Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pork barbecue, slaw and onion rings

Pork butts were on sale last week so I needed to find a recipe for barbecue, of course I've made it before but never found a recipe I really liked. So at 9:30 the morning I was planning to cook it I was trying to find a recipe. I had one from Food Wishes bookmarked. He has a video for it and when he pulled the bone out the entire thing fell apart it was so tender, unfortunately his recipe take 12 hours, still I would like to try his method of cooking. So I found another recipe at Bird Food with a more reasonable cooking time, 300 degrees for 6 hours. That's better! Her recipe also had a dry rub, but I didn't have any dry mustard so I had to search for another rub. Found one! Culinary Infatuation had one with ingredients I had on hand though I did alter it slightly.

The recipe I used ended up being....

1 5lb pork butt (shoulder)
2 tbs chili powder
1 1/2 tbs cumin
2 tbs smoked paprika
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs coarse salt
1 tbs black pepper

liquid smoke

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix the ingredients for the rub. Rub on the pork butt. Place butt in enameled dutch oven. put in a ramekin of about a tsp of liquid smoke and filled with water. (next time I would rub smoke on the meat then coat with rub and add a little water to the bottom.) Cover with lid and bake. I checked after about 4 hours and was getting very tender and a little dark so I reduced the temperature to 200 degrees for the remaining 2 hours.

When done remove bone and transfer to cutting board, I used tongs and it was very tender and falling apart. Chop or pull the pork to your desired consistency. Add the barbecue sauce of your choice and make your sandwich.

I really did like this recipe, I might play around with the rub but the technique is definitely a keeper.

Most people in these parts like slaw on their barbecue sandwiches, not me, but most do. The only slaw I actually like is from KFC, so I decided to try a copy cat recipe that I found on had good reviews and for good reason it really did taste a lot like Kentucky Fried Chickens coleslaw. The only substitute I mad was using a tri-color bagged slaw mix that I chopped a little finer by pouring it in a bowl and using kitchen scissors to cut in into smaller pieces. I think it would have been a little closer if I had just used green cabbage.

KFC Coleslaw 
8 cups finely diced cabbage (about 1 head) 
1/4 cup diced carrot 
2 tablespoons minced onions 
1/3 cup granulated sugar 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/8 teaspoon pepper 
1/4 cup milk 
1/2 cup mayonnaise 
1/4 cup buttermilk 
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar 
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

Cabbage and carrots must be finely diced.( Not too fine or it won't be like KFC). Pour cabbage and carrot mixture into large bowl and stir in minced onions. Mix remaining ingredients until smooth. Pour over vegetable mixture and mix thoroughly. Cover bowl and refrigerate several hours or overnight before serving.

On night two, I made onion rings to go with the leftovers. A quick and easy way to make onion rings it some take some pancake mix, the kind where you just add water, mix it with water until its the thickness you want it to be, slice your onions into rings and coat in the mixture. Fry them until brown. I used about half an inch of oil in my cast iron skillet.

I added some to my sandwich and they gave it a nice little crunch.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Carrot Cupcakes with Orange Icing

Yum! These cupcakes are really good. The cakes themselves were nice and moist with a good texture. I used regular dark raisins instead of golden because that's what I had. You could use a little bit more spice. They would have been a little bland had it not been for the flavorful icing. I didn't measure the orange zest, I zested one orange and used half in the cake and half in the icing, I'd say next time use three quarters in the cake and and the rest in the icing. If you are planning to make them for an occasion where appearances matter then you should make the icing as late as you can, it seems to break down a little faster than it most similar icings, maybe the acid from the juice.

I would definitely make these again and I loved the flavor of the icing. The recipe came from Adventures of a Baking Brunette.

Carrot Cupcakes with Orange Icing

For cupcakes
2 cups of grated carrots
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Dash of allspice
Zest from a large orange
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 Jumbo eggs (or 3 large, as the recipe says)
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup of golden raisins

For icing
1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

Make cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Line muffin cups with paper liners.

Coarsely grate enough carrots to measure 2 cups using large teardrop holes of a box grater.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg in a bowl.

Whisk together oil, eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, grated carrots, orange zest and vanilla in a large bowl, then stir in flour mixture until just combined. Then add raisins and fold into batter.

Divide batter among muffin cups and bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted into center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely on rack, about 1 hour more.

Make icing:
Sift confectioners sugar into a bowl. Whisk in zest and 2 tablespoons juice until smooth. If icing is too thick, add more juice, 1 teaspoon at a time. Dip top of each cupcake into icing, letting excess drip off.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Spiced Potatoes

I don't have a picture but I tried this recipe for spiced potatoes. I wasn't a huge fan, but  the smell was amazing. I loved the smell of curry powder. I couldn't even resist buying a curry plant at the nursery because the wind kept blowing and that lovely warm fragrance was calling to me.

The seasoning oddly enough didn't give a lot of flavor, maybe because they were a little old? Maybe I would have liked it better with red potatoes. I don't love the taste or the texture of russet potatoes. BTW if you try it, use and old or dark spatula to stir with. I used a light colored plastic spatula and it is now stained yellow.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Cabbage Noodles

I've got an aunt that makes boiled cabbage and noodles I haven't had often but it's really good seasoned with some Jane's Krazy Mixed-up Salt. I saw this recipe at Handle like candy for something really similar but fried. I thought frying the cabbage brought out a little bit of sweetness, which was nice, but it was a little dry, and I think overall I prefer this dish boiled. It was okay but I'm not sure I would do it this way again.

Here's the recipe but go to the website for step by step pictures.

Cabbage Noodles
1 head of cabbage - chopped (core removed)
1 bag of egg noodles
1/2 stick of butter (the real thing!)
1/4 cup of Crisco (vegetable shortening) - it's comfort food, remember!
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large skillet, melt the vegetable shortening and add the chopped cabbage. Sautee on medium heat. Stirring occassionally to keep the cabbage moving and so it doesn't burn on the bottom. 

You want the cabbage browned (see below). To be technical, you need to caramelize the cabbage to bring out the sweetness. It will probably take about 35-40 minutes of sauteeing and stirring to get it to this point. Do NOT cover with a lid at any time! You want the water to cook out and caramelize the sugars.  

Now you want to boil the noodles. Once they're tender, drain and mix with the cabbage. I like to let it sit on very low heat so that the noodles have time to absorb some of the butter/shortening and the cabbage flavor. Salt and pepper to taste.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Grilled Chicken Aioli

I found this great little recipe at Thyme for Cooking. A mayo and soy sauce marinade sounds a little odd, but every really liked it and I would definitely make it again.

Grilled Chicken Aioli

2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless

3 tbs soy sauce
3 tbs mayonnaise
3 tbs olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder - or 2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp dried oregano

In small bowl whisk together the ingredients for the marinade - whisk well. Pour over chicken breasts and let marinate for 10 - 45 minutes. Remove from marinade and cook on barbecue grill for 8 - 12 minutes per side or until done (test - take a peak). OR sauté in nonstick skillet for 8 - 10 minutes a side, until done. Serve, sliced or not.

I used 5 or 6 chicken tenders and  sauteed it but I'm sure it's great grilled as well. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Not that great chocolate pudding

I tried this recipe for chocolate pudding but although it looked pretty enough, it wasn't as rich and chocolatey as I would have liked. It's not something I would make again. On the plus side, it was easy and all the ingredient were things I always have on hand. The only thing I varied on was using 2% milk instead of skim.

I poured mine in ramekins and garnished with WhoNu? chocolate chip cookies. I got the crispy ones instead of the chewy and I was hoping the pudding would soften them up and make them better. I think it actually made them worse. The chewy ones are actually pretty good and they have added calcium and fiber and all kinds of vitamins. They seem like a good idea if you or your kids aren't getting all the good things you need in your diet. BTW I don't work for them or anything, LOL!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Spicy Roasted Chicken

I didn't get a photo of this one but the pictures at Dinners for a Year and Beyond where I found the recipe are pretty good so you can check there to see what it should look like. I halve the recipe to make one chicken. The spice rub was pretty good, not too overwhelming. I didn't have any mashed potatoes so I skipped making the gravy. The chicken was tender, especially the dark meat. The breast meat seemed really moist and tender while I was cutting but seemed a tiny bit dry by the time I ate it and after rereading the recipe I realized it said to cover with foil after it came out of the oven, maybe that would have helped the breast meat stay juicier.

Here is the halved recipe

Spicy Slow Roasted Chicken and Gravy

for chicken

1 (5-7 pound) whole chicken
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

for gravy - (full recipe, I didn't try this)

1/4 cup of pan drippings from chickens
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup milk
salt and lots of pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Wash chicken and remove giblets. Place chicken in a roasting pan.
(I used a 9x13 glass pan lined with heavy duty aluminum foil.) Set aside.

Combine all the spices in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture on the chicken, both inside and out.

Roast the chicken, uncovered, at 250°F for 4 - 4 1/2 hours or until the internal temperature is about 170 degrees. After the second hour, baste the chicken occasionally (about every 30 minutes or so) with pan juices. The pan juices will start to caramelize on the bottom of the pan and the chicken will turn golden brown. Remove the chicken from the oven and cover with foil. Let the chickens rest about 10 minutes while you make the gravy.

Meanwhile, for the gravy, add the drippings to a saucepan over medium high heat. When heated, whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute. Gradually add the stock and milk and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until gravy thickens. Season to taste with salt if necessary.

To serve, carve chicken and place on a large platter. Pass gravy with chicken.