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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Peachy Keen

Sunday night, Michael grilled a killer slab of barbecued baby back ribs. When they were ridiculously caramelized, we tossed a couple of ears of husk-wrapped sweet ambrosia corn cobs onto the grill to cook alongside the ribs. While devouring supper that night, we bathed ourselves in barbecue sauce and melted butter.  After licking the last salty butter puddle from my plate, I happily volunteered to clear our plates and clean up.  Why? A half slab of meat remained on the bones and I had a plan for it.

I cleaned the kitchen, poured myself another glass of wine, sat down at the kitchen table, and deboned the sticky barbecued pork meat while merrily sucking the bones completely clean along the way. Cook's treat.

Last night, I revisited that happy pork meat. I planned on making  pulled pork barbecued sandwiches with something. As I  rummaged through my farmstand vegetable drawer looking for that something, I ran across a bag of Kentucky grown peaches that I thought Michael had already eaten with his beloved cottage cheese. 

Peaches. I could work with that.  Peaches and barbecue just felt right.  The usual suspects,  grilled peaches or peach barbecue sauce, didn't fit my mood. I wanted  something a bit brighter and fresher.  When I stumbled upon a  jicama bulb tucked behind a slew of golden beets, I was inspired. Peach and jicama slaw.

I peeled the rough skinned jicama, sliced it in half, and julienned it on my mandolin before tossing it into a large bowl with julienned red bell pepper, slivered green onions, and thinly sliced peaches.

After whisking 2 tablespoons honey, dijon, fresh orange juice, and fresh lime juice with 3 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar into a smooth dressing, I poured it over the slaw, and slid it into the refrigerator to macerate while Michael and I drank wine, sharing our tales of the day.

When it was time to eat, I pulled the luscious pork from the refrigerator, shredded it, and slowly reheated it over a gentle flame in a pool of melted butter. Yep.

I piled the pork onto buttered toasted buns, dropped a few vinegar/sugar marinated cucumbers beside them, and spooned the peach jicama slaw into small vegetable shaped serving bowls.

Honestly, the butter-poached repurposed pork barbecue was better the second time around.  Although it was just as messy, it felt softer and mellower sandwiched  between butter toasted bread. Sticky butter barbecued pork heaven. Crazy good. 

The slaw was a revelation. Gorgeous sweet peaches, crunchy apple-like jicama, sweet red bell peppers, and biting green onions punched through the subtle honey-sweetened citrus dressing with their individual flavors and textures intact, perfectly balancing the richness of the pork.


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