Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I need a vacation from my staycation.

Child labor FTW, again!
Shredding radish for the slaw.
You know how it is, right? You go on vacation. You rest, relax, sight see, what not and end up still being tired at the end of it all once you get back home. I feel that way today, trouble is, I didn't go anywhere last week! Just spending a week running around town with my sister, niece and most times my brother in law on top of cooking dinner a few nights for the army of folks coming by to visit did me in. By Friday, I was done, with the cooking portion at least. We went to our local aquarium and then out to both lunch and dinner.

Truth be told, I started off on this busy kick before everyone arrived for the week. I've got plants coming for this year's first garden in just a few weeks, so I had to get the raised beds prepped and ready to go. I finished that up just this last Sunday when I assembled and filled raised bed #3. This year's garden will be epic, I can't wait to get everything planted and show it off here.

So, bringing this entry back on topic, this recipe for Caramel Pork came out of the most recent Cooking Light. It is one of the meals I cooked for an army of friends and family last week. It is one of those recipes you read and think, "Hmmm, that sounds like it could be really good."  Or you happen to cut up 8 pounds of the pork needed to feed a small army and think, "This had better be good, this meat is cold and numerous and everyone else is playing Yahtzee without me." True story.

Then you taste it and are blown away.

Pork, like chicken, it one of those ingredients that always ends up tasting just like what you put on it. It's a mellow meat, so anything you do to it had better be good, otherwise the whole meal is a loss.

This simple sort of stir fry has a gingery, spicy, sweet sauce, it was just magic. I served it with the recommended Daikon radish coleslaw which the Pixie Child not only tried, but liked. I don't know where Picky Child went, but I will keep Pixie Child around. She had a blast using the food processor to shred the radish and carrots too, as you can see above. I miss my little Pixie Child sous chef already.

In the end, I got to play some Yahtzee and cutting the 8 pounds (yes, really) of pork up was completely worth it, this meal was excellent. I can't wait to make it again for a smaller group (say, me and my husband).

Caramel Pork with Daikon Radish Slaw

Found here

1  cup  water
3/4  cup  uncooked sushi or short-grain rice
1/2  teaspoon  kosher salt, divided
1/2  cup  frozen green peas, thawed
1  tablespoon  rice vinegar
Cooking spray
1  pound  pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2  cup  chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
3  garlic cloves, minced
1/2  cup  fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
3  tablespoons  dark brown sugar
1  tablespoon  lower-sodium soy sauce
1  teaspoon  bottled ground fresh ginger
1/2  teaspoon  crushed red pepper
2  canned anchovy fillets, rinsed and minced
8  lime wedges

Combine 1 cup water, rice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes; remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes; gently stir in peas and vinegar.

Heat a medium skillet over high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork; sauté 5 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add onion and garlic; stir-fry 2 minutes. Stir in broth and next 5 ingredients (through anchovy); bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes or until slightly thick. If you would like the sauce thicker, make a slurry of 1 teaspoon corstarch and 1 tablespoon chicken broth. Add to the pork mixture and combine, allowing to cook until thicker. Serve with the rice and daikon slaw on the side.

Daikon Radish Slaw

Found here

2  tablespoons  dark sesame oil
2  tablespoons  rice vinegar
1  tablespoon  lower-sodium soy sauce
2  teaspoons  honey
1/4  teaspoon  salt
3/4  cup  shredded carrot
3/4  cup  shredded daikon radish
3  tablespoons  cilantro leaves

Combine dark sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, and salt in a medium bowl. Add carrot, daikon radish; toss. Top with cilantro leaves.

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