Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Szechuan pork poser

Some days, I just can't be bothered.

I mean, I walk in, dead on my feet, so tired and cranky that even my cats, demanding creatures that they are, run for cover.

Sidebar:  Lately their cover is the tent in our game room.  I put the tent up there to dry out after Tom's and my ill-fated tent test in our backyard the night the latest norther blew through.  The cats find it immensely captivating (thank goodness I had the foresight to keep the tent zipped up).  Every chance they get, they tunnel underneath.  When you look through the netting at the ground, there are two giant cat lumps giving away their location.

Anyway, back to me being tired and scary.

Even on nights like those, I can whip this up.  Paired with simple white rice, there can be no wrong.  Tonight is the first night I made it, and I can guarantee it will make a return.  The savory flavors of American-Chinese food just make me dance.  I was actually restored to my full humanity by the time dinner was served because of the aroma. I feel a little guilty---this is total poser food.  Not at all authentic.  It's a fake-up of a fake-up.  Yet, I loved it.   I ate my fill and had to remove myself from the room to avoid going back for more.  I have come to believe that inauthentic does not mean that it's not a dish worth eating or sharing.

If you have a bag of veggies and hunk of meat, the rest is stuff that even after weeks of not having time to go to the grocery store I still had.  I know the list looks long, but I can almost promise you can make it at the drop of a hat... or an overfull teacher bag.

I took my inspiration from Beth at Budget Bytes, but she actually used some cooking savvy for her version.  Mine is just quick and dirty... yet still delicious.  If you want to be fancy and use the original, go here.


1 lb pork loin, sliced thinly at 90 degrees against the grain
1 bag green beans, thawed
1 broccoli crown, chopped
1 tsp sriracha
2 T oil
2 T rice vinegar
2 T soy sauce
1 T agave nectar
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ginger powder

1) Heat oil in skillet on high until it shimmers.  Cook the pork until it is cooked through and no juices run pink (5ish minutes).  Remove meat to a plate.
2) While meat is cooking, mix sauce ingredients (sriracha, oil, viinegar, soy sauce, agave and powders).
3) Toss veggies into skillet, broccoli first, and cook until crisp-tender.
4) Add meat back in, pour sauce over the lot, and cook until sauce reduces.

1 lb pork loin: 1.99
1 bag green beans: .88
1 broccoli crown: .88
sriracha: .05
oil: .25
rice vinegar:  .10
soy sauce:  .10
agave nectar: .20
garlic powder: .05
ginger powder: .05
Total for the recipe: 4.55
Price per serving: 1.14

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