Friday, September 3, 2010

RECIPE: Sort-Of Sweet'N'Sour Pork

You know how much I love pasta.

Well, if you didn't before, you should by now.

I love AngelFood. The people who put it together certainly keep you guessing as to what you'll get in your box. As a consequence, I'm eating (and enjoying) foods that I normally wouldn't even walk by in the grocery store.

For example, pork. I've never been a huge fan of pork. I love chicken, beef, and seafood. Pork has always seemed a little extreme to me. A tad dangerous. Every time the word "pork" leaves my mouth, I start searching for the disinfectant. Which reminds me, I've only washed the counters twice since I cooked last night. I should probably wash them again. With bleach.

As you may have guessed, this month's box came with pork. Pork loin top loin chops, I think. They weren't your standard pork chops. Not being the biggest fan of pig meat, I decided to minimize its impact on the meal by slicing it into very thin strips, pan frying it, and mixing it in with something else.

I tried to draw inspiration from a sweet-n-sour recipe I found online, but I was missing more than half of the ingredients so I improvised. And once again, my improvisation turned out to be quite tasty! ... but this, you must judge for yourself.

Sort-Of Sweet'N'Sour Pork Skillet

3/4-1lb pork, sliced thin
1/4-1/2lb frozen broccoli florets
1/2 16oz box radiatore pasta
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup (low sodium) soy sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup cooking sherry
1/8 cup teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup water
olive oil
chicken bouillon granules

The nice thing about this sort of recipe is that you can have the two main processes going on at the same time, which reduces the overall cooking time by some fifteen or twenty minutes.

First, I set the pasta to cook over a back burner with a pinch of chicken bouillon granules and a dash of fennel to add a warm punch of flavor. With the pasta on a back burner, I set about slicing up the pork chops and pan frying them in a little olive oil. Before they were thoroughly cooked, however, I began adding the liquid ingredients to ensure a more tender product, beginning with the soy and teriyaki sauces, about half of the orange juice, the vinegar, and then adding the sherry. I let this simmer down over medium heat to a nice sauce consistency (by which time the pork was thoroughly cooked)--about fifteen minutes--and then added the frozen broccoli florets, the pasta (cooked and drained by this point), the rest of the orange juice, and the water. I let this cook over medium heat once more until the sauce was a nice consistency and the broccoli cooked. Adding the broccoli while frozen ensures that it remains crisp and doesn't go limp from over-cooking.
The result was a pleasant balance between tangy and sweet and savory. The pork even added a nice flavor, I think, which is a great deal coming from me.

Verdict: a qualified success!

This time I made sure to take photos! Stay tuned for my shepherd's pie and monster cookie recipes!


  1. Mmm! That sounds wonderful! And Toni thinks it looks beautiful!

  2. Awesome photos, I think food is one of the most wonderful things you can take a photograph. It seems far to many people take horrible photos of food. I just cant understand. I like the blog too. It sounds like a wonderful adventure. Enjoy.