Monday, February 22, 2010

Spicy Chevre Stuffed Endive Cups (Using mustard greens in the garnish)

This month's Iron Chef in my local food adventures group featured mustard greens as the secret ingredient.
I adapted an appetizer that used basil as an herb in the mix by using mustard greens instead. The mustard greens are in season now along with the rest of the ingredients. I liked the racy flavor of the greens, too.

The original recipe called for the filling to be in phyllo "purses" and baked with the greens and orange zest and red peppers added as garnish for service. I like the endive better.

Spicy Goat Cheese Stuffed Endive Cups

½ cup roasted walnut pieces
¼ cup roasted and peeled red peppers (if bottled, rinse thoroughly and pat dry)
4 oz soft goat cheese (Cow Girl Creamery sells a good one)
1 teaspoon Asian chili sauce
1 teaspoon lemon or lime zest (I like the lime which was used with the mustard greens version)
2 tablespoons chopped chives
2 tablespoons chopped mustard greens (basil or mint may be substituted)
½ teaspoon orange zest

Endive lettuce separated into individual leaves and washed – these are the cups

(Orange, chives and red pepper are missing)

In a bowl combine goat cheese, chives, lemon zest and chili sauce – mix well
Slice red pepper and chop
Place a dollop of the cheese mixture in each endive cup
Top with walnut pieces, some red pepper, some mustard greens, and some orange zest.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Pulled Pork Sliders

This week I am sharing my recipe for pulled pork sliders which is Southern comfort food at its best. It goes great with coleslaw made from Dirty Girl green cabbages, their carrots, and fresh sour cream. This dish was a hit as an appetizer at our wine tasting event for our wine making group. We served it with a light prosecco that paired nicely with the acidity and sweetness of the barbeque sauce and pork. It is tasty and inexpensive. One pork shoulder yielded enough for the tasting event and to feed Stacy and me one dinner and several lunches. While pulled pork takes a long time to make, the crock pot does most of the work. Be sure to serve the finished pork on a high quality bun like potato rolls from the Cakery in Burlingame. They make them fresh six days a week.

Pulled Pork Sliders
Yield: Serves 12 (24 sliders)

For dry rub
3 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
3 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 bone-in pork shoulder (also called Boston Butt). Have your butcher trim it leaving some of the fat cap for braising. Having the bone in during braising adds a silky texture to the finished pork, too.

For braise
2 onions coarsely chopped
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 12 oz bottles of amber bee
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon coarse salt

Finishing Sauce
1 can (24 oz or 750g) strained tomatoes
1 6 oz can tomato paste
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
¼ cup brown sugar (packed) or agave nectar
Salt to taste

To serve:
24 potato rolls, split and lightly toasted (available at the Cakery in Burlingame)

Make dry rub:
Mix first 5 ingredients in small bowl to blend.
Sprinkle dry rub all over pork; press into pork. Cover with plastic; refrigerate at least 2 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.)

Braise the meat:
Place onions in crock pot.
Place marinated meat fat cap up on top of onions and add remaining braise ingredients to pot. Cook on low, covered for 12 hours.
Remove meat from pot and cool enough to handle. Shred pork using a fork and reserve. Discard bone and remaining fat. Strain and de-fat braising sauce and pour into a large saucepan.

Add finishing sauce ingredients to sauce pan, mix well, and simmer for 30 minutes. Add pork to pan and reheat. Season with salt to taste. Adjust sweetness to taste with brown sugar or agave nectar.

Divide pork among bottoms of buns. Top with coleslaw (optional) and bun caps and serve.