Monday, January 31, 2011

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandos & Coleslaw

Pulled pork sandos with coleslaw - yummers! I love these because they are so good and so easy. I use my crock pot to make these puppies so when I get home dinner is basically done. Side note, I use my crock pot at least once a week and plan to share many recipes with you.
BBQ Pulled Pork Sandos

The Stuff:
2lb pork shoulder, all fat trimmed (cut it into pieces to help get that fat in the middle)
2 cups favorite BBQ sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1tablespoon garlic powder
1/8 cup sriracha sauce (if you don't like spicy, omit this, but it adds a nice kick)
Earthgrains thin buns

The How To:
  • Mix BBQ sauce, sriracha sauce, cumin, and garlic powder in a small bowl, reserve 1/8 a cup
  • Cover bottom crock pot with a thin layer of the BBQ sauce mix, add a layer of pork, then add a layer of BBQ sauce, then pork, etc. until no more pork is left
  • Top with remaining BBQ sauce, then add pepper and salt
*I suggest doing these first three steps the night before and storing the crock pot with the lid on in the fridge, then put it on in the morning.

Your creation should look like this (excuse my photos, I use my iPhone)
  • Cook on low for 10-12hours 
  • You'll know its done when the pork falls apart with a poke of the fork and your house smells so good you can't take it anymore!
  • Place the meat onto a cutting board, get two forks and start pulling until what you have left is a huge pile of pulled pork goodness
  • Put it back in the crock pot for another 15-20 minutes and add more BBQ sauce if you think it needs it. I give permission to taste the meat at this time - I always do!
Take a bag of already chopped up cabbage mix (you can chop your own if you have that kind of time - on a Monday night, the last thing I want to do is chop cabbage, carrots, and onions)

Add 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/8 cup of olive oil mayonnaise (or whatever mayo you want), salt and pepper, 1 tsp agave nectar, and 1 teaspoon of dry mustard. Now taste and add salt or pepper or more agave if it needs it. The slaw is not really creamy, but it is so good, if you want to add more mayonnaise for more creaminess be my guest. Making the slaw can also be done the day before, just stick it in the fridge and let it marinate.
Now its time to build: place a spoonful of the pulled pork on to a toasted bun, top with a generous helping of coleslaw and top with bun. Grab a handful of napkins and dig in!
Weight Watcher Friends: 4 oz of meat is 6 p+, thin bun is 3p+ and slaw is 1p+

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lemon and Spice Roasted Chicken

For Christmas The MR (my lovely-wonderful-will eat anything-best friend-lover face boyfriend) gave me a Le Creuset enameled cast iron 5 quart pot and my oh my its wonderful! I've cooked mac and cheese, 3-bean chili and tonight I roasted a chicken - yummers! It seriously turned out so wonderful - juicy, lots of flavor and basically fell off the bone. I served it with sauteed bok choy & mushrooms with garlic and soy sauce and a side of brown rice. 

A note about my cooking, I rarely measure spices, actually, I never measure spices. I get a feeling, ok, not a God is telling me enough kinda feeling, but a feeling. As Mom says, taste as you go and you will know. So, that's what I do - lots and lots of tasting. I'll do my best to put measurements but taste your food - DON'T TASTE RAW CHICKEN! I feel like I have to put that, I'd feel terrible if someone got salmonella because I told them to taste chicken for enough spice. Oh, and I plan to put pictures for future recipes, I just didn't think about it today. 

Roasted Chicken

The Stuff:
5lb Whole Chicken
1.5 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 tablespoon Dried Rosemary (or Thyme if you prefer)
2 teaspoon Sea Salt
2 tablespoon Cracked Black Pepper
1 tablespoon Lemon Pepper
Half teaspoon Paprika
1 Lemon
1 Small Onion Coarsely Chopped
3 Gloves Garlic sliced
Salt, pepper and lemon pepper for inside of chicken (here is where I'm not measuring, I basically, generously coat the inside of the chicken with these spices)

The How To:
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Coat bottom of Le Creuset or your roasting pan with olive oil
  • Empty out the cavity of the chicken and wash with water inside and out, then place in the Le Creuset, tucking the wing tips under the chicken
  • Generously sprinkle sea salt, black pepper and lemon pepper on the inside of the chicken and add 1 of the tablespoons of rosemary
  • Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice on the outside of the chicken, place the lemon (yes, the whole lemon, peel and all) into the cavity of the chicken
  • Stuff the chicken with the onion 
  • Place the sliced garlic between the skin and the meat of the chicken
  • Cover top of chicken with the measured out sea salt, pepper, paprika, lemon pepper and remainder of the rosemary
  • Put lid on Le Creuset, if you don't have a roasting pan with a lid use aluminum foil 
  • Cook at 350 for an hour and a half or until the leg pulls away easily and the liquid is clear. If you don't feel comfortable doing that use a meat thermometer
  • With about 10 minutes left take the lid/foil off to help crisp the skin (to keep it light, I don't eat the skin, but The MR does and he likes it crispy)
  • Take the chicken out and let it rest 5-10 minutes, take out the lemon and onion and carve away. You should get a juicy chicken!
Weight Watcher Friends: Points with skin: drumstick 2p+, wing 3p+, thigh 4p+, 4oz breast 5p+


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cooking Makes Me Happy

As the title of this post states cooking makes me happy! I absolutely love it! I cook every night, even after a 13 hour day (I'll get more into that another time). I plan out my week on Sunday and each night I get home, put on my apron and get to cooking. It keeps me sane - gives me an outlet to think, or stop thinking, really, and just be.

My goal in writing this blog is to organize my recipes. I subscribe to about 10 food blogs and am constantly downloading and testing out recipes. And, I'm sure these recipes are all really good, but I NEVER follow them to a the letter. I add my own ingredients, take away, change the protein, etc., I basically use their recipe for a base and then add my touch. The problem with this is when I want to remake the 3-bean chili or baked zucchini sticks I have adapted from a food blog I have no idea how I changed the original recipe and rarely end up with the same results. For the most part this is ok, but I still want a place to keep my recipes and writing a blog is something I've wanted to do for awhile and why not write about something I love?

Since I was little I've loved cooking. I cook with my mom and my sister - always helping Mom peel the potatoes and making the hamburger patties. Side note, I used to eat the potato peels raw AND, this is embarrassing, I'd eat parts of the raw ground beef! Ah, ok, give me a break, I was like 7 or something and it helped my mom realize I was anemic so something good came out of it - and I don't do it now, promise! Ok, so back to helping Mom in the kitchen, she makes these hamburgers called 'Nother Burgers, called that so cleverly by my sister when she was a wee tot, "Mommy, I want 'nother burger." so cute! They are so darn tasty, and  even though we've switched to ground turkey and lighter ingredients the burgers are still delish! My mom is the best, she gave me my confidence in the kitchen - the woman can cook and she passed that down to me. Her words of advice? Taste as you go, clean up as you go and always have fun!

So why a blog? Not only to help organize my recipes as I already mention, but to also help with my weight lose journey. I am currently doing Weight Watchers and love it. Its not a diet, its a lifestyle change! (God, I sound like a commercial! haha!). I need to balance food with working out with having fun. This blog with help me organize my recipes for yummy slimmed down mac and cheese and cheesy enchiladas all the while tracking my weight lose journey, and, as Mom always says, HAVE FUN!