What is it that You do Again?

I, of course, thought it appropriate for a quick update of the human variety.

It is spring–and I have taken turn to a new position with a new company, and I’ve decided to spend most of my evenings (as of late) reading or watching Netflix or even out visiting with friends. I surely haven’t stopped cooking–nor stopped eating! Should you be interested in keeping up with things day-to-day my Instagram is the easiest place to hang out together.

 

While you are–I can only hope–enriching yourself similarly–here are some fun pieces of information that might enrich things for you. Some of my favorite shows I’ve watched recently are actually quite worth your time, assuming you have similar tastes, of course:

  1. The Crown – (Netflix) An amazing historical fiction series about the most recent Queen Elizabeth ascending to the thrown in the 1950’s. If you enjoyed Downton Abbey this new show will delight you most of the time, yet perhaps bore on rare occasion.
  2. The OA – (Netflix) Trippy, beautiful series that stretches towards a very science fiction-y end about halfway through the first season. If you have ever enjoyed science fiction you will love the series–it’s thought-provoking, existential and fabulous.
  3. Stranger Things – (Netflix) Another great science fiction series that is set in the 80’s and joyfully reminiscent of my childhood.  
  4. Better Call Saul – (AMC & back for a new season!!) Start with Breaking Bad or you surely will be lost to it all.
  5. Master of None – (Netflix) Oh Aziz Ansari–what CAN’T you do?! It’s a coming of age show that will strike a familiar cord with all who give it a chance to. Aziz gives a fresh humor to life’s awkward moments and will make you appreciate your parents more.
  6. Abstract: The Art of Design – (Netflix) a series on art and design that the creative side will enjoy like popcorn at the movies. Not a show to watch just before bed–stay sharp and watch this masterpiece earlier in the day.

You may notice there are no food shows on this list–no Great British Baking Show,  Chef’s Table or Parts Unknown. While amazing shows in and of themselves, I’m guessing these are old news to you as well. If not–I’ve linked them so that you may enjoy them for yourself.

What are you watching?

Spicy Pork Sliders with Toby’s JalapeƱo Ranch Slaw

Spicy Pork Sliders with Toby's JalapeƱo Ranch Slaw

This post is sponsored by Toby’s Family Foods. All thoughts, photos, and opinions are my own.

Let’s take a moment and talk about the meaning of finger food–it’s food that’s meant to be handled in one’s hands–for this purpose, all things dubbed “finger food” should be able to be eaten in 3-4 bites and is acceptable to eat with one’s hands without embarrassment. Most people’s minds go to the typical party fare we all know and love–veggies and dip, wings, cheese and crackers, and chips and guacamole (did you know 139 million pounds of avocados are consumed thanks to the big game this weekend? (source)). I would like to turn the attention to one of my favorite party items: sliders.

I wanted to cover something that wouldn’t have you frantically sorting through green avocados the day before the big game. These pulled pork sliders have components that shine even on their own; I am, therefore, going to break down the recipe in sections, and allow you to build it how you would like. 

If creating this recipe for game day, Here’s how I would go about it to allow for ample prep time. Double the jalapeƱo batch and use throughout the week for menu planning (these will go great on burgers, nachos, sandwiches, eggs, and a lot more). Prep the beef two days prior, cook one day prior, and transfer to your trusty crockpot to keep heated throughout the game the day of. Make the slaw one day prior, to allow the flavors to marry and mellow in the fridge for up to 24 hours. A slaw given the chance to break down a bit will always have better flavor than a brand new batch.

This spicy pork sliders recipe features a zesty jalapeƱo ranch slaw, the base of which is jalapeƱo ranch salad dressing by Toby’s Family Foods

 

Spicy Pork Sliders with Toby’s JalapeƱo Ranch Slaw

Spicy Pork Sliders with Toby's JalapeƱo Ranch Slaw

Ingredients

Quick-Pickled JalapeƱos

  • 8-10 JalapeƱos, sliced thin using a sharp knife or mandolin
  • 3/4 C Water
  • 3/4 C Distilled Vinegar
  • 3 T White sugar
  • 1 T Kosher salt
  • 2 Cloves garlic, smashed

For the Meat

  • 2.5-3lb Pork shoulder
  • 1 1/2 T Smoked paprika
  • 1/2 T Garlic powder
  • 1/2 T Brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 T Course sea salt
  • 1/2 T Dry mustard
  • 1 T Maple syrup
  • 3 Dozen slider buns

Zesty Ranch Slaw

  • 3 C Slaw mix (if from scratch, 1 c shredded red cabbage, 1/2 c shredded kale, 1 c shredded green cabbage)
  • 1/3 C Toby’s JalapeƱo Ranch
  • 2 T Mayonnaise
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1/2 t Salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper to taste

Method

JalapeƱos

Start with the JalapeƱos–these can be pickled up to a week ahead of time. Combine everything but the jalapeƱos and garlic into a medium pot and bring to a boil. Assemble the jalapeƱos and garlic into a sanitized quart-sized mason jar and pour the boiling liquid over the jalapeƱos. Using a chopstick (or other skinny long stick-shaped item), press to the bottom of the jar, shaking as you go. Doing this releases bubbles of air from the jar, which will improve the seal on the jar (thus the longevity of the can). Place the lid tightly on the jar and allow to first cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until needed.

Meat

For the meat, mix the herbs and spread generously to the cut of meat. Place in shallow bowl and cover with foil. Refrigerate for at leas 1 hour, overnight if you have enough time. Once ready to cook, preheat the oven to 300ĀŗF, and transfer the meat from the bowl to a deep pan or dutch oven and move to the oven. Bake for 2-4 hours, checking the internal temperature revery 30 minutes past the second hour until the internal temperature of the meat is 170ĀŗF and meat is easily torn.

Spicy Pork Sliders with Toby's JalapeƱo Ranch Slaw

Tear the meat using two forks, and stir in the maple syrup–seasoning again to taste with salt and pepper, then setting aside until it’s time to build your sliders.

Slaw

While the meat is in the oven, it’s best to start the slaw, that way it is time to marinate in the fridge. Combine all of the slaw ingredients, stir, and season to taste. Next, refrigerate until needed. When it comes time to build the sliders, toast the buns–remember that gluten free buns can be subbed in, and with that alteration, this recipe can be made GF. Build the sliders topping with as many pickled jalapeƱos as you’d like.

This recipe serves 10.

Spicy Pork Sliders with Toby's JalapeƱo Ranch Slaw

Spicy Pork Sliders with Toby's JalapeƱo Ranch Slaw

Tahini Toast with Autumn Glory Apples

Tahini Apple Toast with Autumn Glory Apples | The Spicy Bee

This post is sponsored by Autumn Glory Apples. All thoughts, photos, and opinions are my own.

When developing the habit of eating well, it’s good to be able to switch up how you enjoy your fruits and vegetables, and adding protein will help you feel full for longer! I recently took to enjoying tahini toast with Autumn Glory Apples topped with tahini, honey, pine nuts, and thyme. This snack can be prepped, folded, and bagged for later (to be eaten like a sandwich) or snacked on right away. 

A little bit about the ingredients I use–especially with how simple this recipe is, quality is king! I use a great, locally made bread (Dave’s Killer Bread Honey, Oats and Flax), which can be frozen and thawed in a toaster the minute you need it. You could easily sub in your favorite gluten free toast to make the same snack. My current favorite tahini is Kevala’s Organic Tahini, which I usually get off Amazon (although I realized today I have three different kinds of tahini in my fridge).

Every tahini tastes different, so be sure to taste test before using your tahini. I personally prefer a darker tasting tahini for toast, and a sweeter tasting tahini for hummus. There’s no wrong way, however, so have fun with it! Conversely, Autumn Glory Apples add a beautiful sweetness to balance the earthy flavor of the tahini. I like topping the apples with a small drizzle of Bee Local Honey (or something else local), which helps the fresh thyme and pine nuts stick to the toast. Finally, I finish it with Jacobsen’s Flake Sea Salt.

As a sidenote, Ktams pointed out that I picked a piece of toast shaped like Oregon. This, though I would love to take credit, was a happy accident. šŸ™‚

Apple Tahini Toast Featuring Autumn Glory Apples

Ingredients

  • 1 Slice of your favorite bread, toasted
  • 2 T Tahini
  • 3-5 slices of Autumn Glory Apples
  • 1 T Honey
  • 1 Sprig fresh thyme, stem removed
  • 1 T Pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • Flake salt, to taste (optional)

Method

This recipe is meant to be nice and simple–top toast with the above ingredients in order (tahini, apples, honey, thyme, pine nuts, and salt). For the pine nuts, the easiest way to toast them is in a toaster oven for 3 minutes, but even this is a suggestion and not mandatory. If you don’t have one, stove top toasting works too, but be careful to use low heat and keep them moving in the pan to avoid burning. The toast recipe is (optionally gluten free), dairy free, and vegetarian. Enjoy!

Tahini Apple Toast with Autumn Glory Apples | The Spicy Bee