Originally created 08/17/05

Chilies, tomato send pork dish south of border



Whether it's playing host to out-of-town Masters guests, throwing a women's luncheon or making dinner for family and friends, Augusta has an entertaining style all its own.

That style is highlighted in the third and final installment in the Tea-Time at the Masters cookbooks, Par 3 Tea-Time at the Masters: Relaxed Entertaining Augusta, Georgia Style, from the Junior League of Augusta.

The book, which includes color photographs and 18 menus , debuts this month at local bookstores , and this week I'm sharing one of the book's quick and easy slow cooker recipes. Their Mexican Pulled Pork Over Yellow Rice is right up my alley, using convenience products and a slow cooker to come up with a dish that is packed with flavor.

The recipe calls for a boneless pork shoulder roast. Shoulder roasts are a fairly high-fat cut, and the same weight of pork loin or pork tenderloins can be substituted without affecting the final dish. Just cut the pork loin or tenderloins into 3-inch pieces to make it easier to shred before serving.

The pork is flavored with fresh chopped onions, which you can find ready-to-use in the produce section of some supermarkets. These are pricey, but are preferred over frozen chopped onions, which will add too much liquid to the dish.

A can of jalape-o-flavored tomatoes gives the pork a kick, along with garlic powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper and some canned chopped green chilies. The green chilies are very mild, and the jalape-o-flavored tomatoes are not overly spicy. You can substitute a can of mild Ro-Tel tomatoes or plain canned diced tomatoes for the jalape-o-flavored tomatoes to suit your family's preferences.

Canned corn is the last ingredient added to the slow cooker before covering and cooking on high for five hours. I used a can labeled "niblets" when testing the recipe, but I think that Green Giant Mexicali corn (with red and green peppers added) also would be good in the recipe.

After the pork has cooked until tender, it is removed from the slow cooker. While the pork cools down a bit, remove some of the cooking liquid and whisk in a little tomato paste. Because you need only three tablespoons of the paste, freeze the remaining paste for another time. Shred the pork while the tomato paste simmers into the sauce, and then add the pork and heat it through before serving.

The recipe calls for serving the pulled pork over packaged yellow saffron rice, but I also like it rolled in flour tortillas. My husband, Bond, suggested turning leftovers into a Mexican pork soup by thinning it with chicken broth and sprinkling each serving with crushed tortilla chips.

Par 3 Mexican Pulled Pork
over Yellow Rice

1 medium onion, chopped

1 3½-pound boneless pork shoulder roast

1 14.5-ounce can jalape-o-flavored tomatoes

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cumin

1½ teaspoons dried oregano

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 4-ounce can chopped green chilies

1 11-ounce can yellow kernel corn

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 16-ounce package yellow saffron rice mix

Sour cream, for garnish

Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Place onions and roast in a slow cooker. Combine tomatoes, garlic powder, salt, cumin, oregano, cayenne, green chilies and corn in a bowl. Pour over roast. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours or until meat shreds easily. Remove meat and shred with a fork. Remove 1½ cups of the liquid and discard. Stir the tomato paste into the vegetables. Cover and cook 30 minutes. Return meat and heat through. Cook yellow rice according to package directions. Serve pulled pork over rice and garnish with sour cream and cilantro.

Makes 12 servings.

Nutritional information per serving: 505 calories, 27 grams fat 9 grams saturated, 94 milligrams cholesterol, 387 milligrams sodium, 37 grams carbohydrates, 26 grams protein, 1.5 grams fiber.

Nutritional analysis provided by registered dietitian Rachel B. Drew, nutritional education specialist for the Richmond County School Nutrition Program, in conjunction with the Augusta Area Dietetic Association.

Coming next week: Decadent Rocky Road Squares start with a cake mix and are perfect for back-to-school meetings or your Labor Day picnic. See Karin prepare the recipe at noon Tuesday on WJBF-TV (Channel 6).

Write to Karin Calloway in care of The Augusta Chronicle Newsroom, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903. Or send e-mail to karin.callaway@comcast.net.

You can find previous Quick Cooking recipes through the online archive at AugustaChronicle.com/karin.

Par 3 Tea-Time at the Masters, from the Junior League of Augusta will be available for $21.95 at local book and retail stores at the end of August.