Category Archives: Pork

Nose to Tail: Head Cheese

head cheese

Yes. I realize the way that sounds. Head cheese. I can picture many of your facial expressions now, because I saw similar ones in the few people I told about this project face-to-face. But hear me out.

I’m a big proponent of nose-to-tail eating. After all, if we must eat a living thing – and everything we eat was once living – then we shouldn’t waste it. This means finding ways to use parts many are used to throwing away. Radish tops. Turkey or chicken bones. Broccoli leaves. And yes, a pig’s head.

I split a hog with a friend a few months ago. We’ve been thoroughly enjoying the bacon, chops, roasts, and sausage. But I’d also asked the boy (He was raising hogs for college money.) if I could have the head. He gave me two. They occupied space in my freezer for about two months before I finally carved out the time to tackle one.

When the time came though, it was a breeze. Only slightly more difficult than making stock, and considerably less tough than making a proper terrine. It was surprising how much meat really comes from a hog head. There’s a great deal from the tongue and cheeks. I had enough to fill a 9″ X 5″ loaf pan with ease. I also had an added bonus – about 7 quarts of golden, delicious, porky broth. I’ll certainly enjoy using that for soups and stews throughout the winter.

The head cheese is deliciously meaty, and somewhat rich, but not overly so. We enjoyed thin slices on crackers, accompanied by cheeses, various pickles, apple slices, grainy mustard, and an egg salad. It makes a lovely cold lunch, and a nice change to a more typical salami or other cold meat. I was glad to have made it.

But most of all, I’m glad for the experience. There’s something about making a food that most others have long forgotten, and using a part of an animal most throw away. I’m looking forward to the other hog head, although I’m more planning on dedicating that one to tamales.

head cheese overhead

 Print Recipe

Head Cheese (gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo)

1 pig’s head

2-3 bay leaves

12 peppercorns

1 sprig fresh rosemary

3-4 sprigs fresh thyme

3 T kosher salt, plus more to taste

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Fresh ground black pepper

Place the pig’s head in a large stockpot (I had to use my huge tamale pot to make it fit). Place the bay leaves, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme, and salt in the pot and fill with enough water to just cover the head.

Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer on low for about 6-8 hours, or until meat is falling apart and tender.

Carefully remove the meat and bones from the stock and set on a platter. Once cool enough to touch, pick apart the meat and collagen material and place in a bowl. You can opt to include bits of skin as well if you choose. Skin the tongue and include the tongue meat as well. Chop the meat into 1/2 inch dice. Toss with the lemon juice and more salt, plus fresh pepper, until it is to your taste.

Simmer the remaining stock until it has sufficient “gelling” capability. You can test this by putting a spoonful in a small bowl and chilling it. If it gels, you’re good. If it doesn’t, reduce the stock more.

Line a terrine or loaf pan (I used a 9″ X 5″ loaf pan) with plastic wrap. Spoon all of the meat into the prepared pan. Pour in just enough of the pork stock to cover the meat, and press everything down. Wrap securely, pressing down the wrap to ensure the mixture fills the entire mold. Refrigerate overnight. Keeps for about a week.

 

Pork Chops with Orange Sauce

 

A few weeks ago, we stocked our freezer full of pork. A friend and I split a locally raised, pastured pig. I couldn’t have been more excited. We have all sorts of bratwurst, pork roasts, chops, bacon, and more. We’ve really been enjoying the pork bounty. But after a few dinners of pork chops cooked simply, I wanted to change it up a bit.

Enter orange sauce.

I won’t lie – one of my favorite Chinese take-out meals was orange chicken. I realize that the gloppy, heavy, sweet version at most take-out joints isn’t really all that authentic. I loved it nonetheless. Especially when there was a good number of chiles in it to add a little heat. It was sweet, salty, and spicy. What more could one need? I’ve even made it gluten-free in the past.

So when I was looking for a new way to enjoy pork chops, I opted to use that orange sauce and transform them. What resulted was an easy meal that definitely delivered on flavor. Paired with rice, green beans, and some pickled cucumbers, this was an awesome weeknight meal.

Print Recipe

Pork Chops with Orange Sauce (gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free)

1/4 c freshly squeezed orange juice (from about half of a large orange)

2 T fresh orange zest

3 T chicken broth

1 T wheat-free tamari or soy sauce

2 t rice wine

1 t rice vinegar

2 t sesame oil

2 T honey

1/4 t black pepper

1 T olive oil or coconut oil

4 dried red chiles

2 t minced fresh garlic

2 t grated fresh ginger

1 t arrowroot powder whisked with 2 t cold water

4 bone-in, thick cut pork chops

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, zest, chicken broth, soy sauce, rice wine, rice vinegar, sesame oil, honey, and pepper. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the olive/coconut oil over medium heat. Add the chiles, garlic and ginger. Saute, stirring, for about 20-30 seconds. Pour in the orange juice mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce to low and add the arrowroot slurry and continue to cook for about a minute, or until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat a large oven-proof skillet (I prefer a cast iron skillet) to medium-high heat. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. When the skillet is hot, add the pork chops. Allow to brown for about a minute or two, and flip the chops over. Put the pan in the oven and bake the chops until they are cooked through (145 degrees F read on a thermometer poked into the center of the chop), about 5-6 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Brush the sauce over the chops immediately, turning the chops in the pan and brushing both sides. Transfer the chops to a plate and brush more sauce over.

Serve with rice and desired vegetables.

Serves 4.

Dijon and Honey Pork Chops

Let me start by saying this could possibly be the easiest pork chop recipe ever.

Seriously.

Historically, I haven’t been much for pork chops. Growing up, they tended to be tough (sorry, Mom!), and even as I became an adult and started cooking for myself, I found it difficult to make tender chops. I did find over time that certain techniques (like brining) yielded delicious chops. Carol over at Simply…Gluten-Free has shared a maple-brined pork chop recipe that is divine. For a long while, that has been my go-to for successful pork chops.

Until a few weeks ago, that is. You see, while brining isn’t all that time-intensive or difficult, you have to remember to actually do it in advance. I’m typically a great meal planner and keep a pretty good routine for dinners from night to night. It keeps me sane. But sometimes, life gets in the way. I’m caught at work, or am not at home the night before to make a brine, or it’s otherwise been a hectic, crazy week. It’s then that I don’t look ahead to the following day. I forget to take meat out to thaw, and so am instead quick-thawing in a sink full of water, hoping I can have dinner on the table in a reasonable amount of time. Such was the case with some pork chops. So I thawed them out, and decided to wing it.

I seasoned the chops and decided to sear them in a cast-iron skillet using the same method I use for both steak and my lamb chops, since that method takes all of about 10 minutes to make. I admit – I was slightly doubtful that we would have anything but tough chops that night. But I went with it, being careful not to overcook them. As they started in the pan, the idea of a quick sauce came to mind. I quickly mixed together dijon mustard and honey, and once they went into the oven, brushed some onto the chops.

After a quick little rest and a visit onto our plates, what resulted was a small miracle. These chops were tender, moist, and delightful! The honey and dijon glaze perfectly complimented the flavor of the pork without overwhelming it. I typically plan for leftovers, but there were none – my husband and I both ate more than our fair share. If it was polite to lick our plates clean, we totally would have.

Of course, just to be sure it wasn’t a fluke (or a particularly excellent set of chops), I tried this once again last week with a leaner chop. Again, success.

So while most of the time, preparedness is key to a good meal in our home, this time, winging it served me well. This will definitely be a repeat in our home – I  hope in yours as well!

Print Recipe

Dijon and Honey Pork Chops (gluten-free, dairy-free)

1 lb pork chops, about 1-inch thick

Salt, pepper and your favorite herb seasoning blend (I currently adore Bragg’s Sea Kelp Delight) to taste

3 T honey

3 T Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pat the chops dry with a paper towel and season on both sides with salt, pepper, and herb seasoning. In a small bowl, stir together the honey and mustard until blended.

Heat a cast iron skillet to medium-high heat. Add the chops to the skillet and allow to sear for a minute or until brown. Flip to the other side and brush with a bit of the honey and mustard blend. Place in the oven.

Bake for 5 minutes, turning the chops halfway through and brushing with more of the honey and mustard blend. Remove from the oven and place on a plate (don’t leave in the hot skillet, or they’ll continue to cook!) to rest for 3-4 minutes, brushing with any remaining sauce.

Serves 3-4.

What are some of your favorite quick, healthy meal ideas? Share at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community!

This post is linked to 5-Ingredient Mondays over at The Daily Dietribe and Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays over at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.

A Gluten-Free Holiday: Breakfast and Brunch (Zucchini and Sun-dried Tomato Frittata)

A Gluten-Free Holiday is being hosted this week over at Diet, Dessert, and Dogs by Ricki Heller, and the theme is Holiday Breakfast and Brunch. Ricki is giving away a copy of her book, Sweet Freedom, and a copy of Gluten-Free and Vegan Holidays by Jennifer Katzinger, so be sure and head over there to check out the party!

Christmas is a time filled with lots of indulgences. Lots of cookies, tons of candy, and ever-so-special baked treats that make the season bright. Breakfasts are no exception, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t fond of a Christmas stollen, donuts, or a coffee cake. But overindulgence in these treats, I’ve learned, comes at a price – my still-sensitive system still can’t handle a ton of sweets and grains, even gluten-free ones. So I pick and choose when and what I’m going to enjoy, even on the holidays. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for “special” meals – far from it! Special, in my mind, means something that’s a departure from the everyday (in a good way), and that doesn’t always have to equate to extra sugar. In fact, for breakfast, I know I prefer a protein-and-veggie-filled meal to a carb-heavy one.

Hence the reason for this frittata. It comes together relatively quickly. Of course, the most important part? It’s tasty, in a light and fresh sort of way. Yes, there is some bacon involved (which also ups the “special” factor a bit), but it’s definitely nowhere near as heavy as most baked egg dishes, which are full of cream and cheese. The bacon and sun-dried tomatoes are pleasant components here, providing some depth of flavor without being overwhelming. This frittata is a delicious way to start a special day, and is light enough to leave room for a bit of other Christmas breakfast goodies, such as those being shared over at Diet, Dessert and Dogs this week!

Zucchini and Sun-dried Tomato Frittata

2 slices bacon, cut in half to fit skillet

1/4 c thinly sliced onion

1 large zucchini, thinly sliced (I used a mandoline)

3 T sun-dried tomatoes (I used my dehydrated “tomato candy“)

1/4 c roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley

3 eggs, whisked

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat a small 8-inch oven-proof skillet over medium heat and fry bacon until crisp, about 5-8 minutes. Remove bacon, leaving the grease in the pan. Once bacon is cool enough to touch, crumble. Add the onion to the pan and saute for 2 minutes, then add the zucchini. Saute until just tender and brown in a few spots, then add the sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, and crumbled bacon. Toss together a bit, and remove from heat. Add the whisked eggs and season with salt and pepper. Stir the vegetables and bacon together with the eggs a bit to incorporate everything evenly. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until eggs are set in the center. Remove from oven, and place a plate upside-down over the skillet. Holding the bottom of the plate with one hand, and the handle of the skillet with the other, flip the pan and plate together so that the plate is now at the bottom and the skillet upside-down on top. The frittata should come free from the skillet and lay on the plate. Cut into wedges and serve.

Makes enough for 2 as part of a breakfast or brunch. Can be doubled – just bake in a larger skillet, perhaps for a few extra minutes.

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays over at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.

Gluten-Free Holiday: Christmas and Hanukkah Favorites – Tamales

It’s week 4 of Gluten-Free Holiday and this week’s theme is Christmas and Hanukkah Favorites – specifically, entrees and side dishes. Hanukkah is already in full swing, and Christmas is just weeks away. Diane over at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang is hosting this week, and is sharing this amazing recipe for chipolatas. Seriously, they make my mouth water just looking at them. And of course, in our Gluten-Free Holiday style, there are more amazing gluten-free cookbooks to win.

One copy of Gluten-Free Girl: How I Found The Food That Loves Me Back…And You Can Too by Shauna James Ahern.

And one copy of Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, also by Shauna James Ahern and Daniel Ahern.

One copy of Sweet Freedom by Ricki Heller,

And three e-book trios, each including one copy of Sweet Freedom, one copy of Desserts Without Compromise, and one copy of Anti-Candida Feast Ebook, all by Ricki Heller of Diet, Dessert and Dogs.

My submission for this week’s theme is something that I look forward to every holiday season – tamales. While I don’t always make my own, I have found that they’re not all that difficult to make. (They are time-consuming, however.) But it’s great fun, and you’ll be rewarded with a lovely, spicy, flavorful treat.

Many times, we will get together with my husband’s side of the family on Christmas Eve. Rather than a fancy, sit-down Christmas dinner, we instead enjoy a casual, but generous spread of various snack foods, ranging from the ever-famous cheese dip to cookies and cake. In the past few years, we’ve brought tamales to our celebration, and they’re always a huge hit. With a bit of salsa, bottled hot sauce, or even unadorned, they are the perfect way to ring in the season. I highly suggest you try to make tamales once – it’s a fun experience, and you’ll be rewarded with delicious treats and smiles from all.

Read my tamales recipe here. And don’t forget to visit The W.H.O.L.E. Gang and link up your favorite recipes for Christmas and Hanukkah entrees or side dishes, and enter for a chance to win some amazing cookbooks!

Sausage-Stuffed Acorn Squash at Gluten-Free Homemaker

Today I am a guest blogger over at The Gluten-Free Homemaker for Squash Fest. Go on over here to check out my recipe for sausage-stuffed acorn squash. While you’re there, check out all of the other delicious squash recipes – guaranteed to make your mouth water!

Daring Cooks: The World of Pierogi

This is another great example of why I love the Daring Cooks’ and Bakers’ Challenges. It’s all about taking yourself out of your box – making something you wouldn’t ordinarily make. Maybe this “something” seems too difficult. Maybe it seems as though it will take too long, or maybe it’s been on your list of “things to do”, but you haven’t gotten around to making it yet.

The August 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by LizG of Bits n’ Bites and Anula of Anula’s Kitchen. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make pierogi from scratch and an optional challenge to provide one filling that best represents their locale.

I never tried to make pierogies before this challenge. Not because of the reasons mentioned above. Honestly, I never even tried eating them before either. They didn’t sound unappetizing, of course, but they weren’t on the top of my list of things to try. I didn’t know what to expect with this challenge because of my lack of experience with pierogies, so I was a bit nervous. But after brainstorming on fillings (I chose to make sweet potato and rosemary, as I had a bunch of rosemary in my garden, and smoked pork shoulder and mashed potato, as I smoked a bunch of meat a few days prior), I figured I’d give them a try.

Little did I know how well they’d turn out. My husband raved about them. Raved. He exclaimed that he could imagine these could be served at all sorts of parties and could see them being a big hit with a crowd. I didn’t disagree – and the ones I made were gobbled up by the two of us that evening. I can see endless variations of fillings for these things, both sweet and savory. Needless to say, I underestimated pierogies. Now, I’m sold.

 

Sweet Potato-Rosemary Pierogi Filling (makes enough for 30+ pierogies)

2 c mashed, cooked sweet potato (I simply microwaved whole sweet potatoes until cooked, scooped out the insides, and mashed)

1/2 t fresh rosemary needles, chopped

1 T Earth Balance soy-free buttery spread

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix together mashed sweet potatoes and the rest of the ingredients. Season to taste. Fill pierogies with this filling. (Leftover filling makes a great side dish for another meal.)

 

Pork and Potato Pierogi Filling (makes enough for 30+ pierogies)

1 c mashed, cooked potato (I simply microwaved potatoes until cooked, scooped out the insides and mashed)

2 c finely chopped smoked pork shoulder (ham can be substituted)

1/2 t fresh sage leaves, chopped

1/2 t dry mustard

2 T Earth Balance soy-free buttery spread

1 T nutritional yeast flakes (optional, but create a somewhat “cheesy” flavor)

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix together all ingredients and season to taste. Fill pierogies with filling.

 

Gluten-Free Pierogies, adapted from What I Eat (makes about 18 small pierogies or 12 larger ones)

1/3 c tapioca starch

1/3 c sweet white rice flour

2 T potato starch

1/2 t sea salt

1 T xanthan gum

2 eggs

1 T grapeseed oil

Combine flours, salt, and xanthan gum in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs in a separate bowl, and then whisk in oil. Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir until combined. You can then knead this into a ball.

Grab small portions of the dough at a time and roll out on parchment paper (I rolled it out on a Silpat) to 1/8 inch thick. Using a 3 or 4 inch circle biscuit or cookie cutter, cut rounds from the dough. Repeat until all of the dough has been rolled out and cut. Place a bit of water in a small bowl, wet your fingertips, and run them around the outside of each circle. This is to help the dough seal. Place a bit less than a teaspoonful of filling in the center of each circle, and then fold in half and carefully seal the edges, either using the tines of a fork, a pierogi form, or your fingers. (I found my fingers to be the easiest.)

To cook pierogies, bring a pot full of salted water to a boil. Lower the pierogies into the boiling water with a slotted spoon and allow to boil for 10-15 minutes or until al dente. Remove with a slotted spoon. Serve with desired sauce or melted butter, or allow to cool to room temperature for frying.

To fry: Bring 3 tablespoons of grapeseed oil (or other frying oil) to medium-high heat in a heavy skillet. Pat the pierogies dry and place in the oil. Fry for 2-3 minutes per side or until browned. Remove and place on paper towels to drain. Serve with melted butter. (I melted Earth Balance soy-free buttery spread and infused fresh sage leaves in the “butter”. While I don’t use that stuff every day, it tasted lovely and was dairy and soy-free!)

Kids in the Kitchen: Sausage and Biscuits

When Matt mentioned that he wanted to make sausage biscuits this weekend, my heart smiled. As I’ve gravitated more towards whole, natural foods, I stopped enjoying those corn syrup-laden, processed breakfast sausages that are available in the stores. (I know, I know, I could make my own, and I probably will some day, but corners have to be cut somewhere, sometimes!) But since I discovered Truth Hill Farm and their natural hot breakfast sausage, with no corn syrup, nitrites, or MSG,  I’m in love with sausage once again. I was glad Matt chose this breakfast option!

We made the biscuit recipe I’ve posted previously, subbing Pamela’s Pancake and Baking Mix for the gluten-free flours and of course, omitting the chives. We also used some lovely raw, whole milk from Lucky Layla farms – I am so glad to have raw milk available to me! I wish it was more widely available (like most of the States, it is only legal to sell raw milk on the farm property), but I am fortunate that the farm is only a brief detour on my way home from the office. Over the years, I’ve become less and less of a milk drinker. It just didn’t taste all that good to me, and while I’m not lactose intolerant, it just never made me feel “good”. But this stuff? It’s like liquid gold – creamy, sweet, and satisfying – and it is nourishing. (If you’re interested in finding a source of raw milk near you, and also learning more about the benefits of raw milk, check out realmilk.com.)

Anyway, back to the sausage and biscuits. I did make one minor error – I did not reduce the baking powder to compensate for leavening already in the Pamela’s mix. Whoops. They expanded and spread a bit more than we wanted, so a sausage biscuit sandwich wasn’t attainable. No matter – they still tasted light and flaky, and we still enjoyed them just the same! (I do need to nail down something besides a drop biscuit for sandwich-type situations, though.)

Check out the recipe for the biscuits here. Serve with your favorite sausage, and wash it all down with a glass of milk.

Kids in the Kitchen: Cajun ‘Gator Tail and Dirty Rice

Yes, you read that right. ‘Gator tail. Brandan reaches for the stars when it comes to creative choices for dinner. I thought I had a source for ‘gator tail too – I saw a vendor at the Firewheel Four Seasons Farmers Market a few weeks ago selling all sorts of Gulf seafood, including alligator tail. However, when we arrived this morning, that vendor was nowhere to be found. Brandan and I made plans to come up with an alternative solution – we planned to visit a fish market and find some sort of seafood.

Later in the day, Brandan, my husband, and I visited Captain Dave’s Seafood Market in Plano and looked around. We had nearly decided on crab legs when lo and behold, my husband noticed that ‘gator tail was on their board. I inquired, and they had some in stock! We happily purchased it and hurried home to start our meal, which also included grilled corn and dirty rice.

Just for a bit of background, alligator tail, or ‘gator, is an exotic meat/seafood enjoyed around the Gulf coast of North America, in states such as Louisiana and Florida. Its flavor is mild (as that saying goes, it tastes kind of like chicken), and its texture is somewhat firmer and chewier than chicken or fish. It’s not something you’ll find an a regular grocery, although I’ve seen a few places where you can order it online. Before we cooked it tonight, I’d only eaten it in restaurants, and only deep-fried. (Way back in my pre-gluten-free days, of course) This was an adventure for all of us.

To keep with our Cajun theme, we opted for dirty rice. Dirty rice is a Cajun rice dish, somewhat similar to a pilaf, that traditionally has chicken livers or giblets cooked with it, giving it a dark or “dirty” appearance. While I love chicken livers, I didn’t have any on hand, so we opted to make a simpler version that still was packed with Cajun spices and flavor. I found some lovely pork sausage from Truth Hill Farm, a local farm with grass-fed beef, pork, dairy, and free range chickens laying healthy, farm-fresh eggs. It was a perfect ingredient for our rice.

When contemplating Cajun or Creole spices, who better to use as a reference than Emeril? It had been a long while since I made any of his Essence, so we took this opportunity to make some. It’s a great go-to spice mix, perfect for seasoning everything from chicken to seafood to gumbos or rice dishes. We used it for both our dirty rice and for the ‘gator - it was a great way to streamline the cooking process. When you’re cooking with a very energetic child, this is definitely a plus.  

The gator was simply seasoned with the Essence and grilled – much simpler than going through the process of frying, and Brandan and I both love to use the grill any opportunity we get. Since we had the grill going, we also wrapped some fresh corn on the cob in foil, seasoned simply with salt, pepper, and a pat of butter. With the dirty rice, this rounded out a great meal that everyone enjoyed. Only Matt wasn’t fond of the ‘gator tail – the rest of us thought it was pretty tasty. And the dirty rice was a winner with everyone – it might have to become something we make on a regular basis. (My only thought for improvement would be to swap out the white rice for brown, just because I love the texture of brown rice, and of course, it’s heartier and healthier.) Another adventure with Brandan in the kitchen was a success!

 

Dirty Rice 

1 c yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped

1 small bell pepper, coarsely chopped

3 garlic cloves, peeled

½ lb loose pork sausage

1 T Essence

2 c long-grain white rice

3 c chicken stock or water

2 bay leaves

 Place the onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic in a food processor and process until no large chunks remain. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, brown and crumble the pork sausage over medium heat. When browned, add the mixture from the food processor and sauté for another minute or two. Add the Essence and rice and stir. Add the chicken stock and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and allow to cook for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked through. Remove bay leaves. Fluff, adjust seasonings to taste, and serve.

Serves 4-6.

 

Grilled Alligator Tail

 3 lbs alligator tail, cut into 3 oz pieces

1/4-1/2 c Essence

Season ‘gator tail pieces with Essence. Preheat grill to medium heat. Place ‘gator tail on oiled grates and grill 2-3 minutes per side, or until gator tail is firm and opaque.

 Serves 6.

Daring Cooks: Pork Satay

This month’s Daring Cooks challenge was chosen by Cuppy of Cuppylicious. As a huge fan of Thai-inspired flavors, I was excited about this challenge. I’ve made satay before (using chicken thighs), but it was years ago. When this challenge was announced, I wondered to myself why it had been so long since satay made it on the menu. After all, marinated meat on a stick? Who can say no to that? (okay, well maybe vegetarians would, but Cuppy was generous enough to suggest tofu or veggie satay as an alternative.) Needless to say, we let our carnivorous nature take over on this occasion.

I opted to use a pork tenderloin for this dish. I don’t use pork nearly often enough. It’s relatively inexpensive, and the tenderloins are, well, tender, making for a quick weeknight meal option. In fact, I did just that – prepared the pork marinade one weeknight, and we enjoyed pork satay the following weeknight for dinner. It comes together fairly quickly. I did “cheat” and use the broiler instead of the grill. My excuse? It was about 20 degrees outside that evening and quite windy. For a Texan, that’s way too cold to stand out in front of the grill! The broiler did a mighty fine job, though, and we didn’t miss the grill one bit.

The verdict? Tasty enough for a party! Again, meat on a stick always goes over well, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a flavorful marinade and delightful dipping sauces! If I were to make this again, I might put slightly less cumin in my marinade (my ground cumin is pretty potent), but otherwise, it was wonderful! A big thanks to Cuppy for sharing this recipe – it’s definitely going to become a repeat in our household!

Pork Satay with Peanut and Pepper Dipping Sauce, adapted from 1000 Recipes by Martha Day

For the pork:

1/2 small onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 T ginger, chopped

2 T lemon juice

1 T gluten-free soy sauce

1 t ground coriander

1 t ground cumin

1/2 t ground turmeric

2 T vegetable oil

1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into strips (about 1 inch wide, 4-5 inches long)

Combine first nine ingredients in food processor, and pulse until well-chopped and combined. Place marinade and pork tenderloin pieces in a large ziploc bag, tossing pork to ensure each piece is coated. Place in refrigerator and marinate overnight.

Soak wooden skewers for 30 minutes in water before using. Preheat grill or broiler. Place pork on skewers. Broil or grill until meat just begins to char, about 6-8 minutes. Flip and grill or broil other side until cooked through, another 6 minutes or so. Serve with dipping sauces.

For the peanut sauce:

3/4 c coconut milk

4 T peanut butter

1 T lemon juice

1 T gluten-free soy sauce

1/2 t fish sauce

1 t agave nectar

1/2 t ground cumin

1/2 t ground coriander

1/2 t crushed red pepper

Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add soy sauce and lemon, mix well. Place a small saucepan over low heat. Add coconut milk, peanut butter, and soy sauce mixture. Mix well, and warm for 3-5 minutes, stirring often. Serve warm with pork.

For the pepper sauce:

4 T gluten-free soy sauce

1 T lemon juice

1 t agave nectar

1/2 t crushed red pepper

Mix well. Serve chilled or at room temperature with pork.

Don’t forget! If you haven’t entered yet for a chance to win some Xagave nectar and the Where Delicious Meets Nutritious cookbook, there’s still time! Check out the giveaway here!