There are millions of recipes available on the Internet and, with just as many home cooks scouring for menu ideas this holiday season,
it would be a great gift for all if helpful information was accessible in just one place. That’s why the NATIONAL PORK BOARD (www.porkbeinspired.com) is making holiday entertaining easier – and more delicious – by teaming up with top food bloggers to offer endless inspiration and showcase how pork helps “make” any party. I love pork, not only for its nutritional values but, as a somewhat capable cook, it’s also an easy meal to make in a pinch.
Quick-cooking, flavorful pork cuts are the perfect fit for holiday entertaining. The juicy tenderloin is a crowd-pleasing party food and, as an added bonus, home cooks can feel great about serving it: ounce for ounce, it’s as lean as a boneless, skinless chicken breast. Or go the route of the versatile boneless pork loin, which can be roasted and served whole or cut and used in sliders and kebabs. With pork, the possibilities are truly endless.
“I’m constantly on the hunt for new recipes or inspiration to create my own, and have been cooking with pork loin a lot recently. It’s bursting with flavor, can be roasted whole, cut into chops or stuffed with festive ingredients,” said JADEN HAIR from SteamyKitchen.com (www.SteamyKitchen.com). “From preparing to host at home to attending multiple parties, I know I’m not the only one whose calendar and to-do list is filling up, and it’s a great help to have delicious pork recipes and ideas all in one, easily accessible place.”
So in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season, www.Facebook.com/PorkBeInspired (the National Pork Board’s facebook page) has been transformed into a one-stop holiday planning destination, helping home cooks and entertainers save time and plan their party with ease. This hub features party-perfect recipes, videos starring top food bloggers that demo delicious dishes and a daily chance to win coupons for free pork throughout the month of November. Fans will also have the chance to submit their entertaining questions to JADEN HAIR, who will share video tips and expert suggestions for how to make any celebration a success.
The NATIONAL PORK BOARDhas responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and
for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national PORK CHECKOFF, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula. The PORK CHECKOFF funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, technology, swine health, pork safety and environmental management. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the PORK CHECKOFF SERVICE CENTER at (800) 456-7675 or check the Internet at www.pork.org.
“Great food is the key to any party. Pork dishes are so flavorful and easy to prepare, you’ll impress your guest without having spent all day preparing in the kitchen,” says TRACI RODEMEYER, DIRECTOR OF PORK INFORMATION for the NATIONAL PORK BOARD. “Our robust online offering of recipe inspiration will provide easy entertaining ideas and time-saving techniques that will allow you to enjoy the holidays with the most important people in your life.”
For any occasion, from casual get-togethers with friends to full-blown, formal feasts with the entire family, there’s a pork recipe that will “make” the party:
FUN WITH FINGER FOOD: JADEN HAIR suggests starting off the party with an appetizer that encourages mingling. Try her VIETNAMESE SPRING ROLLS WITH SLOW-COOKED PORK, featuring an orange and coriander-spiced sirloin tip roast with a sweet plum dipping sauce.
VIETNAMESE SPRING ROLLS WITH SLOW-COOKED PORK ORANGE-CORIANDER PORK
- 2 pound boneless pork sirloin tip roast
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thich half-moons
- 1 large orange, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds (do not peel)
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 cup canned reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce or soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
- 6 garlic cloves, smashed under a knife and peeled
SWEET PLUM DIPPING SAUCE
- One 7-ounce jar (3/4 cup) sweet plum sauce (also called duck sauce)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger (use the small holes on a box grater or use a ginger grater)
- 1 tablespoon Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce or soy sauce
- One 8-ounce package (8-inch-diameter) rice spring roll wrappers (22 wrappers)
- 2 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks 1/2 seedless (English) cucumber, cut into matchsticks
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cored and cut into matchsticks
- 2 cups packed baby spinach leaves
- About 1/4 cup mixed fresh mint and basil leaves
1. To make the orange-coriander pork, season the pork all over with the coriander, salt, and pepper. Add the orange juice, broth fish sauce, garlic and ginger to a 3 1/2- to 5-quart slow cooker. Scatter half of the onion and orange in the slow cooker, top with the pork, then the remaining onion and orange.
2. Cover and cook on Low until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the pork registers 160ºF, about 3 3/4 hours.
Transfer the pork to a carving board and let rest for at least 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, to make the sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
4. Slice across the grain into very thin slices. Divide the slices into 22 portions.
5. To assemble the rolls, half-fill a wide bowl with warm water. Place a lint-free kitchen towel on the work surface. For each roll, soak 1 wrapper in the water until the wrapper is just pliable—it will soften more during rolling. Shake off the excess water and place on the towel. Fold in half with the fold running vertically to make half-moon shape. Place 1 portion of pork at the bottom of the wrapper, top with a few matchsticks of carrot, cucumber, and bell pepper, a couple of spinach leaves and a few herbs. Starting at the bottom, roll up the wrapper tightly. Place the roll on a platter and cover with a damp kitchen towel to keep the roll moist. The rolls can be made, covered with the damp towel and refrigerated, up to 2 hours ahead. Serve chilled with the sauce for dipping.
ELEVATE THE EXPECTED: JENNY FLAKE of PICKY-PALATE.COM (www.Picky-Palate.com) used premium ingredients in her SPICE-RUBBED PORK LOIN BLT SLIDERS WITH DIJON REMOULADEthat feature thin slices of boneless pork loin, arugula, plum tomatoes, bacon and the flavorful kick of Dijon mustard.
SPICE RUBBED PORK LOIN BLT SLIDERS WITH DIJON REMOULADE Prep time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour Makes 24 slider, 12 servings Contributors: Jenny Flake and Amanda Green Bottoms DIJON REMOULADE
- 1 cup low-fat mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons dill pickle relish or finely chopped dill pickle
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
SPICE-RUBBED PORK LOIN
- One 2-pound boneless pork loin roast
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 24 dinner-sized rolls, such as Hawaiian or potato
- 2 cups packed baby arugula leaves
- 3 to 4 plum (Roma) tomatoes, cut into 24 rounds
- 12 bacon slices, cooked (see Note), each cut into quarters to make 48 pieces
1. To make the remoulade, mix the ingredients together in small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Combine the cumin, smoked paprika, thyme, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. Rub all over the loin. Place on a rack in a small roasting pan.
3. Roast for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF. Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the roast registers 145ºF, 50 to 60 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before carving.
4. Carve the roast crosswise into thin slices. Divide the slices in to 24 portions. Spread each roll with a generous tablespoon of the remoulade. Fill with equal amounts of the pork and arugula, and top with a tomato round and 2 pieces of bacon. Serve warm. Note: To cook the bacon, arrange the slices in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 375ºF oven until crisp, about 20 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
COZY UP WITH COMFORT FOOD: LAUREN BRENNAN of LAURENSLATEST.COM (www.LaurensLatest.com) created PAN-SEARED PORK CHOPS WITH MAPLE GRAVY & APPLE BACON HASH, using warm flavors and hearty ingredients like potatoes, apples, thick-cut bacon, maple seasoning and cinnamon. Perfect for brunch!
PAN-SEARED PORK CHOPS WITH MAPLE GRAVY & APPLE BACON HASH Makes 4 servings POTATO-APPLE HASH
- 4 slices FLETCHER’S MASTERPIECE THICK-CUT BACON*
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 large russet (baking) potatoes, baked (see Note), peeled, and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (1 1/2 cups) 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large Fuji apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 3/4 teaspoon Kirkland Smokehouse Maple Seasoning*
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 boneless loin pork chops, cut 1 inch thick, trimmed
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup KIRKLAND CHICKEN STOCK*
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons Grade A maple syrup
*Available at most Costco Warehouses 1.
Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until crisp and browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Pour off and reserve the bacon fat. You should have about 4 tablespoons bacon fat.
2. To make the hash, heat the butter and 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the potato, onion, and apple and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the maple seasoning and cinnamon, if using. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm over very low heat.
3. Meanwhile, cook the pork chops: Heat the remaining bacon fat in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the pork chops with the salt and pepper. Add to the skillet and cover. Cook, occasionally flipping the chops over, until they are golden brown and an instant-read thermometer horizontally inserted through the side of the chop into the center reads 145ºF, about 15 minutes. Uncover the skillet during the last 5 minutes. Transfer the chops to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
4. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the pan drippings from the skillet. Whisk the flour into the pan drippings and let bubble over medium heat for 1 minute. Whisk in the broth, maple syrup, and cream and bring to a boil. Cook, whisking often, until slightly reduced and thickened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Crumble the bacon into the hash. Serve the chops hot with the hash and sauce. Note: To bake the potatoes, pierce them with a fork. Bake in a preheated 400ºF oven until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 1 hour. (Or microwave at High power for 5 minutes, turn over, and microwave until tender, about 5 minutes more.) Let cool before peeling.
SHOW-STOPPING CENTERPIECE: SANDY COUGHLIN of ReluctantEntertainer.com (www.ReluctantEntertainer.com) created a PORK TENDERLOIN WITH GOAT CHEESE-STUFFED DATES AND RASPBERRY CHIPOTLE SAUCE. Served with a warm, sweet and spicy sauce, this dish brings bold, elegant flavors to the table.
PORK TENDERLOIN WITH GOAT CHEESE-STUFFED DATES AND RASPBERRY CHIPOTLE SAUCE Makes 6 servings
- 3 ounces (about 1/3 cup) rindless goat cheese, at room temperature
- 16 pitted dates, split lengthwise (but not cut in half)
- Two 1-pound pork tenderloins, rinsed and patted dry, silverskin and fat trimmed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons KIRKLAND’S SWEET MESQUITE SEASONING* SAUCE
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
- 3/4 cup tawny port
- 1 cup FISCHER AND WIESER RASPBERRY CHIPOTLE SAUCE*
*Available at most Costco Warehouses
TENDERLOIN: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place goat cheese in a sandwich bag, press into the corner and snip off the end to make a piping bag. Pipe cheese into the dates. Cut each tenderloin lengthwise, almost, but not quite through. Stuff each tenderloin with filled dates and secure with crosswise loops of butcher’s twine. Brush tenderloins with the oil and season evenly with sweet mesquite seasoning. Bake 15 minutes. Flip tenderloins and continue baking until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 145ºF, 20 to 30 minutes more. Let rest for 10 minutes.
SAUCE: While the tenderloins are roasting, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until golden,
about 3 minutes. Add port and bring to a boil. Boil until the liquid is syrupy, about 5 minutes. Add raspberry chipotle sauce and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and keep warm.
SERVE: Remove butcher’s twine and carve each tenderloin crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Spoon equal amounts of the sauce onto 6 dinner plates, divide pork evenly, and serve.
THE NATIONAL PORK BOARD wants to hear ideas from home cooks and entertainers too, asking them to submit photos of their pork-inspired party to the brand’s PINTEREST page and sharing photos via INSTAGRAM. They will highlight some of the most inspiring and unique photos by showcasing them as its Facebook page cover photo (www.Facebook.com/PorkBeInspired) throughout December.
The NATIONAL PORK BOARD has also created the hashtag #PorkParty, which home cooks can use to easily find holiday entertaining ideas and resources on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. For more delicious inspiration, including additional mouthwatering recipes, tips and more, visit www.PorkBeInspired.com. “Like” the NATIONAL PORK BOARD on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PorkBeInspired, follow them on Twitter @allaboutpork, on Pinterest at www.Pinterest.com/PorkBeInspired and share photos on Instagram @PorkBeInspired.