Crock Pot Ham and Bean Soup

img_5945Crock Pot Ham and Bean Soup
very slightly modified from Spend with Pennies


  • 1 package Hurst’s® HamBeens® 15 Bean Soup® with flavor packet
  • 8 cups chicken stock (can substitute other stock, broth, or water)
  • 1 leftover ham bone with meat (plus enough diced ham steak to make about 1 lb. of meat total for the soup; if no hambone available, a full 1 lb of diced ham or smoked sausage can be used)
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 2 teaspoons chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
  • Optional for serving: scallions, hot sauce, rice, cornbread, corn chips


Rinse beans and drain. Sort any unwanted debris and set seasoning packet aside.

Place beans, stock, ham bone, onions, garlic, chile powder, and thyme in a 6-quart slow cooker.

Cook on high 4-5 hours (or low 7-8 hours), or until beans are tender.

Once tender, remove the ham bone (if used) and chop any meat left on the bone and add it back to the pot, along with any additional diced ham steak to make 1 lb. of meat for the soup.

Stir in diced tomatoes and Ham Flavor packet.

Cook for an additional hour on low.

Serve with scallions, hot sauce, rice, cornbread, etc., as desired.


This was so damn good! It’s hard not to have something fabulous on your hands when beans and leftover ham are involved. I am kicking myself for not having scallions to top it with – big oversight on my part – but the side of hatch chile cornbread was a pretty fantastic pairing all on its own. I will definitely make this again, with or without a leftover hambone!

Pad See Ew


Pad See Ew


  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 8 oz sliced pork or chicken
  • 8 oz wide dry rice noodles, soaked for 40 minutes in cold water until soft and white, drained and rinsed
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Stir fry sauce (see below)
  • 12 oz Chinese broccoli, stems sliced thinly on a diagonal, leafy ends chopped

Stir fry sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon light (or “white”) soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 medium clove of garlic, minced or grated


Heat oil over very high heat, add meat, stir until no longer pink, but not cooked through. Add noodles, toss well, and let the mixture sit for 2-3 minutes to char.

Move noodles and meat to one side of the pan. Add eggs, then flip noodles and meat over them. Let eggs sit for one minute, then stir and toss until cooked through and well-distributed. Add stir fry sauce and toss through. Add broccoli and stir fry until broccoli is tender. Serve.



This dish. This dish has given me more trouble than any besides chicken vindaloo in trying to create an authentic, blog-worthy representation at home. Six tries later, I think I finally succeeded – meaning, even if it’s not as awesome as my beloved Thai Nakorn‘s version, it’s darn well close enough!

Bun Thit Nuong (Vietnamese Grilled Pork with Vermicelli)


Bun Thit Nuong (Vietnamese Grilled Pork with Vermicelli)
slightly adapted from Hungry Huy


  • 1.5 pounds pork shoulder
  • 1 10-oz. package rice vermicelli (small thickness), cooked using package directions


  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon thick soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon neutral cooking oil


  • Mint (rau thơm), chopped or minced
  • Vietnamese perilla (tiá tô), chopped or minced
  • Vietnamese balm (kinh giới), chopped or minced
  • Cucumbers, sliced or julienned
  • Carrots, julienned


  • Pickled radish
  • Scallions
  • Crushed peanuts



Slice the uncooked pork thinly, about 1/8-1/4″. It helps to slightly freeze it.

Mince garlic and shallots. Mix in a bowl with sugar, fish sauce, thick soy sauce, pepper, and oil until sugar dissolves. Marinate the meat in the mixture for at least 1 hour, or overnight for better results.

Bake the pork at 375F for 10-15 minutes or until about 80% cooked. Finish cooking by broiling in the oven until a nice golden brown color develops, flipping the pieces midway.

Assemble your bowl with veggies, noodles, and garnish. Mix the whole bowl up and pour the nuoc cham on top or sauce individual bites, as you prefer.


Bun Thit Nuong has been my favorite Vietnamese dish since I first laid my hands on it in SoCal around 2007. And I can’t tell you how many friends of mine have heard my mini-diatribe re. eating at a Vietnamese spot: “forget the pho, order the bun!”

But ever since coming back to Texas in 2011, I have gone without. Why? Well, I rarely eat out since I moved back here. And for some reason, it never occurred to me to make it myself. Which… for me? That is WEIRD. WHY? Why would I not have thought to make it myself?? It took a longtime acquaintance of Vietnamese background to nudge me to do it and once I did, I kind of face palmed myself for waiting so long. From the first bite, I nearly cried at how perfect it tasted – and just like the restaurant versions I remembered.

I won’t lie: this is not a 30-minute meal. More like twice that. The assembling of all the elements takes a bit of effort. But if you love this dish like I do, it is so, so worth it. Promise.

Asian Pork Meatballs over Sesame Rice Noodles


Asian Pork Meatballs over Sesame Rice Noodles
(slightly adapted from Belly Full)


For the Meatballs

  • 1 1/4 pounds lean ground pork (I have only used ground wild pig for this so far!)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup minced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 large garlic clove, grated
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 to 2 tbsp Hoisin sauce, as needed

For the Noodles

  • 1 (14- to 16-ounce) package stir-fry rice noodles
  • 1/4 cup stock or water
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp Hoisin sauce
  • 4 whole green onions, diced (plus more for garnish)


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, using your hands, mix the pork, egg, scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, salt, and pepper until just combined. Using a tablespoon-sized scoop (or measuring by weight), form 36 meatballs. Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet and brush each one with a little Hoisin sauce. Bake for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to boil; cook noodles according to package directions; drain.

While the noodles are cooking, whisk all other ingredients together in a bowl. Return noodles to the pot and pour sauce mixture over the top; toss to coat.

Divide noodles on plates; top with 5-6 meatballs per person. Sprinkle green onions over the top, if desired.


This recipe could not have come my way at a better time. With all the wild pig we’ve been bringing home in the last few months, I have been in need of more recipes using ground pork. And this one is awesome awesome awesome. The noodles, the meatballs, all the best Asian sauces and flavors bringing it all together… I could eat this for days. Thank you for this wonderful recipe, Amy!



Smoked Wild Pig Ham


Smoked Wild Pig Ham

(with thanks to Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook and Field and Stream)


  • 1 6-pound ham
  • 1/2 gallon cold water
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup turbinado (or granulated or brown) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Instacure No. 1 (pink curing salt) Instacure No. 1
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup


  1. In a large, deep container with an airtight lid, mix the salt, sugar, and curing salt in a half-gallon of water until the salt dissolves. Submerge the ham in the brine and store in the refrigerator for 6 days.
  2. When you are ready to smoke, take the ham out, pat with paper towels and set on a wire rack to dry (minimum one hour, preferably two).
  3. Preheat your smoker to 200 degrees F. Insert the ham and smoke over your favorite wood (or bisquette flavor for electric smokers) for two hours.
  4. After the first two hours, brush the ham all over with the maple syrup. Continue smoking, basting every hour with more maple syrup, until the ham’s internal temp reaches 150-155 degrees F. (For a 6-pound ham, this should take about another five hours after the initial two-hour smoke.)
  5. Remove the ham from the smoker and wrap it in foil. Let it sit for an hour before opening it up and slicing. Serve warm or cold.



  • AMAZINGNESS. We have made three hams now, tweaking the curing ratio and time as we’ve gone, until we got it just perfect. It doesn’t get any better than homemade wild pig ham, folks. Oof.
  • This is the base recipe for a small to average size wild pig ham (from a 120-pound boar). If your ham is larger or smaller, you can scale the salt/water/sugar ratio and curing time (24 hours per pound) accordingly.
  • After the first two hours, if using grated racks, you can flip the ham on the rack to  create “grill marks” as you see above. It’s a nice touch if you want to take a moment to do it.
  • Killer leftover suggestions: Hawaiian Pasta and Ham and Potato Soup (don’t forget to use the bone!)

Ham and Potato Soup

Ham and Potato Soup


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 sweet onion, diced
2 large carrots, sliced into coins
2 large stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
16-24 oz smoked ham, cubed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 leftover ham bone (optional)
1-1/2 quarts (6 cups) stock or water
1-1/2 lb Russet or red potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup half and half
Salt, to taste

For topping: scallions, crumbled bacon, crackers, tabasco sauce


Heat olive oil and butter in large deep pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, and celery and saute until just soft, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and stir for another minute. Add ham, thyme, oregano, and pepper, and stir to combine. Nestle ham bone on top, if using, then pour in stock or water. Bring to boil, then reduce to a hard simmer for 20 minutes. Add potatoes and simmer for another 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

Remove from heat. Discard ham bone (if necessary). Pour in half and half and stir to combine. Taste and add salt, if needed (mine didn’t need any due to the salt level of the ham). Serve hot, with desired toppings.


Holy moly so good. We couldn’t stop ranting and raving about it at the table. I was lucky to have my wild pig ham and bone to use for this (and BONUS, Thanksgiving turkey stock stored away in the freezer), but I’m sure it would be wonderful with deli ham any time of the year. What an awesome soup. Credit to my friend Amy at Very Culinary, who put the idea in my head in the first place.

Pork Scaloppine and Mushroom Marsala Risotto

Pork Scaloppine and Mushroom Marsala Risotto


For the risotto:
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large sweet onion, diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced thin
1/2 tsp kosher salt
6 oz dry arborio rice
1 cup sweet marsala wine
3 cups stock or water, heated to boiling, then set aside
2/3 cup frozen green peas

For the pork:
1 to 1-1/4 lb pork tenderloin
Herbs for seasoning: thyme, garlic powder, black pepper, and kosher salt
1 tbsp olive oil


For the risotto:
Heat 1/2 tbsp olive oil in 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and 1/2 tsp salt and cook until the mushrooms have released their liquid and are well browned, about 4 minutes. Add the arborio rice and stir for another minute. Pour in the marsala wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate any stuck bits. Simmer on medium heat for about 4 minutes or until mostly absorbed. Add 1/2 cup of the heated stock (or water) and again, simmer until nearly absorbed, stirring frequently. Continue to add the stock or water 1/2 cup at a time in this manner, until the rice is cooked through (taste test a piece). Remove from heat and add in peas. Stir until heated through.

For the pork:
Butterfly the pork tenderloin, pound flat (about 1/4-inch thickness), and cut into four equal pieces. (If you’re not sure how to do this, there is a simple three-step photo tutorial here.) Season the fillets on one side with thyme, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in 12-inch skillet over medium high heat. Add the pork tenderloin pieces to the pan and cook for 2 minutes per side.

Serve pork over cooked risotto. Enjoy!


Part inspired by a friend, part creativity, part happy accident, this turned into one of those ideal recipes: tasty, easy, impressive enough for guests but simple enough for a quick weeknight meal. And around here, perfect for our “nice Friday dinner” rotation.