Tag Archives: pork

Crazy- Amazing Stuffed Squid



As much as I love to write about cooking, I myself am a professional cook in my everyday life (which explains why I almost never have time to post).  One of the many amazing things about my line of work is the incredible people I have met along the way.  Don’t get me wrong, the industry is crazy, and has plenty of downsides– but more on that later.  Most cooks are just people who are so obsessed with cooking that they have dedicated their lives to learning more.

One of the best ways to learn is through others– and with that, I need to explain how this beautiful recipe fell into my lap.

This is Helen.


Pictured here casually with celebrity chef Scott Conant

She’s just as lovely on the inside as she is on the outside, trust me.  She’s a cook that came to the game after already pursuing another career– and as a result, has amazing skills cooking many of the dishes she grew up with, and pays homage to her Vietnamese heritage. While she learns French cuisine along with the rest of us, she has an amazing trick up her sleeve.

Normally, Helen doesn’t do much to bring attention to her delicious recipes– just simple Instagram posts and casual dinner parties for fellow cooks and family.


Like this beauty; aka “casual dinner”


Or this gorgeous dish. She does this on her days off, people.

Her food should definitely be celebrated– the depth of flavor in her dishes and thoughtfulness to the detail is so necessary to honor a cuisine that is notoriously complex.  So, after at least a few hours of begging her while prepping at work, Helen agreed to share one of her recipes with me, and the world  suddenly seems like a happier place.


  • 20 small to medium cleaned squid with tentacles.

Pork Stuffing

  • 1/2 lb ground pork (80/20 fat is best, but any will work)
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 3 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 shallot (minced)
  • 1-2 tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • 3 stalks green onion (minced thinly)
  • 1/2 cup bean thread noodles (soaked in warm water for 10 min, drained then chopped)
  • 1/3 cup wood ear mushrooms (soaked in warm water for 10 min, drained and chopped


  1. Combine the pork, fish sauce, ground pepper, white pepper, garlic, sugar, salt, shallot, green onions, bean thread noodles and wood ear mushrooms.
  2. Let the pork mixture marinate for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Stuff the calamari using a small spoon or a piping bag. Seal the calamari by threading a toothpick at the end.
  4. In a frying pan on medium high heat, add the stuffed calamari with 1 tablespoon of water. Cover the pan with a lid and steam the calamari for 10 minutes. This will evenly and perfectly cook both the pork and calamari without drying them out.
  5. Then, remove the lid, cook uncovered with tablespoon of oil and tablespoon of oyster sauce until golden brown.
  6. Slice to the desired thickness and serve.


Hopefully I’ll be able to pick the brains of more of my fellow chefs– and share it all here.

Thanks, Helen!





Recipe: Pork Schnitzel


Being a food blogger sometimes has some major perks. Like opening my door to a box full of bags of free Pretzel Crips. Awesome.

After mowing my way through a few of the packages, I decided it would be cool to cook with the pretzels in a different way. What’s a better way to use pretzels than to bread some thinly sliced pork cutlets? With a simple arugula salad, this is a quick and easy meal for any night (even cinco de mayo!). Using the mustard flavor compliments the pork and the pretzels are a nice crunch that can be hard to achieve with regular breadcrumbs.


1 bag pretzel crips mustard flavor (or any flavor) [$4]
1 package thinly sliced pork cutlets [$3]
1 egg [$1]
Ap flour (in most pantries but runs about $3)
Arugula [$3]
Cherry tomatoes [$2]


Grind the Pretzel Crips in a food processor until crushed. Heat some oil in a pan over medium heat. Pound cutlets til nice and thin, the dip in the flour, then the egg (beaten), and then the Pretzel Crisps. Place cutlets in the hot oil in the pan and cook for about 3 minutes per side, being careful not to let the pretzels burn.
Meanwhile, take the cherry tomatoes and arugula and dress how you would like (personally, I like olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper).
When the cutlets are done, top with the salad and serve.

Happy cinco de mayo!

Recipe: Chinese Cilantro Pork


I, like many other 24 year olds with a few (or three) jobs, rely on Chinese food at least a few times a week. It’s delicious. Don’t deny it. Sometimes, though, I feel a little sluggish after takeout. So what’s a girl to do? You probably already know the answer.


If you like cilantro, this is for you. If not, just leave it out of the last step. I also had a lot of the ingredients on hand, using leftover unused pork chops and slicing them for the stir fry.

Pork chops or tenderloin, sliced thin (slice when the meat is still cold for an easier time) [$4]
Cornstarch and ap flour (in most pantries, but runs about $2 each for a box that will last you forever)
Soy sauce [$3]
Garlic cloves, sliced thin [.50 cents]
Ginger, grated [.50 cents]
1 can chicken stock [$1.50]
1 bunch cilantro [$2]
Jasmine rice and veggies, for serving


Whisk together a cup of the broth, 1/2 cup soy sauce, a few tablespoons of rice vinegar, some grated ginger, a tablespoon of cornstarch and sugar, and some hoisin sauce if you have it. If not, it’s cool. Set aside.

In another bowl, mix 4 tablespoons each cornstarch and flour, 1/2 cup veg oil, and a tablespoon soy sauce together til it forms a batter. Heat some vegetable oil in a skillet and dip the pork slices in the batter. When it gets hot, put the pork in the pan and fry it until golden. Set pork aside on a separate plate.

With the skillet still hot, put the sauce in and let thicken. Add cilantro and let it wilt, then take the sauce off heat.

Serve the sauce hot over the pork and rice and veggies, if desired.



Recipe: Smothered Pork Chops


Who doesn’t love pork chops? I obviously have a thing for pork (see last post to confirm), and this recipe is so awesome, when I saw it on Food Porn Daily, I had to click on the link to the original recipe and make it for myself. The blog is super cute, a blog about life for an expat in France, cooking and such. It was a good idea to find the source of the recipe.

Pork chops [$4 or so for a pack]
Shallots [$3]
Thyme [$2]
Mushrooms [$2]
Chicken stock [$2]
Dijon mustard (I had this on hand, whole grain works well too)
Flour and butter

Preheat the oven to 425. Dust the chops in flour and place on a baking sheet with butter and let roast for 20 minutes, then flip for about 20 minutes. In the mean time, cut the shallots on the vertical and place in a pan with butter and the mushrooms. Let sweat, then add a cup of stock, a tablespoon of the thyme leaves, and the mustard. Let everything simmer and come together for about 10 minutes. Take the pork out of the oven, let rest, and serve. I served with mashed potatoes and a green salad to make it more of a meal.


Super simple and comforting.


Welcome 2014!


It’s been a while, guys. It’s been a crazy new year.  I hope it’s been awesome for everyone, and I’m back now, and have plenty more food–related fun to share.

For New Years, The Russian and I traveled to Maine for some serious R&R.  We rented a small cabin in the middle of nowhere..

Pictured here.

Pictured here.

(middle of nowhere pictured here)

(middle of nowhere pictured here)

..and enjoyed the sounds of the crackling fire.

Pictured here.

Pictured here.

The cabin we stayed at (thanks, Airbnb!) was on the property of a farm, and I was able to buy farm fresh meats, eggs, and maple syrup.

CRW_7752It was incredible, as I have never had farm fresh products like this before.  I needed to make something simple to showcase the beautiful meat, so I decided to make some tasty pork burgers. Here’s the recipe:


Ground pork [$5]

Buns [$3]

Cole Slaw mix [$2]

Milk [$1.50]

Mayo [$2]

Apples [.50 cents]

BBQ sauce [$3]


Form the pork into patties and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  I put the patties in a pan with some leftover compound butter I had made the night before, so there was a lemony flavor and some parsley on the patties.  I also threw some garlic cloves in the pan also to just lend some flavor to the meat. These items are not necessary, but they add some flavor.

It really makes a difference, folks.

It really makes a difference, folks.

While the patties are cooking (they take about 5 or 6 minutes per side for a 1/2 lb patty), I made some simple cole slaw by taking about a 1/4 cup each of mayo and milk and a dash of vinegar and whisking it with the mix and some julienned apple.

To make the burgers, I topped each with some BBQ sauce and some of the slaw. The crunch of the slaw with the juicy burger is a good flavor combo, and the BBQ adds just enough smokiness.


Sorry this isn’t the best picture, but you get the idea.



Recipe: Mock–Thanksgiving



It’s the end of November, and my favorite holiday is almost upon us.  Thanksgiving.  For most people, Christmas is where it’s at, and don’t get me wrong, I love the Christmas tree, the happiness of spending time with family, and the gifts.  For me, however, Christmas falls short to Thanksgiving, a holiday where all you are really required to do is show up and eat.  I take a lot of my cooking skills from my mother, and she’s been cooking a lot longer than me, so I’m excited to eat, drink, and be merry with my family.

That being said, I will be leaving for home tomorrow and taking a little break from writing the blog, at least until Thanksgiving is done. In the meantime, I want to share a little dish I made the other night for my roommates and myself that had all the flavors of Thanksgiving and was super simple to make, for those who cannot wait until Thursday.

Spice rubbed (and a little blackened) pork, mashed sweet potatoes, warm cranberry relish, and an arugula salad.  Happy Holidays.

Happy holidays indeed

Happy holidays indeed

All the items are simple to make and come together wonderfully on the plate.


Pork rub (see below)

Boneless pork chops [around $4/lb]

1 bag cranberries [$2]

1 lemon [.50 cents]

4 yams [$5]

1 package arugula [$3]


I made this recipe with many things I just had lying around the house, but this rub is awesome. You can edit the rub based on what you have on hand, or buy any spices you’re missing.

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 tablespoons each of

roasted coriander

ground ginger

garlic powder

a dash of cumin

salt and pepper to taste

Rub this liberally on the pork and place in and oiled pan until cooked through, about 6 minutes per side.

For the mashed sweet potatoes, take the yams and peel and dice and put in a pot of salted boiling water until tender, about 20 minutes.  Drain and mash with butter and a little chicken stock, if you have it.

For the cranberry relish, take the cranberries, about a cup of sugar, a teeny bit of water, and some zest of the lemon in a pot over medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until all the cranberries have burst.

For the salad, mix arugula with olive oil and the juice of the lemon, salt and pepper to taste, and some shredded Parmesan cheese, if you have it.

Put all dishes together on a plate and enjoy the flavors of my favorite holiday.


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!