Category Archives: Pork

Shredded Pork Carnitas and Purple Potato Flatbread with a creamy Queso Sauce

Let me start by telling you how my mind works.  Or more appropriately, I should say how my mind doesn’t work. Literally speaking.  This was originally supposed to be a recipe for Peruvian Arroz con Pollo (Chicken with Rice), but somewhere along the way it all fell apart.

I had the ingredients neatly lined up on my kitchen counter waiting to be used.  Then, during my daily grocery store stroll (between work shopping and personal shopping I can officially say I live at the supermarket) I spotted the most gorgeous, sexy, dark purple potatoes in the produce aisle. They had my name written all over them – and I’m pretty sure it was Spanish. “Natali-yahhhh.

My initial thought was to throw them into the arroz con pollo since I’ve seen lots of variations of Peruvian rice and potato dishes.  But then I thought I should keep them separate and showcase them on their own.  That’s when it all started to go down hill.  My mind began racing and I started thinking of a ridiculous amount of ideas, as if I had never seen a potato before.

One thought led to another, which led to another, which led to…three days later.

I literally spent three days pondering over these darn little spuds until my brain broke down and completely stopped working all together.  At that point, I had no idea what to do with them. 

I gave it a rest for a while until it finally hit me – flatbread!  Hmmm, or maybe potato salad.  Ok, flatbread.

Typically, I would be too embarrassed to admit that these are the types of problems I face, but because I have an end result like this one, I’m beginning to think it’s a good thing that my brain stops working every now and then.

…although, I’m fairly certain my husband would beg to differ.

1. Pizza Dough

My local grocery store has a great pizza counter where I purchased my dough from.  A lot of local pizzerias also sell good dough for just a couple dollars.

2. Toppings

  • Corn
  • Purple Potatoes, sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • Hot peppers (or mild if you prefer)
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Avocado, diced

3. Pork Carnitas Recipe

Pork carnitas means “little meats” in Spanish.  This is a very delicious, flavorful and inexpensive way to prepare pork, but make sure you allow yourself time since you want to cook it on low heat for several hours to get that fork tender meat.  You could also prepare it in a crock pot if you prefer.

  • 2 lb bone-in pork shoulder
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 3-4 adobe chipolte peppers
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven and season pork liberally with salt and pepper.  Add pork and brown on all sides.  Remove pork from pot and add onions, scrapping up all the brown bits.  Add garlic, cumin and oregano to pot and cook for a minute longer.

Add chipolte peppers, chicken stock and pork back to pot.  Cover pot and cook for about 7-8 hours or until the pork is fork tender.  In crock pot cook on low for about 8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.

4. Queso Sauce Recipe

  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 tbs flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbs Tabasco sauce
  • salt and pepper

In small-medium sauce pan melt butter. Add flour, whisk and cook for a few minutes to create the roux.  Whisk in milk and cook until the milk begins to thicken into a sauce and coats the back of a spoon.  Turn heat off and add cheese slowly. Add Tabasco sauce (for flavor, not heat — but you can add extra if you would like the heat).  Add salt to taste.

Assemble the Flatbread

For the flatbread, first roll out dough on a floured surface.  Place the dough on a pizza stone or if you do not have a stone, place on the back side of a baking sheet.  Arrange potatoes, corn and peppers on the top of the dough.  Cook in a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven, add pork and cook for about 5-10 minutes longer or until the dough is cooked.  Remove from oven, top with chopped cilantro and diced avocados and serve with cheese sauce.



Filed under All Posts, Appetizers and the likes, Great for a barbeque, Happy hour, Happy hour anyone?, Peru, Peru, Pizza, Pork, Recipes, Regional Cuisine

Beer Beans


It isn’t very often New Jersey gets to see 60 degree days in January.  The uncharacteristically warm temps over the past weekend had me day dreaming of sunny blue skies and long summer days.  When you get an opportunity like this it only makes sense to fire up the grill.  So, we did just that — a little mid-winter barby!

In efforts to avoid breaking our lazy day streak, we quickly threw together some dishes with the ingredients we had on hand.  These beans were among the feast and turned out so succulent and flavorful (think Boston Baked Beans).  These will be making their way into our dinner repertoire, for sure. 

So, grab a beer (and one for the beans!) and head on over to the kitchen…  

Beer Beans 

(If you want to get really fancy, add some diced up weenies!)

  • 2 cans small red beans
  • 5-6 slices smoked bacon
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 bottle of beer (of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • a few dashes of tabasco sauce (depending on your taste)
  • salt/pepper

In a large dutch oven cook bacon until crisp and brown.  Remove bacon from pot and set aside. 

Add onion to the pot and sweat for a few minutes until onion becomes translucent.

Add 1/2 cup of beer, and then mix in ketchup, Dijon, molasses, vinegar, brown sugar, worcestershire, tabasco, salt/pepper .  Add beans, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring frequently.  Contiue to add the rest of the beer whille cooking  (you may also have to add a little water if the beans begin to dry out).  

Once the sauce cooks and thickens add the bacon back to the pot and serve.



Leave a comment

Filed under All Posts, Appetizers and the likes, Great for a barbeque, Holidays - 4th of July, Pork, Recipes, Side Dishes

Apricot Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with a Thyme-Mustard Glaze

I’ve never been much of a fruit lover.  I will opt for the chocolate-y-est of chocolate cakes over a blueberry crisp, I take my vodka without cranberry juice, and it’s likely you’ll never see me eating an apple in its raw state.  But! pair any of those up with a juicy and perfectly tender piece of pork, and I will die a happy woman.


  • 1 pork tenderloin, 3 pounds
  • about 15 dried apricots
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp stone ground mustard
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Preheat oven to 400F. 

In small bowl combine honey, mustard, thyme and garlic.  Set aside.  To prepare the tenderloin insert a long knife through the center and turn, creating a narrow hole.  Stuff the apricots into the whole stuffing the center. 

In an oven proof skillet heat olive oil to a med-high heat.  Season Pork generously with salt and pepper and sear on all sides until golden brown.   Brush with glaze, reserve the rest and place pork in oven to roast for about 20 minutes (note that cooking times will vary depending on the size of your loin), or until internal temperature reads 150-160.  Remove from oven and brush another coat of glaze on top and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.


Filed under All Posts, Pork, Recipes, Uncategorized

Andouille, Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo Pizza

I have a teensy-tiny confession to make.  There was a time in my life when I couldn’t bear the thought of eating pizza without saturating every slice in Ranch dressing.  Straight from the bottle.  Strategically poured across the entire surface, leaving no space for red or yellow.  Just pure snowy white.  This wouldn’t be as embarrassing if this time period wasn’t like…last month.  You see, before I moved to New Jersey my exposure to real pizza was minimal.  I wouldn’t dare do this to the real stuff, but a few weeks ago when I was forced into a situation where I had to eat pizza from a popular chain — that shall remain nameless — I did just as I would do back in the day.  Ahem…pass me the…cough, cough…Ranch.  No, I meant the whole bottle please.

Now that I live in an area where there is an abundance of the legit kind — the kind where gooey mozzarella soaks up fresh homemade marinara laced with sweet Italian basil or a perfect garlic white sauce lays beneath the surface of three cheeses melted to a light golden brown — I’ve learned to give up that habit.  Quickly.

Andouille, Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo Pizza

  • Andouille Sausage
  • 1 bunch of broccoli, blanched and chopped
  • 2 cups chicken
  • shredded parmesan. mozzarella and provolone cheese
  • Alfredo Pizza Sauce, See below
  • Pizza Dough

Alfredo Pizza Sauce

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper

Heat cream and garlic in medium sauce pan. Whisk in butter and melt add parm cheese while whisking and simmer until thickened and smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 500F.  Roll out dough and brush with olive oil. Place on pizza stone, or pizza baking sheet and spread a thin layer of Alfredo sauce on the dough (you will have extra sauce from the recipe, do not use it all or your pizza will be too soggy). Top with shredded cheese, sausage, broccoli and chicken.  Bake pizza for about 15 minutes, turning once.   


Filed under All Posts, Pizza, Pork, Recipes, Recipes - Chicken

Cheezey Chorizo Dip

While on the topic of football, I thought I’d share with you this fantastic dip that is the perfect complement to a Sunday afternoon of watching your favorite team get beat by the Bengals.  Ahem, um…I meant, watch your favorite team play my favorite team – the Bengals!    To be entirely honest with you, regardless of who wins, as long as there’s good food to keep me entertained while watching the game, I will root for anyone.  The Bengals, the Jets…the Referees.  What’s really important is that this dip, without doubt, lives up to the expectations of my two most favorite and completely overused words — simple and good!  

  • 1 lb chorizo
  • 2 cups pepper jack cheese
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tbsp tabasco
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk

In bowl combine the cornstarch with the two cheeses, toss to coat and set aside.  In sauté pan, cook chorizo, onions and peppers until sausage is cooked through and until onions and peppers begin to soften.  Add the milk, cream and tabasco and bring to boil.  Once it begins to boil add the cheese gradually while whisking.  Continue to whisk until dip becomes smooth.  Serve with tortilla chips.


Filed under All Posts, Appetizers and the likes, Ohio, Pork, Recipes, Spain

Cheddar-Rosemary Biscuits with Hot Pepper and Peach BBQ Pulled Pork

I like to squeeze every last bit of summer out of warm weather produce, so I skipped over to the farmer’s market this weekend and filled up my bags with lots of goodies – including succulent summer peaches and fresh hot peppers.  I was in a sassy mood and I wanted to use these two together somehow, so I eagerly debated over their final destiny. I decided this would be it — warm and cheesy buttered biscuits with slow-cooked, tender pulled pork soaked in a sweet and spicy sauce. Yu…double m. This is comfort food at it’s finest!

Slow-Cooked Hot Pepper and Peach BBQ Pulled Pork

  • 1 bone-in pork shoulder
  • 1 lb peaches, sliced and divided
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 2 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 roasted peppers, diced
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 brown sugar
  • Pepper and Salt

Generously rub pork with salt and pepper and place in a slow-cooker with onions.  Combine half of the peaches and remaining ingredients in medium sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Transfer to a blender and pulse to combine all ingredients. Add remaining peaches and pour over pork. Cook on low for about 8-10 hours.  Once pork is finished it will be fork tender.

Cheddar-Rosemary Biscuits

(Derived from Ina Garten’s Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 cup cold buttermilk, shaken
  • 1 cold extra-large egg
  • 1 cup grated extra-sharp Cheddar
  • 4 rosemary sprigs, chopped roughly
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water or milk
  • Maldon sea salt, optional

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Place 2 cups of flour, the baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, add the butter and rosemary and mix until the butter is the size of peas.

Combine the buttermilk and egg in a small measuring cup and beat lightly with a fork. With the mixer still on low, quickly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and mix only until moistened. In a small bowl, mix the Cheddar with small handful of flour and, with the mixer still on low, add the cheese to the dough. Mix only until roughly combined.

Dump out onto a well-floured board and knead lightly about 6 times. Roll the dough out to a rectangle 10 by 5 inches. With a sharp, floured knife, cut the dough lengthwise in half and then across in quarters, making 8 rough rectangles. Transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with the egg wash, sprinkle with salt, if using, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the biscuits are cooked through. Serve hot or warm.

Leave a comment

Filed under All Posts, Pork, Recipes, Southern Specialties, Uncategorized