Sunday, March 4, 2012

Improvisational cooking

mongolian porkchops & peanut noodles

I had seen this particular dish on two separate food shows  and everyone was raving about how wonderful it was.  It peeked my interest so I looked it up and jotted down the recipe.  We had a very busy weekend scheduled, everything was scheduled down to the last minute.  We tag teamed and conquered our tasks.  My Saturday tasks included dropping Levi off with my parents for their weekly visit, going to the mall to return something that I had bought online and then going to the market to get whatever ingredients I needed for my dishes.  I was looking for bean chili sauce when my dad called and asked where I was and when I was coming back because he was starving (I promised to pick up lunch before I left to run my errands).  So I stopped looking for the bean chili sauce and headed towards the checkout line.
I got home later that day and started to put all the ingredients together to make the marinade only to realize I didn't have the bean chili sauce.  I pretty much had all the ingredients except the bean chili sauce and the sherry vinegar.  I went without the bean chili sauce and substituted sherry vinegar for rice vinegar.  The recipe already called for rice vinegar so I just doubled it.  I wanted to add a little bit more heat so I added a tablespoon of Korean chili powder (gochugaru). I was thinking all day about what to serve with the pork chops.  I thought maybe asparagus or fried rice and I just couldn't make up my mind.  Then an idea popped in my head to serve Thai style peanut noodles with the pork chops.  I got the recipe for the peanut noodles and started making them and realized that the sauce was too thick.  So I thinned it out with some water and they were perfect.  While I was tending to the peanut noodles I forgot about my pork chops so they burnt a little.  Time to improvise again.  I cut off the burnt bits and just sliced the pork chops and topped them on top of the noodles.  That my friends is what happens in the kitchen everyday.  Nothing ever really goes as planned so you just run with what you got and do the best you can.

Mongolian Pork chops:
(adapted from Mustards Grille)

10 ounce center cut double pork chops

1 cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 scallion
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 1/2 tablespoon garlic
1/4 cup cilantro
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon Korean chili powder (gochugaru)

Mix all marinade ingredients together and put pork chops in and let it marinade for at least 12 hours.
Grill and serve (don't burn them like I did)

Do not throw away the rest of the marinade after you take the pork chops out.  Put them in a sauce pan and bring to simmer.  Use as sauce for pork chops.

Peanut Sauce:
(adapted from here)
3 tablespoon garlic
1/2 tablespoon ginger
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Sriracha
1/2 cup of water

Put all ingredients in sauce pan and boil to simmer.  Mix any kind of noodles with sauce and serve.

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