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Monday, August 18, 2014

Recipe Review from 8/11/2014

A busy week work-wise, and when combined with yoga and packing for a trip to the Cities, not much time in the evenings to putter in the gardens.  Plus a couple of nice soaking rains left the soil too heavy to work in.  We have been picking blueberries and raspberries, and I think I have frozen about 6 quarts of blueberries to date.  It's been an outstanding berry year! 

The Meal Plan:
Sun - Slow Cooked Pulled Pork with Peach Bourbon Sauce
Mon (yoga) leftovers
Tues - leftovers
Wed (am yoga)
Thurs (yoga)
Fri thru Sun (Cities) Husband leftovers

Lunches for the week: Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with fruit, pita chips, nut cups, luna bars...the usual 

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork with Peach Bourbon Sauce     (Ckng Lght, July 2014) gluten-free
A slow cooker recipe! In JULY!  In a magazine!  Shocking, I know...but, there is something to be said, even in the middle of summer, about being able to toss a meal into the slow cooker and walk away for the rest of the day.  And on this particular day, it rained, so doubly nice.

I forgot to write down what size hunk-o-pork I needed so mine ended up being about 1lb more than called for.  I did make this pretty much as written, tho I didn't feel like slicing up five cloves of garlic so I skipped that.  We don't have bourbon in our house, so I subbed some cafe tequilla.  The hint of coffee flavor should go quite nicely with the molasses and smoky paprika.  The best part about this recipe?  The leftovers! 

  • 2 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
    photo from
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (3 1/2-pound) bone-in pork shoulder roast (Boston butt), trimmed
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup peach preserves
  • 2 cups vertically sliced onion
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Combine paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper; rub evenly over pork. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork to pan; cook 10 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Place pork in a 6-quart electric slow cooker.
  2. Add stock and next 4 ingredients (through crushed red pepper) to skillet; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add preserves, stirring with a whisk. Pour mixture over pork; top with onion and garlic. Cover and cook on LOW 6 1/2 hours or until pork is very tender. Remove pork from pan, reserving liquid; cool slightly. Shred with 2 forks. Remove onion with a slotted spoon; add to pork.
  3. Place a large zip-top plastic bag inside a 4-cup glass measuring cup. Pour cooking liquid into bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into skillet, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat. Stir bourbon into drippings; bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until mixture is reduced to about 1 1/2 cups. Combine 2 tablespoons cold water and cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk; add cornstarch mixture to sauce, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir in remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Drizzle sauce over pork; toss gently to coat.

Cheesy Buckwheat with Mushrooms and Kale  (Ckng Lght, Aug 2014)  vegetarian option**
Mixed reviews.  When I served this the first night, right after making it, it was rather...bland and uninspiring. The buckwheat had an off taste or something, perhaps too much earthy flavors.  However, when I served the leftovers the following night, both the Husband and I agreed that it was much more flavorful and quite tasty.

I did sub Gouda cheese for Gruyere, because I didn't care for my Gruyere cheese options at the store (more processed and smoked).  You can easily omit the bacon to make this vegetarian.  

photo from
  • 1 cup uncooked buckwheat
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups water 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 ounces shredded Gruyère cheese  Gouda
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese 
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion 
  • 1 tablespoon sliced garlic
  • 8 ounces presliced mushrooms
  • 6 cups chopped kale
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
  • 2 center-cut bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
  1. Combine buckwheat and egg in a bowl; toss. Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add buckwheat mixture to pan; cook 3 minutes or until grains are dry and separated, stirring frequently. Stir in water and salt; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat; stir in Gruyère cheese and Parmesan cheese. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and mushrooms; cook 7 minutes. Add kale and pepper to pan; cook 2 minutes. Add kale mixture to buckwheat mixture. Sprinkle with walnuts and bacon.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad  (Closet Cooking Blog via Pinterest)   gluten free, vegetarian
This was so good I made it twice - in part it was because one batch didn't quite get the Husband and I through the week.  We were one day short.  Loved the flavors in this, the briny olive, next to the tangy cucumber (or zucchini), bright summer tomatoes all balanced out by the feta and chickpeas.  The dressing for this is perfect - neither too sweet nor to oily.  This made enough for four lunches for two of us. 

photo from
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup tomato, sliced
  • 1 cup cucumber, sliced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup feta, crumbled
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (~1 lemon) or red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional - avocado.  
  1. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil, reduce the temperature to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes, and let sit covered for 5 minutes before letting it cool.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the remaining ingredients.
  3. Mix the quinoa, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, olives, feta and chickpeas and toss in the mixture of the lemon juice, oil, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper.

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