Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork Crostini with Caramelised Apple

Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork Crostini with Caramelised Apple

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

These crostini are pretty much a blend of most of the things I love in the kitchen, my beloved pressure cooker, American & Italian influences, caramelised anything and my new favourite thing… amazing crispy sage!!! I just can’t get enough of it!!

This romance started not log time ago and like most good things, was totally unexpected; I was cooking a Spinach Risotto with Italian sausage for the blog, to which I added some chopped sage, just because I have a big sage plant in the garden that was totally going to waste thanks to my “add thyme and parsley to everything I cook” type of attitude… Anyway, I decided to deep fry a few whole leaves just for decoration purposes, which they looked rather good I must say. Once I finished the photos and before I proceeded to dig into my risotto, I picked the crispy leaves and I swear I was just about to throw them out… when I casually nibbled on one… love at first bite I will call it!! Yes, you know what I am talking about.

Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork Crostini with Caramelised Apple

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

I present to you, the ultimate crostini; a slice of delicately toasted artisan bread, heaped with juicy tender flavourful pork, topped with a caramelised slice of apple, finished with a nutty and irresistible crispy sage leave… yeees, yes yes! To say they are a crowd pleaser is a total understatement!!

 

Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork Crostini with Caramelised Apple

Yield: 20 crostini (depending of toasts size)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1.8 kg (3 1/2 lb) Pork Shoulder (bone in) visible fat trimmed
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, thickly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 Bouquet Garni (herb bundle - fresh thyme, rosemary & parsley, tied up kitchen string)
  • 1/3 cup Sherry
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 loaf ciabatta baguette (or any other artisan loaf) thinly sliced
  • Caramelised Apple
  • 4 small red apples (I used Royal Gala) cored and cut into 6mm (1/4 in) slices
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Crispy Sage
  • 20-25 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) butter

Directions

  1. Heat oil in the pressure cooker over medium/high heat. Season pork generously with salt & pepper. Brown meat all over; take out and rest on a wooden board
  2. Lower heat to medium. Add onion, carrot, garlic & herb bundle. Cook for 5-7 minutes stirring occasionally
  3. Stir in wine, vinegar and sugar; let reduce for 5 minutes. Add diced tomato and place pork on top of veggies
  4. Snap pressure cooker lid in place. Bring to pressure over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low (or the lowest temperature that maintains the pressure) Cook for 1 and a half hours or until pork is falling off the bone and is fork tender. Take pressure cooker off the heat and let pressure release naturally
  5. Take pork out and let it rest. Strain juices to a clean big saucepan, pressing veggies with the back of your wooden spoon, collecting all juices and veggie pure; reduce liquid over medium-high heat uncovered until reduced by half until sauce starts to thicken
  6. Using two forks, shred meat (discarding bone and any other non-meaty bits) Return shredded pork to the pan with the reduced sauce and cook for 5 extra minutes to let all the flavours mingle
  7. Spread bread slices on a baking paper lined oven tray. Toast under the grill for a minute or 2 on each side until golden and crunchy (watch toasts carefully as they can burn quickly)
  8. Caramelised Apple
  9. Heat butter on a wide frying pan over medium heat. Place apple slices in one layer and cook until golden (about 4 minutes) Sprinkle with sugar and turn, shaking the pan a little (you might have to cook apple in batches) Take out once golden and caramelised on both sides. Set aside
  10. Crispy Sage
  11. Heat butter on a medium frying pan over medium heat. Cook sage leaves until they start getting cripsy turning occasionally (will take about a minute or two)
  12. To assemble
  13. Crostini, place a generous amount of shredded pork and some sauce on each little toast; top with the caramelised apple and crispy sage leaves
http://www.danceofsaucepans.com/pressure-cooker-pulled-pork-crostini-caramelised-apple/

Mushroom and Blue Cheese Soup

Mushroom and Blue Cheese Soup

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

Another wintry soup… Heart warming mushroom and blue cheese soup!  I just can’t help myself, I am in soup heaven at the moment!! They are one of the best things about winter, if you ask me. I normally make a big batch of whatever soup I fancy at the beginning of the week and it just keeps giving, lunches, check; snacks, check; light dinners, check… you name it! Awesomeness in a bowl, yep, that is my kind of thing.

Soup & mushrooms, two of my all-time soft spots… together with another one of my weaknesses… naughty creamy blue cheese! They combine perfectly and a touch of thyme helps rounding all the flavours off beautifully. Top your soup up with a dollop of tangy refreshing sour cream and sprinkle a few crispy homemade herbed croutons on top… ahhhh… heart-warming perfection; just what the doctor ordered on a winter cold night.

Mushroom and Blue Cheese Soup

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

 

Mushroom and Blue Cheese Soup

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium leek, white part coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 450 g (14 oz) white button mushrooms, wiped clean and quartered (reserve 4 whole ones)
  • 3 tablespoons white rice
  • 3 springs of fresh thyme
  • 4+1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter
  • pinch garlic salt
  • 60 g (2 oz) creamy blue cheese
  • salt & freshly ground pepper
  • To serve
  • Homemade herbed croutons
  • 2 tablespoons light sour cream (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan (with a lid) over medium heat. Cook onion and leek until softened and lightly golden, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook briefly until fragrant
  2. Add mushrooms to the pan; cook until they start to soften. Add rice & thyme; stir to combine. Stir in stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for about 20 minutes or until vegetables & rice are tender. Discard thyme springs. Let cool slightly
  3. Meanwhile, heat butter in a medium fry pan. Slice reserved whole mushrooms; place them in the pan in a single layer and cook for a couple of minutes on each side. Season with garlic salt. Reserve
  4. Add blue cheese to the soup. Blend until smooth with your hand blender. Adjust seasoning
  5. Serve hot soup in warmed bowls with a dollop of sour cream, the reserved cooked sliced mushrooms and the herbed croutons scatered on top
http://www.danceofsaucepans.com/mushroom-blue-cheese-soup/