Since I don’t know what actual, cooked-all-day pork and hominy stew from Mexico really tastes like, I shouldn’t compare this to the “real deal.” But I have to say, this was real enough for me. And to go from a pile of cold leftovers to delicious soup in no time flat (and practically no clean up!) is always a big-time weeknight treat.
There’s an entire chapter in the cookbook I’m cooking my way through this year called “One Big Roast, Three Great Meals.” It offers first a recipe for cooking a giant chunk of meat — pork butt, a whole chicken, pot roast and leg of lamb — for a “Sunday Roast” type of dinner and then using the leftover protein as the jumping-off point for thee more recipes. I think the actual intent is to only make two of the three recipes so there are always options to try something else the next time around, but I’ve got eight pounds of pork butt right here and it sure looks like four meals to me!
It’s the same concept as the Chicken Challenge I levied upon myself a long, long time ago in The Original Kitchenette but without being a wuss an starting off with a grocery store rotisserie chicken.
I think any of these recipes could also make for a great dinner party meal for four or six and if you still have leftovers from that, well, at least you have a few ideas for ’em.
To kick this thing off, we’ve got Slow Roasted Pork with Peach Sauce for our “Sunday Roast,” followed by Cuban Sandwiches, Spicy Mexican Pork Stew and Pork Fried Rice (how international!), not necessarily in that order.
As much as I love pears, it’s not like we were going to get through fall and winter without a couple apple recipes. Unfortunately, this recipe calls for an apple that is one of my least favorites. It’s possible Golden Delicious apples have gotten a bad rap with me because I’ve only ever had crummy-to-mediocre ones, but the truth is I just don’t like them very much. Being the good little recipe-follower I’m trying to be with this project, I used it.
Right before Hurricane Sandy showed up to rock our world, we had a few bizarrely warm days in October, including one that 80 degrees! Rather than worry about the potential storm destruction to come or climate change, we tried to concentrate on this one last gift from the grilling gods. I know, I know some people (like my dad) are all-weather grillers. Not me. Especially not since we’re rocking the old school charcoal Weber, which has be to prodded and checked on and futzed with before it’s ready.
I cannot believe I let October slip by without telling you guys about this recipe. I wanted to share one last bit from our anniversary dinner, which also happens to be another Adventure in Tenderloin, before the month was out and then all of a sudden it was gone.
But no matter, this one is a year-round pleaser, even if it’s a little fussy.
Okay, maybe more than a little fussy. And most certainly not health food. But that’s part of what makes filet mignon with sauce Bearnaise a special occasion dinner item.
While I can’t recall the exact words, Mr Kitchenette said something to the effect of “Damn, woman, why didn’t you make this one sooner?!?” after the first few bites of this little gem.
This recipe became one of our immediate favorites in this cookbook and I think will long be in the regular recipe rotation in some form or another. While this version calls for potatoes and Brussels sprouts and plain butter, I foresee a zillion variations with different roast-able veggies and even some compound butter on the chicken. It’s got all the awesomeness of roasting a whole chicken without the pain in the butt of, you know, roasting a whole chicken for just two people (time, leftovers, dismemberment, etc.).
I have been a bit of a slacker here lately.
But I have my reasons. And they are exciting!
No, not Hurricane Sandy exciting; that would be the bad kind of exciting. And we came through that like the rest of the District, relatively unscathed (thank goodness. And our hearts are breaking for those along the shore and in NYC who weren’t as lucky).
It’s a totally different brand of exciting…
Mr. Kitchenette and I bought a house!
Paging through the stlil-un-made recipes from my self-imposed Cooking the Book project (which are far more numerous than I care to admit), I realized that I have been sort of neglecting the chapter on side dishes. This is particularly ridiculous since side dishes are one of the biggest leftover culprits when cooking for two. While it’s easy enough to only buy two chicken breasts, it’s not like anyone is going to make half a box of mac n’ cheese or do the math to make a quarter of a box of StoveTop (am I the only one who remembers just a few years ago when StoveTop came in a resealable canister, with instructions on making it for 2 or 12?? Man, I miss that canister!).
So I tried to approach dinner that night from the “total meal” perspective. With selections from the book’s main and side dish chapters (plus a little help from some left over dinner party mashed potatoes), I think this comes together for a nice — but still quick and easy — fall meal.
Usually, I am kind of anti-sandwich. It’s mostly based on my dislike of gross deli meats — which can be a little slimy and full of preservatives and chemicals and bits of things that are decidedly un-meat-like — as well as my fondness for hot lunches. A hot lunch, even if it’s just a humble soup or reheated leftovers, on a plate with silverware and a napkin somehow becomes a bit luxurious in a largely cold-ham-and-cheese-between-bread-at-my-desk-kind of world.
But I am willing to make exceptions, particularly in the face of fancy condiments, melty cheese or really great ingredients. And this sandwich is definitely one of my exceptions. Its salty-sweet-gooey-crunchy melts the heart of this sandwich hater instantly.
Mr. Kitchenette and I headed out of town for a little end-of-season beach action with my side of the family for a couple of days. It was great and we cannot recommend early October in Myrtle Beach, SC enough. But we also came home very germy (hopefully we didn’t share our germs with the rest of my family…!) and there’s honestly not much cooking going on at the Kitchenette household this week. So for now, just make like us and think happy thoughts of beach and seafood and not coughing.