Grilled Meatball Subs - We've grilled meatballs a couple of times before, for grilling instructions see How To Grill Meatballs. Before you get grilling though, we can knock out the arugula. In a sauce pan warm a tablespoon or so of olive oil and add some crushed red pepper to the oil. Let the pepper cook in the oil for a minute until fragrant then add 3 finely chopped garlic cloves. Let the garlic cook for a couple of minutes until softened slightly.
Add a bag of arugula to the pan and continue to toss in the garlicky oil until wilted, for about five minutes. Remove from heat.
Pour a high quality tomato-based pasta sauce in the pan to simmer. Grill the meatballs following the link above. When the meatballs are done, add them to the sauce tossing to coat the meatballs thoroughly in the sauce.
To build the sandwich, take a fresh baguette and hollow out the middle of it. Start piling in the meatballs in a single file line down the center of the loaf.
Fill the cavity with the meatballs and some extra sauce, layer on the garlicky arugula and spicy hot giardiniera. Finish off with a fresh dusting of grated Reggiano cheese. Slice it into sandwich size portions and dig in.
Revolution Brewing A Little Crazy Beligan-Style Pale Ale - I can't look at the bottle and the name of this beer and not think of the band Fight. A big fist as a logo and the name of the beer sharing the name of the best track off Fight's 1993 album "War Of Words", that song played through my head almost the entire time I was enjoying the beer. I really like what I've had from this fledgling Chicago brewery and this Belgian-style pale ale may just be the best of the bunch. The beer pours a dark golden amber with above average carbonation and a very thin head. As for the aroma and taste, two words; hops and apricots. Well, those and a little of the dreaded banana peel, but there wasn't enough of that there to detract from the experience. The beer smells very fruity on the nose, with the apricot and sweet citrus dominating the aroma. Just the opposite happens on the first sip, as a sharp hoppy bite greets the palate and lingers with a subtle apricot undertone that builds into a finish that tastes of homemade apricot jam. A great contrast of hoppy bitterness and unique sweetness. The Belgian pale ale being a natural pairing with marinara sauce, the hoppiness also worked well with both the spicy arugula and the hot peppers.
Mothership "Mothership" - Man, what a find this disc was! This Dallas three piece may just be one of Texas' best kept secrets. Sharing similarities with fellow statesmen, The Sword, these guys bring it with tight, melodic, groove-based retro-sounding hard rock. Whereas the Sword is a perfect soundtrack for riding your winged horse through a snowy forest slaying wildebeests, bad witches and hobgoblins; Mothership is the soundtrack for being out for the evening behind the wheel of a '77 Trans Am (Firebird on the hood optional) with a half-pint of Jack in your back pocket, your trunk full of ice cold cans of beer and your buddies piled in the car. Their self-titled release that dropped in the summer of this year starts off with "Hallucination" which begins like it's going to be a slow "warm-up" instrumental to start off the disc, but quickly turns into a loud, bombastic exercise in the art of jamming full throttle then settling back down again briefly before seamlessly moving to the next track, "Cosmic Rain". A great driving locomotive riff and awesome vocals make this one of the catchier and one of the best tracks on the album. I can't leave out the excellent guitar solo on this one either. "City Nights" is a perfect example of a hard driving "boys night out" tune. Sounding a little like Thin Lizzy, who of course penned the ultimate "boys night out" song. "Angel Of Death" is not nearly as heavy as the track title might imply, it does have a loud and heavy groove but still melodic and continuing on with the good time rock and roll theme. "Win Or Lose" showcases an anthemic mid-tempo groove, drawing comparisons in the vocals department to Craig Riggs of Antler/Roadsaw fame. "Eagle Soars" really showcases the bands abilities as musicians, keeping things extremely tight in the rhythm department and peppering in some flat-out scorching solos. "Lunar Master" with its rolling bass lines and guitar sounds like a fine piece of New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, sharing components of early Priest, Maiden and "On Through The Night"-era Def Leppard. The songs ends with one hell of a blues jam. "Mothership" is an amazing album full of great riffs, electrifying solos and good time hard partying anthems. A must hear album for 2012.