A Fail and A Recovery.

My husband, who travels for his job often, was gone last week, on another hunt for a city not ruined by the internet.  When he’s gone, I don’t make a full “dinner” for myself and my girls.  When it’s just us, dinner is usually scrambled eggs with toast, chips and guacamole with ramekins of black beans, or our all-time favorite, pancakes.

I feel badly about what happened the night before my husband got home from this most recent trip.  I told my girls we were having pancakes, which they were obviously excited about.  But then I pulled what turned out to be a very uncool move by making ZUCCHINI pancakes.  These were such a good idea in theory, but turned out to be a terrible mistake, one which may have cost me my credibility with my kids for a long time.

I had just been to the farm stand and the zucchini looked so good, and I figured it was my last chance until next summer, so I made the first move in a sad chain of events and bought three.  I used a box grater to shred one of the zucchini and added one beaten egg, a few tablespoons of flour, some grated parmesan and panko breadcrumbs and then sautéed the pancakes with olive oil and butter until brown.  I gave the girls ramekins of marinara sauce to dip them in and I put mine on top of a pool of marinara.  With all those ingredients, you’d think they’d be great.  But you’d be wrong.

The happy ending of this story is that my husband was due back the next day (yesterday).  I think I recovered by making a family favorite, Chinese Five Spice Pork Lettuce Wraps.

Forgive this photo. My kids were so hungry from not eating the night before, I couldn’t get anyone to stop long enough to get a better shot.

Chinese Five Spice Braised Pork (adapted from Williams-Sonoma’s Five Spice Pork Wraps)

1 2-3 lb boneless pork loin

2 tsp Chinese Five Spice seasoning

1/2 Tbsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger (I use a microplane and frozen ginger)

1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/3 cup hoisin sauce

1 cup chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350°.  Cover pork with chinese five spice seasoning, salt and pepper.  In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, sear pork with canola oil on all sides until lightly brown, about 6-8 minutes.  Remove pork.  Add a little more oil and sauté the onions until soft, about three minutes.  Add the garlic and ginger and continue to cook until fragrant, about one minute.  Add the pork back into the pot with the soy sauce, hoisin sauce and chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Cover and continue cooking in the oven for 3 hours or until tender.  Use tongs to shred the pork and serve with lettuce, rice, cilantro, scallions and more hoisin sauce at the table.

– Catherine


  1. […] night I had leftover Chinese Five Spice Braised Pork, so that’s what I […]

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