pork

BBQ Baby Back Ribs

Posted by on May 30, 2015 in pork, potluck, recipes | 7 comments

BBQ Baby Back Ribs

  It’s Spring! According to the calendar and what I’m seeing on social media, anyway. Living in San Francisco, I’ve essentially given up on the concept of seasons. They just don’t exist here on any kind of level, which is fine by me, after spending many a winter in the Northeast. But for those of you just digging out your flip flops and spending more time in the sun, you’re probably looking for more recipes to throw on that grill that has been gathering dust (or snow) for the past 6 months or so. This recipe is actually made mostly in the oven, where the ribs cook low and slow to give them a chance for the meat to become tender and richly flavored by the rub and cider they cook in. The grill is just to finish them and char the incredibly flavorful sauce on them. So if you’re having a backyard BBQ where you’re grilling all the things, these won’t monopolize your grill grates all day. And if you don’t have a grill, or if your backyard is currently torn up to be renovated (our current situation is a sand pit- not inviting), you can finish these under the broiler. But if it’s nice out, eat ’em outside. Don’t forget the roll of paper towels! BBQ Baby Back Ribs prep time: 30 minutes  cook time: 1:45-2:15 hours  serves: 4-6    2 racks baby back pork ribs ½ cup hard cider (or ¼ cup apple cider vinegar and ½ cup water or broth) Rub: 1 tablespoon salt 1 tablespoon paprika 2 teaspoons coconut sugar 1 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon coriander 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 1 teaspoon black pepper ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon For the sauce: 1 tablespoon lard or coconut oil ½ cup diced shallots 3 cloves garlic, sliced 2 teaspoons rib rub (from above) 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 1 can tomato paste 1 cup brewed coffee 1/3 cup maple syrup ¼ cup coconut aminos 2 teaspoons fish sauce 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses   Preheat the oven to 300. Combine the rub ingredients in a small bowl, setting aside 2 teaspoons for the sauce. Rub the ribs on both sides with the spice rub and place in a large roasting pan along with the cider. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 1 ½ – 2 hours. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, sauté the shallots in the lard for 3 minutes, or until beginning to soften and turn golden. Add the garlic and sauté one minute more. Mix in the rib rub and smoked paprika, and then add the tomato paste. Cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly. Add the coffee, maple syrup, coconut aminos, fish sauce, Worcestershire sauce and molasses. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to medium-low. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Puree the sauce, either with a stick blender or by transferring to a blender, until smooth. To finish the ribs: Heat your grill to medium-low. Set the ribs on the grill, meaty side down. Coat the exposed side with a layer of sauce. Grill for 4 minutes. Flip, and add another coating of sauce. Grill 4 minutes. Repeat, so that you’ve grilled both sides twice, and added 2 layers of sauce to each side. Remove the ribs to a cutting board and allow to rest for 4-5 minutes before cutting between the bones. Serve with additional sauce. All of the links on zenbellycatering.com are for information purposes, however some are affiliate links to books, products or services. Any sponsored posts are...

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90 minute Kalua Pork

Posted by on Mar 14, 2015 in Dinner, pork | 1 comment

90 minute Kalua Pork

Tender, fatty, fall apart pork shoulder is one of life’s true treasures. (Am I being dramatic?) The general rule with meat cuts is: the tougher the muscle, the more dynamic the flavor. A filet mignon is tender, sure, but is it interesting? No, not really. It’s the muscles that actually get used by the animal that have the most flavor. But the tenderness needs to be coaxed out. Traditionally, this is done with low, slow cooking. But what about those of us who are impatient? (me!) What if we don’t plan ahead and want dinner TODAY? (also me!) Well. There’s a solution for us impatient poor planners. It’s called pressure cooking, and I promise you need not be afraid of it. I’ve been using my large, stove top pressure cooker for years to make bone broth. It’s by far my favorite method, and I’ve gotten great feedback from others who have tried it. For the holidays last year, my mama got me an Instantpot, which is the amazing little contraption I used to make this here kalua pork in just 90 minutes. The nice thing about these guys is that they’re pretty foolproof- the temperature is regulated so you don’t have to play a guessing game with the temperature of your burner in relation to the steam inside. It took me a while to take my new kitchen toy out of the box, and after I did, I just stared at it for a few days. (not straight, I did other things, too) Kitchen appliances that require pushing buttons make me feel funny. It’s one of the reasons I’m not a slow cooker user. But I’ve slowly been conquering my fear(?) and finding fun ways to use my Instantpot. This thing is quite the multi-tasker; it slow cooks and pressure cooks. It makes yogurt and rice. You can even turn the heat up in it to sear your meat right in the cooking chamber before you slow cook or pressure cook it. And the main reason I wanted it? I have plans to hack it for sous vide. Stay tuned for that adventure. But for now, please enjoy this recipe for Kalua Pork. It’s super simple to make, and you can even skip the pineapple and smoky part- it’s delicious kept simple and unadulterated, too. As for me, I’ve been missing Hawaii ever since we got back from our honeymoon last month, and wanted those little reminders of it. To me, nothing beats serving this with plantain tortillas, guacamole and slaw. Not exactly the traditional way of serving it, but incredibly delicious. 90 minute Kalua Pork serves: 8-10  |  prep time: 5 minutes   |  cook time: 1 hour 40 minutes   1 4-5 pound pork shoulder (I prefer bone-in, but boneless works too) 1 tablespoon lard or bacon fat 1 teaspoon salt (Hawaiian or sea salt) 1/2 cup diced pineapple (fresh or canned) 1 teaspoon fish sauce (I love Red Boat!) 1 tablespoon liquid smoke 1/2 cup water Turn your Instantpot on to saute and wait until the display reads HOT. Cut the pork shoulder into two pieces and add the lard to the pot. Sear each half  for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until nicely browned. Remove to a platter and turn the Instantpot off. Sprinkle the salt on the pork. Add the pineapple, fish sauce, liquid smoke and water to the pot, along with the pork and any juices from the platter. Lock on the lid with the vent closed. Use the manual button to put 90 minutes on the display. After 90 minutes, allow the steam to release naturally. Remove the pork...

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Pork “Larb” with Sesame Cucumber Salad

Posted by on Jan 17, 2015 in Appetizers, Dinner, pork, potluck | 0 comments

Pork “Larb” with Sesame Cucumber Salad

  The other day, I had a recipe fail that turned into a delicious dinner. I love when that happens. The attempted recipe was for potstickers, the wrappers for which I was trying to make with Ottos Naturals cassava flour. I’ve found that cassava flour works great as a 1:1 sub in so many recipes, so I had expectations of a one try recipe success. Sometimes I’m overly-confident / hopeful about these things. I bet with a few more trials, I’d get it right. But after three or four, I decided to call it a day and cook up the remaining potsticker filling for dinner that night. This dish, made with ground meat (pork in this case, but you could use beef, chicken, duck or lamb, or just about any ground meat you’ve got on hand) is similar to larb, which is a Laotian minced meat salad that is also a staple on most Thai restaurant menus. It’s wonderful served over rice or cauliflower rice, in lettuce cups or over greens, or in a bowl with the cucumber salad piled on top. The reason I’m calling it “larb” and not simply larb is because ground rice powder is a main component of this dish when made traditionally. When should you make this dish? Well, it takes about 20 minutes, maybe 30 if you’re pokey in the kitchen, so is perfect as a quick weeknight meal. It’s also wonderful as an appetizer, especially if you plan on following it with other better-than-take-out favorites, such as: Thai Chicken Skewers with Peanut-Free Satay Sauce, Sesame Zucchini Noodles, Orange-Ginger Beef Stir-Fry or Pad Thai.   Pork “Larb” with Sesame Cucumber Salad   serves: 2 as a main course, 4-6 as an appetizer prep time: 15 minutes cooking time: 5 minutes   For the Cucumber Salad: 1 English cucumber, peeled and very thinly sliced (on a mandolin is ideal) 1 small shallot, very thinly sliced 1 tablespoon coconut aminos 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil 1 tablespoon rice or white wine vinegar 1 teaspoon fish sauce 1 teaspoon coconut sugar (simply omit if doing a Whole30 or 21 Day Sugar Detox) 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut aminos, sesame oil, vinegar, fish sauce and coconut sugar. Add the shallots, cucumber and half of the sesame seeds. Toss to combine. Set aside. Sprinkle the cucumber salad with the remaining sesame seeds and serve either on the side or piled on top of the pork. For the Pork: 1 pound pork 1/2 cup minced scallions (about 6-8) 1 tablespoon coconut aminos 1 teaspoon fish sauce 3 Thai bird eye chiles, crushed, or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 tablespoon coconut oil or other high heat oil 1/2 cup toasted cashews or macadamia nuts, minced small handful of mint leaves, minced juice of one lime, plus additional wedges for serving, if desired. In a large bowl, combine the pork, scallions, coconut aminos, fish sauce and crushed chiles. Mix well to combine. A gloved hand is perfect for this task. Heat a large skillet over high heat and add the oil. Once it’s shimmering, add the pork and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until cooked through. Break it up and stir as it cooks, but don’t stir more than you have to so it has a chance to brown a bit. Once the pork is cooked, stir in half of the minced nuts and half of the mint. Squeeze in the juice of one lime over the pork. Serve the pork over rice, cauliflower rice, in lettuce cups or over greens, sprinkled with the remaining nuts and mint. Serve with...

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The Zenbelly Cookbook Sneak Peek: Cocoa Chili Pork Shoulder

Posted by on Jun 5, 2014 in 21DSD, Dinner, pork | 4 comments

The Zenbelly Cookbook Sneak Peek: Cocoa Chili Pork Shoulder

The Zenbelly Cookbook, an epicurean’s guide to paleo cuisine is available for preorder! To celebrate the release of my very first cookbook, I will be sharing a recipe from it every week, so you get a sneak peek of what’s to come! And if you’re already excited, you can, of course preorder it HERE. What can you expect from The Zenbelly Cookbook, you ask? Good question! Here are the things I’m most excited about: How To’s: The beginning pages of The Zenbelly Cookbook are chock full of tips and techniques, complete with step by step photos to go with them. You’ll learn everything from how to source quality ingredients, to how to hold a knife, to how to cut up a whole chicken. Photos: 2 per recipe! Each recipe in the book has an ingredients photo (like the one below) and a plated photo (like the one above) I had so much fun doing both of these shoots, but mostly the ingredients shots. There’s something about organizing things neatly that brings me zen. Plus, I love how it gives a visual “before”, so you can see all of the ingredients you’ll be using. I hope you love them, too. Recipes! Duh, I know. But I’m so excited to share these recipes with you. While there are some favorites from the blog that just had to be included (like NY Style Pizza Crust and No Joke Chocolate Cake), about 100 out of the 110 recipes are brand new. Menus: I’ve included several menus for you, including an adventurous Thanksgiving spread, and a fancy multiple course dinner party menu that you can make 98% of ahead of time. Imagine how impressed your guests will be when you present them with an incredible dinner, all the while being nothing short of cool and collected. HOW DO YOU DO IT?! (Don’t worry, your secret’s safe with me!) I’m very excited to be sharing these little sneak peeks with you, and will plan on posting one every Wednesday for the next few months. So stay tuned, and subscribe if you don’t want to miss a post! (Don’t worry, I’ll never share or sell your email address, and the only time you’ll hear from me is when I post a new recipe, or have news directly relating to this blog or the book) This week, I’m sharing my recipe for cocoa-chile pork shoulder. The cocoa spice mix is just the thing to bring out the flavors of the pork, and a squeeze of lime at the end gives it the perfect brightness. I think you’re really going to love it, especially the lack of prep time it requires! For slow-cooker lovers: This recipe could easily be adapted using the instructions in Nom Nom Paleo’s Slow Cooker Kalua Pig recipe. cocoa-chili pork shoulder prep time: 10 minutes | cook time: 3 to 4 hours | serves: 4 with leftovers  1 teaspoon finely ground sea salt 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 1 teaspoon cocoa powder 1 teaspoon ground coriander ⅛ teaspoon chipotle powder ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon 4 pounds pork shoulder 5 to 6 cloves garlic, peeled 1 lime, halved small handful of fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional) • Preheat the oven to 300°F. • In a small bowl, mix together the salt, smoked paprika, cocoa powder, coriander, chipotle, and cinnamon. Rub it all over the pork and place in a Dutch oven. Scatter the garlic cloves in the pot. Cover the pot and place in the oven. • Cook for 3 to 4 hours or until fork tender. Allow to cool slightly before pulling it apart with two forks. Squeeze with fresh lime juice before...

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Grilled Pork Chops with Stone Fruit Slaw

Posted by on Jul 16, 2013 in Dinner, Paleo, pork, potluck | 14 comments

Grilled Pork Chops with Stone Fruit Slaw

Once in a while, I attempt to make pork chops without some kind of fruit concoction to go with them. It’s possible, I’ve done it. It’s fine. But I’m never quite as satisfied as when I have that classic combination of pork chops and fruit. Of course apple sauce is the most classic example, and one of my favorites. It is my go-to during the late fall and winter months, when apples and pears are where it’s at. But I’m 100% anti-apple in the summer. I know, it sounds harsh, but hear me out: First of all, they’re a fall crop. Those apples you see in stores in July? They’ve either been stored for damn near a year, or shipped from far far away. I’m not being an “eat local” snob here, really. I’m being a good old fashioned food snob. I have bitten into apples that I picked myself, and I have bitten into apples that are on supermarket shelves in July. They are two very different things. And yes, apple sauce that is jarred when the apples are in season is still delicious in July. But it’s the summer, and I LOVE summer fruit. I’m not wasting any fruit consumption on apples until it’s Autumn, and that’s that. The slaw that tops these thick, juicy, bone-in pork chops is simple to prepare, and good practice for improving your knife skills. To get even matchstick cuts from the stone fruit, slice 1/8 inch slices from barely ripe fruit, stack them, and slice 1/8 inch slices across. Make sure, as always, that your knife is sharp! Grilled Pork Chops with Stone Fruit Slaw (serves 4) For the Chops: 4 bone-in pork chops, about 1-1.5 inches thick (preferably pasture raised- I get mine from Fallon Hills) 1 teaspoon sea salt 1 teaspoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon ground paprika For the Slaw: 1 pound assorted firm stone fruit (peaches, plums, apricots, etc) 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle powder (or to taste, this amount will give it a good kick) 1 teaspoon lime zest 1 teaspoon lime juice pinch sea salt Preheat your grill to medium-high heat and remove your pork chops from the fridge. Combine the teaspoon of salt, cumin, coriander and paprika in a small bowl and stir to combine Divide the spice rub among the chops, making sure to coat both sides. Grill chops for about 5 minutes on each side, or until almost cooked through. Alternately, if you don’t have a grill, Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add your preferred cooking fat (lard would be a good choice here) Sear the chops for 5 minutes on each side, or until almost cooked through. Remove to a plate and cover loosely with foil, allowing them to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the slaw: Julienne fruit and place in a medium bowl. Mix in the chipotle powder, lime zest, lime juice, and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine. Serve the chops topped with the slaw, or alongside for guests to help themselves. Variations: I love the simplicity of this slaw, especially when stone fruit is at it’s very best. But feel free to add sliced green onions, grated ginger, toasted sesame oil, or other spices if you wish. All of the links on zenbellycatering.com are for information purposes, however some are affiliate links to books, products or services. Any sponsored posts are clearly labelled as being sponsored content. Some ads on this site are served by ad networks and the advertised products are not necessarily recommended by Zenbelly...

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Ginger Scallion Pork Meatballs (Guest Post at Paleo Parents)

Posted by on Jun 24, 2013 in 21DSD, Appetizers, Dinner, Paleo, pork, potluck, Whole 30 | 11 comments

Ginger Scallion Pork Meatballs (Guest Post at Paleo Parents)

If meatballs wore hats, these would wear many. This is one of those recipes that you can pull out at the last minute and whip up for lunch, dinner, a snack, or as hors d’oeuvres. My favorite kind of recipe is one that has big flavor with just a few ingredients. Bonus for minimal time spent. Double bonus for versatility. This recipe gets check marks for all of the above! Are you still picturing a meatball wearing a fedora? In all seriousness though, these have made an appearance at many parties that I’ve catered, and they’re always a hit. They are the perfect small bite. Flavor-wise, they pack a wallop. Best of all, they can be made ahead and they reheat beautifully, which is probably my #1 tip when it comes to entertaining: Make as much ahead of time as possible! Some serving suggestions: As hors d’oeuvres with toothpicks and a simple sauce of 2 parts coconut aminos to 1 part toasted sesame oil and a bit of grated fresh ginger. You can add honey and/or paleo friendly sriracha to taste, if desired. They make a great summer lunch with a light salad of thinly sliced cucumbers tossed with some ume plum vinegar (or your favorite variation), a drizzle of olive oil and fresh herbs such as cilantro, chives, and mint. Or paired with cold sesame noodles: 4 ounces of sweet potato or kelp noodles tossed with 2 T tahini, 1 T coconut aminos, 1 T sesame oil, some grated ginger, and a dash of sriracha if you like them spicy. They also happen to taste a lot like the inside of a wonton, so are great in bone broth. And I’d be lying if I said I never ate them cold, straight out of the fridge. Ginger Scallion Pork Meatballs Visit Paleo Parents for the recipe!  All of the links on zenbellycatering.com are for information purposes, however some are affiliate links to books, products or services. Any sponsored posts are clearly labelled as being sponsored content. Some ads on this site are served by ad networks and the advertised products are not necessarily recommended by Zenbelly...

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Free eBook: Essentials

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