Spicy Pork Shoulder, Potato & Eggs

Pork, Potatoes & Eggs

Pork, Potatoes & Eggs

For football season I love to make some breakfast dishes – east coast games are sooooo early dammit.

Breakfast dishes are difficult, so am always looking around for another way to make some eggs & whatnot – sorry, I’m just not an oatmeal or cinnamon roll person – I go savory all the way. If you want sugar, check Pinterest. Don’t get me wrong, Pinterest has up-voted one of my crocks quite a bit (thanks Sonja!).

I digress, ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless pork shoulder
  • 1 cup salsa (suggest, medium or hot…)
  • 1 white onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 lg russet potatoes – peeled & cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 green or yellow chile peppers, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican 4 cheese
  • avocado slices for serving

Make it happen:

Pork, Potatoes & Eggs

Pork, Potatoes & Eggs

Cut the pork into 1 inch pieces (I used 4 lb shoulder & used rest for another crock), place in sealable bowl, add salsa & diced jalapeno – marinate in fridge overnight.
Lightly grease crock with olive oil or use spray.
Mix onion, potatoes, chile peppers, garlic & salt/pepper.
Place pork marinade (from overnight) in bottom of crock & add in onion, potatoes, chile peppers, garlic & salt/pepper.
Cook on HIGH for 3.5 hrs.
15 mins before serving – make 6 indentions in crock mixture & crack eggs into each indention (closer to edge cooks faster).
Lightly shake the cheese over mixture, cover & cook.
Make sure egg whites are solid or you can serve sooner if you like over easy… Serve with avocado slices on top & a crumpet!

Wow, this dish was pretty amazing. Potato mixture came out just soft enough, but not too mushy (with crocks it is tough cause you can get a lot of moisture that might ruin the veggies). The eggs cooked way faster than I was expecting, but were eggcellent (see what I did there). Lastly, the pork was so incredibly tender & had just the right amount of kick – I could use more kick, added some hot sauce. Avocado on top – great for a bit of cool & color.

Done & done. If you cook one of my breakfast crocks – try this one.

One final note: get everything ready the night before & that way you can just throw in the slow cooker early & go back to bed  for a bit (unless you have kids, you’re on your own at that point).

Split Pea Soup

Ham Knuckles

Ham Knuckles (sorry for bad photo)

Yay, split pea soup. I had bought a bag of dried split peas & some ham hocks – the weather has been turning colder & thought that this would be a nice hot soup to curl up with on a chilly nite.

Ham hocks remind me of growing up – mom or dad used them every once in a while in different kinds of stews & soups. My grandpa was a butcher, so we only had the best pork knuckle – if there is such a thing. I can take just about anything (I’ll gut a kangaroo as needed), but cutting thru all that fat/bone stuff is difficult. Hungry?

Ingredients:

  • 16oz dried green split peas, rinsed
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled & cut
  • 2 medium celery stalks, diced
  • 64 oz chicken broth (or veggie broth)
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced (thin as possible)
  • 2 md garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves (remove before serving)
  • 2 ham hocks
  • 64oz low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tblsp ground black pepper
Pea Soup Bowl

Pea Soup Bowl w/ steamed Parsnips

Cook it:

  • Put ham hocks in crock
  • Add all other ingredients
  • Cook on LOW for 8hrs (ham hocks should fall apart when done)

Wow, this one smelled fantastic & somewhat let me down. As mentioned before, you win some & you lose some –  will still post the losers (the difference between me & Alton Brown). If we were in communist Russian during Stalin’s reign, this would have been a god send, but my refined palette wants more. (After reflection – I did come to conclusion – I didn’t add a bunch of salt. Most canned beans are packed in some juice & a bunch of salt. When you cook with dried beans – keep in mind there is no sodium added.)

Upside – had a nice consistency & the hocks provided a bit of salt/fat. Sadly, as mentioned, needed tons of salt – if you are on a low sodium or whatnot diet, this would be great.

There you go – did kinda like the soup, but was expecting a lot more from the smell.

Done & done.

Pork Loin with Pablanos

Pork Loin Pablano in Crock

Pork Loin Pablano in Crock

Got a 1.5lb pork loin – of course it was a manager special @ $3.50 (that is the way I roll). Couple days later went to the most intense farmers market ever – they shut it down because of natural disaster – wind bringing the tarp things down. Anyway, got the idea of crocking something with the fantastic peppers that I gathered at my peril.

I hadn’t tried an actual pork loin in the crock & so was wondering how this was going to turn out. Crossed my hooves & hoped for the best.

Ingredients:

1.5lb Pork Loin
2 pablano peppers (cut into long strips)
2 jalapeño peppers (diced)
2 white sweet potatoes quartered
4 scallions (diced)
1/2 onion (diced)
handful of cilantro
1 tblsp pepper

Make it happen:

Pork Loin Pablano Plate

Pork Loin Pablano Plate

Put just a bit of olive oil on the bottom to lube it up. Add the pork loin in then surround with the potatoes & cover all of this with the peppers, cilantro & throw the pepper on top.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

This was damn good. The peppers added so much flavor to the pork & calmed down the sweetness of the sweet potatoes (which I mashed up in a bowl before serving). Not the prettiest looking dish, but so damn simple.

Served with Romanesco broccoli steamed with lemon – I’d never had this type of broccoli. Liked the fact that it was more hearty than normal broccoli & so doesn’t get mushy.

Breakfast Frittata

frittata

Frittata Cooking

Have done some other breakfast crocks, but wanted to do a bit lighter one – a nice frittata like substance. Somewhat similar to an omelette, so I thought it would be a good change from the ones I’ve made before that have a bag of hash browns.

This is a fantastic breakfast dish that can feed 4 people & only takes about 3 to 4 hrs to cook.

Ingredients:

  • 10 eggs beaten (1/2 just the egg whites)
  • 3 to 4 cooked bacon slices (diced up) – used pre-cooked, much easier
  • 1/2 head broccoli chopped
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 1/2 cup leeks sliced (Trader Joes has frozen sliced)
  • 1/2 bag of spinach (2.5 oz)
  • 10 cherub tomatoes sliced in 1/2 or 1 diced roma tomato
  • 8 oz mushrooms fresh sliced
  • 1/2 tblsp pepper
  • 1 tblsp parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (optional)
Frittata Dish

Frittata Dish

Make it happen:

  • Sauté the onions & garlic & throw the leeks in at just the last minute of sautéing.
  • Spray the inside of crock with some cooking spray.
  • Beat the eggs up real good, pour into the crock.
  • Dump the rest of the ingredients in spreading out evenly.

Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours – check to make sure the the eggs have cooked thoroughly.

Verdict: was quite surprised with this one, cooked up very light & with great flavor.  Didn’t use the cheese, but you can & I’m sure that it will up the taste. Great for an early game day or lazy Sunday.

P.S. – R.I.P my old crock pot that died 10/26/2013 – you will be missed. Now I have a brand new 7 qt cook & carry – invite me now, NOW, to your holiday party: dishes & dips will be brought!

Spicy Hot & Sour Soup w/ Pork & Mushrooms

seaweed

seaweed toasted

So, had been kicking around idea of making some soup w/ crock this Sunday since the Seattle gray has descended.

Settled on doing this hot & sour soup. Made a trip to our asian market to pick up some ingredients & spent $75 more than I should have buying a bunch of crap that I can’t even read the package. Don’t be daunted – you can pick up most all of these ingredients at any large grocery store.

Here are the items (enough for 4 people):

  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms (slice up in strips – I buy dried, so you’ll need to drop them in hot water for 30-45 mins)
  • 4 ounces oyster mushrooms (sliced – these are kinda hard to find, so you can double the shiitakes)
  • 1 -2 tablespoon chili paste  (1tblsp – for semi hot & 2 for a nice heat)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste (or minced ginger)
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced/smashed
  • bamboo shoots (small can)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 1/4 cup water
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten (more about this later)
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1 lb pork, thinly sliced (used small pork shoulder & cut off as much fat as possible & then cut as thin as possible – takes a sharp knife or you’ll struggle)
hot sour soup

hot sour soup

Put the chicken broth in crock w/ soy sauce, rice vinegar, pepper, bamboo shoots.

Mix ginger, garlic, pork, 1/2 of the green onion & lightly cook til pork is just cooked on outside.

Set the crock for low 6hrs.

At about the 3hr mark add the mushrooms, then at the 4hr mark add the cornstarch mixture (1/4 cup cold water & 3tblsp cornstarch) & dump in crock.

Finally, about 30 mins before serving slowly spin in the 2 eggs. This doesn’t work very well. If you’ve had egg drop soup you need the broth to be almost boiling & put in the eggs so it cooks on putting in…sadly, in crock it doesn’t get hot enough to make the great egg, but you do get the eggs to cook in broth. Maybe, put in diced hard boiled eggs?

I have to say (besides the eggs not cooking correctly) this was a great soup. The pork was tender, mushrooms still meaty & the spice (to me) was just right – not too hot, but just hot enough. Again, if you can’t take heat, just use 1 tblsp of chili paste.

Serve w/ spring rolls or rice crackers & top w/ rest of green onion. I thought soup was enough & just served w/ toasted seaweed (I know fancy!)

Crock soups for winter are amazing & this one was fantastic & inventive – two paws up.

Carnitas

carnitas

This is Carnitas

Well, I’m finally getting back into the swing of things as end of summer approaches. May have posted another carnitas recipe, but so what.

Who doesn’t have a pork butt on hand? This is a super simple recipe & is good for having nice meal then leftovers for the week or nice for potluck. Just a pork butt & tortilla – you have a meal.

I won’t get all up in your grill about this dish as it is my first post in a while & I need to work up to being witty / funny.

Just want to say that this is a  – drop it in & leave it meal.

  • 4 lbs pork butt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 onion – diced

Mix all ingredients & pour on top of the pork butt.

Set the crock to 10 hrs, but will most likely only take about 8 hrs. Don’t want to let it go too long, as the meat will turn into mushy meat mess.

Serve this amazing meat concoction on small tortillas w/ shredded lettuce or cabbage. Please don’t add a bunch of cheese/sour cream or whatnot, that is so taco bell.

I served w/ good dollop of guacamole/chips & corn on cob (yellow & white for good measure) on the side.

Hell yeah, back the crock up!

Enjoy.

Easter Ham

ham_plate

Easter Ham Plate

I have to say, with my kid getting older – miss the simple easter egg hunt. He’d be all excited & hunt out in the yard, it wasn’t much, but there was always one or two that got missed & then we’d have to scout around or we’d have a troublesome smell in a few days. Also miss dying the eggs – guess I should have done anyways, yet my laziness trumps nostalgia.

You, yes you – try to find a good ham that weights under 12lbs! The only ones that I could find were the compressed crappy turds that look like an oversized football. Thanks big agra. But, finally decided on a 9lb ham that had to be cut up some just to fit in the crock. When adding the wine & water – well, lets just say there wasn’t much room left. Somehow got the ingredients in & was able to get lid on with a bungie cord.

With the help of the leftover white wine was able to power through & get this one in before taking a fantastic motorcycle ride out to some waterfalls & some Eagles club awkwardness. (I’m not suggesting drinking white wine before motorcycling – that would get your ass kicked @ a Harley rally)

Ingredients:

  • 2 gran smith apples – sliced kinda thin (with skin)
  • 3 cloves garlic diced
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • 3/4 bunch parsley chopped
  • 2 tablespoon pickling spice
  • 4-5 lb bone in ham (um, if you can find one)
  • 4 turnips – peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups dry white wine (fume)
  • 1 cup water

Make it happen:

  • Put the ham in crock then top with the apples, garlic, thyme, parsley & pickling spice
  • Pour in the wine and 1 cup water
  • After 2hrs add the turnips (that way they don’t turn to mush)
  • Cover and cook on low – 8hrs

Weee – who wants some gravy? Me thats who:

  • Pull about 1 cup of wine/water broth out, put in sauce pan & bring to slight boil
  • Put few tablespoons of flour in mixing cup & add enough water to make paste, spoon into sauce pan
  • Mix until the gravy thickens then pour over them taters
ham_plate_close

Ham Close Up

The two guests & I barely made a dent in the massive ham, but made a good dent in the Rose / red wine. And everyone was able to take home some leftovers.

My grandma(s) could bake a good ham (pour a 40oz out or some ham drippings), but this swine slab just fell apart. Could barely get large chunks of the meat out w/o it completely falling apart. Hand to God, once you’ve gone crock ham, you’ll never go back (to baked ham that is). The turnips were really delicious too. Rarely buy/eat them, but cooking them down in the apples/wine created a super taste.

Other 2 cents – skip the brown sugar / pineapple, that is for pussies. Just let the ham be all it can be, amazingly salty good. The apples added just the right amount of sweet/sour to the meat.

Coerced into finishing off  the meal with strawberry rhubarb w/ rosemary over vanilla ice cream (thanks to Josephine).

Good day to you Easter, I said good day…