Who: 10 friends
What: Dinner at our house, post hosting a homeless dinner at a local church
When: The night after Christmas
Why: Because our church dinner wrapped up at 6:30, and we all needed to eat too.
The Thought Process: This was an interesting one for which to plan. I needed to have dinner pretty much ready and waiting when I walked in the door. But I knew I’d only get home about 20 minutes before my guests. I thought a lot about having the party catered, so that all I had to do was take lids off of trays and turn on some Sterno. But our Christmas was low-key, and I knew I could handle a little meal prep. I remembered my friend Rachel, who hosts taco Fridays (in the same vein as meatball Fridays), and always makes slow cooker pulled pork. It’s flavorful, and not greasy in the slightest. I could chop, shred, and set everything I needed in bowls ahead of time, and let them wait in the refrigerator until showtime came.
- a cheese plate, inspired by Deb’s recent Instagram (Debstagram? Sorry, AGOMYR)
- chips and guac
- Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork (recipe below)
- Slow cooker chicken chili (recipe to come)
- All the usual taco fixins
- A cookie plate, including Chocolate peppermint cookies and these blondies
- Chocolate chip cookie pie
- Vanilla ice cream
What worked: Taco night! It was just the right menu, and with a twenty minute head start before everyone came over, I had enough time to set out drinks, and put out all the toppings.
What didn’t: This was one evening that went off without a hitch. I don’t think my pork was nearly as good as Rachel’s, but I am certain to make it again and refine my technique.
To make Dr. Pepper pulled pork for a crowd, you will need:
- a giant slab of pork shoulder (or pork butt, they’re the same)
- a can of chopped chipotles in adobo (In the “Latino food” aisle- Get a small can for a minimal spice, and a large can if you’re going for a real kick.)
- Dr. Pepper
Put the pork in the slow cooker, and top with chipotles and adobo. Spread them over the pork to coat. Pour Dr. Pepper about 2/3 way up the roast, and cook on low for 9 hours. It’s great if you can be there to flip it at some point, close to halfway through. When the pork is done, remove it from the slow cooker, and shred with two forks. Pour extra sauce over top, if you like the flavor.