I'll be blunt. I haven't been cooking a lot lately. You see, this is our house right now:
And this is the temperature outside right now:
Saturday, I missed our farmers market because of this:
And it's just plain hard to motivate yourself to cook when you're spending most of your time looking like this:
I wanted to make something new and exciting for Summerfest but time got away from me and I had to be inspired by what was in our garden. We've got a bumper crop of green beans right now so I looked through the list of tried and true recipes I keep on hand and realized it had been a long time since I made Szechuan Green Beans with Ground Pork. It's quick, healthy and delicious so rather than spend hours perusing recipe possibilities, I went with it and used the time I saved to pick up some new porn that fluttered to the ground when we took the rest of the plaster in the upstairs hallway down. Note that I said new porn. We've already had porn rain down on us before and one day I might even tell you about the vintage sex journal we found in the attic. This house – it's always an adventure and learning experience, even when you don't want it to be!
I've made this recipe many times just like it says on Cooking Light's website. It's delicious as is. But I also like to tinker around with recipes and use up food that I already have. I had several sweet red peppers that had a bit of sunscald on them and they needed to be used so I added them to the recipe. I increased the sauce portion a little bit because I had a jar of hoisin sauce that we needed to finish off. I also added sriracha sauce to it because I love it.
I used regular ground pork because the farmer we buy our pork from does not offer lean ground pork. The fat content is usually pretty variable when we buy this – tonight it didn't require us to drain off any fat but keep it mind that might be a possibility if you use a less lean ground pork. Using a less lean type of pork does give you more of a fudge factor as far as cooking the pork is concerned. If you're using a leaner pork, you're going to want to follow the times more closely so that the meat doesn't become too dry.
If you like your foods spicy, this will not be spicy enough. I always add more sriracha sauce to my portion. If you can't handle spicy foods, leave out the crushed red pepper.
This is a quick easy meal to eat with a loved one when you're tired and dusty. And as you break bread together, you can look deep into one another's eyes, wipe the soot off your husband's nose, gently brush the porn fragments out of his hair and pledge never to renovate another house.
Szechuan Green Beans with Ground Pork
Adapted from Cooking Light
Yield: 4 servings (serving size is 1 cup pork mixture and 1/2 cup rice)
1/2 pound lean ground pork
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon peanut oil
2.5 cups green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup sliced sweet red pepper
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2.5 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
1.5 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 cups hot cooked white rice
Combine pork, cornstarch, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork mixture, green beans, sweet red pepper and garlic. Cook three minutes or until pork loses its pink color, stirring to crumble.
Whisk together hoisin sauce, sriracha sauce, sugar, red pepper and soy sauce in a small bowl. Add mixture to pan and cook 2 minutes or until throughly heated, stirring frequently. Serve over rice.
Some other recipes using herbs, greens & beans:
Peach Basil Sangria
Basil, Feta & Tomato Salad
Chilled Curried Yellow Squash Soup with Cilantro-Lime Puree
Shelly Peas & Greens
Roasted Green Beans
Polenta with Garlicky Greens
Crustless Spinach, Onion and Feta Quiche
Collards with Potatoes [and Bacon]