Why, make yourself a Lime Crystal Geyser/IKEA Lingonberry syrup/Costco champagne spritzer, of course!
Then have another pulled pork sandwich.
And make some curry chicken salad to bring to work this week (although the bowl takes up too much space in the ever-exploding fridge).
What are Sunday afternoons for if not for strange drinks and adventures in cooking?
The Thursday night root beer pulled pork experiment went swimmingly. I got the idea from this allrecipes.com page, but did a little altering after reading through the comments. I bought two boneless pork shoulders (can’t remember how many pounds total…7? more?) for about $1.50/pound. Way better/cheaper than the tenderloin the recipe calls for. I put them in the crock pot, fatty side up, and poured a decent amount of root beer in with them (maybe 1/2 way up the pork). And then I closed the lid. Since I was a little worried about the liquid that would boil off, possibly having something to do with my recent scorching of a pan while steaming broccoli incident and my minimal crock pot knowledge, I put it on low for 4 hours and asked my roommate to switch it to high when she left the house, so for a total of about 5 more hours. When I got home, I was supposed to pull the pork out to shred it on a cutting board. No chance. It was already falling apart nicely. So I took out the fatty part on top, used a fork directly in the pot to do some shredding, and then spooned off a bowlful of root beer, since I had really overestimated how much would evaporate. Rather than mixing the barbecue sauce in, I decided the massive amount of leftovers (remember, exploding fridge syndrome?) would be more versatile if they remained sauceless. Put Kraft Original and Sweet Baby Ray’s on the table next to the hamburger buns and totally cheap and freakishly tasty dinner for 6 (or 8 or 12) was served.
So here’s the recap:
Root beer infused pulled pork
boneless pork shoulder or pork butt, maximum amount depends on size of crock pot
root beer (I bought a 2 liter because it’s cheaper, but a can or two would do)
Put pork in crock pot fatty side up. Pour root beer over top.
Close crock pot lid. Place on high for 5-6 hours or low for 8ish hours, or some combo of the two.
An hour or so before serving, take fatty parts out and shred the rest with a fork. If it’s too soupy, spoon out some root beer. Add barbecue sauce now and allow to simmer in crock for a while, or let people add their own sauce. Serve on toasted buns.
This would be awesome for the Super Bowl, if you’re into such things. (just had to Google whether it was this weekend or next…)
(I’d like to note here that this was crock pot week around here – bison stew at a friend’s on Tuesday, root beer pork on Thursday, some kind of Mexican elk dish last night at my cousin’s. All really tasty. Hello, comfort food!)
As for the chicken salad, I did my normal lazy winging it as I go along and it turned out pretty well.
Curried chicken salad (adapted from Core Balance Diet cookbook section)
About 1 lb. cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced (I might have used less?)
1/2-3/4 c. sour cream, depending on how creamy you like things
1/2 apple, diced (I used a Pink Lady, since it was cheap and, let’s be honest, I like the name)
1-2 ribs of celery, chopped
10 or so grapes, halved lengthwise (these I added because I accidentally bought them, thinking they were part of this recipe)
1/2 tsp. curry powder
salt and pepper
Mix all ingredients in medium bowl (or whatever might fit in your fridge). Allow to cool before serving. Good for 3 days or so in the fridge.
Seeing as how tomorrow is the last day of January, I’m spending my day trying to finish up a few last minute things on my January to-do list. My to-dos are very segmented – things one can do when it’s dark outside and things one can do when it’s light outside and you’re home (aka weekends before 5 pm). I won’t finish everything, but at least I can make some progress.
Then it might be a good night for leftovers, as tempted as I am to make something fun while the snow swirls around outside. Just realized that I have a crock pot Fix It and Forget It cookbook, otherwise known as about 45 recipes with 100 variations. The massive bag of tater tots in the freezer might just be calling out for the Tater Tot Casserole…