Spicy pork strips and risotto

At this time of year, a warming bowl of risotto comes pretty high up in my favourite meals. To make it a fairly quick meal,  I coat pork strips in flour and fajita spice.
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Ingredients

2 pork chops, sliced into strips
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tsp fajita spice
1 onion
25 g butter
1 tbsp oil
400g arborio rice
1 glass of white wine
1 litre of vegetable stock
Handful of sliced mushrooms
Another knob of butter
Grated parmesan

First of all melt the butter and add the oil in a large pan. Dice the onion and add to the pan on a low heat. Stir and cover, allowing them to sweat and soften for about 10 minutes. Whilst the onion is cooking, put the pork strips in a zip lock bag (or a bowl with cling film on the top), add the flour and spice and shake well until coated. Stir fry until browned. Transfer to an oven proof dish and place in a low oven to keep warm. The trick is to slice about finger width so they have cooked by the time the outside is brown.
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Make sure the stock is in a pan on a low heat to keep warm. You need to add hot liquid to the risotto to make sure the temperature remains fairly even so it keeps cooking.

Back to the onion, turn the heat up slightly and add the rice. Stir until all the rice is coated in the oil and starts to turn from white to opaque. Add the wine and continue stirring until all the liquid is absorbed. Add two ladlefuls of stock and keep stirring. Every time the liquid is nearly absorbed add another ladleful of stock. You need to stir often but not constantly. Keeping one eye on the risotto, cook off the sliced mushrooms in butter or oil until fairly well done. If you want you can add pancetta or artichoke hearts to the mushrooms for extra flavour. Don’t forget to keep stirring the risotto.
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Once you’ve used up the stock (about 15-20 minutes) your rice should be cooked. Add the knob of butter, parmesan and mushrooms and make sure it’s mixed well. Turn out the heat, put a lid on the pan and leave for one minute. You shouldn’t really need extra salt with the stock and parmesan but taste and season if necessary. Dish up with the pork.
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Pork Paprikash

Sunday was spent being lazy and that included surfing the internet and Pinterest for food ideas. That’s where I came across this Martha Stewart recipe. As a Brit, Delia is more likely to pop up when I’m searching for food ideas so I thought this may make a nice change. If you don’t have sweet paprika, you can substitute with other sorts of paprika but it will vary the taste a little.

Ingredients

Pork tenderloin, sliced or cubed
2 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp groundnut oil
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, sliced
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
100ml (ish) crème fraiche

First of all, place the pork in a bowl with a tablespoon of the paprika and mix to coat the pork. I used the wok to fry the pork  as it does keep the meat a lot more moist than a skillet or frying pan in my experience. Heat the oil and brown the pork on all sides. Remove from pan and keep warm.
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Melt the butter and fry the onions until softened, then toss in the rest of the paprika, stir well and add the tomatoes. At this point I also added the pork, in hindsight I would actually add this much closer to the end as it was thinly sliced so did not need any more cooking, if you use larger or cubed pork add it back to the dish now. Allow the sauce to simmer for 5 or so minutes until it has thickened, stir in the crème fraiche and return the pork to the pan with the sauce, ensure it is all heated through and then serve over pasta or noodles. In this case the Shopping Fairy forgot to buy any pasta so we had to use macaroni as it was all we had, this dish would work much better with spaghetti or similar.
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I was a little disappointed with the flavour, it was nice enough but not wow-worthy so I don’t think I’ll be rushing to try any more Martha recipes just yet.  Next time  I cook this I’ll also be making sure I have sweet paprika in store and I’ll add some garlic and a handful of sliced mushrooms. Any other suggestions welcome in the comments below!
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Pork chops and stir fried rice

This is fast food, which is useful when we were home later than planned. It helps that I was using leftover rice from the day before (if you have leftover rice make sure you cool and refrigerate it as soon as possible).

Ingredients

Leftover rice
1 slice bacon, finely sliced
1 red pepper
Handful chopped mushrooms
Handful frozen peas
Splash dark soy sauce
2 eggs (optional)
2 pork chops

First of all, heat oil in the wok and fry the bacon until starting to crisp up, then add the pepper, once softened stir in the mushrooms.
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I used my ceramic grill for the pork (I also overcooked it unfortunately!) which should have taken 5-6 minutes but I left it in longer than I should.

Once the mushrooms are also cooked, stir in peas and allow to heat through for a few minutes before adding the rice. Once warm stir in soy sauce then the eggs (beaten) if wanted. I prefer the Nasi Goreng way of adding egg, which is essentially making and slicing up an omelette to add to the rice.
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Normally I would have flavoured the pork, either with fajita spice mixed with flour or with breadcrumbs but we simply didn’t want to take any more time than necessary!
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Posh pork and rice

I’ve posted a posh chicken and rice recipe before. This time it is pork smothered in pate, wrapped in streaky bacon with a red wine and mushroom risotto. Or posh pork and rice.

I first found a red wine risotto on the agirlcalledjack blog and tried it a few times. I’ve amended, added and played with it a bit plus I’ve found it goes well with the pork used here.

Ingredients

Pork tenderloin
Tub of pate
Streaky bacon or pancetta
Butter
Onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves
Sliced mushrooms, roughly 150g
Thyme, leaves only
Arborio rice
Half a glass (ish) red wine
1l Vegetable stock

Pre-heat oven to Gas Mark 5.

Lay out your pancetta or streaky bacon side to side on top of cling film until it is roughly the same length as the tenderloin, in this case the bacon was far too thick so I put it another layer of cling film on top and rolled it out slightly thinner. I would normally use pancetta but the Other Half failed to buy any so streaky bacon it was!
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To get an even covering of the pate (I used a tub of supermarket pate but if you can afford a better quality coarse Ardennes or similar that would work really well) dollop it over the bacon and again cover with cling film and attack it with a rolling pin!
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Remove top layer of cling film and place pork tenderloin along the bacon and pate, use the bottom layer of cling film to help you get this nice and tightly rolled. In an ideal world I would now fry this until browned but time was short so I hurled this straight in the oven for roughly 40 minutes, plenty of time to make a risotto.
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Here I used my mandoline to finely slice the onion and gently fried that off in a knob of butter. After 5 or so minutes add the garlic, stir well and continue to fry for a few more minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and thyme leaves and cook until the mushroom have softened.

Make sure you have stock made up and keeping warm in another saucepan on a gentle heat.

I never measure out the rice any more, well I don’t measure most things to be fair, so work out (by eye) what looks like enough to serve three of us, I would guess its about 250g. Add the rice to the dish and stir well until the rice is coated in any oil and starting to turn translucent.

Turn up to a medium heat and pour in the wine. Stir until it has all absorbed into the rice, then add stock, one ladle at a time, until the stock is all used. Make sure that the stock is well absorbed before adding the next ladle, usually you are looking for the risotto to take a breathe before it flows into the gap your spatula has left.
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Once you’ve used all the stock, the rice should be cooked. You are looking for it still to have a little bite, I usually make the Other Half try it to make sure he is happy! I normally turn out the heat, add another knob of butter, stir well, cover and leave it to relax for a minute before serving.

Slice the pork tenderloin and serve with rice. Try to cut all the way through the outer layer of bacon before serving so that the pork and bacon doesn’t fall apart when you are trying to photograph it!! Posh pork and rice is served.
Posh Pork and Rice

Somerset Pork

This Somerset Pork is based on a Hairy Bikers recipe called Somerset Chicken. Here I’ve swapped the chicken for pork, amended some quantities and left out the cheese. This is not a healthy recipe as it’s full of butter and cream, but it is tasty and you could try a few other tricks to reduce the calories. Its been a while since we last had this so I didn’t mess about with the recipe too much.

Ingredients:
Pork Steaks
Butter
1 onion, finely sliced
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 apple, cut into batons
Handful of sliced mushrooms
500ml cider (this is approximate, use either a can or bottle and leave a swig for yourself!)
Vegetable or pork stock cube
200 ml double cream
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Season and pan fry the pork steaks in a decent size knob of butter until browned on both sides, then put to one side in a warm place while you do the sauce. If you like extra washing up you could do the sauce in one pan and the steaks in another, but I like the idea of less washing up and getting some of the flavour from pan frying the pork into the sauce.

For the Somerset Pork sauce, hopefully you have some butter left in the pan from the steaks, if not add a little more before pan frying the onion on a gentle heat, you want it softened not caramelised, for about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue to fry until they have taken on a little colour. Now stir in the flour and mustard and allow to cook for a couple of minutes. Throw in the apple batons and cook for another minute before adding the cider and stock cude. Bring to the boil and then let the sauce reduce over the next 5 minutes, turn down the heat, stir in the cream and allow it to simmer for a couple of minutes.
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Now put your pork steaks in an ovenproof dish and pour over the sauce. Put in the oven on Gas Mark 6 for 10-15 minutes.
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I served the Somerset Pork with roasted new potatoes, peas and green beans. Overall I think I preferred this with chicken but it was still tasty, I could have done with a baguette to soak up all the sauce.
Somerset Pork with potatoes and greens