Monday, September 15, 2014

Food Post - Pork over Rice with a Pasta Salad


Menu:

Slow-cooker Kalua Pork
White Rice
Summer Garden Pasta Salad
and for dessert, Gregg's all time favorite
Tapioca Pudding


I found this menu (except for the tapioca pudding where the directions are on the back of the box) at The Magical Slow Cooker which you can find here.  Sarah is its host and she has some delicious recipes on her blog so I will be going back a lot.  

Gregg was making a solo trip to spend a few days with his Dad, and before he left I wanted to make him an extra special meal which included three of his favorite foods, pork, pasta and tapioca pudding.  


Slow Cooker Kalua Pig 

To find the actual page for this recipe you can click on this link.

3 lbs. pork butt roast
1/4 teaspoon ground pink Himalayan sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup water
2 teaspoons liquid Hickory Smoke

Sprinkle the roast with the salt and pepper.  In a large skillet set to medium-high heat, heat up the oil and sear the roast on all sides.  Add to a 6-quart or larger slow cooker.

Add the water and the liquid hickory smoke.

Cover and cook on LOW for 12 hours, without opening the lid during the cooking time.

Drain the juices from the slow cooker, reserving some if you want to serve the roast with them.

Shred the pork in the slow cooker with two forms, discarding fat.

Serve with rice and pasta salad.  Sarah also suggests using Sriracha hot sauce over the top.  



Summer Garden Pasta Salad - serves 6

You can find that actual recipe here at That's My Home where Sarah guest posted. 

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time:  

1-1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped dill weed
1 cup diced celery
3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cup sliced snow peas
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 (15-oz.) can whole kernel corn
1 pound box bow tie pasta, cooked according to package directions

In a small bowl whisk the mayonnaise, buttermilk, lemon jucie and dill weed until smooth.  Set aside.  

Drain and rinse the cooked pasta in cold water, and drain again.

Add the pasta to a large bowl.

Add the chopped vegetables to the pasta bowl and pour over the dressing.

Stir until the dressing thoroughly coats the vegetables and pasta and serve.



What did we think of this menu?

Everything complimented each other beautifully and it all tasted great.  

I didn't add a roll as suggested in the original recipe, for no particular reason other than I didn't have any and didn't want to make a special trip up to the store.  We didn't miss it.  The other dishes were that good.

In the pasta salad I couldn't find any fresh dill at the supermarket so used 1 teaspoon of the dried.  

Now, pink Himalayan sea salt.  I have never used this before and I decided to buy it for the recipe.  It is supposed to have quite a lot of health benefits.  I'm into that lately and am curious.  I found mine at Wegmans.  It has its own grinder.

We'd better like it as it doesn't come in small and I figured we'll be using it in our food until the year 2044.  Gregg isn't a big fan as he put it on the back of his hand and test tasted.  By his wrinkled nose I determined that he likes his Kosher salt more. Okay, maybe 2064.  

Not to be deterred I had already read up on its benefits and there are many  Apparently you can also throw it in your bath water for a 'detoxing Himalayan salt bath'. It stimulates circulation and soothes sore muscles, and is healing and therapeutic for mind and body. It will be a cold bath because I am going to be grinding that shaker until the cows come home.  I can't get the top off without the aid of a hammer. Okay, maybe it will be gone before 2054.  I know I am going to live that long now that I am using it, and just in case you're wondering, I am saying this tongue in cheek.  

I am determined to investigate further and see what others have to say.  "You're a nincompoop, you just bought it because it's a pretty pink and it has it's own grinder!"  This conversation I had with myself I denied vehemently.


I made the pork dish the day before the main meal and we test tasted by putting a small amount on a roll for supper.  That's why the last of the rolls disappeared.  Very yummy!

Gregg and I made the pasta together.  He did all the chopping up.  It was a fun time in the kitchen.  Gregg is becoming quite a chef since he retired.  It is another hobby we enjoy doing together.  

There were leftovers for the next day also.

Gregg has been dropping hints for tapioca pudding for the last week, so we splurged and I added it to the menu.  He describes his liking for tapioca, "like a horse with oats".  It has always been his favorite since his mother used to make it for him, and now me all throughout our marriage.  Not something I do all the time, otherwise it wouldn't be so special, but when its put on the table, Gregg gets the same smile on his face that I do when he walks in with a cup of coffee from my favorite coffee shop......apparently.