Because we have a schedule that requires spreadsheets to manage, having dinner items ready to go in the freezer is not just a luxury; it’s a must. I know I’ve mentioned my fickle feelings for freezer cooking, before, so this won’t come as a surprise, but I must revisit the subject just briefly. I’m not a big believer in casseroles assembled and deep-frozen for later thawing and heating. My version of stocking the freezer is to put fully-cooked components that can be combined in different ways to keep things from feeling like drudgery. There’s no “Sorry, Johnny… we’re going to eat pease porridge for the tenth night in a row” in my house mainly because I’m the badly behaved child who would sulk at the idea.
Two of the most popular foods in our home using this method are Slow Cooker Cola Pulled Pork and Habanero Buttermilk Cornbread. Pulled pork and cornbread are, all by themselves, wonderful, but the possibilities for making them new over and over are nearly endless! Put pulled pork on pizza, in sandwiches, on rice bowls, and in soup, just to name a few. Eat cornbread with soup, chili, or in dressing.
Now… when stars collide and you have cornbread AND pulled pork, you can pull together a dish that looks tres chi-chi and takes mere moments and some easily sourced ingredients: Pulled Pork Habanero Cornbread Stacks. That’s right. Go whole hog (PORK PUN ALERT) with spicy cornbread stacked high with pulled pork and topped with sautéed collard greens and a griddled peach or apple like in today’s recipe. If that doesn’t make you want to sing, I don’t know what will! Can you imagine busting this out at your next party? Guess who’s going to look like a fancy-pants chef? YOU ARE. It’s no namby-pamby, frou-frou dish, though. Sure, it’s pretty, but it’s also hearty, stick-to-your-ribs fare that’ll please even the most hidebound meat and taters audience you have in your company. How can anyone say no to pulled pork and cornbread?
- Of course, if you have tender-mouths you’re feeding, you can omit the habanero peppers from the cornbread, but a little zip goes so nicely with the pulled pork, collards, and fruit.
- I prefer peaches for this dish, but a good one is nearly impossible to find in New York State in January, so I often substitute firm, tart apples. It’s an entirely different but equally delicious experience. Use what you like here! Either way, though, please keep the skin on the fruit when you cut it up. It will help the fruit keep its shape after being fried which makes it purdier after cooking.