Friday, August 23, 2013

Red Chinese Pork Chops

When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves. – Viktor E. Frankl 

Soy, honey, rice wine, five spice powder... plus more.

Well, the weekend is here again. So it’s time for the barbecue.

It’s hard to imagine that there is only this, and next, weekend before life returns to normal again, whatever normal may be for you and your family.

For mine there are significant changes afoot. In a little over a week my husband is packing up to be a student again. Off to NSCC in Dartmouth. I’m very proud of him. Luckily we’ll see each other on weekends. I will be doing my part to keep costs down by sending back some meals to defray costs. It's hard to cook for two, let alone one. Watch for some interesting stuff from the "Docaitta Kitchen." He's living with a vegetarian friend. Challenges = opportunities.

I am writing this at an ungodly hour – 5am. I woke up 4:45am with the unpleasant sensation of being chilly. Yes, the weather is slowly turning to... I can hardly bring myself to say it... fall. I guess that’s a situation I cannot change, though.

We’ve accomplished a lot over this summer, with lots more to do, and I’ve learned some very valuable lessons about myself in the process. I’m a work in progress, as we all are.

One of the unexpected things that sprang upon us was needing to put in a well, which destroyed half a flower bed. Oddly, besides getting better, reliable water, it also let us start afresh in that area. It looks better now than it did before. It looks “planned.” Funny, that.

We also now have a fairly large egg-shaped beach stone standing upright among the new flowers. I’m quite proud of that. Thanks to my husband for the muscle to lug it up over the bank to the truck.

Yesterday started early with rock collecting to build a second flower bed spiral. Then the requisite wheelbarrow loads of the dirt and transplanting of some other rescue plants from areas of our yard where they weren’t doing as well as hoped. Those two new beds have transformed the garden.

Then there was a trip to town, watering in the new grass seed, installing solar lights (now on sale), etc., etc., so it was a busy, hot day. It’s good to have a barbecue on your deck so your kitchen doesn't overheat the house at end of day.

It’s also good to have options for on that BBQ. I like Chinese pork. Unfortunately in our small village we don’t seem to have a Chinese grocery, so one must be creative.

This marinade imparts some of the flavours I love so much. It’s also a great change of pace from the more usual BBQ fare. It also was extremely tender.

As far as side dishes, it also opens up possibilities for a mutltitude of Asian-inspired accompaniments. We had bok choy, cucumber and tomatoes tossed in a sesame oil and rice wine vinaigrette. I should have added sesame seeds.

Give this recipe a try. You’ll be amazed at how much Chinese barbecue flavour a little marinade can impart!

Red Chinese Pork Chops
Prep: 5 min  |  Marinate: 1 hr  |  Serves 4
8 pork shops
4 tbsp honey
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine
1 tsp five spice powder
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
10 drops food colouring

Mix together the marinade ingredients. Marinate the pork for at least 1 hour on the counter, turning twice.

Broil or grill until the internal temperature reaches 160°F. Let rest for 5 minutes and serve.


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