Saturday, June 20, 2009

easy dinner

As you might be able to tell by the lack of posts lately - I've been pretty busy with work and life, so I haven't been able to post. Some family news lately, of the not-so-good sort, so I've been on my toes.

As a result, I've been making some pretty simple, easy dinners lately, and it's actually kind of nice. You forget about fancy foods, long times cooking, and just realize what difference simple good ingredients make to a nice meal. Like bacon. Glorious bacon.



Cook some nice bacon down in lardons in a pan, to get a lot of fat rendered. Wilt a good bit of spinach in the bacon fat (use olive oil instead, if you're a veg-head), and toss in some chopped garlic, salt and pep.

When that looks good, toss in some tomato sauce, simmer for a bit, and toss this with pasta. Add a little more salt if you're gross like me, and enjoy.

If you're quick, you'll notice I don't bother with exact amounts, because I don't know them, use your judgment, and failing that - someone else's.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

wait, what?


Pulled pork - the love of my life

After too many tries, I finally nailed a decent recipe for pulled pork. It took only four hours to make, and was worth every second. Now I just need to explain my excitement this to my vegetarian friends, and not have them hate my life.

As such...

Pulled pork (Adapted from Apartment therapy - kudos to them)

4 to 5 pound pork shoulder, bone-in
1 tbsp chipotle
1 tsp ancho
1 tsp cayenne
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and cut into wedges
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 tall boy of beer (I used Grolsch)

A couple hours before you make this, give the pulled pork a good rubdown (intentionally dirty pun) with the spices mixed with the olive oil. Let it sit for a while in the fridge, then for about half an hour on the counter to warm up to room temp.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Put a cast iron dutch oven on mid-high heat for a while, until it starts smoking. Sear the pork on either side for about two minutes. Your apartment will smell amazing, and your neighbors will love you.

Remove the pork, pour in the beer, onions, garlic, and tomatoes. Bring this to a simmer for bit. Toss the pork back in, cover, and put in the oven for a good four hours.

Check the pork once or twice with a instant-read thermometer (aka why I've never given anyone food poisoning). When it's at 190F in the middle, it's done.

Remove to a pan, and shred with a couple of forks. Mix with your favorite barbecue sauce- I use and swear by Cattle Boyz, but you can use whatever. Don't skimp out here.

Put on nice fresh white bread with coleslaw, and rejoice in the fact that you've overcome your past failures at cooking and have made your barbecue-crazy dad a happy man.

Pics (with added links! because i'm bored and hungover):



In the big swim
Pre-shred (note the bbq sauce and container of liquid)

After shredding

My obvious reaction to the food

Friday, June 5, 2009

What's in your fridge?

So after stumbling upon this and this link, basically just checking out what's in people's fridge, I thought for an early post it might be interesting to let you enjoy your voyeuristic pleasures. You sick weirdos.

So what does my fridge say about me?

Apparently, I like beer (as evidenced by the case of good stuff and cans of liquid failure), barbecue sauce (two large bottles in the door) and pickles (the gallon in the door). And not much else.

What does your fridge have?

Comfort food for a rainy southern ontario day

I figured I'd toss this one in too, one of my favorite recipes for when Guelph is being Guelph.

French Onion Risotto
  • 2 red onions
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • olive oil
  • butter
  • parmesan/asiago/some kind of good hard cheese
  • mozzarella
  • herbes de provence (thyme, basil, savory, whatever, really)
Caramelize the onions in the butter, olive oil, and more salt than you might think necessary. This takes time. Be patient. You'll know it's done when it smells amazing and the onions are reduced to barely what they used to be, and the neighbors are no longer mad at you for the smell of onions cooking for hours.

Reach for your herbes de provence shaker, or cut up some fresh herbs from your herb garden (it's like, fifteen bucks for all you need for a summer. do it.) and toss them in, cook a little while, then add the rice.

Sloooowly (a ladle at a time) add in the stock. In the meantime, spread out your parmesan on some parchment paper, toss it in the toaster oven until it gets all brown and crispy. Set aside.

When all the stock is added, toss in a few small hunks (about a half cup worth) of mozzarella, and stir to combine/melt in.

Serve with pieces of the browned cheese on top, and feel better about the crappy weather outside.

Cornbread - aww yeah.

So I've decided to write a new blog, focusing on my love for cooking, having people over, and enjoying the fine beverages supplied by the government (it is Ontario, after all). I'll alternate between recipes I make all the time and what I just made, whether it's an abject failure or not.

Here's a success, made about half an hour ago, as written in an e-mail to a friend of mine.

"make this, or i'll key your car

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal

  • 1 cup all purpose flour

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/3 cup oil

  • 1 tblsp baking powder

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tbsp thick hot sauce

  • 1/2 cup cheese curds (or normal cheese, if you're not cool)

  • 1/2 cup grated cheese

Mix all this, except the grated cheese, and toss in a small oven-proof skillet or a loaf pan. Put grated cheese on top. Bake at 350 for 40-ish minutes (check after half an hour). Eat when stupid hot, with lots of butter. Send me an e-mail detailing just how much better your life is as a result.


Now if you don't make this, don't expect any nasty surprises for your car. If you know Deluca, you know the revenge that has to be hadfor a certain comment made blocking a certain appendage of mine at a party he held. Also, if you don't have an oven proof skillet, check your attic or your grandma's house. I made this using a seventy year old cast iron I got from her, and it's my favorite tool in the kitchen.