Tag Archives: Pork

Pulled Pork Empanadas

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Pulled Pork Empanadas

There’s nothing tastier than a pork butt or shoulder roast slow cooked in a crockpot or in the oven.  It’s one of those things that can cook in the background while you go about your business.  I usually season my pork butt or shoulder with a rub of fresh garlic, sea salt, cumin, a little ground coffee and onion powder (with a little olive oil thrown in).   I know you’re thinking ground coffee?  What the heck?  But it really is tasty.  Not too much just a few teaspoons but it really amps up the other flavors. It’s a pretty basic rub down because I like to add other spices to the pulled pork later on to make different dishes out of the same piece of roast.  A good size pork roast can yield BBQed pulled pork sandwiches, or tacos and burritos.  I’ve even made pulled pork momos, tamales and potstickers.  Who can go wrong with a well done pig?

This time I decided to make pork Empanadas out of the pulled pork.  It was fast and worked well for a weekday dinner with a fresh slaw made with red cabbage.  The leftovers are great for lunch the next day too.  Everybody at your work will want some of your lunch as soon as you start heating it up.  Guaranteed!

On a side note.  Today, July 6th, I finally finished off the Master Cleanse.  I was so excited to eat real food.  I was thinking about it last night going to bed and dreaming up what I’d make for breakfast.  I thought of eating these Empanadas but didn’t feel like that for breakfast.  So, I decided to make an egg white frittata with caramelized onions and asparagus spears and fresh basil.  I was super excited.  I took two bites and couldn’t eat another thing.  I got kind of nauseous.  I guess I have to slow down and eat a few little things.  Let my body catch up slowly.  I ate only raw vegetables and fruits yesterday so today I should be able to ease into real food.  We shall see.  On the bright side, I do feel really, really good and I think I will try this again next year some time, maybe not for the whole 21 days though.

Cook up the pulled pork mixture

Roll out the empanada dough

Place pork mixture on one end of the rolled out dough

Fold over dough and crimp with a fork

Brush with egg wash

Bake and serve warm!

Pulled Pork Empanadas

Empanada dough:

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon sugar

6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 large egg yolk (save the egg white for the egg wash)

1/3 cup ice water

1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

Pulled Pork Filling:

1 1/2 pound of cooked, pulled pork

1/2 onion, diced

4 tbsp oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chipped

1 jalapeno, chopped

1 tsp cumin

1/4 cup water

Egg wash:

egg white, beaten

1 tsp water

For the dough: Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until combined, add butter and pulse a few times until it resembles coarse meal.

Mix together the egg yolk, water, and vinegar in a measuring cup. Add the mixture to the dough, pulsing until just combined. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and gently knead until it just comes together. Form the dough into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling out.

For the filling:  Heat oil in a sauce pan and saute the onion, garlic and jalapeno together until onions are translucent and the garlic is flavorful.  Add in cumin and water and simmer over low heat for about 3 minutes.  Toss in cilantro leaves before turning off the heat.

Assembly: Roll out the Empanada dough into 5 – 6 inch circle (I was making a little larger ones because it was for dinner).  Place 1/4 cup (or more if you want it fuller) of meat mixture on one end of the dough.  Bring the other half over the meat mixture and using a fork crimp the edges.  Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Whisk together egg white and water  and brush each empanada.  Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Mushroom and Garlic “Smothered” Pork Chops with Garlic Smashed Potatoes

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Mushroom and Garlic “Smothered” Pork Chops with Garlic Smashed Potatoes

We’ve just gotten back from an anniversary trip.  We went away to Vegas for a couple of days to celebrate.  On Thursday night we were at B B King’s Blues Club for dinner and some great live music.  Right in front of us in a table for two was a couple, who I’m guessing is still dating.  She was a very tall and shall I say, a robust woman.  About 6 foot tall and weighing in at over 200 pounds and he was a slim man about 5 foot 9 inches tall.  Throughout their evening, she kept patting and smoothing his back, running her fingers through his hair, whispering to him and when their food came, she promptly pulled a box of birthday candles out of her giant purse along with a lighter and stuck it in the middle of his Shrimp Po’ Boy sandwich and lit it. As soon as he blew it out and she got a picture on her iPhone, she reach out and hugged him to her bosom, smashing his face in.  We watched the man flap his arms a few times and then they hung limply to the side.  I don’t know if he ran out of air, passed out or surrendered.  After 26 years of marriage, Grantley and I have mastered the silent conversation.  I looked at him and he looked at me and we had an entire conversation which resulted in some snorting on my part as I tried not to laugh out loud.  Ahhhh, Smothering…not a good idea for any relationship but fantastic when it comes to food!  Consider the “smothered” burrito (yum!), “smothered” cheesecake (double yum), and now the “smothered” pork chop!  So good!  It’s surprisingly easy to make and hits the spot after the end of a long day.  We’re having  this for dinner along with garlic smashed potatoes, spring salad with radicchio and feta and grilled pineapples.  It makes any night feel like a party with birthday candle and all!

Dredge pork chops in flour and brown in olive oil

In the same pan saute mushrooms and onions

Add spices and flour to the mushroom mixture

Add chicken stock to the mixture and let it simmer for 5 minutes

Add milk to the sauce and cook an additional minute

Add pork chops back into the pan. Cover and cook for 40-45 minutes until tender

Boil potatoes with garlic cloves for the smashed potatoes

Add yogurt, salt and pepper to cooked potatoes and garlic and smash together

Add flat leafed parsley at the very end before serving

Mushroom and Garlic Smothered Pork Chop

6 boneless loin pork chops

1/2 onion

1 1/2 cup button mushrooms, chopped

4 tbsp olive oil

1 cup flour

1 tsp salt

4 cloves garlic

fresh cracked pepper

1/2 tsp Cheyenne pepper

1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 bunch fresh flat leafed parsley, chopped

1/2 cup milk

1 can low sodium chicken broth or homemade chicken stock

Garlic Smashed Potatoes

6 medium potatoes, peeled

3 – 5 cloves of garlic

1/2 cup greek yogurt

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup milk

2 tbsp chopped chives

To make the potatoes:

Peel potatoes and cut into chunks.  Place potatoes, garlic cloves and 2 tsp salt in a large pot and bring to boil.  Cover and simmer until tender.  Drain the potatoes.  Add yogurt, salt and pepper, milk and smash with potato smasher.  Add in chives.

To make the Pork Chops:

Wash and dry pork chops.  Season each side of the pork chop with a little salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a skillet.  Dredge each chop in flour and sear in the hot skillet until golden brown on each side.  Set aside.  In the same pan, add chopped onions and mushrooms and cook until tender.  Add in spices, garlic, ginger and stir fry until fragrant.  Add a couple of tablespoons of the flour leftover from dredging the chops into the mushroom mixture and cook for about a minute.  Add in the chicken stock and simmer for about 5 minutes until the sauce is nice and thick.  Add milk and cook an additional minute.  Add the chops back into the gravy and cover.  Simmer on low heat covered for about 40-45 minutes.  Add chopped parsley right before serving.  Serve warm with garlic smashed potatoes.

Pork Chops with Spicy Red Beans

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Pork Chops with Spicy Red Beans

Have you ever read the book “If you give a mouse a cookie…” It was my kid’s favorite book when they were little.  It’s a classic for me as well, you start with one thing and before you know it, it leads to a whole host of other things.  I made Polenta last night because I had some on hand and I didn’t feel like eating rice (gasp!) and once I made the Polenta, well I wanted some Pork chops to go with it and then I wanted a Chocolate dessert….you see where this is headed?  I do like pork chops occasionally.  They are versatile and can be oh so tasty!  I had some red beans on hand and decided to use cumin and coriander as well as a little ginger and garlic to bring out the flavor of the beans and pork chops.  They turned out really tasty and went VERY well with the grilled Polenta.

Ingredients at a glance

Sear the pork chops in a skillet

Saute thinly sliced onions and all the spices for 2-3 minutes

Add chicken broth, tomato paste and red beans and simmer gently

Add the pork chops to the sauce, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until chops are tender

Serve with creamy or grilled polenta! hmmmm

Here’s the recipe:

Pork Chops with Spicy Red Beans

3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 pork chops, (I liked the bone in chops)

2 red onions thinly sliced with a Mandolin

3 garlic cloves

1 inch piece of fresh ginger (I always mix my garlic and ginger together in a paste)

2 fresh Serrano Chilis

1 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds

1 1/2 tsp Coriander Powder (that’s the Cilantro seed)

2 1/2 cups of chicken stock (or you can use water if you prefer)

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 can of red beans (14 ounce size)

Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the pork chops to the pan to give them a nice sear on both sides.  Set aside.  Add the thinly sliced onions and all the spices except for the tomato paste and stir fry for about 2-3 minutes until onions are tender.  Add in chicken stock and tomato paste and bring to a simmer.  Add in drained and rinsed red beans and simmer an additional minute before placing the pork chops into the sauce.  Cover and simmer gently over medium heat for 30 minutes or until the chops are tender and cooked through.  Goes really well with Savory Herbed Polenta.