ATTENTION ANGRY NATION: POP-UP TIME!
Prepare your faces and ready your other important parts! The official Angry Man Eats pop-up is on deck at Greenburger’s in Lower Haight!
what a blast!
Remember the SF Underground Market? I do. Every successive market taught us something new, it was such a great incubator. A safe place to totally mess up logistics, layout, blah blah blah. I stumbled across this picture today.
1000 thanks to whoever took it: it’s from our last market in early 2011. After leaving the market we started taking on new gigs, and the response to our product wildly exceeded our expectations. Given we started out almost on a dare, a kind of “stop talking about it and just do it” situation, 2011 has been an amazingly busy year!
We’ve been booked every single weekend for the last 9 months, and have really enjoyed our recurring gigs with Daytime Realness @ El Rio, working with the great folks at WorkshopSF, and everyone else we’ve met in the journey so far.
So now we’re down to our last few events in 2011, and after that will be taking the rest of the year off to figure out what’s next.
Only time will tell whether this means we carve out a small take-out window somewhere, do a chicken & waffle truck/cart/hovercraft, or something completely different. One thing’s for sure, we’ll be seeking stability and looking to reduce the logistical nightmares of a different venue every weekend.
Come out and see us at one the events we’ve got left, then it’s adios until 2012.
- Daytime Realness 10/16
- WorkshopSF 11/6
- Daytime Realness 11/20
Thanks everyone & much love from the AME crew!
workshop + angryman = love
Thanks to all you fine people loving chicken & waffles, we can afford to do Angry Shirt 2.0. We have two mocks here - since you made it possible (and would ostensibly partake in the purchasing thereof), which t-shirt would you wear?
“Hells yeah, with bells on!”
The gameplan was to do the entree in a 6-course meal themed “bold American”. We settled on a smaller-than-usual portion of our chicken & waffles, edited the toppings down to maple syrup & hot sauce, and noticing a distinct lack of vegetation on the menu we added a side of collard greens.
Come August 14th we crammed all our mise, equipment, and nerves into the truck and headed out to the top-secret location - Sam’s Log Cabin in Albany. We scored parking right outside a very unassuming, quiet-looking spot and got introduced to the owners Rhasaan (Mr BOFFO) & Mike (just Mike, not Mike D).
After getting the tour, two things became evident. First, there was no way the fryer & iron were going to set up in the kitchen - we’d unfairly monopolize the space. Second, the dining area on the back patio was *dope*. With long wooden tables, vine-covered trellises, a stagecoach… it was awesome.
So we decided to set up in a little utility area out back and got to work.
Fast-forward through prep & service, it’s a lot of work getting 420 plates out in two hours. With 6 different crews plus waiters plus the crush of service you’d think nerves would be frayed and people would either be focused on their own thing or snarl when interrupted.
Not even. Everyone did whatever they could, from start to finish, to make the evening as smooth and badass as possible, and you could tell from the guests that the effort hadn’t gone unnoticed.
About the guests. All the cooks gathered at the end of the meal for Q&A with the guests. During the discussion, and as folks told stories about the dinner, I realized that I almost always miss the human element of going out to dinner with other people.
I tend to treat eating out as a learning opportunity. I’d get lost in the construction of the plate, how each element was prepared, how the chef intended them to work together, my dining companions all but forgotten.
There’s certainly a place for that (table for one?) but where it’s really at is how it was at the dinner table at home, or out with friends in high school - the social aspect of food. Food you like with people you enjoy, or love.
And that’s about as far into tree-hugging territory as I’ll get.
Michael asked we each share a recipe from the dinner, so here’s how we made the collard greens. This is a method, not a recipe. I really encourage you to just go get all the stuff and figure out how to make it your own. That’s always the best way.
- I use bacon & hocks from the Fatted Calf. If you’re in the Berkeley area, the Spanish Table carries both made from hogs used for locally-produced jamon iberico - it’s the good shit.
- I’ve found that pound of uncooked greens (leaves, stems, etc.) will feed about 3 people.
- I typically do a 4:1 ratio by weight of greens to whole onions, everything else is to taste.
- Please don’t use bouillon or some thin, cheap broth in place of real chicken stock. If you don’t have time to make your own use Better than Bouillon, More than Gourmet, or something like that.
collard, mustard, or any similar hardy green
smoked ham hock
brown chicken stock
1. Make pork juice. In a 2-4 QT pot, cover the hock with stock and bring to a simmer. Hocks are typically frozen, so this will thaw it out and infuse the stock with smoky porky flavor. We now call that transformed chicken stock “pork juice” in Rhasaan’s honor. Keep an eye on things, add water if things reduce too far.
2. Clean the greens. Fill a container with cold water, or if you have a lot of greens you may need to scrub your sink out and use it instead. You’re going to dunk the greens under water, separating the leaves and rubbing off any dirt. Stack them on a kitchen towel afterwards.
3. Render the bacon. Peel 4 strips off at once in a single stack and slice them into strips along the short edge. Repeat until done. Render the bacon in a skillet over medium heat. This will take a while, so just let it rip and keep an eye on it to make sure it’s rendering and not incinerating.
4. Shred the greens. Holding a leaf by the stem, make a circle around the stem with the thumb and forefinger of your other hand and pull the leaf through it. With practice this will take the leafy greens right off the stem. Save the crispest stems, discard the rest. Tear the leaves (in stacks, you don’t want to be there all day) into strips 2-3” wide. Too small and you end up with mush, too large and you end up with constipation.
5. Peel and slice the garlic thinly. Keep an eye on the bacon. Trim and discard the ends of the stems you saved and slice them into sections as thick as a dime. Set the slices aside.
6. Trim the stem-end of each onion, halve it from stem to root, and peel it. Keep an eye on the bacon, don’t let it burn. Lay each onion half cut-side down and slice thinly into half-rounds.
7. Bacon should be crispy by now. Set a kitchen towel or doubled-over cheesecloth over a container suitable for hot oil and pour the bacon bits & grease into a mesh strainer over the cloth-covered container. Let the bacon drain then turn it out onto a sheet pan lined with paper towels and allow it to cool. The filtered grease should be pale yellow & clear, set it aside. Return the pan to the heat and deglaze it with some of your simmering pork juice, scraping up the brown stuff stuck to the bottom. Pour the contents of the pan into the pork juice.
8. With tongs, remove the hock from the simmering pork juice. There will be a rind (skin) around the hock, carefully trim it off in one big piece and return it to the pot. Shred the meat of the bones and set aside, returning the bones to the pot.
Prep’s done, now you’re ready to cook.
1. Set a bigass pot on med-high heat and add the bacon grease. How much? From a technical standpoint you need enough to saute your aromatics. The grease permits more effective heat transfer into them, and it adds flavor. But that’s really the point, fat is flavor, don’t freak out about it. You can eat Wheatabix the rest of the week.
2. Add all the onions, sweat them until they’re aromatic and JUST start to take color. Then add the garlic, stems, and some salt. Toss in the pork rind and sweat everything until the vegetables are aromatic and translucent. The time necessary depends on how much you have in the pot.
3. The shredded leaves will have some water on them, this is good. Add them in batches, allowing the steam to speed wilting. If you aren’t getting enough steam, increase the heat and add some pork juice (I like a 2oz ladle for this job). Once you have all the leaves in add the shredded pork back and stir it all together.
4. If you’re using collard and/or mustard greens, the aroma over the pot should be savory & smokey with garlic and the characteristically mustard-y vibe of the greens. Reduce heat and taste for tenderness & seasoning. Add salt and time as needed, but do not overcook and DO NOT EVER COVER THE POT.
5. The greens are done when al dente, like pasta. This should take about 30-45 minutes tops. Collards, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and broccoli are cultivars of the same species - lots of nutrition in there, so you don’t to leach that all out into the pot: keep the greens wet with pork juice but not swimming in it.
1. Transfer some greens, etc. from the pot to a bowl. Dress with the sherry vinegar and toss like a salad. Taste, if it’s too astringent add more greens.
2. Plate in a loose mound and top with the crispy bacon.
(credit for all photos to Albert Law of Pork Belly Studio)
(read related article in the Albany Patch)
Achievement Unlocked: Cater a Wedding!
We had the pleasure of catering Corrie Bennett & Ed Varga’s wedding this past Saturday. They really put on an amazing event - the dress was Roaring 20’s and the food was underground-style. There was a spit-roasted pig, vegan soul food, and we brought the chicken & waffles and by request - something new: our collard greens.
Keep an eye on this space for a link to catering information should you want to hire us for your next event. In the meantime, pictures!
As gifts for the bride & groom, Kirsten baked her soon-to-be-famous walnut chocolate-chip cookies and presented them in quart pickling jars, and tossed in some AME t-shirts for good measure.
We’re still rocking the budget chafing dish, but it’s not so much the vessel that’s important, but what’s inside - right?
Finally, a shot of the Angry Man himself, having a snack. Actually the picture is more to show our awesome new portable fryolator of doom - twin 160kBTU burners underneath twin 15QT frypots. 20 orders in 4 minutes means either no more lines, or we need another waffle iron to keep up with chicken production. Probably both. It never ends.