Once I had a batch of Pickled Corn Salsa ready I took a nice pork shoulder and slow cooked it for some tasty tacos! The pork is marinated in tomatoes, onions and spices and slow cooked for about 4 hours in a crock pot. The pork ended up being succulent and fall apart tender. I was really happy with how soft and flavorful it turned out. The acids from the pickled salsa complimented the richness of the shredded pork. For garnish, I added a touch of lime and queso fresco.
This stew is a staple recipe for me as it is easy to put together and is healthy and flavorful. When I want something light and healthy this is one of my favorite go to recipes. I use the slow cooker and all it requires is chopping the veggies and throwing everything in the crock pot to cook for about 8 hours. All the veggies get nice and soft and the flavors of the curry marinate until the stew is bursting with good curry flavor. I served it with warm curried rolls and topped with yogurt.
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Pasta e Fagioli is a traditional Italian peasant soup that translates to “pasta and beans.” It’s a soup that can be made with several types of pasta, usually tubettini, ditalini, or conchigliette. Prosciutto or pancetta is used for the base to give it a nice smoky flavor. I wanted to make a big batch so I used a slow cooker to cook the beans and broth. It turned out great, though I forgot to cut up the rosemary and it should really be finely chopped. Just before serving I mixed in the cooked pasta. I strained the rest of the noodles out before putting it away to prevent them from absorbing all the broth over night. The soup was great with a warm, crusty baguette and grated parmigiano reggiano.
After making a good pork roast it’s always great to use the leftovers in a soup. A great way to use the bone from a pork shoulder (or ham hock) is making pea soup. A few years ago I visited New Orleans and I was taken with the flavors they used in their soups and seafood so I decided to try a creole inspired pea soup. I started with a base of onion, garlic, celery, green pepper, and carrots which sauteed in butter until soft. Then I added some creole spices like thyme, sage, oregano, paprika, dried sassafras, and cayenne pepper. The andouille sausage was my favorite twist on the traditional pea soup. The sausage was delicious and had great sweet and spicy flavors.
October and November, in my opinion, are the best months for soups and chilis. I can’t really get enough of a warm bowl of something tasty during these months. Since I had quite a few leftover ingredients from other meals (e.g. lentils, beans, tomato sauce, cilantro, etc) I figured I should try creating a chili out of what I had sitting around. I kept looking around for more things to throw in and noticed I had some frozen green peppers and jalapenos, so I cut them up and threw them in too. I was very happy with how the chili turned out! This chili does not need an ounce of meat as it is packed with protein from the lentils, kidney beans, and pinto beans. The ground chipotle chilis were great and gave it a more smoky, aromatic flavor. I garnished the chili with sour cream and cilantro, but yogurt would be a good substitute for the sour cream.
I wanted to kick off October with a good fall soup and lentil stew is a perfect fall and winter dish that is both hardy and healthy. I had never tried cooking Italian sausage in a soup before and I was happy with the results. The sausage became very tender through the slow cooking process. This stew is simply seasoned with bay, oregano, and balsamic vinegar. The balsamic vinegar gives a nice depth of flavor and the acidity is very nice. The recipe could be prepared over the stove in a sauce pot instead of a slow cooker, just cook it for 2-3 hours on low. The spiciness of the sausage flavored the broth wonderfully and all this soup really needs is a thick crusted bread to accompany it.
Since I had several pounds of shredded pork, I decided to make a stew out of the leftovers. This stew is an interpretation of a chile verde pork stew but with an addition of red chili flavors. Chile verde with pork is usually green and looks a lot like salsa verde. This stew has the flavors of a green chili with the addition of red chili flavors like paprika, chili powder, and ancho chilis. It turned out really well and I enjoyed all the layers of flavor this stew had. The recipe isn’t too difficult to throw together and it is a great way to use leftover pork roast. I recommend saving the bone from the pork shoulder and throwing it in this stew for added flavor.
There is still time to celebrate summer with this spicy Korean BBQ pork. This recipe has all the elements of a good barbeque with the added seasoning of gochujang and Korean BBQ sauce. The sauces provide the perfect barbeque flavors of sweet, tangy, and savory. The pork is slow cooked for 8 hours so the meat should fall apart from the bone. Pork shoulder has turned into my favorite cut of pork simply because of the transformation it goes through after cooking it slowly. The pulled pork turned out really tender and easily shredded into a delicious BBQ sandwich. Topping with coleslaw is also a must for this recipe!
This chili is one of those dishes that regularly makes it onto the menu. I used to make it in a big sauce pan, but since I got a crock pot I have slow cooked it ever since. I like the way all of the seasoning marinates slowly for hours and the way the veggies and cashews become tender. The cashews add a sweet, nutty flavor that tastes great with the beans and veggies. I garnished the chili with extra sharp cheddar and green onion.
Since I enjoyed the pork mole negro I made a while ago I thought I would try it in a chili. Originally I started with a basic recipe for meat chili and it eventually evolved into both a mole and a chili recipe. I’ve always thought the flavors in mole would go well in a chili and it turns out I was right because this was very tasty! The flavors of the chili were multi-layered and complex (probably because of the 20+ ingredients in it). This recipe is ideal for a large slow cooker but a sauce pot on low heat would work fine too.