Dine fine tonight, entertain later with your leftovers…
Summer is officially here, and you may or may not be using your slow cooker. You are probably cheating on it with your grill, but that’s ok. Even though I’m grilling it up too, you know I am still slow cooking with the best of em. Anyways, I recently checked out a delicious recipe for Watermelon Mojito Salad that my friend Stephanie at Stupid Easy Paleo made. It looked like the perfect summer side dish that I was missing and I immediately had to make it. On top of that, I told her that her recipe inspired me to make some sort of spin-off that involved the slow cooker.
I like challenges, stuff that pushes the boundaries of slow cooking, and in turn hopefully helps change the way you think about easy food. If you know me by know, and have seen how many times I’ve used the word easy in my posts, I clearly dig her work and what she’s doing. It was the moment I found her page after creating my Stupid Easy Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs recipe that I decided I needed to contact her and that we needed to become food blogger friends. It was a smart decision to say the least. I’m just slightly jealous that her blog name is way cooler than mine.
Anyways, this recipe is for a mojito pork loin that is marinated in citrus juices, garlic, olive oil, and a bunch of fresh mint. It comes out juicy, earthy, and succulent. In other words, a total and absolute win. You can obviously eat it by itself as your main entree, or you can cut it up into little cubes and serve it as these awesome, cute, and refreshing hors d’oeuvres. It may seem a bit wacky, and it may be a mouthful, but they are truly to die for. I impressed myself with these and then totally gave myself a pat on the back. I can’t wait to serve these the next time I entertain company, and hope you do the same as well! Enjoy!
What you need:
- 6-Quart slow cooker.
- 1 large pork loin. Mine was about 5 pounds. You could also use a pork shoulder.
- 1 fresh bunch of mint, or about 3 cups.
- The juice of one large orange.
- The juice of one large (or two small) limes.
- 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil.
- 2 cloves of garlic.
- 1 large gallon or 2 gallon sized ziplock bag.
- 1 large vidalia or white onion, sliced thick.
- 1 seedless watermelon.
- 1 or 2 large (thick) cucumbers.
- Sea salt and black pepper.
How you make it:
- Get out your food processor, blender, or magic bullet.
- Blend a few large handfuls of fresh mint along with your orange juice, lime juice, garlic, and olive oil. Achieve an even consistency or puree.
- Season your pork loin lightly with sea salt and black pepper.
- Place your pork loin in your large ziplock bag and pour in your mojito marinade.
- Work excess air out of the bag and fold over / seal so that the marinade is making even contact with the pork.
- Allow to marinate in your fridge for at least 2 hours. If you are in a rush, you can skip the wait, yet I wish you would allow the citrus to party with the pork for a bit. It is worth the wait.
- Line the bottom of your slow cooker with your onions. Place your pork on top. Pour any remaining marinade on top of the pork.
- Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. Setting it for 5 hours is a safe bet. Do not cook any longer than 6 please.
How you make the Summer Sliders:
- Set aside the most tender sections of of your pork loin, aka the dark meat pieces. See the picture above, use the stuff that looks like the pork on the left.
- Peel off alternating sections of your cucumber to create a striped effect, and then slice your cucumbers into 1/4″ slices.
- Slice your seedless watermelon to a similar thickness, and then cut squares that are no larger than your cucumber slices.
- Do the same with your pork, creating small slices/squares of the same size.
- Stack your cucumber, watermelon, and cold pork. Top with a mint leaf and stick in a toothpick.
- Serve and impress the heck out of your guests.
- Tip: To create a mint “pesto” to go along with your mojito pork or appetizers, simply blend equal parts fresh mint with olive oil. That’s what you see in the picture above.
- Bonus Tip: You could also add some cilantro to your marinade.
- Note: The onions are simply for moisture in the slow cooker, yet they are still extra tasty and I suggest you eat them.