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Raising the bars

Raising the Bar
internet/Rus Pishnery

Okay, so you’re assuming that today’s topic is about bar food and you are wondering why does he have a picture of Jane Fonda at the top of this column? It’s simple. It is Jane Fonda as Barbarella from the hit 1968 film of the same name. I’d like to share some bar food with her. Hubba hubba.

I can’t remember the last time I was in a bar. I think it was last Monday night, but I don’t remember. With that said, I have had numerous encounters with bars in my day. I’ve used a crow bar and after scuba diving I’ve hit my share of dive bars.

I enjoy a good candy bar, been to a bar mitzvah, and I have intimate relations with a bar of soap every morning in the shower. I prefer Irish Spring. I’ve never been to Bar Harbor, Maine but I hear it’s beautiful this time of year, and I have never taken the bar exam. I like to watch the pretty cashier at the Piggly Wiggly scan the bar codes on the stuff I buy. She thinks I’m watching the prices but I’m really staring at her breasts peeking out of her bar, I mean bra.

But bar food is always a nice treat. Time was bar food was a big jar of pickled eggs and beets and a wet, faded cardboard box of beef jerky. But the times they are a changing, so I am proud to put on the list three of my favorite bar food sandwiches.

I hope you enjoy them; they are the best, bar none.

The Sand Bar Sandwiches (Pimento Cheese Sandwiches)
The Sand Bar Sandwiches (Pimento Cheese Sandwiches) internet/Rus Pishnery

The Sand Bar Sandwiches (Pimento Cheese Sandwiches)

Don't hesitate to resort to jarred pimientos if this is too complicated.

2 Lrg. Roasted Red Peppers, Chopped

3/4 Cup Mayo

1/2 Cup Thinly Sliced Scallions

1 Tbs. Fresh lemon juice

1 Tbs. Dijon

3/4 Tsp. Pepper Sauce

3/4 Lb. Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Coarsely Grated

16 Thick Slices Wonder Bread

In a large bowl, stir together the chopped peppers, mayonnaise,
green onions, lemon juice, mustard, and hot pepper sauce. Gradually stir in the
grated cheese, mixing thoroughly. The sandwich filling can be prepared up to 1
day ahead. Cover and refrigerate; return it to room temperature before

Up to 30 minutes
before serving time, lay 8 slices of the bread on a work surface. Divide the
filling evenly among the slices, spreading it to the edges of the bread and
using it all. Top with the remaining 8 slices of bread. With a serrated knife,
carefully cut the sandwiches in half on the diagonal.

Circle K Bar None Cathouse Brisket Sandwich
Circle K Bar None Cathouse Brisket Sandwich internet/Rus Pishnery

Circle K Bar None Cathouse Brisket Sandwich

***The Mop***

1 Lrg. Red Onion, Chopped

4 Cloves Garlic, Chopped

2 Serrano Chiles,

6 Bottles Lone Star Beer

1 Cup Cider Vinegar

1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar

2 Bay Leaves

Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Dry Rub, Mix together Sea Salt, Freshly Ground Black Pepper,
Smoked Paprika, Garlic Powder, Ancho Chili Powder and Dried Thyme

5 pounds beef brisket with a layer of fat at least 1/4 inch thick

Texas Toast

BBQ Sauce

To prepare the mop: Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan, season with salt and pepper, and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. (The mop may be made a few days in advance, covered, and kept refrigerated.)

To prepare the brisket: Mix together the spices in a small bowl.
Rub the entire brisket with the spice mixture, place the brisket on a rimmed
baking sheet, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours.

Prepare the grill or smoker with about 1 cup soaked wood chips,
and if using a charcoal grill, a chimney starter full of hot coals, according
to the manufacturer's directions. Heat to 180 to 200 degrees F.

Place the brisket fat side up in the grill or smoker, close the grill hood, and smoke, basting with the mop every 30 minutes. Smoke until the brisket is extremely tender and the internal temperature is 145 degrees, about 8 to 10 hours.

Remove the meat from the grill and let rest for 10 minutes. Thinly
slice the meat against the grain.

Brush both sides of the bread with butter. Grill the bread on both
sides until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Serve the sliced brisket
piled on top of the toast.

Wang Chung’s Pulled Pork on Naan Bread
Wang Chung’s Pulled Pork on Naan Bread internet/Rus Pishnery

Wang Chung’s Pulled Pork on Naan Bread

1 5 Lb. Pork Butt

1 Banana Leaf

Dry Rub

Orange & Lime Juice

Asian Cole Slaw (Recipe follows)

Naan Bread (Indian Flatbread)

Asian Cole Slaw

1 (3-inch) Piece Ginger, Grated Fine

1/2 Cup Rice Wine Vinegar

1 Tbs. Soy Sauce

1 Lime, Juiced

2 Tbs Sesame Oil

1/2 Cup Peanut Butter

1 head Napa Cabbage, Sliced Thin

1 Red Bell Pepper, Fine Julienne

1 Yellow Bell Pepper, Fine Julienne

2 Serrano Chiles,

3 Scallions, Cut on the Bias

2 Tbs. Cilantro, Chopped

1/2 Tbs. Freshly Ground Black Pepper

In a small bowl combine ginger, vinegar, soy sauce, lime juice,
oil, and peanut butter. In a large bowl, combine all other ingredients and then
toss with dressing.

Wrap the banana leaf around the pork and place in a roasting pan.

Roast butt at 250 degrees for 6-8 hours or until pork pulls apart.

Place pulled
pork and Naan bread, top with slaw and serve.

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