Monday, August 26, 2013

Wrap, Wrap, Wrap; Wrap it up, I'll Take it.

Notice how the fast food giants like Burger King and McDonalds are now offering a variety of wraps. Wraps are basically another form of the sandwich; another form of a convenient, on the go, can be held with one hand, type of meal. They can be made at home, with the exact ingredients you want, and you can have it your way. This is going to be a simple blog post about making chicken wraps, since this is the type of protein mainly pushed by those giants.

The nice thing about wraps is that you can have many textures inside the bread component (usually a tortilla), so your taste buds and hunger are fulfilled.  If you choose grilled chicken, crisp vegetables give you the crunch; but if you choose fried chicken, then softer veggies provide a balance; like I said, have it your way.

When I fry up chicken strips (sliced up boneless, skinless chicken breasts) or chicken tenderloins, the coating I use depends on either what is see in the pantry first (Italian flavored bread crumbs or Panko), or how much crunch I want in the final product. For chicken wraps, it has to be ultra crunchy, so I'm going to be using Panko. (Link to recipe)

I'll be giving you an idea for three wraps: All American, California and Mexican.  All three will have chopped lettuce and diced tomatoes, and that's as basic as I'm getting with those vegetables.  While I'll tell you what I put in these versions of wraps, your version can be what I suggest, or anything your heart desires.  In the photo is a general idea of what goes into making a wrap, besides the proteins and vegetables; some type of shredded or grated cheese, a sauce which offers moisture, flavor and smooth texture, and the wrap.  Although I used a 10 inch flour tortilla for each, a flavored tortilla such as spinach or red bell pepper can work just as well.  For the chicken strips I recommend only two, since the tenderloins or tenderloin sized strips are on the large size.  You're also going to notice that I do not put amounts for most of the ingredients since it all depends on how much the maker of the wrap wants inside.  A lot of decision making pressure, I know, but I'm sure you can handle it.

All American


All American Chicken Wrap


chopped lettuce
diced tomatoes
honey mustard dressing/sauce
2 chicken strips
4 slices crisp bacon



chopped lettuce
diced tomatoes
green goddess dressing (if you can't find this, use cucumber dressing)
2 chicken strips
4 slices avocado

Instead of lettuce and tomatoes, my hubby prefers bean sprouts and peeled, sliced cucumbers.



chopped lettuce
diced tomatoes
spicy ranch dressing
2 chicken strips
jalapeno slices


Lie the tortilla on a flat surface.  Place a layer of lettuce and diced tomatoes first to create a barrier; the crisp chicken won't poke holes through the tortilla.  When putting down dressings/sauces, use  a bottle with a nozzle to control the flow; in a right to left (or vice versa) motion, draw a line over the lettuce, tomatoes, and onto the exposed tortilla surface also (helps hold the cheese in place).  Put down the chicken strips and whatever other toppings desired.

Fold the bottom end of the tortilla over the fillings, but not so tight against them that the tortilla will begin to break.  Fold over one side, tucking in the corner piece that will be sticking out from the folded bottom.  Now depending on how much you've put in as filling, you can either roll the tortilla to close up the other side; or fold the other side over to finish enclosing the ingredients (tuck in that other bottom corner). 

Now open your mouth wide and enjoy!

Mary Cokenour

Friday, August 23, 2013

Interesting Bag of Herbs You Have There.

I admit it, I take pleasure in displaying my plastic bags filled with dried herbs; making sure the label side is out of view. I watch the reaction when folks visit, see the bags on the counter and typically do a double take.   Oh, another good one, is knowing someone is coming over, and an unmarked bag "accidentally" falls out of a cabinet.  You know, you know, what they are thinking; but what makes me laugh the hardest is when I explain they're my dried cooking herbs and I get this question, "Do you bake a lot of brownies?"

Anyway, I've already done a post on drying herbs individually, but this time I'm going to discuss making your own herbal mixture.  I do a lot of Italian based cooking, so an herbal mixture geared towards this genre is no stranger in my kitchen.  Containers of Italian Herbal Mix are available in basically any supermarket; ingredients are basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, parsley, dried garlic and dried onion.  In some brands you might also find savory, sage and marjoram.  The questions you should ask are, "When were they dried and packaged?", "How much of each item were dried together?"; and you're not going to get the answers.

Simple solution, make your own; you know exactly what herbs are being used, how much is being dried, when it was made, and that its freshness will last about six months as long as it's kept in a sealed container or bag.  Dried garlic and onion shouldn't even be in an herbal mix and I suspect they're used more as a preservative; they're better fresh anyway.  Of course, you can also dry each herb separately to create whatever mixture you need at the time of cooking; but for me, this is more convenient.

Whenever Bountiful Baskets has their "Italian Pack" offered, I usually jump on that deal because of the large bunches of fresh herbs you receive.   This last offer had rosemary, oregano, parsley, thyme and basil; sage, cilantro and Mexican oregano are usually in the "Mexican Pack", so each is dried on its own if I purchase that offer.  If you don't have Bountiful Baskets available in your area, take advantage of farmers' markets and stores that only concentrate on selling fresh produce, fruits and herbs. 

What I did this past time was simply line my large jelly roll pan with paper towels, pull the leaves off all the stems and mix them all up.  Don't worry if any small stems get into the mix; once dried, they'll be easier to spot and pick out.  Here in Utah, with the almost non-existent humidity, it only took five days for the herbs to dry out completely.  If you're unsure, check on them every three days, mix them around a bit; you'll be able to gauge the dryness and estimate how much longer it will take.

Once dried, pick out any stems and store the leaves inside an airtight container, or resealable plastic bag.  My mixture filled up a one gallon bag to a one inch thickness; simply lay the bag flat on a counter or table and carefully begin rolling from the bottom sealed side upwards towards the open end.  If you do this step too fast, the rush of air out of the bag will take dried herbs with it; why lose any of what you so dearly covet?  Seal the bag and slowly unroll; flat and air free just like one of those "space bag" commercials you see for clothing.

I know when this mixture was made, how long it will stay fresh, who made it and where, and exactly what went into the mixture.  Dried herbs concentrate their scent and flavor, so are wonderful for any recipe requiring a long period of cooking time.  They're easy to store and keep on hand for whenever they're needed; no disappointment that the local market doesn't have what you need. 

Mary Cokenour

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Good Heavens, but That's Good Gravy.

Gravy making, why does it seem to be so complicated? Growing up, the only gravy I remember having at a meal was at Thanksgiving time; it wasn't homemade, but came out of a can. During my first marriage I would watch my ex-mother-in-law make a slurry of flour, garlic powder and water, pour it into the meat drippings and it would be a lumpy, oily mess. Not very good examples for making my own gravy, and I avoided the issue whenever I could. Thank you, thank you, thank you for whomever invented the crock pot; not just for the easy cooking it afforded the home cook, but for the luscious stock that could be made into a stupendous gravy.

"Impossible!", you say; "Can't make gravy without drippings from roasted meat or poultry!", you say...yep, you can.  First I'll tell you how using the crock pot, and then how from drippings; and without butter, cream or extra flour added.  Now sit back, relax and have a good read...

Scenario: Making pot roast in the a crock pot; put your meat in first, but before you put it in, coat it liberally with flour (this is all you'll need for that gravy later on); put in your veggies, seasonings and then pour two cups of beef stock over it all; cover, set it and forget it till done.  If making chicken, use chicken stock instead, but use the same coating with flour and veggies over the top process.

The meat is done, put it on a platter to rest with 3/4 of the vegetables.  Now looking into the crock pot, you'll see an oily sheen on top; that is the oil that came out of your meat during the cooking process.  Don't worry, we're going to get rid of that easily, but not lose any flavor. 

The liquid inside the pot is also very thin; the flour you coated the meat in wasn't enough to thicken, but just enough to help with the process.  The 1/4 portion of vegetables that you left inside is going to be your true thickener.  What is neat about this is that anyone that refuses to eat their veggies, but loves gravy is going to eat veggies and not even know.  Well they will if you tell them, but we're keeping this a secret, right? Of course, you can leave larger bits of veggies if you like, and no one you're serving to is a problem eater.

Now you all know how I love my immersion blender, but if you still haven't purchased your own (why!!?!!), then a regular blender will do.  Begin pulverizing the vegetables inside the pot, being careful not to raise it too high and splash the liquid around the kitchen.  Not only will the soon to be gravy be thickening up, but you'll see it turn to a rich color; you'll be tempted to serve it as is, but patience grasshopper. 

To get the oil out of your gravy, pour the amount of pureed liquid you need into a plastic container and place into the freezer for one hour.  Take the container out of the freezer and you'll see that the fats have solidified on top; carefully spoon them out and don't forget to scrape it off the sides of the bowl. You will probably have a lot more gravy left over which can be defatted,  frozen and reheated when needed; because you did not use any dairy in its making, the chance of separating is none.  

Now just warm up the gravy and serve with your meal; you shouldn't have to add any seasonings, especially salt which would have come from the stock you initially used when cooking your meat.  Now if you really need to have a smooth gravy, go ahead and strain out all the little bits that the blender could not pulverize.  We like it rustic; it proves that it is homemade, not out of some can or jar.

Ok, now for the roasted part of this post; you're going to need a deep roasting pan for this process.  Either use a rack to lay your meat or poultry on, or a very thick layer of cut up vegetables will work too.  In the pan, lay out all your cut up vegetables and sprinkle a little flour over all of them; pour your stock over all; then place the rack with meat, or the meat itself on top and roast until done.  Now just follow the same gravy making process as I explained for the crock pot; you just might want to transfer your liquid and 1/4 portion to a deep bowl first though.  Oh, don't forget to season your meat or poultry; as the fat melts, it'll take some of the seasoning with it and add it to the veggies down below.

How come I didn't use any water in the crock pot or roasting pan?  The vegetables gave me all I needed; during the cooking process, they sweated out their excess moisture, so adding water at the beginning would have thinned out the gravy way too much at the end.

Making gravy is not so hard after all; just remember to not add any seasonings until after the process is done and you've tasted.  You will be very surprised.  Enjoy!

Mary Cokenour

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pizza on Flatbread; Yeah, About That.

I've been experimenting with different types of "bread" bases for pizza making as options for real pizza dough. When I did the Tortilla experiment, it came out pretty well...not excellent, but pretty well. While watching television, a commercial for Subway came on and suggested that flatbread can be your bread, instead of one of their rolls. Flatbread is unleavened bread made from water, flour and salt; no yeast, nothing to feed the yeast such as oil or honey; or a sourdough culture. A few typical examples are pita, tortilla, fry bread, pane, and roti; there are many more depending on what region of the world you're living in, or visiting.

Since I was going grocery shopping in Cortez the next day, flatbread was added to the list, along with any other ingredients I might need.  Once again I was going to keep it simple and basic; following the list of ingredients from the tortilla experiment:


1 (10 – 12 inch) flatbread
½ tsp olive oil
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided in half
½ cup pizza sauce

I followed the exact same preparation instructions, but changed two of the actual cooking steps.   Flatbread is much thicker than a tortilla, so there was no need to preheat a pizza pan and place the flatbread on it; it went directly onto the oven rack which had preheated in the oven anyway.  The second item changed was the cooking time; 7 minutes and the bottom was still not browned; 10 minutes was just right.

The bottom was nicely browned with darker lines from the rack; the crust edges were airy and crispy.  However, the rest of the flatbread was, well I kind of associate it with "lightly toasted bread", very bready on the inside and basically soft.  You see, while the bottom had browned, it had not crisped up like the edges had, so each piece of the pizza was floppy.  The overall taste was good though, but that was due more to the oil, sauce and cheese than the flatbread itself.

I have to say that I would definitely try a flatbread pizza if I saw it offered at a restaurant; how else am I to compare?  If it is better than my experiment was, I certainly would pick brains to find out how it was done; what was the restaurant's secrets.  Now I just have to get a hold of my friend Anita, and get some of her homemade Navajo Fry Bread; can you guess what I'll be making?

Mary Cokenour

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sad? Eat a Cookie. Depressed? Get Help.

Sadness is emotional pain associated with, or characterized by feelings of disadvantage, loss, despair, helplessness and sorrow. Clinical Depressionis a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for weeks or longer. Here are the typical definitions for sadness and depression; while sadness can grow into depression, it is usually more easily dealt with.   Why am I writing about this on a food blog?  Currently I'm in an extremely sad place, but my cooking, photography and writing help ease the pain...I can deal.  For others though, the pain of their sadness is so intense, they need a professional; no matter what, help them get the help they need. 

Now when it comes to females mostly, there is the saying, "Chocolate cures everything" which is basically true.  I'm not going to get scientific here, but the gist of it is that chocolate stimulates your endocrine gland to emit hormones that make you happy.  It won't cure depression, but when it comes to stress and sadness, it helps to calm you down enough to allow you to assess your situations better.  Another thing you can do is be active, even if it is the simplest of tasks, or even trying out a new recipe; it gets your mind off of your sadness, even if just for a little while.  So what better way to deal with sadness  then to combine a chocolate chip cookie recipe with baking in the kitchen.  You're up, moving about, concentrating on a task and you'll end up with a delicious snack that will be lead you to your happy place.

This recipe will give you about 2 and 1/2 to 3 dozen cookies depending on how large you make them.  I usually make a ball of dough about 1 and 1/2 inches in diameter and get the 2 and 1/2 dozen; less cookies, but larger cookies...less does equal more!  The cookies are soft and chewy, and if you do not keep them in an airtight container, they will get dry and crumble easily.  I also use Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips; much larger than those morsels, more chocolate flavor and when they're all melty, you feel no pain, just pleasure.  The recipe is similar to the original Toll House recipe I posted with a couple of slight changes.

Chocolate (Ghirardelli) Chip Cookies


2 and 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter; softened, but not melted
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, beaten
1 and 1/2 cups Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips


Preheat oven to 350F; I recommend using AirBake baking sheets instead of regular nonstick, or ones that need to be sprayed.  Whether it is cookies or biscuits, no sticking and clean up is with a damp, clean cloth.

Whisk the flour and baking soda into a large bowl, set aside.  In another large bowl, cream together the butter, white and brown sugars until smooth.  Add the salt, vanilla extract and eggs; on medium speed for one minute.  Continue to beat while gradually adding the flour mixture; scrape the sides occasionally.  When well combined, stir the chips in with a heavy duty spoon being careful not to break them.

Create balls of dough from 1 inch to 1 and 1/2 inches in diameter; place on the baking sheets 2 inches apart.  Bake cookies for about 10 minutes; edges will be browned, but still slightly soft in the center.  Let the cookies rest for about 2 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack for complete cooling.  When completely cooled, place in an airtight container.

Makes 2 and 1/2 to 3 dozen cookies.

Feeling sad?  Bake a batch of these and watch the sadness melt away as the chocolate chips melt in your mouth.  Here's to feeling better!

Mary Cokenour

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tuna Melt into Tuna Casserole.

Hubby and I love tuna melts; tuna salad with melted cheese on grilled, buttery, crispy bread; this has got to be one of the top items on anyone's comfort food list. Of course, so is the classic tuna noodle casserole. Basically what I recently did was create a tuna melt within a tuna noodle casserole by taking out a couple of ingredients, adding others in and got the best of two comfort food dishes. Nothing fancy, nothing difficult, but everything in taste; and most especially feeling good all the way from the senses of taste and smell to that warm, comfy hug in the stomach.  

Tuna Noodle Casserole - Version #2

Instead of typing out the recipe and leaving it at that, I'll do a breakdown of ingredients and preparation steps with accompanying photos.  That way you can compare directly with my first version (click on the link in the first paragraph) and see the differences.


4 cups cooked extra wide egg noodles
1 (8 oz) bag frozen baby peas, defrosted and drained of excess liquid
2 (12 oz) cans solid white albacore tuna in water, drained and broken apart
2 (10 oz) cans cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup Italian flavored bread crumbs
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (white or orange)

Question?  Can fresh peas be used?  Most definitely, make sure they are firm, thoroughly rinsed and dried before using though; you want to avoid excess liquid as the casserole should be creamy, not watery.

Question?  Does Cheddar have to be used?  Sharp Cheddar balances out well with the mildness of the sauce, noodles and tuna; adding a mild cheese, it will get lost.  Adding cheese with a kick, such as Pepper Jack will boost the to its comfort factor, that would be up to the person eating it.


Preheat oven to 350F; spray the inside of a two quart baking dish with nonstick spray; it doesn't give the casserole an oily residue like butter would.

In a large bowl, mix together the cream of mushroom soup, milk and black pepper; set aside.  In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, bread crumbs and cheese until crumbly; set aside.  Now the fun begins; in a larger bowl, mix together the noodles, tuna, peas; add the liquid mixture and mix thoroughly being careful not to break the tuna up any smaller, or tear the noodles.


Spread this mixture evenly into the two quart baking dish.

Now take that topping that was set aside and spread it out evenly over the noodle mixture; edge to edge around the dish.  I used the Italian flavored bread crumbs to enhance the flavor of the crust that will form.  If someone doesn't like the crumb crust, it can easily be removed from a serving without effecting the overall taste of the casserole itself.

Place the casserole into the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes; liquid will be bubbling up to the top and the crust will be browned. The crust forms what is similar to the grilled bread and melted cheese of a tuna melt; while the noodle and tuna mixture is the "salad" part. Noodles aren't typically in tuna salad; but if you read my post on tuna melts (click on the link in the first paragraph), you'll notice I did put macaroni and cheese inside a tuna melt.

There you have it, my second version of Tuna Noodle Casserole giving credit to a Tuna Melt.  Enjoy!

Mary Cokenour

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Orville's Pop Crunch is Pop Wow!

Orville Redenbacher's newest ready to eat popcorn to hit the market is his "Pop Crunch" line featuring four flavors: Brown Sugar/Cinnamon, White and Sharp Cheddar Mix, Parmesan Herb, and Cheddar/Caramel Mix.

Let me warn you now, if you find it in your supermarket, buy it, buy lots of it; it goes as quickly as it comes in and there is a very good reason why.  Now I was lucky to find one bag, that's right, only one bag, of the Brown Sugar/Cinnamon; all the other flavors were out of stock again and this one bag was way in the back of the shelving.  I enjoy popcorn, either air popped or already made; microwave popcorn I find to be either stale tasting, bland or too moist; so imagine my happiness with this new product.

The ingredient listing states that the popcorn is "whole grain"; what isn't nowadays?  Corn is either considered a grain or a vegetable depending on how it is processed, and what it is being used for.  Not impressed by this.  It states on the front of the bag that it is half the fat of the "leading potato chip brand".  Popcorn is normally lower in fat, well let me restate that; air popped popcorn is lower in fat because oil isn't used to cook it.  Sort of impressed, but not by much; what impressed me the most was the crunch and the flavor. 

Pop Crunch is amazingly crunchy on the outside, but still retains that typical fluffy popcorn texture within.  The flavor of the cinnamon in the Brown Sugar/Cinnamon variety is strong, so not only can you smell it, but the flavor explodes in your mouth.  It's a great munching experience!  Carb wise, because of the brown sugar and corn syrup listed with the ingredients, a full cup is 44 grams which is pretty typical for a "caramel corn" type of popcorn.  No surprise then that the sugar content is on the high side (20 grams for one cup).

I intend on hunting down those others varieties and trying them out; if the Brown Sugar/Cinnamon was so phenomenal, I bet the others will be too.  If you find it, try it, or you're just not a true popcorn lover.

Mary Cokenour

Monday, August 5, 2013

Durango Brewing Company is a Real Pub Experience.

Durango Brewing Company

3000 Main Ave.
Durango, CO 81301

(970) 247-3396


In 1886,  the "Durango Beer and Ice
Company",  changed its name to "Durango Brewing Company, and is now the third oldest microbrewery in Colorado. It is a small establishment; the type of place where you are treated equally whether a local or a visitor to Durango. There is no pretentiousness, and none of that, "you're not a local, so we can't be bothered to serve you" which is definitely what we experienced at another Colorado establishment in Dolores.  We stopped by at around 1:30 pm on a Sunday, there were a few people in the patio area and inside; when we left around 3pm it had become quite busier.  We seated ourselves, but a waitress came over immediately to take our drink orders.  My hubby had a "Durango Dark" which he said was smooth, rich, creamy, a slight hint of chocolate, not very hoppy and absolutely delicious.  The only non-alcoholic beverages are bottled iced teas or Zuberfizz sodas, and water of course.

The food menu is not large, and that ends up being a very good thing; what they do make is great!  We began with the Buffalo Wings; deep fried, not baked with celery sticks and ranch dressing (bleu cheese also available).  A perfect start off for wing lovers!

The waitress was very down to earth, pleasant and answered all our questions; again whether a local or visitor, she treated everyone well and checked to make sure we were all happy.  At first I was going to order a burger, but spied the "Brew House Brat" on the menu.  An El Dorado Cattle Company bratwurst made with Amber Ale, served with sauerkraut and pub chips.  Oh my goodness, I ate the whole thing!  The brat snapped when you bit into it and so juicy; the sauerkraut was fried up, not cold; the pub chips were out of this world...crispy on the outside with a soft center, no ketchup needed!  My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Hubby ordered the "DBC Pub Burger", a 1/3 pound burger made with Texas Longhorn beef from the El Dorado Cattle Company (all DBC's meat menu items are from there) which comes with lettuce, tomato, pickles, red onion and your choice of cheese (hubby chose Cheddar); extra toppings can be purchased.  This is a "Wow" burger; large and in charge, juicy, perfectly cooked (medium-well), not dry and packed with charcoal flavor from the grill.  The kitchen is small, so we were able to see the flare up of the grill at one point, so knew when the menu said "char grilled" that that was no lie.  A choice of side salad or pub chips comes with this burger.

Durango Brewing Company is a place where you can go with family and/or friends, have a drink or two, eat very good pub style food, and simply relax.  There are some game machines in the pub and they do have Wi-Fi.  Check it out!

Mary Cokenour

Durango Brewing Company on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 2, 2013

Smoky, Juicy Pork Barbecue from a Crock Pot?

While I do have two smokers, they're not the type of equipment that can be set up and forgotten about; specific temperatures, wood supplies, and maybe even water in a pan must be maintained.  So how would you get a good pork barbecue if you're not using a smoker?  Believe it or not, but it can be done simply in a crock pot; a piece of equipment that can be set up and walked away from until ready to eat.

While I have tried making pork barbecue with pork roast or tenderloin, Boston butt is the way to go whether using a smoker or not.  This section of pork comes from the upper part of the shoulder on the front leg of the pig; usually sold with the bone intact. Now unless you have plans for that bone, have your butcher take it out; why pay per pound for something you'll more than likely throw away?  Sometimes the butt is sold with the bone already out, but the cost is more; I was very, very lucky to find a nice 4 pounder without the bone and on sale. Think about it, I have 4 pounds of meat as compared to perhaps 3 to 3 and 1/2 pounds after the bone is removed; definitely a bargain!  By the way, it's a given that the meat might have to be cut apart here or there to get the bone cleanly out; you want those sections!  If in a package, you'll find them tied together into one big roast with butcher's twine; just remove the twine before cooking...well this recipe anyway.

I don't know about you, but most times I have found pork to be on the dry side.  To solve this problem, I will brine the meat before cooking it. This salt water soak will help to open up the meat fibers to allow the fat, as it melts, to flow into the meat and keep it moist and juicy. It also allows seasonings, and sauces if simmered in them, to do the same thing.  If there is a lot of extra fat hanging off the butt, it's alright to trim some of it off as there is plenty within the Boston butt itself.  Now when you're ready to begin the cooking process, set up a 6 quart crock pot (spray the inside with nonstick cooking spray) and set the temperature on low;  place the brined Boston butt inside.

I used my homemade barbecue sauce to make this pork barbecue, but use bottled if you're not up to making the homemade.  Make sure though that you do add onions!  Cover the meat with 6 cups of sauce; cover and cook for 6-8 hours.  The meat should be so tender, it simply comes apart with a fork.  With my crock pot (Hamilton Beach 3 in 1 with tall, round crock pots), the 4 pounds of pork only took 6 hours before perfection was achieved.  Depending on how your equipment works, it could be the same or longer; but you want it so tender that it shreds without effort.

I serve up my pork barbecue sandwiches two ways; first off, large potato buns for both; the first way is simply with barbecue sauce on top.  The second, and our very favorite way, is with cole slaw layered on top. 

Homemade Cole Slaw


4 cups shredded white cabbage
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
2 cups Miracle Whip salad dressing
1 and 1/2 tablespoons ground black pepper


Put all ingredients into large bowl and mix thoroughly.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour before serving. 
Makes 8-10 servings.

Taste the cole slaw after refrigeration to see if it needs salt; no one I have ever served it to has ever done so though.  They like the savory taste the ground black pepper gives to the vegetables.

In case you have a good amount of barbecue sauce left over after the pork is all gone; put it into a plastic bowl and into the freezer for about an hour.  Any fat in the sauce will solidify at the top and you can scoop it off to throw away.  Then seal the container, label it, and keep it in the freezer until you need barbecue sauce again; cooking it with the pork didn't ruin the flavor, only enhanced it.

There you have it, smoky, juicy pork barbecue simply made in the kitchen with a crock pot; and a bonus recipe for homemade cole slaw.  Enjoy!

Mary Cokenour