Root Beer Pulled Pork Sliders

pulled pork sliders

Everyday is a great day for pulled pork according to my husband.  He never gets tired of it.  I have made every variation imaginable to just to change it up a bit.  No matter what, his favorite is my root beer recipe.  It’s a great base that is fine on its own or with added barbecue and toppings.

Root Beer Pulled Pork Sliders
Recipe Type: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Author: [url href=”http://onceuponatine.com” target=”_blank”]Once Upon A Tine[/url]
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 16 sliders
Root beer pulled pork sliders are a great appetizer or main dish.
Ingredients
  • 4 lbs Boston butt pork
  • 12 oz root beer (unchilled)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt (as desired)
Instructions
  1. Place pork in crock pot and add 8 oz of root beer.
  2. Turn crock pot on high and cook for 8 hours.
  3. When pork is done, tender pieces should pull apart easily with a fork.
  4. Drain liquid from pork. Shred pork by pulling apart with fork. Discard fat. Add salt and mix.
  5. Place brown sugar, hot sauce, an sriracha sauce in a small bowl and mix together.
  6. Add 4 oz of root beer to brown sugar mixture and stir gently.
  7. Pour brown sugar and root beer mixture over pulled pork and mix thoroughly.
  8. Voila! It’s done. From here you can add any barbecue sauce and toppings you choose or eat it as is. Either way, it’s delicious.
Notes
If you like a mustard base barbecue sauce, I recommend adding Carolina Classic by Sticky Fingers Smokehouse. It goes great with this recipe. If you like toppings, then try it with coleslaw and pickles.

 

Love Food, Hate Foodies

foodies

love food, but hate foodies.  How can it be true?  It’s a matter of semantics.  A foodie by definition is a person keenly interested in food, especially in eating or cooking.  However, the connotation of foodie evokes one of two things:  the food snob who delights in delicacies to be pretentious (formerly known as the epicure)  or the glutton who gorges himself on anything good coming out of a kitchen (formerly known as the gourmand).  Neither idea is appetizing to me.

I enjoy food as a hobby – not eating.  That may sound weird since I enjoy cooking and blogging about food.  My joy comes from learning the background of the dish – its cultural implications, its story.   There’s also a bit of fun and adventure in creating a recipe.  Another passion of mine is writing.  Sharing recipes via a food blog seems natural.  I appreciate food as sustenance, as an intrinsic part of culture, and as an opportunity to connect – you know, break bread together.  The term “foodie” trivializes the concept of food and all that it represents.

I recognize that eating food is a wonderful sensory experience.   The sight, the smell, the touch, and the taste of fresh baked bread is simply amazing.  But what about the history of that particular recipe for bread?  What about the cultural significance of that type of bread?  What conversation took place during the meal?    If your only enjoyment derived from food is eating, then called yourself an “eatie”, not a “foodie”.

Sometimes foodies are described as having a discerning palate.  There’s a saying that one man’s trash is another’s treasure.  The same can be said for food.  Diet is often determined by availability, religion, superstition, and tradition.  Many Westerners are alarmed by the practice of consuming Asian edibles such as horse meat, fried tarantula, chicken embryo (balut), snake wine and cat excrement coffee.   Yet throughout parts of the United States and Europe, you can find dishes such as fried bull testicles (Rocky Mountain Oysters), a pudding of sheep’s organs (Scottish haggis), blood sausage (Polish kiszka), raw bird’s heart (Icelandic Puffin heart), lye fish (Nowegian lutefisk), and rotten maggot cheese (Sardinian casu marzu).  As beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it could be said that taste is on the tongue of the diner.  Bottom line…it doesn’t take a “foodie” to appreciate food.

Happy Holiday Ending

Happy New Year - 151716452

 

Tonight marks the end of this chapter of my life, and time to turn a new page.  This year was uneventful compared to most.  Unlike 2012, which brought a new marriage, a new city, and a new house; 2013 had very little change.   I think I needed the stability after so much flux.   But now there’s a lot on the horizon again.  I have major changes planned for 2014 and I’m ready to get started.  You’ll hear more about that stuff in the weeks to come.

I’m also ready to say “so long” to the holiday season.    Don’t get me wrong, Christmas and Thanksgiving are my favorite holidays.   But enough is enough.  Let’s move on to a new year and new adventures.  I’ve neglected my blog, because I’ve spent too much time cooking and shopping.  I’ve had very little time to write.  I’ve come to realize that I need time to blog – time to clear my mind and time to myself.  Expect more posts in 2014.   I’m happy the holiday season is ending.  Here’s to a happy new year!


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I Miss Uruguay, but Not the Food

Bodega Alto de la Ballena 2

Earlier this year, my husband and I traveled to Uruguay.  We spent a week touring the quiet South American country that is nestled in between Argentina and Brazil.  Uruguay is amazing, but the food takes some adjustment.  Prior to visiting, the few people that actually were familiar with Uruguay told us to expect the best beef in the world at the cheapest price.

Uruguay is known for its Angus cattle.  There are approximately three cattle for each person in Uruguay.   It’s a whole lot of farmland (and vineyards that produce Tannat varietals).   Uruguay exports some of the finest beef, diary, wine, fruits and vegetables.  Food quality and availability are not the issue.

I think the problem lies in the preparation.  Uruguayans are zealous in their use of “parillas”.  Parillas are outdoor grills for barbecue.   I’m pretty passionate about grilling myself, and was impressed with the Uruguayan fervor.  When shopping for real estate, a suitable house must have a parilla and a bidet. (Uruguay has a heavy European influence, thus the bidet action.)  I wanted to try meat cooked using a parilla, so I tried a chivito.  A chivito is a popular Uruguayan sandwich made with sliced steak, eggs, and ham.  Despite the meat being cooked on a parilla, something was missing.  It needed seasoning.

The Uruguayans aren’t big fans of spices, especially anything hot.   You won’t find Asian food or any of the Spanish dishes typically served in Mexico.  Everything tasted bland to me – even the pizza.  You will find a pizzeria on every corner thanks to the Italian influence.  But don’t expect the pizza to look like what you would expect in Italy or the United States.  In Uruguay, the pizza has very little sauce, and the toppings are covered by huge slices of cheese.

Although I was disappointed with the lack of seasoning, there were a few things I really enjoyed.  One day of our trip, we decided to take a wine tour.  We visited a vineyard where we sampled wine, and later ate lunch at a magnificent estate overlooking the ocean.  The food was fantastic!  We had an appetizer of figs with Camembert cheese, followed by fresh seafood and paired with awesome wine.  Overall, our trip to was wonderful.  Uruguay is a very peaceful place with European charm and nice people.


Scenes from Uruguay

Cedar Grilled Salmon – because orange is the new black

Salmon

Yet, another seafood recipe from me – and right before Thanksgiving no less.  Just save this recipe for cedar grilled salmon to your favorites so it’s easy to find  a week from now.  When you emerge from the tryptophan coma, craving anything other than poultry and pork, you’ll be thankful that I posted it.

Admit it, there’s something about salmon that  makes it stand out from other fish.  It’s the ginger of the sea – the redheads, not the spice.  You either love it or hate it, but either way you recognize that it’s unique.   Salmon can take a meal up a notch.  It adds distinction, and makes for a posh plate.

Unfortunately, bad cooks often give salmon a bad rep.  You have to be really careful not to dry it out, especially when grilling.  There’s usually a lot of basting involved.  I really don’t have time for that.   I like to grill and chat, which decreases my dependability.  Don’t count on me to baste every few minutes to make sure the fish isn’t dry.  For this reason, I prefer cedar grilled salmon.   Marinade the salmon; grill it on a cedar plank.  It works like a charm!  Cedar grilled salmon is tasty, moist, and looks sophisticated.  Like they say, orange is the new black.

Cedar Grilled Salmon
Recipe Type: seafood
Author: [url href=”http://onceuponatine.com”]Once Upon A Tine[/url]
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Cedar grilled salmon produces flavor and moisture. This recipe will make any cook look like a grill master.
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 lbs salmon fillet
  • 1 1/2 cups soy sauce
  • 1 cedar plank
  • 1 dash fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Place cedar plank in water and soak overnight. Place something on top of the plank to keep it completely submerged if necessary. This will prevent the cedar plank from burning while on the grill.
  2. Place salmon in ziplock bag and add soy sauce. Marinade for 5 hours in soy sauce. Flip it over and marinade for an additional 3 hours.
  3. Sprinkle pepper on salmon. Put salmon with the flat side on the cedar plank, and put plank on the grill. Grill over 425 degree heat with lid closed for 20 – 30 minutes or until done. It all depends on the thickness of the fillet. There’s no need to flip the fish while it’s cooking. Check the grill periodically to make sure the plank isn’t burning. It is normal for the plank to turn black and produce smoke, but you definitely don’t want flames. Fire will burn the fish quickly, or at the least dry it out.
  4. Remove salmon and plank from the grill. Mix lemon juice into butter and drizzle over salmon, and garnish as desired. Serve immediately.
Notes
Maggi Seasoning is my personal favorite in lieu of soy sauce.[br]For garnish, I recommend sesame, grilled lemon slices, and dill for spectacular color.