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For those of you who watch the Cooking Channel, you’re probably already familiar with the “Pioneer Woman”, Ree Drummond. I have her cookbook “Food from my Frontier,” and have really enjoyed it. It’s a well put together cookbook, with color step-by-step pictures. She makes real food that regular people cook (no truffle butter or saffron threads in this book), and all the recipes I have tried were really good.
I’m including two of my favorites, Spicy Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork, and Twice-baked New Potatoes, in my column this week, and if you like cookbooks I would encourage you to get this one.
The pulled pork recipe is for a large pork shoulder roast, a whole pork butt, and it generously serves 12 people. It’s delicious all by itself, but Ree has additional suggestions: pile it on a deli roll; pile it on nachos; fill tacos or quesadillas; use as pizza topping. If you try this one, you’ll be glad you did (and so will your dinner guests).
I can’t say enough good things about the Twice-baked New Potatoes. They are wonderful and can be made up ahead of time and baked when needed. I liked them so much I made them three nights in a row!
Spicy Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork
2 onions, peeled and quartered
1 whole pork butt (pork shoulder roast)
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 (11oz) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 (12oz) cans Dr. Pepper
4 T. brown sugar, packed
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place the onions in the bottom of a pot big enough to hold the roast. Place the roast on top of the onions and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour the can of chipotle chiles over the top. Add the cans of Dr. Pepper and the brown sugar and stir a little to blend. Cover the pot and cook for at least six hours, flipping the roast two to three times during cooking. When it’s done it will fork tender. Remove the roast from the pot and shred the meat. Spoon the fat from the top of the liquid in the pot, then return the meat to the pot and keep it in the juice till you need it. Serves 12.
Twice-baked New Potatoes
12 new potatoes, scrubbed clean
2 T. olive oil
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. sour cream
1 1/2 c. grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 T. minced chives
1 garlic clove, finely minced
Salt and black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On baking sheet put potatoes, drizzle with olive oil and toss them to coat. Roast the potatoes for 20-25 minutes, or till they are tender and the skin is slightly crisp. Halve the potatoes. Use a spoon or small scoop to remove the insides, leaving a small margin of potato intact. To the scooped-out potatoes, add cream cheese, sour cream, Monterey Jack cheese, chives, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Mash until the potato mixture is totally smooth.
Give it a taste and add more salt if needed. Scoop the mixture into the potato shells. At this point, you can cover and refrigerate them till dinnertime. Bake the potatoes for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Serves 8.
...from “The Pioneer Woman Cooks; Food from my Frontier,” Ree Drummond, Harper Collins Publishers, New York, N.Y.