National Pork Board

Pork Quinoa Salad with Cherries and Balsamic / JillHough.com

I regularly work with the National Pork Board, developing recipes and doing food photography for various promotions. Here’s a set of recipes I developed for Spring 2015. (For photography samples, see my Food Photography page.)

Warm Pork and Quinoa Salad with Cherries and Balsamic
1 1-pound pork tenderloin, trimmed
5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided, or more to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided, or more to taste
Salt and pepper
1 cup quinoa
3/4 cup dried cherries
6 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted, divided
2 cups shredded kale or baby spinach leaves

Combine 3 tablespoons of the vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large resealable bag. Add the pork, seal, and set aside in the refrigerator, turning occasionally, at least 4 hours or as long as overnight.

Remove the pork from the marinade, place it on a rimmed baking sheet, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside to return to room temperature, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Roast the pork until internal the temperature reaches 145 degrees F, 25 to 30 minutes. Set aside to rest 10 minutes.

While the pork is roasting, cook the quinoa according to package directions. Drain any liquid that hasn’t absorbed, then cover and set aside.

Cut the pork into 1-inch pieces. In a large bowl, combine the pork and any cooking juices with the quinoa, cherries, scallions, and 2 tablespoons of the almonds. Gently stir in the kale or spinach, remaining 2 tablespoons of vinegar, and remaining 1 of tablespoon oil. Add more vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Garnish with the remaining 2 tablespoons of almonds and serve.

Yield: 6 servings as a side dish or 4 as an entrée
Prep time: 20 minutes, plus marinating time
Cook time: 30 minutes

Serving Suggestions:
Serve this colorful, meaty, sweet-tart salad alongside a sandwich, a wrap, or a big pile of roasted vegetables. In a larger portion, it makes a wholesome, satisfying entrée, and it’s also great over salad greens or spaghetti squash. To make the recipe your own, try using different grains, different dried fruits, and different nuts.

Pork Tenderloin and Sausage Flatbread / JillHough.com Pork Tenderloin, Sausage, Onion, and Olive Flatbread Pizza
12 ounces pork tenderloin (about 3/4 of one tenderloin)
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
6 to 7 ounces (2 links) sweet Italian sausage
16 ounces prepared pizza dough
1/2 cup prepared pizza sauce
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
12 pitted Kalamata olives, halved
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Meanwhile, arrange the pork on a rimmed baking sheet, rub it with the oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast the pork until internal the temperature reaches 145 degrees F, 25 to 30 minutes. Set aside to rest 10 minutes.

While the pork is roasting, warm a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage (removed from the casing) and cook, stirring and breaking the sausage up into bite-size pieces, until no longer pink, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Increase the oven to 500 degrees F. Cut the pork into thin slices and set aside.

Sprinkle a work surface and a large rimmed baking sheet with flour or cornmeal. Place the dough on the work surface and roll or stretch it out to a 10×15-inch rectangle. Transfer to the baking sheet, pressing the dough to fit the pan. Top with the pizza sauce, cheese, sliced pork, sausage, onion, and olives and bake until the pizza is golden and crisp, 12 to 14 minutes.

Sprinkle the pizza with the basil, cut into pieces, and serve.

Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes

Serving Suggestions:
Try combining sliced pork tenderloin with all your favorite pizza toppings—pepperoni, mushrooms, bell peppers, even ham and pineapple. On the side, serve a crunchy green salad with Italian dressing.

Pork Pozole Verde / JillHough.com Pork Pozole Verde
2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound tomatillos, husked and halved
2 poblano or pasilla chiles, stemmed, quartered, seeds and veins removed
2 jalapenos, stemmed, halved, seeds and veins removed
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
6 cloves garlic
2 small onions, 1 cut into 6 or 8 chunks and 1 cut into 1/2-inch dice
6 cups chicken stock, divided
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons canola or other neutral-flavored oil, divided
3 15-ounce or 2 25-ounce cans hominy, drained
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

Diced or sliced avocado, shredded lettuce or cabbage, chopped onion, chopped cilantro, sliced radishes, lime wedges, and/or tortilla chips, for garnish

In a blender, combine the tomatillos, poblanos, jalapenos, cilantro, garlic, and the chunked onion and pulse to coarsely chop. Add 1 cup of the chicken stock and puree.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the tomatillo mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and becomes medium green, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, add salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.

While the tomatillo mixture is cooking, in a small stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add half of the pork and cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the browned pork to a plate and set aside. Repeat with the remaining pork.

Add the diced onion to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining 5 cups of chicken broth, scraping up any browned bits in the pot. Add the pork, hominy, and oregano and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

Stir in the tomatillo mixture and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the pork is very tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve the pozole topped with the garnishes.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: About 2 hours

Serving Suggestions:
You can simplify this recipe by skipping the first two steps and using 2 to 3 cups canned chile verde sauce instead—look for it in the Mexican or ethnic section of your supermarket. You can also turn the recipe into Red Pozole by using red chile sauce.

Pork and Hash Brown Shepherd's Pie / JillHough.com Pork and Hash Brown Shepherd’s Pie
2 pounds boneless pork sirloin roast or chops, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
4 cups baby spinach leaves
4 cups mixed frozen vegetables (thawed)
4 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper
5 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes (not thawed)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Position a rack about 8 inches from the broiler heating element.

In a small stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the pork and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, stirring until smooth, and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the spinach, mixed vegetables, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the pork mixture to a 2 1/2-quart casserole dish, spreading it out evenly. Arrange the potatoes on top and bake until heated through, about 40 minutes. Turn on the broiler and continue to cook until the potatoes are browned, about 5 minutes.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: About 1 hour

Serving Suggestions:
You can vary this vibrant and packed-with-veggies recipe by changing the type of mixed vegetables you use—carrots, peas, and green beans one day, for example, and mixed bell peppers another. You can also vary the herbs—try rosemary, thyme, oregano, and marjoram.