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Tuesday, January 13, 2015


We smoked a pork loin yesterday with apple wood and an apple juice baste. It was delicious, but a little dry. It's the first time we've smoked a pork loin- we wanted to make sure it was cooked through...and ended up over cooking it a bit.
That's OK, it was still tasty! We ended up with a LOT of leftovers, so I decided to make BBQ pork on buns for dinner tonight.
I put all of the smoked pork leftovers into the slow cooker with a bottle of Trader Joe's Carolina Gold BBQ sauce and let it simmer all day. It was DELICIOUS!!! We like the mustardy-vinegary flavor of a carolina sauce, so this worked out great on some sesame hamburger buns!
I wanted something different for a side dish, so I made some homemade tater tots.
I didn't want to fry the tots, like so many recipes suggested. I wanted to bake them to crunchy goodness.
I found this great recipe for parmesan-garlic hand formed baked tater tots on Food 52's website.
Instead of using grated baked potatoes, I used a bag of Trader Joe's shredded hash browns. I microwaved the potatoes for about 2 minutes, grated 2 large cloves of garlic into the potatoes and added 1/2 cup of grated Comte and mild cheddar cheese. (Hey, they were leftover from the appetizers today!) I also added a dash of fleur de sel and mixed it all together with my hands for a good mix.

Then, I rolled little balls of goodness and put them on a WELL-OILED parchment sheet on a tray.

They actually tasted pretty good like this!

Then, I baked them at 425 for 15 minutes, and then, rolled them to the other side and baked them for another 15 minutes.

Holy Smoke!!!! Delicious!

As if that wasn't enough, I also made my special dipping sauce- 1/4 cup of ketchup, 1 tablespoon of sambal olek and 2 teaspoons of mayonnaise all whisked together.

I could have eaten this whole tray for dinner...but I restrained myself and had just a few...along with some steamed haricot verts and the bbq pork.

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