Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork


Spice Rub:
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons table salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground white pepper
(From Cooks Illustrated)

Pork Sirloin Roast
2 C water (or substitute 1 C water and 1 C apple juice)
Your Favorite BBQ Sauce

Combine all spice rub ingredients in a bowl. Cover roast with spice rub and wrap in plastic wrap. Store in the fridge over night. In the morning, unwrap roast and place in your slow-cooker. Add water (or water and apple juice) to the slow-cooker, close lid, and cook on low for 10 hours. Remove roast and let rest. Discard liquid in slow-cooker. Shred meat and return to the slow-cooker. Add BBQ sauce to taste and allow to heat on high until hot. Serve on soft sandwich buns or sub rolls.

Adapted a bit from The Way the Cookie Crumbles


Puppy Chow


2 C chocolate chips
1 15oz. box Crispix or Rice Chex
1 C peanut butter
½ C butter
3 C powdered sugar

Heat chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in a sauce pan until melted – mix well. Combine cereal and chocolate mix. Stir until completely coated. Place powdered sugar in a bag, add cereal mix, and shake to coat.

Pot Stickers


Dumpling Skins:

2.5 cups all-purpose flour
1.25 cups boiling water

Place the flour in a mixing bowl and add the boiling water. With a wooden spoon, mix the ingredients to a rough ball. If the dough is too hot to handle, let it cool a bit; then turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and need for about 5 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic. If the dough is too sticky, need a few tablespoons of flour into it. Cover the dough and let it rest for 25 minutes. Cut the dough in two and form each half into a long snakelike roll about 1 inch in diameter. Cut each half into 25 pieces. with a cut edge down, press each into a circle. Using a small rolling pin or a tortilla press that has been lightly floured, roll out each piece into a 3-inch circle. Cover the circles with a cloth or towel to prevent drying. Makes enough for 50 dumplings.

Pork Filling:

1.5 cups finely minced Napa cabbage
1 tsp. salt
.75 pounds ground pork
1 cup finely minced Chinese garlic chives, leeks, or scallion greens

2 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. rice wine (shaohsing)
2 Tbs. sesame oil
1.5 tsp. minced ginger
1.5 tsp. minced garlic

Place the minced cabbage in a large mixing bowl, add the salt, toss lightly to mix evenly, and let sit for 30 min. (this is done to remove the water from the cabbage, so the filling will not soak through the dumpling skin.) Take a handful of minced cabbage and squeeze out as much water as possible. Place the cabbage in a mixing bowl. Squeeze out all the cabbage and discard water. Add the pork, minced chives, and “dumpling seasoning”. Stir vigorously in to combine the ingredients evenly. (If the mixture seems loose, add 2 Tbs. cornstarch to bind it together.)

Place a heaping tablespoon of filling in the center of each dumpling skin, and fold the skin over to make a half-moon shape. Spread a little water along the edge of the skin. Use the thumb and index finger of one hand to form small pleats along the outside edge of the skin; with the other hand, press the two opposite edges of the skin together to seal. The inside edge of the dumpling should curve in a semicircular fashion to conform to the shape of the pleated edge. Place the sealed edge dumplings on a baking sheet that has been lightly dusted with cornstarch or flour.

In a large wok or pot, bring about 3qts of water to a boil. Add half the dumplings, stirring immediately to prevent them from sticking together, and heat until the water begins to boil. Add 1/2 cup cold water and continue to cook over high heat until the water boils. Add another 1/2 cup cold water and cook until the water boils again. Remove and drain. Cook the remaining dumplings in the same manner. (this is the traditional method of cooking dumplings; for a simpler method, boil for about 8 minutes, uncovered, on high heat. Serve the cooked dumplings with one (or many) of the dipping sauces found below.

Dipping Sauces:

Dipping Sauce I
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 Tbs. Chinese Black vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. shredded ginger root or minced garlic (optional)

Combine all ingredients.

Dipping Sauce II
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 Tbs. Chinese Black vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. chili oil or chili paste with garlic
1 Tbs. shredded ginger root or minced garlic (optional)

Combine all ingredients.

Dipping Sauce III (A spicy one)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1T rice wine
1T rice wine vinegar
2t sugar
1T minced scallion
1.5T minced garlic
2T sesame oil
2t chili oil or chili paste

Combine all ingredients.

Dipping Sauce IV
½ cup soy sauce
3 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. Shredded or finely minced ginger
¼ cup white sugar
¼ cup and 1 Tbs. brown sugar

Mix together all ingredients and heat in a sauce pan until all ingredients are combined (or until there is no sugar at the bottom of the pan).

Alternate Cooking Method:

25 dumplings:
3.5 Tbs. peanut oil
5 meat dumpling from above
1 cup boiling water

Heat a large wok or well-seasoned skillet until very hot. Add three tablespoons of oil and heat until hot. Place the dumplings in the pan, pleated side up. Fry the dumplings over medium heat until their bottoms are a deep golden brown. Add the boiling water to the pan and cover. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes. Uncover, and pour out the water. Lightly rinse the dumplings for 5 seconds under hot running water to remove excess starch*. Drain. Place the pan containing the dumplings over medium-high heat. Drizzle 1/2 Tbs. of oil around the dumplings and fry until the bottoms are again crisp (about 2 minutes). Loosen any dumplings that seem to be stuck to the bottom. * I have only had to rinse when I have made the skins myself.

Most of this came from the book Nina Simonds, “Classic Chinese Cuisine”, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1982.

Beer Lime Grilled Chicken


2 limes, juiced
1 (12 fluid ounce) can light colored beer
1 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp garlic powder
4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper
1 lb. chicken tenderloins or chicken breasts

In a bowl, mix the lime juice, beer, honey, garlic, cilantro, and salt and pepper until the honey dissolves. Pour the mixture over the chicken, cover and marinate for 30 minutes. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat and lightly oil grate. Remove chicken from marinade and shake off excess; discard remaining marinade. Grill chicken until tender and juices run clear, about 7 minutes per side.

Famous Butter Chicken


2 eggs, beaten
1 cup crushed buttery round cracker crumbs
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
ground black pepper to taste
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves pounded thin or 1 package chicken tenderloins
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Place eggs and cracker crumbs in two separate shallow bowls. Mix cracker crumbs with garlic salt and pepper. Dip chicken in the eggs, then dredge in the crumb mixture to coat. Arrange coated chicken in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Place pieces of butter around the chicken. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

Stuffed Shells


1 small tub low fat ricotta
1 package mozzarella cheese, grated (reserve 1/4 for topping)
parmesan cheese, grated to taste
asiago cheese, grated to taste
dash of nutmeg
Italian seasoning to taste
dash of salt
marinara sauce
large shell pasta, cooked

Mix all but the pasta and sauce together. Fill cooked pasta shells with filling. Place in a baking dish and pour sauce over assembled shells. Sprinkle reserved mozzarella on top. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Sweet Chili


2 lbs. ground beef
2 large onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 can (28oz.) whole tomatoes
1 can (28oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (16oz.) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
½ C packed light-brown sugar
1 lb. cooked elbow macaroni

shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream

In a large nonstick pot, brown beef, onion, and garlic for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chili powder, salt, cumin, pepper, and oregano. Cook for 2 minutes until fragrant. Drain liquid from tomatoes into pot; roughly chop tomatoes using kitchen shears and add. Fill can with water and add to pot along with tomato sauce, beans, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes. Serve over cooked elbow macaroni. Garnish with cheese and sour cream if desired.