No-Carb Weekday Meal

Complex flavors meld well with the pork in Spinach Salad with Stir-Fried Pork & Warm Ginger Vinaigrette from Fine Cooking’s “Make It Tonight” series. Against my better judgement, and as per the instructions, I stuck to only incorporating a half of a red pepper. Next time I’ll use a whole pepper (or half red + half yellow) to jazz it up with more color and as an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and B6.

For a splash of heat, drizzle this salad with some Sriracha hot sauce or Thai chile paste—oh yeah baby! If you prefer less heat, set a bottle of hot sauce on the table for guests to add as they like. We definitely did not dress the salad with all of the vinaigrette, it would have been way too wet.

But we did have leftover stir-fry mixture which Russ topped with the remaining vinaigrette. He packaged it separately from some Bibb lettuce and took it for lunch the next day.

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. baby spinach, washed and spun dry (8 loosely packed cups)
  • 3 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 2-1/2 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 lb. 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick boneless pork chops, trimmed of excess fat and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs. dry sherry
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup canola or peanut oil
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 6 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3-1/2 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger

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Pork slices marinate in soy sauce, sherry and corn starch for at least 10 minutes.

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Cooking the pork for a few minutes in a hot skillet.

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After the meat is done cooking, add the scallions, mushrooms and bell pepper to the same hot skillet.

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Transfer the vinaigrette to a measuring cup and  whisk to emulsify thoroughly.

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The dressed spinach is plated first, topped by the stir-fry mixture.

Directions

  1. Put the spinach in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the rice vinegar with 1-1/2 Tbs. of the soy sauce, the sugar, and 3 Tbs. water.
  2. Put the pork in a medium bowl and season with 1/2 tsp. salt. Toss with the remaining 1 Tbs. soy sauce, the sherry, and the cornstarch. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Heat 1-1/2 Tbs. of the canola oil in a heavy, 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the pork and cook, stirring, until it loses its raw color and is just firm, about 2 minutes. Transfer the pork to a clean medium bowl.
  4. To the skillet, add 1-1/2 Tbs. of the canola oil and the sesame oil, scallions, mushrooms, and bell pepper. Sprinkle with salt and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms and scallions soften and brown in places, about 3 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to the bowl with the pork and toss.
  5. Still over medium-high heat, add 1 Tbs. of the canola oil and the ginger to the skillet and cook, stirring until very fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove the skillet from the heat, add the vinegar-soy mixture, and stir well with a wooden spoon or spatula, scraping the pan to incorporate the browned bits.
  6. Whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup canola oil; the mixture will remain largely separated. Transfer the vinaigrette to a measuring cup and  whisk to emulsify thoroughly (the cornstarch from the browned bits will help).
  7. Toss the spinach with half of the vinaigrette (or enough to lightly coat). Portion among four plates, top with the pork and vegetables, and drizzle with some of the remaining vinaigrette (you may not need it all). Serve immediately.

by Tony Rosenfeld from Fine Cooking

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