All posts filed under: Pork

Every Day I’m Fenneling… Sausage Polenta Bake

God, I do love the internet thing when it comes to cooking. Don’t get me wrong, I treat my stack ‘o cookbooks like they’re Fort Knox. And for research ~ menu development ~ experimentation ~ food porn, I wouldn’t trade them for the world. But days like today, when I’ve got no real interest in prowling through pages, I can type a list of five ingredients I want to use in The Google ( because lord knows, I love The Google) and voila! I’ve got 15 or so recipes I can mix and match to come up with something tasty for dinner. It’s like playing Garanimals with celebrity chefs… a little Martha, Giada’s teeth, Alton’s receding hairline, and a couple of Chuck’s Tatts…. My Polenta Bake is based largely on Martha Stewart’s recipe Baked Polenta with Sausage… but I still have a load of fennel to do something with… and I didn’t like the idea of (and I wasn’t going to go out and just buy..) packaged polenta… and Giada had an Italian sausage pasta recipe …

Paprika Roasted Pork & Figgy BBQ Sauce

The thing is – I didn’t start out looking to cook a hunk of pork. I wanted chicken… I wanted chicken of my childhood. I wanted chicken of my childhood that came from the Winn Dixie just down the street from where I grew up. It was “barbecued chicken”, and I put that in those little ” “ because it really wasn’t even barbecue. Long before (and I mean really long… I’m 53 after all) every mass market grocer and discount bulk package foodery started carrying those horrendous rotisserie chickens, just about every neighborhood market carried a whole, fresh-cooked barbecued chicken. It was smoky. It had a funny pasty spicy sauce rubbed into every little skin tuck, arm pit, crack and giblet then baked until it was fall-off-the-bone tender… then stuffed in an aluminium foil bag where all those aromas – juices – steam – permeated every inch of that bird. The wing tips and drumstick joints were always a little extra crispy.  It was disgustingly sticky.  It was instantly recognizable. It is still one of …

Simple Dinner Sunday – Pork Cutlets with Mushroom Sauce

I’ve never been one of those shoppers with a rigid grocery list. Sticking to a list, ticking off every little thing so you stay within $.50 of your budgeted grocery allowance just doesn’t work for me. I like the thrill of the economical buy. And, I do like a bargain. Reference the… 6 packs of ox tail for $1.95 a pack 1/2 bushel of okra for eight bucks family pack of 1.5 pound fryers (really, really tiny chickens) for 89 cents each industrial-sized bag of frozen chopped spinach… So, just imagine the joy of unearthing a 1 lb pack of “Cubed Pork Cutlets” for $1.35. I was over the moon happy. Really… Until, I got them home… Here’s the thing with cubed meat. Cubing is a process intended to break up the relatively tough muscle in bad cuts of meat. The protein feeds into the whacka-chopper, and it smashes 1/4″ divots into the slab of toughness. Top Round, Eye of Round, Brisket, Vein Strips – all good candidates for the cubing mawl… Pork? not so much. Pork, …

Peach Butter Bingo #3 – Tie One On

Bourbon ~ Peach Butter BBQ Sauce Regionally speaking, I’m not a sweet BBQ sauce kind of guy. I like ’em hot and tart. Nothing really beats a good North Carolina vinegar sauce… or that insanely mustard-y sauce from Carey Hilliard’s in Savannah (are they even open anymore? …  I really need to get down there, see what’s shakin’ in the Port City… and poke around in The Church Cook’s Kitchen while I’m at it.) So, needless to say, this sauce really isn’t my cup of tea…so to speak… but since pork, bourbon and peaches really do a number on the taste buds, I just couldn’t resist trying the peach butter in a sweet and spicy sauce. If you’re a fan of Kansas City Style sauces – this’ll be right up your alley. It’s been raining off and on the past two days here at Turtle Creek. Since I’m not a fan of grilling in the rain, I wanted to cut down on the cooking time and amp up the tenderizing since these ribs wouldn’t be slow cooking …

Simple Dinner Sunday – All up in your grill…

It’s the Memorial Weekend and I’d be remiss if I didn’t have a grillin’ thang or two to add to the backyard hoo haa. And since I’m not going to be doing the cooking tomorrow.. you get it today. And, since I kinda lean that way anyway, it’s a couple of stupid simple dishes from the Asian inspired side of the road: Sweet Chili Pork Blades and a Quick Griddle Kale Stir Fry Okay, I say simple – and I mean it. So that means I’m pulling together a couple of bottled and canned things to speed up the process. 1st, you’re going to need a bottle of this: Thai Sweet Chili Sauce Yes, I can make it myself.. and you probably can too – but why bother. You aren’t going to make it as good as what comes bottled up for your enjoyment, and remember.. we’re doing things quick today. Do make sure you find the sauce with the shredded carrots and turnip in it… if you can. (Hint… this one has it.) Right then, …

Rolled Pork Roast with Coriander Chutney

I prowl the international markets in the Atlanta area, a stalker – if you will. I rummage through the oddities of greenery in the fresh market – I poke at the slabs of petrified fish stacked like cords of funky hardwood – I jiggle the vats of condiments and kimchi trying to digest the ingredients – I’m entranced at the sparkling rows of  sauces, ointments, seasoning powders and poultices… my fingers tracing along the minuscule and confusing ingredient listings for that one component that one day will make that one stellar dish. On a recent foraging outing I came away with a bottle of very green Coriander Chutney. I had absolutely no idea what I’d use it for… but I didn’t already have one… and the pantry shelves still had a couple of inches that weren’t occupied. So, home it came – and on the shelf it went… next to the disturbing jar of MudFish (bought during a particularly vulnerable moment) and the plastic bottle of dried baby shrimp that sound like a maracas if you shake them while singing …

Blah Monday

I’m officially calling the Monday after Daylight Savings Time Blah Monday. I’ve barely felt like moving today. I got up at the regular 6:15, made Jane’s breakfast, did a couple of errands… in a complete fog. Which is oddly appropriate because the mountains are socked in with this drippy, hanging, dense, wet fog today. I don’t want to think. I don’t want to answer any questions. I don’t even want to look at anybody today. I want to sit (curled up in my great grandmother’s afghan) poke at the fire and eat something warm and tasty and comforting – without a lot of effort. Thank heavens for the chest freezer. I think one of the biggest treats when we were all at home, was the rare occasion that mom would buy smoked chops at the market. There was just something a little bit cheating about eating bacon shaped like a pork chop. That smallest bit of crispy fat around the edge of the chop, the salty / sweet sensation as it hits the tongue, the odd Dr. Suess-y pink cure …

The Sandwich Diaries – ” Stella!!! …”

Sheesh!, What a wuss… and all I keep thinking is, isn’t he wearing just a tad too much jewelry? I can say that because I’ve never really felt about anyone or anything that strongly. Oh don’t get me wrong, I’ve been in the “I’ll do whatever it takes, fight anyone I have to, break any law to keep you” relationship before, but when push came to shove – “off you go and thanks for playing our game” … eh, it’s just way more work than I want to invest in. You’re wondering what all this has to do with today’s recipe.. aren’t ya.. here’s a clue… I inherited a several bottles of Stella Artois after the beach wedding. I’m not a huge beer drinker, so they’ve just sort of languished off by themselves in the pantry for the past couple of months waiting on a baked bean recipe to materialize. I never really got in the mood for beans. But, I did get the hankering for some slow cooked pulled pork sammiches. So I dusted off …

One From Column A – Char Siu

Brian (my partner in crime for a great many years) and I lived for Saturdays. Saturday was the day the BBQ Place (I know, a strange name for a Chinese restaurant) at Asian Square on Buford Hwy pumped out non stop Char Siu – and we stuffed ourselves in plate upon plate of  mahogany lacquered, perfectly seasoned medallions. Char Siu – or Chinese BBQ Pork used to be a staple at every Chinese restaurant. You could order it fresh off the rotary thingy, sliced and served with a heap of rice; find it diced and scattered like little jewels throughout the pork fried rice; used in twice cooked pork, and minced – mixed with hoisin sauce and stuffed in bbq buns. Times were it was a staple at every Mr. Won’s, House of Eng, Mama Wu, Ho Ho, Cantonese Palace (insert your favorite Chinese Restaurant here). But those are sad days gone by. Like a great many things in equally diverse cultures, time – money – labor have taken their toll, and unless your particular Chinese haunt does their own slowly turning, crisperizing Peking Duck, …

A day late and a dolla’ short

2011? Well, it’s over…   done with…   gone… and save for a few bright moments and flickers of joy – It was an abysmally bad year here at Turtle Creek, and one I’d really care not to repeat anytime soon. So I’m closing the books on ol’ 11 and onward and upwards to number 12. I’m on to bigger posts for MR Fodder, better resumes and interviews for that whole under employment thingy, and finally putting a couple of things to right that have been eating at me for a while. Fair warning – I’m enlisting everyone and everything I can think of to make it so… short of dousing myself in chicken blood and dancing naked under a full moon…. it really doesn’t work, you’ll have to take my word on that one. Starting with day one – the New Years Day Dinner. Every culture has some food talisman intended to generate health, good luck, immense wealth. The Peruvians chow down on potatoes cooked with saffron to emulate pots of gold; Asians munch on super long bundles of noodles twined into …