Friday, May 25, 2018

today's luncheon

In my rush to finalize prep and get to the office, I completely forgot to take along my huge pile of potato chips, so I bought some on site. Aside from that, today's luncheon went well. Below are some highlights of the prep, and the final two pics give you an example of what the pulled-pork sandwich is supposed to look like (pickle on top or slaw on top? I let the diners decide).

First up: the slider buns, which are actually Costco dinner rolls, perfectly slider-sized. I halved, buttered, and toasted 45 of these bad boys on the assumption that 15 people would eat three sliders each. As it turned out, I forgot that Koreans are skinny because they eat like birds, so I had plenty of leftovers. Quite a few people had no more than two sliders. Still, as the boss noted, it's better to bring too much than to bring too little.

Toasted buns, which tasted great (I did half of them in my new stainless-steel pan):

Below, a better shot of teh pr0k, completely prepped. I started with over 4 kg of raw shoulder and neck; when I did a rough weighing of the fully processed, de-fatted pork, the weight was around 3.2 kg. That's a lot of fat to have removed. Da pig:

From Costco, I picked up a variety pack of deli cheeses, which I sliced in half to make the pieces more slider-friendly:

Below: my special, one-time-only blend of three barbecue sauces:

The cole slaw was fun to make. I grated and minced a fat carrot, then broke down a gigantic head of cabbage, then made my go-to cole-slaw sauce, a formula so simple that, once I discovered it, I haven't deviated from it since. Ready for the recipe? About 2-3 parts mayonnaise, 1 part pickle juice, and some cracked black pepper. Simple. Easy. And plausibly cole-slaw-ish. Behold:

At Star Super, the only sliced pickles in stock were this German brand. I had to look up knackig, which means "crunchy," as it turns out. Schnitten means "slices."

In an act of utter randomness, I also brought a load of chicken curry to the luncheon. I had made myself a ton of the stuff, and I wanted to get rid of it quickly because I knew I couldn't take curry to work several days in a row: the odor would start to annoy my coworkers. On the one day that I did bring a serving of curry in, I had to endure stage-whispered comments like, "Smells like curry!" and "Ooh, what's that smell?" Most of the comments were complimentary since everyone was already familiar with curry, but I felt self-conscious all the same.


Here's the first shot of a completed slider:

And here's the final shot of the series: a slider from a food-porny angle:

Lots of compliments from the Korean coworkers we'd invited, and one of my Canuck coworkers said my curry was "the best ever." One cautious, picky American coworker even tried cole slaw for the first time and said he liked it. Too bad the Koreans didn't eat more, but I also have to feed the native-speaker teachers later this evening, so we're not done yet.

The damage report:

Meat = about 50% remaining
Bread = of 45 rolls, only about 10 left
Cheese = about 50-60% remaining
Cole slaw = about 50% remaining
Curry = about 40% remaining (now boxed and fridged)

I need to be a better judge of stomach size, I think. That skill would definitely save me some money. But as it is, things aren't tragic: I've got plenty of leftovers to make plenty more sandwiches, and when the bread runs out, I can buy a small pack of tortillas and make pulled-pork quesadillas. Positive outcomes are where you make them.

UPDATE: a new damage report!

I fed the native-speaker English teachers, and some of the IT team came back at dinnertime for seconds! So the new numbers are now these:

Meat = about 25% remaining
Bread = of 45 rolls, only 2 left
Cheese = about 40% remaining
Cole slaw = about 15% remaining
Curry = nothing left (a coworker took the rest home to his girlfriend for a shared dinner)


John John McCrarey said...

Damn, that looks good. You going to give Linus a run for his money someday?

Kevin Kim said...

I've told my buddy Charles, rather immodestly, that of the various pulled porks I've tried thus far—Linus's and Manimal's and Joe McPherson's—I like mine the best. I can't say that about any other BBQ-related cuisine: all of those restos kick my ass when it comes to roasted chicken, rib racks, and brisket (which I've never attempted to make).

It could simply be that, because I control the cooking process, the pork comes out exactly the way *I* like it. And this isn't to say that those restaurants serve bad pulled pork—not at all. I just happen to like my own the best.

As to whether I might start up a restaurant... well, I'd have to find a non-duplicitous business partner because I have no head for business. That said, I don't think that working in the food industry would be my thing: way too much stress and pressure with way too slim of a profit margin. Then again, who knows? If I were to start up my own restaurant, maybe it would take off. Maybe I should try for a food truck, eh?

hahnak said...

i'll queue right up if you start a truck. i've always wanted to try your cooking, but alas, don't know you well enough to ask. a truck would be perfect. your coworkers are lucky!

you might consider doing one of those underground pop up dinners. you figure out how many people you want to serve, figure out a date, secure a place to cook and feed, and get some confirmations along with a set amt of $, say $20 a pop or $50 or whatever to cover costs and make a little profit, yet be attractively priced cause ya need to bring people in.

Kevin Kim said...

A pop-up is an interesting idea, Hahna! That's how Linus BBQ started off: with rooftop pop-ups.