Posts tagged Pork
Tamales for a Crowd
Delicious Tamales! 
Friends came over and we made tamales. We drank Margaritas and there was talking, laughing and of course tamales.

I called this Columbusing a little. To Columbus something is actively tell a person from not your culture that you can make their food better than they can; that your food is more authentic. Sounds awful, huh? 

We didn't do that because that would be wrong but sadly I didn't have an experienced tamale maker in my friend group, so I thought watch some videos and make it happen. This is what we did. 

1 8 pound pork butt or shoulder
salas or the stuff to make salsa 
Ancho chili powder

Cook the pork a day ahead in a crock pot. Don't be shy about salt and seasoning. When it is fork tender 8 to 10 hours later cool and shred. After shredding pour the crock pot liquid over the pork and refrigerate until needed.

Tamale Dough
1.33 cups lard or shortening or a combination
4 cup masa
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
2.66 cups broth or water, broth is better
1 big bag of corn husks

Soak the corn husks overnight or heat in simmering water for an hour. 

Whip the fat until it's aerorated. In a second container combine the masa, salt, baking powder, cumin and chili powder. Into the lard add 1/3 the flour, then 1/2 the broth, scrape the sides between every addition. Continue add the flour and broth in parts until it's all combined. Whip a minute or two longer. It's suggested to cool the mixture an hour then whip it before using. 

Put the corn husk cut side to the top. Spread about a quarter cup of masa onto the husk, it will feel like cookie batter.  3x3 about an inch from the top edge. Put a strip of filling down the middle. Fold over both sides like swaddling a baby, then fold up the top. Tie around the middle, tight enough to hold together but not synched around the middle like a belt. The tamale will expand as it cooks. 

Set the sanding on end, top open in a steamer. Steam covered for 75-90 minutes. Check for doneness by pulling one out of the steamer, opening it and touching the masa for firmness.

I made the dough 4 times to use all the pork and it made about 100 tamales. That's the crowd part, because seriously who is going to eat them all? 

A Very General Asian Pork Marinade
My daughter's favorite meal is seared pork, blistered green beans and rice. The rice is optional as is the pork. However everyone else would like more than a plate of green beans for dinner.

I had a huge pork loin sitting in the freezer and the google twitch to find something different than my go to teriyaki marinade. This is sorta what I found. The cumin is an outlier as far as my typical fare. I mean I use it for Indian, Middle Eastern, Mexico and below (Central and South American) food. Also some Spanish dishes. This was good though. I wanted to capture it for future use.

I'm totally known for shooting from the hip while I cook and NEVER ever getting it just the same again later. Most times that's okay unless I struck upon something fantastic. This was fantastic.

Asian Pork Marinade

1 bunch of green onions, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch of ginger, peeled and minced
2/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon chili paste
1 teaspoon cumin
3.5 pound pork loin, cut into skinny strips.*

1 large onion, cut in strips

2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons water

oil for searing.

Combine all the ingredients in a ziplock bag. Squish it around to cover all the pork, squeeze out the air. Marinate at least 4 hours up to 24.

Heat a heavy skillet. Add a touch of oil and meat drained of the marinade (reserve the marinade). Cook the pork in batches. Move the pork to a shallow dish once it is cooked. After you've cooked all the pork, wipe the pan clean. Add a little more oil and reduce the heat to medium. Cook onions until soft. Add the reserved marinade. Cook until it's simmering. Thicken with cornstarch and water slurry. Add pork back to the pan to cover with sauce. Serve.

*I use pork loin in the small cut because pan searing the meat, it needs to cook quickly and still be tender. If you used a more marbled cut of pork you'd need to cook it low and slow to make it tender. You could combine a the marinade with pork shoulder cut into chunks and braise it or put it in slow cooker. I'm just not much of a slow cooker appliance lover.

Siopao-Daring Baker's Challenge
Filled with seasoned ground pork, onions and ginger.
Where a Siopao or a Bao start and a Kolache end I'm not so sure. How about a Piroshki? Maybe a Calzone? They are all yeast doughs wrapped around deliciousness. Yes, they can be savory and sweet. I might have to make all of them to see really why they are different. Egg in the dough? Rising times? It will be a hardship, but I'm willing suffer in the name of science.

Why I made these in particular is because I've lurked too much on the Daring Baker's Challenge and if I don't participate again they are going to kick me to the curb.

 The dough is straight from Julie E's recipe. I only needed 4 cups of flour and my dough was fairly dry.
Dough balls, each weighing in near 3 ounces, unfilled.

1/4 ounce (2 teaspoons) active dry yeast (1 packet )
1-1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter cut into little pieces
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
1 egg for egg-wash for the buns

1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil

1 small yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced
1 lb ground pork 
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons sugar

Salt and white pepper to taste

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
1 green onion, minced 

In a stand mixer combine the yeast, water, sugar, butter and salt. Allow the yeast to get foamy. Add the flour. Mix until combined. Cover the bowl and allow it to sit 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Cut into 12 equal sized balls roll tightly.
The dough filled and waiting to rise.
Starting with the ball you rolled, press flat. I used a rolling pin. Is that cheating? I don't know but that's how I roll. Haha. The dough is like pizza dough. Use about 1/4 cup room temperature or cold filling. Pinch the sides together and place seam side down on a lined cookie sheet. Repeat with all the dough and filling.

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 1 hour. Preheat oven 350 degrees. Brush with egg and bake 20-25 minutes.

To make the filling:
In a large skillet brown the onion in the oil. Add the garlic and ginger. Sautee 2 minutes. Add the pork, cook until brown. Add the sauces, sugar, salt and pepper. Adjust the seasoning to your liking.
Thicken with a cornstarch slurry. (Add the starch to the water and that solution to the pork and cook until clear.) Add the minced onion, cool.

These are the perfect size to pack for lunch. My daughter is not a fan of the sandwich, but these, these she loves. What's your non-traditional lunch idea?
Warm out of the oven.