pork

DIY Hoisin Sauce

by Anne Maxfield on July 2, 2018

Accidental Locavore DIY Hoisin SauceAre you a huge fan of hoisin sauce? If you’ve ever eaten Peking Duck or Moo Shu Pork, it’s that delicious dark sauce that gets painted onto the pancakes.

I’ve always been a big fan–Frank and I often make pork roasts smothered in some mix of hoisin and whatever looks Asian in the fridge. So when bon appétit ran this recipe for pork chops with hoisin sauce that you make yourself, I was skeptical at first—why make it when the stuff in the jar is just delicious? But then I saw how easy it was and became interested.

Accidental Locavore Ingredients for Hoisin SauceDIY Hoisin Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha
  • Salt to taste

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook garlic, stirring often, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add soy sauce, honey, vinegar, tahini, and Sriracha and whisk until smooth. Cook, whisking occasionally, until mixture is thick and smooth, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper and let it cool. The sauce will keep about 4 days, covered, in the refrigerator (if you don’t eat it all first).

I used half the hoisin to marinate the pork chops overnight, but if you’re impatient, you can do them for as little as an hour. The way I’ve been cooking pork chops recently is really simple, it just requires “standing over a hot stove” but you can catch up on email etc… Click here for the recipe.

Accidental Locavore Hoisin Marnated Pork Chops (2)My verdict: We were both really surprised at the addition of tahini which I’ve never thought of as Chinese, but hey, they travelled.

This was really good and the hardest part was coaxing the honey from the container. They just don’t make those bears like they used to!

I’m about to make another batch to coat a pork loin that will get roasted (unless the weather warms up and we can grill). I forgot to do a taste test with our old standby, but there will be other chances. What do you think the results will be?

 

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Easy Pork with Bok Choy

by Anne Maxfield on June 25, 2018

Accidental Locavore Bok Choy CutWe had some beautiful bok choy from the first CSA pickup of the season and a recipe from the NY Times inspired this recipe:

  • 1 head of bok choy (or 3 or 4 heads of baby bok choy)
  • 1 ounce ginger root (1 fat 2” piece)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound lean ground pork
  • Salt
  • ¼ cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • ½ cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh Thai or habanero chile, seeded if desired, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sesame oil, more for drizzling
  • Cilantro or torn basil, for serving
  • Black vinegar, for serving

Accidental Locavore Bok Choy and PorkTrim bok choy and separate dark green tops from white stems; thinly slice stems and slice tops into 2” strips.

Peel ginger and finely chop half of it. Slice remaining ginger into thin matchsticks.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook, breaking up with a fork, until golden and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Season with salt, 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce and 1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar. Use a slotted spoon to transfer meat to a bowl.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Stir in half the scallions, the finely chopped ginger, the garlic and the chile. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add bok choy stems and a pinch of salt. Cook until bok choy is almost tender, about 2 minutes. Toss in leaves and return pork to skillet.

Add remaining 1/4 cup soy sauce and 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar into the pan. Cook until just warmed through.

Transfer to a large bowl and toss with remaining scallions, sesame seeds, sesame oil, herbs, ginger matchsticks and a splash of black vinegar. Serve over cooked jasmine rice and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Bok Choy FinishedMy verdict: This was so good, Frank picked up another bunch of bok choy the week after! It’s a recipe that you can easily do variations of. The original recipe called for it to be served with rice noodles, which is probably great, but we had rice in the house so used that. In my quest to eat down the contents of the freezer (yes, again) I had some red curry lamb sausage that I removed from the casing and crumbled up instead of the ground pork. Hot Italian sausage would work well too.

If you don’t have black vinegar, you could easily forget it, or use a mix of balsamic and rice wine vinegars.

 

 

 

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Barbecued Pork Skewers Filipino Style

by Anne Maxfield on October 23, 2017

Accidental Locavore Pork Skewers on GrillWhile it’s still warm enough out to keep the grill going, you owe it to yourself to make these pork skewers. They’re easy to toss together and just require a little marinating time.

  • 2 pounds pork shoulder cut into 1” cubes

For the marinade and glaze: 

  • 1 garlic clove finely minced
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup lime or lemon juice
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 cup ginger ale (divided use)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper

In a large bowl, mix the garlic, soy sauce lime juice, ketchup, ½ cup ginger ale, salt and pepper.

Set aside ½ cup of the marinade and refrigerate.

Add the pork to the bowl with the marinade, toss to coat. Cover and marinate for at least 30 minutes, but preferably overnight (in the refrigerator).

When you’re ready to cook, remove the pork and preheat your grill to medium-high.

Take the extra ½ cup marinade from the refrigerator add the ½ cup ginger ale and the brown sugar. Mix well and set aside to glaze the skewers.

If you’re using bamboo skewers, soak them for about 20 minutes.

Skewer the pork and grill for about 12 minutes a side or about 30 minutes total.

Baste the pork every few minutes with the reserved marinade.

Serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Pork SkewersMy verdict:

My friend Jasmine gave me the recipe, telling me it was like pork candy and she was right! We served it over some rice (jasmine or basmati) and it was delicious!

Originally, I didn’t know what we were going to do with the pork, so I ended up buying a big piece of pork shoulder and we had tons of skewers (but not for long).
I used some of the More Good ginger ale syrup, mixed with some seltzer, because it’s a little healthier and we didn’t have any ginger ale on hand. You could probably substitute some grated ginger and a little sugar or simple syrup.

If you want to add heat to it, a shot of sriracha or some finely minced chiles would be good.

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The Amsterdam Restaurant Rhinebeck

by Anne Maxfield on July 24, 2017

Amsterdam restaurant interiorDoesn’t everyone look forward to a new restaurant opening?

The thrill of the chase (am I the first of my friends?).

The anticipation of something new and different (will we have another place to add to our list of favorites—or the old standbys as my mother would say?).

What will we love and look forward to on the menu?

Those are big shoes to fill and the Amsterdam burst into the Rhinebeck dining scene ready to take them on.

Currently it’s open for dinner (but open 7 days a week) with lunch and brunch “coming soon.”

Menu item are seasonal and locally sourced, but thankfully the restaurant doesn’t feel the need to spell out the latitude and longitude of the radishes mixing it up with the pork chop special.

Accidental Locavore Smoked Salmon at the Amsterdam RestaurantWe started out sharing the house-smoked salmon with a big potato pancake (described on the menu as “hash brown”), a dollop of crème fraîche, a few fried capers and some micro-greens for décor. The salmon was delicious, silky with a nice punch of smoke and the hash brown was nicely crisped on the edges and creamy inside.

Accidental Locavore Rabbit Pate at the Amsterdam RestaurantThe house sent over a plate of rabbit pâté with bourbon-soaked cherries. It was terrific and the trio of pickled fennel, shallots and pickles were fun to mix and match with it (note to the squeamish, I can guarantee that you would never guess it was rabbit, so just order it and enjoy).

Accidental Locavore Gnocchi at the Amsterdam RestaurantI’m a sucker for gnocchi, so I had to try the farmer’s cheese gnocchi with mushrooms, asparagus and a nettle pesto. It was a big, hearty serving of tender gnocchi. I’m not sure exactly what a nettle is supposed to taste like but the pesto was good and worked well with the mushrooms and asparagus.

Janet went with the pork chop special. It was a great tasting chop, perfectly seasoned and cooked and according to her “the best pork chop I ever ate!” The chickpea tart that came with it was interesting and unexpected. The only downside was that as much as pork fat is great, this particular chop was incredibly fatty, making the serving only about 6 meaty bites (and we wanted more—a good thing).

We skipped dessert. 4 selections on the menu, three of which had nuts so not for me. You can also opt for some nice cheeses from the area.

Accidental Locavore Spring Cassoulet The Amsterdam RestaurantThe service is young and friendly and if you’re there on a Friday night like we were, the crowd is eclectic with a lot of people looking like they just escaped BK.  For summer, the restaurant opened up the outside space, so you can dine under the stars and toss a few boules in the court between courses.

A second, weeknight dinner, showed a more confident kitchen, consistently turning out really good dishes and according to a friend, a perfectly made Whisky Sour. For me, a small morsel of cheese made a perfect dessert, but it still seems IMHO to be the weak link on the restaurant’s menu.

If you go, let me know in the comments what you think. Enjoy!

 

 

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