Tag Archives: pork belly

Pork Belly Ramen is what’s for dinner

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The countdown to Claus is coming quick! I know it is because the calendar says so and I have an enormous tree in my bay window with presents under it. But I am still not really feeling a whole lot like Christmas. Last weekend was our annual Christmas party where we all sang Christmas carols and that usually does the trick for me but I’m really not into it this year! 

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baked with a little olive oil Prosciutto wrapped asparagus for an appetizer – YUM

I proposed to my family that instead of a ton of presents under the tree there will be a few and then we will do something together as a family. Here are a few things I proposed that we do together. Take a cooking class, dance lessons, attend a Broadway show or concert. Maybe find a restaurant that has at least one Michelin star and have dinner there since we are all foodies. My husband suggested going up North and ski/snowshoe. We haven’t decided what we are going to do yet but will make a plan over the Holiday!

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a bunch of swiss chard

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Stems removed – you can eat them but they take longer to cook down

 

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use up those packages of ramen noodles – I throw away the salt flavor packet they include

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A box of stock as well as some of my homemade stock from the freezer

IMG_4930IMG_4931What is a Michelin star?
Michelin Stars are given out on a scale of one to three, and only the top establishments in the world qualify for this designation. To earn one star, a restaurant must be considered “a very good restaurant in its category.” For two stars, the criteria is “excellent cooking, worth a detour.” To qualify for the elusive three stars, a restaurant must serve up “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.”

People have taken vacations centered solely around visiting restaurants that have earned Michelin Stars. Because of this, it is easy to see why chefs are so eager to earn this recognition; having at least one Michelin Star can do wonders for a restaurant. Having three stars solidifies a restaurant as undeniably one of the best in the world. My daughter is looking into it for her 30th birthday this coming year!

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salted, peppered and sugar mixture all over the pork belly – let it sit over night in the fridge.

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thinly sliced and browned on both sides in a frying pan

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makes my mouth water – just saying!

Since we had our party last weekend we had family up and I had a large piece of Pork Belly in the freezer so I thawed it out, seasoned it, baked it and brought it out for dinner for a crowd. Ramen is delicious and can be time consuming; if made the traditional way. Mine here is crazy quick and crazy good; mind you having homemade chicken stock on hand is key. And starting the pork belly a day or so ahead of time. But the hands on time is nothing.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with all family and friends!

Pork Belly Ramen

Donna Clark - Cooking at Clark Towers

Ingredients
  

  • 1 - 3 pound Pork Belly
  • 1 Ramen packet per person
  • 1-2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1-2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 32 ounce chicken stock roughly for 4 people - adjust to how many people you are serving
  • bunch of swiss chard or bok choy chopped - I made it both ways this week - bok choy add a little more punch
  • scallions sliced thinly - sprinkle on top
  • basil chopped - sprinkle on top (optional)
  • cilantro chopped - sprinkle on top (optional)
  • eggs - 1 soft boiled egg per person

Instructions
 

  • Pork belly;
  • 1 pound = 2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons sugar and 1 teaspoon black pepper. adjust for what you have
  • season generously on all sides with kosher salt, black pepper and white sugar. cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Pre-heat oven to 450'F. roast fat side up for 30 minutes. Lower oven to 275'F for an hour.
  • Let it cool to room temperature, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or more, up to 2 days.
  • Soft boiled eggs;
  • bring a pot of water, enough to cover all of your eggs to boil, lower each egg gently into the water and cook for 6 minutes. Remove from the boiling water to an ice bath to stop them from cooking. Peel and slice when you assemble your bowls.
  • Ramen;
  • In a stock pot add the broth bring to a boil, add the ramen and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the bok choy or swiss chard cook for another minute or so. Remove from the heat and add the ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil to taste.
  • Divide ramen and some broth between the bowls. Add the sliced egg, a few pieces of browned and crisped pork belly and the scallions. Also add the basil and cilantro if you are using.
 

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easy and so tasty – try it! baked for 15 minutes at 350’F

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Cider Glazed Pork Belly and Brussels Sprouts

I realize that a couple of the ingredients in the title might scare a few people off in not only reading this blog but making it is completely out of the question. I can only say that if you have never tried pork belly you need to put it on your short list. I have some in my freezer pretty much all the time now. It does take a bit of planning and cook time for the belly to use it but you won’t be disappointed.

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Speaking of disappointment; I found a recipe that I thought looked and sounded interesting enough that I bought a couple of the ingredients I didn’t have so to make it the following week. I will take part of the blame and I will heed you into reading not only the list of ingredients but run through the instructions of the recipe. This one recipe that I had planned for a Sunday dinner we ended up eating it on a Tuesday night after work. Long story short, there was an overnight soaking, a 1 to 1¼ hour of cooking, a 3-4 hour of cooking and a rest of an hour on the counter and  another 2 hours in the oven. This was probably one of the most stressful recipes I actually was determined to make. My family was very patient with me, well honestly they were excited to eat it but couldn’t understand why it took 3 days to get it on the table.

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Because I like all of you who continued reading even after the title, I will NOT share the 3 day recipe that stressed me out and was very good but will not be repeated in my kitchen; not by me anyway. I will share with you and give you the heads up that this one can be a Sunday meal that you can start earlier in the day OR make the pork belly a day or two ahead of time and then finish it when you want. You will need braise the pork for 2-3 hours and while that is cooking you can make the glaze. Once those two are done, the rest is easy peasy.

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For the Belly
2 lb boneless, skinless pork belly
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
½ medium head of fennel, coarsely chopped
1 12-oz. Bottle of hard cider
2 cups chicken broth

For the Glaze
2 cup apple cider
1 12-oz bottle of hard cider

For the Brussels sprouts
5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, sliced lengthwise ½ inch thick (about 4 cups)
1 medium shallot, minced
¼ cup sherry vinegar
1 head frisee, cut into bite-size pieces
1 red apple, unpeeled, cut into ½ inch dice
3 Tbsp coarsely chopped Marcona almonds
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
¼ cup crumbled Gorgonzola

Braising the Pork Belly

Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350’F. Pat the pork belly dry with paper towels. Using a sharp paring knife, cut a ¾ inch crosshatch pattern through the fat but not through the meat. Season with 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy-duty 7 to 8 quart pot, over medium heat. Put the pork belly, fat side down, in the pot. If you need to cut it to fit that is fine. Cook until golden brown, about 7-10 minutes flip the belly, add the carrots, celery, onion, fennel, hard cider, and broth. Cover, transfer to the oven and braise until the pork is fork tender, 2-3 hours. Remove and cool. Cut into 12 pieces, about 1 inch wide and 3 inches long. Discard the braising mixture. Again you can store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Make sure to bring to room temperature before continuing on.

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Making of the Glaze
Put the apple cider and hard cider in a 2-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until syrupy, about an hour or so.

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Make the Brussels sprouts and serve
Heat 2 Tbsp of the oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork belly and cook, fat side down, until the meat is warm and the fat softens, about 2-4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

IMG_4130Add the Brussels sprouts and cook undisturbed until browned on one side, about 3-5 minutes. Add ¼ cup water, stir and cook until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Add the shallot and cook stirring until fragrant, about another minute or so. Add the vinegar and toss. Add the frisee, apple, nuts, and the remaining 3 Tbsp oil and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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Brush the pork belly with the glaze, then drizzle the remaining glaze evenly over the Brussels sprout mixture. Top the Brussels sprout mixture with the pork belly pieces. Sprinkle with the Gorgonzola and serve.

 

Pork Belly Steamed Buns

This week I stepped out of my comfort zone a bit on a couple of dishes I tried making for the first time. I always try a recipe the way it is written and then if needed I would change it up a bit to better suit our tastes or I would change it based on the ingredients I had on hand or could get my hands on.

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I am lucky enough to have an Asian market; not really close to me; but along my route when I make a trip to Sam’s Club. I was planning on making Pho a Vietnamese Noodle Soup and a Chinese Pork Belly Steamed bun. While I liked the Pho, my guys liked it better than I did. I am going to share with you the Pork Belly recipe that didn’t turn out how I envisioned it would, but was incredibly tasty and worth mentioning. I Kept telling my husband they weren’t how I wanted them, he said and I quote, “I don’t care they are delicious and you should cook pork like this all the time”

I was able to pick up the steamed buns in the frozen section and a Pho seasoning packet; which is a good thing since it needed 1 cinnamon stick, 1 tbl coriander seeds, 1 tbl fennel seeds, 5 whole star anise, 1 cardamom pod, 6 whole cloves all to be placed in a mesh bag and all of it came in a $1.99 packet. I thought that was awesome!!!

As I mentioned I bought the frozen buns and I was a little less than thrilled as how small they were, the taste was excellent I just wanted them to puff up more, I will try to make my own the next time I make them.

This recipe is best done in two stages. Bake the pork the day before so it has time to cool and sit tight until you need to slice it. If you want to use this today you should let it sit for at least 2 hours. It could sit in the fridge for up to 2 days.

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Pork Belly Buns

2 lb slab of pork belly

Wrap in heavy duty tin foil and place on a baking sheet

Preheat oven to 275’ and roast for 2 hours. Let it sit and cool and then put it in the fridge till you need it tomorrow. Do not unwrap as you want it to stay compact in the tinfoil.

Unwrap the pork belly, and slice into 1/2” pieces

1 tbs cooking oil

2 cloves minced garlic

1 tbs grated fresh ginger (I did not have this)

1 fresh chili pepper seeded, deveined and finely chopped (optional)

1 green onion diced

Caramel sauce

¼ cup brown sugar

2 tbs rice vinegar

3 tbs fish sauce

1 tbs soy sauce

½ cup water

Heat oil in a large saute pan or wok over high heat; once hot swirl the oil and add the pork, do not overlap, work in batches if you need to. Fry on each side till nicely browned

Put heat on low and add the garlic, onion, chili if you are using it; saute for 30 seconds just until fragrant. Pour caramel sauce into the pan and return the pork belly slices back into the pan. Let simmer for 10 minutes.

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My make due with what you have steamer

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Yes the pork was larger than the buns but they were delicious!!!

I used frozen buns but here is the recipe I am going to make the next time I make this.

2 tbs AP flour for dusting

2 cans Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuit dough

20 parchment squares about 4×4 – keeps them from sticking

Dust work surface with flour, open and separate out the biscuits. There should be about 10 in each can. Keep the dough covered loosely with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel so they don’t dry out. Roll each biscuit into an oval and fold in half, place on parchment square, keep covered until ready to steam. Steam in batches and do not overcrowd or they will stick together.

Adapted from a Steamy Kitchen recipe my daughter sent my online