Braised Pork with Cider and Tomatillos – Recipe


Fun Fact: I can guzzle a lightly chilled bottle of apple juice in one sitting.

Despite my love for apple juice, I never explored the world of ciders. It wasn’t until dating Leann that I started sipping the alcohol version of apple juice. With my limited exposure to the boozy fruit juice, I didn’t know about distinctions between styles of distillation or variations in the amount of sugar.

Leann and I escaped to Michigan for a quick trip before I started my new job. The area surrounding Holland, Michigan, offers the perfect amount of activities for a weekend. After a few Google searches for “Things to do in Holland” we compiled our own list. I’ll post our guide as soon as I can decide which pictures to share.

High on our list was visiting Virtue Cider in Fennville. They have a treasure trove of info on their site showing how cider is made. But I’ve never been one for reading. I’m more of a visual and experiential learner. Plus, it’s a real farm with pigs! So, Leann and I reached out to setup a tour (I highly suggest you do the same). It was a roaster of a day when we visited the farm. Thankfully, Virtue had plenty of beverages to curb the heat.
I’ll write more about the tour experience later, but while there, we chatted with the staff to learn about different ways to cook with cider. Did I mention they have pigs? And apples. Nearly a month later, Leann and I opened the mini growler of Percheron cider to braise pork loin. Continue reading Braised Pork with Cider and Tomatillos – Recipe

Big spoon pork stir-fry recipe and tips


There are few things I eat with the big spoon. Tonight’s dish is one of those supreme dishes.

I’ve been craving good Chinese food for years. There’s a huge leap between passable Chinese food and that really good spot you’ve been going to for years. I have yet to find that spot, so I have one option: do it myself.

Last week I made a batch of shrimp and bacon egg rolls that were promptly documented and inhaled. Inspired by that recipe, I revisited stir fry at home. The trick is to have ingredients already made so it’s simply a matter of combining the ingredients. I managed to cut and fry all this up in less than 20 minutes.

What I had:
Cooked pork roast
Cooked Basmati rice
Bean sprouts
Cabbage cole slaw mix

Most of these ingredients were leftovers from the egg rolls. Here’s the secret to great stir fry: peanut butter.

Thank me now and thank me afterwards UNLESS you are allergic to peanuts.

Start with heating a pan and adding vegetable oil. Add a tablespoon of peanut butter. Once those have melted together start adding in chopped veggies and meat. If you are vegetarian, a policy I don’t support, this dish can still work for you. Sauté the veggies in the peanut sauce, chopping and adding more. Don’t let the peanut butter/veggie mix get too dark, that means the heat is too high and you’ve burnt your potential masterpiece. Since the meat was already cooked, my sequence was veggies, meat, garlic, Chinese five spice, rice, soy sauce.

Experiment with this and share your veggie combos.