Thursday, January 29, 2009

Leftover Ideas

Last week I made tasty Chipotle Mango Pulled Pork. I made it using a 3.5 lb pork shoulder. That's alot of meat for 2 people, which meant I had to get creative with the leftovers. Yes we could've just kept having pulled pork sandwiches, but where's the fun in that? Besides I come from a family, well more specifically I have a father who is AMAZING with leftovers. He is that person that always takes leftovers home from a restaurant and makes them even better than the were originally. It's always a culinary adventure at my parents' house because you can look in the fridge and see nothing appealing and Dad will go in there and create the tastiest meal. This is a skill that we could all benefit from these days what with rising food costs and the overall financial difficulties most of us are living with. With that in mind I took on the challenge to see how many different ways I could reuse my delectable pulled pork.

My first dish was something I've been craving for quite some time, enchiladas. The one stumbling block was the difficulty in finding soft corn tortillas in Toronto. I've only found one grocery store between work and home that carries them and I just couldn't get over there before my planned meal. But I recently saw Ingrid Hoffman (on her Food Network show Simply Delcioso) make quick and easy chicken enchiladas using flour tortillas. I figured if they were good enough for Ingrid than I could sure try them, plus I think the whole wheat tortillas are much better for you than the corn.

Pulled Pork Enchiladas
serves 3

2 cups of leftover pulled pork - heated in the microwave or a skillet
1 small onion chopped
1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes with onions & peppers
1 small can diced green chiles
2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
6 whole wheat tortillas

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly oil or spray with cooking spray an 11x17 baking dish.
2. In a bowl mix together warmed pork, onions and 1 cup shredded cheese. In another bowl mix together the diced tomatoes and chiles.
3. Taking one tortilla at a time place 1/3 cup of pork mixture in a line down the center, fold the tortilla over the pork and place seam down in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas.
4. Pour the tomato chile mixture over the rolled tortillas and top with the rest of the shredded cheddar cheese.
5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese has all melted and the filling and sauce is bubbly. Serve with sour cream and a side of black beans.

The boy really enjoyed this, I was less than impressed. I just felt that with the sauce in the pork and the sauce on top the flour tortillas just became too doughy. I still prefer the corn tortillas for my enchiladas but will try to flour tortillas again in a pinch and maybe with a different filling. This was a super easy meal which was my favorite part of it. Even better was that I cooked dry beans all day in my slow cooker. They were not perfect which is why I am not posting them. But another great cost saving measure is to buy dried beans as opposed to canned. They are much less expensive for the amount you get. They take longer to cook but if you make a bunch over the weekend they keep for almost a week in the fridge or you can try the slow cooker method.

On to the other leftover recipes. I didn't take pictures of these next two simply because I was starving when I made each. Lame excuse I know, but it's the truth.

Pulled Pork Panini
makes 1 panini

1/2 cup or more pulled pork - heated in microwave or skillet (just so it's not iced cold from the fridge)
1 thick cut slice of extra sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup of leftover coleslaw (from when we originally had the pork)
2 slices of multi-grain bread

1. Heat up panini press/indoor grill, I have this grill.
2. On one slice of bread, layer pork, coleslaw, cheese and top with 2nd slice of bread. Carefully place sandwich in the grill and press down for approx 5 minutes, until cheese is melted and you get nice grill marks on the sandwich.
IF YOU DON'T HAVE A PANINI PRESS: This is a sandwich that can easily be made the same way you would make a grilled cheese. Just butter the outside of the assembled sandwich and grill in a skillet over medium low heat until nice and toasty.

I made this sandwich for Saturday brunch. The boy worked late Friday night and slept in on Saturday and I ran errands until he woke up and forgot to eat until I made this around 1pm. Hence my being too starving to take the time to photograph it. While it's just a sandwich with the gooey cheese and toasty bread it was quite a different experience than traditional pulled pork on a roll.

And on to the final recipe:

Pulled Pork Quesadillas with Guacamole
serves 2-3

Pulled pork - I used whatever we had left for this, I'm guessing it was approx 1-2 cups, heated in microwave or skillet
6 whole wheat tortillas
2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
cooking spray
2 avocados - cubed
1 tomato - pulp removed and diced
1/2 small onion diced
1 glove garlic minced
1/4 jalapeno - deveined and seeded and minced
lime juice - from 1 lime
salt & pepper

1. Make the guacamole first so it has time to set and the flavors can meld. In a medium bowl mash together the avocado, garlic, jalapeno & lime juice, keeping the mixture slightly chunky. Carefully mix in the tomatoes and onions. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350F. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray. Toast both sides of each tortilla until slightly golden. Set aside on a plate. When all tortillas are toasted. Place 1 tortilla on a cookie sheet. top with shredded cheese, a thin layer of pulled pork, more shredded cheese and a second tortilla. Repeat with remaining tortillas and meat to make 3 quesadillas.
3. Place cookie sheet in heated over and bake for 12-15 minutes until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and cut with a pizza cutter. Serve with guacamole and a green salad with lettuce tomato and a vinaigrette dressing.

This was by far my favorite re-use of the pulled pork. I love quesadillas and this method to make them was so simple. I borrowed it from another one of my favorite bloggers, the Pioneer Woman, she is suggesting it for Superbowl Sunday and I inclined to agree. Whether you are reusing pulled pork or just about any leftover meat or using all veggies like the Pioneer Woman it's a tasty and satisfying treat.



Carrie said...

Wow, you really got your monies worth out of that pork! Way to go :-)

Anonymous said...

Mmm, that picture looks delish. Is that crema mexicana on top??? Yum!