Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Brits and Jim Beam

As someone of legal drinking age, I enjoy legally drinking.  I enjoy vodka, gin, wine, hard cider, and schnapps.  In the past couple years, I've really come around to beer.  But I cannot stand bourbon, whiskey, scotch, or Tennessee sippin' whiskey.  They are gross.

But I had a whole bunch of pork belly to cook up.  And this lovely recipe from the BBC for Bourbon-Glazed Pork Belly Chunks.  It's British, I'm American.  I had to adore it unquestioningly.  It's what Americans do!  The British have never made mistakes!!

So I went to my beloved 7-Eleven and bought the smallest bottle of Jim Beam they had.  And I baked my pork in bourbon.  And I made a bourbon-honey-ketchup glaze.  And then I continued to bake my pork in bourbon and covered in the bourbon-honey-ketchup glaze.  And I thought, "I'm going to be so pissed off if this ruins my delicious pork belly."

Then the timer went off for the final time.  I took the pork out of the oven.  I set up a little dish of sour cream because the Brits said so.

It looks beautiful.  But we all know the Brits can be quite deceptive.  You could also ask Native Americans.

First, I decided to try the pork belly on its own.  I loved it.  In fact, I wish I had more than the five pieces right there!  The bourbon was almost drowned out by the honey and soy sauce.  Combined with the ketchup, it tasted like a sweet barbecue sauce.

Barbecue flavors are not something I expect from the people who sell Tangy Cheese and Cool Original Doritos.  And barbecue flavors are not usually something I enjoy.  But with the sweetness of the honey (and the fact that bourbon is sweeter than my true nemesis whiskey), it was a very soft barbecue taste.

Then, I thought, "Well, the BBC said I should eat it with sour cream."  So I tried it with sour cream.  Even more delicious!  The sour notes of the cream combined in perfect harmony with the somewhat sweet bourbon glaze to make a ying-yang of absolute tastiness in my mouth!

I just need to remember to hold off making this recipe again until my un-air-conditioned kitchen isn't 80 degrees.  This is a recipe for a cooler night.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Return of the Alumni

Emily, Joey, and I decided to visit our alma mater last weekend.  Not much appears to have changed at Grinnell (other than G-Tones' apparent fall from grace), but I think I have changed a lot.  Well, at least when it comes to food.

We made our triumphant return to La Cabaña.  I already knew I was going to get a peach margarita.  But, for the first time, I was going to order food as well.

When I was at Grinnell, I would "pre-game" our trips to La Cabaña.  By pre-game, I mean go to the d-hall and get dinner before I went out to the restaurant with my friends.  Usually Joey would come with me and get something tiny, like carrots, to munch on while I ate my real dinner.  At La Cabaña, I would order a margarita and nothing else while everyone else got Grande Burritos or Cheese Enchiladas.

Not this time.  This time I ordered food and a margarita.

Behold.  Food and alcohol.  The waitstaff of La Cabaña has never seen one of these in front of me.

And it was delicious.  So cheesy and not spicy at all!  I probably would have enjoyed it even before my adventuring began.  I was just a scaredy-cat.  Maybe next time I'll try a burrito....

Sunday, May 4, 2014

May Day Adventure

On May Day, Joey and I tried another recipe from his running cookbook.  This one was called Bean and Vegetable Chili.  It involved beef, beans, zucchini, eggplant, carrots, tomatoes, and spices.  The recipe also called for mushrooms, but I'm not adventurous enough to eat fungus.

I've never had eggplant.  Just not a food we really have in the house.  I had no idea what it would taste like.  I figured that since it was a chili, it would have a sort of mushy, stewed-veggie sort of texture.

Pre-mushy veggies.  Eggplant doesn't look too offensive.

I couldn't finish my chili, but it wasn't because of the eggplant.  I was right about the texture.  If eggplant has a taste, I couldn't pick it out in the chili.  I couldn't taste the zucchini or the carrots very much either.  I'll have to try eggplant again.  Maybe I'll try that Eggplant Parmesan I hear people talking about.

Post-mushy chili.  Beans, beef, veggies, and deadly spices.

I couldn't finish my chili because it was too spicy.  But I managed to eat about three fourths of my bowl before the cumin won!  That's progress!