Pork, Beans, Veg, Pasta, Veg

June 23, 2008 at 2:22 am 3 comments

Menu: Sauteed Pork with Broad Bean Ratatouille * Lemon-Pepper Fettucine * Cucumber Tomato Artichoke Salad

We’re trying to watch our wallets and our weight here, so I buy a lot of produce at the farmers market so we have good healthy vegetables, and today I was shopping at Sam’s and came across a huge batch of boneless pork back ribs and thought, “hm, I bet I can do something with that.” I’d been planning some marinating and some braising, but by the time I got home, it was time to find something quick to do for dinner. It wound up taking an hour, but it was worth it.

Sauteed Pork (serves 3; we provide leftovers for an injured friend on Mondays, and I always want them to be good leftovers) (original recipe from Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything”… it was for pork chops)

8 boneless back pork ribs
fresh ground sea salt and mixed peppercorns
2 T olive oil
1/2 c vermouth (original recipe called for dry white wine; this was as close as I could get)
1 tsp minced garlic (original says “or 2 T minced shallot, onion, or scallion)
1/2 c water (original says “or chicken, beef, or vegetable stock)
1 T wine vinegar (original says “or freshly squeezed lemon juice, which I might try next time)
a handful of fresh sage leaves, chopped

1 small eggplant
1 red bell pepper
1/4 corno di toro pepper
1 15-oz can broad beans (butter beans or limas)
1 15-oz can cannelini beans

Sprinkle the ribs with salt and pepper. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat for 2 or 3 minute.s Add 2 T olive oil; as soon as the first wisps of smoke rise from the oil, add the chops and turn the heat to high. Brown the ribs on all sides, moving them around to develop good color all over. The entire browning process should take no longer than 4 minutes, and preferably less.

Reduce heat to medium. Add vermouth and garlic and cook, turning meat once or twice until wine is all but evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 c water, turn to low, and cover. Cook 10 to 15 minutes, turning meat once or twice, until meat is tender but not dry. When done, they will be firm to the touch, juices will run just slightly pink, and when you cut into them (which you should do if you’re at all unsure of their doneness), the color will be rosy at first glance but quickly turn pale.

(this is where I switch to one of the Eight Ways provided by Mark Bittman, Sauteed With Onions and Peppers, which I change quite a bit)

Leaving everything else in the pan, remove the meat to a preheated oven to warm. Sprinkle chopped sage over before closing oven.

To pan juices, add 1 small eggplant, diced; 1 red bell pepper, diced, and 1/4 corno di toro pepper, minced. Stir, re-cover pan, and cook 5 minutes over medium heat. Remove cover and cook, stirring, until vegs are softened and beginning to brown, about 5 more minutes. Add 1 can broad beans and 1 can cannelini beans, both drained. Moisten with 1/2 c water (or stock), then cook til most liquid is absorbed. Splash wine vinegar over; taste and correct for salt if need be. Keep warm over lowest heat, stirring occasionally.

If you wind up waiting for salad or pasta to be finished, add pork to pan for final warming on low.

Cucumber Tomato Artichoke Salad:
2 medium to large pickling cucumbers (large relative to other pickling cucumbers)
1 medium to large tomato
1/2 can quartered artichoke hearts packed in water
fresh basil
feta cheese
Steen’s cane vinegar

Chop cucumbers; chop tomato. Halve quartered artichoke hearts to make eighthed hearts. Combine in bowl; sprinkle lightly with fresh ground sea salt and cane vinegar. Chiffonade basil; sprinkle over, them add feta cheese to taste (we always add rather a lot). Mix.

Pasta
How wonderful it would be to use fresh noodles, or almost-fresh noodles, but instead we assayed “al denteTM All-Natural Carba-Nada Lemon Pepper Fettucine Noodles” … which were not that bad. Cook your favorite pasta as you like; serve.

We were going to have fresh blueberries and vanilla yogurt for dessert, but life intervened in the form of someone coming by to buy a bed we’d listed on Craigslist and it got too late.

Chef’s sustenance
Cherry tomatoes out of the bowl… diet tonic water with lime

Chef’s soundtrack
Donovan, “Jersey Thursday” * Doc Watson, “Cotton Eyed Joe” * Joan Osborne, “Make You Feel My Love” * Stevie Ray Vaughan, “Love Struck Baby” * Joe Henry, “Angels” * Django Reinhardt & Stephane Grappelli, “Tiger Rag” * Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Maps” * David Bowie, “Heroes” (Live at The Bridge School Concert) * Jimi Hendrix, “May This Be Love” * The Smiths, “Back to the Old House” * Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd, “Desafinado” * Sparklehorse, “Don’t Take My Sunshine Away” * The Smiths, “You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby” * Sting, “I Burn For You” * Fleetwood Mac, “Oh Well, Part 1” * Royskopp, “Remind Me” * Suzy Bogguss, “Comes Love” * Stereolab, “Percolator”

How did it turn out?
I really liked it. It wound up being more work than I’d anticipated, and I always resist “remove from the pan you just got all dirty by cooking into a whole new pan that will get all dirty, just to sit and keep warm in,” but I’m glad I did. I really really wish I’d been able to have fresh noodles. And I will spend the rest of my cooking life trying to make sure I can replicate that salad. Not a drop of oil, just the slight maceration from salting the cukes and tomatoes, and a few shakes of cane vinegar, mixing with the feta cheese, and it was wonderful.

Would I make it again?
Yes, even with low-carb pasta.

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Fish, Veg, Veg, Veg Headache, Grain, Dairy, Egg, Comfort

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Monique  |  June 23, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    Hello, I was so happy that you discovered our Carba-Nada pasta. We literally get calls every week from Diabetics who are so thrilled when they discover they can eat pasta again and that it tastes great. You should now try our Whole Wheat Fettuccine. Even people who don’t usually like Whole Wheat Pasta, love ours. It’s all in the texture. Since we “sheet the dough”, rolling it out like an experienced Italian grandmother would do in her own kitchen, that is what makes for the homemade texture and 3 minute cooking time on all of Al Dente Pastas. So glad you liked it.

    Reply
  • 2. Melandro  |  June 23, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    A photo! to see the result?

    Reply
  • 3. thedinnerhour  |  June 24, 2008 at 1:45 am

    Melandro, I keep thinking that as I’m cooking… and then it’s dinner time and it gets away. I will try to do the recipe again and this time I’ll have to shoot it before we eat.

    Monique, it was nice to have the Carba-Nada option, and I really appreciate hearing about how it’s made. We’ll be searching it out again. Thanks!

    Reply

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Some of my cookbooks

In no order except for how they appear in my LibraryThing cookbook catalog: True Women Cookbook: Original Antique Recipes, Photographs, & Family Folklore, Janice Woods Windle (1997) * Made in Texas; H-E-B's 100th Anniversary Cookbook (2005) * The Texas Cowboy Cookbook: A History in Recipes and Photos, Robb Walsh (2007) * The Silver Palate Cookbook, Julee Rosso, Sheila Lukins (1982) * In the Land of Cocktails: Recipes and Adventures from the Cocktail Chicks, Ti Adelaide Martin & Lally Brennan (2007) * Braise: A Journey Through International Cuisine, Daniel Boulud (2006) * Moosewood Cookbook : Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant, Mollie Katzen (1977) * Crescent City Cooking: Unforgettable Recipes from Susan Spicer's New Orleans, Susan Spicer (2007) * Saveur Cooks Authentic American: By the Editors of Saveur Magazine, ed. Colman Andrews (1998)

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