- Jalapeno Pickle Brined Fried Chicken (with ranch. duh, this is America)
- Blue Cheese Potato Salad w/ Bacon and Scallion
- Beergarita Popsicles with Smoky Chile Salt
- Tomato and Peach salad with Basil and Red Onion
- Strawberry Icebox Cake
The only thing that gets us through the oppressive butthole that is the month of February is slow-cooking meat.
Very loosely based on a Mayan dish involving a suckling pig getting a spa day in bitter oranges, wrapped in banana leaves, and buried in hot coals, Cochinita Pibil– or at least this patently white-girl variation– takes advantage of the abundant citrus available in February. It’s a long-roasted, pork-fat-covered sunbeam in an otherwise sludge-grey landscape. Serve it like tacos, turn it into tortas, put it on your scrambled eggs. Do whatever you want, just don’t forget to make it before winter ends and we’re back to bitching about the heat.
Salads can be a bummer.
Too often, especially in Midwestern American culture, they are used as a boring food, arbitrarily assigned to be virtuous, which atones for the crime of being a woman with a body. They’re eaten out of obligation, because of their designation as healthy, where “healthy” has come to mean: gastronomic flagellation through the consumption of flavorless, pleasure-less gruel.
While that kind of thinking does a disservice to people eating the food– and we’ll talk about that another time– it also gives good food a bad rap. Once you stop looking at salads as punishment or duty, it finally becomes possible to see them for what they are: fucking delicious. And this salad is our new favorite.
Juicy tomatoes paired with equally juicy peaches, tipped to the savory side with the faintest sliver of red onion and a healthy drizzle of olive oil. Nothing is more appropriate for the season and we have yet to find a better accompaniment to grilled meat. Don’t get tied up with the absence of lettuce; salads are much more than that. And, very simply, a pile of delicious foods tossed together in a dressing.
The finely sliced red onion is really what holds this dish together. While you can achieve that effect with a good, sharp knife, we like to use a mandolin slicer. Mandolin slicers are an essential tool in our kitchen and we use them most days. Whether slicing potatoes for a breakfast skillet, or making garlic chips, they speed up our prep and cut down on mess. You can get your hands on an inexpensive model at most markets but we really like this one. Make sure that the blade stays sharp, and always, always use the hand guard.