Monthly Archives: September 2012

18 Tasty Ideas for Leftover Pulled Pork

Pig of the Month Fully Cooked Pulled Pork

There are few foods that actually taste really good left-over. They include pulled pork, pork stew, and pizza, the latter which must be eaten cold from the fridge. Pulled pork's versatility is virtually endless. In fact, below are 18 tasty ideas for leftover pulled pork, ranging from breakfast burritos to Asian-style tacos. So, go crazy!

Here are 18 delicious ways to enjoy leftover pulled pork:

1. Make a pulled pork pizza with lots of bbq sauce, sautéed onions, diced jalapeño, and sharp Cheddar cheese.

2. Do like the Novice Chef and make a stuffed pulled pork sweet potato.

3. Treat yourself to pulled pork nachos like these from Extraordinary BBQ.

4. Stir pulled pork  into pasta or grits.

5.  Start the day off right with maple-espresso pulled pork and egg breakfast burritos (pictured below).


6. Or make this pulled pork eggwich from The Life Delicious.

7. Serve pulled pork atop a bowl of rice and beans.

8. Or make this fast and easy pulled pork fried rice from Pork Be Inspired (pictured below).

9. Stir it into your mac 'n cheese.

10.  Make a grilled panini.

11.  Add #9 + #10 to create Panini Happy's grilled mac 'n cheese and pulled pork panini (pictured below).


12. Follow BBQ Grail's lead and make his fried pulled pork quesadillas.

13. Or try pulled pork enchiladas like these from Life's Ambrosia.

14.  Go Asian by making Steamy Kitchen's Korean-style pulled pork tacos with kogi bbq sauce.

15. Create a football-watching masterpiece of pulled pork fries by topping hot French fries with pulled pork, melted Cheddar cheese, bbq sauce, and guacamole.

16. Try Macheesmo's cheesy pulled pork flatbread.

17. Add pulled pork to a Mexican chopped salad with Romaine, tomatoes, red bell peppers, jicama, green onions, diced avocado, and Ranch dressing.

18. Make a pulled pork Tex-Mex scramble with eggs, onions, red bell peppers, cilantro, jalapeno, and  crispy tortillas strips.

So, tell me, how do you use leftover pulled pork?

Photo credits: Top: Susan Russo; Middle: Susan Russo; bottom: Kathy Strahs, Panini Happy


Quick Cooking Pork, Squash, and Tortilla Stew


I love eating stew, but I don't love making it. It takes too long. There's a lot of chopping of vegetables, stirring of spoons, bringing to boils, lowering to simmers, and covering of pots. This does not make a hungry cook happy. So, over the years, I've devised shortcuts to making stews more quickly. I'm pleased to tell you that they work.

Today's recipe for quick pork, squash, and tortilla soup takes just over an hour from start to finish. Not bad for a stew, right? And because I use pork tenderloin, the meat stays tender and moist and doesn't need to cook for three or four hours. With zesty adobo spice mix, hot jalapeño chili, and sweet butternut squash, this pork stew has a rich, complex flavor, flavor that you'll think took hours to achieve.

Pork, Squash, and Tortilla Stew

Serves 6 to 8

The one thing that's challenging in the recipe is peeling and cutting the butternut squash. Here's my tip: Microwave the whole squash, skins on, for about 4 to 5 minutes. Let it cool slightly. Then remove the skin and seeds, and cut. Butternut squash is soooo much easier to cut once it's slightly softened, plus it'll cook faster in the stew. Even faster — buy precut squash at the market.

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 (2 1/4 to 2 1/2 pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed of excess fat, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 tablespoon adobo seasoning*

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 large butternut squash (2 1/2 to 3 pounds), peeled seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 jalapeño chili, minced

1 (14.5 ounce) can Mexican-style diced tomatoes with juice

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

4 (6-inch) corn tortilas, cut into thin strips

1 small avocado, diced, and sprinkled with lime juice

Cilantro sprigs and lime wedges, optional garnish

1. In a large, deep pot over medium-high heat, warm 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the pork and sprinkle with adobo. Stir until well coated. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes without touching. Stir and cook another 5 to 6 minutes or until lightly browned but still moist. Transfer to a plate. Add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Add the onion, butternut squash, and jalapeño and cook 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Add the canned tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Return the pork to the pot, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the squash is tender. Stir in the fresh cilantro.

2. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the tortilla strips and cook 2 to 3 minutes, tossing until browned all over and crisp. To serve, ladle stew into bowls. Top with diced avocado and a few tortilla strips.

*Adobo seasoning can be found in the Mexican section of many supermarkets or at Mexican specialty food stores.


The Pioneer Woman Cooks Pork Chops, Plus a Give-Away!


I'm not lamenting the passing of summer. I'm anticipating the simple pleasures of autumn: making caramel apples, going leaf peeping, and watching football.

I'm also looking forward to fall dinners like these pork chops with apples and grits from Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman. I know you know Ree from her blog, her books, and her tv show on The Food Network. I know Ree personally and can tell you that she's as delightful in person as she is on tv. She's a down-home, warm-hearted mom and wife who knows how to cook. And you're going to love her pork chops with apples and grits. The chops are bathed in a tangy- sweet maple syrup, wine, and apple cider sauce and are served alongside dangerously delicious grits made with copious amounts of heavy cream and Monterey Jack cheese. Oh, and they're studded with bacon.

This pork chop recipe is from Ree's latest book, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier, which includes nearly 120 recipes from soups to desserts, many including pork. It's also heavily laced with Ree's beautiful photography of food and life on the ranch. It's so good that I want you to have it. So I'm offering a give-away.

Here's how to win a copy of Ree Drummond's latest book, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier.

In the comment section below, please tell me what you're looking forward to this autumn OR share a recipe or idea for an autumn-inspired pork recipe.

Tweet about it and mention @PorkandKnife, and I'll count that as another entry. I'll announce the winner on Friday, Sept 21st. Good luck!

Pork Chops with Apples and Grits

Makes 6 servings


8 slices bacon, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 cups stone-ground grits (the coarser, the better!)

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 cups heavy cream (sorry…)

Dash of cayenne, or to taste

1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack or other cheese

Salt and black pepper, to taste


2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

Six 1/2-inch-thick boneless pork chops

Dash of salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 unpeeled Gala apples, cored and diced

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

3/4 cup pure maple syrup

To make the grits, in a large pot over medium heat, cook the bacon and onion until the bacon is chewy and the onion is translucent, about 1 minute. Pour in the grits. Add the cream, cayenne, and chicken broth, and stir. Keep cooking over very low heat, covered, for 20 to 30 minutes, or until grits are tender but still have a bite to them. Stir occasionally to keep from sticking.

To make the pork chops, melt the butter with the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Add them to the skillet and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side). Remove the pork chops to a plate, then add the apple to the pan. Pour in the wine and  vinegar, and cook the apples for 5 minutes, or until the liquid reduces by half. Pour in the maple syrup and stir, allowing it to come to a bubble. Add the pork chops to the pan, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook another 20 minutes. To serve, spoon a generous helping of grits onto a plate. Lay a pork chop on top of the grits, then spoon the apples over the top. Be sure to get a little extra pan sauce onto the plate.


Sunday Suppers: Rustic Italian Sausage and Broccoli Rabe on Polenta


“Rustic Italian.” In the last few years, those two words have become part of our culinary lexicon. Maybe it was Food Network star Giada DeLaurentis or the beloved Lidia Bastianich. It could have been the Italian wise-cracking, orange-clog-wearing Mario Batali. I'm not sure, and I don't care. I'm just glad Italian rustic cuisine is here to stay. Simple, fresh ingredients, paired beautifully; that's what rustic Italian cooking is all about.

It's also what I grew up eating in my Italian-American family in Providence, Rhode Island. And today's recipe pays homage to rustic Italian cooking and to my mom, who always made bitter broccoli rabe taste sweet to me. This dish is perfect for a Sunday supper, especially paired with a fresh tomato and mozzarella salad and some warm, crusty Italian bread dipped in extra virgin olive oil. Sit around the table with family and friends, let the wine flow, laugh, eat, laugh some more. That's what Sundays are for.

Rustic Italian Sausage and Broccoli Rabe on Polenta

Serves 4


1 cup polenta (corn grits), preferably medium coarseness

3 cups water (or more as needed)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Sausage and Broccoli Rabe:

1 bunch broccoli rabe, thick stems removed, chopped

1 tablespoon oilve oil

1 1/4 pounds Italian hot sausage, removed from casing

1 (14.5 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 cup grated Parmiagiano-Reggiano cheese

A long drizzle of quality extra-virgin olive oil

1. In a medium deep pot over high heat, add polenta, water, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil and stir. Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until creamy. If it gets to thick or dry, simply add a little more water.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add broccoli rabe. Boil for 3 minutes then drain in a colander. Set aside.

3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add sausage. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until browned and crisp. Add par-boiled broccoli rabe, cannelini beans, and crushed red pepper flakes. Stir until combined, and heat through, about 3 minutes. To serve, transfer polenta to a serving platter. Spoon the sausage and broccoli rabe mixture on top leaving a 1-inch border. Sprinkle with grated cheese and a long drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.


The NFL Kick-Off Game 2012 Calls for Heroes


Are you ready for some football? A Wednesday night party? That's right. This year's NFL kick-off game is Wednesday, September 5 at 8:30 (EST). That's when the reigning Super Bowl Champions, the New York Giants, will take on The Dallas Cowboys.

Who's gonna win? I'm going with the Giants. What are we gonna eat? I'm going with sandwiches. The game is mid-week, so the meals have to be easy, fast, and low-maintenance, and sandwiches score on all counts.

Since I'm going with the New York Giants, I'm also going with New York Heroes. Called a Hoagie in Philadelphia, a Grinder in Rhode Island, and a Sub in most other parts of the US, the Hero is a colossal sandwich consisting of several layers of cold cuts, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onions served on a long, crusty Italian roll. It's typically dressed with olive oil, vinegar, salt and black pepper; however, mayo, mustard, pickles, and pepperoncini, (Italian sweet peppers) can (and should) be added.

This super-sized sandwich was introduced  to America by Italian immigrant shipyard workers during WWI. Renowned food writer Clementine Paddleford inadvertently christened it when she proclaimed, “You have to be a hero to finish one.”

There are many Hero variations, but I favor solid Italian pork meats such as chewy soppressata, salty prosciutto, and pistachio-studded mortadella.

How about you? What kind of Hero do you like? What will you be eating during the game on Wednesday?

Photo credit: Matt Armendariz; from The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches by Susan Russo.