Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tailgating, it's not just for football

While many tailgate I venture to say none compare to the frequency or voracity of Texas tailgaters, for example, at any given Longhorn sporting even you are likely to see many RVs decked out (I know that's normal), a school bus or two that have been purchased and converted to classic cars be-decked with Horns, it's Texas, everything is bigger. However, tailgating is not simply limited to football, baseball, basketball, volleyball and just about every other sporting event imaginable can be celebrated at a tailgate. Frankly anything can be celebrated at a tailgate, one of the funniest (and scariest) things I've read lately on Wikipedia "(tailgating) is also used at non-sporting events such as weddings and other non-sports-related barbecue gatherings."

While I'm not about to propose wedding tailgating, to illustrate my point, we recently tailgated a regatta my boyfriend participated in! While that was celebrated at a local restaurant, we did tailgate the Longhorn football game this past weekend, while the Horns came out a little worse for the wear we at least enjoyed some tasty food and nice cold beer.

Our tailgate was an amazing combination of foods, some of which I have Hormel and Foodbuzz to thank for! In mid October Hormel and Foodbuzz sent out an invitation to participate in the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program by sharing Hormel products with friends and family (I know I get all the tough jobs!) so tasty pork dishes were my contribution to the Tailgate fare!

First, using the Hormel Always Tender Original Pork Tenderloin, Jalapeno-Honey Glazed Pork Kebabs.

Jalapeno-Honey Glazed Pork Kebabs

1 12-ounces pork tenderloin
1/3 cup honey
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 fresh jalapeno chile peppers, seeded and finely chopped*
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
2 Medium Red Onions, Cut into Chunks
1 Cored, Cubed Pineapple

1. Trim fat from pork. Place pork in a resealable plastic bag set in a shallow dish. For marinade, in a small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, the chopped jalapeno peppers, the ginger, and crushed red pepper. Pour marinade over pork. Seal bag; turn to coat pork. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours, turning bag occasionally.
2. Drain pork, reserving marinade. Cube pork and place place on skewers interspersed with pineapple and red onion.
3. Grill until pork is cooked through, brushing with marinade periodically.
4. Oven Directions: Prepare as directed in steps 1 and 2. Place pork on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast in a 425 degree F oven for 25 to 35 minutes or until juices run clear (160 degree F), brushing once with reserved marinade after 10 minutes of roasting. Discard any remaining marinade.

In addition, with some of the bite-sized Hormel Turkey Pepperoni's some Mini-Pepperoni Rolls, you might recognize the dough as the same dough my Mom and I used in our Foccacia:

Bite-Sized Pepperoni Rolls

1/2 Batch of Olive Oil Dough (recipe below)
2 Packages Hormel Turkey Pepperoni bite-sized
1/2 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 Tbsp Dried Oregano
1 Tbsp Dried Basil

1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Using 1/2 of Olive Oil Dough, roll out a large rectangle, cover rectangle with a mixture of cheese, pepperoni and spices, roll dough carefully keeping all ingredients inside of the roll.
3. Cut roll into hand-sized pieces, brush top with egg wash.
4. Grease a cookie sheet with olive oil or line with parchment paper. Bake 20 minutes (or until golden brown). Brush tops of rolls with melted butter or olive oil if desired.

Olive Oil Dough
Makes 4-1lb loaves.

2-3/4 cups lukewarm water
1-1/2 tablespoon granulated yeast
1-1/2 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1. Mix the yeast, salt, sugar, and olive oil with the water in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container.
2. Mix in the flour without kneading.
3. Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.
4. The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 12 days.

For this crowd I doubled up both recipes, serving two tenderloins worth of kebabs and a double batch of pepperoni rolls it was a tasty treat for our tailgate!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Oktoberfest Braised Pork Chops with Apple Gravy

One last German recipe, no real story here it was just really tasty so I wanted to share!

Oktoberfest Braised Pork Chops with Apple Gravy
4 Center Cut Boneless Pork Chops
2 Tbsp Butter
Salt & Pepper
1 12oz Bottle Shiner Oktoberfest
1 1/2 Cup Apple Cider
1 Large Braeburn Apple, Sliced
1/2 Medium Sweet Onion, Sliced

1. Heat large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat with butter. Salt and pepper both sides of pork chops and then sear in skillet.
2. Remove pork chops from skillet, saute onions and apple until browned then return pork chops to skillet.
3. Pour cider and beer in skillet and allow pork chops to cook approximately 30 minutes (or until done).
4. After pork is done remove it from the skillet and allow it to rest. Reduce braising liquid by 1/2.
5. Serve pork over apple and onion and dressed with reduced sauce.

Roasted Butternut Squash
1 Small (1lb) Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
2 Tbsp Sage, Chopped

1. Preheat oven to 425. Toss squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 40 minutes.
2. Remove from oven, toss sage over the top and then return to oven for another 15 minutes.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Gypsy Food Trailer Picnic 2010

Living in Austin is always an adventure, we've got a wide variety of activities and eating options available to us but we're becoming well known for two things: food trailers and live music. Given this, it should come as no surprise that on November 6 the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM) put together the first annual Gypsy Picnic Trailer Food Festival. HAAM is a very cool organization that puts together a few large events each year to help support their mission which is to assist local professional musicians who are uninsured, receive for low-cost primary health care services, basic dental care and mental health counseling, a very worthy cause. HAAM pulled together 30+ food trailers/vendors who came from all over the city along with a great line up of live music at Auditorium Shores.

The weather was stunning, cloudless, sunny and in the 70s but the lines were insane! This event had no admission fees, couple that with a $3 tasting portion available at all of the trailers (as well as select items from their regular menus) and you get TONS of people! One local news station reported thousands of people were in attendance with people waiting 20 minutes or more in line and vendors running out of food! I can attest to the wait times, 30 minutes to get BBQ and the people, we had a terrible time finding parking and then navigating the park was a bit dicey as there were people, dogs, kids and food everywhere you turned. No complaints here though because overall this event was very cool and I can't wait until next year's to see what kind of improvements they make and great things they'll have in store.

My boyfriend and I took the dog out with us, he managed to taste more things than we did I think!

Our first line was by far the longest, we hit the Sugar Shack for a little bite of BBQ (ok, little is an understatement, the "tasting" menus were pretty much full-sized meals). We got to taste the Notorious P.I.G. Wrap from Sugar Shack which was delicious, slaw and all!

Then later we snacked on a Flying Pig donut (yes it's a heart attack but it was so worth it!!) from Gourdoughs. Yes that's a maple donut with bacon covering it!

All in all, the music, food and festivities made battling the crowds worth it.