Food inspiration: Jan 12th

Often the hardest part of cooking is just figuring out what you’re gonna eat. So here’s what I’m cookin’ up this week and maybe you’ll get some inspiration from it.

Easy: For this week’s easy meal I’m also going vegan by making Stuffed bell peppers. Now obviously you can make meat or cheese versions of this, but I figured I’d just let it rock and focus on the veggies. Recipe can be found here.

Medium: Pad Thai. I can’t remember if I’ve talked about this one on the blog before, but Pad Thai is criminally underrated food IMO. It’s also not that hard to make! Mostly it just sits in the pan. For some reason unsalted peanuts are kinda hard to find so I usually just add a bunch of extra peanut butter cause I like it. Recipe is here.

Hard: Sweet and Sour pork. Mostly just putting this one in hard cause it makes the formatting look nice, it’s not actually very difficult at all. Does require some deep frying tho, so maybe it could be considered difficult. Anyway! This is one of my favourite recipes and one that I didn’t actually take from an online source, but actually back from my days working in the kitchen at a summer camp. So as a treat, I’ll share the whole recipe here. Credit to one Marieka Welke for recipe.

 

Ingredients

Fruits and Veggies
1 cup pineapple (highly recommend using fresh pineapple, but canned pineapple works too)
1 pepper (any color, cut into 1-inch cubes)
1/2 white onion (cut into 1-inch cubes)

Pork Marinade
1 lb pork shoulder (cut into 1-inch pieces)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 onion (small, grated)
4–5 slices ginger (grated)
3 cloves garlic (grated)
1 cup potato starch (divided in 1/2) (can be substituted with corn starch)

Sweet & Sour Sauce
4 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Recipe:
– Cut the onions and peppers in 1-inch chunks and set aside
– If you are using fresh pineapple, core and peel it and then cut them into 1-inch chunks and set aside. If you are using canned pineapple, drain it and cut them into 1-inch chunks if you are using pineapple rings. Put them in a bowl and set aside.

Marinating the Pork
– Cut the pork into 1-inch chunks and place it in a bowl.
– Grate the ginger, garlic, and onion and place it in the bowl with the meat.
– Add soy sauce to the bowl and mix everything very well.
– Let it marinate for 1 hour.

Battering & Deep Frying the Pork
– Once the meat has finished marinating, in the bowl or plate – separate the meat slightly so they are not clumped together.
– Add half the potato starch over the meat and gently toss it in the potato starch until each piece has been coated with potato starch. Let it rest for 5 minutes until the potato starch has absorbed the marinade and moisture, and the batter looks gummy and moist.
– Add in the rest of the potato starch and gently toss it again to coat each piece of meat. Let it rest for10 minutes until it has absorbed the rest of the moisture.
– If you are using a deep fryer, set the temperature to 350F (180C) and wait for the oil to get to temp. If you are using a frying pan, set the heat to medium heat and make sure there is at least 1 inch of oil in the pan.
– Add the meat in when the oil is hot, careful not to overcrowd the pan. (Depending on how big your pan is, you may need to do it in 2 batches). Cook the meat for approximately 5 minutes until it is crispy and browned.
– Remove the crispy pork and let it drain on a rack or a plate with something absorbent like newspaper or paper bag and set aside.

Putting It Together
– In a clean frying pan, add in 2-3 tablespoons of oil, and set the stove to medium heat.
– Add in the tomato paste when the oil is hot and toast the tomato paste for 1-2 minutes until the oil has turned orange
– Add in the white vinegar, water, sugar and soy sauce and mix well and let it cook for 5 minutes.
– In a small bowl, dissolve the potato starch in cold water. Slowly pour it into the sauce but make sure you are constantly stirring it so it doesn’t clump.
– Once the sauce has thickened, add in the peppers, pineapples, and onions and cook it for 1-2 minutes. Use your spatula to separate the onion chunks into smaller pieces.
– Add in the crispy pork and coat each piece with the sweet and sour sauce once the meat has all been coated, turn off the heat.
Plate it and serve with rice! Enjoy! 🙂