Monday Meals: 2018-09-17

Twice Cooked Pork

Twice cooked pork: ingredients

A classic dish in Szechuan Chinese restaurants is Twice Cooked Pork, a spicy stir-fry with pork and crunchy vegetables that combines interesting favours and textures with enough heat to wake up your taste buds (and, depending on the restaurant, make your eyes water).

There are several styles of this dish, and the traditional way of preparing it is somewhat time-consuming and fussy. If you’ve read my other recipes, you know that’s not for us. Here is a variant where the “first cooking” is done when you make our Chinese Roast Pork and the leftover meat from that dish is the starting point for this one. If you consider this inauthentic, that’s because it is! If you like, call it “Twice Crooked Pork”! It’s still delicious, quick and easy to fix, and can’t fail.

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Monday Meals: 2018-08-13

Chinese Roast Pork

Chinese roast pork: ingredients

This easy to make, can’t fail meal combines a variety of Chinese seasonings with tender, delicious pork, and will provide you with several meals including an entirely different recipe for the leftovers which I’ll present eventually in a sequel to this post.

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Hog production crisis

There is a crisis, right?

There must be.  Every news report on NPR this week, and I mean every one, morning and evening, has featured a very long feature about the plight of poor pig farmers.  They are in crisis.  Their profits are down, prices are down, their outlook is down.  The poor, poor hog farmers are sorely oppressed.

They are being oppressed by President Trump.  He is mean; he is brutal.  He is waging war against the downtrodden stalwart hog farmers.

This week on NPR was all hog farmer all the time.

Now, I am sympathetic to the hog farmer, but you had to go elsewhere to learn that the U.S. is second to Germany in pork exports to China, and that per capita consumption of pork products has been growing at over six percent per year in China this decade.

And perhaps it informs any conversation on the topic of the economics of pork to recall that the price of corn (a common foodstuff for pig farmers) is inflated by government subsidies of ethanol.   And NPR has a reputation for diving into the details of complexities, and so they have, if you listened very carefully.  They did advise that pork exports to China amount to nearly 11 % of pork exports, but they did not report that this is a recent high mark.

The casual listener would be excused for coming away from this series with only one lesson.  “President Trump has been callous to his agricultural base and is being mean to American farmers with his stupid tariffs on aluminum and steel, which cause American producers of swine products to suffer.”

 

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