Category Archives: Pork

Never Have I Ever Made ~ #2 … Spam® Katsu

I saw this idea on Pinterest and it really struck a cord for me. Being from Hawaii, we do love our Spam® and I thought that we’d try it a different way.

 

Auntie Doni’s Spam® Katsu

serves 3-4

1 can Spam®, cut into 6 slices
1 Egg, beaten well
1/2 C. Flour (I used Rice Flour, just `cuz)
1/2 – 1 C. Panko Crumbs
Approx. 2 C. Vegetable Oil

Set up a “breading station” as you would for any other recipe:
2 plates, one for the Flour and 1 for the Panko (I use paper plates here);
a shallow bowl for the beaten Egg.
Bread as usual, Flour-Egg-Crumbs, I like to really press the Panko into the Spam® for a super crunch. Set a-side on a rimmed baking sheet with a rack inserted into it to firm up the crust.
Heat a large Fry Pan over medium-high heat (about 350°) with the Oil in it.
Set a-side another rimmed baking sheet with a rack inserted to drain the cooked Spam® Katsu.
Shallow fry each Spam® cutlet until GBD (golden brown and delicious ); place the finished product on that clean rack.

I served our Spam® Katsu along side some Fried Saimin and  since I had that pan of hot Oil, some Chicken Katsu as well.

If you want to, a final flourish of chopped Green Onions makes for a pretty presentation.

Some folks like to put a Katsu Sauce over their cutlets, we like ours naked
But if you like, try this …

Easy Katsu Sauce

makes about 1/2 Cup

1/4 C. Ketchup
1/4 C. Worcestershire Sauce
2 tsp. Soy Sauce
1 tsp. Sugar

Combine well and refrigerate in a covered container, like a Mason Jar. There’s so many ways to make this Sauce, you choose.

Remember, a recipe is simply someone else’s idea, take it and make it your own.

Cook for your Family!

 

… and if you could, hit that like button, leave a comment below maybe just to say ALOHA; subscribe to my blog if you like what you’re reading and get an email when a new post has been uploaded.

MAHALO!

Hawaii-Style Portuguese Bean Soup, My Way

I’m posting this recipe mostly for myself. I don’t make this Soup very often and can never remember how I did it! 

 

But now that I can find Linguica here In The Middle Of The Desert, I’ll be making this much more often … we really like this Soup.

Hawaii-Style Portuguese Bean Soup, My Way

6 servings

8oz. Portuguese Sausage, diced (I can find Silva Brand; use approx. 1 1/3 Sausage)
Approx. 1 C. cooked Ham Hock Meat
1 qt. Ham Stock + 2 C. Water (use the diced Tomato can)
1 Garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 C. Onion, diced
1 1/2 C. Carrots, 1/2″ diced
1 1/2 C. Celery, 1/2″ diced
1 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
1 15 oz. can diced Tomatoes
1 large Russet Potato, 1/2″ diced
1 15 oz. can Kidney Beans, liquid drained, but not rinsed (I used the Light Red Kidney Beans)
2 C. Cabbage, 1″ chopped – optional (I used Napa Cabbage, `cuz that’s what I had, it takes less time to cook and I think it’s sweeter too)
S&P to taste
1 C. Cooked Elbow Macaroni, set aside

*Note: it’s best to boil the heck out of 2 Smoked Ham Hocks, as you would make any Stock. Reserve the meat separately from the liquid.  You should get 2 quarts of Stock and enough Meat for 2 batches of this recipe.

1) Lightly fry the Sausage in a large Dutch Oven, reserve the rendered oil
2) Add to the pot the Garlic, Onions, Carrots and Celery, the Tomato Paste last and sauté everything for just a few minutes
3) Add the Ham Hock meat, diced Tomato, Stock and Water, bring to a boil, reduce to heat and simmer for 30 minutes, covered
4) Add the Potato and cook for about 10 minutes, until almost done
5) Add the can of Beans and cook for another 10 minutes. You might have to add more water if too much has evaporated
6) If using Cabbage, add after the Beans have cooked for 5 minutes, continue simmering for the remainder of the 5 minutes for the Beans.
7) Adjust the consistency as desired with a Wondra Flour Slurry (we prefer a thicker Soup)

Soup will always taste better the next day.

To serve, re-heat the Soup and add the Elbow Macaroni, or just add as much as you like to your Bowl and pour over the hot Soup.
Like the good local gal that I am, I always serve my Portuguese Bean Soup with Diamond Bakery Soda Crackers that I bring back from Hawaii in my suitcase.

Cook For Your Family !!

Auntie Doni’s Cold Somen Salad

*** Here’s another re-post of a recipe that I recently re-visited and realized that it needed to be updated.  So anything that you see in red, is the addition.

The original date that this came out was June 21, 2019 ***

 

In Hawaii, there are many cultures that have influenced the cuisine there.  Japanese-style dishes are just one of them that I really enjoy. Since it’s already starting to heat up here in My Kitchen In The Middle Of The Desert, this recipe came to mind recently and I thought I’d share this lovely cold salad to add to your Summer menu.

 

Auntie Doni’s Cold Somen Salad

Serves 3 

Salad Ingredients:

½ of a package of Somen Noodles

1 C. Lettuce, shredded

½ C. each, Carrots, Char Siu or Chinese BBQ Pork, Kamaboko or Steamed Fish Cake, julienne

1 C. Hot House Cucumbers, julienne

1 Egg

1 pinch each, Dashi Powder and granulated Sugar

2 stalks of Green Onion, sliced finely

1 tsp. Sesame Seeds

 

Prepare the Noodles, following the directions on the package; rinse under cold running water, drain well and set aside in the `fridge.

Beat the Egg along with the Dashi Powder and Sugar.  Cook up as a flat omelet, cool and julienne finely; set aside in the refrigerator.

[I always use Aloha Brand Shoyu in all of my recipes]

Dressing Ingredients:

⅓ C. Chicken Broth

1 Tbsp. each, Rice Vinegar, Soy Sauce, granulated Sugar, Sesame Oil

Heat the Broth in the microwave for 30 seconds or less, just enough to dissolve the sugar.

Combine as of the Dressing ingredients in a tightly sealing jar; set aside, you got it, in the cold box.

Now that you have everything together, or what’s called your Mise en Place, it’s time to assemble our salads.  Be sure that all of the ingredients are well chilled.

I like to make individual salads, but you can combine all of the above as one big Family-style salad and let everyone serve themselves.  Dress your salads just before serving though.

Now this is just how I do it, you put yours together how you feel is best.  I like to start with the shredded Lettuce in a bowl, with the Noodles next; then artfully arrange all of the “goodies”.  

You could stop at this point, cover, stash them in the `fridge and serve later.  This is a great make-ahead dish for dinner or even a potluck.

This our most recent bowl of Cold Somen Salad

When your ready to eat this gorgeous looking creation, spoon the Dressing over the top and combine everything well.  I find that using my hands works best, but it’s up to you.

This is quite a refreshing salad and it’s also surprisingly filling.

The toppings of the salad can be whatever your family craves.  What about Shrimp or Crab; some folks use cooked Spam®, Deli Ham, Cilantro, Mung Bean Sprouts, or even go Vegetarian and use Tofu — you decide.

Our family likes loads of goodies, no matter the kind.

ENJOY!

Homemade Char Siu, Round Two

I’ve already shared with you all about my first go at making my own Char Siu and that I knew that I could do better; so now we come to Round Two.

We went to “The Big City” in search of some of my beloved local-style ingredients and I came across this

   

Hmmm!

This should work just fine.

I found a package of Country-Style Boneless Pork Ribs aka Pork Shoulder in my deep freeze and just knew that a fattier, smaller sized cut of Pork would make for wonderful Char Siu or Chinese Bar-B-Que Pork.

I cut the ribs a bit thinner so that we’d have more surface area for that yumminess to absorb.  I left them in the `fridge for 48 hours, turning and massaging the meat in the marinade in every so often.

I drained the now spent Noh Foods of Hawaii Char Siu Sauce & Marinade off of the meat, preheated the oven to 350° and arranged them on a foil lined sheet pan with a rack inserted.

After roasting for about 30-40 minutes; I checked the internal temperature for about 145° … we don’t want well done Char Siu.  Once cooled, I started slicing and taste-testing, of course.

Oh my gravy all over my two scoop rice (that’s OMG! in my world) THAT ^^^^ is a~maz~ing!

DH and I must have snarfed down a good half pound of the pound and a half of meat  that I cooked.

I had been looking for the powdered mix again,

… but ya know, I think this bottled sauce was far  superior.

Next time, I’m going to reserve some of the sauce for dipping AND  believe me, there will be a next time!!

 

Homemade Char Siu or Chinese BBQ Pork

Since we’ve moved to Northern Arizona, I no longer have an Asian Market within an hour’s drive of our home.  This means that when I run out of one of my beloved local-style foods or ingredient, too bad!  For the most part, I’ve been able to stockpile most of what I need to create the dishes from back home, but one item that is quickly consumed in our house is Char Siu or what folks here on the mainland call Chinese Barbecued Pork.  Other names you may see are chasu, chashao, cha sio and char siew, barbecued meat, xa xiu.  Whichever name you like, its dang delicious!!!

For the most part, I use Char Siu in Noodles Bowls

This Noodle Bowl was mine

And my Fried Saimin or Fried Noodles

So, as I’ve done in a number of cases of need, I figure out how to make it myself.  I watched a bunch of videos and read articles on how to make Char Siu from scratch,  but let’s be real here, I wasn’t about to find Red Fermented Bean Curd (aka Tofu) nor Chinese Rice Wine here in NoAZ.  I did have in my pantry, for a really long time I gotta say, a packet of Noh’s Char Siu Seasoning Mix!!!

I had a very large Pork Butt or Shoulder if you will, almost NINE POUNDS in size, for the intent of making Kalua Pig, but I mean come man, that’s an awful lot.  The smart girl that I am, I lopped off a 2 pound piece and put it aside for my first attempt at making my own Char Siu.

Let’s try!

I opted for the wet marinade as opposed to the dry rub of Noh’s Seasoning.  I took my sharpest knife and made several punctures into the Pork, going all the way through.  I parked my soon to be Char Siu in a large Zip Top bag and left it in the refrigerator for a little more than 24 hours.  At this point I patted the meat dry and arranged it in my adjustable roasting rack.  Into a moderate oven (350⁰) it went until the internal temperature reached 145⁰.

I let the roast cool completely before I sliced into it, YUM!

The taste was there, but I think I can do better next time around, I think I need to slice the Pork thinner, so that the marinade can do its work better.

Pork Guisantes or Pork And Peas

For me, a little home sick Island girl, this is comfort food.  It’s a Filipino dish, very popular in Hawaii, and I love it, well I did modify it just a touch.

I had way  too much Pork Loin Chops from Costco, you know, that huge tray of gorgeous Pork.  For the two of us, somehow just straight up the Chops were tasteless, so I thought-heh, why not make this!

 

Pork Guisantes or Pork And Peas

(serves two)

2 Costco Pork Loin Chops, sliced very thinly (it’s easier if partially frozen)

½ C. Sweet Red Bell Pepper, sliced into small chunks

½ C. Sweet White Onion, chopped

1-2 Garlic Cloves, minced

½ C. Tomato Sauce

1 C. Water

½ Tbsp. Soy Sauce

½ Tbsp. Fish Sauce (I left this out, didn’t have any)

1 Bay Leaf

½ C. frozen Sweet Peas

Salt & Pepper to taste

Just enough Vegetable Oil to coat the bottom of a large Sauté pan

 

Heat a large pan with the veggie oil over med-high heat.

Sauté the Peppers just until they’re crisp-tender, about 1-2 minutes, set aside on a dish.

Add the Onions and Garlic and sweat until they are translucent; add in the Pork and cook `til just browned, don’t overcook it, Pork can get tough.

Pour in the wet stuff: Tomato Sauce, Water, Soy Sauce and Fish Sauce -if using- along with that Bay Leaf, give it all a good stir and bring to a gentle boil; reduce the heat to a simmer–cover and cook for about 20 minutes.  The meat should be fork tender and the sauce reduced.

Add back in the Peppers and now the Peas, cook for 1-2 minutes, until the Peas are heated; season with S&P to taste (*Hint: if using Fish Sauce, watch it with the Salt).

Serve over hot steamed White Rice (or Brown Rice if you wish)

 

Enjoy!

And as always, remember that a recipe is simply someone else’s idea, you take it and make it your own.

(I just thought of another version of this dish – Shrimp And Peas 🙂 )

Pork and Vegetable Stir Fry, Comfort Food

The weather here in the middle of the desert is changing.  Our overnight lows have crept down to the 30’s if you can believe that.  Since moving here to the mainland from Hawaii and experiencing what real cold is like, I want comfort food, my kind of comfort food.

 

Auntie’s Pork & Veggie Stir Fry

½ lb. Pork, thinly sliced

1 C. Snow Pea, trimmed & cut into bit sized pieces

½ C. Sweet Red (or any other color you like) Bell Pepper, cut into bite sized pieces

¼ C. Sweet White Onion, thinly sliced

2 stalks Green Onion, thinly sliced, separating the white and green parts

4-5 dried Shitake Mushrooms, following package directions to re-constitute and then sliced thin

1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil (anything but Olive Oil really)

1 tsp. Corn Starch

1 tsp. Shoyu (Soy Sauce)

1 tsp. minced Garlic

1 tsp. grated Ginger

¼ tsp. Salt

1/8 tsp. White Pepper

Stir Fry Sauce:

½ C. Stock or Broth, either Chicken or Pork or Vegetable its up to you

1 Tbsp. Sake

1 Tbsp. Shoyu (Soy Sauce)

1 Tbsp. Oyster Sauce

1 Tbsp. Sesame Oil

Cornstarch Slurry, to your liking (I like a thinner sauce, so I only use about 1 tsp and see how I like it)

 

I start by getting everything prepped, Stir Fry moves fast.

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I use a measuring cup to mix up the sauce; add the Stock/Broth first, next the other wet stuff and stir well.  In a small bowl, start with 1 tsp. of the Cornstarch and add just enough water to make a slurry, set aside.

Combine the Pork with that other teaspoon of Cornstarch and Shoyu.

Heat a large pan over medium-high with the oil.  Once you see wisps of smoke, it’s hot, let’s go!

Add the Pork mixture to that hot pan and stir it around until there’s no more pink to the meat.  Add in the White Onions and stir some more until they’re translucent.  Next goes in the Red Peppers, Snow Peas, Mushrooms and the white part of the Green Onions; stir.  Now toss in the Garlic and Ginger and cook until they’re fragrant.  Pour in that sauce that you combined earlier in the measuring cup, along with the S&P and stir to combine everything.  Cover and reduce the heat to med-low to let the Snow Peas steam for, oh, maybe 2 minutes, we like crisp-tender veggies.

Lastly, give that Cornstarch slurry a stir and add that to the pot, you got it, stirring again!

How’s it look?

Too thin?

Add more slurry to your liking.

Too thick, add some Stock/Broth or even water.

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Sprinkle those thinly sliced Green Onion tops over it and serve warm over noodles or rice or even by itself … we went for Chow Mein noodles.  Now that’s comfort food for us!  And how gorgeous does that look?

As always, remember, a recipe is simply someone’s idea, you take it and make it yours.  Add or delete what your household likes.  Try this with diced Chicken or any other vegetables you like; heh, why not go totally Veggie?

ENJOY!

Pork Chops and Apple Sauce, In My Best Peter Brady

When we first moved here to the middle of the desert, we took a class excursion out to an orchard, that’s right, they farm profusely here in Arizona. I am not a fan of tomatoes, but so my mother tells me, they grow some pretty tasty ones in Willcox. On this field trip we went for Apples, yum.

Apple Annie’s Orchard is a blast, they have all types of activities and they sell anything and everything apple that you could think of. My mother was crazy for this place, she must have spent a fortune.

Apple Annie Apple Butter Syrup

One thing that she bought for me to try was apple butter syrup, never heard of that. We had it on waffles and, meh. So here I have this practically full bottle of syrup, what to do? I have a couple of chef-y friends, so I posed the question to them. Here’s what I dreamed up …

If you’re old enough or you watch late night TV, you remember The Brady Bunch and Peter Brady saying, Pork Chops and Apple Sauce. As I was making this dish, he would not get out of my head, ARGH! I’m not sure if that’s a bad thing though.

Pork Chops and Apple Sauce

Pork Chops & Apple Butter Syrup Sauce

1 Apple, cored and sliced thick (we had golden delicious)

2-4 Pork Chops (I like to find the ole’tyme cuts with good marbling)

1/4 C. Apple Butter Syrup

1/8 tsp. ground Chipotle Pepper

1/4 tsp. fresh Lemon Juice (just a little bit goes a long way)

Season the Pork chops with S&P

Grill the chops to medium rare and the apple slices to a crisp-tender

Pork Chops and Apple Sauce

Tent the chops on a plate with tin foil; let the meat rest for at least 10 minutes, this makes for juicer meat

In the mean time chop the apples into cubes

In a small saucepan heat the syrup; add the chipotle pepper and stir until fragrant

Apple Sauce

Add the apples and syrup mixture to a bowl and combine

Slice the pork and spoon your apple sauce over

Pork Chops and Apple Sauce

Serve with rice pilaf and a veggie of your choice (I steamed some green beans)

Pork Chops and Apple Sauce, dang you Peter Brady!