When I was younger, I was told I was “unmarriageable” for I couldn’t cook a single thing on my own, nor had I any interest in learning how to cook. My mom says now that I got married young just to prove her wrong. But after 3.5 years of marriage, I realize that she was in some ways kinda right (don’t you hate saying that??). Food is indeed the way to a man’s heart! And after moving to Paris, the only things the hubby likes to eat are foods that reminds him of home. He pretty quickly abandoned croissants and pains au chocolat for his good ol’ PB and J sandwiches, adds tabasco sauce to his boeuf bourguignon or steak frites (no kidding!) and would tell any of you that corn bread tastes so much better than baguette. I’m not saying the man isn’t adventurous. He’s tried everything from Andouillette to frog legs, from escargots to Epoisses cheese, and from rognons de veau (veal kidneys) to beef tongue…. And would still appreciate having any of those every once in a while… well maybe not the Andouillette (something about the manure taste, he says…).
So, what’s a French girl to do to please her american husband on a cold saturday night??? Well, make Barbecue!
On the menu were:
- Cheddar Jalapeno Poppers
- Southern Pulled Pork Sandwiches with homemade Hallah buns
- Oven Baked beef Brisket
- Sweet Potato Fries
- Homemade Plantain Chips
- and Panna Cotta for dessert!
First off, Southern Pulled Pork:
I borrowed the recipe from BeanTown Baker. I first made the rub mixing the following spices:
- 2 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2-3 tablespoons sucanat
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 4 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons table salt
I then removed the fat from the 2 pork loins I bought (don’t you think French Pork loins look awefully cute?). I cut the bigger one in two equal pieces. I then massaged the spice rub into the 3 big meat chunks (I did this in the crockpot to limit messes). I then added 1/2 cup of water and 1 tsp of liquid smoke. Then turned the slow cooker on low and cooked for 8 hours (until meat was fork tender).
When cooked, I shredded the meat with a fork. I chose not to discard the liquid that remained in the crockpot since it helped make the meat more moist. I then added about 1 cup of Spicy BBQ Sauce (from the Salt Lick, Texas!) and cooked on low for another hour.
It turned out really good, and the husband said, very authentic! (and quite messy, too)
The Pulled Pork was served with Challah buns made by my sister:
- 1 lb flour
- 3/4 cup water
- Yeast disolved in warm water
- 1 egg
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 4 Tbsp salt
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover the dough with a cloth and let it stand for 1,5 hours. Then form into buns, spread some egg with a brush over each bun and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
The sis brought them to our place in this neat foil lined cardbox!
She made 2 batches of these buns. One batch of classic ones with only white flour and the other one with half whole wheat/ half white. The white ones were lighter in texture and tasted a little sweeter but I liked the nutty flavor of the brown buns.
And the final product: the Pulled Pork Big Mac!!!!!
The oven baked beef brisket was really just an experiment. I had no idea of what I was doing!
- 1 two-pound untrimmed brisket
- 1 tablespoons of salt
- 1 tablespoons of black pepper
- 2 teaspoons cayenne
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 onion cut into slivers
- 1/4 cup reduced salt soy sauce
- 1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup liquid smoke.
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.
Mix together the salt, black pepper, cayenne and crushed garlic, and rub all over brisket.
In a large roasting pan, add the slivered onions, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 cup of the liquid smoke, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar.
Place the brisket in the pan, fat side up. Cover the pan tightly with foil, and bake in the oven for 5-6 hours.
For a first, it was not bad at all… The meat was tender and the flavor very interesting. I don’t think liquid smoke would fool any BBQ connaisseur, but it’s just what you need to bring back some memories of Texas to a tiny parisian kitchen.
The Cheddar Jalapeno Poppers were seriously DECADENT!!!! And also seriously unhealthy but who cares, right??? They were fun and easy to make. Actually they were a last minute thing we put together, just for fun.
- About 12 jalapenos, seeded
- Cheddar cheese
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1, 5 cup crushed unsweetened corn flakes
Stuff Jalapenos with (a lot of) cheddar cheese. Dip each stuffed jalapeno into the egg then roll into the flour. Allow them to dry for a few minutes then dip again in the egg mixture and finally in the crushed corn flakes to coat. In a medium skillet, heat the oil to 365 degrees F (180 degrees C). Deep fry the coated jalapenos 2 to 3 minutes each, until golden brown.
Oh, Boy!!!! ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..:)
The sides were good but left mostly untouched by the meat-hungry men:
Origano sweet potato fries and parsnip fries (baked):
And Homemade Plantain Banana Baked Chips:
For dessert, I made Stefan’s favorite: Panna Cotta.
Panna cottas are incredibly easy to make and always a hit. I like to make them with low fat half and half instead of heavy cream. I serve it with a “coulis de Framboise” (puréed raspberries) and use small glass cups for the girls and big ones for the boys!
I used a recipe from David Lebovitz!
- 4 cups low fat half and half
- 1/2 cup (100g) sugar (you can add more if you like)
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise + 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 tsp of powdered gelatin or 12 sheets
- 6 tablespoons (90ml) cold water
- Heat the half and half and sugar in a saucepan. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.If using a vanilla bean, scrape the seeds from the bean into the cream and add the bean pod. Cover, and let infuse for 30 minutes. Remove the bean then rewarm the mixture before continuing.)
- Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a medium-sized bowl and let stand 5 to 10 minutes.
- Pour the very warm Panna Cotta mixture over the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
- Divide the Panna Cotta mixture into the prepared cups, then chill them until firm (about 3 hours)
Instead of vanilla, you can use natural almond extract or Amaretto. I also once made these with Baileys Irish Creme…. Yummy!
Dinner was served with some California Cab, that turned out being perfect for the meal:
But I have to say that a cold Shiner or two would have been even better!!!!
I think I did pretty good controling my portions that night. I had half a small whole wheat bun with pulled pork, a couple slices of beef, one (or 2 ;)) poppers, a couple fries, and a mini Panna Cotta, along with one or two glasses of wine. I have so much leftovers, that I think Travis is going to be eating pull pork wraps for a week! 🙂
Good night yall! Hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed our Family dinner. See you soon!