Sunday, January 20, 2013

Pulled Pork Panini

Last week I took a day off work to spend with my best friend. She is the same age as me - early 30s - and owns three restaurants in the town of Belfast, Maine (a pub, an Italian place, and a Mexican place). She is pretty amazing.

So of course I had to make her an awesome lunch. Every time we go to visit her she treats us to lunch at whichever restaurant of hers that we want to go. Believe me, the good life is eating at a nice restaurant with the owner at your table.

I decided on pulled pork paninis and a curried carrot soup. We had recently had pulled pork and coleslaw (cabbage and carrots came in the winter CSA) for supper and I had made some bread just for this. I've been wanting to make a cake and decided this was a good opportunity. I'll include the pulled pork, coleslaw and panini recipes here and the cake one will be separate.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Source: Pioneer Woman

1 medium sized pork butt/shoulder
1 large onion, quartered
1 bottle soda (I used Dr. Pepper)
1/2 small can chipolte peppers
4 tablespoons brown sugar

Season the pork with salt and pepper. Lay the onion quarters on the bottle of the crock pot. Put the pork on top of them and add the rest of the ingredients. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove the pork and pull, removing the fat from the meat. (Pioneer Woman suggests adding the pulled pork to the sauce in the crock pot but I think it would have been too spicy for my toddler so I left it as is and loved it.)

Creamy Coleslaw
Source: Martha Stewart

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I did half mayo and half yogurt)
1/4 cup sour cream
1 small green cabbage, finely shredded
2 medium carrots, coarsely grated

Whisk together mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, salt, mayonnaise, and sour cream in a small bowl. Refrigerate dressing, covered, until ready to use, or up to 2 days.
Put cabbage, carrots, and onion (if desired) in a large bowl. Pour in dressing, and toss thoroughly. Refrigerate, covered, until slaw begins to soften, 1 to 2 hours. If not using immediately, refrigerate, covered, up to 2 days. Just before serving, toss coleslaw again.

Pulled Pork Panini
Source: ME!

Sour dough bread or focaccia
Salted butter
Pulled pork
BBQ sauce (I used an awesome maple sauce made in VT)
Cheddar cheese, shredded
**I wanted to add caramelized onion but I forgot to make them ahead of time**

Heat panini press or grill pan on medium. Butter the bread and then layer all the ingredients on one slice, putting cheese on top and bottom. Top with the other piece of bread and panini press it! YUM.

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