Thursday, July 04, 2013

life made simpler

I had somehow convinced myself that I had two massive chunks of pork sirloin in my freezer. Turns out I was wrong. I had hoped to make pulled pork along with all the other meats I'll be featuring today, but it was not meant to be. And perhaps that's for the better: life is simpler this way, with one less thing to cook.

The menu:

1. Hot dogs with condiments: ketchup, mustard, relish, sriracha, shredded cheese. Simple, straightforward, phallic. I've got Hebrew National and Kirkland franks; the object of today's game will be to get those dogs a-boiling about two hours before my guests arrive. All this in an attempt to re-create a true ball-park ambience with well-boiled, swollen hot dogs just screaming to be slapped inside a bun and eaten with relish. Yes, that was a pun.

2. Regular Kevin-style hamburgers with condiments and fixins: ketchup, mustard, relish, BBQ sauce, cheese (bleu, Amurrican), lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles... and bacon. I'll be making a bacon bleu burger for myself; that's probably my favoritest burger in the whole dingle-damn double-wide world. My way of prepping burgers consists of mixing the ground beef with some salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and a splash of Worcestershire. This gives my burgers a great deal of umami. On occasion, I've been known to commit heresy and add bread crumbs to the mix, despite grillmaster Bobby Flay's scorn: according to Flay, adding bread to burgers effectively makes them meatloaf. I see his point, but other chefs note that bread helps to retain the meat's natural juices during cooking, resulting in moister meat. Today, though, I won't be adding any bread. We're going purist.

3. St. Louis pork ribs: prepped with spicy/smoky cinnamon rub, then broiled at the end with a reverently applied coating of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce—all served with a lustrous sheen (of sweat on my forehead). This choice of ribs is based on a commenter's recommendation. I had to do a bit of research into St. Louis ribs so I could know what I was getting into; it turns out that the salient features come down to two things: (1) the sternum has been removed, and (2) the ribs are given a no-nonsense rectangular cut. This makes them easy to handle and easy to slice, and offers a more even distribution of meat: no freaky pieces on the ends. The slab I bought from Costco yesterday is humongous; in carrying the ribs to the cashier, I felt as if I were hanging on to a dead pet, like a large dog. I should have given the ribs a name.

4. L.A. galbi: currently marinating (the ribs have been soaking all night) in a mixture of soy sauce, brown sugar, Cocoa Cola (to provide sweetness and acidic breakdown of tissue), sesame seeds, sesame oil, green onion, Korean red chili flakes, and ground garlic. These will be broiled later today, about an hour before my guests arrive. Using Cocoa Cola in the marinade, instead of another acid, is a modern Korean restaurant trick. I have high hopes for these ribs. David's wife Patricia has expressed her love of my galbi, so I know at least one hardy carnivore is looking forward to having them.

5. Galbi burgers: my secret weapon. Half of my ground beef plus a prodigious lump of home-ground galbi will be used to make some of the most delicious burgers man has ever known. If you've never treated yourself to a galbi burger, you should try one sometime before you die. The natural sweetness and tenderness of the Korean short ribs make for a much richer taste experience than the one you get with a typical burger, no matter how well that burger has been prepped. Galbi for the win!

Anything else to note? Ah, yes: I do love my potato bread, so the hot dogs and hamburgers will find themselves nestled in potato-bready goodness. David and Patricia, meanwhile, are bringing the sides and dessert; my buddy Dr. Steve will be bringing the libations. There's going to be a massive pile of food here in a few hours. I hope it weighs down my Korean table enough for me to proclaim this a true groaning-board feast.

Photos will appear either later tonight or sometime tomorrow evening.


1 comment:

Charles said...

Crikey that's a lot of meat!

And I was unaware of your love for potato bread. Next time we have you over I will have to make you my version.