Pork On Your Fork: Bacon-Wrapped Figs with Snakebite Glaze and Goat Cheese and Thyme Dip

Times

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

6 strips Bacon, halved crosswise 12 figs, stemmed* 12 pecan pieces, toasted 3 tablespoons maple syrup 1/8 to 1/4  teaspoon ground cayenne 1/4 cup soft goat cheese, (2 ounces) 1/4 cup cream cheese, (2 ounces) 3 tablespoons milk 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped OR 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

Cooking Directions

New USDA GuidelinesPreheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place 4 layers of paper towels on microwave-safe plate. Top with bacon slices. Cover with two more layers of paper towels. Microwave on high 1 to 2 minutes to render fat from bacon but not crisp. While bacon cools, slice each fig twice, starting at stem end, and cutting three-quarters of way to bottom. Stuff each fig with a pecan piece. Wrap a half strip of bacon around each fig and secure with toothpick. Place on foil-lined baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Turn. Return to oven for 5 minutes or until bacon is sizzling and begins to crisp. In small bowl, combine syrup and cayenne pepper. Brush mixture over appetizers. For dip, combine all dip ingredients in small bowl. Cover and chill until serving time.Makes: about 1/2 cup Serve appetizers warm with dip.

Serves 12

*Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California work well.


Serving Suggestions

Give your tastebuds a tasty kick with these savory bites.  Serve as part of your party buffet.


Nutrition


Random Grilling Tip:
Chops are best prepared by grilling directly over the coals.

A Year To Look Forward To

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By: Courtney Schaardt, Mentor

 

When I looked into applying to be a Pork Mentor, I had no idea what it would be or what type of knowledge I would need to have about swine. My background is a little different from the other mentors as I am not from the production side of swine, but from the processing side. My parents own a meat locker and I have shown pigs at the county fair, but that is really all the closer I have been to a pig. My grandparents and uncles own cattle so that is more of what I know about. The reason I wanted to be a mentor was so I could be an advocate for agriculture. After growing up in a small town and seeing what my family does, I have been able to see the importance of agriculture. This is a great opportunity to meet new people who love what I love, and to be able to learn from them and hopefully to be able to teach them as well.

I think that there is a lot to be learned from this mentoring program. I think that experience, self-growth and new friends can be gained through this program. I plan to gain experience from all of the traveling that comes with this program. In the next couple of weeks I plan to travel with Kyla to Grand Island and Columbus for Ag Day to teach third and fourth graders. This seems like a learning experience for me as well as the students. My major is ALEC, and this will help me to decide which direction I want to take in the program. I also plan to take advantage of the job shadowing opportunities. I’m not completely sure what I want to do for the rest of my life and I think that with these experiences will help. I’m willing to try a variety of different things. Throughout my year as a mentor, I plan to be as involved as I can. Learning is important to me and I think that learning about pork will be interesting.

This year is going to full of new experiences and new people.  It’s going to go faster than any of us can imagine. I hope to be able to accomplish the things I have planned and even things I don’t have planned.  After talking to a member of last years mentoring class I know that this is going to be one awesome experience.

Pork On Your Fork: Grilled Indian Pork Kabobs with Sweet Onions and Red Bell Peppers

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Times

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinating Time: 2 hours

Ingredients Icon

Ingredients

1 bone-in sirloin pork roast, about 4 pounds, boned and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
2 large red bell peppers, seeded, deribbed, and cut into 1-inch squares
2 large sweet onions, such as Walla Walla or Vidalia, cut into 1-inch chunks
12 12-inch skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
Vegetable oil cooking spray

Indian Spice Paste:

4 large cloves garlic
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons water


Cooking Directions Icon

Cooking Directions

New USDA Guidelines
To make Indian spice paste, place garlic in food processor and process until minced. Add spices, lemon juice, oil, and water. Process until thoroughly combined.

Place pork in large self-sealing plastic bag. Pour paste over pork and mix pork with paste until pork is evenly coated. Seal bag and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

Prepare medium-hot fire in charcoal grill or preheat gas grill to medium high. Thread pork onto skewers, alternating with pieces of red pepper and onion. Spray grill grate with vegetable oil spray. Grill kabobs directly over medium-hot fire, turning to brown evenly on all sides, for total of 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to warm platter or individual dinner plates and serve.

Serves 8-10.


Serving Suggestions Icon

Serving Suggestions

These delicious, colorful kabobs are terrific served with rice pilaf or flavorful couscous and a medley of grilled vegetables. The Indian spice rub can be made several days in advance. Place in a covered jar and refrigerate until ready to use.


Nutrition Icon

Nutrition

Calories: 225 calories
Protein: 27 grams
Fat: 10 grams
Sodium: 420 milligrams
Cholesterol: 80 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 2 grams
Carbohydrates: 8 grams
Fiber: 2 grams

Random Cooking Tip:

When you are in a hurry—turn to cuts that cook up quickly, such as chops, tenderloins and cutlets.

Recipe from: PorkBeInspired.com

‘Spamtastic’ Pork

 

 

 

 

 

 

By: Michelle Semler    

On Saturday March 10th I had the pleasure of traveling to Omaha with Kyla to the Affiliated Food Show at the Century Link Center.  Once we arrived I learned that Affiliated Foods consist of a group of independent grocery store owners from around the Midwest who join together to form a wholesale buying group. The food show is put on so that the store owners are able to scope out possible products that in the future they may like to see on their shelves.

As we walked into the Century Link Center one’s eyes nearly gloss over at the astonishing number of vendors and agriculturally related groups, such as ourselves the Nebraska Pork Producers, whom all have a display booths in one large room. Before we give Jane and her son Will a break from manning the Pork Producers booth Kyla and I wonder around for a bit.

The show is divided up into different sections such as baked goods, beverages, meats, etc… We of course start our journey of tasting within the meats section and remain here for most of our short journey. As we taste multiple products such as sausages, shrimp, mini corn dogs, and  many more  delectable treats not only is my mouth on fire from something spicy I indulged in my mind is on fire as I realize the majority of the processed meats products the vendors are attempting to sell are made from pork.

As we settle down to man the Pork Producers booth for a few hours I realize we are sitting directly across from a display of Spam made by Hormel. Even a few of their representatives are dressing the part of Spam Lovers and happen to be wearing Spam shirts (I was kinda jealous of these shirts). Huh…what are the chances that I come across another processed pork product after already sampled a handful? Having a bit of a love for fun facts I immediately remember that Spam celebrated its 75th anniversary a few weeks ago. For the majority of individuals, when they think “pork” their mind brings them pictures of pork chops, bacon, or a Christmas ham not such pork products as summer sausage, hot dogs, McRibs, and of course Spam.

The National Pork Board has recently changed their ad campaign to “Pork: Be Inspired”. Even though the campaign is new, people have been inspired by pork for many years, (for example the individuals who invented Spam ¾ of a century ago),  and people continue to be inspired as vendors handed out samples of new and exciting pork products they were attempting to sell to the grocery store owners.

Aside from sitting across from the Hormel booth Kyla and I were able to interact with attendees from all age groups as they wandered around the food show themselves. Many people were excited for a free basting brush, bracelet, or koozie from our booth as well as learning from pamphlets possible new recipes for using pork and the new recommended cooking time and rest period.

It is always interesting to interact with the public and see all the personalities that they have to offer. Even thought this was only the 1st of many promotional activities I will take part in this year I am excited for future events as well. Not only will I have the opportunity to educate people about pork production and processing, but  intend to learn more about the industry myself and “be inspired” to continue this involvement when I begin a career within animal agriculture.

Pork On Your Fork: Carolina Country Style Ribs

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TimesImage

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

Ingredients Icon

Ingredients

1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless country-style pork ribs
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup water, cold
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons molasses, OR 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Cooking Directions Icon

Cooking Directions

Place ribs in a large bowl or resealable plastic bag, set aside. In 4-cup glass measure, stir together vinegar, water, oil, molasses, salt, red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper until salt is dissolved. Remove 1/2 cup marinade; set aside. Add remaining marinade to ribs; seal bag and marinate for 4 – 6 hours in the refrigerator. Remove ribs from marinade; discard marinade.

Prepare medium-hot fire; grill ribs over indirect heat for 50 to 60 minutes or until pork is tender and the internal temperature reaches 160º F. Baste ribs twice with reserved sauce mixture during last 15 minutes of grilling.
Serves 6.


Serving Suggestions Icon

Serving Suggestions

Give a vinegar-based sauce a try with these hearty ribs. Serve with hush puppies, corn on the cob, baked beans, and your favorite cornbread.


Nutrition Icon

Nutrition

Calories: 198 calories
Protein: 14 grams
Fat: 14 grams
Sodium: 355 milligrams
Cholesterol: 51 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 5 grams
Carbohydrates: 2 grams
Fiber: 0 grams

Random Safety Tip:

Cover a plate with plastic wrap to carry pork to the grill. Throw away. Use the clean plate carry food back in!

Recipe from: PorkBeInspired.com