Friday, April 1, 2016

Easter Meaty Fare, some stuff I do well, I just don't eat

So this past Easter, I was asked to prepare dinner for the traditional family gathering. Sounded good, I mean I like to cook, and I do some interesting things. My sister wanted ham, bacon scalloped potatoes, beans with bacon, you know, traditional pork products utilized in various ways is an iconic cultural practice for celebrating the resurrection of a Jew. Right? So I won't do anything with a ham, I refuse to in any way shape or form to endorse what the food manufacturers do to pork haunches and then call it food. Commercial ham is pretty nasty, just packed full of chemicals. The days of yore when ham was salt cured, smoked and preserved using nature's goodness are long long long gone. Time to do it the right way costs money and modern food manufacturers use chemicals to speed the process and in so doing, have created food-like products, not really food at all. Time is money, chemicals are cheap. Long term health of customers is not of any importance, all the agrigiants use them so no single company can be blamed for deaths, cancers, or any health problems of any consumer.

Anyway, we agreed to baby back pork ribs. And probably because I just do them so well. Four racks, two plain and two with my rub on them. The plain ones, just rubbed a bit of salt and fresh ground black pepper. The other two, I took a half cup paprika, a quarter cup ground roasted cumin, a quarter cup ground Italian spices (my own recipe) a half cup of mild chili powder and a tablespoon of cayenne, a half cup of sea salt and mixed it all up. Rubbed the stuff onto both sides of the ribs, after removing the silver membrane on the inside curve. Put them all into a tray and covered with plastic wrap then put in the fridge overnight. Sunday at 6 am I light a fire in the smoker and put a bunch of mesquite chunks on the coals. Put the ribs in and added mesquite briquets and chunks as needed. Took them out about 1:30 and they were falling apart tender.

Then I took some Yukon Gold potatoes and sliced into thick slices. Brushed with olive oil and put some long cut chives
between each slice as I reassembled them. Then wrapped each with a piece of nitrite free bacon. Held them together with a toothpick and roasted in a hot oven at 400 for an hour. The bacon was crisp, the potatoes soft and all delicious. 

Then I took three big bunches asparagus. Washed and
snapped the hard ends off. Then I took about twenty Medjool dates, cut them in half lengthwise and removed the pit. Then each half I cut into thirds. I melted some butter in a hot skillet and added the date sections.
Tossed a bit then sprinkled all with a mix of cayenne, cardamon, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. Careful not to melt the dates too much, they will make a big lump if you don't keep tossing and keep over a low to low medium heat. Added a quarter cup of white wine and then let that cook off into thick syrup. Let them cool. I did buy some imported Italian pancetta and I used that to make these goodies. Lay a slice of pancetta on the cutting board, put down two
asparagus spears, put two or three date parts, a third asparagus and wrap it up. Place on a wire rack inside a sheet pan and roast until the pancetta begins to crisp up. These things are unbelievable, spicy, sweet, fragrant with the cardamon and spices. Oh man, but they are incredible. See here's the thing, I have a problem with American meat products. American meat producers, beef, pork and turkey all use a product called ractopamine in the manufacture of the animals. America is the only country in the world that allows that horrific chemical to be added to the animal's feed. It is nasty stuff. I don't have a problem with eating pancetta made from pigs raised in Italy. So I ate
them. I took the leftovers home and ate those too. 

Anyway, my sister made the other stuff, mustard cole slaw. ( I know, weird, but she thinks it's grand) dip and chips, some cut up veggies on a plate from Fry's and two pies from the freezer section. With ice cream. I ate a lot of asparagus and a potato without the bacon. No dessert for me. Nor would I even look at the dishes full of Easter candy treats. I do like chocolate,
just not anything from Hershey, Nestle or Godiva because of the child slavery issues in the cacao industry. (Child slavery in cacao industry) Here again I will push for anyone wanting to eat chocolate, to buy Free Trade if you can find it or go to your local farmers market and buy the artisinal chocolate from those people there. Great stuff, and all Free Trade. Consumers keep the industry alive by buying the crap made using child slaves because most people don't know, don't care or think their small purchase of chocolate bars can't be the reason the big corporations have no respect for human rights. Scary, but think about it, what do the leaders of the food industry think about YOU, they fill your food with tons of nasty chemicals, many are known carcinogens, fillers, and cheap cheap ingredients. And the use of SLAVES!!! And use the protection offered under the guise of "it ain't their fault African countries use children as slaves" They just use the system to make tons of money. Yeah, that's what they think of you too. Thinly veiled disgust.


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