I love quick breads because they usually don't require an electric mixer — a little elbow grease and a rubber spatula is enough to whip them up. But they're usually on the sweet side, with banana or pumpkin bread being the most common varieties. It turns out quick breads are also a great base for savory flavors, too. This one is seasoned with all the flavors of a fresh homemade ranch dressing and made with under-appreciated cottage cheese for the best overall texture.
Daylight Savings has finally arrived! And I could not think of a better reason to lose an hour of sleep and wake up a little groggy. Because I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those people who feels like the extra hour of daylight in the evening is freaking life-changing.
I mean, sure, I’m all for some extra sun shining through my window in the mornings to help get me out of bed in the winter. But if given the choice between sun in the morning, and glorious, warm, bright, makes-you-feel-like-there’s-actually-more-of-the-day-left in the evenings after work, I will choose DST any day in a heartbeat. (In fact, yes, I’m totally one of “those people” who wishes Congress would let us keep saving daylight year-round….) But in the meantime, I’m fully appreciating every second of these sunshiny evenings that celebrate the beginning of this warm season to come.
And one of my favorite things to do when it’s light out in the evenings? You’d better believe it — cook! It nearly felt like summer here last night, so I decided to whip up a quick batch of my new favorite “better than takeout” recipes that I’m recently obsessed with making — moo shu! (Or moo shoo, mu shoo, it seems that the spelling options are endless.) It has been one of my long-time favorite dishes to order when I’m doing Chinese takeout. And after studying the ingredients, I recently decided it was worth a try to make at home.
Turns out, Moo Shu Pork (or Chicken!) is super quick and easy to make, it’s chocked full of fresh and vibrant ingredients, and it’s full of those bold sweet and savory flavors we all love. But best of all, it can be ready to go in 20 minutes, so you can get on with your evening out in the warm spring sunshine. ;)
Let’s make some!
It’s been nearly two months since I shared a new taco recipe and, well… that’s not even right.
Monday is calling and tacos are answering! Exclamation points!
Monday is also calling and telling me that I should stay on the couch and watch Friends all day long and maybe even some old-school throwback I’m-crushing-on-Devon-Sawa movies while I read trashy magazines and I’m not sure what the answer is to that. I can be bought, Monday. Just so you know.
These are sort of summery, but heck – so is our weather right now. All I want to do is hate on it, but I’m probably just going to eat tacos instead. And margaritas. Lots of margs. This little taco is so full of flavor: tender, juicy pork (I can’t stop laughing), some fresh cilantro lime avocado cream, a sweet chili slaw with a little kick and a bunch of crumbled cheese. Flava bomb.
It’s basically the only answer to Monday.
Err, the only answer I’ve got.
Pulled Pork Tacos with Sweet Chili Slaw
Yield: serves 4 to 6
Total Time: 8 hours
4 pounds pork roast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces beer
2 cups sliced green cabbage
3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
1 lime, juiced
a bunch of (4-inch) tortillas, for serving
cotija cheese, for crumbling
cilantro avocado cream
1 avocado, chopped
1 lime, juiced + zested
3 tablespoons sour cream or greek yogurt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Cover the pork with the salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder. Sear the pork on all sides just until it is golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove the pork and place it in the crockpot. Pour your favorite beer over top, cover and cook for 8 hours on low. After 8 hours, remove the top and pull the pork apart with tongs or forks. I toss it well with the beer and then cover it and let it cook for another 15 minutes or so. You have to really toss the meat with the juice to combine everything. Taste the pork and season it additionally if desired.
To make the slaw, add the cabbage to a large bowl. Toss it with the sweet chili sauce and the lime juice, adding in a pinch of salt. You can make this a few hours ahead of time and keep it in the fridge if desired.
To make the avocado cream, add the avocado, lime juice and zest, sour cream or yogurt and the cilantro to a food processor. Blend until pureed and creamy.
Assemble the tacos by adding some pork to each tortilla and covering it with a drizzle of the avocado cream. Add the slaw on top and crumble on a bit of cheese.
Oh and this answer. Always.
©2012 How Sweet It Is
Oh hey, friendlies! Happiest Labor Day wishes to you all. I hope you’re spending your day with yummy food, good company and preferably a cabin/beach/park/sunny day on the side.
Me? My day is actually super lame, as the husband is working today. But we made up for it earlier this weekend with some fun end-of-summer times. And I would say I also made up for it by making and devouring these caramel macchiato doughnut muffins I made for my dear friend Stephie’s Friends First series, but the truth is I already made and devoured them weeks ago: even the ones I set aside in the freezer for later. Oy. Good thing I’ve got a free day today and these muffins take like two seconds to make. Winning! (Do people even say that anymore? I need new phrases.)
So in the interest of convincing you to make these muffins as soon as humanly possible (which I hope isn’t too difficult to do) and in the interest of letting you get back to your holiday shindigs, head over to Eat Your Heart Out for the full post and recipe! Spoiler alert: I talk about how these muffins sum up my personality in carb form. It gets weird/awesome.
In terms of produce selection, August is my favorite month of the year. Tomatoes, peppers, okra, peaches, figs, berries – you get the point. Pretty much all of my favorite foods are available in August. I love spending my Saturday mornings at the farmers market with Eric and Clara, especially when we bring home so many wonderful foods and so much inspiration for the upcoming week.
This dinner was the result of a random “what can we make with what’s in the fridge?” type of meal about three years ago. We had peppers and spinach from the farmers market, neither of which had a purpose, and that’s how this dinner came to life. The concept of it stuck around, and I’ve played around with the fillings based on what we have on hand. It’s always meat + cheese + greens. My favorite combination is sausage, goat cheese and arugula, but anything goes. It’s hard to go wrong when peppers are stuffed with anything. Using this basic recipe as a guide, I’m confident you can come up with an endless array of stuffed peppers to try before summer is over.
Yield: 3 servings
The key to this meal is using a flavored/specialty sausage. I've used roasted red pepper and garlic sausage, sun-dried tomato and basil sausage, garlic and herb chicken sausage, etc. If you can't find that, simply add some garlic, onion, herbs and/or anything else you like to plain ground sausage.
Heat oven to 400º. Place the peppers on a baking sheet and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a medium skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until it browns, crumbling with a wooden spoon as it cooks. (If needed, drain the sausage before continuing.) Once the sausage has browned, reduce heat to low and stir in the arugula and goat cheese until the cheese has melted and the arugula is wilted. Taste and add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, if desired.
Spoon the filling into the peppers and sprinkle each half with Parmesan. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the peppers have softened slightly. Serve immediately.
Cook Like a Champion original