Cuban slow cooker pulled pork

Cuban pulled porkThis recipe from Valerie Bertinelli for Cuban slow cooker pulled pork is extremely simple. It calls for rubbing the pork with cumin, garlic, kosher salt, and black pepper. While I usually omit the salt, I like including kosher salt in a recipe like this. It also specifies orange juice and lime juice. I used both fresh oranges and fresh limes. While the recipe says to use pork shoulder, my go-to cut for pork slow cooker recipes is tenderloin. I cooked the pork in my slow cooker on high for six hours and shredded it.

The original recipe was about making sandwiches with the pork, but I skipped the whole sandwich part and served it as a main dish for dinner.

Very tasty.

more than just food handling

I wrote a while back about changing the food handling gloves I was using to a more expensive but much better-fitting product.

food handling glovesI really love the new gloves and use them frequently. What I’ve learned is that they’re good for more than just food handling.

When I repair something with super glue I am not the most dexterous. I tend to get the glue on my fingers which is a real annoyance and a pain to get off. Using the gloves takes care of that.

I recently opened the battery compartment of our label maker to change the batteries. I saw that one battery had leaked. I put on two gloves to clean up that mess.

They’re great to have on hand.

Sacred Music Friday: Be Thou My Vision

First-Plymouth Church Lincoln Nebraska

a disappointing season

container gardenMy blog and Facebook friend who lives on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe (I am terribly envious) recently wrote about the success she and her husband had this year with their vegetable garden. I wish that I could say the same.

Terry puts a lot of work into our container garden. She plants things like tomatoes which she doesn’t even like because she knows that I enjoy them. She has planted bell peppers, Anaheim chilies,and other vegetables as well. The results this year were disappointing. We got a few small tomatoes early in the season, the occasional bell pepper, and some Anaheim chilies recently. There is, in fact, a nice tomato coming on right now, and some bell peppers on the way. And we do have an ongoing supply of green onions, which I enjoy. But that’s really been it.

I don’t know what the secret is but we certainly didn’t find it this year.

Creole Chicken (non) Alfredo

The “Alfredo” part of the name for this recipe is highly misleading. That’s why I added the “non,” which is not part of the original recipe name.

Creole Chicken AlfredoThe seasoning mix definitely takes a Creole approach: oregano, thyme, smoked paprika, cayenne, black pepper, sugar, cumin, garlic, and salt. I omitted the salt and sugar. The recipe specifies cutting up a chicken breast into bite-sized pieces, tossing it in the seasoning mixture, and cooking the chicken in a skillet. You then add evaporated milk and tomato paste. Meanwhile you’re cooking the pasta of your choice. When the pasta is al dente, add it to the chicken mixture and serve. Top with parmesan.

I used my new favorite pasta, rotini. It nicely captures the sauce in its nooks and crannies. Rather than buying a whole can of condensed milk, not normally a pantry item in our kitchen, I think a small carton of cream or half-and-half would work well. And I think that next time I’ll grind the oregano and thyme into powder.

Overall, though, it was a very tasty dinner. It’s one we’ll do again I believe.

post-season baseball

The Dodgers have had an up and down year. They have had key players on the disabled list and have had a long list of starting pitchers. At one point near the end of the season they were in sole possession of first place in the National League West. They lost that lead, but swept the Giants in San Francisco and ended the season tied with the Rockies for first in the NL West. They beat the Rockies in the NL West tie-breaker, which means they go straight to the Division Series against Atlanta in Los Angeles on Thursday. They avoided having to deal with the whole wildcard thing.

We have a couple of days to catch our breath, and whatever happens from here on out, it was an enjoyable season.

zucchini topped with spicy ground beef

zucchini with spicy ground beefThe original recipe was for zucchini boats, with the center of the zucchini scooped out to hold the ground beef. However, I couldn’t see the point in wasting a lot of good zucchini flesh, so I simply scooped out the seeds, which were small and did not go deep.

For the ground beef I used 93% and seasoned it with cumin and chili con carne seasoning. I added salsa and shredded cheddar cheese. I cooked the zucchini in the toaster oven on the convection setting. I should have grilled them. Maybe next time.

It was a good dinner and we got our veggies for the day.