tasty nom nom an exception to the daily meal

24Jul/100

Everything tastes better with pork

Hi J!

It seems like forever (since May!) that we cooked at our place  -  before G & N's crazy hours (plus work trip), before your European vacation, before my foot surgery..  I think this is our first burger + salad this summer?

photo.jpgburger topped with mortadella

Quick, simple, and not overdoing it ... me thinks. Oh, excuse the crumbs on the plate, I was half way through my burger before I realized I didn't grab a pic. And oh, never minded that I couldn't resist and made a small chocolate cake recipe from epicurious, with cream cheese + whipped cream frosting.

After dinner, I managed to collect King Louis XVI in Guillotine, first time in recent memory ... then of course, I lost all the sequence games. I think it is time to find some new games. Do you have anything in mind? I am thinking about Wasabi, Acquire, and maybe replace Modern Art... or maybe San Juan... oh can't decide!

6Jul/100

Craving Sated

Good afternoon!

I don't request major items often, but I really wanted pulled pork sandwiches on potato buns and N was willing to oblige.

On Tuesday, we moved the pork picnics from the big freezer to the fridge to defrost.

On Thursday, N coated the defrosted pork picnic in yellow mustard, then added his dry rub and wrapped it with plastic wrap. Back into the fridge it went. The mustard was to do a few things -- hold the dry rub on the meat and the vinegar in the mustard serves to start to soften things up (basic instructions).

Friday, N set up the Big Green Egg for smoking for 20+ hours and indirect heat. This blog post has a pretty accurate description of the smoking process. The two pork shoulders were put in the Egg around 5pm on Friday. The smaller one was removed around 3pm Saturday, the larger one around 5:30pm.

dinner
salad, slaw, pulled pork on a potato roll

While N was monitoring the smoking process, I worked on the potato buns. Following this recipe, which was missing some pertinent details (how much finished potato substance do you really need? at what temperature is the roll fully cooked?) but I went forth and used a lot of guessing and instinct.

I made the potato slurry on Friday so it could chill in the fridge overnight, then made the dough on Saturday afternoon. In retrospect I could (should) have made the rolls in advance of dinner. I was thinking about warm potato rolls, which ... we didn't really need. Next time I'll make them in advance.

The rolls turned out alright. They took about twice as long to bake as the recipe stated but their texture was right, being squishy but substantial and not faltering under the weight of pulled pork. They were not quite as good as my beloved Martin's rolls, but they were better than the majority of potato buns we can get here in Seattle, I think! I know you're not much of a fan of potato rolls -- or maybe it's just the fake-yellow you don't like -- but I hope you enjoyed these!

To add some vegetable to the protein and carbohydrate, we made two salads. I made a tomato, cucumber, and red onion salad tossed with vinaigrette -- this is a quick salad we like in summer. Then we made a cabbage slaw with two types of cabbage, a touch of thin sliced white onion, and dressing.

You and G brought bbq sauce from Armadillo, yum! It worked well with the pulled pork and thanks for the bottle. Mm!

For dessert, N said he wanted shortcake but I came to discover later that he meant sponge cake. Oops!

shortcake
very 4 July themed in the red white and blue

I made the shortcake recipe in The Grand Central Baking Book: Breakfast Pastries, Cookies, Pies, and Satisfying Savories from the Pacific Northwest's Celebrated Bakery. I think I overworked the dough a little bit but overall they were tasty. I'm looking forward to trying a few other recipes from this cookbook.

I macerated the strawberries in a tiny bit of Cointreau, juice from a lemon, and a bit of sugar. N wanted the strawberries a little sweeter. I opted not to mash and macerate the blueberries.

After dessert, I was so incredibly stuffed! I was glad we opted to play the low-mental-effort Bean Game (Bohnanza -- I wonder if most people call it the bean game too?). I won the first game, G won the second game, and N + G tied the third game. Maybe next time we can try a new game before gorging ourselves on too much food?

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