We are less than two weeks away from the September Edition of Pasadena Community Supper Club - the third installment in the series - which promises to be the juiciest yet. (If you’re new to what we’re doing here, I suppose now would be a good time to let you know that these little updates are neither written by E.L. James, nor are we sponsored by TMZ.)
I’m referring to the food. So, what’s for dinner this month, you ask?
Why, pork tacos, of course. (I would not call them true carnitas. It’s closer to cochinita pibil, but, again, not really that either. Just have a look, they’re delicious.)
Last week, Teesha and I welcomed a ravenous group - comprised largely of her intellectually zombified fellow graduate students, fresh from tearing through their final papers - into our 500 square foot apartment. (No, this is not another spinoff of The Walking Dead - seriously, stay with the tour, please.)
I had spent the better part of the afternoon chopping onions, cilantro, garlic, and peppers and preparing other accoutrement, including a roasted tomatillo salsa. All this after much other chopping, squeezing and whisking required to make the brine in which our five pound pork shoulder bathed overnight, and the “mojo marinade” for the final two-hours immediately leading up to the roasting.
At this point you’ve probably got questions, such as:
"Was it worth all the work?”
Short answer: Yes. Everyone present said it was delicious, so good that they would have paid for it, and not one person there was my mom.
“Give me the recipe.”
Technically, whoever you are, that’s not a question. But I’ll respond to it just the same, because I’m a nice guy. The recipes for the pork, the roasted tomatillo salsa, and the black beans are each courtesy of the greatest chef on Planet YouTube, “Binging with Babish.”
Pork recipe here.
Salsa recipe here.
Black Beans recipe here.
His work has been a real inspiration to me, as I know he has been to many other aspiring chefs.
“How are you going to prepare gallons and gallons of brine and marinade and then roast 45 pounds of pork shoulder on September 23rd?”
As usual, I will figure that out at least 10 minutes prior to when we start cooking. Two months of history has yet to suggest a better method.
This is likely to be the most day-ahead work we’ve done so far, even remembering the 60 pounds of mashed potatoes Teesha and I made the night before last month’s dinner. (“My little potato peeler” has yet to catch on as a nickname.)
It will also be the most last-minute work we’ve had to do, as someone from our team (Brooks, if you're reading this...) will have to griddle the corn tortillas mere moments before plating.
I’ve said this now before every month’s dinner, and likely will repeat it into perpetuity, but I’m really excited about this one. It’s going to be challenging, and, most importantly, a real pleasure to serve to our friends and neighbors at Centennial Place.
We have had three generous and timely donations since the August dinner, all of which together are making this project more sustainable. In the coming weeks I will be announcing a new project that we are able to take on, made possible by this support.
In typical nonprofit fashion, I will ask everyone reading this to please consider a gift - of any amount - to support Pasadena Community Supper Club. This is a purely volunteer effort, and any extra money we have available above and beyond the costs of the dinners is being put towards certain aesthetic (but we think very important) upgrades, including tablecloths, place settings, and even table decorations, all to create a more beautiful and welcoming space for our dinner guests. This is a time of refreshment and relaxation for them, and we want to offer the best we can down to every last detail.
Thanks for reading, and I’ll be back in a few weeks with the recap.