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Making the Most of Pork

Recipes for Leftovers

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This is the first in a series of articles/recipes that demonstrate a featured recipe and then offers a schedule and additional recipes to use the leftovers. The featured recipe does require some time and, sometimes, effort but the leftover recipes are all quick and easy enough for a weeknight meal. This week we'll make the most of a pork loin roast.

Sunday - Roasted Pork Loin

Roasted pork loin
Jennifer Levy/Photodisc/Getty Images
The trick to a juicy, tender, flavorful pork loin is slow cooking at a low temperature and not overcooking it (pork is perfect when cooked to a maximum of 145 degrees - slightly pink). The problem is it won’t brown at a low temperature. The solution is to brown it first on the stove, then cook it in the oven. This recipe is great, but you'll want an approximately 3 pound roast to have enough leftovers - it may take an additional 15 minutes to cook. Follw the "Try this…" suggestions at the bottom of that page for side dishes.

Monday - Leftover Roasted Pork Loin

My feeling is that if you go to the trouble to make something like a pork roast you should almost always eat it twice as is. So just cut off a couple of more slices, warm them at medium-power in the microwave for 5 minutes, and make a new side dish such as frozen peas, corn or a green salad. The next three meals will not seem leftover. (15 minutes, start to finish)

Tuesday - Mexican Rice

Southwestern Ham Casserole
Copyright 2009 Kevin D Weeks
Cube a couple of slices of pork (you'll need about 1 heaping cup of 1/4-inch pork cubes). Make the rice (doubling the recipe) and just before you cover it stir in the cubed pork. Serve with all the usual Mexican condiments: sour cream, grated cheese, quacamole, and salsa. This is not only a complete meal but an economical meal as well. If you want something more, a slice of melon is perfect. (30 minutes, start to finish)

Wednesday - Cuban Sandwiches

Cuban Sandwich
Copyright 2009 Kevin D Weeks
Foodies sneer at this sandwich because of its yellow mustard and simple dill pickles. But sometimes the whole is greater than the sum of its parts as this sandwich proves. If you don't want to stop at the store (or didn't think) to buy ham and salami, it's good just with the roast pork. If you don't have a way to grill the sandwiches, wrap them in foil and then heat in a 375-degree oven for 15 minutes. (20 minutes, start to finish)

Thursday - Grunt

Beef Stroganoff
Copyright 2009 Kevin D Weeks
I know it's a horrible name. But it's a delicious dish. One of my roommates in college came up with it and 30-plus years later I still make it. It's a version beef stroganoff made with leftover roast beef, lamb, pork or chicken. Over the years I've upgraded the quality while remaining true to its collegiate origins.

Other Options

Make some rice then stir-fry some vegetables. Cut the pork into strips and toss it into the skillet for the last minute of cooking and serve with soy sauce, hoisin sauce or sweet and sour sauce. You could also make some mushroom and onion gravy, warm up slices of pork and serve it on English muffins topped with the gravy. You could also cube the pork, add it to a green salad, and dress the salad with this Soy Vinaigrette.

And if you happen to be either a young couple or older couple with grand-children check out:
Francesca's Newlywed site
Susan's Grandparents site

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