Mexican Style Pulled Pork

Mexican Pulled Pork

I have to be honest about one thing today. I will apologize in advance for saying this, too. Okay, here goes. I could care less about the Super Bowl this year except for the excuse to make some yummy football food. I don’t even really care that much about the commercials.

There, I said it.

I will back up a bit. I would like to see the Ravens win because I lived in Baltimore for about 4 years and Jim is somewhat of a fan.  He is actually a Redskins fan.   But the truth is, I am a Bills fan and after 4 straight super bowl losses back in the 90’s I have just lost interest in the event.

Except for the food:-).

This pulled pork would be perfect for the game, especially if you don’t want to fuss. I used a pork tenderloin and wasn’t sure if the flavor would compare to using a pork shoulder or other fattier cut, but surprisingly I thought this was amazing. To me, Mexican food is about the bright flavors and this pork has just that. I used taco seasoning, a jar of good verde salsa and the juice of a lime and it was perfect. I also added in some shredded cheese at the end and that just brought the dish together.

This cooks in the slow cooker, but you could also use your dutch oven. I also think it would be great to take the pork at the end and put it under the broiler to crisp the edges a bit. Yum!

The other thing I have to say is that although I like chicken in Mexican dishes there is something about pork that just takes things up a notch or two. Kind of like the difference between shredded chicken for barbecue and shredded pork. I guess living in North Carolina for 5+ years makes me more of a pork girl:-).

I used a packet of taco seasoning, but if you would like to make your own seasoning you can find a good homemade version here.

I also am a big fan of Trader Joe’s salsa verde. If you like the salsa that they serve in restaurants then you need to try either their red salsa or salsa verde in the chip aisle. No preservatives, no thickening agents, no artificial colors and somehow its the best store-bought jarred  salsa I have ever had.  Go figure. Gotta love TJ’s.

We put the shredded pork on top of fajita wraps and then had different toppings for everyone to pick from. I liked mine with black beans, cilantro, crumbled cojita cheese, guac, salsa and chopped green onions. We also made quesadillas the next day. Lots of options!

So, I hope you enjoy the Super Bowl this year, whether it’s the game, the commercials or the food!

Mexican Style Pulled Pork
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 pork tenderloins - they usually come 2 to a package
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning or make your own
  • 1 jar of salsa verde
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1-2 cups of shredded Mexican cheese blend
Instructions
  1. Place pork, seasoning and salsa in slow cooker and heat on low.
  2. After 6-7 hours check pork and it should shred easily. I used two forks to shred.
  3. Add lime juice and cheese and cook for 1 additional hour.
  4. If you would like to make it crispier place pork on a sheet pan and broil for a few minutes.
  5. Enjoy!

 

Slow-Cooker Thai Coconut Chicken Curry

By now you know how much I love Thai food and this recipe is no exception. There is so much great flavor going on here I almost don’t know where to start. This made my taste buds very happy.

A while ago I was reading an article that talked about why Asian food is so yummy. Apparently this has been studied and the reason is that one dish can have so many different flavors going on at once. Take this dish for instance. There is sweet (the sweet potato and sugars.) There is salt (the fish and soy sauce). There is hot spice (from the curry and chili.) There is nuttiness (from the coconut and the brown rice.) There are herbs with their own flavors (basil and cilantro). There is tanginess (from the limes.) Plus you have the texture of the chicken, the rice and the veggies and they all have their own flavors. All of these flavors and textures come together to make this wonderful dish. And that, my friends, is why this is so good – proven fact!

I wonder what adding some different flavor dimensions would do to some of our typical American fare?

So anyways. If you haven’t gotten my point, this dish is A-Mazing. There are so many flavors and they come together to form this addicting sweet, spicy coconut curry. Seriously yum.

Plus it’s quick and easy! What’s not to love about a recipe like that?

This could easily be a vegan or vegetarian recipe if you left out the chicken (and maybe the fish sauce.) It would be a shame to leave out the fish sauce, but I could eat it without chicken and I don’t think I would miss too much.

You could also lighten this up by using light coconut milk. I didn’t just because the coconut is the only fat in this dish and I have read such great things about the fat from coconuts that I didn’t feel bad using the real deal.

One of the surprises in this dish was the sweet potato. I love them, but don’t usually add them to other dishes. Wow. I will be adding them to more dishes from now on!

So if yo are looking for a super easy, healthy and tasty dish with some exotic flavors give this curry a try. Your taste buds will be very happy you did. Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Stephanie O’Dea via the Rachael Ray Show

Slow-Cooker Thai Coconut Chicken Curry
 
Recipe type: Main
Ingredients
  • 1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Thai Red Curry Paste
  • 1 tablespoon Thai red or green chili paste
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 1-inch knob ginger, peeled and grated or 2 tablespoons crushed ginger
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cups frozen peas
  • 1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • Rice (I used brown jasmine which is my favorite)
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges, to garnish
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced, to garnish
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro, to garnish
  • ½ cup chopped basil, to garnish
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl combine the coconut milk, sugar, soy sauce, curry paste, chili paste and fish sauce. Whisk to combine. Add mixture to the bowl of your slow-cooker.
  2. Add onion, garlic, ginger, peppers, sweet potato, peas and chicken to the slow-cooker. Cook for 4 hours on high or about 6 on low. Serve over rice. Top with lime juice, cilantro, basil, scallions.
  3. Enjoy!