Monday, April 09, 2012

How to use leftover pork chops

We just took the plunge and bought half a hog from our new favorite meat market, Superior Meats in Superior, Wisconsin. Just an hour's drive away from our house, across the border in a state that actually sells beer on Sundays, Superior Meats offers freshly butchered meats, specialty sausages, and thick cut bacon that is not so pumped full of preservatives that the meat loses its shape and texture. We're talking real meat, and Wisconsin seems to do it best.

Our first meal consisted of a package of four unbelievably huge pork chops. So huge that for the five of us, we ended up with 1 1/2 chops left over. Of course I could not let that go to waste, and when I have leftover pork I immediately think fried rice.

I could tell my parents always liked fried rice; it was a meal left for special, rare occasions. I guess pork was always more expensive than the staple, ground beef, and my parents were frugal. But once in a while they splurged, or pork was on special at the Country Club Market, and I somehow developed a taste for it.

Fried rice is pretty simple: a mix of sauteed vegetables, meat, cooked rice, seasoning, and sometimes an egg or two. Tonight Russ had brought home a package of Lundberg's rice blend, which is an amazingly dark mixture of whole grain rices including wild rice. I cooked it in chicken broth for about an hour while I prepared everything else.

In a cast iron skillet I sauteed half an onion, a few small carrots, two cloves of garlic, some dried cranberries, chopped almonds, and about a cup of frozen peas. I cut up the leftover pork and added it to the skillet. Then some teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, and finally the rice. I did not add eggs, although it could be done. I think this dish did not need them.

The verdict: delicious. Which means, unfortunately, no leftovers. I served honeydew melon as the only side, which balanced the dish well. A good white wine goes down nicely also. :)

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