Twice Cooked Pork & Pineapple – A Tasty 30-Minute Meal!

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Twice Cooked Pork and Pineapple

“A Delicious 30 Minute Meal”

Twice Cooked Pork & Pineapple

Its noon, and I’m hungry,
If you follow us, you know my routine by now.
Off to the kitchen to see what I already have in the fridge and pantry that needs to be used up.

I see 1 cup of Belizean rice that I think I bought in Belize last year, a bottle of oyster sauce that has maybe 2 ounces left, one 4 ounce filet of cooked pork (left over from making steamed pork buns), a carrot, a chunk of ginger, one lonely clove of garlic, some chunks of cut up pineapple, a half red onion, and fresh broccoli stems with no flowers (I save the stems for soup). ~ Chef Bruce

Perfect.

These ingredients can easily make a really tasty meal for two, in only 30 minutes.

Ready? Let’s get Cooking!

Twice Cooked Pork & Pineapple

 The Rice Step: (28 minutes total)

  • 1 cup rice & 2 cups water

Rinse rice and drain.

Bring to a boil 2 cups water in a small saucepan. Add rice and a pinch of salt, then place a tight fitting lid on saucepan. Reduce flame to low or simmer. Do not lift the lid. No peeking!

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Present Rice by Packing in Mold,
Then turn Rice out on a plate

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…Like this!

Simmer Rice on low for 18 minutes;

then let the rice rest – with the lid still on – for another 10 minutes.

In 28 total minutes, you will have perfectly cooked rice.

Method:

  • 4 ounces cooked pork, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices (loin, shoulder, round are all fine). Sliced cooked beef would work fine as well
  • 1 T corn starch mixed with 1 Tblsp water
  • 1 Tblsp Gochujang Fermented Red Pepper Paste OR Sriracha Sauce.

Red Pepper Paste

– Mix all ingredients together in a large dish or container.

Marinate the pork (10 minutes):

While the meat is marinating, Prep the veggies and Sauce (15 minutes):

2 Tblsp fresh peeled ginger, sliced into coins

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 carrot, cut into thin coins

Healthy Ginger

Healthy Ginger

1 handful of pineapple chunks

1/2 cup thinly sliced broccoli stems

1/2 onion, sliced

2 ounces oyster sauce

1 Tblsp soy sauce

2 ounces water or beef stock

3 Tblsp oil

* Time to Cook (5 minutes):

  1. Place a 12 inch wok on high flame, add the oil. Roll the wok so the oil coats the surface of the wok. When oil starts to smoke, add the marinated pork slices so they are separated in the wok. Cook the meat on one side to get some color; then flip the meat and cook on the other side.
  2. Add the ginger and garlic and stir all together for 30 seconds; then add the veggies and stir 30 seconds.
  3. Add the pineapple chunks, soy sauce, oyster sauce, water and stir together about 30 seconds. Remove from the wok and serve with rice
  4. Plate, Serve, and Enjoy!

That’s it! In 30 minutes, you made a wholesome & delicious meal for two.

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Same basic dish, using different ingredients

On a busy work day, you too can be a hero by cooking a tasty meal
with food items you already have in your home.
Your grandma would give you a thumbs up for being frugal,
and you get a warm, home cooked meal. Win / Win!
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If you like, please feel free to contact me  with a list of ingredients in your home that need to be used,
and I will respond with an easy recipe. Teamwork!! ~ Chef Bruce

 

Shrimp, Asian Noodles & Mushrooms in Zesty Black Bean Sauce (A Recipe!)

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Shrimp & Noodles in Black Bean Sauce * Mmmtastethis.com

Few ingredients intrigue me like fermented black beans. The salty, rich, mushroomy, fish sauce flavored quality upgrade a simple stir fry into a mouth watering treat.

If we use cheese as an analogy, soy sauce is to American cheese is what fermented black soy beans are to a cave aged cheese. These beans turn your dish up a notch.

This dish is not shy in flavor and got a thumbs-up from my family. It’s a keeper that will show up again, perhaps some Friday night – very soon! ~ Chef Bruce

* Preparing the Black Beans *

First, prepare your black beans for use. Buy the fermented black beans in loose dry form. Place the beans in a glass jar. Pour Shaohsing Rice wine, or dry sherry, over the beans so all beans are submerged in the wine. Let sit at least one hour. That’s all you need to do and you can store the beans for months this way. * NOTE: Ready-made Fermented black beans can also be purchased in the Asian Section of most markets.

* Shrimp Asian Noodle, &  Mushroom in Black Bean Sauce *

Prep Time: 30 minutes   *   Cook time: 10 minutes   *   Servings: 2

Ingredients:

4 ounces Pad Thai Rice Noodles

Asian Style Rice Noodles

1 tsp chili oil

2 Tblsp veg oil

8 raw shrimp (shelled, deveined; then marinated in 1 Tblsp Corn starch or tapioca flour and 1 Tblsp Sriracha or Korean fermented chili paste)

1 Tblsp chopped garlic

1 Tblsp chopped fresh ginger

Julienne Vegetables: 1/4 cup each of scallion (or fresh chives), carrot, fresh red peppers, and fresh mushrooms (use shiitake, maitake or oyster mushrooms)

1 Tblsp Fermented black soy beans – (prepare ahead of time as above, or purchase prepared from your grocery Asian Foods section – see photo)

Black Bean Sauce

1 Tblsp soy sauce

1 Tblsp Shaohsing rice wine

1 Tblsp toasted sesame seeds

1 cup water or vegetable stock

Method:

  1. Place the rice noodles in medium stock pot. Pour hot tap water over and to cover the rice noodles, for about 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, drain in colander.
  2. Place wok on high flame.
  3. Add chili oil and veg oil, and get oil hot.
  4. Add the shrimp and cook each shrimp on both sides until you achieve brown color. You don’t want to cook the shrimp, just get some color
  5. Add the ginger, garlic, vegetables all at once and stir for 15 seconds on high flame
  6. Add the black beans, soy sauce, rice wine, sesame seeds, and stir for 15 seconds on high flame
  7. Add the rice stick noodles and water and stir and cook for one minute. Don’t worry that you added too much water. The rice stick noodles will absorb the water

* Plate, Serve and Enjoy! *

~ Tip: Try to keep several kinds of noodles and rices on your pantry, and basic veg in your fridge. That way, there is ALWAYS a meal base available.

Also have soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, Chinese cooking wine, hot sauce, and ginger on hand – we use them in a lot of our recipes. It may cost a bit to purchase up front, but they last a long time and are well worth the investment!

Cheers, and Happy Eating!

Asian Seasonings to Keep on Hand!

Pico de Gallo Verde (Green Salsa) ~ A Bright & Flavorful Tomatillo Chip Dip!

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Pico de Gallo Verde

We try to follow the Chef’s Rule of buying what looks fresh at the market, rather than going in with ideas. This week, the market had glorious looking Tomatillos. They were begging me to put them in my cart.

Here is what Wiki says: “The Tomatillo fruit is surrounded by an inedible, paper-like husk formed from the calyx. As the fruit matures, it fills the husk and can split it open by harvest. The husk turns brown, and the fruit can be several colors when ripe, including yellow, red, green, or even purple. Tomatillos are the key ingredient in fresh and cooked Mexican and Central-American green sauces. The freshness and greenness of the husk are quality criteria. Fruit should be firm and bright green, as the green color and tart flavor are the main culinary contributions of the fruit.”

We don’t use tomatillos very often, but I knew they are used for Salsa Verde. We prefer chunky, hearty dips over thin salsas, so I did a little Google searching until I found what I wanted to make: Pico de Gallo Verde.  The recipe closest to what I had in mind was Foodista’s Fresh & Spice Tomatillo Pico de Gallo. I didn’t quite have the ingredients in their Recipe, so again, I adapted it to what I had on hand. And again, it come out pretty good! Here, I share with you my adapted, easy to prepare:

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Beautiful, Fresh, Natural Ingredients

Pico de Gallo Verde

Prep Time: 30 minutes (20 if you chop veggies faster than I can!)

Makes 2 Meal-Sized, or 4 Appetizer-Sized Servings

Ingredients:

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Finely Chopped Cilantro

5 Ripe Tomatillos

1 medium Plum Tomato

1/4 Green or Red Pepper

1/4 Cup Chopped Onion

1 Clove of Garlic

1/4 cup Cilantro Leaves

Juice of 1 Small Lime

1/4 tsp Lime Zest (optional)

Dash Ground Chili Powder (or small diced jalepeno or serrano pepper, but I didn’t have one)

1/4 tsp White Pepper, AND 1/4 tsp Sugar, AND 1/4-1/2 tsp Salt (or to Taste)

1/2 tsp Green Chili Sauce (we use Marie Sharp’s Green Habanero)

Method:

Dice or chop all vegetables into small, even pieces, to be easily scooped with a chip. Place diced veggies in a mixing bowl. Toss in salt, sugar, white pepper, chili powder (or diced chili), lime and Green Hot Sauce. Mix well. Taste Test, and add a dash more white pepper, salt or hot sauce if needed. (* see note) Mix again. Place in fridge for at least 30 minutes, or up to a few hours.

* NOTE: The flavors will all combine, meld, and ‘come up’ in the fridge, so keep that in mind when tasting and adjusting!

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Yum! All mixed up and Ready to Marinate in the Fridge!

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All-Natural & Healthy Snacking Alternatives! 🙂

An hour later, I pulled the mixture out of the fridge

and gave it s stir.

It smelled great!

We were eating ours for lunch,

so I sprinkled some Multi-Grain Chips with

Shredded Cheddar Jack cheese,

placed in the broiler for 3 minutes, and…

 

TAH DAH! Healthy, Fresh, Bright, Light and Full of Flavor “Pico de Gallo Verde” with Multi Grain Nachos!

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Delicious Pico de Gallo Verde Nachos

I thought this would just be a ho-hum meal, but it was anything but! It was a tasty and satisfying lunch.

Best of all, we feel so good after eating fresh, raw foods like this. Hope you decide to give it a try.

Cheers, and Happy Eating! 

The Tomatillo

The Tomatillo

~ Our Pico de Gallo Verde Recipe was based on the original recipe found here:  http://www.foodista.com/recipe/23YW8QDM/fresh-and-spicy-tomatillo-pico-de-gallo

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Easy Garden Tomato Vegetable Soup – A Recipe Your Grandma Would Approve!

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Serves 4  *  Prep Time: 20 minutes  *  Cooking Time: 20 minutes

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Garden Tomato Soup

The abundance of tomatoes and zucchini in Pennsylvania is staggering in the month of August. The price is right, quality is super, so of course my “chef antennae” go to work.

I ask myself, what can I create that is easy to make, and that the family will eat? (always my dilemma)

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The recipe below is quick, economical, tastes great and makes you feel like you are eating healthy. And you can tell Grandma you ate your vegetables today!

 

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 Easy Tomato Vegetable Soup

I added a couple time saving tips that will not affect the flavor, if time is short.

* Ingredients:

1 cup pasta, (I used brown rice macaroni, but you can use any pasta)

2 Tblsp Olive Oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped coarsely

1/2 red or white onion coarsely chopped

1 small fresh green pepper coarsely chopped

1 large carrot, sliced in coins or 1/2 inch dice

1/4 cup fresh fennel bulb, coarsely chopped

3 cups fresh tomato puree from tomatoes that are peeled and pureed in your food processor (if time is short, use V-8 juice or tomato juice)

2 cups chicken stock (if time is short use water)

1 Zucchini, 1/2 inch dice

1 tsp salt

Ground black pepper (5 turns of the pepper mill)

1 tsp sugar

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Softening the Vegetables

* Method:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, wash the pasta, cool and set the pasta aside.
  2. When you start cooking the pasta, place a 4-6 quart stock pot on medium flame and immediately add the olive oil.
  3. Add the garlic, onion, fresh pepper, carrot and fennel and stir; do not burn or try to get color on the vegetable; just get them hot. This takes about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the zucchini, chicken stock, tomato puree, salt, ground pepper and sugar and turn the flame to high heat.
  5. Bring the soup to a boil and cook on a boil for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the cooked pasta, bring to the boil. Soup is ready to serve.
  7. Enjoy!
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Easy Tomato Soup, Ready to Enjoy!

Ginger Soy Vegetable Lo Mein Recipe – Putting Ramen to Shame!

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Ginger Soy Vegetable Lo Mein

I really, really love Asian style foods. That is all I have to say about that.

** Ginger Soy Vegetable Lo Mein  **

Serves 2 ~ Prep and cooking time: 30-45 minutes

Ingredients:
4 oz spaghetti or linguine,- cooked
¼ cup peanut oil, or sunflower oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes or 1 tsp diced hot chili pepper
2 cups diced assorted vegetables. Use what you have. You could include any of the following veggies: Bok choy, mushrooms, broccoli, snow peas, cabbage, carrots, onions, peppers, bean sprouts, celery
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 Tablespoon Hoisin Sauce
1 Tablespoon Oyster sauce
2 Tablespoons soy sauce mixed with 1 tsp sugar
Pinch or two of Ground black pepper

Method:
1. Prepare all Ingredients.
2. Cook the pasta. Pour into a colander, but do not wash or cool off the pasta in water- leave in the colander
3. Place wok or large sauté pan on high heat for two minutes to get very hot
4. Add the oil. Let oil sit in the pan to get hot for about 30 seconds (the oil must be hot)
5. Add the ginger, garlic and pepper flakes and stir constantly until the ingredients get a slight brown color. This takes about 15 seconds and do not burn (be sure to keep the heat on high)
6. Add the 2 cups diced veggies and stir constantly for about 30 seconds
7. Add the stock, Hoisin, Oyster sauce, Sesame Oil, and soy sauce. Stir for about 15 seconds
8. Add the pasta and stir to mix the veg and pasta for 15 seconds
9. Add the black pepper and stir for about 15 seconds.
10. Take off the heat and plate up immediately

** This dish works as great on a busy weeknight, as it does for Saturday night company. Add stir-fried chicken, beef, or seared shrimp if desired. Bruce likes to top with a seasoned fried egg, giving it an impressive “international flare”. lol!

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** Enjoy! **