Up and about and back at it!
Up and about and back at it!

What a difference a day makes.  Well, a day and five slices of pork belly slathered with gochujang chili paste.  What I had first taken to be food poisoning or the flu turned out to be something else entirely – what both Rob and Ivon suspect was a simple pork fat deficiency.

Anyway, I’m feeling much better, but an incident like the one I just experienced does cause you to stop and take stock of things – consider your mortality and prioritize.  As a result, I’ve decided to do something I should have done long ago.

Tell someone I love them?  Apologize to someone I’ve offended?  Sell my worldly possessions and travel the world?

No, silly.  Finally get around to trying out those eight recipes from that “I Make the Best Whatever” contest!

As some of you may recall, I asked you to provide recipes back in late 2010 and, following careful consideration, narrowed down the field to an Elite Eight.  But, before I could test the recipes, I was blindsided by work commitments, a sick dog, and a hilarious road trip to Toronto.

Well, I have a window of opportunity before I get the green light on that project I’ve been waiting on OR about a month to fine tune some pitches before heading down to L.A., so let’s get cookin’.  Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be trying my hand at –

dasNdanger's Puerco Pibil
dasNdanger’s Puerco Pibil
Jeff W's white chocolate cheesecake
Jeff W’s White Chocolate Cheesecake
Mark's great Great Grandma's Kifli
Mark’s great Great Grandma’s Kifli
DP's Cobbler
DP’s Cobbler
Alexander of Houston's Pork Tenderloin
Alexander of Houston’s Pork Tenderloin
Sparrow_hawk's Chicken Breast with Brown Butter and Fried Sage Leaves
Sparrow_hawk’s Chicken Breast with Brown Butter and Fried Sage Leaves

And Shiny’s Sancocho and Tim Lade’s Chocolate and Peanut Butter Bread Pudding.

I have the recipes for the sancocho, the cobbler, the kifli, the white chocolate cheesecake, the chicken breast with brown butter and sage leaves, and the puerco pibil.  I’m missing two: the pork tenderloin and the peanut butter bread pudding.

So, let’s kick things off on Tuesday.  I’ll post one of the recipes on this blog and we’ll all have the week to make it. The following Tuesday, we’ll discuss our successes (and potential failures) and move on to the next recipe.

Come on!  Who’s with me?!

37 thoughts on “April 21, 2013: Much better! Some unfinished business!

  1. Ah, pork fat. Is there anything it CAN’T do?

    Glad you’re feeling better already – as they say, you can’t keep a good man down. I’m in for the recipe tests! Sounds like a lot of fun, although I hope I can get some of the ingredients in the relative culinary backwater where I live.

    I’m pretty much finalizing my trip up North this June. I booked my day tour from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk today (up from Inuvik by boat with a tour of the village, then a flight back) and only have my 4 day tour in Whitehorse to book (2 days of mountain biking, one of canoeing and one of hiking). It should be fun!! And expensive!

    “…and a hilarious road trip to Toronto.”

  2. Simple pork fat deficiency? You are too funny! What’s your cholesterol numbers again?

    You have some good eats ahead of you with those recipes. Have fun!

  3. Volunteering as taste-tester for any participating cooks within 25 mi. of San Antonio, TX, USA.

  4. Joe, please delete the Z comment. I can never remember which platform lets me comment as I sign in.

  5. Sounds like a terrific idea, my favorites of course would be the desserts, but maybe I can try some of the others. Glad you have figured out what the malfunction was with the not feeling good. and uh, pork fat deficiency, thats new for me, will have to remember that one.

    1. Please don’t overlook this. Have your pork fat levels checked monthly. And always keep a slice of pork belly handy in case of emergency.

  6. Hey Joe
    Ya, I think I could muster a couple of them. Would love to try das’ entry. Can you hold it off to about the 4th week? Then I can afford the ingredients.


  7. I’m not big on pork. I wish I could participate in this cook-a-thon, but as much as I would want to make and try some of them, the rest of the house would not help me and I could not imagine making some of these and it being just me having to eat them. I could make some of the desserts at future book club events and have my book club friends eat it. Tonight’s book club was cancelled because it would have just been three of us (others had family commitments or just could not make it) and with Patrick having a 103.3 fever last night, I was waiting for that shoe to drop down on me. Fortunately it broke and he hasn’t had another today. I will have to live vicariously through all of you.

  8. What’s really weird is my crazy beagle is running 50 miles an hour around the house (inside) with her rubber pig, making “onking” noises while I read this. Spooky…

  9. @what both Rob and Ivon suspect was a simple pork fat deficiency.

    Should of made some pork ramen Joe!

  10. Ditto what gforce said!!

    They all look very good.
    I don’t cook, that is why we have restaurants, etc.
    I can microwave bacon…the, 4 slice pouches work pretty good.

    Regard Kale Chips – and Akemi’s post on the Peasnatch blog.
    I found some Kale chips at The Fresh Market and at Trader Joes, but they only had spicy nacho and Fresh Market also had a Mango habanero.
    Tried the nacho…and they do NOT look anything like yours. It was clumps of the leaves with the seasoning. Very salty and kinda a rubbery chewy – not really crispy except for th edges. Have to say…am not impressed.
    Guess I have to try to make my own like you guys…but as I said, I don’t cook.

  11. I’m almost out of frozen greens to eat bacon fat with so hopefully using it for cooking oil will keep my levels up until wilted salad season. The butchers around here tell me to look on a shelf if I ask for lard. 🙁

  12. I should never have given you that recipe. It’s a bit lime-y, and I know you’re not a fan of tart/sour. I should’ve gone with my second ‘make the best of’ – whatever that is. 😛


  13. I am so freaking stressed, this cooking thing is a good break. You are ON! Let the cooking begin.
    I cannot remember if I wished Akemi happy birthday but if not, a happy belated one. Your lunch and dinner looked great. I agree with you on the no flip flops AND locker. Ouch.. hope you complained! LOL on underwear.. you had a towel and robe and still kept them. Loosen up! Go wild. That’s one place commando is appropriate AND you don’t want hot sweaty underwear when you are done! 🙂

  14. I would like to participate, but I would need to see the ingredients for the recipes. Fixed budget 🙁

  15. Epiphany >>> bacon fat kale chips. I see some problems with spreading the fat without it being hot enough to wilt the kale (especially the delicate kinds I’m growing this year), but this is important enough to work through that.

  16. Get thee behind me Satan…

    I’ve been doing really well on my “healthy” eating programme, so I’m gonna tap out.

    …buuuuuut having said that I might join you in the cheesecake week. I’ve been eyeing up JeffW’s cheesecakes for a while now, in fact, every time I see his name in the comments I start drooling like Pavlov’s dog…

    (can’t be the white chocolate one though, don’t like white chocolate)

    Glad it was just a 24 hour thang!!


  17. I did purchase one of them fancy pans just so I could make one of JeffW’s cheesecakes. So now is the time. But could you make it a real cheese cake with a chocolate topping? Maybe JeffW could slip in an alternate recipe too. 😉

    I love anything chicken, so Sparrow_hawk’s chicken should be good. Hopefully I can handle DP’s cobbler and Mark’s great great Grandma’s Kifli provided I don’t have to make the dough myself. Will Pillsbury Cressant Rolls do? Just don’t tell Grandma. Alexander of Houston’s Pork Tenderloin looks perfect. That will be a challenge as my meats usually aren’t perfect. I remember dasNdanger’s Puerco Pibil had ingrediants I’ve never heard of nor ever seen before so that one might be a “based on” creation.

  18. Joseph Mallozzi wrote:

    Please don’t overlook this. Have your pork fat levels checked monthly. And always keep a slice of pork belly handy in case of emergency.

    Really, Joe? REALLY? You’re really selling the ‘pork fat’ cure? 🙄 Look, we both know the real reason you’re feeling better, don’t we? 😉

    Oh, and while you’re at it…



  19. @DAS – priceless.

    MacDanger not only fiixes broken exhausts but now has the fix for what ails you…and it ain’t ale. LOL.
    Hmmmm, on second thot, this is kinda sorta an exhaust.

  20. @Joe:

    Yes! Pork fixes everything! For my family’s health, it is now imperative that I get the smoker running this weekend 😀

    On the cheesecake, if you want to make it as I intended (the richest New York style you’ll find), then follow the recipe. If you want to make something lighter (dare I say West Coast), you will need to substitute one of the 8oz blocks of cream cheese with 8oz of sour cream (4oz in each cheesecake half batter portion). Or even more if you want it really light…but now you’re really experimenting!

    Send an email to my phone if you run into any difficulty with what I wrote. I’ll be back in the US on Wednesday afternoon.

    @Ponytail and Kymm on Chocolate Cheesecakes:

    I have a chocolate cheesecake recipe, just not one I’ve put into cyberspace. When I get home on Wednesday, I’ll copy it off of my home PC and put it on my blog. You should see it there by late Wednesday.

    @Das on the Poo Song:

    When my kids were very young, we had a video tape that encouraged the still-in-diapers toddler to use the toilet: “I use my potty when I have to pee; I use my potty when I have to poop…”.

    There was many a morning on the way to work where I found myself singing “The Potty Song”, which makes me glad I didn’t car-pool!

  21. haha! you forgot to mention introducing me to the SG1/SGA and SGU team in your list of things to do before moving on to the next realm 🙂
    I also liked the window of opportunity being mentioned! i always smile when i use that expression.
    I like a good claffouti or flan myself, and since I am still not a vegetarian to my great regret.. i have to say all that meat does look appealing!
    Glad you are good again, and i will use your being ill as an excuse to eat pork in the future! lol

  22. @Ponytal if the tail was down the pork was chasing him. Poor Beagle. 😆
    @ joe
    My theory is that if you eat live oysters and do not stop to chew the very sows come alive to the stomach (some after trying to escape at the last moment hugging your bell). As you will not eat just one because “Ah! I did not know you liked both oysters … take another, and enjoy! “Because just having guts pissed oyster command can only devote the time they have left to conspire against you.
    According to the leader of the command, the oysters can help each other to try to escape to where they came. The victim notice how something starts to climb it down the esophagus until the oysters get their target, causing the stomach between pyrolytic mode and cleaned himself throwing it all out.
    But the leader can be more bastard ostril, and convince the command that although they are lost can make sure you never go near an oyster. That’s when you charge to devastate your digestive system, wiping out intestinal flora and caught everything that way. When this happens you spend a couple of days sitting in a bathroom, without eating and unspeakable suffering. It’s as if you pickpocket oysters to a punishment cell. 😕 😆

  23. oh Das…. it sounds like ‘taste yer poo’…aaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahah!!
    I can’t bake because my oven is either on OMG IT’S FRIKKIN’ BURNING …
    or off. But I’ll try something 🙂

  24. Glad you’re on the mend due to the Miracle of Pork Fat.

    Looking forward to the pibil, that’s some might tasty eats.

    I made some lovely raspberry cheesecake bars last week. Had to cheat and use a jar of raspberry spread instead of cooking with fresh raspberries, but they were yummers. Sent them out on the truck with the hubby, because I couldn’t keep my hands off them. Nothing special about the recipe, but I was pleased the bars turned out so nicely.

  25. Glad to hear Akemi’s birthday was a success and that you’re feeling better! Can’t wait to hear everyone’s opinions on these recipes.

  26. anniefromfremantle wrote:,

    oh Das…. it sounds like ‘taste yer poo’…aaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahah!!
    I can’t bake because my oven is either on OMG IT’S FRIKKIN’ BURNING …
    or off. But I’ll try something


    Ummmm….am I to understand you’re planning on baking poo…because if not, that’s one hellava confusing run-on thought right there. 😉


  27. Oooohhhh! Recipe of the Week! Count me in! Will Cookie Monster will reviewing our attempts?

    I have a killer White Swiss Chocolate Cheesecake recipe so I’ll be interested to compare it to JeffW’s version.

  28. Tasty times are a comin’ to the Mallozzi homestead. That cobbler looks delicious! I haven’t been able to find decent plantains to make sanocho lately, which is just as well since I’m still perfecting (or assassinating) my healthy brownie recipe.

    Saw The 39 Steps for the first time, and kept wondering how I’d missed that little gem.

  29. @Das:

    I made the Puerco Pibil quite a while ago and really enjoyed it, so now I’m thinking I should make it again along with my grandmother’s recipe for bread pudding. It should make for a nice weekend meal! Thanks!

  30. I’ll take a stab at some recipes. My husband’s in the early stages of some Ramsey budgeting so I might not be able to scrounge up an ingredient or two.

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