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An Unexpected Runner-Up: Stir-Fried Pork Grill Cheese

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Last week, we shared with you the winning recipe of Saucy Mama's 2015 Recipe Contest: In-or-Out Ham and Cheese Melts by Merry Graham. As most of you saw on social media, we had an unexpected turn of events and were able to choose a runner-up for our contest. After we had internally selected Merry as our Grand Champ, we knew that she already had a spot at the World Food Championships, due to her Top 10 finish at last year's event. So, we were able to give out an extra qualifying spot for competing at WFC. This is where Lisa Keys and her Pork Grilled Cheese (ooo, we like the ring of that!) comes in.

We made Lisa's recipe a handful of times throughout the contest, and everyone loved it...from the judges, to our families, to our coworkers and friends. It's easy and delicious...definitely real Saucy Mama quality! We're excited to see both Merry and Lisa compete in Florida this November at WFC!   

Stir-Fried Pork Grill Cheese
Servings: 4


1-pound fresh ground pork
½ cup Saucy Mama Sweet Heat Marinade
¼ cup chopped scallions
2 cups sliced (1/2-inch thick) napa cabbage
¼ cup fresh shredded carrots
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons Saucy Mama Miso Orange Sesame Dressing & Marinade
4 tablespoons soft butter
8 slices Italian bread with sesame seeds
16 deli slices pepper Jack cheese


In skillet, over medium-high heat, brown pork, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until fully cooked. Drain off all drippings in pan (I like to pour the meat into a fine mesh sieve over a heat-proof bowl.) Return pork to skillet.

Add Sweet Heat Marinade, stirring until pork is fully glazed and sauce has reduced. Remove from heat. Stir in scallions; set aside and keep warm.

In medium bowl, toss cabbage, carrots, cilantro and Miso Orange Sesame Dressing; set aside.

Butter one side of each bread slice. Place bread, butter side down on griddle type skillet. Top each bread slice with 2 slices of cheese. Layer only 4 bread slices with an even amount of pork mixture on top of the cheese. Turn heat to medium-low. Cover skillet and cook until cheese begins to melt, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove cover. Top pork mixture with an even amount of cabbage mixture. Using a spatula, flip 1 bread slice, with just the cheese, over the top of each pork-slaw sandwich, placing it cheese side down. Gently press sandwich together and continue cooking until cheese is melted and sandwich is toasted.

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