Monday, October 26, 2015

Mexican Pulled Pork

 You cannot mess up this deliciousness.

1 large pork shoulder-bone in
1 large onion, peeled sliced
1 qt chicken stock
1 quart of enchilada sauce 
(homemade with guajillo chilis is great but canned works fine)
2 T cumin
4 T a great Chili powder
(Pendry's Top Hat or Original on line)
salt and pepper liberally
1 cup chopped green chilis-hatch mild

Add some hotter chilis as you wish, any of these are fine, a couple serranos, Chipotle in adobo, Dried Chipotle, Anchos, Jalapeños, Cayenne, or even hot sauce.

This is a little more about method than pure cooking skill. Trim extra fat from the pork shoulder. Liberally cover your pork in the dry spices, cover in green chilis, add whatever heat you want to bring.... Add onions and chicken stock and enchilada sauce. Use cast iron cookware with a cover if you have it. Put in a 250-300 degree oven, covered, overnight 8-10 hours. Check it, it should be falling off of the bone.... Strain the liquid through a china cap, or medium sieve into a separate pan and put in the refrigerator.

Pull the pork off in chunks and put in containers. There will be a lot of fat still inside the pork. Work hard to get as much of the fat off as possible you will be rewarded for that. I like to return the pan to the oven when the fat is hard to get off for 10-15 min at 300, the exposed fat melts away.... I may do this a couple of times, it renders the fat away. Cool the meat in the refrigerator. 

When a solid cap of fat forms on the strained liquid(see pic), it can easily be removed. The liquid will be gelatinized. Return the liquid to the stove warm lightly and taste for seasoning. If too strong add chicken stock, or reduce at a very low boil to concentrate the flavor.

Pour the liquid over pulled pork, allow to cool in the refrigerator before covering. The liquid infuses the pork making it's flavors concentrated and very rich, and not fatty. I usually put it in small containers and freeze for tacos, enchiladas, or quesadillas. 

Chicken Soup better than Momma's

4 Stalks of celery cut in 3
6 Carrots cut in 3
1 large onion quartered
2 14oz cans of diced tomatoes
whole cut up chicken 
or 3 chicken breasts
olive oil
1 tsp thyme or a few fresh sprigs
salt and pepper to taste
3 quarts of chicken stock
rice or noodles

Brown chicken in a small amount of olive oil, remove from the pan. Add carrots, onions, thyme, and celery sweat for 10 minutes or so on low heat. Salt and pepper as you go... add back chicken and any juices, add stock and tomatoes. Cook until chicken is cooked through remove let cool and shred, take off bone add chicken back to the pot cook another 1/2 hour. Check your seasoning.

I prepare noodles or rice separately because they continue to cook and turn mushy. Add noodles or rice to bowl top with soup... Enjoy

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Captain Crunch French Toast

Dogs like bacon 

Loaf of cinnamon bread
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 T sugar
sprinkle of cinnamon
5 cups of Captain Crunch Cereal(food processed to fine)

We like to make a loaf of cinnamon bread in a bread machine so that it is ready in the morning.

Take eggs, milk, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon and blend.. a blender or stick blender works great. Soak the sliced cinnamon bread in the egg mixture and then dredge in the finely crushed Captain Crunch. Cook in a pan or on a griddle at a med heat... there is a high sugar content in this recipe so it tends to burn if the heat is too high. Very lightly brown the french toast and finish on a cooling rack on a baking sheet in the oven at 325 degrees. Enjoy with homemade bacon... recipe to follow.

Lebanese Chicken

Chicken Breasts or Cut up Chicken Bone-in
A lot of people like boneless, I prefer bone-in for moisture and flavor, but I'm married... so I used boneless :-(

4 Chicken breasts
5 or 6 good sized cloves of garlic
3T of salt
The zest and juice of one large or two small lemons.
1/4 cup olive oil

In a mortar grind together the salt and garlic into a paste. Add the zest and lemon juice and continue to grind, then add the olive oil and continue to grind another few minutes. Add this to the chicken in a bag to marinate. About an hour.
Grill, do not over cook the chicken....
This is delicious extremely flavorful chicken and is great used in other dishes, sandwiches and wraps.

Easy Delicious Pesto Pasta

This is super-fast super-easy, work on your speed skills.

1 medium onion
1/2-1 tsp red pepper flake
Olive oil just enough to barely cover the bottom of the pan
1 lb pasta
1 1/2 containers grape tomatoes, or cut up tomatoes.
1/4 cup pesto + some for garnish
Parmigiano Regiano to taste

Away we go...... Boil salted water...
Start your sauce...
Add onions or shallots, olive oil and Crushed red pepper flake to the pan and start to sauté until tender on medium high heat.
Add your pasta to the water......NOW!
(now you are on the clock)

Now add the grape tomatoes, let them heat through 3-4 min... now mash up the tomatoes... (helpful hint stab them with a knife first they'll pop) Drain the hot pasta, add it to the pan with the pesto and stir until combined.

Serve with Parm and pesto garnish. The sauce actually gets really creamy and delicious.
Dinner in the time it takes to boil the pasta. (with a little practice you can start the sauce AFTER you add the pasta to the water)

Super Easy Pasta Pesto Salad

2 lbs of Pasta something hearty like Farfalle or Penne
1 1/2 cups homemade pesto (recipe on Blog)
1 1/2 cups of sliced sundries tomatoes
1 cup of pine nuts lightly toasted
(be careful toast on low they burn easily)
Extra parmigiano to taste

Cook pasta al dente, error on the side of slightly too firm. Chill pasta quickly with a cold water bath, drain well... mix in pesto and sun dried tomatoes and pine nuts, add parmigiano to taste.

This can be prepared warm with diced or pulled chicken as an entree or diced chicken cold as a pasta salad.

Easy Black Bean Soup

1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 cups small dice carrots
Salt and Pepper
2-3 T Vegetable oil
1 T Cumin
1 T Good Chili power
2 large cloves garlic
2 tsp oregano
1 1/2 cup mild green chilis diced
3 14oz cans of refried black beans
6 14oz cans of black beans
3 14oz cans of petite diced tomatoes

Sauté onions and carrots in veg oil until soft add salt and pepper and garlic, cook for a few minutes.
Now add cumin chili powder and oregano cook a few minutes more.

Add diced chilis, black beans, refried black beans and tomatoes. Bring to a low bubble stir often so bottom does not stick... cook for about 45 min.. Taste for seasoning.

If you can't find refried black beans, you can take regular black beans and food processor them or use an immersion/stick blender.

Serve with sour cream, cheese and cilantro.
Enjoy. Really very easy.