So you buy the puff pastry, roll it and bake it. Whip cream. Stir in icing sugar. Spread. Top with summer bounty. Kick dessert ass.
Really, that’s it.
(Loving Tad’s photo.)
When I say “family” I don’t mean this is some sort of East European treat– this I claim as my own though it is truly a Seaborn classic. I feel that I have eaten enough of them over 17 years to have some ownership.
We are going camping this weekend and I made a batch of these. The step-by-step is posted her at the foodnetwork.ca blog but here’s the basic recipe. Takes no time. You must make it. Trust me on this one. (and also– just go with the corn syrup and margarine, don’t screw with perfection.)
SWEET MARIE BARS
makes about 20-25
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tbsp. butter or margarine
2 cups Rice Krispies
1 cup salted peanuts
1 package real chocolate chips
Well, the above just about says it all. But, Ivy Knight, organizer-Royale has more to say about this lip smacking event where I get to be a judge. A judge of fried chicken… I picture myself with a drumstick gavel and greasy paperwork. Can Monday night come fast enough?
Here is what Ivy has to say about how and why she pulled together this first (annual) fried fiasco.
I have been wanting to do a fried chicken battle ever since watching David Chang go head to head against Questlove on Jimmy Fallon. I just really wanted to fill a room with people eating lots and lots of free fried chicken. Unfortunately I don’t have a budget to buy a bunch of chickens so I got in touch with my old friend Peter Sanagan and asked if he’d be willing to donate the birds. I barely got my request out before he said of course. So then I talked to some of my chef friends, Matty at Parts & Labour, Fan at Happy Child, Teddy at the Drake, the girls who run SNACKS (famous for their food at the Junction Flea) and Brandon at Bar Isabel, we picked a date and I started thinking about judges.
I didn’t want to have chefs come in to compete and be judged by their peers, I wanted the judges to come from outside of the peer group – so I often look to cookbook authors and media. The guys at Munchies were an obvious choice, they suggested Bad Day Magazine and since I know and love you I figured we’d bring you in to add a little class to the panel (Ivy knows how easily I fall for sweet talk–don’t worry, I’ll never bring a lot of class, perhaps just a cufflinks’ worth SR). And of course, Peter is a judge since he’s the reason we’re able to pull this off.
This is the story of pork butt. It is also the story of friends (Jenn and Andy) who are moving to place of “the fountain”, Geneva actually. Certainly known for things other than “the fountain” but Google Geneva and the Jet d’Eau is all over the Image pages (followed closely by the flower clock). Don’t ever try to say the words “Jet d’Eau” out loud if you do not speak French, it’s just embarrassing, trust me…
The pork butt portion of the story is sweet and savoury, the friends moving part is more bitter and sweet— though we want to have pals to visit in Geneva (and to tour the fountain with) we also are very sad to have them so far away (they eased us in un-gently by moving to Vancouver first). We like to get together to eat with Andy and Jenn, a lot of meat, a lot of cheese and a lot of wine. (Andy could throw around wine terms like “flabby” and “grippy tannins” before Sideways had people hating Merlot.) Jenn makes mean guacamole. And cocktails. (Jenn’s cocktails are so good she should be an anesthesiologist.)
But this blog is sparked by Andy (not that we do not love Jenn-we do–and she brings chocolate from BC–which I am running short of and desperate for…) because when I last saw him he had his arm twisted into giving me the Momofuko cookbook for my birthday. He came over to visit and had the book in a bag and then I might have said something like “Is that for me?” and then suddenly it was. Which I feel bad about…but not a lot.
Especially now that I finally made the Bo Ssam that every blogger every has already posted about, the book is on my “featured” bookshelf (also because it is great reading). The Bo Ssam recipe came to me at the perfect time as we were having a BBQ (planned for a weekend of torrential downpour–so trying to feature meat but not on the grill) and aside from having delicious, easy food, I wanted to do something fun. I haven’t had a “cooking day” in a while, and hurriedly making dinner for the family does not count ever. (Almost ever.) So meat that would be in the oven for hours, making the house smell inviting with it’s with potentially fantastic results seemed like a great idea… Andy said it would be the best.
And so I called Cumbrae’s and ordered 14 pds of bone-in pork butt (which the woman helping me seemed to think was a lot for 12 people) but I feared would barely be enough (no need to trust the experts Sue!). To be fair to my own gluttonous judgement, I really was not sure how many people would show up and how can a person have a BBQ and bear the thought of running low on meat???
Essentially you’re just slow cooking the butt, so this recipe is incredibly simple. The night before you rub the meat with a mixture of salt and sugar and let it cure overnight in the fridge. Then you drain off any liquid and cook for 6 hours-ish at 300 F til tender and yielding. I think ours went 7 hours.
At that point, when you’re drooling and ready to eat you rub the exterior with a bit of salt and a lot of brown sugar, and fire the oven up to 500° F. Then in goes the meat for about 10 minutes until the exterior is sweet and crusty (David Chang calls it a “pig shoulder encrusted in Pig Candy” in the book).
Finally you bring it outside (under the tarp your husband spent 3 hours putting up for a storm that would pass before the guests arrived) and you hesitate…..where to start? All the guests, expected to eat at least 1 pd of eat each, hovered. We also had an emergency as the steamed rice I had picked up from the Chinese food place was actually discovered to be fried rice. Which was not going to work with my lettuce wrap plan. (luckily the problem, a bike ride away was resolved though I admit I may have panicked and slightly overreacted when I saw the fried rice–possibly freaked out just a little?)
Finally, crisis managed, I dug in (we had Boston lettuce for wraps, steamed rice, condiments and cucumber and strawberry salad and red cabbage salad to go with–(the recipe for the slaw is one I was seduced by in California (red cabbage is very sexy) made by my brother and sister-in-law’s friend Traci. Recipe at bottom. AWESOME.).
Condiment wise I made the ginger-scallion sauce reco’d in the Momofuko book, we had Kimchi, pickled onions and a beet horseradish spread I had made for burgers and was nice and earthy with some bite.
This is not Andy (Andy who sparked the whole idea was back in BC planning what to wear to his first fountain visit), it is my friend Terry (meat consultant), and yes my face melted when I realized we had the wrong rice. It was horrifying. Luckily Terry took it in stride and just kept pulling meat.
You must all try this. Here is a link to Sam Sifton’s piece in the New York Times Magazine that provides the recipe.
Andy and Jenn- wish you were here (but Geneva also good) xo Sue
Red Cabbage Salad (based on a the slaw recipe from a The Northwoods in southern California.)