The Missing Ingredient

A Food Blog

Pork with Arugula, Prosciutto & Tomatoes September 10, 2008

Filed under: Pork,Quick dinners — xigumdrops @ 10:15 pm
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This was really good and simple.  Changes in green.

Source:  Food & Wine Magazine

2 tbs. olive oil

5 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, finely chopped (3 oz package)

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 1 inch cubes

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tbs. balsamic vinegar

1 pound arugula, stems discarded and leaves chopped (I used 1 bag of arugula; I did not think this was enough after it cooked down)

1 pound plum tomatoes, chopped


1.  In a very large skillet, heat the olive oil.  Add the prosciutto and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the garlic is golden brown, about 4 minutes.  Transfer to a plate.

2.  Season the pork with salt and pepper, and add them to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until well browned on the outside and medium within, 3 to 4 minutes per side.  Transfer the pork to a plate and keep warm.

3.  Add the balsamic vinegar to the skillet and cook until nearly evaporated, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.  Add the arugula and toss until wilted, about 2 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and the prosciutto and garlic.  Cook over high heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally; season with salt and pepper.  Transfer the arugula to a platter, top with the pork and serve.


Chinese Fried Rice September 9, 2008

Filed under: Asian,Chicken,Quick dinners — xigumdrops @ 9:49 pm
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A tasty, easy to prepare fried rice recipe.  My changes are in green.
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 1/2 tablespoons oil
1 egg, lightly beaten  (2 eggs)
3 drops soy sauce
3 drops sesame oil
8 ounces cooked lean boneless pork or chicken, chopped (I cooked mine during step 5)
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot (1 cup)
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed (omitted)
4 cups cold cooked rice, grains separated (preferably medium grain)
4 green onions, chopped
2 cups bean sprouts (omitted)
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1.  Heat 1 tbsp oil in wok; add chopped onions and stir-fry until onions turn a nice brown color, about 8-10 minutes; remove from wok. (OK, so I’ve never had onions take 8-10 minutes to cook so maybe this is a mistake in the recipe?  or do they want us to burn the onions?  I cooked them for maybe 3-4 minutes tops)
2.  Allow wok to cook slightly.
3.  Mix egg with 3 drops of soy and 3 drops of sesame oil; set aside.
4.  Add 1/2 tbsp oil to wok (omitted as I used a nonstick pan), swirling to coat surfaces; add egg mixture; working quickly, swirl egg until egg sets against wok; when egg puffs, flip egg and cook other side briefly; remove from wok, and chop into small pieces.
5.  Heat 1 tbs. oil in wok; add selected meat to wok, along with carrots, peas (omitted), and cooked onion; stir-fry for 2 minutes (cook until chicken is no longer pink).
6.  Add rice, green onions, and bean sprouts (omitted), tossing to mix well; stir-fry for 3 minutes.
7.  Add 2 tbs. of light soy sauce and chopped egg to rice mixture and fold in; stir-fry for 1 minute more; serve.
8.  Set out additional soy sauce on the table, if desired.

Orecchiette with Fennel, Sausage and Tomatoes August 8, 2008

Filed under: Italian,Pasta,Quick dinners,Uncategorized — xigumdrops @ 6:04 pm
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Ok, so obviously I am missing a few of the ingredients in the title but I know what I am doing!  I have made this recipe a few times before and am OK with omitting the fennel.  Although, I much prefer this recipe with Orecchiette, whole-wheat spirals were all I had.  I also added more wine (woops!) and cornstarch to thicken the sauce a bit.

Kosher salt

3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 Lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (I used bulk sausage and didn’t have to deal with annoying casings)

1 large fennel bulb (about 1 1/14 Lb. quartered, cored, and finely chopped) (replaced with 1/2 cup diced red onion)

3/4 cup dry white wine (1 cup)

1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch

2 cups fresh (or canned) seeded diced tomatoes, drained if using canned (fresh grape tomatoes cut in half)

12 basil leaves, torn into small pieces

1/8 to 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (1/2 tsp.)

Freshly ground black pepper

3/4 lb. dried oreccheitte (wheat

1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano (freshly grated 3 cheese Italian blend from cheese section)


1.  Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.

2.  Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a 10-inch straight-sided saute pan over medium-high heat until shimmering hot.  (I omitted the oil to cook the sausage; there is already enough grease).  Add the sausage and cook, break it up with a spoon, until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes (probably more like 10 who wants raw pork sausage?).  Transfer the sausage to a paper-towel-lined plate and pour off and discard any fat left in the pan.

3.  Set the pan over medium heat and add the remaining 1 1/2 Tbs. oil, the fennel (onion), and 1 tsp. salt.  Cook, stirring, until the fennel (onion) softens and browns lightly, about 6 minutes (2-3 minutes for the onion).  Raise the heat to high, add the wine (and cornstarch), and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits, until almost evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes (nothing is evaporating in my version; a small amount of sauce will thicken).

3.  Add the sausage, tomatoes, half of the basil, the red pepper flakes, and 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper.  Lower the heat to medium, and cook stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down, 6 to 10 minutes (do not over cook or tomatoes will be gross).

4. Meanwhile, cook the orecchiette (spirals) in the boiling water, about 11 minutes.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water and drain well.  Return the pasta to the pot, add the sauce, and cook over medium-high heat so the sauce and the pasta meld.  If the pasta seems dry, add enough cooking-water to moisten it to your liking.  I normally add 1/4 cup.  Stir in half of the pecorino, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve sprinkled with the remaining pecorino and basil.