Monday, February 24, 2014

Dude Food Collard Greens for Dinner? With Butts?

With a slow cooker this is one of those amazing home made comfort foods that makes everyone feel good. Loaded with nutrition and fiber it is a simple supper that any dude can make.

Writing about New Orleans reminded me just how many home cooks make variations on greens and rice. With a crock pot, the long stewing that tenderizes the greens is no longer needed. Put it all together, put on the lid and walk away.

Made before work, you can come home, make a little rice and impress your significant other with real home cooking.

Chopped Collards (at least 5 cups per person)
Garlic (two cloves per serving)
Olive Oil
Water or stock

Put a tiny drizzle of oil in the bottom of the crock, set on high add the sliced garlic and the lid and go have breakfast. When you are finished the garlic will be fragrant and ready for the greens.

Pack the chopped greens in the pot and use 3/4 cup liquid per 5 cups of chopped greens. Turn to low, put on the lid and walk away.

Let's talk about adding meat.

I like to pack the pan with smoked turkey butts layered in with the collards. You can also used smoked turkey wings or ham hocks. The smoke adds a great deep flavor.

When you get home, taste, adjust for salt and serve with rice.

With some butts it is a complete meal. A soul satisfying meal.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Dude Food: Simplify Valentine's Day

Whether your love is female or male they want to be indulged, just not too much.

If you decide to cook for your beloved achieving the perfect balance can be hard. Nonetheless, a quiet evening away from the bustle of a noisy restaurant can be far more romantic.

1. Set the Scene.

Linen Napkins
Dim Lights
Great wine (the champagne comes later)
Beautifully set table

1st course: Composed Salad

How beautiful is this, it sets the tone. Your partner will appreciate that you took the time to make such a wonderful healthy dish. The composition is the indulgence. And it's easy. 

In this one we have...

Raw Cucumber
Grilled zucchini (Quickly roasted in a hot oven works just as well)
Green Beans
Lettuce mix

The great thing about this is the beauty is in the composition so you can choose any vegetables you find. Simply blanch them until they are bright and colorful and then put into ice water to stop further cooking. 

The simple dressing: 

1/4 cup olive oil
3 cups fresh dill
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper

Pulse in the food processor and drizzle just before serving. 

Now What? Dipping veg in boiling water is easy but a main can be more difficult....Nah!

12 hour Pork Shoulder

Rub, leave overnight put in oven and leave alone. It really is that simple. Start with 8 lbs of Shoulder or Boston Butt. 

1/8 cup cumin
1/8 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup white pepper
1/8 cup cumin
1/8 cup chili powder
1/8 cup or more cayenne (depends on how much spice you like)
1/8 cup salt

24 hours before roasting, rub the seasoning all over the pork, get under the fat and into every crevice. Cover and let is soak in for 24 hours. If you have a smoker you can of course smoke it. 

12 hours before serving put on a rack over a pan with a little water in the pan ( to give the fat a place to drip as it renders) and cover with foil. 

Turn the oven to 225 and walk away. Check after 10 hours and if soft and falling apart then remove, keep covered and let rest for at least an hour. 

While the pork is resting put two potatoes in the oven that have been scrubbed and wrapped in foil. They take about an hour and will be soft when poked with a fork. 

Make sure you have
Sour cream (no low fat crud)
Chives (chop with scissors)

You already had your vegetables and it is time to indulge. 

Split the potato with a knife and separate to put on the plate. Pull the pork apart, the seasoning gives it a lot of flavor, no sauce required. 

The final course is almost too easy. 

Buy a nice sparkling Cava, put in a glass with a scoop of raspberry or passion fruit sorbet on top. Serve with two beautiful chocolate truffles you got a a nice candy store (NO Russell Stover). 

You are now a Romantic Hero Dude.