CIC: Pears & Red Pepper Flakes

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I’m {finally} back with another Crazy Ingredient Challenge!

This month’s mission: to combine pears and red pepper flakes.

As I informed my husband of the task at hand I was also creating my menu and grocery list. I thought about the proteins that were in the freezer and the lightbulb went off.

Barbecue pork!

Why not make a barbecue sauce with the pears and add in the red pepper flakes for kick?

Pear Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwich | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

I made the barbecue sauce in the morning and then added it to the slow cooker along with my bone-in pork shoulder. I shredded the pork when it was ready, put it in a container, and headed out the door to Pure Barre. When I came home, all I had to do was assemble a sandwich on my favorite pretzel bun for an easy dinner.

Well, actually, I had to first put the boys to bed. But then I got to eat my sandwich! I had more for lunch the next day, too. Having the pork for lunch was really the best thing about it!

Pear Barbecue Pulled Pork

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 C tomato paste
  • 1 C apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 C dark brown sugar
  • 2 red Anjou pears, diced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 2 1/2 – 3 lb bone-in pork shoulder, trimmed of extra fat
  • 6-8 pretzel buns

Steps:

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, season with salt, and saute until translucent. Add the fennel seeds and cook until the onion become golden. Stir in the cinnamon and tomato paste and cook 3 minutes. Add the vinegar, sugar, pears, and pepper flakes. Bring sauce to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, until pears are tender. Let cool slightly.
  2. Transfer sauce to a blender and puree until smooth. (If the sauce is still warm, be sure to cover the top of the blender with a kitchen towel.)
  3. Place a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a slow cooker. Season pork with S+P and place in slow cooker. Cover with 1 C of the pear barbecue sauce. Cook on LOW 8 hours.
  4. Shred pork with two forks. Serve with extra barbecue sauce on a pretzel bun.

*The barbecue sauce is adapted from http://usapears.org/recipe/pear-barbecue-sauce-with-chile-and-spice/*

Pear Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwich for Crazy Ingredient Challenge from Sew You Think You Can Cook

To see the other bloggers who participated in this month’s Crazy Ingredient Challenge click on the link below.

BBQ Pulled Pork Pasta

Once upon a time I saw a bbq spaghetti on an episode of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. I couldn’t shake the urge to try it, so when we had a lot of leftover pulled pork from the Super Bowl I knew I’d have to make some barbecue pasta sauce. Because I stored the leftover pork and sauce separately I used a bottled barbecue sauce instead of the Carolina BBQ for this recipe.

I just loved this mashup of cuisines. It takes your tastebuds a moment to get over the “culture shock” of a spicy, smokey, sweet sauce instead of the expected acidic tomato sauce.

I urge you, the next time you have leftover pulled pork, do something a little different and try this barbecue pasta instead!

BBQ Pulled Pork Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 C dry pasta
  • 1 C tomato sauce
  • 3/4 C barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 C water
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 C chopped fresh basil (I used Gourmet Garden lightly dried herbs)
  • 2 C cooked, pulled pork
  • 2 scallions, sliced

Steps:

  1. Cook pasta in boiling salted water, until al dente. Drain.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine tomato sauce, barbecue sauce, water and tomato paste. Bring sauce to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir in the herbs and pulled pork.
  3. Put drained pasta into the pasta sauce. Garnish with the scallions.

*This recipe is adapted from Anna at http://hiddenponies.com/2013/05/bbq-pulled-pork-pasta/*

BBQ Pulled Pork Pasta is a fantastic way to use up leftover pulled pork! From Sew You Think You Can Cook

Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken with Apple Cider Vinegar BBQ Sauce

As summer vacations are winding to a close there’s some denial in the “back to the grind” busy schedules. That doesn’t mean you need to give up on perfect summer fare just yet!

Pulled meat (typically pork) sandwiches slathered with barbecue sauce are one of those meals that have you thinking of picnic tables and summer get togethers.

I have adjusted an Anne Burrell recipe from the January/February 2014 edition of Food Network Magazine (Anne Burrell’s Pulled Pork Sliders) to utilize the slow cooker, meaning you don’t need to turn on the oven or be stranded at home while it roasts away. You could even make the BBQ sauce in advance if you didn’t wan, or have the time, to be at the stove 30 minutes before dinner. I used chicken instead of pork because that’s what I already had in my freezer, if you want pork she used a 3 lb Boston butt pork roast.

Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 bottle (12 oz) beer (I used a summer ale)

Steps:

  1. Season chicken with S+P. Place in the bottom of a slow cooker.
  2. In a small bowl combine paprika, garlic powder, brown sugar, mustard powder, and cayenne. Sprinkle over the chicken.
  3. Pour beer into the slow cooker. Cook on LOW 5-7 hours until the chicken shreds easily.
  4. Serve as a sandwich, wrap or salad with thinly sliced apple, red onion, lettuce, and apple cider vinegar bbq sauce (recipe below).

Apple Cider Vinegar BBQ Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 C apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed (I used 1 tsp Gourmet Garden garlic paste)
  • 1 Fresno chili pepper, deseeded and halved (I used 1 tbsp Gourmet Garden lightly dried chili pepper)
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard

Steps:

  1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat then reduce to a simmer. Cook 20 – 30 minutes, or until a desired consistency is achieved. Remove the garlic and chili pepper, if used.

Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken with Apple Cider Vinegar BBQ Sauce | Sew You Think You Can Cook

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A BBQ Potluck

This month a smaller than normal group got together for some barbecue food. Due to scheduling conflicts with the neighborhood clubhouse we had to meet on a Thursday instead of a Tuesday. It’s also travel season now that school’s out. But that didn’t stop us from having some fantastic food!

BBQ potluck

Here is a sampling of the recipes brought to the BBQ potluck:

I am really excited for our meeting in a couple of weeks when we’re having breakfast!!