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Pulled Pork & Tropical Slaw with Plantain Salsa

May 21, 2009 by Joan Nova in Leftovers, Meat, Nuevo Latino, Salads, Sandwiches, Savory Muffins | 14 Comments

It’s raining. It’s pouring. The old man is snoring. Do you remember that little jingle from your childhood? It was the inspiration for this dinner. It was raining. It was pouring. There was no old man snoring. Otherwise, I would have woken him up and sent him to the market!

Instead, I ferreted through the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. I mixed. I matched. I re-purposed. And each step (noted below) brought me closer to the ‘kitchen magic’ that we foodies love so much.
  • I pulled out the container of pulled pork from the carnitas my son made for our tortilla food challenge last week. 
  • My mind immediately went to a pulled pork sandwich and simultaneously to a fresh tasting salad to go with it. 
  • First came the idea of a red cabbage slaw (because that’s what I had).
  • Since I already was on a Latin path, I thought to make it tropical with toasted coconut and a citrus dressing.
  • Then, I remembered I had squirreled away a couple pieces of plantain (maduros – the sweet ones) that were leftover from a prior meal. 
  • Aha, I had it!

I would make a tropical slaw dressed with a plantain vinaigrette. It would add crunch, freshness, acidity from the citrus and a little sweetness from the plaintain — in fact, it was a perfect complement to the savory pork. It truly was kitchen magic!

Tropical Slaw
Shredded red cabbage, shredded carrot, fresh cilantro, toasted coconut and toasted pumpkin seeds.

Plantain Salsa
Pulsed 3 small slices of baked plantain with juice of 2 limes, 1/2 large lemon and olive oil. It was more the consistency of a salsa than a vinaigrette so I mixed a little through the slaw and then topped it with a dollop.

The Moral of this Tale
NEVER throw leftovers away, especially if they’re 3 measly pieces of plantain. This was unplanned but flavor-popping delicious…so much so, that the dishes are the table, the pans are in the sink, and I rushed off to the computer to tell you all about it. 

I’m very happy it rained today.

NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!


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  1. redkathy says:

    WE needed the rain… And I’m with you, I never toss out anything. I know it will surely be part of a delicious something later on!

  2. 5 Star Foodie says:

    I love pulled pork sandwiches! The tropical slaw and plantain salsa are excellent accompaniments! Very delicious!

  3. Abigail (aka Mamatouille) says:

    It’s a rainy day here in Japan, too!

    But no plantains to be had in our neck of the woods. :) This looks amazing! I’m always awed at your creativity, Joan. Seriously.

  4. My Carolina Kitchen says:

    I’m from pulled pork country – North Carolina. And folks put “slaw on it” as they say here. But none are as inspired as yours. Fabulous photo and great ideas.
    Rain is headed our way but we need it. Sometimes it can get me down though.
    Great post.

  5. Koruklu says:

    This sandwich looks amazing! I love the idea of such salsa!

  6. Karen says:

    Leftovers… what would we do without them? Great idea :)

  7. Joan says:

    It was so good I’m still thinking about it…24 hours later!

  8. Ivy says:

    Well this is what distinguishes a cook from a great cook, using what is available to create delicious recipes. You did a great job Joan.

  9. Peter M says:

    Pulled pork is one food’s best gifts. Another gift is to think on your feet and whip something up with what’s at hand. A seasoned cook you are!

  10. brii says:

    ciaoooo joan!!
    I just passed by to sendo you a kiss for the week end :))
    I like the tropical slaw…it intrigues me!
    I must find the cilantro!!

  11. bee says:

    the plantain salsa sounds fantastic. thanks for the recipe.

  12. Joan says:

    thanks to all for your very nice comments.

  13. we are never full says:

    i LOVE that tropical slaw. the added pumpkin seeds – perfect. i want a bowl of this now.

  14. Erica says:

    Wow, I love,love,love plantains!
    This looks absolutely delicious.

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