Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Pork with Beans & Green Peppercorns

I have a lot of recipe documents & documents with lists and lists of links to recipes.. sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming and I am sure there are dozens of recipes that I have wanted to try and they just get lost in the veritable megabytes of recipes that I have.

I also have a ton of recipe books - both in storage and temporarily loaned to a friend (read: in cheaper storage) as well as at home. And of those books, there are some that I have never cooked out of.

So I decided, for a while at least, to operate a “page at random from a random cookbook” policy interspersed with cooking from my “Food Ideas” document.

The first page flipped to happens to be in Bill Granger’s “Everyday Asian” bought as not only did it get pretty good reviews but also as, as the name suggests, it has a range of Asian cuisines covered: Singaporean to Japanese to Korean.

This is Thai, and in fact is also featured in my Thai bible, “Thai Food” by David Thompson. Now the latter is, in all honesty, pure brilliance and everything I have ever cooked from it is utterly fantastic. But, David Thompson always feature a lengthy ingredient list and one which, if you do it right (and frankly you feel you should), involves a trip to Chinatown.

I’ve no doubt that the DT version of this would be more authentic, and possibly even more delicious. But this was a Saturday night, we wanted to eat and having the ingredients to hand, BG it was. And it was entirely delicious anyway.

I did make some minor changes: palm sugar rather than granulated, and the addition of a couple of kaffir lime leaves, as well as various changes in quantities. I also changed the way the dish itself is cooked, using more of a DT method by frying the paste.

Pork with Beans & Green Peppercorns
serves 2

200-250g pork shoulder, cut into strips
2 tbsp green curry paste
1 tbsp groundnut oil
2 green chillis, deseeded and finely chopped
200g green beans, cut in half on the diagonal
150ml coconut milk
2 tbsp fish sauce
½ tsp palm sugar
1 tbsp green peppercorns (from a jar)
2 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
small handful basil leaves, torn

Heat the oil in a wok and when hot add the curry paste. Fry over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until the paste is fragrant and fairly dry.

Add the pork and continue to stir fry for a few minutes.

Add the chilli and green beans and cook for a few minutes more.

Finally add in the peppercorns, coconut milk, fish sauce, lime leaves and sugar. Stir it around a few times so that it is all well mixed and heated through.

Taste and adjust very carefully for sweet (sugar) and salty (fish sauce).

Serve with steamed rice with the torn basil leaves scatter over.

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