Monday, April 25, 2011

Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza

Chicago deep dish pizza.  If you've never had it, you can't even begin to understand the delicious lie that it is.  It's not really a pizza... it's a monster.  If you've eaten one and you're not from Chicago, you went home and told all your friends and family how awesome it was.  And if you live in Chicago, you have your favourite... probably Giordano's (which is my favourite), or Gino's, or Lou Malnati's.  And if you're like me, you've lived in Chicago and moved... and sometimes late at night, when you're alone, you cry a little for some real Chicago deep dish pizza.  Well, after four years of living in California with only one visit home, I decided I had to make my own, because I couldn't bring myself to fork out the $50 to have it shipped to me frozen.  I researched different recipes, tried to find what sounded right to me, and I made myself one hell of a Chicago pizza!  In fact, I'm going to brag and tell you that I think it was better than some of the afore mentioned restaurants' pizzas!  I put a can of Coke there for size-reference.  ;)

If you're not familiar with a Chicago pizza... it's a thick crust, and the cheese goes on the bottom.  Then your toppings.  Then the sauce goes on top.  You can't eat it with your hands (unless it's leftover cold pizza the next day).  And you'd be hard pressed to eat more than two pieces at a time... one is pretty much enough.  Don't let this recipe intimidate you... it looks lengthy, but it's not too hard.  Really it's like this: mix part of the dough, let rise, add the rest, knead, let rise.  Punch it, let rise.  Add toppings.  Bake.  See... it's easy!  You just need a few hours for all the rising and baking (and a cast iron skillet or a deep-dish pizza pan).  And I apologize in advance... I made homemade marinara for this, and I always just wing my marinara, so I didn't consider writing down measurements for the recipe. :\  I will do this next time!

We were going to make this Saturday, but our guests' schedules worked better for Sunday... which happened to be Easter.  So we celebrated Zombie Day with pizza, chocolate, dice, and good company!  We tend to lean away from the traditions of the church... far, far away.  (Except that Justin said pizza is Italian, and the Italians were the ones who crucified Jesus, so in a way, it's quite befitting and following the church.)  And though there were a few excellent punk rock songs that would have fit this post well... Justin and I both thought that Bad Religion's "Don't Pray On Me" was the best song for this recipe.  It is on the album titled "Recipe for Hate" and surely someone is going to be offended for my non-interest in the Christian faith... so it really has all come together in the end!  Don't let your hate spoil your appetite though... this pizza rocks!  -jen

  • 1/4 ounce packet Quick Rise yeast
  • 1 and 1/4 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar 
  • 3 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup medium-grind yellow cornmeal 
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 
  • 1/2 cup olive oil , plus
  • 1/2 pound Provolone, sliced 1/8" thick
  • 1/2 pound Mozzarella, sliced 1/8" thick
  • pizza toppings*
  • 2 to 3 cups marinara
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
* If using Italian sausage, do not pre-cook it.  Add to pizza in raw form.  Suggestions for other pizza ingredients: chopped or sliced red onion, green onion, pepperoni, mushrooms, fresh garlic, green or black olives, fresh basil, sweet peppers, spinach - whatever!)

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup of the warm water. Add the sugar and 1/4 cup of the flour and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes (I have a gas oven, so I set it in the middle of the stove top, towards the back. Or you can turn your oven to it's lowest heat, open the door all the way, and just set the bowl on the open door.)

Add the remaining 1 cup warm water and 3 cups flour, the cornmeal, salt, and 1/2 cup olive oil.  If using a stand mixer, first use mixing attachment to combine, then switch to dough kneader and run for 10 minutes.

If not using a stand mixer, stir the dough with a wooden spoon to combine.  Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work surface and knead until soft and elastic, 10 to 12 minutes. It will be a little sticky, but shouldn't stick to your hands. 

Lightly coat a large bowl with olive oil. Add the dough and turn to coat on all sides.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place a clean, damp, kitchen towel over the top.  Set the bowl in a warm spot and let rise until doubled in volume, 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours. (For a slow rise, place the covered bowl in the refrigerator and let rise for 10 to 12 hours, returning dough to room temperature before using).

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

When the dough has doubled in volume, punch it down and knead it for 2 to 3 minutes. Coat a 14" cast iron skillet well with olive oil or butter.  (If using a 12" cast iron skillet, remove 1/4 of the dough and use for something else - pepperoni twists, cheesy garlic sticks, etc.)  Sprinkle a dusting of corn meal over the oiled pan.  Press the dough evenly into the bottom and up the sides.  Let the dough rise in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes.

Place a layer of Provolone cheese on dough, then add a layer of Mozzarella.  Continue adding all remaining toppings in layers (except the olives, I sprinkle those on top of the sauce.)  If using raw sausage, I suggest tearing it into finger-tip size pieces to guarantee thorough cooking.  Gently ladle sauce to completely cover toppings.  Add grated Parmesan and olives.

Place in a 325 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, then turn heat up to 475 and cook an additional 15-20 minutes.  Crust should be golden brown and Parmesan should be golden.

Remove and let sit at least 20 minutes to allow the ingredients to firm up.  If you try to serve right away, you'll have a soupy mess that's impossible to serve. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chipotle Chocolate Chili

So Jen had been craving some chili lately and I decided to make a batch on Wed, which happened to be April 20th, Carmen Electra's birthday!  Also, it is supposed to be some sort of stoner holiday or hippie celebration or something...not sure where I heard that.  Anyway, since stoners, bachelors, and assorted college students (was that redundant?) always have a trusty can of chili in the cupboard for that "Crap I can't afford food" emergency meal, I thought it would be fitting to undertake such a meal on said day.  For musical accompaniment, I had a variety of tunes but the most fitting for this adventure would have to be Sublime's "Smoke Two Joints".  I know it's not very punk but they used to be a punk band...and, well, we live in Humboldt.  Reggae, ska, and such are just the norm around here.  Everyone's got a Che Guevara tee or a knitted rasta hat and dreads, so this works for the day and setting.

This chili is actually very easy to pull off and has an amazing complexity to the flavor and heat.  There's a slow, medium burn at the end of a spoonful that stays with you for a bit and warms the body nicely but it's not very hot up front.  It has a bit of chocolate, cinnamon and agave nectar (to mellow out some of the heat) so it's very Mexican inspired and ends up having a very silky texture and a dark, smokey flavor that is a definite plus in my book!  Plus, it's made with a whole bottle of dark beer, which we all know makes everything taste better! - justin

Prep Time:  40 minutes
Cook Time:  2-3 hours
Difficulty:  medium
Serves:  8-10, depending on serving size

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground beef (20/80)
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 12oz bottle of dark beer (I used Lost Coast Brewery's 8Ball Stout but a porter or Guinness would work nicely as well)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 whole poblano chili
  • 1 whole jalapeno chili
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, pureed
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 2 cans (14oz each) whole peeled tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 tablespoon New Mexico chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Chili de Arbol powder
  • 1 tablespoon Pasilla chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp Light Agave Nectar 
To start the beef you'll need to heat a high-sided skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add  the 3 tbsp of olive oil and when it starts to shimmer add the ground beef.  As the beef starts browning add the salt and pepper and cook until well browned.  Drain off the excess fat and add the cumin, cinnamon, and chocolate to the beef and continue stirring to melt the chocolate chips.  Once they are mostly melted add the bottle of dark beer (making very sure to save a bottle for know, for safety) and cook the liquid down till it's mostly evaporated.  This concentrates all the seasonings and flavors in the meet before it's added to our vegetable base.

Fire roasting the jalapeno and poblano chilies is not necessary but can be done very quickly over a gas burner on the oven.  Use tongs so as not to fire roast your finger tips.  When the skin starts to snap and pop and singe, you are done.  The peppers can then be cut in half, seeded, ribbed, and diced.

In a separate soup pot, add your 2 tbsp of olive oil and set on medium high heat.  When the pan is hot, toss in your onion and sweat it down until translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes.  While the onion is sweating, puree the whole peeled tomatoes and the chipotles in adobo (found in the Mexican or ethnic aisles of the market) in a blender or food processor.  Add the garlic, poblano, and jalapeno to the onion and cook for another couple of minutes.  Add the powdered chilies, tomato/chipotle puree, and the chicken stock, turn the heat up to high, bring the pot to a boil, and let it boil uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.

After the 20 minutes are up, puree the entire pot.  I used a stick blender but a standing blender or food processor would work.  Make do with what you have.  The main idea is to break down the sauce to a smoother consistency, unless you want a chunky chili, in which case, ignore this whole paragraph.

Add the meat to the veggie pot and stir in.  Cover with a lid and let it simmer on low for an hour.  Add the 2 tbsp Agave nectar (one could alternatively use maple syrup or some light molasses, or dark brown sugar for another twist on the flavor profile) and stir in thoroughly.  At this point, one must taste and season as needed.  If it's too spicy, add a little more sweetness to cut some of the heat.  If it's not spicy enough for ya, toss in another chipotle and simmer for another 10 minutes or so.  Serve with some bread for sopping, a little grated cheese and some sour cream and you have one killer bowl.  This pot of chili will serve 4-6 folks with hearty appetites.

Oh, almost forgot to mention the best part!  This chili gets better with a certain extent.  It tastes great the night that you make it.  Try it the next day for lunch and you'll find that the flavors really marry in the fridge overnight.

    Pork Steaks with Mushroom and Onion Gravy and Mashed Potatoes

    I've always loved Salisbury steaks... the crappy TV dinner kind, the school cafeteria kind, the greasy diner kind. They're usually made with ground beef or cubed steak.  Well, we had some pre-tenderized pork steaks we'd been buying lately that were like cube steaks, and they've been a fast, tasty fix for nights we haven't felt like cooking.  Recently, we've had some sitting in our freezer and rather than breading and frying them like we usually do (delicious!), I thought I'd try something that "fancied" them up a little, but wasn't a pain in the ass to cook.  And this is the recipe I came up with!  It looks like a lot of ingredients, but don't let it scare you, it's really fast to make.  Basically you're just throwing some onions and mushrooms in a pan with flour and broth, then making a quick dry rub and broiling the steaks for 8 minutes.  Super basic, cheap, and some serious home style comfort food. 

    Having come up with the recipe, I had to decide what kind of music I wanted to listen to while cooking.  It seemed like it was a bit of a Southern dish, but I just wasn't in a real hard, punk rock mood.  Instead, I did a little 90's flash back to some good, southern alt-rock: The Toadies.  I know, I know, we said this was a punk rock cooking blog.  But we listen to a LOT of different kinds of music, and we cook a whole lot, so sometimes we're just going to have to mix it up a little.  The Toadies never fail to bring some messed up, dark, Southern imagery to mind... creeping kudzu, old plantation houses, old dark family secrets, people mentally and emotionally (and sometimes physically) tortured by generations of fucked up bible thumping... oh yeah, and gravy!  So here is one of my favourite Toadies songs, "Away".  -jen

    • 3 tablespoons olive oil (plus additional oil for drizzling)
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 large yellow or white onion, julienned
    • 1 pound white mushrooms, sliced
    • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
    • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
    • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
    • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
    • 1/4 cup flour
    • 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
    • 1-1/2 cups beef broth
    • 2 tablespoons dry Sherry
    • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce (depending on how spicy you want it)
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 4 large pork steaks, tenderized (we bought ours pre-tenderized, like cube steak)
    Seasoning Mix:
    • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon thyme
    • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried cumin
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    In a large skillet with straight sides, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter on medium-high heat.  Add onions and mushrooms, tossing to coat with oil and butter.  (The pan's going to look too full, but it'll all cook down.)  Cook, stirring occasionally until onions are translucent and mushrooms are tender.  Add garlic, Italian seasoning, thyme, Worcestershire and soy sauce, cooking another 3-5 minutes.  Sprinkle flour over vegetables and stir in until completely absorbed, cooking about 3-5 minutes.  Add chicken and beef broth all at once and stir quickly in order to avoid lumps in your gravy.  Bring to a boil, and then simmer until gravy has thickened.  Add Sherry, Sriracha and salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside on very low simmer, stirring occasionally to make sure gravy isn't sticking to the bottom of the pan.

    Meanwhile, turn oven to broil.  Mix together all of the ingredients for the seasoning mix.  Line a baking sheet with tinfoil and drizzle with a small amount of olive oil.  Pat pork steaks dry and lay over olive oil on one side, then flip to the other side so both sides are coated with a small amount of oil.  Season both sides of steaks with seasoning mix to taste (you'll probably use 3-4 teaspoons of the mix in total).  Leftover seasoning mix can be stored in airtight container for future use!  Broil steaks on one side for about 5 minutes.  Flip and broil an additional 2-3 minutes.  Serve smothered in onion and mushroom gravy.  We used homemade mashed potatoes, but concurred that egg noodles or rice would also be delicious.

    Serves 4
    • 3 large baking potatoes
    • salt
    • 4 tablespoons butter
    • 1/3 cup milk
    • pepper to taste
    Bring well salted water to boil in large pan.  Peel 1/2 of the potatoes (and scrub skin of the unpeeled ones clean).  Dice into 2" cubes.  Carefully put into boiling water and cook until they're fork-tender (about 12-15 minutes, fork should slide in easily).  Remove from heat and drain.  In a large bowl, combine potatoes, butter, and milk.  Mash with a hand masher until all ingredients are well mixed (butter will melt from the heat of the potatoes).  Add pepper to taste.

    (We're really trying to work on our plating techniques... so we thought we'd each try a plate.)

    Sunday, April 17, 2011

    Pizza Popcorn Seasoning

    I didn't really have any musical inspiration for this recipe... this is one I've been making since 2005.  But it's a quick, tasty way to kick up your popcorn!  And since I feel compelled to post some music, I'm going to go with Hot Water Music's "Trusty Chords" on the album "Caution" (because it was the last song I was singing in the shower). -jen

    • 2 tablespoons Dry Spaghetti Sauce Mix (in the gravy/sauce packet section of your grocery store)
    • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs mix
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • dash of black pepper 
    • dash of cayenne pepper (optional for spicy popcorn)
    Blend all ingredients in a blender or mini food processor until fine powder.  Sprinkle on buttered popcorn!

    Friday, April 15, 2011

    Southern Fried Dill Pickles & Veggies

    Admittedly, the food inspired the music tonight, instead of vice versa.  I'm a huge fan of dill pickles, served in a number of ways.  Just wait until I post the recipe for my family's favourite holiday appetizers - pickles, cream cheese, and cheap ass lunch meat!  But I do love a good deep fried pickle.  Being a Southern thing, most people here in Northern California have never heard of them, let alone tasted one!  I'm going to assume the rest of the country (outside of the South) is equally in the dark, and I want to shine the light onto the shiny, greasy deliciousness that is the fried pickle!  And while operating the deep fryer, who better to belt it out in Southern punk rock fashion than one of my all time favourite punk bands, Avail. I. Love. This. Band.  I got to see them a number of times when I lived in Chicago, and they were the loudest, fastest, angriest shows!  I never left one without bruised ribs, stomped toes, and a kick or two in the head from crowd surfers.  Best shows ever!  I miss them. Here's their "Simple Song".  -jen

    Back to the food... I like my batter really seasoned, and I find a lot of places don't season their batter much.  So you could definitely cut back on the seasoning if you're more of a plain-batter kind of person (but what fun would that be?)

    • 1 cup flour
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you'd like it)
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
    • 6-12oz ale
    • vegetable or peanut oil for frying
    • dill pickle slices (Vlasic makes "Ovals" which are huge slices, great for this!)
    Heat oil in a deep fryer or deep pot to 360-370 F.

    On a plate, lay out two layers of paper towels.  Place pickles in single layer on towels and cover with another double-layer of paper towels, pressing down on the pickles so that the towels absorb the juice.

    In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.  Begin whisking in the beer, a little at a time.  I like my batter to be a little on the thick side, so I'll use about 1/2 a bottle of the beer.  Some people like a thinner batter, which would require 3/4 to 1 whole 12oz bottle.  Start conservatively and remember you can always add more beer!

    Dip the pickles in batter and gently place into oil, frying until golden brown (2-3 minutes).  I use plain, wooden, disposable chopsticks to flip the pickles half way through the cooking time.  Don't over-crowd the pan, fry in batches.  Let drain in a paper towel-lined dish. You can preheat your oven to 250 F and keep your early batches warm.  Serve with ranch dressing for dipping sauce.

    Tip: You can re-warm leftovers in the oven or toaster oven.  Set to broil, lay leftovers in single layer.  Broil until crispy on top side, then flip.  In the toaster oven, it's 4-5 minutes on each side.  

    The pickles are the front-left, next to the ranch (see, big Ovals).  The batter really works for anything.  I got a little crazy tonight and ended up making enough deep fried food for about thirteen people (instead of the two of us).  I did zucchini, crimini mushrooms, onion rings, cheese curds, and then I even tried stuffing pickled cherry peppers with the cheese curds.  They were a little sour and not as good as I thought they'd be.  I'll have to try my hand at some jalapeno poppers next time - those'll be great!

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Baked Chicken with Balsamic Reduction

    This recipe is one I decided to dedicate to our friend who recently had a baby and a birthday (you know who you are, Eric).  It's a quick, easy, and a deceptively fancy tasting dish (just like Eric! -jen).  The leg quarters could be substituted with any cut of chicken (and the sauce is awesome on pork as well so use what ya got).  The polenta could be rice, or pasta, or mashed potatoes so the main thrust of this post is the chicken and the sauce.  The cooking time is about 45 minutes for the chicken and the sauce reduces down during that time period so it's not hard to pull off at all.  I had to listen to The Descendents song "Sour Grapes", of course, because they kick ass.  Balsamic vinegar...sour grapes...though unlike the song lyrics, this sauce leaves anything but a "bad taste". -justin

    • 4 leg quarters
    • poultry seasoning
    • adobo seasoning
    • salt and pepper
    • 1 cup Balsamic vinegar
    • 4 teaspoons honey
    • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
    • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon pepper
    Preheat oven to 350 F.  Season both sides of the chicken with a light dusting of poultry seasoning, adobo seasoning, salt and pepper.  Cook in shallow baking sheet at 350 F for 45 minutes.

    Meanwhile, in a sauce pan, whisk together Balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic, Worcestershire, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil, careful not to let it boil over.  Once it comes to a boil, lower heat to keep sauce at a gentle boil for about 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  If your sauce is rising to the top of the pan, your heat is too high.  You want to get your sauce to be like molasses - thick but drizzleable (which is not a word).

    You could serve the chicken with the sauce on the side, drizzle it over the chicken, or drizzle it over the plate and place your chicken atop it.

    Served here with a garlic-herb polenta and steamed cauliflower.  (My attempt at better plating!  It's a work in progress -jen)

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    Peppermint Mocha Kahlua Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

    I can't really take credit for this recipe... this one, like the beans in the last post, is my mom's recipe.  Only she made it with Bailey's, which is also pretty kick ass!  Always a favourite of the whole family... I didn't even like cheesecake until she started making this recipe!  But I've had the Peppermint Mocha Kahlua hanging around since Christmas and it's not getting used, so I thought it'd be tasty.  -jen

    Doh!  Forgot to put down what we were listening to while I baked last night!  Kind of defeats the purpose of a punk rock cooking page, doesn't it?  Then it'd just be a boring cooking blog that nobody followed... instead of a kick ass punk rock cooking blog... that nobody follows.  And actually... we weren't even listening to punk rock while I baked.  Had an electronic 80's Pandora station on - lots of Gary Numan, New Order, Depeche Mode.

    • Nonstick cooking spray
    • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, melted
    • 2-1/4 pounds (4.5 bricks) cream cheese, room temp
    • 1-2/3 cups granulated sugar
    • 5 eggs, room temp
    • 1 cup Peppermint Mocha Kahlua
    • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    Coffee Whipped Cream
    • 1 cup chilled whipping cream
    • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
    For Crust:  Preheat oven to 325 F.  Coat 9-inch springform pan with nonstick vegetable oil spray.  Combine crumbs and sugar in pan.  Stir in butter.  Press mixture into bottom and 1" up the sides of pan.  Bake until light brown, about 7 minutes.  Maintain oven temperature at 325 F.

    For Filling:  Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth.  Gradually mix in sugar.  beat in eggs 1 at a time.  Blend in Peppermint Mocha Kahlua and vanilla.  Sprinkle half of the chocolate chips over crust.  Spoon in filling.  Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips.  Bake cake until puffed, springy in center and golden brown - about 1 hour 20 minutes.  Cool cake completely.

    For Whipped Cream:  Beat cream, sugar and coffee powder until peaks form.  Spread mixture over cooled cake.

    This one isn't going to have the delicious coffee whipped cream because I'm taking it in to work.  Going to try to get pictures of it out of the springform pan!

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Rancid Recipes #3: Asian Barbecue Pork Sandwiches; Asian Barbecue Sauce; Baked Beans with Bacon

    Song Title:  Memphis
    Album:  Indestructible (2003)
    Lyrics:  "By the time we made it to New Orleans, it must have been half past three.  By the time we made it to Memphis, we were crazy."

    The song "Memphis" might be my favourite song off of the "Indestructible" album... though I suppose it depends on my mood.  This song gets me going!  This is the song that I play in the car as loud as my pathetic speakers will allow when I'm in a happy mood... but I will do the same thing with this song if I'm in a really pissed mood!  Right from the start you're assaulted with a great, driving beat backed by what I can only describe as electric bagpipes?!  When I get it loud enough... it kind of takes my breath away (awww).  And then it inspires me to make some southern barbecue!  Which I did... but for some reason, I was feeling like Asian food too, so it turned into Southern-Asian fusion!  This came out so tasty!  I'd never cooked meat in vinegar before and the flavour was so tangy, the meat was perfect and juicy, falling apart!  I was almost sad to put the sauce on the meat because it was so good plain!  We'll be making this again... and again! -jen

    • 4-5 pound pork shoulder
    • 4 tablespoons minced garlic
    • 3 tablespoons minced ginger
    • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
    • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
    • 1 teaspoon chili paste
    • 2 cups cider vinegar
    • 1/2 cup soy sauce
    • Asian barbecue sauce
    • fresh sandwich rolls
    • shredded carrots
    • fresh cilantro
    Cut pork shoulder into 2" steaks.  In a bowl, combine garlic, ginger, sesame oil, fish sauce, and chili paste.  Place pork steaks into slowcooker.  Pour vinegar and soy sauce over steaks.  Spread the garlic and ginger mix over the steaks.  Cover and cook on high for 7 hours.  Remove pork from slowcooker and shred.  Drain liquid from slowcooker and put shredded pork back in.   Begin mixing Asian barbecue sauce into the pulled pork.  I suggest starting with about 1/2 a cup and adding more to your taste.  I ended up adding about 3/4 cup sauce all together, as I don't like my barbecue real saucy; I like to be able to taste the meat's flavours.  (And now I have a lot of leftover sauce to use for other barbecuing.)  Rewarm pork and serve on a roll with spicy mayonnaise, shredded carrots and fresh cilantro.

    Spicy Mayo = mayonnaise with sriracha hot sauce to taste.

    • 34 oz tomato sauce
    • 6 oz can tomato paste
    • 1 jar (8oz) Hoisen sauce
    • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons honey
    • 2 teaspoons dark molasses
    • 2 heaping tablespoons minced garlic
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
    • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
    • zest and juice of 1 lime
    • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
    • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon onion powder
    • 1 tablespoon dried cilantro or oregano
    • 1 tablespoon dried basil
    • 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice
    • 1 teaspoon Pasilla chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon New Mexico chili powder
    • 2 chipotle peppers (from a can of Chipotle peppers in Adobo Sauce)
    Whisk all ingredients in a large sauce pan.  Bring to a boil.  Simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

    (Gotta give credit to my mom, Loretta, for these! I might have zipped them up a little, but she's been making kick ass baked beans my whole life and I got my base recipe from her!)
    • 1/2 pound bacon, diced
    • 1 can (1 pound 12oz) pork and beans in tomato sauce
    • 1 can (15oz) kidney beans, drained
    • 1/2 medium onion, diced
    • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 1-1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 tablespoon dark molasses
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
    • 1 tablespoon whiskey
    • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
    • black pepper to taste
    Cook diced bacon over a medium-high heat until crispy.  Remove from pan and set aside on a paper towel to drain.  In an oven safe dish, combine all ingredients (including crumbled bacon).  Cook at 325 F for 1 hour if you like your beans saucy, or for 1.5 hours if you like thick beans (which is how I like 'em!)