Ham, Avocado and Egg Bake

June 6, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Posted in Breakfast, eggs, pork | 32 Comments
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As you know, Sunday mornings around our house are reserved for a big hearty breakfast, which 99.99999% of the time involves a sunny-side up egg.  Here’s the latest and here’s what I did.

Continue Reading Ham, Avocado and Egg Bake…


Sunday Brunch Menu

April 11, 2011 at 11:07 am | Posted in Bread, Breakfast, pork, Potatoes | 48 Comments
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After a full meal with many delicious offerings Bob and I enjoy a ritual of asking “what was the best thing on the plate?” 99% of the time we’ll agree that the potatoes, no matter how they were prepared, win the contest.  

Stephanie with lil' Chili


This Sunday Brunch post mortem ended up with quite a different scenario. 

Our God Daughter Stephanie came over presenting a perfect opportunity to try out new recipes on my favorite little guinea pig. Stephanie lives in Ft. Collins, about an hour North of Denver.

She attends Colorado State University, majoring in Communications with a minor in Political Science. She graduates in December and we couldn’t be prouder.

Let’s take a look at what I cooked up for brunch and find out what won the “best on the plate” contest.

Take a close look at the bacon. See that shiny glaze? A mixture of brown sugar, cayenne and black pepper turns an over-the-top delicious slice of bacon into a dog fight for second helpings.

Simple to make, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay out one pound of thick-sliced bacon, single layer on a sheet pan. In a small bowl, mix together 1 packed T. brown sugar, 1/4 t. cayenne pepper, 1/2 t. black pepper. In our case the 1/4 t. of cayenne turned into 1/4 heaping teaspoon. Bake the bacon until it looks like it’s about 3/4 done. Remove from oven, drain grease, turn and sprinkle each piece with the sugar mixture. Return to oven and watch carefully until it looks done.

Everyone loved this, however, not the “best on the plate” winner.

Next up, the quiche. Going forward, the combination of ingredients for the base of this recipe will be my go-to for quiche. I believe the texture and the creaminess offers a great canvas for about any variety of vegetables and seasonings. The name of the recipe is Three Cheese Baked Eggs With Roasted Red Pepper and Scallions. I can picture Three Cheese with asparagus and scallions or jalapeno with adobo sauce or mushroom and chives….aren’t there always so many possibilities for quiche?

Next time I make it I am going to substitute the grated cheddar with gruyere cheese and see how it turns out. You’ll find the recipe below.  Delicious, but not the winner.

The potatoes on the plate really couldn’t be in the contest since I simply opened up a bag of Oreida Hash Browns, salt and peppered and browned in olive oil until golden.  Always a simple, easy and delicious side for any brunch.

Not being dessert people, for the first time in the history of “what was best on the plate”,  sweet beat out savory. This is a combination of ideas and recipes offered up by two of my favorite bloggers.  Kirstin, over at My Kitchen In the Rockies posted this quick cinnamon bun recipe at about the same time Larry over at Big Dudes Ramblings was frying up pecan bread and wishing he had some Butter Pecan Ice cream to melt over the top. I haven’t been the same since I read that, and knew I was going to have some sort of warm ice cream topped breakfast type bread on Sunday.

I followed Kirsten’s recipe and added about 1/2 cups of pecans to the topping mix. I served it warm from the oven with a scoop of Butter Pecan ice cream drizzling itself down the sides. This is one of those flavors that once the spoons of warm pastry and cool ice cream hits the inside of your mouth, you’re momentarily paralyzed by its outstanding combination of textures and flavors.

Now if I can just wrangle Bev’s Pecan Bread recipe out of Larry before the ice cream is gone, I’d love to try his original combination. 

Spicy Bacon, Three Cheese Quiche, Hash Browns and Cinnamon Pecan Bread with Butter Pecan Ice Cream…It’s What’s for Brunch.

One Year Ago:  Tangy Pineapple Chicken

Three Cheese Baked Eggs with Roasted Pepper

  • 3 medium red bell peppers (I used jarred roasted red bell peppers)
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1 tsp salt
    3/4 tsp baking powder
    9 large eggs
    3 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
    1 1/2 cups coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (6 oz)
    1 cup whole-milk ricotta (8 oz)
    1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (2 oz)
    3 scallions, finely chopped (1/2 cup)

Roast peppers on racks of gas burners over high heat, turning with tongs, until skins are blackened, 10 to 12 minutes. (Or broil peppers on a broiler pan about 5 inches from heat, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes.) Transfer to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap, then let stand 20 minutes.

2. When cool enough to handle, peel peppers, discarding stems and seeds, and cut into 1/3-inch dice.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F.

4. Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder into a small bowl.

5. Beat eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until doubled in volume, about 3 minutes. Add butter, flour mixture, and cheeses and mix well at low speed, then stir in peppers and scallions.

6. Pour into a buttered 10-inch (6-cup) glass pie plate and bake in middle of oven (or lower third of oven if baking with bacon) until top is golden brown and a tester comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Pickled Pineapple on Pork Tenderloin Medallions

March 3, 2011 at 7:23 am | Posted in Fruit, pork | 40 Comments
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I grew up on a farm in the middle of Kansas where the closest town of any size was Hutchinson. With a population of about 40,000 and known to locals as Hutch, it’s also referred to as the Salt City because it sits on miles of salt mines. It hosts the Kansas State Fair and the Men’s National Junior College Basketball TournamentWhen I was growing up there, we bought our groceries and shopped for clothes from stores that were owned by people who lived in Hutchinson and we relied on The Hutchinson News-Herald to keep us connected with neighboring communities of small farming towns.

For longer than I can remember, The Hutchinson News has been faithful about providing some sort of regularly published readership submitted  recipe roundup.  In recent years it’s been an insert in the newspaper, and in earlier years spiral-bound cookbooks.  The recipes were a compilation from ones published each day  in the News-Herald ‘s Favorite Recipe column. The daily women’s page feature was started as an experiment in 1948.

Each publication was overseen and recipes were judged by local business women who held titles such as  Home Service Director with the local gas company,  Home Economist with the County Extension Office, or a Home Editor with the newspaper. I look forward to sharing several of the recipes from these books, recipes from a simpler time, recipes from the heartland where ingredients were few and instructions didn’t include terms like chiffonade, saute or macerate.

I have three of these old cookbooks from my mom’s collection. The recipe I’m going to talk about today is one I found in the book with recipes collected from 1952 – 1955. The oldest edition I have was published in 1949 and as the cover indicates, sold for 60 cents. Inside it states that  it’s the 2nd edition in the series. 

We like anything pickled, so when I spotted this recipe for pickled pineapple I had to give it a try. Incredibly easy, it simply states “serve with poultry, meat or fish“. Following instructions, a week later I had a tangy sweet and sour topping for my meat course. 

I chose pork tenderloin to slice into 1 inch medallions. Using my cast iron skillet, I seared the meat well and then sautéed until just pink inside. While the meat was cooking, I fine chopped and deflamed some onion to sprinkle on the pork before topping with the pickled fruit. I learned the deflaming technique from Rick Bayless. Simply chop onion, place in a colander and then submerge the colander in a bowl of cold water to cover the onion. Let sit for a few minutes and drain. This technique takes that heat out of the onion resulting in a milder flavor. The sweet and sour pineapple was a great topping for the pork and the onion added a dimension and crunch.

Here’s the recipe as printed in the cookbook.

Pickled Pineapple:

  • No. 2 1/2 can pineapple chunks or slices
  • 3/4 C. vinegar
  • 1 1/4 C. granulated sugar
  • 1/8 t. salt
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 4-inch stick cinnamon

Drain syrup from pineapple into saucepan. Add vinegar, sugar, salt and spices. Simmer uncovered for ten minutes and then add pineapple and bring to a boil. Cool and let stand in refrigerator (covered) for one week. Serve with poultry, meat or fish. Submitted by Louise Dick, Mt. Hope, Kansas.

Served with a side of sautéed asparagus we had an easy and tasty dinner.

Out of interest I Googled Louise Dick. She was born in 1913 and died in 1967.  She is buried in the Mount Hope Cemetery.

Pickled Pineapple on Pork Medallions…It’s What’s For Dinner.

Delicious Ham and Scalloped Potato Recipe

January 2, 2011 at 8:20 am | Posted in pork, Potatoes | 32 Comments
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First of all, I refuse to have dinner on the table at 3:30 in the afternoon just so I have good light for my blog photos. That’s right, with 14,000 foot Mt. Evans as a back drop in our Western sky, we start losing light at 4:30 during our Winter months. 

So, I’ve dug out Hub’s (bigger, more cumbersome, neck strapped, has lots of settings, you have to know about apertures and shutter speeds, more complicated, standard grey colored, makes a cool shutter noise when it takes a photo)  better camera.  

I love my little scratched up Canon point and shoot, which I ordered in a color to match by blog…bless it’s little wrist-strapped heart.  But I have to admit, it doesn’t perform well for me in dim light. In addition, my kitchen is well…my kitchen, and I haven’t designated a corner to be a mini photo studio with any special lights or backdrops. 

So, that’s why so many blog photos look better than mine and that’s why I’m trying out a better camera over the winter months. My first subject, turned out his lame Scalloped Potato photo, so I think I better get out the owner’s manual and study up. HORrible photo. And it was the best one out of six…can  you imagine the others?

Second of all, I would like to admit that I’ve been watching Oprah during all of these holiday vacation days. I didn’t realize that Oprah had so many AH HA moments. With all that said, about ten years ago I had an AH HA moment regarding Ham and Scalloped Potatoes. I said to myself “AH HA, I bet Ham and Scalloped Potatoes could actually be made without using a can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup”. 

You’d probably have to work pretty hard to screw up Ham and Scalloped Potatoes experiments and after a few delicious batches, I came up with a perfect (for us) creamy consistency and the recipe is now a permanent fixture in my database.  Nothing special, but I do like my addition of thyme. And after my first experiment I did remove the finely chopped fresh mushrooms. Not necessary, I decided. 

Ham and Scalloped potatoes are so good that I wonder why I reserve it for a once a year event to use up my holiday ham. Let’s take a look.

Ham and Scalloped Potatoes:

6 T. unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
1 t. dried parsley
1  t.  thyme
3 C. milk (I usually use 2%)
6-8 potatoes, peeled and sliced
2 C. cooked and chopped ham
1 small sweet onion, finely chopped

In a saucepan melt the butter and add chopped onion. Saute until onion is tender. Add in the flour and cook for 3 – 4 minutes, stirring constantly until well blended and smooth.

Add parsley and thyme and stir until also well blended. To the bubbly mixture gradually add the milk, stirring constantly. Let bubble until thickened. That’s about five minutes. At this point I gently salt and pepper.  The ham can add enough salt, so be careful.

In a greased cassarole dish, layer 1/2 of the potatoes ham and onion.  Pour some sauce over the first layer and then top with the remaining potatoes, ham and onion and drizzle on the remaining sauce.

Cover and bake at 375 for an hour to an hour and a half, depending on how thick cut your potatoes are. I used a thin setting on the mandolin, so my casserole was ready to go in just over an hour. Turn off the heat and let the casserole rest for about 15 minutes in the hot oven to let it set up.  Two servings.  HA…it’s so good we could have eaten the whole thing in one setting, but it’s probably about 6 – 8 servings.

Happy New Year! 

Cream of  Mushroom Soupless Ham and Scalloped Potatoes…It’s What’s For Dinner!

Chow Chow, Hotdogs and Carolina Style Pulled Pork

September 24, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Posted in pork | 35 Comments
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Why am I like a hundred years old and have never heard of or tasted Chow Chow until this summer? 

I saw my first ever mention of Chow-Chow from Chris over at Nibble Me This.   Wikipedia tells us that Chow Chow is popular in the south, in Pennsylvania and New Mexico. Even my good friend Cauleen, who grew up in Pennsylvania, looked at me like I was from outer space, when she learned I had never had it. Especially since the area around my hometown where I grew up supports large Amish and Mennonite communities. Nope, never heard of it.

I was thrilled to find that my favorite local canning vendor at our Farmer’s Market sold Chow Chow so I grabbed a couple of  jars, one regular and one hot. We’ve tried both and think they’re absolutely delicious. We’ll be buying a few jars to get us through an otherwise Chow Chow-less Winter.

Just as Chris suggested, we piled some on top of hot dogs.  Oh-my delicious!

I threw a pork roast in the crock pot and let is simmer all day in some Carolina style sauce, topped it with some Chow Chow and it was out of this world.

Let’s talk about Carolina style sauces. We recently had Carolina style pulled pork at a local BBQ  joint and really found this vinegar-based sauce to be a wonderful mixture of flavors. 

In Googling Carolina Style Sauces so I could make it at home, I found Northern Carolina, Eastern Carolina, Northeastern Carolina, Western Carolina sauce recipes. I didn’t take the time to sift through the ingredients to find out what the difference was in all the variations and just chose a generic crock pot version and tweaked it to accommodate the ingredients I had on hand. My Southern readers will have to fill me in on the difference in what these regionalized Carolina sauces are all about.

We found the recipe to be quite tasty and it’s now in my database.

 Spicy Carolina Style Pulled Pork:

3 tablespoons brown sugar 
2 tablespoons paprika 
2 teaspoons sea salt 
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper 
5 lbs pork shoulder 
1/2 cup red wine vinegar, 1/2 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes 
2 teaspoons sugar 
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard 
1 tablespoon garlic powder 
1/2 teaspoon powdered cayenne pepper 
2 red onions, quartered 
2 yellow onions, quartered

Combine the brown sugar, paprika, salt and pepper, and rub the mixture over the roast. Wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate a few hours, overnight is best. 

In a bowl, combine the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes, sugar, mustard, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Mix well. 

Unwrap the roast.  I lined my crock pot with banana leaves, and rough cut onions to make a nice flavorful bed. Place roast on top of onions, drizzle most of the vinegar mix over the top, reserving some to add to the shredded meat at the end. Wrap banana leaves around the roast.

Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, or high for 4 to 5 hours. 

Remove the meat and onions to a cutting board. Remove skin and set aside. Using two forks, pull and shred the pork. Chop the onions, and mix into the shredded meat. Using a fork, remove some of the fat from under the skin, mince, and add to the shredded meat and onions as needed for moisture and flavor. 

Serve on warm buns or crusty hard rolls, with the remaining vinegar mixture on the side.

Chow Chow Topped Sandwiches,

They’re What’s For Dinner.

Ancho Chili Sauce for Pork Chops and Salmon

September 1, 2010 at 11:23 pm | Posted in pork, Vegetables | 21 Comments
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This was a great little meal with the star being this sweet and earthy ancho chili sauce.  A sauce that worked beautifully over both pork chops and grilled salmon.

First let’s talk about that relleno. An idea so simple that when I looked at the photo in Bon Appetit I said “why didn’t I think of that”? A poblano pepper stuffed with cheddar cheese smashed potatoes. Ridiculously simple and a great idea. 

Let’s get started.

For the poblano peppers: Grill or broil the peppers until charred. Place in a plastic bag for about ten minutes. Remove and peel the peppers.  Meanwhile boil some new little red potatoes until tender. Smash them with a drizzle of cream, salt and pepper and lots of grated cheddar cheese. Make a slit in the chilis and oh so gently stuff the peppers with the potatoes.

For the Ancho Chili Sauce: In a saucepan add 1/2 cup of orange juice, 1 cup of chicken broth, 5 teaspoons of good quality ancho chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the sauce is thickened and cooked down a bit to intensify flavor.  Slather over your grilled pork chops.

For the Pork Chops:  I have cooked up my fair share of dry chewy pork chops in my lifetime. Frustrating. I finally found that a thin cut center loin chop has been my “pork chops for dummies” savior. About two minutes per side on the grill and voila….a thin piece of meat full of juicy flavor. It’s a relief to no longer shy away from pork chop dishes.

For the corn on the cob:  In a casserole pan pour one can of coconut milk. Add salt and pepper and a good sprinkling of ancho chili powder. Add the fresh corn and marinate for at least six hours, turning once every hour to coat the corn. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes.

The ancho chili sauce turned out to be a delicious compliment for the pork chop. The cheddar cheese potato chili relleno was a natural combination of yumminess. I’m a purist when it comes to fresh corn on the cob. Even though this was delicious, I found myself wishing for the simple cob slathered in butter, salt and pepper.

We thought the leftover ancho sauce worked just as well the next evening over grilled salmon. Served along side bruschetta, a fresh vinaigrette drenched tossed salad and no-frills corn on the cob. 

Ancho Chili Sauce Over Grilled Meats…

It’s What’s For Dinner.

Wild Boar Sausage

February 6, 2010 at 11:52 pm | Posted in pork | 29 Comments
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Ever eaten Wild Boar? I’ve never eaten Wild Boar. Anyone ever seen a Wild Boar? I’ve never seen a Wild Boar.  I read, that in the United States they live in the Southeast…Go Razorbacks???

I mean look at it! A face like that doesn’t quite invoke that same wrenching tug at the heart as when you see a photo of an adorable lamb or a cute wittle wabbit. 

I vote for “let’s eat it”. Well, somebody can kill it and I’ll eat it.  Again, if I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, “If I had to kill my own food, I’d be a vegetarian”.

I just read a post over at Chez What about hot dogs. It seems that New York officially consumes the most hot dogs in the United States. Great post, and you can click HERE if you haven’t had a hot dog in a while and feel like getting tortured. His photos of hot dogs were salivatingly and ravenously good and made me want a hot dog sooner than NOW. 

I didn’t have any hot dogs on hand, but if you remember a few weeks ago, I went on a field trip for some veal stock at Marczyk Fine Foods in Denver.  I purchased the stock along with some other speciality items and one item I couldn’t resist grabbing were these Apricot and Cranberry Wild Boar Sausages and some really cool little New York Style buns.  

I threw both in the freezer for just the right moment and after reading Chez What’s New York Dog post, the moment had arrived and ran as fast as I could  to thaw them.

Well, these sausages were wildly delicious. I loved the texture of this meat. I’ll have to read up and see if that’s one of the characteristics of this animal, or if it had something to do with the first-class facility that processed the meat.

I served this with some yellow mustard and a side of sauerkraut heated with some brown sugar chopped apple and butter which made for a delicious meal. Next field trip to Marczyk’s I’ll definitely pick up another package, or two, of these sausages.

Thank you Marczyk Fine Foods and thank you Christo for reminding me that I was craving a hot dog.

Slow Roasted Pork Achiote

January 31, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Posted in Mexican/Southwest, pork | 38 Comments
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I’m a huge Rick Bayless fan and a big fan of real Mexican Food. By real Mexican food I mean authentic dishes from south of the border as opposed to our Americanized versions of dishes we call “Mexican Food” 

Slow Roasted Pork Achiote steaming hot out of the oven

I was browsing through his cookbooks last Saturday and this jumped right off the page and right onto my dinner table. This is simply delicious. 

Rick tells us in the introduction to this recipe that this type pork recipe would normally be served at a large celebration using a slow pit roasted whole pig. Since most of us don’t have pits in our back yards, Rick assures us a slow cooker or dutch oven and a bone-in pork roast will deliver much of the same flavors. It’s just up to us to provide the celebration. 


The major flavor to this dish is Achiote. Achiote is a spice used in cuisine in Mexico and South America. The paste is clay red in color and clay-like in texture. It does turn your fingers red when you crumble the paste. 

It’s made of crushed achiote seed, vinegar, salt, garlic and spices and is typically formed into a small block. The paste is then diluted and added to stews or used as a rub for meats. It adds a salty and bittersweet tangy flavor.  It is a traditional ingredient used to make Ricado, a rub for suckling pig and other meats. 



For this dish, I’ve diluted the paste in fresh lime juice. 


Line a Dutch oven or crockpot with banana leaves. Make sure you place the banana leaves so that you can fold them over to surround your pork roast. 


Pour the diluted achiote seasoning over the roast, top with rings of sliced onions and pour a little bit of water on the sides of the roast. Fold the banana leaves over to surround the meat and onions. Put the lid on and slow roast the meat either 6 hours on high in a crock pot, or 3 hours in the oven at 300 degrees. 


Serve with Roasted Fresh Chili Salsa (photo above, recipe below), some good quality warm corn tortillas and a fresh green salad and you’ve got a beautiful and delicious meal. A note about corn tortillas. Hopefully you can find a good hand-made brand like the one I found at Marczyk Fine Foods. They don’t even resemble the rubbery cheap brands that you find at Safeway. NO comparison. 

Slow-cooked Achiote Pork: 

  • 2 oz. achiote seasoning
  • 3/4 C. lime juice
  • Salt
  • Banana leaves
  • 3 pound bone-in pork shoulder roast
  • 1 large white onion, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 C. roasted fresh chile salsa


  1. Place the achiote seasoning in a small bowl. Pour in 1/2 C. of the lime juice and 2 t. salt. Use a fork to work the mixture into a smooth thickish marinade.
  2. Line your slow cooker with banana leaves. Lay in the pork and pour the marinade over and around the meat. 
  3. Scatter the white onion over the meat.
  4. Pour 1/2 C. water around the meat.
  5. Fold banana leaves to roughly cover everything.
  6. Cover and slow-cook on high for 6 hours, until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender.  If you roast this in the oven, 300 degrees for 3 hours.
  7. While the meat is cooking, combine the red onion with remaining 1/4 cup lime juice in a small bowl. Sprinkle with salt and set aside to marinate, stirring from time to time..
  8. Use tongs to transfer the meat and onions to dinner plates. Spoon off any rendered fat that’s floating in the juices. Ladle brothy sauce into a saucepan and boil it down to about 1/2. Season with salt and spoon it over the meat. Top with the lime-marinated red onions and serve with the salsa and warm corn tortillas.

Roasted Fresh Chile Salsa: 

Makes 1/2 Cup 

  • 4 ounces fresh hot green chiles (4 medium jalapeño, or 10 medium Serrano, or 12 orange Habanero)  I used the jalapeño
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 T. fresh lime juice

Turn on your oven broiler and adjust rack to highest level.  Break stems off the chiles, cut them in half lengthwise and lay them, cut side down, on a small baking sheet.  Scatter the garlic cloves among the chiles.  Broil until chiles are soft and blotchy black. Remove skins. Scrape the chiles and garlic into a blender and add the lime juice and 1/4 C. water. Process until nearly smooth. 


I ate this like a soft taco. Warm the tortillas, lay some of the tender pork on top, drizzle with the Fresh Chili Salsa and some cilantro and red onions. Roll it up and enjoy. I can’t wait to serve this at my next dinner party. Rick Bayless has done it again!   


Vail Pulled Pork Sliders and Sarge’s Slaw

October 17, 2009 at 11:22 pm | Posted in pork, Salads, Sandwiches | 35 Comments

P1010626 A couple of weekends ago we attended Connor’s 1 year birthday party. As you can see, our guest of honor got to have his cake and smear it too. He was sporting a Bronco’s Jersey, but that was removed to reveal his cake-smearing shirt. Parents Greg and Cauleen rented the Pavillion at Northridge Park in Highlands Ranch and along with an unbelievable buffet of food, gorgeous fall weather, balloons, and lots of friends, we celebrated the first year of Connor’s life. 

Greg uncovered a large tray of the most delicious looking pulled pork. I immediately asked “did you make that?”  He said “yes”.  Not only did it look scrumptious, it was scrumptious, the most melt in your mouth, tender, wonderful tasting pulled pork that I have ever had. So full of many different flavors. Being the opportunistic blogger that I am, I asked for the recipe.

Greg is in the hotel management business. It seems he was in Vail visiting one of their properties, the Manor Vail Resort. He mentioned to the chef about cooking for Connor’s birthday party crowd and this recipe was offered up.  This dish is compliments Executive Chef, Richard Bailey, at Manor Vail Resort, Vail, CO. I did get permission from Chef Bailey to reprint this recipe and share it all with you. Thank you Chef  Bailey.  Take a look at their website:  http://www.manorvail.com/vail-colorado-dining.php , bookmark it, and the next time you’re planning a trip to Vail plan to stay at the Manor Vail. 

Safeway had pork shoulder roasts on sale for 99 cents per pound, so let’s prepare Chef Richard Bailey’s pulled pork.

We start with the brine process.  I brined two 4 to 5 pound pork shoulder roasts in this mixture.  Use bone-in roasts for more flavor.

  • 2 gallons water
  • 2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. salt
  • 12 T. black pepper
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 t. sage
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 2 celery
  • 8 bay leafs
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 limes
  • 2 lemons


In a huge soup kettle bring the brine mixture to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand until liquid is at room temperature. This took over an hour to cool.  Chef tells us that if you place the meat in the hot brine, it will toughen. When the brine has cooled, add the roasts, refrigerate and let cure for 24 hours.


The next morning at 0 dark thirty, preheat oven to 225 degrees. I ladled two big scoops of the brine in the bottom of the roaster pan, just to create a little steam bath (Greg’s idea, I’m telling ya, he’s not just another pretty face).  Sear the roasts on each side.  Place roasts in roasting rack, cover with foil and bake 10 hours.


Shred meat as soon as it is cool enough to touch. 




I prepared some Cole Slaw and made up some little pulled pork sliders. I like to use Sara Lee dinner rolls for sliders. Served with a nice green salad, it made for a delicious little meal.

I call my cole slaw:  Sarge’s Slaw. Years ago, I found a recipe for the The Original Colonel’s Kentucky Fried Chicken’s cole slaw. I tinkered with it and renamed it.

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I used my mandolin to shred the carrots and cabbage.


 Add lemon juice to the mayo and buttermilk mixture.


 I didn’t have celery salt, so used celery seed.


Pour creamy mixture over the shredded slaw and carrots. At this point I don’t even taste test the mixture. Just fold all ingredients, cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours to let the flavors marry. Then I taste test to get it  just like I want it. Adjusting sugar, vinegar, salt, pepper or whatever it needs to be to your liking.

Sarge’s Cole Slaw

8 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrots
2 Tbs onion — finely chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 Tbs vinegar
1 Tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp celery salt

Cook Up Some Brats for Oscar Mayer

July 9, 2009 at 1:33 pm | Posted in From the Grill, pork | 1 Comment
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Oscar Mayer died at the age of 95.   So in honor, let’s all cook up some sort of wieners, or make a bologna sandwich or something – well, I’m thinkin brats, since I already had them purchased and planned for dinner:

007Simple. Open up your favorite bottle of beer and pour it into your favorite fry pan, heat the beer and poke a few holes in your favorite brand of brats and let them steep in heated beer for about ten minutes.002

004Throw em on the grill and brown them until crispy on the outside. Make sure to watch them so they don’t burn.  Serve them on your favorite bun and with your favorite summer salad. In this case I made a simple broccoli salad, you know the kind, with a sweet/sour mayonnaise based sauce a combination of broccoli florets, sunflower seeds, raisins,  celery, onion etc.  Just toss in what sounds good.  If anyone wants an exact recipe, I can measure ingredients next time I make it.  It’s just vinegar, sugar, mayo, salt and pepper.  I will note here that I like to use seasoned Rice Vinegar, or plain old cider vinegar.



defaultEnjoy a blast from the past with this Oscar Mayer Television Commercial:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmPRHJd3uHI

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