Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Taster's Cherce Special Edition (c/o Alex Belth's Bronx Banter)

As a special edition to my good friend Alex Belth's blog Bronx Banter's feature section Taster's Cherce, I'm taking a ride up the kitchen isle in order to share a neat recipe that he sort-of made up while doing a little R&D in my apartment kitchen. So, while we wait for the Yankees to start up a new series in Arizona, why don't I talk about an experiment gone right with  pulled pork.

I've always had an interest in cooking cuisine of different sorts, but as some of you may know very well, I'm really picky.  My palate is not expansive enough to allow me the use of the word culinary in any description.  But like many people, I know what I like,  and I make a good effort to seek out well made treats or make what I like really well; I can go on for hours about pizza and burgers, for example.  Yet, as I got older (and fairly recently married), I found myself in a place where I need to impress someone who is almost as picky as I am.  Thus, the experimentation and discovery.  For example, I like pork, but I only used to like pork certain ways (would you believe that though I loved bacon and sausage as a child, I didn't like pepperoni on pizza?), but if you mixed it with something else, it was bound to dry up on my plate if I even dared to make an attempt to eat it.  For me, pulled pork was an accident; the pork chops or pork roast got way-overcooked and turned into a pile of rubber bands when I tried to cut into it. However, with experience (and the advent of YouTube), rubber bands turned into tender, juicy and spicy pork that you could further transform into a variety of tasty dishes. I'm about to share one, so don't laugh... yet.

Pulled Pork a la Chyll

You might need either a pressure cooker or a medium to large pot for this part, plus a foil or tin lasagna pan (at least 10" wide) for the second part

Ingredients -
  • 2lbs pork tenderloin
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce*
  • 1/2 cup cherry pepper relish
  • 1 Tbs Italian seasonings
  • 1 tsp West African hot pepper powder
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup coarse sea salt or adobe*
*If you have high blood pressure, I would eliminate the soy sauce and/or the salt/adobe altogether or try a low-sodium alternative

If you are using a pressure cooker, pour the two cups of water in the bottom of the pot along with the soy sauce, cherry pepper relish, seasonings and hot pepper powder, then stir until everything is mixed. The West African hot pepper powder is very hot; a little goes a long way.  The cherry pepper relish actually has some sweetness to it, so it will balance with the hot pepper

Slather the entire pork tenderloin with olive oil, then cover with the salt or adobe.  Set on a wire rack inside the pressure cooker and seal, set to cook on high for 1 hr.

If you don't have a pressure cooker, you can slow-cook on a stove top by immersing the tenderloin in just enough water to cover in a medium-sized pot (not too much water mind you) after adding the other ingredients to the water (you might have to proportion them based on how much water you put in, but don't go crazy).  Simmer or slow-cook on stove top for up to four hours or until pork is fall-apart tender.

Now, here's the Chyll part:

  • 1 cup horseradish mustard
  • 1 cup steak marinade
  • 2 tbs soy or worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp West African hot pepper powder
Mix all of these ingredients together in a bowl and set aside until the tenderloin is ready.

Once The Pork Is Tender -
It should be fork-tender enough to rip pull into shreds (pull it apart with your hands or a couple of forks). Set aside the broth in the pot. Place the pulled pork in the lasagna pan so it's spread out in a fairly thin layer.  Liberally glaze the pulled pork with the mix, then place tray in oven preheated to 375 degrees for 1/2 hour.

When half-hour is up, you should notice that the pulled pork is caramelized by the mix and may even have some burnt tips.  Take tray out, pour enough of the broth to cover the entire bottom of the tray, cover with foil and set in oven to cook an additional 10-15 minutes.

This should allow the pork to absorb the spiced fluids so that it isn't too dry. When time's up, allow to stand for five minutes before serving.  You should notice the heat and spice form the first bite.  You can serve it any way you like.

Obviously, it's not traditional (I suppose most people like their pulled pork smothered in barbecue sauce), but it is flavorful to say the least.  You can adjust the ingredients to taste to give it less or more heat or spice, but the principle is really in the method of cooking it. When I made it for dinner recently, I used a pressure cooker and a NuWave infrared oven (which generally cooks faster than a traditional oven), and my choice of marinade was A-1 New York Steakhouse, but to each their own.  You could also go more Carib-style by adding veggies like bell peppers and onions in the oven part of the cooking or others.

But, my method turned out really well several times, so I decided to share it with you for those off days when the world events (or the 2019 Yankees) aren't liable to upset your stomach.  You can make fun of it if you like, or you can give it a culinary shot. From one picky eater to another, Enjoy! >;)

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Bird Box Challenge...So we’re just gonna pretend it’s not stupid?

I hope no one tries to blame Netflix for the Bird Box challenge. At a certain point, it’s personal responsibility. I didn’t even think of wearing a blindfold...not even in my own apartment because I would look stupid to myself, and yet people are wearing blindfolds outside. To wear a blindfold outside is as dangerous as texting while driving.  The movie was not very good, still, Netflix’s only responsibility is to let people know at what age they can watch content not to provide them a safe space, blankets, hot coco, hugs and kisses. And it sucks that companies have to cave and issue warnings. There is a warning I see all the time, blah blah, work of fiction not real, any similarity is coincidental. I have to be grateful for getting so much attention as a kid that I don’t need or want negative attention as an adult. If only a few people can do something like building computers, I’m so impressed, but it doesn’t take talent to be blindfolded unless you can play the piano and have perfect pitch. If I see one of those people, I’m crossing the streets. I take the bus, that’s nightmare enough.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Why I hate fibroids...

Fibroids hold me back, but they are my secrets. I talk about fibroids often but only to those who are listening and people who give a shit. Fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that cause me severe bleeding, extremely long periods, vomiting, moodiness, very achy legs and abdominal pain. I hate fibroids! To me they are like people who come alive during my period to laugh at me and who despise me. Fibroids is like having an enemy who lives with me 24/7. Fibroids cause me pain during my period and when I don't have my period. I even feel pain during sex. I urinate a lot with fibroids because they leave me with little room for liquids. I have thrown away so much including clothes due to blood stains. I get constipated and always worry if my body will forget the art of pooping. With fibroids, I have wanted to spend my life in bed due to the pain and low iron. So to have a UFE scheduled is amazing. I know I will get up wondering why I had this procedure because I will be in pain, but the pain is temporary. After my fibroid research, it is the best way I think there is to shrink the fibroids. If you have fibroids, please share your nightmare here. It isn't the end. Even though this is an embarrassing thing to share, I think many women feel hopeless like I have felt. Not only is it a woman problem, but it's a problem that many people don't understand including women. Fibroid affects everyone differently. Not everyone will feel like they are dying when they have fibroids. Not everyone will jump off their chair at work for fear that they stained the chair. Not everyone goes through a ton of sanitary pads and still feel unclean. Fibroids hold me back. I could be more. I could have better skin. I could smell better if I didn't bleed so much. I could have more money. I could be happier. 

Friday, November 2, 2018

Why I hate blackface on white people...

It's an absolute waste of time to talk to people about blackface who find nothing wrong with it, so let me write to everyone else. I write in the most simple fashion to be understood, so forgive me for my simplicity. My brown skin is God's crayola, so it cannot be replicated. When white people wear blackface, it usually looks like they just put water in charcoal and rub it on their face. My face isn't mud. At least have the decency to wear makeup that is made for black skin. There are black people with dark complexion, but it's beautiful and glowy not some ashy skin. When movies like Watermelon Man were made, there was an effort to get the white skin correctly not just slap on some white powder. Watermelon Man is about a white who wakes up and finds out he is black, and though that's exaggerated, a lot of white people have black in them, and some don't even know it. So to everyone reading this, white people who find blackface okay is bullying me for being born with a skin color that God gave me. But get this, I believe that I will make it to heaven and dance with God for eternity. Why is that important? Living 80 years is a long time, but actually making it to heaven is many black people's dream. God gives us hope. God keeps us alive. We deal with racism all the time, but no one can troll God. Take that...😂🙌❤

Saturday, October 13, 2018

There is Dignity in Poverty

Chances are that I will never win the lottery. At 36 years old, I may never become a major professional like a lawyer or a doctor, but my dignity does not come from my title. My dignity comes from knowing that I am a person, I belong on this earth or organism, I matter, and that I'm no less than a doctor. Sure I will never contribute as much as a doctor can in terms of saving lives, but I belong here. I belong here because I did not ask to be born. I belong here because God put me here. I may not be a doctor, I may not have a signature, but I AM.

I do play the lottery. I play with the hopes to get Navient off my back. I play to afford to go to the doctor more often for preventive care. I play not for happiness, but for less stress. I think you can be stressed and still be happy.

So if you are waiting for money in order to travel then you are not using your imagination. There are so many parks. There are so many buses. There are so many trains. If you are reading this then you have access to internet, so you likely have access to a park. Fly a kite. Have fun. There are plenty of happy poor people in the world. Poverty is not a disease. Do I want to move up in the world? Hell yes...

I'm told I carry myself with dignity like it's a bad thing. Why is it foreign to carry myself with dignity simply because I am poor? I get so confused when people think that poverty means being a cockroach with low self-esteem. They act like they did something wrong in order to be poor, so they run around fighting to keep their daily bread with the very people who are just like them. But, you are not a cockroach. So you'll hear people say they are nothing or you are nothing, but you are very much something. Everything is interconnected and the people who do not understand are naive AF.

I do not have to look like Halle Berry to dress nicely. I do not have to be super intelligent to read. I do not have to be a runner to eat well. Quality of life is simply because if life is shitty, then you might have 80 years to live as shit. Why would I do that to myself? I have a long time to live, so why wouldn't I want it to be the best? I am not trying to leave behind a legacy, but 80 years of living is a long time not to make the best of it. So if you have to go to Dollar Tree to buy your Christmas decoration, then buy them at Dollar Tree. You can make a whole lot happen for yourself with very little. While everyone looks up for God to rescue them, and although He is Almighty, work with what you have.