Broccoli & Pork Stir Fry


Hello there– Do you hit nights that you just don’t want to summon up a dinner??  Me too. Happy for us last night was 99 cent Taco Tuesday!!

But if you do want to put dinner  on the table, here’s a meal that you can cook up in the time it takes your brown rice to cook up.  Set the rice on to simmer and start dropping stir fry ingredients into a skillet.  Quick & Easy.

BROCCOLI & PORK STIR FRY
1 cup brown (or white) rice
1 pound thin pork cutlets, sliced to bite sized strips
2 tab. olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper
2 small heads of broccoli
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
ganish:  2 sliced green onions

sauce:
1/2 cup water
2 tab. soy sauce
3 tab. brown sugar
1 tab. constarch
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. Thai chili sauce (optional)

Cook the rice according to the directions on the package.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet (or wok).  Cook the pork on high for just 3 or 4 minutes until it is browned, but still tender.  Salt and pepper the meat while it cooks.  Remove it from the skillet.

Chop the broccoli to bite sized bits and cook it in the microwave for 3 or 4 minutes in a bit of salted water, until it is tender, but not mushy.

In the same skilled at add the carrots and cook for 4 minutes until they start to get soft.  Add in the red pepper and cook just 1 minute more.

Then shake together all the sauce ingredients in a container with a tight fitting lid until it is all blended.  Add it to the carrots in the skillet and stir on medium heat a couple minutes until it thickens.  Add in the meat and broccoli and stir to cover it all with sauce.

Layer the rice and then the sauce & stir fry on a pretty platter.  Garnish with chopped green pepper.  Eat it up nice and hot!

Pork Ragu over Egg Noodles

Hello all — Last week we had a hug-filled, noisy reunion of women we had met with as young moms for 10 years a while back.  We  didn’t stop talking all night, catching up with each other from start to finish.  So many stories!

And for dinner we had big bowls of noodles and this pork ragu, simmered slow and long until it is fork tender.  With a beautiful big salad and Glenda’s amazing cheesecake, we talked and ate until late.

PORK RAGU OVER EGG NOODLES
16 oz. egg noodles
3 to 4  pound pork shoulder roast
salt & freshly ground pepper
2 tab. olive oil (and maybe a little more)
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tab. tomato paste
1 cup red wine
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp. dried basil
1 large sprig of rosemary
2 bay leaves
garnish:  parmesan romano, grated

Cut the pork roast into smallish bite size chunks.  Then heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in your soup pot.  Drop in the pork (I did it in two batches so the pot wasn’t too crowded) and liberally salt and pepper the pork.  Cook it on medium high for 8 to 10 minutes until the meat is browned on all sides.  Take if from the pot and set it aside on a plate.

In the same pot add the onion and saute for 4 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook a minute more. Then sire in the tomato paste and red wine and let it cook down at a simmer for about 5 minutes.

Then add in the pork (and the juices that collect on the plate), tomatoes, basil, rosemary and bay leaves.  Keep it all at a low simmer for 2 to 3 hours until the pork is fork tender.

Cook the egg noodles according to the directions on the package in salted water.  Drain well and spread on a big platter, topped with the rage.  Serve with grated parmesan romano — delish!

Here we are around the table.  We’ve been through a lot together– raising babies, losing parents, problems at school, work stress, crazy family stuff, an arduous adoption…  Love these girls bunches.

Orange Chipotle Pork Loin Chops

Hey there– We have our kids staying with us for a bit and our daughter-in-law Jodi comes from Hunan province in China– the land of spicy red peppers.  So I made this, hoping the spice would make her feel at home!!

The pork is nestled in a sauce that citrusy sweet and has a spicy kick. We ate it with roast sweet potatoes and a bright green salad for Sunday lunch.

ORANGE CHIPOTLE PORK LOIN CHOPS
2 tab. olive oil
6 pork loin chops*
salt & freshly ground pepper
1 tab. canned chipotle sauce**
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1 tsp. ground cumin

Heat the olive oil in a skillet on high.  Drop in the pork for 2 minutes on each side.  While they are cooking, stir together the chipotle sauce, marmalade and cumin.

Remove the pork from the skillet and pour in the chipotle mixture.  Simmer the mixture 3 or 4 minutes until it thickens.  Dredge the pork chops through the sauce for 1 minute to warm them and coat them with sauce and the set them on a platter and pour the remaining sauce over the top.

*I used thin cut pork loin chops (about 1/3″ thick).  If you use thicker pork chops sear on each side for 3 or 4 minutes.
**The chipotle peppers come in a spicy adobo sauce.  Just remove a couple peppers to scoop out the sauce you need.

Honey Ginger Pork & Sugar Snap Pea Bowl

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Hello all– We are happily in a series of rain storms here, after years of drought.  The impatience in the front yard are bright and blooming and the mountains north of us are white with snow.  There are fires in the fireplace and heavy sweaters.  It’s real winter weather and we’re loving it. Unfurl the umbrellas!

So when it’s soggy outside, a hot savory bowl of pork and crispy sugar snap peas is really welcome.  You might like this no matter what your weather these days…

HONEY GINGER PORK & SUGAR SNAP PEA BOWL
1 cup white or brown rice.
2 tab. olive oil
1/2 pound pork loin cutlets, cut to small strips
salt & freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups sugar snap peas (about 5 oz.)

sauce:
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. minced ginger (or powdered ginger)
2 tab. soy sauce
3 tab. honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tab. cornstarch

Cook the rice according to the directions on the package

Heat the oil in a large skillet.  Drop in the pork cutlet strips.  Liberally salt and pepper them as they cook. Stir to brown the pork evenly for 4 or 5 minutes until it’s brown around the edges.  Throw in the red pepper bits and cook 1 minute more.  Remove the meat and peppers from the skillet to a plate.

Cut the tough tips from the ends of the peas and then add them to the same skillet.  Cooking for just 2 to 3 minutes in the pork juices (you want them to stay crisp!)

Shake together the sauce ingredients in a tightly closed container until they are thoroughly blended.

Then put the meat and peppers back in the skillet with the sugar snap peas.  Stir in the sauce mixture over medium high heat.  Stir until the sauce thickens, just a minute or two.

Layer the pork and peas over a bowl of cooked rice, scraping all the sauce from the pan.  Makes two bowls.  Enjoy it nice and hot!

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Pork & Butternut Squash in Maple Glaze

 

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Hi all-  My sis Lulu and I were snooping around the mall and wandered into the William Sonoma store (one of our favorite window shopping stops).  The clerk there was giving out sample of stewed chicken and veggies cooked in their bottled maple bourbon sauce.  It was delish– and set me to thinking about dinner at home.

So I chunked up a pork loin and roasted squash to stir up in my own simple version of a maple glaze.  It turned out just fine– enjoyed it with my sister and her husband sitting at the table with us.  That makes every meal good!

PORK & BUTTERNUT SQUASH IN MAPLE GLAZE
1 1/2 pound (or a little more) pork loin
3 tab. olive oil
1 small butternut squash (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
1/2 cup red or yellow bell pepper, chopped to small bits
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 green onions, cut to bits-green part only

sauce:
3/4 cup water
3 tab. soy sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tab. cornstarch

Cut the butternut squash in two halves the long way, and scoop out the seeds the stringy part of the squash.  Put it cut side down on a baking sheet and cook at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until the the squash is tender and slices easily with a paring knife. When it cools a bit, peel off the skin with a knife and cut it into small chunks.

To get the sauce ready, put the water, soy sauce, maple syrup and cornstarch in a container with a tight fitting lid.  Shake it heartily until it’s all well blended and set aside.

Cut the pork into smallish chunks.  Heat a large skillet with the 3 tab. of olive oil on medium high.  Drop in the pork and cook 8 to 10 minutes until the pork is browned and cooked through, but still tender. Remove the pork from the pan, but leave on the heat.

Put the butternut squash and bell pepper in the hot pan for two or three minutes to absorb the juices in the pan.  Add the pork back in.  Then give the sauce a few more shakes to make sure it’s all blended and then stir it in to the pan until the sauce thickens, 2 or 3 minutes.

When you’re ready to serve it up, stir the almonds into the pork mixture.  Serve it with rice or farro or noodles on a large platter and garnish the top with the green onions.  Rich and delicious!

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Carnitas (again)

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Hi all– I don’t know about you, but at our house we could eat Mexican food about 4 nights a week! And these carnitas are a great start–because we can use them for tacos, burritos, enchiladas…  I’ve posted a carnitas recipe before, but I’m loving this new and improved version– crispy from the oven and lightly spiced.

I made them last week and sort of on the spur of the moment invited a bunch of friends for Friday night “Talk & Tacos!”  I thought, well, it’s the last minute and people are on vacation or busy or just want to stay in– But everyone came– 22 friends up and down a long table in the back yard!  It was big fun under the maple trees as the breeze picked up and the evening cooled down and we talked our way into the night….

CARNITAS
1/4 cup olive oil
4 to 5 pounds pork loin, cut into 3″ chunks
2 tab. salt
1 yellow onion, chopped to small bits
32 oz. carton chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tab. lime juice
1 tab. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
chopped red onion & chopped cilantro for serving

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Heat the olive oil in a soup pot.  Throw in the chunks of pork in two separate batches and stir them a bit to brown them on all sides, salting the meat as it cooks (about 8 -10 minutes per batch).  Then put all the pork into the pot together, stir in the chopped yellow onion and cook 2 minutes more.

Add in the chicken broth, garlic, lime juice, chili powder and cumin.  Bring the whole thing to a low simmer and cook for about 1 1/2 hours until the meat is tender and can be shredded.

Remove the pork from the pot, reserving the cooking juices.  Shred the pork with two forks and spread the shredded pork out over 2 baking sheets that have been sprayed with cooking spray.  Drizzle a small amount of the cooking liquid over the meat and put it into a 400 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes until the cooked shreds are crispy but still tender– as it cooks drizzle on more cooking juices every 10 minutes or so.

Serve the carnitas with chopped onion and cilantro– and any other fixings your family likes.

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Honey Crusted Pork Tenderloin (or Christmas with the family)

IMG_2684Hello all– Hope you had the merriest Christmas celebration.  We’re just winding down here with kids in the house til New Years.  There’s a high stakes Monopoly game going on in the family room right now.  And clutter everywhere. Big fun.

But our big meal for Christmas is  Christmas Eve lunch with our parents and kids and my dear friend Jenon– It’s a riotous squeeze to fit around the table, but I get a lot joy out of seeing the people I love the most sitting down to a big meal together.

We filled our plates with whipped sweet potatoes and broccoli quinoa salad, roasted carrots and this pork tenderloin.  It was just fine for our lunch together.

HONEY CRUSTED PORK TENDERLOIN (OR
1 medium pork tenderloin (about about 4 pounds)
salt & freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water
1 tab. cornstarch

In a large skillet, melt the butter and honey, stirring them together.  Season the pork literally with salt and pepper.

Set the tenderloin into the hot pan and brown the top side ad bottom for 5 minutes each o medium high heat –be careful it’s not too hot or the honey could burn.

Remove the pork to a baking dish and scrape all the juices from the skillet over the meat.
Put the baking dish of pork into a 375 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes.  Best to use a meat thermometer to see when the interior of the pork reaches 145 degrees.

Let the pork sit 10 minutes before you slice it into 1/2″ slices.

While it rests, scrape the pork juices from the baking dish back into the skillet.  Heat it to a nice simmer.  Shake the cornstarch and water together in a container with a tight fitting lid and whisk it into the hot pork juices unit it thickens, just a minute or two.

Set the hot pork sliced onto a platter and drizzle the sauce over the top.  Enjoy!!

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11062253_797218907055671_22022511148801165_oAll of us set down around the table– It’s one of my favorite moments of Christmas.

 

Vietnamese Pork Salad with Rice Noodles

IMG_2676Hi there– I was happy to find a recipe that actually calls for a little mint — Because we DO have mint around here.  We planted a innocent looking little mint plant in the side yard– and it swiftly took over the berry patch, then rounded the corner to invade the rose bushes and pops up wherever it wants around the yard.  I can’t keep up with it!

But in this dish, it’s very welcome– along with the all the other vibrant flavors– garlic, lime, cilantro, green onion… along with the savory pork and tender noodles.  I think you might really like it.

VIETNAMESE PORK SALAD WITH RICE NOODLES

Dressing:
1 serrano pepper, sliced thin (optional)
3 cloves garlic, mined fine
2 tab. brown sugar
2 tab. rice vinegar
2 tab. fish sauce
4 tab. lime juice
6 tab. vegetable oil

Salad:
4 small pork cutlets, cut in smallish bits
splash of oil
salt & freshly ground pepper
8 oz. rice noodles
2 carrots, peeled and grated
2 cups green cabbage leaves, chopped
1 cup red cabbage leaves, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tab. mint, chopped (more for garnish)
4 green onions, cut in slices

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Shake all the ingredients for the dressing– serrano pepper, garlic, brown sugar, rice vinegar, fish sauce, lime juice and oil together in a container with a tight fitting lid until it is thoroughly blended.  Set aside.

Heat the oil in a skillet and cook the pork pieces on high heat just until they are well browned. Salt & pepper as they cook.

Cook the rice noodles according to the directions on the package (just a couple minutes!) and drain them thoroughly in a colander.

Pour 1/4 cup of the dressing (more or less) into a skillet and add in the noodles.  Cook them for 4 or 5 minutes until soft and savory.

Mix the carrots, cabbages, cilantro, mint and green onions in a mixing bowl with the rest of the dressing.  Stir in the pork.

Layer the noodles and veggies with pork onto a plate and plop on a sprig of mint just to make it pretty.  Makes 2 large servings.

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Chinese Pork & Rice Noodles

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Hello all–  I’m missing our 3 grand-girls and mom Jodi.  They’re in Hunan, China staying with their other Grandma for Chinese New Year!  She’s famous for her New Year’s table overflowing with spicy Hunanese dishes.  Wishing we could drop in and join the feast–

But for now this yummy plateful of noodles and slightly spicy pork will have to do.  Our own little Chinese New Year dinner on this side of the Pacific.

CHINESE PORK & RICE NOODLE
1 1/2 pound pork cutlets, cut in small chunks
2 tab. oil
⅓ cup soy sauce
¼ cup water
3 tab.  brown sugar
1 tsp. fish sauce
3 tab. vinegar
4 cloves finely minced garlic
1 tsp.ginger, peeled and minced fine
1/4  tsp. chili garlic sauce*
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons peanut butter
9 oz. rice noodles
2 grated carrots
4 chopped green onions
1/2 cup red pepper, chopped fine
1/2 cup chopped peanuts

DSC01116Heat the oil in am ample skillet.  Drop in the pork and cook about 5 or 6 minutes until it’s cooked through and browned.  Remove it from the skillet.

In the hot pan, stir together the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, fish sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, chili garlic sauce, hoisin sauce and the peanut butter.  Simmer for a couple minutes and mix in the carrots, green onions, red pepper and peanuts.  Add the pork back into the pan.

While that’s all happening, cook the rice noodles according the directions on the package.  The ones I used just simmered 3 minutes.

Drain the noodles and spread them on a pretty platter.  Ladle on the pork and sauce and set out the chop sticks.  Hope you love this dish as much as we did!

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Ginger Pork Meatballs

IMG_0034Hello there–  It’s meatball time again around here, a grand-girl fave!  I like this quick, easy  dinner,  fills up a big platter to feed all 7 of us (4 bigs and 3 littles).  Just add a greenish bowl of veggies, a salad and some kind of yummy bread and it’s a meal!  Happy eating!

GINGER PORK MEATBALLS

Rice– 2 cups–cook according the the package directions

Meatballs
1 pound ground pork
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
3 cloves garlic, minced*
1 tsp. ground ginger**
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Combine all the meatball ingredients in a mixing bowl– I just like squishing them together with my hands– and then form smallish balls (kind of like roll up play dough)– and set them on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.

Put them in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes (depending on how large you rolled out your meatballs)– until they are cooked through and a bit brownish around the edges.

While they are cooking–make you sauce and the can drop the meatballs into that yummy sauce as they come out of the oven.

Sauce:
2 tab. butter (or olive oil)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tab. soy sauce
1 tab. rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. Thai sweet chili sauce
1 tab. cornstarch
1 tab. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground ginger**
1 cup water (or white wine or apple juice–if you have either on hand)
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped fine

2 green onions for garnish

Melt the butter in a skillet.  Put the other ingredients for the sauce into a container with a tightly sealing lid.  Shake until all the ingredients are well blended and pour into the hot skillet with the butter.  Keep it on medium heat and stir until the sauce thickens (a couple minutes).

When the meatballs are cooked through, add them to the skillet with the sauce and stir to coat them completely.

Rosemary Tomato Pork Cutlets

IMG_8186Hello all– I’m so glad we have a hearty rosemary bush out in our side yard– not thanks to us– The family who lived here before us 20 years ago planted it and we’ve been reaping the bounty every since.  So here’s a simple, savory dish that takes advantage of a fresh sprig of rosemary.  It’s quick and easy for dinner in a hurry.

ROSEMARY TOMATO PORK CUTLETS
4 pork cutlets (about 1/2″ thick)
splash olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. rosemary, minced
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 can petit cut tomatoes with garlic & herbs

Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and then toss in the pork cutlets.  Brown them on medium high for just 2 to 3 minutes per side, until they are just browned.  Move them over to a baking dish.

Into the same sauté pan add the onion and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until the onion stats to brown (if the pan seems dry add a bit more olive oil).  then stir in the garlic, rosemary and oregano and cook 2 minutes more.  Then pour in the tomatoes and mix well.

Pour the tomato mixture over the pork chops in the baking dish and pop it into a 425 degree over for just 8 to 10 minutes (depending on how thick your pork it cut).

It’s great with a big bowl of pasta, a pile of mashed potatoes or herbed couscous…

Orange Mustard Pork Cutlets

IMG_6721Hey there– I hate to admit it, but I’ve been a serial pork chop killer.  Seems I could pretty much count on taking a fresh, juicy pork chop and transforming it into a lump of tough, chewy grizzle.  I didn’t know how I did it– I would have willingly changed my ways!

But this recipe was a surprisingly tender, flavorful pork-y success!  Finally.  I think I’ve found the secret.  A quick browning, finished with a little hot, saucy baking.  And with all that sweet orange and tangy mustard–practically perfect.  I was ecstatic!  Set alongside a little rice medley, it made a fine dinner for Larry and me.  Hope you like it too.

ORANGE MUSTARD PORK CUTLETS
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons orange marmalade
1 tab. whole grain (seedy) mustard
splash of olive oil
2 pork cutlets– about 1/2″ thick
salt & freshly ground pepper
2 rosemary sprigs
1/3 cup slivers of red onion

In a sauce pan mix the juice, marmalade and mustard and simmer on low for 12 to 15 minutes until it becomes syrupy. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and liberally salt and pepper the pork.  Sear it to a nice brown on each side, about 3 minutes each.

Heat the oven to 425 degrees–Put the pork into a baking dish. Add in the rosemary sprigs and red onion and coat it all with the orange-mustard sauce.  Cook it up in the oven for just 8 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of your pork cutlets.

Serve it up hot from the oven, maybe with some roasted potatoes or a nice bed of flavored rice.  Hope you enjoy it…

Maple Apple Pork Cutlets

IMG_5478Hi all– It’s the sauce, the glorious sauce, that makes this dish so delectable.  All the apple-y sweetness, not to mention the maple syrup, finished off with a bit of cream.  It’s a dish made for stay at home fall evenings, with a glass of wine, a bright salad and a loaf of rosemary bread.

MAPLE APPLE PORK CUTLETS
6 pork loin cutlets (a little over a pound)
1 tab. olive oil
2 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup apple cider
1/4 cup whipping cream (or half & half)
2 tab. maple syrup
2 tsp. fresh snipped thyme
thyme for garmish

Heat the olive oil in a large pan.  Brown the cutlets on high heat about 2 minutes on each side.  Remove them from the pan, leaving the juices.  Put the apples and garlic in the pan and saute for 2 minutes.  Then add the apple juice into the pan and simmer 4 minutes more.  Stir in the cream, maple and bits of thyme and simmer until it thickens, a few more minutes.

Nestle the pork chops in among the apples and leave it on low just until it’s all warmed through.  Serve it all up on a pretty plate and sprinkle on a few extra sprigs of thyme.

Pork with Peppers

IMG_4598Hello all–  When I make it over to Sprouts to shop, it’s hard to resist those piles of colorful bell peppers.  They practically “give them away” compared to my normal grocers (The problem with being “old” is that you remember when peppers were 15 cents each!).  So sweet and bright, I just can’t pass them by.  SO-here’s my chance to use all those pretty peppers, in a quick-fixing week night dinner.

PORK WITH PEPPERS
2 cups brown rice
1 tsp. salt
1 pound pork loin chops
2 tab. olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper
1 cups bell pepper, mix of green, red, orange & yellow, cut in strips
1/4 cup sliced red onion
a couple shakes of garlic salt
1 cup water
14 cup soy sauce
3 tab. brown sugar
1 tab. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. grated ginger
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup green onion, sliced

Put the brown rice on to a low simmer with the salt and 2 1/2 cups of water.  Cook 30 to 40 minutes until it is tender*.

Cut the pork into nice little bite size pieces.  Heat the oil in the pan on high and drop in the pork.  Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.  Cook just 4 or 5 minute until it is browned around the edges.  Remove it from the pan.

In the pork drippings stir the bell pepper pieces and onion just 2 or 3 minutes until they soften, but not long enough for them to lose their color. Give them a touch of garlic salt while they’re cooking.  Remove them from the pan too.

In a container with a lid, shake together the water, soy sauce, brown sugar, cornstarch, ginger and garlic.  When it’s well blended pour it all into the skillet with the residue from the pork and peppers.  Stir until it thickens, just a couple minutes.

Mix in the pork, the cooked peppers and the green onion in with the sauce.  Warm it all up again on medium heat just a minute or two.  Scoop the rice onto a pretty platter and top it with the pork and peppers.  Pass out the chop sticks and eat!

*Or used white rice– Decrease the water to 2 cups.  Plus 1 tsp. salt and simmer for just 10 minutes.

Chinese Eggplant with Pork & Rice

IMG_4426Hi friends– I’d love to tell you that I unearthed this authentic recipe from a small Chinese restaurant with a age old wok and a little granny cooking amid clouds of fragrant rising steam.  But it wouldn’t be true.  It’s just an old tried and true stir fry favorite.  But I’m sure though, if a Chinese granny happened this way, she’d say it was tasty!  I think you’d like it too…

CHINESE EGGPLANT WITH PORK AND RICE
1 cup rice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tab. lime juice
2 tab. soy sauce
1-2 tsp. Thai sweet chili sauce
1 tab. brown sugar
2 large-ish Chinese eggplants, cut into nice chunks
4 tab. olive oil
1/2 cup red onion, chopped to bits
1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Cook the rice with 2 cups of water and the salt in a pan with the lid closed.  Simmer 10 minutes on low from the time it starts to bubble.  Turn off the heat and let it sit with the lid on.

Put the pork on to cook in a large nonstick skillet.  Chop it to small bits as it heats up.  While that’s cooking up, mix the chicken broth, lime juice, soy sauce, chili sauce and brown sugar together in a container with a lid.  When the meat is browned, spoon in 3 tab. of the broth mixture over the meat the keep heating a couple minutes until it coats the meat and evaporates.

Take the pork out of the skillet and reserve it.  Stir fry the eggplant in the skillet coated with olive oil for about 3 minutes.  Then add in the onion and continue cooking until the eggplant is browned around the edges and the onion is caramelized.

Add the cornstarch to the chicken broth mixture.  Put on the lid and shake it together until the cornstarch dissolves into the liquid. Then pour this over the eggplant. Add the pork back into the pan and stir a minute on high until the sauce thickens.  Mix in the chopped cilantro and serve it up over rice on a platter.

Makes 3 to 4 yummy servings.  Enjoy!

Curried Pork Burgers

IMG_4581Hey there–  Do you like these little “flattie” buns?  I’m trying to decide, myself.  On one hand, they are less calories and don’t overpower the burger wrapped inside them.  On the other hand, they can get squsihy if you put as much sauce on your burger as I do (now who’s counting calories?)  and it seems a little like I’m missing out on the toasty big bun.

OK, but on to the burgers.  These things were surprisingly delicious.  We liked them even more than I anticipated.  Just a savory departure from the standard mustard and catsup on beef.  And, of course, who doesn’t like all those grilled onions tucked inside that bun?  If you like curry, you should give them a try…

CURRIED PORK BURGERS

sauce:
1/4 cup lite mayonnaise
1/4 tsp. curry powder
tiny pinch of salt

burgers:
1 pound ground pork
1/4 cup red onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Red onion slices, about 1/2 inch think
Buns, lettuce, tomato…

Thoroughly mix up all the burger ingredients.  Shape it into 4 patties and grill them on a bar-b-que or skilllet lightly sprayed with cooking spray– about 12 minutes or until an internal thermometer reads 160 degrees.   Grill the red onion slices as well, just until they start to brown around the edges.

Toast up the buns and put them together, layering the burger, lettuce, tomato, curry mayo and grilled onions.  Eat them while they’re hot!  oh yummm.

Smoky Carnitas

IMG_3643Hi there–  Favorite food?  Mine is tacos in general.  Carnitas tacos, more specifically.  It’s like a puzzle.  Every taco can be different.  Corn salsa on this one.  Avocado on the next.  With lettuce or without.  Add beans, maybe cilantro rice.  Sour cream?  Each time trying for the masterpiece, the perfect  taco!

This recipe make piles of smoky carnitas meat.  We had the family over and have been eating leftovers all week on those small taqueria tortillas.  Delish!

SMOKY CARNITAS
4 pounds pork butt
1 cup water
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 yellow onion, cut into fourths
5 cloves garlic, minced
salt & freshly ground pepper
red onion & cilantro for garnish

IMG_3656Put a grate into a roasting pan.  Then pour the water and liquid smoke into bottom of the pan.  Cut the pork into 2″ cubes discarding the bone and extra fat.  Put it on the grate and top with the onion and garlic.

Stick into a 350 oven for 2 hours covered with a lid or foil. Cook it for 2 hours* and then check to see if it is tender enough to shred.  If not, put it back in the oven for another 30 minutes.

Shred the meet on a plate a few chunks at a time and transfer it to your serving bowl.  Salt and pepper liberally to taste.  Mash the well cooked onion to a pulp and add it to the meat.   Then pour the liquids at the bottom of the pan through a strainer and add about half the liquid to your carnitas.  Sprinkle a little red onion & cilantro on top just to make it pretty.  Stir it up and serve it hot — for tacos, burritos, enchiladas…

****For carnitas tacos serve your smoky pork up with fresh tender tortillas, chopped cilantro, lettuce, chopped tomato, corn salsa, mango-avocado salsa, sour cream, black beans or refried pintos, Mexican rice, guacamole, grated cheddar or queso fresco, hot sauce, jalapeños…  The list could go on.  Just pick your “faves” to create the perfect taco!

Apricot Mustard Pork Cutlets

IMG_0281Hello everyone– Here’s a quick weekend night dinner.  Add some steamed asparagus, a little rice to sop up the savory, sweet sauce and good bread.  Thirty minutes tops and it’s on the table.

APRICOT MUSTARD PORK CUTLETS
2 pork cutlets, about 1/2 ” thick
2 tab. olive oil
1/2 cup apricot jam
1/4 cup whole grain dijon mustard
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tab. cornstarch

Heat your pan on high and add in the olive oil.  When it’s plenty hot, drop in the pork cutlets and sear them on both sides, about 2-3 minutes on each side, until they are browned nicely.  Then remove them from the pan.  Mix the jam, mustard and wine together and add them to the pan juices, stirring them all together.  Bring to the lowest simmer and put the pork back in for about 10 minutes.  To serve the meat, put it out on a pretty plate and if you want the sauce to be thicker– turn up the heat and stir in 1 tab. cornstarch blended completely with 1/2 cup water.  Stir the sauce until it thickens and spoon it over the pork chops.  Viola!

P.S. I dropped a little piece of marjoram on the plate from a bit a of green in the photo.  If you live in So Cal, it grows in the yard unaided pretty much all year round.  Easy.  Nice oregano-ish flavor.  You might like some if you have an empty spot of earth.

Ginger Pork and Chinese Eggplant

IMG_8583Hi there-  We’re tucked in for the night.  Larry is making a fire and I’m waiting for the rice to finish cooking so we can sit down to dinner.  This is bowl is chock full of  flavor– soy sauce salty, Sriracha spicy, charred onion savory and a tiny bit sweet.  And cilantro–  my favorite to top it off.  Hope you like it…

GINGER PORK AND CHINESE EGGPLANT
1 cup rice (brown or white)
1 pound pork, chopped to small chunks
1/2 onion, chopped fine
2 tab. olive oil
2 Chinese eggplants, cut into disks
4 tab. olive oil
a couple shakes of garlic salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tab. soy sauce
1 tab. rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. Sriracha chili sauce**
1 tab. brown sugar
1 tab. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. minced ginger
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

IMG_8578Cook the rice according the package directions.  Heat 2 tab. of oil in an ample pan and drop in the pork, cut in smallish chunks and the chopped onion.  Cook 8 to 10 minutes until the onion begins to char and the pork is browned around the edges.  Remove it from the pan.  Heat up the remaining oil and saute the eggplant until it is just starting to brown.  I sprinkled it with a bit of garlic salt and added a splash more oil as it cooked.  Take it from the pan.

To make the sauce combine the garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, chili sauce, brown sugar, cornstarch, ginger and water in a closed container. Shake it to thoroughly mix it up and pour it into the hot pan.  Stir until it thickens, just a couple minutes.  Then add the pork, eggplant and the cilantro to the pan and warm it in the sauce.  Layer it on a platter over the rice you’re done!

*I just got little pork cutlets on sale and cut them up.
**The recipe I worked from called for 1 to 2 tablespoons (!) chili sauce, but the 1/2 tsp. was spicy enough for us.  You can add more to your heart’s content.

Honey Ginger Pork

Hi friends– Wish you could have dropped in for dinner tonight– tried this honey ginger pork recipe.  It was hearty and the sweet sauce was yummy spooned onto the rice we had with it on our plates.

HONEY GINGER PORK
2 pork loin chops
1 tab. olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tab. ginger, minced
2 tab. honey
1 tab. lemon juice
1 tab. soy sauce
1 tsp. cornstarch

Mix the honey, ginger, lemon juice and soy sauce.  Heat the oil in a nonstick pan.  Make sure the pork is well salted and sprinkled with freshly ground pepper.  Quickly brown both sides on high heat.  Then turn the heat down to medium and marinate it frequently with the sauce while you grill it for about 3 or 4 minutes on each side (to about about 145 degrees internal temperature).  Please, don’t over cook it as I’m prone to do!  As it cooks, the sauce will thicken and after you remove the meat, you can thicken it a bit more. Shake the cornstarch in the covered container along with 1/4 cup water and then stir it into the simmering sauce until it thickens and turns a beautiful glistening brown.  Pour it over the pork on your serving dish.  So pretty (and delish).