Almost Heaven (WV) had a foot and half of snow on Friday and Saturday, lost telephone, cable TV and power – so I was happy to sit this snow storm out down here at Almost Heaven South.
As we frequently do, we used the Super Bowl as an excuse to invite a few friends over for the evening to socialize - as a non big time professional football fan, I didn’t really care who won, but I enjoy the get together. I do have a tendency to root for the underdog, so congrats to the Saints. I remember watching the Packers win Superbowl 1, and thinking what a great game it was – this was back when it was a football game rather than a television controlled event. Now it seems to be all about hype, money and who has the best commercials, but it’s still a good excuse to get together – I’m off my soapbox now.
We provided some chips with salsa and guacamole, smoked wings, homemade veggie soup, mini smoked pork tenderloin sandwiches, homemade pork/venison Czech sausage, a chocolate cake, and some libations. Our friends brought snacks, veggie tray, meatballs, desserts and wine. Needless to say, we have more than enough food.
We normally just make up the salsa to taste, but since it seemed very similar to Pioneer Woman’s, we decided to use it and as it turned out to very almost identical to ours, we now have a recipe. I didn’t get a pic, but there are plenty at her site – it’s a very good recipe.
I had several pork tenderloins in the freezer and decided to smoke a couple for sandwiches. I marinated them for about 3 hours using the following recipe I found on line but can’t remember where. It’s a recipe for grilling, but works fine for smoking.
· 1/4 cup frozen apple juice concentrate
· 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
· 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
· 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, or thyme
· 4 cloves garlic, minced
· 1 teaspoon crushed peppercorns
· 2 12-ounce pork tenderloins, trimmed of fat
Whisk apple juice concentrate, 2 tablespoons mustard, 1 tablespoon oil, rosemary (or thyme), garlic and peppercorns in a small bowl. Reserve 3 tablespoons marinade for basting. Place tenderloins in a shallow glass dish and pour the remaining marinade over them, turning to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes or for up to 2 hours, turning several times.
I then smoked them to an internal temp of 140 and put them into a hot cooler until serving time. We served them pre-game on sliced baguettes with slices of Guggisberg baby Swiss cheese and a choice of several mustards or Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce (Fisher & Weiser). The meat came out a nice pink, which I consider to be perfect. I liked the marinade but Bev thought it was just okay.
For the wings, I used the sauce from Velva over at Tomatoes On The Vine but, I smoked them to an internal temp of 160* and put them in the warming drawer to keep warm until halftime. Here they are out of the smoker.
Then I put them in the 500* oven for 15 minutes to crisp the skin, tossed in her sauce and served.
The hot wing eaters all liked the sauce and next time, I believe I may amp them up a little more by adding more pickled jalapenos. For the non-hot wing eaters, I tossed some in BBQ sauce.
We had vegetable soup available all game made from our usual clean out the pantry, frig and freezer method. It was delicious as always and we had a bottle of sriarcha setting beside it.
The Czech sausage was the pork/venison I’d made a while back – link - and we just served it at room temperature with mustard.
I think we had two or three folks who really cared about the game outcome, a few who wanted to see a good game and several who said “what football game?” At any rate, we kicked back and enjoyed getting together, eating and drinking a little, and visiting. I’d have to call it a successful party as everyone seemed to have a good time.
Have a great day