Thursday, January 28, 2010

January 28th - Pork Medallions with Chili-Maple Sauce



FAIR WARNING

Well folks, we're dealing with the first major issue affecting this little project of mine and it hasn't even been a month yet.  I will actually be unable to cook/blog for most of next week due to an out of town engagement.  What to do??  I never thought of a plan B for cases in which I couldn't blog (such as vacation or emergency or unconsciousness).   And, sorry, on this trip I don't want to drag along my laptop either.

My solution = I'm going to make and post those recipes (Feb 4th through the 7th) ahead of time for you.  Granted, these post won't be as witty and as entertaining as most, but they should get you through the worst of your withdrawal.  In the meantime, I will be on the lookout for extraordinary cuilinary delights and uncomfortable situations I can share with you all when I return.

Now lets get to this recipe.  It's actually pretty good...

THE RECIPE

Ingredients:

Pork: $3.99
Chinese Five Spice Powder:  Didn't have, I had to make it...I'll explain
Oil: Had
Chicken Broth:  Had
Maple Syrup: Had
Chili Garlic Sauce:  Had
Green Onions:  Had

Total $3.99

First off, I didn't buy pork tenderloin because it was too expensive.  So I bought a Loin End Pork Roast instead.  I figured since we were taking the meat, slicing it, and then pounding it with a meat mallet, I could use a cheaper piece of meat. 

Second off, I didn't have Five Spice Powder.  But, I did have the 5 spices in order to make it myself.  Why buy it when I can make it?

FIVE SPICE POWDER
Source:  Some Internet recipe (can't remember)

2 tsps Szechwan Peppercorns
8 star anise
1/2 tsp cloves, ground
1 T cinnamon, ground
1 T fennel seed, ground

Toast the peppercorns in a dry fry pan for 3 minutes.  Take out and put in spice grinder.  Add star anise (and in my case fennel seeds since I didn't have ground).  Grind until powdered.  Add cinnamon and cloves and fennel.  Viola!  Five spice powder.

I ♥ szechwan peppercorns.  They have this very interesting mouth numbing quality to them.  Yes, they numb your mouth (or sometimes lips)!  If you've never experienced it before, I won't be able to describe it to you and do it justice.  All I can tell you is that it's like you ate an extremely hot pepper only without the pain involved.  Really, if you can, I suggest trying them.  I used to top chocolate truffles with crushed up szechwan peppercorns.  The combination of sweet and numbing is quite different and pleasurable.

THE RESULTS

Fast:  Took me about 15 minutes (plus an extra 5 minutes to make the 5 Spice Powder) total.

Easy:  There really isn't much too this recipe.  The hardest part is pounding out the pork.

Fresh:  Not so much taste wise.  The sauce is pretty much just bottled stuff.  A fresh take on pork?  Yes, definitely.

Overall:  I really like this recipe.  I like the combination of sweet and spicy.  The chili and maple really play well off of eachother.  The five spice gives it a little darker flavor (which cuts the sweet) as well as a small mouth numbing effect.  This would be great with chicken too.  I would serve this with some rice (like it suggests) but maybe some stir fried vegetables as well.

Tomorrow...I am so excited...I cannot wait.  IT'S COCKTAIL TIME!

1 comment:

Nicole said...

Since I tasted this at your place, I'm going to put my two cents in. I liked it! It's even good as leftovers.