Main Course Recipes

Lamb Shanks with Parmesan Polenta and Mushrooms

Lamb Shanks with Parmesan Polenta and Mushrooms

Time to talk lamb shanks?  Why, yes. Yes it is.

From the lower section of the leg, lamb shanks are a full-flavored cut of meat.  They do, however, require a bit of love and attention to bring out their full potential.  These shanks are first browned in veg oil.  This gives them color while enhancing their rich flavor.  Then, the’re slowly braised in a flavorful and aromatic liquid.  This braising method breaks down the connective tissue and … (culinary cliche alert) …  yields fall-off-the-bone tenderness.
Lamb Shanks with Parmesan Polenta and Mushrooms
Now, let’s talk about the hot tub for the shanks.  Or, the “baaaa-th tub.” (I couldn’t resist).  All feeble-minded lamb jokes aside, I’m referring to the braising liquid.
Onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and tomato paste are caramelized in the drippings from the browning process.  They’re then combined with red wine, chopped tomatoes, beef stock, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves.  THEN … brought to a boil.  The shanks are returned to the pot (tub) and placed into the oven. Three hours later, it’s feast time.  I paired these lamb shanks with dreamy Parmesan polenta and mushrooms.  Glamorous!
Lamb Shanks with Parmesan Polenta and Mushrooms
Make plenty, as leftovers can be transformed into another meal that shines.  Shred left over lamb , combine with leftover sauce, and serve over pappradelle noodles with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.
Leftovers
Ingredients:
  • 2 1.5lb lamb shanks
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 carrots, finely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6oz can tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 14.5oz can chopped tomatoes in juice, I prefer low sodium
  • 2 cups low sodium beef stock
  • 1 cup water (or more if needed)
  • 15-20 sprigs fresh thyme, bundled together with butchers twine
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Directions:

  1. Allow lamb shanks to come to room temperature for 30 minutes. Trim off any excess fat, cut an inch off the end to expose the bone marrow, and season liberally with salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Heat large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add vegetable oil and sear lamb shanks on all sides until nicely browned.  Remove lamb shanks and set aside.
  4. Drain excess fat from the dutch oven, leaving about 1/2 tbsp.  Drop heat to medium and add carrot, celery, and onion. Cook for 15 minutes until vegetables are nicely caramelized.  Add a pinch of salt and freshly cracked black pepper to season.  Add garlic and cook for 2 additional minutes.
  5. Add tomato paste and stir into vegetables to coat. Cook, stirring often, for 8-10 minutes to caramelize and develop the tomato flavor.  This is an important step. Don’t skimp on caramelizing the tomato paste as it adds a lovely depth of flavor to the dish.
  6. Add red wine and scrape down any brown bits that have developed on the bottom and sides of the pot.  Add chopped tomatoes, beef stock, and water.  Stir well and increase heat to medium-high to bring to a low boil.  Add thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves. Stir well.  Return lamb shanks to the pot.  If the liquid level does not come to the top of the lamb shanks, add additional water.  Season with a pinch of salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  (Note, if you did not use low sodium stock no need to season with salt, the stock will contain enough salt to season the dish.)
  7. Place lid on dutch oven and put in the preheated oven and cook for 2 1/2 hours, basting and rotating lamb shanks 2-3 times throughout the cooking process.  Remove lid and cook an additional 30 minutes to concentrate the cooking liquid.
  8. At this point, start your parmesan polenta and mushrooms.
  9. Remove lamb shanks to a serving platter and tent with foil to keep warm.  Place the dutch oven on the stove-top over low heat. Remove thyme bundle and bay leaves, and skim off any grease that has gathered on the surface (I removed about 3 tbsp).
  10. Taste sauce and season with salt and pepper if necessary.  Add 1/4 cup fresh parsley.
  11. Spoon about 2 cups of sauce over lamb shanks and serve with parmesan polenta and mushrooms.
  12. You can serve the lamb shanks 2 ways – remove excess fat from the shanks, discard, and serve chunks of lamb mixed with the sauce (like a ragu). OR -serve each person an entire lamb shank to pick at themselves.  Both ways are equally as good 🙂  ALWAYS serve with parmesan polenta and mushrooms.
  13. Top plated dish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.

Servings: 2-4

Note: If you are serving a crowd, there will be enough sauce for 4-6 lamb shanks – no need to double the sauce if you cook additional lamb shanks.  Just make sure your dutch oven is large enough, or cook in 2 pots.

Leftovers: Shred left over lamb shanks, combine with leftover sauce, and serve over pappradelle noodles with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.

Leftovers

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Main Course Recipes

Sticky Bourbon Chicken and Broccoli

Sticky Bourbon Chicken and Broccoli

 

Take-out-fake-out!

Unlike my last post, I can’t claim to have coined the above phrase.  I can claim a wonderful recipe worthy of staying home in your cozies, and far better than your local take out.  I can also claim a sauce that you’ll quickly become addicted to.  Let’s roll.

Sticky Bourbon Chicken and BroccoliSticky Bourbon Chicken and BroccoliSticky Bourbon Chicken and Broccoli

 

This bourbon chicken and broccoli is served over hot steaming basmati rice and topped with sliced green onions. Putting this dish over the top is the sticky, tangy, syrupy bourbon sauce.  I don’t want to use an exhausted cliche TV food host phrase, saying  ‘you could put this sauce on my shoe and I would eat it!’ … but I would.  This meal does require a little pre planning, the longer you can marinate the chicken the tastier it will be.

C’mon.  Place an order to your own kitchen to stay in.  Always worth it.

Sticky Bourbon Chicken and BroccoliSticky Bourbon Chicken and BroccoliSticky Bourbon Chicken and Broccoli

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup bourbon, I used Four Roses Bourbon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, sliced into 3 coins
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 4-5 green onions, cut into thirds or sliced
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp water (this is called a slurry)
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup uncooked basmati rice

Directions:

  1. Combine the soy sauce, oil, vinegar, bourbon, and brown sugar in a baking dish (casserole dish with high sides). Whisk until combined.  Add chicken, ginger, garlic, and 3 green onions that have been cut into thirds.  Cover and marinate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Remove the chicken from refrigerator and let come to room temp when preheating the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Uncover the chicken and bake directly in the marinade for 40 minutes, rotating the chicken half way through to ensure pieces are baking in the sauce on both sides.
  3. Remove chicken from oven.  Discard the ginger and garlic.  Strain the liquids into a small saucepan.
  4. Heat saucepan over medium heat until a slow boil is reached.  Slowly add slurry to saucepan and whisk until incorporated.  Cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently until reduced and thickened.
  5. Meanwhile, steam broccoli and cook rice according to package directions.
  6. Return chicken to the oven and broil on low for 5-8 minutes to caramelize, rotating pieces half way through.  You can do this right in the same casserole dish.  Watch closely, as all broilers cook at different heat.  Do not burn your chicken!
  7. Remove chicken from oven, toss with steamed broccoli and half of the reduced sauce.  Add additional sauce to your preference.
  8. Serve over white rice and top with sliced green onion.

Servings: 6

Note:  Cooking alcohol in a pan over medium heat or when in the oven will reduce most of the alcohol through evaporation, but not all.  Do be aware, if you are serving children.

Recipe adapted from Pinch of Yum

Thank you Four Roses Bourbon for sponsoring this post.

Breakfast Recipes, Main Course Recipes

Smoked Salmon, Dill, and Goat Cheese Quiche

Smoked Salmon, Dill, and Goat Cheese Quiche

So, here we go with the 100th recipe post on EmilyAlwaysCooks.  It’s been one heck of a yummy ride, and I’m already looking forward to post number 200.

Quite befitting a make-ahead holiday recipe.  Rich and savory custard, flecked with smoked salmon, goat cheese, dill, and leeks with a buttery crust base.  I have no problem serving this for any meal at any time of the day.  I kept to tradition by serving this quiche at room temperature or just slightly warmer.  Quiche will stay at room temperature for up to 2 hours.  After 2 hours it should be refrigerated.   To reheat quiche, bring to room temperature then bake in a 325 degree F oven for 15 minutes.

Smoked Salmon, Dill, and Goat Cheese Quiche
Smoked Salmon, Dill, and Goat Cheese Quiche

If you’re making homemade pie crust for a holiday pie, just double the recipe.  I’ve included my favorite homemade pie crust recipe in the ingredient list below.  It uses both butter and shortening which creates a flaky, slightly buttery crust.  Don’t be intimidated to make your own crust. It’s pretty simple.  That said, Store-bought pie crust can be a serious life saver.  Either way you slice it, it’s a winner.  (See what I did there?  Sorry, I had gone too long between obviously cheesy puns.)

Smoked Salmon, Dill, and Goat Cheese QuicheSmoked Salmon, Dill, and Goat Cheese Quiche

Ingredients:

  • 1 homemade pie crust (you will only use half of this recipe) or store-bought pie crust, if using store bought thaw according to package directions (If I’m using store-bought crust, I like Trader Joe’s frozen pie crust.)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 leek thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4-6 ounces smoked salmon, chopped
  • 5 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. If using homemade dough, prepare and roll out into a 12-inch circle. If using store-bought dough, thaw first according to package directions and unroll (dough should be about 11 ounces).
  2. Place it into a 10-by-1 1/2-inch round tart pan, pressing dough into corners.  Line pastry with parchment paper that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, pressing into the corners and edges.  Fill at least two-thirds with baking weights (you can use dried beans, rice, or ceramic or metal pie weights).
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven and let cool a few minutes. Carefully remove parchment paper and weights. Poke the bottom of the pie pan with the tongs of a fork (fork holes are for any air to escape) and return to oven.  Bake for an additional 5 minutes or until just golden.  Place on a wire rack to cool while making filling.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  4. Heat butter in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add the leek, a pinch of salt, and cook until translucent (3-5 minutes). Add garlic and cook one additional minute.  Remove from heat and reserve.  In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, dill, lemon zest, and black pepper.
  5. Line the bottom of the quiche crust with cooked leeks and garlic.  Put one layer down of half the smoked salmon and goat cheese.  Pour half of the egg mixture over the salmon and goat cheese in the quiche shell.  Layer down the remaining salmon and goat cheese, and pour the remaining egg mixture over it.  (Note: You may have a small amount of egg mixture remaining depending on the size of your tart pan. either discard or reserve for a later use.) Hint, make mini frittatas.
  6. Bake until quiche is just set in the center, about 30 to 35 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before serving.

Servings: 6

Note: Reheat by covering quiche with aluminum foil and bake at 325 degrees F for about 15 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes.

Crock Pot Recipes, Main Course Recipes

Crock Pot Chicken Tikka Masala and Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

Crock Pot Chicken Tikka Masala and Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

 

This dish accomplishes three ever-important objectives. 1) Delicious taste. 2) The kitchen is filled with a wonderfully unique and enticing aroma. 3) Easy to make.  Three objectives met. One adjective needed.

Magical.

Indian food is all about the spices. While there are numerous spices to choose from, I brought this particular taste of India home by focusing on these basics. Sweet cinnamon, smoky cumin, spicy cayenne, lemony coriander, and warm garam masala.

Crock Pot Chicken Tikka Masala and Cilantro Yogurt SauceCrock Pot Chicken Tikka Masala and Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

 

This is far from an intimidating spice list.  In fact, I bet you have most in your spice cabinet. But even if you don’t, all of these spices are easily accessible and affordable. Garam masala was the only new spice I had to purchase to complete this dish.  Garam masala is a Northern Indian style spice blend.  The composition of garam masala differs according to regional and personal taste.  The specific blend I used is a tripart mixture of cardamom, coriander and black pepper.  Well worth the investment.

I like to serve this dish over fluffy white rice. As an accompaniment, a heaping scoop of cilantro yogurt sauce and a plate of warm naan.  Don’t skip the sauce, it brings a cooling balance to the dish.

We know you’ll be back for seconds. We know I’m about to steal an old, corporately-leprechaun cereal slogan.  You and I both know this dish is… magically delicious.  (I couldn’t resist.)

Crock Pot Chicken Tikka Masala and Cilantro Yogurt SauceCrock Pot Chicken Tikka Masala and Cilantro Yogurt SauceCrock Pot Chicken Tikka Masala and Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs chicken breasts, approximately 8 large chicken breasts
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger root, grated
  • 1 26oz container strained tomatoes, I prefer Pomi
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 3 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped, for serving
  • Long grain white rice, prepared according to package direction, for serving
  • Naan bread, Firestone and Whole Foods Market make a great garlic variety, for serving
  • Cilantro Yogurt Sauce
    • 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
    • 1/4 white onion, very finely chopped
    • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
    • 6 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
    • 2 tbsp lemon juice
    • 1 garlic clove, mashed into a paste
    • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Cut chicken breast into 1 inch pieces and reserve.
  2. In the bowl of your slow cooker, combine onion, garlic, ginger, strained tomatoes, olive oil, garam masala, cumin, sweet paprika, salt, coriander, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, lemon juice, and black pepper.  Stir to combine.
  3. Add chicken breast. Stir to combine, and nestle bay leaves into the sauce.
  4. Cook on low for 5 1/2 hours.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare yogurt sauce by combining all of the ingredients into a small bowl.  You can do this several hours before serving to allow flavors to meld together.  Refrigerate until ready to use.
  6. Whisk together half and half and cornstarch in a small bowl, and add to the slow cooker.  Stir well and cook with the lid off for an additional 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves and discard.  Total cook time is 6 hours.
  7. Note: If you haven’t already done so, prepare rice.  Most long grain rice takes approximately 30 minutes to cook.
  8. Serve chicken with freshly chopped cilantro, white rice, naan, and cilantro yogurt sauce.

Servings: 10

Serving Size: 1 cup chicken and sauce, plus rice, naan and cilantro yogurt sauce

Note: You could easily make this dish on the stove-top.  Follow the directions as is, and cook on the stove-top for 2 hours over medium-low heat.  If the mixture starts to boil vigorously, reduce the heat to low and simmer for the remainder of time.  After 2 hours, add the cornstarch mix, and continue the recipe as noted.

 

 

Main Course Recipes

Spinach and Cheesy Chicken Roll-Ups

Spinach and Cheesey Chicken Roll-Ups

 

Admit it.  Unless it’s fried, chicken is pretty boring.  Or as I like to say, BOOORING.

I can’t help myself from going off on a little Emily side tangent here: Using the proper pronunciation of the word ‘BOOORING’ is always key. Make sure your voice is low, and then say those two words.  BOW, (with an up voice inflection)  then RING (with a downward voice inflection).  Got it?  Good.

Spinach and Cheesey Chicken Roll-Ups Spinach and Cheesey Chicken Roll-Ups Spinach and Cheesey Chicken Roll-Ups Spinach and Cheesey Chicken Roll-Ups

 

Now that I’ve taught you the properly cool way of saying BORING, know that this chicken dish will never be described as such.  It’s far too exciting, interesting, and tasty.  Chicken cutlets stuffed with a combination of spinach, feta, ricotta, parmesan, herbs, onion and garlic, then breaded and baked until golden brown.  Wonderful for a Tuesday night, or for a dinner party.  Serve along side a large salad or on a bed of couscous.  Chicken is one of my standby ingredients.  This is a great way to utilize a standby in a creative (did I mention healthy?) way.

Spinach and Cheesey Chicken Roll-Ups Spinach and Cheesey Chicken Roll-Ups Spinach and Cheesey Chicken Roll-Ups

 

Forget the old baked, BOOORING chicken breasts (you better have said it properly there). Give these FUN roll-ups a try!

Ingredients:

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and juice squeezed out
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt, plus more for seasoning chicken
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 6 chicken breast cutlets (or 3 chicken breasts cut in half horizontally and pounded thin)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a  saute pan over medium heat.   Add onions and garlic and cook about 3 minute until onions become translucent.  Add spinach, parsley, dill, 1/4 tsp kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and cook until heated through.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Once cooled, mix in the feta, ricotta and parmesan cheese.
  3. Season chicken cutlets lightly with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
  4. Place about 1/3 cup of spinach mixture in the center of the chicken and roll tightly.  Lay the chicken seam side down on a piece of parchment paper.  Repeat with the remaining chicken.
  5. Whisk the eggs and water together in a small bowl with a pinch of salt.
  6. Place the breadcrumbs in another bowl.
  7. Dip the chicken rolls into the egg wash, then into the breadcrumbs and place seam side down on the prepared baking sheet.
  8.  Lightly spray the top of the chicken with cooking spray.  Bake 25-28 minutes or until cooked through.

Servings: 4-6 (Serving size: 1-2 stuffed chicken breast)

Note: 1 chicken roll-up satisfies me, but my guys eat 2.

Main Course Recipes, Pasta Recipes, Seafood Recipes

Zucchini Noodles and Spaghetti with Pesto, Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and Shrimp

Pesto Zucchini Noodles and Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and Shrimp

 

I’m a pesto loving fool.  I’m also a tomato loving fool.  Thankfully, this dish has ’em both (plus super cool spiraled zucchini noodles).  I’m a fool in love, and in this particular instance I’m referring to my dinner.

What do I love about this dish (other than the pesto and tomatoes?):

  • The harmonious balance of slightly chewy al dente pasta and crunchy veg achieved through the combination of pasta noodles and zucchini noodles.
  • The sweetness from the roasted garlic.  Enough said.
  • The toppings. Shrimp, garlic and herb panko breadcrumbs, lemon zest, fresh basil, and the parmesan cheese.

Tomatoesphoto 1photo 2

 

Spiral that fresh zucchini and slice up those pretty multi colored cherry tomatoes. Tear up that fresh basil, and take in that delicious aroma from the roasted garlic.  Lady Summer is still hanging around for a while, and she loves when you get a little foolhardy with her fresh ingredients … she told me so.

Pesto Zucchini Noodles and Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and Shrimp Pesto Zucchini Noodles and Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and Shrimp Pesto Zucchini Noodles and Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and Shrimp Pesto Zucchini Noodles and Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and Shrimp

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 pound spaghetti (or 2 oz per person)
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • A small pinch of Herbs de Provence (or dried oregano)
  • A small pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 head roasted garlic, squeezed from skins, and mashed with a fork
  • 1/2 cup pesto, homemade or store bought
  • 3 zucchini, spiraled (use a vegetable spiral slicer or a julienne peeler)
  • 1 lb large (16-20 count) shrimp, shelled and deveined (Ask your butcher for them this way.  If you have to devein your own shrimp, follow these steps.)
  • The zest from 1/2 of a lemon (approximately 1/2 tbsp)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup freshly shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Reminder: If you haven’t already done so, roast your garlic now. This takes about 35 minutes!
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  3. Add the tomatoes to the sheet pan, drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat, then spread out into a single even layer.  Roast for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Cook the spaghetti according to package instructions until al dente.  You want the pasta to be tender but slightly firm to the bite.  Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of starchy pasta water.  Reserve pasta.
  5. Meanwhile, add 1 teaspoon olive oil, panko bread crumbs, minced garlic, Herbs de Provence, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt to a small skillet.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the breadcrumbs are toasted and fragrant.  Remove from heat and reserve.
  6. Combine roasted garlic, pesto, and a few tablespoons of the reserved cooking water in a small boil.  Stir to combine and reserve.
  7. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add spiraled zucchini, salt, and freshly cracked black pepper.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until zucchini is cooked through.  (Note: Watch your spiraled zucchini carefully. You do not want it to overcook and become mushy. The goal is for it to retain a nice crunch.)
  8. Meanwhile, add 1 tbsp of olive oil to another large skillet over medium high heat.  Season shrimp with salt and freshly cracked black pepper, and cook for 5 minutes until cooked through.  Cover to keep warm and reserve.
  9. Once spiraled zucchini is cooked through, add the cooked spaghetti and pesto mixture to the pan. Toss to coat and cook for 3 minutes.  Add more pesto or pasta water if necessary.  You want the spaghetti and zucchini to be coated with a nice layer of pesto.
  10. Add the roasted tomatoes to the pan. Toss to combine and cook one additional minute.  Sprinkle with half of the toasted bread crumbs, lemon zest, fresh basil, and reserved shrimp.
  11. Transfer to a serving platter, or serve right out of the skillet.  Serve with remaining  bread crumbs and fresh parmesan cheese on the side.

Serves: 4

Crock Pot Recipes, Main Course Recipes, Sandwiches

Crock Pot Pulled Pork Sliders with Classic Buttermilk Coleslaw

Crock Pot Pulled Pork with Buttermilk Coleslaw

 

With August approaching and temperatures rising, I’m getting use out of my crock pot.  Sound like a strange concept? Allow me to explain.

The galley kitchen in my apartment heats up quickly when I’m using the oven.  My solution to this issue is simple. Get porky perfection simmering away on the counter top!  This results in my kitchen staying cool, my apartment permeating with sweet pork aromas, and summer on a bun awaiting my taste buds.

My pulled pork starts with a luxurious sauce.  A great balance of smoke, sweetness, and spice … in harmony with a slight tang from the apple cider vinegar.  Oh, how the pork cooks away in this smokey-sweet-spicy-tangy luxury.  The sauce seasons the pork.  The pork infuses the sauce with its juices.  After cooking time is up, the pork is falling off the bone and liquid gold is begging to be reduced and tossed with the finished product.

Crock Pot Pulled Pork with Buttermilk ColeslawCrock Pot Pulled Pork with Buttermilk Coleslaw

 

The beautiful color and crunch in this sandwich comes from delicious coleslaw.  My advice for the slaw is to shred the cabbage and carrot yourself.  Don’t mess with the pre shredded bag of coleslaw from the grocery store.  This little extra bit of effort put into the slaw makes an incredible difference.  Creamy but not overly saturated, tangy, and very fresh. This slaw marries beautifully and deliciously with the pulled pork.

Buttermilk ColeslawClassic Buttermilk Coleslaw

 

Look at these pictures. You know you’re ready for summertime crock potting.

Crock Pot Pulled Pork with Buttermilk ColeslawCrock Pot Pulled Pork with Buttermilk Coleslaw

 

Pulled Pork Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, halved and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (add more if you want it spicy)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 pound bone-in pork shoulder, cut into pieces to fit into your crock pot
  • 20 slider buns

Buttermilk Coleslaw Ingredients:

  • 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded (I used a mandolin)
  • 1/2 head red cabbage, shredded (I used a mandolin)
  • 3 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 5 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a 6-quart slow cooker, stir together onion, garlic, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, yellow mustard, smoked paprika, and crushed red pepper flakes.
  1. Heat a large skillet over high heat and add oil.  Season the pork with the salt and pepper. Add pork to the skillet and sear for 4-5 minutes on each side until a nice crust forms.
  1. Add pork to the slow cooker, turning to coat completely with the sauce.  Cover and cook on low heat for 8-10 hours, or until pork is very tender.
  1. Remove the pork from the crock pot and transfer to a cutting board.  Remove and discard the bone and fat cap. Using 2 forks, shred the pork (I like to leave some small chunks to add a bit of texture to the final product).  Remove and discard any additional fat you discover while shredding.
  1. Transfer the sauce and cooking liquid from the crock pot to a medium stovetop pot.  Allow the sauce to settle for a minute and skim any grease off the top of the sauce.  Bring the mixture to a simmer over low heat and allow sauce to reduce by half.  This should take about 20 minutes.  While the sauce is simmering, skim any additional grease off the top.  Once sauce is fully reduced and skimmed, add the meat to the pot and toss to allow the pork to soak up the yummy sauce.  At this point, the pork is ready to serve.  You could also transfer the pulled pork back to the crock pot on the “keep warm” setting until you are ready to serve.
  1. Meanwhile, prepare the buttermilk coleslaw.  Combine green cabbage, red cabbage, carrot and spring onion in a large bowl.  Combine buttermilk, mayonnaise, garlic, apple cider vinegar, sugar, celery seed, salt and pepper in a separate bowl; mix well.  Toss the coleslaw mixture with the dressing.  (Note: I did not use all of the dressing; add only as much as you need to lightly coat the coleslaw.)  You can prepare the coleslaw mixture and dressing several hours before serving the sliders.  Keep refrigerated separately.  Coleslaw should be tossed with the dressing just before serving.
  1. Build your slider: Toast your buns, top with a generous amount of pulled pork and a scoop of coleslaw.  Hot sauce, extra bbq sauce, or pickles are optional.

Servings: 10 (Serving Size: 2 sliders)