Register    Reset Password

Southwest Pork Skillet Supper

Submitted by: laurap on September 15, 2010
0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5
Loading...
Southwest Pork Skillet Supper

It seemed like a meal that wasn’t meant to be.

//

I had houseguests, and they were of an age where meals must be served on schedule for health reasons so blood sugar levels didn’t slip and the agony of bedtime reflux could be avoided. The …

Difficulty:

Ingredients

Directions

It seemed like a meal that wasn’t meant to be.


I had houseguests, and they were of an age where meals must be served on schedule for health reasons so blood sugar levels didn’t slip and the agony of bedtime reflux could be avoided. The kitchen was hot, but the oven was cold, and so were the coil burners. The stove, it appeared, had gone on strike. We checked this and that, determined that the problem wasn’t a flipped breaker, a bad breaker, or something unplugged. The clock on the stove worked, but nothing else did.

Then one of the guests discovered the roast. On the floor. It was still wrapped in the white freezer paper the butcher uses, but one corner had been gnawed away. “I guess the roast is thawed now,” said one of the guests with a deadpan expression. I’m pretty sure I heard him snickering as he walked away though, the ornery old man. I would have asked then if things could get any worse, but as my daughter says, it’s best not to tempt the irony gods. (They’re the ones behind Murphy’s Law, and who hasn’t run afoul of that one?)

I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and counted to ten. Then I began to improvise. First, I started a batch of rice in the rice cooker because with rice as a base you can turn a lot of food goofs into some sort of casserole, stir-fry, or side dish.

I trimmed away the portions of the roast that had been nibbled upon, then deboned it and trimmed away most of the fat and connective tissue. I cut what was left into bite sized pieces, suitable for stir-frying. That particular cut of meat wasn’t ideal for a true stir-fry meal, but it would do well with a quick browning, followed by a slow, moist simmer.

I looked through the fridge and decided I had the right ingredients on hand for a Southwest style skillet dinner. I chopped some onions and green peppers purchased that morning at the farmer’s market. I quickly husked a bag of sweet corn — also from the farmer’s market, and grabbed some tomatoes. Since I wasn’t sure how many tomatoes I’d need, I washed the whole basketful and brought them all out to the table on the porch where the rice already was cooking.

To salvage this former pork roast dinner, I set up the electric skillet on the porch table by the rice cooker where I was out of the way of the old man who was still tinkering with the stove in the kitchen. I started by cooking the onions in butter. Olive oil would have worked as well, but I really like butter and with everything that had gone wrong, I needed the comforting fragrance of hot butter sizzling in the skillet with the onions.

While the onions were cooking, I cut the corn off the cob and set the bowl of kernels aside. I had plenty of time for that since I like my onions nicely browned and beginning to caramelize. When the onions were sufficiently cooked, I added the meat and stir-fried until the pieces were mostly browned.

Next, I tossed in the peppers and corn. I realized then that I’d missed a lot of the corn silks when I cleaned and cut the corn. That happens sometimes when I’m not wearing the right glasses, but it’s not a big deal for this particular skillet dish. Those bits of corn silk cook down to nothing and disappear into the rich sauce created by all the vegetables, meat, and broth.

To spice things up, I added two teaspoons of my favorite chili powder. That’s plenty for a lightweight like me and my houseguests, who have sensitive stomachs. Had my guests been from the spicy hot branch of the family, I’d have added another teaspoon or maybe even two of the chili powder.

Then I took a moment to admire the colors. I just love the butter soft shades of yellow in the bi-color corn, with the crisp pepper green, the red-orange of the chili powder and the soft brown shades in the meat. So pretty! I’m ready to shop for yarn in those colors. (Is it wrong to plan a sweater around the colors in your food?)

I added four chopped tomatoes, then stirred everything up and assessed the balance. Then I added another chopped tomato so the proportions looked about right. The next step? Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. I checked every few minutes to make sure there was enough liquid. I’ve made this with really juicy tomatoes and not needed to add a single drop of additional liquid. This time, though, I used fairly meaty tomatoes, so about halfway through the simmering time, I had to add about a cup of broth to keep the mixture from sticking.

After about twenty minutes, I deemed it finished to the point of just right. Less cooking time is fine if you like fresher flavors and a bit of crisp left in the vegetables. More is good too, as it allows the flavors to continue to blend and develop. We served the chili pork and vegetables over the rice. Some of us sprinkled cheese on top, and some didn’t.

The recipe scored high with the guests, despite having been made up out of desperation at the last minute. I’d make it again, and I’d serve it again to guests, too. And I’ve added it to my toolbox of tricks for days when everything seems to go wrong, but people expect to be fed anyway.

What do you do on days like that? Do you have a never-fail, fall-back recipe? A favorite save-the-day appliance? Share your secret in the comments so we can all expand our repertoire of tricks for surviving kitchen disasters.

You can also find LauraP at The Land of Moo.

Interested in contributing a guest post to the Farm Bell blog? Read information here for Farm Bell blog submissions.

Want to subscribe to the Farm Bell blog? Go here.

Categories: Blog

Did you make this recipe? Share your photo here:

Make sure the page has finished loading before you upload a photo.

Max photo size is 512KB. The best size to upload is 500 x 375 pixels.

By uploading a photo, you attest that this photo belongs to you. If you are uploading a photo that does not belong to you, please provide documentation that you have permission to use the photo to FBRblog(at)yahoo.com or the photo will not be approved.


Other recipes you may enjoy:





Comments

5 comments | RSS feed for comments of this post

  1. 9-15
    3:30
    am

    One of my standbys is Hawaiian Haystacks. I use home bottled chicken, thickening the broth with cornstarch. Serve over rice, and top with pineapple, thawed frozen peas, grated cheese, chow mein noodles, chopped green onion, chopped celery, or whatever you have and like.

  2. 9-15
    7:49
    am

    Laura, Your “disaster” dish looks delicious! I, too, tend to lean toward rice dishes when things get out of hand.

    Not long ago, my oven failed me part way through a baking session. (t must be the year everyone’s oven/stove goes on the blink!) My save-the-day appliance was my crockpot. Without an oven, I could still alter the recipes and use the crockpot. It’s amazing how inventive we can get when faced with unexpected problems.

  3. 9-15
    10:36
    am

    Vicki – That sounds so good, and quick with the home-canned chicken. I always have plenty of that (and rabbit, too).

    NorthCountryGirl – I assume it was a main dish that the crockpot saved. If some type of bread was involved, I’m doubly impressed and want to know the details.

  4. 9-15
    1:13
    pm

    Very nice save and great post, Laura!! A great cook always has a contingency plan, even if not thought of until the need arises 🙂

    Also another reason to always have a backup cooking source 😉 — propane grill, crockpot, electric skillet, wood grill, turkey roaster, wood stove (well, not in the summer!).

  5. 9-15
    6:39
    pm

    Wow! You deserve big kudos for saving that dinner!

    Quesadillas are my “go to” kind of dinner. There’s always some cheese and some black beans around.

Leave a Comment

You must be registered to post a review or comment.

Already registered? Use the login form at the top of the page.

Search Farm Bell Recipes

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages
Filter by Categories
All Recipes
Appetizers & Snacks
Bagels
Bean Soups
Beans
Beans, Grains & Rice
Beef
Beverages
Biscuits
Blog
Boiling Water Bath
Bread Machine
Breads
Breakfast
Brownies
Budget
BWB Condiments
BWB Fruits
BWB Jams, Jellies, Butters & Preserves
BWB Marmalades & Conserves
BWB Other
BWB Pickles & Pickled Stuff
BWB Salsas
BWB Sauces
BWB Tomatoes & Combos
BWB Vegetables
Cakes
Candy
Canning
Casserole
Casserole
Casserole
Cereals
Cheese
Cheesecakes
Chilis
Chowders
Cobblers
Coffee Cake
Cold Remedies
Condiments
Cookery 101
Cookies & Bars
Cream Soups
Crisps
Crock Pot
Crowd-Size
Crusts
Cupcakes
Cure & Smoke
Dairy
Dehydrating
Desserts
Diabetic
Dips
Doughnuts
Dressings
Egg Dishes
Eggs
Entertaining
Fat-Free
Featured
Fermenting
Fillings
Fish
Food Photography
Freezing
Frostings & Icings
Frozen
Fruit Breads
Fruit Cakes
Fruit Salads
Fruits
Gift Basket Goodies
Giveaways
Gluten-Free
Goat Cheeses
Gourmet
Gravies
Griddles
Grill-Outdoor Cooking
Hard Cheeses
Herbs & Spices
Holiday
Homemade Cheese
How To
Ice Creams
Ingredients
Ingredients & Mixes
Jell-O
Jell-O Salads
Kid-Friendly
Kitchen Gadgets
Kosher
Lactose-Free
Lamb
Leftovers
Lettuce & Greens
Low-Carb
Low-Fat
Low-Sodium
Main Dish
Marinades
Meat Salads
Meet the Cook
Muffins
Non-Dairy
Old-Fashioned
One Dish Meal
Other Breads
Other Breakfast
Other Condiments
Other Dairy
Other Desserts
Other Main Dish
Other Salads
Other Side Dishes
Other Soups & Stews
Other Special Diets
Pasta
Pasta
Pasta Salads
Pastries
PC Beef
PC Chicken
PC Meats
PC Other
PC Poultry
PC Soups & Stews
PC Veggies
Pets
Pickling
Pies
Pizza
Pizza Crusts
Pork
Potato Salads
Potatoes
Potluck
Poultry
Presentation
Preserving
Pressure Canning
Pressure Cooker
Puddings & Custards
Recipe Requests
Relishes & Chutneys
Rolls
Rubs
Salads
Salads
Salsas
Sandwiches
Sauces
Scones
Seafood
Side Dishes
Soft Cheeses
Soups & Stews
Sourdough
Special Diets
Special Occasions
Steam Juicer
Stocks
Stuffings
Substitutions
Syrups
Tarts
Tips & Tricks
Tortillas & Pitas
Using FBR
Vegan
Vegetable Breads
Vegetable Salads
Vegetables
Vegetarian
Wild Game
Yeast Breads








If you would like to help support the overhead costs of this website, you may donate. Thank you!


We Want to Meet You


Farm Bell Recipes is all about you! If you're a member of our community and have been submitting recipes and/or blog posts to Farm Bell Recipes, we want to meet you!
Go to Meet the Cook and submit the form to be featured.


Canning Tutorials

Recent Reviews and Comments




Latest on the Forum

The Farmhouse Table

The Canning Pot

Sign up for the
Chickens in the Road Newsletter




Thanks for being part of our community!