Thursday, July 15, 2010

BBQ Pork, Apple-Cabbage Slaw, and Fried Pickle Wontons

Ah, summer....sun, baseball, swimming pools, and--at least here in the Midwest--barbeque. This meal started out with me realizing that I forgot to thaw the pork loin that I had intended to prepare and asking the kids for input. As it turned out, my offspring had no strong feelings on what to have for dinner. So we headed to the store without a list or any idea what we were looking for. Pork roasts were on sale, and so a plan started to develop.

I am not allowed the luxury of a grill at my apartment, so this is strictly stove-top fare. The pork is essentially braised in the homemade BBQ sauce. The slaw is pretty and cools the palate nicely. The real star of this meal, however, is the fried pickle wontons.

'Round these parts, you can't have barbeque without pickles. Fried pickles are even better, but I have an aversion to the mess that batter creates. The last time I battered and fried something, I ended up covered in the cornmeal and egg combination. While I do believe that a person hasn't lived until she has had to wash an egg-based batter out of her hair, I am quite content with never experiencing it again.

Anyway, I had wonton wrappers, so I figured what the hell? It worked, and the kids absolutely flipped out over my version of fried pickles. Even better, it is nearly impossible to accidentally splash wonton wrappers into your hair.

Shredded BBQ Pork

2 slices thick-cut bacon
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
1 tsp fresh lime zest
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c tomato paste
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 tbs salt
1 tbs cumin
1 tbs paprika
1 tbs freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp cayenne
1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbs stone ground mustard
1/2 c beer
2 lb pork roast
8 whole wheat rolls

Heat stock pot over medium-high heat. Add bacon, and cook until crispy. Remove bacon and set aside for fried pickle wontons. Reduce heat to medium and saute onions in the bacon fat for 3 minutes. Add lime zest and garlic and saute another minute.

Stir in remaining ingredients except for pork until well-combined. Place pork roast in pot and cover. Allow to cook about 30 minutes, spooning sauce over the roast every ten minutes or so. With 2 forks, shred pork in the pot. Stir to combine with the sauce, turn heat to low, and allow to simmer another 10 minutes. Serve on whole wheat rolls. Makes 8 sandwiches.

Apple and Cabbage Slaw

juice of 1 lime (about 2 tbs)
splash rice vinegar
1 tbs stone ground mustard
3 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp sugar
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and julienned
1/2 head purple cabbage, cored and shredded
1/4 c parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Wisk together juice, vinegar, mustard, oil, cumin, and sugar until combined. Toss apples, cabbage, and parsley with the dressing and season to taste. Serves 8.

Fried Pickle Wontons

1 c dill pickles, chopped
2 tbs onion, diced
2 slices bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled
3 tbs provolone cheese, shredded
20 wonton wrappers
oil for frying

Combine pickle, onion, bacon, and cheese. Place about a teaspoon of the pickle filling in the middle of a wonton wrapper. Moisten the edge of the wrapper with water and fold over the filling corner to corner to make a triangle, then bring the small corners together and moisten to seal. Repeat until each wrapper has been filled and folded.

Heat oil in a medium sauce pan over med-high heat to 350F. Fry wontons until golden (1-2 minutes), turning halfway though. Remove from oil with slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain. Makes 20 wontons.

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