Smoked pork with assorted sides and garnishes. The white matchsticks on the plate are pickled daikon and are tasty and crunchy. I have the pork drenched in that sweet/hot habanero sauce.
I haven’t been doing much cooking lately aside from leftovers and sammiches. I have been doing some home IT work, finally replacing the router that has been growing increasingly reliant on constant reboots to function properly. I was able to fumble through the setup with just one call to tech support. So far it has been smooth sailing.The shelter has a new cat tree! A local supporter crafted it from what looks like an 8″ diameter section of an actual tree with twine wrapped planks set into notches.Here’s a closer look at that kitteh. Here’s my take on a cheesesteak sammich. I didn’t bother with a cheese sauce this time, just added a nice slice of provolone towards the end of the sautée. I found a flat iron steak tucked back in the big freezer, sliced it thin, and cooked it with sweet onions and a bit of green bell pepper.Some chili cheese dogs fresh from the toaster oven. I gave them a minute or two under the broiler to melt the cheese. I used shredded Monterey jack and with a generous sprinkle of cheddar.Moar kittehs! These two are comfy in one of Mrs J’s beds. The orange and white one has more than the usual number of toes. I have been putting together the usual side dishes but I hardly consider that as “cooking”.
Sides to Go with Ham (and most anything else)
This side is a coleslaw with vinegar dressing that I saw over at Serious Eats. First, you slice the cabbage and onions and grate the carrots plus whatever else sounds good to you – I like to slice colored sweet peppers – a few jalapenos work well, too. Then, with all of that in a big bowl you sprinkle salt and sugar over it and work it in a bit. That’s where we are in the photo above. This helps to wilt and soften the cabbage. After a few minutes rinse the salt and sugar off. I use a colander within a bowl, run water over the slaw until the slaw floats then stir it about and lift the colander out of the bowl.I liked this slaw so much I bought a salad spinner to help drain the water off after the rinse. This one is an Oxo and seems to be pretty sturdy. There are other ways to dry the slaw, like draining on a tilted tray or squeezing it out in a towel.
The dressing is simple enough:
1 cup apple cider vinegar (I use a seasoned rice vinegar)
1 cup sugar (Splenda or equivalent works well)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic (about 1 medium clove)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon celery seeds
The next two are a bean salad and a classic mustard potato salad. The dressing for the bean salad is as good as any I’ve tried and it has become my standard dressing:
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon ground dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)
The linked recipe calls for garbanzo beans but I didn’t have any so I subbed in a can of Great Northern beans. It also gets chopped celery and chopped green onions – chopped red onions are an option that also adds color.
The potato salad is very good and is pretty much self explanatory:
5 large red potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
3 hard-boiled eggs, 2 chopped and 1 sliced (use sliced egg for garnish)
2 heaping tablespoons sweet pickle relish, drained
1/2 cup salad dressing, (the Neely’s recommend Miracle Whip, we use Hellmann’s)
3 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 tablespoon sugar
Paprika, for garnish
Sammich Pr0n – Sloppy Joe
I did this one today and pretty much made it up as I went along. I had a cauliflower that I needed to use and dithered about some before deciding to slice it and roast it with an onion and whole garlic cloves – seasoned with kosher salt and olive oil. The meal needed some additional carbs so the wide egg noodles went into a post to boil. A cheese sauce seemed perfect to tie it together, Parmesan garlic sounded good. I reduced a hunk of slab bacon to lardons and crisped those up. Worked out great! Needs a name…Here’s a kitteh! He’s named Chase and is 2 years old. Shelter staff mentioned he may have some Himalayan in him but I’m not seeing it, myself. Mrs J notes that he is sitting in one of her newly sewn cat beds.Fried chicken is not a thing I can do very well but I do give it a shot now and again. I go through spells where I just have to have bean salad and I tend to keep adding another can of whatever bean I can find to the container as it is eaten, adding additional vinegar and oil to the vinaigrette as needed. The mixture evolves over time, naturally.Moar kitteh! This is Ringo, a 3 year old long haired boy. Mrs J said he is a real sweetie.Mmm… steak, with roasted sprouts in a balsamic glaze, half of a huge potato, garlic bread, and a salad.Last kitteh – this is Chevy, he’s 6 months old and has half his tail missing do to an accident.
We have no idea what this is. It’s about the size of a softball and is made of various fibers.I suppose it’s possible that it’s just a windblown ball of fluff that has been caught by the branch but it does appear to have been purposely anchored there by several loops of the same fibers as it is built with.Mmm… sloppy joes! I made a quick bean salad with a rice vinegar and olive oil dressing to go with it – based loosely on this recipe.I made corned beef the other day and ran the butt ends and scraps through a food processor just for this hash dish. Frozen shredded potatoes make it a quick and delicious meal. That’s hot sauce on the egg, I like a dash of Tabasco on mine. Gumbo is always a good idea. This one has shrimp, chicken, and some of my homemade Andouille. I still have a little bit left, sealed in vacuum bags and frozen. Vacuum sealing is working out very well, pleased to have rediscovered the method.I made a quick batch of Italian sausage from some plain ground pork because I had my heart set on some and found none at all in the freezer. I was sure I had some!The cats have shredded the carpet on this old cat tree so Mrs J set it outside on the back porch, pending remediation.