Asian, Indian, Savory, Stew

Coconut Pork Curry

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This is an amazing recipe!! Originally written in 2010, in Food and Wine magazine, I did not have the means to make the recipe till 2016.  I had bookmarked the recipe for 5 years and was waiting to have a kitchen of my own to make it. In 2016, my mother came to visit during the summer, and this was the perfect meal to make for her!  Unlike, my father, she grew up eating pork, so she really appreciated it.  I was intrigued by this recipe, it looked like a cross between an Indian and Thai dish.  Anyway, I made it and it was super hit!  In fact, my mother said that it tasted like a “curry” her mother used to make–what a compliment and what a food memory!  You can find the original recipe here.  I would strongly recommend following the recipe, word for word!  With that said, during the current pandemic,  I did not find pork shoulder, so I had to (with great trepidation) substitute with pork tenderloin.  Thankfully, after cooking for four hours, the meat did become soft and fork-tender.  I also never cook this in a slow-cooker; I love making it in my large dutch oven.  I also add a good amount of additional spices, mostly because it suits our palette.  Here is my tweaked version.

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Ingredients:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 large onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

1 tablespoon mild curry powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon of ground coriander

1/2 tablespoon of chili powder

1/2 tablespoon of sweet paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth

1/2 tsp of garam masala at the end

a bunch of chopped cilantro and sliced scallions, for stirring into the curry at the very end.

Method:

In a large skillet, heat the oil. Season the pork with salt and pepper.  Brown the pork in batched and set aside.

Once the pork is done, add the onion, garlic, ginger, curry, cumin, coriander, chili powder, paprika, and turmeric and cook over low heat, stirring, until fragrant and the onion is softened about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and their juices and coconut milk and scrape the bottom of the pan, lifting all the delicious brown bits from the bottom.

Return the pork to the pot, add the stock, cover, and cook on medium-high for 4 hours.

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At the 2 hour mark, I like to taste and the stew and adjust for salt and heat, mostly the heat—our household like a spicy stew.  Notice how the light creamy color is turning into a rich, dark stew–yum!

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Towards the end of the cooking process, add a bunch of chopped cilantro and scallions to the stew, stir and cook for another 15-20 minutes and remove from heat.

 

Serve with steamed rice or, our favorite, naan

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Comfort food, Dinner, Poultry, Stew

Chicken Sausage Stew

This is a light stew for those cool rainy summer nights.  I used store bought chicken sausages along with mushrooms and roasted red peppers for some depth of flavor.  

saute mushrooms till golden brown.    

add sliced roasted red peppers ( from a jar), 1 bunch of chopped of scallions, a few springs to thyme, 2 tsp of minced garlic and 1tsp of red pepper flakes. Saute for a few minutes to marry the ingredients.  

Add water or chicken stock just enough to cover all the vegetables.  I also added a pinch of saffron for an exotic flare.  You can most certainly omit it.  

Add the cooked, sliced sausage and simmer till the stew thickens to desired thickness.  Serve warm with garlic bread !  Polenta would be a great gluten-free option for a side with this stew.  I would also consider making the stew with shrimp instead of  chicken.  Eggplant and butternut squash would be a great vegetarian alternative.

Fish & Seafood, Gluten-free, Italian, Lent, Quick Dinner

Basil-Scallion Shrimp with Spaghetti Squash


I recently discovered spaghetti squash and I have fallen in love with it.  While it definitely does NOT taste like pasta, it certainly feels like you are indulging in it.  You can twirl long strands of golden squash in sauce and eat it out of a bowl and feel full–not a bad deal ! Then, shrimp was on sale and I had to finish up the basil and scallions in the fridge, and so this dish came to being.  May I just say, that sometimes, throwing things in together really work ! I hope you will try this dish.

Ingredients:

1, medium sized spaghetti squash

1lb of medium, peeled, de-veined  raw shrimp

7-8 scallions

1 bunch of basil

1/2 tbsp of minced garlic

1 can of diced tomatoes (mine had garlic, basil and oregano added)

1/2 cup stock (chicken or vegetable)

2 tsp of red pepper flakes

2 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper to taste


Method:

Heat oven to 400F

Cut squash in half, length-wise.  Remove seeds and drizzle 1 Tbsp of olive oil.  Add salt and roast the squash cut side down on a baking sheet for 40-50 mins till the squash is fork tender and you can run your fork through the flesh to produce “spaghetti”.

  
 Chop the scallions and set aside the green parts.


Heat 1Tbsp of oil in a skillet, add the garlic and white part of the scallions and saute till pale.

Next add the tomato, broth and the red pepper flakes.

  
 Simmer for 5mins and then add the shrimp.

Shrimp cooks very quickly, so keep an eye on it and the minute they are pink, remove them from the pan. Keep cooking the sauce till desired consistency.  

   Add the shrimp back into the pan, once the sauce is thick and take off heat.
Chop the basil and mix with the green part of the scallions.


Add the herb mixture once the dish in off the heat and stir to combine.  The idea is to keep the greens, looking green and rather raw–tastes really fresh and wonderful !

Spoon shrimp and sauce over spaghetti squash and enjoy !

  

Comfort food, Dinner, Fish & Seafood

Cormeal Crusted Pollock

It seems that I have been on a fish and southern food kick.  This is yet another recipe where I took a southern classic, cornmeal crusted-deep-fried fish and tried to make it healthier and less messy (you the huge oil splaters with deep frying !!!!!!).  Pollock, may sound like an unusual fish but it is actually quite nice.  I tastes like most firm white fish and is much less saltier than cod.  This recipe was experimental, I like it and I will be making it again for myself.  Please try it and let me know how it works.

Ingredients:

1lb of pollock, approximately 4 medium-sized fillets

1/4 cup cornmeal (cornbread mix could work too)

3 stalks of scallion, chopped

Cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt and pepper ( I am not including measurements since this is the place you will be adjusting the flavour to your taste.  I like my crust salty and spicy so I added a little extra dash of salt and lots of pepper).

1/2 Tbsp of olive oil

Just enough water to make the cornmeal come together in a thick paste.

Method:

Preheat oven to 375F

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl till they combine to a thick spreadable paste–kind of like thick peanut butter.

Pat the fish dry and season with salt and pepper and top with the cornmeal topping.

Bake for about 15-20 mins till the fish is cooked through and crust is nice and golden.

Serve hot !!!