Pork Bowl with Collard Greens, Macaroni and Chow Chow Relish

When Luke and I were in Tokyo, one of the things we eventually realized is that we were ordering our food all wrong. One night we stumbled into a little hole in the wall that featured miniature coal grills in the middle of the table. You could order an assortment of meat and vegetables and grill it yourself. As we paged through the meat choices, it struck us that a plate of meat, while delicious, didn’t seem like a particularly complete meal. It was a little early for dinner, and we were the first people in the restaurant, so we couldn’t look to the other patrons’ plates for hints on how to order. We tried to ask the server how big the plates of meat were, but language was a barrier, so we were on our own. We ended up ordering two platefuls of thinly sliced meat, and a side salad. Once the restaurant began to fill, and others around us began to get their food, we realized what was wrong with our strategy- everyone else ordered rice, vegetables, meat, and then made a bowl! It was supposed to be obvious that all of the ingredients on the menu were to be mixed together. (It was also supposed to be obvious that you were meant to grill the vegetables with the meat. When our server realized we were eating our veggies raw, I think he was appalled by our total stupidity). I immediately wished that I could have a food do-over, and cursed my American tendency to eat all of my dishes separately. Continue reading Pork Bowl with Collard Greens, Macaroni and Chow Chow Relish

Chorizo and Caramelized Sweet Potato Hash with a Poached Egg

I love living in Dayton, but since being here, I have been seriously craving some authentic Mexican food. I used to think people were full of crap when they complained that you can’t get good Mexican in the mid west, but now I can kind of see their point. It isn’t that Mexican restaurants in Ohio don’t have some delicious offerings in their own right, but they are often unarguably Americanized menus. Think a lot of cheese on almost everything. So when I saw an episode of Unique Eats on the Cooking Channel featuring kitchens across the country doing twists on Mexican and Latin food, I was inspired. And it led me to creating a chorizo and caramelized sweet potato hash that probably isn’t “authentic” Mexican either, but it was pretty darn good, and I did learn how to make my own red chili sauce, so that is something.  Continue reading Chorizo and Caramelized Sweet Potato Hash with a Poached Egg

Hot and Sour Pork with Stir-Fry Noodles and Chard

I have a love/hate relationship with Chinese food. Or, Chinese take-out to be more specific. The problem with Chinese take-out is that a lot of it is so mediocre. I have often craved the sweet/sour/spicy combination of Chinese food, ordered up a cornucopia of food, only to be mildly disappointed. The vegetables might be too soggy, the crab rangoon might be nothing more than an fried, empty wanton wrapper, or the General Tso’s chicken might leave me with a sick bloated feeling. The phrases “Chinese take-out” and “healthy meal” most definitely don’t go together. I think we can all agree, we order Chinese food when we are craving something cheap, saucy, and inherently not good for us. Continue reading Hot and Sour Pork with Stir-Fry Noodles and Chard

Top Chef Boston Week 7- Beer Braised Pork and Bacon “Baked” Beans

We have officially eliminated 8 of the original 16 Top Chef Boston contestants, and you know what that means- Restaurant Wars! Like every other Top Chef fan, I love watching 4 people scramble to open a full restaurant in 24-hours. Over the years, some teams have really risen to the occasion and pulled off a great service. Other teams have fallen flat on their face. This year we saw a little bit of both, as Four Pigs soundly defeated the losing restaurant Magellan. And in the spirit of Four Pigs, this week I chose to make my own variation of Executive Chef Doug’s winning dish: beer braised pork and beans. Continue reading Top Chef Boston Week 7- Beer Braised Pork and Bacon “Baked” Beans

Roasting Pork on an Unusually Hot October Day

There is something about Fall and food that goes together perfectly. As soon as the leaves begin to change colors and the air begins to crisp, I start craving all things pumpkin, apples, and other October produce. The only catch is, it’s actually 90 degrees- still- in Las Vegas. It sort of ruins the whole sweaters, boots, and pumpkins vibe that I dream about in the Fall. The good news is, hot weather be damned, the farmer’s market hasn’t let me down. Pears, apples, and brussel sprouts have begun popping up, even though our Fall still resembles a fairly hot midwest summer. So to get into the spirit of pseudo-Fall, I decided that I was craving a classic pork and apples dish. There was just a matter of buying some pork and finding a recipe to go with it. Continue reading Roasting Pork on an Unusually Hot October Day