Pork and Kimchi Sliders

While perusing through my pile of recent magazine recipes I came across one from Food and Wine for “Crunchy Pork Kimchi Burgers” and I thought well, this sounds weird, but oddly good at the same time.  Then I went to the Northampton Tuesday Market  and there was a vendor sampling fresh kimchi which was nothing like the shelf-stable stuff that I had eaten in the past- a little less crunchy, a little less bitter, more sweet, and simply lovely.  Just a hop-skip-and jump up from her stand was Mockingbird Farm who had ground pork for sale and I just knew that I had to give this recipe a try.   I grabbed some baby spinach from Enterprise Farm and now had the makings for this lovely sounding dish, locally sourced.  Since I was on a roll, and they looked fantastic, I grabbed some white turnips too (from Old Friends Farm)- I figured they’d be great for roasting.

Since I’ve eaten primarily grain-free since the beginning of this year, I adjusted the recipe to omit the flour and panko and obviously had a different end product than what was advertized in the magazine.  I really loved the dish the way that I made it and will definitely make it again this same way.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 large garlic clove, pressed

2 scallions, chopped

1 lb. ground pork

3/4 cup finely chopped kimchi (I ran it through the food processor rather than hand-chopping)

Sprinkle of Kosher salt

Vegetable oil, for frying

10 oz. baby spinach

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

sesame seeds (for garnish)

Directions

  • In a bowl combine the ginger, garlic, scallions, pork and kimchi with the salt

ginger, garlic, scallions, pork and kimchi with salt

  • Form the mixture into eight small patties, about half an  inch thick (to get these all a uniform size, I used a number 2 scoop)

Add the patties and fry over moderate heat...

  • In a large skillet (cast iron if you’ve got it), heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil. Add the patties and fry over moderate heat, turning once only, until you have a beautiful crisp on each side and there is no more pink visible from the outside(you want them to be cooked through)
  • Set aside to drain on paper towels and let the juices finish distributing
  • Pour off all of the vegetable oil from the skillet and add some toasted sesame oil and the baby spinach, season with salt and pepper and cook over a medium-high heat until wilted (about 1 minute)

baby spinach wilting in toasted sesame oil

  • In a small dish, mix the mayonnaise, sesame oil and soy sauce
  • Pile the spinach on plates and top with the sliders, drizzle with the sauce, sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy

Pork and Kimchi Sliders over wilted sesame spinach with roasted white turnips

I will admit to eating two left-over patties the next day, straight out of the fridge.  A different experience, but good still.  The sauce is a bit salty, so be sure not to over-do it.

J

Apple-onion pan sauce

Autumn has arrived in New England.  I personally lucked out in that I went away to Maine this past weekend and saw the leaves turn, then fall, and now I’m back home (a wee bit south) and get to see it all over again.  This particular season is so wonderful: clean and crisp, cool and colorful.  It welcomes a harvest of new crops from the farms, and with that tons of apples.  This recipe will only use up one of those little beauties, but it’s tasty.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon salted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, cut in half and sliced into moon slivers

1 apple, peeled and cut into slices

1 cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

salt & pepper

Directions:

  • Bring a cast iron skillet to temp over a medium heat and add the olive oil & butter
  • Toss in the onion, lower the heat and caramelize, slowly, for 30-40 minutes
onions set to caramelize

  • Add the apples to the onions in the pan and cook for another 10 minutes
apples & onions

  • Pour the chicken broth and apple cider vinegar into the pan and bring to a boil, then allow it to simmer for 10 minutes
apple-onion pan sauce

  • Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and serve
apple-onion pan sauce over egg noodles

We had this pan sauce over egg noodles, as a side to some pork chops that had been grilled with Montreal steak seasoning (salty & peppery).  It was a lovely combination.

grilled pork chops

As an aside, you could substitute the chicken broth for vegetable broth for a vegetarian sauce.  You could also use beer, but if you do that then leave out the ACV and expect that the sauce will be significantly sweeter.  Same goes of you decide to use cider or hard cider.

J

Ginger Pork Tenderloin with Asian Vegetables

This meal was inspired by a recipe posted on WHF for Asian Sauteed Cauliflower.  I say “inspired by” because, of course, it grew into something very different.  The stand-out element here is the dressing that you make for the vegetables.  It’s a little salty and a little sweet, and it’s made almost buttery, if you will, with the addition of cilantro at the end.  I used many of the same ingredients to dress the pork with.

Ingredients:

Pork:

1 pork tenderloin

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 Tablespoon rice vinegar

1 Tablespoon honey

1 Tablespoon tamari

salt & pepper

Vegetables:

1/2 of a medium head cauliflower, trimmed & florets cut into bite-sized pieces

1 decently-sized carrot, sliced into rounds

1 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced into half-rounds

½ of a large onion, cut into ½-inch pieces
5 Tablespoons chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 medium cloves garlic, diced small
2 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey
2 Tablespoon tamari
1 Tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  • Season the pork with salt & pepper
  • Heat a cast iron fry pan on the stove top at a medium-high heat, add the oil, then begin searing the pork tenderloin
  • While the pork sears, mix the ginger, vinegar, honey & tamari, then pour it over the seared pork
  • Pop the frying pan, with pork & dressing, into the oven for 23 minutes (adjust up or down depending on size)
  • While the pork finishes in the oven heat the chicken broth in a large skillet at a medium to medium-high heat and when it begins to steam add the cauliflower, carrot, zucchini, onion & ½ of the garlic, cover and allow to steam for 5 minutes
  • While the veggies steam, mix together the ginger, remaining garlic, vinegar, honey, tamari, olive oil, salt & pepper
  • After the veggies have cooked for 5 minutes, uncover them and add the dressing
  • Turn the heat off under the pan, and stir the veggies every couple of minutes to distribute the dressing
  • Serve the veggies topped with cilantro

This meal was very tasty 😉

J

Cumin dry-rub Ribs with Pineapple Salsa

Here’s a recipe that would be great for your 4th of July festivities.  A dry rub that you can make ahead and smother some ribs in and let them hang out in the fridge for a day or two before you slow cook them, then grill them off to perfection.  The rub has just a few simple, savory spices, and there’s also a glaze of sweet, sticky, spicy sauce.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup ancho chile powder

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon ground cumin

Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

1 rack baby back ribs

1 jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, smashed

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/2 cup honey

1 pound fresh pineapple rings, sliced about 1/2 inch thick

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 cup finely diced red onion

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Directions:

  • In a small bowl, combine the chili powder with 1/4 cup of cumin, 2 tablespoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • Set the ribs in a cooking dish, rub all over with spice mixture, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate

ribs coated thickly in the dry rub

  • When you’re ready to cook them: preheat the oven to 350°
  • Add a small bit of water to the bottom of the cooking dish and bake the ribs for 45 minutes, until just tender
  • Cover with foil and bake another 30 minutes
  • Meanwhile, puree 1/2 of the jalapeño with the garlic and 1/2 cup of lime juice, add in the honey and the remaining 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • Pour the glaze mixture into a saucepan and simmer over low heat until thickened, about 15 minutes
  • When the ribs have cooked to tender, raise the oven temperature to 450° or light your grill
  • Brush the ribs with half of the glaze and bake or grill for about 20 minutes
  • Brush with the remaining glaze for a sticky finish
  • Grill the pineapple rings over high heat, turning once, about 5 minutes (or pan fry them in a cast iron skillet over a high heat for 2-3 minutes) and set aside to cool

pineapple rings ready for the grill

  • Dice the pineapple and transfer to a bowl and add the brown sugar, onion, cilantro, and remaining 1/2 jalapeño and 2 tablespoons of lime juice. Season with salt and pepper

Pineapple Salsa

We served this with a black & pinto bean salad.

cumin rubbed ribs with sweet & spicy glaze, pineapple salsa, and black & pinto bean salad

This recipe was inspired by Food and Wine.

J

Swiss Chard with Black-Eyed Peas

Had I the fore-thought I would have bought dried peas and soaked them overnight, then cooked them off before beginning this dish.  Because I didn’t, I used canned peas, but fresh-cooked are always the better option.  This is a great dish which can be eaten as a vegetarian main course (as the beans offer about 12 grams of protein), or as a flavorful side to something meaty.

Ingredients:

1 cup black-eyed peas , drained & rinsed
3/4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
1 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems and leaves sliced separately, divided
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Directions:

  • Heat 1/2 cup broth to a simmer in a large skillet over medium-high heat
  • Add onion, garlic and chard stems and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes

  • Add the chard leaves, black-eyed peas, crushed red pepper, and remaining 1/4 cup broth and cook over medium heat, covered, for about 3 minutes

We served this with some pork tenderloin that was seared in balsamic vinegar and fresh rosemary.

The combination was quite lovely.

Inspired by this recipe on Whole Foods’ site.

J