There's an art to planning the perfect party food.
It has to be tasty enough to get people talking, but easy enough to eat that drunk people won't burn themselves/others/your house in the process. There has to be enough of it for people to get seconds or thirds or fourths, but not so much that it takes up the entire counter.
Like I said, it's a process. But the moment when it comes together, when everyone in the room is talking over and surrounding your food? When the thing that's holding conversations together becomes those shared plates of scotch eggs or devils on horseback?
But pouring soda over giant slabs of meat is pretty cool, too, so let's do that.
Here's what you need:
- A roughly 4 lb. pork shoulder
- A can of vanilla coke (you can use regular or Dr. Pepper or whatever dark soda you want if you have it, but ... you want vanilla coke. Trust me.)
- ½ pound sharp cheddar
- ½ pound Monterey Jack
- 10 radishes
- A handful of cilantro
- 1 can seasoned black beans
- Sour cream
- 6 jalapenos
- 1 red onion
- 1 white onion
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- One large bag tortilla chips
Here's how you do it:
First, get ready for the easiest pulled pork recipe ever. You ready? Are you sure?
Put the pork shoulder in a slow cooker. Season it with salt and pepper.Pour the whole can of vanilla coke over it and leave it for 10 hours on low, turning it over at the five-hour mark.
Well OK, you have to actually do the pulling part of the pulled pork, I forgot about that. But that's easy too: just get a couple of forks and shred the shit out of it, just like any self-respecting (or non-self-respecting, we all got issues) Southerner would.
Next, slice up the jalapenos and red onion.
Put each in a separate mason jar, then whisk together the apple cider vinegar, sugar and salt until the sugar is completely dissolved. Pour half of it in the jalapeno jar and half in the onion jar, then let them sit until the nachos are ready.
Do the rest of the prep: slice the radishes thin, chop up the white onion and cilantro, grate the cheese, and drain the black beans.
Preheat your oven to 350.
Assemble the nachos by putting a layer of chips down, then pork, beans and cheese. You're not an idiot, you know how nachos work.
Stick them in the oven for 20 minutes, top them with all that other good stuff, and go to town.
And stick this in your stereo. It's "Fried Neckbones and Some Home Fries (Dan The Automator Remix)" from Willie Bobo:
OK, maybe the perfect party food isn't that hard to get a handle on. If you put together something with melted cheese and some kind of meat on top, chances are people are going to be pretty happy with it. That's why nachos work: they're easy, they taste good, and you can put whatever the hell you want on them. Now put some in your mouth and get back to the party - there's probably some idiot trying to play The Cure for the 8th time in a row.
When Scott Greenberg isn't baking - which is pretty much never - he likes to obsess over music, play Street Fighter and yell at kids to get off of his lawn. You can find more of his recipes at Fresh Beats, Fresh Eats.
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