Lazy Holiday preparedness?

Good. Welcome.

Event season is upon us, dearest darlings. I have many invitations on my desk, most all requesting that I “bring something to share!”

I get it; We don’t want to do all of the work, we want to hang out with our friends and squish babies and we will have our hands full with that and in the other hand, a cocktail so…bring snackies!

The trade off, of course, is that we are fussing around, trying to keep things warm, keeping them looking appetizing, wondering if people are liking it, making picky kids eat it…Aaaaand not really making Merry at all.

So this year, I decided to find the easiest, laziest dead-ringer that I could. The sign up sheet went out, it was time to declare our intentions. With brazen confidence, I typed “Kalua Pork Sliders.”

Gauntlet thrown.

It was the best possible scenario; pick up rolls, pick up cole slaw (and doctor it up a bit with cilantro, salt and pepper) and a croc pot. It was bliss AND it disappeared. I left there with nothing but pride. ALL THE PRIDE.

I will mention that the other part of this particular invite was to enter a drink into the Drink Competition (which I won, ya’ll) and I made the pork and the drink side-by-side and they cross-pollinated in the best way:

Courtesy Perpetually Hungry Blog who suggests fried onions on top...What is there to disagree with?

Courtesy Perpetually Hungry Blog who suggests fried onions on top…Genius. Also check out the cole slaw recipe, which looks excellent.

Kalua Pork a la Fancy Pants:

  • A good, large amount of Pork Shoulder. Like maybe 4 pounds.
  • Hoisin Sauce. Hoisin make everything tasty. Use lots of globs on top-like half of the bottle. Using this, I cut the amount of Hawaiian salt that is added in half.
  • Clementines-3 minimum sliced into rounds and plopped on top.
  • 1 Tbsp Hawaiian salt
  • Garlic. I would start at 6 cloves or so because I am no wussie.

-Dump ingredients into croc pot, leave on low for 6-8 hours until meat is unable to be picked up because it is so tender, it falls defiantly out of your hands and shreds itself.

-Remove meat from croc pot, remove liquid and chill for a bit until the fat separates, remove fat. mix shredded pork and liquid. Keep on low until served. Watch friend and loved ones become ensnared by it’s hearty-yet-light goodness.

Can you believe how easy that is? Any event the weekend after Thanksgiving and I am making this automatically. The hoisin/ citrus combo is one that I fell in love with after trying the best chicken wing recipe in the world: Her domestic majesty (you needn’t bother correcting me,) Martha Stewart’s Spicy Sweet Chicken Wings. If you are looking for a backup recipe that people will adore, I would recommend this one, even though you need to be less lazy to prepare them.

spicy sweet chicken wings

That caramelized color is where it’s at. Courtesy; Martha Stewart Living

Now, I will be honest; I knew I had the cocktail contest in my pocket because this is my signature wintertime drink and no one in their right mind can deny it’s magic. Not even my mother-who doesn’t drink liquor. The same Aunt mentioned above was kind enough to share her recipe for Honey Preserved Clementines a few years back because they are stunning and I had to have them all to myself. You can put them in everything (other alcoholic drinks, non-alchy drinks,  an upside down cake or an icing…) and they will win hearts.

No. They will STEAL hearts.

They don’t stand a chance.

I call it the Tummy Warmer and it goes a lil something like this:

  • Ice in a lowball glass-crushed
  • A shot of bourbon. I used Burnside.
  • A tablespoon of Honey Preserved Clementines-Include a slice of clementine in the glass (even the rinds are edible. My favorite part!)
  • Ginger Ale to the top.
  • If you want to get fancy, add a smooshed Amarena Cherry.

The Clementines are the absolute easiest thing in the world; you cook them for 10 minutes on the stove, leave them overnight then transfer them to a jar.

Courtesy; Fancy Pants

Courtesy; Fancy Pants

*Pro Tip; If you really want to be the darling of the crowd, you could even bring a few of the smallest mason jars and let people take a few slices with syrup home.

*Pro Tip the Second; fiddle with the spices. Don’t be afraid. It’s the holidays, so you’ll have plenty extra. I love cardamom, so I go nuts with that.