Here is a radical idea: The five-dollar foot-long crew are making attractive living rooms in dozens of their stores this year and the good folks at McDonalds announced last week that they are investing $2 billion—yes, that’s with a “B,” as in billion—in creating amongst other design highlights, stores with living room features such as upscale Starbucks coffee stores. I think it would be nice if they all spent more money on making their food healthier and tastier. Yesterday, @jamieoliver, @adriangrenier, and I got into a Twitter chat about responsibility for overweight kids. Does a parent or guardian have some legal responsibility for an overweight child? Is it abuse of some kind? As primary caretaker what is the parents’ responsibility for a child’s food intake, regardless of the weight issues? If we know some foods to be harmful for children to eat on a regular basis, say a steady diet of fast food, then should those that serve it to them be held accountable in some way? Do we criminalize poor food choices? We do it with alcohol, drugs, and tobacco! Think about this, it’s a fascinating topic for discussion. Many of us who circle this debate think education and skill management is the key, since many parents lack even the most basic learning on the subject or understand ways to create an alternative food life in their own homes. Eating well is increasingly becoming a class issue in this country and it’s getting dangerous.
MY son comes home from school to a parent (often 2) in the house with him. Then he has a healthy snack choice in front of him of fruit, real yogurt, and a vegetable plate . . . those kinds of things . . . and then he wants to watch Food Revolution on my iPad. Serious. After an hour of running around and playing (I call it exercise) we all help get dinner ready. It’s pretty cool, except that this scenario is the exception to the rule for most children in America. Very sad. Today 1 in 3 Americans are obese. I just lost the 25th pound in my quest to drop a total of 50 pounds. I know how tough it is, but if we don’t address what and how we eat, we are in for a real fight on many levels. Just imagine the soaring health care costs of this tragic epidemic?
On to sunnier topics:
My iPhone causes me a lot of headaches regarding its battery life. Check out Pogue’s suggestion: It works. Barring that, get a Juice Pack from Mophie; it’s the best long life battery helper on the planet. Anyway, I am kicking back at the cabin doing nothing for four days but play with my iPhone and iPad, sleep, eat (healthy foods), and play with my kid. Enjoy these recipes for the holiday; the salad is a great course to serve with the pork along with some cole slaw, fruit, and jugs of cold sweet tea.
Grilled Sweet Onion and Arugula Salad with Shaved Grana Padana
4 large Vidalia or 1015 sweet onions
3T olive oil
12 ounces farm stand fresh small leaf young arugula or other peppery cress or green.
2 pints cherry tomatoes
4 ounce block of Grana Padana or Reggianno parmesan cheese, shaved into elegant curls.
Cut the onions in half at the waist and peel off the skins.
Brush with the olive oil, season with sea salt and ground white pepper and grill over medium heat, cut side down until the onions are almost blackened. Flip, and cook on low direct or indirect heat for 10 more minutes, if you need to, finish cooking the onions for 10 minutes in a preheated 450-degree oven. Maybe space is at a premium on your grill, who knows.
Cool onions but keep them at least warm. Pop the ‘rings’ of the onion out and arrange over the washed and dried arugula on 8 plates.
Cut the tomatoes in half and arrange them around the greens. Sprinkle with the cheese shavings.
Drizzle with the vinaigrette and serve.
Cooked Shallot and Red Wine Vinaigrette
3T minced shallots
1T minced parsley
3T red wine vinegar
1T fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, bruised/smashed
Half cup extra virgin olive oil
1t brown mustard
Place a small sauté pan over high heat and add 2T of the oil.
Add the shallots, garlic, and sugar.
Swirl pan briefly, you are only cooking for 30 seconds after you hear any sizzle at all.
Promptly scrape the pan’s ingredients into a work bowl and whisk in the mustard followed by the vinegar, parsley and remaining oil.
Season with sea salt, ground white pepper, and fresh lemon juice.
Serve with the salad.
Barbecued Pulled Pork
1 bone-in pork shoulder, @ 5# in weight
Quarter cup brown sugar
Quarter cup paprika
3T ground black pepper
3T kosher salt
1T garlic powder
1T onion powder
1T celery seeds
1t cayenne pepper
The Basting Sauce
1 cup cider vinegar
1 small onion minced
1t hot chile flakes
1T kosher salt
1T brown sugar
1t ground black pepper
2 cups cider vinegar
2T dark corn syrup
Quarter cup Heinz ketchup
Third cup Heinz Chile Sauce
3T brown sugar
4t kosher salt
2T Crystal hot sauce
2t red chile flakes, or more to taste
2t ground black pepper
Combine the rub ingredients, or use your favorite store bought rub.
Combine the basting sauce ingredients, whisking until sugar and salt are dissolved, set aside.
Combine BBQ sauce ingredients over medium heat in a small pot, when simmering, pull from heat and let cool. Refrigerate for later use. The longer you simmer the thicker your sauce will be.
Massage pork shoulder with the rub and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.
‘Grill’ the shoulder over indirect medium low heat, using smoking chips if desired to establish a smoke flavor, remember a little goes a long way. You will want to keep adding wood or charcoal every 40 minutes or so to maintain a medium low heat of roughly 300 degrees. For gas grills you want to maintain a temperature of roughly 275 to 300 degrees. Baste every hour with the basting sauce.
Pork is done when the meat is fork tender, and meat ‘pulls’ easily when picked at . . . usually by this time the meat has an internal temperature of @ 165 or more.
Let pork cool for 30 minutes, shred meat and discard the bones.
Toss meat with the some of the BBQ sauce, mound on toasted rolls and serve with cole slaw.