Chipotle Shredded Pork or Lazy Sunday Snack

A little about my cooking habits.  Way back when, I would go shopping once a week and try to get everything I wanted to cook on that one trip.  This is a very popular method and it works well.  However, I had this bad habit of saying “Sure!” when friends would say, “Hey, let’s go get drinks and food somewhere.” (I’ve gotten much better about it, as it gets costly!)  Then on other nights, I would have to work late and didn’t feel like cooking afterwards.  So this would leave me with uncooked meats or produce that would start going bad.  Meats, I would freeze, but then sometimes I would forget about them, and the produce ended up being tossed.

Now, I’ve changed that up and I go shopping when I plan on cooking.  So that means more trips on the way home from work if I plan on cooking, but virtually no more wasted foods cause I usually only get things I plan to use.  This has forced me to start a different habit, stocking up my pantry with canned goods and non-perishables when they’re on sale, you know, just in case.  So today, being a lazy Sunday, I decided to use everything from my pantry except for going out to get a pork shoulder and some onions and stick them in a crock pot.

As you see, I had some chipotle peppers on hand (maybe use half the can if you want to watch the heat), a can of tomatoes, roasted tomato salsa, and some stock.  I coated the pork shoulder with a dry rub (I have all the seasonings on hand, but I bet its not necessary), and sliced up the onions.  Put most of the onions on the bottom, poured everything else in except the stock, stuck the shoulder in fat side down, and tossed a few onions on top.  Poured whatever amount of stock in so it covered up most of the pork.  Be careful not to over fill it as the pork will also release water. Turned on high and let the aroma fill up the house.

I also had a small bag of yellow rice, so I cooked that up towards the end of the 8hrs.  Shred the meat and top the rice. Yum!

Yea, this makes enough for the week.



Buffalo Chicken Meatballs or Bite-sized Deliciousness

These little treats popped into my head when I wanted a new idea to incorporate buffalo sauce into a bite-sized app.  I’ve done the buffalo chicken dip plenty of times, and I did not want to make wings, so this was the next best thing.  Of course upon Googling this, I was not the first person to think of this (duh).  Also, I did not make enough, people were unhappy of that fact.

Once you think about it, this is nothing fancy, but makes for a different way to eat buffalo chicken.  I’m sure you could add these to something too, I just have no idea what.  I basically took ground chicken, some breadcrumbs and an egg, tossed in some seasoning, and mixed that all up.  Then I made little patties so I could stuff the center with blue cheese crumbs.  Oh did I not mention that? Yea, the center is stuffed with blue cheese that basically melts when you heat these up so you gotta eat them in one bite.  Boom!

Close up the patty and make little meatballs.

Rolling meatballs is annoying.  Where’s my meatball rolling machine?! Kidding, kidding!

Then I baked them for some time (I forgot how hot and how long, sorry!) and lets say 5 minutes or so before they were done, I took them out to glaze some buffalo sauce on them and popped them back in.  Repeat at the last minute or so.  You can just wait til the end and toss them too, I don’t see an issue with that, but I like to glaze on the sauce.

*Warning, DO NOT pop one into your mouth as soon as these are done, the inside is basically molten cheese lava.

**Tip, DO dip in ranch!

Italian Beef Sandwich or Trying Out the Meat Slicer

I wonder how long I can keep up the double title thing (see previous post).  So far, 1.

As the title states, I have acquired a meat slicer.  My dad had two (no idea why!) so he gave one to me.  Not a fancy one, but it still makes slicing something like roast beef a lot easier than by hand!  (and I made some sandwiches)

Nothing fancy here.  Just a dry rub on a top round, with most of the fat trimmed.

Look how fancy!

This was my first time with a meat slicer, so I was SUPER slow and careful, as I’ve heard some horror stories before.  As convenient as this was, I would probably only use it for something like a group dinner or where I was planning on slicing a lot at once.  Busting it out to make a sandwich here and there is not convenient at all since the cleaning up afterwards is a huge pain.

Since this was for a Thursday night dinner (last Thursday) with the gang, it was worth it.  Slicing up two roast beefs by hand, and this thin, would have taken be forever.  This was also my first time at attempting a roast beef.  Not as bad as I thought it was going to be, but I think I did over cook it a little.  You can see some pink in the picture above, but I think it’s suppose to have more pink and just a slight browning close to the edge.  The reason for this is because the slices of beef are dunked into some hot broth (aka the au jus) from the beef drippings to cook up a little more but still be tender.

The title may also be a little misleading, I’m not sure if I could call it a true Italian beef sandwich as I didn’t use a giardiniera, an Italian relish basically with carrots, cauliflower, and celery.  I did have a bottle on hand, but I decided to pickle my own peppers and shallots and top it with that.

“I can’t feel my lips” spicy!

I’ve been enjoying the leftovers on pretty much anything.

The finished product, slices on beef dunked in the simmering au jus, topped with green peppers and the homemade peppers, on a hoagie roll.  Not pictured, roasted veggies.

Eventually, I want to try tackling a pastrami or corned beef.

Korean Steak or Clever Return Title

Once again, I’ve disappeared even longer, but this time, I’m not even going to promise a weekly return, cause I don’t know if I can keep that.  This has been one of my lighter weekends, so I’ve had some time to rest and recoup.  Didn’t do much today except float down a river in an inner-tube and drink a cooler of beers.  Weather was perfect but the river was quite cold at first, but you get used to it.  If you’re wondering how any of this related to food, I’m getting there!

As I was floating down this river, I got hungry, and so I used a portion of my time to think about what I could pick up on the way home from dinner and what I could make.  I feel like its been a long time since I’ve tried to make something new, so tonight I’m trying a mix of flavors.

Decided on a bulgogi marinaded ribeye with roasted brussel sprouts in a gochujang and rice vinegar dressing.  And a side of kimchi of course!

I got to play with my sous-vide machine some more.  I’ve had luck with eggs, chicken, and fish already, and a previous time with ribeyes.  Next time, I really want to try a touch cut.

The steak is simple enough, along with the marinade.  When the steaks were done, I caramelized some onions and poured some of the bag’s juice into it.  It makes a nice little topping for the steaks.  Also seared the steaks before slicing them up.

The brussel sprouts were delicious! Though I think I put a little too much of the paste, or not enough brussel sprouts.  They shrink a lot more than I thought as they roast!  That’s a pre-roast shot, I forgot to snap one when they were finished.  I was also too busy eating all the little crispy loose leaf pieces, yum!

Week 46 – Spanish – Oven-baked Beef Empanadas

So I had to 3 goals this weekend.
1) Sleep in (I did!)
2) Get a little video game time in (yep!)
3) Make empanadas (check!)

These little guys take a lot more time to make than I thought!  I even did a lot of the prep work during the day.  But the dough and assembling took most of my time.  In the morning, I put together a cilantro pebre, so it would have the day to marinate.

I was a little wary of this cause of my dislike for raw green onion and cilantro (not all the time, in certain things I like them), and this was pretty much two items, but I was wrong! This was fantastic! I really really like it and I think it was the perfect addition.

  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onion (including green tops), chopped
  • 2 green chiles, chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • salt and pepper
  • splash or so of water to make some juice

Chop it all up and mix together.

Then I made the beef filling, so it was have time to cool.

Ground Beef, Onion, Oil, Cumin, Paprika, Salt, Pepper

Then assemble!

Beef filling, with a wedge of a hard boiled egg and 3 black olive slices.

So I think I messed up the dough, I am not good with dough.  I think I’ve done it well like once out of 6 different times now.  I think it’s suppose to be a little flaky…mine was not.  Oh well, it was still delicious! =)

Week 45 – TV Dinner Inspired – Chicken Fingers Meal

So apparently I lied earlier and I did not get more time on my hand, and so I was busy again!  Sorry!  Then I did get some time last week but I forgot to make the post, so here is a catch up, and then a new post to follow immediately.

I guess this themes works well with my lack of time recently, but I don’t resort to TV dinners…yet!  I usually at least try to have a little time to cook up a pork chop and some kale at least.  This actually took longer to make than my usual quick meal!

Nothing fancy here.  Just a very basic breading and seasonings with the chicken tenders.  Then fried up, a few minutes on each side.  Then a side of peas and mashed potatoes.

Week 42 – Meal Under $10 – Pork Chops

Well hello!  Sorry it’s been so long, but I have been quite busy!

So having just moved (along with closing on a house!), I thought a under $10 meal was appropriate for me as I will be trying to save some money for a while.  Of course that doesn’t mean just eating ramen noodles every night either!  On the way home tonight, I stopped by Publix to see what was on sale and what I could put together.  Pork chops and some beef broth were on sale, and I paired it with some kale (which isn’t terribly expensive).  Now I’m not counting the things I already had on hand, otherwise that would be a bit difficult.

Fairly straight forward, seasoned with salt, garlic powder, and rosemary.  I fried it up in some butter/oil for about 5 minutes on each side.  Then I removed it and let it sit while I cooked the kale.

Before dropping in the kale, I deglazed the pan with some beef broth and balsamic vinegar (so this may not be as common, and so you could sub in some apple juice or even apple cider vinegar) and let it reduce down a bit.  Then I just put in the kale for a few seconds to wilt down and soak up the liquid.

Pork Chops (2 in a pack) – $5.74
Kale – $2.99 (Could have gone with the spinach on sale, but I also wanted something with a bit more crunch in it)
Beef Broth – $0.60

Total: $9.33