Category Archives: USA

All the Pretty Horses: Equestrian Halloween Contest & Pulled Pork Sandwiches.

Horse back riding is an awesome hobby associated with a fabulous sense of adventure. Halloween, on the other hand, is an exciting opportunity to be someone else once a year. Combine these two things and you will have a “movable feast” for wherever you go for the rest of your life this experience will stay with you.    
Last year we were lucky enough to attend a Halloween Costume equestrian contest for kids and adults at the lovely Laurel Saddle Friends club nestled in a picturesque pine forest in Laurel, Delaware. As it appeared, we were not exactly dressed for this event: the cowboy hat, boots or big ol’ belt buckle were missing (shame on us!) Luckily, we did wear plaid shirts and had our cameras with us, and today, on the edge of Halloween 2012, we can share with you some of the amazing images we took during this event.

The beginning of this Halloween rodeo started with a young cowboy rider carrying the flag to the sounds of the National Anthem:


Then the costume contest began:

Once the best costumes of both, horse and the rider, were selected, the contest moved on to the RIP Barrel racing and Halloween kids/teens rodeo, followed by the adults competition:


We spent the whole day at Laurel Saddle bathing in the sun, pine trees forest/horses aroma watching this super-empowering show. The pulled pork sandwiches (see the recipe below) we brought with us were the life-savers and enhanced our cowboy spirit for the day…

This most unusual Halloween celebration was such a thrill, we promised ourselves to come back one day to see all those pretty horses and have the same fun again.

PULLED PORK SANDWICHES:

This simple and comforting cowboy food is a saver, particularly when you cook for a gathering, picnic, or outdoors celebration. Ideally, the porc is supposed to be BBQ-ed, but my oven version works very well too.

  • 1 pork shoulder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (or Cajun seasoning)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • few root vegetables (carrots, rutabaga) coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Season pork shoulder with salt, pepper and paprika, rub well.

Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a heavy pan. Add pork and brown it on all sides and move it into Dutch oven (you can as well brown it directly in the Dutch oven). Deglace the pan by splashing apple cider vinegar and scrape any pieces of meat that are stuck to the pan and stir.

Add coarsely chopped onion and veggies. Add water, stock, beer or ginger ale (like I did) to the half-way point of the pork and one bay leaf.

Cover Dutch oven with foil and place the pork on the middle of a rack in an oven that has been pre-heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Equally, you can put it in a crock pot for 4-6 hours.Cook until completely tender from 4 hour to 6 hours, depending on the size/age of meat and/or your oven.

Remove the pan from the oven and strain the meat out of the liquid and vegetables. Shred the meat with two forks. Return to the oven/slow cooker and heat through. (Optional: remove the excess fat floating in the liquid, and then reduce the sauce to desired thickness by cooking it down over low heat until it thickens and mix it with the pulled pork or spoon 1/2 cup onto each bun later).

Now, this is the Southern way to eat pulled pork. You can go for kaiser roll, or fancy healthy bread, but classic Southern way is to have it with the cheap white hot dog bread or hamburger buns. Heat up the pulled pork and put it on top of the butterflied hot dog bun.

Add some of your favorite sauce (which contains vinegar).


Top with coleslaw (see coleslaw). In many cases the hot dog sausage is added to this combo, but we did fine without it.

And a good old kosher pickle slice and/or pickled jalapenos on top of the pulled pork is always a welcome addition. Yummy!

Guaranteed pleasure!!! Just make sure you have napkins or use fork on your pulled pork sandwich cause it can be messy…

Two Ways to Broil Bluefish

Experienced anglers know the thrill and excitement of the bluefish catch for when it is hooked it fights like no other species. They also know that bluefish taste best when they are running close to shore in the summertime feeding on the schools of herring they follow up the Atlantic or Gulf coasts. So what do you do with the bluefish when you happen to catch it like this lucky guy?

You open a bottle of champagne…

Just kidding, but seriously, did you ever catch and/or cook the bluefish? If you catch it, you fillet it, if you buy it you ask your fishmonger to do that.

During BBQ season the best way is to grill blue fish fillets with just salt, pepper and some drizzled olive oil. Prepare the grill. Put the bluefish on the hottest part of the grill, skin side down for 2 minutes. Then rotate the grate so the fish is over the cool part of the grill and cover the grill. Grill until cooked for about 8-10 minutes. When done, squeeze some lemon juice and sprinkle with your favourite herbs. But when its raining like today, its better to broil it.

If you never tried blue fish before, without a doubt, one of the following recipes will make your first foray into its cooking a smashing success. The bacon in both recipes enhances the rich and seductive flavour of this fish.
Broiled Bluefish with Mustard, Bacon & Thyme
3 tablespoons Traditional or Dijon mustard
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
1 teaspoon dried thyme (optional)
1 tablespoon of crumbs (optional)
1 sliced lime (optional)
1 strip bacon in cuts
two 6-ounze portions skin-on bluefish fillets
coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper (optional)
Preheat the broiler for 15 minutes or more.
Cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil, lightly oil it and set the bluefish on it, skin side down. Sprinkle with salt and white pepper. Stir the mustard and mayonnaise together and slather fillets` top with it. Sprinkle with dry thyme and crumbs. Top with lime slices and bacon.


Broil 4 to 6 inches from the heat for about 8 minutes until the fish is almost cooked through, then, turn off the broiler and keep fish in the oven for another 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately with rice, green beans and/or a glass of some good Chardonnay.
Broiled Bluefish with Bacon & Tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
1 tablespoon of crumbs (optional)
2 Roma tomatoes , sliced
2 strips bacon in cuts
two 6-ounze portions skin-on bluefish fillets
coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper (optional)
Preheat the broiler for 15 minutes or more.
Cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil, lightly oil it and set the bluefish on it, skin side down. Sprinkle with salt and white pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with dry oregano and crumbs. Top with tomatoes and bacon cuts.
Broil 4 to 6 inches from the heat for about 5 minutes, then, switch off the broiler and keep fish in the oven at 400 degrees for another 3-4 minutes. Serve immediately with rice, green beans and/or a glass of some good Chardonnay.