tomatoes

Garlic Pork with Tomato and Basil

For a long time we ate a whole bunch of pork tenderloin in this house and then over time phased it out and only featured it occasionally.  Slowly, pork has been making a place in the weekly menu rotation again and this recipe gets better every time.

I really discovered this dish when reading, “Way to Cook – The  Complete Visual Guide to Everyday Cooking,” by Cooking Light.  I did grow up cooking watching my grandfather (Miss ya, Pops!), and my mother, but there are certain basic cooking techniques and knowledge I feel I still need to learn to improve my cooking.  Many assume because I love to cook I know more than I do and are surprised to find out I really had never made homemade mashed potatoes until a couple of years ago.  Shocking, I realize, but it’s just something I never got around to until that point.

I found this book in T.J. Maxx for next to nothing and it’s been pretty insightful.  For example, when I would cook with tomatoes normally I would just cut them up seeds and all and throw them in the dish.  Even if the recipe called for me to seed the tomato, I didn’t think it matttered.  Well, after making two batches of salsa this past summer and reading this book seeding a tomato really brings out the flavor of a tomato.

Besides the tomatoes, this recipe keeps it simple.  As you can see pork, tomatoes, green onions, and fresh basil are the main ingredients.  Sure, there’s some seasoning and cornstarch, but otherwise pretty simple.  I’ve always been a supporter of less is more.  We hope you enjoy this dish as much as we have, and now you have one more use for your upcoming summer tomatoes!  Ciao…

INGREDIENTS

  • 12 oz pork tenderloin, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp cornstarch, divided
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/8 freshly ground white pepper
  • 3 tbsp cold water
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp Sriracha (hot chile sauce, such as Huy Fong)
  • 2 tsp peanut oil
  • 2 tsp minced fresh garlic
  • 2 cups chopped, seeded plum tomatoes (about 3 tomatoes)
  • ¾ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces (about ¼ cup)
  • 2 cups hot cooked brown rice

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METHOD

  1. Combine pork, 1 tsp cornstarch, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, tossing to coat.
  2. Combine water, oyster sauce, sugar, Sriracha, and remaining 1 tsp cornstarch in a small bowl.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil, swirling to coat.  Add minced garlic and pork mixture; sauté 3 minutes or until pork is done.  Add chopped tomatoes, sauté 1 minute.  Add cornstarch mixture; cook 1 minute or until thickened.  Add basil; stir to combine.  Remove from heat, and sprinkle with onions.  Serve with brown rice.

Saturday Supper – Fiery Flank Steak & Tomato Jam

This past week I figured it was about time I got off my arse and starting updating this blog.  Thus, I delved into my cookbooks and found something to try where I wouldn’t have to go to the grocery store.  Sometimes I call it the “big freezer cookout” when we have no business buying more food, but this time I’m trying to use what we have so perhaps I can spend more on decorating the movie room. 😉  Accessory is everything after all!

FIERY FLANK STEAK WITH TOMATO JAM (Cooking Light Annual Recipes, 2008)

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KEEPERS:  Tomato jam was AWESOME!!  For some reason I thought grating a tomato would be a bugger, but was done quite quickly.  I used the tomato jam a couple days later and it was still AWESOME!  Always marinate flank steak for 8 hours or longer, because this cut of beef is so tough it needs that amount of time to make it carvable.

THINGS I CHANGED:  I did half the entire recipe since the flank steak I had was almost a pound, with that being said I used green onions instead of a regular onion in the jam.

INGREDIENTS:

JAM

  • 6 lg ripe tomatoes, cored & cut in half crosswise (about 4 lbs)
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 1/3 c grated onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, minced
  • 1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt

STEAK

  • 1 tbsp grated lime rind
  • 1/3 c fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 lbs flank steak, trimmed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Cooking Spray

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METHOD:

  1. To prepare jam, grate tomatoes, flesh side down, over a large bowl to form 5-1/2 cups pulp, discard skins.  Combine pulp, sugar, and next 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a  boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer until reduced to 2-1/4 cups (about 20 minutes), stirring occasionally.  Cool to room temperature.  Stir in cilantro, 3 tablespoons juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  2. To prepare steak, combine rind and next 4 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag.  Add steak, seal.  Marinate in refrigerator 8 hours or overnight, turning bag occasionally.
  3. Prepare grill.
  4. Remove steak from bag; discard marinade.  Sprinkle both sides of steak evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Place steak on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Cut steak diagonlly across grain into thin slices.  Serve with jam.

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