Thai Pork and Pineapple Lettuce Wraps


Here’s the long and short.  I am up to my eyeballs in a recipe development project –  which is fantastic but a bit crazy at the same time.  It involves hiring extra babysitters and sacrificing some sleep.  In the end, it will have been worth all of the effort.  In the meantime, here’s some quotes from my kitchen this past weekend:

About the mini kalamata olive focaccia:  “WOW, mom you made giant chocolate chip cookies!”  Sorry to disappoint (tee hee hee).

About the coffee cake muffins: “WHY did you HAVE to put pecans on these?  I don’t pecans.”

About the arugula salad with Parmesan shavings: “That salad looks great, except for the cheese. YUCK!”

Note to self:  Only work on recipes when husband is sleeping and children are at school.

What do we eat when I am on a deadline?  A lot of scrambled eggs and easy favorites that I know everyone will eat; stand bys like Thai lettuce rolls.  This happens to be one of Marco’s most requested meals.

Lettuce Rolls with Pork and Pineapple from Hannaford fresh

Taking its cue from the classic Thai combination of savory minced pork served with fresh pineapple slices, this dish is lovely on a warm summer night. All the finished ingredients are set out family style and diners assemble their own rolls. Hydroponic Boston lettuce has particularly nice leaves for rolling.

1 cup dry Jasmine rice
1 2/3 cups water
2 head Boston lettuce
2 cups finely chopped fresh pineapple (buy prepped, refrigerated pineapple)
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. minced fresh garlic
2 lbs. lean round pork
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp ground fresh chili paste
1/3 cup Thai fish sauce
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1/4 cup Brown sugar
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

1. Add rice to a medium saucepan, rinse, and drain, keeping rice in pan. Add water and bring to a simmer over high heat. Stir well. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for exactly 10 minutes, then remove from heat, but do not remove lid. Set aside.

2. While rice is cooking, rinse and core lettuce, separating leaves and placing them on a serving platter.  Prep the pineapple, red peppers and scallions and place them into individual bowls.

3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. When hot, add ginger and garlic. Cook and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add pork, black pepper, and chili paste. Cook, stirring frequently to break up pork, until pork is cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes; there should be no pink meat.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together fish sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, and brown sugar.

5. Add sauce to pork and mix well. Simmer for 1 minute. Turn off heat. Stir in cilantro. Transfer pork to a serving bowl.

6. To serve, remove lid from rice, fluff it, and transfer to a serving bowl. Set lettuce platter and bowls on center of table and let everyone assemble their own lettuce rolls. Each lettuce leaf should contain a small amount of pork, pineapple, red pepper, and scallion, with rice served on the side. You’ll be able to make about 24 rolls.

Suggestions: Use fresh chili paste (sambal oelek) or use 3/4 tsp. Tobasco sauce.

Source: Hannaford Fresh Magazine, May/June 2008

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

site by iKnow