CtBF – Lightning Fast Pork (plus a bit of catching up)

This week’s recipe is actually for a quick tahini pork. But Dorie offers an option of using peanut butter and chopped peanuts in place of the tahini and sesame seeds. I like that flavor combination, and it meant one less trip to the store that day – so I was all in.

This is a really simple and quick recipe. I made it for one, as I was leaving town and didn’t need any leftovers. It’s a bit of a confluence of flavors, not any specific flavor profile, though of course, vaguely Asian-influenced.

The pork is chunked into small-ish pieces, then tossed in a bit of a dry rub, consisting of harissa/chile powder, ginger, cumin, tumeric and salt.

The tahini or peanut butter is mixed with a hefty amount of lemon juice, then the other items are added individually to the saute. Olive oil for searing, honey, cider vinegar, more lemon juice, water and pepper, plus a little cilantro (and the sesame seeds or chopped peanuts) to finish it off.

Once that’s all prepped, the pork is seared quickly to brown them. Then the honey is added, finally the vinegar and water to deglaze the pan. the heat gets lowered, then the tahini/peanut butter & lemon juice mixture is added, and cooked for a couple of minutes so the sauce is thickened a bit, and the pork is cooked through. Lemon juice and a test for salt/pepper and then it’s ready to serve with the cilantro and sesame seeds/peanuts.

This was pretty fast. But it also was messier than I expected (splattering), and used a few dishes (I even re-used bowls!). I think the concept is great, and so I might mix things up a bit for my taste (lime instead of lemon, Thai chile paste, palm sugar or raw sugar in place of the honey…) or what I’m in the mood for. I served this with my latest obsession: Indomie Mi Goreng noodles. But on the whole, great concept, very good recipe, and as with all of these recipes, and great jumping-off point for next time. I like that Everyday Dorie is (like most of her books) a great place to learn, and a starting point for cooking at home.

Another recipe that I made recently, but didn’t get posted, was for Chicken Milanese. This is something that I make fairly often in the summer because it’s just so fabulous with a topping reminiscent of a caprese salad, or a traditional tomato brushetta topping. I like the technique as well, because it’s such a terrific starting point – leftovers make the best sandwiches, could be topped with marinara and cheese for chicken parm, and of course, it’s the same general process as for Pork Milanese, or Katsudon – another of my recent obsessions! There are some differences in the methods for breading, and then again, there are also different bread crumbs – a more traditional Italian-style fine crumb, and Panko, often used for Japanese cooking, but popular for those who want more crunch!

This is another easy recipe. The salad is a departure for me; celery, bell pepper and cucumber, along with a little arugula. The dressing consisted of olive oil, lemon juice and white balsamic, of course seasoned with salt and pepper.

The cutlets are prepped a little differently, because instead of the traditional flour, egg, crumbs combo – it was 2 of seasoned crumbs and then the eggs. Of course everything gets seasoned before. So then, it’s crumbs, then egg, then crumbs again. I was thinking that would get a little heavy on the crumb side – but not really. They can be prepped up to here and refrigerated for up to 8 hours.

The cutlets are then browned in a 1:2 ratio of butter and olive oil – I might have missed that, but I’ll put it here. About 3 minutes per side. If you’re making more than can fit in your pan, you can pop them into a warm oven while the remainder are cooked.

The salad gets tossed with a little dressing, and served with the chicken, along with additional lemon for squeezing over.

Another good recipe, and great jumping-off place. I make a “winter” vegetable salad that would be good with this, or something like a black bean & corn salad would be good for the chillier upcoming weather. It’s difficult for me to get past the combo of fresh tomatoes, but this technique is one that anyone should learn, and I did like the different crumb method as well. So many different options. And again, any Milanese makes a great sandwich with some crusty bread. Mmmmm, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

There are a number of great cooks that are also cooking their way through Dorie Greenspan’s Everyday Dorie. You can see what they thought about these and other recipes by going to the Cook the Book Fridays site! If you are interested, there are even directions about how to join in the fun!

3 thoughts on “CtBF – Lightning Fast Pork (plus a bit of catching up)

  1. Oh wow- what a delicious “catch up” !! Love, love your process photos too. (lol I have forgotten how messy that pork was to fry…my stove looked the same 🙂 I am SO glad to see that you did the peanut butter with nuts on top. I had actually forgotten about Dorie suggesting that and I love the idea of those flavors and textures. And they look amazing in your photo. The chicken Milanese was an awesome tweak to the chicken cutlets we typically prepare and a winner for sure. Now to find out more about those noodles lol……yu,m !!

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