Pineapple Chile Pork Burgers

imageI didn’t have time to cook this weekend, but I did just make these  tasty Pineapple Chile Pork Burgers!  The combination of chipotle chiles and pineapple gave them just the right amount of smokiness, heat, and sweetness.  These would be a great addition to any summer barbecue!

1 can chipotle chile peppers in adobe
2 teaspoons dried oregano (I used my special Cucina Rosa Three Spice Blend of basil, parsley, and oregano)
2 cloves garlic
1 small white onion, divided
1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds lean ground pork
8 pineapple slices (fresh or canned, unsweetened)
Hamburger buns of your choice
Fresh cilantro
Light mayo (optional)

In a food processor or blender, puree the chipotle chile peppers (no additional sauce), oregano, garlic, half of the white onion, and pineapple juice.  Combine the pork, marinade, salt and pepper with a fork in a large bowl.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat grill (I used my Cuisinart Griddler).  Shape pork mixture into 8 patties (6 if you want larger burgers).  Grill burgers and pineapple, flipping burgers once until cooked through.  Serve on hamburger buns of your choice with fresh cilantro, light mayo, and remaining onion, sliced.  Yum!!!! 🙂

*Adapted from Food Network

Pulled Pork Tacos

IMG_9209A few weeks ago, I finally bought a slow cooker, and I’m so glad I did.  Since it’s been pretty hot and humid lately and my kitchen is without A/C, I needed to take a break from using the oven and stove.  I had a slow cooker years ago that someone gave to me, but I never really used it.  I ended up leaving it at my former place of employment for the guys to use for their annual Christmas party.  Lucky them!  Not knowing a lot about slow cookers/crock pots, I did a little research and ended up purchasing the Cuisinart PSC-350 3-1/2-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker.  So far it’s been great!  I love that it switches to warm once the cooking time is finished.

I am also looking forward to using it in the winter so I can make more than one meal on Sunday when I’m prepping for the week.  I don’t always feel like cooking on nights I get home late so this will be a huge help.

This past Sunday, I had late afternoon plans to make dinner for friends who just had a baby and to hang out with their other two little ones. 🙂  Since I wasn’t going to be home to cook later, I decide to try my hand at shredded pork tacos.  I’ve been craving them and figured they would be easy to attempt.  I found two different recipes but ended up coming up with my own combination of ingredients.  They were delicious!  The pork was tender and flavorful and just what I was in the mood for.

2 pounds pork tenderloin
1 cup chicken stock
1 15 ounce can Muir Glen Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo
1/2 white onion, chopped
1  tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Corn or flour tortillas
Shredded Mexican blend cheese (optional)
Fresh cilantro, limes, and/or sliced radishes for garnishes

Place the pork tenderloin in the slower cooker and add the chile powder, salt, chicken stock, tomatoes, and garlic cloves (whole).  In a food processor or mini-prep, combine 2-3 chipotle peppers, half of the adobo sauce, onion, vinegar, and brown sugar.  Pulse to combine.  Add to the pork mixture. Stir to combine and evenly coat the pork
Cook on low for 8 hours.  Using two forks, shred the pork.  Serve with warm corn or flour tortillas, salsa, guacamole, and your choice of garnishes.  Enjoy!


Southwestern Black Bean Burgers

IMG_7711Let me start off by saying I’m not a big fan of beans.  Growing up, one of my least favorite dinners was pork chops and baked beans or a favorite of my dad’s-Penny Stew (cut up hot dogs mixed with baked beans).  My dad still teases me about it today!  It’s more of a texture thing than taste, and I wish I liked them more because they’re good for you and are in a lot of healthy dishes.

So despite my aversion to beans, I thought I’d give these “burgers” a try.  Even though the black beans are the star of this recipe, they are blended with the other ingredients, and you don’t feel like you’re eating a mouthful of beans.  They’re easy to make and were good leftover for lunch for the week.

1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 egg
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Grated or sliced pepper jack cheese
4 hamburger buns of your choice (I used whole grain sandwich thins, toasted)

IMG_7712Place the oats in a food processor and pulse to roughly chop.  Add half the beans to the food processor and pulse until a coarse paste is formed.  Add the egg, cumin and salt.  Process to mix well.

IMG_7713Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.  Stir in the remaining beans (I only used half of the remaining beans), green onions, and cilantro.  Wet hands and form mixture into four patties.  Transfer to a baking sheet and refrigerate for 10 minutes to allow patties to firm up.

IMG_7714Coat a large skillet with cooking spray.  Over medium-high heat, cook patties until browned, about 4-5 minutes each side.  Top with pepper jack cheese after flipping.  Serve on hamburger buns of your choice with guacamole.  Enjoy!