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.
For the 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
For the tacos:
Pico de gallo
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.
You make a gigantic, 5+ pound pork roast in the crockpot. While it’s cooking away all day, you wished you had a real job. Because the smell is killer. But the timer on the front of the crockpot says you’ll end up in the ER for a week if you even think about it. With a house of 2 Bigs and a Little, you dream of the upcoming hectic days that happily end with zero cooking and melt-in-your-mouth pulled pork sandwiches.
And after 2 days, you find yourself teetering on the verge of Googling “What else can I do with leftover pulled pork besides make another freaking sandwich. Oh, and it should be a little fun. And did I mention I’m sick of sandwiches?”
Enter the trusty pizza crust.
We took our favorite pizza crust recipe, smeared it with our favorite barbecue sauce (Rudy’s!), topped it with with some green and red onions, leftover pulled pork, and cheese.
And then we baked it.
And ate it.
And then we made it again the next night. And then a third night to completely kill the leftovers.
Because we get tired of pulled pork sandwiches a lot easier than we get tired of pizza.
Barbecue Pulled Pork Pizza
Breathe new life into leftover pulled pork with your favorite pizza crust, barbecue sauce, and red onions.
Your favorite pizza dough (or mine), ready to stretch and bake
Olive oil, for brushing
~1/3 cup barbecue sauce
~1 cup leftover shredded pulled pork
3 oz shredded mozzarella or queso fresco (we used a 50-50 mix)
1 large green onion, thinly sliced, dark green tops reserved for topping
Thinly sliced red onion
Small handful of grated Parmesan
Coarse cornmeal, for dusting surface and peel
Flour, for dusting work surface
Place a pizza stone in the top 1/3 of your oven and heat your oven to 550 (500 if your oven doesn't go that high), letting it hold at temperature for at least 30 minutes. (If you're not using a pizza stone, just have your baking sheet nearby.)
Dust a pizza peel or your baking sheet with a light dusting of flour and a couple of generous pinches of cornmeal.
Gently stretch the pizza dough in to a 12-14 inch round or divide into 3 portions and stretch, for individual-sized pizzas.
Brush a ~1-inch border of olive oil around the edge of the pizza dough.
Spread the barbecue sauce over the crust.
Sprinkle the dough with pulled pork, followed by mozzarella, white/light green portions of the green onions, red onions, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
Transfer your pizza from the pizza peel to baking stone (or place your baking sheet in the oven).
Bake for 7-9 minutes for a single large pizza (5-7 for individual pizzas), until the dough is blistered, the edges are golden brown and crispy, and the cheese starts to brown.
Remove from oven, sprinkle with the sliced dark green onion tops, slice, and serve.
Who doesn’t love a good fiesta? Especially when it’s celebrating our sweet friend Krystal and the impending arrival of sweet little Cookie.
Krystal is the blogger behind Mrs. Regueiro’s Plate. She and I share a love for massive prop rooms and an adoration for California-based food photographer-stylists couples
To celebrate, a few of Krystal’s friends were asked to prepare a dish inspired by her and her husband’s backgrounds, Filipino and Cuban (how much more exotic does that sound compared to “Texan” and “Georgian”). I settled on a dish using Cuban-style pulled pork and ultimately decided on sliders since they’re pretty much the perfect party food.
Cuban pulled pork is seasoned liberally with a marinade of garlic, sour oranges, lime, and minced onion. The acidity creates a melt-in-your-mouth tender roast that’s excellent served slider-style on dinner rolls with thinly sliced red onions and melty swiss cheese. And you’ll have quite a bit of pulled pork leftover for other goodies like quesadillas, tacos, or just more sliders!
Congratulations to Krystal and Eric! Thanks to Joelen for hosting and pulling together what promises to be a delicious celebration and roundup. And a special thanks to Tina for serving as this southeast Texan’s Cuban food technical support and sounding board. First round of margaritas is on me
Cuban-Style Pulled Pork Sliders
Party-friendly Cuban-style pulled pork sliders made with your slow cooker/crockpot.
In a food processor or blender, add the onion, garlic, lime juice and zest, orange juice and zest, oil, oregano, and a generous pinch of salt and fresh ground black pepper.
Process until mostly smooth.
Pour into the ziptop bag, press the excess air out of the bag and seal, massaging the marinade onto the roast.
Pour the contents of the ziptop bag into your crockpot, rotating the roast so that the fat cap is on top, and cook 8-10 hours on low.
Remove the roast from the crockpot and shred, discarding the fat and bones. Reserve ~3 cups of pulled pork for the sliders and store leftovers tightly covered in the fridge (I pour some of the cooking liquid over the shredded meat before storing to keep it from drying out).
Toss the pulled pork with a couple tablespoons of cooking liquid and the juice from the quartered lime.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Cut rolls in half, spread mustard, and then top with a generous mound of pulled pork, a slice of swiss cheese torn to fit the slider, and sliced red onions.
Place the top of the rolls onto the sandwiches and transfer to a baking pan.
Cover with foil and bake 10 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake another 2, until the cheese has melted nicely.
Serve warm with additional red onion and sliced avocado.
Besides Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya (which is one of the most popular recipes among our friends and family), my other favorite New Orleans-inspired dish is Red Beans, Sausage, and Rice.
I set out to give the dish a bit of a healthier makeover because, aside from the occasional indulgence, we’re actually eating pretty healthfully around these parts lately. And I’m about to start training for a 10K. And I’d like to look like I can run a 10K
I’ve always made my red beans pretty similar to the way I made pinto beans… with bacon. Lots of bacon. And then we added a bunch of sliced pork link sausage. And then we poured it over a big bowl of steamed rice. All that fat and those empty carbs are very, very delicious. But so is the lightened version.
We cut way back on the bacon, used a 97% fat-free turkey sausage, and then served it over quinoa to replace the nutritionally deficient white rice. (If you’ve never had quinoa, it has a similar taste to brown rice.) My house still had that heavenly red beans & rice smell (you know the one I’m talking about). We still got a hearty bowl of red beans & brown ricequinoa for dinner but we left the empty calories and extra fat where it belonged: the weekly dessert splurge
We get about 10 servings out of a single pot of beans – we serve a generous scoop of beans over 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa, serving the obligatory cornbread muffin and roasted veggie sides. (I only cook enough quinoa for 1-2 nights at a time.)
Red Beans, Sausage, and Quinoa
The Mardi Gras favorite Red Beans, Sausage, and Rice gets a healthy makeover with turkey sausage and quinoa.
1 lb small red beans, rinsed and picked over
1/2 large yellow or white onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 slice of bacon, cut into small pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
Tony Cacheres Cajun Seasoning, optional
14 oz reduced-fat turkey or chicken link sausage
1/2 cup cooked quinoa, per person
Tobasco, for serving
Place beans in a large pot and cover with 3-4 inches of water.
Bring to a boil for 5 minutes and then turn off the heat. Let sit for 1 hour.
Return to medium heat and add the chopped onion, bell peppers, bacon, garlic, and bay leaves to the pot along with a generous pinch of salt, ground black pepper, and a good shake of Tony's (if using).
Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and let simmer until the beans have completely softened, 1.5-2 hours.
Cut the sausage into 1/3-inch rounds and then again to form half-circles.
Add the sausage to the pot and heat through, 10-12 minutes.
Stir in a few shakes of Tobasco and then serve over quinoa.