The leftovers challenge part 5: North Carolina Style BBQ Sandwich on a Homemade Roll



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The Leftovers Challenge
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We are crossing this pork challenge finish line and I have to say, I am happy to see it go. I am not sure I want to look at pork for a little while, if that's okay. But, I hope I've shown you all the money-saving options you have.

The final dish I have is a BBQ sandwich on a homemade roll. Sorry, I don't have a picture of the actual sandwich, my husband ate it before I could snap it. I guess it was that good.

You keeping saying North Carolina BBQ, what does that mean? Well, good question. The Carolina BBQ Sauce is a vinegar based, not tomato. I chose this because most recipes for BBQ sauce begin with catsup (ketchup) or other BBQ sauce, and to me, that's not really making anything.

Let's get started with our BBQ sauce.

What you'll need:

1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1 cup molasses

1 cup honey

1 tsp Cayenne Pepper

2 tsp red pepper flakes

Pinch salt (I prefer kosher, but regular table salt is fine, too)

In a pan bring vinegar to low boil, add molasses and honey, bring to a rolling boil and allow to boil for 1 minute. Please, be very careful the pot can boil over. Reduce and let simmer, add seasonings and spice. Let simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to cool for a few minutes and then place in fridge to thicken.

* Note that I use mostly store brands. I LOVE store brands.

Roll recipe:

This roll is rich, buttery and flakey. It is great, trust me. You will want to make extras and stick in the freezer.

What you'll need:

1 cup hot water

2 tablespoons butter

1 large egg

3 all purpose flour or 1/2 and 1/2 white and whole wheat

2 tbsp honey

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon instant yeast

1 cup of flour for kneading

Preheat your oven to 350 and grease a pan. Go ahead and stick your pork in the oven because you will need to heat it up for about 15 minutes for you sandwich. Four sandwiches will use about 2 cup - 3 cups pulled pork.

In a bowl combine your water and yeast. Stir and let sit for one minute to activate yeast.

Then add honey and whisk together, add your egg.

In a separate bowl mix together your flour and salt. Pour liquid mix over flour and stir, stir, stir. At this point your dough should be pretty well combined.

Sprinkle a cup of flour onto a clean, flat surface and knead your dough for 10 minutes. This is a good way to release some pent up aggression.

After your are finished punching, I mean kneading. Place the dough back in the bowl and punch down some more.

Cover with damp, dark colored rag, and let sit for 20 minutes so that the dough can bulk back up.

Once that is complete pinch off a roll of dough and form a bun and place on greased cookie sheet.

You can spray the rolls with Pam and sprinkle with dried onion, poppy seeds, garlic, anything really. Bake for 15 minutes.

You will cut each roll in half with a  knife. Place the pork on each bun and cover in sauce.


The leftovers challenge part 4: Zucchini and Pork Parmesan

Okay, let's all let out a big deep breath. Four straight days for pork. Anyone getting tired of it yet? Think of all the cash you're saving - that's what I keep telling myself.

Day four: Zucchini and Pork Parmesan. I know, it sounds odd. And I guess it kind of is. But it tastes great. I promise. The lightness of the zucchini makes you forget it's pork.

Okay, deep breath. Let's get started.

What you'll need:

For the veggie packed pasts sauce you will need:

1 cup sliced mushrooms

5 good size Roma tomatoes peeled (refer here)

2 tbsp minced garlic

1/2 diced onion

1/4 cup fresh basil or 1 tbsp dried

2 tbsp sugar

1 pinch kosher salt

1 can tomato paste

2 tbsp white wine

2 cups of shredded pork cut into small peices.

Olive oil

Optional: carrots, spinach any vegetable you can think up. This is a great way to hide vegetables.

You will also need:


1/2 to 1 cup Shredded mozzerella cheese

Preheat your oven to 350 and grease a glass pan

Cut your zuchini into spears and spray with cooking spray. Place in oven for 10 minutes to roast.

(Note. The sauce in the picture does not contain the pork. It is a photo from the Veggie packed homemade pasta sauce recipe.)

Sauce: In a pan heat up your olive oil and add your onions.

Dice those peeled tomatoes and toss them in the pan with you basil let your tomatoes and onions cook for about 10 minutes then add your white wine, tomato paste, pork and sugar. Stir, stir, stir. Then add your garlic and kosher salt and let simmer about 8 minutes.

 Pour the sauce on top of the zucchini and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bake another 10 minutes.




The leftovers challenge part 3: Pork "Fried" Rice

We are in day three of our leftovers challenge and I think we are doing okay. Tomorrow I might run screaming through the cotton field if I have to look at anymore pork, but today we are plowing through. Day three- Pork Fried Rice!

This seems so first thought, and I guess it is. When my husband came home and saw what I was making he said, "I thought you should make this." Great minds think alike, and so do ours. ;) See what I did there?

This was simple, it required little time or effort and there was no actual frying involved.

Let's get started.

What you'll need:

2 -3 cups shredded pork

1/2 cup oyster sauce (this is cheap and found at most grocery stores on the exotic food aisle.)

2 cups cooked rice

1 - 16 ounce bag frozen peas (I bought mine at the Dollar Tree. Yup, we're cheap.)

2 cups chopped carrots

1/2 onion

2 greased skillets

Grease a skillet and saute your onions and carrots over a medium heat. Don't crowd the pan or it won't get done.

In a separate greased skillet add your cooked rice. We used brown. (Only $.15 a serving.) Add your oyster sauce to the rice and let and stir it all in so that the rice is thoroughly coated.

Add your pork, carrots and onions to the rice and dump in the peas. Yes, the peas will add a little bit of moisture as they thaw, this is okay.

Once everything is hot, mixed and ready serve it up!


The leftovers challenge part 2: Pulled Pork Pizza with Homemade Whole Wheat Crust

It's day two of the leftovers challenge and we're still cooking - pun intended. My pork tacos were a big hit with hubs and got the bearded thumb of approval.

Now on to day 2. Pulled Pork Pizza. Pizza is one of my favorite things to make because a few ingredients go a long way. I make leftovers pizza all the time when I have 1/3 of an onion, a little bit of chicken and some cheese leftover. You can get a lot for your dollar with a pizza. Plus, homemade crusts are delicious and costs less than $1 to make.

Let's start with our crust. It's so easy.*Note. This will make 2 crusts. You can store one in the fridge for up to a week or stick it in the freezer for later.

What you'll need:

Print crust recipe

1 cup all-purpose flour (preferably unbleached, but whatever you have works)

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp yeast

1 tsp olive oil

1 cup HOT water (but not boiling)

1 extra cup flour the pan

Preheat your oven to 350.

In a bowl combine your flour, yeast, oil and water. 

Then mix.

You won't need to knead the dough. *snickers at need to knead.

Cover in a dark, damp rag and let sit for about 20 minutes. It will need to double in bulk.

After your dough has doubled you will want to flour your pan directly and roll the dough flat. I use an old glass bottle. No need for fancy equipment.

Stick that crust in the oven for 10 minutes. It will come out golden and delicious. You can even top it with herbs and grated parm before you put it in the oven if you want to make it extra special. I highly reccomend this step.

Okay, step 2 our toppings.

I used about a 2 cups shredded pork, two sliced Roma tomatoes, some various herbs, 1/4 onion, Romano cheese and bbq sauce from a bottle. (Later this week I will attempt to make my own.)

Layer your toppings on your crust and place back in the oven for 20 minutes at 350. The end.


100 different cards 

The leftovers challenge part 1: Pork Tacos with homemade tortillas

 Print this recipe

Intro: I bought a Boston Butt from a church fundraiser. Let me be clear, I would never pay $25 for a cut of meat unless it was for something like this.

I was happy to hand over my cash in exchange for four pounds of meat, some of which I served to guests at Sunday dinner. But that leaves the problem. I just forked out all this money for a pork shoulder (which is actually what Boston Butt is) and now I have all this left over meat.

Confession time, I struggle with leftovers. I don't enjoy them. My husband is great about leftovers, I am not. I am not sure why, we ate them a lot as a child... hmmm...

So here I am delving into my week with a big butt on my hands. *giggles- considers deleting that last sentence - moves on.*

Monday: Pork Tacos

I love tacos. Seriously. You can put anything on a tortilla and it will taste good. But, this seemed so obvious. So, I wanted to take it a step further with homemade tortillas and salsa.

Let's get started.

What you'll need:

Three ripe Roma tomatoes

Half a red onion

1 tbsp minced Garlic

1 tbsp Lemon juice

Dried cilantro to taste

1/2 pound pork shredded

Avocado, cheese, sour cream - whatever you like on your taco

3 cups flour (I used half white and half whole wheat)

1/3 cup olive oil

1 cup warm water

pinch kosher salt


Three ripe Roma tomatoes

Half a red onion

1 tbsp minced Garlic

1 tbsp Lemon juice

Dried cilantro to taste

Dice your tomatoes and toss them in the blender with garlic, lemon juice and cilantro. Then pour over the onion and chill for about 30 minutes. (I do not care for warm salsa. I know, I know.)


3 cups flour (I used half white and half whole wheat) (plus another cup for rolling the dough. So that actually makes 4)

1/3 cup olive oil

1 cup warm water

pinch kosher salt

In a bowl combine your 2 cups of your flour, olive oil and salt. Then stir in your water a little at a time. You will then add the third cup of flour in slowly.

Your dough should look like this:

Pinch off about 2 inches of dough

Throw down some flour on a clean surface, such as a counter top, and roll out the dough.

Place the dough in a greased skillet that is set on low heat.

The tortilla will start to brown on the edges and when you flip it there will be darker spots on the cooked side.

This recipe will yield 6 - 8 tortillas depending on the size. They are flakey and delicious, but not as flexible as the tortillas you buy at the store. But, they cost less than $1 to make so there is your trade.