Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chain Letter Cooking

Hyde Park, CHICAGO.

What?  I actually said "yes" to one of those send-a-recipe, receive-a-thousand chain letters?

Yes, but only because it was sent by my sister-in-law (who sent it only because it was sent by a dear friend);  but it's been wonderful!  Who would have guessed?

And since it's Fred's sister (Mary)'s doings, I tried the recipes out in Chicago.

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012.

Fred & Carel
Lucy (and Bella, newly arrived from Guadalajara)
Alex & Hanna

Steve, newly arrived from Istanbul
                  Carel, Lucy and Steve-from-Istanbul
                           Hanna, Alex and Fred

That famous Slow-Cooker BBQ Pork *Chain Letter Recipe
Fresh tomatoes with olive oil 
Sesame Buns and Baguette
3 Beers from Alex & Hanna's Xmas taster gift:
 We did a tasting, and all 3 won.  
The CASCO BAY Riptide was rich tasting while in the mouth; 
The CASCO BAY Brown Ale went to the throat and left a full-bodied after-taste.  
The SWEETWATER IPA was similar to Two Brothers Bitter End, our house favorite, because it had that rose-water finish.  It may even be better than Bitter End...look for it!: "The Better End."
      (THANKS, Alex and Hanna!) 

UPDATE:  Hanna and Alex just dropped off a Beer Testers manual-ette from 33Beers.com, so stay tuned for more scientific and more eloquent beer lingo:

          Hanna with Alex and Fred taste-toasting.
Pumpkin Pudding *Chain Letter Recipe

Bella.  (Newly arrived from Guadalajara.  With papers.)

Here's what Shelby contributed (via Nancy in Vienna)

"If you have a crock pot slice up an onion, throw it in along with a pork
shoulder (bone in ok) or rump about 3 to 5 lbs. Dump 3/4 of a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce on top reserving a little for later, and 1/4cup cider vinegar. Cook on low for 8 hours. Discard bone, and shred meat with two forks, this should be very easy. Serve on kaiser roll or hamburger bun with shredded cabbage and extra sauce if you like. A real crowd pleaser!"

The above is pretty much what I did, starting with a 5.15 lb. bone-in shoulder roast.  Just enough for us with a dinner or two left-over.

I used the sauces that were in the pantry.  Be sure you  cover the roast or go up to the top of the pot. 
I used rice vinegar.  Any will do.

Nothing in pot; add onions; add salt and peppered meat; add BBQ sauce and vinegar. 

Cover and cook. (I ended up adding lots more salt to my plate at the end.)

The temp gauge on our crock pot has fallen off, but I think it was set on high.  Anyway, because I didn't arrive in Chicago till late last night and thus didn't get back from the market till 11 a.m., 8 hours was not going to happen.  So, at 4 p.m. I just knew that the meat needed more time.   (You do the math.)

So I put the roast in a roasting pot and the pot in the oven at 350, uncovered for an hour.  

Next time: cook overnight for 8-10 hours on low, then chill during the day.  OR cook 8-10 hours during the day, chill overnight.  

All -star as it was, I'm sure this is a second-day sort of recipe.

FINALLY: (when hot) Pull into shreds with a fork and knife. Serve on rolls with
 The original coleslaw recipe belongs to DAVE, but I tinkered.

The slaw: put in a bowl
Some of each: shredded (packaged) cabbage, carrots, and broccoli. 5 cups?
1 bunch green onions, white and some green parts, chopped
1 very small red onion, chopped
1 dill picked, chopped

The dressing: mix together then add to the slaw

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons dill pickle juice

2 tablespoons vinegar (red wine is good)

2 tablespoons dijon style mustard

1/2 cup white sugar

1 pinch cayenne pepper

1 good teaspoon salt (I added more later)

1 clove garlic, smashed

Next time: add poppy seeds and definitely make the night before so it softens up.

This was sent by Leslie from Rhode Island.  
 Coolwhip thawed, in blue bowl

1 can pumpkin (should be 1+ pounds)
1 large package Jello Instant Vanilla Pudding
1 container of Cool Whip, thawed
Nutmeg to taste

In a large bowl, combine the canned pumpkin and the vanilla pudding; fold in Cool Whip. Season with nutmeg to taste. 

I followed her recipe as best I could.  I used 2 regular pkgs of pudding mix, 3/4 of a large can of pumpkin, non fat Coolwhip, and about 1/2 tsp of Nutmeg.  

Cool whip+pudding mix+nutmeg in blue bowl

 + pumpkin, with some biscotti on top, in serving dish

Nextime:  I'm putting it in my best pie shell or even a home made graham cracker crust and calling it "my pumpkin pie."

Another thought: individual tartlets.  Maybe with bitter-sweet chocolate melted on the bottoms, before putting the whip in.

PS: I may add more Chain Letter Recipes to this post later.
MORAL OF STORY: next time you get one of those letters, do the right thing.

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