So here is Part Two from last weeks Guacamole Post. The flavors of this recipe is definitely on point, I feel it tasted exactly like a Chipotle Burrito Bowl (Just wish I cooked the rice a little better). I guess really the only thing is convenience, it's a lot easier to just go buy a Burrito Bowl at Chipotle. I think where this recipe would shine is if you had a party or if you have a larger family and you could have people build their own burrito bowls.
One thing that I did learn though is a really easy substitute for Chipotles in Adobo. Me being the bone head I am, forgot to grab a can for this recipe. So I did a little googling to find this substitute that worked out really nice. You simply mix 1 Tbsp Ketchup, 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar, 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika, 1/2 tsp Cayenne Powder, 1/2 tsp Cumin, and a pinch of oregano. It worked surprisingly well! Permanent substitute? No, but an easy fix with some common household ingredients for sure. On to the recipe!
Prep time: 1hr | Cook time: 30min | Total time: 1hr30min | Yield: 4 portions
For the Chicken
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, finely chopped
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
For the Rice
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 cup white basmati rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- kosher salt to taste
For the Toppings
- 1 cup black beans, warmed
- 1 cup charred corn (canned or frozen), warmed
- 1 each red and green pepper, julienned and sauteed
- 1 cup guacamole
- 1 cup pico de gallo, or salsa of your choosing
- 1 cup monterey jack cheese, finely shredded
For the Chicken
- Combine the vegetable oil, chopped chipotle peppers in adobo, garlic powder, cumin, dried oregano, and black pepper in a small bowl, stir to combine.
- Place the chicken in a large zip top plastic bag and add the marinade. Zip the bag and mix the chicken into the marinade. Place in the fridge and let it marinate for at least 1 hour.
- Heat a large saute pan or outdoor grill to medium high heat. Place the chicken on the cooking surface and cook 5 to 6 minutes per side, until the internal temperature reads 165F. Remove chicken and let rest for 10 min. Chop the chicken into small bit sized pieces and use as needed.
For the Rice
- In a heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the white rice and lime juice and saute for 60 seconds to toast the rice.
- Add the water and bring the rice to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low and cook until the rice is tender and all the water is absorbed.
- Add in the cilantro and fluff the rice with a fork.
- Arrange equal parts of the white rice and chopped chicken in 4 bowls. Top with equal parts of the black beans, corn, guacamole, fajita peppers, and cheese. Season with salt and pepper as needed and serve immediately.
Cooking your meats to the perfect temperature is crucial not only from a food safety stand point, but from flavor and tenderness stand point as well. Make sure you cook your chicken, like in this recipe to 165F. The best way to accurately monitor the internal temperature of your meats is by using a Thermapen MK4. They are the most durable, accurate, fast, and reliable thermometer on the market. These are a kitchen MUST HAVE! Go buy yourself a Thermapen MK4 today!
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Well it's been three months since my last post. What can I say, life as got the best of me once again. But, this time life has got the best of me for an absolutely wonderful thing. As most of you know, my wife and I had our first son. Ironically my last post, January 5th was the day before our son was born!
So here he is food blog world, Adam Thomas Pepple, born January 6th, 2016 at 11:05 PM, 8 lbs 10.6 oz., 22 inches. Everybody tells you how much you are going to love your child, everybody tells you how much having a child is going to change your life. I totally believed everything I have ever been told about having a child. But, I could have never been told or predicted the sheer gravity of all of those statements. How MUCH love and change has occurred in the past three months is absolutely indescribable. Even when I tell people how much I love this child, I can't even find the words to express it.
At this point he is doing such a great job. He is 15.5 lbs, he's sitting up pretty good, he's smiling a WHOLE bunch, talking a WHOLE bunch, and sometimes we'll get a little giggle out of him as well. I can already tell he's going to be one of those boys that likes to run around butt naked. Because he can be screaming up a storm, but as soon as the diaper comes off he's the happiest baby ever. Another thing he is doing well is he sleeps like an absolute champ. For the past month now he's been pretty much been sleeping all through the night.
One thing that is absolutely true is that these babies grow up WAY too fast. Time is just absolutely flying right now and the thing about it is, everyday is so exciting to see what else he figures out. But, at the same time, you see this little person changing and growing so quickly...it's sad that these infancy moments are just a blip in the grand scheme of things. Mom and I have definitely been taking every possible moment we can to snuggle him and enjoy these moments as much as we can; we are truly blessed.
It's still hard to believe, looking at this little guy, knowing where he came from and reading everyday for 9 months about the process that is involved. Knowing that he started out the size of a poppy seed...it's hard to believe that this guy is going to grow up, even more, and do stuff like go to school, graduate from college, be a contributing member of society, get married, have his own children. It's just crazy to look into his eyes and think about all these things, what is he going to do? What is he going to like? Is he going to be outgoing (like me) or more reserved (like my wife). It's exciting, scary, sad, happy, nervous...it's basically every emotion you can possibly think of all at the same time. I love this baby to death and tell him as often as I can.
Now, food...Yes I have been quiet on the blog, but I have not been quiet in the kitchen. If you follow me on Instagram you'll know that I am still making a ton of food (If you don't follow me on Instgram, you should). So to kick things off and get back into the swing of blogging on a regular basis, I am going to start with this delicious Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwich w/ a South Carolina style mustard barbecue sauce. Give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments below!
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork 2.0
Prep time: 30m | Cook time: 6-10hrs | Total time: 6.5-10.5hrs | Yield: 6 servings
- 2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 cups dark brown sugar
- 5 Tbsp salt
- 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 Tbsp cayenne
- 2 Tbsp garlic powder
- 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp ground allspice
- 2 Tbsp chili flakes
- 3 Tbsp ancho chili powder
- 1 cup yellow mustard
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- ground black pepper to taste
- Place the onions and garlic in an even layer in the slow cooker and pour in the stock. Combine the brown sugar, salt, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, allspice, chili flakes, and ancho chili powder. Pat the pork dry with paper towels. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork and place the meat on top of the onions and garlic. Cover and cook until the pork is fork tender, about 6 to 8 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the mustard, honey, light brown sugar, and white vinegar. Season with black pepper. Bring to a boil, and let simmer for 5 minutes.
- Turn off the slow cooker and remove the pork to a cutting board. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium heatproof bowl. Pour the onion mixture from the slow cooker through the strainer and return the solids to the slow cooker. Set the strained liquid aside.
- If the pork has a bone, remove and discard it. Using 2 forks, shred the meat into bite-sized pieces, discarding any large pieces of fat. Return the shredded meat to the slow cooker, use a spoon to skim and discard the fat from the surface of the strained cooking liquid, and then add 1/4 cup of the liquid at a time to the slow cooker until the pork is just moistened. Taste and season with salt as needed.
- Put the pulled pork on a bun of your choice (or no bun) and drizzle the caroline sauce on top. Enjoy!
Pulled pork should be cooked to an internal temp of 190-195F. For the most accurate readings, get yourself a Thermapen! I use mine pretty much everyday!
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HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I think my most favorite of part New Year's is having Pork and Sauerkraut. I don't think I have ever NOT had Pork and Sauerkraut on New Year's day as a matter of fact. Then after moving to Indiana, I soon discovered that having Pork and Sauerkraut on New Year's Day as a way to bring you good fortune in the New Year isn't a very common tradition. After doing some more research I learned that it was brought over from Germany via the Pennsylvania Dutch. Here is a more detailed right up on the tradition:
With everything in the kitchen, there are usually multiple ways to do recipes. I know some people use ham, loins, chops, roasts...it all works. But, like in the quotation above, sauerkraut pairs really well with a piece of fatty pork, which is why I chose to go with country pork spare ribs because they have a wonderful blend of white and dark pork, as well as, a nice marble of fat. Then I also add in some polish kielbasa which also adds a nice fatty/smokey flavor.
While this dish has a special place in my heart for New Year's, it tastes good all year long. It makes a lot and it tastes absolutely delicious!
Pork and Sauerkraut
Prep time: 25m | Cook time: 6-8hrs | Total time: 6.5-8.5hrs | Yield: 4-6 servings
- 1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
- kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 pounds homemade or prepared sauerkraut, drained of excess liquid
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 pounds boneless country pork spareribs
- 1 pound kielbasa, cut crosswise into 3-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
- 1/2 cup beer (I used an IPA)
- Dijon or whole-grain mustard, for serving
- Generously season spareribs with salt and pepper. Heat a large pan over medium high heat, add a tablespoon of canola oil and sear the spareribs until browned on all sides. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- Add the sliced onions and drained sauerkraut to the slow cooker, season with salt, pepper, and fennel season. Stir to combine.
- Add the kielbasa to the slow cooker, stir to combine.
- Add the seared spareribs on top of the sauerkraut mixture and then add the stock and beer to the slow cooker. Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours until the ribs are tender.
- Arrange the sauerkraut mixture and pork on a serving platter and then drizzle with some of the remaining juices. Serve with mustard