“Garlicky Cuban Pork” from “Dinner in an Instant”

One of our favourite meals out of our pressure cooker is pulled pork. It’s a recipe I found on the Internet, scribbled on a scrap of paper, and now said scrap piece of paper is still kicking around in the kitchen and pulled out every few months for a yummy Sunday lunch.

So when I saw this recipe for Garlicky Cuban Pork, which, let’s face it, is just a variation on a theme, I knew this family would be happy to give it a go.

I wasn’t wrong. The yummy marinade, which you then use to cook the pork in, really gives it a good kick. Unlike the pulled pork that we usually have, the citrus and garlic marinade gives it a more subtle, and dare I say better, flavour than the pulled pork we usually have.

I made homemade salsa and the always faithful cowboy rice to have with it and the whole family happily dove in for seconds, and in some cases, thirds of everything. I’d call it a win.

Even with the pressure cooker, though, it took a fair amount of time to get this on the table. We had planned to have it on Sunday, but events conspired against us so we had it on a weeknight instead. Really, this would work better on a weekend but if you work from home and can plan ahead (while the first is true for me, alas, the second is not so much), you could still pull it off for a weeknight.

Another caveat: this cookbook is written primarily for Instant Pots, which are electric pressure cookers. Our pressure cooker is a stovetop version (purchased in France, an impulse buy I’m still happy about, even though I had to talked into it at the time) so I’ve done a fair amount of reading to figure out if or how I need to adjust to the stovetop version. Unfortunately, I still don’t have a definitive answer to that, so I’m just winging it.

5 out of 5: Would enthusiastically eat again and again.

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“Garlicky Cuban Pork” from “Dinner in an Instant”

“Crispy Salt and Pepper Pork” from “Dinner”

Tom: There’s Sichuan one thing I like about this recipe.

Kirstin: I KNEW you would like this. How could you not, it has your favourite ingredient; Sichuan pepper?

Ella: What are these domes?

Kirstin: Those are the crunched up Sichuan pepper and peppercorns. But with added texture so not fully ground up.

Tom: I could eat this every week for the rest of my life.

Kirstin: Me too. And those garnishes are incredible. Jalapeño chilli, lime wedges and coriander.

Miles: When are we having this recipe again?

Kirstin: Ha! Soooon.

“Crispy Salt and Pepper Pork” from “Dinner”

Cleaning Out The Refrigerator: The Rest of the Recipes We Ate from “My Street Food Kitchen”

IMG_8574Ranked in order from Delicious to Disgusting

This does feel a bit like cleaning out the refrigerator. Except rather than opening the door and trying to forage something to eat out of the tupperware containers filling the shelves, I’m going through my photo library on my phone and seeing all the photos of things I made but didn’t get to post. Apologies for not being able to post these as and when we ate them. Work got in the way from me writing about them, but let me assure you that we loved eating them. Well, everything except the steak, which was awful. But I’ll get to that.

(1) Tonkatsu Pork with Tangy Slaw

This was, far and away, the top winner, not only out of these leftovers, but out of all of the things I cooked out of this cookbook in April. It was absolutely delicious, and I’ll definitely be making it again. Basically, you take a pork tenderloin, cut it in half diagonally, pound it flat, dip it in egg and panko crumbs and then fry it. Funnily enough, a few days before we ate this, Nicholas had jokingly (or maybe not) requested wiener schnitzel for dinner. When I was serving him up, I told him this was the Asian version of it. Everyone loved this. Will definitely be making it again.

The recipe can be found on The Carousel, which you can read by clicking through here.

(2) Roman Porchetta Sandwiches

I’ve come to the conclusion that we are very much a pork-orientated family. Just look at this list: three out of five of them are pork dishes. I’m sure it will surprise none of you to learn that we are also big fans of bacon, especially in sandwich form, on the weekend. But I digress.

Porchetta is definitely in the Sunday Dinner rotation over here. When asked what he wants for Sunday dinner, Nicholas (12) inevitably will say pork belly, which might be why we eat it so much. This was a good recipe for it. In the interest of full disclosure, we did not serve it on sandwiches, but we still all loved it.

(3) Napoli-style Pizza Dough (pictured above)

Saturday night is pizza night in our house. It has always been thus, and it always will be. We’ve even joked that on the years Christmas fell on a Saturday, we would have pizza. (We’ve never had the mettle to go through with it. But truth be told, pizza is what we eat on Boxing Day, so it is firmly part of our Christmas traditions.)

I was surprised when Tim said he wanted to give this recipe a try. He’s pretty wedded to the way he currently makes it– a technique that’s been honed over the 25 years (Note to self: that makes me feel old) he’s been making pizza for me. But he thought he’d give it a go. The interesting thing about this version was it used no olive oil at all.

For the pizza nerds among you, Tim’s usual method is to use 200 grams levain of leftover dough in the refrigerator and use it in the current dough batch, which is what he did here. This deviated from the recipe somewhat, though the recipe also called for making it two days in advance. Tim said by using the levain, it had the same outcome. Either way, it was still good.

Pizza night is ALWAYS delicious over here. While I thought this was also good, I thought his usual method was marginally better. The boys didn’t care. They hoovered up the pizza regardless.

(4) Barbeque Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Sweet & Sour Coleslaw

This is a bit of a cheat because while we did have pulled pork sandwiches on the night in question, in the end, I used my usual pressure cooker recipe and didn’t follow her recipe at all. I did make her coleslaw, but alas, I was the only person in the family to like it.

I suppose my reluctance in the end was that I read the recipe and I feared it would be a bit bland when compared to my usual method. So in the end I went ahead with my usual method, and also used the pressure cooker because I was short on time.

If you’re interested in my pulled pork pressure cooker recipe, let me know in the comments. I’ll post it here.

(5) Coffee-Rubbed Skirt Steak with Worcestershire Steak Sauce 

When I told our amazing butcher, Michael Jones at Drings Butchers, that I was going to rub coffee on the steak, he was a bit flummoxed. “Really?” he asked. “Are you sure that’s a good idea?”

I went back the next day and categorically told him it was not.

This was disastrous. As previously discussed on this blog, our family loves steak night. But the rub on this steak was so incredibly spicy that the boys didn’t even finish theirs. Tim and I did, but I have to admit, that was pretty spicy. (For someone whose favorite hot sauce is this one, I can take the heat.)

We ended up using their leftovers the next day in fajitas, so all was not lost.

But I know now that coffee rubbed steak really is not the way forward.

 

 

Cleaning Out The Refrigerator: The Rest of the Recipes We Ate from “My Street Food Kitchen”

“Pork Chops with Mushrooms” from “A Year of Good Eating”

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So it turns out that when you’re choosing a recipe to cook from this book, there are these extra colour insert sections that you also need to have a look at before making your decision. This particular recipe was chosen from the Autumn Eats section. I rather like these sections as the pictures are all in glossy colour and there is less rambling about the recipe, and more getting straight to the details.
Anyway, let me get back to the recipe. I made this on a cold night, just for me. Frying the pork chop in butter gave it a wonderful slightly nutty taste. And the mushrooms and shallots were delicious (I’d use less anchovies than he said to be honest though). I used thyme instead of flat leaf parsley because I’m a rebel like that. And I opened a bottle of red wine because it would have been rude not to have a glass to go with the food. Perfect cold weather fare. Cheers Nigel!

“Pork Chops with Mushrooms” from “A Year of Good Eating”

“Pork Cooked in Milk” and “Poor Man’s Potatoes” from “The Moro Cookbook”

IMG_6267Or, if you’d like it in the Spanish, “Lomo con Leche” and “Patatas a lo Pobre”

Maureen: So what do you think?

Tim: I like the potatoes.

Maureen: You should. You asked for them and they were a total faff to make.  What about the pork?

Nicholas (11): A big thumbs up for me.

Maureen: I think you would say that of any roast pork, frankly, since you ask for porcetta every Sunday.

Nicholas: That might be true.

Andrew (15): Me gusta!

Maureen: I’m glad you approve. I think it’s fine, but it’s not my favourite roast pork.

Tim: It’s sort of bland.

Maureen: I know! Which as a total surprise because it smelled absolutely delicious when I was making it. I was completely intrigued by the method– cooking the pork in milk rather than roasting it– but Mike from Dring’s assured me this method, while strange, really did work. The method worked, but the taste is a bit disappointing.

Tim: Would you make it again?

Maureen: The potatoes I’d make again, definitely. The pork I probably wouldn’t. While I can appreciate the novelty factor of the way I cooked it, I just don’t think it’s as good as some of the other roast pork that I make.

If you’re curious about the pork cooked in milk and want to give it a try, the Demon Cook reposted it on her blog. You can find it by clicking through these sentences.

“Pork Cooked in Milk” and “Poor Man’s Potatoes” from “The Moro Cookbook”

“Rolled Stuffed Loin of Pork with Rubied Gravy” from “Nigella Christmas”

Tom: This is basically pig, wrapped in pig, stuffed with pig. I love it!

Kirstin: Thank you for all of your help with the knots and stuffing.

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Tom: This was a fantastic recipe and I’d love to have it at other times of the year.

Ella: I’ll never porchetta it.

Kirstin: Those cranberries in the stuffing were sublime. And I don’t even usually like that kind of thing. Super easy. Super yum. Maybe we should have it for Christmas next year!

Ella: It was berry good.

“Rolled Stuffed Loin of Pork with Rubied Gravy” from “Nigella Christmas”

“Super Schnitzel” from “Jamie’s Comfort Food”

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Maureen: You are living the dream, my friend.

Tim: What do you mean?

Maureen: You send me an article from the New York Times about how you can make schnitzel with pork, and just one day later, I make it for you.

Tim: Well, it’s delicious.

Andrew (15): I agree.

Nicholas (11): So do I.

Maureen: Wow. A rare dinner of unanimous and enthusiastic approval. Though what’s not to like? The other thing I appreciate about this dish, which is unusual for recipes from “Comfort Food” is that it was relatively quick to make.

Tim: Really?

Maureen: Well, sort of. I did make the “sprinkles,” which is the stuff that’s on top of the schnitzel, earlier in the day. I also got the potato salad ready to go earlier too.

Tim: I like that the meat is nice and crisp, as compared to when you make chicken parm, when the meat gets smothered in tomato sauce and cheese.

Maureen: Respectfully, I disagree with your assessment of chicken parm. That’s just a completely different type of dish. Should I make this again?

All: Yes!

“Super Schnitzel” from “Jamie’s Comfort Food”