Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Vietnamese Caramelized Grilled Pork and Chive Salad
This dish represents my efforts in multitasking. Over at I Heart Cooking Clubs, we are cooking Mark Bittman's recipes each week. While looking for my next adventure with Mark Bittman, I found this recipe for Vietnamese Caramelized Grilled Pork and thought it would be perfect for Joanne's Regional Recipes roundup this month, which is featuring the cuisine of Vietnam. Wanting a unique and different side dish to go along with the pork, I chose Mark Bittman's Chive Salad which not only sounded delicious, but is also a perfect recipe to share with Deb over at Kahakai Kitchen for her weekly Souper Sundays roundup and also with Reeni at Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice for her Side Dish Showdown. If only I could multitask some of my household chores in this manner.....
I ran to the grocery store, stocked up on everything I needed to make both recipes and returned home. I tend to get rather excited when I have plans to try something new and this was no exception. However, once I got started I realized that the Vietnamese Caramelized Grilled Pork began with a REAL CARAMEL SAUCE. (NOTE: Caramel sauce is something I have not yet perfected, in fact it scares me.) Knee deep into this recipe I become quite flustered. Not only was I fighting with a caramel sauce but the the doorbell and phone were ringing at the same time. Does anybody know why that only happens at dinnertime? Are they in sync or something? Anyway, my version of Vietnamese Caramelized Grilled Pork puts a whole new spin on caramelized. Let's just say that everything was REALLY caramelized. Yep, caramelized....that's my story and I'm sticking with it! Can you tell by the very caramelized shallots in the picture? Not to say that it wasn't good, because it was....BUT in the right hands, this dish has major potential.
Vietnamese Caramelized Grilled Pork
Adapted from Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express
Pound boneless pork chops to quarter-inch thickness and heat the grill or broiler. In a small, heavy saucepan, combine half a cup of sugar with two tablespoons of water and stir with some grated ginger to make a paste; cook, undisturbed, over medium heat until it turns golden. Add a couple of finely diced shallots, a tablespoon each fresh lime juice and fish sauce, and a pinch of salt (at this point the caramel will harden); continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the caramel dissolves and the shallots are soft, about two minutes. Put the pork on the grill and brush with sauce, turning frequently until the chops are just cooked through.
This chive salad went perfectly with the pork and after eyeballing it in my copy of Kitchen Express, I was very happy to finally try it. Chives are probably my favorite herb and they really shine in this simple salad. A super duper light dressing is made from equal parts soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, water, a touch of sesame oil and pinch of sugar. It is a light and flavorful salad that would be a great side dish to any Asian-inspired meal.
Adapated from Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express
In a large salad bowl, whisk together equal parts soy sauce, water, and rice wine vinegar. Add a few drops of sesame oil and a pinch of sugar. Roughly chop a couple of bunches of chives and add them to the bowl along with some chopped romaine or iceberg lettuce. Toss well and serve.
I am submitting the Vietnamese Caramelized Grilled Pork to Joanne for Regional Recipes and also to I Heart Cooking Clubs for this week's Potluck Theme.
I am submitting this unique and fun chive salad to both Deb @ Kahakai Kitchen for her weekly Souper Sundays roundup and also to Reeni of Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice for her monthly Side Dish Showdown.
In the meantime, I'm going to practice how to caramelize - LOL!