Does This Make My Butt Look Big?

| August 30, 2009

For some people, parties, barbecues, and dinner parties are wonderful excuses to show off the new dress or handbag. For me, the best part is, of course, the food. However, more than just piling my plate is the comfort and camaraderie of sharing a meal prepared by, purchased by, presented by friends and friends-to-be. Party food can be as complicated as a 10-hour meat smoke or a simple transformation of everyday ingredients…here are some ideas…

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When you have all day
Yesterday, my friend and his housemates invited a bunch of people over to their new house for a serious, no-joke, smoked pork butt party. Following the Renowned Mr. Brown‘s method, four 3-lb. pork butts were rubbed with Southern Succor Rub (recipe below) and slow-smoked for over 10 hours at 250 degrees. Then it was pulled apart by hand.

pigbutt

Oh.

My.

Gosh.

I have never eaten better pork. And I’ve eaten lots of pork. It was tender, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth obscenity. It was so good, I’m drooling as I write. I mean, good as in I almost needed to excuse myself to a private room to experience this pork in ecstasy. No sauces or condiments is necessary. I HIGHLY recommend this if you have a big bbq or gathering.

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Southern Succor Rub
(source: Smoke & Spice by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison)
1/4 cup ground black pepper
1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup Turbinado sugar
2 Tablespoons table salt
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Mix ingredients thoroughly. Makes enough rub for one pork butt.

When you have no time
Sometimes, you do not have all day to nurture a pork butt. Here are two REALLY, REALLY easy recipes with ingredients you could easily find in your pantry or refrigerator. For a potluck after work last week, I transformed what I usually make for lunch into two big party hits.

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Chicken Salad Crostini
1 bone-in chicken breast (I like with skin on)
Organic mayonnaise
Green onions, chopped
Coarse salt
Pepper
Seedless grapes
Crostini

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Season chicken breast generously with coarse salt and pepper
3. Roast chicken for about 25-30 (skin will puff up nice and crispy)
4. Let chicken cool and then shred chicken in pieces
5. Add mayonnaise
6. Add green onions
I kid you not. That is it. I usually keep some in a Pyrex for an easy-to-prepare lunch. I’m not a huge celery fan, and this is a simple, delicious recipe perfect for any time of year. To fancy it up:
8. Put chicken salad on crostini
8. Add sliced grapes

hamcheese

Ham and Cheese Square
(adapted by the Barefoot Contessa’s Ham and Cheese in Puff Pastry)
1 lb black forest ham
Slices of Pepper Jack cheese
Apricot jam or marmalade
1 can buttermilk biscuit

Note: The original recipe calls for puff pastry and mustard. The buttermilk biscuit is not as puffy as puff pastry, but I only had time to go to one store and I wasn’t willing to spend $12 on the only fancy puff pastry available. So I replaced it with ready-made, all natural buttermilk biscuit. I also don’t like mustard much, and the apricot adds a lovely counter-sweetness that livens the ham.

1. Preheat to 450F
2. Roll out buttermilk biscuits to two equally-sized flat rectangles
3. Spread apricot jam on on sheets
4. Generously layer ham, then cheese, then ham to amount desired
5. Spread another layer of apricot jam
6. Cover with second pastry sheet and seal at edges
7. Bake for about 10-12 minutes until golden brown
8. Flip (it’s a bit tough, so use parchment paper to make flipping easier) and return to oven until other side is golden-brown (about 10-12 minutes)
9. Cool and cut into squares

These were a big hit and they didn’t take very long or require much prep time.

So whether you have all day or 1 hour or 10 minutes to run into the store to pick up a ready-made cake, don’t forget that what makes a party is good conversation, good energy, and good food. Plus, when everyone is eating and having a lively discussion about the most recent episode of Mad Men, they really won’t care whether your dress is making your butt look fat.

They’re too busy blissfully eating lovingly-smoked and generously-shared pork butt.

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Category: Appetizers, Communities, Featured Articles: Travel & Culture, Main Dish - Land and Sea, Piedmont NC, Recipe Vault, Travel & Culture, US & Canada

About the Author (Author Profile)

With a flair for spontaneity, pizzazz, creative excellence and her own unique sense of aesthetic grace and perspective, we have our very dear friend, Belinda (or B, to some of us). Although an incredibly accomplished professional and career woman, B’s down-to-earth approach and demeanor transcends all scenarios, communities and people. She manifests, in her day-to-day, the essence of the word “Zomppa” as demonstrated by her extraordinary commitment to creating sustainable and positive change for us and future generations to come. She’s asked for a dog every year since she was five. Check out Belinda’s work on global education research and coaching: www.hummingbirdrcc.com or more about her portfolio www.belindachiu.com.

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