Pork 4 Ways

A recipe on epicurious caught my eye the other day, Slow-Cooker Chipotle Orange Tacos. It had a second recipe associated with “Next-over” Chili-Orange Pork Stir-Fry. The thought of making one dish and getting a second later in the week with my current busy schedule was incredibly enticing.

The ingredients were good, both recipes were solid. On top of that, my husband got me a stovetop wok for Christmas that I had been waiting to try. I only had one concern it called for 6 pounds of pork and the first recipe said it served 4-6 and the second said 4. With the oldest off at college I rarely serve four, and by my estimation I would say that 6 pounds would serve 12 people.

I decided to keep the initial recipe the same with respect to quantities, and ended up with pork for 4 meals: the initial tacos, the stir fry, nachos, and breakfast wraps. We actually had the breakfast wraps twice!

I did change it from a slow-cooker recipe to an instant pot recipe. I’ve always found it to be hard to get everything in the slow cooker in the morning; it makes me late to work and sets my day off wrong, with the instant pot I can set it up when I get home and take care of my evening activities while it cooks.

I didn’t take a picture of the tacos, I should have, but they looked very similar to the epicurious post and I wasn’t considering creating this post at that time.

For the stir fry I reduced the amount of green beans, and next time I would cut them in half, but no other edits were necessary.

The nachos are a simple dish, it’s been awhile since I made them. I don’t really have a recipe, I simply crisped up the shredded pork with some of the extra sauce and a bit of onion in skillet with a touch of olive oil and then spread it on good tortilla chips, my favorite are from the Ann Arbor Tortilla Factory. I then topped it with cheese and cooked it under the broiler until the cheese was melted. The final topping included thinly sliced jalapeño, diced avocado, tomatillo salsa, and sour cream. My husband whipped up a spicy margarita and dinner was served. Perfect.

Breakfast was equally easy, I simply sautéed some red onion then added the pork and a bit of hot sauce. In the same pan I fried my egg, not beaten, just with a quickly broken egg yolk. I wrapped it in a soft tortilla and topped the pork and egg with cheese and hot sauce.

                      

Chipotle-Orange Pork Tacos

INGREDIENTS

1 (6-lb.) skinless, boneless pork shoulder roast, preferably untied and cut into 2 equal pieces

2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. kosher salt

2 Tbsp. dried oregano

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 Tbsp. chili powder, preferably chipotle

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. finely grated orange zest

1 cup fresh orange juice

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

6 garlic cloves, lightly crushed

Corn tortillas, sour cream, cilantro, pickled red onions, and hot sauce (for serving)

Special Equipment

A 6-qt. (or larger) slow cooker

DIRECTIONS

Rub pork all over with 2 Tbsp. salt. Let sit at room temperature 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix oregano, brown sugar, chili powder, cinnamon, orange zest, and remaining 2 tsp. salt in a small bowl. Rub all over pork, then transfer pork to slow cooker insert. Add orange juice, lime juice, and garlic, then toss to coat. Cook on manual high pressure for 1 hour with natural release (see note) until pork is super-tender and falls apart easily when raked with a fork.

Using tongs, transfer pork to a rimmed baking sheet and let cool slightly. Strain juices left in instant pot through a fine-mesh sieve into a large heatproof measuring cup or bowl. Let sit 10 minutes, then spoon off and discard fat. Transfer 1/2 cup juices to a resealable container and chill to use in Chile-Orange Pork Stir-Fry.

Using 2 forks or tongs, shred meat into bite-size pieces, discarding any larger pieces of fat. Transfer 2 cups meat to a resealable container and chill for Chile-Orange Pork Stir-Fry, or reserve for another use. Return remaining meat (you should have about 6 cups) to instant pot along with 1 cup strained juices. Keep warm until ready to use.

Serve shredded pork with tortillas, sour cream, cilantro, onions, and hot sauce for assembling tacos.

Do Ahead

Pork can be marinated 1 day ahead. Cover instant pot insert with plastic and chill. Pork can be cooked 3 days ahead. Shred, then chill in an airtight container along with juices; rewarm gently before serving.

NOTES

• Set cook time for 20 minutes per pound on high pressure for fresh pork loin
• Set cook time for 30 minutes per pound for frozen pork loin.

*If you have cut your pork loin into smaller roasts, set for the time of the largest piece of meat (i.e., if you have two 2 lb roasts, cook for 40 minutes instead of 80 minutes total.)

                      

“Nextover” Chile-Orange Pork Stir-Fry

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup Chipotle-Orange Pork juices

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

2 Tbsp. soy sauce or tamari

1 Tbsp. finely grated fresh ginger (from one 2″ piece)

1/4 cup vegetable, canola, or grapeseed oil

4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 cups leftover shredded Chipotle-Orange Pork

½ lb. green beans, trimmed, halved

1 tsp. kosher salt, divided

1/2 head of Napa cabbage, sliced about 1″ thick

DIRECTIONS

Stir pork juices, vinegar, soy sauce, and ginger in a small bowl or measuring cup; set aside.

Heat oil in a large (12″) high-sided skillet over medium-high. Fry garlic, stirring often, until golden brown and crisp, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.

Carefully scatter pork in an even layer in hot oil and cook, undisturbed, until deeply browned and beginning to char on underside, 4-5 minutes. Stir pork, then push over to one side of skillet. Spread green beans in empty side of skillet, season with 1/2 tsp. salt, and continue to cook, undisturbed, 1 minute. Stir to combine with pork and cook, stirring occasionally, until green beans are lightly charred and pork is extra crispy, 3-4 minutes. Add cabbage and season with remaining 1/2 tsp. salt. Pour reserved pork juice mixture over and stir to combine. Remove from heat and top with reserved fried garlic.

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Not Enough Leftovers

We had 10 boys for dinner on Sunday, I had about 5½ lbs. of flat iron steak that I marinated for fajitas. I also sautéed 3 large sweet onions, 3 bell peppers, and 3 poblano peppers. I was planning on using the leftovers to make steak wraps for dinner today. Only 1 problem with the plan, after dinner the meat was gone. No one was hungry, but my Tuesday plans were shot. 


I still had peppers and onions, along with my baked black beans and tomatillo guacamole. So when I finally got to think about what to do for dinner when I got in my car today, I really wanted to figure out how to use it. I thought, I’ll just do soft tacos, it’s easy. When I called my husband, he suggested I look for chorizo and my plan took form. 

I picked up chorizo and thin center cut pork chops, and I set to work dicing the chops. There isn’t much fat on these, but I removed it anyway. 

  

First I browned the chorizo, and it released beautiful, flavorful oil into my pan. 

  
I set aside the chorizo, and lightly sautéed the pork in the same pan with a bit of cumin, oregano, and chipotle chili pepper sprinkled on it. 

  

  

When it was done I set that with the chorizo until everyone was ready to eat. Tuesdays my older son is working and my younger son is training for lacrosse, so only my husband and I eat together. On a good note this meant I had the time to reheat in my skillet rather than the microwave (ok for lunches, but I prefer not to use). 

My boys ate individually and for each of them I prepped all in the skillet and used the stove to heat the tortillas. 

  

It was similar for my husband and me; we used both the corn and flour tortillas. 

Delicious, and no wasted food. 

Thanksgiving Leftovers – Round 2

I didn’t post Round 1, as that was just the basics on Friday: put together a plate of what you had on Thursday and reheat. It isn’t glamorous and there is a point when your are done with Thanksgiving dinner. 

Yesterday we had a bit of soup and a few snacks with the crazy football and soccer day that we had scheduled. Today, I started on how to reuse the leftovers so that we weren’t all sick of turkey by the end of the week. 

I started this morning with the stuffing; I’m not sure how but I had an entire untouched 9×13″ pan of stuffing. I placed ham into well-buttered cups of my muffin tin, and then pressed in the stuffing to form cups:

 
  
I baked these for 20 minutes at 375 and then cracked an egg in each one (large is perfect, extra-large might overflow) and sprinkled with a touch of salt, ground pepper, and pepper jack cheese. I then continued baking for 12 minutes longer. 

  
  
Next time I would use a couple of strips of bacon rather than ham, but good nonetheless.

I continued my modification of leftovers with dinner. I was looking for a soup with sweet potatoes and came across this one for a Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup. This was just the inspiration I needed; we had roasted carrots too.

   
 
I began my soup by sautéing a diced onion in a couple of tablespoons of butter. Once they were soft I stirred in the leftover sweet potatoes and carrots (about 3-4 cups of each) along with a bit of white pepper, 3 cups of broth, and about 1 cup of water. I broght this to a boil and then simmered for about 40 minutes. At the end I simply hit it with the imersion blender and served with a dash of cayenne pepper. 

  

Labor Day and into the week

Labor Day itself was classicly simple: burgers, salad, and a side of pasta. Again I believe in easy, possibly oddly this includes leftovers. I have heard many utter the phrase “I hate leftovers”; I love them. No, I don’t think anyone should eat the same thing over and over again. (I get shivers when I hear someone say I made a big batch of “fill in the blank” so we could eat it all week long; YUK!) I love them because they are an opportunity to save time and be creative.

As mentioned, Monday was simple, my boys did little of anything with school looming, the highlight was a good friend of my youngest coming over and cleaning out his closet so that he would be well-dressed in high school. Late last week I made a house favorite for dinner, Tortellini with Pesto (nut-free), since it is just as good cold as hot I made extra, this was our pasta side to accompany a package of organic mixed greens and Spicy Shrimp, Bacon Burgers. I tossed my 2 lbs. of ground chuck into my mixing bowl with salt & pepper, a finely chopped jalapeño, chopped leftover bacon (about 5 slices), and the leftover shrimp from the Low Country Boil (coarsely chopped). I shaped them into 1/3 lb. burgers and cooked to medium rare with a chipotle gouda on top. For the non-pork eating friend, I made a single burger with chopped spinach, feta, jalapeño, and salt & pepper.

Tuesday continued the leftover trend with a meal of barbeque chicken, Cajun potato salad, and Southwestern sauté. Also from the Low Country Boil, I had a leftover andouille, pototoes, and corn (the clams seemed to vanish) so I looked through Epicurious.com and found the Cajun potato salad and my own list of recipes in Paprika holds the Southwestern sauté. While I have included both below as if they were being made from scratch, I did simply cube the potatoes and andouille and cut the corn off of the cob.

And I haven’t forgotten the barbeque chicken, the rub is good on any bone in chicken destined for barbeque and we disvovered this sauce while on vacation in Florida last year.

I may need stock in this company – it’s another empty bottle..

If you haven’t guessed the leftover trick, turn it into something new, use it as an ingredient.

Tortellini with Pesto

cook 10 minutes ∙ makes 4 ∙ difficulty Easy

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups basil leaves, fresh, packed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup Parmesan, freshly shredded
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1½ pounds tortellini, cooked

DIRECTIONS

In a food processor, pulse the basil and garlic until roughly chopped. With the machine on, slowly pour in the oil until just blended. Stir in cheese, salt, and pepper and mix until just blended.

Toss the pesto into cooked tortellini.

This can be served warm, at room temperature, or cold.

Cajun Potato Salad with Andouille Sausage

makes 6 to 8 ∙ source Bon Appétit | July 1999

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon plus ⅛ cup olive oil
  • 8 ounces andouille sausages or hot links, cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into ½-inch pieces
  • 3 pounds red-skinned potatoes, peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • ⅔ cup sliced green onions

DIRECTIONS

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausages; sauté until brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels and drain.

Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add potatoes; cook just until tender, stirring occasionally, about 9 minutes. Drain well. Whisk vinegar, pepper sauce and mustard in large bowl. Transfer warm potatoes to bowl with vinegar mixture and gently toss. Gently mix in sausages, bell pepper, celery, green onions, and 1/8 cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Southwest Summer Corn Saute

prep 15 minutes ∙ cook 7 minutes ∙ serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon rubbed sage
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 small poblano chili, finely diced
  • ¾ cup sweet corn kernels
  • 1 small zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 cup canned hominy, drained (or full can if you don’t have another use)
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, minced

DIRECTIONS

Melt the butter with the sage, chili powder and salt in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the onion and poblano chili. Cook and stir until the onion begins to soften at the edges, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the corn, zucchini, and hominy. Cook over high heat until hot, 1 minute. Add green onions, cilantro and additional salt to taste. Serve hot.

Barbecued Chicken

Chicken:

  • 3-4 pounds chicken, cut in pieces (with skin and bones)
  • 2 tablespoons 4-3-2-1 Spice Rub
  • Barbeque sauce

4-3-2-1 Spice Rub (source Bon Appétit | July 2013)

  • 4 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 Tbsp cayenne pepper

Makes enough spice rub for two whole chickens. Double or triple the recipe and use it all summer.

DIRECTIONS

For chicken:

Prepare grill for medium heat. Season chicken with 4-3-2-1 Spice Rub. Grill, turning occasionally, until lightly charred, 15-20 minutes. Continue grilling, turning and basting with barbecue sauce often, until chicken is cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°F, 8-10 minutes longer.