Pulled Pork Taquitos with Chipotle-Ranch Dipping Sauce

October 2, 2013 in pork

I’m struggling these days with dinner. My husband is pretty strict paleo and I know the paleo diet would be good for my kids, but I feel bad inflicting it on them. I mean, I did about 5 months of paleo when my husband was deployed and well, that was enough for me. I no longer feel the need to deny myself the amazingness that is cheese. Or froyo. Or margaritas.

For the past few months I’ve been making a paleo meal one day, nonpaleo the next… and just repeating that pattern. The kids would eat sandwiches or cereal on the paleo days and my husband was on his own on the nonpaleo.

I finally figured out that all I have to do to keep everyone happy is cook a ton of meat and just use half of it in something delicious, like pasta or tacos or whatever. I am ashamed that it took me this long to figure it out.

So I made these for my kids last night and my husband had the remaining pork on a salad. The kids gobbled these up and they are complained that the sauce was too spicy but they kept right on eating.

The pork is slow cooked so it’s hands-off for the most part. At the end of the day all you have to do is shred it and roll it into tortillas with some tasty cheese. Mmm.

Two years ago: Bang Bang Shrimp
Three years ago: Funnel Cakes
Four years ago: Pumpkin Turtle Cupcakes

Pulled Pork Taquitos with Chipotle-Ranch Dipping Sauce

adapted from Iowa Girl Eats


3 – 3.5lb boneless pork loin
2 cups chicken brother
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces queso fresco, shredded (or Monterey Jack)
18 corn tortillas
guacamole and salsa, for serving
For the Chipotle-Ranch Dipping Sauce:
1 cup ranch dressing
1 Chipotle Pepper in Adobo Sauce + 1 teaspoon sauce


  1. Put pork loin in slow cooker. Add chicken broth, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Cover and cook on low for about 7 hours. At least point pork should be falling apart. Remove it to a plate and shred with two forks.
  2. Preheat oven to 425F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or spray with oil.
  3. Wrap 6 tortillas in damp paper towels and microwave for about 30 seconds to soften them. Place a heaping spoonful of pork on each tortilla followed by a spoonful of queso fresco. Roll and place seam side down on the baking sheet. Repeat using the remaining ingredients. Spray the tops of the taquitos with oil.
  4. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until golden and crunchy.
  5. While the taquitos are baking, make your sauce by combining the ranch, chipotle pepper in adobo and adobo sauce in a blender and blend until smooth.

Spicy Basil Pork

May 6, 2013 in pork

I realized recently that 1 pound of meat just isn’t going to work as dinner any longer in this house. Three growing boys plus a husband means this girl has been skipping dinner more often than not just because there isn’t enough! It usually doesn’t bother me but when I make something delicious and barely get a bite before it’s all gone, I get sad. And this meal made me sad.

You guys, it’s so good. I know the ingredient list looks like nothing special but I’m pretty sure I could’ve eaten this 5 days in a row without complaint. Y’all know I love pork and this pork was just spicy enough and had all my favorite Asian flavors. I’ve been hoarding recipes that call for Thai basil forever now because I’ve never seen in it stores but with my new herb garden I finally have access to Thai basil! Honestly, I’m not sure I could tell a difference between it and regular basil but it was fun to use it.

This pork is also incredibly quick to cook so it makes a perfect weeknight dinner.

One year ago: Almond Flounder Meuniere
Two years ago: Toureau de Chevre
Three years ago: Buckwheat Pancakes

Spicy Basil Pork

4 servings


1-2 tablespoons canola oil
1 shallot, minced
1 1/4 pound boneless pork chops, cut into 1-in. cubes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoons chili paste, like Sambal Oelek
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoon water
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup sliced basil leaves (preferably Thai)
white or brown rice, for serving
additional soy sauce and/or chili sauce, for serving


  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook 1 minute. Add pork and garlic to pan. Cook 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until meat is cooked through.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the fish sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce, chili paste, sugar, water, and corn starch together in a small bowl. Add fish sauce mixture to meat and cook 1 minute more or until mixture thickens slightly. Stir to coat entire mixture. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Serve over rice with extra soy sauce and/or chili sauce on the side.

Pork with Dijon Marsala Sauce

April 22, 2013 in pork

Part of the reason I haven’t been blogging is that I haven’t really been baking. And y’all know my blog has always been primarily fatty, sugary, sprinkled goodness. Most meals I make aren’t even blogworthy. A piece of meat and a couple different veggies is my go-to these days. I’m only “allowed” to make something carby and/or cheesy once a week (the night before my husband has to ruck) so yeah, food has been pretty boring lately.

I do occasionally sneak in meals like this. Ones that seem healthy at first – until you realize the sauce on top is mainly heavy cream. Whoops. To be fair though, you really only need a little bit of the sauce to get that fantastic Marsala flavor.

Marsala is definitely one of my favorite flavors ever and in this, it’s mixed with another of my favorites: dijon mustard. It’s so good! I seriously could have drank it. And pork is always good. It’s inexpensive and a nice change from the usual chicken.

One year ago: Butter Pecan Ice Cream
Two years ago: New York Style Coffee Cake
Three years ago: Stewed Chicken with Tomatoes, Cinnamon, and Preserved Lemons
Four years ago: Baked Brie

Pork with Dijon Marsala Cream Sauce

adapted from AllRecipes


1 pork tenderloin
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 shallots, minced
1 cup Marsala wine
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 cup heavy cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a baking dish with oil.
  2. Rub the pork tenderloin with 2 tablespoons of dijon mustard.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown the pork tenderloin on all sides and then transfer to the prepared baking dish.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Turn and continue cooking for another 20 minutes or until done.
  5. A few minutes before the pork is done, melt the butter over medium heat. Cook the shallots in the butter until soft. Stir in the Marsala, 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, and heavy cream. Bring to a simmer and cook until the liquid is reduced by about half.
  6. Slice pork and serve with the sauce.

Farfalle with Bacon and Endives

February 16, 2012 in pasta, pork

I have to be honest with y’all.

I haven’t been cooking or baking lately. Last night I cooked for the first time in a week. We have been going out every night because my husband won’t tell me what he wants to eat in his last little bit of time at home. So I thought about what I would want if the situation was reversed and I was going to be living off MREs for the next 9 months, and decided that I’d want to stuff myself with burritos the size of my head and drive-thru Chinese food before leaving. Home cooked meals? Psssh! I’d totally miss restaurants.

But the day before Valentine’s Day, this showed up on my doorstep:

It’s a bouquet of endives! How stinkin’ cute is it?!

Before those showed up, I’d never given endives much thought and I don’t think I’d ever tried one. But I couldn’t just let them go to waste.

So that’s how I ended up cooking after a week of not turning my stove on. (Except to boil coffee. Which my husband says doesn’t count as cooking, no matter how much I insist it does.)

The great thing about this pasta is that it’s really creamy without using any cream! You take a quart of chicken broth and boil it down – it gets really thick and makes your house smell amazing. Then at the end you stir in just a little Parmesan. Seriously good. If you have endives you don’t know what to do with, I definitely recommend this.

This was one of those recipes that could’ve gone either way with my husband but he LOVED it. As we speak, the leftovers are packed in his work bag so he can eat it for breakfast today.

Farfalle with Bacon and Endives

adapted from Food & Wine


1 quart chicken broth
1 pound farfalle
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ pound thickly sliced bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 medium Belgian endives, cored and sliced 1 inch thick
3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
¼ cup parsley, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper


  1. In a medium saucepan, boil the chicken broth over high heat until reduced to about 1 cup, approximately 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the farfalle until al dente.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the bacon and cook over moderately low heat until slightly crisp. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat. Add the endives to the skillet and cook over medium high heat, stirring, until the endives are just wilted but still crisp, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 20 seconds.
  4. Drain the farfalle and add it to the skillet. Add the reduced chicken broth, parsley, lemon zest and bacon and toss well. Remove from the heat. Stir in the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large bowl and hot with extra Parmesan sprinkled on top.

Sausage-Stuffed Shells

January 19, 2012 in pasta, pork

Last month my dear husband started talking about stuffed shells. He wanted them to be nothing but pasta shells stuffed with ricotta (just ricotta) and with sauce poured over the top. Informal Twitter poll told me not to do it but I figured I could at least make him a version I could be proud of.

My Sausage-Stuffed Shells have ricotta and sausage and Parmesan and lots of basil! And more cheese on top because duh, pasta needs cheese on top! They were delicious and even the husband had to admit that my shells were better than the ones he had wanted so badly.

I tend to use spicy Italian sausage in my pasta dishes so the sweet sausage was a fun change. If you prefer the spicy stuff, go ahead and use it! Or add some crushed red pepper flakes for a little heat. I made my olive cheese bread with it but the cheesy breadsticks I just posted would be awesome too!

Sausage-Stuffed Shells

adapted from Simply Recipes


1 12-ounce package jumbo pasta shells
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup onion, finely diced
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 large egg
16-ounces ricotta cheese
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
¼ cup unseasoned bread crumbs
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 28-ounce jar pasta sauce
1 cup mozzarella, shredded


  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta shells according to the instructions on the package. Drain, rinse in cold water, and set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage to the pan, breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon. Cook sausage until cooked through, and no pink remains, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds to a minute more. Remove pan from heat.
  4. Beat the egg lightly in a large bowl. Mix in the ricotta, Parmesan cheese, basil, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and sausage mixture. Fill each cooked pasta shell with some of the ricotta mixture.
  5. Spread ½ cup of pasta sauce over the bottom of 2 9x13-inch baking dishes. Arrange the stuffed pasta shells in the dishes. Spread the remaining sauce over the top of the pasta shells and top with mozzarella.
  6. Cover the pans with foil and bake for 30 minutes, until hot and bubbling. Remove foil and bake until the cheese is starting to brown, about 10 minutes.


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