Lettuce Wrapped Pork with Pine Nuts in a Hoisin Sauce

Lettuce Wrapped Pork with Pine Nuts in a Hoisin Sauce

Ok I have been absent for a little while, I have been cooking and taking pictures but just got into politics and maybe a little lazy. Ok mostly a little lazy. I am still on the fend for yourself diet so a lot of what I make is spur of the moment, open the Frig and see what’s in there. We did buy a new crock pot, do they still call them that? I did a quick beef stew in a red wine gravy which came out great but that’s another post to come.

Ingredients:

Remember I eyeball most times 
  • 1 Tbsp. Peanut Oil.
  • About 1 lbs. of pork cutlet pounded then diced 1/8 to ¼” or smaller. If you partially freeze the cutlet it is so much easier to dice or mince.
  • 1 small onion 1 diced about 1/3 cup.
  • 1/2 red bell pepper minced
  • pinch or two of red hot pepper flakes cause spice is nice
  • 1/3 cup finely pan toasted pine nuts.
  • 1 ½ to 2 Tbsp. Hoisin sauce.
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • Romaine, Iceburg or Boston Bib Lettuce I suggest the Bib lettuce it wraps better. However, this was a spur of the moment meal. YA use what you’ve got.
  • 1 carrot diced small. I have a julienne which makes dicing so much easier

How:

In large skillet or WOK, heat the peanut oil until shimmering. Add the pork and stir fry over high heat until just cooked through about 3-5 minutes depending on the dice size. Use slotted spoon to remove the pork and put aside.

Add the onion, carrot and red bell pepper to the skillet cook over medium or slightly lower heat until soften about 2-4 minutes. Stir in the pine nuts, and Hoisin sauce. Return the pork to pan stirring to coat evenly about 1 minute.

Spoon the mixture into lettuce leaves for wrapping.

Hint, you may have to remove pan from heat if it is too hot so it does not thicken up too much. You can always add a touch of chicken broth or water in needed but you want it semi thick not watery.

I served with Lyn’s homemade ginger pickled cucumbers on a bed of wide sliced carrots, now if she would only tell me how I could post.

Enjoy

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Lettuce wraps are turning up in restaurants across the country. First popular in Asian cuisines, lettuce wraps are now popping up on the menus of other styles of restaurants. In restaurants, they are most often offered as an appetizer, but I like them as my main course. Kids love them as they get to eat with their hands and it is ok. You don’t have to visit a restaurant to enjoy lettuce wraps. They’re quick and easy to prepare at home. This is also a great way to lower your consumption of carbohydrates by replacing the bread on a sandwich

Lettuce wraps are very easy to create with an almost endless array of ingredient variations. You can also use the same ingredients that you use in burritos, tortillas, pita bread, or spring rolls. Jut let your imagination and taste buds be your guide. They key to great wraps is the contrast of warm, flavorful fillings with the cool crunch of lettuce.

For a party, offer a variety of lettuces and a variety of fillings such as cold chicken salad, grilled beef teriyaki strips, Italian sausage, onions, shredded cheese, and water chestnuts.

Iceberg is the most common lettuce used, but the wide, strong leaves of romaine, red leaf, or slightly bitter escarole offer surprising changes of pace.

                                                                 

For best results, pick the largest, most pliable lettuce leaves. types to use are iceberg, red lettuce, radicchio and/or large spinach leaves. Dry lettuce well before using in the wraps.

To keep iceberg lettuce crisp, cut the core out. Fill the core with cold tap water, then drain for 15 minutes. It will stay crisp for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

Lettuce wraps info from http://whatscookingamerica.net/Sandwich/LettuceWraps.htm

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Leftover Lamb Flatbread Pizza drizzled with Pomegranate Molasses

Leftover Lamb Flatbread Pizza drizzled with Pomegranate Molasses

We had cooked a leg of lamb and frozen the leftovers. I took out of freezer for one of our weekday meals and when I opened the frig and saw it staring at me my gut started to say what do I have in here to make an interesting meal. Leftover spaghetti sauce (Lyn secret recipe), Tandoori NAAN All natural flat bread, feta cheese, pine nuts, scallions, fresh oregano, cherry tomatoes, pomegranate molasses . Note: The cherry tomatoes not in the frig of course but always on the counter, just started had the first two from the patio mmmmmmm nothing better. Ok inventory taken now what I asked myself looking at the clock Lyn would return soon from work she has the 50 mile commute and I have the 3.2 mile commute she does not get how difficult it can be stuck behind a school bus as opposed to 1-2 hours of stop and go traffic. Anyway… sauce on stove with minced lamb and some chopped fresh oregano added, brought to bubble and then turned off. Meanwhile I sliced scallion whites and greens, quartered the cherry tomatoes, slightly roasted a handful of pine nuts, crumbled the feta, and preheated oven to 400. I spread the sauce over the flat bread top with the other ingredients then drizzle with pomegranate molasses and into to oven for about 10 minutes or until I thought looked done.

The unique sweet taste of the molasses was a perfect complement.

Turned out great hot or cold.

Sorry I do not have any measurements I kind of went into auto mode isn’t that what leftover meals are all about?

Scallions are most commonly referred to as green onions in the United States. They are a variety of young onions with a long, thin white base that has not yet developed into a bulb and long straight green stalks that look like giant chives. Both the white base and the green stalks are commonly eaten. (about.com)

The pomegranate is a focal symbol in the legend and lore of many different cultures. Some hold that it was the pomegranate which was the fruit of temptation (remember the Punic apple?) leading to the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden in the Bible.
With its abundance of seeds, the fruit has long been a symbol of fertility, bounty, and eternal life, particularly to those of the Jewish faith. Many paintings of the Madonna Virgin and Child prominently display a pomegranate. Ancient Egyptians were buried with pomegranates in hope of rebirth.
The Hittite god of agriculture is said to have blessed followers with grapes, wheat, and pomegranates. The seeds were sugared and served to guests at Chinese weddings. When it was time to consumate the marriage, pomegranates were thrown on the floor of the bedchamber to encourage a happy and fruitful union.
Berber women used pomegranates to predict the amount of their offspring by drawing a circle on the ground and dropping a ripe pomegranate in the center. The amount of seeds expelled outside the ring allegedly prophesied the number of her future children.
Mohammed believed pomegranates purged the spirits of envy and hatred from the body and urged all his followers to eat goodly amounts.
When Persephone was held captive in Hades, the Greek goddess of spring and fruit swore she would not partake of food until her release. However, she could not resist the tempting pomegranate, consuming nearly the entire fruit before halting herself and leaving only six seeds uneaten. It is from this story that believers think our yearly cycle of six months of growth and harvest followed by six months of winter is derived. (about.com)