Whether or not you can believe it, Memorial Day is right around the corner. And before I unleash the menu on Wednesday's Weekend Dinner Party post, I thought I'd tease you with a little pork butt.
Since you're not going to be able to purchase a 10 oz. portion of boneless pork butt (shoulder) at the grocery store, go ahead and pick up a 2-1/2 lb. piece. Cut off the amount needed for the Stir-Fried Pork with Leeks recipe below (thank you, Saveur) and then throw the rest in the freezer. We're going to be using that this weekend.
And that's all I'm sayin'.
This recipe comes together in a matter of minutes and will satisfy any and all temptations to peek at the take-out menu. If pork is not your thing, you could certainly use boneless, skinless chicken breast or even shrimp. Just make sure to make up a pot of brown rice to have alongside. Chopsticks, optional. Fortune cookies, required.
Photo Courtesy of Saveur
Stir-Fried Pork with Leeks (Cong Bao Rou Si)
Courtesy of Saveur Magazine, May 2010
10 oz. (about .6 lbs) boneless pork butt or shoulder, frozen for 20 minutes and cut into 2" x 1/8" strips
1 tsp. Asian sesame oil
1 tsp. dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. canola oil
1 leek, white and pale green parts only, cut diagonally into 1/4" slices
In a medium bowl, combine the pork, sesame oil, soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar, and half the garlic; let sit for 15 minutes.
Heat a 14" wok (or stainless-steel skillet) over high heat until wok begins to smoke. Add 1 tbsp. oil around the edge of the wok and swirl to coat the bottom and sides. Add the leeks and cook, stirring and tossing constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer leeks to a plate and set aside.
Return wok to high heat and add remaining oil around edge of wok, swirling to coat the bottom and sides. Add the pork mixture and remaining garlic and cook, stirring and tossing constantly, until the pork is browned, about 2 minutes.
Add reserved leeks to the wok and cook, stirring and tossing often, until just tender, about 1 minute.
Ever seen Israeli Couscous at the grocery store? If you haven't yet, I strongly urge you to seek it out. It's essentially couscous on steroids. Swollen little pearls of baked wheat which yield a satisfying bite and change things up from your typical orzo, for example. But the two are most definitely interchangeable. This week, I'm planning on putting one together for a light dinner and easily transportable lunch. So you whip one up too.
Israeli Couscous with Shrimp, Feta, and Lemon
1/2 box of Israeli Couscous, cooked to box directions
1 lb. (about 10 to 12 jumbo) peeled, deveined shrimp with tails removed, cut into bite size chunks
1 clove garlic, grated
1 lemon, zested then juiced
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium-sized pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in grated garlic quickly followed by the shrimp. Cook for about a minute or two until just pink and then remove from heat.
In a large bowl, add the cooked Israeli Couscous, shrimp, feta, parsley, and lemon zest. Squeeze in the juice from the lemon and a healthy drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
1 bunch of Italian flat-leaf parsley
garlic (you should have)
soy sauce (pantry item)
sesame oil (pantry item)
cornstarch (pantry item)
2-1/2 lb. pork butt/shoulder
1 lb. peeled, deveined shrimp
israeli couscous (or orzo, orecchiette, whatever)
Wine: Chilled bottle of Sauvignon Blanc (I picked up a bottle of this)