Monday, May 6, 2013

Cinco de Mayo! Shredded Pork in Ancho-Orange Sauce (Chilorio)

This was awesome! Easy to prep, easy to make but is soooo delicious.

The recipe comes from our local newspaper...the hubs sent it to me as a request for dinner yesterday. It happens that yesterday was cinco de mayo and Pittsburgh marathon race day. Since he was making the effort to run an ungodly distance, I figured it was the least I could do to make this for him for after he finished (with a personal time record, I might add!)

The pic is from the article in the PG, not mine. I wouldn't be able to capture the yummy goodness with my um...skills.

Shredded Pork in Ancho-Orange Sauce (Chilorio)

3 pounds boneless pork shoulder or loin, preferably with some fat, cut into 2-inch chunks

1 1/4 cups freshly squeezed orange juice

1 1/4 cups water

1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

4 ancho chiles (2 ounces), rinsed, stemmed and seeded

1/2 cup coarsely chopped white onion

4 cloves garlic

1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

2/3 cup apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

16 flour tortillas, warmed

Guacamole or chopped avocado, for serving

Place pork in heavy 12-inch skillet or Dutch oven. Add orange juice, water and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 40 to 45 minutes, or until most of the liquid has cooked away and the meat is lightly browned and has rendered most of its fat. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, place chiles in a bowl, cover with hot water and soak for 10 to 15 minutes, until softened.

Place chiles, along with 1 1/2 cups of their soaking liquid, in a blender or food processor, along with onion, garlic, parsley, oregano, cumin, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper and vinegar. Puree until completely smooth.

When cool enough to handle, shred pork with your hand or two forks and place it and any juices in a large bowl.

In the pot in which the meat was cooked, heat oil over medium heat. Pour in chile puree, bring to a simmer and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until thickened and darkened. Toss in shredded meat and juices and cook until meat has absorbed most of the chile sauce, 20 to 25 minutes. Salt to taste.

Serve meat rolled up in warm tortillas or with tortillas on the side, with guacamole or chopped avocado. No cheese necessary!

Serves 8.

-- "Pati's Mexican Table" by Pati Jinich (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, March 2013, $30)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Italian Beef Roast

This is what I'm making today.  My parents are doing us a huge favor coming in to Pittsburgh today to hang out with Izzy since Norm and I apparently can't figure out how to use a calendar!  I figured I'd make them a nice meal as a thank you.  I'm sure it's rough on them to have to hang out with the cutest 2 year old on the planet!

I'm trying a new pot-roast recipe for the crock pot since I can't find where I stashed the last one I used (yummy, used coffee in the cooking liquid!).  I also added sliced mushrooms, because I love them.  Planning on serving this with mashed red skin potatoes, green beans and a salad. 

I'll update this once we actually eat it!

Best Ever Slow Cooker Italian Beef Roast

1 (3 pound) beef chuck roast
1 onion, quartered

1 (10.5 ounce) can beef broth
1 (1 ounce) packet dry au jus mix
1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian salad dressing mix (such as Good Seasons®)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


Place beef chuck roast into a slow cooker and scatter onion quarters around the meat. Pour the beef broth over the meat and sprinkle the au jus mix, Italian salad dressing mix, salt, and black pepper over the roast.

Cover cooker, set on Low, and cook until meat is very tender, 6 to 8 hours.

Crack Bread

Ahhhhh the infamous "crack bread."  First made for a girls' weekend last fall, it's ridiculously good.  Addictive.  And not good for you in the least.  All things that I love in a snack with my girlfriends :)

I first found this on Pinterest.  Here is the reciped as posted on the Betty Crocker Web site:

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Crack Bread
(Crack Bread)
1 loaf of bread (unsliced, sourdough or any hearty bread is good)
1 stick of butter
1 TB ranch dressing mix (I used more like 2T)
1 bag of oscar meyer bacon pieces (3 oz)
1 packet of thinly sliced cheddar cheese (10 oz)

Preheat oven to 350.

Using a sharp bread knife cut the bread going both directions. Do not cut through the bottom crust.

Place slices of cheese in between cuts. Sprinkle bacon bits on bread making sure to get in between cuts. Mix together the butter and ranch dressing mix. Pour over bread

(Note:  after making this the first time, I used a pastry brush and brushed the butter mixture in between the slices to get more of the butter/ranch flavor the whole way down to the yummy bottom of the bread)

Wrap the entire loaf in foil and place on baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Unwrap. Bake for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted

Five-Spice Pork Kabobs

After losing the recipe over and over, as it was torn out of a magazine and tucked into God-knows-where, I am finally posting this.  FINALLY. 

During the week, we never have enough time to prep fancy dinners.  This is quick and easy, not to mention delicious.  I can't say enough about how much I love this sauce, it's soooooo good.  I keep telling myself that I need to make some extra for dipping after the pork is time :)

We had this with some stir-fried snap peas and lo-mein noodles.

Five-Spice Pork Kabobs


2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin
8 bamboo or metal skewers (soak bamboo skewers in water to prevent scorching)
1/4 cup peanuts
1/4 cup cilantro sprigs
Lime wedges (optional)


1. For sauce, in a small bowl combine ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, and five-spice powder. For kabobs, trim tenderloin, slice thinly, and thread slices onto skewers. Brush skewered meat with some of the sauce.

2. Grill kabobs on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium-hot coals for 3 to 4 minutes. Brush with remaining sauce. Turn kabobs; grill 3 to 4 minutes more or until fully cooked. To serve, sprinkle with peanuts and cilantro. If desired, serve lime wedges alongside.

Nutrition Facts (Five-Spice Pork Kabobs)
Servings Per Recipe 4,cal. (kcal) 280,Fat, total (g) 11,chol. (mg) 111,sat. fat (g) 3,carb. (g) 7,Monosaturated fat (g) 5,Polyunsaturated fat (g) 2,fiber (g) 1,sugar (g) 4,pro. (g) 38,vit. A (IU) 389,vit. C (mg) 6,Thiamin (mg) 0,Riboflavin (mg) 1,Niacin (mg) 13,Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 1,Folate (µg) 16,Cobalamin (Vit. B12) (µg) 1,sodium (mg) 458,Potassium (mg) 804,calcium (mg) 30,iron (mg) 2,Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet