Category Archives: The Jersey Shore

A New Year… A New Pork Roll, Egg & Cheese!

Living in New Jersey, a pork roll egg and cheese is a necessary evil.  Evil – because of its deliciousness and high calorie content and necessary because… well it’s just “Jersey”.

English: A package of Taylor pork roll (Taylor...

People in North Jersey call it Taylor Ham (the best brand) and people in South Jersey call it Pork Roll.  The fight is almost as passionate as “sauce” vs. “gravy”.  Gravy wins hands down – but that’s another blog.

After having one of the shittiest years and the shittiest New Year’s Eves (yet another blog), I decided to treat myself to a twist on the normal, well-known PEG.  Maybe I’d feel better about “stuff” – and I do!

My original blog about the wonderful PEG can be found HERE – and nothing can mess with perfection.

I don’t want to mess with the crème de la crème of NJ breakfast sandwiches, but I do want to offer you a gourmet alternative.

My Gourmet Pork Roll, Egg & Cheese – Is There such a thing?

2 slices of long-sliced Italian bread (I used Paramount sliced semolina)
1 tbsp apricot fruit spread
3-4 slices of cooked pork roll  (you can use pancetta instead)
1 egg – fried (I like my yolk cooked)
1/4 c crumbled Gorgonzola
3 tbsp butter
salt & pepper

Tools needed:  a panini press or something heavy to weigh down the bread (I used the latter)

Cook pork roll in some Pam until browned and cooked through.  Set aside.

Cook egg in the same pan to desired doneness.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  The flavor of the pork roll will permeate the egg – yum!

Assemble sandwich:  Spread fruit spread on bottom half of the bread.  Add pork roll, egg and crumbled Gorgonzola.  Melt butter in a clean pan and add sandwich – presentation side down. Press with something heavy.  Cook until golden brown, flip and do the same to the other side.

Cheese with be melted and the sandwich with be delish!

Serves 1.

Try it out and let me know if you like it.  It mixes the saltiness of the Taylor Ham and the sweetness of the fruit.

And for all you Jersey guys and gals – let me know how it compares to the original!

© 2013 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010


Hurricane Sandy’s Lost Pets

Please share this Facebook page.


The east coast needs you!


Ristorante Nicchio: Belmar, New Jersey

Ristorante Nicchio
100 Main Street
Belmar, NJ 07712

I tried a new Italian restaurant (new to me) in Belmar last weekend.  My friends were raving about the food and I was finally glad to be giving it a try.   So my husband and I met B and J in Belmar after a very HAPPY hour at the Avenue in Long Branch.

As soon as you enter Nicchio you realize that it is an upscale atmosphere which totally appeals to me.  A Peach Bellini at the bar was a good way to start off the evening before moving to the dining area.

We started off with the Salumi platter including all the meats mentioned:  prosciutto, pancetta, bresaola and lardo.  I enjoyed the proscuitto (probably a typical Prosciutto di Parma) and the bresaola more than the other two.  Munching on pure fat isn’t my idea of culinary delight.

Next came the Primi.  I chose a half order of Rigatoni Bolognese because I consider myself a connoisseur of Bolognese – always searching for the perfect Ragu.  It wasn’t meaty like a traditional Bolognese sauce, was red in color and very tasty, though I found it to be a little oily.  J ordered Linguine in White Clam Sauce.  I had a forkful and thought it was tasty but J said it was too dry.  My husband ordered a trio of clams that he hoovered up without comment and B did the same with his half order of pasta.

I chose the Milanese as a main course.  This was a bone-in pork chop, pounded thin, breaded and served with baby arugula.  It was quite good but I found the meat to be overcooked in places, making it tough to cut.

We split a sundae layered with caramel, fudge and Nutella and much more.  Pretty yummy.

All in all, I would go back to Nicchio’s.  It was good, not great, but definitely worth another try even though the ditsy, blonde waitress was somewhat incompetent and not up to the quality of service that I’m accustomed to.

The bill was $250 for 4 people, including a bottle of Pinot Grigio, appetizers, pasta, main fare, dessert and coffee – quite reasonable for 4 people.  Frankly a bargain by our standards.

So next time you’re visiting the Jersey Shore, try Nicchio’s in Belmar and let me know what you think.

Buon Appetito!

Image: Suat Eman /

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

BENNY Bombardement: Weekend Invasion At The Jersey Shore

Bayonne, Elizabeth, Newark, New York

BENNY.  If you’re from NJ you know the word BENNY.  A BENNY is someone who lives in North Jersey or NY and invades the Jersey Shore on the weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Being a former BENNY myself, I travelled in the wee hours of the night to avoid traffic at all costs.  I was down the shore every weekend.  I would even sleep in the back of my Camaro if I didn’t have a place to stay.  Now that I am a resident of the Jersey Shore I find BENNYs to be a gridlock creating breed of tourists who are good for the economy but bad for my peace and quiet.

I won’t even go near the beach or boardwalk on the weekends.  The crowds are monumental.  A 5 minute in-town drive might take you 35 minutes or more.  It’s insanity.  My husband and I wait until Sunday night after 10 pm to attempt a boardwalk visit.  By that time the crowds have dwindled and the traffic is minimal so the boards are a good bet for a late Sunday night of fun.

This weekend was the kick-off of the summer in NJ.  I always have to work the Friday before and stress about traffic.  I have a 20 minute door to door drive to work that might take 2 hours or more via the GSP.  This Friday was a record for me (in a good way) – I made it home in under 30 minutes thanks to back roads and Route 18 South.  It’s a Godsend.

For the rest of the holiday weekend I usually sequester myself to my property perimeters, venturing to a neighbor’s or to the nearest liquor store for supplies.  I don’t dare travel within a mile of the beach.  Last time I tried to buy bread at Fortunato’s, I got stuck in the “beach” traffic on Mantoloking Road.  Needless to say, I never made it to the bread.

When I was a BENNY from North Jersey I hopped in my car every single weekend, could have sat in traffic for hours and if I left on a Sunday afternoon, it would sometimes take me 4 hours to complete a 1 hour drive.  As I get older I have less tolerance for crowds, traffic and annoying people, so from Memorial Day to Labor Day, I do what many other shore dwellers do.  Stay away from the beach and boardwalk unless absolutely necessary.

I don’t know if I’m turning against my people or I’m just getting crotchety in my old age, but the BENNY Blitz has only just begun.  If you’re my friend, welcome to the Jersey Shore, if you’re obnoxious, invasive and frankly a cavone, stay out of my sector and try Jones Beach.

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.