Have A Happy Heart Attack

4 08 2008

Fire roasted bacon TRIPLE(eep!) cheese burger, courtesy of the great outdoors, and that little camping trip I had mentioned. I have never had something so awesome/bad for me in my life.

Fire roasted bacon– HIGHLY recommend.

Happy Monday!


The Gift of Meat and Whiskey: Father’s Day, Redux

16 06 2008

What do men like more than meat and liquor? Possibly, a combination thereof; perfectly tender and falling off the bone, crystallized and charred sugars of whiskey and coke on spare ribs that create juicy, perfect magic. Yes, that’s right, the Jack and Coke ribs were even better in reality than I had imagined they would be. Another gold star, please. It’s more often my strange ideas and combinations that lend themselves the best to tasty actualization. Smokey, sweet, and just a little spicy, it was better than I ever dreamed.

To pair with these ribs of the gods, potato salad was decided on. Now, let me just say that potato salad shouldn’t be one of those fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of dishes. You need at least a day to make a potato salad masterpiece. Otherwise, it just ends up wet. I’m sure there are people out there that are just that into mayonnaise that a potato and mayonnaise soup sounds like a trip to paradise, but I am not those people. I am, however, the kind of person that is optimistic to a fault in the kitchen, believing that somehow, by the sheer will of my mind that the dressing will absorb into potato salad in 18 hours less than required. Unfortunately, I do not possess those kind of super powers, cool as they would be. Soupy or not, it was still a hit and everyone liked it, but I’m reserving my judgment for lunchtime tomorrow.

For dessert, there was S’more pie. Always an advocate of dessert, I can never say that I’m going to cook you dinner without having the dessert steal the show. It’s just unavoidable, sorry. I was re-reminded of this recipe after a post on one of the food blogs I frequent and decided that I would finally take a shot at it. I kinda forgot to write the real recipe down so I just threw caution to the wind and hoped for the best. Two things happened. 1- I guessed on the chocolate layer and succeeded(the graham layer is a no-brainer, I’ve got graham crust permanently etched into my brain) and 2- I guessed on the marshmallow and kinda failed. I had a feeling that it wouldn’t go over well on the marshmallow though. Pops doesn’t own a meat or candy thermometer, and as it is incredibly, almost impossibly difficult to tell the temperature of sugar by sight, it was doomed from the start. Luckily there was a rogue jar of marshmallow fluff in the cabinet so I cheated and poured it on top instead. It worked, but it just wasn’t the same.

There was also grilled corn. All in all, it was a swell father’s day dinner, even though it was a day late. I am armed with new resolve to actually conquer the reading of sugar temperatures with my eyes. Once achieved, I shall be unstoppable, and desserts shall bow before me, trembling in fear of my candy-making prowess. Recipes to follow.

Jack and Coke Ribs
Makes one rack of spare ribs

2 cans Coca Cola, NOT diet. Imperative.
1/4 cup Jack Daniels, or similar bourbon whiskey.
1 cup cherry preserves
1 tbsp worchestershire sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper, to taste

In a medium saucepan, empty two room-temperature cans of cola and whisk until no longer effervescent. On medium heat, reduce cola to one can. Add Jack Daniels, cherry preserves, sauces and spices, and reduce by half, or until thick enough to brush on ribs. I recommend cutting each rib individually, brushing with the sauce, and wrapping in foil to slowly roast in a 250 degree oven for at least two hours before grilling. It marries the flavors of the pork and the sauce, and creates juicy, tender, fall off the bone goodness. When done in the oven, grill until caramelized, brushing with any remaining sauce. It may take longer, but trust me, it’s worth it. Blast some Creedence while you cook, it adds to the flavor. MAGIC!

Unless anyone is truly interested in my potato salad recipe, I will not post it unless requested.

S’more Pie
Serves 6

1 1/2 cups graham crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup melted butter

Combine all ingredients and press into a pie shell. Bake at 350 for 10-15 min.

8 squares Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup 35% cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg yolk

Chop chocolate finely and set aside. Heat cream and vanilla and pour over chocolate. Let it sit for 2 min, then whisk together until chocolate is melted. Whisk in egg yolk. Pour into graham crust and bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until it just barely jiggles. It will firm up once it cools.

2 jars marshmallow fluff, or two cups of made-by-your-damn-self marshmallow

Pour marshmallow fluff over chilled pie. Take a blowtorch to it until you get a golden-brown reminder of your childhood, or throw it under the broiler at 500 degrees, if you’re a pansy. If using the broiler, wrap the crust edge with tinfoil to avoid sinful crust-charring.