Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Feel Good Heels

“Funny that a pair of really nice shoes
makes us feel good in our heads — 
at the extreme opposite end of our bodies.
 -Levende Waters

I couldn't agree more.   Whenever I'm feeling a bit down, a little retail shoe therapy does the trick, gets me right out of that funky mood.  Not sure why...maybe it's because it doesn't matter if you're having a bad hair day, or you've yet to lose those few extra pounds, or maybe it's because when you put on those sexy high heels you instantly grow a few inches and look like you've dropped a few pounds. Here are a few hot new styles, that won't break your bank.


Jessica Simpson Evangela 2 - B Cheetah Pony:
Night Moves by Allure - Women's Shimmer
Chinese Laundry - Party Time Kimono

Carlos by Carlos Santana - Women's Joplin

Monday, February 27, 2012

Vegged-Out Chili

TGIM!  OK, I'm sure everyone doesn't feel that way,  unless of course, you really love your job, or your happy the kiddies are out of the house and back in school, or you've been looking forward to another Meatless Monday recipe!
On the menu...Vegged Out Chili.  Don't let the long ingredient list scare you away.  This recipe should take no more than 15 minutes to prep, then just let it simmer on the stove.  Most of the work involves opening cans, spice jars and frozen veggie packages.



2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 bell peppers (1 each red and green), chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (depends on how spicy you like it)
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
2 cups frozen edamame, thawed
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
1 15-ounce can chick peas, drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a  6-quart stockpot.  Add onion and salt and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until tender.  Add peppers, zucchini and garlic and cook about 4 minutes until vegetables are slightly softened.

Stir in chili powder, cumin and chipotle powder and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in tomatoes with their juice, Worcestershire, corn, and edamame and bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce heat, cover and simmer about 20 minutes or until veggies are tender.  Stir in black beans and chick peas and cook 5 minutes or until heated through.

Stir in cilantro and serve, if desired, with shredded queso fresco, sour cream and/or diced avocado.


Chili can be served over rice or mashed potatoes, or in taco shells or tortillas.
Try mixing it with cooked white rice to make burritos or enchiladas.
You may even want to whip up a double batch!
Leftover chili also freezes nicely for use another time.



Sunday, February 26, 2012

Creamy Mediterranean Dip


Looking for some crowd pleasing ideas for you Oscar Party?  This creamy dip is not only delicious, but it's virtually fat free.  Made with rich and creamy Greek style yogurt, you can enjoy a guilt free indulgence as you watch all of the star studded action.



1 16 ounce container Greek Style non fat yogurt* 
3/4 cup finely chopped sun dried tomatoes (not oil packed)
4 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup chopped walnuts

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Chill about 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.  Garnish with additional sliced green onion and basil if desired.

Serve with assorted cup up veggies.

*You can use fat free sour cream as a substitute for the Greek yogurt.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Time Saving Tips -

To Peel or Not to Peel?
 

Hate making mashed potatoes because it takes so long to peel them?  Make the switch to red potatoes and skip the peeling.   Simply cut the potatoes into chunks, cover with water and add a little salt.  Boil, drain, then mash with milk and butter.  Saves time, tastes delicious, and even looks pretty!  Plus, there's the added bonus of retaining those nutrients that you would normally throw out with the peel.


Academy Award Winning Heels


All That Glitters.....


Enzo Agnolini Show You

Fergie Bizarre Too Glitter Pump

Bebe Tristan Glitter Pump

Steve Madden Playy-R

Friday, February 24, 2012

Nutella-tini

The end of another long week; it's time to be nice to yourself.  Treat yourself to something a little indulgent.
          Chocolate and hazelnut liquors, shaken up with vodka...
Close your eyes and you'll think you're drinking Nutella... a very grown up Nutella!

Nutella-tini

1 ounce Godiva chocolate liquor
1 ounce Frangelica
1 ounce Vodka

Add all ingredients to an ice filled shaker.  Shake well and pour into chilled martini glass.

Cheers!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cod in Fennel and Tomato Broth

If you're abstaining from meat this Ash Wednesday and looking for dinner ideas, this recipe is sure to please the whole family - especially the cook because it's super easy.  I paired the cod with fennel as it's one of my favorite veggies and works so well with seafood.


Cod in Fennel and Tomato Broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, sliced
1 sweet onion, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 large tomato, chopped (or 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice)
1/8 teaspoon saffron threads (optional)
3/4 cup white wine
1 cup vegetable broth
1-1/2 pounds cod

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the fennel, onion and celery and salt and cook for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are very tender, stirring occasionally.  Add the garlic and cook 1 minute.  Add the tomato and saffron and continue to cook for 2 minutes to allow the tomato to break down.  Add the wine, increase heat to high and allow to boil for 2 minutes, then add the vegetable broth and return to a boil.

Add cod, reduce heat to low.  Allow cod to simmer gently for about 6 to 8 minutes or until cod is done (it will flake easily when tested with a fork).

Serve with polenta, mashed cauliflower, rice or crusty bread.


Check out Fennel 101 if your not familiar with this veggie.



Fennel 101


Fennel is one of my favorite vegetables because of its unique flavor and versatility.  This bulb shaped veggie has a sharp licorice-like flavor when it's raw, making it a surprising addition to salads or crudites.  When cooked, the flavor mellows.  The large bulb can be quartered, sliced or diced, much in the same way as an onion.  It's receptive to almost any cook method you can think of.

Look for fennel in the produce section of your supermarket. It's sometimes (incorrectly) referred to as anise, as they are similar in flavor.  This bulbous veggie, has short stalks and feathery green leaves near the top.  (It looks a bit like a short, fat bunch of celery.)  You will sometime see it cut down, without the leaves, in which case it's likely that it's been trimmed down and not as fresh, so check carefully.  Look for bulbs that are clean, firm and solid, without signs of splitting, bruising or spotting.  If you don't intend to use it right away, store in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.

Fennel is composed of three parts, the bulb, stalks and leaves, all of which are edible.   Fennel can be cut in a variety of sizes and shapes, depending on the recipe and your preference.   Thick slices or quarters can be tossed with salt, pepper, and olive oil; then grilled or roasted.  Thinly slice, dice or julienne for salads or sauteing.  Fennel is particularly delicious when caramelized along with some sweet onions.  The tops of the stalks tend to be tough so should not be eaten raw.  The tough stalks as well as the leaves can be used for soups, stocks or stews. 


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Monday, February 20, 2012

Black Bean Burgers

Frozen black bean burgers have been a staple in my house for the past few years for a quick go-to veggie dinner.  When you put them on a bun with some avocado, lettuce and tomato they are all quite good.  So good, in fact, that I've never had the desire to make my own.  But then I found myself with some leftover black beans and no vegetarian option for dinner, so decided to give it a try.  I kept the recipe simple using ingredients that  I found in the fridge or in my pantry.  These burgers took about 5 minutes to pull together and have no added fat or salt.  I did use a bit of oil to saute them as they are too soft to stand up to the grill.  They're so delicious, you can forgo the bun and toppings.



Black Bean Burgers

2 cups black beans, drained and mashed
1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs (you can just crumble up a slice of bread)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 chopped green onions
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder
1 small clove garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil



Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mash with a fork until well combined.  Shape into 4 patties.  The patties will be very soft. (I found it easiest to gently divide the bean mixture into four balls, add to the skillet and then flatten.)   Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet and cook patties over medium heat for about 5 to 6 minutes on each side until browned and crisp.  Serve, if desired, with avocado cream.


Avocado cream:
1 very ripe avocado, mashed
1 tablespoon lime juice
3 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients and mix well until smooth.   A wire whisk will work well, if you want it very smooth process in a food processor or blender.


These burgers were so delicious, when I saw one leftover in the fridge the next morning, I just couldn't wait until dinner time.  I topped it with a fried egg and served it with sliced avocado for breakfast.  Great brunch idea, especially paired with a tequila Bloody Mary (hmm, guess I now have Friday's cocktail recipe on deck!)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sweet & Spicy Margarita

It took me awhile to realize what it was about Margarita's that I enjoyed so much (other than the tequila!).  Then I  realized, it's the layers of the flavors - the combination of sweet, salty, sour and bitter - that really make your taste buds come alive.  The subtly sweet flavor of St. Germain, made from elderflower, works nicely to balance the tequila.  And the addition of spicy jalapeno, definitely kicks it up a notch! 


Sweet & Spicy Margarita

2 ounces Cazul, Don Julio or Patron tequila
1 ounce St. Germain (Elderflower liquor)
1/2 ounce lime juice
1/2 of a jalapeno with seeds
coarse salt

Rim margarita glass with lime wedge to moisten, then dip in salt to coat rim.

Add remaining ingredients to ice filled shaker.  Then shake it baby, shake it!  You need to shake this really well to get the heat from the jalapeno.
Strain into margarita glass and garnish with jalapeno.  (If any seeds slip through the strainer, be sure to remove them unless you like it really hot!)

Here's to a spicy weekend!  Cheers!

And whip up a quick batch of delicious Guacamole to have with your margaritas!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Chocolate and Strawberries

Sometimes the best things are the simplest things. 
Chocolate and Strawberries ~ nothing more, nothing less.

Here's how:
     Melt Chocolate.
          Dip Strawberries.
               Chill.
                    Serve with champagne and candlelight. 


If you need a little more info, here you go:

1 cup chopped good quality chocolate
1 tablespoon shortening
strawberries, washed and dried

Combine chocolate and shortening in a 1 cup glass measure.  Microwave on High 1 minute.  Stir. Microwave 30 seconds and stir until smooth.  If needed, microwave 15 seconds and stir again.  Be careful not to overcook or chocolate will become hard.

Dip strawberries in melted chocolate and arrange on parchment covered tray or baking sheet. Refrigerated until read to serve.




To create a swirl design, melt a small amount of white chocolate.  Pour some chocolate into a small custard cup. 



  Add about 3 small dollops of melted white chocolate, run a skewer or the tip of a knife through the chocolate.  Dip strawberries into chocolate and twist before pulling out. 





 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Eggplant Napoleon


Meatless Mondays come around all too fast.  But today's MM recipe should put a smile on your face.  This lasagna-like dish uses puff pastry instead of pasta to make it elegant enough for a romantic Valentine dinner.  It's not as complicated as it looks and the best part is that it can be assembled ahead of time and popped into the oven just before serving.
Eggplant Napoleon

1 9 by 9-inch sheet puff pastry, thawed

Caramelized Onions:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large sweet onion, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Eggplant:
1 medium eggplants (about 1 to 1-1/4 pounds each ), peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Cheese Mixture:
2 cups ricotta
1 cup marscapone cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt to taste

1/2 cup sun dried tomato pesto (store bought or follow the link to recipe)

Cut puff pastry into 3 3x9-inch pieces.  Place on baking sheet and bake according to package directions.  Cool, then gently split each piece in half lengthwise so you have 6 3x9-inch pieces.  Set aside.
While the pastry is baking start caramelizing the onions.  In large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, add onion and salt and cook over medium low heat for about 20 minutes or until onion is very tender and golden, stirring often.
While the onions are cooking, prep the eggplant.  Brush eggplant slices with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange slices on baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes until just tender.
Combine cheeses; set aside.

Assembly:
Arrange 3 bottom halves of puff pastry on a baking sheet.  Top each piece with a layer of eggplant slices, spread with a thin layer of pesto, then a thin layer of cheese mixture, then some of the caramelized onion, ending with another layer of eggplant brushed with the pesto.  Repeat the layer.

Bake at 350 degrees until hot and cheese is melted.

You can assemble the napoleons up to the point just before baking and keep refrigerated until ready to bake.  You may need to add about 5 minutes to the cook time if they are very cold.

Make individual Napoleons for a dinner buffet or first course.  Simply cut puff pastry into 9 individual 3x3 inch squares and then layer as above.





Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

Blend up a batch and keep on-hand for quick dinners and easy entertaining.
 



1 cup sun dried tomatoes
1/4 cup basil
1/4 cup pine nuts (or walnuts)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup extra virgin olive oil






 


Combine all ingredients except oil in the bowl of a food processor and process until tomatoes are finely chopped.  With processor running, pour oil slowly into mixture and process until smooth.




 

Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.  Toss with hot cooked pasta, spread on toasted bread for a quick crostini, spread on a pizza crust and top with fresh mozzarella and basil, the possibilities are endless!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Restaurant Review - The DaVinci Room

It's nice to see something other than chain restaurants opening their doors in Bayonne.  The DaVinci room is a welcome addition to Bayonne's local restaurant scene.  They tout themselves as upscale fine Italian dining with a twist, and the restaurant lived up to its promise.  Local and organic ingredients are used whenever possible.  Decor is beautiful, service was excellent and the food did not disappoint. The $20 Pre-fixe menu that's available Tuesday through Thursday had a lot of great choices and is a deal that's just too good to pass up.
BBQ Pork "Panino"
 
 Our table of 4 ordered appetizers to share.  Arancini de Blanco (rice balls with Attiki honey) were beautifully presented but the cheese was a bit too sharp for our taste even with the honey to offset.  Two specials, Zucchini Frites and Mussels in Spicy red sauce were delicious.  The  highlight was BBQ Pork "Panino" which was their take on pulled pork, with a green apple slaw and espresso barbecue sauce, had great flavor and beautiful presentation.

Dueling vegetable Amuse Bouche
 
 A dueling vegetable amuse bouche was served between courses.  An asparagus and broccoli puree with wild mushrooms laced with truffle oil was so mouthwatering, it left you wanting more.
 
Shrimp Carciofi
 
Orange and Citrus Brushed Salmon
For our entrees, Carbonara Classica didn't disappoint; this classic take was prepared with bacon, egg and Pecorino Romano.  Vodka Siciliano was very good, although different from a typical creamy vodka sauce. It was rich and hearty with wild mushrooms. Oregano and Citrus Brushed Salmon served on a Spinach Fontina Phllyo Spiral and Butternut Squash Puree was also delicious.  The salmon was perfectly seared, presentation was excellent.  There was a hint of truffle to the dish, not overwhelming.  Dinner highlight was Shrimp Carciofi.  Served with cappelini, artichoke hearts, wild mushroom in a Citrus-Herb Brodette, the dish had wonderful, bright flavor and the shrimp were cooked to perfection. 
Cannoli Cheesecake
 
Dessert was a sampling of Espresso Ice Cream, Chocolate Mousse Cake, and Cannoli Cheesecake.  The Marscapone cheesecake with a Cannoli Crust is worth a trip to the DaVinci Room for that alone!
 
 
Cocktails were nicely prepared. I do judge a restaurant by its olives and the martini's came with 3 large Queen olives (of course, blue cheese stuffed olives get the highest ranking!).  $8 martini's and $6 (nice big) glasses of wine were quite reasonable. Chef Arthur paid a visit to our table after our meal.  His passion for his food was evident from our conversation.  Pay him a visit, and tell him Meals, Heels and Cocktails sent you!
The DaVinci Room, 165 Broadway, Bayonne

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Margarita Shrimp with Spicy Cocktail Sauce

Here's a quick and easy recipe to get your Valentine's Night off to the right start.

Margarita Shrimp with Spicy Cocktail Sauce


Shrimp:
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups margarita mix with tequila*
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Cocktail sauce:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon catsup
1 tablespoon horseradish
2 teaspoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

Combine shrimp, margarita mix and cilantro.  Marinate for about an hour.  Strain shrimp from marinade.  Pour marinade into a deep skillet and bring to a boil over high heat.  Add shrimp and simmer uncovered about 5 minutes or until shrimp turn pink.  Remove shrimp and allow to cool.

For cocktail sauce, combine all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve shrimp with cocktail sauce and Margaritas!



*This is a great way to use up leftover cocktail mixes.  If you don't have margarita mix you can sustitute 1/4 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup lime juice,  and 1/4 cup tequila for the marinade.  When poaching add 1 cup of water to the marinade.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Valentine Heels...yes please!

Counting down to Valentine's Day and I hear the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, but I KNOW the way to my heart is through my feet.   Here are a few things that will make me happy from head to toe this Valentine's Day.
Michael Antonio - Tochi
Steve Madden - erykka


Michael Antonio - Rosalind


Luichiny - Eye Doll

Steve Madden - HOTTNESS




Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pass on the salt, please.



We all know what February 14 is, but do you know that February is Heart month?  While February 14 is all about taking care of your loved ones heart with romantic dinners and  red roses and dark chocolate, every other day in February should be about taking care of your heart.  "How?" you ask.  Here's how:  by putting healthy foods in your body or better yet, leaving unhealthy foods out.  No not vodka or tequila...I'm talking about salt.  Salt is the main source of sodium for most people, and sodium increases the risk of high blood pressure, a major cause of heart disease and stroke. 

In honor of American Heart Month, the February edition of CDC Vital Signs focuses on the amount of sodium in Americans' diets and what we can do to reduce it.  90% of Americans get too much sodium in their diet.  No surprise there.  What may come as a surprise is that according to the CDC only 10 foods account for over 40% of the sodium in our diet and the bigger surprise is that bread and rolls top the list. 
"Breads and rolls aren't really saltier than many of the other foods, but people tend to eat a lot of them", said Mary Cogswell, a CDC senior scientist who co-authored the report.

According to the CDC report (based on surveys of more than 7,200 people in 2007 and 2008, including nearly 3,000 children) more than 40% of sodium comes from the following 10 types of foods: breads and rolls, cold cuts and cured meats such as deli or packaged ham or turkey, pizza, fresh and processed poultry, soups, sandwiches such as cheeseburgers, cheese, pasta dishes (not including mac and cheese), meat mixed dishes such as meat loaf with tomato sauce, and snacks such as chips, pretzels, and popcorn.
  
Health officials say most get too much salt, mostly from processed and restaurant foods - not added from the salt shaker.  "People can choose how much salt to add to their food at the table. They can't take it out once it's there," CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said.

So what can you do?  There are many thing, but one of the most important, is to read labels.  Check the nutrition facts label on processed food products.  Different brands of the same foods may have different sodium levels.  A slice of bread can vary from 80 mg to 230 mg, while chicken noodle soup can vary as much as 830 mg. 


Look for hidden sources of sodium in recipes.  I worked on healthy recipe development project this past year and was stunned when I read the nutrition facts for seasoned bread crumbs.  1/4 cup of seasoned bread crumbs contained over 400 mg of sodium.  Just think about how many bread crumbs you use when making meat loaf, or breading chicken.  By simply making the switch to plain, no sodium or even Panko bread crumbs,  you're doing your heart a big favor.

Of course you should try to cook more from scratch, avoid processed foods when possible and eat lots of fruits and veggies.   It really comes back to the same thing when we talk about diet.  Get educated and make smart choices.  Your heart will love you for it.

For more information on sodium in your diet, check out CDC VitalSigns February 2012.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Balsamic Farro Salad with Arugula and Tomato


Everything old is new again... and on this Meatless Monday this old grain Farro is making a comeback.  Farro, the original grain from which all other grains derive, is delicious and healthy (low in calories, high in both protein and fiber), and easy to cook (add water and boil, just like rice). Farro fed the Mediterranean and Near Eastern populations for thousands of years until it was replaced by easier to grow and harvest varieties of common wheat. Its firm, but chewy texture and slightly nutty flavor make it versatile enough to go from salad to soup. Use it in the same way you would use rice, couscous or barley.  Try it in this salad, add it to your favorite soups or serve your next saucy dish over farro instead of rice.

 
This recipe was one of the menu items for a recent Mount Carmel Troop 19 Food and Wine Fundraiser in which I took part.  I think it's pretty safe to say that for most of the attendees, it was their first experience with farro and the recipe was a big hit.



Balsamic Farro Salad with Arugula and Tomato

1 cup Farro
2-1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1/ 2 cup quartered, pitted kalamata olives
1- 1/2 cups arugula
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
Balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below)

Combine farro, water and salt in 2-quart sauce pot and bring to a boil over high heat.  Once boiling, cover and reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 25 minutes or until farro is tender but still has a bite.  Drain any remaining water and set aside to cool.  Once farro has cooled a bit, combine with remaining ingredients; toss with dressing.  Serve room temperature or chilled.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients in bowl; mix well with a wire whisk.  Stir or shake well just before serving.

Time-saving tidbit:   Use 1/3 cup  of your favorite bottle balsamic dressing instead of making the vinaigrette.

Right now farro is available at upscale supermarkets like Whole Foods, Wegman's, and Giant Eagle Market District.  If you can't find it at your supermarket, try a local natural foods store or online at

Friday, February 3, 2012

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork with Chipotle Slaw

You got the vegetarian version on Monday, but as promised, here is the real deal.  Pulled Pork is one of my most requested dishes.   I make it year round, even in the summer. This is an absolute must have for Superbowl Sunday.  Using the slow cooker keeps you and your house cool and makes entertaining just that much easier.  This dish is fairly simple, as long as you don't mind getting your hands dirty!

If you haven't used a slow cooker, it's a great kitchen tool, especially when you're entertaining.  It takes about 5 minutes to assemble the pork in the cooker.  Turn it on before you go to bed.  You'll wake up in the morning with your mouth watering from the tantalizing scent wafting through your house.  Pork for breakfast?  Why not? 

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

1 tablespoon smoked paprika (if you don't have smoked paprika, just use 2 tablespoons of regular paprika)
1 tablespoon regular paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 6 to 8 pound pork butt or shoulder
2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce
buns, tortillas or rice (you can serve this a variety of ways. I like to use slider or small buns if I am serving this as part of a buffet.)



Combine paprika, garlic powder, seasoned salt, onion powder and pepper.  Place pork in a 6 quart slow cooker, fat side up.  Rub spice mixture over the top and sides of the pork.






Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or high for 4 to 6 hours, until pork is so tender it falls apart.
Resist the urge to lift the cover and check inside; every time you remove the cover, you loose about 30 minutes of cooking time.





Remove pork, break apart, and let cool slightly.
Remove juices, set aside and let fat rise to the top.
Skim the fat and save the juice to add back to the pork.



Use 2 forks  or your hands to pull the pork into shreds.  I find that using your hands is much more effective.  Just be sure to break the pork into sections.  This allows the smaller sections to cool so they are easier to handle.





Return the shredded pork to the slow cooker, add the juice back, and stir in about 2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce.  If it's too thick you can add a little beef or vegetable broth.  Set the cooker to High for 30 minutes and cook, covered, to allow flavors to blend.

Set slow cooker to keep warm.  Serve pork on buns or with rice and chipotle slaw.

The pork can be cooked and shredded early in the day or even the day before.  Refrigerate, until about an hour before you need to serve it.  Simply pop it back in the slow cooker; set it on high for about 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Once it's hot, set the slow cooker to keep warm and serve.


Chipotle Slaw

1 10-ounce package cole slaw mix
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder ( spicy, add to taste)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Serve with Pulled Pork.