Tag Archives: Pork

Simple BBQ Pulled Pork and Easy Coleslaw

I am very grateful we built our dream home with an amazing kitchen several years ago. I am extremely happy I fought so hard to get my Viking stove. I cannot be totally positive but I do wonder if we would have been so adventurous with meals if we didn’t make the decisions we did.

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I am not saying we have made, eaten or even tried most of what is out there, but we have discovered some pretty awesome staples that we have added to our meal rotation.  Pulled Pork Sandwich with Coleslaw was something pretty foreign for us a few years back. Plus I am pretty much the only one that enjoys coleslaw, especially with my guys; they turned their noses up when I told them how to put the sandwich together;  actually I think the first time, I put them together and put the plate in front of them.  I had to do some convincing this is how they are supposed to be eaten – try it you might like it.  Voila’ success, we all thought, where have these been; all our lives!!!  It’s kind of funny my son has more pork to slaw ratio but my husband piles on the slaw.

My mother is visiting this week and I was totally surprised when she declared while bringing the fish taco up to her mouth that “here it goes the first fish taco I have ever eaten” I had NO idea she hadn’t tried them before. I will not share her exact age because she will read this and kill me, especially since she will still be here when I post this. But she is 70+ and loved her “first taco” I think that is pretty darn cool. I wonder if she too thought – damn where have these been all my life?

I hope by reading this you might try something a little outside your comfort zone, it would encourage it with kids especially, I have too many friends that have some serious picky eaters. I am very grateful my kids are on this food journey with me. I’m pretty sure; actually I’m positive that my beautiful daughter living in Japan is even more adventurous with food than I am. When she comes home she’ll have to share some recipes with her Mom.

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Simple Pulled Pork

3-4 lb. Pork Shoulder or Butt

Root Beer to cover

Place Pork in a slow cooker, cover with the Root Beer; cook on low all day, mine is on 9 hours while I am at work. When you get home, dump the liquid, put the pork back in the slow cooker and you should be able to take 2 forks and shred all of it. Add a container of your favorite BBQ sauce, I use Sweet Baby Rays. Turn the slow cooker on high for 15-20 minutes and serve.  You can add more sauce as needed.

Quick Cole Slaw

1 bag of tri-colored coleslaw

1 cup of Mayo

¼ cup Dijon mustard

1 Tbs cider vinegar

1 lemon juiced

Pinch of sugar

1/2 tsp celery seed

Several dashes of hot sauce

Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

Combine all the above ingredients; add to the coleslaw and let set for 10-15 minutes until it melds.

Create your delicious sandwich, get some nice hearty rolls and add a scoop of pork and a scoop of slaw. You are going to need a few napkins

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Enjoy!

Banh Mi

My daughter has started her second year living in Japan; she has done some traveling to different countries in Asia and she is also a foodie she shares with me some of her favorite finds.  I have tried making Ramen and Gyoza from Japan and she especially loved the street food in Vietnam. I have been toying with the idea of trying to make something that you might find on the streets of Vietnam.  The guys and I do enjoy a nice sandwich so we were excited to try making a Banh Mi a Vietnamese sandwich.

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With our weekends being booked up for the last few weeks and the next few coming up; I wanted to make it somewhat simple so I could make it during the week without stressing out too much.  I blended the ingredients for the marinade, sliced the pork and placed both in a Ziploc bag overnight.  The next night I cut up some of the veggies and grilled the pork. I placed everything out on the island and you could add what you wanted to your sandwich; it went fairly quickly and the end result was quite tasty.

She just got back from the Philippines we need to catch up soon so I can work on my next Asian inspired dish.

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Makes 6 sandwiches

2-3 lb boneless pork shoulder

3 large cloves of garlic chopped

1-2 shallots chopped

1 stalk of lemongrass, trimmed and coarsely chopped (if hard to find and not sure how to work with it, you can substitute lemongrass in a tube) (I had to as my local market did not have the stalks)

¼ tsp black pepper

2 Tbs sugar

2 tsp soy sauce

2 Tbs fish sauce

1 Tbs canola oil

Cut the pork across the grain into strips about 4 to 5 inches long about ¼ inch thick set aside.

In a blender or food processor add the remaining ingredients blend until semi-coarse puree.

Add everything to a Ziploc bag and massage the meat.  Place in the fridge over night; you could leave on the counter for an hour if you don’t want to wait.  If you place the bag in the fridge take it out let it sit for an hour or so to come to room temperature.  You can cut up some veggies while you wait.

You can skewer the meat or not, if you have small pieces and are grilling you may want to.  I did not; I started the grill and let it get real hot.  I spent like 5-7 minutes cooking the meat – I believe they cook theirs longer till very dark, I did not, I wanted the meat a little tender.  I also grilled the buns slightly to harden them a bit.

Possible vegetables – Pickles, cucumbers, tomatoes, radish, cabbage, carrot, chili’s, pickled veggies (brine removed), fresh herbs, avocados.

Add Mayo and salt and pepper or you can add soy sauce.  Mine was veggies I had on hand and Mayo.

Pan Seared Scallops

If you like Scallops and have only ever had them battered and fried; you are missing out on something pretty special and extremely simple to make.  Sea Scallops need very little attention before you can enjoy them.  Make sure to remove the small side muscle from each scallop, rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat dry.

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Get out your favorite 12 to 14-inch sauté pan heat to about high to medium high and add a small amount of olive oil, once the oil start to shimmer and just before smoking.  Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper each scallop and place them gently into the pan; careful not to let them touch each other.  Sear the scallops for a 1 ½ to 2 minutes per side.  They should have about a ¼ inch golden brown crust on each side.  Take special care not to overcook them; they will become rubbery.  The center should be translucent. 

Transfer them to a plate and enjoy!  OR I personally enjoy making a simple sauce to serve over them.  A little white wine, some fresh crushed garlic and to finish it off a tablespoon or two of butter and life is good!

While the heat is still on add some white wine, with a wooden spoon scrape up all the yummy leftover bits. Cook down the wine for like 3-5 minutes, turn off the heat and add a pat or two of butter.  Once melted you can add the scallops back to the pan to re-heat a little or just pour the love over them and enjoy.

Searing is a very important part of making a wonderful flavorful caramelization to most meat.  It is all about building the depth of flavors.  Most people want to move, flip and lift whatever it is they are searing.  Please refrain from touching it for 1-2 minutes for scallops, 3-5 minutes for pork and beef – time is relative to your personal stove; only you know how hot it gets, how quickly it heats up.  I sear Steak, Chicken, Pork and fish fairly often and finish it off in the oven.

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Make sure your using a pan that can go into a hot oven, make sure you pre-heat your oven.  Size matters; that is the thickness of the meat you are searing and finishing off in the oven.  Times will vary so if you have an instant meat thermometer; that will help you until you get a feel for how long things will take to your doneness.

In one of my cooking classes we were searing chicken.  I had 2 saute pans and 2 students watching them.  I literally had to set the timer on my stove to help them with the timing.  Another good tip is to wait for the meat to release itself; that is another way to know when you should flip to the other side. If you have to fight to remove what you are searing from the pan, it is not done building flavors.

I work with one of the students from this class.  She came up to me last week and told me she waited for the chicken to release before turning and her whole family loved the crust and additional flavor that it added to her dish.  She mentioned it was pretty painful for her to not flip but I was in her head saying let it be; leave it alone…I love hearing these types of stories.

Garlic Herb Crusted Center Cut Pork Loin

Super busy weekend AGAIN…I am not complaing – just tired and stuffy today!

Dinner out at MT’s in Nashua Friday night, I am going to try my hand at making their yummy sweet and salty wings.  They have no breading on them, they are baked not fried and they have maple syrup with a bacon crumble on top. They are simply divine!!!

Bought some new skis at our local mountain ski swap; ran to Nashua again for material, I have a baby shower coming up this weekend and I am going to make large versions of receiving blankets. Everyone loves them; at least that is what I keep hearing!  Off to VT (supposed to leave at 2, I didn’t get home till almost 3) to our good friends to have dinner and see their newly built addition. It looks great by the way; it looks like it has always been there; not an afterthought which can happen with addition’s – Nice Job!!!!

Someone; and I won’t name names; had a little too much wine to drink Saturday night, the next morning after we all woke up and the coffee had been made; this particular someone disappeared; he was found sleeping in the car with his sunglasses on covered with a blanket – kind of funny!!! Only because it wasn’t me… You should have seen the look on his face when we mentioned we were going to breakfast at Sugar and Spice, priceless!  He did feel better after eating, but it took a little while! The maple syrup for my buttermilk pancakes (they make their own) reminded me of the wings from Friday night.  Food full circle for me – when I have time; hopefully soon; I will be writing about sweet and salty wings.

After breakfast we rushed home for my husband’s Uncles 86th b-day party. By the time we got home tonight I was exhausted and thanks to my son; he gave me his cold; my head is very foggy!  Forgive me if I do not make any sense today!

Another weekend without grocery shopping and the only thing that I could make quickly was a center cut boneless pork loin. Probably doesn’t sound like a quick simple thing to fix but since I still have some herbs in the garden that have not been lost yet to the weather, and thanks to the harvest this year, we have potatoes, garlic and beets – Voila!  Garlic and Herb crusted pork loin, mashed potatoes and Beets!

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2-4 lb center cut pork loin patted dry with a paper towel

pre heat over to 450′

2 Tsp Kosher Salt

1 Tsp freshly Cracked Black Pepper

2 Tsp fresh Sage leaves chopped

2 Tsp fresh Rosemary chopped

5 minced garlic cloves

2 TBS olive oil

Mix the above (salt thru olive oil) in a small bowl into a paste

place pork in a low sided roasting pan – cover with paste mixture – place in over for 20 mintues, lower heat to 300′ and continue roasting for another 20-30 minutes – an instant read meat thermometer should reach 145′.  Everyone’s oven is different so a meat thermometer will be one of your best tools, these times are what I used for my 4lb loin. Tent with tinfoil and let sit for 10 mintues before slicing – YUM!