Friday, July 22, 2011

French Fridays with Dorie - coconut-lemongrass braised pork

It's been so long since I've cooked just for the joy of long since I've snapped a photo of something I've made...and so long since I've shared on my blog.  Well, it's only been about two months...but it seems like forever.  When we decided to move (right around Mother's Day) and to make it all happen by July 1st...I knew there would be no time for anything else.  No time for anything but getting the house ready to sell (meaning fixing everything that has bugged us for the last umpteen years, but to which we hadn't gotten around to fixing) and packing (meaning going through every single thing that we have accumulated over the last 23 years of marriage and deciding should it stay or should it go).

We were moving from a relatively large house (3600+ sq ft, 18,000 sq ft lot) to a relatively small house(2000+sq ft, maybe 6000 sq ft lot (maybe...if you include the view)).  In order to be on the must give up we are giving up quite a bit of space...and achieve the dream of living on the water in one of arguably the most beautiful places in the country ( the world!)

So, with about only 6 weeks to make this all happen...everything else had to be put aside.  I couldn't even read other's blogs...knowing that I would get side-tracked and want to cook, as well as not having the time to give to what can be a complete time suck in your life.  I've missed out on the last two months of my on-line friends' lives...and that's a real bummer.  But, in the end, it was worth the sacrifice.  After three weeks (today) in the new home, we are pretty settled.  Many, many boxes are unpacked and the garage is really the last eyesore at this point.  I owe the state of unpack to my two fabulous sisters (and their kids)...who all pitched in at various times to get one more box unpacked.  (They know how much the sight of the boxes was causing me great distress each day!)

On Wednesday, we had some friends visit from LA (we have many friends scheduled to visit...after all, who doesn't want a weekend in Coronado) and I decided it was the perfect time to get back into the Dorie swing of things.  And, what a great recipe to start back with...coconut-lemongrass braised pork...YUM!

I had most of the ingredients on hand, except the pork & lemon grass (and I was all out of tumeric), so off to the store I went.  Getting use to a new grocery store...always fun!  I have been having a lot of fun going to all the farmers' markets and I joined a CSA (whose farm is about 8 miles from my house).  When I purchased the pork butt, I asked the butcher to cube it for me (I know, so lazy...but such a nice luxury and it made making the dish very quick and easy).  I knew I was going to have trouble finding fresh lemongrass at my local Vons...and I haven't found the specialty ethnic markets yet.  Lucky for me, Vons had fresh lemongrass in a tube (sounds gross...but it worked).

The one bad thing about the new house is the electric cooktop.  Real cooks know that electric is bad....evil...down right horrible to cook on!  Gas is so much more controllable and forgiving.  But, I'm learning.  I have burned a few things and I have to remember not to turn my back on that damn stove.  The first home improvement I'm going to make is install a gas stovetop...but it will probably be a couple of months before that I'm sure there will be more than a few tales of woe cooking on electric.

Anyway, luckily for our guests...I had no trouble with the stove for this dish.  I browned the pork nicely in small batches...added all the spices and coconut milk and into the oven it went for a quick braise.  Since I put it on early in the day...I only cooked it for 20 minutes and then put it in the fridge.  I finished it on the stovetop right before serving and added the recommended potatoes, carrots and onions (but no celery root because I couldn't find the celery root).

In my opinion, this was a darn good dish.  The pork was incredible...tender, flavorful bite-sized morsels that made you want more and more.  The sauce was good, probably would add a little heat next time.  I served it over rice instead of noodles and I think it was a good call.  My guests enjoyed it, Ethan liked it, but alas St. James turned up his nose...he doesn't like curry...oh well...too bad for him!  (So sad that we had been at my sister's for dinner the night before and she served an actual curry...which he turned his nose up at two nights in a row with no dinner for St. James...he's wasteing away, I tell you!)

I only have a few shots of the dish...taken with my iphone...because the camera was just pulled out of the last box unpacked, but not in time to take the necessary photos.  Hopefully, in two weeks I'll have nice photos again (I made next week's dish on Wed too and it only got iphone photos too!)

Well hell...I pushed a wrong button and this published without the photos, so now I'm adding the photos.  Sorry about that!!

Hope all my fellow Doristas enjoyed this dish.  Check out their posts at French Fridays with Dorie.


Susan said...

Welcome back, Steph! You are so lucky to live on Coronado! It is gorgeous and has such an interesting history.

Unknown said...
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Bridgid said...

This pork dish looks delish! I'm going to make a stab at it for Sunday dinner! Can't wait!

Cher said...

Yeah! She's back.
Glad you are settling in well.
And electric stoves are evil. I had to live with one for three years when I was in an apartment. Never again, if I can help it...

Betsy said...

Welcome back Steph! We've missed you. Glad to hear your move went well. Hope you're more settled everyday. Iphone pictures aren't so bad, really.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! Glad you got to try this week's recipe, even if not everyone liked it. Also, iPhone photos can be quite good, especially if you run them through Instagram or Hipstamatic afterward.

Adriana said...

The iPhone pictures turned out fantastic! I have been tempted to buy the lemongrass from the tube because I'm almost down to the last stalk in my little backyard plant. Enjoy getting settled in! I've been to Coronado once and it is definitely an incredible place.

KarenP said...

Welcome back! I'm glad your first Dorie dish back was a hit (for most of you anyway...).

lola said...

Welcome back Steph! Pretty good pictures with the iphone. Glad you enjoyed the dish; we did too. How wonderful to live on the beach! I'd sacrifice a lot of space for that!

Nana said...

Welcome back, I'm happy for you making such a big
move. Once you are settled in you will enjoy doing
all the things you love, like cooking. Although living
near the beach would be a joy in itself. Tricia and I
wish you good luck in your new home.

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

So glad to have you back!