You’ve never had this sweet, salty, sour, savory extravaganza before. But with Bruce Tretter’s easy photo illustrated directions, you can make this and enjoy it in no time. Yeah, it works!
All right! Last post was something totally different: pickled pork. If you haven’t tried it yet, I really do hope you give it a shot sometime soon.
Now, incredibly, it’s still a lot cooler than it should or could be this time of year. Here’s a really cool way to have pickled pork—and if you don’t have pickled pork on hand or don’t even want to make it yet, you can substitute any kind meat, chicken or fish. Easy.
First, a few tips. Then the recipe.
- This sweet and savory recipe combines the slightly sour flavors of pickled pork with a sweetness of dried fruit and a lighter variation of fettuccine Alfredo that substitutes couscous harvest grains (see Tip 2 below) for pasta and evaporated milk for heavy cream (see Tip 3 below).
- “Harvest grains”, as seen in this recipe, are a blend of couscous (couscous is a round-shaped pasta-like North African durum wheat food), orzo (rice-shaped pasta), baby garbanzo beans and red quinoa. The harvest grains shown in this recipe can be substituted by 2-3 cups of cooked couscous, orzo (or any other pasta) or any kind of quinoa.
- Evaporated milk has less than half the calories and 20% the fat content of heavy cream. If you look at the labels below, first notice the serving size for heavy cream is half the serving size of evaporated milk. So, taken ounce for ounce, heavy cream has 100 calories, all which are attributed to fat; 10 grams of fat, 7 grams of which are saturated fat: and 40 mg of cholesterol. The same quantity of evaporated milk has 40 calories, 20 of which are attributed to fat; 2 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of which are saturated fat; and 10 mg of cholesterol.
Preparation Time: about 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes
12-Ounce Can of Evaporated Milk
Grated or Shredded Parmesan Cheese
2-3 Handfuls Dried Fruit (I’m using pitted prunes, figs and dried cranberries, but any dried fruit will work)
Ground Black Pepper
Sweet Vermouth (optional, but rounds out the flavor)
Medium Sized Pot with a Top
Large Sharp (Chef’s) Knife
1. Measure 1 1/4 cup harvest grains and…
…add them to a medium sized pot.
2. Measure 1 3/4 cups of pickled pork brine (or water) and…
…add that to the harvest grains in the pot.
3. Cook the harvest grains uncovered over HIGH heat until…
…the brine (or water) comes to a rapid boil as shown here. Then…
…turn the stove heat down to LOW, cover the pot mostly with the pot top making sure to leave space as shown to allow steam to escape and prevent the pot from boiling over and set a timer for 10 minutes (or as long as directed on the package cooking directions).
4. While the grains cook, cut about as much pickled pork as shown in the picture on the right into small bite sized pieces and, if needed,…
…also cut any larger pieces of dried fruit into smaller pieces making sure…
…to remove any tough stems, if necessary, as shown with the dried figs below.
5. When the timer sounds, check the harvest grains for doneness by tipping the pot as shown here.
The grains are done when no liquid pools at the bottom of the pot. If, however, your grains look as shown below…
…keep cooking over LOW heat with the pot uncovered until all the water has been absorbed by the grains.
6. Open and add a 12-ounce can of evaporated milk to the cooked grains in the pot. Then add…
…the cut pickled pork and 2-3 handfuls of dried fruit,…
…about as much grated or shredded Parmesan cheese and an optional shot sweet vermouth.
7. Stir with a big spoon until the cheese melts and looks about as shown…
8. Serve warm either as is or topped with more grated or shredded Parmesan cheese and/or a good crunch of ground black pepper.
Images courtesy of the author