I don’t know about you, but I’ve been in a dinner time rut for quite some time now.
Spaghetti no longer stirs up excitement with my clan, we’ve become indifferent about tacos and chicken breasts… well, it doesn’t matter if you shake it, bake it or use a tasty marinade, poultry tends to get a little boring after awhile.
For many of us moms and dads, weekdays are crazy busy — the idea of slaving away at the stove after a long day at work or chasing kids around just doesn’t seem all that appetizing.
So, when an email arrived in my inbox inviting me to attend a Pork Perfection cooking class at Well Seasoned a couple of weeks ago, I jumped at the chance.
Angie Quaale, a local foodie and owner of Well Seasoned, joined forces with Narrative wines by Okanagan Crush Pad
and Johnston’s Pork to teach a group of bloggers about different ways to support and eat local, such as sourcing ingredients locally from Johnston’s Pork
To be honest, I didn’t have a whole lot of experience with preparing and cooking pork — turns out I wasn’t alone. Jason is not a huge fan of it and I’ve always been scared of either over or under cooking it. The last thing I want to do is serve up a dried up chewy piece of leather to my family or give them trichinosis.
Well, it turns out that my fears of poisoning my family is unfounded — the last case of trichinosis (a parasitic disease
caused by eating raw or undercooked pork) vanished in North America in the 50’s. Now that doesn’t mean you should serve up a rare pork roast, but a little pink isn’t going t o kill you. You know what that means? We’ve been chewing on tough, dried up pork chops for one too many decades.
What I learned during Angie’s class was that pork is a great staple that deserves to be in your dinner table rotation. Like chicken or beef, there are endless ways to serve it — on noodles, rice, roasted, fried, ground — you name it.
The best part about pork is that that it will cost you much less than red meat and be fully marinaded in 30 minutes or less.
And did you know that Johnston’s Pork
is based here in the Fraser Valley? Established in 1937 by Mr. Carmen Johnston in Chilliwack, BC., the company employs and supports over 120 families locally.
Last night I decided to test out one of the recipes we were given (Pork Picadillo). The entire dish took less than a half hour to make and our entire clan gobbled it down — even our picky preschooler gobbled up every last bite.
If you don’t believe me, I double dare you to make it!
Pork Picadillo ~Serves 4
~ courtesy of Well Seasoned
- 1 lb ground Johnston’s BC Pork
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion,chopped
- ¼ cup sliced green olives
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 2 medium tomatoes ( I used canned tomatoes)
- chopped 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. chili powder
- ¼ tsp. ground cumin
- dash ground cloves
- dash ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup toasted slivered almonds
- 1/3 cup golden raisins
Brown pork in oil – drain some oil from the cooked pork if necessary. Combine with other ingredients and simmer 15 minutes. Picadillo is perfect for stuffing tacos, burritos, or tamales. Also great for stuffed peppers, or you can serve it with steamed rice. Enjoy!
Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store is a foodie’s paradise carrying hard-to-find and specialty ingredients, spices, sauces, and kitchenware from all over the world. From chocolic gift baskets to award-winning House of Q BBQ sauces, there is a gourmet gift idea for every food lover on your list this season. The Well Seasoned cooking school is designed to bring chefs and wine experts to the Fraser Valley to teach us about new ingredients, new techniques & new flavours. Each week, they offer different classes featuring guest chefs from some of the finest restaurants & catering companies in the Lower Mainland.
Check out the cooking class schedule HERE.