Friday, April 11, 2008

Phew! also, garlic pork and vegetables

Oh man. I’m sorry I haven’t been here! But soon I will be settled in and things will be back to normal (for a month that is, until I go to Europe for a month and may leave you hanging, I don’t know what kind of internet access we’ll have there). Lots of things have happened since I last was here, Alex turned 31, I turned 26, we moved into our new house in what felt like the longest, most drawn-out move ever. My grandfather is sick, I flew down to Florida with my sister and spent a few days there, visiting with him and my other family that lives down there. After a terrible, frightening plane ride down (we almost crashed?), I met up with my sister, who is the BEST for waiting for me at the airport for an hour, then going back to where we were staying and then coming back to pick me up for real at 4am. We spent a day at the beach, a lot of time in the hospital, and had fun. We visited my mom’s parents and my aunt and one of my cousins, who took us out to lunch at a place I’d never heard of, First Watch. They had a gluten-free menu, and Dana and I both had delicious omelets and home fries. I’d check them out if you live near one, and keep it in mind if you travel. It was nice to take a few days off and see some family I don’t get to see much. Then I came home on Tuesday night, to my wonderful boyfriend who had stayed up waiting for me and had cooked burgers (he makes the best I’ve ever had) and my bed, and I’ve been working and trying to keep up with my life since then. The house is hardly unpacked, I have the kitchen mostly done and I’ve unpacked the books, that’s about it. There are boxes and bags everywhere, and I don’t have a day off until next Thursday.
Someday my life will settle back down, I can’t wait.
For dinner tonight I made (for myself, since Alex has the boys over and they’re eating pizza and watching hockey) garlic pork with mushrooms. I’ve been having crazy cravings for crappy Chinese food that I can’t get anymore, and this is something different. But totally filled the craving. I served it with rice noodles because I couldn’t find (or maybe we are out of) rice, and quinoa. It was good, but I think I would have liked it over rice better.
Garlic Pork and Vegetables
snagged from here
1 lb pork butt (shoulder), or tenderloin, cut into pieces about an inch square by half an inch thick
1 egg
2 T cornstarch
2 T water
pinch of salt
oil for frying

Combine the egg, cornstarch, water and salt in a bowl, add pork. Toss to coat, stick in the fridge while you prepare your vegetables and mix up your sauce. Give it about a half an hour. Heat 1/2” oil in a frying pan and fry pork in batches, about 3 minutes total, cutting a test piece in half to check to see if it’s done. Drain on paper towels, then set aside in a bowl.

4 T rice vinegar
4 T soy sauce (La Choy or San-J or whatever GF soy sauce you use)
1 T honey (or more, if you don’t use mirin)
1 T mirin
3 T rice cooking wine
1 T cornstarch
1 T chili-garlic paste, or your favorite GF hot sauce

1-2 T minced garlic
1 T minced ginger
2 scallions, chopped
a big handful of mushrooms
a crown of broccoli
other vegetables of your choice
rice noodles, or rice, or quinoa for serving

Mix the rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, mirin, cooking wine, hot sauce, and scallions together in a bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and 1 T water, stirring to make a paste, set aside. Cut your mushrooms, broccoli, and/or other vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Heat 2 T oil in a large pan (or wok if you have one) and add garlic and ginger, stirring. Add your vegetables and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and add to the pork. Return pan to heat, add vinegar sauce mix and bring to a boil. Whisk in cornstarch paste, stir until sauce thickens, and add back in your vegetables and pork. Stir to coat, then cook a minute or two until everything is hot. Serve over rice, or mix in noodles in the last few minutes of cooking.

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