Recipes

Root beer Braised Short Ribs

This is slow-cooked in a root beer broth and is great with mashed sweet potatoes.

When it comes to short ribs, the secret is all in the sauce! We love beef short ribs so I am always trying to think of a new way to cook them. 

Each month, Bern’s Steakhouse in Tampa features a new beef short rib recipe on their seasonal menu. I’m very lucky that I get to visit Bern’s often and I always have to try their seasonal beef short ribs. One month, they had Coca-Cola short ribs and they were delicious! So I thought why not recreate this recipe but use Root beer instead! This creative twist really enhances the meatiness of the ribs with a concentrated sweet and savory combination full of flavor. Of course the meat falls off the bone and goes perfectly with mashed sweet potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 pounds short ribs, cut into 4-inch pieces
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 2 medium yellow onions, cut into 1-inch wedges 
  • 3 large celery stalks, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 small carrots, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 head garlic, sliced in half crosswise
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 3 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 cups good-quality root beer

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Season ribs generously with salt and pepper. In an 8-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil on high. In batches, brown ribs on all sides, about 20 minutes total. If oil gets too dark during browning, pour off and add more oil (do not wipe pot clean). Transfer ribs to a plate and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pot.


Add onions, celery, carrots, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, rosemary, cumin, and star anise. Cook, scraping up any browned bits, until onions soften, 5 minutes. Return ribs to pot and add broth and root beer. Bring to a rapid simmer, cover, and place the pot in the oven.


Cook until meat can be easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 3 hours. 

With a slotted spoon, transfer ribs to a large straight-sided skillet. 

Skim off and discard any fat from cooking liquid. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into skillet; discard solids. Boil over medium-high until liquid is reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Continue to cook, spooning liquid over meat occasionally, until ribs are glazed and sauce is thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Recipes

Chicken in White Wine Fennel Sauce

The Mediterranean flavors of fennel, garlic, and rosemary are perfect with chicken. The fennel and chicken are sautéed and then briefly braised in a chicken wine broth, which becomes a tasty light sauce.

Want to cook with wine? Always! Adding wine to a sauce makes it taste like it’s from a fancy restaurant…but it’s easy to make at home! The flavor is tangy from the wine and savory from the fennel rosemary, and garlic. It’s a perfect combination! 

Why cook with wine? Italian and French style recipes often call for white wine in the ingredient list. It’s used to deglaze the pan or add a complex, acidic flavor to dishes. It adds incredible complexity to risotto or pan sauces like this dish!

What wine to use for cooking? You can use any dry white wine for this recipe. You’ll want a crisp white wine that doesn’t have any hint of sweetness. A few types of white wine that are great for cooking are:

  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Pinot Gris

Making a white wine sauce is easier than you think! It might sound fancy. But it takes just 15 minutes to whip up with a short list of ingredients. 

So grab a bottle of your favorite dry white wine, pour yourself a glass and let’s get cooking!

The fennel and the rosemary will pair especially nicely with a full-bodied red wine such as Scout & Cellar’s ETNICO PINOT NOIR. Elegant and bright with black cherry, pomegranate, herbs, and a hint of turned earth on a light-bodied frame with a lingering finish.

I served this dish with my creamy parmesan orzo.  

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/3 pounds in all)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large fennel bulb (about 1 1/4 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 pint sliced mushrooms
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • ½ cup canned low-sodium chicken broth  
  • ½ cup white wine, such as Scout & Cellar Gallivant Chardonnay
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Fresh-ground black pepper and Salt to taste

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350F. 

In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. 

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the pan with 1 teaspoon of rosemary and cook until brown, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook until almost done, about 3 minutes longer. Remove chicken and set aside. We will finish cooking the chicken in the broth in the oven. 

Deglaze the pan. Pour 2 tablespoons of wine in the pan, scrape the bottom with a wooden spatula vigorously as the liquid comes to a boil. Do not let it boil for more than a few seconds and you make sure you’ve released all the particles from the pan. 

Add butter and melt. Add fennel, 1 teaspoon of the rosemary, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the fennel is golden brown and almost done, about 12 minutes. Add the onion and saute for 1-2 minutes, add the shallot and garlic, stir and cook for additional 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 more minutes.  

Add the wine and broth bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer until the veggies are tender, about 3 minutes. Nestle the chicken into the pan and bake for 10 minutes until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 185 . 

Stir in the parsley.

Blogs, Pasta, Recipes

Creamy Spinach Orzo

I love orzo! I much rather have orzo than rice any day! 

Since orzo is so quick-cooking, it’s a perfect choice for a one-pot dinner. It cooks up fast in a simmering pot of broth and milk, and the starch from the pasta actually helps to thicken the creamy sauce. 

There’s little work required, besides stirring in a few big handfuls of baby spinach and plenty of grated Parmesan cheese. This orzo is an amazing blank-canvas recipe, it’s easy to tweak, you can add cherry tomatoes, peppers, or even shredded chicken. Seriously the possibilities are endless! Get creative! 

You can serve this creamy orzo as either a light main dish or a side dish. We served it alongside my Lemon Parmesan Chicken but totally could have eaten it as the main dish- it’s that good! 

Lemon Parmesan Chicken with Creamy Spinach Orzo

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound dried orzo pasta (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. 

Add the onion and sauté until softened and fragrant, about 3 minutes. 

Add the garlic and orzo, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Stir in the broth and milk and bring to a boil. 

Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the orzo is al dente and most of the liquid is absorbed and has formed a creamy sauce, about 10 minutes. 

(If the orzo isn’t completely, you can add another splash or two of broth to the pot and continue to simmer until it has.)

Stir in the spinach and Parmesan until the spinach has just wilted and the cheese melts, about 1 minute. 

Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Garnish with additional cheese.

Blogs, Recipes

Mushroom Leek Stir Fry

I recently had an abundance of leeks and asked my friends to give me some recipe ideas. My friend, Natasha suggested Stir fry and I am so glad she did!! This recipe was inspired by the Food & Wine Stir Fry recipe, Natasha shared with me.

This is one of those dishes that is unbelievably simple and super tasty. I love spicy Asian food! So when I found this chili paste, Dragon Fly Fried Chili Paste at my local Asian market, I fell in love! It is absolutely delicious but be careful it is SPICY! A ½ teaspoon gives you the perfect amount of heat! If you like your food spicier then by all means add a full teaspoon. 

You can eat this stir fry alone or over rice. I served it alongside Chicken thighs and a side of brown rice.  

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 10 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced 
  • 1 large leek, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 4  garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce 
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese chile paste, II love DragonFly Fried Chili Paste

Instructions

Heat a large skillet. 

Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, tilting to coat the skillet. 

Add the mushrooms and onions,  stir-fry over high heat until golden, about 8 minutes. 

Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. 

Add the leek, garlic and ginger and stir-fry until the leek is tender, about 2 minutes. 

Add the soy sauce, sesame oil and chile paste and stir-fry for 1 minute. 

Serve.

Blogs, Recipes

Chicken Enchiladas

These easy chicken enchiladas are stuffed with shredded chicken and cheese, topped with homemade enchilada sauce, and CHEESE! They’re baked until the cheese is deliciously melted, the sauce bubbly and the tortillas are slightly crispy. 

I love transforming leftover rotisserie chicken into new recipes especially these enchiladas!  You can totally use chicken breast, but grabbing a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket will save you a lot of time. Ultimately, you won’t be able to tell the difference, thanks to the flavor and moisture you’ll add when you toss together the filling.

Seriously the homemade enchilada sauce really makes it outstanding, so don’t skip that step! 

You can assemble the enchiladas a day in advance or freeze for future baking — just be sure to bring it to room temperature before baking. You’ll know it’s done when the sauce is bubbling, the cheese is melted, and the ends of the tortillas are nice and crisp.

As for serving, sprinkle with sliced black olives, chopped  fresh cilantro and a dollop of sour cream are just about all this easy casserole needs.

INGREDIENTS 

Sauce 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder 
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cups chicken stock

Enchiladas

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 rotisserie chicken or 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into small 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
  • Salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 8 large corn or flour tortillas
  • 3 cups Mexican-blend shredded cheese
  • Optional Toppings: Black Olives, Chopped Cilantro and Sour cream

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  

Prepare your enchilada sauce.

Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add flour and whisk together over the heat for one minute. 

Stir in the remaining seasonings (chili powder through oregano). 

Then gradually add in the stock, whisking constantly to remove lumps. 

Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes until slightly thickened.

Remove pan from heat and set aside.

Prepare the chicken.

In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. 

Add onion and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  

Add diced chicken and green chiles, and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper.  Sauté the mixture for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the chicken is cooked through.

If using already cooked rotisserie chicken, cook until heated through and covered in spices. 

Remove pan from heat and set aside.

To assemble the enchiladas

Set up an assembly line including: tortillas, enchilada sauce, chicken mixture, and cheese. 

Lay out a tortilla, and spread two tablespoons of sauce over the surface of the tortilla.  

Add a generous spoonful of the chicken mixture in a line down the center of the tortilla, then sprinkle with 1/3 cup cheese. 

Roll up the tortilla and place in a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

Assemble the remaining enchiladas.  

Then spread any remaining sauce evenly over the top of the enchiladas, followed by any extra cheese.

Bake the enchiladas

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, until the enchiladas are cooked through and the tortillas are slightly crispy on the outside.  

Remove the pan from the oven and serve the enchiladas.

Blogs, Recipes

White Wine & Saffron Cod

This Cod with White Wine Saffron Sauce is truly an incredible dish! It sounds fancy, but you can make this dish in under an hour. Saffron is a favorite of mine. I will admit that it is kind of expensive, but a little goes a long way and it is delicious!

What is saffron?

You know I love reading the history of the food I make so when I started my research on Saffron, I was amazed! Saffron is one of the most precious spices in the world. The threadlike red stigmas and the yellow color they impart are quite literally the stuff of legend

Each flower produces only three threads (stigmas) of saffron, and it blooms for only one week each year. The saffron must be harvested—by hand!—in the mid-morning, when the flowers are still closed in order to protect the delicate stigmas inside. It takes about 1,000 flowers to produce just one ounce of saffron. That’s why it’s a little pricey! 

The deep reddish threads (stigma) of the crocus turn a deep yellow when they come in contact with liquid. Saffron is used mainly in Persian and Mediterranean cuisine. You can’t possibly make a paella without saffron.  

Interesting & Fun Facts

In ancient Egypt it was used as a perfume dye and  medicine. It also had a religious use: saffron cakes were used as offerings to the gods.  In ancient Mesopotamia, saffron was used as both an aromatic and an aphrodisiac.  According to Greek mythology, the god Hermes accidentally struck his friend Croco lethally wounding him. In the spot where blood dripped, Hermes touched his sword and flowers began to grow.  These flowers were, well… crocuses! Another reference in Greek mythology has Zeus sleeping on a bed of saffron. It was also thrown on the beds of newlyweds in Ancient Rome (Remember saffron’s aphrodisiac use in ancient Mesopotamia?) LOL. 

I really think you will enjoy this dish, the combination of flavors is absolutely amazing! It makes for a beautiful dish on a special occasion or a regular weeknight dinner! I served it on Christmas Eve with homemade pasta. And on a weeknight, over a bed of sautéed garlic spinach! 

Now for the wine pairing?

Scout & Cellar 2019 GALLIVANT ROSÉ, it is 35% Syrah, 65% Zinfandel. Lively and refreshing with strawberry, red cherry and fresh melon balanced by limestone on a dry, well-textured frame with a clean finish. For this rosé, grapes were hand-picked from 30-year-old vines. The juice began fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and finished in neutral French Oak barrels. The wine then aged for 3 months in stainless steel before bottling, unfined and lightly filtered.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb cod fillet 
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin Spanish olive oil
  • ½ small onion, diced
  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 small red habanero, diced 
  • 1 medium size red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth 
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste 
  • Salt & pepper to taste 
  • Fresh chives, optional 

INSTRUCTIONS

Cut the cod fillet into 3 or 4 evenly sized pieces and season them with salt and black pepper. 

Heat a large pan over a medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 

Add the onions and cook until translucent.

Add the garlic and shallots, sauté for 3 minutes.

Add red pepper and habanero, sauté for 3 minutes.

Add lemon zest and saffron threads, stir to coat the sauteed vegetables. 

After mixing it all together add 1/2 cup of white wine and broth, give it a gentle mix. 

Once the wine/broth comes to a boil add the tomato paste and stir to combine. 

Place the cod fillets into the pan and place a lid on the pan, 4 minutes later remove the lid and flip the cod fillets and place the lid back on the pan. 

After another 3-4 minutes remove the pan from the heat, add the cod fillets to a dish and spoon the white wine saffron sauce over the fillets. 

Garnish with fresh chives, enjoy!

http://www.scoutandcellar.com/whiskawaykitchen
Blogs, Recipes

Sticky Salmon in Parchment Paper

If you’re looking for an easy, delicious and healthy dinner, this salmon in parchment paper is the perfect recipe. The salmon is cooked in a parchment paper pouch creating an almost mess free dinner that’s not only easy, but yummy! Best part? It’s ready in just about thirty minutes. Just mix up a handful of pantry staples, pour over top, fold up the parchment paper, and bake. Every bite is sweet and savory!

We’ve been looking for ways to reduce our calories and eat healthier. In this recipe, you’ll notice Liquid Aminos and may be asking yourself, what is that? 

Liquid Aminos look and taste similar to soy sauce. It is made by fermenting coconut sap with salt and water or treating soybeans with an acidic solution to break them down into free amino acids. It adds a savory, salty flavor to meals and is naturally vegan and gluten-free. You can find it at most grocery stores. Can’t find Liquid Aminos, you can use Soy sauce. 

So here’s the story behind the parchment paper. I wanted to make an easy clean up dish- it’s been a crazy week. So I thought I’d make salmon in a foil packet. I opened my pantry and to my surprise… No foil! I’ve been reading about French cuisine and I remember reading about Salmon en Papillote, which translates to Salmon enveloped in paper! I had plenty of parchment paper and so this recipe was born!

By cooking the salmon in a parchment paper packet, you’re creating an envelope for your food to cook inside of. Not only does this save on mess and dishes, but cooking your food in parchment steams the food and cooks everything in their own juices. Cooking food this way preserves nutrients and creates an insane amount of flavor because all of the aromas are trapped inside. You can add vegetables into the packet with the salmon. I served mine with side salad.

How to make the parchment paper packet?

  1. Creating the packet isn’t difficult, but it requires a particular shape and folding technique. 
  2. Fold a 12-by-16-inch piece of parchment in half, then cut it so that it’ll be shaped like a heart when you unfold it.
  3. Cut a 12-by16-inch piece of parchment paper for each piece of salmon you’re cooking and fold it in half. Using scissors, cut the folded paper into half of a heart, then unfold. 
  4. Brush both sides of the paper lightly with olive oil.
  5. Place your salmon to one side of the creased line down the middle of the heart. Pour the sauce over the salmon. 
  6. Fold the other half of the heart over the salmon. Starting at the pointy end—the bottom of the heart—fold the edge of the parchment paper in small, overlapping triangles. This helps create a tight seal, making sure that the salmon will cook in its own juices and not dry out or lose flavor.
  7. And that’s it! Just transfer each packet to a dinner plate, cut a small opening in the paper, pull apart the packet and devour the contents. You’ll barely even need to wash the plates.

Looking for a wine?

Scout & Cellar Hushkeeper Pinot Gris is the perfect pairing! Zippy-yet-balanced with lemon, pear, and underripe pineapple on a medium-bodied frame with a bright finish. For this Pinot Gris, grapes were picked by hand from dry-farmed vines planted over 30 years ago. After harvest, the grapes were pressed and placed in stainless steel vessels where they fermented for 3 weeks. The wine then aged in stainless steel until bottling, unfined and lightly filtered with natural bentonite clay.

Now that you know all the whys and hows, let’s get cooking!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound salmon
  • 1/4 cup Lite Maple syrup (yes the kind for pancakes)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons Liquid Aminos (or reduced sodium soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha, optional
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Parchment paper

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 

Line a baking sheet with foil.

In a small bowl, whisk together honey, garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, Sriracha and pepper, to taste.

Take two pieces of parchment paper, fold in half, and cut a half-circle starting at each crease. They should look similar to a heart-shape when unfolded. 

Brush each piece of parchment with olive oil on both sides.

Place the one piece of salmon in the middle of one side of a prepared parchment paper. 

Pour the ginger syrup mixture over the salmon. Save the rest of the sauce for serving. 

Fold the other half of the circle over and seal the parchment edge by making overlapping folds around the edge. At the end, fold the last crease in the opposite direction of the rest to ensure it seals. 

Repeat with the second piece of prepared parchment and remaining ingredients. 

Place pouches on a baking sheet.

Place into the oven and bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes.(Baking time may need to be adjusted depending on the thickness of the salmon).

Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before cutting open parchment. 

The salmon is done when it flakes easily with a fork.

Drizzle the salmon with the leftover sauce. 

Serve immediately.

http://www.scoutandcellar.com/whiskawaykitchen

Blogs, Recipes

Sausage Pizza Stuffed Tenderloin

I love pork tenderloin as you can tell from many of my posts. When prepared correctly, pork tenderloin is quite juicy and flavorful. It also is great reheated. 

Pork tenderloin is perfect for an easy dinner, but when you butterfly it and stuff it with a delicious filling, it gets even better.

I love creating new stuffings for it. We love pizza but are trying to cut out some carbs so I thought why not stuff a pork tenderloin with our favorite pizza toppings! And BOOM, this Sausage Pizza Pork tenderloin was born! 

Pair this meal with Scout and Cellar  2018 DOVE HUNT DOG PINOT NOIR and you have yourself a delicious fancy but simple dinner! 

Not a wine drinking, pair this with Coppertail’s Free Dive IPA. 

Ingredients

  • 1 Pork Tenderloin, garlic herb marinated
  • 1/s lb. Italian sausage
  • ½ Yellow Onion, diced
  • 8 oz. Mushrooms, rough chop
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 8 oz. Shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup of flour
  • Parsely, chopped, optional
  • Parmesan cheese, shredded, for serving
  • 2 cups Tomato sauce, for serving

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. 

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. 

Saute the diced onion,until translucent. 

Add the mushrooms, italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste; cook until the mushrooms are soft, about 4 minutes. 

Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. 

Remove from the heat. 

Add the Italian sausage to the same skillet and cook until browned. 

Remove from heat and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain the grease. 

Butterfly the pork: Make a 1-inch-deep incision down the length of each tenderloin; do not cut all the way through. Open the meat like a book so the tenderloins lie flat.

Cover the pork with plastic wrap; pound with the flat side of a meat mallet until about 1/2 inch thick, starting from the middle and working outward. 

Sprinkle ½ of the  mozzarella cheese over the tenderloin. 

Spread the onion and mushroom mixture over the cheese.

Spread the sausage on top of the  onion and mushroom mixture. 

Sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella on top of the sausage. 

Starting with a long side, tightly roll up each tenderloin. Secure the seams with the toothpicks or tie with twine. 

In a large dish, pour ½ cup of flour and spread out. 

Carefully roll the rolled stuffed tenderloin in the flour, covering all sides. 

Heat the same skillet over medium heat and add 2 Tbsp oil. Once oil is hot, place tenderloin in the skillet (toothpick-side-down) and sear about 2 minutes per side (6-8 minutes total). Transfer the skillet with the tenderloin to the oven and bake at 350˚F for 18-20 min or until an instant read thermometer reads 145-150˚F in the thickest portion of the meat.

Transfer to a cutting board, brush with the pan drippings and rest 10 minutes before slicing into rings. Brush with pan drippings for more flavor and garnish with parsley if desired.

Slice into rings and drizzle tomato sauce over top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Blogs, Recipes

MOJO PORK

Every Christmas, my family has a smorgasbord of Italian and Spanish dishes. And Mojo pork is always on the table.  This recipe has become my go to for easy slow cooker meals..

This recipe is juicy, succulent with garlic and citrus  and melt-in-your-mouth tender. The pork is SO tender and juicy on the inside, while deliciously crisp and golden on the edges! I love it over yellow rice, in tacos or used to make a Cuban sandwich. And the best part is, you make this in the slow cooker so it cooks all day and will be ready when you get home from work. 

I have to admit, it has taken me many failed attempts and trying a variety of different recipes before finally creating this one and falling in love. It was all worth it! My secret little ingredient is Coca Cola! It really lifts the pork to bolder and better flavors! The orange juice and lime juice combo tenderizes the pork, while the natural sugars in the juices and the coke combined turn what would be just another pulled pork recipe, into heaven in your mouth! The trick to getting crispy edges, after shredding the pork, pop it in the oven on boil for 5-10 minutes until the meat is gold brown and crispy!

Pair this with Scout & Cellar Clean-Crafted™ 2018 L’ORIGINAL SPARKLING ROSÉ. 

A vibrant raspberry in color with fine, fizzy bubbles and notes of candied cherry, macerated strawberry, blood orange and cantaloupe on a full-bodied frame with a mouth-coating finish.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup Coke
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 7 cloves garlic , peeled and smashed
  • 1 medium sweet onion , sliced thin
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 3 pound pork shoulder roast
  • Limes and Cilantro for garnish

Instructions

In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, orange juice, lime juice, salt, cumin, oregano, red pepper flakes, pepper, and garlic.

Make slits in the pork with a paring knife and rub liberally all over with the oil mixture.

Place pork in the slow cooker, along with the onion and bay leaf. Pour the remaining juices from the bowl over the pork.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Transfer pork to a cutting board and let cool slightly. Using two forks, shred into thick chunks.

Transfer the pork to a baking sheet lightly sprayed with cooking oil spray (or lined with aluminium foil or parchment paper).

Pour 1 ladle full (about 1 cup) of the liquid from the slow cooker over the pork to season. 

Broil for 5-10 minutes on high heat until the meat becomes golden browned and crispy on the edges.

Season with a little extra salt and pepper if desired. Pour over more of the slow cooker juices once the meat has crisped for added flavor, just before serving!

Serve over rice or as tacos.

Blogs, Recipes

Blue Cheese Burgers with Red Wine-Onion Jam and Crispy Beer Battered Onion Rings

Are you looking for a delicious Memorial Day recipe? Look no more!

Burgers are one of summer’s classic dishes and an ever-popular pick at backyard barbecues everywhere! Not only are these burgers a cinch to make but they are the tastiest burgers you will ever eat! 

I love using Italian sausage in my burgers! It is a  smart shortcut, because the meat is already seasoned. Caramelized red onions are tasty in their own right, but simmered in a sweet/spicy mix of red wine, honey and herbs, they turn into the most delicious jam ever. And it is a perfect addition to these Blue Cheese Burgers!

Brian and I love to top these burgers with homemade Beer Battered Onion Rings! I included our recipe below. It’s delicious! Not a beer fan? Sub in any other carbonated beverage, including ginger ale, club soda or your favorite soft drink.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • ½  pound ground Italian sausage
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 hamburger buns, split

Red Wine-Onion Jam Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium red onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat your grill to high heat.

Mix the meat and blue cheese in a large bowl until combined. 

Shape the meat into four burgers, each about 1 inch thick.

Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides.

Place the burgers on the grill and grill until golden brown, three to four minutes. 

Turn the burgers over and continue grilling to medium, about three minutes longer. 

Remove the burgers to a plate and let rest while you grill the buns.

Butter the cut sides of the buns and season with salt and pepper. Place on the grill, butter side down, and grill until lightly golden brown, about 30 seconds.

Place the burgers on top of the bun and spoon some onion jam on each burger. Top with the buns and serve immediately.

Red Wine-Onion Jam

– makes 3/4 cup –

Heat the oil in a medium sauté pan on the grates of the grill or on a stovetop over medium-low heat.

Add the onion and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

Add the wine, vinegar, honey, and thyme and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated, five to seven minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. 

The jam can be made two days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Crispy Beer Battered Onion Rings Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) pale ale beer 
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups of flour with the paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Whisk in the beer until the mixture is well combined. Let the batter rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.

While the batter rests, cut the tip off of the stem side of the onions then remove the peel. Slice the onions horizontally into 1/2-inch-thick rings and toss them with the remaining 1/2 cup of flour.

Add the vegetable oil to a large, heavy-bottomed pot (Dutch oven) to a depth of 2 inches and heat it over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 375°F.

Working in batches, dip the onion rings into the prepared batter, shaking off any excess, then immediately drop them into the hot oil. Be careful not to overcrowd the pot. Allow the onions to cook in the oil, flipping them once to guarantee even browning, for a total of about 3 minutes. Remove the onions with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate.

Immediately season them with salt. Repeat the coating and frying process, returning the oil to 375°F between batches, with the remaining onions.

TIPS: 

When measuring beer, don’t include the foamy head in your measurement. 

Shake off as much of the excess batter as possible when coating the onion rings in order to get the best ratio of onion to batter.