Friday, February 5, 2016

Wok Blocked - #29daysseducedbybruce - Day 1 of 29

Day one of the 29 day challenge started off with a bang, Chinese New Year style.  Over the weekend I had the neighbors over and put them to work making homemade egg rolls.  OMFG.  These babies are the shit.  You will never buy pre-made frozen egg rolls again after making these very, very simple things.  "But Phatass", you may be saying, "YOU CAN'T FRY EGG ROLLS IN A CROCK POT."  And you're right.  See, the thing about cooking all your meals in a crock pot is NOT EVERYTHING IS COOKED IN THE CROCK POT.  Just your main course.  Duh.

So, like I was saying, just like in China, I had free labor assembling my egg rolls over the weekend.  We fried some up on Saturday night and ate them right away (I had to pay them somehow), and then wrapped the rest in wax paper to freeze for cooking later on "Chinese Night".  Ahhhhh, racism and cooking.  Fun times.

Anyway, the egg rolls were the shit.  Like, better than at The Grand Fujan All You Can Shit Buffet on I-35.  The secret to a good homemade egg roll is to wrap that shit tight like a blunt.  You don't want a whole lot of open spaces, or air, in your egg roll wrapper.  You have open spaces, you have lots of oil in your egg roll when you fry it up.  So wrap it, tight.

The main course was Asian pork with mushrooms.  The pork wasn't Asian, just the spices.  So relax.  All meat was refrigerated, not hanging from a window.  The kids, and Jed, loved this.  Adrian said it was one of his favorite things to eat.  If you know anything about Adrian, you know he doesn't like to eat anything but Skittles and Ice Cream.  Jed was the first done with dinner and declared it a "winner".  I thought it was tasty too, but I felt like it had way too much ginger in it.  That was totes my fault, for eyeballing it instead of actually measuring it out.  A little ginger goes a long way (HI RICKY!!!!).

Jed and I both agreed that this dinner was 5 out of 5 stars for dinner on day 1, but it fell to a 2 out of 5 stars at lunch the next day.  In other words, make enough of this to serve for one meal without leftovers for lunch, because it does NOT hold up the next day.

If you make it, let me know what you think.  

Egg Rolls

1 pound ground pork
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 quart peanut oil for frying
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons water
2 cups cabbage, shredded
2 ounces carrots, shredded
egg roll wrappers, 7 inch size
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, OPTIONAL

Notes / Directions

Season pork with ginger and garlic powder and mix thoroughly. Heat mixture in a medium skillet, stirring, until pork is cooked through and no longer pink. Set aside.

In another large skillet heat oil to about 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) or medium high heat. While oil is heating, combine flour and water in a bowl until they form a paste. In a separate bowl combine the cabbage, carrots and reserved pork mixture. Mix all together.

Lay out one egg roll skin with a corner pointed toward you. Place about a 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the cabbage, carrot and pork mixture on egg roll paper and fold corner up over the mixture. Fold left and right corners toward the center and continue to roll. Brush a bit of the flour paste on the final corner to help seal the egg roll.

Place egg rolls into heated oil and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels or rack. Put on serving plate and top with sesame seeds if desired.

Crock Pot Asian Pork with Mushrooms

Makes: 7 servings

2 lb lean boneless pork sirloin roast (aka pork center rib roast, pork center loin roast)
kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
Non-stick oil spray
1 cup low-sodium fat-free chicken broth
1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp agave
1 tsp hot sesame oil  
1/2 tsp Chinese five spice
3 cloves crushed garlic
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger root
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1/4 cup chopped cilantro 
1 Bag Baby Spinach (I actually used cabbage)
Bun rice noodles

Notes / Directions

Season pork on all side with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Heat a skillet on medium-high heat, spray with a little oil and brown the pork on all sides for about 7 - 8 minutes.

In the crock pot, combine the broth, soy sauce (or Tamari), balsamic, agave, sesame oil, Chinese five spice, garlic and ginger; add the pork and set the slow cooker to 8 hours on low.

Thirty minutes before the timer goes off, remove the pork and set aside to rest a few minutes; add the mushrooms to the crock pot, cover and cook on low for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, shred the pork using two forks.

When the mushrooms are tender, remove about 1 cup of the broth and reserve if needed. Add the shredded pork to the crock pot and mix well. If adding baby spinach, add at the end and cover a few minutes until it wilts.