Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sweet Ginger Pulled Pork

(This picture is actually from another pulled pork recipe I posted a while ago. I recently made pulled pork again - for a church dinner - cooking enough to serve 30+ people. I didn't really work from a recipe; I don't have many recipes for that quantity! But here's a good guess at amounts of spices and ingredients to serve a family. Taste it as you go adding more of what you like.) :)

2 lbs boneless pork (almost any cut will do...shoulder blade roast, pork butt, etc.)
salt & pepper
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 can crushed pineapple
1/2 C brown sugar
2 inches ginger root
2+ Tbls cinnamon
1 Tbls paprika
2 Tbls Worcestershire sauce

sandwich buns/rolls

Place the pork in a roasting pan (or a large casserole dish and cover it with foil) adding salt and pepper. Cook the pork, covered, at about 250° (or at a medium heat in a crock pot) for 6-8 hours or until the meat is very tender. Remove the pork, draining the juices, and use forks to pull it into shreds (sometimes its so tender it just falls to pieces without any work). Discard fat chunks and skim the fat and grease off the drained juices. Return pork to roasting pan or crock.

Add the onion, pineapple (with or without the juice, your choice - how "juicy" do you want the meat for your sandwich?) brown sugar, cinnamon, paprika and Worcestershire to the meat, stirring to combine.

Peel and slice the ginger. Place ginger slices in a saucepan, and pour in enough of the drained pork juices to generously cover the ginger. (You could also use the pineapple juice if you prefer.) Bring to a boil and boil for 4-5 minutes. Strain out the ginger slices, adding the juice to the pork. (I suppose you could skip all this and just add about a tablespoon powdered ginger...)

Increase heat to 350° and continue to cook everything for about another hour, stirring occasionally, to heat pork thoroughly and let the flavors combine. It doesn't hurt to cook in even could simmer in a crock pot all day! Just keep it covered so it won't dry out.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Cranberry - White Chocolate Scones

While these scones are subtlely decadent with cranberries and white chocolate, the basic scone recipe -- thanks to Melissa from my book club! -- could easily be adapted to include other fruits and flavors. Have fun with it!

1 ¾ C. all-purpose flour
¼ C sugar
2 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
5 Tbls chilled, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
6 Tbls half and half (or use 3 Tbls whipping cream, 3 Tbls milk)
1 egg, beaten
½ C fresh, frozen or dried cranberries
½ C white chocolate chips

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add half and half, egg, cranberries, and white chocolate. Stir until dough begins to hold together.

Turn onto lightly floured board. Knead for 2 minutes. Pat in 1/2 inch round; cut into 8 wedges. Transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper or sprayed with vegetable oil. Bake at 400° for 12-14 minutes until golden brown.

Let cool – but best served still warm. Serve with Mock Devonshire Cream (recipe below) and jam, if desired.

Mock Devonshire Cream
4 oz. cream cheese
1 C whipping cream
1 Tbls powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla

Blend ingredients in blender or food processor until very thick. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Two options, both delicious!

Sweet Crêpes
2 eggs
1 ½ C milk
1 C flour
2 Tbls sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbls melted butter
optional: 1 Tbls rum or other liquer

Savory Crêpes
2 eggs
1 ½ C milk
1 C flour
¼ tsp salt
2 Tbls melted butter
1 Tbls chopped parsley flakes

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Chill 3 hours or overnight. (I have never chilled my batter overnight, and often don’t do it three hours. I have cooked the crêpes without chilling at all, but I do notice a difference and I’d recommend you chill it for an hour at least.)

Heat an 8” or 9” sauté pan over medium heat. (Use a full size frying pan if you like — I have for dinner crêpes before — but the smaller size is easier to manage for flipping and cooking evenly.)

Pour about ½ C of the batter into sauté pan. Do not add oil or spray pan! (In fact, if you’re a true French cook, you’d have a pan — just for crêpes — which you would never ‘contaminate’ by washing. Just wipe with a soft towel and store until the next time you make crêpes. Or until it’s time to ‘season’ the pan, which you would do annually… But let’s get real! None of us are going to do that!) Anyway…

Pour the batter directly into the hot pan, swirl and tilt it to evenly coat the bottom. Cook 2-3 minutes until the edges of the crêpe are browned and crisp. Flip it. Cook it about another 2 minutes. Remove from pan. (I often get two pans going at once, as you can see in the pictuer above. Crêpes aren't difficult, but they do take some time...)

Serving suggestions…
1) Traditional Crêpes: sprinkled with confectioners sugar and lemon juice
2) Cottage Crêpes (pictured—a ‘poor man’s version’ of a cheese blintz) Roll crepes around 2-3 Tbls of cottage cheese. Serve with a berry compote or berry syrup of your choice. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.
3) Dinner crêpes are delicious wrapped/rolled around just about anything…just about any combination of meat and vegetables/mushrooms – sauté them ahead and, if you like, use some cream or a can of condensed cream of chicken (or mushroom) soup as a sauce to dish over the top…
4) Melted butter and sugar & cinnamon
5) Drizzle crêpes with chocolate, caramel, just about any syrup…