Friday, January 7, 2011

New Blog

Have you visited the new blog yet? GO!!!!
I have some old recipes and some great new ones! Hurry on over and follow me over there. This blog will be shut down soon, and the new one will be rockin!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Under Construction

Just to prepare you..I'm starting a new blog. It is under construction right now, but feel free to visit! I'm just taking this one and making it better! More pictures, more recipes, more guest cooks! Im the next few weeks I will be working on bringing in a lot of the old favorites from this blog, so you can still find them when you need them over there! And, while I am working on there anything specific you want to see more of? Send me your suggestions!
Come visit and start following now! I have a few oldies and favorites up!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sweet Pork Barbacoa

Have you ever been to Cafe Rio? Isn't their Sweet Pork Barbacoa salad and burrito absolutely divine? WHAT? You have never been?

Ok. I admit. I have not either. But I swear, everyone I know has and they all rave about this pork salad and burrito. (I guess its only out west) So, after years of hearing about it, I finally was on the hunt for a "copycat" recipe. I love these. Take your favorite dish from your favorite restaurant and there is almost always someone who has done the time and trials and errors to copy it. Fabulous.

And I found it. Now, I have nothing to compare it to since I have never had the real thing. But I must say...This. Is. Divine. Of course, I did a few things different than the recipe I found. Its still amazing. It has become our favorite thing here. Perfect for crowds too!

So, this recipe is for the pork. To make the salad, top it with the pork, rice, beans, ranch dressing (all recipes listed below) and any other toppings you see fit.

To make the burrito, we fill our flour tortillas with the pork, lettuce, beans, rice and ranch dressing.

But honestly, if you are looking for just a good ol pulled pork sandwich, this is it. (I top the pork with the kicked up ranch dressing)

2-3 lbs pork (we use boneless pork shoulder)
1 1/2-2 cans Coke (NOT diet)
dash garlic salt
1/4 c. water
1 can sliced green chilies
3/4 can enchilada sauce (I use Old El Paso brand, mild spiciness but any will work)
1 c. brown sugar

Put pork, 1/2 can of coke, water, and garlic salt in crock pot on high for about 3-4 hours (or until it shreds easily, but don't let it get TOO dry) or on low for 8 hours. Remove pork from crock pot and drain any liquid left in the pot. Shred pork with a fork. In a food processor or blender, blend 1/2 can Coke, chilies, enchilada sauce and remaining brown sugar (about a cup, you can add a little more or less to taste..). If it looks too thick, add more Coke little by little. Put shredded pork and sauce in crock pot and cook on low for 2 hours. That's it!

Black Beans

Next time you make burritos, tacos, or anything that includes a side of beans, perk them up a bit with this recipe!

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/3 c. tomato juice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro

In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat until you can smell it. Add beans, tomato juice, and salt. Continually stir until heated through. Just before serving stir in the cilantro.

Cilantro Lime Rice

No explanation needed here. Just a fresh tasty twist to plain old rice!
1 c. uncooked rice
1 tsp. butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 can (15 oz) chicken broth
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. sugar
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 tsp. lime, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice and mix in as you fluff the rice.

Kicked up Ranch dressing

After making this ranch dressing, I choose this over the regular ranch any day. Over everything. It goes perfect on the Sweet Barbacoa Pork burritos, or salad with the pork, or just a pork sandwich....or anything else you make. I may or may not dip my fries in it. Ooohhh, it would also be good on a baked potato...

Kicked up Ranch dressing
1 cup mayo
1 cup buttermilk
1 package dry regular Ranch dressing mix (NOT the buttermilk ranch)
2 tomatillos
fresh cilantro (to your taste..I LOVE cilantro, so I can put in a whole bundle and then some, but at least a small bunch needs to be added.)
1 clove garlic
juice of 1 lime
1 jalepeno
Cut tomatillos in half. Cut stems off of jalepeno, slice, remove seeds (if you like it hot, keep them in!) Put all ingredients in blender and blend away until creamy and no large chunks!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Grandma Strobeck's Stuffing, revised

Stuffing or dressing? Me? Stuffing all the way. What is Thanksgiving without the stuffing? When I think of the turkey and Thanksgiving, I always remember loving the exact moment my grandmother would pull that turkey out of the oven and we all stood around waiting to taste the crusty skin and the stuffing that was falling out of the turkey. It was always perfect.
My attempt last year, not so perfect. It was soggy. I think I cried. I remember all I wanted was to have the perfect stuffing falling out of my turkey and instead, it was a lumpy soggy mess.
So, this year, I am making the stuffing but not stuffing the bird. I cant bear to have it turn out like it did last time!
Anyway, my grandmothers recipe always seemed to be amazing. And, to my delight, I found out that it was super easy! She likes to add raisins, and I personally cant stand raisins, so I like to add some cranberries. It gives it just the right kick.

Thanksgiving Stuffing (picture to come)
1 bag of Pepperidge Farm seasoned stuffing
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 stick of butter
1 cup finely chopped apple
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2-1 cup chopped cranberries (more or less depending on how you like it)

Prepare stuffing according to directions on package.
In a saute pan, melt 2 tbsp butter. Add onion and celery and saute until transparent.
To the stuffing, add onion, celery, cranberries and apple. Mix well. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. (or, at this point stuff the bird)
Remember, if you ARE stuffing the bird, use LESS chicken broth because the juice from the turkey will plump up the stuffing. If you are NOT, you can add more, if needed, so it doesn't dry out. Tip, it is always easier to add more, but you cant take it out once its is in!!