Tag Archives: Pork

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!!

 

Do Ya Ever Get Bored?

I mean with the same old stuff for dinner? We are still watching how we eat and it can get so very monotonous. Pork loin roast, really… I’m running out of interesting ideas to jazz it up. That’s the only way that I can think of anyways, that you can stick to a healthful diet.

Dinner Jazzed Up

Okay, so I made the roast, steamed some broccoli and sautéed some kale (you need to eat loads of dark-leavy greens), now what?

DING DING DING

It's not just for a sandwich

It’s not just for a sandwich

Hot Cherry Peppers. I gave them a rough chop and sprinkled them over the meat and you know what?

It was delicious!  Just the right zip that everything on our plate sang in harmony.

The Other White Meat

If you have been following along with us on our journey of dieting, oops I mean changing how we look at food, you may have noticed that we can have some forms of pork. We love the piggy! You may also remember that I have a chef-y friend who gives me guidance from time to time (hey Joey!). On her most recent visit to our home, she was kind enough to bring me some of her magic dust, aka Espresso Spice Rub, MMM!

boneless country spare ribs with Espresso Spice Rub from Joey

I found some gorgeous boneless country spare ribs that normally, I would cook up in the Sunday Gravy pot along with some meatballs and hot Italian sausages…but a bell went off in my head…

Why not try the rub that Joey gave me and throw these babies on the gas grill along with some smoke?

I patted them dry, rubbed `em with some vegetable oil and then a liberal amount of the Espresso Spice Rub.  I had already gotten the gas grill smokin’ with a tin can (don’t forget to punch some holes in it) full of soaked apple wood chips over the primary burner and the other turned off.  Placed the meat on the cool side of the grates, turned the flame down to low, closed the lid and let them do their thing for about 10 minutes.  The internal temp got to about 135⁰- 140⁰; it was on to a platter and I covered them in tin foil to rest whilst I grilled some veg as a side dish.

PORK!  It's what's for dinner

PERFECT!

 

I Didn’t Quite Get This One Right

When I take my mother to lunch at her favorite Taquería, she orders the pork chili verde, ever time! I figured I needed to make some for her at home.

I emailed to my chef-friend Joey for guidance; she recommended that I follow any Rick Bayless recipe. I did several internet searches and the easiest recipe I found was from Rick Bayless.  Thanks Joey!

ingredients for chili verde

I actually morphed a few different recipes into my own using a jarred salsa verde made with tomatillo. If I made my own from scratch, it would have cost me a whole lot more and I just wanted to experiment with this idea first.

The rest of the cast of characters were a small onion, oregano, coriander, ground clove, lots of minced garlic and S&P to season the Pork Butt, about a pound and finally homemade vegetable broth.

I browned the pork chunks, set those aside and then sautéed the onion. Next, in went the spices and the meat was returned to the pot with the salsa and broth.

pork chili verde

The pot was left to simmer most of the day, until the pork was fork tender.

Meh, it was pretty salty, but I think that was because of the jarred sauce.

After conferring again with Joey, she concluded that I try it next time with canned salsa verde rather than the jarred stuff.  Now we know, we’ll try it again mom.

Oven Roasted Pork Packages

A few days ago we talked about Kalua-style oven roasted pork. I made up 7 pounds of pork butt or shoulder; the house smelled just glorious! I figure, ya’ know, if you’re going to heat up that hot box in the Summer ya’ might as well make it worth the effort.

The brand of prepared Kalua Pig that I WAS  buying (our Asian Market USE TO  bring it in from Hawaii) is sold in a 12 ounce plastic tub, about the same as a quart sized deli-container. Seeing as I am frugal shall we say, I have a large selection of variously sized disposable bowls. I weighed out each portion to the 12 ounces that we are accustom to and froze the bundles of goodness overnight in the deep freeze that’s out in the garage. In the morning, I pulled down my vacuum-sealer and went to work.

Kalua Pig Packages

I wound up getting 6 equal portions for later consumption, minus of course the mandatory tasting of the finished product by the grand poobah (aka DH) and well to be truthful, I had a few bits too. The cook needs to make sure that the food that comes out of their kitchen is edible, right? Or as my mother use to say, “I want to make sure I’m going to poison anyone”.

ALOHA!

 

It’s A Luau!

The Mother of all invention is need!

Having moved away from Hawaii to the Desert South West, Hawaiian Food is not plentiful.  When we first started coming here many years ago, there wasn’t much of anything, period.  Then we moved here permanently.  We found a couple of restaurants that served, kinda-sorta’ Hawaii style food, but, MEH…  Next, we found a market that carried some of the ingredients to make the dishes from back home.

A little less than two years ago, an Asian Super Market from the Phoenix area opened in Tucson.  That may not sound fantastic, but they carry many items that I had been looking for.  I keep a list of different staples that we get each time that I make the trek in to Tucson.

Not long ago, my dear husband and I happened to be in the neighborhood and decided to stop in to get a few of our staple Hawaii grocery items. But, alas, they had very few.  So, I set out on my culinary quest to make on my own.

The featured dish at any style Luau is the Kalua (kă-loo-ă) Pig.

In Kaneohe, where I’m from, our neighbor two doors down had an Imu (e-moo) or underground pit oven, permanently dug into their back yard, no really! Drove us all wild! The smells coming from their house about four to five times a year were phenomenal. The family was nice enough to let a few of us Kalua our Thanksgiving and Christmas Turkeys and Hams. Oh my gosh, my drooling right now.

I should probably describe Kalua Pig or what some folks here on the “mainland” call Kalua Pork.  Think of an uber moist, tender, juicy, smoky pulled Pork. YUM!  I had tried the oven-method once before when we still lived in Kaneohe and could easily find all of the ingredients. Here in the Desert South West, it’s been a struggle. So maybe, I should give you a basic recipe at this point so you have a point of reference.

Pork Butt

Sea Salt

Liquid Smoke

Ti Leaves (the all green ones only), enough to wrap the meat up like a burrito *

For each pound of Pork use: ½ Tablespoon of salt; ¾ Tablespoon Liquid smoke

Pre-heat the oven to 500⁰

Rub the Liquid Smoke all over the meat and then sprinkle evenly with the Salt.

Wrap the meat in your leaves and then in heavy duty foil

Place in a baking pan/dish; into the oven for 30 minutes, reduce the heat to 325⁰

Bake for an additional 3 ½ hours

Allow to cool, unwrap and discard the foil and leaves (save any juices)

Shred the meat how you like, either by hand or using two forks

*You can substitute with Banana, Taro, or Spinach leaves, but it’ll taste a bit different

I found Banana leaves here in the Desert.

 

Dinner At A Friend’s Home

DH and I were invited to some friend’s home for dinner on Friday evening. They had just recently moved into a new home and Mister Friend got his smoker all set up and ready to go.

It’s a wood pellet grill/smoker, interesting. At our house, we just have a very simple and inexpensive propane grill in the back yard, along with a couple of tiki torches for accent.

On the menu was pork loin, yum!

Dinner At A Friend’s Home

I contributed a salad.

For dessert, Missus Friend served fresh mixed berries and whipped cream. We had a very pleasant time, chatting, eating, having a glass of wine… nice.

 

Dining Out In Williams Arizona

Sometimes when you’re on vacation with others, there needs to be compromises made when it comes to choosing a dining locale, that’s just a fact of life. On our trip to the Grand Canyon, our niece and I studied Tripadvisor.com for suggestions. We also walked around town, checked out the menus in the windows and chatted up some of the locals.

Red Raven in Williams Arizona

DH and I had been to Williams on a previous excursion with my husband’s brother and his wife, some years back. The four of us had enjoyed Red Raven on Historic Route 66. Dear Niece and I thought that there were enough different dishes to satisfy our gang.

We had originally been seated at a smallish table, but then were “upgraded” to a much larger and comfortable spot. Our drink orders were taken and two baskets of bread and garlic herb butter brought out. I had to stop myself from eating the entire basket.

Chicken Frittes at the Red Raven in Williams Arizona

DH requested an appetizer for the table, Chicken Frittes with marinara, which were chicken tenders in a nice Panko and Parm crust and lovely sauce for dipping. They were gone in no time, what with two young guys and their Uncle to help them. I did manage to get a snapshot and a taste. We have a few food allergies, so our five-top consisted of:

Penne with Prawns at the Red Raven in Wiiliams Arizona

Buttered Penne pasta with prawns

New York Srtip Steak at Red Raven in Williams Arizona

New York strip steak with roasted red potatoes and tempura style broccolini

Pork Cilantro at Red Raven in Williams Arizona

Pork Cilantro (fantastic cilantro pesto over char-broiled pork loin medallions) with southwest mashed potatoes, which we are still trying to figure out, and yes we did ask but nobody was talkin’

Ginger Beef Salad at Red Raven in Williams Arizona

Ginger Beef salad

Grilled Chicken Breast Salad at Red Raven in Williams Arizona

Grilled chicken breast salad

Everyone indulged me a photo (I did ask the back of house if it was okay with them) and they wasted no time in cleaning their plates. Our older nephew wasn’t crazy about the broccolini, so he handed that off to his brother and me, yum. I never thought to try that before, but I will now.

It was a nice supper, in a nice place, with very nice company

 

Anniversary Dinner OUT, I Didn’t Have To Cook

I’ve been so busy lately, I forgot to come back around and tell you about our anniversary dinner out with my mother.

We went into town to one of the Scordato restaurants, Vivace. WONDERFUL! DH and I have been here a couple of times before for late lunch while out running errands.

stuffed mushrooms at vivace

The last time we had lunch at Vivace, I ordered the stuffed mushrooms that comes with a green salad, light lunch, right?

penne with sausage at vivace

My husband’s favorite dish, which he orders every time we go is the Penne with Sausage. I thought at first that he wasn’t going to care for it because it has fontina cheese, but he’s ordered it four times now.

Stuffed Pork Chop at Vivace

On this occasion, I ordered the stuffed Pork Chop. It’s a dinosaur sized chop, filled with spinach and I think like a ricotta cheese and then covered in a Marsala wine sauce.

Pork Sorrentino at Vivace

Mother ordered the Pork Sorrentino, another very yummy plate. Thinly sliced pork with prosciutto and fontina cheese all baked together in a tomato, white wine and parmigiano sauce, the pasta was good too.

It’s nice when we all order a different dish and we share. That way you get what we call in Hawaii, a mixed plate, multiple entrées on one plate.

Life is too short, eat good food!

Salute

Hawaiian Food In The Middle Of The Desert?

Yesterday was ALOHA FRIDAY! That means we gotta have some kind of ‘local’ or Hawaiian food if you will. I don’t remember if I mentioned that I met this man in our small neighborhood that is from Honolulu, but anywhos… He and his wife invited us to lunch.

Lani’s Luau In Tucson Arizona

When my husband and I first moved to Arizona, we had heard of this joint and had gone to visit once before, but it’s a long drive from our house and we just never made it back there.

Our new friends came and picked us up and Mister New Friend drove, over an hour, in to town way over on the East side of Tucson.

Uber-cute place, nothing fancy, but that’s exactly the type of places we like, just honest, solid, really food. Of course having Hawaiian food sure does help in my book! I had a heck of a time deciding on my lunch order, everyone else, no problem. I tend to do that and my husband explained to our new friends about my passion for food and the blogging thing. I wanted to wander around, take pictures and talk with Lani herself. Leilani and Zane Dowling are the owners and operators of Lani’s Luau and they do a great job! Zane wasn’t there yesterday, but we met him on our last visit. Funny, Lani remembered all of us having come in before.

Mister New Friend and I both ordered the #9 plate, Kalua Pork, Pork Laulau, Chicken Long Rice, Lomi Salmon and poke. I requested any extra of 1 scoop rice, a small poi and potato-mac salad, Mister New Friend had the green salad and medium poi.

I spied in the cold-case up front, Aloha-maid canned drinks, oh baby! Gotta have me one POG! (Passion-orange-guava drink) WHAT!? No MORE? SHOT! Well, the Iced Tea is pretty ONO (delicious) too.

Lani's Luau in Tucson AZ

Funny enough, Missus new Friend and my husband both ordered the Teriyaki Chicken, well DH added the Mahimahi to his chicken plate.

Lani's Luau in Tucson AZ

We all stayed and chatted and had a very nice Aloha Friday eating very delicious Hawaiian food, watching a video of a hula completion back home in Hawaii and wishing we were there. Mahalo Lani and A HUI HOU… until we met again.

ALOHA!