Cranberry sauce is not just for Thanksgiving. In fact, I used a jar of whole cranberry relish to make pulled pork tonight. With the leftover mac & cheese I still had from the other day, I stretched the remaining cheesy goodness to make fried mac & cheese nuggets.
The cranberry is one of only a handful of fruits native to North America. As documented by the Pilgrims, cranberries were found in abundance in Massachusetts in 1620 and rumor has it that they may have been served at the first Thanksgiving dinner, although we have no way of knowing for sure. Written recipes using cranberries date back to the 1700s and the first recorded cranberry crop in history dates back to 1816 in Dennis, Massachusetts on Cape Cod. Cranberries soon cemented their place in New England life by serving as a vital source of vitamin C for whalers and a valuable natural resource to residents.
Tonight, cranberry sauce and a touch of maple syrup sweetened my pork ribs in the crockpot, which was then shredded and served in a toasted bun. Here is my recipe for Cranberry Maple Shredded Pork:
2lbs country pork ribs
salt & pepper
1 1/2 cups whole cranberry sauce
1/2 cup french salad dressing
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 onion, sliced
Season pork ribs with salt & pepper.
Place ribs in crockpot; top with onions.
Combine remaining ingredients and pour over pork.
Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 4-6 hours.
Prepared mac & cheese, chilled
Panko Japanese Breadcrumbs
Heat pan with oil.
Cut chilled mac & cheese in cubes.
Dredge cubes in flour to coat.
Dip cubes in egg wash.
Roll cubes in panko.
Fry up until golden brown.
Drain and let it cool.