Cuban Pork & Dirty Rice Bowls and Noodle Pancakes w. Ma Po Tofu
Making Chili Oil for the Ma Po Tofu
Meal 1: Chive-Noodle Pancakes, Ma Po Tofu and Stir Fried Bok Choi & Hakuri Turnip
· Heat a little oil in a well seasoned or non-stick pan. In a bowl gently stir the noodle mixture to combine. When the oil is hot, put enough noodle mix into the pan to make a 4" pancake and flatten it a bit with a spatula. Allow the bottom to crisp and brown and pr the pancake to set - when you shake the pan it should move easily as one piece a good 2 minutes over medium/ medium high. Flip the pancake and brown the opposite side. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and cook in batches. Serve with a little soy sauce for dipping.
· Remove the choi leaves from the bag and chop them evenly into bite sized pieces. Heat a little oil in the pan and stir fry the choi together with the turnip slices allowing the leaves to brighten and wilt a bit, and maybe pick up a little color. Season with a little salt and serve.
· Shake the tofu dish well, but gently to distribute the sauce and add the contents to a hot pan over medium. Allow the dish to simmer and gradually thicken - it should take about 4 minutes. Serve.
Meal 2: Cuban Roasted Pork or Sweet Potatoes w. Dirty Rice, Spicy Pickled Red Onions and Sautéed Collard Greens
· Heat the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet in the oven at 350° or in a sauté pan with a little butter tossing and using a lid to speed the process.
· Heat the pork by breaking it into large 'shreds' and crisping one side in a pan over medium. 3-5 minutes. Again a lid may be useful. The pork should have plenty of fat and 'juice' to finish the cooking, but add some if necessary.
· Remove the pickled onions from the rice and reserve. Serve them atop the pork or the rice. They are spicy, so dip your toes in at first!
· Heat a little oil or butter in a sauté pan. When hot, add the greens and a pinch of salt and stir. Allow the greens to wilt and brighten. Serve.
· Reheat the pan and add more fat. Use a spoon to scoop out most of the rice from its jar into the hot pan. Stir and fry allowing the rice to become hot and fragrant and maybe brown a little. When hot through add the beans and the remainder of the rice and stir together. Heat through, check the seasoning, and serve.