Happy Valley Chow

gour-mand (noun): one who is excessively fond of eating and drinking

Filtering by Category: "Sandwich"

Pulled Pork w/ Chipotle Pomegranate BBQ Sauce

So what can I say, I'm a Sous Vide Hipster, fanboy....whatever you wanna call me! Whenever people look at the name, they automatically think it's some technically difficult cooking technique. But, it is quite the opposite. I'm just so impressed with the results I am getting from my PolyScience Sous Vide Professional™, especially when cooking barbecue. I would have never thought that I could get really good barbecue from cooking in a vacuum sealed bag. I also used my PolyScience Smoking Gun™ with apple wood smoke to give my pulled pork that nice smokey flavor. Then to finish off the post, I've included my Chipotle Pomegranate Barbecue Sauce recipe....it's finger linkin' good!

Pulled Pork Ingredients
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 5 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp cayenne
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tbsp chili flakes
  • 3 tbsp ancho chili powder
  • 2 Lbs. Pork shoulder, trim off excess fat
  • 2 Slices of bacon
  • Chipotle Pomegranate BBQ (Recipe Below)
Directions (Sous Vide Method)

The day before cooking, mix together all the dry ingredients to make a rub. Generously rub the pork shoulder, covering the entire surface. Cover and refrigerate over night so that the rub liquifies, marinating the meat. 

Preheat water bath to 175 degrees F. Make sure you cover with saran wrap through the entire cooking process, especially if you can't keep an eye on it. At this temperature the water level will decrease rapidly. 

Wrap the pork shoulder with slices of bacon, place in a vacuum seal pouch and vacuum seal. Place in the preheated water bath and cook for 12 hours. 

Remove contents from the bag, discarding the bacon. Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Pat dry the outside of the pork shoulder with a paper towel. Sear the outside of the pork to get a nice crust. Remove from pan and shred the pork. Serve with Chipotle Pomegranate BBQ Sauce or your favorite sauce. 

Direction (Oven Method)

The day before cooking, mix together all the dry ingredients to make a rub. Generously rub the pork shoulder, covering the entire surface. Cover and refrigerate over night so that the rub liquifies, marinating the meat. 

Preheat your oven to 300 degree F. 

Wrap the pork with bacon and put the pork in a roasting pan and bake for about 6 hours. Basically, roast the pork until it's falling apart and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 170 degrees F. Discard the bacon and shred the pork. Serve with Chipotle Pomegranate BBQ sauce or your favorite sauce. 

Chipotle Pomegranate BBQ Sauce

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle chiles in adobo, pureed
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Add all ingredients to a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil

Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 30-45 or until thickened. Use right away or refrigerate for later use. 

If you want the sauce to be thicker. In a small bowl mix together 1 Tbsp corn starch with 1 Tbsp cold water to make a slurry (This is a thickening agent). Slowly whisk in the slurry a little bit at a time until it reaches your desired viscosity. Add more or less of the slurry as needed. 

**Note: A corn starch slurry (equal parts cornstarch & water) can be used to thicken any sauce, stock or soup.**

Chicken Club w/ Garlic Aioli

This is one of those really simple and delicious dinner options that only takes 30 min to make. There really isn't much to say about this, so how about we cut the chit chat and get to the recipe! 

  • 4 Boneless chicken chicken breasts
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3/4 Cup mayonnaise
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 4 Kaiser rolls 
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato

For the garlic aioli, add the mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, 3/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until smooth and creamy, cover and set aside in fridge (You can also make this of time so that all the flavors infuse). 

Take your chicken breasts and dry with a paper towel to remove all moisture. Lay the chicken breasts on a large piece of parchment paper, fold the parchment paper over top the chicken so that they are covered. With a flat meat mallet or heavy pan, pound the chicken thin, making them as close to the same thickness as possible for even cooking. Then season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in flour, making sure to remove excess flour. 

Heat a large saute pan, over medium high heat. Once heated add in the oil, you'll know the oil is ready when the oil shimmers. After heated, add in the chicken breasts, you may have to work in batches depending on the size of your pan. Once golden brown on side, flip and brown the other side. Cook the chicken until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer, you may have to turn down the heat to prevent burning. Once cooked through, transfer the chicken breasts to a cooling rack and let rest. 

Heat another large saute pan over medium heat, add in the bacon and cook until crisp. Leave the bacon drippings in the pan and add in the buns and toast. 

After everything has been prepared, you are ready for assembly. Spread some of the garlic aioli on the top bun. Place a chicken breast on the bottom, top with 1 1/2 slices of bacon, lettuce and tomato (or whatever toppings you please). Enjoy!

Song of the Recipe

Anybody that knows me, knows that I'm a big Batman fan. Saw The Dark Knight Rises this weekend and just hearing the music at the beginning made me giddy with excitement....I'm a nerd. If this soundtrack doesn't get you jacked up, then I don't know what will!

Did I also mention that Lee and I were in The Dark Knight Rises?? Ohh yeah...we were. We drove to Pittsburgh for the football stadium scene...You might not be able to see use, but I really feel like our acting skills brought something to the film. 

Grilled Turkey Apple Cheddar

This is definitely one of my favorite sandwiches to make, especially in the fall when apple's are in their prime. We have a fruit farm here called Way Fruit Farm which is probably one of my favorite places to get fresh fruit, vegetables and meats. Not to mention, they make some of the best apple cider I have ever had! This is a very simple sandwich and it will be sure to impress with all of its great flavors. Enjoy!


  • 8 Slices of artisan bread, 1/2" thick, cut on the bias 
  • 4 to 5 Tablespoons of margarine 
  • 1/4 cup apple butter
  • Sriracha, if desired
  • 1 pound deli turkey
  • 1/2 Apple, thinly sliced
  • 8 slices of sharp cheddar cheese

Spread each of 4 slices of bread with 1/2 tablespoon of butter. If desired, mix the apple butter and 1-2 tsp sriracha together in a bowl. With butter side down, spread each slice with 1 tablespoon of the apple butter. Top each slice of bread with a slice of cheddar, couple of slices of turkey, 3 or 4 slices of apple and then top with another slice of cheddar. Spread the remaining 4 bread slices with 1/2 tablespoon of butter and lay them, buttered sides up, over the cheese; press gently.

Heat a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add as many sandwiches as will comfortably fit (either 2 or 4) and cook 2 to 3 minutes until the bread is golden brown and the cheese begins to melt. Flip and cook 2 to 3 more minutes to brown the bread. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve hot.

Kitchen Word of the Day

"On the Bias" - Is a phrase used to mean cutting on an angle, at roughly a 45-degree angle. This angled cut created elongated, oval-shaped pieces and makes for more elegant presentation. In the case of baguette slices, it means you can get more surface area on even, thin slices of bread.

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