Green Chili Pork Stew for Cinco De Mayo!

Green Chili Pork Stew

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Many years ago before the Food Channel because the Food Network, I happened to be watching some show and the guest chef made this most wonderful stew with country pork ribs, tortillas and a blender. I was so impressed with what he did that I went out, bought the ingredients, and made it the very next day. It was delicious, and became one of my favorites. It’s been so long that I don’t remember what it was even called, but I called it Green Chili Pork Stew.

It’s funny who your life changes over the years, different relationships, different priorities. You put your favorites away in some dusty mental attic to make room for all the other new and exciting foods. Then you find yourself on a cold, rainy day about to make Chili Colorado, when you spy some tortillas and decide at the last-minute to make that wonderful stew from so very long ago.

When I made this, I didn’t have country pork ribs, I had pork stew meat, which was just as good. However, now that I’ve had it again, I’m going to go out and get some country ribs. Country-style ribs are cut from the blade end of the loin close to the pork shoulder. They are meatier than other rib cuts. They contain no rib bones, but are instead contain parts of the shoulder blade (scapula).

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Chinese Feast of Roast Pork, Asian Wings, Asian Coleslaw and Fried Rice

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Golden Dragon Parade 2013

Two weeks ago, I was asked if I would cook for Ascencia again, and I said yes, what day? The date was the same as my birthday, February 16, 2013, and also the same day as the Golden Dragon Parade in downtown Los Angeles. What a perfect thing! Birthday, Parade and Cooking – all in one day!

Since I was going to the parade, I thought it would be a good idea to celebrate the Chinese New Year by making Asian food for the folks at Ascencia. I knew there were two large pork roasts and a mess of chicken wings already in the freezer, and lots of rice. No problem, all I needed was the stuff to make fried rice, and an Asian coleslaw to go with it.

The secret to good fried rice is that the rice has to be a day old. Why? Because freshly cooked rice is already full of moisture and will not absorb the flavored oil in which it is fried. What can you do if you don’t have day old rice, and you’re just going to die if you don’t have fried rice? Well, you can get a package of precooked rice that you would heat up the microwave, and use that instead. It’s not quite the same, but will do in a pinch.

You will find the recipes for the Asian Chicken Wings and Asian Coleslaw in other posts, but I’ll put the Asian Roast Pork and Asian Fried Rice recipes here.

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Risotto Rice Balls with Garlic Basil Tomato Mayonnaise

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When I made Risotto with Mushrooms and Saffron on Sunday, I had risotto left over. My friend Josef called me and said he would like to bring a friend over to discuss some business, and I offered to make lunch.

The first time I heard about Risotto Rice Balls, I was watching Lidia Bastianich’s Lidia’s Italy on my local PBS channel, and they looked wonderful! I looked at the recipe on the Internet, but I did not have Ragu. I did, however, have left over Italian Fennel Pork Chops that I thought I could make into a nice stuffing.

I started making my balls on Wednesday afternoon, and recorded a video showing how to make the Risotto Balls. We had them for lunch yesterday. They were wonderful with a toss green salad and ice cold sweet tea.

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Books! Wonderful Books!

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Dollar Bookstore in Burbank

A few years ago, my friends took me to this wonderful bookstore where all the books were only $1.00 – A Dollar! I love to read, and I love having hard cover books sitting in my library where I can read them any time I want. There are a few books that I read a long time ago, that I knew I loved, and I love rereading them!

I had the fortune of going to the Burbank Centennial celebration , and was able to pick up some out of print books to add to my collection. I had to be careful, because the car was several blocks from the bookstore, and books get heavy!

Jeff Smith

jeffsmith.jpgJeff Smith’s Frugal Gourmet Series. I used to love watching the Frugal Gourmet when it was on PBS. No matter what Jeff Smith did, he is and always will be a good cook, and an excellent teacher. I already had The Frugal Gourmet Cooks with Wineand regularly used it for reference. Here’s what I was also able to pickup:

  • The Frugal Gourmet – the book that a started it all
  • The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American
  • The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Italian (my favorite)
  • The Frugal Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines Greek, Italian and Chinese

Woman’s Day Encyclopedia of Cookery

My mother and I had the complete set when I was a little girl, and these are the books gave me my cooking skills (and The American Woman’s Cookbook). These are wonderful books, if you can get them. They have been republished a few times, but I like the original ones that my mother and I had. I was only able to find four of them, and am still missing nine books. If you find em, let me know! When I was perusing mine, I came across a recipe that I have made for years, Hungarian Porkchops:

Hungarian Porkchops – DISZNKARAJ MAGYAROSAN

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Ingredients

6 pork chops, about 1/2 inch thick
slat and pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons lard or butter
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup chicken bouillon
1 cup dairy sour cream
2 teaspoons paprika

Directions

Trim excess far from pork chops and sprinkle chops with salt and pepper. Saute onion and garlic in lard until soft and golden. Push aside or remove from skillet. Add pork chops and brown on all sides. Pour off fat. Lower heat and add bay leaf and bouillon. Cook, covered, over low heat for about 1 hour. Transfer chops to hot serving plate and keep hot. Reduce pan juices to half by cooking over high heat. Add sour cream and paprika and blend thoroughly, but do not boil. Pour sauce over chops. Makes 4 to 6 servings

Dressed to Grill

dressed_to_grillDressed to Grill by Karen Brooks, Diane Morgan and Reed Darmon, Illustrated by Beth Adams – hey I’m a girl, but I like to grill. This is a cute little book with some nice tips and recipes just for girls who like to grill, like me!