Hello again. I have received several Emails in the recent months about why I don't post any more recipes. The answer is- I don't cook and entertain as much anymore as I used to, and to be honest, I also have lost my motivation. Sometimes, I just don't like the photos, other times I dont even have the patience to take them.
But here it is again. I cooked something, took pictures, and now I am trying to find some words to write. They don't always come easy.
One thing for sure- I am so happy to see that someone at Google finally fixed that horrible annoying problem of not being able to upload more than 4 photos to Blogger through Picasa.
Ok, let's talk food now...
As my one and only social event since I moved to Portland, I go out with my coworkers every Thursday. We call it TGIT, and we plan this event carefully. Every Thursday, starting around noon, tons of Emails are flying around trying to figure out a place to meet. It started off as trying out different breweries, but I gotta admit, I am just not much of a beer person. I go for a company more than anything, and just lack of better things to do.
Last Thursday, the group was small, and I was able to convince them to go to a place other than a brewery. YEY for me!
It was a nice calm evening, even the sun came out for a bit. We sat outside and started letting out our frustrations about work (that's what TGIT is all about). We already shared one appetizer dish when we noticed an interesting meal on the menu. I can't remember what it was called, but it was made out of the "hazelnut fed pigs". Just because of that, we decided to order it. It was a pasta dish, slow cooked pork in spicy tomato sauce with crushed dried bread mixed in with it. It was very good, we wolfed it down and immediately ordered another one. When we finished our second serving, we asked the waiter if he could top that. He hesitated, so we ordered the third hazelnut fed pork dish. It was that good.
I thought to myself, this is a good idea. I should try to make this as close as I can. I have made pasta sauce out of slow cooked beef, but never pork. I have no idea what kind of pork meat it was, other than the pigs were fed with hazelnut, or what kind of spices they used. I had to improvise.
A the supermarket, there are many kinds of pork cuts: pork roast seemed like an obvious choice at first, definitely not pork chops. But then my hand went right for the tender loin, thats a good cut of meat. At that point, I saw boneless ribs, and decided that loin is too lean, and ribs are definitely the best choice. Well, that was my choice, since this recipe was completely left to interpretation. If you are trying to make this, please feel free to pick whatever cut of meat you find most suitable for this recipe.
The slow cooked pork pasta sauce I made was very tasty. This is tasty that makes happy- when you invent a good tasting dish!
- 2lb of boneless pork ribs, or another boneless cut of pork
- 3 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp paprika
- 1 Tbsp ground coriander seed
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 large onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 jalapeños
- 2 bell peppers
- 1/3 cup red wine
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 5-6 dried peppers
- 1 package of rigatoni pasta
Wash the meat and pat dry with paper towel.
In a zip lock bag, mix flour, paprika, ground coriander, salt and pepper.
Cut the meat into about 2in strips and place in the zip lock back with spice mix. Mix around until all the pieces of meat are evenly coated. Discard the rest of the spice mix.
Heat oil in a frying pan. Brown the meat for about 3 minutes on each side.
While the meat is browning, slice the onions, peppers and mince garlic cloves. Then add the veggies to the meat. At this point taste the mixing spoon and see whether you need to ad more salt or not.
When the veggies become soft, deglaze the pan with red wine and transfer the entire content of the pan into the slow cooker. Add canned tomatoes and mix all together.
When you come back home, set the past to cook. In the meantime, separate the meat form the crockpot into a serving bowl. Blend the veggies all together in the food processor, and mix in with the meat again. You can use as many dried peppers as you like. They tend to be hot, so if you use all of them, you sauce will probably be fairly spicy.
Although it cooks for a long time, this recipe is very easy to prepare. This dish is convenient to make for large parties. Also, the leftovers keep well.