I’m a household of ONE. So leftovers from weekend dinners with my family are a constant challenge. The leftover pork loin we enjoyed Sunday usually becomes a gamey reminder by Tuesday daring me to try to mask its flavor. I admit, often I’ll just end up tossing it in the trash. How wasteful. I would estimate I throw away probably 15% of my food budget. I compost and I recycle, so tossing leftovers just doesn’t sit right with me.
The Tasty Leftover Pork Loin Recycle Challenge.
I have a 8 oz piece of leftover pork loin in the fridge. I have vegetables, so some kind of stir fry is my leftover savior this week. The objective is to create a new fabulous dish from a previous meal with leftovers and pantry ingredients. Anyone else feel they’ve been watching too many episodes of the Food Network’s Chopped while staying at home during Covid-19?
I admit this sticky, spicy, garlic makeover won’t be the most adventurous dish, but I can report that it turned out to be tasty and the pork loin is gone. That’s a leftover success story!
Sticky Pork Stir Fry
|8 ounces of leftover pork loin (yes, already cooked)|
1/2 cup of cauliflower rice
1/2 cup of broccoli florets
Canola oil spray
3 medium cloves of garlic (minced chop or processed on a microplane)
1 inch of ginger grated on a microplane (don’t use powdered here)
1/4 cup of honey
2 tablespoons of sweet and spicy chili sauce
1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar (I used a seasoned brand but it doesn’t matter)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
Let’s get Saucy!
If you don’t own a microplane grater, buy one! This grater from Amazon is good for Parmesan cheese, zesting, nutmeg, and even dusting desserts or coffees with chocolate. It’s only $11 and it adds so much to your cooking and baking.
The sauce is the key to this leftover makeover. It is sweet and salty, and just a little bit spicy from the addition of garlic and ginger. The pork definitely can handle the extra flavor, and the texture of the pan-fried pork is complimented by the sticky honey-based sauce.
In a small bowl let’s make the ginger and garlic sauce. Whisk together the honey, chili sauce, and rice wine vinegar.
I always have some ginger peeled and frozen in the freezer. I used a basic microplane (nothing fancy) to grate the garlic and the ginger into this mixture.
It’s going to be a little thick and gummy until it hits the warm pan. Then you’ll think it’s too runny, but have a little faith. For now, just set that aside and let those flavors start to marry.
Prep the main dish.
Steam your broccoli to tender (not mushy). Pull it off the heat and set it aside.
Next, spray your skillet with the canola spray. I have an oil misting bottle. They are inexpensive and can spray different oils or vinegar. I love these because I can refill them every week after a simple clean up. If you like to BBQ they are so much easier than rubbing oily paper towels on the grates before cooking. I’m not fond of the commercial canned oil sprays as they often add a strange aerosol taste.
Let the skillet and oil coating heat on medium-high while you slice up the pork loin. You want to create 1/4-inch strips of pork loin. You are only going to crust them slightly and warm them through. So be careful not to overcook them and make them tough. Toss the pork loin strips in the pan, stirring constantly and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. This pork loin was BBQ Mesquite, but it doesn’t matter whether it’s plain or flavored. Use whatever you have on hand.
Add the sauce mixture to the pork and let it come to a bubble. Baste the pork to completely coat and then turn the heat down to medium low and let it sit for 5 to 8 minutes until the sauce, which has now melted, thickens slightly to a glaze. Next toss in the broccoli.
Plating makes the presentation.
You can obviously serve this over steamed rice or next to fried rice. However, since I’ve been eating low-carb, I served this over the cauliflower rice that’s been heated and cooked with a little salt seasoning.
If you already own a food processor, creating cauliflower rice is a breeze. Just remove the florets from the stalk and pulse them in the food processor until they resemble rice kernels. I do own a 9-cup food processor, but cleaning it is such a chore, so for Christmas last year I got this KitchenAid 3.5 cup mini chopper and I use it practically every day. It goes straight into the dishwasher after I’m done and is as easy to clean as possible.
If you want to get fancy, add some sliced scallions to the top of this dish or sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Yummmm!
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