor things like I was Dexter blindfolded.

Flavor vs. poison. When you have this much raw meat, and it comes from three separate animals, there is a lot of opportunity for nasty little bacterial microbes to fester. You gotta cook those buggers out, but not at the expense of your juicy meat. If you layer up that much raw meat and put it in the oven, the exterior turkey will dry out before the inner “ducken” is cooked. The website Serious Eats (The Food Lab) had a great solution: poach the chicken and duck portions before putting it together.

a The Ducken ready for poaching

They also recommended browning the duck skin over the stove to add some nice fried fatty flavor.

b The Ducken fried up

Structural integrity of stuffing. Bread stuffing is controversial in a normal turkey scenario (under-cooking risks and such) – but in a Turducken, stuffing is important to fill in the gaps like spackle. But web research revealed that traditional stuffing might buckle under the weight of so much bird flesh, resulting in a lop-sided or bulged Turducken. One of the goals of the Turducken is to make it look like a regular turkey on the outside, but with pure un-boned meatiness on the inside. Once again it was the Serious Eats Food Lab with a solution: stuff with sausage instead of bread stuffing. More meat = better anyway.

Duck is mushier than snot. Trying to layer and form everything was a real pain. It was the only point in the process I considered bailing out. But by then I was up to my elbows in soft, fleshy bird tissue – so I crammed raw meat to and fro until everything fit and the outside looked like any other unassuming turkey.

c Tur meet Ducken

d The Melding of Flesh

e Skewer that Shit

f Trussed with Browning Sauce

The process is better shown than described, hence my two minute Turducken documentary:

The verdict? Well, I am confident that I created a successful Turducken. It probably wasn’t perfect, but it looked like a real turkey on the outside. Cutting into it revealed a lovely mosaic swirl of dark/light meat on the inside. And wasn’t dry. So I’m calling it a success.

g Out of the Oven

h Poultry Swirl

i Meaty Mosiac

That said, in a final anti-climactic taste review, I must say that the flavor was just so-so. I didn’t think the three birds’ flavors melded particularly well. The chicken and duck skin on the inside didn’t stay very crispy and was a little rubbery. I’d have to say each bird would have probably tasted better on its own.

Nonetheless, a Turducken is about the journey more than the destination. I took pleasure in telling friends and family about the project and enjoyed merely having the opportunity to say “Turducken” on a regular basis. Regardless of flavor, the legend and legacy of my noble Turducken will soar like an eagle for many family Thanksgivings to come.