HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.
Showing posts with label Weeknight Dinners Pork. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Weeknight Dinners Pork. Show all posts

Monday, December 9, 2013

Sichuan Stir-Fried Pork in Garlic Sauce with Mushrooms, Water Chestnuts and Snap Peas


         There’s a Sichuan restaurant close to home in New York that I go to more frequently than I’d like to admit.  There’s a big “B” in the window which means The New York City Board of Health has some "issues" with the place.  In my view, if they haven’t closed it down, and I haven’t experienced any problems after eating there, I’m good to go.  I would have to say this mainly has to do with the fact that the lunch special comes in at $6.75 and includes a choice of soups or egg or spring rolls, three kinds of rice and finally, about 20 main dishes all fairly standard Sichuan fare.  Every one I have tried has never disappointed.   The place also has a Japanese menu and a prominent sushi bar.  I choose to believe that the “B” was assigned to that end of the restaurant.  I am happy to spend so little for such traditional Sichuan dishes as Pork in Garlic Sauce. In fact I like it so much, that this weekend I made it at home.  Once you get the hang of stir-frying, there’s no limit to your kitchen creativity. And if there was one technique that I could pass on to harried, time-pressured home cooks, it would be the stir-fry.  And you don’t need a wok, just a big non-stick frying pan.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Orechiette with Sausage and Spicy Tomato Broccolini Sauce


         Cutting down on carbs is likely the fastest way to lose weight. Candidly, cutting down on alcohol is likely even faster but since that is not going to happen, I’ll stick with cutting carbs.  But anyone who has ever lived in Italy--never mind lived, set foot in Italy is more like it-- cannot envision life without pasta.  But recently, I’ve discovered that if you cut down on pasta portions, you won’t feel the least bit deprived.  You’ll likely enjoy the flavor of the sauce even more simply because there’s more of it and less of pasta.  Most recipes for 4 servings call for one pound of pasta.  Cut that back to 3/4 cup of dried pasta per person and you’ll have more than enough.  Then there’s the magic of the pasta water.  Without adding more oil or cream, pasta water adds creaminess to any sauce without adding a fraction of the calories.  And finally, if you amp up the flavor of the sauce, you’ll feel satisfied with a smaller portion.  All of which I did in this terrific, quick pasta that you can have on the table in about 30 minutes.   

Monday, April 1, 2013

Sichuan Stir-Fried Pork in Garlic Sauce from Cook's Illustrated Magazine



Sichuan Province, Land of Plenty
         In one of their masterpieces of science and cooking combined, Cook’s Illustrated chose to take on one of my favorite Chinese Restaurant dishes: Sichuan Stir-Fried Pork in Garlic Sauce.  Sichuan cooking is immediately associated with hot and spicy flavors. The odd thing is that these flavors are relatively new. And initially at least, they were only popular among the poorer segments of Sichuan society.  There was so much else available. Sichuan Province is known as a land of plenty. While landlocked and therefore without seafood, it has an abundance of pigs, poultry, beef cattle, freshwater fish and crayfish.  And it’s been known for its masterful cuisine for hundreds of years.  The first Sichuan restaurant opened in what is now called Hangzhou, its capital city, over 800 years ago. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sticky Chinese Pork Stir-Fry and it's Low Fat too!



         At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the stir-fry is the savior of every harried home cook.  When you have to get dinner on the table in as short a time as possible, a stir-fry’s hard to beat.  It’s all a matter of getting everything prepped and ready to go in this super fast cooking method.   And there’s no need for a wok to do so.  Any large fry pan will do.  There’s endless variety of things you can stir-fry.  This one is my latest discovery and it’s very good.  It’s loaded with vegetables and the most tender pork all bound together in an Asian accented sauce flavored with ginger and garlic. The sauce is the ‘sticky’ part with its hint of honey.  And what’s really impressive is that it’s extremely low fat.  How can you resist?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Asian Pork in Lettuce Wraps from Chef Ryan Lowder



         Alright, I cheated little on this one.  The actual recipe is for something called “Pork Larb” but, when I first said that I was going to make a dish by that name, Andrew made a face and suggested that, for appetite appeal alone, I should change it.  Because there are so many things to recommend it, I am doing just that.  This sweet and salty, sour and spicy warm meat salad is the national dish of Laos.   There’s also a variation of the dish made in Northern Thailand.  This version seems to straddle the border.  It comes together in all of 25 minutes.  And the ease with which it’s made is matched by the fun of eating it.  You put the bowl containing the pork in the center of the table.  Next to it goes the refreshing dipping sauce and a platter of vivid green Boston or Butter Lettuce leaves.  Then everyone around the table just digs in.  And where did this recipe come from?  Salt Lake City, of course.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sweet and Sour Glazed Pork Chops with Carrot Orzo



        Today, I wanted to share a very easily prepared Pork Chop main course that pairs beautifully with a side that’s appeared here before. Rather than just give you the link, I’ll include the whole recipe on this page to make it easier for you. 
Frenched Pork Chops from Trader Joe's
        The Pork Chops are from Saveur’s April 2010 issue which featured the food of Rome.  I lived in Rome eons ago but I have no memory of eating a single pork chop. This may have a lot to do with my student budget at the time which very often curtailed my eating anything beyond pasta and a “contorno”, the side dishes of vegetables and irresistible antipasti. We never actually got near the “Primi Piatti” where the meat courses were listed.  Since I have an enduring love of all things Pork, that seems like the most logical explanation.   My recent discovery of the beautifully Frenched Park Chops at Trader Joe’s were a call to action for this recipe.  “Frenching” just means cleaning the bone of gristle and leaving it as a kind of handle on the chop.  This of course will allow you to pick it up by the handle and savor every delicious morsel of meat clinging to the bone.  The “sweet” in the recipe comes from Honey, the “sour” comes from Balsamic Vinegar.  It very easy to accomplish in very little time and it’s very delicious.
        As a side dish, this Orzo dish is hard to beat.  It really is comparable to a risotto in many ways but far easier to deal with as it doesn’t require your constant presence at the stove.  There’s a certain sweetness to the carrots and a creaminess to the Orzo that makes this dish a wonderful counterpoint to the Sweet and Sour glaze on the pork chops.  Try it with some quickly sautéed spinach and you’ll have a wonderful dinner.  Here are the recipes:
Recipe for “Maiale in Agrodolce” or Sweet and Sour Glazed Pork Chops from Saveur Magazine:
4 10-ounce Frenched Pork Chops

3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1⁄3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. honey
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1  sprig fresh rosemary, torn into 1" pieces 


1. Put pork chops on a plate; drizzle with oil; season generously with salt and pepper; let sit for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium-high heat. Combine vinegar and honey in a 1-qt. saucepan and cook over medium heat until reduced to 1⁄4 cup. Stir in butter and rosemary and set aside.

3. Put pork chops on grill and cook, occasionally turning and basting with balsamic mixture, until browned and cooked through, 12–14 minutes. Transfer to a platter and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe for Carrot Orzo

6 ounces peeled baby carrots (about 1 

1/4 cups; from 16-ounce package)

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter

1 cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta; about 8 ounces)

1 ½ cups water

1 ¼ cups low-salt chicken broth

1 large garlic clove, minced

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped green onions

1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary

Place carrots in processor. Using on/off turns, finely chop carrots. Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add orzo and carrots; sauté until orzo is golden, about 5 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups water, broth, and garlic; cook uncovered over medium heat until all liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Stir in cheese, green onions, and rosemary. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.  Serves 4.