As many of you may have heard, my refrigerator broke over the weekend. When you stockpile enough food to feed an army at any given moment, as I do, this is a PROBLEM. Fortunately, with a lot of damage control (giant bag of ice in the freezer, my landlords inexplicably keep a mini fridge running on the back porch) it was not a tragedy. I got it back up and running on Monday (not fixed, but running and, more importantly, cooling), but while I didn't lose much, the vast quantities of meat in my freezer were thawed, meaning they needed to be cooked right away.
If I hadn't been so overwhelmed by the amount and variety of meat to cook in such a short time, this would have been an excellent opportunity to do something crazy for this blog. But I just didn't have the time or mental energy to put together a cohesive meal or find any exotic ingredients. So why are you telling us this, you ask. Well, it was kind of funny. Except for some [delicious, thanks to Kenny] barbecued country-style boneless ribs and a vat of chicken stock, nothing I made was 100% American. Peruvian-style chicken kebabs, Hungarian goulash, osso bucco, pork chops with Senegalese onion-mustard sauce, carnitas, and dijon-garlic chicken. None of it except for maybe the carnitas was necessarily authentic (Peruvian chicken is supposed to be rotisserie, the pork chops were supposed to be lamb, I didn't have the fresh ingredients to finish the osso bucco, etc.), but it was all delicious and made almost entirely from ingredients I had on hand (Kenny brought rib supplies, skewers, and sides to grill). My major goal in starting this blog was to become a better, more versatile cook, and there's no way I could have hacked such a diverse smorgasbord last summer without obsessing over every recipe and buying a lot of stuff. So I'm feeling pretty good about the whole thing.
If anyone wants recipes, I'll provide them where I can (or at least give you an idea of what I threw into the marinade). But I hope this will inspire you to pick a flavor or cuisine you enjoy and wing it yourself! I'd love to hear how it goes.