Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Thai Basil Pork with Coconut Rice


THAI BASIL PORK // with COCONUT RICE
Between the months of August and September my life usually involves a significant amount of limbo, caught between one travel cycle and the next.  There are school years and fiscal cycles, business quarters and one's standard Gregorian calendar year (or lunar calendar, if you prefer), but I measure my time in journeys and the time spent waiting in between.  But, August and September I spend wondering, with some anxiety, if another year will be measured out in global distances.  Only this year, I was nearly quite certain it would not.  For one, Bree (my travel sidekick) is having a baby!  Garrett (my backup travel sidekick) has a new job!  And, I had settled on retiring my days of travel with students.  It was looking like my Labor Day weekend in Milwaukee would be the last summer excursion for a while.  What a way to end a era.

I knew this day would come.  When travel happened, as for most, as a vacation instead of a lifestyle.  For most, travel as a lifestyle is unsustainable.

But then I sort of came to my senses, remembered my priorities, and broadened my perspective a bit.  For one, I have a little getaway to Mexico scheduled this winter for a wedding.  Two, I'm likely New York City bound for spring break to meet Bree's little person.  And, three, I pulled a Michael Jordan and came out of my briefly self-imposed student travel retirement, deciding to go for another AP Euro trip.  Our planned itinerary won't be taking me anywhere new, but at least I can get my Paris fix for a 7th year in a row (obnoxiously fortunate, as I am) and give London another fair shot.  None of it is quite the same as living out of a dirty backpack and walking the world until your feet bleed, but it's closer to the road than home.

Of course, I haven't yet written on my experience traveling solo last summer.  For now, I'll sum it up by saying that it's definitely on the table.

And, of course, Thai Basil Pork is also on the table this week.  First school year cold came earlier than usual this year, and luckily passed quicker than usual, requiring some good sinus-clearing spice.  I've also become obsessed with cooking rice in coconut milk - a great pairing for any spicy topping and a good alternative if you like coconut milk-based soups.  If you're harvesting your home gardens before the first big chill, it's a great opportunity to use up that basil (Italian would probably work just fine, as well).





Ingredients (makes 4 servings):
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 lb. lean ground pork
  • 1 tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. molasses
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. gluten-free, low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chili paste/sambal
  • 1 lime
  • 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped thai basil
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1 cup matchstick bell peppers
  • salt for seasoning
Process:
  1. Bring the rice, coconut milk, 1 cup of water, and a pinch of salt to a low boil in a medium saucepan.  Return to a simmer and cover for 10 minutes, or until fully cooked.  Keep covered and set aside.
  2. In a large frying pan, heat the vegetable oil and cook the sliced onions on medium heat until soft and golden brown, about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  3. To the pan, add the pork and season with the ground ginger and salt.  Brown the meat until fully cooked through.
  4. As the meat cooks, stir together the sauce ingredients in a bowl: sesame oil, molasses, honey, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sambal, and juice of half the lime. Set aside.
  5. Once the pork is cooked through, add the sliced jalapeños and cook until softened.  Turn the heat to high and add the sauce, stirring while it caramelizes.  Return the heat to low and stir in the chopped basil to finish.
  6. Serve the pork on top of a serving of rice, garnished with raw carrots and peppers, and with a fresh squeeze of lime juice. 

Step-by-Step:
Bring the rice, coconut milk, 1 cup of water, and a pinch of salt to a low boil in a medium saucepan. Return to a simmer and cover for 10 minutes, or until fully cooked.  Keep covered and set aside.
In a large frying pan, heat the vegetable oil and cook the sliced onions on medium heat until soft and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

To the pan, add the pork and season with the ground ginger and salt.  Brown the meat until fully cooked through.
As the meat cooks, stir together the sauce ingredients in a bowl: sesame oil, molasses, honey, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sambal, and juice of half the lime.  Set aside.
Once the pork is cooked through, add the sliced jalapeños and cook until softened.  Turn the heat to high and add the sauce, stirring while it caramelizes.  Return the heat to low and stir in the chopped basil to finish.

Serve the pork on top of a serving of rice, garnished with raw carrots and peppers, and with a fresh squeeze of lime juice. 

1 comment:

  1. 3 Studies SHOW How Coconut Oil Kills Belly Fat.

    This means that you literally burn fat by eating coconut fat (including coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

    These 3 researches from big medical journals are sure to turn the conventional nutrition world around!

    ReplyDelete