Ann Wayne, Challenge 3

  • Ann Wayne made Pulled Pork Sandwich on a Portobello Bun topped with a Crunchy Slaw & Sweet 'n Smoky Popcorn for the third challenge in the 2019 Cook of the Week Challenge.

    Ann Wayne made Pulled Pork Sandwich on a Portobello Bun topped with a Crunchy Slaw & Sweet 'n Smoky Popcorn for the third challenge in the 2019 Cook of the Week Challenge. COURTESY OF ANN WAYNE

 
Updated 10/22/2019 3:10 PM

I was super excited when I opened the bag this week and saw portobello mushrooms and Smart Pop. Both items I'm very familiar with and love to eat! I am not familiar with the Al Pastor Pork Slices or Dr. Gillerson's Burger Elixir. I called Gillerson's Grubbery Restaurant to ask how they use the elixir in their dishes and was told it's on the tables for the customers to use as an alternative to ketchup.

When I opened the bottle of the elixir, I was expecting it to be very spicy since chipotle peppers are an ingredient. I found the sauce very sweet due to the brown sugar with a little kick. This made me immediately think I could use it to make a pulled pork sandwich.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Ann Wayne of Barrington.
Ann Wayne of Barrington.

I made an open-face Pulled Pork Sandwich on a Portobello Bun with grilled pineapple, a crunchy slaw, and a sweet 'n' smoky popcorn topper. I decided to make a sweet & smoky popcorn for the top of my sandwich for extra crunch. Plus, the popcorn is so good alone to snack on. I prefer to have my burgers on a portobello in lieu of a bun. It is a healthy and a great gluten-free option too.

Since the Al Pastor Pork Slices from Grecian Delights are precooked and delightfully seasoned, I will get the same all-day slow-cooked flavor. What a huge time saver! I also needed to find the right balance of sweet and spicy to the sauce for the sandwich. I added pineapple juice to help cut the sweetness of Dr. Gillerson's Burger Elixir. I also made a slaw with creamy lime dressing to complement the pork and add a crunchy texture. Adding a slice of grilled pineapple was a game changer. The pineapple tied the pork and slaw together.

I knew I wanted to make a spicy mayo with Dr. Gillerson's Burger Elixir for a fun drizzle on the plate. Plus, you can dip the sandwich in the drizzle if you want extra sauce on your sandwich. I intentionally made the sandwich open face so you would know this is intended to eat with a fork and knife. That way, you are sure to get all the flavors in every single bite.

My testers liked the sweet 'n' smoky popcorn I made and were very curious about how this could be used in a sandwich. I had my family and neighbors taste the sandwich, and they all asked for more. One neighbor said it was too pretty to eat. My son said it was the perfect tailgating sandwich for weekend football.

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