Cuban Pork Chops & Green Mojo Salad

This post is part of a series celebrating diversity and bounty in the kitchen during the month of November. I’ll be posting a new recipe every day for 30 days. Subscribe to receive email updates on the project in the sidebar on the post page here, or follow along on Instagram at @dianaprichard and the #Feast30 hashtag.


The bane of the hog farmer’s existence is the near-extinction of the American home cook. Because hogs have a reputation of being stout, brawny animals their meat is often thought to be nearly as indestructible as they are. It’s too often misused and abused, resulting in an unpleasant eating experience. The truth is that while live hogs are every big as burly as you imagine, the meat that comes from them is much more fragile. When it comes to preparation it’d better be compared to lamb than beef. It doesn’t take overcooking of any kind — either the heat being too high or spending too much time over it — well. The trick to a good pork chop, whether you’re cooking it indoors or out is a good, quick sear and then a steady, but-not-too-slow cook through.

As for this particular recipe, these chops have a bit of a kick on the back side. Nothing jarring, but they finish strong, which is something I love. The inspiration? A great cuban sandwich with a sweet-tangy jus dipping sauce I had at the Jolly Pumpkin in Traverse City over the weekend. I wanted a version that was a bit more grown up, with less bread, and this combo definitely does the trick. Continue reading “Cuban Pork Chops & Green Mojo Salad”

Pork Knuckle Soup

This post is part of a series celebrating diversity and bounty in the kitchen during the month of November. I’ll be posting a new recipe every day for 30 days. Subscribe to receive email updates on the project in the sidebar on the post page here, or follow along on Instagram at @dianaprichard and the #Feast30 hashtag.


Pork knuckles, or ham hocks as they’re more widely known on this side of the pond, aren’t given enough credit. They’re meatier and more flavorful than they look, and one of my favorite cuts for making soups and stews.

This recipe makes a big pot of soup, but that’s okay, because it’s even better on day two. I actually made it late last week, dumped it into gallon-sized ziplocs and took it with us last weekend for a quick, easy in-room meal at the hotel. It was warm, hearty and filling — perfect for the cold outside — but not too heavy, which we appreciated when we jumped back in the pool and on the waterslides minutes after eating. Continue reading “Pork Knuckle Soup”

On The Brown Bits: Pork Stock Recipe

If there’s anything Americans are good at, it’s throwing the baby out with the bathwater. An excellent example of this, I think, are the brown bits that collect at the bottom of the pan when you put a good sear on a hunk of meat. I can only assume this came about when we decided we didn’t like the French and British. No one on the other side of the pond seems to have forgotten how to use the brown bits. Sure, some of them are better at it than others, but the complete eschewing of all that flavor appears to be a distinctly American tradition, lost somewhere at the bottom of the harbor with proper tea and a fascination with Pippa Middleton’s backside. Continue reading “On The Brown Bits: Pork Stock Recipe”

On Strawberry Jam & Tomcats + Sourdough Bacon Sandwiches, Two Ways

Strawberry Jam
My Mother was never much of a canner, from where I got the gene that urges me to put things by we have to go back another generation. When I started my first garden she stopped by one day mid-summer to see it. “Yup,” she nodded approvingly, “your tomatoes are on track. Poopsie always said they ought to be in full production the first week of August.” When she was a kid my Grandpa would load all the kids in the car on that first weekend in August and drop them off at the Ox Roast in town, the local festival that still takes place today, and then head back to the farmhouse to put up the garden’s bounty. I don’t know what else he canned, I’m certain there were things other than tomatoes, but I don’t remember specifics. My Mother was among the youngest of twelve children and was twenty-seven by the time I was born so by the time I was old enough to care much about things like gardening and canning and cooking Poopsie was gone. Continue reading “On Strawberry Jam & Tomcats + Sourdough Bacon Sandwiches, Two Ways”

Pulled Pork Tacos


One of my favorite flavor combinations is that of a good jalapeno popper. Not the kind you can buy in the grocer’s freezer section and warm up in an oven, the ones that are coated in whatever sad excuse is passing for commercial breading these days. I fancy the ones you can make at home, with fresh peppers and dairy and pork sausage, the ones that skip the breading altogether.

It’s not reasonable to be whipping out batches of appetizers all the time though, and not everyone is so fond of the heat packed by these kind of poppers. Which means I’m always happy when I can infuse an actual dinner with the subtle flavor of jalapeno, and that’s exactly how this version of pulled pork tacos arose. I really wanted jalapenos and everyone else really wanted a proper meal. But before we get to the recipe, just a couple notes:

The slow cooker technique is one I use often. I’m a big fan of tossing the meat of a meal into the slow cooker and being able to throw together a good dinner from it in less than fifteen minutes when the evening rolls around. This is increasingly true as fall sets in and we become busier and busier. You could make your pork roast in whatever way suits your fancy, the important thing is simply that it’s slow-cooked with the jalapenos and onions to get the flavor of the two infused throughout the roast.

The recipe calls for taco seasoning, this is for convenience. If you’ve been following here for any length of time you probably know that most of the time I don’t actually keep taco seasoning in the house. I just toss together a mixture of paprika, cumin, chili pepper, salt, garlic, onion powder, and whatever else I happen to pull from the spice cabinet that night. You can do it either way.

As you can see from the picture, I served it with Charred Sweet Corn Relish, fresh salsa, a little Crema Mexicana, and finely chopped fresh cilantro. It’s a good combo.


Pulled Pork Tacos

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

  • 1 3lb Pork Roast
  • 1 med Sweet Onion; sliced
  • 2-4 Jalapenos; seeded, deveined and diced
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Crema Mexicana
  • Fresh Salsa
  1. Rub the pork roast on all sides with a generous amount of your taco seasoning of choice. Set aside.
  2. Distribute onion and jalapeno evenly across the bottom of the slow cooker, covering with about 1 pint water.
  3. Set pork roast on top of vegetables and cook on medium all day.
  4. Remove pork roast from slow cooker and shred meat using two forks. Set aside.
  5. Strain onions and jalapenos from the liquid in the bottom of the pan and set aside.
  6. Brown corn tortillas over an open flame. Fill with meat, onions, and jalapenos. Top with salsa and crema mexicana to taste.

Moroccan-Inspired Pork Stew

Normally the slow cooker and dutch oven are tucked away at the back of the cupboards this time of year, but it’s been chilly here. For much of the last two weeks of July and all of August thus far it’s felt more like mid-Autumn than late summer. With nights struggling to stay above the mid-fifties and daytime temps barely climbing into the seventies, stews, chili, soups, and other rib-sticking fare has only felt appropriate. Continue reading “Moroccan-Inspired Pork Stew”

Smoky Pork Tacos + Apricot-Cherry Salsa


It’s been a while since I’ve shared a recipe. I’m not going to lie, The Man has been doing most of the cooking since I got back from Israel. He’s good at it, but mostly relies on the things he knows. And I haven’t been complaining, because I just really needed the time to re-acclimate and play catch-up.

The past week or so I’ve been back in the cooking saddle though, and was particularly happy with this meal. Simple, grill-able, fresh, in-season, delicious… it doesn’t get better. So here we go… Continue reading “Smoky Pork Tacos + Apricot-Cherry Salsa”

On Joy, Hunger & A Little Orange Super Hero

Food Insecure Kids in Ethiopia

When I went in search of pictures for this post it’d been at least a month since the last time I’d so much as scrolled through the folders containing the images I captured in Ethiopia. I’d forgotten how much joy there was to be had there, how much the pictures bring me now. Continue reading “On Joy, Hunger & A Little Orange Super Hero”

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