Tag Archives: Pork

El Camino

Great news!  A taco restaurant and take-out window opened just around the corner!  I’m talking I don’t even have to cross the street to get my hands on these little beauties.  Have a look at what El Caminowhich opened just a few days ago on Elgin street, passes through the window:

El Camino's Beef and Pork Tacos

El Camino’s Beef and Pork Tacos

My first trip (of which there will be many) I ordered 2 pork tacos and 1 beef, and both were UNREAL.  Chris also gave a thumbs up to the crispy fish taco, and lamb is an option as well.  The tacos all come standard issue with set toppings like avocado, pickled onions, radish, cilantro and fresh lime. The meat is cooked to absolute juicy, shred-y flavour perfection; the beef has a hint of five spice and a nice spicy kick while the pork is tender and sweet.  Did I mention they make their own tortillas? Life is good 🙂  For $4 each, this place is a welcome addition to the neighbourhood!

UPDATE: My second trip to El Camino wasn’t that long after the first.  This time I ate in the restaurant and it only made me love this place more.  What you see below is evidence of this feast:  the creamy guac, perfect margaritas, and tacos of course.  Lamb, pork, beef and 3 crispy fish.  Just scrumptious.

El Camino Feast


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June 5, 2013 · 10:24 PM

Ricardo’s Tourtière

This year Chris and I decided to give some of our Christmas gifts in food form, and settled on traditional, meaty and hearty tourtière.  For many people it’s a Christmas-time comfort food and it’s a great one dish meal that can easily be thrown into the oven some busy winter evening.   I personally think it’s a great gift idea, mostly because I love it whenever people give me food as a gift.  It doesn’t exactly wrap well for under the tree, but I haven’t encountered anyone who will turn away a home cooked item for their freezer!

Get your recipe out and line up some of your ingredients.  I used Ricardo’s recipe for tourtière this time, and it also passed Chris’ french-upbringing-tourtiere-eating test.  This is a legitimately québecois recipe!


Get out a big pot for the filling (which I neglected to photograph for some unknown reason).  A mixture of beef, pork,potatoes, onion, garlic, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves.  And salt and pepper, of course.  The spices are pretty mellow but add a nice subtle flavour to the filling.  Pretty traditional and highly delicious….this recipe makes enough for six pies!


Cook the onions and garlic in a bit of melted butter until they get soft and golden.


Then throw in the beef and pork, and cook, stirring regularly, until no more pink remains.  Then dump in the rest of the ingredients and let it cook for about 45 minutes.  Not complicated at all!

In the meantime, prepare your dough, using the crust recipe from this pot pie recipe.  Light, flaky and perfect.


There is a serious lack of counter space in my apartment, so Chris McGyvered up a chair-table to fit all the pies!


Scoop the filling out into the crusts, and use whatever dough you have leftover to make fancy patterns on the top!

triple tourtiereAll of these went in the freezer to be used (mostly) as Christmas gifts, so stay tuned for pictures of the cooked, finished product!



The tourtières turned out excellently!  Just like I had hoped they would.  The crust was light, flakey and buttery, 🙂 and the filling was exactly how I remembered it tasting when my french-Canadian babysitter used to make it when I was little. But this time, because we served one of these at our New Year’s Eve dinner party, I decided to fancy it up a little bit by serving it alongside some homemade ketchup. It was the perfect compliment, and I will post the recipe soon!

Here is the one we cooked up on New Year Eve!  Maybe in the oven for slightly too long, but not so long that it ruined it. No complaints from the dinner crowd!



Here it is alongside some homemade ketchup and poutine (also homemade :)).  Did I mention it was a Quebecois themed dinner party?  We also had a variety of beers, including 50.  Très authentic.

Quebecois Dinner Party

Quebecois Dinner Party

And here is another one we pulled out of the freezer a few nights ago.  The ketchup was done, so we served it with a few slices of cheddar cheese instead.  I’m sad there are no more of these left in the freezer, they were such a treat!



Ricardo’s Tourtière Recipe

4 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
45 ml (3 tablespoons) olive oil
1.4 kg (3 lbs) ground pork
1.4 kg (3 lbs) ground veal
4 potatoes, peeled and diced
250 ml (1 cup) chicken broth
180 ml (3/4 cup) breadcrumbs
2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) ground nutmeg
2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) ground cinnamon
Salt and pepper
Rolled-out pastry dough from this pot pie recipe (x 2), or store-bought crust

  1. In a large saucepan, soften the onions and garlic in the oil. Add the meat and continue cooking for about 15 minutes, stirring to crumble the meat. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and cook, stirring frequently, for about 45 minutes or until the potatoes begin to fall apart. Let cool. Adjust the seasoning.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or until completely chilled.
  4. With the rack in the lowest position, preheat the oven to 190 °C (375 °F).
  5. Line six 23-cm (9-inch) pie plates with pastry. Cover with the cooled meat mixture, about 1 pound of meat per pie. Cover with a second crust, and make an incision in the center. Or top with crust pattern or shapes of your choice. Press the lip the seal with a fork or your fingers. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until the crust is golden brown.

From:  Ricardo


Filed under Comfort Food, Main Courses

Char Siu Pork

You know that really delicious, sweet and tender pork you had a dream about the other night?  No?  Just me? OK.  Well, this char siu pork is definitely dream worthy, and I thought everyone should have the recipe.  It’s an amazing Vietnamese marinade – garlic, honey, hoisin, five spice, etc. – and can be used in oh so many ways.  On sandwiches, in soups (like pho!), rice paper wraps, or pretty much anywhere, really.  It’s more than fine all on it’s own too.

Char Siu Marinade

The longer you can let this marinade, the more delicious it will be.

Then, bake @ 475 F for about 30 to 35 minutes, flipping and basting the pork in the marinade every 10 minutes.  Don’t dump it all on right away, because the sugar will burn.  But if you just put it on a bit at a time, it will help form a nice sticky glaze.  MMMMmmmmmm sticky glaze…

Char Siu Pork

Here is one potential serving option:  on rice, with a bean salad on the side!

Char Siu and Bean Salad

Or sliced up and used in pho

Pho with Char Siu


Or buried under a bunch of other toppings to make up rice paper wraps!  This will very likely blow your mind.

Char Siu Rice Paper Wraps

Char Siu Pork Recipe

2 1/3 pounds boneless pork shoulder (tenderloin works well too)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp sugar
½ tsp Chinese five-spice powder
3 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tbsp honey
1 ½  tbsp rice wine or dry sherry
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Cut the pork into strips about 6 inches long and 1 ½ inches thick.
  3. To make the marinade, take a large bowl and whisk together the garlic, sugar, five-spice powder, hoisin sauce, honey, wine, soy sauces and sesame oil.  Add the pork and use a spatula or tongs to coat evenly.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours, turning the pork 2 or 3 times.
  4. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, line up pork on top and reserve the marinade.
  5. Roast, basting every 10 minutes, for 30 to 35 minutes.  The pork is done when it looks glazed, is slightly charred and registers about 145 Fahrenheit on a meat thermometer.
  6. Let the meat stand for about 10 minutes to finish cooking and seal in the juices.

From:  Into the Vietnamese Kitchen

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Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Very few ingredients are required for this dish (6 to be exact!), but don’t think that means it lacks any flavour.  This pork tenderloin is light, fresh tasting and totally healthy.  Very straightforward to make too.  If you know how to chop and mix things together, you can handle this recipe.

So, chop and mix some fresh herbs (tarragon and chives in this case), minced garlic, dijon mustard, olive oil and salt and pepper.  Sear a pork tenderloin in a hot pan on each side for about 2 minutes, to seal the juices in.

Crust Ingredients

Rub the herb mixture all over the pork tenderloin, and bake @ 425 until there is just a hint of pink left inside (roughly 25 minutes).  The crust on this one turned out a bit light in places, but because all the flavours are so strong I actually thought it was a great amount.  A thicker herb crust may have been overwhelming.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with a Fresh Herb Crust

I served it with  zesty lemon rice pilaf, and it was fresh and flavourful.

Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Lemon Rice Pilaf

Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin Recipe

1 Pork Tenderloin, about 12 ounces
¼ cup grainy mustard
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp chopped fresh chives or green onion
1 tsp canola oil

1.    In small bowl, combine mustard, garlic, chives and oil.  Spread evenly over pork tenderloin.  Place on greased baking dish, and roast at 425 degrees for about 18 minutes or until hint of pink remains inside.
2.    Place under broiler for 1 minute to brown; turn and repeat with other side.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  Slice thinly.

From:  G.I. Diet Cookbook

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Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Glaze and Gingered Peach Salsa

Sometimes I’m just in the mood for a meat and potatoes kind of meal.  I love this recipe because the pork is juicy and flavourful, and seasonal peach salsa adds a shot of freshness.  It’s a hearty, yet somehow light summer dinner.  The leftover pork and salsa make a great sandwich for lunch the next day too, not that you’ll have trouble getting rid of these leftovers. Added bonus?  It’s totally healthy.

This is delicious served with mashed potatoes and my go-to green salad!

Roasted Pork Tenderloin w/ Gingered Peach Salsa

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Glaze Recipe

1 pound pork tenderloin
½ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
½ tsp each salt and pepper

1.    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.    In saucepan, bring vinegar to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until slightly syrupy.
3.    Rub pork tenderloin all over with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
4.    Heat a frying pan until hot, then fry tenderloin for 30 seconds on each side until its slightly browned.
5.    Put tenderloin in baking dish and pour balsamic vinegar overtop.  Put in the oven and cook for 40 minutes, or until pork is slightly pink inside.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.  Serve with gingered peach salsa.

For the Gingered Peach Salsa, assemble the following ingredients:

Gingered Peach Salsa Ingredients

Chop/grate everything into a bowl, and voila!  The longer you let this sit, the more the flavours will mingle 😉


Gingered Peach Salsa Recipe
3 Medium peaches, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup red pepper, chopped
¼ green onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
½ tsp salt

For Salsa:  In a bowl, stir together peaches, garlic, red pepper, green onion, lime juice, cilantro, ginger and salt.  Set aside and refrigerate.

From the G.I. Diet Cookbook

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