There are many posts not completed, perpetual drafts, or not written at all, about lunch and dinner. Whether quick fixes or something such as this stew, things I’ve never shared before because I usually don’t measure; instead doing by feel and intuition – colours, smells, and taste being my indicators and clues as I’m making it up as I go along.
When I’m baking, I generally measure as baking is more of a precise science than cooking – with cooking, you can be adding and tweaking flavours all the way through until you’re satisfied. There used to be a time when I stood more closely by the “rules”, following recipes exactly as instructed – measuring a teaspoon of this, a teaspoon of that, but nowadays I mostly eyeball it and making it up as I go along, without advance planning and or without a recipe: just a general idea or guideline. It reminds me a bit of Chez Panisse, in the early days when it was still young.
Now, hopefully after this kind of post, I will try to share more recipes like this in the future.
In other news, I am taking a break from Twitter. For now the only tweets from me that you will see will be from WordPress.com, when I have posted something new (such as this post), and those tweets are automated. I am letting you know this so that you understand I’m not being rude or that I’m ignoring you if you try to contact me through Twitter – far from it. If you want to get in touch or bring my attention to something, email me. If it’s regarding a recipe, leave a comment, which I will try to respond to in a timely manner.
I still reply to your comments: it just takes me longer than it did before. Initially, when I was just starting, I replied immediately or almost immediately – now I sometimes take one or two days to respond, sometimes longer if I’m somewhere without Internet access. Please understand, though, that even if I don’t reply quite immediately I still read every one of your comments and that they mean so much to me. Thank you.
Creamy Pork and Beans Tomato Stew
I use regular or “full fat” coconut milk in all my recipes; the brand I use is also SCD legal, with only coconut, water, and citric acid as the only preservative. The same goes for the tinned tomatoes: only tomatoes, water, and salt (and sometimes citric acid); the tinned kidney beans only have water and salt with the beans. We don’t use any brands that use calcium chloride or other additives and preservatives aside from citric acid.
Also, the tinned tomatoes I used this time had basil but if your tinned tomatoes don’t have basil, you can either add fresh basil or leave it. If you have whole tinned tomatoes, just blend them down a bit with a hand blender, leaving it a chunky consistency.
I know I could have weighed the vegetables or meat (I’m aware that “large” is too general), but when I cook it’s mostly by feel and I go with the amount that “looks right”. Consider this recipe simply as a guideline only – I’ve made countless variations of this stew working with what I have, with and without tinned tomatoes, with different spices (adding to taste, without measuring), and with whatever vegetables that are already in the fridge. Play with it. The only things I went back to measure were the spices.
Linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.
1/2 large onion, diced finely
1/2 large zucchini, quartered
Salt and ground, black pepper
About 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. garlic powder or 1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 large cauliflower head, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 big boneless pork sirloin chops, cut into bite-sized chunks or cubed (or another cut of boneless pork with the same equivalent amount, cut)
4 to 5 tsp. ground coriander
3 tsp. sweet Hungarian paprika
2 (14-fluid ounce) tins coconut milk [see head note]
1 (28-fluid ounce) tin crushed or whole plum tomatoes [see head note]
1 or 2 (14-ounce) tins red kidney beans, drained and rinsed [see head note]
Sauté the onion and zucchini with some olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the salt and black pepper to season, and add garlic powder or minced garlic. If using fresh garlic, make sure the garlic doesn’t burn.
Once the onion is translucent and the zucchini is softened, add the chopped cauliflower and celery. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower has softened slightly. Add the pork, cooking and stirring often, until the outside of the meat is cooked.
Add the coriander and paprika, stirring to coat, and cook for a few minutes to allow the spices to infuse the vegetables and meat. Add the coconut milk, tinned tomatoes (crushed or whole that have been blended), and 1 tin of kidney beans and bring to a boil. (If you’re using only 1 tin of beans, wait and add at the end.) Lower heat to a simmer and cook, with the lid on, for 20 minutes or until the meat is cooked and cauliflower is tender or soft. Add the kidney beans. Salt to taste if needed, or let people salt their own servings to suit their own preferences. Serve on its own, or over fresh rice. Enjoy!