Football season means one thing to me: pork butt, aka Boston butt, aka pork shoulder, cooked and served in every way, shape and form. Pork butt can be fatty with lots of connective tissues, making it the preferred cut for low and slow cooking. I prefer to buy bone-in pork shoulder unless I’ll be grinding or cubing up my meat for sausages or stews. And if you want to make sausage but have no meat grinder, ask your butcher to give you a hand and run the meat through the grinder.
Pulled pork is a delicious tailgating standby; you can’t go wrong with slow-roasted meat so tender that it falls apart with two forks, lightly drenched in some tangy-sweet BBQ sauce. And while I’m sure your go-to recipe is the best and that everyone always requests it, why not branch out a little and show that pork butt some love? Here’s the nudge you need to switch up your tailgating favorites.
- Have smoker, will travel? Brine your butt (yes, I went there) in molasses before smoking with Alton Brown’s Barbecue Pork Butt recipe. Keep the smoker going for MO Gridder’s BBQ Pork Butt sandwich or coat the pork in mustard and a dry rub for Smoked Boston Pork Butt.
- Throwback to the 25 Ways to Use Beer post with Beer Braised BBQ Pork Butt (pictured above).
- Use a piece of boneless pork shoulder and store-bought kimchi for Korean comfort food at home: Kimchi Stew with Braised Pork.
- Brian Boitano serves his Braised Hawaiian Pork Shoulder with Mashed Parsnips and Celery Root — Pho Poi.
- Equally delicious served hot or at room temp, single-serving Pork Pies are a great (and filling) portable lunch option.
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Fava beans scare me. Maybe it’s the famous cinematic pairing of fava beans with liver and a nice Chianti that subconsciously haunts me, or maybe it’s the prehistoric-looking pod these buttery beans arrive in. Fava beans, also known as broad beans, are in fact harmless and delicious — ancient, hardy beans that can be found young and fresh during the spring. You can eat the outer skin of very young beans, but as favas mature, that outer skin can become very tannic and is normally removed before eating. Snap off an end and pull the string down the side of the pod to release the beans inside, then gently drop the beans in boiling water for a few minutes, drain under cool running water and remove the skins. Fava beans are an excellent source of folic acid, a good source of potassium and magnesium and they’re also high in fiber. If you’re like me and have been intimidated by the big bad broad bean for too long, try out these 25 fava-filled recipes. In no particular order:
- Prepare everything for Mario Batali’s Three Virtue Soup, including the pasta dough the night before you want to eat it, and cook the meat and fava-friendly broth (without the pasta) in a slow cooker throughout the day for a ready-to-eat weeknight homemade meal.
- Make a batch of Bobby Flay’s Fava Bean Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette and Shaved Manchego Cheese for a quick and simple side dish.
- It’s all Greek to me! Cat Cora’s fresh stuffed pasta recipe — Hilopites: Egg Pasta with Fava Bean, Feta and Mint Stuffing — will have everyone saying, “Opa!”
- Anne Burrell adds the slightly bitter green, escarole, to her super springy Fava Bean and Pecorino Salad, which pairs well with the buttery fava.
- Be sure to season your fried food with a bit of salt as soon as it comes out of the hot oil, like Jamie Oliver’s Spicy Fava Bean Fritters with Lemon Minted Yogurt. (pictured above)
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Cherries have started popping up locally, and it’s practically our patriotic duty to devour them. Cherries are a small stone fruit (think peaches and nectarines) that pack a healthful punch. Tart cherries are high in melatonin, which helps you calm down and settle into a deep sleep at night. Tart cherry juice has also been proven to reduce post-workout soreness. Sweet cherries contain lots of antioxidants; the darker the cherry, the more antioxidants it packs in. One cup of sweet cherries contains about the same amount of potassium as a small banana. So get going on these recipes!
Worried about pits? You can get a fancy cherry pitter, but I normally just halve the cherries with a paring knife and then pop out the pits. It’s slow-going work but also oddly therapeutic. Enjoy your cherries with these 25 ideas. In no particular order:
- Peaches With Balsamic Cherries (pictured above) — it’s like dessert, but easier to fit into your swimsuit after eating.
- Don’t forget to pit the cherries for Emeril’s sweet ice cream topping, Cherries Jubilee.
- Alex Guarnaschelli tops lemon sorbet with Sauteed Cherries With Grappa and Almonds.
- Nadia G. stews sour cherries with orange bitters for her Cherry Pie Inspired by an “Old Fashioned” Cocktail.
- Healthy breakfasts don’t have to mean boring breakfasts; start your day with Cherry Vanilla Oatmeal.
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When I say parsley, you think garnish, right? Wrong. This slightly peppery and bright herb is so much more than a bit of green on the side of your plate. Parsley is a great source of vitamin C, calcium, iron and fiber. Raw parsley also acts as a breath freshener and has anti-inflammatory properties. There are many varieties of parsley, but the most common are flat-leaf, also known as Italian, and curly. You can find parsley all year long in the supermarkets, but it is particularly fantastic now, during the shift from the heavy comfort foods of winter to lighter spring fare. Parsley is a hero among garnishes, but should it be typecast as a topping? I vote nay. Check out these 25 tips and recipes that pay homage to parsley.
In no particular order:
- Marinate steak with parsley, chives, tarragon, lemon zest and a bit of olive oil for an easy Grilled Flat Iron Steak. (pictured above)
- Finish your Frittata with some chopped parsley before you pop it into the oven.
- Parsley brightens up and brings a bit of a peppery taste to Mario Batali’s Lamb and Veal Meatloaf — a tasty alternative to the classic beef version.
- Lentil, Bean and Parsley Salad is delicious dish that will keep you full (thanks to the lentils), but won’t weigh you down.
- To store parsley, rinse with cool water and then wrap in a slightly damp paper towel in a resealable plastic bag and keep in the fridge.
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Honey-Rhubarb Ice Cream
For a few short weeks in early spring, rhubarb takes center stage at grocery stores and farmers’ markets. And let’s be real, it’s hard to miss those giant pink stalks. Though rhubarb gets mistaken for a fruit in sweet dishes like crumbles and pies, this tart stalk is actually a very diverse vegetable. Rhubarb can be found in several varieties; the green stalks will be considerably more tart than the red-skinned variety. The tall, leafy vegetable makes a great addition to any garden, but be sure only to consume the celery-like stalks — the leaves and roots of the rhubarb plant contain toxins that are poisonous. Celebrate spring’s bounty with these 25 delicious rhubarb-studded recipes. In no particular order:
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