Work with me here - if you’ve been to Mexico and eaten traditional barbacoa then move along - this is not that. If you read the ingredients and work backward to a proposed name you might come up with Latin pot roast. Naming and history challenges notwithstanding if you invest the very small time requirement to get this in the oven (or slow cooker) you will be rewarded with a house filled with glorious scents throughout the day and piles of succulent beef, rich in flavor and smokiness.
Occasionally I’ll look up and search my memory, certain that there is a ‘relaxed’ season, one where the days do not blend together in a swirl of chaos. Alas, I must be mistaken. I must have read about it somewhere.
It would probably be wrong to profess a love affair with a meal but pork bokum has had the family and extended clan swooning.
If your house is like mine there is always a congregation around the kitchen when preparing food with friends. Less so if it’s only family with teenagers :-( Our setup is pretty sweet with a bar height counter behind the stove so guests can be safely out of the work zone and still visit. We always try to put up some light appetizers, nuts, cheese, a dip of some sort etc.
I’ve been eating a lot of salad lately. Salad for lunches and most especially for breakfast. Yeah, I get it - if you’ve not had breakfast salads before you are questioning the play here. I look at it this way - the tang of vinegar and lightly pickled onion with the earthy bite of mixed greens with the smoky crunch of good bacon and dripping yolk of an egg is an awesome way to start the day. I wax on about the virtue of the breakfast salad sandwich here: Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich
In my house extra credit is always afforded to those that ‘use things up’. Scorn is generally heaped upon those that leave one spoon of ice cream in the container, one half of a mangled carrot in the bag or three sips of milk left in a cup. Given that I never suffer under the latter I’ll focus on the former.
We don’t often slow down enough or think deeply enough about why a particular dish works. Think about tuna salad - if you add sliced celery to the dish it provides a sharp contrast to the toothless tuna. Granola and fresh berries on yogurt does much the same. Contrasting textures enhance the way we perceive flavors. We know this experientially and evidently there are scientists working on quantifying and qualifying the same.
Kung Pao something - twice in one week, without premeditation and neither dish containing chicken must be a sign. Early in the week I had Kung Pao Calamari. The squid was dusted with Chinese five spice and topped with a gooey kung pao sauce. The heat from the peppers mixed with a dash of vinegar, salt from the soy and crunch of the peanuts and the bite of scallions covered the nooks and crannies of the perfectly fried calamari. It was a super successful dish (not from a gf/paleo perspective and I paid for it with a return of the wrist pain).
Have you seen Chef? It’s about a chef that rediscovers his passion for cooking (and his family) after losing his restaurant. There is a lovely scene in the movie where Jon Favreau (the chef) is cooking a solo meal for Scarlett Johansson. It’s a seduction scene and although no one gets naked I think all would agree that it’s a sensual scene.