Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pork Stir-Fry

For the past couple of Sunday's, I've been experimenting with Food & Wine's May 2009 issue of stir fries. Stir Fries are definitely something that can be quick, tasty, and most importantly... versatile. You can put practically anything in a wok and call it a stir fry. Protein, vegetables, tasty sauce, and you have stir fry! The possibilities are endless.

So for today's recipe, I've got a really simple, but quite tasty Pork Stir-Fry.

Ingredients: (adapted from Food & Wine May 2009 - Pork-and-Tofu Stir Fry)

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 lb. pork loin, cut into 1 & 1/2-by-1/4 inch strips
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves of garlic
large pinch of crushed red pepper
1 large leek, halved and cut into 1 inch pieces (the grocery was out of leeks, so I substituted an onion and did a rough chop)
1 cup chicken stock or low sodium broth
1/2 lb firm tofu cut into 1 in. cubes (I omitted the tofu)
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar (I used sherry wine instead, less acidity, but still a flavor boost)
1/2 teaspoon asian sesame oil

And although this seems hypocritical, because I'm pretty much the poster child for trying everything once and appreciating ALL foods, I just can't bring myself to love tofu. No, it's never even been close to my mouth or my lips, and frankly, I don't plan on it doing so. I know, I know, I should be the last person to turn something down without trying it first, but honestly, it gives me the heebie jeebies. And I'm cooking the meal and I can put what I want it. But if you like tofu, more power to you, and that's why I kept it in the list of ingredients!

And so after that derailment of a rant, on to the quick and easy preparation...

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet or wok. Add pork and cook until done, about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how thick you cut your pork. I went a little meaty with my strips, but thinner strips would take less time. Transfer pork to a plate and set aside.

Add remainder of vegetable oil in skillet. Add garlic and red pepper to oil and heat for about 1 minute. This allows the oil to get a crisp garlic flavor and a little bit of heat from the pepper. Add leek (or onion, in my case), 1/4 cup of stock, and cover until leek or onion is cooked and soft, about 2-5 minutes.

Add remainder of stock and bring to simmer. Add tofu (we also contemplated substituting the tofu for chicken, but we had a ton of pork to begin with and didn't want to waste all that meat). Also add pork back in and stir in hoisin sauce, vinegar (or wine), and sesame oil.

And you're done! We served ours on a bed of brown rice and it was just the thing to soak up the extra sauce on the plate. It was tasty, easy, and great the next day for lunch! Enjoy!

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