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Thursday, October 11, 2012

sesame pork with broccoli

mr p and i really HAVE been cooking a lot lately, we've just been too busy to create and try new recipes... so recipe posts have been slacking BIG time.

however, after an ALMOST failed attempt to shove more things into the freezer, we decided we needed to use up the stuff in there.  there's no reason we need to buy any meat for the next MONTH i think!

first meal was my attempt at making a dish mr p's mom makes.  she won't tell him any of her recipes, but one day i was chatting with her in the kitchen as she made kung pao chicken, and just asked her how much of each ingredient she was putting in (and she actually TOLD me!!)  sadly, she was going so fast i only wrote down most of the ingredients and not the quantities (which were guesses at best, there is no such thing as a measuring tool in her kitchen! everything is "to taste" anyways)

so, we pulled out a bag of shrimp, and turned kung pao chicken into kung pao shrimp!  i did my best to guess the quantities from my original tiny, blue, stained, crinkly post-it note. mr p said i did well! (not that i usually DON'T cook well, it's just that i am usually the vegetable-chopper and the dish-washer :P)

this recipe will come a little later, i need to perfect the quantities before just throwing them out there (when i didn't measure the first time, really)

however, this story is leading to the point that we're trying to make more stir-fry-types of dinners. they are easy, quick, and can be made with as little as a few ingredients (watercress and beef is BY FAR our favorite stir fry though!) last week we turned a food network sesame chicken recipe into a sesame PORK recipe (using up the pork tenderloin we had in the freezer!)

here goes!


Sesame Pork with Broccoli

Ingredients:
5 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil (or less, sesame oil is SO strong!)
2 teaspoons honey (or maple syrup, or agave nectar)
1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
6 teaspoons canola oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced (optional, we didn't have them so we opted not to use them!)
1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger (or finely chopped)
3 cloves garlic, minced (or finely chopped, we use our garlic rocker for all chopped garlic now!)
1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons sugar
3 to 4 teaspoons cornstarch (go easy on this.. you can always add more later, but if you add too much it turns really goopy really fast!)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon chili paste (this is what it looks like, you can usually find it in the asian isle of big box stores, if not, it's in ALL asian grocery stores!)
broccoli, cut to desired size
Cooked brown rice, for serving (optional)
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Directions:
- whisk 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons sesame oil and the honey in a bowl. toss in the pork and marinate (at least) 20 minutes.
- remove the pork from the marinade using a slotted spoon
- heat 2 teaspoons canola oil in a nonstick skillet (or wok) over medium-high heat.
- cook the pork in as many batches as it takes without overcrowding the pan (ours took 4 or 5 batches because the bottom of the wok is so tiny!), turning once or twice, until browned, 3 to 5 minutes (add 2 more teaspoons canola oil between batches).
- transfer the pork to a plate and wipe out the skillet.
- heat the remaining 2 teaspoons canola oil in the skillet.
- add the scallions, reserving some of the green parts for topping.
- add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
- whisk the broth, sugar, cornstarch, vinegar, chili paste and the remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce in a bowl, then add to the skillet and cook, stirring, until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes.
- stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons sesame oil.
- meanwhile, cook the broccoli in a steamer basket set over a few inches of boiling water until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes (or you can just boil it, whichever you prefer, steaming means less nutrient loss though)
- return the pork to the skillet with the sauce and heat through
- serve the pork and broccoli over brown rice, if desired.
- top with the sesame seeds and reserved scallion greens.








bon appetit!

cheers!

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