Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Pulled pork is delicious. There's no mistaking that. For about the same price you'd pay for a good pulled pork sandwich ($7), I bought a 3.6 lbs boston pork butt yesterday. When I got home, I put a ton of spices in a bowl with brown sugar and some salt and dry rubbed the beast. Then, I put it in a plastic bag and let it rest overnight in the fridge. This morning, I pulled it back out of the bag, shoved it in the crock pot, set to low, and let it simmer for 9.5 hours. After that, I pulled all the pork apart on a baking sheet with two forks, and set aside. I simmered some apple cider vinegar, ketchup, worcestershire, brown sugar and a ton more spices until it tasted yummy, then mixed in all the shredded pork and tossed it in the oven set at 350 F. At that point, I started mixing yeast and flour together for some homemade buns...

Homemade Pulled Pork

The rub came from a recipe on Beantown Baker, and I made some hamburger buns from One Frugal Foodie. What you have to understand is, I spent at least a week in advance obsessively looking at recipes for crockpot pulled pork, and decided on my attack, only to find this exquisite website just as I was pulling the buns out of the oven. Oh well, mine tastes ammmmmmazingly good, and now I have another new recipe to look forward to.

Hamburger Buns

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Random Shot #4


African Quinoa Soup

At my request, Saba brought me some of the soup she made for dinner last night. It was so delicious and hearty, I really wanted to have some for lunch at work tomorrow. So I waited until about 8:30 and decided to make that happen... And now I'm eating second dinner, as usual.
Adapted from the post Jake put up last summer... I'm not really sure why my soup is much thinner than Jake's, maybe he lied about the amount of quinoa and peanut butter? At any rate, it doesn't matter, Rachel and I just confirmed it still tastes amazing. And it will obviously be thicker tomorrow after the quinoa sits and soaks up the liquids.
african quinoa soup-2

2 tbls butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium sized beet, diced
1 medium sweet potato, diced
6 cloves of garlic (normal people probably use 2-3), minced
3 small carrots, tops removed, diced
1 cup of red chard (approximately two large leafs), stems removed and diced and set aside, greens sliced
1 ts oregano
1/2 ts cumin powder
1/2 ts red chili flakes
1/4 ts cayenne
6 cups of vegetable broth
1 cup red quinoa
3/4 cup peanut butter

Heat a heavy-bottomed pot on medium, and add butter. After the butter has melted and just started to froth, add onions, beet and potato. Saute until the onions become translucent and the roots begin to soften (10-12 minutes). Add the garlic, carrot, and chard stems and saute another 2 minutes. I always add my garlic later than the onion so it doesn't burn and stick to the pan. Add the chard and stir just a couple times, until incorporated, then add the broth and all the spices. Raise heat to high and bring to a rolling boil. Add quinoa, then lower heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Add the peanut butter and mash around with a wooden spoon to dissolve. Serve immediately! Leftovers will only

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Long weekend

Had a great weekend in Seattle with many many friends. Becca and I drove up on Friday afternoon and had with a couple of her college friends and Phil at La Isla. I ordered rare steak on a salad, but didn't eat much since I was still nursing a food poisoning tummy from the day before. The bites I did have were delicious, and everyone seemed really happy with their meals.

On Saturday, Phil and I met up with my Portland friends, Shane and Kevin, and ate at Table 219. My tummy was more on the mend, so I helped myself to a chicken sausage scramble, and my favorite kind of potatoes.
chicken sausage scramble

After a painful evening of pulling on some plastic, Phil and I got Thai takeout and watched a movie. It was a fairly early night for us, and we got up early the next day to hit Steven's Pass with Ava. The snow was heavy, and the vertigo was pretty bad, but we had a blast. That was only the second time I've skied in two years, and it felt really good to gets some turns in. We even managed to take the chair to the very top and enjoy a very steep mogul field. We skied till all of us had weak, cramping legs, then had beer and burgers from the lodge.

Once we got back to Seattle, we reconvened with Becca and headed out to Txori Bar. We got a bunch of weird little bites (and they really are bites), including squid in its own ink and spanish chorizo with shaved chocolate. We also had some not-so-weird stuff like, cauliflower and rabbit. The pictures tend to speak for themselves. (Below, Becca is appreciating every last bit of the rabbit bones.)

After a shameless stop at the drive-in to pick up some burgers and fries, we all settled in at Phil's house to watch Mean Girls - which I'd never seen. Big fan now. It was a really nice long weekend. I'm very relaxed now!
Watching Mean Girls

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Potatoes n' Cheese

Potatoes n' cheese

More often than not, I start chopping up produce and putting it in a pan or pot before I've decided what the end product is going to be. I love making breakfast restaurant-style potatoes (with crispy browned outsides, with gooey middles), so that's what I started with tonight. I stared at the taters, frothing up and sizzling, and contemplated where to go next.

"Potatoes and eggs, with some pancakes? Maybe potatoes and black beans in a burrito? Potatoes with... Cheese curds! Which means I should make gravy - POUTINE!"

I hovered over the stove, muttering, but Rachel (my roommate) is pretty used to this by now. A place in Durango, Colorado popped into my head at that moment, and I furiously began chopping onions. I love onions, and they are a good source of vitamin C to boot, so I tend to use at least a half a cup of onion in anything I cook. The restaurant I'm speaking of is Serious Texas Barbecue. They make "Cheezy potatoes" that are out of this world. It's been years since I had them, but I remember it was potatoes, onion, and a ton of melted cheese. I, of course, slathered the whole lot with their Jack Daniels BBQ sauce, and I wish I had some of that right about now.

So I skipped the poutine for tonight, and I made a stab at Cheezy potatoes. I had some curds from the Tillamook Cheese Factory in the fridge, and when you pan fry those, they get even "squeeky"-er. Which is amazing-er. I pan fried the taters in 2 tbls olive oil, and 2 tbls butter, then added a cup of sliced onions, 1 tbls fresh thyme from my Aerogarden, 2 ts rubbed sage, and 1 ts of oregano. I think I actually went overboard with the spices. I also added 2 cloves of garlic, which I like to microplane into the pan, rather than chop. Microplaning gives you a garlic paste, rather than little bits that will brown and burn in the hot oil. Finished off with half an avocado, some Tillamook sour cream, and a lot of sriracha. Pretty damn good dinner. For 9pm on a weeknight...

Random Shot #3

Agh! I have to make sure I post in between these random shots... That was sort of the point. To get me posting more.

Forest foraging pays off

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Parmesan Popovers

Kitty was almost as excited as I was to see these beauties come out of the oven.

First popovers.
Final product.

I've been looking over popover recipes since the October 2009 issue of Gourmet Magazine came out. They did a fun looking fall spread at a mountain cabin setting with a bunch of really thin, beautiful models who you know can't be eating tins and tins of popovers... Anyway. Everything they made for that meal made my mouth water, especially the Provolone Popovers. I have never eaten popovers before, let alone made them, but I was curious. We never have milk in our house, so it hasn't been a recipe I could just last minute whip up. Since the holidays, I think Rachel and I have both had to buy a lot of milk for various recipes, so there's an abundance of dairy in our fridge now.

This morning, I woke up and started googling "popover recipes" on my iPhone, then remembered the October Gourmet out in my living room. When I found the recipe again, it definitely seemed like the simplest of all the ones I'd been scouting. I also wasn't planning on letting my batter rest for the 60+ minutes recommended. I didn't have provolone, but I did have the all important catalyst, parmesan, and some sharp white cheddar which I decided could pretend to be provolone. They turned out beautiful, delicious, and didn't even stick to the pan! Jake and Phil were leaving to go boating at 9:30, and I managed to toss a couple steaming hot morsels at them as they walked out. This was a super simple recipe that I will make again and again! Rachel brought home the beautiful muffin tin from her grandmother's after Christmas. It's the perfect size for a 25 minute bake. The recipe below yielded two exact batches in her 8 small muffin tin.

Full recipe found here, on