Taiwanese Pork Chops and Broccoli

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When you don’t have a lot of time to spare in the kitchen, this dish can come together in minutes. It is perfect to add to your weekly meal rotation. What I like about this recipe is that there aren’t a ton of ingredients, I liked how the cornstarch created a delicious glaze on the chops, and the sauce was simple and super tasty. If you wanted to riff on the recipe, I think you could do definitely do this with chicken thighs or even steak as a change up.

Serves 2 to 4

Ingredients:
4 cloves garlic
7 scallions
1 pound pork loin, boneless center-cut chops
7 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon white pepper
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons extra-light olive oil
3 large broccoli crowns
2-3 tablespoons sweet Thai chili sauce

Directions:
Mince the garlic and scallions; set them aside on a plate.

Cut the pork to about 1/4-inch thickness. Pound thin with a mallet on both sides. To a medium bowl add 4 tablespoons of the soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch, and pepper. Stir to combine. Add the pork to the marinade and stir to thoroughly coat the meat. Cover and allow the pork to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add each pork piece in a single layer, keeping them separated. Allow the pork to cook for 2 minutes, until lightly browned, then flip over. Add garlic and scallions, and the remaining 3 tablespoons of soy sauce. Cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover with a lid for an additional minute, then turn the heat off.

Meanwhile, chop the broccoli into large spears. Remove the pork from the skillet, keeping all the leftover juices in the pan. Turn the stove back on high and stir fry the broccoli in the pork drippings, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes. Cover for 1 minute.

Transfer the broccoli to a serving platter.

Add 2-3 tablespoons of sweet chili sauce to the skillet.  Add the pork chops and coat with sauce, allowing the sauce to caramelize the meat, for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

To serve, plate the broccoli and add the cooked pork on top, and enjoy with rice or a steamed scallion bun.

 

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Veggie Fried Rice with Sunny-Side Up Eggs

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Staples like boil-in-bag rice can be a time-saving shortcut in this vegetarian version of a popular takeout stir-fry that’s topped off with eggs, a budget-friendly protein.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

One 14-ounce package boil-in-bag rice
2  tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 large carrots
2 tablespoons vegetable, divided
1/2 cup of broccoli florets
1/2 cup sugar snap peas
1/4 cup green beans
1 rib celery, sliced
1 small red bell pepper, julienned
One 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained
2 green onions, sliced
4 large eggs

Directions:

Prepare the rice according to package’s stovetop directions. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil.

In a wide pot, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil on medium-high. Add garlic and carrots. Cook 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the stir-fry vegetables. Cook  2 to 3 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

Pour rice from the bag into the skillet, along with soy sauce mixture. Cook 2 minutes stirring often. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and  cover to keep warm.

In a 12-inch nonstick  or cast iron skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon of  oil on medium-high. Add the eggs and fry for 1 – 2 minutes, until whites are mostly set. Cover skillet and cook  for an additional 2 minutes or until yolks are at the desired doneness. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, place the eggs on top of fried rice.

Cook’s Notes:

If you cannot find all the vegetables at your local supermarket, feel free to substitute one 16-ounce  bag frozen Asian stir-fry blend in this recipe. Make sure that the frozen vegetables are thawed  and drained before cooking.

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Orecchiette with Broccoli

Photo Credit: http://www.emikodavies.com

Orecchiette originates in the sunny southern province of Puglia, Italy, where the weather is warm and the crops plentiful. This pasta’s round, concave shape led to its name, which means “little ears” in Italian. The ridged exterior and cup-like interior captures chunky sauces and scoops up small vegetables, making orecchiette perfect to serve with sautés—sautés that begin, of course, with extra virgin olive oil, of which Puglia is the largest producer of in Italy.

This is a simple dish from Puglia in Southern Italy, traditionally always prepared with orecchiette and broccoli rabe. We prepared this dish using the more commonly found vegetable, broccoli. When buying broccoli, choose vegetables that have a uniform green color with no major brown or yellowing spots. The broccoli stem should feel firm and the crown should be tight and springy; soft stems or limp florets are a sign of old broccoli. Store broccoli in the crisper drawer in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Broccoli should keep fairly well for at least a week.

Orecchiette also makes a nice soupy pasta when cooked in the same water with potatoes and a big handful of arugula, and garnished with garlic and chili in olive oil. When you yell “Dinner!” your family and friends will be all ears.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
2-3 garlic cloves, smashed
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 head broccoli,  trimmed and cut into florets
1/4 cup water, or as needed
1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
A squeeze of fresh  lemon juice
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
1 pound dried orecchiette pasta

Directions:
To blanch the broccoli: Prepare a bowl of ice water and have it next to the stove. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Add a heaping teaspoon of salt. Add the broccoli florets and cook until crisp-tender, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and plunge immediately in the ice water.If you would like softer vegetables, cook for an additional 30 secondss.

Saute the garlic in oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 1 minute. Add broccoli and a little water and cook,  stirring occasionally,  until the broccoli is bright green and soft, but still a little crunchy, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper to taste and a sprinkle of cheese. Stirring and cook until cheese is melted. Add a  squeeze of lemon juice and set it aside until the pasta is ready.

Meanwhile, cook the orecchiette in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 tablespoon salt for 6 quarts water) until al dente.  Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain pasta.

Add the pasta and 2-3 tablespoons of the reserved cooking water to  the saucepan with the broccoli and toss until combined then serve immediately with a handful of grated cheese and a drizzle of olive oil over the top.

 

Cook’s Notes:
Pecorino cheese can be substituted for the Parmigiano-Reggiano, if desired.

If fresh broccoli is not at hand, frozen broccoli that has been thawed and drained can be used in this dish. A 10 ounce bag will do.

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