The frenetic pace of the holiday season can push even the most earnest cook to call for carryout. A little weekend planning and organization, however, will take the pressure off weeknight cooking.
This week, Miso-Gochujang Pulled Pork, an herbaceous rice pilaf and a Thai-style slaw form the makings of meals that will carry you through the week with minimal effort. Expect hearty, comforting dishes with bold flavors—just the fuel you need to reckon with mayhem.
Miso-Gochujang Pulled Pork: We found this unique spin on pulled pork at a street market in Sydney, Australia. The Asian flavors add zip and complexity to an otherwise familiar dish. And despite the assertive Asian seasonings, the pork plays well with many other flavor profiles. Serve in sandwiches (we recommend potato rolls), folded into tacos or over rice. Make sure to make the accompanying pickled carrots to add an accent to your meals for the week ahead.
Arroz Verde: Herb-rich rice pilaf is an all-purpose starch for a host of meals. Make a double batch.
Thai-Style Napa Coleslaw with Mint and Cilantro: Serve on the side of the pulled pork or pile up on a sandwich with the pork. To keep the salad fresh for several days, store the dressing separately from the greens and dress just before serving. Make a double or triple batch, storing the sliced vegetables in a zip-close bag and the dressing in a Mason jar (and shake before serving). It’ll match any of the meals through the week.
Carnitas Quesadillas: In Mexico City, quesadillas appear in countless forms—frequently even without cheese. And they are large. Chop the leftover miso-gochujang pulled pork and combine with a little sauce before smearing across half of a large corn or flour tortilla. Top with a creamy melting cheese like Muenster, mozzarella or Oaxacan if you can find it, then fry until crisp in a lightly oiled skillet. Feel free to get creative: add corn kernels, roasted green chilies or red peppers, sautéed mushrooms, a fried egg or shredded cabbage.
Miso-Gochujang Pork and Mushroom Omelets: It doesn’t take much meat to add big flavor to quick omelets. Sauté 8 ounces chopped cremini mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high. Once browned, fold in ¼ cup of the shredded pulled pork and a handful of chopped cilantro (or arugula). Use to stuff French-style folded omelets.
Pork Fried Rice: As long as you have chilled rice—which you do, from the double batch of Arroz Verde you made on Sunday—this fried rice is easy (figure 1½ cups of cooked rice per serving). Chop and sauté 1 bunch of scallions in peanut oil in a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet set over medium-high (feel free to add fine-chopped carrots, sugar snap peas, bell pepper or peas). Add the rice, a couple minced cloves of garlic and chopped pulled pork; cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is crisped. Sprinkle with soy sauce and lime juice; serve with gochujang on the side.
Or if you’d like, try our Thai Fried Rice, substituting 1 cup of carnitas for the pancetta.
Burritos: Fold rice, the pulled pork and your favorite creamy cheese—we like Pepper Jack—into a large, softened flour tortilla (toast directly over a gas flame or in a cast-iron skillet over high). If you've run out of pork, try scrambled eggs with peppers and onions (huevos a la Mexicano). Serve with your favorite salsa or our Ancho Chili Salsa Roja, an all-purpose salsa that also works as a marinade. Don’t forget the guacamole.