Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Mid-Week Dinner

I am always on the look-out for a new twist on an old favorite. Recently, I decided to make an Asian-inspired boneless pork rib dish. Having given up on trying to find the 'right' recipe, I began pulling out ingredients from my very own refrigerator and pantry. Hey, that makes me a Semi-Homemaker, according to Sandra Lee! Except not.

Here are the likely suspects for this dish. From the back left we have rice vinegar (always get the unsalted version), Low-Sodium Soy Sauce, Sweet Chili Sauce, Honey, a Scallion, a Garlic Clove, Ginger Root (I wrap this in plastic wrap and then seal in a zipper-top plastic bag and freeze) and the boneless pork ribs. I grated the garlic and about a tablespoon of ginger and chopped the scallion.

I knew that I wanted the meat to marinate overnight, so I began working on this after the previous night's dinner.

I sliced the pork rib into bite-size pieces and placed in a zipper-top bag. Then I added ingredients, mixed and tasted until I was happy with the marinade.
A bit of the marinade went in with the pork while the remainder was kept apart to be used as a finishing sauce. This all went into a plastic container to guard against leaks and was placed in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning I pulled the pork out of the marinade and placed the pieces on a rack over a pan so that the pieces could dry out. This went back into the refrigerator. The used marinade was discarded.

And now it's time to work on a side dish that I know only I will be eating. Oh well, they don't know what they are missing.

I have decided that I actually do like Brussels Sprouts, but only if cooked in a certain way. Here I have my good Balsamic Vinegar, Brussels Sprouts, Black Pepper, Salt, Bacon and a Shallot.

I decided to handle the tedious chore of separating the leaves of the Brussels Sprouts while I watched Sandra Lee commit her crimes against food on her show on Food Network.

First I cut out the core and pulled off the outer leaves. Then, it gets to be very difficult to get the things off, so I cut the sprouts in half through the core. Be warned, you will likely find evidence of bugs that once resided inside the sprouts. Clean that out or discard those leaves. Makes you wonder about eating the entire sprout, huh?

There, the leaves have been separated and the bacon and shallot chopped.

First I cooked the bacon and shallot.

Once the bacon is nearly cooked through I added the Brussels Sprouts.

These continue to cook until the sprouts have begun to lightly brown. It was at this point that my daughter wandered in and complained that I was making the whole house stink. I think you can guess that she won't be eating any.

Now, this looks good. The Balsamic Vinegar was drizzled over the top at this point. I still had the entree to finish, so I placed the dish in a warm oven.

And now you can see why I wanted the meat to dry before I cooked it. I added a bit of oil to a pan and cooked the pork in batches. Once cooked, the meat went into a dish that was placed in the warm oven.

I also baked some waffle fries (the Semi-Homemade part of the meal) for my daughter.

The reserved sauce was drizzled over the meat. Sweet, yet tangy.

The Brussels Sprouts were sublime.
All in all, this was a good and satisfying meal.

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