Spicy Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich made with Slowcooker Pork Roast

This is another dish I made with the pernil (pork roast) I made the other day. The thing about making roasts is either you better have several people around to help eat it all or be prepared to have it for days. I ate it for about 3 days straight then I froze some and gave some away. I still have some in the freezer for a pozole that I want to make. A couple of days ago I showed you the spicy pork tacos I made and here is the spicy pulled pork BBQ hero. I was so excited I forgot to take a nice picture for you so here it is after I bit into it! Newbie blogger mistake but you get the picture, right?

Once you make the roast, everything else is so easy. I basically took a fork to a nice chunk of meat and shredded it. I added my favorite BBQ sauce, Brothers Gold BBQ sauce, added a little extra hot sauce and that was it! This would make a great weekday dinner with a side salad, actually, it would be great anytime!

Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich
Pork Roast, pulled apart
Brothers Gold BBQ sauce
2 tsp Cholula hot sauce

Mix pork, BBQ sauce, hot sauce and pile on a crusty roll, done.

Chicken Banh Mi with a Little Twist

Banh Mi sandwiches exploded onto the scene couple of years ago and are here to stay. Many shops have sprouted up in and around NYC and other metro areas in the US and we’re still obsessing about them, a tell tale sign of a great sandwich. This wave hasn’t quite hit Jersey yet but it will. The Banh Mi is a popular Vietnamese sandwich made with pork, chicken, or beef along with pickled veggies, jalapeno slices and a spicy mayo. The sandwich is so simple and yet so friggin’ good you’ll want to make this at home over and over again.

I, of course, had to make my own version of the sandwich which sort of happens with most recipes I make, especially when I’m seasoning meat. I just have to use Adobo! I use it in my chili, tacos, burgers, etc. It’s what happens when you’re growing up in the US and cultures and food traditions collide. Traditional dishes sometimes become some hybrid of American and _______ “fill the blank” cuisines! In our home that meant sofrito (Latino mirepoix) and tomato paste in our “Italian” spaghetti or pink potato salad which Mom always made using beets. Friends would come over and say what the hell is that, why is it pink?! I’d just say man, just eat it, it’s Dominican style!

For this sandwich I pretty much stayed true to the Vietnamese style for the most part but I made a spicy mayo using chipotle and used Adobo to season the chicken. Talk about hybrid, ha! Seriously though, the flavors work really well. Adobo is just a spice blend of salt, garlic, pepper and turmeric and most banh mi sandwiches call for jalapenos for extra spice so the smoky chipotle mayo made sense.

One of the keys ingredients to making a great Banh Mi is the bread. Actually the translation in Vietnamese just means bread, loaf or slice of bread which is probably why the filling varies so much. So first find a great bakery and get a freshly baked French baguette or Italian hoagie style bread. The Vietnamese French style baguette is what’s traditionally used but I used Italian hoagie style bread which works just fine. The important thing is that the bread is fresh, light, soft on the inside and chewy on the outside.

Top with a thinly sliced cucumber, cilantro and extra spicy sauce and you’ll have a delicious, healthy, hearty meal. If you’re in the city or find yourself near a Vietnamese community please try one of these BUT if you can’t, make the one below and let me know what you think.

Chicken Banh Mi with a Twist

1 chicken breast
dash or 2 of Adobo
juice of 1/2 lemon
pickled carrots and daikon
1-2 slices of cucumber, sliced lengthwise
2-3 sprigs of cilantro
1-2 tbsp of spicy mayo
1 loaf of Italian hoagie bread
vegetable oil for sauteing
sriracha for extra spice

Season chicken with Adobo and squeeze of lime. Let marinate for about 1/2 hour. Heat oil on medium heat, add chicken breast and saute until chicken is cooked through. Slice chicken breast on a biased cut.

Spread a generous amount of spicy mayo on both sides of bread, add sliced chicken and top with pickled carrots and diakon. Top with slice of cucumber and cilantro.

For extra spice, top with some sriracha and enjoy!!

Pickled Carrots and Daikon

1 medium carrot, julienne
1 medium daikon, julienne
1 jalapeno, julienne
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar

Add water, vinegar, salt, sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Add carrots, daikon and jalapeno to a small, clean glass jar and then fill jar with liquid. Let sit for several hours before using but best if overnight.

Chipotle Cream Sauce

1/2 cup mayo
1 chipotle in adobo sauce, chopped finely
1 clove of garlic, minced

Puree all ingredients until smooth.

Breakfast for Dinner: Spicy Fried Cheese and Egg Sandwich

Ever have those days when nothing seems good enough for dinner except a good breakfast? I have those often. Either I’m too tired to make something after a long busy day or I’m just feeling a bit lazy. Sometimes a bowl of cereal will do and other days a spicy egg and cheese sandwich is in order…but not just any egg and cheese sandwich, one made with fried, salty Dominican white cheese. I’m sure you’re wondering “what is that”? Dominican Republic is mostly known for it’s white sand beaches, fantastic golf courses, great cigars and fabulous vacation getaways but cheese? Definitely not the first thing you think about but to a native, whether near or far, it reminds us of childhood, of home and Mom.

As a child, breakfast consisted of eggs, fried cheese, sausages (salchichon) and plantains a dozen ways. Mom would make this almost daily for my Dad but as the years passed my siblings and me became more accustomed to American culture. Our traditional breakfasts were reserved only for weekends and for me, eventually replaced with a lighter fare. However, every once in a while I crave fried cheese and it always takes me back to those good old days.

You can find this white cheese in your local supermarket or Latin bodega. Dominican white cheese is firm, salty and great for frying because its high in salt and made with acid which doesn’t allow it to easily melt like other cheeses. It’s similar in texture to feta but not as salty or crumbly. When it’s pan fried in a bit of oil a nice crust forms and the inside stays soft and gooey, perfect for sandwiches since it won’t fall apart or slide out.

I didn’t have any plantains (blasphemous for Dominicans) and really didn’t want to make an elaborate meal so I made the perfect spicy breakfast sandwich for dinner and it was so delicious!

This is a great vegetarian (Lacto-Ovo Vegetarians) option but if you want meat just add salchichon or bacon for a more filling meal.

1 jalapeno, sliced
1 large egg, over medium
1-2 slices of cheese, fried
toasted whole wheat english muffin
pinch of Adobo (pre-blended Spanish spice mix – optional)
vegetable oil

Saute a few jalapeno slices in a bit of butter on medium heat for about 1-2 minutes and remove from pan. Fry the egg in same pan with a bit of oil (2 tbsp) and add a pinch of Adobo. You can skip the Abodo if you’re watching your salt intake, since the cheese may be salty enough. You will want to fry the cheese last so it can be soft and hot when you eat it. Fry the cheese on one side for about a minute and flip over and fry the other side until a nice crust forms. Assemble all on a toasted whole wheat English muffin and dinner is served! Add as much jalapeno as you like to adjust the spiciness.