I love twice cooked pork, but to make it requires that you have some slow-cooked, Asian-flavored pork to start with—highly spiced Mexican pork will not do. Many American Chinese restaurants start by boiling pork belly, then slicing it, and frying it to make a very fatty dish. In China, what I was served was usually made with lean pork. Traditional, twice cooked pork is basically a Chinese leftover dish—or as my Chinese students called it “peasant food.”
Category Archives: Pork
I decided to get creative with this week’s Sunday dinner. A bit of this and a bit of that to create a new sauce to roast my pork shoulder. It is not strictly a Chinese dish, but more of an Asian influenced roast pork.
When Safeway has a half price sale on hams (after a holiday) I buy a half a ham and cut it into ¾ inch ham steaks to freeze for later. A ham steak is pretty much just a slab of meat. The trick is what glaze do you put on it to dress it up. I have been experimenting with ways to use my marmalades—in other ways than just slathering it on toast and pancakes in the morning.
When my family does not issue me a challenge—a new cuisine, a particular meat, or an untried vegetable to explore—I sometimes struggle to come up with something new for my Sunday dinners. This dish came up in a roundabout way. Jan, my wife, mentioned the other day about how she really liked fresh pea soup. You might ask, “How does pea soup turn into Asian cabbage rolls?”
Jan asked for this dish in the morning, as a result, I was not able to pre-soak my beans overnight. This left me with the “quick soak” method—bring a pot of water and beans to a boil and then let them rest for an hour off the heat. My variation to this method is that I make a rich ham broth and then soak the beans in this flavorful, salty liquid.
Jan requested that I make meatloaf for dinner. Both Jan and Eilene like the outsides of the loaf to have plenty of “crusty bits.” One way to please them is to make mini-meatloaves. A second, easier, way is to not make the loaf too thick—a low thin loaf. Add some fry bread and a salad and you have a really nice meal.
Adapted from a Penelope Casas recipe
I am making a Spanish tapas dinner for this Sunday. Jan picked this tapas out of one of my cookbooks. Although I did not follow the recipe, it had some techniques for the fillings that I found interesting.
Karl’s Tapas: Champiñones Rellenos de Cerdo y Piñones (Mushrooms Stuffed with Pork and Pine Nuts)
I made ham steak the other day and, after the meal, I had half a pound of ham left. By itself it was not enough to feed three people, but with some creativity I could make a meal of it. Stretch the meat with some vegetables—add an interesting sauce and some rice—and you have something new and different.
Sunday, we had Venezuelan pernil arepas and South American slaw for dinner. The question is what do I do with the leftover pork, cabbage salad, and tomato slices for a weekday meal? If I was just by myself, I would go for mixing the meat and tomatoes into a savory rice dish—something that Jan would instantly describe as “too heavy!”