Crock Pot Pulled Pork Sandwiches

We just spent a week in New England, freezing our butts off, visiting my family. What stinks is we both, & my entire family, ended up getting the flu. We tried to hide from it but no matter what, it came for us, knocked us on our asses & in bed for four days. We didn’t get to do too much with the 30 degree temperatures but it was great to go home, visit with everyone & catch up.

I got to meet two of my cousin’s new babies & one of my very best friends ask me to be a part of her wedding party. All & all it was a pretty successful trip.

One of my favorite parts of coming home, besides catching up with family & friends, is being able to eat at all of my favorite local restaurants that we don’t have in Orange County. (Check out my Instagram for posts from last week’s trip… & what we are eating @MeggOliver) There is my favorite burger joint, amazing Italian dinners, fabulous brunch places & of coarse… some Connecticut pizza.
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The food in Connecticut is much different than California. During the summer we are very seafood driven along the Long Island Sound. Local clams, shrimp, and even lobster can be found in any restaurant you go to. Many seafood shacks even close up for the winter before they have to resort to using frozen fish. During the winter in Connecticut most people get back to warm comfort food.

We started our trip with a topping covered pizza, was able to try out a new brewery… which was amazing… headed for Mexican & drinks to celebrate a friend’s birthday & enjoyed a beautiful brunch with friends.

When we got back from Connecticut I went straight to work for seven days straight, & with nothing in the house it was pretty rough eating take out & mall food court food for the first few days. But now we are back into the swing of things, recovered from our sickness & I am back to cooking. One easy recipe I have made a lot this fall & winter so far has been these pulled pork sandwiches. They are super easy & well yum.

My favorite part of them is not actually the meat at all. Instead I am dying over the massive amount of coleslaw I make to top the sandwich. And good news for me… Chris hates cabbage. So I make this coleslaw & literally put it on everything for a week. I top it on salads, sandwiches, as a side…anything! I love it. Try it out & let me know which you like more… the pulled pork or the coleslaw. Beware… this is a small batch recipe. The pulled pork only makes 3-4 sandwiches. But the coleslaw can go on for days.

Signature

Pulled Pork:
1-1.5 lb. boneless pork loin
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp dry mustard
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ cup BBQ sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp. honey

Cole Slaw:
½ head of purple cabbage
½ cup mayo
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
½ tsp pepper
1 carrot, shredded

1. Mix all of the coleslaw ingredients in a bowl. Toss with tongs and refrigerate. Allow to sit for until the pork is done and all of the flavors have mixed together.
2. Place the pork at the bottom of a crock pot. Top with all of the seasonings. Cook on high 4-5 hours.
3. After 4-4.5 hours shred pork inside crock using two forks. Cover and allow to cook on low for another 30 minutes.
4. Assemble sandwich by adding coleslaw on top of the meat on a sandwich bun.

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Country Potatoes and Chorizo Scramble

Who is exhausted after all of that Black Friday shopping?!? I know I am after working both Thanksgiving night & last night. Let me tell you, people are crazy if they are getting a good deal!! I was at my store until 3am on Friday morning & then had to be back again at 3pm on Friday night to close down shop. The entire time it was pure craziness!!

Today, since we spent Thanksgiving Day with Chris’s dad’s side of the family, we are spending the day in L.A. with his mom’s side having a little late Turkey Day. Chris is already up there since they have a tradition of shopping Thursday night into Friday morning each year. To start my morning I am whipping up my favorite breakfast before I hit the road & meet up with everyone.

Country Potatoes and Chorizo Scramble.

The perfect combination of delicious crispy potatoes, and sweet peppers, with spicy Mexican pork chorizo; it is my favorite start to my morning, and has tons of protein, carbs & veggies to keep me going all day. Today I feel like we probably won’t be eating until later on in the evening so I need to be able to keep cooking all day.

I hope everyone has something to keep them going after a big day of shopping.

Signature

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3 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 red potatoes
1 gold potato
½ cup diced onion
4 small sweet peppers
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp pepper
1 ½ tsp salt
2 eggs
2 egg whites
Splash of milk
1 oz chorizo

1. Crack eggs and egg whites into bowl. Add a splash of milk and salt and pepper. Whisk with fork and set aside.
2. Clean and dice potatoes, peppers and onion. Add butter to a pan and keep temperature on medium. Add potatoes to pan and cook on medium, covered, for 5-10 minutes. Just until potatoes are tender with a fork. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
3. Remove cover and add onions and peppers to pan stirring regularly. Allow to cook for another 5 minutes or until onions are translucent.
4. Push veggies to the outside boarder of the pan and add chorizo to the middle. Chop just like you would with any ground meat. Allow to cook 3-5 minutes, until meat looks cooked throughout.
5. Push meat to outer edge of pan with the vegetables and add eggs to the center of the pan. Allow to cook and once bottom layer seems cooked, mix chorizo and veggies together with eggs.
6. Plate and enjoy. Serves 2.

Beer Braised Brats

Everyone knows I am a little bit of a wino. I love the taste, the fact that there are independently owned wineries all over California & I love even more that more & more wineries are opening up around the country. Love supporting local businesses. Anyone who has the balls to put themselves out there & start something deserves to be supported.

Last year Chris & I started getting more & more into beer, for all of the same reasons. Breweries are popping up all over the country & a lot of breweries feature great pup foods & snacks.

A few months ago we spent a long weekend in the West Palm Beach area of Florida. We were there for a wedding but my cousin moved there a few years ago so we spent a day with him & his wife brewery hopping to three different breweries. Two were seasoned breweries but one had just opened that week, which was pretty cool.

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They were each so different from their ambiance, to their taste. My favorite was probably Due South Brewing Company. A large 15,000 square foot brewery with an onsite taproom, private back room & yard games to play. Due South was the second gastropub we stopped at so we started by grabbing dinner at the food truck on our way in the door. We each got a flight & played a game of corn hole. Sounds like a perfect Saturday to me!

If you talked to me 6 years ago I would say pass me a Michelob Ultra for the girlie taste & the $4 price tag. Now a days I’d like only a freshly tapped Double IPA with an amazing basket of sweat potato fries & pumpkin dip. I know, pretty specific.

This recipe I kind of just winged. I tried it a few times, & it didn’t always work out. Chris ate it with a smile, but maybe he actually liked it. I didn’t though. So I changed it little by little each time I tried it & finally figured out how to make it so we both liked it. Crispy but still full of flavorful beer with an amazing caramelized onion flavor. Yum! I want to eat it right now. I hope you enjoy just as much as I do.

Signature

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5 Tbsp olive oil
1 sweet onion
5 bratwurst
12 oz blonde ale

1.  Heat oil on low.
2.  Cook brats over low heat for about 5 minutes per side. Try to get as much of the surface spaced browned for an even cook.
3.  Add onions and raise heat to medium. Cook down onion for about 4 minutes or until soft, but not translucent.
4.  Add beer and cook covered. Allow beer to bubble up around brats.
5.  Once beer is reduced to half, uncover and continue to cook until only a small layer of beer remains. Onions will be caramelized.

Easy One Pan Pork with Roasted Veggies

 

At the beginning of the year we went over to Costco and dropped a good chunk of change to stockpile up on meats for dinners. I thought the big buy would last us a month, but we actually still have some stuff in the freezer lingering waiting for us to cook.

Last week I pulled out one of the pork tenderloin that I had seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper, defrosted it and looked around for what else I had in the house to cook as a side. I was rushing around and didn’t want to really spend too much time cooking for the night. So I grabbed some carrots and broccoli that I had on hand cut them up and threw them in the pan with the pork and was pretty much ready to go. Below is the recipe, try it out and enjoy.

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1 pork tenderloin

4 carrots

1 small bunch of broccoli

¼ cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cloves of garlic

1 Tbsp Thyme

1 Tbsp Rosemary

Preheat oven to 400˚. Let pork sit for 30 minutes to come to room temperature. Cut veggies and garlic. Poke holes into pork about 2 inches apart and put garlic in. Pour olive oil over meat and veggies. Rub the oil onto the meat and then season with salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and allow meat to brown, usually 20 minutes. By covering with foil it keeps the meat much more moist and flavorful and the veggies don’t get singed and too burnt.

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Pan Fried Pork Chop with Caramelized Apple and Onion Glaze

2 Tbsp olive oil
5 Pork Cops
Salt
Pepper
Rosemary
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion
1 shallot
2 Fuji apples
1 tsp sugar

1. Place pork chops on plate and season with desired amount of salt, pepper, rosemary and garlic on one side.
2. Let sit 15-20 minutes to bring to room temperature. This will help with even cooking.
3. Oil the bottom of a frying pan and cook the pork chops on medium for 4-5 minutes each side. When you flip to cook the second side of the chop season again and allow the seasoning to sit on top of the meat.
4. After meat is cooked remove from pan and cover.
5. Add another 2 Tbsp of olive oil to the pan and add sugar, apples, shallots and onions. Sautee on medium while constantly stirring to ensure nothing burns.
6. When finished onions will be translucent and the apples will be golden.
7. Turn heat off and place chops back into the pan. Cover and let sit a few minutes to get the temperature of the pork back up.
8. Serve with apples and onions over the pork. No apple sauce needed.