Sunday, February 21, 2010

all work and no play makes me glad it's time for the library cook off!

once again it was president's day observed at the university and that means only one thing - library cook-off! woohoo!

this year we had to make something out of jane snow's latest cookbook.

i flipped through the pages and then a line jumped from the pages and struck a cord, "the best barbecue in the world is the pork barbecue in the back hills and piney woods of the carolinas."

yes jane! yes!

further examination revealed 7 hours of cook time. hmmm. looks like i would have to take monday off.

saturday morning we hit the indoor winter market in shaker square for the pork and i found a kick ass 5 lb. bone-in shoulder from new creation farm. perfect!

jane's version of carolina bbq called for a dry rub of the usual suspects on the pork followed by 4 hours indirect grilling over coals and hickory followed by 3 more hours in a 300 degree oven.

we had to start early.

my trusty partner in pork readied the coals.

and i readied the meat.

and then we waited.

look at that beautiful smokey crust! my word. a crowning achievement for my kick ass marc's grill.

i wrapped the shoulder up tight in foil and roasted it in the oven for 3 more hours while i made my favorite vinegary-mustardy bbq sauce.

this beauty took home third place which got me a sweet curry gift box!

kick ass!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

who cares about the super bowl?
what have you got to eat?

for super bowl sunday i wanted a dish that would impress. something that football fans as well as fairweather fans (like myself) would gobble up.

hmmm.....i got it! sauerkraut balls!

my aunt makes THE BEST sauerkraut balls. THE. BEST.

she is known for them and her family recipe is a highly coveted. thankfully, she likes me and was willing to share.

i thought these were going to be a lot of work. and 5+ hours of cooking, rolling, dredging, breading and frying later - my suspicions were confirmed.

this is a two day process. on day one you cook your pork and onions and garlic and you mix it with parsley and spices. then it has to chill over night.

day two is the rolling, dredging, breading and frying.

i set up my station and went to town. i rolled and i dredged and i breaded and i fried. again and again and again and again.

these were a MONSTER hit. delicious!! worth all of the work.

though, i must admit these will not be a regular in my repertoire. these are special occasion only! and next time i'm recruiting an assistant!