Big Game Pulled Pork Quesadillas
The Super Bowl is coming up, and it’s bound to be a good game. We hear people are excited.
What do we have to contribute? Cool old Giants sweatshirts, lots of team spirit, some luck to the office pool, and food.
Together with Food Network and a host of other food sites and bloggers, we’re participating in the Big Game virtual potluck. And we’re bringing Pulled Pork Quesadillas, which are colorful, easy to assemble, and based on our favorite game day meat: pork butt. To make them, you slow cook the pork in advance, then assemble quesadillas which you simply pop in the oven to melt the cheese when guests arrive. If you’re headed out to a friend’s place to watch, it’s easy enough to prep all the parts and and cook them in your host’s oven. Either way, they’re rich, gooey, and addictive, but still a nice change of pace from Seven Layer Dip.
From my kitchen, albeit small, to yours,
Cara, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
Pulled Pork Quesadillas
16 corn tortillas
3 cups grated cheddar, monterey jack, or a mix
1/2 red cabbage, thinly sliced and tossed with salt
2 ripe avocados, cubed and tossed with salt and lime
About 3 cups Arizona Pulled Pork (recipe follows)
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Oil two baking sheets. Lay 8 tortillas down between the two of them. Sprinkle 2 cups of the cheese to cover each tortilla. Top each with a small handful of red cabbage, and about 1/3 cup of pulled pork.
Place in the oven and back for about 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
Brush the other corn tortillas with oil.
Turn the oven to broil. Top each quesadilla with a generous spoonful of avocado and sprinkle the remaining cheese across them all. Top with the last tortilla, oil side up. Broil for 2-3 minutes, just until the cheese on the top is melted.
Press down on each quesadilla to seal. Lift each onto a cutting board, slice into halves or quarters, and serve immediately.
Arizona Pulled Pork
Makes about 3 cups
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons orange juice (bottled is fine)
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 pound pork butt or shoulder, cut into 2 or 3 pieces
1/2 cup beer (stout preferred but any kind works)
Note: You can also use your favorite Tex-Mex spice mix instead of the mix of spices above–I like this Arizona Dreaming one from Penzey’s.
Combine the sugar, spices, vinegar, juices, and salt in the removable pot of a slow cooker (or in a bowl). Place the pork in the slow cooker and toss to combine, rubbing the marinade into the meat. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours.
Drain off about 2/3 of the marinade and add the beer. Place the pot in the slow cooker and cook on low for about 12 hours or high for 4-5. The meat should be incredibly tender and should break apart when you barely touch it.
Shred it with two forks, disposing of any large chunks of meat. If it seems dry, add a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid.
You can make the pork up to 3 days in advance. Just reheat it in the microwave before assembling.
**The Big Game Potluck Participants**
Liquor.com: Lights Out Punch, Marvelous Frothy Margarita and Black Velvet
EatingWell: The Best Guacamole
Devour: Sweet and Sour Pork Sliders from Ching-He Huang
The Daily Meal: Fancy Potato Skins With Chorizo
Food Republic: Spinach Artichoke Balls
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Pork and Avocado Quesadillas
Fox News: Cheddar Jalapeno Hush Puppies
Men’s Health: Angry Dijon Mustard and Honey Glazed Chicken Wings
Healthy Eats: Baked Buffalo Wings
FN Dish: Alton Brown’s Buffalo Wings
Gourmet Live: Red Velvet Whoopie Pies