Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Eastern North Carolina-Style Barbecue Sauce with a West Coast Twist

I’m not sure if using honey instead of sugar really qualifies as a “West Coast twist,” but it does ensure that people from North Carolina can’t attack me for this Eastern North Carolina-style barbecue sauce not being authentic. 

Anyway, while this isn’t exactly what you might find in the Tar Heel State, it was fantastic on the pork, and I hope it inspires you to add this deliciously different barbecue sauce in your repertoire.

As I mentioned in the video, I’m heading down to SoCal to work on a top-secret project, but since I teased this sauce in the recent paper pork recipe, I wanted to get this posted before I left. Unfortunately, I can’t give any details about what I’m doing down there, but let’s just say…actually, I can’t even say that. So stay tuned, and in the meantime, I really do hope you give this a try soon.  Enjoy!


Ingredients:
1 tablespoon honey, or other sweetener to taste
1 generous tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 generous tablespoon hot red pepper flakes
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

Friday, August 19, 2016

Paper Pork Shoulder – It’s a Wrap

This “paper pork” was inspired by a technique for smoking beef brisket that involves wrapping the meat in parchment paper after a certain point in the cooking process, in an effort to keep the meat moist, and succulent. Turns out it works great for pork shoulder.

I decided to try it for an oven-roasted pork shoulder, wrapping it from the beginning, and it came out so perfectly tender, and juicy, I’ve been doing it that way ever since. Like I said in video, I’m not exactly sure how much better this comes out with the paper, verses just wrapping tightly in foil, but it seems to stay moister, and more importantly, it looks cool on the table.

We don’t get any kind of crust using this method, but it doesn’t lack for flavor, and if you’re going to use this for pulled pork sandwiches, along with your favorite bbq sauce, I don’t see how that’s going to be any kind of a problem.

Speaking of barbecue sauce, I’m going to show you an unusual one next week, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, I really hope you give this paper pork a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients:
7 pound bone-in pork shoulder roast
for the rub:
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cayenne
- Wrap and roast at 225 F. for 1.75 hours per pound

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Eggplant Escabeche – The Second Best Way to Eat Eggplant

The best way to eat eggplant is fried, which I’ll hopefully prove to you one day with a video recipe. In the meantime, you’ll have to settle for the second best way, which is this eggplant escabeche. It’s cold, refreshing, vibrantly-flavored, and I’m guessing, very healthy. 

This was inspired by a visit to a restaurant in San Francisco called Lolinda, where Chef Alejandro Morgan serves a simple, but incredibly delicious Argentinian-style eggplant escabeche. I won’t go so far as to say it came out as good, but the noises of pleasure Michele made while eating this were very similar. 

If you didn’t get the #dotsnotslots reference, I explained how to tell a “male” from “female” eggplant in a old video, which involves looking for a dot shaped mark at the end, and not a slot shaped one. This indicates a “male,” which generally has less seeds.

By the way, “male” is in quotations because eggplants don’t actually have different genders, but apparently some are less pregnant than others. I’m certainly no expert when it comes to eggplant sex, but I’ll go with that until I hear otherwise. I really do hope you give this fabulous eggplant recipe a try soon. Enjoy! 

 
Ingredients for about 2 pints:
3/4 cup sliced roasted sweet and/or hot peppers

1 large eggplant, halved, cut in 1/4 slices
1 large zucchini, halved, cut in 1/4 slices
tossed with 2 tablespoons kosher salt 
1 cup white wine vinegar 
2/3 cup water 
1/2 cup olive oil 
2 cloves finely crushed garlic 
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano 
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
1 tablespoon freshly chopped oregano
1/4 cup reserved vinegar cooking liquid
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Baking Bacon for the Perfect BLT

If I had a dollar for every request I've received for a BLT video, I'd have enough money to buy a lot of bacon. I’ve never gotten around to doing one, mostly because do you really need a video to make a BLT? 

However, I have wanted to show this little trick for making bacon by baking; and it gave me the perfect opportunity to show off my vision of what the perfect bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich looks like.

I recommend using heavy-duty foil for this, as it’s a little easier to work with, but regular foil will do the job. Like I said in the video, as long as you create some kind of valleys for the fat to flow into, the technique will work as shown. The result is perfectly flat, perfectly crisp, yet still succulent strips.

Your cooking time is going to vary depending on how thick the bacon is, so I’d start peeking at about 15-20 minutes, and go from there. You can crowd the bacon more that I did, and it’s okay if it’s very slightly overlapping, since it will shrink as it cooks. Just check after about 10-15 minutes, and re-space the pieces if needed. I really hope you give this great bacon technique a try soon. Enjoy!


Bake bacon at 375 F. for 25-30 minutes, or until you reach your desired level of doneness.