A Hot Mess

We watched a Diners & Dives video that had this as a best seller for the restaurant they were visiting.  They named their version “The Hot Mess” – it’s a loaded sweet potato.  My version uses a pat of butter, shredded cheeses, smoked pork, a creamy sauce of sour cream mixed with chipotle chili powder, and bacon.

It’s really delicious.  Bake the potato, then slit the top and peel the skin back, fluff the insides, and then layer in whatever you think would work well for your own taste.  In the episode we watched they made theirs with smoked brisket.  They also used jumbo sweet potatoes that I can’t find locally, although today the greengrocer lady gave me a wink and slipped me two that were destined for their restaurant customers.  They were not as large as those on that show but they are respectable.  We will use them before they grow roots, maybe next week with different stuffings.  Hot ham, maybe?

I Need To Bake Some Buns

Smoked a 10lb pork shoulder overnight at 200° and finished it in the oven.  The internal temp was 150-ish when I brought it in, and the oven took it to 200°  It will make many sammiches!  I used a simple dry rub of ground coriander, brown sugar, granulated onion and garlic, and black pepper.  Peach wood provided the smoke.

Multi-Pot Recipes: Beef and Barley Soup

Yummy photo by the great JeffreyW

I have used my Multi-Pot consistently for the last few weeks. I made two batches of soup, pulled pork, pasta sauce and two batches of rice. The first batch of rice I was all cocky and used the simple pressure cooker setting and my own time – because you know, I’m the Queen of Pressure Cooking – well, that didn’t turn out very well. I mean, it was great sticky rice, but I was going for light and fluffy. So the next batch I used the Rice Button! I mean, come on, a pot you can just push RICE and 10 minutes later have fluffy rice – why was I fighting it??

The buttons on this brand are easy and intuitive to use. It does help that I’m familiar with what times work well with my stove top cooker and there are good resources in the booklets that came with the machine to help pick timing.

My first batch of soup was to make Beef with Barley Soup:

I used this recipe (click here). I was excited to try out the browning feature and the pressure cooking setting.

I quickly and easily sauteed the onions and browned the beef with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Then added the remainder of the ingredients, sealed it shut and turned it to the Meat/Stew setting and set it for 30 minutes.

It took it 10 minutes to come to pressure – which didn’t surprise me because I filled it to the highest mark allowed.

The soup was delicious – I could easily leave it on warm, open the lid and let sit and fill the house with yummy soup smells as long as I desired.  It was good and tasty. And clean up was a breeze – just tossed the insert into the dishwasher.

The one part of this electric pressure cooker that has been a learning curve for me is the quick -release method. I am so used to taking the pot over to the sink and running cold water over the top. With this, they say to just turn the pressure valve to open. Which sounds easy-peasy.  EXCEPT it spews greasy, starchy steam all over my kitchen cabinets.

The solution is fairly simple – I grabbed an old kitchen towel and cover the valve with that as it releases. Takes a bit longer, but no mess and no risk of a scary steam burn.

So for this recipe, I’d give the Multi-Pot a solid A.

I know, I know I promised a puppy update…give me a few minutes. Until then…


Pulled Pork

DSC_1935 (1600x1060)We were out and about this morning, visiting nurseries and greenhouses.  I’ve been noticing a new-ish BBQ joint and today I made up my mind to check it out.  It wasn’t anyways near write-your-momma-about good but it wasn’t bad.  Mrs J had the pulled pork platter and I ordered the brisket.  Mrs J noted they offered the BBQ by the pound so we left with a carton of their pulled pork.  That’s the pork on the sammich in the photo, with my own slaw and Kroger’s version of mustard potato salad.  All of this was good.

Sammich Pr0n – Pulled Pork Sliders

DSC_1254 (1600x1060)These are the first go at sammiches with my latest batch of buns: Pulled pork with slaw.  I think the size is perfect and the King Arthur bun recipe really shines.  DSC_1258 (1600x1060)I made two different corn salads yesterday, one was black beans and sweet corn, the second was red beans, hominy, and sweet corn.  Both had the same dressing so there wasn’t any good reason not to combine the two when putting them away in the fridge.


DSC_8743 (1600x1060)Cherry tomatoes!  More than we can eat so I’ve got most of these dehydrating.  Kept enough of them back for a nice pizza Margherita.DSC_8744 (1600x1060)This one is a thin-ish crust, painted with garlic infused olive oil and sauced with sauteed cherry tomatoes with more garlic and fresh herbs.  It gave us a chance to use some of the latest batch of homemade mozzarella.DSC_8750 (1600x1060)Fresh oregano and thyme in with the sauce and fresh basil added after it came out of the oven.  A pretty good pie!DSC_8733 (1600x1060)Yellow melon for dessert.  These are super sweet and I think they are the best melons ever.  I really should get back over there for another one.PICT4135 (1600x1060)Random wildlife!  This young whitetail still has prominent spots.  They slowly fade over the summer.  Momma isn’t far away.DSC_8739 (1600x1060)I’ll wrap with a couple of sammiches.  Here’s  pulled garlic pork on a bolillo roll with slaw and a drizzle of a locally bottled bbq sauce.  I grabbed a bottle last time through the store because I knew I was running low and it’s a lot like the stuff I make myself.DSC_8718 (1600x1060)Last is another classic Reuben with our own corned beef and sauerkraut.  This one has provolone and thousand island dressing.

Sammich Pr0n – Braised Pork

We thawed that pork shoulder overnight and browned it on all sides in a big pot this morning after poking it full of garlic cloves.  I bet I stuck a dozen and a half of them in there.  Can’t have too much garlic.  I added a quart or so of chicken stock and a couple of onions, some oregano, pepper and salt and put it, covered, into a 350 oven for three hours or so.DSC_4357 (1600x1060)The meat was falling apart tender.  I cooled it and pulled the meat apart for the sammiches.  Reheat the pork in a pan with oil to brown and crisp it some.  Mrs J has hers with Sweet Baby Ray’s bbq sauce, I top mine with hot giardiniera that I’ve fortified with some baby kalamatas.DSC_7280 (1600x1060)