Monday, January 23, 2017

Pulled Pork

Even though barbecue is really summery, I think pulled pork is better to make in the winter. It involves a lot of simmering and stove time, which is not something I relish in the heat.

I made this pulled pork over the winter break between the holidays because I wanted to make something easy (it's a one pot wonder) and hearty. I served it with cilantro rice, rainbow chard, and spicy black beans for a weird, but delicious, southern comfort/Mexican mashup kind of meal.
Ingredients [serves 4 to 6]:
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 lb. pork shoulder
½ onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
¼ cup ketchup
¼ cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
12 oz. bottle cola

Monday, January 16, 2017

Pork Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao)

I'm aggressively excited to share this post because it's a fun one. I finally got the motivation to make some soup dumplings. I even bought a new bamboo steamer for the occasion; yes, that is how enthusiastic I was about this whole thing.

If you've never enjoyed xiao long bao, please, get yourself to a dim sum place as soon as possible and partake. They're just little Hershey kiss-shaped dumplings with a soupy filling. There's literally soup inside the dumpling and it's amazing. Whenever my friends and I go out for soup dumplings, we'd make an effort not to spill the soup. Whoever spills the soup is deemed the loser. You too can play this game; it's not copyrighted.

This is definitely a more time-consuming recipe and it's not something I really plan on doing again. I mean, maybe I would for a super special occasion, but it's a long process and honestly, I would rather pay someone else to make them, cook them, and serve them to me. However, I am glad I tried and they did turn out really delicious so if you're into labor intensive cooking projects, then you should make them all the time!
1 lb. pork tail
2 pork neck bones
¼ lb. Chinese ham
4 scallions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2" piece ginger, chopped
1 teaspoon white peppercorns
4 cups water

½ lb. ground pork
1 teaspoon grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine

2¼ cups flour
1 cup hot water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3 tablespoons black vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
¼ teaspoon minced ginger
1 scallion, sliced

bamboo steamer
parchment paper or cabbage leaves

Monday, January 9, 2017

Pho Rare Beef

In 2012, I posted an entry with a list of dishes I wanted to try to make as a New Years' resolution type thing. I ended up only making a few things from the list each year but I finally managed to finish it up, five years later (which just means I need a new list now and according to my track record, it's something I'll accomplish by 2022).

The second to last dish I tackled on that list is phở, which, if you didn't know, is a Vietnamese noodle soup, and it's what I'm sharing today. (By the way, the last dish I tacked on the list is something I'll be sharing next week so stay tuned because it's a really good one!)

I'm really excited to share this post because I think the dish turned out really delicious. I developed this recipe by combining my personal preference with a bit of research and working with ingredients that were readily available to me. I did have to take a special trip to the Asian market for the yellow rock sugar, but everything else I found in my local grocery store, which makes this a relatively accessible dish to make at home. However, simmering a pot of hot beef stock on the stove that's been enhanced with fish sauce will make your house smell not-so-great so that could be one great reason to go out for pho; you've been warned.
Ingredients [yields 6 to 8 servings]:
2 lbs. beef shank
1 lb. oxtails
1 lb. beef marrow bones
4 quarts + 8 quarts water
1 large onion, quartered
6" piece ginger, split in half
3 whole star anise
½ teaspoon coriander seeds
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
2 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
1 oz. yellow rock sugar
2 teaspoons salt
¼ cup fish sauce

rice noodles
beef eye of round, sliced
sliced onion
chopped scallions
chopped cilantro
lime wedges
jalapeno slices
culantro leaves
Thai basil leaves
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