Wednesday, July 23, 2014

An Ode to Nick Evans (plus a slow cooker pork recipe!)

Earlier this year, I celebrated 10 years living in DC. I've met a lot of amazing people along the way, through a variety of activities. Back when I first moved here, I played in an Adult Kickball League for a few years and while my kickball playing days are long since gone, the friendships I made during those first few years in DC are still very much alive and well. As a foodie, a blogger, and an amateur cook, I am so pleased to call Nick Evans one of these friends.

This guy started a blog several years ago when he was still living in DC. In fact, the blog probably started around the time this photo was taken. Surprisingly enough, I don't have many photos with Nick that I feel are fit to print, but this Halloween party shot from around 2008 always makes me smile. In case it isn't clear, Nick is swine flu and his wife Betsy was avian flu. I am merely a beloved character from a popular 80s Jim Henson show in awe of their awesome creativity. But back to the important stuff...the food! So Nick's blog has grown over the years (check it out at and it has turned into an amazing resource for recipes and other food-related information. It's often a go-to place for me to find recipes and I often post many of those to this blog.

But Nick couldn't just be a successful blogger. He had to publish a cookbook too. Love Your Leftovers is his creation, and I was lucky enough to test some recipes as part of the cookbook development process. I tested out a few of the recipes in the salmon chapter, and will admit that his basic oven roasted salmon recipe has become a staple in my kitchen. The cookbook shows you how to love your leftovers, offering up 14 basic recipes from flank steak to potatoes, and then presents countless ways to reinvent the leftovers into new dishes. For those of us who get bored eating the same dishes more than two days in a row, this book is an excellent resource.

I recently made two recipes from his pulled pork chapter. Below is his recipe for slow cooker pork butt. Later this week I'll post one of his leftover recipes for this dish.

But before I get to that recipe...there's MORE! After conquering the food blogosphere and publishing a cookbook, Nick is going to be on TV! Nick will be competing on Food Fighters on NBC. The show airs on Tuesday nights and premiered yesterday. Nick's night to shine is August 12th and you better believe I'll be tuned in. You should too!

But now, it's time for some pork butt!!

Slow Cooker Pork Butt (makes 6 pounds of pulled invite some friends!)

  • 8 lbs pork butt (aka shoulder)
  • 1 large onion, grated
  • 1 12-oz. beer (preferably lager)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 6 oz. can of tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 large cinnamon stick
  • 2 TB paprika (I used smoked)
  • 1 TB chili powder
  • 1 TB kosher salt
  • 1 TB black pepper

Cut pork butt into four or five large pieces so it fits nicely in your slow cooker. Cut off any large pieces of fat.

Mix together all the other ingredients in the slow cooker so they are well combined. Add pork pieces to the liquid, cover, and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Remove pork pieces and let them cool for a few minutes. Pour liquid into a bowl.

Shred pork pieces using two forks. Try to remove any huge pieces of fat, if possible. Once you have completed shredding, return the pork to the slow cooker.

Pour cooking liquid back into slow cooker in 1-cup increments until the pork is moist, but not too soupy.

Keep the pulled pork warm while serving. Serve with barbecue sauce on toasted buns. And save the rest for leftovers that you'll love!

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