Thursday, April 15, 2010

Evil Chocolate Brownies

As much as I love chocolate I have never been a member of the Cult of Chocolate Eaters. Out to dinner, I would order bread pudding over Death By Chocolate, or something like that, every day. But these brownies are like a gateway drug that leads straight to serious chocolate addiction. They are so dense and creamy that they deserve the word fudge in their name, but the slight crunch of the top and bottom and the little bit of cakeyness makes them still brownies. We recently ended up with 3 large ziplock bags packed full of these in our freezer and I went on a chocolate binge like I've never gone on before. It's so easy to take one or two out of the freezer after dinner, microwave for 15 seconds, pour a glass of milk, and you're done for. After a month of this I had to take them all to work. Thank goodness the recipe is 95% done. I don't think I'd last through much more recipe testing without heading down a dark (chocolate-tinted) path of self-destruction. The bad/good news - John wants to offer two different brownies and the testing for the 2nd (non-fudge) one hasn't even started.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Tale of Pork Ribs - From the Freezer Abyss

After mixing batch after batch of caramel and chocolate in our test kitchen, well....we got a little sugared out. Just a little. So we took a break from the sweets and decided to play around with dinner. I've been craving a good pulled pork sandwich ever since I went to Roy's BBQ the other day. First things first - the bun. I love good barbecue flavors soaked in a soft squishy bun. I made some tweaks to an already good bun recipe and thought it would be the perfect companion to the pork filling. These buns can really stand on their own. So buttery, so good. Sorry, I can't give you the recipe. These may be going on the menu.


I couldn't wait to eat one before the picture
I love grilling, but I didn't feel like hanging out it in the rain tending the coals. I wanted to do a little experimenting. I salt and peppered both sides of the pork spare ribs, rubbing in some ground cumin as well. I baked them for 20 minutes at 400, drained off the fat then put them in the slow cooker, with 1/2 cup lime juice and adding enough water to cover the meat. I cooked them on high for 5 hours and when they were done, the meat was tender but a little disappointing - not a whole lot of flavor. I mixed up some cilantro lime butter to mix into the meat which made the mediocre pork taste delicious. Next time I'll work on the pork recipe, and if that turns out great this sandwich will be fantastic.

Cilantro Lime Butter

4T butter
1 clove garlic (minced)
1/2 c lime juice
1/4 c cilantro (chopped)
1/2 t kosher salt
1/4 t black pepper
zest of 1 lime
  • Melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Add the garlic and cook until it browns. Pull off the heat and whisk in the remaining ingredients. Combine with the pork.
  • With this sandwich I made up a very simple cabbage slaw, tossing shredded cabbage with just oil, vinegar and a little salt and pepper.