Tag Archives: Pork

Six Layer Dip: A Way to Use Leftovers

Andrew and I had much food leftover from our Saturday night shindig. There was still a considerable amount of chili verde, pulled pork and one chicken breast left. What do with it? I contemplated chili verde pork tacos/burritos, but we had no tortillas. Then it came to me: I could make a layered dip for tonight’s BBQ at Peter’s house. Starting at ten in the morning, I started cooking my beans from scratch.

Cooking dried beans either intimidates people or just doesn’t sound very exciting. Okay, I get it. Beans are not a sexy food to cook. Plus it is so easy to buy canned beans. Canned beans however are expensive (much more expensive than buying them dried by the pound) and they often contain a lot of sodium. I also find them a tad mushy. Most of the time I do used canned beans, but I did not have any left and I did have half a pound of dried pink beans in my cupboard.

Cooking beans is a lot easier than people make it out to be. It’s certainly not quick but it is not the long ordeal that it is often made out to be. From cupboard to dip the beans took about an hour and a half. That is not bad considering many recipes say that YOU MUST soak them overnight or they will take forever to cook. Simply not true.

First, I rinsed my beans in cold water. Then I put them in a pot and covered them with water. You want at least two to three inches of water over your beans. Yes, you will need to watch the level of your water and replenish it from time to time. Do some laundry, bring a book into the kitchen, do some knitting, whatever. Bring your beans to a boil then reduce to a simmer so they are gently bubbling. Cover with a lid partway and cook for until they tender. This can take anywhere from an half to four hours. It depends on how much you’re cooking and what kind of bean it is. Mine took about an hour and a half to cook.

Cover beans with at least two inches of water. 

Bring beans to a boil, then reduce heat so they bubble gently.

Partially cover and cook until beans are tender. 

Drain the beans, rinse, and let sit until room temperature. 

When the beans are tender, take off the heat and drain in a colander. You may want to save some of your bean cooking liquid for the next part of the recipe. I did not save mine and I had to use water. Rinse the beans and let them come down to room temperature.

Mash the beans with a fork. I also added spices. 

Now is the fun part. You get to mash your beans to whatever texture you like. I wanted mine chunky so I tried a fork. That was not getting me ANYWHERE. So I used my fist instead. Yes, I fisted my beans. Yes, my hands were perfectly clean and this was totally sanitary. It was also fun. You should never doubt your hands as tools. You may need to add a little water, broth, or bean liquid to get a smoother texture. You can also go a whiz in the food processor depending on how smooth you would like your beans.

Smooth out the beans with a spatula. 

The beans serve as the base for your dip. They are the heaviest and need to be smoothed out. Pour into a large bowl and smooth until level. Then I topped it with the pulled pork which I also smoothed out with a rubber spatula.

Add pulled pork. 

Next I made some rice. I took half a cup of white rice and put it in a small pot. I covered it with vegetable broth with at least an inch covering the rice. This is the correct amount and  you don’t need to measure this exactly. From there bring to a boil then reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for about fifteen minutes or until the liquid has evaporated and your rice is cooked.

Top the pulled pork with rice. 

Chopped chicken breast marinated in Frank’s Red Hot. 

Add chicken and more Frank’s Red Hot sauce. 

Cover the pulled pork with the rice layer. I topped the rice layer with chopped chicken breast marinated in Frank’s Red Hot sauce (my friend Ian’s contribution to our Saturday night shindig) then topped with more Frank’s Red Hot. Next came chopped avocado. Then this was finally topped with some of the leftover manzana chili verde (see previous post).

The final product

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Dr. Pepper Chipotle Pulled Pork

I know the title of this recipe sounds like some sort of white trashed fucked up mumbo jumbo but it’s really not. Okay maybe it’s a bit on the white trash side and maybe it is a little fucked up to cook with soda, but it is delicious. I was skeptical at first myself. Everyone around me was skeptical. They were like really, have you tried this before? I don’t know. Are you sure you want to make this for a party the first time you cook it? Yes. Parties are my favorite place to try new recipes that I would never otherwise cook. It is the only time there are enough people around to eat an entire shoulder of pork.

Roughly chop an onion and put it at the bottom of the slow cooker. 

Four pounds of pork shoulder. Fat side up. 

I love pork shoulder. Slow cooked, falling apart with the push of a spoon, it is one of my favorite cuts of meat. I used to cook it all the time with my roommate in college. This recipe is incredibly simple and was inspired by two cooks that I would never cop to liking: Sandra Lee (that creepy Semi-Homemade lady) and Ree Drummond (Pioneer Woman…okay, I think she’s awesome at least).

The two recipes are pretty much the same. Pioneer Woman writes in her blog as if she was the first person to ever think this up, but really she’s not. In the southern part of the United States it’s fairly common to cook with soda pop (either cola or dr. pepper). Her pictures turned out a lot prettier than mine so definitely check her post out.

First you need to chop an onion roughly. Here is where the PW recipe deviates from the SL (Sandra Lee) one. PW calls for one onion and SL calls for two. I ended up with one onion because I accidentally put two onions in my chili verde (see earlier post). This goes in the bottom of your slow cooker. Oh yeah, PW puts hers in the oven and SL uses a slow cooker. I used a slow cooker because I didn’t want my oven running for six hours. On top of your onions goes your pork shoulder (otherwise known as a pork butt, incorrectly), which should go fat side up. Liberally salt and pepper your pork roast.

Then you should your two cinnamon sticks and bay leaf. SL also adds cloves. Cloves are expensive and I do not already have cloves in my cupboard so I did not use them. You can use them if you like. Now add your can of chipotle peppers. SL’s recipe does not call for chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, but PW does. I wanted something spicy so I got a small can of chipotle peppers (these are found on the international foods aisle of most grocery stores). Let me just say I’m rather confused about the international foods aisle. Does that mean that the rest of the store is made up of white American food? It’s also not very international in my neck of the woods: kosher, Italian, Mexican and “Asian”. These are all very white washed versions of those foods as well. Okay enough of my ranting about the inherent racism found in the grocery system.

Add cinnamon and bay leaf. 

Pour your chipotle peppers on top of your roast. Now add twelve ounces of Dr. Pepper. I used Diet Dr. Pepper because I could not find a small bottle of Dr. Pepper anywhere in Safeway. I did not want a 2 liter of Dr. Pepper, so Diet Dr. Pepper it was. It works just as well. You could also use cola, Pepsi, RC, root beer, whatever dark soda you like. I think the concept is the same. You also cannot really taste the soda at the end of it.

Add chipotle peppers with adobo sauce. 

Now cook on low for approximately eight hours. You can cook it on high for 3-4 hours in your slow cooker. You can also do it in the oven for six hours at a temperature of 300 degrees. At around six hours it will start to fall apart with the touch of a wooden spoon.

The roast after two hours.

The sauce after two hours of cooking. 

The end result. Yum!

Drain the fat from the sauce, shred the pork with a fork, and then serve however you like. It’s good with tortillas or on a roll with some bbq sauce. We just ate it with tortilla chips.

Pork Loin Chops with Apples, Onions, and Shallots

Today was an absolutely terrible day. No single person should have to go to the DMV twice in one day. That should never happen. Plus the Santa Clara DMV is a particularly busy one. I had to wait an hour in line to get a number. Then I had to wait an hour sitting before my number was called. Then they called me and told me that they couldn’t help me and that my case was being processed by Sacramento and I would have to wait thirty business days before everything could be completed. Meanwhile, my broken down Dodge Caravan is sitting in an impound lot on the other side of Santa Clara accruing massive fees. Sigh.

Super Bowl Sunday!

Congratulations to the Saints for winning their first super bowl. That interception was great and I think Peyton Manning was crying. My friend Katie hosted the game at her house and we made bbq. Andrew (my boyfriend) and I brought over wine and garlic marinated tri-tip from Shopper’s Corner, homemade baked beans, and Heifeweizen. The baked beans attacked me on the way to Katie’s house and I received some burns. I’m very accident prone.

My friend Richard made jalapeno poppers. These were made with jalapeno peppers, cream cheese, and bacon. He sliced the peppers lengthwise, scraped some of the ribs and seeds out to cut down on heat, and filled them with cream cheese. He then wrapped them in bacon and secured the bacon with toothpicks. These were placed on the grill for about twenty-five  minutes. The bacon caught on fire at one point. Richard cut himself while making them. It was a day for accidents.

Katie made pulled pork shoulder which is her specialty. It was delicious. She served this with Hawaiin rolls.  I’m not sure exactly how she made the pork shoulder, but generally she does worcestshire sauce, garlic, salt, and pepper and puts this in a big covered dish in the oven on a low temperature for about three hours. Then she slathers it in bbq sauce (this time Stubb’s brand) and then put in a roasting pan over the grill for another half hour or so. She pulls the pork apart with a couple of forks and adds more bbq sauce.

Andrew cooked the tri-tip on the grill for about forty minutes. It came out delicious. The wine and garlic marinade makes for the best tri-tip.

Now making home made baked beans was quite an ordeal without getting burned by them in the car. I used dried pink beans. I did not soak my beans overnight. You are supposed to soak them overnight so you get a better texture and a quicker cooking time. They cooked quickly enough for me even though I didn’t soak them. I made a recipe called Boston Baked Beans from the North American section of my Around the World cook book.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups pink beans
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 3/4 dark brown sugar
  • 8 0z. salt pork blanched and scored or 8 0z. bacon (I used bacon)
  • 2 large onions
  • 4 bay leaves
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 cup boiling water

Process

1. Place your beans in a large pot and cover them with cold water. Bring this to a boil. Boil for about ten minutes then reduce to a simmer. Cover with a lid and simmer for an hour and a half to two hours. Pre-heat oven to 275° F.

2. Chop your onion into large chunks. Place these into a large casserole dish. Pour half the beans into the casserole dish. Place the bacon on top. Pour the rest of the beans on top of the bacon. Mix molasses, sugar, salt, and pepper into boiling water. Pour this onto the beans. Cover with a lid or tin foil.

3. Cook beans in oven for four hours. During the last half hour uncover. Do not spill the liquid out while getting into a car and burning yourself.