Happy Labor Day! Are you enjoying your weekend? I’ve been so busy this weekend that I almost feel like I need a weekend after this weekend! It’s a good thing I only have four work days this week. I have a feeling that next weekend will be very similar.
Peach season is rockin’ and rollin’ here in Colorado. There are fruit stands on almost every corner with loads of freshly picked peaches. These peaches are absolutely divine by themselves, but I have food A.D.D. and wanted to try cooking with them too. Something so deliciously sweet needs something smokey and salty to balance everything out, don’t you think? What a perfect opportunity to slow-roast some pork shoulder.
*drool* Okay, I confess… I’ll use any excuse to make slow-roasted pulled pork. You really don’t have to twist my arm there. I know this sounds a bit odd, but keep an adventurous mind here folks. The combination of these savory morsels alongside perfectly juicy peaches will leave you with a mouthful of heaven my friends.
I added some cilantro for some brightness and a bit of shredded cheddar to bind everything together (Chedda’ makes everything betta’). I served mine with BBQ sauce on the side, which I personally enjoyed but Mister was mowing these down without any sauce. I must have done something right. I love it when I do that.
Spray a large frying pan with a bit of cooking spray and heat to medium heat. Prepare your quesadilla by sprinkling cheddar across one half of the tortilla and ten spread some pork, cilantro and lots of fresh peaches around the same half of the tortilla. Fold the tortilla in half and place it on the warm pan.
Use a heavy pan (cast-iron if you have it) and lay the pan across the top of the quesadilla to weigh it down. You'll get a nice crispy crust on the tortilla this way. Give it a couple minutes and remove the heavy pan and check the bottom of the quesadilla. Flip it over when it is golden brown (and adjust your heat as necessary). Place the heavy pan back on top of the quesadilla and wait a couple more minutes. Once both sides are browned, remove the quesadilla. Set it aside and repeat these steps with the second quesadilla. Cut both quesadillas into fourths and serve with BBQ sauce.
Because national Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month is wrapping up, I thought I would post what is considered by many to be the Philippine’s national dish.
Pork Adobo is pork cooked in soy sauce, vinegar and garlic. There are many varieties of Filipino Adobo too, depending on which region you’re visiting – some use ginger or coconut milk in addition to these ingredients. Adobo is not limited to pork either. Many people use chicken, beef, seafood, and/or vegetables as well. It all depends on your tastes (or in this case, my family’s tastes).
2 pounds pork butt or shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
9 cloves of garlic, minced and divided
1 medium-sized onion, sliced
2 whole dried bay leaves
1 cup vinegar (half spicy vinegar if you have it)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon black whole peppercorns
salt to taste
2 tablespoons oil, for cooking
Marinate the pork in soy sauce, bay leaves, 6 cloves garlic, and 1/2 of the sliced onion for 30-60 minutes. Drain the pork and keep the marinade aside.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté the remaining garlic in the oil until fragrant, a minute or two. Add the remaining onion and saute until translucent.
Add pork and sauté until juice starts to come out. Add the marinade and peppercorns. Mix well. Simmer on low for 35-40 minutes or until the pork is tender. Add water if necessary. Add the vinegar and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Add salt to suit your taste (usually the soy sauce makes the dish salty enough for me). Serve hot with steamed rice.
Put your bay leaves and peppercorn in a tea-ball or a piece of cheesecloth so you can remove these easily when you're done.
1.5-2 lbs Pork Loin Roast, trimmed and cut into large chunks
For the marinade:
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup medium red chile caribe (coursely ground)
1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Tostadas:
1 small Tomato, diced
No-Fat Refried Pinto Beans
Queso Fresco, crumbled
Your favorite hot sauce
In a shallow baking dish, combine the broth, chile, oregano and salt. Place the pork in the marinade, cover and refrigerate for 4-8 hours.
Pour the mixture into a crock pot and slow cook the meat on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours, or until fork tender.
Allow the pork to cool a bit and shred the pork meat with two forks or your fingers if the meat is cool enough. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan and add the shredded pork once the oil is hot and shimmering. Cook the pork until brown and a bit crisp on one side.
Toast the corn tortillas in a toaster oven on the darkest toast setting (you can do this in the oven or microwave too). Flip over the tortillas halfway through the toasting process. Allow them to sit in the toaster oven once the timer goes off so they'll continue to dry out and be as crispy as possible.
Spread a layer of refried beans, pork, a bit of queso, a mound of lettuce, tomatoes, fresh cilantro and another sprinkle of queso. Serve with hot sauce on the side with plenty of napkins.
I really love this time of year. Everyone is decorating their homes for the holidays and staying indoors with their loved ones. It’s a time to catch up on your full DVR and read that book you’ve been meaning to get to all year. It’s hibernation time!
Us? We’ve been busy playing Modern Warfare 3 and preparing meals that are so warm and inviting, they’ll stick to your ribs for days. Mmm!
Clean and oil your grill rack. Preheat your grill to 450 degrees.
Pat your pork chops dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle salt, pepper, thyme and sage on each side of your pork chops.
Place your pork chops on your hot grill and close the lid. Don't touch them for 4 or 5 minutes. Let the grill marks really make their mark here. Using a metal spatula, turn the pork chop 90 degrees and leave for another 4 or 5 minutes on the same side. Flip your pork chops and repeat with the second side. After your last turn, check your pork with a meat thermometer to see how they are coming along. The USDA recommends pork chops to be cooked to 145 degrees F internally to be deemed as fully cooked.
Serve with your favorite goodies (i.e. salad, potatoes, couscous, applesauce) and enjoy!
Okay, so I don’t really speak German. I barely got by in my Spanish classes in high school. Good thing I am an avid Google translator user. Wha-bam!
If you don’t know what schnitzel is, you really haven’t lived. Schnitzel is almost as fun to say as it is to eat. Almost. This dish is often associated with German cuisine, however its roots come from Austria. in both Austria and Germany the term Wiener Schnitzel is protected by law, and any schnitzel called by that name has to be made from veal. And that, folks, is your trivia fact of the day.
Most European restaurants in the United States give you the option of a breaded veal or pork cutlet. There are loads of different sauces that are served on schnitzel, something for everyone. Traditionally, schnitzel is served with a lemon wedge that you can use to drizzle fresh juice over your schnitzel. Other sauces include Zigeuner-Schnitzel, a sauce consisting of red peppers, mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes; Käse-Schnitzel, covered in melted cheese; Rahm-Schnitzel, a pepper-cream sauce; Schnitzel-Holstein, covered with a fried egg, onion, and capers; Cordon-Bleu (from Switzerland), stuffed with ham and cheese, and Parisian-Schnitzel (from France), made without breadcrumbs. Personally, I enjoy Jäger-Schnitzel the best. It has a mushroom and white wine sauce that practically melts in your mouth.
Enough with the food lesson. And now the moment you’ve been waiting for (queue drumroll)… how to make some of the best schnitzel you’ll ever eat! It really isn’t difficult (this is coming from an amateur chef) to make a good schnitzel. First, make sure your cutlets are pounded very thin. This helps tenderize the meat.
Pound your meat. Possibly the best advice you’ll ever hear?
Also, your bread crumbs should be fresh and unseasoned. Fry the schnitzel immediately after it you coat them with bread crumbs. Letting the breaded cutlets sit before frying it will cause the coating to stick to the meat. And for best results, use a combination of butter and oil (peanut or vegetable) to fry the cutlets at a medium heat.
For the sauce, sauté your onion or shallot until translucent. Add sliced mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes. Add broth and wine and cook another 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the cream and bring the sauce to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and simmer until thickened. You want your bubbles to be rather large. The bubbles should also be about an inch away from the sides of your skillet. That is the perfect thickness for your sauce. Add parsley or chives and salt and pepper to taste. Add more flour if the sauce refuses to thicken quickly enough for your liking. Or add more broth if your sauce is too thick. Keep sauce warm.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in skillet and add oil. Preheat skillet to a medium heat. Lay out cutlets on a cutting board and wrap with plastic wrap. Pound thin (1/4-inch thick max). Lay out three plates. The first place with flour, salt, pepper, and paprika. The second with the beaten egg. And the third with the bread crumbs. Dip your cutlet in the flour, then egg, then bread crumbs (making sure that there aren't any wet spots exposed). Immediately place the cutlet into the skillet. Fry for about 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Repeat with all cutlets.
Serve with sauce and sides (I recommend knöpfle spätzle, dill red potatoes, or a fresh cucumber salad).
My fantastically amazing friend made this for our last pot luck. The spices in the meat are absolutely to die for. I’ve never had anything quite like it.
A little bit of history: Puerco Pibil is a traditional Mexican slow-roasted pork dish from the Yucatán Península. Preparation of traditional cochinita or puerco pibil involves marinating the meat in strongly acidic citrus juice, coloring it with annatto seed and roasting the meat while it is wrapped in banana leaf.
The recipe requires a lot of prep work (along with ingredients that are not always readily available [research ahead of time], such as banana leaves and annatto seeds), but the extra effort is well worth it and locating some of the ingredients can be fun and take you to new markets/stores! Additionally, a lot of the spices used can be found in ground/powder form but it is always beneficial to grind the spices yourself.
Combine Allspice berries, Annatto seeds, Cumin seeds, Peppercorns and Whole cloves together into a spice grinder. Process until mixture becomes a fine powder.
Cut Habanero pepper removing stems and seeds (careful as pepper and fumes can be hot, gloves can be used).
Cut and hand-squeeze 5 Lemons into blender. Add Garlic cloves, Habanero pepper, Orange juice, Salt and vinegar to blender mix. Liquify until smooth.
Chop 5 pounds of boneless pork into 2-inch chunks. Once complete places meat, powder and liquid mixture in a gallon-size Ziploc bag.
Refrigerate mixture 2-12 hours, flipping every hour (or at least occasionally, for an even coat).
Line 9x12 baking dish with Banana leaves and pour mixture onto leaves, spreading evenly and wrap with excess leaves. Wrap entire dish with heavy-duty aluminum foil, creating a tight seal for the cooking process.
Cook at 325 degrees for 4 hours.
Remove and unwrap the puerco pibil slowly and carefully. Optional additions: choice of rice, beans and favorite beverage (Mexican bottled Coke or a cold cerveza are always good pairings).
I always feel really good when I make pancit (not that I make it nearly as good as my family makes it). Simply because a lot of people outside of the Philippines don’t know how to cook pancit. It’s a little piece of my heritage that is resurfacing.
Filipino cooking is not an exact science. Add the vegetables and seasonings according to your own likes and dislikes. Just try not to use too much soy sauce, it can easily become overpowering. Pork can be substituted for chicken or added in addition to the chicken. I have also added shrimp to my pancit if I have it. You can also substitute tofu for the meat, omit the oyster sauce and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth to make this a vegetarian dish.
This feeds a lot of people. You could throw a party and serve this dish or bring it to a potluck. Everyone will thank you. Or make this for yourself and eat the leftovers for lunch for the rest of the week. You’ll never go hungry again!
1 (16-ounce) package bihon rice noodles, soaked for at least 15 minutes then drained
2 chicken breast or pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails cut off
2 medium carrots, sliced thinly into 1-inch matchsticks
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 thumb-sized ginger, minced
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 1/2 cups water
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Mirin
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon, for serving
In a large pan or wok, add the half of the oil, onion, garlic and ginger. Stir fry until the onion is translucent. Add the chicken or pork. When the meat is mostly cooked on all sides, add the shrimp and cook until pink. Add veggies and mirin and stir fry for 2 minutes. Set aside.
In the same pan or wok, pour and heat up remaining olive oil. Add the chicken cubes and saute until melted. Add the water and soy sauce. Bring to a boil. Add the noodles and keep tossing them until they are loosened. Add the salt and pepper to taste and cook until the noodles are almost tender. Add more water to cook the noodles if necessary.
Add the meat and mixed vegeteables. Keep on tossing until ingredients are well mixed and noodles are tender but firm. Do not overcook. Remove from heat and serve hot with soy sauce and lemon.