Category Archives: pork

sausage + potato + kale skillet

On Thursday evenings, you can typically find us wandering around the Gorge Grown Farmer’s Market at the HR Middle School.   We always look forward to hitting up the food carts and shopping for local goodies with our friends.   My new BFF, coincidentally,  is the dude who hands out cheese samples.  Seriously, who doesn’t love Free Sample Guy?!  Heaven.

Snoop through our basket and you will likely find tons of fresh produce, tubs of ridonkulous almond butter, and this pork sausage from Rough Swan Ranch.  My friend raved about it, so we gave it a shot.  And now, we may need to purchase a separate freezer, just so I can store this stuff throughout the winter.  This ain’t no Jimmy Dean, folks.  It is absolutely worth the few extra bucks as it: A) comes from happy pigs and B) is freakishly delicious.  It’s fair to say that we are addicted.

Technically it is labeled as “breakfast sausage”,  but I have been using it to cook up “dinner skillets” all summer long. Variations have included white cannellini beans and grilled corn.  Our garden potatoes are ready, so lately I’ve been using those.  Come this fall, you’d better believe that I’ll toss some sweet potato into the mix!   My husband has proclaimed, on more than one occasion, that THIS is his favorite meal….EVER.  It’s simple and rustic – total cowboy food.

SAUSAGE + POTATO + KALE SKILLET
1 Lb. bulk breakfast sausage (Rough Swan or any other QUALITY sausage)
1 medium onion, diced
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
dash red pepper flake
1 Lb. baby red or yukon gold potatoes, cubed
1 bunch kale, shredded (ribs removed), yields approx. 4 cups
salt and pepper to taste

PREHEAT oven to 425 degrees.  In a cast iron (I use my 10 inch), or any other oven proof skillet, brown the breakfast sausage over medium heat.  REMOVE sausage with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel lined plate.  ADD the diced onion to the pan, WITH the sausage grease (don’t look at me like that, just DO it), and saute until soft.  CRUSH the garlic into the onions, add a dash of red pepper flake, cook until fragrant.  ADD the potatoes to the pan and coat evenly with onions and garlic.  SEASON with a bit of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, then let the potatoes cook for about 2 minutes on the stove.  TRANSFER the skillet to the oven and let the potatoes bake for 18 minutes.  CAREFULLY remove the skillet from the oven (uh, don’t grab the handle).  ADD the shredded kale and breakfast sausage to the skillet and mix it all together.  The skillet will be HOT, so keep that mitt on!  RETURN the skillet to the oven for about 7 minutes longer, until the kale is wilted to your satisfaction (it should have some crispy edges).   BAM!   Giddy up.  

Variations:  Depending on what is in season, sub any of the following for the potatoes: white cannellini beans, roasted corn, sweet potato, etc. The sky is the limit!  

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Filed under gorge grown, meat, pork, quick and easy

VIETNAMESE RICE NOODLE SALAD the best international recipe

This recipe comes from my favorite cookbook, The Best International Recipe, developed by America’s Test Kitchen.  Any creation by ATK is considered a Bible in my kitchen.  I’m especially excited about this Best Recipe book as we are starved for international cuisine here in the Gorge.  Merely writing about this recipe makes me drool–the combination of fresh ingredients is heavenly. The book calls for broiling the pork tenderloin, but because the prep is tedious and time consuming, I typically roast the pork and slice it over the salad.  Either way, it is delish.  Happy eating….

PORK TENDERLOIN:
GLAZE:  1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 TBSP mirin, 1 TBSP rice vinegar, 1 TBSP honey. WHISK together in a small bowl and set aside.  

REMOVE the silver skin with a knife.  DRY the tenderloin with paper towels, salt and pepper.  HEAT one tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium high heat until just smoking.  BROWN the tenderloin for approximately 2 minutes per side, until it is browned all the way around.  TRANSFER pork to a baking dish.  GLAZE the meat.  BAKE on the middle rack at 450 degrees for 15-18 minutes, flipping halfway through until instant read thermometer registers 135 degrees.  TENT the pork with foil, on a separate plate, and let rest for 10 minutes.  SLICE into bite sized pieces.


DRESSING: 
2/3 cup fish sauce (* I decrease this amount slightly, depending on the “fishiness” of the sauce)
1/2 cup warm water
3 limes, squeezed
5 TBSP sugar
1-3 minced thai, serrano, or jalapeno chiles, seeds and ribs removed (*depends on your heat preference)
2 crushed garlic cloves
WHISK until sugar dissolves and set aside. 

SALAD: 
3 large carrots, shredded
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, cut into matchsticks
1/4 cup chopped peanuts (*plus extra for topping) 
1 minced thai, serrano, or jalapeno chile, seeds and ribs removed
8 oz dried rice vermicelli noodles
4 cups red or green lettuce, sliced thin
1/2 cup roughly chopped basil (* use Thai basil if you can)
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1/2 cup roughly chopped mint
TOSS carrots, cucumber, chile, and peanuts with 1/4 cup dressing, set aside.

NOODLES: 
BOIL 4 qts of water, remove from heat.  ADD noodles and let stand until tender, 5-10 minutes.  DRAIN and transfer to a larger bowl.  LAYER with carrot-cucumber mixture, lettuce, herbs.  POUR half of remaining dressing over the mixture and toss to combine.  DIVIDE among four serving bowls, top with pork and additional peanuts.  CHOW down. 

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Filed under international, pork, salad