Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sticky Thai BBQ pulled pork sandwiches with slaw

On any given day, I have about 100 different cravings. Chocolate, something spicy, pizza, pickles!
Thus, around and around goes my mind. This makes deciding what to cook for dinner a difficult task. Usually I have to consult Blake, which goes a little something like this:

Me, "Pizza with figs, blue cheese, and prosciutto for dinner or burgers with goat cheese, roasted peppers, and date spread?" (Yes, the options are almost always this healthy.)

Blake, "Both. With a side of broccoli." (Broccoli always balances out the other poor decisions.)

So I'm back to not knowing what to cook for dinner and then inevitably throughout the day a third option comes to mind. No decision can ever be made. This also means I find myself at the grocery store at a minimum of every other day to meet whatever cravings may come. Luckily I love my grocery store. Mostly because of the samples. The more samples the merrier. Especially cheese samples.

On the day I made this meal, I was craving a sandwich and pork. Easy enough to combine with endless possibilities. The original recipe that inspired this Thai BBQ sauce, slathered ribs with the sauce. Also, a good option. I love the sweet and slightly spicy balance of this sauce. I love the thick stickiness. The slaw provides the perfect counterpart to the sweetness. I also love throwing pork in the crock pot in the morning and having my meal almost ready when I return home from work. This is the beauty of the slow cooker. This sandwich is hearty and assuredly will fill many a craving on a cold winter's day.

Sticky BBQ Thai pulled pork sandwiches with slaw 
Serves 4, Thai BBQ sauce adapted from Half Baked Harvest

1 1/2 pounds boneless pork chops
1 1/2 cups sweet Thai chili sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste (in the Asian aisle of most grocery stores)
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Medium head of cabbage, shredded
2 medium carrots, grated
1/4 onion, grated
1/4 cup mayo
3 tablespoons mustard
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Thai BBQ Sauce 
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup sweet Thai chili sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
Juice of one lime
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
4 ciabatta rolls
Bread and butter pickles (optional)

Whisk together sweet Thai chili sauce, soy sauce, red curry paste, garlic, and pepper. In a crock pot, pour sauce over pork chops. Cook in slow cooker on medium for 4-6 hours. Once pork is done pull into strip using two forks.

While the pork is cooking, prepare the slaw. Mix together shredded cabbage, carrots, and onion. Whisk mayo, dijon, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper. Pour over the top of the cabbage mixture and mix until coated. This is best done at least one hour before you plan to use it. Can be made the day before and stored in the fridge. 

About 10 minutes before you plan to eat, make your BBQ sauce. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add you jalapenos and cook strirring occasionally until softened, 3-4 minutes. Add the soy sauce, ketchup, peanut butter, sweet Thai chili sauce, rice wine vinegar, and lime. Stir until just combined. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro.

Pour BBQ sauce over your pulled pork. Toast rolls. Layer pork, slaw, and pickles over the roll. 

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