The Gourmet Touch: Dress up pork with pineapple, mushrooms
Apr 13, 2011 | 2631 views |  0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Pork has always been an important part of Southern meals. This was certainly true when I was growing up. Perhaps that was because one of my uncles raised hogs on his farm. I remember my mother and dad rendering the fat in an old black pot to make lard. No doubt about it, this lard made her biscuits special.

They also cured the hams, made cracklings for cornbread and made wonderful homemade sausage. Although we are told that pork is not good for us, both of my parents lived a long life without any problems.

It seems that America is rediscovering this old favorite. Our appetite for “the other white meat” has been rekindled. Today’s pork is about 50 percent leaner than pork produced in the 1960s, due to improvements in breeding and production technologies. For those concerned about their weight, a 3-ounce serving of lean loin contains less than 200 calories.

Almost any fruit or berry can be used to complement pork. Creative cooks have combined pork with peaches, limes, apricots, plums, apples, bananas, strawberries and many other unusual fruits.

In the following recipe for Sweet and Sour Sundae Pork, I chose to use pineapple, which marries well with the flavor of pork. Instead of fresh or canned pineapple, I opted for pineapple ice cream topping.

After enjoying a tender, low-fat pork chop with mushroom sauce at a small cafe, I decided to see if I could duplicate it. I use the crockpot for this simple dish. After tasting it, I feel sure you will agree that it doesn’t taste low-fat.

Pork is a very versatile meat, which makes it great for those who like to experiment in the kitchen. Take a look into the kitchen pantry for ingredients that might go well with the pork and try your hand at making a new and exciting dish.

SWEET AND SOUR

SUNDAE PORK

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon oil

1 (6-ounce) package snow peas (cut in half, if too large)

1/2 cup red bell pepper strips

1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into strips or cubes

1 (12-ounce) jar pineapple ice cream topping

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 cup vinegar

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Cooked rice

Add butter and oil to a large skillet. Heat until butter melts. Add snow peas and red pepper strips. Cook until tender crisp. Remove from skillet and set aside. Add pork to the skillet and cook until meat is lightly browned and tender. Add snow peas and pepper back to skillet along with the ice cream topping, sugar, ginger and vinegar. Stir to mix well. Combine the soy sauce and cornstarch in small bowl and stir until blended. Add to skillet, mixing well. Serve over cooked rice. Makes 4 servings.

LOW-FAT CROCKPOT

PORK CHOPS

4 to 6 large lean pork chops

1 can Campbell’s Healthy Request cream of mushroom soup

1 tablespoon dry ranch dressing mix

1/4 cup water, if needed

Place pork chops in crockpot. Mix together the soup and dressing mix. Water can be added, if desired; however, when I added water, the sauce was not as thick as I would have liked it to be. Cook on high for about 4 hours. Chops should be fork tender. When serving, spoon a little of the sauce over each pork chop.

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