BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese

BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

For the past week I’ve been living the Olympic dream. I’ve been carefully honing my time management technique and training hard on my fast forwarding skills to get through about 16 hours of BBC Olympic coverage every day. At the halfway point, I’m all caught up, and I’ve taken in all the Olympic glory. I’m ready to go for the gold in week two.

My favorite is always the figure skating, and I don’t care how many time he falls down, Patrick Chan of Canada is absolutely exquisite. His performance is masterful and draws me right in. I did also love the two Japanese men. They were the perfect contrast of earth and air. Hanyu was light and ethereal while Uno is supremely grounded and powerful.  Who was your favorite on the ice?

BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

While I watch athletes at peak physical form, I am perfecting my butt groove in my couch and eating food that almost certainly would not be allowed in the Olympic village. A prime example is this BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese. Al dente pasta is loaded up with masses of cheese and complimented with salty, sweet, and spicy pulled pork. It’s a real winner.

This dish is a great way to use up leftover pulled pork if you’d made your own, but it’s certainly not necessary. I used store bought pulled pork, or you could pick up a takeaway portion from your favorite smokehouse. Being a stovetop mac, this dish won’t dry out and the cheese stays super silky. Stir in as much of your favorite BBQ sauce as you like. 

BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I will never be an Olympic champion, and I certainly don’t want to eat like an elite athlete, but I feel like a star when I serve something as awesome as BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese. You’ve got to try it.

BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces short pasta
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon flour
  • 3/4 cup milk (I used skim and it was plenty rich)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces shredded swiss cheese
  • 1 ounce grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 ounces pulled pork
  • 1/8 cup barbecue sauce

Instructions

  1. Boil pasta in plenty of salted water according to package instructions.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, melt butter, then sprinkle the flour over it. Whisk butter and flour together into a paste and allow to cook for a couple of minutes until it smells nutty.
  3. Slowly whisk in the milk. Try to prevent lumps. Add garlic powder and cayenne. Let it thicken until it just starts to bubble.
  4. Stir in the cheese and mix until smooth. Remove from heat.
  5. Stir pulled pork and barbecue sauce together in a small bowl.
  6. After you've drained your pasta, return it to the pot. Pour over the cheese sauce and stir to combine. Fold in pulled pork mixture. You can add pepper if you like, but taste it before adding any salt. You may not need it since the pork is so salty.
  7. Drizzle on some extra barbecue sauce at the end if you like.
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http://awesomeon20.com/bbq-pulled-pork-stovetop-mac-cheese/

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English Pizza Rustica | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

English Pizza Rustica

English Pizza Rustica | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Somehow Instagram seems to know that I’m super stressed out because it’s been showing me a bunch of ads for meditation apps. Do any of you use these? Do you find them helpful? Do they actually work? I admit, I’m intrigued, but I also know I would absolutely fail. 

I am an accomplishment junkie. Maybe it’s an oldest child thing. I don’t know. Every moment I spend not ticking something off a to do list, I feel absolutely terrible about myself. I’ve got to be consuming information or producing work of some type to keep the guilt at bay. And quiet my mind? Please, you’ve got to be kidding. I cannot do that. Like at all. So, if I downloaded one of these apps, I know “meditate” would just become another item on my to do list. I’d only do it so I could tick it off the list. What’s wrong with me?

English Pizza Rustica | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Lucky for you, one of my many lists is new recipes to test, and this English Pizza Rustica was an especially delicious accomplishment. I’ve already shared the Italian version, and this one is at least as good, if not better. It’s got ground pork, bacon, and cheddar cheese all wrapped in a flaky, savoury crust that just so right. 

My favorite thing about English Pizza Rustica is that it’s possibly better on the second day than it is fresh out of the oven. Not only does your pie hold its shape better, the flavors seem to harmonize better as time goes on. I actually look forward to leftovers. It’s a real thing.

English Pizza Rustica | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I hope you add English Pizza Rustica to your to do list. And clear some space in your busy mind to really enjoy it. It’s awesome.

English Pizza Rustica
Serves 6
English Pizza Rustica is a glorious savoury pie with all your favorite English flavors.
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
55 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
55 min
Ingredients
  1. For the pastry
  2. 1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  3. 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  4. 2 egg yolks
  5. 2 tablespoons water
  6. 1 teaspon salt
  7. 1 tablespoon sugar
  8. For the filling
  9. 500 grams minced pork
  10. 7 ounces bacon
  11. About a tablespoon of reserved bacon fat, optional
  12. 8 ounces cheddar cheese
  13. 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cottage cheese
  14. 2 green onions, chopped with scissors
  15. 1 clove garlic, grated
  16. 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  17. Black pepper
  18. About 1 tablespoon dried bread crumbs
  19. For the glaze
  20. 1 egg yolk
  21. 2 tablespoons milk
  22. Pinch of salt
For the crust
  1. Put the flour and butter together in a dish and stash it in the freezer for 10 minutes. Stir together the egg yolks, water, and salt, and put that in the fridge as well.
  2. Once everything is well chilled, place your butter and flour as well as the sugar into a food processor and pulse until you've got a mixture that looks like wet sand. Add the wet ingredients and process until the dough starts to come together but is still a bit loose. I sometimes have to add a bit of extra water, but just add a teaspoon at a time.
  3. Tip the mixture out onto a clean counter and press it together with your hands. Divide the dough 60/40 into two discs (you'll need more dough for the bottom than the top), wrap in plastic wrap, and store in the fridge while you get on with your filling.
For the filling
  1. Preheat your oven to 400F (200C), and if you have a baking sheet that your 8-inch springform pan can rest comfortably on, pop that in the oven to heat up as well. If you don't have one, it's not the end of the world, your bottom crust will just be a little more wet.
  2. Add your bacon to your food processor and pulse to grind up your bacon.
  3. Heat your bacon grease in a skillet and add your minced pork and chopped up bacon. Cook, stirring frequently, until your meat is cooked through, then transfer it to a large mixing bowl.
  4. To your pork and bacon, add your remaining filling ingredients except for the bread crumbs. Gently mix it all together.
  5. Roll out your larger disc of dough between two layers of plastic wrap until it's big enough to cover the bottom of your 8-inch springform pan and come up the sides. It's okay if it hangs over a bit. Sprinkle the bottom of your pie with the breadcrumbs. Don't worry about measuring. Just sprinkle until you have a fine layer across the bottom. Pour in your filling and spread it evenly over the crust.
  6. Roll out your second disc between layers of plastic wrap until it is big enough to cover the top of your pie. Place it on top of your pie, then fold over any overhanging dough to seal in your filling. Press the edges down with a fork, and poke several holes in the top of your pie with your fork for ventilation.
  7. In a small dish, whisk together your glaze ingredients and use a pastry brush to brush it evenly over the top of your pie. This will give it a lovely brown shiny top.
  8. Place your pie into the oven, on the hot baking sheet if you have it. Bake for 10 minutes at this temperature, and then lower the heat to 350F (175C) and bake for another 45 minutes.
  9. Allow your pie to cool for at least 10 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife before removing the collar and slicing into it.
  10. Store any leftovers tightly covered in the refrigerator. It will be totally awesome the next day.
Adapted from How to be a Domestic Goddess
http://awesomeon20.com/
Buche de Noel | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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Cranberry Bakewell Tart | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
Pork & Apple Hot Pot | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Pork & Apple Hot Pot

Pork & Apple Hot Pot | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’m sitting on my sofa, watching The Golden Girls, and thinking about how I don’t want to write a blog post. I struggle to find any space for creativity at the end of a long day. At the end of a work day I just want to throw my to do list out the window. Work out? No thank you. Make dinner? Do I have to? Write a bunch of words that no one will read? Surely it can wait until tomorrow. But then I don’t want to do it tomorrow either.

I’m just so crap at staying motivated. Tell me your secrets, friends. How do you keep up with your life? And before you suggest it, no I can’t afford a maid. 

Pork & Apple Hot Pot | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

This Pork & Apple Hot Pot is decidedly not a quick and easy week night dish. I mean, it’s easy, but it’s anything but quick. It’s a slow cooking autumn fantasy. Apples, onions, and bacon cook down to a soft flavorful mush that makes your pork unbelievably tender. I’m normally not a pork chop person, but man, this is tasty.

A bit of good news for you. This whole thing can be cooked in one pot. Just make sure you have something that can transfer from the stove top to the oven. A bit more good news. This will make your house smell heavenly.

Pork & Apple Hot Pot | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

The weekend will be here soon, friends. We can make it. And once we get there, let’s eat Pork & Apple Hot Pot.

Pork & Apple Hot Pot
Serves 6
Pork & Apple Hot Pot is a one pot all day dish that's perfect for autumn.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
3 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
3 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 3 onions, peeled, halved, and sliced into half moons
  3. 250 grams bacon (of the streaky variety)
  4. 50 grams flour
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  6. 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  7. 4 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  8. Salt and pepper
  9. 6 boneless pork loin chops
  10. 4 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  11. 750 ml apple juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (170C). Heat the oil in an oven proof pot and cook the onions over medium heat for about 10 minutes until soft. Remove the onions to a separate bowl.
  2. Scissor your bacon in small pieces into the hot pt and cook until the pieces start to crisp up. Remove the bacon to the same bowl as the onions and mix them together.
  3. Put the flour, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, salt, and pepper into a zip top bag and give it a bit of a shake to combine. Add the pork chops two or three at a time and shake it all about to coat the pork in the seasoned flour. Shake off the excess flour, and sear the pork in the hot pot for a couple of minutes per side and remove to a plate. Repeat until all the pork is seared.
  4. Tip the remaining flour into the pot and give it a whisk until it soaks up the oil. Slowly add in the apple juice, whisking it with the flour after each addition to get rid of any lumps.
  5. Add half of the onion bacon mixture back to the pot, then three of your pork chops, followed by half the apples. Repeat the layers again.
  6. Pop the lid on the pan and put the whole thing in the oven to do its magic for three hours. Your pork will be tender and the apples and onions will be soft.
Adapted from Kitchen by Nigella Lawson
http://awesomeon20.com/
Pumpkin Pancakes | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day
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