Sunday was spent supporting our area’s agritourism industry, which is to say that The Wife and I took The Kid to Critz Farm in Cazenovia for some autumntime fun. I’ll write more later about why Critz’s fall festival weekends are awesome, but my point here is that a day at the farm meant that I wouldn’t have time to grocery shop or fuss much over dinner.
Last week I bought a boneless pork shoulder at Wegmans. I had no real plan for it when I tossed it in the cart. I do this from time to time as my Iron Chef skills test here at Al Dente HQ. Pork shoulders are awesome and versatile and I figured, at worst, I would make a pork ragu to serve over pasta. Continue reading Sunday Dinner: Pork-Hominy Stew
Now, Rick Bakas typically builds a solid recipe at his blog, The Traveling Palate. This one has been stuck to my wall for a while, in anticipation of Hatch chile season.
Two weeks ago, I went to Wegmans and they were overflowing with Hatch chiles. Tom, one of the in-store chefs at the Fairmount Wegmans, was roasting them up front. They were selling them frozen, fresh, roasted, chopped up… My point is, there were a metric ton of Hatch chiles in that store. Continue reading Tuesday Dinner: Roasted Green Chile and Pork Stew
“I want comfort food.”
The Wife makes this pronouncement frequently during the winter, a statement that typically results in my braising something. Short ribs. Pot roast. Chicken. Short ribs.
“I think I want Mexican.”
She took an interesting turn. Mexican comfort food usually results in Chipotle or a trip to The Mission. I wasn’t really interested making a messy enchilada or cooking all day to make a burrito. I thought maybe posole, a rich stew made with hominy, might work but time was going to be an issue and, from what I can tell, a good posole needs a solid six hours to simmer. I would have half that.
I came across this recipe at one of those aggregators that pop up at the top of the Google results when you search for something. Booze works for me, as does pork shoulder. I mean, you can never go wrong with pork shoulder.
Continue reading Saturday Dinner: Shot-And-A-Beer Pork
There are two ways to use your slow cooker. Ninety-eight percent of America uses it as a time-saving device. They are too busy to cook, so they careless toss things into it — chicken breasts, Good Seasons Italian dressing or Hidden Valley Ranch packets, jars of Ragu, chipmunks, shredded cheese, and/or sour cream — in an effort to prepare something called “dinner.” Us remainders, the civilized 2 percent, use it because braising a piece of meat in an unattended oven while at work is unsafe.
I’ve seen people take perfectly good pieces of beef and pork and render them an overcooked gray. I’ve seen recipes on Pinterest that brag about some cheesy chicken concoction that kids love to eat. Everything that comes out is a thoughtless mess of otherwise good food that has been forced to sit in one place together for too long. Dinner from a crockpot is what happens when you put food through jury duty. Continue reading Thursday Dinner: Slow Cooker Pork Shoulder Pasta