Balsamic Pretzel Bites

My goodness. Putting a bowl of these in front of me requires me to exercise self-control like I’ve rarely been forced to do before. Balsamic pretzel bites are a totally different take on the usual salty, often cheesy, tasty morsels. The balsamic glaze takes about 20 minutes to make, but it’s so worth the effort. You want the glaze to be a bit thick, thick enough that it sticks to the back of a spoon. The tart sweetness of the balsamic vinegar works perfectly on pretzels.
You can use any glaze actually. You don’t have to use ‘just’ balsamic. I’m contemplating trying some of the same glazes I use even on the grill, such as peach mango habanero, or sweet and spicy apricot. It often pays to think outside the box!

5 from 1 reviews
Balsamic Pretzel Bites
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups pretzel bites
  • Balsamic glaze, divided, from below
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
For the balsamic glaze
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Place the pretzels in a large bowl.
  2. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of balsamic glaze over the pretzels.
  3. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the cheese and seasoning and toss to coat.
  4. Serve drizzled with remaining glaze and sprinkled with the remaining cheese.
For the balsamic glaze
  1. Combine vinegar and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Whisk until the brown sugar dissolves.
  3. Reduce heat and let simmer until reduced by half, about 20 minutes.
  4. Let cool slightly before using.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Pork Sliders

Pulled pork is a popular dish around our house. Normally I make it on the smoker, low and slow. It may take most of the day (or night) but it is well worth the time.

Now, I don’t believe in a grilling or smoking ‘season’, but the other day it was flat out cold and windy here and there was no way I was going to babysit the smoker. Call me wimpy. So, it was time for Plan B. And Plan B was good. Very good.

This slow cooked tender balsamic pork has tremendous flavor. It’s sweet. It’s savory. The sauce is so delicious. And the Asian slaw? Fantastic. I was scared (really) of using fish sauce. I mean that stuff has an ‘aroma’. But it was great. I’m not afraid of it at all any more.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Pork SlidersThis will definitely become a go-to winter-time recipe for us.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Pork Sliders
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10-12 servings
 
Ingredients
For the Balsamic pork
  • 3 pound boneless pork shoulder, excess fat trimmed
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup seedless blackberry jam
  • 1/4 cup Hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 Asian Slaw, see below
  • 12 slider-sized buns or rolls
For the Asian slaw
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon Asian fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • One (1/2-pound) wedge purple cabbage, cored, shredded
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
Instructions
For the Balsamic pork
  1. Put the pork into a slow cooker set on low.
  2. Whisk together the honey, vinegar, jam, Hoisin, broth, garlic. Stir in the onion, Pour sauce over pork and cook 8-9 hours until fall-apart tender.
  3. Remove pork to a bowl to cool slightly then shred.
  4. Pour sauce from slow cooker into a saucepan over medium-high heat.
  5. Whisk cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of cold water. Slowly pour into sauce while whisking.
  6. Bring sauce to a boil and continue stirring until thickened, 3-5 minutes.
  7. Pour sauce back into the slow cooker and add the shredded meat. Stir.
  8. Serve meat over rolls topped with Asian slaw.
For the Asian slaw
  1. Whisk together all but the cabbage and green onions in a medium bowl.
  2. Add in the cabbage and green onions and toss to coat.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to use.