January 28, 2012

Teriyaki Pork Chops with Chinese Sesame Peanut Butter Noodles

I made spaghetti the other nite and ended up with some leftover pasta. I  could have put the leftover sauce on it but when I do that nobody eats it. So I saved the sauce for another meal. I hated to toss out that pasta tho so I put it in a plastic bag with the intention of using it the next day or so. Then I remembered a Chinese noodle dish a friend made many yrs ago. I loved it.

And so I started looking online for something like it. I knew I could use this spaghetti in place of oriental noodles. And I knew it had some peanut butter in it, also veggies. I found one or two I liked but it had no meat in it. I wanted a whole meal. I searched in my freezer and found two pork chops. And so I decided to make Teriyaki sauce for those. But it was getting late and I had no time to marinate them.

I heated up the marinade to blend the flavors, then poured some over the chops. I decided to bake them in the marinade. I didn't have time to BBQ and I didn't want to watch the broiler or fry them on top of the stove. I figured baking them in the marinade would infuse them with the flavor and help evaporate it too, into a sauce. I still had to make the noodle dish and I wasn't sure yet how that would come about. Baking the chops left my hands free for the rest. It actually was a good idea. By the time the chops where half done, I had all the veggies chopped and figured out how I was going to make the sauce. And so this recipe will be for two but you could easily double it or more. I will say it was the bomb! And the heat from the pepper flakes was just right......you knew there was heat but it didn't overwhelm the other flavors.

Teriyaki Pork Chops with Chinese Sesame Peanut Butter Noodles   Serves 2.

First make the Teriyaki sauce:
    1/3 cup mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine) ( didn't have this but I did have my ginger preserved in a jar with dry sherry and used some of this liquid instead)
    1/2 cup soy sauce
    3tb. rice vinegar
    1 tb. sesame oil
    1 tb. honey
    3-4 cloves garlic, minced
    1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
    1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
    1/2c. orange juice

 Put in a microwaveable container and heat for 2min. on high. You could also bring to a boil and simmer a few min. on the stove. This is to start to infuse the flavors into the liquids. Set aside.

I used two pork chops because its what I had on hand. You could just marinate pork or chicken strips in some of this marinade if you wish and stir fry quickly. Because I decided this late, I wanted a quick meal. So I put the chops into a baking pan, poured about 1/3 of the mixture over them and baked them in a 400 degree oven. By the time they are half done, you will be ready to make the noodle mixture.

 While the pork is baking, chop up your veggies.

Noodle mixture:

About 2c. of precooked spaghetti (leftover is perfect for this)

As much of any veggie you would like to use. I used half of a broccoli crown, chopped, 4 mushrooms chopped, 1/2 of a small red onion , sliced thinly and one carrot shaved into strips with my veggie peeler. You could also add peas, snow peas, green onion, peppers, bean sprouts, or anything else you might have around. Its a good way to use up leftovers and bits of things. The ratio of noodles to veggies is about 1/3 veggies to 2/3 noodles. Its not meant to be a veggie dish but of course you could do that if you wish.

Also 1/4c. peanut butter. Recipes seem to call for smooth but I had organic crunchy here and I liked it. Little bits of nuts throughout the mix were delish. :)

First take remainder of marinade and add the peanut butter. Again put in microwave for two minutes to melt the peanut butter and make it easier to whisk into the sauce. Taste this. I found my peanut butter took away some of the sweetness so I added a tsp. of sugar to it to balance it. Since this was fresh organic butter that may have had something to do with it so taste and adjust to what you think you would like. However you don't want it really sweet, just a hint.

 Then chopped veggies. Better to do this all at once so the stir fry goes quickly. Once these are chopped, check pork chops. They should be about half done by now and browning nicely. Take out of oven and turn them over and return to oven till the noodle mix is done.

Add a tb or so of vegetable oil in a pan. I have a stir fry wok pot but you could use a fry pan too. Get the oil really hot then add the broccoli. Stir and let cook a minute. Then add the carrot strips and cook 2 min. more. 

 Add the onions and mushrooms since these don't need as much time to cook. ( here's where you would add snow peas, peas, sprouts, peppers, etc. since they don't take long to cook). If it looks like it might need a bit more oil, add it. Mushrooms absorb it fast. Cook till mushrooms look like they are starting to shrink. Then add pasta and stir well to heat thru. 

 Put the rest of the marinade with the peanut butter on the noodle mix and stir in well and heat thru till sauce thickens. Check the chops, they should be done about now unless they were thick ones.

To serve, put some noodle mix on a plate and top with chopped cilantro (or green onion if you like). Top with pork chop and any juices in the pan.


Alida said...

This is mouthwatering. It will be next on my list. You have explained the recipe well, step by step and that's great for me as I am not familiar with cooking this dishes but love them though!
Thanks for sharing.

Storybook Woods said...

Delish Pat, just the kind of recipe my girls would love !! Clarice