STICKY SPICY PORK OVER GOLDEN RICE

Super simple recipe. If you use ground pork, no need to add any oil to the skillet. If you use ground turkey, add a tablespoon of grape seed oil before sautéing it.

STICKY SPICY PORK WITH ASPARAGUS AND EDAMAME
(inspired by Modern Proper)

1 pound ground pork
1/2 tsp salt
small bunch of asparagus, tough ends removed, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup frozen edamame, no need to de-frost
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon Gochujang sauce (or more to taste)
minced ginger, to taste (I used about 2 tsp)

Heat a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the pork, season with salt, and use a spoon to break it up into large pieces. Cook, until beginning to brown and crisp, about 8 minutes, resisting the temptation to move it around. You want to get a nice crisp layer in the bottom. Add the asparagus and edamame, stir everything around, and cover the pan. Simmer for about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the soy sauce with Gochujang and ginger.

Open the pan, add the prepared sauce and cook, stirring for another couple of minutes, until veggies are crisp-tender. Serve over golden rice (recipe available here) or plain steamed rice.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: This is the type of recipe that is at the table in no time… Make sure to prepare the rice in advance. If you follow my recipe for the golden rice, it sits in the burner for exactly 30 minutes, so you can start that step and 10 minutes later get going with the pork. Do not use asparagus that are overly thick, if that’s all you have, steam them for a couple of minutes in the microwave before using in this preparation. Finally, the most important thing is to get that crispy bottom on the pork before moving it around. Leftovers were still awe-inducing on day #2…

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PORK WITH PRUNES, RE-VISITING A CLASSIC

Years ago (2018, to be exact), I blogged on the classic version, and you can check it out here. Today, I offer you a variation using a leaner type of meat and the crockpot. Lately I’ve been exploring different uses for country style ribs, and this was a crowd-pleaser. Even if it was a crowd of two…

SLOW-COOKER PORK WITH PRUNES
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

2 packages of country-style pork ribs, boneless
(or amount enough to fully cover the bottom of your slow-cooker, some overlapping ok)
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup pitted prunes (or amount to taste)
1/2 cup pitted black olives
2 Tbsp capers
2 tbsp Herbes de Provence
2½ tsp sea salt flakes
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup water
juice and zest of 1 lemon (or more to taste)
fresh parsley leaves to serve

Place all the ingredients except lemon juice, zest, and parsley in your slow cooker, distributing the pieces of meat with a little overlapping if necessary.

Cook on low for 7 hours. Remove the meat gently from the liquid that accumulates in the crockpot, transfer the liquid to a large skillet and reduce it by half or more, until slightly thick. Add the meat back to the skillet, and allow to simmer with the sauce for a few minutes.

Squirt the lemon juice, add the zest and parsley, and serve.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I’ve been on a roll with the country-style pork ribs lately. The crockpot performs miracles with this particular cut of meat, which can dry out easily. Just make sure to stop the cooking at 7 hours, so that the texture is not compromised. Once you open the crockpot, you will have excess liquid, that will be much improved by a little extra step to concentrate it. That is why in the picture you see the meat on a large non-stick frying pan. You can do this final concentrating step later, so the whole meal can be prepared a couple of days in advance, it will only get better.

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SLOW-COOKER HOISIN-PULLED PORK

I did not expect to blog on this recipe, as I had a couple of not that great recipes made in the crockpot just the week before. Two big disappointments. The slow-cooker is one iffy gadget. As I’ve mentioned more than once in the past, crockpot recipes often stretch the limits of the “dump it all in and forget it.” Not every meat works in a crockpot unless you time the cooking much more carefully. This time I used my newest favorite cut, country-style boneless pork rib. Seven hours in low. Perfect texture. Perfect meal to watch a certain football game.

SLOW-COOKER HOISIN-PULLED PORK
(slightly modified from taste.com.au)

Boneless country-style pork ribs (enough to fully cover the surface of your crockpot)
1 tbsp grapeseed oil
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
4cm-piece fresh ginger, cut into matchsticks
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 cup vegetable stock
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tsp Chinese five-spice mix

Place the pork in a slow cooker. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and ginger. Stir-fry for a few minutes until the onion is soft and fragrant. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the stock, hoisin, soy sauce, and Chinese five spice. Simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and pour the mixture over the pork. If necessary, add a little water so that the meat is almost fully covered. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 7 hours.


Transfer the pork to a large tray and use 2 forks to shred the meat. Transfer the braising liquid from the slow cooker to a large saucepan. Simmer over high heat for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. Add the shredded pork and stir to combine. Serve right away.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Pulled pork is one of my favorite meals, and of course it is great with the usual, American-style barbecue sauce. However, I must say that this Oriental version won my heart. The Chinese five-spice is a must. Star anise shines and goes together with the fresh ginger and hoisin sauce in a perfect way. I hope you’ll give it a try.

Also great on top of Smoked Paprika Sourdough

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CLAY POT PORK AND TOMATILLO BRAISE

No worries if you don’t own a clay pot, just use any other suitable pot and go for it. I used several sources to inspire me for this recipe, and we were blown away by the outcome, The thing I love the most is being able to use a cut of pork that can be a bit tricky: boneless country style ribs. This type of recipe usually calls for pork shoulder, cut in pieces. I hate dealing with it, I end up wasting a lot of meat because… I literally butcher it. In the bad sense of the word. Boneless ribs come in a neat package, I cut each in two or three pieces and that’s all. The clay pot prevents it from getting dry and stringy. Win-win situation. Try it and you won’t be disappointed.

CLAY POT PORK AND TOMATILLO BRAISE
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
3-4 lb. boneless country pork ribs, cut in pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 shallots, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic (optional, I omit)
1 can crushed tomatoes, fired roasted if possible (28 oz)
10 tomatillos, peeled, washed and quartered
1 Serrano pepper, chopped (seeded if you prefer less heat)
1 tsp chipotle pepper (ground)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
water as needed
fresh cilantro to serve

Soak the clay pot in cold water.

Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a pan until very hot. Pat the pork dry, season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook the pork until browned on both sides. Transfer to a bowl as you continue browning all pieces. Add a little more oil to the pan, sauté the shallots and garlic (if u sing). Add the ground spices and let them sauté for 30 seconds or so, stirring constantly.

Add the tomatillos and Serrano pepper, sautee for a couple of minutes, then add the can of tomatoes, bay leaves, apple cider vinegar, and salt. Stir everything and add the pork. If needed, add water to almost cover the meat.

Transfer everything to the soaked clay pot, place in a cold oven and turn it to 375F. Cook for 2 hours and 15 minutes if your oven heats slowly (like mine does) or 2 hours in a fast-heating oven.

Serve with fresh cilantro.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: The picture above shows how much liquid I add to start the braise. I probably needed to add slightly less than 1 cup of water. The meat turns very tender and with perfect texture for our taste. Such an easy cut of meat to work with!

Although not very traditional, hubby loves to have this pork in a Brazilian-ized way: with black beans…

You can of course use the toppings traditionally paired with chili: guacamole, crumbled Mexican cheese, a little sour cream. Whatever path you choose, I am sure this will be a favorite.

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CILANTRO PESTO WITH SPICY-MAPLE PORK TENDERLOIN

Reversing things around today. Because this pesto? Rocked my little world. Star of the show. Measurements are very flexible, get a little tortilla and taste as you go.

CILANTRO PESTO
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

2 small bunches of cilantro, mostly the part with leaves, little stems still attached
1 Serrano pepper, minced (seeds removed if you want less spicy)
1/3 cup pepitas (or substitute pine nuts)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
juice of 1/2 to 1 lime
olive oil to adjust consistency (around 1//3 cup)

Add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and process it for 20 seconds or so to get things started. With the machine running, pour the olive oil until you reach the consistency you like. Reserve. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and lime juice.

SPICY-MAPLE GRILLED PORK TENDERLOIN
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

1 pork tenderloin, butterflied
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon of Sriracha (or more, if you like)
1 tsp salt

Make a marinade whisking all ingredients together. Place the butterflied pork in a plastic bag and add the marinade to it. Leave it in the fridge for 4 hours or longer.

Remove from the marinade, season lightly with salt and grill on both sides, until done to your liking.

Serve the pork with the cilantro pesto. Swoon.

ENJOY!

to print the recipes, click here

Comments: Cilantro haters better stay as far away as possible from this post. But I don’t expect them to be still here to read the comments. We are both cilantro-addicts so this pesto pressed all the right buttons. Fresh, bright, nutty in a slightly different way since it has pepitas, great ingredient to play with.

The pork tenderloin was also delicious, sweet and spicy. The combination of pork with cilantro pesto was perfect. We enjoyed it with carrots and zucchini simply sautéed in high-heat on the stove with lemon juice and a touch of soy sauce. Simple meal, satisfying and light. I hope you give this combination a try.

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