Thursday, September 27, 2012

Asian Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Asian Pulled Pork Sandwiches w/ Ramen Salad

It's been a while since we posted a recipe; this is such a busy time of year! Archery season has started, fall semester, pre-school and other fall plans have taken priority. We haven't had much free time on our hands for our projects, but we will post as often as we are able.

I had some Asian pulled pork at a friends house for their daughters 1st birthday party, and it inspired me to make this Asian style pork.

This Asian Pulled Pork is really good, it has more of an Asian spiced flavor with subtle sweetness. The Chinese five-spice gives it a unique spiced flavor, the brown sugar brings balance and just the right amount of sweetness.

Asian Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Makes enough for 10+ servings

4 lbs boneless pork butt, fat trimmed
1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice power
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
4 cloves fresh minced garlic
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
10 sesame buns

Add everything besides the meat to a slow cooker & whisk the ingredients.
Cook on low for 8 hours.
Remove from slow cooker, shred, pull and return to slow cooker.
Serve on buns.
Pairs well with a good ramen salad.

Best flavor 2nd day.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Cuban Picadillo

Cuban Style Picadillo Over Rice

This past Monday we got to visit with Joe's Grandma Gladys who's in town visiting from Puerto Rico.  We got to talking about some of our favorite delicious Puerto Rican dishes.  I had seen this dish on Diner's, Drive-In's & Dives on Food Network but couldn't remember it's origin or what it was called.  All that talk about Carribbean food got me thinking about Picadillo again and I finally googled what it was called.  This particular recipe is inspired by a recipe I found in  It called for less garlic and olives, so I decided to tweak the recipe a little bit and add a couple flavors I knew we would love.  Joe and I both agree that this is as delicious as we thought it would be and intend to make it again and again!  Enjoy!!

Makes about 6 hearty servings.

2 cups diced onions2 cups green pepper, seeds removed and finely diced
2 tablespoons olive oil for sautéing
4-6 cloves grated, minced or crushed garlic
1 lb. ground beef

1 lb. ground pork
4 large roma tomatoes, seeded and diced

2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, not quite full
1 teaspoon oregano
1 5.75oz. jar green olives, drained
1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper (to taste)

Prepare your rice and begin cooking it (recipe below)
Saute onions and green peppers in olive oil until onions begin to soften.  Add the meats and garlic.  As the meats cook, mash the meat into the pepper and onion mixture to break it up into a fine crumble. 
Once the meat is cooked through, add in the tomatoes, tomato paste, chili powder, spices and salt & pepper.  Reduce heat to low, and simmer about 15 minutes.  Finally, gently stir in the olives and simmer another 5 minutes.  Serve over hot white rice.

Perfect White Rice
2 cups long grain white rice
3 3/4 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 vegetable oil

Rinse rice thoroughly in wire mesh strainer.  This step is very important. Rinse rice until runoff water is completely clear.  Set rice aside to dry for about 15 minutes.  In medium stockpot heat the oil on medium heat.  Add the dry rice and salt and toast for about 10 minutes, until you smell the nutty aroma of the rice toasting.  Stir throughout toasting process so the rice doesn't burn.
Add the water and stir gently.  Reduce heat to medium/low and place the lid on the pot.  DO NOT OPEN THE LID through the entire cooking process.  Set timer for 20 minutes.  If the rice boils over, or gets close, reduce the heat slightly.  After the 20 minute cooking time turn the heat off, but leave the lid ON for another 30 minutes to steam the rice.  The 30 minute steam makes such a difference on the texture of the finished rice.