Category Archives: Pork

Pulled Pork & Crispy Pork Rinds (Optional)

Pulled pork is one of my favorite and easiest crowd pleasing proteins! It requires about 5 minutes of hands-on time but a long cooking time. One pork shoulder can easily feed a crowd of 15, but it’s not just great for parties. It’s an easy protein to make when you have to cook for week of family meals. There are so many options for pulled pork: pulled pork with coleslaw, pulled pork sandwiches, quesadillas, tacos, mixed into tomato sauce… really, go nuts with it.

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Pulled Pork Sandwich

My personal reward for such an easy protein are the Crispy Pork Rinds that follow. I’m fully aware that this is not the healthiest thing to eat, but my goodness, they’re delicious! I’m not even kidding myself that baking is healthier than deep frying them, it’s still a devilish treat!

Enjoy!

Pork Shoulder, lightly dusted with seasoning mix

Pork Shoulder, lightly dusted with seasoning mix

Cover the shoulders with aluminum foil

Cover the shoulders with aluminum foil, put them into the oven and walk away. Overnight magic!!

Baked and beautiful pork shoulder

Baked and beautiful pork shoulder

Remove the layer of fat

Remove the layer of fat

Remove the shoulder bone

Remove the shoulder bone

On a layer of foil, place the cut pieces of skin

On a layer of foil, place the cut pieces of skin, fat side down

Spread them out evenly

Spread them out evenly

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until desired crispness is achieved

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until desired crispness is achieved

Sprinkle with a touch of kosher salt as soon as they come out of the oven

Sprinkle with a touch of kosher salt as soon as they come out of the oven

 

 

 

Crispy Pork Rinds

Crispy Pork Rinds

Pulled Pork with Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Broccoli

Pulled Pork with Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Broccoli
Pulled Pork with Carrot, Pea Shoot & Broccoli Slaw

Pulled Pork with Carrot, Pea Shoot & Broccoli Slaw

Pulled pork Tacos with Avocado & Crema

Pulled Pork Tacos with Avocado & Crema

Pulled Pork & Crispy Pork Rinds (Optional)

Feeds a small army

Ingredients

Bone In Pork Shoulder
Spice mixture:
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Paprika
1 Tablespoon Coriander
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder (Not the chili mix, straight chili powder)
2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
(Based on this proportion, I make large batches and keep the mix in the pantry, in an airtight container)
Directions
Preheat oven to 275 degrees
1. Spread the spice mixture all over the pork shoulder. (Thin layer of the spice mixture will do. No need to over-season the meat)
2. Place the pork shoulder in a deep baking vessel and cover tightly with foil.
3. Bake for 8-10 hours. (I bake mine overnight)
4. Remove from the oven and let cool.
5. Remove the skin. Set aside if you’re going to make pork rinds or discard.
6. Shred the pork shoulder into a bowl. Add some of the rendered juice, from the pan, to the shredded pork shoulder. Add the rendered juice in small increments.  For one shoulder, I usually add about a cup of the rendered liquid… you might like your meat juicier!
Optional:
7. Cut the skin into pieces, about 2″ x 2″.
8. Place the pieces, fat side down, on a foil lined baking sheet.
9. Bake at 350 until crispy, about 30-45 minutes.
10. Sprinkle with kosher salt as soon as they come out of the oven.
Enjoy!
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Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!
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Bacon & Onion Marmalade (with Vegan Variation)

Bacon really does make everything better… unless you keep to a kosher, vegetarian or vegan diet. 

Serve with crusty bread and brie...

Serve bacon & onion jam with crusty bread and brie…

This year, during Rosh Hashana, I was asked to bring some dips and spreads as appetizers. While I’ve been making the bacon version of this dish for some time, it hadn’t even occurred to me to attempt to make a vegan version. Until I had to. The modifications to the recipe that follows have been tried and retried… and will make any meat-lover lick their fingers and then dive in for more.

Enjoy!

Note: I find this to be one of the more time consuming things that I make. You can half the recipe…  I know that 4.5 pounds of onions seems like a lot, but it reduces down to very little. It’s so delicious that you’re going to be annoyed with yourself that you *only* made half the batch. 

Setting up supplies... Bacon, thyme and onions

Setting up supplies… Bacon, thyme and onions

Rendering the bacon fat...

Rendering the bacon fat…

Dicing onions

Dicing onions

Bacon, beautiful bacon!

Bacon, beautiful bacon!

Add the onions to the bacon rendered fat

Add the onions to the bacon rendered fat

Coat the onions with the fat, scraping up all of the wonderful flavor from the bottom of the pot

Stir to coat the onions with the fat, scraping up all of the wonderful flavor from the bottom of the pot

Add the apple juice/cider

Add the apple juice/cider

Add the chopped bacon

Add the chopped bacon

Add the salt (is this a gorgeous photo or what?!)

Add the salt (is this a gorgeous photo or what?!)

Add the brown sugar and white wine vinegar...

Add the brown sugar and white wine vinegar…

Add the thyme... and stir... stir...

Add the thyme… and stir… stir… and let it simmer… and then stir some more… until it reduces and there is almost no liquid at all.

This is what your onion jam should look like when it's done.

This is what your onion jam should look like when it’s done. Thick and rich, with little liquid remaining.

Glorious jam!!

Glorious jam!!

Bacon Onion Jam

Bacon Onion Jam

Optional: top with a few leaves of fresh thyme

Optional: top with a few leaves of fresh thyme

Bacon & Onion Jam (with Vegan Variation)

Adapted from Tasty Kitchen

Makes approximately 4 pint jars

Ingredients

1 pound of bacon (I usually use TJ’s uncured ends and pieces)
4.5 pounds vidalia onions, medium dice
1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
2 cups Apple Cider (I used Unfiltered Apple Juice…. so yummy!)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
10-15 sprigs thyme
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
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Optional: a few leaves of thyme to garnish
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Vegan variation:
Substitute 3 tablespoons of olive oil for the rendered bacon fat.
When adding the apple juice/cider, etc. add 10-15 grinds of Trader Joe’s African Smoke.

Directions

1. Heat a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven on medium/high heat.
2. Add the bacon. Cook the bacon until it is crispy and all of the fat has been rendered.
3. Remove the bacon from the pot, leaving the rendered bacon fat. Coarsely chop the bacon.
3a. Vegan’s start here by adding the olive oil to a pot and heating it up.
4. Add the diced onions to the pot. Stir. There will be some darker, possibly burned on, areas of the pot, but the onions will release some liquid and as you stir, the onions will get coated with the fat and will pick up the dark spots.
5. When the onions have softened a bit (after approximately 10 minutes), add the apple juice/cider, salt, white wine vinegar, chopped bacon, brown sugar and whole thyme sprigs. (Vegans add the TJ’s African Smoke)
6. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium/medium low. The liquid should be gently bubbling.
7. Stir occasionally. It’s going to take between one and two hours for the liquid to sufficiently reduce, so be patient. Don’t try to speed up the process by turning up the heat because you’ll burn the onions instead of caramelizing them. No one likes a burned onion 😦
8. Remove thyme sprigs. The leaves will have fallen off during the simmering process.
9. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
10. See photo for what the jam looks like when it’s done. You’ll be able to stir the jam and clear the bottom of the pot without liquid seeping back into the area you just cleared.
11. Let cool and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.
12. Enjoy at room temperature, topped with a few leaves of thyme and a soft cheese… or in a grilled cheese sandwich!
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Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!
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School And Daycare Lunches, Take 5 (10 MORE lunch photos)

Round five of photos of our school and daycare lunches!! These are photos of lunches that we made during the 2012-2013 school year for our three kids. They were in 4th grade, 2nd grade and daycare. Sometimes leftovers, sometimes sandwiches, sometimes thrown together, sometimes thoughtfully put together… always with an effort to keep them healthful.

Check here for more school lunch photos and ideas.

1. Whole wheat with cream cheese and salami, sugar snap peas, clementine, vanilla meringue… and a bag lunch for a friend.

school lunch

Made a bag lunch for a friend, as per my sons request.

2. Whole wheat with brie, honey roasted turkey and thinly sliced granny smith apples, cucumbers and banana chips

school lunch

school lunch

3. Chicken Salad (with red grapes, celery and almonds), cracker assortment and apple sauce pouch.

school lunch

The crackers were leftover from a cheese plate a few days earlier.

34. Chicken soup with orzo, chicken & carrot pieces. Whole wheat with mortadella & mayo & banana.

school lunch

Soup and a sandwich. Perfect for winter days!

35. Wraps with goat cheese, salami & cucumbers, edamame, peeled pomello pieces & fruit leather.

school lunch

Pomello is a fantastic citrus fruit. We often see it in Chinatown.

6. School lunch: Salad with greens, tomatoes, cucumbers and grilled chicken.  Daycare: wrap with ham, cheese and asparagus. Everyone: fruitbowl with orange segments, dragon fruit and pear, goldfish & yogurt

school lunch

I try to give everyone the same lunch each day, but the littlest one just “isn’t into salads”.

7. BLT wraps/sandwich, carrots, apple & banana skewers and tapioca pudding

school lunch

8. Whole wheat with turkey and laughing cow French Onion, cucumbers and mango

school lunch

Sometimes, simple is all I have time for.

9. School lunch: Crusty bread with Turkish chocolate spread. Daycare lunch: truffled mac & cheese. Everyone: “bugs bunny carrots”, pear or banana.

school

Chocolate spread was our souvenir of choice from Istanbul.

10. An example of dinner leftovers going straight into the LO’s lunch container. Leftover Orzo with Pesto and steamed asparagus.

school lunch

Orzo with pesto and steamed asparagus

Enjoy!

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Kids should also Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!
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School And Daycare Lunches, Take 4 (10 lunches)

Round four (yes FOUR!!!!) of school and daycare lunches!! These are photos of lunches that we made during the 2012-2013 school year for our three kids. They were in 4th grade, 2nd grade and daycare. Sometimes leftovers, sometimes sandwiches, sometimes thrown together, sometimes thoughtfully put together… always with an effort to keep them healthful.

Check here for more school lunch photos and ideas.

1. Tricolor tortellini with vodka sauce, hard boiled egg (salt on the side) and Trader Joe’s crispy rice snack.

school lunch

Leftovers for lunch can be lifesavers!

2. Bagels with goat cheese and salami with snap pea crisps and pear slices.

school lunch

Extra bagels from your weekend brunch? Make great school lunch sandwiches!

3. Whole wheat with roasted turkey, cucumber slices and mayo (or mustard) with, grape tomatoes, candied pecans & dried mango.

school lunch

I try to have a combination of pantry and fresh items.

4. Hard Boiled egg (with truffle salt on the side), carrots, yogurt, mozzarella stick and rice cake.

school lunch

Clearly, whoever packed this lunch was short on sleep and short on time. Just the basics…

5. Whole wheat with thinly sliced cucumbers, hummus and turkey with pear, tomatoes or carrots and cheez-its.

school lunch

mmmmm… a little bit of cheez-its go a long way

6. Country white with canadian bacon, lettuce and mayo. Cucumber slices and trail mix (just dried fruit for the LO).

tsfsdf

Making my own trail mix is often the result of having random dried fruit and nuts that haven’t been destined for greater glory.

7. Hand cut veal bologna, mini pita (aioli on the side), grapes and TJ’s rice krispies treat

school lunch

They love putting together their own sandwiches… or eating them “deconstructed”.

8. Bologna and brie on country white with yellow and red grape tomatoes, kiwi & strawberry pieces.

school lunch

9. Tuna salad with sweet peppers (for scooping), crackers and strawberries.

school lunch

No utensils required… the kids scoop up the tuna with sweet peppers or crackers.

 

10. Hearty multigrain bread with honey roasted turkey and romaine, hard boiled egg, oatmeal craisin cookies & carrots.

school lunch

This was for a longer school day… 

Enjoy!

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Kids should also Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!
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School And Daycare Lunches, Take 3 (10 lunches)

Round three of school and daycare lunches!! These are photos of lunches that we made during the 2012-2013 school year for our three kids. They were in 4th grade, 2nd grade and daycare. Sometimes leftovers, sometimes sandwiches, sometimes thrown together, sometimes thoughtfully put together… always with an effort to keep them healthful.

Check here for more school lunch photos and ideas.

1. First day of school lunch. Romaine with cucumbers, tomatoes, egg whites, shredded mozzarella, chick peas and cubed grilled chicken. Dressing of choice. Yogurt covered raisins on the side.

school lunch

2. Tomato soup, grilled cheese & cucumbers

school lunch

The grilled cheese comes closer to room temperature by the time the kids eat it, but the heat from the soup container helps to keep it warm.

3. Whole wheat with turkey and pesto with grapes/kiwi and rice crackers

school lunch

Sometimes… there just isn’t enough time for fanciness or creativity…

4. Multigrain (crusts removed) with honey roasted turkey and and herbed goat cheese, edamame, kiwi and gogurt.

school lunch

The frozen Simply gogurt defrosts by lunch time.

5. Quickie lunch: Multigrain with turkey and hummus, grapes and carrots (shredded and baby)

school lunch

I try to keep easy supplies on hand for days that we’re rushing out the door. For some reason, it always feels like we’re rushing out the door!

6. Multigrain bread with thinly sliced grilled chicken breast, salad greens and mayo. Blueberries and grape tomatoes.

school lunch

The side compartments make portioning so much easier!

7. Vegetable soup with “mandel” croutons, rice cake crackers and other crackers.

school lunch

Guess we were running short on sweet items on this day!

8. PB&J on Rice Crackers with apple sauce and corn

school lunch

Leftover corn never goes to waste in our house!

9. Roll ups with salami and cream cheese with Kefir and string cheese.

school lunch

This was definitely a quickie lunch!

10. Antipasto Salad (Romaine, pea shoots, tomatoes, red peppers, cucumbers, shredded carrots and salami.

school lunch

Antipasto salad is another great way to use up small bits of random ingredients hanging out in your refrigerator!

Enjoy!

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Kids should also Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!
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School And Daycare Lunches, Take 2 (10 lunches)

Round two of school and daycare lunches. These are photos of lunches that we made during the 2012-2013 school year for our three kids. They were in 4th grade, 2nd grade and daycare. Sometimes leftovers, sometimes sandwiches, sometimes thrown together, sometimes thoughtfully put together… always with an effort to keep them healthful.

Check here for more school lunch photos and ideas.

 1. School & daycare lunch: Turkey, asiago and mixed greens on TJ’s Canadian White with dijon aioli. Quinoa salad with asparagus, olives and goat cheese. Apple slices.

school lunch

Quinoa is a big seller in our family. Seasoned properly, it’s delicious! 

2. School lunch: mixed greens with shredded carrots, kidney beans, tomatoes, grilled chicken and cucumbers; dressing on the side. Cereal bars. Daycare lunch: LO got grandma’s chicken soup with mini shells and shredded carrots.

school lunch

Loved that daycare was able to heat up soups and other items in glass containers!

3. School and daycare lunch: whole wheat pita with hummus, Canadian bacon, yogurt cheese and cucumbers. Edamame and strawberries. (And yes, if you look close enough, I’ve taken a “bite” out of each sandwich and called it “taxes”. Sarcasm through food love!

school lunch

Love that they have a great sense of humor!

4. School & daycare lunch. Homemade “lunchables”: Cleared out our cheese drawer (truffle cheese, manchego, goat cheese, feta, laughing cow & halumi) with rolled up ham, grape tomatoes and TJ’s rice crackers. LO got a bonus of veggie sticks.

school lunch

I love that they love a cheese plate as lunch!

5. School & daycare lunch: plov (courtesy of a late night drop off by my stellar sister, Anna) with a side of cornichons and grape tomatoes. Plov is a rice pilaf with lamb.

school lunch

Rice products retain their heat very well in thermos containers.

6.  Chicken Caesar salad wraps with carrots (not pictured). I saw something else went into their lunchbox, but I was too groggy to remember The wraps were on mayo, lettuce, grilled chicken and parmesan cheese. The older kids also got a side of trail mix along with the side of carrots. The little one got a yogurt since no nuts allowed at her school.

school lunch

Putting sandwiches into a tortilla wrap magically transforms them into a much fancier meal!

7. School & daycare lunch: virginia ham on whole wheat with goat cheese. Side of cucumber and plums/apricots.

school lunch

Sometimes the kids request a particular fruit…

8. Egg salad (with mayo and scallions) on mulitigrain with tomatoes and nectarines.

school lunch

The egg salad was leftover from Sunday brunch.

9. Lunch for four kids today! Grandma joined our littlest one on a field trip to the Prospect Park Zoo! Whole wheat with Canadian bacon, aioli & romaine, baby carrots, apricots & pear.

school lunch

Packing lunch for an extra person wasn’t difficult at all. 

10. Homemade lunchables: roast beef, bologna, salami, cheddar, feta, laughing cow, mozzarella stick, mini pita, cucumbers and tomatoes.

school lunch

Homemade “lunchables” are also a great way to clear our your cheese and cold cut drawer!

Enjoy!

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Kids should also Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!
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Ribs. Oh, Ribs!

Ribs are fantastic. They’re great for families and parties… as long as you have a little sister  wet wipes handy! I love them because there’s very little hands-on time to prepare them. Coat them with the dry rub, wrap them in foil and bake them. 15 minutes prep time for enough meat to feed 8 adults? Not bad!

Pork Spare Ribs

Pork Spare Ribs

During the winter, they make the apartment smell amazing! I make them during the summer too… we just stay in the air conditioned rooms while they’re baking and we finish them off on the grill instead of the broiler.

Proudly sharing the dry rub recipe that we use on both spare ribs and baby back ribs.
Enjoy!
Spare Ribs (Broiler finished)
Spare Ribs (Broiler finished)
Spare Ribs (Grill finished)
Baby Back Ribs (Broiler finished)

Ribs… Oh, Ribs!

Makes 2 racks of ribs

Ingredients

Two racks of ribs (baby back or spare ribs)
 
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Paprika
1 Tablespoon Coriander
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder (Not the chili mix, straight chili powder)
2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
(Based on this proportion, I make large batches and keep the mix in an airtight container.)

Directions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
1. Generously cover both sides of the ribs with the rub. 
2. Wrap each rack of ribs in foil. Place on a rimmed baking sheet (there’s a good chance that the foil will rip and leak… but that’s ok.)
3. Bake, fat side UP, for 4 hours. 
4. Remove from oven. Open foil and let cool for a few minutes.
5. When cool enough to handle, remove foil and gently place ribs on broiler rack.
6. Use whatever barbecue sauce or combination of sauces that you like, using your hands (or a brush, if you’re fancy) rub both sides of the ribs with the BBQ sauce. Use just enough to cover. Don’t over-sauce the ribs.
7. Set broiler on “Hi”. Broil the rack of ribs, fat side up, for 3 minutes, just enough to caramelize the barbecue sauce. 
8. Cool, cut and serve!
 
Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!