Friday, July 30, 2010

Huli Huli Pizza

1 cup shredded pork
1 cup huli huli sauce
~1 lb pizza dough
pineapple chunks
chopped onion

Preheat oven to 450. Combine the shredded pork and huli huli sauce in a small saucepan and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Roll out the dough, cover it with the pulled pork mixture and top with cheese, pineapple and onion. Bake until browned and crispy.


I have to admit a certain amount of surprise that no one guessed I would be making pizza with the huli huli sauce, although Joanne did say pulled pork so that counts for something. Heh. But pizza is what I made and it was good, although honestly I like regular tomato sauce better. This was a bit too rich and sweet for my taste. My girlfriend liked it, although she also thought it rich too. Maybe the half pound of pork had something to do with that... hm.

A while ago I slow cooked and shredded a pork shoulder that was seasoned with just salt and pepper. Then I froze most of it in various portion sizes, one of which was about a cup worth. That's what I'm using here.

I poured the huli huli sauce in a skillet and heated it up a bit. Then I just plopped in the frozen pork, even though I really should have defrosted it first. I tossed it around over low heat until it had thawed and the sauce had thickened a bit. At which point it would be great for a sandwich or burrito. Just saying. But what I did was spread it on some pizza dough, generously topped it with cheese, onion and pineapple and tossed it in the oven. A short time later, I took it out. Lovely, isn't it? I did it in a pan because my peel broke some time ago and I was out of parchment paper. But it gave it some nice crust bits and really it's all good. This pizza was serious business, I could only eat half of it and that's really not that much for me. I've done pizzas with shredded bbq stuff before and it's always been good. And there was nothing really wrong with this one, it's just not a "why don't I sit down and eat an entire pizza by myself" kind of thing. More a "I'll have a couple slices, a salad and a nap"situation.

So I've met people who can't even take the thought of pineapple on pizza and people love it, where do you guys stand?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Huli Huli Sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1 cup pineapple juice
2 tbls packed brown sugar
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced (I used candied, as that's what I had)
1/2 tbl rice vinegar

Mix everything together in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and let reduce until it's thick, about 20-30 minutes.


"Huli!" the cooks holler (apparently), just before turning the ten foot long rigs laden with dozens of glazed chicken. The customers stand in the tropical sun, waiting for their sticky, sweet and garlicky lunch, smelling the woodsmoke and flower scented breeze. Or so I'm told.

See, I've never been to Hawaii. And between not being into beaches, fruity drinks, lava, giant bugs or tropical heat I've never been too interested in going. But now that I know there's a unique barbecue there to put in the "pro" column along with dancing girls I might just be into giving it a visit. Heh.

Huli huli is like a cross between barbecue and teriyaki sauce. I had never had it, but I read about it a while ago and was intrigued so decided to make some. I did a little research and it turns out there are tons of different ways to make it ranging from what looks like completely savory to sickly sweet. From what I've gathered it's traditionally put on chicken and huli huli apparently means "turn turn", "end over end" or something to that effect in reference to how it's cooked. So after being a schoolboy for a while I mixed and matched what I found and made this.

I don't usually do ingredient shots, but since there's only really one step to this I thought I would. You know, to pad out the post a bit.

Because all you do is take that stuff, put it in a pan and simmer it until it's thick. Then you use it like a sauce. What am I going to do with it? Well, you'll just have to wait and see, now won't you. Because I'm a mean man like that. Heh.

I liked it, although I can't vouch for it's authenticity. Who out there has had real huli huli sauce? If you have, what did you think of it?

Monday, July 26, 2010

I Went on a Trip

All those reposts a couple weeks ago were a cover for a trip I took with my girlfriend, my brother and sister in law. We went to Chicago and then did a little road trip to one of my sisters for a family reunion. It was a good time, lots of good food. The food in Chicago was particularly awesome, although I'm afraid I'm still not a fan of Chicago style deep dish pizza. I mean it looks good, but I just don't feel it. I really prefer my cheese on top and a lot less sauce. This here came from Gino's East and the flavors were all fantastic, it's just the assembly I take issue with. I did like the disc of sausage the size of the whole pizza though, that's a nice touch. Heh.

We also went to a restaurant called Heaven on Seven where I had, hands down, the best barbecue I've ever had. Unfortunately I didn't manage to get good pics of that stuff, but if you find yourself in Chicago I highly recommend it. They specialize in Creole (I think), but the barbecue was just unreal.

We took a piece of Route 66 during our trip and decided to stop at an old school burger place, the Launching Pad, complete with giant fiberglass eyesore. I got a burger and it was awesome.It's what I imagine fast food used to taste like, back in the day.

Chicago style deep dish is a bit of a love it or hate it thing and I want to know where people stand. Who likes it, who doesn't and why?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday Cats #62

I was going through my rather immense folder of cat pictures looking for stuff I haven't posted and came across these. This was at our last apartment and they loved to lay there in front of the bathroom door. They didn't often do it together though, which is why I took pictures.My girlfriend thinks they liked to be there because it was halfway between the kitchen and the living room, so it was the closet they could be to both of us when I was cooking and she was watching tv. Heh.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sloppy Joe Pizza

It's exactly what you think it is. I had some sloppy joe meat leftover one day and decided to make a pizza out of it. Good times, kids. The cheese is a mix of mozzarella and cheddar and I tossed some onion on there because I had some. Was it wicked good? Why yes it was, thanks for asking.

Heh, my girlfriend has referred to my pizza making style as "anything goes" which I think think is a perfectly good description. I'll put pretty much anything on some dough and top it with cheese. How about you guys, whats the weirdest thing you've put or had on pizza?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

This Frittata is a Mystery

My camera is still MIA but I found this in one of my many picture folders. I'm not... completely sure what it is, I think it's a fajita frittata.

I love saying that, fajita frittata. Try it, it's fun. Anyway, this is what I almost always make with fajita leftovers be they from a restaurant or ones I make myself. I don't think I've done a frittata post before and but I'll wait until I actually know for sure whats in it before I post a recipe. Seems like the responsible thing to do. Now I'm craving them though so it's only so long before that happens. Heh.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday Cats #61

Lounging. That's what me and the cats are doing today. Hope everyone elses day is as chill.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Pastrami Pizza

It's not even a little kosher, but damn is it good. When I was a teenager my best friend had a pizza shop near her house that put pastrami on pizza and we would get it all the time. It was awesome, thin strips of pastrami that got browned and crispy in the super hot pizza oven. Now that I'm making it myself I like to make sure each chunk of pastrami is a couple slices thick, because that way the top layer gets crispy and underneath it's still tender. Oh man, I think I need to make one this weekend, just thinking about it makes me want some!
Yeah, it's just going to have to happen. In fact, I encourage all of you to make one too, it's wicked good.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's Kind of Like Food Photo Archeology

So, I recently went on a little trip for a family reunion and got some pictures of wicked good food in Chicago. I was planning on doing a post about it on Monday, but I seem to have forgotten my camera back in the house my parents rented for the reunion.

Whoopsie. Fortunately it was found and is being mailed to me, but it does mean my plans are a bit shot until it arrive. I'm going to do some digging, I don't have a lot of stuff on my computer but I'm pretty sure I have some pictures I haven't posted yet.

In the meantime I did find this. Looks awful, doesn't it? Heh, date stamp and everything. It's actually the first picture I ever took with the intention of posting on the net. I don't think I ever did put it up, but I found it in a miscellaneous folder a while back so I figured I'd share it now since I have a good excuse. I think there were more photos involved, but this seems to be the only one I kept. Makes me wonder how the others turned out. Probably frightening. Heh.

Monday, July 12, 2010

WTF, Ham Salad.

No, that's not what it's called, it's more my reaction to said salad. See, I had never had ham salad before I made this and I have to say for something that is loaded with stuff I like I really wasn't impressed. Although it might have been my fault, which is why I'm asking you, my readers, for help. Perhaps I should start from the beginning.

I had a chunk of ham and I wanted to make salad out of it. So I did. I looked up several recipes, realized it was just like any other mayo based salad and just kind of whipped it up. It had mayo, mustard, pickles, some chunks of cheese, you know, good stuff like that. And it was way, way too rich.

I don't know if I added too much mayo, if I should have put the ham in a food processor to make the chunks smaller (I cubed it originally) or what but it was just too rich. I do think part of it is that I used too much mayonnaise. When I make chicken salad I expect the chicken to absorb a certain amount of it, but ham doesn't seem to do that so I miscalculated how much I needed a bit. I think. I also might have wanted to use a less smokey ham, the one I used was pretty strong. So, does anyone have a good recipe for ham salad? I want to not let one bad experience with it ruin it for me, but damn, it just wasn't very good.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday Cats #60

The other day the sun was just right for me to give Noodles bunny ears and take a picture.So I did.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Repost: Red Potato Salad with Bacon and Duck Eggs

This one is a no brainer for a cookout and of course you can use chicken eggs instead of duck. According to my girlfriend this was "the best potato salad ever". Can't ask for a better review than that!


All measurements are estimates I'm afraid, this was whipped up on the fly. Just adjust everything to taste.

2 lbs new red potatoes
1/2 cup diced sweet onion
2 hard boiled duck eggs
3 cloves of garlic
4 slices of thick cut bacon
2-3 tbls jarred pickle brine
1 tbl dijon mustard
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp dried tarragon
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the bacon and cut into 1/2" pieces. Peel the garlic and boil it and the potatoes until they potatoes are cooked. Pull out the garlic and mash it into a paste. Cut the potatoes into 1" cubes. Sprinkle the pickle juice evenly over the potatoes while they are still hot then let them cool completely. Mix together the garlic paste, onion, mayonnaise, mustard, tarragon, salt and pepper. Chop the eggs and fold them, the bacon, the potatoes and the dressing gently together until everything is coated. Let chill for at least an hour, overnight is best.


Here's a weird thing: I think this is the first potato salad I've ever made. How does a dude who has been cooking for virtually his entire life and loves barbecue manage to go this long without making potato salad? I'm not really sure and I was there for most of it. Part of it, certainly, is that my sister in law makes a kick ass one, which limits my need to make my own. But as for the rest... I just don't know.

So when my girlfriend comes home with some duck eggs (which are a post by themselves, they are from the same source as the fresh chicken eggs I got some time ago) and a request for potato salad I was kind of at a loss. She wanted me to make a recipe from America's Test Kitchen, but I couldn't find the magazine it was in and I'm not paying for a website that has the same recipes as the magazines I already have subscriptions to.

But that's a rant for another time.

What we could remember is that they sprinkled some pickle brine on the hot potatoes. And my girlfriend is a bit nutty about pickles. So I took that idea and made this.

First, of course, potatoes. I took a page from my moms mashed potato method and boiled some garlic cloves with them. This softens and mellows them and makes it easy to mash them into a paste. Mixing a little kosher salt in there helps the mashing too.In fact, it mellows the garlic a great deal so if you do it this way use at least twice as much as you would if it were raw (you can use roasted garlic instead, but not twice as much, this way just saves that step). Once the garlic was soft enough to mash and while the potatoes were finishing cooking I made the dressing. It was a bunch of mayo, that garlic paste, diced sweet onion, mustard, salt, pepper and tarragon. I love tarragon in mayonnaise based salad dressings, it's such a great combination. I also like sweet onions the best for these things, but use whatever you like.I also didn't measure anything. Again. And it sucks because the proportions came out perfect. Anyway, I chopped up the egg. Look at that. See how much yolk there is? Duck eggs are my new favorite. I pulled the yolk out of the white and chopped them separately. I wanted the yolk in bigger pieces so they wouldn't break up all the way when I mixed it up. But before I could get to mixing I had to chop up the potatoes. And then sprinkle them, while they were still hot, with pickle brine. You could use vinegar if you wanted, but the sweet zinginess (I used some from bread and butter pickles) from the brine was really good. Putting it on the potatoes hot makes it soak right in and not water down the dressing. Which is good. Then you need to let the potatoes cool completely before you mix it all together. Oh, I also made bacon. It doesn't really matter when it's made for stuff like this, you could make it the day before if you wanted. Since it's going to be soaking up the dressing for several hours the texture isn't going to be perfect no matter what. So why stress it? Anyway, once the potatoes have cooled, you want to mix it all up. Well, fold it gently so everything doesn't get all mushed. Unless you like it like that, then mush away. I briefly toyed with completely mixing the egg yolk into the dressing, but decided not to. I bet it would have been good, but I wanted chunks. Maybe next time I'll do half and half. Then it was chilled for several hours and that's that.Simple and awesome. My girlfriend said it was the best potato salad ever. She might be biased because of the bacon though.


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