December 18, 2010

Stir-Fried Pork Loin cubes with Balsamic vinegar and Orange reduction

This turned out so good! I pretty much followed the recipe as described here except I had to scale up, since I had twice the amount of pork and I also added some onions. I also did it in a cast iron pan, since I don't have a wok, and it still turned out really tasty!

5 pork loin chops, boneless, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes.
2 orange bell peppers, chopped into cubes.
2 white onions, peeled and sliced into strips.
3-4 garlic cloves.
2 oranges, juiced

1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 inch piece ginger, smashed
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp corn starch (or 1 tsp flour if you don't have corn starch)

Glazing sause:
3 tsp balsamic vinegar
juice of 2 oranges, freshly squeezed
1 tsp brown sugar

Method is exactly as described in the recipe that I found on the web:

1. Rinse pork chops, pat dry and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Put in a bowl and add the marinade ingredients EXCEPT THE FLOUR. Mix well, cover with clear foil and put in fridge for ~ 1 hour.
2. Once the meat is done marinating, heat some olive oil in a pan and saute the garlic for ~ 2 min.
3. Then add the flour to the meat, mix well and transfer the pork into the pan. Cook on medium heat until done. Can season with additional black pepper and some cayenne pepper. Then remove the pork from the pan and set aside.
4. Saute the onions and peppers briefly in the pan with whatever oil was left from the meat. Then pour the glazing sauce and stir constantly until it gets reduced to about half the original volume.
5. Put the pork back in the pan and cook for ~ 5 more minutes or until the glaze is nice and thick.
6. Serve with rice or with mashed potatoes and enjoy!

p.s. When I ate this with mashed potatoes, the flavor reminded me of "vinen kebab"! Yummy!

ETL: Fennel, Bok Choy and Watermelon Radish salad

We got fennel from our CSA box and I remembered that last year Marulka had made an amazing fennel and celery salad, topped with shaved cheese. Well I was out of celery and did not have any cheese so I decided to improvise and used only the ingredients that we got from the box. The result was awesome!


1 fennel bulb, cleaned and thinly sliced.
2 heads of bok choy, cleaned and thinly sliced.
2 watermelon radishes, washed, peeled and thinly sliced.
5-6 kalamata olives, sliced lengthwise
1 lemon, juiced
some olive oil, salt and black pepper.

Wash all vegetables well and slice thinly (i used food processor and it took 30 sec!). Mix in a large salad bowl and add some olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with the leftover fennel fronds and enjoy!

p.s. Here is what watermelon radish looks like :)

December 04, 2010

ETL: Easy and Delicious Pumpkin Cake

If you  LOVE pumpkin, as much as I DO, you must try this easy-to-make pumpkin layered cake. Each bite melts in the mouth, leaving a perfect flavour of pumpkin, cinnamon, and walnuts.
I must give all the credit for this recipe to my friend D.M. She worked on the recipe for years and gave me a perfected version of it. I made very small adjustments to reduce the calories.

Makes 12 squares

Dry Mix:

1 1/4 cup of semolina or farina
3/4 cup of flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup walnuts, chopped or grounded
1 tbsp baking powder

Wet Mix:

6 cups of shredded butternut squash
3 tbsp vegetable oil

3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp vanilla

2 tbsp butter or olive oil (optional )

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. In a sauce pan saute the shredded pumpkin with the oil and the sugar. Add the cinnamon and the vanilla at the end.

Grease a 8x8 cake pan. Lay 1/3 of the dry mix in the bottom of the pan, following with a layer of the 1/3 of the wet mixture. Continue layering, alternating dry and wet, finishing with the wet mixture as shown on the photos below.
I made 2 batches at once and used a 13x9 pan.

Cut 2 tbsp of butter into small chunks and space them out on top of the cake. I think using additional fat ( butter or oil) in this step can be avoided. The cake is moist enough from the pumpkin and can do without extra fat.

Bake the cake for 30-40 minute.

Allow to fully cool and cut into 12 squares. Decorate with a spoon of whipped cream and enjoy!!!

PS. Did I tell you that cooking with wine is always GOOD ? :)