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Okay, so I’m really late with this post, but it is so good I just had to share it with all of you, late or not. The January 2010 DC challenge was hosted by Cuppy of Cuppylicious and she chose a delicious Thai-inspired recipe for Pork Satay from the book 1000 Recipes by Martha Day.

My husband & I loved this exotic dish! I made the faster/cheaper version of the satay marinade and thought it was out of this world. I can only imagine how intoxicatingly aromatic the traditional marinade must be! And don’t get me started on how much I love this peanut sauce. Seriously, you’ll never get me to shut up once I start. I didn’t make the optional pepper dip or tamarind dip. Between the peanut sauce and two dips, I thought it would be too much. Then again, I’m not a big dipper. Did someone order a side of constellation humor?¬†ūüėČ

Pork Satay with Peanut Sauce

Satay Marinade

1/2 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 T ginger root, chopped (optional) (2 cm cubed)
2 T lemon juice (1 oz or 30 mls)
1 T soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
1 tsp ground coriander (5 mls)
1 tsp ground cumin (5 mls)
1/2 tsp ground turmeric (2-2.5 mls)
2 T vegetable oil (or peanut or olive oil) (30 mls)
1 pound of pork (loin or shoulder cuts) (16 oz or 450g)

Feeling the need to make it more Thai? Try adding a dragon chili, an extra tablespoon of ginger root, and 1 tablespoon (0.5 oz or 15 mls) of fish sauce. (I keep some premature (still green) dragon chili peppers in the freezer for just such an occasion.)

Directions:
1a. Cheater alert: If you have a food processor or blender, dump in everything except the pork and blend until smooth. Lacking a food processor, I prefer to chop my onions, garlic and ginger really fine then mix it all together in a medium to large bowl.
2a. Cut pork into 1 inch strips.
3a. Cover pork with marinade. You can place the pork into a bowl, cover/seal and chill, or place the whole lot of it into a ziplock bag, seal and chill.

Chill Chart

Pork Beef/Lamb Chicken Vegetables Tofu (no oil)
4-8 hrs
Up to 24 hrs
6-8 hrs
Up to 24 hrs
1-4 hours
Up to 12 hrs
20 min ‚Äď 2 hrs
Up to 4 hrs
20 min ‚Äď 4 hrs
Up to 12 hrs

Faster (cheaper!) marinade:
2 T vegetable oil (or peanut or olive oil) (1 oz or 30 mls)
2 T lemon juice (1 oz or 30 mls)
1 T soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
1 tsp ginger powder (5 mls)
1 tsp garlic powder (5 mls)
1 tsp cayenne pepper (5 mls)

Directions:
1b. Mix well.
2b. Cut pork into 1 inch thick strips (2-2.5 cm thick), any length.
3b. Cover pork with marinade. You can place the pork into a bowl, cover/seal and chill, or place the whole lot of it into a ziplock bag, seal and chill.

Cooking Directions (continued):

4. If using wooden or bamboo skewers, soak your skewers in warm water for at least 20 minutes before preparing skewers.
5. Gently and slowly slide meat strips onto skewers. Discard leftover marinade.*
6. Broil or grill at 290¬įC/550¬į F (or pan fry on medium-high) for 8-10 minutes or until the edges just start to char. Flip and cook another 8-10 minutes.

* If you’re grilling or broiling, you could definitely brush once with extra marinade when you flip the skewers.

Peanut Sauce

3/4 cup coconut milk (6 oz or 180 mls)
4 Tbsp peanut butter (2 oz or 60 mls)
1 Tbsp lemon juice (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
1 Tbsp soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
1 tsp brown sugar (5 mls)
1/2 tsp ground cumin (2.5 mls)
1/2 tsp ground coriander (2.5 mls)
1-2 dried red chilies, chopped (keep the seeds for heat)

1. Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add soy sauce and lemon, mix well.
2. Over low heat, combine coconut milk, peanut butter and your soy-lemon-seasoning mix. Mix well, stir often.
3. All you’re doing is melting the peanut butter, so make your peanut sauce after you’ve made everything else in your meal, or make ahead of time and reheat.

Pepper Dip (optional)

4 Tbsp soy sauce (2 oz or 60 mls)
1 Tbsp lemon juice (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
1 tsp brown sugar (5 mls)
1-2 dried red chilies, chopped (keep the seeds for heat)
1 finely chopped green onion (scallion)

Mix well. Serve chilled or room temperature.

Tamarind Dip (optional)

4 Tbsp tamarind paste (helpful link below) (2 oz or 60 mls)
1 Tbsp soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 finely chopped green onion (scallion)
1 tsp brown or white sugar, or to taste (about 5 mls)

Mix well. Serve chilled or room temperature.

Now, go pay my fellow Daring Cooks a visit via our blogroll. I promise you won’t be disappointed! And here is my big¬†cake reveal. What d’ya think?

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filling the potstickers

Jen¬†over at¬†Uses Real Butter chose this month’s Daring Cooks challenge, Chinese potstickers. I must admit, I was more than a little intimidated by this endeavor, but I am¬†so glad I did it.¬†I actually got¬†somewhat proficient at pleating the dough.

Can you guess which one was my first attempt?

Can you guess which one was my first attempt?

I halved Jen’s pork stuffing recipe and ended up with 30 potstickers. I chose to fry them and serve with the dipping sauce Jen recommended: 2 parts soy sauce, 1 part vinegar (I used red wine vinegar), a few drops of sesame oil, plus some chopped green onions and minced ginger.

Be sure to checkout Jen’s guide¬†for creating perfect potstickers. Her step-by-step instructions were invaluable to me. Thanks, Jen, for sharing your family recipe with us! Get the recipe¬†here. I hope you’ll try these for yourself. It’s always fun to learn a new technique! Check out the blogroll to see what other Daring Cooks are up to.

Wanna see what else I’ve been working on today? Sorry, you’ll have to wait just a little longer. I’m such a tease!¬†Oh, okay, I’ll give you a hint: it’s fruity, cold, and sweet. Come back on Tuesday and I’ll end the suspense. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

chipotle pork cheeseburgers

Looking for a different kind of burger? Allow me to introduce you to the chipotle pork cheeseburger…mmm…

Chipotle Pork Cheeseburgers

From Gourmet June 2009
  • Serves 4
  • Active time:10 min
  • Start to finish:20 min

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground pork (not lean)
  • 2 teaspoons minced chipotle in adobo plus 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, forced through a garlic press (I finely chopped mine)
  • 4 slices Muenster cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted (I used wheat buns)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 large tomatillo (1/4 lb), husked and rinsed, then sliced
  • 1/2 small avocado, sliced
  • ¬†1/2 cup cilantro sprigs
  • You’ll also want to have a fresh lime (for the avocado)

 

  • Prepare a gas grill for direct-heat cooking over medium heat.
  • Gently mix pork, chipotle, garlic, and a scant tsp salt until just combined. Form into 4 (1/2-inch-thick) patties.
  • Oil grill rack, then grill patties, covered, 4 minutes.
  • Flip patties and top with a slice of cheese. Grill, covered, until just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes more.
  • Spread buns with mayonnaise and assemble burgers with tomatillo, avocado, and cilantro.

I made these burgers last night and, boy, were they delicious! The only thing I’d do differently is¬†chop the cilantro and¬†incorporate¬†it into¬†the mayonnaise, maybe adding a squeeze or two of fresh lime juice. Grill a couple of bell peppers and some corn on the cob and you’ve got quite a meal.

And in case you were wondering, yes, I did have rocky road ice cream for dessert. Let the celebration continue!¬†I think I’ll skip Applesauce Cake Day (June 4th)¬†and hold out for National Doughnut Day (June 5th). What weird¬†holidays will you be celebrating this month?

caribbea pork chops with veggies

Today is Eat Whatever You Want Day and, boy, have I celebrated this glorious holiday! I started my celebration with one of my favorite breakfasts – a lox bagel and a cuppa Earl Grey – but dinner was definitely the highlight of the day.

Hubby (aka The Grillmaster) grilled pork chops tonight. But not just any pork chops, mind you. He prepared his Caribbean-style pork chops!

Caribbean Pork Chops

4 bone-in pork chops

Pineapple juice

Lemon juice

Jamaican jerk seasoning

Cayenne pepper

Ground ginger

Sea salt, to taste (we used a nominal amount of salt)

Combine juice and spices to create a marinade then marinate pork for at least an hour in the fridge. Grill a couple of minutes on each side, just until cooked through.

We enjoyed grilled zucchini over rice as well as blanched asparagus with our chops. I want to take just a moment for a Product Rave! I am loving my new stainless steel asparagus steamer. The inner basket makes transferring the asparagus to an ice bath a breeze. Want one for your kitchen? Check out The Find for a great selection.

asparagus steamer

Come visit me tomorrow and we’ll talk tea. Until then…sweet (or savory) dreams. ūüėČ

garlic green bean salad

I prepared a spicy pork roast with rosemary potatoes and garlic green bean salad for dinner last night. My husband¬†discovered these recipes this weekend while watching Sunny Anderson‘s show¬†Cooking for Real on Food Network.

spicy pork roast with rosemary potatoes

The spicy pork roast recipe called for cumin seeds. I already had ground cumin so I used that. Otherwise, I followed Sunny’s spicy pork roast recipe to the letter. Her green bean salad recipe called for 1/2 a red onion. Since I’m not a huge onion fan, I used 1/4 a red onion and that was plenty for me.

tada!

The verdict: Kevin rated last night’s dinner a perfect 10 and I would have to agree. It was delicious! The best pork I’ve made in a while. I¬†made the sweet and sour sauce (sugar, OJ, red wine vinegar, and butter)¬†even though I wasn’t sure we’d like it. It was great, but the pork is tasty enough that it doesn’t require a sauce. I’ll definitely make this again!

blog-tuscan-pork-loin-001

Tonight’s menu consisted of a Tuscan pork loin¬†(courtesy of Eating Well), sauteed zucchini and squash, and garlic and herb focaccia.

Ingredients

 

  • 1 3-pound¬†pork loin, trimmed of fat
  • 1 teaspoon¬†salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup dry vermouth or white wine
  • 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar

 

Directions

Tie kitchen string around pork in three places so it doesn’t flatten while roasting. Place salt and garlic in a small bowl and mash with the back of a spoon to form a paste. Stir in oil, rosemary and lemon zest; rub the mixture into the pork. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the pork in a roasting pan. Roast, turning once or twice, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 145 degrees F, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; let rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, add vermouth (or wine) and vinegar to the roasting pan and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until the sauce is reduced by half, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove the string and slice the roast. Add any accumulated juices to the sauce and serve with the pork.

* I made a few minor adjustments to the recipe: 1) I used a rosemary-citrus sea salt instead of kosher salt and 2) I coated the pork with freshly ground black pepper just prior to applying the rub. I chose to use white wine instead of dry vermouth. However, last time I made this I did use dry vermouth. Either way, it turns out delicious.

Citrus Rosemary Salt:

  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup coarse salt

I hate to¬†eat and run, but¬†Kevin is making¬†Irish cream espresso. Just what I need to get me through gift wrapping. ūüėČ

"Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity." ~Voltaire

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