This post is sponsored by OhioPork.org. Opinions (and that delicious top photo) are our own!
I admit, I have been a very lazy cook this summer – it has been so crazy hot and humid that heating up our oven for meals is the last thing I want to do. Our dinners the last few months have all centered around a theme: easy to prepare with as little heat as possible. My favorite of these are ones where you put a bunch of seemingly disparate things on a plate and they magically taste delicious together. Ok, obviously not everything goes together all the time, but I’ve learned to lean on a few key ingredients to anchor the meal.
- Avocados: We all know these are little green bites of heaven by now, right? They just work with EVERYTHING – meats, veggies, salads, burritos, breakfast, appetizers…! You can’t go wrong.
- Pro Tip: Mash into your favorite bean and rice dish, or use the mixture as a burrito filling.
- Eggs: Listen, I know I’m a bit biased, based on family obligation to all things breakfast, but eggs seriously go with everything. Almost any preparation works, but impress your guests (or kiddos) with a 6-minute-egg where the whites are cooked but the yolk stays runny.
- Pro Tip: For 6-minute-eggs, bring a small pot of water to a boil, gently lay the eggs in (we do 6 at a time), and set timer for 6 minutes. When it dings, lift into a ice water bath for a minute or two, and carefully peel right away.
- Cheese: Again, do we need to talk about how awesome cheese is?
- Pro Tip: It sounds silly, but slicing cheese in different ways can be fun and take a dish up a notch – try wedges, long strings, cubes, or my fancy favorite – shards. (It makes a dish taste better when you describe it plated with “shards of sharp cheddar.” Trust me.)
- Pork: I am super lucky to have a talented brother who has been dabbling with smoking meats for the last several years. We have enjoyed the fruits – or meats – of his labor, especially in the form of his delicious pulled pork, slow smoked over several hours. We use it in absolutely everything, from sandwiches to omelets, salads to rice.
- Pro Tip: Pulled pork freezes great – we vacuum seal and freeze meal-sized portions for quick and easy dinners.
The meal pictured above started with red beans and rice with a little smoked pulled pork, avocados, and 6-minute eggs. We added seasonal roasted peppers from Lucky’s Market, fresh heirloom tomatoes from our garden, and shards (ooohhyyeahh) of smoked gouda. And a delicious meal was had by all, with nary an oven turned on.
How do you like to cook with pork? The Ohio Pork Council is offering you the chance to win a LeCreuset Dutch Oven if you fill out their quick survey. To enter, just click the image or click here to complete the survey.