Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

I’m going to keep this short and sweet: dramatic 3 year old girls and teething 9 month olds are HARD, yo. Like, thank-the-Lord-and-pass-the-wine-and-xanax-we-survied-another-day HARD. These days, I can barely be expected to keep myself from getting in my car and driving to the nearest liquor store to buy out their entire inventory of tequila, let alone cook a decent dinner. Thank goodness for crockpots. Because, after my first cup of coffee and before the first meltdown of the day, there’s still a glimmer of hope. Like, I feel like I could accomplish anything right after that first cup of coffee. Got my energy; got my caffeine; I CAN COOK DINNER TONIGHT! Bring on those poopy diapers! Hit me with your best toddler tantrum! I GOT this! I’m gonna thaw that meat today, dangit!

Then it usually starts to go downhill around 9am. Clingy, crying baby. Whiny toddler. By the time naptime rolls around, I’m a shell of a human. Wishing I could crawl into the fetal position and pray for death.

Obviously, I’m kidding (sort of). My life is very full (sometimes). I’m a very happy mommy (except when I’m not). 😉 Really, though. If I’m being serious, of course life gets a little cray (ok, a LOT cray), but I wouldn’t have it any other way. On those freaking ridiculous days where I can’t be expected to function normally, this dinner is SO VERY EASY. And really, really good. Everybody will love it. And you can save yourself a little trouble. You deserve it. I know I do.

Pork. Dr. Pepper. BBQ sauce. Do it.

Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork

pork roast (about 2-3 pounds)
1 can Dr. Pepper
1/3 cup BBQ sauce

Put the pork roast, Dr. Pepper, and BBQ sauce in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours. When the pork is very tender, shred with 2 forks and toss with the remaining cooking liquid. Serve on hamburger buns. Serves 4.


Crock Pot Green Chile Pork…

green chile pork2

The crock pot is seriously one of my greatest friends in the kitchen. I love having dinner mostly prepared for me at the end of a long day. Especially if it’s juicy, tender green chile pork. Yum. The best part about this recipe is that it can be used for multiple meals. I made tacos with it the first meal, then salads, then sandwiches. It’s the pork that keeps on giving.

green chile pork

Crock Pot Green Chile Pork

boneless pork roast (or loin), about 2 pounds
bunch cilantro (do not chop- just leave it on the stems)
salt and pepper
juice of 2 limes
juice of 1 orange
1 small can diced green chiles
dash liquid smoke

Place all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours. When done, remove cilantro stems and shred meat to use for tacos, salads, or sandwiches. Serves about 6-8.

Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original


Smothered Pork Chops…

Smothered Pork Chops

For some reason pork chops always get neglected at my house. I really like them (and so does Joel!) but for whatever reason, I just don’t think about them when I’m menu planning. Poor pork chops. Too bad, too, because pork chops are GOOD! I love them cooked this way, and especially this way. But now I have a new favorite way to prepare them- smothered! Brown them on each side until they’re nicely seared, make a yummy gravy with the drippings, then pour it over the chops and bake them in the oven for about 30 minutes. Fast, easy, and super tasty.

Smothered Pork Chops 2

Smothered Pork Chops

4 center cut pork chops, about an inch thick or so
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup white wine (preferably one that’s not too sweet, like pino grigio or chardonnay)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup Italian salad dressing (I like Newman’s Own Family Italian)
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Melt the butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Brown the pork chops for about 5 minutes on each side, until they have a nice sear (depending on the size of your skillet, you may have to do this in two batches). Remove from pan and place in a greased baking dish.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and sprinkle the flour into the drippings and stir for about 30 seconds, so the flour taste can cook out. Slowly whisk in the white wine, water, and salad dressing. Whisk until there are no lumps and gravy starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the gravy over the pork chops. Cover with foil and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Serves 4.

Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original


Apricot Glazed Pork Chops…

A few weeks ago, Joel and I were able to score some awesome looking, thick-cut, boneless pork chops at the store, so we stocked up. I originally had plans to use them for different things, but actually ended up using them all for this recipe- in less than a month’s time! The first time I made this, it was for my family right before Christmas. I seared the chops on both sides, finished them in the oven, whipped up a quick pan sauce with apricot jam and fresh thyme…and WOWEE, what a meal! We all loved it! It wasn’t even 3 weeks later before I was pulling the remaining pork chops out of the freezer to make this meal again! I just couldn’t stay away! It’s just too easy, too quick and too delicious NOT to be making all the time!

Apricot Glazed Pork Chops

4 boneless, thick-cut pork chops
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
salt and pepper
1/2 cup apricot jam or marmalade
2 or 3 sprigs fresh thyme
fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large oven-safe skillet (cast iron works best), heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until it begins to ripple slightly and smoke. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper and place in the skillet (be careful not to move the chops once you set them in the pan). Cook for about 3-5 minutes, until you have a nice sear; turn the chops over and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.

Place entire pan in the oven and cook the chops for approximately 20-25 minutes** until an internal temperature of 160 degrees has been reached (alternatively, you can cut into one to check for doneness, but I prefer using a meat thermometer for more accurate results. Plus, cutting into the meat lets all the good juices run out!)

When the pork chops are done, remove them from the pan and cover them with foil. Set aside. Place the pan over low heat and whisk in the apricot jam, thyme and salt and pepper. Depending on how much cooking juices you were left with in the pan (you’ll want at least 1/4 cup of liquid from the chops), you may want to add a little chicken broth or water to thin it out (start with a couple of tablespoons and go from there). Check the sauce for seasoning, then finish with a squirt of fresh lemon juice.

To serve, spoon the sauce over the pork chops. Serves 4.

**Depending on the thickness of your pork chops, you may require less or more cooking time. Mine were around 2 inches thick so it took a full 25 minutes, but if yours aren’t quite as thick as that, start checking them at 15 minutes for doneness.

Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original


Grilled Hawaiian Pork Chops…

Hellooooo, grilling season! I feel like we’ve already done more grilling so far this Spring than the past two Springs and Summers combined! We just can’t resist it! When the weather is sunny and beautiful, there’s nothing better than the smell of something delicious cooking on the grill. And let me tell you, this pork smells heavenly while it’s cooking! I have no doubt people all over our neighborhood were sniffing and wondering where that glorious smell was coming from! My mom has a recipe for baked Hawaiian chicken that’s so amazingly good, I thought I’d experiment with pork chops on the grill. It did NOT disappoint! I can’t wait to make this again and again!

Grilled Hawaiian Pork Chops

4 boneless pork chops (at least 2/3 inch thick)
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon cooking sherry
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Place the pork chops in a large ziploc bag. Whisk together the soy sauce, garlic, sherry, cayenne, lime juice and ground ginger and pour into the ziploc bag with the pork chops. Seal the bag and place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat and cook the pork chops for about 3 minutes on each side until done. If using a meat thermometer, it should reach 170 degrees internally.

Serve with grilled fresh pineapple, if desired.

Recipe source: adapted from my mom’s recipe


Stuffed Pork Wellington…

Here’s the main dish I served at my luxury dinner party the other night. This was everyone’s favorite dish. Honestly, I wasn’t quite sure at first how this would turn out, but the end result was impressive, elegant and most importantly, delicious!  The pastry keeps the pork incredibly moist and juicy and the fresh parsley gives a nice bright flavor that really adds to the dish. It’s amazingly simple to put together and doesn’t take long to cook- a perfect dish for an elegant dinner party!

Stuffed Pork Wellington
-adapted from Texas the Beautiful Cookbook

2 pork tenderloins of equal size (about 2 1/2 – 3 pounds all together)
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, chopped
3/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
extra 2 tablespoons butter
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg+ 1 splash heavy cream, beaten together, for egg wash

Flatten pork tenderloins between two pieces of plastic wrap and season with salt and pepper.
Mix together the parsley, 2 tablespoons of softened butter, parmesan, rosemary and salt and pepper to taste (essentially, you’re making a paste).

Spread mixture on one of the tenderloins, top with the other tenderloin and press together firmly. Tie into place with white string.

Heat the other 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet and brown the tenderloins well on both sides (about 2 minutes per side) over medium-high heat. Remove, allow to cool slightly and remove string.

Flour a large surface and a rolling pin and roll the puff pastry out into a rectangle large enough to wrap around the tenderloins. Place the tenderloins on the pastry, moisten the edges with the egg wash and press firmly together to enclose the tenderloins completely.  If desired, make decorations from any surplus pastry, moisten and press into place on top. Brush all over with egg wash.

Arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 20 minutes (if pastry is browning too quickly, place a foil tent over it). Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting. Serve hot, cut into thick slices. Serves 4-6.


Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Originally, I had found a pretty good sounding recipe for pulled pork on allrecipes.com, but somehow, I ended up sort of ditching the recipe and just throwing in whatever I thought sounded good. As it turns out,  I ended up with a pretty tasty result (if I do say so myself).

Pulled Pork

1 pork butt roast (2-5 pounds, depending on how many servings you need – I used a pretty small roast since it was just the two of us)
1/2 Cup Hickory Brown Sugar BBQ sauce (however much you want, really), plus 1/2 cup
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Season pork roast with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder and place in crock pot with 1/2 cup water. Cover with 1/2 C. BBQ sauce, and cook on high heat for 4-5 hours or low heat for 6-8 hours. (Cooking time will really depend on how big your roast is).

For the Sauce:

When pork is done, remove from crock pot and set aside. Pour the remaining juice into a medium sized pan over medium heat. Stir in a little flour (approx. 1 tablespoon) and whisk. After flour is fully incorporated, add remaining BBQ sauce and whisk until sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Take two forks and pull apart the pork roast into small “shreds”. Pile shredded pork on top of kaiser rolls and top with homemade sauce and pickles.