Meat, right? (And my bounden duty?)
May 11, 2012
Methodists will get the reference. The remainder of you may ignore the headline.
Have you MISSED me? If you have not, please lie and tell me you have.
I’ve missed YOU. I’ve glanced at my stats a couple of times, and sadly saw my page views dwindling as the week wore on, post-less. Yeah, Yeah, I know. What I have done for y’all LATELY?
Well, look here, y’all. I have cooked exactly twice this week. I’ve been getting home at 6:30 or later, and have had neither the energy nor the inclination to cook. I only cooked those two times because Child C and Soon-To-Be-Son-in-Law 2 were here for dinner, and she is, after all, Eating For Two. And here is what I’ve cooked:
First, sous vide ribs. These were pretty marvelous. I will confess they were the preseasoned slabs from Kroger, but they were Smithfield, and those folks make a fine ham, so I figured I was safe with the ribs. And they were on sale. And when I got ‘em home and was prepared to put them on to cook, it occurred to me they were already vac-packed, so I just peeled off the labels and plopped them in the cooler to braise away at 155 degrees for 48 hours.
They came out, went into a baking pan on a rack, got a glaze of barbecue sauce, and went into a 450 degree oven for about 15 minutes, long enough to develop a nice glaze. Also long enough for some of the fat to drip off.
They were excellent. Fall-apart tender. Bones slipped right out with nary a speck of meat left. But somehow, not mushy. Good flavor (I would’ve preferred a more assertive barbecue seasoning). All in all, good stuff. I cooked mac and cheese and something else, I forget what, with it.
The other recipe I’m indebted to my Memphis taste-tester, Len, for. He is a lover of all things bacon, and he’d perused a blog and found a recipe, which is really more of a technique, for chicken breasts wrapped in bacon. The blog would have you cut the breasts lengthwise into thirds, sprinkle them with seasonings, and roll them in bacon.
I had a family-sized package of chicken tenders. I coated them down fairly heavily in chili powder, curled a half-strip of bacon around each one, sprinkled the whole thing with brown sugar, and stuck them in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.
I am here to tell you: for the amount of work these entail (not much), and the time they take (again, not much), they are a damn fine weeknight entree. I doctored up a can of Bush’s Best baked beans (ketchup, mustard, garlic powder, barbecue sauce, bacon bits, sorghum molasses, after draining off the original icky stuff they’re packed in), sliced some tomatos, and mashed some potatos. Total prep and cooking, less than 45 minutes, and it was, if not a Sweet Baby Jesus meal, at least one that would make you invoke a saint or two.
Headed to Et-lanna this Sunday afternoon. There will be at least one meal at Murphy’s involved. I can only hope they still have the pork shank. Or the duck confit. Or the soft-shell crab. And the Orin Swift Prisoner wine. If they have two of the above, I may have two meals there.
Going to the farmers’ market tomorrow, if it’s not raining cats and dogs. Not that I’m going to get much, as I’ll be gone the better part of the week. Tomorrow I’ll be doing a little cooking to tide the kids over while I’m gone — enchiladas, a chicken pot pie (got a bird laid out to thaw that’ll go in the oven tomorrow to roast). Some buffalo burgers, since I got ground buffalo from the co-op today. And they can order pizza or go get fried chicken last night. I also have to bake a belated birthday cake tomorrow for NS, who was 17 on Thursday. And cook dinner for tomorrow night, the provenance of which is still undetermined.
Meanwhile, the Cards and the Braves are on TV, an event which would once have made me schizophrenic, before I settle back into my childhood allegiance to StL. So I will retire and watch TV, and you and y’mama ‘n ‘em can contemplate what else I should cook tomorrow.