Once a week, we do a clean out the fridge night. It’s never the most popular night of the week and it can be quite boring.8 soggy sweet potato tots, 3/4 a serving of pasta that’s never as good on night 3 as it was on night 1, and half a dry chicken breast… It usually involves wrapping less desirable tidbits from the last 3-4 nights in a tortilla.
Honestly, it’s not my favorite.
So rather than having pulled pork sandwiches with the last 1/2 cup of cherry barbecue sauce, we reimagined the sandwich as pizza and added goat cheese. Because goat cheese is pretty much the universal “you complete me” ingredient.
The sweet barbecue sauce and tangy goat cheese make for a very unboring leftover night – and no one in this house ever complains about pizza night!
That right there, that’s one of the biggest, sweetest victories to ever come out of our garden: yellow tomatoes.
Squirrels and birds love yellow tomatoes. Like swarm-the-plant-like-locusts-and-leave-nothing-but-bare-stems love yellow tomatoes. For the most part, they’ve ignored the rest of the garden but the potted heirloom tomatoes? Total buffet. The very second that a would-be yellow or black tomato gets bigger than a golf ball?
They didn’t stand a chance.
In a last ditch effort to save them, we triple wrapped the pots with a bird block netting and have gotten a dozen yellow tomatoes in just the last two of weeks. Not a totally perfect solution – the first weekend we didn’t wrap them quite tightly enough and a squirrel actually crawled INSIDE. I have never wanted to be the owner of a pellet gun so badly in my life than I was at the moment I looked out the window and saw that little guy standing inside the barrier, holding and eating my tomato. But for the most part, it has worked pretty well.
We diced up a few of those sweet-victory yellow tomatoes along with some fresh cherries, red onion, and what was quite possibly the world’s second hottest jalapeno for a colorful, sweet & spicy, summery salsa to give some leftover-from-the-freezer pulled pork a makeover.
It made more salsa than 2 adults and a toddler with a bad attitude could eat on tacos so we used the leftovers on prosciutto-wrapped tilapia (talk about an easy meal – you just wrap & broil!). And then the leftover leftovers were eaten with chips.
“UUUGHHH. I hope you’re not making brownies again.”
I’ve know the man for 8+ years and I’m pretty sure those two words have never been uttered in the same sentence. Who says something like that?
Other than someone who has seen a new pan of brownies on the counter every week for the last month+. Brownies with cherries that I roasted in port, brownies with cherries that I roasted in a stout, brownies with just plain roasted cherries, and brownies with just plain fresh cherries…
Maybe he had a point.
So I put that bag of cherries in the cart (along with 3 others) and pushed along, mumbling something about how I had plans to make a couple of savory recipes in the upcoming week.
I was totally lying, though. I had fully intended to make brownies again. But instead, I made barbecue sauce. More accurately, I semi-made barbecue sauce.
A couple of weeks ago, I shoved a bottle of barbecue sauce into the back corner of the fridge. It was harsh and vinegary. We didn’t care for it enough to use it again on its own but I couldn’t bring myself to throw a nearly full bottle away. Instead, we “fixed” it. I made a sweet cherry reduction and stirred that into the sauce, the concoction really benefiting from the addition of sweet cherries. More mellow, a little sweeter, and with nice cherry flavor, the sauce paired fantastically with a simple pulled pork for a unique twist on the sandwich.
There are some things I don’t mind eating 4 days in a row. Like pizza. Or margaritas.
As long as I can have different toppings on my pizza every night. And I don’t have to make run to the liquor store for margarita fixins. But I can’t get excited about the same thing over and over again when I have shelves full of cookbooks and magazines calling my name. “Make me! No, make me!”
I didn’t always have that problem but I married a leftover hater. And somewhere along the line, I started to become one, too. Reimagining leftovers in a house full of leftover haters is a pretty nifty skill to have.
With this one crockpot recipe came 4 different meals: tacos, quesadillas (really just a flat taco), flautas (really just a rolled & baked taco), and sandwiches (a taco with bread?).
Well, different enough
We set out to make a Mexican pulled pork, infusing a pork roast with some of my favorite TexMex flavors. And grapefruit – if you’ve ever made these fajitas, you know grapefruit juice is a great tenderizer.
While pulled pork needs little help in the tenderizing department, the flavors of the marinade change the profile from your standard barbecue sandwich to a meal perfect for taco night.
Shredded Pork Tacos
Pulled pork gets a TexMex makeover with a grapefruit-chile marinade.
- 5-6lb pork shoulder roast
- Juice from 1 large Texas ruby red grapefruit
- 3 large, dried guajillo chiles, stems removed
- 2 serrano peppers, stems and seeds (optional) removed
- 1/2 medium white or yellow onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 chipotle peppers packed in adobo sauce
- 2 tsp ancho chile powder (can substitute regular)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 Tbsp salt
- Handful of cilantro
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- Pico de gallo
- Sliced jalapenos
- Lime wedges
- Grilled pineapple rings, chopped
- Place pork roast in a large ziptop bag.
- Place remaining marinade ingredients in the blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Pour over the pork roast, seal the bag tightly, and refrigerate overnight, up to 24 hours.
- Empty contents of the bag into your crockpot, placing roast fat-side up, and cook 8-10 hours on low.
- The meat should fall apart and easily shred when done.
- Serve shredded meat in tortillas, topped with your favorite taco garnishes.
- Leftover meat freezes wonderfully in ziptop bags and makes great sandwiches, quesadillas, and flautas.
Yields: ~12 servings, depending on size of roast
Estimated time: 24 hours