Chinese peppered pork chops

I’m through to dinner, last meal to prepare! Tired and thus a simple dish would be helpful! So it’s the chinese peppered pork chops. Just marinate them and leave them in the fridge. When the hubs comes back, it’s just stir-frying and you are done!

Makes 4 servings
Ingredients

1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp shaoxing cooking wine (optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tsp sugar
2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
6 1/4 inch-thick loin pork chops
2 tbsp oil

1. Put the soy sauce, garlic, sugar, pepper, (shaoxing cooking wine) and salt in a large self-sealing plastic bag, seal and shake. Add the pork chops and rub them, through the bag, to work with the spices into the meat. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes (or in the fridge).
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Cook, turning only once, until just cooked through, for about 6 minutes.

For a complete meal, I just threw in chips and some veg. Viola!
* recipe adapted from Food Network Kitchens cookbook

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yesterday, I was at the supermarket and couldn’t resist the chocolates at the counter and…bought it. One month without chocolate is truly deprivation of the tastebud (or stomach or whatever!) and so I decided to start baking. Yes! Finally! Goodness, when was the last time I baked?

It is also high time to test the oven and the handheld electric mixer that I brought over. I will be following the lessons from the book ‘Essentials of baking’ and the first set of lessons would be on cookies, bars and brownies. Dropped cookies such as the ones that I am baking are formed by dropping spoonfuls of dough into a prepared baking sheet and is highly easy!

It is also 59 days to my marathon and I really need the extra motivation to get me running. Ok. So the triple chocolate chips are awfully sinful enough to get me moving. One cookie for each 10km run. =p

I thought the cookies spread a tad too much during baking and according to the write-up, it could be because the butter was too soft when added (could be!).

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Sweet & sour pork with egg fried rice

I asked da man the other day what he was craving. You know sometimes, it could get challenging thinking of daily meals to make. His reply? Sweet & sour pork and Hainanese chicken rice.

So, here goes. Sweet & sour pork with egg fried rice (plain rice is a tad boring) for lunch! It was not easy because the steps are not direct. Nonetheless, it was worth every sweat!

Serves 2
Ingredients
250g pork loin, cut into 1cm cubes
for marinating
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

for frying
oil, for deep-frying
9 tsp cornflour
9 tsp plain(all-purpose) flour
1tsp baking soda
a little egg

for sauce
2 tsp finely grated garlic
1 tsp finely grated fresh root ginger
4 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp cornflour blended with 1/2 cup water
carrot, sliced into strips 
4 spring onions, sliced into strips

egg fried rice to serve

1. Slice the carrots and spring onions into thin shreds.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine soy sauce with the rice wine, sesame oil and pepper. Add the pork and toss to mix. Cover and chill for 3-4 hours or overnight.
3. Combine the cornflour, plain flour and baking soda and mix with 2/3 cup cold water to make a thick batter. Add the pork to the batter and mix well with your hands to coat evenly.
4. Fill a wok with sufficient oil for deep frying. Fry the pork in batches for 1-2 minutes. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.
5. Mix together the garlic, ginger, tomato ketchup, sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar and cornflour mixture. Place a small pan over a medium heat. Add the mixture and heat for 2-3 minutes, until thickened. Add the carrot and spring onions, stir and remove from the heat.
6. Reheat the deep-frying oil in the wok and then re-fry the pork pieces for 1-2 minutes, until golden and crisp. Drain and add to the sauce and toss to mix well. Serve with the egg fried rice.

 

There were a lot of steps involved for this dish but well worth it. You have to tweak the ingredients here and there to get it well. In the end, da man got what he wanted and I’m satisfied!

Full-time housewife

Yesterday was Ken’s first lesson or his faculty’s orientation (rather) and I was pretty much on my own. So what did I do?

In the morning, after brekky and QT with the hubs, I set off to Boston Public Library to borrow all the cookbooks that I wanted. Gosh! This library is superb and holds most of the books that I want (except for some which were like, gone forever – couldn’t be recovered). So I went home with 5 cookbooks to be devoured for the next 21 days:

– Food network kitchens cookbook
– 75 wok & stir-fry recipes
– Harumi’s Japanese cooking
– Everyday pasta
– Culinary boot camp

After lunch (just plain biscuits which we wanted to finish) and an online movie, I went supermarketing. It was during this trip that I started to think about my new role as a housewife. Yes, I traded teaching to be one working for the household. Now, I do more comparing of prices of food across supermarkets and planning meals (which could be a real challenge). Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I felt enriched reading up on cooking (not just the recipes but the art and science of it) and appreciated the time to do what I like. But sometimes, I wonder how much I am contributing to the society by my staying at home. Oh yah, did I mention that I spend about 2 to 3 hours just in two supermarkets?

Of course, the hubs enlightened me in the evening with some of his thoughts. I’m thankful for his wisdom but am also excited about an upcoming interview for a volunteering position related to education.

So there you go, on a normal day like this, I do research on cooking and also the practical part of it and when the weather permits, I will be training for my marathon which I have very much slackened. I should be hitting >20km now!!! I’m leaving you with a pic of a car that I love…the red JEEP!