Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Balsamic braised pork with figs and mushrooms

Pork steak
Pint of figs
1-2 cups cremini (or other) mushrooms
3-4 shallots, roughly chopped
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup chicken stock
salt, pepper to taste

Brown steak on both sides in cast iron or other deep pan. Lower heat and add whole figs and mushrooms, chopped shallots, vinegar, and stock. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes, or until pork is thoroughly cooked. Remove pork, figs, and mushrooms and set aside. Reduce juices until you get a gooey syrup. Resist eating reduction straight from pan. Strain into Pyrex measuring cup for a truly elegant presentation. (Inspired by Rebecca's balsamic roasted chicken of a couple weeks ago.)

I made quinoa grains as a side. What I love about quinoa is that its taste and texture lie somewhere between couscous and lentils. It's lovely stuff if you can find it. We would have had arugula salad as well, but we had a family emergency while I was making dinner. Jasper poured chocolate milk all over his room. Why would someone do that? I ask rhetorically.

Aside from this mischief I've been reveling in my new little boy lately. We came back from our last trip and it seemed like the last vestiges of babyhood -- even toddlerhood -- were gone. He really is a little boy now. Who is this kid? This is one of the discoveries I've made about parenthood. You child continues to change and you are always getting to know a fascinating new person.

I'm also coming to terms with the end of the baby era. I just got rid of the diapers -- 80% joy and 20% melancholy. His growing independence is wonderful and freeing for me, but I'd love to have just 15 minutes of Jasper as a baby every once in a while. Well, I guess that's why I still can't wean him yet (soon, really!).

We had a spartan beginning of the week food-wise because I was finishing a freelance project. As always, it is such a relief to be back in the kitchen come dinnertime -- give or take a few interruptions.

If you have time, check out Lane's essay in Thursday's Great Whatsit!


Mary Ellen said...

Just discovered quinoa! I bought a box at Trader Joe's and just found more (red Inca version) in the specialty section of the local grocery store.

I made it in the rice cooker with chicken stock and added spicy sausage, onion, and mixed frozen vegetables to it for a tasty dinner. It's my new favorite.

Now that I'm an unemployed housewife, I've been going through your blog archives for dinner ideas--plus it's been fun to re-read entries on Jasper's younger days/antics. Scratching head over chocolate milk decorating, though.

shaunamama said...

The pork recipe sounds delish! I made the pork recipe the other day that you posted on here..the one with the hinge & the herbs...yum! It's now a favotite of my family. I'll have to try this one.
It's so amazing how they grow up and change right before your eyes. I still miss the babyhood of mine, but I still demand snuggletime before bedtime...nearly every night we get about 15 minutes on the couch snuggled as a family. This is something I hope we do for many years to come. Hugs to you and Jasper.