Meat

Hawaiian Barbecue Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Hawaiian Barbecue Slow Cooker Pulled Pork  |  Lemon & Mocha

Oftentimes I will make a dish that’s really good, but because I have so many different recipes that I want to try I won’t make the dish again for a year or more. This is not one of those times. Even though I’m like a squirrel when it comes to recipes and meal ideas, constantly getting distracted by the next delicious thing, there are a few recipes out there that get our attention so much they end up on our exclusive rotation. This Hawaiian Barbecue Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is on that short list.

Hawaiian Barbecue Slow Cooker Pulled Pork  |  Lemon & Mocha

It’s savory, succulent and sweet. The savory umami-ness of the pork comes from the soy sauce and rich beef broth. The pork is slow cooked with lots of liquid ingredients making it incredibly moist and tender. I love when pork has a little sweetness to it and we get that with the pineapple juice, brown sugar and ketchup.

Hawaiian Barbecue Slow Cooker Pulled Pork  |  Lemon & Mocha

My favorite part about the pork is the thick sauce that gets drizzled on top. After combining the pineapple mixture you pour half over the pork while it cooks, while the other half gets cooked down separately on the stovetop along with some garlic and ginger to make a concentrated savory-sweet explosion of a sauce.

Hawaiian Barbecue Slow Cooker Pulled Pork  |  Lemon & Mocha

Other than being lick-your-fingers delicious, the other reason this Hawaiian Barbecue Slow Cooker Pulled Pork made the list is because it’s very easy to make (hello, slow cooker!) and other than the pork and pineapple juice I always have everything already in my kitchen. Sometimes Matt and I will eat the BBQ pulled pork with the Hawaiian rolls, like in these photos, but usually we will just eat it with the cabbage slaw and asparagus sides I’m going to share later this week as our attempt to keep it “low-carb”.

Hawaiian Barbecue Slow Cooker Pulled Pork  |  Lemon & Mocha

We usually get a few nights out of it and then freeze the rest. If you don’t eat pork, I’ve made this with boneless skinless chicken breasts before and it tasted really good. Not as good as the pork, because it’s pork vs a chicken breast, but still good. If you really want to get into the island mood, pair this dish with the Pineapple Mojitos from last week!

Hawaiian Barbecue Slow Cooker Pulled Pork  |  Lemon & Mocha

Hawaiian Barbecue Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
 
Yield: 6 servings
Ingredients
for the dry rub
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
for the pulled pork and sauce
  • 1 6-ounce can pineapple juice
  • ⅓ cup beef broth
  • ⅔ cup ketchup
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons hot sauce
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 ½ pounds boneless pork shoulder or pork butt
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons grated ginger
  • King Hawaiian rolls for serving, if desired
Directions
for the dry rub
  1. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, paprika, salt, black pepper and ground ginger. Set aside.
for the pulled pork and sauce
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the pineapple juice, beef broth, ketchup, brown sugar, soy sauce and hot sauce. Set aside.
  2. Place the chopped onion and carrots in the bottom of the slow cooker. Coat the pork completely with the dry rub and continue to rub it into the pork until it has all been used up. Place the pork on top of the onion and carrots. Pour half of the pineapple juice mixture over the pork. Cover the remaining reserved half and place in the fridge. Cover and slow cook the pork on low for 7-8 hours.
  3. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and place on a large cutting board. The meat should be falling apart. Shred the pork using two forks. Place the pork in a serving bowl or storage container and add a few tablespoons of liquid from the slow cooker, stirring to combine.
  4. Heat the canola oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and grated ginger and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the other half of the pineapple mixture and stir to combine. Bring to a boil then reduce to low and let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve drizzled over the pulled pork.

Recipe adapted from Sandra Lee.

Grilled Steak with Creamy Gorgonzola Sauce & Grilled Asparagus

Grilled Steak with Creamy Gorgonzola Sauce & Grilled Asparagus  |  Lemon & Mocha

As you all know, I am an extreme planner so I have my posts planned out months in advance. And by months I mean all the way into January. Clearly I get a little carried away, especially when it comes to food. Then came along this glorious steak and sauce combination. It was completely unplanned and so outrageous that I moved a whole bunch of posts around just so I could share it with you sooner.

Grilled Steak with Creamy Gorgonzola Sauce & Grilled Asparagus  |  Lemon & Mocha

This dish has three main components: a grilled sirloin steak, grilled asparagus and a creamy Gorgonzola sauce. I feel like I’m going to have a hard time describing this sauce in complete sentences because every time I think about it my brain goes fuzzy and the next thing I know I have drool all over my chin. But bear with me. This sauce is cheesy, creamy, savory and salty. It’s also loaded with thinly sliced mushrooms and sweet onion that have been cooked down so they melt in your mouth. Cliche, but fitting.

Grilled Steak with Creamy Gorgonzola Sauce & Grilled Asparagus  |  Lemon & Mocha

The inspiration for this recipe was born out of my own cravings and food indecisiveness. I had some leftover Gorgonzola crumbles from the Healthy Chicken Cobb Salad that I wanted to use up. When I think of what pairs well with blue cheese my mind immediately goes to steak and mushrooms. I went back and forth, unable to decide, until I finally came up with this delicious solution of pairing it with both.

Grilled Steak with Creamy Gorgonzola Sauce & Grilled Asparagus  |  Lemon & Mocha

This sauce turns tender steak into a decadent treat that will have you swooning. Or guarding your plate if you are eating with others. When I recipe-test I’m usually the only one in the kitchen so I have the fortunate ability to be able to really savor that first bite. And the second, and the third, and so on.

Grilled Steak with Creamy Gorgonzola Sauce & Grilled Asparagus  |  Lemon & Mocha

Since the sauce is rich, serving the steak with simple grilled asparagus is the perfect balance. Also, the crisp asparagus is great at swiping any excess sauce off your plate. Another reason I’m so jazzed up about this sauce is that I created it completely on the fly without referencing any recipes for ratios or inspiration, which can be a lot harder than it sounds. The fact that it tastes so bomb and I came up with it on my own makes me want to shout the recipe from the rooftops! So even if you’re a planner like me and have your meals scheduled out for next week I highly recommend you move things around so you can make this dinner ASAP!

Grilled Steak with Creamy Gorgonzola Sauce & Grilled Asparagus  |  Lemon & Mocha

Grilled Steak with Creamy Gorgonzola Sauce & Grilled Asparagus
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
for the gorgonzola sauce
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced (about 2 cups sliced)
  • 1 glove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 cup gorgonzola crumbles
  • Salt and pepper to taste
for the steak
  • 2 8-ounce sirloin steaks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
for the grilled asparagus
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
for the gorgonzola sauce
  1. Melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and whisk together. Add the flour and continue to whisk until it has darkened slightly, about 2-3 minutes. Add the sliced onions and ground black pepper and stir to coat. Let cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. The onions should be soft. Add the sliced mushrooms and the minced garlic, stir. Cook for another 10 minutes, or until the mushrooms have softened, stirring occasionally.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the milk. Once the milk has had a chance to warm, about 1 minute, add the Gorgonzola crumbles. Stir as the Gorgonzola melts into a thick cheese sauce. You can keep stirring until all the crumbles have melted or leave a few crumbles un-melted. If the sauce looks too thick you can add another tablespoon of milk. Remove from the heat and taste. Adjust salt and pepper according to taste, but remember that the steak will also be seasoned with salt.
for the grilled asparagus
  1. Remove and discard the woody ends of the asparagus. If you lightly bend the asparagus stalk it will snap at a natural spot where the thick stem ends. Drizzle the asparagus with the olive oil then toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. I usually do about 5-6 grinds each of our salt and pepper grinders (they are small).
  2. Heat your grill or grill pan so it’s at medium-high heat. Grill the asparagus for 5 minutes, tossing/turning once while grilling. If your asparagus stalks are very thin you may only need 3 minutes, if the stalks are thick you may need longer than the 5 minutes. If you are using a grill not a grill pan I would suggest using a grill grid or basket so the asparagus doesn’t slip through the grill grates and adding about 5 minutes of grilling time.
for the steak
  1. Let your steak sit out at room temperature for about 20 minutes before grilling. Lightly coat the steaks with the olive oil then season on both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat your grill to high heat or your grill pan to medium-high heat. Place the steaks on the hot grill or grill pan so they aren’t touching and let cook for 4-5 minutes. Carefully flip the steaks and let cook for another 3-5 minutes for medium-rare or 5-7 minutes for medium. The internal temperature of the steaks when you pull them off the grill should be 135 degrees F for medium-rare or 140 degrees F for medium.
  3. Let the steak rest for at least 5 minutes. Slice the steak and place on a serving dish then spoon the Gorgonzola sauce over top or serve alongside the grilled steak.
Notes
I used a grill pan for this dish. First I took the steak out of the fridge to come to room temperature. I chopped up my onion and mushrooms then I started cooking the sauce. While the sauce was cooking I grilled the asparagus in my grill pan, two batches at 4 minutes each. I placed them on a plate and grilled the steak. We like ours medium-rare so I did 5 minutes then flipped and did another 3 minutes. By the time the steaks were done resting, the sauce was done and it was time to eat!

 

Thai Steak Lettuce Wraps with Charred Green Beans

Thai Steak Lettuce Wraps with Charred Green Beans  |  Lemon & Mocha

I am channeling some serious warm weather feels with these Thai Steak Lettuce Wraps with Charred Green Beans. Maybe it’s the lettuce or maybe it’s the lime, but they’re definitely bringing me to fresh springtime. Matt learned how to ski a few years ago and ever since winter hasn’t seemed so bad up here in Boston because we get to go skiing on the weekends. So we tough through the driveway shoveling and the messy commutes because we know there is a bright snow-covered mountain light at the end of the New England winter tunnel. However, now that we are solidly in mid-March I am ready for spring to emerge. Come on barbecues, flip-flops, grilling, and outside walks with no jacket on! Is there anything more exciting than being outside without a jacket on?! Ok, yes, but it’s still pretty awesome.

Thai Steak Lettuce Wraps with Charred Green Beans  |  Lemon & Mocha

We first made this recipe as one of our Blue Apron meals. Have you tried Blue Apron? There are aspects I love about it, such as having all the ingredients sent without having to run back and forth across a grocery store. I’m also a big fan of the detailed photo instructions so other family members can jump in and help by picking some steps to follow on their own. And by that I mean Matt can help without asking me questions or what he should do next while I’m working on another part of the dish 😂.

Thai Steak Lettuce Wraps with Charred Green Beans  |  Lemon & Mocha

The main reason we don’t order Blue Apron more (and why we order a different box now that I will share in another post) is the recipes seemed to be hit or miss for us. These Thai Steak Lettuce Wraps with Charred Green Beans were a definite hit. I’ve made steak lettuce wraps before, but I’ve never added sushi rice and green beans. The rice bulks them up a little and adds a balancing tenderness to the wraps. Charring the green beans brings some smokiness and crunchiness. Finally, the sauce is the perfect combination of zesty, sweet and umami for this springtime weeknight meal. Enjoy!

Thai Steak Lettuce Wraps with Charred Green Beans
 
Yield: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup sushi rice
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces green beans, trimmed
  • 8 ounces sirloin steak
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ponzu sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 1 head butter lettuce, washed and separated
  • A small handful of cilantro leaves, roughly torn
  • A small handful of mint leaves, roughly torn
Directions
  1. In a small pot or a rice cooker, combine the sushi rice, 1½ cups of water, and a pinch of salt. Heat on high until boiling, then cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Continue to cook for 15-17, or until the rice is tender and there is no more excess water. Remove from the heat and fluff with a fork.
  2. While the rice is cooking, heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a pan on medium-high heat. Add the green beans and season with salt and pepper. Cook the green beans until they are slightly charred and softened, about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the green beans and wipe the pan with a paper towel.
  3. Dry the steaks if needed then season generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in the same pan over medium-high heat. Add the steaks and cook to your desired degree of doneness. For medium-rare steak, cook about 2-3 minutes per side for a 1" steak. Remove the steaks from the pan and let them rest before cutting them for at least 5 minutes.
  4. With the browned bits from the steak still in the pan add the minced garlic, as well as a drizzle of olive oil if the pan is dry. Heat over medium-high heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the ponzu sauce, sugar, the juice of 2 lime quarters, and 2 tablespoons of water. Continue to cook for 1-2 minutes or until the sauce has slightly thickened, continuing to stir. Remove the sauce from the heat.
  5. Place the lettuce leaves on the plates. Top each lettuce wrap with some cooked rice and charred green beans. Slice the steak against the grain and place over the rice and green beans. Finish the lettuce wraps with the sauce, torn cilantro and mint leaves, as well as an extra squeeze of lime as desired.

 Recipe from Blue Apron.

Mini Baked Turkey Meatballs

Mini Baked Turkey Meatballs  |  Lemon & Mocha

Have you ever had a dish or ingredient that you just can’t ever seem to get right? That sums up my relationship with ground turkey, well at least until I tried these baked turkey meatballs. Meatballs made with ground turkey that are juicy, moist and mouthwatering delicious? Yes folks, I promise you it exists!

Mini Baked Turkey Meatballs  |  Lemon & Mocha

After dry turkey burgers and tasteless turkey meatloaf I was ready to give up on this healthy protein. I wanted something healthy to go along with my spaghetti squash with spinach and mushroom marinara so I decided I would give it one more shot and was met with great success! And deliciousness. They were also easy enough to whip up on a weeknight, which is always a huge bonus.

Mini Baked Turkey Meatballs  |  Lemon & Mocha

This recipe makes enough meatballs to have freezable leftovers so you can have meatballs all week long. Everyone tends to just think of meatballs with spaghetti, but there are endless possibilities with these tasty cuties. Add some melted provolone and have meatballs sliders. Serve them with brown rice & stir fried vegetables for a quick and healthy meal. Heat a few in tomato soup for some added protein. Eat a couple on top of a Greek salad. Or just enjoy them on a big pile of spaghetti with loads of Parmesan.

Mini Baked Turkey Meatballs  |  Lemon & Mocha

Mini Baked Turkey Meatballs
 
Yield: 40 mini meatballs
Ingredients
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley or 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • ½ cup grated fresh Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground turkey (look for ground turkey that isn't all turkey breast meat)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing combine all the ingredients except the turkey. Add the ground turkey and mix until just combined.
  3. Form the meatballs with a diameter of 1½" and place evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.
Notes
To freeze, place the cooled meatballs so they aren't touching on a baking sheet small enough to fit in your freezer lined with parchment paper. Once the meatballs feel frozen, store in a freezer bag. To reheat, place in sauce while warming up. To heat in the microwave, cook for 1.5-2 minutes for 3 meatballs; 3 minutes for 6 meatballs.

Recipe slightly adapted from Giada De Laurentiis.

Dry Rubbed Roast Pork Tenderloin with a Roasted Garlic & Balsamic Sauce

Dry Rubbed Roast Pork Tenderloin with a Roasted Garlic & Balsamic Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Today I have a simple and healthy dinner for you. Well, a dinner recipe. I am not standing at your front door with this dish, unfortunately, or fortunately if you don’t personally know me and me standing at your door would be creepy. Well I guess even if you do know me suddenly having me on your doorstep would be creepy even then, but I digress.

Dry Rubbed Roast Pork Tenderloin with a Roasted Garlic & Balsamic Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

This roasted pork loin is what we’re here for! And it is delicious! A basic dry rub is pressed onto the meat before being seared in a pan to lock in the flavor and juices. The meat finishes roasting in the oven then topped with a creamy and tangy roasted garlic balsamic sauce and it’s ready to be served.

Dry Rubbed Roast Pork Tenderloin with a Roasted Garlic & Balsamic Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Matt and I usually eat fairly healthy, but I was unsure of where pork lies. After some thorough Googling I have deemed this dish a winner. Although there are certainly some cuts of pork that are not doctor recommended, hello delicious bacon and pork belly, a cut like pork loin is lean if you make sure to remove the excess fat. Additionally, it is a great source of protein and vitamin B! Yay vitamins!

Dry Rubbed Roast Pork Tenderloin with a Roasted Garlic & Balsamic Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Dry Rubbed Roast Pork Tenderloin with a Roasted Garlic & Balsamic Sauce
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
for the pork
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
for the sauce
  • 1 head garlic
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
for the pork
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl mix together all the dry seasonings until well combined. Place the tenderloin on a cutting board and sprinkle the rub all over. Rub and gently press the seasoning onto the pork.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the tenderloin in the pan for 10 minutes, using tongs to turn the pork and sear each side.
  4. Transfer the pork to the rack of a roasting pan and bake for 20 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 150-155 degrees F. Slice then top with the sauce before serving.
for the sauce
  1. Cut the top off the head of garlic so that almost all the cloves are exposed. Place the head of garlic in a little square of tinfoil and curve up the sides. Lightly drizzle the garlic with olive oil then season with salt and pepper. Seal up the tinfoil to make a little packet. Roast for 35 minutes then let cool. Once it's cool enough to handle, squeeze out the roasted garlic cloves.
  2. Blend the roasted garlic cloves and the rest of the ingredients in a small food processor or with an immersion blender until smooth.
Notes
Make sure you note the first step in the sauce recipe (roasting the garlic) before starting the pork.

Pork recipe from The Food Network.
Sauce recipe from For the Love of Cooking.