[FHCx353] National Roast Suckling Pig Day

IT’S NATIONAL ROAST SUCKLING PIG DAY!

Cultures across the world have all independently found that young pigs make for quite the roast. Pig is one of the earliest animals domesticated for slaughter, so it was only a matter of time before we figured out the age thing. Suckling pigs’ skin ends up being very tender and the meat is almost in a state of gelatinousness. Plus, you can roast the whole thing at once, because at 2-6 weeks of age, these guys aren’t too huge yet.

Well SP has been wanting to try the Fidel’s Capitalist Pig Roast at Chino Latino for a long time. Chino used to be the place for SP and his friends to go for late night happy hour ($1 tacos!) when he was still in college. Then he started having to get up at 6 in the morning and he didn’t get to go anymore. At the bottom of the menu, there was always this tempting item:

So we gathered up a total of 10 people and made plans for this pig roast. It was quite the party.

 

They even printed this up on the menus for us!

 

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Banana for scale.

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SP got to have the head. Cheek meat!!

Tender and terrific and lots and lots of leftovers. We had a lot of fun!

Tomorrow is National Oatmeal Muffin Day and National Hard Candy Day.

-SPAK

[FHCx289] National Roast Pheasant Day/National Chicken Cacciatore Day/National Mushroom Day/National Red Wine Day/National Cheese Curd Day

Title too long.

IT’S NATIONAL ROAST PHEASANT DAY AND NATIONAL CHICKEN CACCIATORE DAY AND NATIONAL MUSHROOM DAY AND NATIONAL RED WINE DAY AND NATIONAL CHEESE CURD DAY!

If you thought having three food holidays in one day was difficult, welcome to the big leagues.

Cheese curds.

We picked some up from Culver’s, which is really the only choice for cheese curds when the State Fair isn’t operating. In fact, they’re having a promo right now for “Curd Nerds” and a sweepstakes to win a whole bunch of money. Here’s hoping.

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“Fried” and “cheese” do belong in the same sentence together more frequently than you’d think.

As for the main event, SParents really blew us away with all their hard work today. SPom put together a chicky-catch yesterday, that we were able to heat up and have at dinner tonight.

Basically chicken cacciatore is a kind of Italian chicken stew that has a bunch of veggies, and is usually served over noodles.

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Notice the mushrooms for mushroom day?

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In the US, we frequently use a red sauce for cacciatore.

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Along with dinner was some red wine…

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…and some sauteed mushrooms, just because you can’t ever have enough.

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We’d been really nervous with roast pheasant coming up. It’s not something that we frequently get around here, even though many of SP‘s coworkers are reveling in the opening of the pheasant hunting season this weekend. Sure you can hunt it, but can you roast it? SPad can. He got these pheasants from the grocery store on special order, and went to work with a tasty recipe.

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Hate to say it… but it tastes like chicken!

It was extra special with the juice/dip/sauce that went with the recipe.

All in all, a successful but stressful day, and we didn’t even have to do the brunt of the work. Thanks SPom and SPad! Here’s hoping we don’t have another psychotically packed day of food holidays again.

Tomorrow is National Liqueur Day and World Food Day.

-SPAK

[FHCx258] National Cream-Filled Donut Day/National Eat a Hoagie Day

Fill ’em up!

IT’S NATIONAL CREAM-FILLED DONUT DAY AND NATIONAL EAT A HOAGIE DAY!

Whoever made today’s hoagiebration cheated. We already did hoagie day. But today you’re specifically supposed to eat the hoagie? I don’t know. What is important is that we give a shout out to our local buddies at Davanni’s. Twin Cities folks know that Davanni’s makes the heck out of some hoagies.

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The Chicken Parmigiana – grilled chicken breast with pizza sauce and cheese.

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Roast Beef classic hoagie with onions and lettuce and tomato.

So in addition to great pizza, there’s a great sandwich. And we didn’t even know it, but they were also celebrating National Eat a Hoagie Day and gave us $2 off the sandwiches! Thanks, Davanni’s.

It’s also very-specific-kind-of-donut day. Cream filled donuts, Bismarcks, Berliners, whatever you call them, have a great idea. Why waste space with having a hole in the center of your donut? Make it a pastry all the way through, and then shove some goo in there to make it even more tasty. We think Lund’s & Byerly’s does a great job with their variety in their bakery.

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Fill yourself up on cream filled!

Tomorrow is National Linguini Day, National Double Cheeseburger Day, and National Creme de Menthe Day.

-SPAK

[FHCx163] National Corn on the Cob Day/National German Chocolate Cake Day

Summertime!

TODAY IS NATIONAL CORN ON THE COB DAY AND NATIONAL GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE DAY!

SPAK is finally on summer vacation! School is out, and the livin’ is easy. Corns are grilling, and the chocolate is German. With our dinner, we cooked up some corn SPom style. No boiling, no weird roasting, just oven-ing.

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Leave the corn in their husks. Trim off the edges so you can fit them on a sheet.

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As they are, no rinsing or anything, 350 F for 20-40 minutes.

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Make sure not to burn your hands as you peel off the leaves.

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Like a newborn!

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We like ours with butter and pepper.

Now it’s not nearly the same as the corn roast at the MN State Fair, which exemplifies everything a corn cob should be, but it was still really tasty. This will hold us over until August when we can eat that delicious corn! Also pictured: SP‘s crab salad open-faced sandwiches.

For dessert, we had some delicious cake courtesy of Key’s Cafe again. When we went to pick up our Strawberry Rhubarb Pie the other day, we saw this and couldn’t resist:

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What a German Chocolate Cake should be.

We remembered there was something curious about German Chocolate Cake’s history, so we had to do a bit of research. Names can be deceiving. In this case, it’s named after a guy, Samuel German, who developed a dark baking chocolate in 1852. When a recipe showed up in Dallas 105 years later, popularity spiked. Then the possessive was dropped at it just became “German” Chocolate Cake. Go figure. Still. Delicious!

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What did we do to deserve such a nice treat? Who knows!

Tomorrow is National Peanut Butter Cookie Day and National Jerky Day.

-SPAK

[FHCx128] National Roast Leg of Lamb Day

Shake a leg, because

IT’S NATIONAL ROAST LEG OF LAMB DAY!

Lamb is a pretty awesome meat. It saddens us here in the SPAKworld when we hear friends say things about how “exotic” it is to eat lamb. Apparently, the only three meats are chicken, beef, and pork. Maybe turkey, if you’re a little cultured. No! Lamb is great. It can be problematic when trying not to indulge on food, though, as it’s generally pretty fatty. That means it’s all the tastier!

Tonight we took a trip to the Downtowner Woodfire Grill in Downtown St. Paul. In an area along W 7th Street that houses other amazing eateries like Forepaugh’s and Cosetta, a restaurant has to have a longstanding history of quality in order to stay in business. And that Downtowner does. When you walk in, you get a pretty strong whiff of some tasty planks over the fire. It’s impressive and very appetizing. We’re here for lamb!

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Kebab style!

Very tender, a very unique flavor of lamb. If you like lamb, this is a great choice!

Of course, we closed dinner by having some great desserts, too:

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Flourless Chocolate Grand Marnier Cake

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Molten Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream

A really fun time! Thanks, Downtowner!

Tomorrow is National Coconut Cream Pie Day, Have a Coke Day, and (unofficially) 5-8 Day! You’ll see…

-SPAK

 

[FHCx118] National Prime Rib Day

Primed and ready, because

IT’S NATIONAL PRIME RIB DAY!

There are a few days on this list that could easily be turned into gorging, making our bellies fat and our wallets thin. Prime Rib could have been one of those.

The Standing Rib Roast, as it is actually named, does not have to be of some sort of “prime” grade of beef. It also doesn’t have to come from 2, 3, 5, 7, or 11 ribs. It comes from the back of the ribs of the cow, and it is delicious. Rib eye steaks come out of this chunk of meat, but that’s with some of the fat removed, which is nuts, considering the marbling on a rib eye steak. Prime rib is the glutton’s steak. Its sole purpose is to be as fatty as possible, and it is SO easy to overdo it when ordering Prime Rib.

Most restaurants will name their prime rib not by actual weight, but often by a pseudonym to obscure how massive the cut will be. At the House of Prime Rib in San Francisco, you order either the City Cut, the English Cut, or the King Henry VIII cut. The Timberlodge Steakhouse (formerly, the Minnesota Timberlodge) serves up the Lena, the Ole, and the Lumberjack.

This evening we stuck around the local area and went to Axel’s. There, we ordered the “King” and split it in half. As SPom often says, your worst Weight Watchers day is likely still better than your best day of old. Yeah. We would have each gotten a King, with fries, and appetizers. But no! We are responsible adults watching our waistlines and wallets.

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“Gimme a steak. Medium rare.”

Super tender, herb crusted ribbiness. This thing is so easy to cut through and so easy to chew that it’s like it has its own cloaking device. It just disappears! It’s served with au jus and some horseradish, but damned if it wasn’t amazing on its own. You could even take some leftovers, slap it on a bun, and it would be on par with Maverick’s Roast Beef (when will we get to Maverick’s for SPAK?).

Anywho, tomorrow is Blueberry Pie Day.

-SPAK

[FHCx67] National Cereal Day/National Crown Roast of Pork Day

Writing this while waiting for a concert to start… and finishing it now that the concert is over!

TODAY IS NATIONAL CEREAL DAY AND NATIONAL CROWN ROAST OF PORK DAY!

As SPAK are now on spring break, we had the opportunity to have a somewhat relaxed morning. And to kick it off we had some cereal. Honey Nut Cheerios.


Yay.

The real treasure today was making this crown roast of pork. Neither of us had ever even seen one in real life until today. We picked up our meat from Von Hanson’s, a local butchery with an awesome selection and great prices. The hard part was just how long the process was to prepare one of these beasts.

The crown roast as it was given to us. The crown roast itself is a loin cut with bones in that is slitted and wrapped around itself to look like – you guessed it – a meat crown.

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Herb paste made from rosemary, sage, thyme, garlic, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup of olive oil.

Rubbed with the herb paste and sat into a pan with diced celery, onion, and garlic.

Make some pan sauce with wine and chicken stock. Bake at 450 for 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 and let it go for 1.5-2 hours until it’s at least 145 inside.

Tada! Happy crowns.


This thing has made the house smell so damn good. We were able to share with a couple of SP‘s friends and they really enjoyed it as well. SP was really worried that he would overcook it, as pork is one of those meats that can turn not-so-good rather quickly. But it was juicy and just right. He was even a master carver! There are lots of leftovers, so I think we’ll be good for several days. Verdict: we would definitely do this again. Thanks, crown roast of pork day, for teaching us something!

Tomorrow is Peanut Cluster Day!

-SPAK