Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pan-Grilled Pork, 3-bean Porridge, Sauteed Cabbage & Steamed Broccoli

> Lean Pork Loins topped with sauteed Bell peppers and caramelized Onions and seasoned with fresh Rosemary
>Garbanzo, Lentil & Red Kidney Bean Porridge
>Steamed Broccoli heads
>Sauteed Cabbage with Balsamic Vinegar

This was two-person-effort meal (I made the beans and my husband made everything else).
The pork loins were a bit dry, probably because they're lean, so they could have done with some sort of sauce on top, but it was still good: the flavor of the fresh rosemary herbs with the pork was a force to reckon. I really liked it.

For the beans I started out wanting to make a Daal but it kind of ended up as porridge that got a little burnt at the bottom of the pot which then gave it a yummy smoked flavor. It reminded me of the way some bean dishes are cooked in Nigeria. This Bean dishes I had made a day before, I think it is a great idea to cook a large amount to eat multiple times because they store well in the fridge and freezer. Also there is something about dishe like this that make them taste better the next day, after all the flavors have had more time coming together.

The cabbage was super yummy with the tangy taste of the balsamic vinegar, such a simple and fast concept. I bet would be even better with purple cabbages.

And broccoli. All you need is some steam and YUM!

Make it vegan, by preparing it with your favorite meat substitute.
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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Orange-glazed Pork Loin Kebabs, Broccoli Salad & Cassava Corn Bread

>Pork Loins on skewers with Carrots, Pears & Bell Peppers, glazed with fresh orange sauce
> Cast-iron Yucca/Cassava Cornbread
>Broccoli salad
 I knew I wanted to make Kebabs.

I had just made like a bazillion beef ones for a friend's bbq party, and I had it in my head. So combined with memories of the best kebabs ever at this restaurant Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica when I went for Annie's wedding, and left over skewers I knew I had to make some.

It was time for some lean pork loins on the 'protein rotation'. I searched around for some pork recipes because I don't really eat pork and this was my second time cooking it. I knew I wanted to find a different taste or way to cook it (because otherwise I would default to something I do all the time). So I found a site dedicated to pork recipes! Wow. Fancy that. And you can search by themes, cut, and preparation time. Since I had some cut loin I knew it wouldn't take me that long to make something anyway (and I wanted this meal to happen quickly), and so yeah I searched by cut. I picked this recipe well, kinda. Haha. I pretty much didn't actually do any of what it says here except for the concept of a glaze. I squeezed some fresh oranges, and reduced it with maple syrup, and thickened with a tiny bit of flour.

I didn't roast over an open flame. I put the pork into a cast iron pan, and threw some black pepper, herb de provence & sea salt on it and threw it into the oven 375. After about 15-20mins? When it was part-way cooked, I brought it out and cut into chunks for skewering. I seasoned some veggies (bell pepper & carrots) and pears chunked and skewered them with the pork. Okay DON'T BE LIKE ME AND TRY TO SKEWER RAW CARROTS. Which I know not to do but did anyway because I don't know I just did.  And then threw it back into the oven at 500 degrees to grill.

For the Cassava (Yucca) & Corn Bread: Okay I get recipe requests from friends a lot and I really never know what I do, and I can't remember. I just do stuff and then it's done. So when I saw we had some leftover Yucca from a previous meal, and some corn on the cob from another meal, I decided they could all get together and party with cornmeal, egg, oil & milk in the oven. And that's what they did and it was GOOD. (And I didn't just say so myself)

Broccoli Salad, Emilie my upstairs neighbor made this and it was delicious.

This was an awesome meal!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I hella *heart* My African Market

Sometimes I forget  that I can diversify my palate by eating foods from 'HOME' like home home. Traditional foods. I can make versions that are more typical or my adapted fusion versions. While I was pregnant and visiting in Nigeria, I got reminded of what I was missing and how yummy my home dishes can be. It became an obsession of sorts. Thankfully, I was lucky to have my mother around for a good amount of time while I was pregnant to indulge me in my requests for moi moi, okro soup, akamu and more. When she left we slowly chipped away at the freezer full of food she cooked and stored for us. And in the meantime hope to make it to the African food store about once a month to supplement our produce. (Luckily it's close to my favorite farmer's market).

Some of the foods are not the freshest, and as you can see there are a few guilty indulgences of processed & high-sugar foods, but for the most part it's good stuff that sticks to your belly when cooked right!

For $37 and some change, here's what we bought:

Yellow Garri
Ijebu Garri
Cous Cous
Coco Yam (Taro)
Ghana Yam
Habanero Peppers
Okro (Okra)
Chin Chin
Schweppes Bitter Lemon drink
Chin Chin
Tomato Paste

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