Sunday, February 07, 2010

February 7th - SUPERBOWL Extravaganza

Roast Pork Shoulder with BBQ Rub before Pulling

Wild Sockeye Salmon Gravlax with Pink Peppercorns
Originally tried this recipe on April 5th, 2009. The variation this time is the use of pink peppercorns. It turned the salt mixture a bright party pink. This is a preserving and curing method for fish involving salt as the preserving agent.

We served it with Pickled Red Onions and Horseradish and Mayo dressing.

1 c thinly sliced red onions (use a mandolin, ideally)
1/4 cup wine vinegar or white vinegar
1/4 t seasalt

Cut a red onion in half and cut the root end off. Run on paper thin setting on your mandolin. Toss in vinegar and salt and let sit for a few hours or overnight. Toss every hour or so. It cuts the sharp edge off the onion.

Original recipe Apr-5

Fresh Salsa and Fresh Guacamole
6 fresh vine tomatoes (do not put these in the fridge from the market)
1/4 red onion diced
1 jalapeno diced
1 clove garlic minced
1 lime juiced
1 t salt
1 t chili sauce (optional)
1/2 c chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 c chopped fresh dill (optional, I just had it in the fridge and it worked really well!)

Mix the above ingredients and let sit for at least an hour for the flavours to come together. Ideally do this day of so you don't have to put it in the fridge before eating so you keep the tomato flavours bright and fresh.


2-3 avocadoes diced
1/2 red onion diced
1 jalapeno diced
1 lime juiced
1 clove garlic minced
1 t salt
1/2 t dried cumin (optional but D does it)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro

Mix the above ingredients together. Don't feel it necessary mash the avocadoes. Easiest way to dice the avo is to cut it in half by running a knife all the way around it while you can feel the knife hitting the pit. Twist the two halfs and pull apart. CAREFULLY hold the half with the pit still in it. With a large knife tap the pit with the lower part of the blade so as to embed the knife lightly in the pit. Twist and pull the pit out. To get the pit off the knife, pinch the the knife from the back of the blade just above the pit like you're squeezing a cheek. The pit will pop off. With a small knife or big, cut squares in the two open halves without cutting all the way through the skin. Scoop out the avocado already dice. Sprinkle with lime juice to prevent browning.

Serve both with tortilla chips.

Homemade Pulled Pork Sandwiches

D's pulled together pieces from several recipes he found on line so no single contributor so really, it's all D.

(1/2 lb per guest)
8 lbs pork shoulder, organic if you can get it
8 T kosher salt
2 T freshly ground black pepper
3 c light brown sugar
1/2 c paprika
2 T garlic powder
2 T onion powder
2 T dried oregano
2 T dried thyme
8 cloves garlic
1/2 c wine vinegar
2 T cayenne pepper, oh yeah!
1/2 c olive oil

The night before, whisk the RUB ingredients together. And as the name indicates, rub it all over the pork shoulder. Place in a non reactive pan, stainless steal or glass fat side up. Cover in plastic wrap. Leave in fridge overnight. I don't know if this is entirely necessary. 3 hours is suggested but if you have lots to do game day, you may as well do it the night before.

Game day, leave the should out 30 minutes before roasting to bring to room temperature. Take the plastic off. Preheat the oven to 325. Roast for 4 hours uncovered until crispy on the outside and 155-160 F internal temperature. Let rest for at least 10 minutes. If the internal temperature is not reach before the outside gets too crispy, cover with foil and continue to cook.

Use two forks or your hands to 'pull it' to shreds. Serve with slaw. We bought some lovely Portuguese buns mmmm big, crusty and chewy.

D made some BBQ sauce.... I don't have it handy. He didn't follow it per the letter since it the one he dug up did not require cooking but he did because he was going a bit further south and the one he found was more in the Carolinas. Base ingredients were: Ketchup, Molasses, Brown Sugar, Mayonnaise, Cider Vinegar, Salt, Pepper and Yellow Mustard. I don't know why he felt he had to buy yellow mustard. We have like 5 mustards in the fridge but it had to be yellow mustard. Hmm Anyhoo, I'll have to post this recipe later so I stay on track. Place in a squeeze bottle.

Serve the sandwiches with the slaw below in the sandwhich topped with BBQ sauce.

Fennel and Cabbage Coleslaw

1/2 head savoy cabbage or 1 if you get the smaller nerf ball sized
1 head red/purple cabbage
4 green onions
4 carrots
1 Fennel, large bulb, sliced
2 T whole grain mustard
1/2 c sour cream (use low fat if you want)
1 lemon, juiced
4 T wine vinegar or malt vinegar
1 1/2 - 2 c mayonnaise, low fat!!!
1 T sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Dill or Parsley to garnish

Shred the cabbage with a mandolin slicer or across the grain with a large knife.. Finely slice the fennel. I don't like large chunks in slaw of anything, particularly fennel but it definitely adds sophistication. If you don't like anise flavour, simply leave the fennel out. Grate the carrots and slice the green onions. Toss together.

Whisk the mustard, sourcream, sugar, lemon juice, mayonnaise, vinegar together. Toss the shredded veg in the dressing. You can do this just before serving as a fresh salad or overnight for more of a pickled and mingled flavour.

Baked Cauliflower and Roasted Garlic with Jalapeno Wholewheat and Cheese

1 lb whole grain Macaroni
2 heads Garlic
1/2 head or 200g Cauliflower cut to small florets
1-2 T olive oil
3 T all purpose Flour
3T Butter
1 c Half and Half
1.25 c whole Milk
2 eggs, large

(1 lb or 450 g total of your choice of cheeses OR 4 cups)
200 g Cheddar Cheese grated
100 g Edam Cheese grated
100 g Mozzarella cheese grated

50 g Parmesan cheese grated (real!! or leave it out)
1/2 T Worchestshire sauce
2 jalapenos minced, 3 if not very spicy
fresh ground pepper

Grate all the cheese together and toss. Set aside 1/2 cup for the top.

Preheat the oven to 350. Chop the Cauliflower into bite sized florets. Or if there is a big fat pork shoulder in there already hogging the oven, place in a rack on top at whatever temperature for as long as it takes you to do other stuff and it starts to brown slightly.

Cut the top off (not the root end but the elf hat end) so that you slice into the top of the garlic cloves. Pour olive oil on top. Wrap the two heads in foil or place head down in a baking dish. Toss the Cauliflower in olive oil and place in the baking dish with the garlic. Roast for 1/2 hour.

Boil the pasta for 8 minutes drain and set aside. Drain WELL. You don't want to water down the cheese sauce.

Have everything measured and too hand. In a sauce pan, melt the butter, whisk flour into the butter until smooth. Let brown a tad, the colour of weak milky tea. 3-5 minutes. Add pepper. Add the half/half and milk slowly. Whisk until smooth and bring to a boil briefly. It will start to thicken immediately at the boil. Take off the heat. Add a handful of cheese to bring the temp down slightly. Add the eggs (but crack them in bowl first) whisking continuously. You don't want scrambled eggs. You can temper the eggs slightly by adding some hot liquid to the egg first and whisking and bringing that back to the pot. Add the jalapenos. Worcestershire sauce, season.
Take out the Cauliflower and cool. Reduce the oven to 350. D's pork was out by then.

In a baking dish, gently fold in the cauliflower and cheese sauce together. Then gently add the pasta. Squeeze out the garlic cloves like you're squeezing toothpaste. They should be soft and don't worry, roasting makes them sweet rather than too smelly. Sprinkle on the extra cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool if you want to slice or at least let sit for a few minutes. Slice and serve. It was fabulous. Despite the mountain of pulled pork and house full of carnivores, my mac and cheese went like hot brownies.... until we put out the brownies.

Banana and Dark Chocolate Brownies

350 g unsalted butter
320 g brown sugar
400 g dark chocolate (we used 70% Green Blacks and Lindt but you could use bakers bittersweet)
1 teaspoon vanilla or 2 vanilla pods
4 eggs, lightly beaten
4 bananas, ripe, when we have bananas get too ripe, D puts them in the freezer for banana bread
1/2 c self-raising flour, sifted, it's a british thing. It's actually hard to find regular flour (1/2 c flour + 3/4 t baking powder + 1/4 t salt)
4 T cocoa powder, unsweetened

Preheat the oven to 350F/ 180C Line a 11-inch square baking tin with parchment paper, with an extra 1cm on the sides. Cut diagonally in at the corners so you can tuck the corners in like you're building a box and you will have clean edges.

Combine the butter, sugar and chocolate in a large pan over a gentle flame, stirring until melted and smooth. Remove pan from heat.

Stir in the combined eggs, bananas and vanilla until well-mixed.

Sift in the flour and cocoa powder.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Optional, chop 1/2 c walnuts. Sprinkle evenly on top. Bake for 45 min

Allow the brownies to cool in the tin before cutting into 32 squares. They'll be a bit tacky and shiny on top because of the bananas so let completely cool. They'll firm up overnight. I'm glad we did them the night before.

Plus snacks: Chips with Onion dip, Rosemary baked cashews, veggies and dip

Rosemary Cashews

2 c unsalted cashews
2 T light brown sugar
2 springs fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 t salt
2 T butter, unsalted, melted
fresh ground pepper

Mix everything but the cashews. Then toss the cashews until all coated. Spread out on a non stick baking dish. Bake at 300 for 10 minutes or until you can start to smell them. Let cool on pan and then put in a dish. THESE ARE SOOOOOO GOOOD. You can mix in other nutes like pecans, walnuts or blanched almonds.

Drinks and Wine List:

Punto Final Malbac
Zardetto Prosecco
Mont Alpha Sauvignon Blanc
g Dahesa Gago by Telmo Rodriguez
Victoria Gin Martinis

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