At some point in time, we all have to cook something rather tasty, rather quickly. Whether we have unexpected guests, or an unexpected craving for a flavourful meal, it happens all the time. Maybe with this recipe in your head, you can whip something up in under 15 minutes.
This recipe is perfectly open to substitutions and modifications, sometimes all you need is something to work from. If you want the potatoes to be in a creamy garlic pesto sauce, be my guest and add cream. Or coconut cream. Whatever you want, I'm not the boss of you!
- 1/2 of a Pork Loin (or however much you need to use to not be hungry)
- A handful of small potatoes, or 2 big ones
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp of basil pesto
- 1/2 tsp of Crushed Red Pepper (chilli flakes)
- a clove of garlic
- 1 tsp of paprika
- 1/2 tsp of black pepper
- 1/2 tsp of cumin
- 1 tsp of Garam Masala
Keep in mind that all
of those ingredients could be substituted or their measurements modified. In case you didn't figure it out right now, I'm not very strict when it comes to cooking. I find that even the dumbest cook can sniff something and figure out how much of it they should use. And then they usually sneeze.
Cut your potatoes. Potatoes are dense, and they cook much faster if they are cut up. As you can see in this photo, I use a weird terracotta pot to cook my potatoes in.
The terracotta pot keeps the moisture in, and ends up making a very fluffy potato in 6 minutes. I have learned that this isn't a very common kitchen appliance, so just stab your potato pieces and put them in the microwave? You just want to get it cooked quickly, so don't worry about it having any flavour. A microwaved potato is still a cooked potato!
Get these in the microwave so you can move on to something else.
Take your pork loin and cut it VERY THIN
. As you can see above, I am cutting it as thin as possible. Pork will condense and swell when you cook it, so if you cut it too thick and try to cook it quickly, you'll end up with inedible pieces of rubber. Great for working out your jaw, but not good for feeding your guest or yourself. A dog might like it.
Cut it as thin as you possibly can, and cover it with a drizzle of your olive oil. Not too much, all you're trying to do here is wet the meat to help with the next step.
This isn't the next step I was talking about. Get a saucepan that will hold your potatoes with wiggle-room, and put in a dash of oil, garlic, and basil pesto. If you want to add milk, now is NOT the time! Heat that up to a low simmer, and it will start smelling pretty nice. This makes your guests hungry, and make you look like you know what you're doing.
Pre-head a frying pan on medium. Medium doesn't mean 5 out of 10 on the dial, it means 3 out of 10. Never go past 5 unless you're starting a fire.
Combine your spices on a plate, and if you have a spare second sniff each one as you add it. This way if there's a flavour you don't like, you can't blame me. Spread them out evenly, shake the plate (from side to side, dummy, get those spices out of your hair and eyes). Now, rub your pork around in the olive oil that you put on it, and lay each piece out on the plate. Flip them over, and you've just spiced your pork!
Now put them on your frying pan, and get to those potatoes!
Your potato pieces should be done by now, so take them out and cut them into edible pieces if they're too big.
Dump them into the saucepan with the garlic and pesto, and tumble everything around with a spoon until the potato pieces are covered. If you want to add milk or cream DO IT RIGHT NOW!
This is what your pork should look like right now. Almost done, still quite pink. Flip it around in the pan a bit, just need to make sure it gets an even amount of heat.
Your potatoes should look like this. If they don't, maybe you added milk? Or maybe you used a rock instead of a potato. That would look different.
And now your pork should look like this. This is done. See how it's a little bit pink still, that's just the juices from the pork. AKA the flavour
You're pretty much done. Make sure the potatoes look like the photo, and check the pork. It will have changed shape a little, and I hope you were stirring it around! It will still be a tiny bit pink when it's done, this is juice, not blood. If it's completely grey you cooked it too long. Not terrible, but not too great. Lucky you cut it so thin!
Now you can serve it. If you want to be fancy, maybe put the potatoes on a plate and then lay pork across them? If you have some fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro sitting around, or chives... chop some up and put them on top. Hurry though, smaller pieces of food get cold faster! As you can see, I wasn't fancy. I put it on a plate, took a photo, and ate it very quickly.
Enjoy, and I'm sorry if you screwed it up.
When he isn't trying to cook things really fast for unexpected guests, Brendan is the master planner of The Great Canadian Journey.
This summer he'll be travelling from Newfoundland to BC on a crowd-sourced itinerary, socially broadcasting the experience. You should follow along!
He'll also be trying to create unique campfire meals, and eat somewhat healthy while taking on Canada's favourite hikes. He might even grow a beard.