Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Return of the Porkness

Photo Courtesy of Miss Temperance Tinker

34th Birthday Dinner Party: Return of the Porkness

It has been a few ages since I have had a pulled pork dinner party for my friendlies on my birthday.  Several years of pretty devoted work, travel, and some illnesses have prevented me from really getting after it. I am glad to be back.

This year took a bit more than the usual bit of creativity to craft a unique pork recipe. I have pretty well cut out sugar and vinegar from my diet for health reasons, basically I had a wicked micro-biotic imbalance in my body that was fed by sugar.  Allopathic medicine is just now starting to get on board to such experiences, so it took 33 years to get diagnosed, with the last 6 years of me really trying to find some answers to some seemingly random health problems.  The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and all these little 'random' health issues I was noticing since my mid 20's added up to an actual pretty dang serious problem, if I wouldn't have found out about it and gotten myself back into balance. As balance goes, it is a constant affair, but I feel like I have never felt before in all of my life... finally ready to really enjoy it, with so much Gratitude.  I can hardly believe I lived 33 years feeling like crap and didn't even know it. Think about this; think about your awareness. Trust your thoughts and your body when they send you messages.  Listen. Ask questions of people that should know things. And don't take no answer for an answer. Force your healthcare practitioners to think outside the box. There is a lot that allopathic medicine does not know about. Healthcare and the way we view the body as a system is constantly evolving.  Off my soapbox.  Here is the Goods, Graciously.

Since I really have to watch the amount of sugar I eat, I relegate my portions to the occasional glass of wine, shot of whisky, and scoop of ice cream.  I will forgo fruit and carrots for these things occasionally. I know... but I can't be all good, all the time.

As such, this pulled pork has no brown sugar or much vinegar at all.  How does that happen, you ask?  Well, a little sass of course, and some coconut goodness.

In the crockpot:
Round 1
Pork roast/shoulder/tenderloin/whathaveyou;
Coconut water to cover halfway;
Two lemongrass stems (first 4/5 inches) beat up a bit to soften and open the hearts;
and dashes of salt.

Cook on high/low for however long till it's cooked

Round 2
Drain the porkroastcoconutwater goodness and save it for making other delicious things. Pull the pork apart. YEa! discard lemongrass;
Add back in some of the coconut porky water;
Add 2 new lemongrasses, open hearted;
5 kaffir lime leaves, pinched and beat up a bit too;
4 tbs coconut oil;
dashes of salt all around;
and a spattering of fish sauce.

If your as crazy as me:  My ras al hanout: ground all together: up dried papaya seeds, grains of paradise, coriander seeds, chiltipines, and himalayan pink salt.  This spice blend has a sweet, spicy, peppery presence that really compliments the flavors in the pork. If you don't know what some of these things are, you can ask me how to procure them which involves special order from a non profit in Tucson I used to work for, a trip to Summit Spice, and the foresight to save your papaya seeds and dry them with love in three sessions over the course of a week. Lots of love in this ras al hanout, indeed!

Cook on Low for the rest of the day.
Finish with a splattering of raw apple cider vinegar and salt to taste.
I thought I could never love pulled pork so much again!  This recipe was amazing! And no sugar/ anti-candida friendly too! (so much stoke)

For the sauces (always, I have three sauces to choose from):

Thai Panang Coconut Curry
        I cheated w this one and used 3/4 can full fat coconut milk and a can of panang                 curry.  Add Kaffir lime leaves, again: a bit beat up and simmer for a bit.

Coconut Mole'
        Coconut oil (as much as you want sauce);
        coco powder (lots so it gets a little thick;
        a couple chiltepines or some ground chipotle pepper and a pinch of cayenne;
        agave syrup to taste;
        and salt to taste.
        Simmer for a bit

Spicy Asian Honey Mustard

        Ground spicy asian mustard (several tbs of it, you wanna mix it with water and  vinegar to get a desired consistency)  this will be spicy like horse radish. You can substitute normal ground mustard in parts to lighten the overwhelm as needed.
        Raw apple cider vinegar and water (see above);
        a couple tsp of honey powder or at least a tablespoon of raw honey, to taste;
        a lil bit of ground coriander to balance the spice with some sweet;
        and salt to taste.

For the sides:

Jicama Habanero Slaw (this recipe makes a lot)

One medium green cabbage sliced thin and chopped;
Two jicamas, skinned and grated coarsely;
Two organic apples with skin on grated coarsely;
One habanero, deseeded, sliced in thin strips and chopped not too fine (simmer this in three tbs coconut oil to release the flavor and mellow the spice);
1/4 whole fat coconut milk;
and a bit of salt and the ras al hanout from the pork recipe above.
If you didn't make the ras al hanout, you can just use some ground coriander, just
enough to where you can mix it in and just lightly smell the coriander in the dish.
Mix in large bowl and chill.

Baked Kabocha (Japanese Pumpkin)

Bake a kabocha. (I put it in the oven whole on 375f for 25 mins or so, then cut into it. Scrape the seeds and lay the two halves inside down on a sheet oiled with coconut oil) continue baking till soft)
Cut it into slices (I like to leave the skin on, it's pretty and green).
Melt three tbs coconut oil and fry some ground coriander to "bloom" the spice, as in Indian cuisine.
Drizzle the coconut oil over the pumpkin slices;
and sprinkle with salt.
Serve with Coconut Mole' drizzled over them, or not.

Coconut Ginger Barley and Brown Rice with Cilantro (this makes 4-6 servings)

One cup Alaska Barley;
One cup organic Brown Rice;
2/3 can full fat Coconut Milk;
2.5 cups water;
two inches of Organic Ginger, sliced thin and pounded;
1/2 cup unsweetened thick sliced shredded Coconut.
2 tsp finely ground himalayan sea salt

Rinse rice and barley in a colander, put everything in a pot and bring to boil. Cover and reduce to simmer for about a half hour, or until cooked through.  Leave covered for 10 mins after cooking to absorb extra water. Discard ginger or leave it in, if you'd like. Fluff and top with cilantro.

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