Archive for the ‘Pork’ Category

BLT Pizza

July 11, 2010

When I saw this recipe on Joelen’s site, I thought the hubs would love it.

He’d mentioned he was hungry for BLT’s, so I asked if we could do this instead — and he was up for it.

Two things: the dough AND the pizza were fantastic, but for different reasons.

The dough was fantastic because it had really good flavor and it only took me 30 minutes from start to pizza. My traditional pizza dough recipes takes 2 hours.

This means more pizza-on-the-fly in our house. BONUS!

The pizza was fantastic because of the two layers of bacony flavor. And I really think the colby jack at the end was essential. Gave it just the right amount of flavor.

I did buck the system a bit, though. I was weirded out by Joelen’s instructions to put the lettuce on the pizza and then bake it. I have weird textural issues with hot lettuce. Gross. 🙂

So I made the pizza sans lettuce (I did include the tomatoes in the cooking though) and then topped the pizza with shredded lettuce and thinly sliced avocado before eating.

Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of it with the cold toppings, though! Oops!

Making it my way, instead of Joelen’s, makes for a much messier pizza…but it was worth it to have that nice cold lettuce/avocado (in my opinion!)

BLT Pizza

(Joelen’s Culinary Adventures)

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 package quick-rising yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2-2/3 cup hot water (120-130°F)
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon cornmeal

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 whole romaine heart, shredded
4 oz sliced canadian bacon, cut into quarters
1 plum tomato, sliced
1/4 cup crumbled or chopped, crisp cooked bacon
1/4 cup shredded colby jack cheese
ranch dressing for dipping


Combine flour, yeast, salt and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer to mix fitted with a dough hook.

– Combine hot water and oil in a measuring cup. With the stand mixer is running, gradually pour in enough of the hot liquid until the mixture forms a sticky ball. The dough should be quite soft. If it seems dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons warm water; if too sticky, add 1 to 2 tablespoons flour. Continue mixing until the dough forms a ball, then process for 1 minute to knead.

– Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Coat a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray and place it, sprayed-side down, over the dough. Let the dough rest for 10 to 20 minutes.

– Preheat oven to 500°F or highest setting.

– Sprinkle the cornmeal on the baking sheet (I used my 12 inch cast iron skillet) before placing the pizza dough on the sheet. Press the dough to create the crust and place on prepared baking sheet. Brush the top of the crust with olive oil.

– Top the pizza with 1/2 cup of mozzarella, followed by the shredded lettuce. Place the Canadian bacon on top of lettuce layer and top with slices of tomato. Sprinkle the other 1/2 cup of mozzarella over the tomatoes. Bake the pizza in the preheated oven for 10-14 minutes, or until the bottom of the pizza is crisp and golden. Remove the pizza from the oven and top with the crumbled or chopped cooked bacon and return to the oven to bake for another minute to heat up.

– Just before serving, sprinkle the colby jack cheese and serve with ranch dressing if desired.


Crockpot Pork Barbacoa

May 23, 2010

This crockpot pork recipe is delicious! It’s very similar to the Cafe Rio pork — but less sweet, and more of the pork flavor shines through.

Absolutely delicious! I imagine you could make this with chicken, as well, with similar results.

My pork didn’t turn out nearly as red as Joelen’s, but I think that’s because I was unable to find La Victoria taco sauce, and substitued another brand for it.

Still delicious!

We served it as tacos, and can be served any way mexican meat is  — tacos, nachos, enchiladas, burritos, over salad, etc!

Also: Since we hadn’t had it before, I elected to halve the recipe and make a 2 lb pork roast. Next time, I’ll make the full amount and freeze it for future meals! I also made this on a Sunday and just re-heated it during the week for our meals, since I wouldn’t be home during the week to add the other ingredients after 6 hours!

Pork Barbacoa

(Joelen’s Culinary Adventures)

5-6 pound pork roast
3-4 cloves minced garlic
1 onion, dicedwater

1 tablespoon cumin
1 cup dark brown sugar
12 oz bottle La Victoria taco sauce
20 oz Coke


Place pork roast in a crock pot with the garlic and onion. Add water halfway covering roast. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

– Drain water and add remaining ingredients. Cook 4-6 more hours on low.

– Shred pork and serve with tortillas, rice or whatever you’d like.

Fried Rice

May 8, 2010

We don’t normally eat “make it at home” Chinese food because it is simply never as good as the Chinese restaurant stuff. (Must be all that MSG? haha)

Regardless, I periodically want to try another recipe. This time I decided to try fried rice…it seemed pretty basic, so I thought it might come out a little better than our previous attempts at “Chinese at home”.

This recipe is phenomenal. The key really is cold rice, just as Joelen remarks on her page. I made the rice 2 days in advance and kept it in the fridge. I also made real ‘rice cooker’ rice, although I’m not sure if it would matter or if you could just cook up a package of minute rice. 🙂

I also cooked off my chicken (I just put it in foil packets with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder and baked at 375 for 45 minutes) and cubed it in advance. This meant the meal took me a whopping 15 minutes to put together on the evening we ate it.

Awesome. 🙂

Final thought: I doubled the recipe when we made it (original measurements are below) — it served two of us dinner, and easily two lunches, with that amount as an entree. I didn’t serve anything with it, but egg rolls would be delicious!

Try this soon! We’ll be adding it to our rotation meals, and I’m dying to try it with pork, shrimp, etc!

Fried Rice

(Joelen’s Culinary Adventures)

1 cup leftover meats – pork, chicken, beef, seafood
1-2 eggs
3-4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 onion finely diced
3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped vegetables (fresh or frozen) — Add whatever your family will eat. I added frozen peas/carrots mixture this time, but next time I’ll DEFINITELY add sugar snap peas and some of those mini corn cobs
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1-2 tablespoons light or dark soy sauce
1-2 cups prepared rice, cold

– In a hot skillet or wok, heat oil (I used a large ‘chicken cooker’ with sides, as I don’t own a wok)
– Add garlic and onions & stir, then add leftover meats of your choice, chopped up in bite sized pieces
– Stir fry meats until you get them a bit crispy, then push the meats aside and crack eggs into the pan
– Scramble the eggs into the pan until cooked
– Add cold rice over the eggs & meat into the pan, making sure to crumble it in your fingers. (Dumping a large chunk of rice is not going to work here. You need to crumble it so it separates nicely)
– Add salt, pepper, onion & garlic powders and soy sauce; toss
– Allow the rice to heat up and absorb the spices and soy sauce, tossing to help it along
– Add the fresh or frozen veggies and toss into the rice
– Continue cooking it all on high heat until rice is heated through and veggies are cooked

Won Ton Appetizers

December 6, 2009

This comes from my DH’s mom…but everybody seems to love them! They’re fried, and I’m tempted to try them baked…but haven’t yet!

They’re not really very Asian, but that just means more people will eat them. LOL


(My MIL)

1 roll Jimmy Dean Sage Sausage

1 bag baby spinach, finely chopped

1 package won ton wrappers

Sm bowl of lukewarm water (to help seal won tons)

Vegetable oil for frying


Fill a stockpot 1/2 full with vegetable oil and heat over medium heat to about 360 degrees

–  In a medium bowl, mix together the sausage and spinach; remove won tons from wrapper

– Take one won ton wrapper and place approx 1 tsp of filling in the center of it. Dip your finger in the water and run your finger along two sides of the won ton so you can seal it (you’ll be folding the won ton into a triangle)

– Fold the won ton wrapper over the filling and seal it into a triangle, using the wetted edges to keep it shut. Gently wet the two ‘longer’ edges, then fold them in onto the won ton to seal (helps keep filling in while frying)

– Place the won tons in the hot oil 5-6 at a time, and let them cook until golden brown and floating.

– Remove won tons from oil, and lay them on a paper towel to drain/cool

Makes approx 50 won tons (will depend on the amount of filling you put in)

Crockpot Kahlua Pork

November 21, 2009

I was curious about this Kahlua pork I’d seen on the cooking blogs — I actually had two recipes bookmarked for it.

Okay, so maybe at first I was curious because I thought they meant Kahlua, the alcohol…not kahlua, the cooking-pig-in-a-pit method. But still.

So in the interest of ramping up my arsenal of crockpot recipes (I love having enough on hand we don’t get sick of them!) I thought I’d try it out.

Problem was, I couldn’t decide between the two recipes. So I read both, took from each what I liked, and made it my own.

The one kahlua pork recipe is oven-only, but I liked those ingredients better than the other, which was crockpot, but in a complicated change-the-heat-after-a-period-of-time sort of way.

Well, I leave at 7:30 am and I don’t get home until 6:30 pm — there will be no changing heat halfway through cooking! LOL

So I made it my way, and it was DELICIOUS. I served it with a baked pineapple side dish (to keep with the hawaiian theme), and rice to soak up the delicious pork/liquid smoke juices. DH loved loved loved it, and begged that we have it again!

My only change is that next time, I’ll make slits in the pork roast and put pieces of garlic into the meat…rather than mincing the garlic and just adding it to the pot!

Kahlua Pork

(Adapted by me from here and here)

2-3 lb. pork roast/butt/shoulder/whatever

1 tsp kosher or sea salt

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp black pepper

3 cloves minced garlic

1/4 cup liquid smoke (you can find this near the ketchup in the grocery store)

1/2 cup chicken broth



– Mix the kosher/sea salt, garlic powder, and black pepper together to make a spice rub

– Rinse the pork roast, pat dry, and then rub the spices all over it

– Place in the crockpot, fat side up

– Sprinkle minced garlic over roast in crockpot, add liquid smoke and chicken broth to the pot

– Cook on low, 8 hours

– Remove from crockpot and let rest 5 minutes, then shred pork

– Return to crockpot and let sit long enough to absorb some of the juices

– Serve over rice 😉

Ham and Cheese Pretzel Bites

November 8, 2009

YUM! These were delicious. My only regret was not making a double batch — the boys watching football on the Sunday I made these had them gone in 10 minutes!!



I made some changes to the original recipe — which calls for a significantly fancier “ham” than I used, so please check out the link below for the original recipe.

We also were not impressed with the suggested mustard recipe at the link below, but others may enjoy it. I think next time I’ll just serve them with a variety of standard mustards — yellow, brown, spicy, etc.

Ham and Cheese Pretzel Bites

(adapted from Ezra Pound Cake)

Makes 4 dozen

1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon packed light brown sugar, divided

1/4 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F)

1 cup warm milk (110-115 degrees F)

2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup finely chopped ham (I used a brown sugar ham)

1/3 to 2/3 cup finely chopped sharp Cheddar, divided

6 cups water

4 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted

1 to 2 tablespoons pretzel salt or coarse salt


1/2 cup Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons finely chopped seeded fresh jalapeños

1 tablespoon mild honey


– In a large bowl, stir together yeast, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, and warm water. Let it stand until foamy, 5 to 8 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, start over with new yeast.)

– In a small bowl, stir remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar into warm milk until dissolved.

– Add 2 1/2 cups flour and milk mixture to yeast mixture; stir with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms, adding up to 1/2 cup additional flour, a little at a time, if necessary.

– Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and gently knead a few times to form a smooth ball. Transfer to a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at warm room temperature until doubled and bubbles appear on surface, about 2 hours.

– Preheat oven to 400 degrees F with rack in upper and lower thirds. Line two rimmed sheet pans with parchment paper.

– Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and cut into 4 equal pieces. Lightly dust your hands with flour, then gently roll and stretch 1 piece of dough to form a 12-inch-long rope. Flatten dough and arrange so a long side is nearest you, then roll out to a roughly 12- by 4-inch rectangle with a lightly floured rolling pin.

– Gently press one fourth of ham and cheese into lower third of rectangle, leaving a 1/2-inch border along bottom edge. Stretch bottom edge of dough up over filling and press tightly to seal, then roll up as tightly as possible to form a rope. Cut rope into 12 pieces, and transfer to a sheet pan. Make 3 more ropes with remaining dough, ham, and cheese and cut into pieces, transferring to sheet pans. Let rest at room temperature, uncovered, 30 minutes (dough will rise slightly).

– Bring water to a boil in a 4-to 5-quart saucepan. Reduce heat until the water is gently simmering, and stir in baking soda. Add pretzel bites to the water in batches, turning once, until slightly puffed, about 20 seconds. Transfer with a slotted spoon to sheet pans.

– Bake until puffed and golden-brown, about 15 minutes.

– Meanwhile, stir together mustard, jalapeños and honey.

– Brush warm pretzel bites with butter, and sprinkle with pretzel salt. Serve warm or at room temperature with jalapeño mustard for dipping.

Note: Pretzels can be made 2 weeks ahead and frozen (once cooled). Thaw 30 minutes, then reheat in a 400 degree F oven about 10 minutes.


Open-Faced Sandwiches with Bechamel Sauce

September 6, 2009


This is a recipe (or at least a food idea…not much of a recipe invovled) I got from my mother-in-law….no idea where she got it 🙂

It’s tasty, and a different twist on an open-faced sandwich. We don’t have it often, so I resurrected it this week as something different.

Open Faced Sandwiches with Bechamel Sauce

*Makes 4 sandwiches*

4 slices of a crusty bread — an italian, or portugese style, sliced on an angle

4 slices of white american cheese (can use other, this is the standard recipe)

approx 1/2 lb. thick-sliced homestyle ham (from a deli)

1 tomato, sliced

1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and drained

butter or margarine


– Preheat your broiler

– Lightly toast the bread slices and cover with a thin layer of butter or margarine

– Place toasted slices on a cookie sheet, butter-side up, and layer on the following in this order: ham, bacon, tomato, cheese

– Place in broiler and broil until cheese is melted and sandwich is hot

– Drizzle bechamel sauce (recipe below) over sandwiches just before serving

Bechamel Sauce

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp flour

1 1/4 cups milk, heated


– Melt butter in a pan over medium heat

– Stir in flour and cook until paste bubbles, stirring constantly (about 2 minutes)

– Add hot milk, bring the mixture to a boil

– Add salt and pepper to taste, then continue to stir for 2-3 minutes over a lower heat, until desired thickness

– Remove from heat immediately

– To make this in advance, remove from heat and cover with wax paper to cool, preventing a film from covering the top. Then refrigerate.  When ready to use, put back in a saucepan over medium/medium-low heat and re-heat. May need to add a bit of milk if it is too thick.

Dry-Rubbed Grilled Pork Roast

June 21, 2009

This rub was amazingly delicious. A little spicier than *I* like things, but still delicious!

It was originally for a pulled pork, but we ate it just as a slow-cooked pork roast. Mmm…

Carolina Dry Rub

(Steven Raichlen)

1 tbsp mild paprika

2 tsp light brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp hot paprika (omitted because we didn’t have it)

1/2 tsp celery salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp salt

4-6 whole cloves garlic (optional)


– If using the garlic cloves, place small slices all over pork roast and slip 1 clove into each slit. Place rub on pork roast/loin, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (preferably 8)

– Set up the grill for indirect grilling, and place roast on grill (we grill in foil to keep the grill clean)

– Slow-roast pork for 3-5 hours (depending on size of pork) until internal temperature reaches 195 degrees F

– Serve! It’s delicious!

Dry Rub Grilled Pork

Cafe Rio Pork

March 29, 2009
*Ignore the pot it’s in — I had DH remove it from the crockpot early, and was just heating it up on the stovetop!

I’ve never been to Utah. I’d never even heard of Cafe Rio until I started reading LeighAnne’s blog.

But she talked about how delicious their food was so often, that when she finally posted a recipe for the pork they serve at the restaurant, I decided I had to try it (and the fact that it was a crockpot meal with only 3 ingredients didn’t hurt either!)

This pork is the most amazing and delicious pork I think I’ve ever eaten. It’s good plain, on salads, in quesedillas, in tacos, in burritos, on nachos — just about anything you can think of.

This pork is THAT good.

Now, admittedly, I’m not really a pork-in-my-mexican-food kind of girl. I know its relatively common in REAL mexican, but I tend to stick to chicken and beef in my kind.

No longer. Now, it’s this pork or nothing!

I honestly can’t wait to make it again!!
Cafe Rio Pork
1-2 lb. pork tenderloin (I used just a standard pork roast. Really, it doesn’t matter what you use — the crockpot will make the meat juicy and tender anyway)
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups fresh salsa
– Mix sugar and salsa, pour over pork.
– Cook in crock pot for 8 hrs. on low.
– When done shred with two forks and return to juice in crock pot and allow liquid to absorb.
– Serve with tortillas and all the fixins!

Crockpot Orange-Apricot Pork Chops

March 22, 2009

I got this recipe from A Year of Crockpotting — I’m always looking for crockpot meals we actually like, because they’re super-convienent when DH or I have an evening work meeting or a busy schedule.
Unfortunately, I think I find more duds than recipes I like ;(
This recipe isn’t a dud, per se, which is why I’m still writing about it. If you really like cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, you’ll probably like this dish.

I, on the other hand, continually forget that I HATE cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, unless apple cider is involved.

Alas, we weren’t big fans of this — but I still think you should try it if you like the flavors above.

Crockpot Orange-Apricot Pork Chops
(A Year of Crockpotting)

6 pork chops (I used 4 large boneless ones)
1 cup apricot jam
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I cut this down to 1/4 — felt 1/2 was too much)
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges (and juice!)

– Put pork chops into your crockpot.
– In a small bowl, combine jam, brown sugar, and spices.
– Spoon over pork chops.
– Add the entire can of mandarin oranges evenly over the top.
– Cover and cook on low for about 8 hours, or on high for about 4.
– Serve with rice to soak up the yummy juice.