Pulled Pork Chili

Pulled Pork Chili
Serves 10 (1 cup portions)

This morning I woke to 45F temperatures. To me, that means chili season. But some chili can be high fat, and some high sodium. This is neither, just high flavor. This is one of those little life hacks that I talk about on one my Make Your Someday Today Trevitorials. Make good food and eat it. When you make it yourself, you know what is in it!

In a large (3-4 quart kettle) add:
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
Add your preferred chili spices

Sautee that together until the onions begin to get translucent (5 minutes)
1 tablespoon tomato paste. Stir to mix together, then add:
2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained, and low sodium if available
2 cans beans, drained and rinsed
1 pound pulled pork

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. After 30-40 minutes, taste and add more seasoning as needed. This is better if you can then chill it for a few hours or overnight.

So, why is the beer in the picture? I make my beans with a pressure cooker. I use 1 cup dried beans (here is a mix of white navy beans and black bean), one onion diced, 2-4 cloves garlic minced and 4 cups beer. This is one of my favorites, Green Bay’s own Wisco Disco. Put the lid on, set to high pressure and leave them cook for 45 minutes. When it is time to add the beans to the tomatoes, I dump everything in, beans, beer, onion and garlic.

Nutritional data:
Calories:         210
Fat:                  5.4g
Sat fat:             1.7g
Chol:           38.5mg
Sodium:      32.7mg
Carbs:            18.2g
Fiber:               4.6g
Protein:            19g

Cornbread (and Homemade BBQ Sauce)

Cornbread and Homemade BBQ Sauce (served with grilled chicken thighs and grilled carrots)
Make sure you read to the bottom and answer the simple question.

Serve 9

1 cup whole kernel corn (either canned, frozen–but thawed before using–or fresh cooked on the cob)
1 egg
3/4 cup skim milk
3 tablespoons oil (I used olive)
1 1/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons Splenda (or you can use sugar or another low-cal sweetener)
1/2 teaspoon baking power
1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Prepare a 9″ square baking pan with cooking spray.
  3. Add corn, egg, milk and olive oil to a food processor (or blender). Process until smooth.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together all remaining dry ingredients. (Using a wire whisk works best because as it blends the ingredients evenly it also incorporates air into the mix, which will lighten the batter a bit.
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry. Stir just until evenly mixed. Do not over mix.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan. The batter will be stiff. With your pixing spoon, spread it into an even layer.
  7. Bake for 20-30 minutes (depending on your oven). Test with a toothpick in several different spots. When it comes out clean, it is done.
  8. Cut into 9 even pieces. Serve warn or chilled.
Nutritional data
Calories:        169
Fat:               6.2g
Sat fat:          4.3g
Chol:           23.9g
Sodium:  114.5mg
Carbs:      25.4mg
Fiber:           2.6g
Protein:        4.6g
By replacing a large amount of the oil normally used in cornbread with actual corn, it increases the fiber content and drastically drops the fat levels (and therefore the calorie count.) The end result is even more flavorful than usual, as well as very moist with a good crust.
You can serve it with butter. If you want this for breakfast, top it with warm apple sauce, maple syrup or any nice fruit compote.
BBQ sauce
Serve 4 (2 tablespoons per serving)
This is a sweet and tart BBQ sauce, similar to something like KC Masterpiece or Sweet Baby Ray’s, but don’t expect it to taste the same. It won’t. But I think this is the best recipe I have ever come up with.
Using the apple jelly helps it get thick faster.
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) beer (avoid a very hoppy beer for this.)
2 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon apple jelly (optional, but I used it)
  1. In a non-stick skillet, add all ingredients over med-high heat. Bring to a boil.
  2. Stay with this. You want it to boil off liquid but not burn. You will need to stir continuously.
  3. Boil off about 1/4 of the volume. It will get thick, but pourable (when warm.) This will take about 5 minutes.
  4. The larger the skillet the faster this will happen (more surface area to boil off the water.)

Nutritional data
Calories:         69
Fat:                0g
Sat fat:           0g
Chol:           0mg
Sodium:     11mg
Carbs:       15.7g
Fiber:          0.4g
Protein:       0.4g

Question for today:
What is your preferred non-internet based source of recipes (magazine, specific cookbook or specific TV show.) 

Hoisin BBQ Chicken Quarter, with Grilled Potatoes and Home Made Kimchi

Hoisin BBQ Chicken Quarter, with Grilled Potatoes and Home Made Kimchi
Serves 2

(There are many steps, but nothing is difficult.)

Hoisin BBQ Chicken
4 chicken leg quarters
Chinese Five Spice Powder
Vegetable oil for the grill

Mix together and set aside:
2 teaspoon commercially prepared Hoisin sauce
2 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh minced and mashed ginger
1 clove garlic, minced and mashed

Grilled Potatoes
1 medium potato, sliced thinly
1/4 small onion, sliced thinly
2 medium carrot, peeled and sliced thinly
2 strip raw bacon, chopped
2 sheets aluminum foil each about 18 inches long
Cooking spray

Kimchi (this is a more complex–but not difficult–recipe and I will make that a separate posting)

  1. Preheat the grill on high for at least 5 minutes. Make sure that about 1/3 of your grill is only warm, to make a safe zone. (If you have a three burner gas grill, set two on high and one on low. If you have a two burner, one is high and one low. Charcoal? Most of the coals are under 2/3 of the grill and only a a couple are under the remaining 1/3.)
  2. While the grill is preheating, sprinkle the Chinese Five Spice powder on the chicken.
  3. Spray one sheet of aluminum with cooking spray.
  4. Place 1/3 of the potatoes on the sheet.
  5. Add in layers, half the bacon, half the onion and half the carrot. Season with black pepper.)
  6. Add another 1/3 of the potatoes.
  7. Add, in order, the remaining carrots, onions, bacon and potatoes. (The packet will be the same upside down or right side up.)
  8. Carefully bring the top and bottom edges of the foil together over the veggies and fold the edges together to seal. Then tightly roll the right and left edges.
  9. Place that packet on the second sheet of foil, seam side down, and repeat step 8.
  10. Note: I just saw that they now sell aluminum foil bags which would greatly simplify this part of the meal.
  11. Using tongs and a paper towel, wipe the vegetable oil on your freshly brushed grill to help prevent the chicken from sticking.
  12. Lay the chicken, skin side down, over the direct heat. Place the veggie packets near the chicken, on the edge of the hot and safe zones.
  13. Turn the chicken after 5 minutes, or if the flames of hell start to flare up.
  14. When both sides are browned (10-12 minutes) move the chicken to the safe zone. Let if cook, undisturbed, until it has an internal temperature of at least 165, but with legs and thighs, you can even go to 170 without drying the meat.  This will take 30-4 minutes.  If you don’t have a thermometer, use  a meat fork or a skewer, and pierce the thigh in the deepest part. Pull it out. If the juices are red, it is still raw. If they are clear, it is done. 
  15. Turn the potato packets 1/4 turn (flat, right edge, upside down, left edge, flat) every 10 minutes. Remove 40 minutes after putting on the grill.
  16. Remove the chicken when done and immediately brush the Hoisin BBQ sauce over it. I don’t brush this on while the chicken is still on the grill, because I don’t want it to burn, or all run off and fall into the grill.
  17. Let the veggie packets and chicken rest for 5 minutes, then serve.
Nutritional data:
Chicken (an average leg/thigh quarter will yield about 4 ounces of meat)
Calories:     210
Fat:             15g
Sat fat:        4.5g
Chol:        90mg
Sodium:  150mg
Carbs:           0g
Fiber:            0g
Protein:       19g
Hoisin BBQ Sauce (less than 1 tablespoon of the sauce–save the remaining sauce covered in the refrigerator)

Calories:       67
Fat:            6.9g
Sat fat:          1g
Chol:          0mg
Sodium:    34mg
Carbs:        2.5g
Fiber:            0g
Protein:      0.3g
Grilled Potato (half the packet):

Calories:       136
Fat:             3.7g
Sat fat:        1.3g
Chol:        9.5mg
Sodium:   133mg
Carbs:       22.1g
Fiber:             3g
Protein:          5g
In the next couple days, I will show you how to make an Asian Chicken Salad, using the leftover chicken and Hoisin BBQ Sauce.

Ribs! A Perfect Summer Meal

This post is more of a story, but it is also a recipe for happiness.

I like ribs. Baby back ribs, short ribs, beef ribs, spare ribs, country-style. I am completely rib-centric and open-minded in my love for ribs. I like them wet or dry. With a sweet tomato sauce, or a sharp mustard sauce. With a vinegar sauce or no sauce at all. Dry rubbed. Par-boiled. Smoked or grilled over direct heat. In an oven, a crock pot, or a grill.

If you are not a pork-itarian, maybe you should skip this post.

Over the weekend, I made two huge racks of spareribs. Each weighed about 7 pounds. I dry rubbed them with a spice blend on Friday and let them sit in the fridge until Saturday afternoon. At noon, I fired up my smoker-grill and cooked them over low (225-ish) indirect heat with chunks of hickory for heat and apple wood for smoke.

Just after I put them on the grill.
If you are curious, the rub was 4 tablespoons paprika, 2 tablespoons table sugar, and 1 tablespoon each of coarse salt, black pepper, dry mustard, celery seed, garlic powder, onion powder, and 1 teaspoon cayenne. I tend to go overboard when I make spice blends, but this works on ribs.
I added one or two hickory chunks every 30 minutes, as well as a handful of apple wood chips that I had soaking in beer. At the same time, I also sprayed the ribs with a spray bottle filled with 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup Jack Daniels. I never turned the ribs or repositioned them at all. There are four air vents on this grill, and all were open half-way. It made a lot of smoke but not a lot of heat.
After five hours on the grill, they are ready to come off.
Towards the end of grilling, I prepared the other aspects of the meal. I make zucchini pancakes and grilled corn on the cob.
Those are three inch cakes. It takes 1/4 cup batter to make one.
I had fresh corn on the cob that I partially husked (I pulled the husk to expose the corn, but I did not remove it from the cob.) I fired up my gas grill and preheated it on high for ten minutes. (Yeah, I have a charcoal grill AND a natural gas grill, directly connected to my home natural gas supply. I am a bit grill obsessed.) I laid the cobs directly on the grate. Corn grills at 2-3 minutes per side, and I basted it with olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper. (I was too busy finishing the ribs and frying the pancakes so I did not have time to take a picture of the corn on the grill.)
Ribs are resting and the corn is grilled.
Notice the pink edge to the ribs. That is not rare meat, but rather a “smoke ring” cause by the smoke beginning to preserve the meat, when the smoke is absorbed by the meat and them chemically interacts. A smoke ring is a sign of low heat and long smoking.
I am not going to give nutritional data, because everyone will buy different ribs and therefore will have different numbers. And you may choose to use a commercial spice blend or a liquid sauce. I just tell you about this to give you the idea that you can smoke meats, too. You do not need a smoker. You just need a grill that is large enough to allow for indirect heat, and then add your preferred wood chips for the flavor. (I actually do not prefer hickory, but it is what I had on my grill shelf. The smoke is a little “medicinal” but it still tastes better than ribs without smoke.)
We had five people eating dinner (my wife and myself, our two sons and one of their friends.) After we finished dinner we still had an entire rack of ribs leftover. That’s okay because they taste even better the next day. Except when I got up the next day, the ribs were gone. Apparently, the guys stayed up late playing Xbox and sometime in the early morning hours, they enjoyed a snack of pork ribs.
At least they left me a few of the pancakes.

Life is meant to be enjoyed and shared, which is what I do with my interviews on my Make Your Someday Today podcast. I interview people from around the world, ask them to share their stories and in the process, we all learn how to be more successful and happier.