Friday, 14 March 2014

Pulled Pork

One of the things that motivates me to cook new foods and blog about it, is that I love to make people happy though their tummy. The way to my heart is to make my tummy happy. Cook a good meal for me and I will probably love you forever...or stalk you...or maybe just hound you to cook for me again.

My hubby LOVES pulled pork. I really like it too, but he will order it almost anytime he sees it on a menu. I have tried a few recipes, but I have not loved any of them....until now!!

I find most restaurant style pulled pork recipes come with a ton of sauce. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I just don't love BBQ sauce or steak sauce because I actually like to TASTE the flavor of my meat.  Not that the sauce isn't tasty, but I can sometimes find it overwhelming.

I think a tangy sweet sauce is what my hubby loves about pulled pork. I know he really liked this recipe, I just don't think he loved it like I did. The pork in this recipe was tender, juicy, flavorful and oooooh so yummy. It just wasn't a "saucy"  pulled pork, so if that is how you like your pulled pork, then this recipe may not be for you. I loved the flavours of the meat and I loved that I could actually taste the meat.

This recipe is a KEEPER and really easy to make.

Things you will need:

- slow cooker (original recipe cooks it long and slow in the oven, but I don't have time for that)
- to prep the dry rub and brine the night before (both are super easy to make and I had all the ingredients)
- your favourite pulled pork sandwich toppings (ours is cheese and coleslaw)
- pork butt or shoulder (I HIGHLY RECOMMEND, no other meat compares. I got mine at Sobeys, but I also found some at my Cochranes, my local market)

Pulled Pork (click for original recipe)


Pork Butt/shoulder (has bone in)
Rolls for the sandwich (I put butter on mine and broiled them)
Fresh Mozza (any cheese will do, I just had to use mine up)
Coleslaw (I bought a package and coleslaw dressing)

Dry Rub
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp ground pepper
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 cup brown sugar

Mix all together in a dish

Brine Solution
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 qts cold water (8 cups)
3 tbsp dry rub mix
2 bay leaves

Add salt to cold water and stir very well until all the salt is completely dissolved. Then add the brown sugar and dry rub and stir well to combine.

Pork Butt/Shoulder preparation:

1. Rinse the pork shoulder and place in a large container, pour in the brine solution until the shoulder is completely covered. The brine solution gives it more moisture. Cover the container and place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. I marinated it all night.

2. In the morning, remove pork shoulder from brine solution, pat dry with paper towels, place in the slowcooker. 

3. Sprinkle dry rub onto the whole surface of the shoulder and massage in such that it adheres to the surface. Coat all sides. Make sure the fat layer on the shoulder is facing up before cooking if possible.

4.  Turn your slowcooker on low and let it cook until you get home (you don't need to add any water). If you can wiggle the bone (I could easily pull the bone out), then it is done!

5. Pull out your meat and remove bone and fat and then pull apart meat with forks. (I also sprinkled some extra juice left over form the cooker over top of the meat).

6. I then buttered my buns, added the pork and some cheese and broiled it until the cheese got bubbly. 

7. Add your favourite toppings and enjoy!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Fresh Mozzarella Balsamic Chicken

Fresh Mozzarella Balsamic Chicken (click for original recipe)

This recipe was SO yummy and SO easy to make. It was also done in 30 minutes + a little prep time.

Everyone in my house loved it and I will be making this again for sure. I excluded tomatoes on my kids chicken because they don't like them, but I LOVED the taste the fresh tomato added to the dish. I also forgot to add the balsamic vinegar until after it was all cooked, but I don't think it effected flavour at all.

I HIGHLY recommend you use fresh mozzarella usually found in the deli meet/cheese section of your grocery store.

I served this with a side of mashed potatoes and veggies. I think it would be good on top of a pasta dish as well.


  • 1 lb of boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 fresh tomato, sliced
  • 1 ball of fresh mozzarella 
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar 
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon of dried basil (I just sprinkled some on)
  • 1 teaspoon of dried parsley (I just sprinkled some on)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a casserole dish and set aside.

2. Combine the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, pepper, onion powder, and breadcrumbs in a bowl. 

3. Dip each piece of chicken in the egg / water mixture, then dip each piece of chicken in the seasoning mixture and be sure to coat each breast well.

4. Place chicken in the casserole dish you set aside. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

5. Remove the chicken and turn the oven to broil. Top the chicken with the sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and balsamic vinegar. Place back in the oven for an additional 3-5 minutes until the cheese is melted. (I added the vinegar after it had broiled and let it soak while the chicken rested, I would probably do that again).

6. Remove from the oven and then sprinkle with the basil and parsley.