In Pork We Trust
Trust sure don’t come easy in life, but a little bit of trust goes a long way in the kitchen. I’m talking to you, baking, and your insistence that I trust that all will come out right if I follow the recipe to the tee. Fuck me. Apparently I wasn’t cut out for the culinary arts that required a heavy dose of faith and very little help in the way of course correction. Once that cake goes in the oven, you are done and there is no going back. Continue reading Masitas de Puerco
When I last went to Hawaii, I made it a personal goal to eat my weight in kalua pork. Yes, that sounds disgusting, but I don’t even care. The stuff is so ridiculously good that I find myself longing for it in an almost atavistic fashion when I am not around it. I’ve known it to be a treat partially due to the complicated preparation – a whole pig is wrapped in ti leaves and banana leaves and then submerged into an underground pit called an imu and covered with coals and/or lava rocks. Sure, I could do that in my back yard. In Arizona.
Back to the drawing board, and as I’m looking through my We The Women of Hawaii cookbook, lo and behold, a recipe for kalua pork. In the oven, no less. I can do this! Apparently, after a little more research, I come to find out that the legendary Sam Choy makes his kalua pork in the same way, using mesquite liquid smoke to replace the flavors imparted by the burning banana leaves of the imu. But how the heck am I going to mimic banana leaves in my home oven? Continue reading Kalua Pork
Ribs require a hefty dose of patience to get them right, right? In order to achieve fall-off-the-bone tenderness along with a lacquered barbecue crust, you need to give them time and a lot of TLC. Or do you?
These ribs are for the hungry and lazy – a troublesome combination that is often hard to please but will be bowled over by this ridiculously easy recipe. Parboil the ribs in a pressure cooker to cut down on the cooking time from hours to a mere 15 minutes. Paint with homemade glaze and broil for a few minutes for fresh off the grill goodness right from the kitchen and in a lot less time. Done and done. I’m not kidding. That’s really it.
Sweet and Sour Spare Ribs
1/4 c. of browning seasoning
3 tbs. of lemon juice
1/2 c. of apricot jam
2 tsp. of molasses
1/2 tsp. of dry mustard
2 tsp. of dark corn syrup
1/2 tsp. of ground ginger
2 tbs. of chili paste
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbs. of soy sauce
4 drops of mesquite liquid smoke
1 onion, quartered
6 dried apricots
2 c. of chicken stock
3 lbs. of ribs
Mix the browning seasoning, lemon juice, apricot jam, molasses, dry mustard, corn syrup, ginger, chili paste, garlic, soy and liquid smoke. Add half of the marinade, onion, apricots and 2 c. of chicken stock to the pressure cooker. Top with the ribs (cut into thirds to fit in the cooker) and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Let pressure release naturally. Remove ribs to a rack set over a cookie sheet and let dry while you make the sauce. Add the remaining marinade to the pressure cooker and boil vigorously until reduced to a cup of liquid. Brush the ribs on both sides with the marinade. Turn the oven on broil and cook until lacquered and crisped. Let rest for 5 minutes before carving. Slice ribs into individual pieces and serve.
Recipe for The Daring Kitchen
The October Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Shelley of C Mom Cook and her sister Ruth of The Crafts of Mommyhood. They challenged us to bring a taste of the East into our home kitchens by making our own Moo Shu, including thin pancakes, stir fry and sauce.
I’m totally mad for moo shu and I think that what does it is the inclusion of the awful sounding (but awfully addictively good) tree fungus. Tender pork, spicy ginger and matchsticks of bamboo shoots all solidify the greatness, but it’s the ebony slivers of the tree fungus that make me crazy with delight over this one. I’m known to pitch an actual fit over my chinese takeout if the moo shu order comes with white button mushrooms as a substitute. Blech. Not cool. Continue reading Moo Shu Pork with Homemade Pancakes