Vietnamese Pork Chops

Ingredients

  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped (I don’t know what counts as “small” for shallots, but I got a little over 4 tablespoons once I finely chopped my shallot)
  • 1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce (such as nam pea or nuoc nam) (our bottle just said “fish sauce”)
  • 2 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 1″ thick-cut bone-in pork chops (about 2 1/2 lb. total) (I could only find pork chops that were about 1/2-inch thick)
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Lime halves (for serving)

Directions

  1. Take a dish that’s big enough to fit the pork chops in and add the shallot, brown sugar, fish sauce, vinegar, and pepper to it, stirring to combine. Take a fork and pierce your pork chops all over (so the marinade can get absorbed quicker), placing it in the fish sauce marinade. Flip the pork chops over and cover, letting them marinate at room temp. for 20 minutes, flipping them over once in a while during that time.
  2. Take the pork chops out of the marinade, scraping the marinade off the chops as much as possible (don’t throw the marinade away, it becomes the sauce later on). Pour the oil into a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Lightly season the pork chops with salt (I forgot to do this thankfully*). Once the oil’s hot, add the pork chops to the skillet, cooking them for about 4 minutes per side or until they look browned and are fully cooked. Take the pork chops out of the skillet and let them rest for 10 minutes before serving them.
  3. While the pork chops are cooking, pour the marinade into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Let boil for 4 minutes or until the sauce has reduced down to about 1/4 cup.
  4. Serve the pork chops with the reduced sauce and lime halves and enjoy !

*The marinade sauce gets saltier as it reduces so any lacking in seasoning on the pork is more than made up for with the sauce !

The pork chops didn’t have much flavor on their own (probably due to me not adding on any salt) but the sauce definitely made up for that lack of flavor ! The sauce was kind of salty so the lime halves have helped cut down on the saltiness as well as add flavor.

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !

Miso-Gochujang Pulled Pork

Ingredients

  • 5-pound boneless pork butt, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 3/4 cup gochujang, divided
  • 6 tablespoons white miso, divided
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, stem minced, leaves left whole, reserved separately
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 3 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 3 chunks
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil (we used vegetable oil)
  • 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • Hamburger buns, pickled jalapeños, Gingery Pickled Carrots, and Gochujang Sour Cream, to serve (recipes for the Gingery Pickled Carrots and the Gochujang Sour Cream below)

Directions

  1. Move the rack in your oven down to the lower-middle position before preheating the oven to 325 degrees. Place the pork, 1/2 cup of the gochujang, 2 tablespoons of the miso, cilantro stems, hoisin, ginger and 1 cup of water in a large Dutch oven, stirring to combine. Set the Dutch oven over medium-high heat, waiting for simmering to occur. Once simmering, put the lid on the Dutch oven and place it in the oven. Let the pork cook for 3 hours or until it pulls apart easily using two forks.
  2. While the meat cooks, take a 12-inch nonstick skillet out and pour the oil into it, setting the skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil’s hot and shimmering, add in the onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt, turning the heat down to medium once they’re both in. Cook for 15 minutes or until the onions look golden, stirring now and then during that time (it took us longer than 15 minutes). Mix the miso into the onions, stirring constantly for 5 minutes or until the miso begins to brown. Take the miso onions out of the skillet and put them on a plate to cool down, covering them once they’re cool and putting them in the fridge until they’re ready for use later on.
  3. Once the pork is tender, remove it using a slotted spoon and put it in a large bowl (we used a large plate). Once the pork is cool enough for you to handle, shred it into bite-size pieces, throwing away any globs of fat. Going back to the Dutch oven, take the ginger chunks out of the liquid, throwing them away. Tilt the Dutch oven so all of the liquid pools to one side, skimming and throwing away as much of the fat on the surface as possible (we didn’t get rid of the fat). Put the Dutch oven over medium-high heat and let the liquid cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until a spatula (we used a spoon) run through the sauce leaves a trail behind (took us longer than 7 minutes).
  4. Whisk in the remaining 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of gochujang into the sauce until combined. Mix the pork and onions into the sauce, turning the heat down to medium afterwards. Stir the pork around constantly for 5 to 10 minutes or until all of the pork and onions are heated through. Take the Dutch oven off the heat and stir in the vinegar to combine. Taste the pulled pork and season to taste with pepper (we didn’t add any pepper). Place the meat on the buns, topping with the cilantro leaves, pickled carrrots, gochujang sour cream, and pickled jalapeños.

Gingery Pickled Carrots

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and shredded on the large holes of a box grater
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into thin rounds

Directions

  1.  Whisk the vinegar, sugar and salt together in a large bowl before adding the carrots and ginger, stirring to coat the carrots and ginger in the vinegar mixture. Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours (we made our pickled carrots the day before we made the pulled pork).

Gochujang Sour Cream

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons gochujang, to taste (we used 4 tablespoons)

Directions

  1. Mix the 2 ingredients together in a small bowl until  combined (make sure to scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl). Put a lid on the bowl and place it in the fridge until ready for use.

DSC_0728 copy

The components taste good separately but together are even better ! The pulled pork was tender, spicy and a little salty but the pickled carrots and jalapeños brought enough acidity to balance that spiciness out. You might think that this’d be too spicy between the jalapeños and the gochujang in both the pork and the the sour cream but the sour cream itself, the pickling and probably the bread as well allows you to get a spiciness that you’ll notice without overpowering the other flavors in this. The onions are so tender that you’ll barely notice them as you’re eating this ! This was a different (but tasty) take on pulled pork.

This recipe came from Milk Street.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Milk Street.

Take care everybody !

Fried Pork Chops With Pickle Juice Gravy

Ingredients

  • 4 (6-ounce) rib or center cut pork chops (about 3/4 inch thick) (we used 5* Pork Loin Rib Chops that were bone-in)
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs (we used Progresso Plain Bread Crumbs)
  • 3 large fresh sage leaves, minced (our sage leaves (after being minced) yielded us a little less than a tablespoon)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Pickle Juice Gravy (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: fresh sage, flaked sea salt

Directions

  1. Sprinkle salt and pepper over both sides of the pork chops.
  2. Take 3 wide, shallow bowls out. Add the flour to the first bowl. Add the eggs to the second bowl. Mix the bread crumbs and sage together in the last bowl. Coat the pork chops in flour first, shaking off any excess. Place the pork chops in the eggs next, letting any excess egg drip back into the bowl. Finally, put the pork chops in the breadcrumb mixture so they get completely coated, gently pressing the breadcrumbs onto the pork so they adhere  better.
  3. Pour enough oil into a 12-inch cast-iron skillet that it reaches a depth of 1/4-inch, setting the skillet over high heat (we didn’t go any higher than medium-high heat). Fry the pork chops until they’re crispy and look browned, flipping them just once (cook them for about 3 minutes per side), adjusting the heat if necessary (it was definitely necessary for us**). Take the pork chops out of the skillet and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain, sprinkling a little bit more salt*** on afterwards.
  4. Serve the pork chops with the Pickle Juice Gravy, sprinkling some sage and sea salt on the pork chops (if you’re using the garnishes that is).

Pickle Juice Gravy

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • 1/4 cup dill pickle juice, or to taste (we used 1/4 cup of dill pickle juice from a jar of Mt. Olive Hamburger Dill Chips)
  • 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter

Directions

  1. Take a 10-inch cast-iron skillet out and place 5 tablespoons of butter in it, placing the skillet over medium-high heat. Once the butter’s melted, slowly whisk in the flour until combined. Stir constantly for a minute or until a “rough paste” form (we weren’t sure what they meant by “rough paste” so we called it good after a minute).
  2. Slowly whisk the stock in, continuing to stir until the mixture looks smooth. Wait for it to come to a boil, turning the heat down immediately afterwards so it’s at a simmer. Let simmer for 2 minutes or until the gravy’s thickened****. Stir in the salt and pepper.
  3. Whisk the pickle juice in to combine, finally adding in that cold tablespoon of butter. They say to swirl the skillet until it looks like it’s fully melted but we just whisked it in until it was melted and mixed in with the rest of the gravy. Serve immediately.

*Our package came with 5 pork chops so we decided to see if there was enough flour, egg, and breadcrumb mixture to coat it. Turns out there was just enough left to coat the extra chop in (just letting you know in case your package has 5 pork chops in it instead of just the 4 the recipe called for).

**This was our first fried pork chop recipe so we followed the directions and the first pork chop was way more browned on the first side than we wanted it to before it even reached 3 minutes so we adjusted the temperature and got MUCH BETTER results !

***We used the flaked sea salt at this point instead of more kosher salt.

****We turned our back on the gravy (didn’t feel like more than maybe a couple of minutes at most) and realized it was boiling so we turned the heat down and stirred it around. When we stirred it, we realized that the gravy already felt like it had thickened so we just skipped the 2 minute simmer and moved onto stirring in the salt and pepper.

DSC_0569DSC_0582

When we first saw the recipe title, we were both intrigued and a little nervous about making fried pork chops with “pickle juice gravy” but it turned out to be delicious ! It sort of reminded us of eating a chicken fried steak with gravy. While we didn’t taste the sage too much in the breading, we enjoyed the nice crispy crunch of the coating. The gravy sounds weird based off the name but we couldn’t get enough of it ! It tastes like chicken gravy but with the taste of pickle juice in the background. We loved the gravy so much, we might try to see what it’s like as a component of a breakfast sandwich in the future !

This recipe came from Southern Cast Iron.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Progresso, Mt. Olive, or Southern Cast Iron.

Take care everybody !

Pozole Rojo

Ingredients

  • 4 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded*
  • 3 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded*
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut in half
  • 3 teaspoons salt, divided (we used table salt)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (we used yellow onions)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
  • 4 cups chicken broth (we used Swanson 33% Less Sodium)
  • 2 cans (30 ounces each) white hominy, rinsed and drained (we used 4 (15.5 oz each) cans of Bush’s White Hominy)
  • Optional toppings: sliced radishes, lime wedges, sliced romaine lettuce, chopped onion (we used yellow onion), tortilla chips and/or diced avocado (we used everything but the tortilla chips)

Directions

  1. Take the chiles and place them in a medium-sized bowl, pouring the boiling water over them afterwards. Use a small plate or a bowl to weigh the chiles down and let them soak for at least 30 minutes.
  2. While the chiles are soaking, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the salt all over the pork. Pour the oil into a large skillet (we used a large cast-iron skillet), setting the skillet over medium-high heat. Place the pork in the skillet, cooking it for 8 to 10 minutes or until the pork’s browned on all sides (took us about 3 minutes for each side to get browned). Place the pork in the slow cooker (we used a 6 qt. slow cooker).
  3. Take the same skillet you browned the pork in and place it over medium heat. Toss the onions in, cooking them for 6 minutes or until they’ve softened (6 minutes did the job for us). Add the following ingredients to the skillet, stirring for a minutes once they’re all in: garlic, cumin, oregano, and the remaining salt. Stir the broth in, bringing it to a simmer, making sure to scrape up any browned bits that are on the bottom of the skillet during that time. Once simmering, pour the broth and everything else that’s in the skillet over the pork.
  4. Add the softened chiles and it’s soaking liquid into either a food processor or a blender (we used a blender) and process the chiles until it’s a smooth mixture. Pour the chile mixture into a fine-mesh sieve that has a medium-sized bowl sitting under it. Using a spoon, press the chiles so that you get as much liquid as possible**. Throw away any solids and mix the liquid into the slow cooker.
  5. Put the lid on the slow cooker and let it cook on LOW for 5 hours. Take the lid off just long enough to stir in the hominy, putting the lid back on and letting the pozole cook for another hour. Turn the heat off and  let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before skimming fat from the surface and throwing it away (we never removed any fat from the liquid). Take the pork out of the slow cooker and place it on a large cutting board where you can shred it using two forks. Pour the hominy mixture into a bowl and top it with the pork and any of the toppings you choose to use.

*We did remove the stems but as far as the seeds go, we shook out what seeds we could but didn’t care if there were seeds still left in the peppers.

**After processing the chiles and the soaking liquid, we just put the mixture straight into the slow cooker, skipping the part involving the sieve.

DSC_0583 copyDSC_0585 copy 4DSC_0594 copy

This recipe takes a bit of work  but the flavor was absolutely worth it ! The tender pork was hard to stop eating while we were shredding it because it tasted that good to us ! The hominy is equally delicious though because it just absorbs all that flavor during that hour in the slow cooker. As far as the toppings go, we think a lot of them contributed flavor and texture but we could go without the avocado next time. We love avocado but other than maybe it cutting down on the little bit of saltiness that the pozole had and it adding color to the dish, it just didn’t make the dish better (didn’t make it worse either though). We’ve been meaning to make this dish for a while because it sounded really flavorful and now that we’ve finally made it, we know we were absolutely right !

This recipe came from Crock-Pot.

We weren’t paid in any form to mention Swanson, Bush’s or Crock-Pot.

Take care everybody !

Barbecue Pork Tacos

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 (4- to 5-lb.) boneless pork shoulder roast (Boston Butt), trimmed
  • 1 (18-oz.) bottle barbecue sauce (we used Jack Daniel’s Hickory Barbecue Sauce)
  • 1 (12-oz.) can cola soft drink (we used Caffeine Free Coca-Cola)
  • 10 to 12 (8-inch) flour tortillas, warmed
  • Toppings: chopped tomatoes, sliced jalapeños, shredded Cheddar cheese (we used sharp Cheddar cheese), chopped fresh cilantro (we also used sliced radishes)

Directions

  1. Take a 6-quart slow cooker out and lightly grease the inside of it using the cooking spray. Put the pork in the bottom of the slow cooker, pouring the barbecue sauce and cola in afterwards. Put a lid on the slow cooker, letting the pork cook on LOW heat for 8 to 10 hours or until the meat shreds easily with a fork.
  2. Take the pork out of the slow cooker and transfer it to a cutting board. Shred the meat using two forks, throwing away any chunks of fat. Skim any fat from the sauce before adding the shredded pork back in.
  3. Spoon the pork into the tortillas, adding on your choice of toppings afterwards.
DSC_0075 copyDSC_0080 copy

We recommend actually fixing this a day or two before you plan on it actually being eaten ‘cause while the flavors aren’t bad on the first day per se, it tastes a lot better after it’s sat in the fridge for a day or two. You get a nice sweetness from the sauce (not like candy sweet though) and the meat is really tender. If you choose to add the toppings then the radish will give a nice crunch, the jalapeños bring heat and crunch, cilantro and tomato bring a nice freshness, and what doesn’t cheese make better?

This recipe came from Southern Living.

We weren’t paid in any form to mention/promote Jack Daniel’s, Coca-Cola or Southern Living.

Take care everybody !

South Carolina Pulled Pork with Mustard Barbecue Sauce

Ingredients

  • Pulled Pork
    • 1 bone-in pork shoulder (about 7 lbs.)
    • 1 tsp. salt (we used more than 1 tsp. of table salt*)
    • ½ tsp. pepper (we used more than ½ tsp. of freshly ground black pepper*)
    • Small hamburger buns (optional)
  • Mustard Barbecue Sauce
    • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
    • ½ yellow onion, grated
    • 2 cloves garlic, grated
    • 1 cup yellow mustard (such as French’s) (we used French’s)
    • 1 tbsp. dry mustard
    • ¾ cup cider vinegar
    • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
    • 1 tsp. Tabasco

Directions

  1. For the pulled pork: Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Let the pork sit at room temp. for 30 minutes before seasoning it with the salt and pepper. Wrap the pork up tightly in aluminum foil and place it on a rimmed baking sheet that has a rack fitted on it (we lined the baking sheet with foil before placing the rack on). Stick the sheet in the oven and let the pork cook for 7 hours or until the pork reaches 200 degrees in the thickest part and can be easily pulled apart using a fork.
  2. For the mustard barbecue sauce: When there’s 20 minutes left on the cook time for the pork, take a saucepan out and add the butter to it, setting the heat to medium-low. Once the butter’s melted, toss in the onion and garlic, stirring frequently for 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining sauce ingredients and let the sauce simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Once the pork’s cool enough for you to handle, remove the skin, bone and fat, throwing them away afterwards. Take the meat and shred it with a pair of forks. Place the pulled meat in a large mixing bowl, pouring the barbecue sauce over it afterwards, tossing to coat. Serve the pork on buns if you’re using them.

*We didn’t like how little the salt and pepper seemed on the pork so we added more. We didn’t measure how much more we used though, so season to taste !

DSC_0245

When we tried the sauce before pouring it over the pork, it had so much pucker power to it ! Something magical happened though after it was tossed with the pork, almost all the pucker power disappeared ! The sauce just took on a sweeter flavor to it, we couldn’t explain it. Can’t explain it, but we loved it !

We got this recipe from Family Circle.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote French’s, Tabasco, or Family Circle.

Take care everybody !

Cajun Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork

Ingredients

  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons Creole or spicy brown mustard (we used Zatarain’s Creole mustard)
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons paprika (we used smoked paprika)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (3-to-4-pound) boneless pork shoulder
  • 2 links andouille sausage (we used Roger Wood brand andouille)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 8 soft sesame buns
  • Pickle slices and potato chips, for serving (we used dill pickle slices and Lay’s Original potato chips)

Directions 

  1. Add the water, vinegar, ketchup, ¼ cup mustard, molasses and 1 tablespoon brown sugar to a 7- to 8-quart slow cooker, stirring until combined.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the remaining brown sugar, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Rub the mixture all over the pork, placing it in the slow cooker afterwards as well as adding in the andouille. Put the lid on the slow cooker and let it cook on LOW for 8 hours.
  3. Take the pork and sausage out of the slow cooker and place it on a cutting board (or something else big enough to fit the pork and sausage on) to cool down a little bit. Skim off the fat from the cooking liquid before you strain it over a large skillet. Turn the heat up high enough for boiling to occur, letting it boil for 15 minutes or until the liquid’s been reduced by one-third (we had about 2 cups worth of liquid left after reducing).
  4. Shred the pork using forks and coarsely chop the sausage. Pour enough of the cooking liquid over the meat to moisten it, seasoning the mixture with salt afterwards if you think it needs it.
  5. In a small bowl (one-cup capacity is all that’s needed) mix the mayonnaise and remaining mustard together, spreading it on the buns afterwards. Fill with the pulled pork mixture and pickle slices. Serve potato chips on the side.
DSC_0176 copy 2DSC_0186 copy 3

We love eating pulled pork and we love andouille so naturally we had to try this recipe ! This was delicious, the meat itself is good but it’s the sauce that really turns up the flavor on the pulled pork and andouille. The meat mixture can be a little heavy so it’s nice having that acidity from the pickles and the tanginess of the creamy spread to cut through that heaviness.

Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Zatarain’s, Roger Wood or Lay’s.

Take care everybody !