Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Luck in the New Year

The Dutch and German in Pennsylvania eat Pork and Sauerkraut every New Year’s Day. It is a tradition that is supposed to bring luck to the new year. The Polish serve sauerkraut on New Year’s Day, it symbolizes money & wealth.

I am German and Polish. I don’t live in Pennsylvania and it isn’t New Year’s Day but i need some luck and money in my life so lets do it.

There are many versions of this dish: different cuts of pork- shoulder, ribs, loin, seasonings like toasted caraway seeds, paprika, added ingredients like apple, hot dogs, bratwurst, onions.

I used a more basic approach.

•3 lb Pork Loin Top Roast
•1 lb Polish Kielbasa
•4 lb sauerkraut
•salt, pepper, thyme
•2 tbl olive oil

Start off by rubbing the entire pork loin with salt, pepper, and thyme, olive oil. Then brown it on all sides.

Prepare slow cooker by placing 2 lbs of sauerkraut on the bottom, cut kielbasa in 3 inch sections and arrange around sides of cooker.

Put the browned Pork in the center and top it with remaining 2 lb sauerkraut. Cook on LOW setting for 8-10 hours.

After finishing meal, Luck and Money will soon follow!

Serve with a chilled German, Dutch, Polish, or any bottle of Beer.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Ultimate Appetizer: Bacon-Wrapped Smokies

The ultimate porky appetizer: Bacon Wrapped Lil’ Smokies topped with Brown Sugar

Smokies are made of pork and beef, a tiny version of a hot dog.

I used Center Cut Bacon which is lower in fat than other types of bacon.

Cut a bacon strip into thirds and wrap around a Lit’l Smoky. Stick a wooden toothpick into the smoky to hold bacon. Top with a healthy portion of brown sugar.

Place on a broiler tray and set oven to 350 degrees and bake for 45 minutes or until desired crispiness.

Let cool for a few minutes and serve with a cold beer and a televised sporting event.

so good!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pork Empanadas: Goya Discos Grandes

If you aren’t in the mood to handle dough or just simply don’t have the time, here is a simple and easy way to cut corners, Goya’s frozen Empanada Discos.

The pre-made empanada dough is ready to be filled. Just defrost and you’re ready to bake or deep fry.

Fill center of the disc with 2-3 tablespoons of filling.

Fold disc in half and crimp the edges of dough with a fork.

Apply an egg wash over the empanadas to give it a golden brown finish during baking.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes for desired golden color.

Simple, easy, quick, no need to mess around with masa or flour or lard. Avoid getting frustrated with making pastry and enjoy the countless foodie possiblities that empanadas provide.

Cerveza frio goes well with meal.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cooking Class: Pork Empanadas

Empanadas are a stuffed bread or pastry. The name comes from the Spanish verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread. There are many versions of the empanada depending on the country. This variety is stuffed with Pork and roasted tomato salsa.


•2lb pork shoulder
•1 onion, quartered
•4 cloves garlic
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•1 teaspoon dried oregano
•1 teaspoon ground cumin
•two bay leaves

To make the filling, place 2-3lb pork shoulder in a large pot and cover with water. Add the onion, garlic, salt, oregano, cumin, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 1.5 hours.

While pork is stewing, get the dough ready.

•1.5 cups all-purpose flour
•3/4 cup masa harina
•1 teaspoon baking powder
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•1/3 cup shortening
•1 egg, beaten
•1/2 milk

Sift the flour, masa harina, baking powder, and salt together. Add the shortening to the dry ingredients and mix well. In a seperate bowl, whisk egg and milk together.

Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and add the egg mixture and stir until the dough comes together into a ball. Divide up the dough into little balls, place into container, cover and refridgerate.

Meanwhile, prepare the roasted tomato salsa.

•2 jalapenos
•4 garlic, unpeeled
•15 oz can Muir Glen Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
•salt to taste
•lime juice to taste
Roast the garlic and jalapenos for about 15 minutes on the comal or in enough time to see blotchy black spots.

When finished, removes stems and garlic skins and puree in blender with tomatoes, cilantro, salt, and lime.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. When the pork has finished simmering, remove from liquid and place in the roasting pan. Bake for 1 hour or until meat shreds easily with a fork.

Remove from oven, let rest for 10 minutes under foil tent, then shred with a fork or knife. Add the pork and the salsa together.

On a floured surface, flatten dough with your palm and roll out dough to make a 6 inch circle. Add filling in the center of dough. Brush edges of dough with milk. Fold dough over filling and pinch edges together, crimp with a fork.

Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Cuban Fiesta

Masitas de Puerca Fritas con Moros y Cristianos y Tostones con Mojo

Deep Fried Pork Chunks with Black Bean and Rice served with Fried Plaintains topped with a Lime-Garlic sauce.

The Sirloin end roast of pork was cut into one-inch chunks and marinaded in a sour orange juice mix for about a day. Then braised in a pot for 30 minutes until water boiled down and fried in oil to achieve a crispy outside.

Moro y Cristianos refering to Moors (black) and Christians (white) is Cuba’s version of black beans and rice. Both are cooked together stewing with onions, green peppers, oregano, cumin, and garlic.

Tostones are deep-fried green plantains, fried to desired crunch and combined with a Cuban condiment, Mojo (Mo-Ho), a garlic-lime oil.

The dish is full of flavor and is enjoyed best with a side of cold beer.