Kitchen Spotlight: Elvis tribute artist serves up a hunk of pork barbecue

2014-01-08T00:00:00Z Kitchen Spotlight: Elvis tribute artist serves up a hunk of pork barbecueEloise Marie Valadez Eloise.Valadez@nwi.com, (219) 933-3365 nwitimes.com

Shawn Klush has tasted much of the food Elvis favored but when this Presley tribute artist steps into the kitchen, he's likely to whip up a flavorful Mediterranean dish.

"I do a lot of Italian cooking," said Klush, who'll star in the Elvis Tribute Artist Spectacular at 8 p.m. Jan. 11 at Star Plaza Theatre in Merrillville. FYI: visit starplazatheatre.com

Among favorite dishes are ravioli in marinara sauce, chicken cacchiatore and various eggplant dishes.

"I'm a big fan of eggplant," he said.

Another favorite dish is a Southern specialty pork barbecue which he said is a nod to Elvis' Southern roots.

"It's done in a special way in a Crock Pot," he said, adding he cooks it in root beer as well and then serves it up on a Kaiser roll with sauerkraut. It's a big hit on his family table.

About Elvis' fave grub, such as peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwiches and other calorie-laden hearty Southern recipes, Klush said he's noshed on a variety of those things but doesn't make it a habit.

"It's just not healthy for you," he said. The performer said he's also prepared grilled cheese sandwiches with bacon and sliced tomato using bacon grease to butter the bread.

Klush said when he goes out to eat, he enjoys a variety of Asian foods such as Japanese and Chinese fare. He likes hibachi-style dining.

When it comes to steak, Klush chooses Ruth's Chris Steak House as his favorite.

If Klush could have shared a meal with Elvis, they would have eaten "something to Elvis' liking." If Klush was cooking for the King, he said he would have definitely made something Southern.

"That wouldn't have included any kind of seafood. He didn't eat seafood," Klush said, referring to information given by some of Elvis' cooks about Presley's dislike of fish.

Klush looks forward to performing his Presley act at Star Plaza. "It's going to be a ball," he said.

In honor of Elvis' birthday today, try Klushes recipe for Pork Barbecue.

PORK BARBECUE

Pork butt

Root beer, a bottle

Spices, whatever type and amount you desire,

Barbecue sauce, homemade or your favorite

Sauerkraut, for topping

DIRECTIONS: Put pork butt in Crock Pot. Add spices and a bottle of root beer. Cook the pork in the root beer until pork is fork tender. Take out of root beer and chop it up or pull the pork. Place back in Crock Pot and add barbecue sauce (as much as you'd like). Continue cooking. Pork should cook anywhere from 6 to 8 hours. Serve on a Kaiser roll and add sauerkraut as topping if desired.

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