0706 Pork and Kale Stir-fry

Tonight was the second time we’ve made this recipe – my cookbook notes tell me that it made a pleasantly spontaneous dinner back in the fall, when we just happened to have both kale and pork.  If it were cooler, I would’ve gone with the recipe on the facing page – a deliciously Portuguese dish of kale, sausages, and garlic-roasted potatoes – but it’s a million degrees here, and even turning on the stove was pushing our luck.

Instead – a delicious stir fry using a couple of  pork chops and a few handfuls of kale from the garden.  After a brief marinade in a salty-sweet sauce, the pork is quickly stir fried, then the kale steams for a bit, then it all gets tossed back together for a hearty, savory dinner.  It was too hot to make rice, so we piled our kale and pork on slices of bread and washed it all down with cold beer.

Pork and Kale Stir-fry
From Serving Up the Harvest

1 pound boneless pork tenderloin or chops, cut into matchsticks
1/4 cup tamari (or soy sauce, but I prefer the former)
3 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or sherry (not Chinese)
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 pound kale, stems discarded and leaves shredded

Whisk together 2 tablespoons tamari, 2 tablespoons wine, the oyster sauce, sugar, ginger, and garlic.  Add the pork and set aside to marinate for at least half an hour.

Heat a large wok or skillet over high heat.  Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and swirl to coat.  Add the pork and marinade and stir fry until the pork is cooked through – about 5 minutes.  Remove the pork and sauce and keep warm.  Heat the remaining oil in the wok, then add the kale, 2 tablespoons tamari, and 1 tablespoon wine.  Stir fry for 1 minute, then cover and steam until the kale is tender, 3-5 minutes.  Return the pork and sauce to the wok and stir fry for 2-3 minutes longer.  Serve over sticky rice or with a fresh green salad on the side.  Serves 3-4, depending on how hungry you are.


0614 Chicken Breasts Niçoise

Chicken Niçoise

It was too hot and we were too hungry to heat up the kitchen and then wait the hours necessary to roast the chicken I picked up at Back 40 yesterday.  After some rifling through cookbooks, I hit on this recipe from Serving Up the Harvest, a pretty solid cookbook organized around the typical growing seasons.

With tomatoes, garlic, white wine, chicken broth, and a lot of herbs on hand, the only thing left to do was to take apart the chicken and get it in the skillet.  To some of you, this will be a really weird thing to say, but I am damned proud of how cleanly I took apart the chicken, setting aside the legs, thighs, and wings for later in the week.  Once that was done, the recipe was quick work – browning the chicken, making a light and flavorful sauce in the same pan, and serving it up with bread and green beans (in the spirit of the Niçoise).

Chicken Niçoise

Easy, flavorful, and lovely enough to justify breaking out the good china.  I suspect we’ll be making this again.

Chicken Breasts Niçoise from Serving Up the Harvest

Our Definition of Local

For the sake of argument, our definition of local is ‘produced within 150 miles of our home’, as that’s the definition used by one of the three farmers’ markets we frequent (Foggy Bottom).  The Courthouse market’s range is slightly more restricted – 125 miles – but still generous.  Within that range there are wineries, breweries, u-picks, and the Atlantic Ocean!

On a related note, does anyone have recommendations for good regional/seasonal cookbooks?  I’ve been poring over my Jamie Olivers, my Moosewoods and vegetarian tomes, my vintage Joy of Cookings, but am consistently finding recipes that contain my local ingredient plus two or more things not even remotely from here.  Tonight I picked up Serving Up the Harvest after long and careful scrutiny at Borders, and I’m desperately waiting for Blue Eggs, Yellow Tomatoes to come in at the library (I have to wait til at least July 11!).  Any suggestions are welcome!