It did not escape me that The New York Times ran a column by Sam Sifton titled The Slow-Cooker, Redeemed shortly after my own In The Kitchen column on slow-cookers ran in the Packet. Now it’s clear, what I’ve suspected for years: they are following my columns and copying me!
Guys, I know imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but really? Okay, I’m kidding. But I love when this happens, because it means that I’m at least “on trend” in a small way.
I could not resist making Sifton’s Vaguely Vietnamese Slow-Cooker Pork Tacos from his article, and they were fantastic. I had wonderfully juicy and messy tacos for a couple dinners, then another night enjoyed the pork over a brown rice blend from Lotus Foods with more of the good slaw (also in the recipe) on the side. I had improvised the slaw recipe to use up things I had on hand, which, unusually, included a small Savoy cabbage.
My pork shoulder weighed just over 3 1/2 pounds instead of the 5 called for, but I made the original amount of sauce, so I had lots of juice, but it’s so good I don’t mind. I still have more of it all left, so I might take a chance on freezing some. I don’t usually enjoy leftovers from the freezer, but I suspect this one will be just fine thawed and reheated, since this is so much juice. And it turned out a good friend of mine – another great mind! – had also clipped that recipe; she made it for herself last night, also to good effect, she reported. This might be one of his top recipes this winter, too bad there’s not a way to track how many readers make a recipe from the pages of the New York Times (or any media…)
I loved it so much that I Tweeted a thank you (@SamSifton), and was impressed that that was re-tweeted and favorited in short order. (I do love my Twitter.)
And, my slow-cooker is getting another workout this afternoon, less than a week later!
I had bought kielbasa at Trader Joe’s, intending to make another New York Times recipe, this one from Florence Fabricant, the Sherried Lentil Soup with Sausage and Croutons. At the same time, I spied some tiny, pale German-made bratwursts in the case, and grabbed those too, thinking it would be interesting to try those some night. Neither of those is a usual item for me to have on hand, and when, a couple weeks later, I still hadn’t gotten around to using either, I decided to use them up in another slow-cooker recipe. I had a big jar of sauerkraut in the fridge, after a nearly hot dog-less summer, and I wanted to use it up (I need the space!).
So I Googled and found a dead simple recipe, at the browneyedbaker.com that uses beer and brown sugar. I didn’t have nearly the 3 pounds of kielbasa called for, so threw in the brats too, intending to pull them out sooner if it looks like I should. I did use the full 12 ounces of beer, so I’ll probably have too much juice again, but no problem. I’ll let you know how this one works out when I do my Best Bites post for February. Or check @njspice on Twitter for the latest!