Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Toddlers and stubborn potatoes

When does that baby/toddler switch officially happen? Is it when they turn one? When they start to walk? When they come home from highschool with a hickey?

For that matter, when does one cease to be a newlywed? Six months? A year? Two years? Until you stop calling each other Pooky in public?

Sigh. But I digress.

My baby had three cakes on her birthday:
1. A white cake, dyed pink, with mini chocolate chips and green icing, baked in a bowl... can you picture it? A watermellon cake!
2. A raspberry ganache cake. Chocolate cake, saturated with ganache, mixed with fresh raspberries, frosted with ganache. Oh, so chocolately rich and sinfully decadent.
3. A white cake with pink whipped cream frosting for smashing and smearing.

For lunch, we had pulled pork sandwiches with three barbecue sauces on the side, corn on the cob, green salad, potato salad with vinaigrette dressing and fruit. Those who don't eat pork had optional sliced turkey breast with wich to make their sand. (haha)

I made the pork with boston butt in the crock pot. First, I trimmed the silver skin and the worst of the fat. Yes, I know they say that's the source of the flavor, but trust me, it was plenty flavorful and moist. Then I liberally applied a spice rub of brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt and crushed black pepper. The pork was loaded into the crock, then covered with a mixture of half water, half apple cider vinegar. It then cooked, on low, for three years.

No, not really. More like 36 hours, although it spent the last 10 or so on "warm" instead of low. It was falling apart so much, we couldn't even flip the pieces of pork. I pretty much stirred it to "pull" the pork. Awesome.

The first sauce was store bought Kraft original, to give the grand parents and others a recognizable sauce. Then we made the passion fruit chipotle sauce (which has already been blogged about) and a Carolina style sauce. The latter was the hands-down favorite, and was a real cinch to make. Yellow mustard, cider vinegar, honey, a touch of hot sauce, soy (a last minute stand in for worchestire) and black pepper. It was tangy but not hot-spicy. My mom tried to save the left overs, but my snacking family devoured most of it picking at the pork all afternoon. Even Darling Husband, who generally eschews mustard sauces, enjoyed a little mixed in with his searing hot chipotle sauce.

By far the strangest thing to happen, though, was the Unboilable Potatoes. I bought red potatoes, then peeled and cubed them. I boiled them until fork tender. I admit, at this point, I was exhausted and may not have been as diligent as I should've been at testing the doneness. Likely they were undercooked. I say this because to say otherwise would suggest a vast shift in fundamental laws of the universe.

Once done, I threw them in a zip top bag and splashed a touch of vinegar on them to flavor. I planned to further assemble the salad the next morning. The next morning, however, when I went to toss the potatoes in with the shallot, egg and vinaigrette, I was shocked that my potatoes were basically raw. I dug them back out of the bowl and put into water to soften. They probably cooked a half hour before I had to hurry and get to my mother's for the party. On the way, I called and asked her to get a pot of water boiling to finish the damn things. They boiled a further forty minutes and STILL were very al dente and undercooked. I was about to toss them but Darling Husband persevered and in the end, we had barely cooked potato salad.

I have no idea what caused this, except that maybe the vinegar sealed the potato pieces somehow and prevented them from cooking? It's a reach.

Anyone else ever heard of Uncookable Potatoes?

1 comment:

  1. How about trying that shoulder in the slow cooker with only some dry rub and liquid smoke? We wrote a book about it and the pulled shoulder is fantastic. So is the brisket. Check it out at thanks. R.B. Quinn