Pork, Bean, and Greens Soup

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Pork, bean, and greens soup

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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For almost 40 years I have had the habit, a bad habit some may say, of always putting myself second behind my family and friends when it comes to breakfast, lunch and dinner. In addition I used to smoke (happy to say that habit died 10 years ago) and I sometimes drink a little too much.

Three years ago that lifestyle caught up to me in the form of Type 2 Diabetes.

For anyone that has or knows anything about Type 2 you know that lifestyle changes are needed if you don’t want nasty things happening or having things start to drop off. Unfortunately for me I’m pig headed and it takes time for stuff to sink in before I start to take corrective action but after three years and tons of “nagging” (and that’s a good thing) from my better half I think I have turned the corner and am on the road to good things.

This recipe, then, is from a cookbook I found that is for diabetics and the end result is really quite good.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups sodium reduced chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 15 ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups cough chopped napa cabbage
  • 4 cups rough chopped tuscan kale
  • 3 ounces grated fresh Parmesan

Putting it all together:

  1. Combine pork, rosemary, black pepper, salt, paprika and cayenne pepper in a bowl.
  2. Heat a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Add oil to pan and coat the bottom.
  3. Add pork mixture and saute for 2 minutes.
  4. Add onion and garlic and saute for another 4 minutes.
  5. Add stock, tomato paste and beans. Bring to a boil
  6. Reduce heat and cook, partially covered, 10 minutes.
  7. Stir in cabbage and kale and cook for 2 minutes or until the kale is wilted and the cabbage is softened.
  8. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with cheese.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond”.

Until next time……….

                        Bon Appetit

 

 

 

Spicy Peanut Pork Stir Fry

  • Servings: ”2-4″
  • Difficulty: ”easy”
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Spicy Peanut Pork

The inspiration for this dish came from my ever lovely wife and best friend who simply stated she didn’t feel like having Chinese Five Spice Pork (see recipe under Easy Peasy) not because she doesn’t like it but because she was in the mood for something with a little heat so I did a bit of sleuthing through my recipes, cook books, the Internet and of course Pinterest. The resulting recipe is a compilation of a few that I found on the Net plus my own additions and because I have added my own twists and turns to this I hereby claim this one as my own recipe.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • Two large Pork Sirloin chops (boneless) cut into thin strips (about 10 ounces)
  • Two packages of Udon noodles (the ones I buy come in four packs)
  • Six medium mushrooms– quartered
  • 1/2 Cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup Sodium reduced Soya Sauce
  • One medium onion– rough chopped
  • Two garlic cloves– minced
  • One teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2/3 bag of frozen stir fry veggies
  • Three tablespoons smooth Peanut Butter
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds

Putting it all together:

  1. In a medium to large bowl mix the beef broth,soya sauce,crushed red pepper flakes, garlic and peanut butter until smooth and set aside
  2. In a wok or large saute pan heat about three tablespoons oil and add the onions and mushrooms and cook until the onions are tender- about three minutes
  3. Add in the Pork mixture, stir well, and cook on medium high heat for about ten minutes – stirring every couple of minutes so it does not stick
  4. Add in the stir fry veggies and cook until they are heated through but not mushy- about 5 minutes
  5. Bring about three inches of water to a boil and add the Udon noodles and cook for 4 minutes
  6. Drain the noodles, place on a plate or large bowl
  7. Top with the Spicy Peanut Pork and some Sesame seeds
  8. Enjoy

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time…….

                       Bon Appetit

 

 

Bahn Mi Pork and vegetables over Udon noodles

  • Servings: ”2″
  • Difficulty: ”easy”
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Bahn Mi is the traditional Vietnamese term for “baguette” or simply bread however in some North American culinary circles Bahn Mi has come to represent something else…… The flavourful marinade used to make the traditional Bahn Mi sandwich.

The basic sauce only has four ingredients and while you may turn your nose up at say, fish sauce, don’t let that stop you from trying this delightful recipe. I even go so far as to add the sauce to ground meat and make Bahn Mi burgers and meatloaf. If you make a larger batch of the Bahn Mi place the unused sauce in an air tight container and refrigerate.

Here’s how we do this one……….

Shopping List:

  • 3 Boneless pork loin chops – sliced into thin strips
  • 1/2 each of yellow and orange sweet pepper – julienned
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion – sliced
  • Two “heads” of Baby Bok Choy
  • 1/4 cup Soya sauce
  • 1/4 cup Fish sauce
  • 2 Teaspoons Garlic Chili sauce (found in the Asian section of your grocery store)
  • 2 Teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 package Udon noodles
  • 2 Tablespoons Canola oil

Putting it all together:

  1. Put the Soya sauce, Fish sauce, Garlic chili sauce and sugar in a measuring cup and mix well
  2. Put the pork and the Bahn Mi sauce in a resealable bag and shake until all the meat is coated. Refrigerate for approx. 20 mins.
  3. Heat the Canola oil in a Wok or a large saute pan
  4. Add the pork and the marinade and cook until almost done
  5. Remove the pork leaving the sauce in the pan
  6. Add the vegetables and heat until soft. About 5 minutes
  7. Add back the pork and mix well
  8. Cook the Udon noodles according to the package directions- usually 3 to 4 minutes
  9. Place the noodles in a bowl and top with the pork mixture. Enjoy.

There you have it……. another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond”.

Until next time……….

                           Bon Appetite

Chinese five spice pork

Chinese five spice pork

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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A new year signals new changes. Changes in me—- my doctor tells me I have to start looking after myself and my wife agrees with her (figures women will stick together)—– changes in my day to day habits and changes to my blog. While I initially liked my original layout it was beginning to get stale so I thought I would brighten things up a bit hence the new layout. What will not change, however, is my posting “simple but tasty recipes for the grilling season and beyond” so with that in mind I bring to you today my version of Chinese five spice pork.

Shopping list:

  • 1 pound pork (butt chops, boneless loin, tenderloin) cut into one inch cubes
  • Two medium yellow peppers (rough chopped)
  • Two medium red peppers (rough chopped)
  • One medium red onion (rough chopped)
  • Three celery stalks (rough cut)
  • 8-10 Baby Bok Choi (root removed)
  • Two tins whole mushrooms (use fresh if you have them)
  • Two medium garlic cloves (fine chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Salt reduced Soya
  • 1/4 Fish sauce
  • Three tablespoons Chinese five spice
  • 2 1/2 cups Uncle Bens 5 Minute rice OR 450 grams Fettuccine noodles

Putting it all together:

  • Cook the rice or pasta in accordance with the package directions
  • In a large bowl mix the pork and the five spice
  • Heat three tablespoons Canola oil in a large pan and brown the pork mixture (approximately 10 minutes)
  • Remove the pork from the pan and set aside
  • Add more Canola oil if needed and add the celery and peppers and saute for approximately three minutes
  • Add the onion, garlic and mushrooms and saute for another 4-5 minutes
  • Add the Soya sauce and Fish sauce and mix well
  • Add back the pork, mix well and reduce the heat and cover until the pork is tender—– about another 6-8 minutes
  • Mix in the Bok Choi at the last minute and turn off the heat as the Bok Choi will wilt on its own.
  • Place the rice or pasta in a bowl and top with the five spice pork.

One of the really great aspects of this recipe is that you can use whatever protein you wish—– Pork, chicken, beef or even shrimp—- you’re only limited to your imagination.

 

So there you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond”.

Until next time…………..

                                  Bon Appetite

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easy Peasy Pork Roast

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In the past few days the area of Southern Ontario that I live in has been hammered by snow and, yes, I used the “S” word. In fact we were so totally caught off guard by the amount we received that it turned normally calm, cool and confident drivers into complete rank amateurs which of course has the overall effect of snarling traffic and bringing everything to a snails crawl thus turning a 5 minute drive into a 45 minute nail biting odyssey. About the only thing short of a collision that could make this worse is an ever increasing tummy rumble and not the slightest idea of what to make for dinner.

This recipe is one of those that is intended to fall into the Superman category—- you know, the one that saves the day—– and with its shear simplicity it does just that so it’s no wonder that I list this in the top ten of my “simple but tasty recipes for the grilling season and beyond”.

Here’s how we do this one………..

Ingredients:

– One three to four pound pork loin

– One jar/bottle of honey Dijon or some other grainy type mustard

– Four or five garlic cloves

Putting it all together:

– Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees

– Using a paring knife create a hole in the pork

– Insert a garlic clove into the hole making sure it is buried completely

– Repeat until all the garlic has been used.

– Cover the pork with the mustard

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– Bung it in the oven until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees

– Serve with your favorite side dish

As you can see this is one very “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond” and one that I am sure you will really enjoy and will look forward to making again.

So until next time……….

                                            Bon Appetite 

Pork and Clams

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This is one of those dishes that you look at and think “that’s a weird combination” which is exactly what I thought the first time I saw it but the more I thought about it the more I liked the idea of mixing the noble pig with seafood and also could not help but think “is it good”?

Well I owe this one to the King of Bam, “Chef Emeril Lagasse”, for first introducing it on one of his shows and let me tell you this is simply fantastic and there is no way I could ever improve on this one and besides I would not even want to try.

So without further ado or gilding the Lilly I present to you Chef Emerils recipe for Pork and Clams

Ingredients:

For the Marinade:
2 pounds pork butt, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 head garlic, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
For the Pork:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons bacon fat
2 cups chopped onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup Piri Piri, recipe follows
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup tomato concasse (peeled, seeded, and chopped)
5 pounds clams
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Putting it all together:

Place the pork butt into a large resealable plastic food storage bag. In a blender, combine the garlic, salt, white wine, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, paprika, red pepper flakes and bay leaf. Blend until smooth and pour over the pork. Seal the plastic bag and set in a casserole dish and place in the refrigerator over night.

Set a large braising pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and bacon fat to the pan. Remove the pork from the refrigerator and drain, reserving the marinade. Sear the pork pieces in the hot fat in batches, until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn to the other side and sear for an additional 2 minutes. Remove the pork from the pan and set aside on a platter while you finish searing the remainder of the pork.

Once all the pork is seared and has been removed from the pan, add the onions to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and cook, stirring continuously, for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock, tomato paste, Piri Piri, salt and reserved marinade to the pan and stir to combine. Continue to stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Return the pork to the pan and when the liquid returns to a boil, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Add the tomatoes and clams to the pan, stir to combine and cover. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook until the clams open, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the lid, reduce the temperature to low, and sprinkle with the parsley. Discard any clams that do not open, and serve the dish with French fries or steamed white rice.

Piri Piri:
1 tablespoon, plus 1/2 cup olive oil

5 cloves garlic, smashed

4 cayenne chile peppers, stemmed, ribs and seeds removed, and rough chopped (or substitute other hot red peppers)

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat a small saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the pan. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and peppers to the pan. Saute, stirring often, until the edges of the garlic start to turn brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the lemon juice to the pan, and remove from the heat.

Place the contents of the saute pan in a blender and add the salt. Puree the peppers and garlic in the blender until mostly smooth. Drizzle the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil through the feed tube of the lid of the blender. Let cool before using, and store refrigerated in an airtight container.

So there you go another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond”

So until next time……….

Bon Appetite

Grilled Pork Butt chops

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My dad worked for a company, for 42 years, that had a close affiliation with slaughter houses and more in particular with Hog Farmers so it’s no wonder I am completely gonzo for PORK. I love pork in its many splendored ways such as Pork Chops, Pork sausage, Pork tenderloin, Bacon and of course Pork Butt.

One of the cuts of pork I have recently embraced with a passion is Pork Butt Chops and one of the reasons I have jumped on this particular cut from the humble porcine creature (that’s a pig y’all) is because I get the great flavor that the butt provides without having to cook a huge amount of it all at once oh and, the store I get mine from sells two to a package for about $8.00 and the chops more resemble the side of a cow instead of pork chops. THEY ARE MASSIVE.

I have two different ways that I do these chops. The first is to hit them with a simple dry rub and then grill them. The other and this is only if I have time, is to marinate them for about an hour before grilling.

Here’s my Marinade method:

Ingredients:

      –    Two large Pork Butt chops

     –     Three minced garlic cloves

    –      1 Teaspoon salt

     –     1 ½ Teaspoons ground pepper

     –     1 ½ Teaspoons granulated onion

      –    ¼ cup Chopped Cilantro

      –    3 Tablespoons Olive oil

 

Method:

     –    Place the chops in a zip lock bag or any other type of sealable container

    –     In a separate mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix until a paste has formed

    –     Add the paste to the bag or container and mix well until the chops are evenly coated

     –    Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour

     –   Grill for approximately 20 minutes, turning over at the half way mark (about  10 minutes) or until the internal temperature hits 160 degrees

Serve this with whatever side you wish, I’d suggest some grilled corn on the cob (see sides) and roast potatoes.

So there you have it —– another “tasty but simple dish for the grilling season and beyond”.

Until next time

               Bon Appetit

Pulled Pork

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One of the great things about having a backyard Smoker is I can do so many more things than if I was just using the propane grill. Besides smoking I can direct grill and I can offset grill or do a combination of both but for this post we will stick with smoking and we will visit direct grilling and offset grilling in a future post.

One of the most popular items to smoke, if not THE most popular, is PORK BUTT and no this does not refer to the South bound part of a North bound pig (that would refer to its bum folks) but it actually refers to the shoulder oh and— don’t ask me why it’s called the Butt because I simply don’t have any idea. What I can tell you however is that when it is done right it makes one of the tastiest meals you could wish for.

Now in the BBQ/Smoker community there are three camps  when it comes to doing a pork butt:

Camp one:  Do it LOW. All sides agree on this point and the low is no more than 250 degrees otherwise the pork will get ruined.

Camp two: Bone in versus no bone. While I have never tried doing it with the bone in I can attest to the fact that “bone in equals added flavor” and one day when I find a bone in pork butt I will try it that way.

Camp three: This particular camp is the most contentious as it deals with “time” because after all the mantra for the smoker community is “Low and Slow” and when I first started smoking meat, especially pork butt, I was dead fast that the longer the better and so I would monitor the smoker for 14 hours to make sure the butt turned out just right. Now I didn’t mind but my wife was ready to shoot me so I set out to find a faster way to do it and guess what? I found it!!!!

The Ontario Pork Producers Marketing Board (the place I am proud to say my DAD worked at for 40 years) has their saying “Put Pork on your Fork” and now I am happy to say so do I—- “INJECT YOUR PORK AND SAVE TIME”. That’s right you did read that correctly I did say” inject your pork”. By doing this you can smoke a 6 pound pork butt in just 5 hours and get the same results if you smoked it for 14 without injecting . Here’s how.

Ingredients:

–          One 6 pound Pork Butt

–          4 Tablespoons Kosher/Sea salt

–          2 Tablespoons Granulated Garlic

–          2 Tablespoons Granulated Onion

–          2 Tablespoons Ground coriander

–          2 Tablespoons ground Cumin

–          2 ½ Tablespoons ground Pepper

–          ½ cup Brown sugar – separated in to two batches

–          ¼ cup Apple juice

–          ¼ Apple Cider vinegar

–          Wet apple wood chunks (the amount will vary on how much smoke flavor you want). We use wet so that the wood smoulders and gives off more smoke in the smoker chamber.

Method:

–          Mix all dry ingredients in a non- reactive bowl.

–          Mix the wet ingredients in a measuring cup

–          Add half the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well

–          Using a Meat Injector, inject the wet mixture into the pork making sure to hit as many places as possible.

–          Liberally rub the remaining dry ingredients on the pork and let sit for approximately 20 minutes

Put the pork in the smoker and monitor the temperature for the next 5 hours adding wood chips as you like(charcoal as needed).

Let cool slightly and then shred, add your favorite BBQ sauce, sides and enjoy!!!

And there you have it……. a simple but tastey recipe for the grill

 

Bon Appetit