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French Fridays: Coconut-Lemongrass-Braised Pork

Another Asian-influenced dish from Around My French Table; pork curry-stew. Turmeric, curry powder, cardomom seeds, coriander seeds, lemongrass and coconut milk are used in this curry. This recipe says to braise the stew in the oven but I cooked it the way I cook curry – entirely on the stove. It was too hot to have the oven on anyway! I cooked the potatoes and carrots separately as Dorie said but cooked the onions with the pork to add extra sweetness to the stew. I also poured all but 1/4 of the can of coconut milk into the Dutch oven and added the remaining milk only at the end as the flavour of the coconut milk will be cooked away when cooked too long. I omitted the honey too as I didn’t think the stew needs it, preferring it savoury than sweet.

It was a pleasant and mild curry. I found the strongest flavours were the lemongrass and cardomom. My kids could eat it and they think it’s quite nice. After all, only 1 heaped teaspoon of curry powder was used. I found a drizzle of soy sauce to chicken curry enhances its flavour and it worked on this dish as well. We had it two days in a row and it did taste better the next day. The first night I served it over white rice and garlic fried rice the second. (The second night’s dinner was better!)

That’s all from me on this recipe. I’m curious how other French Fridays with Dorie members found it. Click here for their links. (I’ll update this post with the link when it’s up. The FFwD website appears to be down at this moment.)

 
 

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French Fridays with Dorie: Cola and Jam Spareribs

This week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe is ribs marinated with Chinese 5-spice powder and ground ginger. Chinese 5-spice and ginger? I’m not so sure about that! They are both strong spices and I don’t like Chinese 5-spice powder very much. However, in the spirit of adventure, I went along. The ribs are first rubbed with the spice mixture and then marinated in a mixture of apricot jam, orange juice and lemon juice. The cola gets pour in at the last 45 minutes of roasting. My ribs were marinated overnight in the dry spice rub only as I didn’t have the jam and juice and could only get them the next day. Instead of apricot jam, I bought a bottle of orange jam with orange peel that was on sale. I like the slight bitterness that the orange peel imparts. The second change I made was to use back ribs instead of spareribs.

Baking the ribs was easy but it was a hot day that Tuesday. It was 29C in the afternoon, humidex at 38C! Each time I open the oven door to baste the ribs I would wince! Finally, after almost 2 hours, the ribs were done. There were still a lot of liquid left in the pan. I wonder if it’s due to the pan being small – I used a Pyrex glass pan and the ribs were touching the sides and each other.

Tasting time and …. meh. The ribs were a little sweet and a little bitter and that’s about it. The flavour was mostly on the skin. The flesh beneath was tender but just tasted of pork. Sorry, Dorie, I prefer my ribs to be more flavourful. Dorie didn’t give much description about the ribs so I’m not sure if this is the way it’s supposed to turn out. I haven’t cooked enough ribs to know. It seems more braised ribs than barbecue ribs…

There was almost one rack left over. The next day I pulled the meat off the ribs, shredded them and cooked them with BBQ sauce. Yum! ;-)

I’m going to go read what the other FFWD members think about this recipe. Click here and join me.

 
 

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Stir-Fried Pork in Black Bean Sauce

I received a very nice belated birthday present from RC this weekend – The Williams-Sonoma Cookbook. It is a beautiful book with more than 370 recipes. I love that there is a picture for every recipe and each page has, in the sidebar, a tip or a fact about one of the ingredients in that recipe. This gift came in perfect timing as I’ve lost all enthusiasm for cooking after a long holiday in Malaysia where good food was everywhere and easily obtainable!

My inaugural recipe from this book was Stir-fried Pork in Black Bean Sauce. It’s a Chinese recipe and it’s ironical that I’m learning to cook this dish from a Western cookbook. ;-) It’s not so much the seasoning to use but the steps in cooking the dish that I need to learn. This is a tasty dish, thanks to the fermented black beans. I didn’t care much for the taste of the pork (gamey) and I’ll make this dish with chicken next time.

Stir-Fried Pork in Black Bean Sauce
(Adapted from The Williams-Sonoma Cookbook)
Makes 4 – 6 servings

3/4 lb (375g) pork tenderloin
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp plus 1/4 tsp sugar
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 1/2 tbsp fermented black beans, well rinsed
1 tbsp oyster sauce (use less if your oyster sauce is very salty)
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
2 slices fresh ginger
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 each small green and red bell pepper, cut into cubes
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine
3 cups steamed white rice

Cut the pork into bite-size cubes. In a bowl, combine the pork, baking soda, 1/4 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp white pepper, and 2 tbsp water and mix well. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours.

To make the sauce, stir together the black beans, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, 1 tsp sugar, cornstarch, 1/8 tsp white pepper, and 1/4 cup water in a bowl. Set aside.

In a wok or large saute pan over high heat, heat 1 tbsp oil until almost smoking. Add the garlic and ginger and fry till fragrant, about 5 seconds. Add the onion and bell peppers and stir-fry until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add the rice wine and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up any brown bits from the pan bottom. When the wine has nearly evaporated, transfer the vegetables to a bowl.

Remove the pork cubes from the marinade and place on paper towels to drain. Return the pan to high heat and add 1 tbsp oil when the pan is very hot. When the oil is hot, add the pork and stir-fry until it browns and turns opaque, about 3 minutes. Return the cooked vegetables, add the sauce and stir-fry rapidly until the sauce thickens and the mixture is heated through, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the pork mixture to a warmed platter, garnish with cilantro sprigs (optional), and serve with the rice.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on May 30, 2011 in Cooking, Food

 

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Stir-fry Roast Pork with Leek

I cooked leeks for the first time yesterday. I must confess that I didn’t know how to cook leeks so I did some ‘research’ and found that you only cook the white and light green parts of the stem, discarding the thick green leaves at the top. I attempted the simple (and classic) Chinese stir-fry dish of roast pork (siew yuk) and leeks. The sweetness from the leeks and dark soy sauce combined well with the savory roast pork. This dish usually has more leek than pork but mine turned out to be the other way around! Well, my kids and I didn’t mind that one bit.  Here’s my version of the dish: Read the rest of this entry »

 
4 Comments

Posted by on September 8, 2010 in Cooking, Food

 

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