Sunday, June 08, 2008

Pulled pork and sweet potato hash with tomatoes

Man, we had the best brunch this morning. Best of all? It practically cooked itself.

* * *

Last night we had some long-lost friends over for dinner. Well, it's not that they were lost, but having a couple kids can sure make it seem that way (them, not me). It was great having them, but I was a little disappointed when the Japanese intern they're hosting had other plans and couldn't join us. I had really been looking forward to giving her taste of authentic American cooking - not the sort of canned corn and sliced hot dogs on Bisquick "pizza" that defines the Japanese interpretation of American food, but real southern food like slow-cooked pork and juicy heirloom tomatoes.

The menu:
  • Carolina-style pulled pork sammiches with kohlrabi-dried cranberry slaw
  • Sweet potato frites with walnut oil and Maldon sea salt
  • Heirloom tomato salad with parsley flower vinaigrette
  • Seven-spiced peach slump with ginger and pine nuts, topped with vanilla ice cream
I made my usual pulled pork recipe, but with two extra pounds of pork butt (and one less hour to spare in the oven), it was not falling-off-the-tongs tender. Tragedy! I ended up having to chop it up and mop it back through the golden fat to come close to the desired effect (the sweet-and-vinegar-y sauce that makes it "Carolina-style" also helped, as did the addition of a little gochujang for extra tongue-spank). Since I was engaged with my guests and their charming progeny, I wasn't paying as much attention as I normally would on the fries, and they ended up a bit squidgy with only crispy edges (not all-the-way crisped like I'd prefer). Oh well. Everything tasted good, and that's what's important, right? Right?

The salad was tasty and fast: thick slices of three different varieties of heirloom tomato with a drizzle of balsamic/white wine vinegar, olive oil, and sprinkled with chopped parsley flowers (my crop has bolted) and minced shallot. Hit of salt and pepper and you're laughing.

The dessert was really last-minute. I just sliced some nice organic yellow peaches, tossed them with a bit of sugar and a spoonful each grated fresh ginger and my homemade seven spice (this time with some pink peppercorns added) and pine nuts. I made a basic rolled biscuit dough (recipe from Joy of Cooking, halved, with the addition of a 1~/4 cup sugar). I rolled it out to the size of my casserole, dumped in the peaches and laid the dough on top. I jabbed a few holes to allow the steam to escape and sprinkled more sugar on top. Baked at whatever temperature the oven was already at (I think it was ~350), and pulled from oven when crust was golden.


But here's the million-dollar question: What do you do when it's 11-ish on a Sunday morning and you have a fridge full of leftover chopped pork, sweet potatoes and good tomatoes? Damn skippy - you make some fucking hash! Just chop everything (the pork's already chopped) and fry it all up in a pan using a dab of the congealed, orange pork fat that's settled into your storage container. When it's crisped up on the edges, dish it up and slide a fried egg (over easy) across the top.

Since it's actually nice out for a change, have the Hubz pour some mimosas, and go ahead and heat up the leftover peach slump just for shits and giggles. Butter some leftover wheat levain from Friday night's orzo and toast in under the broiler. Retire to your shady patio and enjoy brunch while watching the hummingbirds drink up the last of the rhododendron's nectar, and know that this is the life.

Yes, that is the Deery Lou mug from which I drink my daily coffee. No, I am not five years old.

37 comments:

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

God that looks good. I love having egg run all over hash... or just about anything for that matter. I made some fried green tomatoes for brunch today and covered it in poached egg goodness. Dinner came via inspiration from your orzo:-)

cookiecrumb said...

Ohgod, that egg.
I think I just wet myself.

Syd said...

Runny eggs and hash. HELL yeah!

What? You can't find a faggier coffee mug?

Heather said...

Marc - I love fried green tomatoes! I usually use green toms for this hash, perfect tart goodness with sweet potatoes.

Cookie - You'd better go clean that up.

Syd - Unfortunately, they didn't have any mugs with two Deery Lous fucking.

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

OMG, that hash looks great! Hash and eggs is my fave breakfast. It's a good thing that intern didn't show up or you might not have had enough leftovers to make that brunch feast!

Brittany said...

I think you need to start doing underground dinners. You are just too damn brilliant.

Emiline said...

Mmm, hash. It's so southern - I love it. And the egg is very Top Chef. I'm going to think of Top Chef every time I see an egg on something...

I like the coffee cup. I have a Rice Crispy coffee cup with Snap, Crackle and Pop on it.

Foodycat said...

Outstanding! Last night I was playing with some hickory chips (haven't done that before) and was thinking about trying some James Villas chopped pork BBQ... and now I have a plan for the leftovers I haven't yet made! Brilliant!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Okay, I am so not showing my DH this dish.

We celebrated Father's Day a week early and he wanted to go to brunch so we did. And it was good, but not... anything. like. this. And he'll want me to make this.

And I just suck at pulled pork. Guess it's the Yankee in moi.

Peter G said...

You seriously need to go into menu planning Heather...I am always in awe at how you mix and match ingredients to come up with these eclectic dishes. Tell me, do you have the recipe for the pulled pork in your archives cause I plan on making it soon (never tried it before)

Judy @ No Fear Entertaining said...

Yummmmm! Oh God I miss "brunch". Hell even a normal breakfast would be nice!!!

The egg looks so good on the hash!!!

nate-dog said...

i need to come back to portland for some fucking hash! hi, from brooklyn...

Heather said...

Susan - I hadn't thought of it that way, but you're absolutely right!

Brittany - I'm doing an underground dinner in two weeks: I'm roasting a pig in a hole in my yard.

Em - I think every girl (and boy) should have special mug. I have a bunch of Deery Lou shit (she's the cheerful fawn!)

Foodycat - Heh, it's always good to plan meals around the leftovers! :D

Jen - Aww, pulled pork is easy, it just need time. I bet you could do it in a crockpot!

Petah - Yes, here's the link. Great food for autumn (especially with sweet potatoes)!

Judy - Things like sleeping in and brunch are what make feel a bit of trepidation about having kids. I enjoy it while I can!

Nate - Wesley, is that you? Get your ass out here. We're roasting a pig on the 21st. (Heh, if this is not the Nate I think it is, "Hi! Thanks for stopping by!")

michelle @ TNS said...

i may have just a tiny foodgasm here at my desk.

or a big foodgasm.

cook eat FRET said...

if you knew how much i would have loved that brunch you would have DEFINITELY sent me a plane ticket. and being that i'm in LA for 3 weeks, it wouldn't have even been a long haul...

next time...

so freakin' delicious looking and sounding... but so very very...

We Are Never Full said...

DAMN. michelle said it right... foodgasm. i could lick egg off of anything (or anyone???). ok, even i just threw up a bit in my mouth thinking about that.

Mike of Mike's Table said...

only one foodgasm? I just did twice in a row. That's a hell of a way to start the day :o It looks awesome

Catherine Wilkinson said...

Hey, why don't you just open a damn restaurant!?? Cause you're on FIRE, woman! Seriously, you are giving me the willies with this geniusosity! Sweet potato hash? GET OUT!

Heather said...

Michelle - In my experience, that may constitute an HR concern.

Claudia - Aw, you know I would! You're so very very...

Amy - Yeah, I love huevos, but I draw the line on eating them off a person. :D

Mike - You're a magic man, with your twofer. I wish I had time to cook and eat brunch every day.

Catherine - Pulled pork and sweet potato hash. It's really the pork that does it. All mixed in. Yum.

Zen Chef said...

I can play the Japanese Intern's part next time and eat your food from a Japanese perspective and tell you how your food feels in my Japanese belly.

You're giving me the willies too voodoolily. You even make people wet themselves. hehe. That's genius!

glamah16 said...

Yes that is the life. That student missed out.Never heard of Deery Lou. Odd.

peter said...

One of the keys to the good life is having perfect leftovers to riff with.

Kids and brunch aren't mutually exclusive. Kids and sleeping in... are.

nate-dog said...

it's me, wesley. i do need to get my ass out there, but i don't think i can make in time for some slow cooked suckling pig...mmm. maybe later this summer...tell scott i say hey.

Jeff said...

Drool pulled pork one of my favorites of everything pork.

Happy to see someone else giving the pork some egg love. Normally when I finish pork on the smoker it is to fucking early and breakfast time. Pork and eggs always makes me not want to go to bed (ok that and the fact another beer is just a reach away).

Heather said...

M. Zen - I have awesome powers. They are awesome!

Coco - Deery Lou is way cuter than Hello Kitty, in my humble opinion.

Jube - Yeah, I figured the sleeping in was the real clencher.

Nate - Aw, too bad. We've been keeping our eyes out for interesting food/wine-related employment to try and sweeten the deal. :)

Jeff - Well pork and eggs gives me the itis, so it's best not consumed too late in the day! :D

Núria said...

He, he... I can imagine you under that shade... and with that breakfast. These kind of things are the ones to live for! ... and some others, that I will not mention ;-)

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Wow, that is seriously my kind of breakfast - I mean if you are going to make breafast, you might as well MAKE it - especially on the weekend. I totally adore hash in all its incarnations - this one with pulled pork and sweet potatoes is my favorite (even though I have not had it - I can tell!!!).

Kevin said...

Dinner sounds really good and brunch sounds great! Sweet potato and pulled pork hash with a runny egg yolk...mmm... This is the first that I have heard of a slump. It sounds good. Having it for brunch sounds like a great idea!

Brittany said...

I will eat anything that has a runny egg on it. Anything.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

That looks amazing. I don't know what's more amazing -the food or that it was pulled together on a Sunday morning! I want to go to brunch at your house.

B said...

homemade hash and eggs? i think i love you.

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Jeez. My ideal meal. Right there. Can I come over while I'm waiting to get my kitchen back?

Helen said...

Mmmm, pulled pork! And with the egg yolk on the hash? Yummy yum yum yum yum.

Heather said...

Núria - The unmentionables are always the most fun, no?

Jenn - You can tell it's your favorite because it's made of leftovers, right? :D

Kevs - I think a slump is an old-fashioned American dessert. It has a weird name.

Brittany - Is that a threat or a promise?

Short (dis)order cook - If we didn't already have the leftovers, I wouldn't have gone to the trouble, I assure you. :)

B - Wow, you're pretty easy. :D

Sketti - No worries, I've shipped some to you. It'll be there in six days. It should still be good, right?

Helen - Runny yolk is nature's gravy!

MrOrph said...

That pic made want to stab the monitor with a fork!

Wow! An excellent redux for that leftover pulled pork. I always do sliders or a salad. Thanks for another tasty option!

Lore said...

My taste buds are ready and my tummy is making place for this delicious brunch so I have everything set except for the technology that could actually teleport this great menu right on my kitchen table.

Peter M said...

LOL at Damn Skippy, haven't heard dat in awhile.

So, you got to cook some Americano for your Japanese friends? Cool!

Pork is animal...can't have each butt become fork tender..sometimes it's just too tough.

On to the brunch...I've had that hot sauce on your table...yikes it's hot, but good. Pulled pork hash is borderline Iron Chef material.