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On Pork, Silicone, and oh, a Giveaway!* February 15, 2012

Posted by Toy Lady in Cook's Illustrated, Cooking, Food, Giveaway.


Remember back a couple of years ago when we made the Chicken Enchiladas?

You remember, when we had to take the poor puppy baby to the vet for x-rays?

Well, anyway, we really enjoyed those enchiladas.  They were super-tasty.

But then, what do you expect from a Cook’s Illustrated recipe?

Of course, it was a wee bit labor intensive.

But again, what do you expect?

PhotobucketThen we found ourselves with a nice bit of leftover roasted pork, and we thought that surely there was something we could do with that – besides the obvious like dumping it in soup or making hash out of it.

Both of which, of course, are fine, fine things to do with leftover pork, yes.

But so is a batch of enchiladas.  And it had been so long since we’ve last had them, too!


I’m not going to go into an awful lot of details – the basic idea is right here and a printable version is right there.

Turns out, if you’ve got lovely leftover roasted meat, you can skip that pesky chicken-cooking step.

And you know what else?  If you went a little crazy  and roasted a BIG pork shoulder, you can even double the recipe and make a bunch of enchiladas for the freezer your neighbors.

Don’t be greedy – there’s enough for everyone!

PhotobucketWhat I really REALLY wanted to tell you about is this.

A while back, oh, gosh, it must have been a couple of years ago,  I ordered these silicone steamer things on Woot.

Must have been in a fit of “gotta lose weight so let’s start steaming stuff” – you know?  That, and it was a Woot-off.  Things get a little crazy during Woot-offs, you know.

And so anyway, they were in two-packs, and they came in three colors, and they were a really great deal.

And, since they came in three colors AND there was a limit of three, it only seemed right that I get one of each, you know?

As it happened, these steamers were a little smaller than I thought – not quite big enough to steam enough veggies for two (unless you don’t care much for your vegetables, of course), and I’ve been pretty much using them for reheating stuff for lunches – something for which they’re admirably suited, sure, but I don’t think we’re getting the full impact of silicone that way.


So I was putting together the enchiladas, and, I don’t know how, but I either ended up with one extra, or 5 short.  And really, what am I going to do with one lonely enchilada?

(No, I’m not giving it to The Jar – I don’t care HOW much pitiful he looks!)

(Oh, don’t worry too much – he got to clean up some stray shreds of cheese off the floor.)

But then I remembered – SILICONE!

This stuff is OVEN SAFE!  (Up to 430°F, anyway.)

PhotobucketSo we decided to take that one, lonely enchilada and try baking it in the silicone steamer.

I assembled it, covered it, and shoved it in the 400° oven until it was good and melty, then uncovered it and let the cheese brown.

I did make sure to put the silicone dish on a sheet pan – I’ve had enough experience with flimsy foil pans, I don’t even want to think about trying to pull silicone with hot cheese out of the oven!

It was perfect.  The food cooked, the cheese browned, and, best of all, the dish cleaned up like a dream!

So here’s the thing.

Since I can’t resist a good deal AND free shipping, I went a little overboard when I bought these and now find myself with an unopened package of Orka Personal Silicone Steamers.


They’re oven-, microwave-, and dishwasher-safe. Oh, and none of that BPA stuff to worry about.

There are some decent reviews on Amazon, too.

They really are a “personal” size – a 12-ounce capacity, which is about the size of, oh, a single enchilada with sauce.

Or a burrito.

A slice of lasagna.

Or, and this is a crazy one, a good-sized serving of broccoli.

So do this – leave me a comment and tell me what you like to eat for lunch.

Do you slap together a sandwich?  Reheat last night’s dinner?  Go out for lunch?  Or (perish the thought!) skip lunch?

Friday evening, I’ll randomly pick a number and sent the winner a set of these really cool silicone steamers, in basic, neutral black.  Call it Friday at 5pm.    Eastern time.  How’s that?

Oh, and sorry, but it’s got to be a US address.  I’ve shipped overseas before and I don’t need to do THAT again any time soon!

*  Stuff that probably should be said:  I have not been compensated in any way by Woot, Amazon, Orka, Mastrad, or anyone else for this post.  No one gave me any freebies, and any postage is coming out of my own pocket.  I’m just trying to clear out some cupboards and would love to share some neat stuff with one of my lovely, lovely readers.  You’re welcome.



1. giadasmama - February 15, 2012

i usually have leftovers or something frozen

That sounds exactly like what I do – if there aren’t any leftovers handy, I can always find something in the freezer. 🙂

2. kayatthekeyboard - February 15, 2012

I am, as we speak, eating gluten-free crackers with Nutella, and an apple and cheese. Early lunch, because I was starving.

Would you believe that I’ve only recently discovered Nutella? I have had a very sheltered childhood. . . but WOW is it good on apples! 😀

3. judy - February 15, 2012

Even though I am one I always cook for at least two or more so I will have leftovers for lunches and not end up eating junk or just browsing. I like having several options in the freezer as that way I don’t get bored eating the same thing more than two days in a row.

Judy, I think that’s the best way to go – I love being able to pull something out of the freezer that we enjoyed earlier, but I didn’t have to eat it until we got sick of it!

4. Ezzy - February 15, 2012

I usually have a little of this or that, just generally what I can find. I have been seen doing housework and eating at the same time.

Oh yeah, I can totally see that – I used to do it all the time when I was home when The Boy was small. And I still work at my desk when I eat lunch, too. 😕

5. Teresa - February 15, 2012

Pretty much anything edible in my house that will fit into my lunchbox is fair game.

Amen, sister! 😀

6. The Innkeeper's Daughter - February 15, 2012

Love, love, love the jar pix. How did you resist that face? Lunch? Delivery to the hotel? How screwy is that?

Oh, believe me, I have to steel myself. He’s always STARVING. ALL the TIME. 🙄

7. Jessica F - February 15, 2012

For lunch I love eating a chicken salad with blue or feta cheese! I usually end up eating a turkey sandwich though… a lot easier to make.

I love chicken salad, and I seldom make it because it kind of is a pain, isn’t it?

8. anne - February 15, 2012

Lunch these days is whatever was left over. Might be a serving of something, or three dabs of totally unrelated stuff. What, mac-n-cheese and refried beans and coleslaw don’t go together?? Since when? 😉

I feel like a weirdo when I bring a little dish of leftover broccoli with vinaigrette, a container of roast pork and mashed potatoes, and, maybe some stir-fry to work for lunch. . . of COURSE they go together! 😆

9. Kath the Cook - February 15, 2012

lunch is usually leftovers or a homemade sandwich – buying lunch every day is too expensive! the benefits of cooking real food pay off…..

You are so right about that! When I worked downtown, I used to buy a hot dog from the street vendors maybe twice a year – but back then, it was a buck. Now? Not so much.

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