• erin

    Dumplings with my family
    A recent graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, I found myself with no money, no kitchen equipment, and an exceptionally huge appetite. Ideas, improvisations, and yummy meal solutions were discovered in the kitchen of my very first apartment.
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    I've been getting a lot of requests and suggestions for the apartment kitchen. I LOVE these suggestions, keep them coming!

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    em570039@mycia.net

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Panfried Pork Chops with Tomato-Mushroom Sauce

What? You think I’m using way too many mushrooms? Well, you’re right. I even hid the mushrooms from you in the meatball sub (I put mine on as a last minute addition after I’d assembled and photographed Matt’s sandwich). I admit it, I am a mushroom addict. There is reason to my madness – they were massively on sale at my market last week. And, I’m totally in love with them.

So yes, I made a mushroom sauce for some pork chops over the weekend. But this sauce has tomatoes stirred in, which gives it acidity and a really nice body (i.e. you add tomatoes and you’ve got insta-sauce). So I figure this could be a tomato-onion sauce, a tomato-corn sauce, a tomato-cauliflower sauce, a tomato-sausage sauce…you pick. Or, if you’re a mushroom obsessed diner like me, you can leave them in.

Either way, don’t worry. I’m out of mushrooms. For now, anyway…

Spicy Ground Pork over Sauteed Scallions (“Ants on a Log”)

I’ll be heading home to Kansas this weekend to spend my first Thanksgiving in four years with my wonderful family. I’m loving the fact that my neice and nephew finally understand the concept of time so we can tell them “Aunt Erin will be home next weekend” and they get it. So this weekend, I was video-chatting with them (gotta love technology), and my neice asked “What are you eating?” – she could see my plate on the edge of the screen. I told her I’m eating a favorite Asian dish that’s called “Ants on a Log”. Her face crinkled up (she probably assumed I was eating real ants), but I heard my nephew bust in from the next room. “I KNOW WHAT THAT IS!!!!!!!!! ERIN! I KNOW WHAT THAT IS!” He was out of breath from excitement, and my dad was giggling in the background. “Celery and peanut butter! Are you eating celery and peanut butter?!?!?!?”

I said yes to prevent myself from falling out of my chair laughing, but in actuality this is a delicious main course and has nothing to do with peanut butter. I got the idea from one of my favorite cookbooks. The first time I made this dish for Matt, he gobbled it up in no time…and then proceeded to ask for it…constantly. I had no real qualms with this – it’s incredibly easy and very fast, great for a quick lunch or weeknight supper. The flavors are great, and I can mix it up by adding rice, my favorite scallion pancakes, or other veggies into the pork mixture. The problem is, I just don’t like to make the same things over and over again. Why? Because of you, my lovely readers! But Matt came into the kitchen hautily one day and informed me that I’d never put this recipe on my blog. Ha! He thwarted the system, and I made it again.

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Hungarian Meatballs

There’s another great week of recipes and voting going on at Food52. My mouth was watering as I read the recipe up for “Best Recipe with Paprika”. These Hungarian meatballs are delicious – an incredible combo of beef, pork, and pancetta in a delicious paprika-spiced sauce. I’d post the recipe here, but I copied it to a T, and it was delicious. So head over to Food52 and check out this recipe HERE. Bon appetit!

Crispy Pork Eggrolls

Matt and I love dumplings, primarily because they are one food that are wonderful when cooked using one of our favorite methods: steaming. I also love to make my own dumplings with fresh dough, but we were feeling lazy one Sunday, and stood in the aisle looking down at pre-made thin wonton wrappers. But in one guilty moment, the idea of frying our normally healthy dumplings simultaneously popped into both of our minds. We looked up at eachother, and tossed some eggroll wrappers in our cart. What can I say? Sometimes fried is just better.

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Pork Cutlets with Leeks, Lemon, and Parsley

It was a long day. The kind of day where I was still thinking about work long after I’d left my office (I’m normally good about leaving work at work). After two market trips (for cakes I’ll discuss in a future post), I was exhausted. I grabbed pork cutlets solely because they were small and thin – would take almost no time to cook.

I love leeks for their subtle onion flavor, and I brightened the dish with a little bit of lemon and fresh herbs. The dish had only 7 ingredients (if you don’t count salt and pepper) and was done in less than 15 minutes. It felt especially good eating it – my feet up and the warmth and aromas coming up towards me. Delish.

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Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Collard Greens

Round two of pork shoulder mania! (Or was it round three…) In my impatience and stubbornness about always trying new things, I felt like we’d been eating pork for dinner weeks. In actuality, it had been two days…and each meal was so different even I hadn’t gotten bored! The spicy souvlaki was delicious and completely different than the deliciously saucy pulled pork sandwiches we had the other night. Served with some delicious collard greens, this was a wonderful meal, that tasted like it had taken hours!

Souvlaki with Tzatziki and Toasted Pita

Above all else, I love a good bargain. So when I saw a pile of pork shoulders in the butcher case at my favorite market (for just over $1/lb!!!) I couldn’t resist. I dug through the pile (yes…gross) until I hit the bottom (where I found pig’s ears and feet as well – I passed). The smallest shoulder I could find was six pounds. So I carted my huge shoulder to the checkout. The cashier said something I hear a lot at that store: “What are you gonna make with THAT?” and that’s when I have to start thinking about it myself.

If you read anything about my recent journey across Eastern Europe, you’ll know that Matt and I ate our fair share of kebabs. Ever since, I’ve been struggling with the idea of trying to create something similar to surprise him with. A recent experience with souvlaki reminded me how easy it was to put those flavors together for an easy and delicious meal. Plus, I began using some of the massive amount of pig I had sitting in my fridge.

I made a quick dry rub with garlic powder, paprika, cumin, coriander, and a little bit of cayenne. Matt cut the fat off of the top of the shoulder, and we applied the dry rub all over the meat, and covered it with the fat. We roasted it in a low oven (275 degrees) for 3-4 hours, until it was tender and juicy. Then, you can use it for almost anything…like this souvlaki! (You could also use pork ribs…they would shred similarly, taste great, but take a lot less time to cook.)