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Pork

Roasted Garlic, Pear and Pork Ravioli

October 17, 2017

Switch things up this holiday season with a hearty pear and pork ravioli filled with rustic autumn flavors!

Thanks to Nugget Markets for sponsoring this post!

Roasted Garlic, Pear and Pork Ravioli Recipe | Sponsored Post | FakeFoodFree.com

Sometimes I feel bad for pears.

They are the underdog of fall ingredients. As soon as temperatures begin to dip, apples are all the rage. The leaves start turning and we simply cannot hide our affection for winter squash. 

Meanwhile, there sit the pears. Beautiful in their green, reddish-brown, and tan fall colors, but second place to the front row attention-seekers. 

I’m not sure why I turn to apples and pumpkins over pears, but more often than not, I do. Guilty. 

So when Nugget Markets gave me the opportunity to do a fall-inspired post, an alternative to the traditional holiday meal, I set my sights on pears. At the very least, I owe the fruit some time in the spotlight. 

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Skillet Mushrooms in Rosemary Gravy and Smoked Ham and Olive Spread

November 18, 2015

These savory snacks make a great start to holiday meals. Their rich, earthy flavors are an ideal match for the Cabernet Franc I received from Cultivar Wine.

Skillet Mushrooms in Rosemary Gravy and Smoked Ham and Olive Spread | Holiday Snacks and Appetizers | Cultivar Wine Pairing on Fake Food Free #partner  
The idea of snacks for Thanksgiving day seems a little absurd. It’s not like we really need to include more food in the celebration. And having snacks around certainly isn’t because we need to satisfy hunger. If you are like me, hungry won’t even be a part of your vocabulary for at least 36 hours. 

Yet there is something about little bites to kick off the celebration that feels like a necessity. All that cooking makes you want to eat. Why not take things over the top? It is Thanksgiving after all.

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Club Sandwich with Duck Breast, Cambozola, Applewood Smoked Bacon and Roasted Garlic

November 2, 2015

This recipe takes an ordinary sandwich and makes it worthy of an excellent wine pairing! It comes from Chad Hendrickson, Executive Chef for The Hess Collection. A special thank you to The Hess Collection for sponsoring this post. 

Club Sandwich with Duck Breast, Cambozola, Applewood Smoked Bacon and Roasted Garlic | Paired with The Hess Collection Small Block Series 2012 Napa Valley Syrah | Fake Food Free | #sponsored

Sandwiches are casual. When we don’t want to have a fancy meal or invest too much time in the kitchen, we go for a sandwich. 

They are convenient and familiar, but many lean a little towards boring and monotonous. That is, until you start considering whether the lowly sandwich could possibly pair with wine. Not just any wine, but a syrah that boasts black and blue fruits with a subtle touch of spiced vanilla and cedar. Before you know it, you have a duck breast sandwich on your hands that also happens to be layered with bacon and Cambozola cheese. 

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Baby Yellow Potatoes with Smoky Sauce, Pickled Shallots and Bacon

January 29, 2015

These baby yellow potatoes are a recreation of an appetizer we had while dining out. They are served with a smoky sauce and topped with tangy pickled shallots and crisp crumbled bacon! The Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes I recently received from Melissa’s Produce are the perfect size for this party snack or side dish.

Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes with Smoky Sauce, Pickled Shallots and Bacon | Fake Food Free 

I’m not really a bar person. Brewery tasting room person, yes, but bar person, not so much. I’m talking about the kind where all the cool kids go. The places where you have to scream to speak with someone and get bumped so many times that you aren’t sure if you actually drank your cocktail or splashed it out of the glass. 

Truth be told, though, these places are usually pretty cool, with intriguing interiors and inventive drinks. I don’t like to miss out completely, so if I do go, I prefer to be there about 5:00 pm.

Yes, I know. Old lady. But this is also when happy hour specials are available so I call it me being frugal.

Don’t worry. I see it, too.  Happy hour specials could easily merge into the early bird discounts at the local restaurant and eating dinner at 4:00 pm. I may be on a downward spiral. 

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A Guide to Peanut Flour and Peanut Chile Rubbed Pork Chops Recipe

July 22, 2014
A Guide to Peanut Flour and Peanut Chile Rubbed Pork Chops Recipe | fakefoodfree.com

I am crazy for peanut flour. I discovered it last year after attending a nutrition and cooking retreat with The Peanut Institute. After doing a little web research, I found it mentioned around the web a couple of years ago (likely because Trader Joe’s carried it for a while), but it was a new ingredient to most of us at that retreat.

I’ve always been a huge peanut and peanut butter fan so it’s logical that peanut flour is my new favorite thing. It’s light and powdery without the graininess you find in some flours. It adds a pleasant nutty flavor and when stirred into oatmeal or a shake, it is super smooth and creamy.

It has quickly become my plant-based protein powder, but as I hope to show you over the next few posts, it is incredibly versatile in all types of recipes.

Peanut flour is made using raw high-oleic peanuts (about 80 percent oleic acid) that are cleaned, blanched and roasted. Then they are pressed using a natural oil extraction process (without the use of solvents) to produce a flour that is either 12 percent fat or 28 percent fat, depending on the amount of oil extracted. The process is similar to making cocoa powder and as a result you can sub peanut flour to cocoa powder at a 1:1 ratio.

At the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco last January, I had the opportunity to meet a representative from Golden Peanut Company. They supply bulk peanut products to manufacturers and restaurants. After discussing my interest in experimenting with more peanut flours, they sent me a sample of 4 varieties and I’ve been working with the ingredients ever since.

 

I received the four flours pictured above – 12 percent Light Roast, 28 percent Light Roast, 28 percent Certified Organic Medium Roast and 28 percent Dark Roast. You can see the color differences in the photo based on the roasts.

Peanut flour is great for dry rubs, sauces, baked goods, pet treats and as a stir in for shakes, yogurt and oatmeal. The 28 percent fat varieties are 40 percent protein and can be used for just about everything. The 12 percent fat varieties are 50 percent protein and are good for when you want less peanut flavor, but plenty of protein. (I like to use the 12 percent in shakes.)

The light and medium roasts work better in baked goods because the baking will roast the flours further. The dark roasts were developed for cold uses and they add a nice flavor to uncooked sauces or dressings and confections.

According to Golden Peanut Company, their peanut flour is gluten-free, GMO-free, all natural and kosher. I should disclose right now that the fact that it is gluten-free isn’t the reason I use it. It can be a great option for those on a gluten-free diet, but I don’t have a gluten intolerance so you will find that some of my recipes for baked goods do include some wheat flours for binding.

If you’d like to try peanut flour yourself the best resource for consumer purchases is Byrd Mill online. I’ve mentioned them before because we received their peanut flour samples from The Peanut Institute after the retreat. A tip when you buy your own — because peanut flours use high-oleic peanuts they are more shelf stable than traditional peanuts. They should be stored in a cool and dry place, preferably the refrigerator, and last 9 to 12 months.

So now that you know a little more about the flour, let me show you one of my favorite ways to use it — as a dry rub. These pork chops are coated in light roasted 28 percent peanut flour, chile powder and ginger before being seared in the skillet and finished off in the oven. The result is a juicy chop with a little heat and a mild nutty flavor.

If you have some questions about peanut flour, send them my way. There are many more recipes to come!

A Guide to Peanut Flour and Peanut Chile Rubbed Pork Chops Recipe | fakefoodfree.com

Peanut Chile Rubbed Pork Chops Recipe

Makes: 4 servings

2 tbsp 28 percent Light Roast Peanut Flour
1 tbsp ancho chile powder
2 tsp coconut sugar (or your favorite dark sugar)
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp medium roast ground coffee
1 tsp salt
1 to 1 ¼ lb. center cut loin chops (4 chops about ½-inch thick)
2 tbsp olive oil (or your favorite cooking oil)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small dish, stir together the peanut flour, chile powder, sugar, ginger, coffee and salt. Pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel and then coat each evenly with the dry rub.

Heat the oil over medium-high in a large cast iron skillet. Place the pork chops in the skillet (they should sizzle). Cook for 1 minute and flip. Place the skillet in the oven and baked for 6 to 7 minutes, until the chops are cooked through. (Pork should reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.)

Let rest 2 to 3 minutes and serve.

A few references if you’d like to explore:
How to use peanut flour from Golden Peanut Company (pdf)
In a Nutshell: A Better Peanut
More About Specialty Peanut Flour, Aromatic Oil and Extract from Golden Peanut Company 

Disclosure: I was provided samples of peanut flour from Golden Peanut Company. I was not required to post about them and received no compensation for doing so. 
 
 

Thanks for reading! All images and content are the property of Fake Food Free unless otherwise stated. Please do not republish full recipes and images without written permission. What is okay? Feel free to Pin images, share links to my posts or share the photo in a round up post with the title of this recipe and a link back to the post. Confused about copyright and food blogs? Here is some helpful information on Recipe Attribution. If you want to use a photo or full recipe, just ask. I’m sure we can work something out. 

 

Minced Pork with Garlic and Mustard Greens Recipe

November 14, 2013
Minced Pork with Garlic and Mustard Greens Recipe | Fake Food Free

I was at the farmers market last Saturday browsing the leafy greens when I heard the vendor answer a shopper’s question with, “They’re mustard greens.”

I immediately thought back to the first time I had mustard greens, which wasn’t all that long ago. I was out to dinner with a good friend at a new favorite spot for Chinese food back in Kentucky. She ordered the pork and mustard greens.

I was pleasantly surprised by their bitter spiciness and I’ve wanted to recreate that dish ever since. After overhearing that conversation at the market, I knew that I should finally go for it.

Minced Pork with Garlic and Mustard Greens Recipe | Fake Food Free

This is a super simple dish that is full of flavor. You can pair it with rice or use a different meat or tofu, but I think pastured pork with the spicy greens by itself is the way to go. The only problem is that I didn’t make nearly enough. Next time I will double it so there are plenty of leftovers!

Minced Pork with Garlic and Mustard Greens

Makes: 2 to 3 servings

Ingredients:

½ tbsp. olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup chopped onion
½ lb. ground pastured pork
4 to 5 cups sliced mustard greens (about 1 large bunch)
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. dark sesame oil
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper

Preparation:

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 1 minute.

Add the pork and cook for 5 to 7 minutes breaking it up with a spatula, until it is browned and cooked through. Drain any excess grease if necessary.

Add the mustard greens and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until they begin to wilt. Add the ginger and cook 1 more minute.

Stir in the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil and crushed red pepper. Serve warm.

 

Thanks for reading! All images and content are the property of Fake Food Free unless otherwise stated. Please do not republish full recipes and images without written permission. What is okay? Feel free to Pin images, share links to my posts or share the photo in a round up post with the title of this recipe and a link back to the post. Confused about copyright and food blogs? Here is some helpful information on Recipe Attribution. If you want to use a photo or full recipe, just ask. I’m sure we can work something out.  

Places Worth Preserving – The Pumpkin Farm

October 7, 2013
 
          Pumpkin Patch | Fake Food Free
 

I can see them before I pull up to the entrance of the farm. They are specs of bright orange sunshine amid a sea of dry, brown brush. The excitement builds as I get closer and begin to make out the endless shapes and sizes. Some perfectly symmetrical, others with an odd bump here or a groove there that only adds to their character.

Picking a pumpkin is unlike any other garden harvest. It takes a good eye and a good bit of strength to find (and haul) the right one. First, I judge by size. I have to get this thing back to the front register to check out, so as tempting as those extra-large beauties may be, I have to leave those in the field for someone a bit stronger.

Next, they must be analyzed from every angle ensuring there is at least one good side to show off to the neighborhood. It may take a while to find one, but there is nothing I enjoy shopping for more than the perfect pumpkin.

Pumpkin Recipes | Fake Food Free

While I have memories of pumpkin hunting from my childhood, the appreciation of the local pumpkin patch is something I associate much more with as an adult. Fall is my favorite season, and there is nothing better than seeing the first signs in the form of a bright pumpkin.

When I was invited to participate in a special project with Frei Brothers Reserve to celebrate a place that I feel is worth preserving, the opportunity hooked me in right away. It was a tough decision. There are so many. But what is the one place that stands out most for me?

The local pumpkin farm.

Pumpkin Recipes | Fake Food Free
 

It’s not a place that is reserved for a lucky few that live in a specific region. It’s not tucked in the wooded hills of the East or along the rugged coastline of the Northwest. From Kentucky to California, and just about every state beyond and in between, when October arrives you can hear the laughter, smell the spiced cider and see the orange specs among the dry brush. It’s pumpkin season, and for me, this feeling and this special place is worth preserving.

As part of my participation in the Frei Brothers Reserve project, I was asked to create a meal around my place to preserve. So I roasted my first winter squash of the season, blended up the beautiful, sweet orange puree and prepared three courses in celebration of pumpkin with the help of Frei Brothers Reserve Chardonnay.

Autumn Salad with Pumpkin-Orange Dressing | Fake Food Free

 Autumn Salad with Pumpkin-Orange Dressing

Serves: 4

6 cups mixed greens
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup walnut halves
¼ cup dried cranberries
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp fresh pumpkin puree
2 cloves garlic, peeled
¼ tsp salt
Pinch ground black pepper

Place the lettuce, cheese, walnuts and cranberries in a large bowl.

Combine the olive oil, orange juice, vinegar, pumpkin and garlic in a small food processor. Pulse until smooth. Stir in the salt and pepper.

Pour the dressing over salad and toss to coat.

Divide into 4 portions and serve.

Pork Scaloppini in White Wine Sauce over Handmade Pumpkin Pasta | Fake Food Free

Pork Scaloppini in White Wine Sauce over Handmade Pumpkin Pasta

Pairing tip: pair with Frei Brothers Reserve Chardonnay

Serves: 4

Pasta
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 eggs
3 ½ tbsp fresh pumpkin puree

Scaloppini
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup almond meal
1 tsp sea salt
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 pound pork scaloppini (about 8 thin slices)

¼ cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
¾ cup Frei Brothers Reserve Chardonnay
1 tbsp unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp chopped fresh chives

Pasta
Combine the flour, 2 eggs and 3 ½ tablespoons of pumpkin puree in a food processor. Pulse until the dough comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and kneaded just until the dough comes together into a smooth ball.

Let rest under a damp paper towel for 15 minutes. Follow your pasta maker instructions for rolling and cutting the pasta, or you can follow my guide for Beginner Homemade Pasta Making.

To cook the pasta, boil for 3 to 4 minutes in salted water, drain and set aside.

Pork

In a shallow dish, combine the bread crumbs, almond meal, salt, nutmeg, cayenne and black pepper. In a separate shallow dish whisk together the milk and the 1 egg.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large cast iron skillet or a similar skillet over medium-high heat. Dip each piece of pork in the egg and milk, and then into the bread crumbs, turning to coat it evenly.

Working in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan, add the pork to the hot skillet and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until browned and cooked through.

Transfer to a paper towel to drain.

Once all the pork is cooked, add the onion and garlic to the skillet and carefully pour in the wine to deglaze the pan. Scrape the bottom of the pan well as the wine boils and reduces for about 30 seconds.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the butter and continue to scrape the pan until the butter melts. Salt and pepper the sauce to your taste.

Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss to coat in the sauce.

To serve, add ¼ of the pasta to each serving plate. Top with 1 to 2 pieces of the scaloppini and garnish with ½ tablespoon of the chopped chives.

Pork Scaloppini in White Wine Sauce over Handmade Pumpkin Pasta | Fake Food Free
Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream | Fake Food Free

Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream

Serves: 4 to 6

2 cups 2% milk
1 cup heavy cream
¾ cup raw sugar
5 tbsp fresh pumpkin puree
2 egg yolks
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Combine the milk, cream, sugar and 3 tablespoons of pumpkin puree in a heavy sauce pan. Turn the heat to medium and gently scald the milk, stirring often. The milk should begin to foam on the top, but it should not come to a full boil. Remove from the heat.

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining pumpkin puree, egg yolks, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Temper the mixture by slowing pouring in ½ cup of the warm milk, while whisking vigorously.

Transfer the tempered egg mixture back to the pan of warm milk by pouring slowly and whisking constantly.
Return the pan to medium-low heat. Cook stirring often for about 5 minutes, until the milk begins to foam again, but do not allow it to come to a boil.

Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a heat and freezer safe bowl (such as Pyrex). Place the bowl over a larger bowl filled with ice and stir the mixture until cool.

Refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour. (I sometimes put it in the freezer to speed up the process.)

Freeze in a counter-top ice cream maker per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream | Fake Food Free
Pumpkin Recipes | Fake Food Free
Pumpkin Recipes | Fake Food Free

What is your Place Worth Preserving? Frei Brothers Reserve is currently hosting a photo competition on Facebook for Places Worth Preserving in association with National Geographic Traveler. Every month between now and November, they are giving away prizes for photo entries including a grand prize trip to visit their winery at Frei Ranch in Sonoma County plus a stay in Yosemite National Park.

You can also check out a round-up of all the delicious Places Worth Preserving and wine inspired recipes at Kitchen PLAY.

Discloser: I was invited to participate in the Frei Brothers Reserve Places Worth Preserving project by Kitchen PLAY. This is a sponsored post. I received monetary compensation for this post and a bottle of wine to pair with my meal.

Spicy Spiked Bacon Guacamole

September 16, 2013
Spicy Spiked Bacon Guacamole | Fake Food Free  

I was well into adulthood before I realized that guacamole wasn’t a neon green paste served in a little plastic cup alongside Mexican fast food in the U.S. Fortunately, when friends were in disbelief of my dislike of guac, they took the opportunity to explain the potential of the real, non-processed version. From that point forward, bite by bite, I started trying more and making my own.

Now, I like it chunky, loaded with avocado, onion, jalapeno and cilantro, and I make it every chance I get. With California avocados, that chance comes around much more often than it used to. So this isn’t just a celebration of guacamole, it’s a celebration of living in a placing that is brimming with amazing avocados.

And since we are celebrating, we should make a toast to the drink that goes best with guacamole – tequila! I lived in Kentucky for 10 years, so when it comes to bourbon, I’m pretty educated. We also travel to the Caribbean so I’ve learned a fair share about rum, too.

But tequila? Tequila I have a lot to learn about.

That’s why I was thrilled when Casa Noble sent me some samples to help celebrate this food holiday. I received Casa Noble’s Reposado Tequila which is aged 364 days in French White Oak Barrels. It has won both Gold and Silver in the San Francisco World Spirit competition as well as other numerous awards. (They also make several other award-winning varieties. You can check out those, and their tequila-making process on the Casa Noble website.) 

Spicy Spiked Bacon Guacamole | Fake Food Free

And did I mention how cool their bottles are? Yes, I get sucked in by creative packaging. Especially if it looks good sitting on top of our bar.

After taking a sip, I knew I had lived a sheltered life in terms of tequila. I couldn’t believe how smooth it was; none of that harsh burn that you get from so many tequilas.

There are great tequila cocktail ideas on the company’s website, but to celebrate this day I decided to use the tequila in my guacamole. If you’ve not done this before, it is time to start spiking those avocados. And I know that traditional guac is made with lemon juice, but we are working with tequila here so I dressed it up with lot of lime and salt!

Spicy Spiked Bacon Guacamole

Serves: 4

Ingredients

3 ounces pastured bacon ends, chopped and cooked crispy
1 small tomato, diced
¼ cup chopped cilantro
2 green onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp chopped pickled jalapeno
3 avocados
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of ½ lime
2 tsp Casa Noble tequila
½ tsp sea salt

Prep

Stir together the bacon, tomato, onion, cilantro, garlic and jalapeno in a medium bowl. 

Add the avocado, lime zest, lime juice and tequila. Mash and stir the ingredients together until the avocados reach your desired consistency. (You can also use a mortar and pestle or a food processor.)

Stir in the sea salt and serve.

 
Spicy Spiked Bacon Guacamole | Fake Food Free

Disclosure: Casa Noble tequila was sent to me for celebrating National Guacamole Day. I was not required to post about it and I received no compensation for doing so. Thoughts are my own and it is really great tequila!

Spicy Thai Salad with Minced Pork (Larb) Recipe from Everyday Thai Cooking

September 13, 2013
 
Spicy Thai Salad with Minced Pork (Larb) Recipe from Everyday Thai Cooking | Fake Food Free
 

The first time I had Thai food was in Thailand.

That seems a little strange to me considering I was 30 years old. (I actually celebrated my 30th in Thailand. Great birthday.)

Most people would probably also try some of the dishes that hail from the country they are about to spend a few weeks exploring, but not me.

It was more of an access issue than anything else. There wasn’t much Thai food in central Kentucky the few years before that, and I also wasn’t an adventurous eater. I was more of a count your calories, eat whole grains and enjoy your fat-free yogurt kind of eater. (I know. I shutter when I think about it, too.) Then we moved to Brazil and there was good food, but no Thai.

So I learned about Thai food, including the infamous Pad Thai, in its home. That is not a bad situation to be in. Although it will leave you constantly comparing every dish you have after that to your original experience. For that reason, even though we took a cooking class while there, I haven’t made much Thai food at home. I play with Pad Thai and curry, but that is about it.

I think that is soon going to change. See, now I have this wonderful cookbook called Everyday Thai Cooking: Quick and Easy Family Style Recipes by Katie Chin. Just flipping through its pages, I feel empowered to bring Thai into my kitchen.

In addition to gorgeous food photography (and scenic photos from Thailand that make me want to go back), the book starts with three sections that I love to see in a cookbook – techniques, ingredients and the basics (all those pastes and sauces that make Thai food so amazing.)

Trust me, this section will have you feeling empowered, too. The book is split into appetizers, soups and salads, entrees based on the meat selection (and vegetarian), followed up by a hefty dessert section. Some things I have on my list include Fragrant Coconut Fish in Banana Leaves, Thai Garlicky Eggplant and Coconut Thai Basil Ice Cream. It’s page after page of both familiar and different Thai recipes that are simply explained for the home cook. 

Spicy Thai Salad with Minced Pork (Larb) Recipe from Everyday Thai Cooking | Fake Food Free

The Spicy Thai Salad with Minced Pork is what caught my eye when I first flipped through the book. It is light and healthy with all the familiar flavors of Thai cuisine. Katie and the publishers graciously gave me permission to share this delicious recipe with you.

The thing I found most interesting about this dish was the roasted rice powder. I’m now going to be making this nutty, slightly crunchy powder to top other dishes. It adds a special touch. You’ll love this recipe. It’s all the tease you’ll need to get your hands on a copy of the book. 

Spicy Thai Salad with Minced Pork (Larb)

©Katie Chin 2013. Reprinted with permission from Tuttle Publishing

Serves 4 as part of a multi-course meal or for lunch

Preparation time: 20 minutes + cooling time
Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients
1 tablespoon long-grain rice1 tablespoon high-heat cooking oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small shallot, finely sliced
1 teaspoon minced lemongrass
1 fresh hot red or green chili, preferably Thai (deseeded if you prefer less heat)
½ lb (250 g) ground pork
3 tablespoons Basic Chicken Stock or store-bought
2 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon palm or brown sugar
4 cups (350 g) mixed baby greens
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
½ cup (52 g) peeled, seeded, and diced cucumber
12–14 fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Thai or Italian basil
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons crushed roasted peanuts
Fresh coriander leaves (cilantro) for garnish
Mint leaves for garnish
Lime wedges

Prep

Make the roasted rice powder: Heat the rice in a small dry skillet over medium heat, stirring and tossing for 3–4 minutes, until it turns golden brown. Transfer to a small plate and allow to cool. Use a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder and grind the rice into a coarse powder.

Heat the oil in a wok or skillet on medium-high heat. Add garlic, shallots, lemongrass, and chili; stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add pork and stir-fry, while breaking it up with a wooden spoon until cooked through, about 5–6 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock, fish sauce, lime juice, and palm sugar and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the rice powder, baby greens, mint leaves, fresh coriander leaves, basil, and red onions. Add the warm pork mixture and toss with the greens. Sprinkle crushed peanuts on top. Garnish with fresh coriander and mint leaves. Serve immediately with lime wedges.

COOK’S NOTE: Feel free to substitute the fish sauce with soy sauce, the pork with soy protein crumbles and the chicken stock with vegetable stock for a vegetarian version of this salad.

Spicy Thai Salad with Minced Pork (Larb) Recipe from Everyday Thai Cooking | Fake Food Free
 
Also be sure to check out the Dan Dan Noodles from Katie’s Everyday Chinese Cookbook!
 
 
Disclosure:  This book was sent to me for review purposes. I was not required to post about it and I received no compensation for doing so. This post contains affiliate links.
 
 
Thanks for reading! All images and content are the property of Fake Food Free unless otherwise stated. Please do not republish full recipes and images without written permission. What is okay? Feel free to Pin images, share links to my posts or share the photo in a round up post with the title of this recipe and a link back to the post. Confused about copyright and food blogs? Here is some helpful information on Recipe Attribution. If you want to use a photo or full recipe, just ask. I’m sure we can work something out.  

Bacon, Corn and Brown Rice Stuffed Squash Recipe

August 8, 2013
Summer Squash Stuffed with Bacon, Corn and Brown Rice | Recipe | Fake Food Free
 

 When I tell people that we moved here from Kentucky I get the usual response. It’s the same response I received any time we traveled while living there.

It is something similar to, “I bet this is (that was) different,” or “This must be an adjustment.”

Now, I don’t get cranky or offended. It’s not like I’m out to defend the upper southern part of the U.S. There are a lot of things that are different here in a very good way, and there are a lot of things that are the same.

Regardless of whether you live in rural Kentucky or Northern California, if you rarely go anywhere else, well, there you are. There are as many people here that haven’t seen other parts of the US as there are people who haven’t in Kentucky. So I don’t blame people for having this perception, but as you know from my blog I had myself in a pretty good food situation back East.

California wins when it comes to variety of produce, growing seasons and ethnic cuisines, but it falls way behind in something else – meat.

Oh, it’s here. It’s grass-fed and finished, pastured, organic, whatever you want. But it’s one other thing.

Impersonal.

I really dislike buying meat here. There are a few butchers, but when you add in the price of a quality product along with the fact that it’s being sold in California, ouch. The Farmers Markets have better prices for similar products, but it’s difficult to talk to people about the meat as a line 10 people deep waits behind you.

When people ask me what I miss most about Kentucky, that’s easy. The farms.

I’ve asked about buying farm direct, coming out for a visit, and so far the answer is that they only sell at the market. Although, some do have a dinner for customers one day a year.

I miss knowing the breeds, conditions and getting things like housemade prosciutto, sausage without the casing and blue/eggs that are mixed right in with the brown ones because they all come from the same group of chickens.

I know – cry me a river, Lori. I see all those Instagram and Facebook pictures of produce and landscape. Life is rough. Boo-hoo.

I get it. I’m not complaining. I realize I haven’t covered every base yet. I’m sure there are options out there. I guess my point is that I will, at least for a while, still have a reason to respond to all those who suggest Kentucky is different with – yes, yes it is.

bacon-ends

 

With all that being said, the meat I have ventured to get here has been very good. I finally found bacon ends last weekend at the Farmers Market. 

 

Bacon, Corn and Brown Rice Stuffed Squash Recipe | Fake Food Free
It called for a celebration of summer stuffed squash. Feel free to substitute any grain here. Cue ball or patty pan squash will work the best since this is a loose stuffing.

 

Bacon, Corn and Brown Rice Stuffed Squash

Makes: 6 stuffed squash

 

Ingredients

½ cup long grain brown rice
Extra virgin olive oil
6 cue ball or small patty pan (scalloped) squash
½ cup chopped pastured bacon ends
Kernels from 2 ears of corn
2 green onions, sliced, green and white portions divided
1 small bell pepper, diced
½ teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ cup finely grated cheddar cheese.

 

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat a casserole dish with olive oil.

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add the rice. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a low boil. Cook for 15 minutes until just barely tender, drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, cut the tops off the squash and scoop out the insides with a spoon. Reserve the flesh. Lightly rub the squash with olive oil and arrange in the baking dish. Pre-bake the squash for about 10 minutes.

In a deep skillet, brown the bacon on medium-high for about 5 minutes. Cook until your desired crispness. I like mine super crispy.

Add the corn, whites of the onions (reserve greens for garnish), the bell pepper and the chopped flesh of the squash. Cook for about 5 more minutes on medium to medium-high, until most of the moisture has evaporated.

Stir in the brown rice. Add the rosemary, salt and black pepper. Stir in the cheddar cheese. Transfer the stuffing to each of the squash.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the squash is tender. Garnish with reserved onion greens. Makes 6 stuffed squash.

 

 

 

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