Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My favourite Cookie...

Well one of them at least...

And I would be talking about my moms Crackle Top PB Cookie... see I told you I would post it... I just took my sweet time... lol

This is one that I remember my mom baking for us for all the bake sales at the school... or just for a sweet treat at home... always a favourite in our house, alongside the shortbread recipe...

Crackle Top Peanut Butter Cookies
[If you have a food allergy to pb, obviously dont make this...]

3/4c peanut butter
3/4c margarine
3/4c sugar
3/4c brown sugar
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1t vanilla
1 3/4c flour
1/2t baking soda
1/2t salt

granulated sugar

Cream together marg, and sugars, blend in the egg, vanilla as well as the peanut butter. Sift in the flour, salt and baking soda, mixing well to incorporate the batter into a stiff dough.

Wrap the dough in plastic and chill in the fridge for 20-30m.

Using a dessert spoon, form small balls of dough, and roll them in the granulated sugar you have set aside. Place this on an ungreased cookie sheet about 1/2 - 1 inch apart to keep from becoming one large cookie.

Bake at 375 deg for about 10-12 mins, you are looking for the edges to brown up, and the little dough balls to fall into a more cookie like shape, with a crackle top.

Pull them out of the oven and let them cool/set [they will fall apart into a molten hot pile of pb goo if you try to eat one before they are cool enough...]

Yields about 24-48 cookies [yeah large gap there, it really is based on how large you roll out the dough balls]

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It was my birthday I will post what I want to!

Ha Ha

Well it was my birthday back on the 2nd of March [last Wednesday] and while I was going to put in a recipe for my Crackle Top PB Cookies, I am going to put those on the back burner right now and post up my birthday menu from this past weekend.

For my birthday menu I had some friends over and made a really tasty pulled pork, with a Nearly Nicoise Salad, some Pork Dumplings [see Potsticker Recipe].

So here is my recipe for Pulled Pork.

First is choosing the perfect hunk of meat, I use a nice Shoulder or butt with skin intact. I also head to my favourite butcher who knows the best cuts of meat. You will want to avoid loins or lean meats as it will not allow for shredding when it is all done. And aim for about 1/2lb of meat per person to insure there is enough.

For this I used a 6lb Pork Shoulder with skin on.


Pork Shoulder

1c brown sugar
garlic powder
cayenne pepper or smoked paprika

white vinegar
hot sauce

Now the how to...

Take that lovely piece of meat, and pat it completely dry with paper towels. Using a sharp knife, cut the skin on a diagonal [making a diamond pattern].

In a separate bowl [or using a ziplock bag] mix together the dry spices to create a spicy and sweet BBQ rub. The base is brown sugar, taste after you mix it all together testing for the right spice mixture. I use very little salt [about 2T and 4T of fresh cracked pepper].

Using about half the spice mix, rub it into the pork, massaging the spice into the meat. Stick this into your slow cooker skin side down and turn it on high with about 1/4c of water to keep from sticking. Cover and let cook for the next 2 hours.

While this is happening I mix up my wet sauce, into a pot I drop the remaining dry rub, about 1/2c ketchup, 1/4c white vinegar, 2T hot sauce [or more depending on personal taste], 4T liquid honey, and about 2T or butter [which gives the sauce a glossy finish]. I bring this mixture to a nice boil, adding any liquid from the slowcooker to the sauce to thin it out and help develop its flavour.

At 2 hour mark I add in half of my wet sauce to the slow cooker, mixing everything together, leave it on low for the next 12-24 hours. after all the time, I will pull apart the pork shredding it with two forks. pulling out any bones and the fatty skin [while eatable, I personally pull it out]. at this point I will also add in the rest of the sauce and stir it in to combine.

Serve it on a kaiser roll or bun of choice.... its delicious!

Nearly Nicoise Salad
~serves 8

1 can Chick peas, drained
1 med Cucumber, diced
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes, halved
3 Avocadoes, diced
1 Red Pepper, diced
½ Green Pepper, diced
2 Carrots, shredded
2 c Corn Kernels
6 Eggs, hard boiled and diced

Juice of 3 Lemons [approximately ¼ c]
Lemon zest
1/3 head of fresh Dill, finely chopped
½ c Olive Oil
Cracked Pepper
½ hoof crushed Garlic

Toss together the vegetables in a large salad bowl [I like to use my hands to keep the avocado from becoming mushy]. In a separate bowl or measuring cup whisk together lemon juice, zest, dill, pepper and garlic. While mixing, pour oil in a steady stream using approximately ½ c of olive oil [I use extra virgin for a smoother and lighter taste]. You want to have the dressing come together to create a creamy looking emulsion. Pour dressing over salad and toss once more to ensure to incorporate dressing throughout the layers.

Some optional ideas;

To make it closer to an actual Nicoise salad, add in black olives, pitted and halved along with 1 can tuna, drained.

Can use other herbs such as Parsley, Coriander or Chives for different flavour combinations.