Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fast, tasty and filling on a week night work night

It pays to rummage through the freezer!

Thursday night, on my last shift at the reference desk, it suddenly occurred to me that I had the fixings for a quick dinner. When I got home, I pulled out what was half a package of frozen, commercially-prepared kalua pork.

Kalua means roasted underground, and the real, homemade version involves digging an imu - a pit in your backyard (I don't have a yard!), making a fire and piling igneous rocks into the pit, covering it with banana stumps, then lining that with ti leaves, putting in your whole pig, turkeys, whatever else you want to cook, covering that with more ti leaves and burlap, then shoveling a lot of dirt over that and leaving it for at least 6 or more hours.

The pig meat that comes out is falling off the bone and smoky flavored. You shred it and remove bone and fat and put the skin aside for those who like it. Season with alae salt (Hawaiian salt made by evaporating sea water in coastal ponds) and serve. Try hard not to smack your lips.

You can make a decent version at home in the microwave with a pork butt, using liquid smoke, shoyu or ginger or all of those. Better, of course, if you can wrap with a couple of ti leaves. Or you can use the commercial product. Back on topic, to the recipe!

Easy pulled-pork fajitas

I had the DH take the tops off half a Costco package of mini peppers and slice those in half. I sliced a small onion and minced 3 cloves of garlic. Sauteed the onion and garlic, added the peppers and pork. Then mixed in a sauce of 1/4 cup wine vinegar (you could use cider or regular vinegar), one Tbsp sugar, 1-1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 tsp salt and heated through.

I warmed some flour tortillas, topped them with a couple of Tbsps of leftover 12-grain rice. Piled on some pork/pepper mixture and a sprinkling of shredded cheese. Sliced avocado or chopped tomatoes would be good, too, but by this time my brain had stopped working from lack of food. I would have added sour cream, but it had gone the way of old dairy...

Fast, tasty and filling, and a bit leftover, too.

Note: I use leftover kalua pig in a sauce that reminds me of a venison ragu over homemade noodles that I ate in a wonderful restaurant in Portland, OR.

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