My Foray Into Food Storage

A regular gal learning about Food Storage, Home Cooking, Canning, Gardening, and more!


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Pork Chops Reborn or Vietnamese Pan Fried Pork Chops, Part Two

This is blog has a food storage emphasis, so why am I including so many recipes?  I never intended for this to be a recipe blog.  Yet, the more I post, the more I realize that cooking is an important part of food storage.  At least for me, learning to use my resources wisely is a key part of building and maintaining food storage.  Avoiding waste saves money which can be used elsewhere.  In my case, when I save money, I use the excess funds in my grocery budget to stock up on a food item, or I buy a gadget that will help me save money in the future (like my pressure canner, which I showed you here and here).

 

Yummy Pork Chops re-born as fried rice!

Yummy Pork Chops re-born as fried rice!

 

This recipe was born of my desire to use my resources wisely.  My boys love the pork chops pictured above, but they don’t like to eat them for more than one meal.  They do not “do” leftovers.  In exasperation one day, I threw them into fried rice and a tradition was born.  Pork chops one day; fried rice the next.  They like it so much that they request I make these knowing they get two great meals out of them.

 

If you want to make fried rice at home, you can use almost any leftover meat and/or veggies you want.  You can also cook fresh meat and veggies.  Just keep in mind that you will need to add more seasoning if your protein is not already seasoned.

 

Without further ado, here is my photo step-by-step.

 

I made jasmine rice in my rice cooker.

I made jasmine rice in my rice cooker.

 

Assembled the ingredients:  veggies, salt, soy sauce (I prefer La Choy), granulated onion, and pepper.

I assembled the ingredients: veggies, salt, soy sauce (I prefer La Choy), granulated onion, and pepper.

 

I usually use frozen broccoli florets, but I didn't have any today, so I used carrots (which I'm blanching in this pic)...

I usually use frozen broccoli florets, but I didn’t have any today, so I used carrots (which I’m blanching in this pic)…

 

And I used frozen peas.

And I used frozen peas.

 

I had 2 1/2 pork chops left, so I chopped them up.  And I was ready to start!

I had 2 1/2 pork chops left, so I chopped them up. And I was ready to begin!

 

I preheated some oil on the stove.  To keep the rice from sticking, you will need more oil than you're used to using.  Then, I added the pork to the pan and cooked it for a minute.  Next, I added the peas and let them heat through.

I preheated some oil on the stove over medium-high heat. To keep the rice from sticking, you will need more oil than you’re used to using. Then, I added the pork to the pan and cooked it for a minute. Next, I added the peas and let them heat through.

 

I added the drained, blanched carrots and let the ingredients cook for a minute or two.  I added salt (a few shakes of a shaker), some pepper (about 1/4 teaspoon), and several shakes of soy sauce.  This is a subjective thing.  Don't add too much now, because you will need to adjust the seasoning later.

I added the drained, blanched carrots and let the ingredients cook for a minute or two. I added salt (a few shakes of a shaker), some pepper (about 1/4 teaspoon), 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder, and several shakes of soy sauce. If I was using unseasoned meat, I would also add garlic salt.  This is a subjective thing. Don’t add too much now, because you will add more seasoning later.

Next, add the rice to the meat/veggie mixture. Stir gently to combine. Add more soy sauce, salt, and pepper, to taste.  Then create a well in the middle of the pan and add the eggs (well beaten).  Let the eggs cook for a minute or so, then begin to stir and incorporate the egg into the rice.  If it is not cooked all the way, don't worry.  Keep stirring with the heat on medium.  The egg will cook.

Next, add the rice to the meat/veggie mixture. Stir gently to combine. Add more soy sauce, onion powder, salt, and pepper, to taste. Once you’re happy with the seasoning, create a well in the middle of the pan by pushing the rice to the edges of the pan.  Add some well beaten eggs and let them cook for a minute or so.  Then begin to stir and incorporate the egg into the rice. If it is not cooked all the way, don’t worry. Keep stirring with the heat on medium. The egg will cook.

 

Next, add the rice to the meat/veggie mixture.  Stir gently to combine.  Add more soy sauce, salt, and pepper, to taste.

Stir the rice, so the egg is evenly distributed.  And when the egg is cooked, it’s ready to serve!

 

It's ready!  Enjoy!

Looks yummy, huh? Enjoy!

 

How do you re-purpose leftovers? 

What basic skills do you think are important in building and maintaining food storage?


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Vietnamese Pan Fried Pork Chops – Part One

One of my family’s favorite dishes is based on a recipe my hubby found in a Vietnamese cookbook we picked up at Costco many years ago.  You know it’s an authentic cookbook when it’s been translated to English after the initial publication.  I’ve adapted the recipe slightly and prepare it regularly, and, although I’ve never tried it, every one of my boys and my husband LOVE it!  Even my oldest son who doesn’t like at least half of my cooking.  (He hates Indian which is one of my favs!)

 

Yummy Pork Chops!

Yummy Pork Chops!

 

Why don’t I eat it?  I have some funny rules about food.  If something doesn’t appeal to me, and it’s not particularly healthy, I choose not to try it, because then there will be another food I want that I shouldn’t have.  Strange.  I know.  But we all have our little quirks, don’t we?

 

Okay, back to the pork chops.  I love these because we get several meals out of them:  dinner for the family, lunch for my hubby, leftovers re-made for dinner, and leftover lunch for my hubby.  It saves us a ton of money, but it doesn’t feel like saving, because everyone loves it so much.

 

Without further ado, here’s the recipe.

 

Pan-Fried Pork Chops

Adapted from a recipe in Vietnamese Cuisine by Muoi Thai Loangkote

 

4 pork chops (1 pound)

2 tablespoons soy sauce (I prefer La Choy)

1 tablespoon fish sauce (similar to soy sauce, but not interchangeable)

2 teaspoons sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

3 garlic cloves, mashed or put through garlic press

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander (can substitute 1 tablespoon fresh coriander stem pieces)

 

Tenderize pork chops (or at 1/8 teaspoon baking soda to marinade).  Mix together all other ingredients.  Coat pork chops in marinade.  Let marinade for at least 1 hour if you have tenderized the chops.  If you have not tenderized the chops, let them marinade overnight.

 

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan on high heat.  Cook pork chops until meat is cooked and golden brown (about 5-8 minutes, depending on thickness of chops).  Serve with rice.

 

 

As always, here’s my step-by-step picture tutorial.  (Keep in mind that I doubled the recipe.)

 

Pork chops - And I got them on sale!   SCORE!

Pork chops – And I got them on sale! SCORE!

 

I tenderized the chops with my handy, dandy, heavy-duty meat tenderizer.  You can see the edge of it in the top right hand corner.

I tenderized the chops with my handy, dandy, heavy-duty meat tenderizer.  You can see the edge of it in the top right hand corner.  Do you see how I cut the edges of the pork chops? This keeps the chops from curling while you cook them. You can also see that when I defrosted these in the microwave, they cooked just a tad bit around a couple of the edges.  No matter!  They will still taste great!

 

Here's the soy sauce, fish sauce, and garlic.

Here’s the soy sauce, fish sauce, and garlic.

 

I added the remaining ingredients (sugar, cornstarch, chili powder, and coriander) and whisked them together,

I added the remaining ingredients (sugar, cornstarch, chili powder, and coriander) and whisked them together.

 

Next, I dipped each pork chop into the marinade, making sure to get it on both sides.

Next, I dipped each pork chop into the marinade, making sure to get it on both sides.

 

I stacked them up in my Pyrex bowl, put the lid on, and stuck it in my fridge overnight.

I stacked them up in my Pyrex bowl, put the lid on, and stuck it in my fridge overnight.

 

Here they are the following afternoon.  They marinaded for almost 24 hours, but you don't have to let yours go that long.  I often will marinade these in the afternoon and pull them out of the fridge around dinner time.

Here they are the following afternoon. They marinaded for almost 24 hours, but you don’t have to let yours go that long. I often will marinade these in the afternoon and pull them out of the fridge around dinner time.

 

Next, I put oil into a frying pan and turned the heat on high.  In went the chops.

Next, I put oil into a frying pan and turned the heat on high. In went the chops.

 

See how they're turning a light pink around the edges?  That's how I know they're ready to cook on the other side.

See how they’re turning a light pink around the edges? That’s how I know they’re ready to cook on the other side.

 

And I flipped them over.  Don't they look yummy?

And I flipped them over. Don’t they look yummy?

 

Here's the second set of chops.  They look just as good as the first set.

Here’s the second set of chops. They look just as good as the first set.

 

And here they are!  I forgot to take a picture of the food before everyone started eating.  My son graciously agreed to let me take a picture of his dinner.

And here they are! I forgot to take a picture of the food before everyone started eating. My son graciously agreed to let me take a picture of his dinner.

 

And that’s it!  The most difficult part of this is tenderizing the pork chops.  The total prep time is maybe 10 minutes.   The cook time is less than 10 minutes for four chops.  I doubled the recipe, and they were done in less than 15 minutes.

 

Tomorrow, I will show you how I “re-made” these into a lovely dinner my children actually want to eat, despite the fact that they are leftovers.

 

What’s your favorite quick and hearty dish?  Can you “re-make” it so it doesn’t feel like you’re eating leftovers?