Archives for category: Pork

 

I love it when the crock pot does all the work.  It really makes for a relaxing Saturday and a quick and easy dinner.  The husband and I have been eating in a lot.  Yes, because the economy sucks, but mostly because our last credit card bill read like the Restaurants section of the local  Chamber of Commerce listing.  We were mostly eating out for lunch, but there’d be the occasional dinner out that was just way too expensive.  Plus, I’ve grown fond of my grocery bills that maybe double the price of one dinner out but will make at least 4 or 5 meals.  It’s fantastic.  And I’m really getting into knowing what is in my food, how it’s cooked, and that it’s fresh.

So, Saturday was a laid back day, I barely had to do anything and we had a delicious meal.  This meal should “marinate over night”.  I repeat:  MARINATE OVER NIGHT.  But the overall effort involved is about the same or less than driving to the restaurant, waiting for a table, ordering something that was good last time, getting it this time and realizing it’s not as great as you remembered….

At least at home if you make something that doesn’t turn out quite right, you usually have something else you can eat instead.  At a restaurant you’re kinda stuck with paying for something you are not loving and then eating at home.  But I promise you’ll love this pulled pork recipe.  It was a little too saucy for us, so I have changed the ingredient amounts to make a less saucy BBQ sauce. 

Jerked pulled Pork with Rum BBQ Sauce

Recipe #: 42

Saved since: 2008

Count: 18 down

Husband’s Rating: 3 out of 5 (due to sauciness)

My Rating: 4 out of 5

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 lb. pork tenderloin
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • medium yellow onion
  • 1/2 c. BBQ sauce (your choice)
  • 2 Tbsp. dark rum

Cook

  1. NIGHT BEFORE: Combine chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  2. Drizzle tenderloin with lemon juice.
  3. Rub spices into tenderloin.
  4. Put in zip-lock bag and MARINATE OVER NIGHT.
  5. DAY OF: Chop onion and place in bottom of the crock pot.
  6. Remove tenderloin from bag and chop into 1-inch cubes.
  7. Arrange cubes over the onion.
  8. Combine BBQ sauce and rum and pour over tenderloin.
  9. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 7 hours.
  10. Pull meat into shreds and serve hot.

Source: adapted from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Recipes for Two, Beth Hensperger, 2007.

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 We had a first in our house on Tuesday night: Jicama.  I’ve seen this  in recipes, heard about it on cooking shows, never tasted it.

Finding it at the grocery store was an adventure too.  Did you know, in the produce sections there are shelfs on the bottom of the corner end-pieces of the regular displays?  They will put food anywhere.  Did you also know that Jicama are HUGE?  And there will only be about 4 to choose from?  And they will all be bigger than your head when you only need half of a 3/4 lb. Jicama?  The smallest I could find was 1 & 1/4 lb.  Great, thanks.

Anyway, onto this dish: this is the second recipe I have made from RealSimple magazine.  And just like the other (which I will post soon) it was so-so.  The Glazed pork didn’t blow me away, didn’t have been ooh-ing and mmm-ing as I stuffed myself silly.  It was just okay.  The pineapple slaw was a nice treat and I was really hoping that Jicama would be this revelation of food, this “omg I can’t believe I have never had jicama before” moment.  But, it wasn’t.  So now we have a still large Jicama in our house and I’ll have to find something to do with it.  Stay tuned.

I’ll go ahead and post this recipe because it isn’t horrible.  It’s definitely simple and I understand what Real Simple mag is trying to do.  More bang for less work and ingredients.  Well, the bang here is definitely in the slaw.  (Though truthfully, my husband and I ended up eating mostly the pineapple and red bell pepper and leaving the jicama in the bowl).

Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Pineapple Slaw

List #: Bonus recipe — I just went through some old magazine and tore this out a few days ago

Saved Since: April 2010

Husband’s Rating: “Not good, not bad”

My thoughts: Eh.  Wish the recipe had a little more going on in the glaze.  Use your imagination people and make this pork spectacular. 

Recipe Count: 10 down, 196 to go

Recipe

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. pork tenderloin
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. Ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. ground chipotle pepper
  • 1/2 small jicama (about 3/8 lb.), peeled and cut into thin strips
  • 10 oz. can pineapple rings, drained of juices and cut into thin strips (or use a fresh pineapple)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

Cook

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Heat 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat in an oven-safe skillet.
  3. Season the pork with salt and pepper and cook, turning occasionally until browned on all sides.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the ketchup, honey, and chili pepper.
  5. Brush the pork with half of the glaze and put the skillet in the oven.
  6. Roast, turning once, until the pork is cooked through, about 12 minutes.
  7. Brush the remaining glaze on the pork and let sit for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
  8. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the jicama, pineapple, bell pepper, lime juice, and 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil.
  9. Season with salt and pepper and serve with the pork.

Source: adapted from RealSimple Magazine, April 2010 issue.

 

In February 2007, I went on a dinner date at The Cellar in Blacksburg, VA.  It was the second time I’d been there in 5 years of living and attending school in Blacksburg.  I was told they had good pizza and since I am normally a cheese or pepperoni pizza girl, I let my date choose, figuring I could pick off the toppings I didn’t like. 

He ordered the Hawaiian pizza which has ham, bacon, pineapple, and cheddar cheese.  I said okay, but was doubtful I’d actually like the toppings.  I think I even told my date I had never eaten Hawaiian pizza and after recovering from his initial shock, he assured me it was delicious.  Warm pineapple? I thought.  I know it’s popular to grill peaches and I enjoyed warm baked apples, but for some reason, I couldn’t imagine warm pineapple being good, nevermind on a pizza.

The Hawaiian came to our table and I took a small bite, a look of uncertainty dominating my face.  I chewed, I tasted, I swallowed.  Looking at my date, I smiled, nodding my head in agreement.  This was delicious pizza!  He smiled back and took a bite of his own slice. 

15 months later, the same guy who introduced me to warm pineapple, took me to the top of a mountain and gave me a ring.  4 and a half months after that, I married him.  And yesterday, I made a dish with warm pineapple.  It reminded me of the very first time I tasted it.  And of our first date 🙂

Pork Skewers with Pineapple-Scallion Rice

List #: 29 (Full list on the About page).

Saved Since: September 2008

Husband’s Rating: “really good meal. pork cooked well”

My thoughts: pineapple and pork is just delicious and pineapple and rice is wonderful too. 

Recipe Count: 8 down, 197 to go

Recipe

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. can pineapple chunks in their juice
  • 1 small clove of garlic, smashed
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 lb. pork loin, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 bag of Boil-In-Bag rice

Cook

  1. Drain the pineapple chunks, but keep the juice for the marinade.
  2. In a zip-loc bag, combine pineapple juice, garlic, soy sauce, ginger, oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Add the pork and the scallions and let marinate at room temperatute for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat a grill pan to medium-high heat (or use an outdoor grill).
  5. Put a pot of water on to boil and cook boil-in-bag rice as indicated on the package.
  6. Meanwhile, thread the pork and two-thirds of the pineapple chunks onto skewers.
  7. Thread the scallions onto one skewer.
  8. Grill the kebabs turning occasionally until cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  9. Chop the remaining pineapple chunks and stir into the cooked rice.
  10. Remove grilled scallions from the skewer and stir into the rice.
  11. Serve warm.

Source: adapated from Everyday with Rachel Ray Magazine, September 2008 issue.

I spent most of yesterday afternoon planning dinners for the entire month of May.  The. Entire. Month.  My craziness continues.

First recipe from the to-make list = Island Spice Pork Tenderloin from Annie’s Eats.  Pork is usually the hardest thing for me to cook well – it always ends up way over-cooked, dry and rubbery – so we don’t have it often.  I can remember 3 times making pork since I started making regular dinners.  All 3 sucked bigged time so I kind of gave up.  Such a shame too because we both really like pork A LOT.  I knew by tackling this list I’d also have to tackle pork again.

Only a glutton for punishment  would choose pork as her first dish.  But the Island Spice Pork Tenderloin sounded sooo delicious that I could not pass it up.  So I put on my big girl apron and faced the enemy head on!  It was a little bit scary and there were a few moments where I thought defeat was imminent, but in the end, I totally dominated.  Pork is conquered and I am so glad I gave it another try.  Check out the stats on the dish and the recipe below…

  

Island Spice Pork Tenderloin

List #: 96

Saved Since: March 2010

Husband’s Rating: Excellent; “You could make this again anytime you want”.

My thoughts: Super easy and fast; ingredients are easy to find and prep is simple.  Flavor is a knock out!

Recipe Count: 1 down, 204 to go

Recipe

(ingredients listed are for 2 servings; originial recipe written for 4+)

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 lb. pork tenderloin
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp. finely minced garlic
  • 3/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce

Cook

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Combine salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and cinnamon in a bowl. Blend with a fork or small whisk.  Pat the mixture over the pork until covered.
  2. Heat olive oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat.  Sear the tenderloin in the skillet and brown on all sides.  Remove from the skillet with pork in it from the heat.
  3. Mix together brown sugar, garlic, and Tabasco in a separate bowl.  Spread the mixture over the top of the tenderloin in the skillet.
  4. Cook in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and cover with foil to let rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.

Source: Recipe from Annie’s Eats, adapted from Pennies on a Platter, originally from The Gourmet Cookbook