Dining Outside the Home: The Three Amigos in Downtown Edmonton, Alberta, Canada! Authentic Mexican food is as festive as Mexican blankets, wide-rimmed sombreros, and multicolored piñatas. The “Daily Special” boasted Fajitas Al Pastor—crispy chunks of marinated pork cooked with onions and green pepper strips served on a sizzling skillet. Homemade corn tortillas accompanied sour cream, guacamole, and salsa. We ordered a side of refried beans to use as a binding agent once the shells were filled. The finishing touch of habanero sauce sealed the deal with a nice kick of spice. An agave nectar margarita cocktail culminated the entire meal. Bueno!
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Take a Seat at the Table: Frijoles Negros Stew! The popular dish of Cuba and Latin America translates to “black beans”. This highly nutritious legume is catching on around my household, especially following a day of slow-cooker roast pork. I like the smoky flavor to balance out the onions, peppers, and spices. Read on to see how simple it is to indulge in a thick, hearty stew for your next nutritious meal.
FRIJOLES NEGROS STEW
2-15 ounce cans of black beans, with sauce
1 can beef consommé
1 cup onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups shredded pork
1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
In a 2-quart saucepan, pour one can of black beans with liquid. Mash beans to a thick paste. Add the other can of black beans with liquid plus the beef consommé. Blend well. Microwave the chopped onion 2 minutes on high. Add to the stew. Add shredded pork, liquid smoke, cumin powder, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder. Stir until combined. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Garnish with cheddar cheese, green onions, and salsa. Serve piping hot.
Dining Outside the Home: Lilikoi Bar and Grill in Lihue, Kauai. Happy Hour let’s you start the night off right. The drinks go down easy and the Kalua Pork Nachos are the ultimate in taste. Pulled pork is tender, a bit smoky, and seasoned with Hawaiian sea salt. Add it to layers of of crispy-fried corn tortilla chips, gooey cheddar cheese, and spicy-kicked jalapeños for the best platter of specialty nachos you’ve ever eaten. Lilikoi Bar and Grill not only offers an all-star menu, the unparalleled view of the ocean sets the tone for a truly satisfying dining experience. Grab a cozy seat, sit back, and watch the surfers “catch a wave”.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? A Burst of Flavor: Traditional Four-Bean Combo! This is an amazing side dish you can slow cook in the crockpot and forget about it. The end result is a sweet and savory baked bean assortment that will explode with flavor and compliment anything you plan to pair with it, especially grilled meats. The presentation is a color wheel of enticing hues giving it center-stage on the dinner plate. Leftovers only taste better and better as the flavors get swallowed up in each other. The next time you crave something different and nutritious, give this recipe a whirl.
TRADITIONAL FOUR-BEAN COMBO
1/2 pound bacon, sautéd and diced
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup brown sugar
15 ounces kidney beans, drained
15 1/2 ounces yellow waxed beans, drained
42 ounces pork and beans, with sauce
3 cups garden green beans, cooked al dente
Combine bacon, onion, mustard, vinegar, and brown sugar. Mix well. Add the beans and stir together to blend the colors and flavors. Transfer to a crock pot. Cook on HIGH until beans are bubbly. Turn to LOW setting and simmer for 5-7 hours. Unplug crock pot. Let stand 15-20 minutes before serving.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? A Burst of Flavor: Open-Faced Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwiches! Stretch Summer to its limit with this popular sandwich that has maximum flavor on a toasted pretzel bun. Pile it high with tangy cole slaw and a dill pickle spear on the side for a satisfying meal. Once you combine the shredded pork with the barbecue sauce, keep it warm in the crockpot and savor the aromas filling the house.
OPEN-FACED PULLED PORK BBQ SANDWICHES
3-4 pound boneless pork roast prepared as directed from the segment Kalua Pork Roast https://snapshotsincursive.com/2015/05/27
Leftovers can be frozen and used later to make something incredible like today’s special.
Add 1 cup of your favorite bottled barbecue sauce to the shredded pork. Simmer to blend flavors. Or…..make the sauce yourself!
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup chili sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
In a 2-quart saucepan, heat all ingredients to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more water if needed. Mix with pulled pork to blend flavors. Keep warm.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? A Burst of Flavor: Kauaiian-Rub Pork Medallions! Natural Pacific sea salt, combined with herbs and spices, lock in flavor for the most tender cut of grilled pork you’ve ever tasted. Don’t scrimp on the cut; it’s worth a little extra cost since there is no fat, no bones, and absolutely no waste.
KAUAIIAN-RUB PORK MEDALLIONS
2-3 pound Pork Filet Mignon, sliced in 3/4″ portions
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons soybean seasoning sauce
1-2 tablespoons Salty Wahine Gourmet Hawaiian Rub*
Marinate at room temperature sliced medallions in a shallow dish with olive oil, soybean seasoning sauce, and gourmet rub on both sides of the pork. Preheat the outdoor gas grill to 500°. Place the tenderloins on the non-stick grate and lower the lid. The temperature should remain around 450°. After 4-5 minutes, turn medallions over, close lid, and grill for 5 minutes longer. To check for doneness, the internal temperature will register at 150°. Remove medallions and let them rest for 5 minutes in order for the juices to draw back inside.
*Available through Salty Wahine Gourmet Hawaiian Sea Salts. (I receive no recompense for promoting their product.)
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Clean Plate Club: X-tra Tender Marinated Chicken! Here is one recipe that definitely lives up to its name. Tender. And I mean “melt-in-your-mouth” tender. For variety, I have used the marinade ingredients but switched the meat between chicken and pork. Both with astounding results. Because I literally took the meat out of the freezer and popped it in the slow-cooker may be another reason the outcome was so effective. Do it first thing in the morning before you’re off and running. When you return home later on, the irresistible aromas will greet you at the door. For a finishing touch, flash fry the pieces (plus juices from the marinade) in an oiled iron skillet at high temperature for a minimal amount of time. The results will leave everyone singing your praises. You can thank me later.
X-TRA TENDER MARINATED CHICKEN
2-3 pounds chicken
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup vinegar
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Oil for frying
Lemon and capers for garnish
Place chicken in a slow-cooker. Combine melted butter, vinegar, orange juice, kosher salt, oregano, and garlic powder. Pour over meat. Cover. If meat is frozen, set timer for four hours on High, then four hours on Low. If meat is thawed, set timer for eight hours on Low. When finished, using a tongs, transfer chicken to a platter. Reserve marinade. To “flash fry”, warm an iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil on medium heat. Add chicken. Do not overcrowd. Ladle a small portion of marinade juice over chicken. It will sizzle, so a screen lid is recommended. After 2-3 minutes gently turn juicy chicken to char the other side. Add oil to prevent meat from sticking. Repeat until all chicken is fried. This works well with boneless or shredded meat. Serve warm with assorted vegetables. Garnish with capers and lemon slices.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Clean Plate Club: Veal Scallopini Piccata! Did you know substituting pork cutlets for veal meat is a common practice? If the idea of a baby calf makes you squeamish, you will be delighted with that little bit of news. It’s all about the select few bull calves, but that’s a story for another day. Here again, we’re talking about a time-saving recipe. After all, we’re on the brink of Summer with daylight extending further into the evenings tempting us with outdoor activities that are much more pleasant that cleaning up the kitchen. This recipe calls for pork cutlets, lemon, capers, wine, and butter. Ah, now I have your attention.
VEAL SCALLOPINI PICCATA
1 pound veal (or pork) cutlets, pounded 1/4” thick
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
14-ounce can chicken broth
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1 tablespoon parsley
Warm 2 tablespoons butter and olive oil in an iron skillet over medium-high heat. On a sheet of wax paper, combine flour, sea salt, and pepper. Dredge veal (pork) in flour; shake off excess. Add veal (pork) to skillet. Cook until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter; set aside. Add wine to skillet. Cook, scraping bottom of pan until reduced by half. This will take approximately 3 minutes. Add chicken broth and lemon slices. Bring to boil. Cook 8 minutes longer. Add remaining butter, lemon juice, capers, and parsley. Return veal (pork) cutlets to pan. Coat with sauce. Serve immediately.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Color of Food: Korean Pork Tacos! Once you get a taste for spicy food, the cravings thrive. That doesn’t mean dinner has to be boring, to say the least. Be creative. I like corn tortillas so I transformed an ordinary pork loin into slightly hot Korean tacos. Forego the kimchi and traditional greens by substituting with crispy broccoli strips and shredded carrots. Fresh cilantro and green onions add zest, not heat. Trust me, this recipe is not “burn your lips off” hot, it’s just more balanced between flavor and spice.
KOREAN PORK TACOS
1 pound pork loin, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup ground fresh chili paste
1 tablespoon dried garlic
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
2 green onions, snipped
1/4 yellow onion, chopped
Corn tortillas, warmed
10-ounce bag broccoli and carrot slaw
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
Combine rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, chili paste, dried garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, black pepper, sugar, green onions, and yellow onions in a bowl. Add pork chunks, mixing well to coat. Transfer to a ziplock bag, seal, and marinate for 2-4 hours. Heat vegetable oil in an iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook pork 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Be sure the meat is no longer pink in the center. Lower heat and shred pork with two forks. Simmer to absorb liquid to enhance flavor. For coleslaw, mix broccoli and carrot blend with mayonnaise. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Fill bottom half of corn tortillas with coleslaw. Top with shredded pork. Garnish with fresh cilantro.