Episode 24 :: Finger Lickin’ Belgians & Chicken

A few years ago, I saw an episode of The Thirsty Traveler on Fine Living Network on Belgian Beer.  It wasn’t a total beer geek experience for me, but it was magical enough to make me want to seriously consider putting Belgium on my must visit list.  One of the breweries he featured on the show was Brassarie Caracole, in Falmignoul – one of the smallest breweries in all of Belgium. I thought I’d never get a chance to taste their beer without visiting Belgium myself, but I was wrong.  Today we’re enjoying Nostradamus, their Brown Ale, and it’s quite an experience.

In addition, we’re tasting a special beer sent to us by Sick Puppy at East Coast Hoppers in Pittsburgh – a Belgian Abbey Ale, and a fine one at that.  For never brewing a Belgian before, Sick did an excellent job with this beer.  The monks would be proud.

And we couldn’t do a show that didn’t involve food (that would  be a crime, wouldn’t it?).  So, I’m preparing chicken parmesan – a fried chicken cutlet stuffed with parmesan cheese, topped with marinara sauce, mozzarella and basil.  Follow along and prepare it yourself.  It’s a quick and easy Italian classic that everyone will enjoy.

Also in this episode:
• A special trip to The Bruery (but you’ll have to wait)
• Quick and easy stewed tomatoes
• Making basic marinara sauce
Carol Blymire has lost her mind
• New game – “Name That Belgian”
• Fan Mail Box
• Michael Symon’s Dinner:Unreasonable
• CBS picking up Food Network’s scraps?
• Fresh & Easy grocery chain is gaining steam
• A hate-filled tirade on grocery store clerks (down with unions!)

Download Episode 24 here.

Music in this episode by Ulrich Snauss and Coldplay.  Download their songs from the iTunes Store.


  1. Hey Phil! I listened to about half of your podcast on the way to work and wanted to comment real fast … I laughed my butt off at your ponunciation game! It was hilarious! At least you know it was entertaining for those of us at home, even if you felt silly doing it. It definitely made me smile! And those fan mails … wow … just wow! I thought I got weird stuff in my line of work 😉

    Oh, and on Robert Irvine … I agree his stuff may have *looked* good, but have you ever tried any of his recipes? I’ve tried two, and I’m SO not impressed. One was a black bean dish and they turned out harder than rocks, and the other was a pasta dish … you can see my tale of disaster on my blog – search for “glue”.

    Your chicken parm sounds awesome! That was the first thing I ever learned how to cook. Did I hear you right and you actually fold it over, stuff with cheese and bread again? I’m gonna have to listen again ….

    Can’t wait to listen to the rest of it tonight on my way home …

  2. Chicken Parmesan is one of my favorites whenever we go to places like Macaroni Grill. I’ll have to give this recipe a try. You always have beers I’ve never seen or heard of, but the name game was way too funny. You’re right, the French do seem to have a different word for everything. I enjoy your podcast very much. Keep them coming.

  3. Excellent fun show. The fan mail just gets weirder doesn’t it? So funny.

    My neighbor is from Italy and says that there’s a debate there that authentic marinara must contain some kind of fish, usually anchovies. But it really doesn’t have to. It is the sauce that they made in Naples for the sailors when they returned from the sea, and that’s where that whole thing started. There’s many ways of making it. I really like my neighbor’s sauce the best.

  4. Hi Phil

    Love the show and started falling behind a bit. The Onion intro from a couple of episodes ago was the best. I love the onion.

    You have an interesting take on grocery stores. There are so many of these stores, but I wish they could find some middle ground. I never buy prepared food but I need fresh, high-quality meat. I patronize a small regional grocery chain of eight stores. That’s just about the right size. They’re responsive to customer input, but still have enough buying power. And they have nearly everything that I use on a regular basis.

    I also liked Robert Irvine, but I can’t seem allow myself to watch him anymore – in repeats. He gives me the willies now. I only know Michael Symon from one episode of Iron Chef – and I think he did a “Melting Pot” episode or two? I don’t recall his laugh, but of course, now that you mentioned it, I will now and forever never be able to ignore it. 😉


  5. Thanks for your comments everyone, and for obviously listening to the show. ;-D

    Jess and Drew, I totally understand people’s dislike of Irvine, especially in light of the situation he’s in now. I was never such a fan of his that I’d go to any length to try one of his recipes. I’m not that kind of cook, but Jess, your post on “Glue” was totally hysterical. Alfredo sauce is very simple, but it must be watched carefully and God forbid why 1/2 cup of FLOUR?? There’s no place for flour in any pasta sauce. Flour’s for gravy. He’s a joke.

    And Jess, glad you got as big a kick out of the “Name That Belgian” game as I did actually playing it. I suck at foreign languages, but I’m OK with that.

    Also thanks Andy and Leitch for your comments. Hadn’t seen you in here for a while, so I was hoping I hadn’t scared you off, what with the occasional F-bombs and all. Interesting take on Marinara having some form of seafood in it. I had not heard that before, but I do know that a secret ingredient in many “family” sauces is anchovies. Whenever you taste a sauce that has “that certain flavor” that no one can put their finger on, it’s usually anchovy paste.

    Thanks again everyone.

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