Sunday, April 17, 2011

Soul Kitchen

Blobby has been back in cooking mode.  ....and I'm liking it.

I only alluded to one work change (might there be more than one?) coming up in the next few weeks.  I am employed, but there are not enough Cleveland employees to sustain the office and its expenses.  So beginning May 1, I will be working from home when I'm not traveling.

This is not necessarily a good thing for me.  It is not that I won't be productive, it's just that I need better structure:  a need to shower, dress, eat and actually stop doing work.  When I currently do days here and there from home, few of those things ever get done.   I will really miss the human interaction and my co-workers.  I do like them a lot.

Anyway I'm off topic.  Kind of.  When I start working from home, I can take a little time to start dinner so it's ready when the better-half gets home.  No, I don't feel like the wife in this scenario.  I like to cook.

So,  the other day I made two meals at once.  Or in succession.  Both recipes came from Bo's Bowl.  It seems he's been my go-to guy lately when trying new stuff.  So far nothing has come up a loser.

I mean, I don't do all his stuff, but the things I think I want to eat and can tackle, I do and with success.

First up (kind of) was Chipotle Shredded Beef Tacos.  You don't have to make tacos out of the meat, but it is what I did.  The prep was not horrible, but the cooking does take time - 2 - 2.5 hours.  It it not a meal to prepare when you get home from work if you want to eat in a timely manner.  This is why I prepped it and threw it in the oven.  The plan was to use it as a meal the following day.  ....and that's what I did.

The half can of chipotles was exactly the right amount.  I'm not the biggest fan of the chipotle, especially the fast food place (somewhere, Morty just passed out).  But in this dish it worked well. Very well. Smokey and spicy.  It leaves a nice slow, but constant burn. The perfect amount.

Easy Peasy on the prep.  The chuck roast, garlic, onion, tomatoes and the chipotle.  Cumin and brown sugar are included too, they just missed the photo shoot. 

Brown the meat.  Pretty much says all there is to say. The one I picked could have been a little leaner, but it is what they had at the time.

Pour all that prep work into the pan, cover the meat with it.  Cook for that 2.5 hours.  When it comes out you shred it with a fork.  

It makes a fuck of a lot of meat, so it's good for multiple meals or if you're having guests over.  We're still eating some of the leftovers.

Unlike Bo, I did not deep fry my own tortilla shells. I didn't have the time or inclination. But I did go with blue corn ones to make it look purdy.

For my waist, I opted not to purchase sour cream.  It's not needed.  Missed, but not needed.  I like sour cream.

But while that meat was cooking for the next day's dinner,  I still had to make dinner, so I went with another Bo suggestion:  Pork Tenderloin with a Maple Dijon Glaze.

Another easy prep. Shopping is the worst part.  How difficult is it to salt, pepper and thyme a pork loin and put it in a skillet?  Not very.

It seemed to take a longer time to get to the 150 degree mark than I thought it would and I fretted that the pork would be dry.  Quite the opposite, as it turned out.

While the pork rests, you deglaze the pan and make the sauce.  It's very very good even though you might not think maple and mustard go together.  I know I didn't.  I actually think the apple cider vinegar left a stronger flavour and in retrospect I would have cut back a little on the maple syrup or added more mustard.  But that's me.

 All the ingredients you'd need.  Simple, right?

Two one-pound loins makes two meals for two folks, or would serve four.  I'd have only bought one, but then I would have to figure out how to readjust the recipe for all the ancillary ingredients, and to be truthful, I just couldn't be bothered.

I forgot to take pictures of the sauce being made.  After it is, you just put the meat back in to mingle in it all.  It reheats nicely for a second meal too.

The pork is a little pink has a nice crust and glaze on it.  The meat was very juicy and very tender.

As you can see from the above picture, the side was applesauce.  Yes, pork and applesauce.  That was not my first choice.  I was going to roast asparagus, but I had to take the second rack out of the oven so I could fit that big-assed dutch oven full of chuck roast into our oven. I had no place to roast the veggies. 

I suggest anyone who cooks to check out Bo's site.  He has some good and easy prep things to make for dinner and such.

So working from home will have an upside. I don't mind the cooking or cleaning part.  I just hate the coming up with idea for dinner.  That's the hardest part.     and yes, ......that's what she said.

Song by:  Patti Smith


Cubby said...

I happy to see you cooking more. Happy for anyone to cook more, really. I'm going to check out Bo now...

anne marie in philly said...

if you have a slow cooker/crock pot, this will enable you to work while your dinner cooks. I use mine at least once a week.

and, as you say, at least you are employed. my spouse was out of work six months; he starts a new job tomorrow. and we managed to hang on to the house, and our sanity. but yeah, no contact with other humans sucks.

Bo said...

I don't think I could work from home...I would never get any work done...Glad it's giving you time to cook.

brian said...

Will this be an excuse to entertain more?
The recipe pictures look just delicious.
Bo has been added to my favorites list.

Mike said...

Can I admit to you that I have stove envy?

Best of luck to you with your new working from home situation. My partner works from our home office, and because he doesn't have the commute time that I do, often has dinner prepared (or at least ingredients on the counter ready to go) when I get home. Maybe an occasional Skype with colleagues, just to touch base with another human during the day? This would, of course, require you to shower and put on something other than sweat pants!

Ur-spo said...

it all sounds lovely/enviable to me.

david said...

That is a beautiful piece of meat and the same rare magenta as your sisters barn in the previous post. Good work with the iron horse.