Category Archives: Stews

Slow Cooker Filipino Pork Adobo

Filipino food is underrated in my opinion. Granted, I’ve only skimmed the surface when it comes to eating legitimate Filipino food, but from what I have had, it is super tasty, well balanced, and extremely comforting. Everything from tinola, arroz caldo, mock sisig, torta, afritada, pancit canton, and bihon, plus who could forget lumpia, and the infamous pork barbecue.  Again, I am only skimming the surface, but there is one dish, in my opinion, that showcases the flavors of the Philippines, which results in sweet, sour, salty, and spicy, and that is adobo.

Adobo is basically the Filipino sauce and cooking process that typically consists of soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, meat, and onions that are slowly cooked in the sauce until it is super tender.  As I have made chicken adobo in the past, I wanted to try making a pork should, and cook it, while I was working, in a slow cooker. The results were nothing short of amazing.

Filipino Pork Adobo Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb pork shoulder, bone-in
  • 1 whole onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 inch of ginger, smashed
  • 1/4 white whine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 whole Thai chili, smashed
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • Your favorite Fried Rice

Add everything but the pork and fried rice to a mixing bowl. Give a good stir to dissolve the brown sugar.

Add the pork shoulder, fat side up to your slow cooker. Pour the mixture over the pork shoulder, cover, and cook for 7 hours.  After 7 hours, remove the pork shoulder and place onto a large cutting board.

filipino-pork-adobo-ingredients

Remove and discard the bone, and any additional fat. Cut the remaining pork into large cubes, then add the pork back into the slow cooker. Give a nice stir to cover with the sauce, garlic, and onions. Turn the slow cooker to high and continue cook for an additional hour before shredding with a couple of forks.

pork-adobo2

When you are ready to serve, plate the slow cooker Filipino pork adobo onto your plate, as well as a serving of your favorite fried rice. Garnish with an additional Thai chili pepper and some lemon wedges.

Your going to love this pork adobo. It is not only super tender and aromatic, but it has the most wonderful flavors. If you are looking to explore Filipino cuisine, start with this one. It’s not only easy, but it is super delicious. I served the leftovers as another serving, as well as wrapped up the pork adobo in warm, soft tortillas. I hope you enjoy.

Slow Cooker Filipino Pork Adobo
Author: 
Cuisine: Filipino
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 3 lb pork shoulder, bone-in
  • 1 whole onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ½ inch of ginger, smashed
  • ¼ white whine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 whole Thai chili, smashed
  • ½ cup of water
  • Your favorite Fried Rice
Instructions
  1. Add everything but the pork and fried rice to a mixing bowl. Give a good stir to dissolve the brown sugar.
  2. Add the pork shoulder, fat side up to your slow cooker. Pour the mixture over the pork shoulder, cover, and cook for 7 hours. After 7 hours, remove the pork shoulder and place onto a large cutting board.
  3. Remove and discard the bone, and any additional fat. Cut the remaining pork into large cubes, then add the pork back into the slow cooker. Give a nice stir to cover with the sauce, garlic, and onions. Turn the slow cooker to high and continue cook for an additional hour before shredding with a couple of forks.
  4. When you are ready to serve, plate the slow cooker Filipino pork adobo onto your plate, as well as a serving of your favorite fried rice. Garnish with an additional Thai chili pepper and some lemon wedges.
  5. Your going to love this pork adobo. It is not only super tender and aromatic, but it has the most wonderful flavors. If you are looking to explore Filipino cuisine, start with this one. It’s not only easy, but it is super delicious. I hope you enjoy.

 

Curried Lentils

It was not too long ago where a small group of us went out to dinner in Milwaukee, at a great restaurant called Odd Duck. It was our first time eating there, and we were impressed from the first step into their door. This restaurant is known for small plates, tapa style, to be shared with the table.  I enjoy the concept because it allows everyone to sample a lot of dishes, something that would normally not occur at your standard restaurant. So based on their suggestions, we ordered about ten dishes among the four of us. The first dish, and I will not get into details on the other dishes as you can read those on my Yelp review, was a curried lentil served with a compote and flat bread. They were great, and so great that I decided to make my version the following week.

How to make curried lentils recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of lentils, soaked in water and picked through
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, rough chop
  • 1 large carrot, washed, ends trimmed, rough chop
  • 3 ribs of celery, rough chop
  • 5 cloves garlic, skin removed
  • 3 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 6 cups of water, or stock, approximately

Start by picking through your lentils. Some times, but not all, you will find little stones or other artifacts. Remove those. Then strain the lentils.

Next, add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to a food processor. If you do not have one, simply chop all of those ingredients very finely. Pulse until they are finely chopped.

Get a large pot onto the stove on medium, to medium high heat. Add the olive oil, warming it through.

Scrape all of the vegetable mixture out and into the pot. Cook for about 5 minutes, sweating all of the vegetables.

After five minutes, add the curry powder, salt, and pepper, and give this a good stir. I’m a big fan of cooking the seasoning for a few minutes.

Curry Lentils Recipe

After a few minutes, add the strained lentils to the pot, and give them a good stir. Add in the lemon juice. Cook for a few more minutes, then add your stock or water.  Your goal is to add enough water to cover the lentils by a half inch or so. As the lentils cook, they will absorb the stock or water, so keep an eye on it as they cook, and add more stock if necessary. You are not making a soup, nor do you want them to completely absorb all of the liquid.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, covering, and let simmer for about 1 hour, taking a peak 30 minutes into the cooking to adjust any liquid.

After an hour, taste the lentils and make sure they are nice and tender and that your liquid ratio is going well. If they are still a bit hard, cook longer. I like the lentils to be al dente, not mushy.

When you are ready to serve, you can either serve family style, or into smaller bowls. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

The end result is pure flavor. The warmth of the curry along with the mirepoix lends itself to a healthy, and nutritious side dish, or meal for that matter. Hope you enjoy.

Curried Lentils
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb of lentils, soaked in water and picked through
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, rough chop
  • 1 large carrot, washed, ends trimmed, rough chop
  • 3 ribs of celery, rough chop
  • 5 cloves garlic, skin removed
  • 3 tbsp curry powder
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 6 cups of water, or stock, approximately
Instructions
  1. Start by picking through your lentils. Some times, but not all, you will find little stones or other artifacts. Remove those. Then strain the lentils.
  2. Next, add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to a food processor. If you do not have one, simply chop all of those ingredients very finely. Pulse until they are finely chopped.
  3. Get a large pot onto the stove on medium, to medium high heat. Add the olive oil, warming it through.
  4. Scrape all of the vegetable mixture out and into the pot. Cook for about 5 minutes, sweating all of the vegetables.
  5. After five minutes, add the curry powder, salt, and pepper, and give this a good stir. I'm a big fan of cooking the seasoning for a few minutes.
  6. After a few minutes, add the strained lentils to the pot, and give them a good stir. Add in the lemon juice. Cook for a few more minutes, then add your stock or water. Your goal is to add enough water to cover the lentils by a half inch or so. As the lentils cook, they will absorb the stock or water, so keep an eye on it as they cook, and add more stock if necessary. You are not making a soup, nor do you want them to completely absorb all of the liquid.
  7. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, covering, and let simmer for about 1 hour, taking a peak 30 minutes into the cooking to adjust any liquid.
  8. After an hour, taste the lentils and make sure they are nice and tender and that your liquid ratio is going well. If they are still a bit hard, cook longer. I like the lentils to be al dente, not mushy.
  9. When you are ready to serve, you can either serve family style, or into smaller bowls. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

 

The Slopper

If you have never heard of or seen the slopper, well, you are in for something good. I first learned of the slopper from a conversation with one of my colleagues. During the week, there is always conversations surrounding technology, kids, and food. One of the reasons I love my job is that not only do I work with people I like, and trust, and at the end of the day, care for, but also those daily conversations. Most everyone in the office is a ‘foodie’, most likely because they are the cooks of the house and looking for creative ideas and comforting recipes. So a few years back, the slopper came into one of those conversations. As I learned more, I decided to take my chance at making this chili mixture, only to be served on top of a burger. Yes, you heard me right.

Slopper Recipe

At first sight you might think to yourself, no way in hell am I going to like that, but let me tell you, this smothered burger is a thing of beauty, and whomever created this is a real genius. Rumor has it that this creation started in Colorado by a customer who stated the dish looked like slop. Take a look above. It’s not the prettiest thing you will see, but man oh man is this ever delicious. A red, pork chili ladled on top of a full blown burger, this slopper will have you second guessing with every bite.

Ingredients:

  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 4 cubanelle peppers
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 whole onion, diced
  • 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 15 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 15 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 lb pork shoulder, cubed
  • 1/2 lb ground chuck
  • 1 sturdy hamburger bun
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheese

Preheat your oven to 475 degrees.

Start by adding your whole peppers to a roasting pan, and drizzle with one tablespoon of the oil. Use your hands and massage the peppers. Once the oven is preheated, place the roasting pan into the oven, and roast the peppers until their flesh is nice and dark, about 15-20 minutes. Once the chilies are roasted, place them in a bowl, and cover them with a plate for another 5 minutes, or so. Remove the skin from the peppers, toss them away, then chop the flesh.

Next, heat a large pot on medium heat with the remaining oil. Toss in the onions and garlic, and let them sweat for a few minutes.

Toss in the pork, cumin, oregano, and a bit of salt and pepper. Give a good stir. Cook for five minutes then toss in the canned tomatoes, along with the peppers and stock. Give another good stir.

Bring this up to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and let cook for 2 hours.

Mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl, then drizzle this into the pork stew, stirring along the way.

Next, if you have a stick blender, put it into the pot and give the pork chili a good few zips of the blender. This will break up the pork and thicken the chili. If you do not have a hand blender, ladle some into a food processor or blender, and pulse a few times, adding it back into the pot. Remember though that when adding hot liquids to a blender to add more pressure to the lid with your hand, coated with a towel. The last thing you want is chili on the ceiling.

How to make a slopper

You are almost there.

Now it’s time to make the burger.

Form a patty and generously season with salt and pepper.

Preheat a cast iron skillet. Add the patty to a cast iron skillet, getting a nice sear on the patty. Cook for a few minutes, undisturbed, then flip. Cook the burger to your desired temperature.

When you are ready to plate, get a serving bowl out. Add the burger to your hamburger bun, and place in the bottom of the bowl. Basically you have a burger in a bowl. Weird, right?

Top with the shredded cheese, then ladle in copious amounts of the chili.

This is a fork and knife burger people, so get in, cut yourself a nice big bite, and repeat.  This burger is a thing of beauty. You get the awesome chili mixture along with the well seasoned burger. It’s great, it’s really, really great. So the next time you are thinking of making a batch of chili, give this one a shot, and don’t forget to add an extra burger to complet that slopper!

 

Chicken, Andouille, and Shrimp Gumbo

It was years ago when my wife and I last visited New Orleans. It was one of the best trips we probably had together. As the trip was a short one, both my wife and I attempted to consume as much of New Orleans as we could. If you have never been to New Orleans, I would highly recommend it. It is a culinary paradise surrounded by seedy streets, old architecture, and friendly people. While we were there, we loaded up on delicious jambalaya, muffuletta’s, beignets, po’ boys, and delicious gumbo.

Chicken, Shrimp, and Andouille Sausage Gumbo Recipe

Let’s just say the food was amazing, and hands down some of the best I have ever had while travelling. But that gumbo. The gumbo was like a soup, or stew, that was just ever so comforting. Every bite took whatever stresses you had away. Loaded with the ‘holy trinity’, chicken, seafood, and some spicy sausage, I knew why this was Louisiana’s state dish.

Now everyone has their own version of making gumbo, but from what I experienced in New Orleans, I made an attempt to recreate it. There are a few basics, in my opinion, that every gumbo needs. It needs a dark roux (flour, oil, butter), it needs the holy trinity (bell pepper, onion, celery), it needs chicken, andouille, and shrimp (yes, all three), and it needs a lot of garlic, and a bit of time to cook. With that said, let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
  • 4 links of andouille sausage, cut into small, bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of diced onion
  • 1 bulb of garlic, minced
  • 1 whole green bell pepper, seeds and stem removed, diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 ribs of celery, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cubes of beef bouillon, diced
  • 5 cups of hot water
  • 1 cup of frozen okra
  • 15 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 20 shrimp (31-40 size), raw, deveined and shells off
  • 2 tbsp flat leaf Italian parsley, diced
  • Store bought dried onions (optional)
  • Store bought fried garlic (optional)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Frech bread or cooked rice

Sounds like a lot right? Well, don’t worry. There’s some initial work up front, but after that, it is pretty much smooth sailing as this one pot meal will slowly simmer on the stove and deliver some amazing smells. Did I tell you how amazing this gumbo tastes? Let’s just say, it blew my wife away.

Begin by adding the oil to a large dutch oven, or large enough pot to hold all of these ingredients, factoring in the water. Once the oil is heated add in the chicken, and season with some salt and pepper. Cook the chicken on medium heat until both sides have browned, about 8 minutes or so.

Remove the chicken from the pot, and set it on a plate to cool.

Chicken, Shrimp, and Andouille Sausage Gumbo Recipe

Toss in the andouille sausage, and continue to brown that as well. The sausage will release a bit more fat, which is good, because we are going to use all of that to make a roux. Once the sausage has browned, remove it with a slotted spoon, and set it on a plate to cool.

Reduce the heat to medium low. Add two tablespoons of the unsalted butter to the pot, then toss in the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon, and continue to stir for about 8 minutes, or until the roux is a dark caramel color.

During this time, bring the water up to heat. You want it nice and hot, and not necessarily boiling.

When you have achieved that dark roux, add in the garlic, onions, bell peppers, and celery. Season with salt and pepper, and give it a good stir.

The mixture will look a bit gummy as the roux will stick to the vegetables. Don’t worry about that, this is how it is supposed to look. Cook this for about 8 more minutes.

Add in beef bouillon, the worchestershire sauce, and the hot water. Give this a good stir, and continue to stir until the roux is completely dissolved into the water.

Take a look at this beauty. See what you have just created? That roux, along with the water. You now have this amazing thickener that plays an integral part in making amazing gumbo!

Dice the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add the chicken and sausage back into the pot, and give a nice stir. Toss in the crushed tomatoes, and give another good stir.

Bring this to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer. Cover, and cook for about 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, add in the okra. Stir, cover, and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours. The okra adds another role as well by adding just a bit more thickness to the gumbo.  About 10 minutes before serving, add in the shrimp, and give another final stir.

I consider gumbo to be a nice soup or stew, and as many folks tend to eat it with cooked rice, my preference is to let the gumbo shine, and simply eat it with some warm french bread.

When you are ready to bowl, ladle in the gumbo, ensuring you get chicken, sausage, and shrimp, along with all of the other amazing vegetables. Top with fresh parsley and some of the fried onions and garlic.

Chicken Gumbo Recipe

The end result is nothing but amazing. It’s true comfort in every bite. My wife had stated that eating it reminded her of being in a dark, New Orelean’s restaurant, being served this lovely gumbo. I could not have agreed more. I hope you enjoy!

Chicken, Andouille, and Shrimp Gumbo
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
  • 4 links of andouille sausage, cut into small, bite-sized pieces
  • ¼ cup of vegetable oil
  • ½ cup of all-purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of diced onion
  • 1 bulb of garlic, minced
  • 1 whole green bell pepper, seeds and stem removed, diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 ribs of celery, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cubes of beef bouillon, diced
  • 5 cups of hot water
  • 1 cup of frozen okra
  • 15 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 20 shrimp (31-40 size), raw, deveined and shells off
  • 2 tbsp flat leaf Italian parsley, diced
  • Store bought dried onions (optional)
  • Store bought fried garlic (optional)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Frech bread or cooked rice
Instructions
  1. Sounds like a lot right? Well, don't worry. There's some initial work up front, but after that, it is pretty much smooth sailing as this one pot meal will slowly simmer on the stove and deliver some amazing smells. Did I tell you how amazing this gumbo tastes? Let's just say, it blew my wife away.
  2. Begin by adding the oil to a large dutch oven, or large enough pot to hold all of these ingredients, factoring in the water. Once the oil is heated add in the chicken, and season with some salt and pepper. Cook the chicken on medium heat until both sides have browned, about 8 minutes or so.
  3. Remove the chicken from the pot, and set it on a plate to cool.
  4. Toss in the andouille sausage, and continue to brown that as well. The sausage will release a bit more fat, which is good, because we are going to use all of that to make a roux. Once the sausage has browned, remove it with a slotted spoon, and set it on a plate to cool.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add two tablespoons of the unsalted butter to the pot, then toss in the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon, and continue to stir for about 8 minutes, or until the roux is a dark caramel color.
  6. During this time, bring the water up to heat. You want it nice and hot, and not necessarily boiling.
  7. When you have achieved that dark roux, add in the garlic, onions, bell peppers, and celery. Season with salt and pepper, and give it a good stir.
  8. The mixture will look a bit gummy as the roux will stick to the vegetables. Don't worry about that, this is how it is supposed to look. Cook this for about 8 more minutes.
  9. Add in beef bouillon, the worchestershire sauce, and the hot water. Give this a good stir, and continue to stir until the roux is completely dissolved into the water.
  10. Take a look at this beauty. See what you have just created? That roux, along with the water. You now have this amazing thickener that plays an integral part in making amazing gumbo!
  11. Dice the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add the chicken and sausage back into the pot, and give a nice stir. Toss in the crushed tomatoes, and give another good stir.
  12. Bring this to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer. Cover, and cook for about 30 minutes.
  13. After 30 minutes, add in the okra. Stir, cover, and simmer for about 1½ hours. The okra adds another role as well by adding just a bit more thickness to the gumbo.  About 10 minutes before serving, add in the shrimp, and give another final stir.
  14. I consider gumbo to be a nice soup or stew, and as many folks tend to eat it with cooked rice, my preference is to let the gumbo shine, and simply eat it with some warm french bread.
  15. When you are ready to bowl, ladle in the gumbo, ensuring you get chicken, sausage, and shrimp, along with all of the other amazing vegetables. Top with fresh parsley and some of the fried onions and garlic.
  16. The end result is nothing but amazing. It's true comfort in every bite. My wife had stated that eating it reminded her of being in a dark, New Orelean's restaurant, being served this lovely gumbo. I could not have agreed more. I hope you enjoy!