one man's ceiling
Friday, September 29, 2006
  disney dining - part two: meat on a stick
originally we had hoped to dine at the blue bayou, the new orleans themed restaurant that is actually connected to the beginning of the "pirates of the caribbean" ride, but reservations weren't available until late in the afternoon so we opted try again the next day. so when lunchtime rolls around what sort of semi-healthy family fare does the magic kingdom offer us?

surprise! it's the bengal barbecue grill, located just across from the entrance to the indiana jones ride, probably the busiest bottleneck in all of disneyland. the grill is a counter service deal, order up and take you food to one of a half dozen tables or a nearby standing bar. food is basically x-on-a-stick flame cooked on a grill. there was chicken-on-a-stick (sweet), beef-on-a-stick (regular and spicy), vegetables-on-a-stick (potato, onion, mushroom, zucchini, yellow squash) and a thing called the safari skewer which is asparagus, wrapped in bacon, on a stick (yum!). i was particularly fond of the safari stick, and it took two meat-sticks to fill my protein needs for amusement park stamina.

all good, all around $6 a stick. it adds up when you look at 2.5 sticks per person (sharing veggies) but it was one of the least food service tasting places to pick up a fast bite on the go.

trying to remember the name of the place (the bengal grill? tiger grill?) i hit the 'net which, when it comes to all things disney, is awash in reviews of disney dining (making me wonder if my contributions aren't like spitting into the wind) and recipes for recreating park favorites. the following recipe for the beef skewers appears identically on no less than five different web sites. if it ain't an authentic diseny recipe it's at least consistent among the throng.

soak the bamboo skewers in water to avoid burning
combine all of the ingredients except beef above and bring to a boil, adding cornstarch to thicken
place 3 pieces of beef on each skewer and cook on the grill 3 minutes on each side or until desired doneness
brush with sauce and serve.

notes

as far as i'm concerned there has never been a time where i felt granulated garlic was preferable to the real thing. unless you have problems with garlic, use it. also, if you really want kick, replace the cayenne with an equal amount of red pepper flakes.

want is sweet and hot? add 2 tablespoons of honey

the recipes all claim 6 portions or servings, but i am a huge fan of thin meat on skewers and that will bump the number of skewers and serving sizes. i think they cook faster and taste better when thinner. i would get the sirloin as a piece, freeze it until just frozen, then slice 1/4 thin strips and skewer once thawed. alternately, you can place the pieces (not frozen!) between two sheets of plastic wrap and whomp it with the flat bottom of a cast iron skillet. i have flattened out chicken this was as well and it's amazing how flat you can get meat with just a few good solid whacks. our neighbors must love us.

and while i'm rambling, a word or two about cornstarch. this binding agent, a bi-product in the production of high fructose corn syrup (hfcs), is really not something i like to use in my cooking unless absolutely necessary (as in, i'm out of arrowroot or agar). when the science finally gets the weight behind it, i am convinced that this country will come to discover that corn-based sweeteners and bi-products are one of the chief causes of many american health problems. i may rant on this more in the future, suffice to say that as innoculous as it seems we really should be looking to remove cornstarch from our diets along with artificial sweeteners.

end of rant. end of post.

update:
my zuska, my love, has informed me that i have the prices all wrong. "they were really reasonable, like $3 or $4 each." since she paid, she'd know, but i was sure they were higher. *sigh* if only i had the photos i took on the digitial camera left behind in that cab...
 
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recipes and musings on food -- and anything else for that matter -- from a guy with a sticky brain who likes food. perhaps he likes food too much.

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