Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Recipe for Raging Garlic Pork Stir-Fry from Fix, Freeze, Feast

We served this with some Thai jasmine rice and a sprinkle of fresh basil from the garden.
My commute to and from the Storey offices in North Adams carries me through some of the most beautiful landscape in Massachusetts. It also means almost 3 hours in the car every day. Needless to say, my new work routine requires a few adjustments at home — particularly when it comes to grocery shopping and meal preparation. 

We have a lot of soup in our freezer. It’s the perfect go-to meal in those moments when we just can’t muster energy for cooking or don’t have the requisite ingredients for something more elaborate on hand. But my appetite for soup wanes in summer, and — let’s face it — even in winter, when soup can be just what the doctor ordered, it’s nice to have the option of more varied freezer fare.

Fortunately, working at Storey means there’s no shortage of inspiration: I am, quite literally, surrounded by cookbooks. This week, in an effort to restore a little life balance, I made Raging Garlic Pork Stir-Fry from Fix, Freeze, Feast

Stir-fry is another year-round favorite for its versatility. It practically begs you to improvise with whatever you’ve got on hand to suit whatever flavors you prefer. Raging Garlic Pork Stir-Fry is easily adaptable in quantity and ingredients. I halved the amounts in the original recipe, since there were only two of us. Some of it we ate that night for dinner, and the rest we froze. In my packets for the freezer, I included meat, marinate, peppers, and onions. For the portions we ate immediately, I supplemented the peppers and onions with fresh seasonal vegetables we needed to use up: red bell peppers (for color) and yellow squash. I found my heat with a fresh habanero rather than crushed red pepper flakes. The redolent garlic came from our garden, as did green beans and a garnish of fresh basil.

I love any recipe that can feed a few or a crowd and extends the life of summer produce so that I can enjoy it when things have taken a turn for the colder and darker. With this one there’s the added bonus of preassembled nonsoup meals in the future and a little more of that life balance I crave. 

One important note: The recipes in Fix, Freeze, Feast are written to make the large packages of ingredients you find at warehouse clubs easier to manage. The amounts below are from the original recipe; I cut the quantities in half, and even after cooking and eating some right away, we had plenty of uncooked components left to freeze.

Raging Garlic Pork Stir-Fry

Makes 4 entrees, 46 servings each

1 pork loin (about 8 pounds; do not use tied pork loin roast)
1½ cups soy sauce
½ cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
8 teaspoons minced garlic (about 24 cloves)
1 teaspoon (or to taste) crushed red pepper flakes
4 large onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 large green bell peppers, cut into 2-inch pieces

4 one-gallon freezer bags, labeled
12 one-quart freezer bags

On hand for cooking each entrรฉe:
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
½ cup cornstarch

  1. Rinse and trim loin as desired. Cut pork into bite-size cubes; divide evenly among four of the 1-quart bags. Seal.
  2. Whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar in a medium bowl. Divide the marinade evenly among four 1-quart bags. Into each bag of sauce measure 2 teaspoons garlic and ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper. Seal.
  3. Divide onions and bell peppers evenly among the remaining 1-quart bags. Seal.
  4. Into each of the 1-gallon bags, place a bag of pork, a bag of sauce, and a bag of peppers and onions. Seal and freeze.

To cook one entrรฉe:
  1. Completely thaw one entrรฉe in the refrigerator.
  2. Pour off and discard any accumulated liquid from the bag of pork. Add ½ cup cornstarch; seal bag, and shake to coat the meat.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and stir-fry until thoroughly cooked, about 10 minutes. Add vegetables and sauce. Stir-fry until vegetables are tender and crisp.
Recipe excerpted from Fix, Freeze, Feast ©2010, 2007 by Kati Neville and Lindsay Tkacsik. All rights reserved.

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Want more recipes from Fix, Freeze, Feast? Check out Small Pan Vegetable Lasagna and a video how-to for Cranberry Mango Chicken on our blog.

Kati Neville, coauthor of Fix, Freeze, Feast, started filling her freezer with make-ahead meals at the birth of her first child. In 2002 she founded Make and Take LLC, the first meal assembly service near Portland, Oregon. Neville is a frequent contributor to The Forklift blog and is host of The Saver’s Kitchen podcast. Her articles have appeared in many publications, including Real Simple and Every Day with Rachael Ray.

Lindsay Tkacsik started and ran a make-ahead meal business for several years before partnering with Kati Neville to coauthor Fix, Freeze, Feast. As the mother of three daughters, Tkacsik has experience in planning meals around a variety of schedules. She has developed meal ministries for a Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) group in her community and for her church congregation. Tkacsik is a contributor to The Forklift blog, has hosted segments of The Saver’s Kitchen podcast, and lectures on make-ahead meals to community groups. Her work has been featured on Everyday Food on Martha Stewart Living Radio, and her recipes can be found in Every Day with Rachael Ray and The Costco Way cookbook.

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