There is no fear of pork in our home. So, when I saw a recipe for apple cider pulled pork the other day, I thought that sounded like a good way to use up some apples from our CSA share. No problem. Easy recipe, too. All you do is plunk a nice sized pork shoulder roast in the crock pot with a couple of cored apples, a yellow onion, about a 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, one cup of water and a sprinkle of cinnamon over the top. Leave it on low and go to work. Done.
I was even inspired enough to find some cute little soft pretzel rolls to serve the pulled pork on for dinner. Sounds, pretty yummy, right? Too bad that’s not how it went down. Oh, but nooooooooooo … we had to take this to the next level. For real. Brilliant flash of lightning! Ka-pow!
A side effect of a few weeks of not really doing anything with the jalapenos that were in the CSA share has left me with a nice little pile of peppers. I felt that these needed to get some use. Like, now.
Over the weekend, I saw a bacon-wrapped jalapeno popper recipe that sounded pretty decent but I wasn’t really interested in cream cheese. I wanted something more …
How about pulled pork, a dab of BBQ sauce and cheddar cheese stuffed into these pretty peppers?? Boo-ya! Now we’re talkin’!
Check this out:
No recipe. No instructions. Just do it. I cleaned the peppers and then baked these hotties up for about ten minutes at 350. There was a nice little afterburner of hot but not so much that your face burned off or anything. Perfect!
Prunes. Until now, I had honestly not ever even seen a real, live fresh prune. I have only ever been not-so-privileged to see the dehydrated kind at the store. And, well, those are for old people with digestive problems. Or, that’s what I thought …
These are beautiful. They look so harmless. Like little plums. Yummy even …
I don’t know why but I was surprised by their interior color and little pit. I was a little afraid to try them.
Totally good! The texture is a little different but not bad and the flavor was just lightly sweet.
OK — what the heck! Prunes for dinner! One quick Google search later and I found a nice Food Network recipe from Melissa D’Arabian for Pot Roast Carbonnade.
Then, life happened. I forgot to bring home the meat to cook in the crockpot. I was in a hurry, etc. Dinner still needed to happened but it was more of a bad episode of Chopped/Iron Chef/Rachel Ray than the friendly, cute (and organized) Melissa. Here’s my short cut recipe:
- One decent size chuck roast or similiar cut of beef
- Handful of fresh prunes, cleaned and pitted
- About a cup of balsamic vinegar
I seared the chuck roast on both sides to get a nice crust on the outside, seasoned heavily with salt and pepper, then, covered it to cook through while I made side dishes.
In another pan, I fried up some fresh, new potatoes. Nothing fancy, just get some seasoning on them and cook.
I also had some fresh green beans. Clean ’em and get in hot water to steam. Finish with seasonings and just a touch of butter for velvelty flavor.
Now, for the prunes. I chopped them up a little bit so they wouldn’t be all gigantic, dropped them in a sauce pot and covered them in balsamic vinegar. The whole mix just needs to boil down a bit to make a nice reduction sauce. Trust me, this is going to be good!
The sweet-tart of the balsamic vinegar and the prunes melted together and really made a nice sauce over the chuck roast (which was NOT the best cut of meat). I think the sauce saved dinner and I highly recommend trying it.
Prunes are good stuff! If you get a chance, try the fresh ones. They’re not just for old people.
So, that big bag o’ wonderful cherries was starting to turn south on me (in a hurry!) and I thought I needed to find some way to save them. My mom said “just freeze them.”
I knew this required pitting them. And, if I was going to pit them, I wanted to do something a little more amazing than the standard ziploc freezer bag.
Oh, ya. It was time for the big guns. You know what I’m talkin’ bout … BOOZE!
And, thanks to my trusty friend, Google, I learned a new trick to pitting a cherry. Keep reading … I’ll share.
The tools of my trade (and the crime scene before I made a complete mess). Cherries, jars and a straw?
Here’s the trick: You take a pretty sturdy straw (not just the disposable kind) and stick it into a cherry where the stem grows. On the smaller, Rainier cherries, I didn’t have to even push the straw all the way through, the straw was just the right size to release the pit. On the Bing cherries, I usually had to push it all the way through the whole cherry. Not too difficult, but a little messy.
I had a pretty cute little helper that thought it was hilarious to look through the cherries and, then, put them on his fingers (in olive-eating fashion).
Aren’t they gorgeous? I hope there are more in this week’s CSA box. (I know. After all of the cherry drama from last week, I’ll be surprised to see what happens. Check it out here.)
You might be wondering what I did with all of these glorious cherries. Well, there was a significant loss factor from my helper eating more than I could pit but I did manage to save some of them. (mwuh ha ha–evil laugh)
Mmmmmm. Booze Hound Maker’s Mark Cherries, what’s not to love?
And, BONUS RECIPE TIME, cherry pit vinegar. Just add apple cider vinegar to the jar of leftover pits and soak. I’m hoping for a a nice cherry vinegarette dressing in the future.
Whaddya think? Do you want to come over for one of my fancy salads and eat some boozed up cherries? (I’m sure there will be a follow-up post to this with some ridiculous drunken typos on a later date.)