One of my husband and I's favorite weekend meals is a pork roast. We really like pork roast cooked in a variety of ways whether it's smoked, slow grilled, or slow roasted in the oven. Besides the fact that the roast is absolutely divinely delicious the day we make it, I especially love it because I always try to squirrel away a chunk for later.
If we have a lot left over I'll wrap a big piece well and throw it in the freezer. Quesadillas are one of my favorite weeknight dinners and the pork is a perfect meat for the filling.
One of the ways my husband and I love to extend the summer season is roast peppers, peel the skin off, put the peppers into freezer bags, and then throw them in the freezer. I learned this trick from my brother in law, Matt. Last time we visited, he made us a wonderful chili and he used a bag full of roasted chilies that he had prepared in advanced and pulled out of the freezer when he was ready to use them.
My sister also taught me a trick. Her jalapeno plants went wild this year and she had more than she could use. She rinsed and dried the jalapenos, put them whole in a freezer bag and put them right in the freezer. Before our first frost of the fall, we stripped the peppers off our plants and used this technique to save them for later.
The saved pork, fire roasted chilies, and jalapenos were perfect in these quesdillas.
Quesdillas with Pork and Fire Roasted Chilies (This recipe makes 2 quesadillas.) 1 pounds of pork roast (preferably roast from pork shoulder) 1/2 tbsp olive oil 3/4 cup of fire roasted chilies - chopped 2 jalapenos - minced 3/4 cup monterey jack cheese 2 tortilla shells
Thaw the pork and with a fork pull the pork into little shreds. In a skillet on medium high heat, add olive oil. Swirl the pan to cover. Add pork roast, chilies and jalapenos. Heat through for about 5 minutes. In a separate pan, brush oil on the pan to keep the quesadillas from sticking. Place the tortilla wrappers in the pan so half the wrapper is flat on the skillet with the other half draping up the side of the pan. Sprinkle a light layer of cheese on both wrappers. With a spoon, place a layer of the pork mixture on top of the cheese. Add another layer of cheese on top. Fold over the part of the wrapper that was draped over the side of the pan. Cook on medium high. Flip the first side after the wrapper is golden. The first side will probably take about 4 minutes with the second side taking about 2 minutes.
Food is so intriguing. I’ve always loved to cook whether it’s casual and simple or complicated and elegant. After living in the Midwestern United States all my life I find myself jumping between All-American foods and foods from other cultures. There is definitely a sense of comfort with cooking and enjoying food that I’ve grown up with.
I have a voracious curiosity to learn about all cultures, especially the Middle East/Mediterranean, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai foods. I’ve learned that a simple curry dish or an Asian dumpling can transform your mood and be just as much of a comfort food as the foods you’ve known you’re whole life.
It is fascinating to me how each culture has such a diversity of ingredients, and when used with different combinations and cooking techniques you can easily transform the same few ingredients into a multitude of dishes. The unfamiliar, the diverse ingredients and techniques, can be intimidating to many people. I’ve created this blog to chronicle and share my explorations in the kitchen so that hopefully you will want to start experimenting in your kitchen.