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Posts Tagged ‘Pork’

… make a bean dip and a frittata.

It was a British-isles-type of cool, grey, wet day yesterday, so I mostly hunkered down with tea and books. The little time I spent in the kitchen yielded this:

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The green one is a bean dip similar to this one. One cup of white beans, a giant bunch of basil, the juice of one lemon, a few glugs of olive oil, a clove of garlic, and some s&p played in the food processor for a few minutes. The white one is a slice of lactose-free muenster, crumbly from being frozen and thawed. Mmmm.

Dinner was inspired by this post at Tea & Cookies. We had a whole lotta amaranth leaves and kale on their way to spoilage and some CSA bacon leftover from Friday’s dinner, which was these amazing BLTs minus the L because we ate our two heads in two days (woohoo huge salads!):

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So we sauteed up our CSA potatoes, leeks, amaranth leaves, and kale along with our fabulous bacon, mixed them with 8 eggs and 2 slice of lactose-free muenster in a casserole dish, and baked them until we got this:

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Frittata-tastic! This bacon is out of this world. It’s simply pork, maple syrup, and salt. No nitrates or nitrites, no frightening preservatives. Pure love. I was worried that our frittata would suffer from our failure to add any herbs, but the bacon and the cheese provided more than enough flavor.

It’s still cloudy, but I’m hoping the sun will pop out so I can enjoy it when I go running. Gotta get that natural vitamin D while I can! How is your weekend going?

And on a sidenote, is anyone else having trouble with google reader this morning? Nothing will load in mine, and it’s totally cramping my style.

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We did a little make-it-up-as-you-go-along cooking last night. We knew we wanted to use our Swiss chard, sweet corn, and pork cutlets, but our plans didn’t get much farther than that until it was time to cook.

I was in charge of the veggies. For some reason I’ve been thinking about spiced nuts (possibly because of Gliding Calm‘s review of some Living Nutz products?), so I decided to use those as my inspiration. Here’s what I came up with:

Sweet and Spicy Swiss Chard with Walnuts and Cranberries

1) Sautee 1/4 cup walnuts in olive oil for 2-3 minutes (I set our gas burner to medium-high heat for this recipe)

2) Add a dash of cayenne pepper (to taste) and a handful of dried cranberries. Cook together for 1 minute

3) Add roughly chopped Swiss chard and cook until just wilted

And that’s it!

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I loved this. The heat from the cayenne and the sweetness of the cranberries work perfectly together, and both the chard and the walnuts have a nice crunch.

Trent took charge of our pork cutlets, which he rubbed with olive oil and a few grinds of The Spice Hunter’s Fiery Chile Fusion Blend (Tellicherry black pepper, crushed red pepper, green chile, green bell pepper, chipotle chile) and grilled on our charcoal grill. They had a nice smoky, grilled flavor with just enough kick from the peppers.

We also boiled a few ears of our sweet corn, which was perfectly ripe, sweet, and buttery. Lovely! Here it is all together:

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I love it when things come together on the first try. 🙂

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What do you do when your CSAs hand you a pound of ground pork, a head of cabbage, and a whole mess of garlic chives and green onions? You make dumplings, of course!

Step 1: Finely chop the cabbage, mix it with 1 tsp of salt, and let sit 10 minutes until water starts to leech out of the leaves. Check 10 minutes later to find that this isn’t quite working. Add more salt. Wait longer. See some water and try to drain the cabbage, only to find that there isn’t enough water to drain. Give up and dump the cabbage on paper towels, hoping this soaks up enough moisture.

Step 2: Chop your chives and onions, and add these, plus the cabbage, 6 tbsp sesame oil, 2 tsp sugar, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper to your pork. Mix well.

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Step 3: Make the skins. Mix 3 cups flour and 3/4 cup cold water and knead until smooth. Let stand for 10 minutes, then roll dough and cut into 50 equal pieces. Use ruler because eyeballing seems ill-advised.

Step 4: Roll out each individual piece into small rounds. Fill each round with 1/50th of the pork mixture. Or, you know, however much fits into the skin, because how are you going to divide that bowl into 50ths?? Pinch the tops of the dumplings closed in a decorative manner. Have significant other tell you that your adorable, purse-like dumplings may not be the right shape. Revise technique.

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Step 5: Repeat. Repeat, repeat. Repeat. And so on.

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Step 6: Boil as many as will fit in your pot for 5-6 minutes.

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Step 7: Admire your handiwork.

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Serve with a side of fried rice (leftover rice from Chinese takeout, CSA peas, 2 eggs, more garlic chives, soy sauce)

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and a dipping sauce of rice vinegar, sambal olek, and soy sauce.

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Pan-fry leftover filling, because there will be leftover filling. Save it to serve on top of rice, or in scrambled eggs, or in sandwiches, etc.

The low-down

We (tried to) follow the recipe for meat dumplings (shwei jaudz) in Chinese Snacks by Huang Su-Huei. This is a really fun cookbook, but sometimes the directions are a bit unclear. Great for trying to recreate your favorite dim sum dishes though!

These dumplings were fabulous. Truly, truly fabulous – restaurant quality taste, if not looks, in spite of our cabbage-drying mishap. There are so many things to love about dumplings. For instance, they are a great way to stretch out your meat, since you mix it with other ingredients and hence don’t eat a whole lot of it at once. Good for your body, the environment, and your wallet! Although the skins are made with white flour, these are pretty nutritious. Pork is a great source of potassium, and cabbage is basically a superfood. I imagine that you could vegetarian-ize them pretty easily with tofu or a soft cheese subbing for the pork. They can be cooked a variety of ways once you get through the (admittedly arduous) process of assembling them – boiled, steamed, fried, etc. If you’re really ambitious, you can make extras and freeze them for a super easy dinner/lunch/snack. We thought about doing this, but decided we’d just make them all and eat them as leftovers for the next few days.

The fried rice was also a hit. We used to throw out leftover rice, but then Mark Bittman informed me that this was stupid since fried rice is delicious, easy, and fridge-cleaning, since you can throw whatever you have on hand into it. I heart you and your cookbooks, Mr. Bittman!

So all in all, this was a major success. Have you had any great kitchen successes lately? Or any experiments gone horribly awry?

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