As I've mentioned before - I love one-pot dishes: entrees that incorporate proteins, starches and vegetables all in one. I'd never made Albóndigas soup in the past, probably because I thought that having to make all the meatballs would be time-consuming. And while it did take a bit of time, the end result was pretty rewarding - you can even enlist loved ones in forming the little round spheres.
I cooked my mother's dish on mother's day. I was not able to make a trip to Southern California then, but loved that she had made it on the past 2 occasions when I visited last. Kiam Pung translates into Salty Rice, with "kiam" being salty in my parents' fukienese/ fujianese dialect, which I'm told is very similar to Hokkien, or Taiwanese. Basically I like to think of this easy dish is a Chinese Paella -- it's open to an infinite number of variations, but should always contain 3 essential ingredients (besides the rice, which is a given):
- Soy Sauce
- Some kind of green vegetable
- Some kind of meat or seafood or meat substitute
Marcella Hazan, in her seminal Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, wrote that of the thousands of recorded dishes that could illustrate the genius of a cuisine, Pork Braised in Milk would certainly be among the favoured few. Her recipe is exceedingly simple - start with a pork loin roast (bone included), brown it well in some oil, add around 2 cups milk, and simmer over low heat for several hours until tender. She also notes that, if we have access to it, and are not averse to the fact that it might fall apart in whilst carving, pork butt, or Boston shoulder, laced with a goodly amount of fat - is preferrable, but perhaps won't be as pretty on a plate.
Surf and Turf. Land and sea. Mar y montagña. A classic pairing that seems to always work so well... I've loved this dish for a while now, having stumbled upon the recipe posted on Leite's Culinaria several years ago... but this dish it seems, has a long and venerable history, originating out of the Alentejo region in Portugal. The best description I've read of the region comes from this personal account by Miguel de Almeida at West Coast Cooking. His recipe is slightly different from the one I used; indeed, there seems to be an infinite number of variations one can take with this beautiful dish. At its base it's hearty, easy and comforting; however, it doesn't quite work well if you want to gin up a quick weeknight meal. You want a bit of time for prep and leaving the pork ample time to bathe in its marinade (overnight is ideal), so it's probably best to attempt this over a weekend or when you've got some time.
Oh - and you'll want to use some sort of stew pot or large-ish dutch oven for this dish.