Braised Chicken and Sausage Pasta

This is one of those meals. It’s one of those uncomplicated meals where time magically coaxes rich flavours from simple ingredients. No step is difficult, but patience with each one is the difference between dinner and comfort food. I love … Continue reading

Pulled Pork Nachos

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Okay. Go make pulled pork…and then come back and make these nachos. They will blow your mind.

Serve with guac, this salsa, and a sports match.

Don’t measure…just trust your belly.

Ingredients
1 bag of tortilla chips
Leftover pulled pork
Shredded cheddar cheese (don’t skimp. We’re talkin’ nachos here, folks.)
Your favourite nacho toppings.
We used: diced peppers, diced and sliced jalapenos, diced tomatoes, and red onion

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Crock Pot Pulled Pork

 

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I haven’t had a great deal of success with slow cookers, or “Crock-Pots”.  Usually I produce something that is just…’meh’. This recipe is the exception. I love this meal. This may be Andrew’s favourite thing that to come out of our kitchen. We have used the meat for sandwiches, pizza toppings, and tacos. All amazing. I also have this image of pulled pork nachos floating around in the back of my mind…hockey night, anyone??

Top the sandwiches with simply green onions, or your favourite slaw recipe.

We have tried this with cheap pork loin (as seen in these photos) when it goes on sale. It’s definitely not as moist as using shoulder, but still enjoyable.

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Ingredients
3-4 lbs pork shoulder blade roast
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons oil
2 yellow onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 bay leaves
¼ cup tomato paste
1 398mL can of plain tomato sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Green onions, thinly sliced

 Instructions

  1. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large/deep pan (or dutch oven). Brown the pork on all sides and transfer to slow cooker.
  2. Sauté the onions, until softened (about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chilli powder, coriander and bay leaves. Cook until fragrant.
  3. Add the tomato paste and cook for about 2 minutes. The tomato paste will darken. Add the tomato sauce, sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, scraping up those tasty brown bits. Pour into slow cooker over the pork.
  4. Cook the pork on low until tender, about 8-10 hours.
  5. When done remove the pork from the slow cooker and tent with foil for about 10 minutes. Pour the liquid from the slow cooker into a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil and reduce to about 3 cups. Discard the bay leaves
  6. Shred the pork and add to the sauce.
  7. Serve up as desired, with green onions.

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Leftovers, anyone??
Source: Canadian Living

Pork Tenderloin with Caramelized Onions and Fig

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I missed fig season. I blinked, and it was gone.

I made this recipe two fig seasons ago; I remember it as one of the first meals I was really proud of. It was a bit sophisticated (move over, corn-flake crusted chicken), balanced, and crave-worthy.

We were at our local produce shop a week or so ago, and I saw containers of tender figs; I got very excited. I had flashbacks to this dinner and I mentally put it on the menu. Today, they were gone. Not a single fig in sight. I was set on having this dinner tonight, so we substituted the figs with some fig preserve.

It was better than I remembered. And now, I am not restricted to making this in a tiny two week window in late August.  Win.

Ingredients
1 pork tenderloin, trimmed
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter
1 yellow onion
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, divided
1/3 cup, or so, fig preserves
1-2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh parsley
*I think this would be delightful with a combo of fresh figs and the preserves. Reduce the amount of preserve if adding the fruit. Refer to original recipe for how to prepare

Instructions

  1. Let the pork sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350F. Season the pork well with salt and pepper.
  2. Prepare your onions: Halve and slice the onion, length-wise (from root to tip)
  3. In a large pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Brown the pork tenderloin on all sides. Transfer the pork to a baking pan. We do this because we can now caramelize the onions in the same pan we browned the pork. Magic.
  4. Move the pork to the oven. Depending on your loin size, I find it takes anywhere from 20-30 minutes. Don’t go by time, though. The safest and most delicious way to tell when meat is ready is by checking temperature of the meat. When the thickest part of the loin has reached 145F, remove from the oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes.
  5. While the pork is roasting, we will caramelize the onions. Add the remaining butter, onions and salt to the pan over medium heat. After a few minutes, once the onions have a bit of colour on them, add the sugar and 1 teaspoon balsamic. Reduce the heat to low-medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for at least 15 minutes (or, until the pork is done resting).
  6. When ready to serve, turn up the heat of the onions and add the fig preserves, remaining balsamic, and rosemary. Cook until heated. Serve with the pork and enjoy!

Source:
Adapted from Simply Recipes

Sausages with Fennel, Pepper and Red Onion Slaw

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It’s pretty typical to hear a chorus of “mmm” noises coming from my side of the table whenever I am out for a tasty meal or happily digging into a successful new recipe. This meal was no exception. I was flipping through a Longo’s magazine when this recipe popped out at me. I put it on the meal plan for the week and was so pleasantly surprised by how this simple topping elevated sausages to beyond delicious.

This screams summer, so take advantage while you can prepare your entire meal on the grill. You will find oven directions below, but follow the link for instructions for cooking the slaw outdoors. As you do so, think of us sacrificing a cool home for satisfied taste buds.

Ingredients
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, halved and thinly sliced *(this is often labeled as Anise in the produce section)
1 to 2 red peppers, thinly sliced
½ to 1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar + 1 tablespoon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme (or use double the fresh)
Salt and pepper

4 your favourite sausages
4 whole wheat buns

Instructions
1.  Preheat oven (or grill) to 400F
2. Combine all ingredients (except sausages and buns) and spread evenly on baking sheet, reserving the 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
3. Roast for 30 minutes or so, stirring a few times to prevent burning. (Although, a little char never hurt anyone). When ready, toss with remaining balsamic
4. Meanwhile, if preparing indoors, preheat grill pan. Brown sausages on all sides and move into oven until cooked through. Alternatively, if you do not have a grill pan, roast sausages in oven for about 20 minutes, turning once.
5. To assemble, place sausage in bun, pile on slaw. Dig in. Serve with greens (swiss chard seen above) or veggie of choice

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Oh, baby.

Source:
Adapted slightly from: Longo’s