Friday, October 23, 2009

BBQ With Beans, Potato "Salad," Some Carrot-and-Cranberry Salad-ish Stuff, and Apple Dumplings

Taking out-of-town guests to dinner at our favorite local restaurants used to be fun. A little over a year ago, though, I gave birth to the one I affectionately call "the ticking time bomb." Eating out now usually results in Art and me placating Jacob as long as possible with straws, spoons, lemon slices, chopsticks, sips from our water glass--anything. Tick. Tick. Tick. BOOM! Jacob decides the meal is over.

My father-in-law is in town tonight and we ate at home. We ahad a pulled pork recipe my mother-in-law used to make. The recipe is pretty hands-off other than the shredding of the meat. The pork butt (a cut of meat from the pig's shoulder- not the butt) is slow roasted in the oven. The cooking time and temperature can be adjusted to the cook's schedule. The recipe includes a vinegar sauce. We like to serve the pork on buns with a store-bought barbecue sauce.

5lb pork butt
1 1/4 cups water
1 Tablespoon salt
1/2 Tablespoon pepper
1/2 Tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons canola oil

Determine how long the pork should cook and preheat the oven accordingly. (When planning, remember to allow about 30 minutes for meat to cool before being pulled.)
Temperature - Bake Time
375 - 1 hour
350 - 1 1/2 hours
275 - 2 hours
250 - 3 hours

Generously salt and pepper the pork. Place in a baking dish and cover tightly with foil. Bake until pork is cooked through and fork tender. Set aside until it is cool enough to handle. Shred.
For the vinegar sauce, combine water, salt, pepper, and red pepper in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Add vinegar and oil. Return to a boil and remove from heat. Pour over shredded pork.

No pulled pork dinner would be complete without a side of baked beans. I made my mom's recipe.


2 15oz cans baked beans (I bought 365 Organic Original Baked Beans)
1/2 diced onion
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 Tablespoon ketchup
2 Tablespoons syrup (I did not have syrup, so I used molasses)
2 pieces bacon, fried and crumbled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a baking dish. Bake for 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until bubbly.

Along with pulled pork sandwiches, we had an unusual potato salad inspired by a recipe I found in Southern Living. "Potato salad" is a misleading name for this dish. It tastes nothing like the typical mayonnaise-and-relish-drenched potatoes that normally go by the name. This version is served hot and is full of flavor.

Instead of grilling the potatoes, I bake them in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Also, I use only half the dressing and bacon.

We are also having a carrot and cranberry salad recipe featured in Bon Appetit.

I am considering making this salad for Thanksgiving and want to try it out first. (We are hosting Thanksgiving this year for the first time ever!) In a few words, this salad turned out to be weird. I will not be making this for Thanksgiving, or ever again. The salad tasted like carrots tossed with vinegar rather than the cranberry-y, ginger-y goodness I had been expecting.

For dessert, we enjoyed apple dumplings with Edy's Double Churned Caramel ice cream. Wow. This was good. Again, I based my recipe on one from Southern Living. I substituted 1 cup whole wheat flour for 1 cup of the all-purpose flour, butter for the shortening, and omitted the pecans. The apples were baked to a soft, fluffy consistency. The sugar, water, spice, and butter sauce baked into a caramel-like syrup that perfectly complemented the apples.

Dessert is always my favorite course, and my apple dumpling did not let me down. It probably would have been Jacob's, too, but he didn't make it that far into the meal. Good thing we didn't go out to eat.

1 comment: