Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


August 14, 2012

Keep the grill flexible; pulled pork to the rescue

ASHLAND — It’s still grilling time and likely time to try something new.

It’s habit to light the grill and cook a big slab of meat but that’s not all you can do with your grill.

The website eatinglightdoneright.com suggests this Carne Asada Taco recipe for the grill. It’s topped with Wholly Red Pepper Mango Salsa for a sweet and spicy turn.


1/4 cup chili powder

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 package Mission Whole Wheat Tortillas

1 pound flank steak

1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup corn (canned is fine however I prefer fresh off the cob and grilled)

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1 chopped jalapeno (scrape out seeds to reduce heat if feeding kiddos!)

1 avocado cut evenly into slices

1 container Wholly Salsa, Red Pepper Mango

Prepare grill for the flank steak.

 Mix the chili powder and vegetable oil together until well blended and then rub onto flank steak, grill meat for about 3 minutes on each side until medium/rare. Slice diagonally to place into tortillas.

Mix beans, corn, onion, cilantro, and jalapeno until well blended and spread onto warmed tortillas.

Add the steak to each taco, place a slice of avocado on top of the steak and top with Wholly Salsa!


When I think of barbecue sandwiches of pulled pork, I think of cooler weather, but research by the National Pork Board indicates many cooks turned to the slow cooker and pulled pork for an easy summer meal.

 “Pulled pork’s irresistible flavor is reason enough to add it to the shopping list, but it’s also a great time-saver in the kitchen,” Traci Rodemeyer, director of pork information for the board, said. “One batch of pulled pork provides delicious leftovers that can be served up in creative ways throughout the week. You won’t find a more versatile ingredient that you can cook once and enjoy so many times.

“As an added bonus, slow cookers keep kitchen temperatures down, and give cooks the freedom to enjoy the summertime with their families and friends,” she said.

Here are a few recipes from the National Pork Board to get you started.


1 3-pound boneless pork shoulder or sirloin roast

2 teaspoons dried sage leaves

2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves

1 tablespoon canola oil or other neutral-flavored oil

1 cup chicken broth

Preheat an oven to 300 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine the sage, thyme, salt, and rosemary. Rub the mixture over all sides of the meat,

pressing it to adhere (if the meat is tied together with twine or netting, just rub the seasoning right over it).

In a large Dutch oven or large ovenproof skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat, warm the oil.

Add the pork and brown on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate and set aside.

Add the broth to the pan, scraping up any browned bits. Bring the broth to a boil, and then return the pork

to the pan. Cover and bake until the pork is very tender, 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 hours.

Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let rest 10 to 15 minutes. Use two forks to shred meat into bitesized

pieces. Moisten/season with cooking juices to taste.

TIP: You can make this a stovetop braise, slowly simmering it on the stovetop instead of in the oven. Feel free to experiment with the amounts and types of herbs, or use your favorite herb blend.


1/2 pound cooked pulled pork

1 cup long-grain rice

1 3/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, water

4 1/2 teaspoons safflower, sunflower, or other high-heat cooking oil

2 cups mixed frozen vegetables, thawed

1 tablespoon chicken broth

2 teaspoons soy sauce, or more to taste

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

In a medium pot over medium-high heat, combine the rice and water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a

simmer, cover, and cook until the water has evaporated and the rice is al dente, about 15 minutes. Fluff

with a fork and set aside, uncovered.

In a wok or large skillet over high heat, warm the oil. Add the pork and cook, stirring occasionally, until

lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer about half of the pork to a plate or bowl and cover loosely to

keep warm.

Add the rice and vegetables to the skillet and stir-fry until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the broth

and soy sauce. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the eggs, gently stirring the eggs

occasionally until softly set, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir to mix the eggs into the rice. Add more soy sauce to taste,

top with the reserved pork, and serve.

TIP: Cooking the rice al dente will help keep it from becoming gummy in the stir-fry. This recipe is also a great way to use up leftover cooked rice. To go that route, skip the first step in the recipe and just start with about 3 cups of cold cooked long-grain rice.


1 1/4 pounds cooked pulled pork

12 5- or 6-inch corn or flour tortillas

3 cups iceberg or romaine lettuce, shredded (about 1/4 head of iceberg or 1/2 small head of romaine)

1 cup of your favorite store-bought or homemade salsa, or more to taste

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Place two tortillas in the skillet and cook until warm and softened,

about 30 seconds per side. Fill the tortillas with about 1 1/2 ounces of the pork, 1/4 cup of the lettuce, and

4 teaspoons of the salsa.

Repeat with the remaining tortillas and serve.

* If you prefer to heat all of the tortillas at once, microwave them on high until warm and softened, 1 to 2


Makes 6 servings

TIPS: Instead of assembling the tacos yourself, you can arrange the pork, lettuce, salsa, and warm tortillas on a platter and let guests make their own. If you like, add cheese, guacamole, sliced avocado, or sour cream — or serve lime or radish wedges on the side. You can also replace the lettuce with finely shredded cabbage.


Chef Heather Hunsaker of foodonthetable.com reminds readers that this is the season for cherries with this recipe.


2 pounds pork chops

salt and pepper, to taste

1/4 cup butter

3/4 cup white onion, minced

1 1/2 cups fresh black cherries, pitted and halved

2 tablespoon red wine

1/4 cup beef broth

1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crushed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper, then brown in the hot oil until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the pork chops to the lined baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until the pork chops are no longer pink in the center, and register 160 degrees F (71 degrees C) on a kitchen thermometer, about 20 minutes.

While the pork chops are baking, melt the remaining butter in the same skillet over medium heat, and stir in the onion and cherries. Cook until the onion has begun to soften, about 2 minutes. Stir in the red wine and beef broth, and bring to a simmer. Season with rosemary, and simmer until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper before pouring over the pork chops to serve.


While I don’t claim to be an expert cook, I do like to cook and love to eat. Readers are encouraged to send questions about food and cooking; I’ll try to find the answers. Also, if you’re looking for a specific recipe, send your request, or if you can offer a recipe to someone looking for something specific, please send email to lward@dailyindependent.com.

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