Sweet and Sour Pork

Mmmm, I love it when food is colorful and full of flavors. . . especially when the flavors are contradictory, like Sweet AND Sour!   Just add pork to the mix and sweet and sour becomes scandalous to the taste buds and pleasing to the appetite.  This recipe is one of my  favorites and you’ll love it too! It’s a bit of work and more dishes than I usually dirty for one meal, but well worth it.  Just look at this stack of veggies and wipe the saliva off your chin.

IMG_1069

Sweet and Sour Pork 

IMG_1072

Step ONE (the pork):

1 pound pork

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

2 Tbsp. flour

1 egg white

pinch of salt

 oil (for frying)

Cut up the pork into manageable pieces. (I used pieces roughly 1/2 inch thick and 2-3 inches long.)  Heat enough  oil in a pan or Wok so that it’s about 1 inch high for frying.  In another bowl combine the pork and all other ingredients listed above. Once the pork is coated fairly well place the pieces into the oil and fry until pork is cooked through (slightly browned). Once this is done I place the pork in a colander in the sink so it’s out of the way and dripping off excess oils.

Step TWO (the sauce):

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstartch

1/3 cup vinegar

2/3 cup water

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, pour in the water and vinegar and whisk in the sugar and cornstarch.  Continue to whisk constantly until the sauce is thickened and then remove from heat and set aside.

Step THREE (the produce):

3 Tbsp. oil (I used coconut oil)

1/2 cup chopped onion

3 carrots cut into long pieces (apx 6 carrot wedges per carrot)

1/2 green pepper AND 1/2 a red pepper cut into long strips

1/2 cucumber cubed bite-sized pieces

Clean out the frying pan or Wok that your cooked your pork in (It makes dishes a little less daunting when your recycle:)  Heat the oil and then saute the veggies for approximately 3-5 minutes depending on how hot you have it.  You want the veggies to be slightly fried, but NOT mushy, crispy is good.  Do not overcook!

The Finale! (Voila and Mmmm)

1 cup pineapple

4 Tbsp. ketchup

In a large bowl combine the pork, produce, pineapple, and ketchup.  Be sure the ketchup is thoroughly mixed in and then serve hot over rice!

P.S.  I hate it when recipes only use 1/2 of produce, because I never know what to do with the rest, and often veggies go to waste.  SO, I’ve solved that problem with airtight freezer bags.   Woohoo.  I now have a tightly sealed bag in the freezer labeled “Sweet and Sour Pork veggies”, pre-cut and ready to go the next time I want some of this goodness.

IMG_1073

Kalua Pork

kaluapork-sm

Not much can be said about juicy, tender, and savory Kalua Pork other then Mmmmmm. I wish I lived on a hot beach where I could bury a pig and enjoy this over a banana leaf while sipping Pina Colada out of a pineapple.  But right now I’m looking out my kitchen window at a white wonderland of snow.  Maybe that’s why I wanted to make this so badly, it’s a little reminder of warm beaches and sand castle competitions.  If you haven’t made this already, then do it now, you won’t regret it!

Kalua Pork

4 lbs Roast Pork Butt

2 oz liquid smoke

coarse sea salt or kosher salt

(optional garlic and 1 Tbsp. ginger-not authentic but SO good!)

Be sure the Pork is completely thawed and then poke it several times with a sharp knife.  Pour the salt over the entire thing and rub it in with your hands.  Place it in your crock pot and pour the liquid smoke over it.  Cover and cook on low for 3 hours.  Flip it over in the crock pot.  If the liquids seem a bit low than add 1/2 cup water and any remaining liquid smoke. Cook on low for another 2-4 hours (this depends on how hot your crock pot’s ‘low’ is) Once it’s just done cooking then take it out and shred.  Put back in crock pot , stir up, and set to warm for about an hour until ready to serve.

Kalua Pork revisited:  I wanted to try out an oven version of this, so I tried and it turned out AMAZING!  So, here’s what I did:

Same as above, but after I rubbed it down with the smoke and salt I rubbed on a couple of cloves of minced garlic and grated ginger.  Wrap the pork in aluminum foil tightly and place in a big roasting pan.  Pour water in the bottom of the pan so its an inch or two thick. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour and then lower to the temp for 325 for another 3 – 3 1/2 hours or until tender and cooked through.

Mmmmmm.

Cafe Rio Heaven

This takes some time to make all of these, but the effort is well worth the outcome.  The flavors are perfectly complimentary of each other and you will LOVE them!  This is a perfect recipe to make for a party or company you want to impress.  Thanks Brittany Allred for this AMAZING recipe!

IMG_0255
Cafe Rio Shredded Pork
(Thanks for the recipe Brittany Allred!)
2 pounds pork roast
3 cans Coke (NOT diet)
1/4 c. brown sugar
dash garlic salt
1/4 c. water
1 can sliced green chilies
3/4 can enchilada sauce (I used Old El Paso brand, medium spiciness)
1 c. brown sugar
IMG_0251

Put the pork in a heavy duty ziploc bag to marinade. Add about a can and a half of coke and about 1/4 c. of brown sugar. Marinade for a few hours or overnight. Drain marinade and put pork, 1/2 can of coke, water, and garlic salt in crock pot on high for about 3-4 hours (or until it shreds easily, but don’t let it get TOO dry). Remove pork from crock pot and drain any liquid left in the pot. Shred pork. In a food processor or blender, blend 1/2 can Coke, chilies, enchilada sauce and remaining brown sugar (about a cup, you can add a little more or less to taste..). If it looks too thick, add more Coke little by little. Put shredded pork and sauce in crockpot and cook on low for 2 hours. That’s it!

CILANTRO-LIME RICE
IMG_0253

1 c. uncooked rice
1 tsp. butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 can (15 oz) chicken broth
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. sugar
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 tsp. lime, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice and mix in as you fluff the rice. If you want to use Minute rice just improvise so that the liquids equal the rice measurements. I’m pretty impatient with rice, so I pretty much always make-do with minute rice and it ends out great as long as you’re careful to get equal parts liquids with dry rice.

GARLIC BLACK BEANS
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/3 c. tomato juice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro

opt.: 1 can corn

opt.: 1 tsp each cumin and chili powder
In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat until you can smell it. Add beans, tomato juice, and salt. Continually stir until heated through. Just before serving stir in the cilantro. Serve these on Tortillas with cheese, olives, sour cream, or whatever else you would like to add.

Cilantro Ranch

1 packet Traditional Hidden Valley Ranch mix (NOT buttermilk)

1 cup mayonnaise

1cup buttermilk

2 tomatillos, remove husk, diced

1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro

1 clove garlic

juice of 1 lime

1 jalepeno (keep seeds in to make it spicey)

Mix it all the ingredients together and blend. That’s it!

So, here’s the final product.  It’s beautiful, delicious, and pure awesomeness! Enjoy and happy cooking!

IMG_0254

BBQ Pork Ribs

This is a feast of yummy-ness that was actually really easy and required very little energy.  Thanks to Lee and Jaclyn in Georgia, we picked up this amazing recipe and served it with grilled zucchini (also yummy),  mashed potatoes, and corn.  YOU MUST TRY THIS!!! The ribs were amazing and bones were literally falling off everywhere because it was so tender.  When we were in Georgia the boys refused to try it.  This time we gave them the ‘take one bite or go to bed now’ option and they liked it. . . well, Hyrum actually LOVED it and devoured most of the big portion we gave him.  Can’t wait to make this again!  Happy Cooking!

ribcrop

BBQ Pork Ribs

1 rack of ribs
1/2 bottle BBQ Sauce (Sweet Baby Rays is the best)
1 Tbsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning (we used a different kind)
8-9 cloves minced garlic

Combine in crock pot and cook on high 2 1/2-3 hours.  (After this we flipped them over in the crock pot and added a little more BBQ sauce) Then cook on low for another 2 1/2-3 hours.  Remove from crock pot, baste with more BBQ sauce and grill lightly. (Brett just grilled it for about 5-6 minutes meat side down, then flipped it over, added the BBQ sauce and grilled for a few more minutes)