Please just watch over me from that corner. I'll scream if you fly any nearer.
I tasted the soup after adding all the sour cream in.. A tad too sour! "How many times must I remind you to taste your own food?!" I heard a judge scolding the MasterChef contestants.
Nevertheless, 食神 was with me. The sour cream-mushroom sauce turned out great, surprisingly. I realised whenever it tasted a little intense before it went into the slow cooker, it's gonna turn out right when done. I had one red potato peeled, the other with skin on. Kirin preferred the latter one with skin on. Me too.
And I'm quietly proud of my little innovation to add a sprinkle of roasted almond slices. The nutty, crispy flakes added a light crunch to the dish of saucy pork. Yes, they were still crispy despite being out for quite a while as I pieced up the Hello Kitty face yesterday.
Dragonfly hasn't gone away. Still accompanying me from that same old spot, while I washed the dishes (Kirin had been our dishwasher but he looked tired tonight so I got him to rest). Hmm not winter yet, but it seemed to be hibernating?
Read about The Difference Between Braising and Stewing from the kitchn.
So I actually braised the pork loin just now, since they were 5 larger slices partially submerged in the sour cream-mushroom sauce, unlike the small pork cubes totally immersed in the cream of chicken soup for my Cabbage & pork stew. And this would be my 3rd braised dish. My previous two braised dishes were Apple-balsamic chicken & Chicken in broccoli-mushroom sauce. Cool!
My pork loin slices were a little tough and dry though. Guess I shouldn't have cooked on high for the 1st half hour. Just low and slow cooking to give tender, moist, flavourful meats. That's the secret to great braising, according to chef Dave Zino.
Here's sharing the recipe:
(Adapted from recipe by Taste of Home)
Makes 2+1 toddler servings
About 250g boneless pork loin, 5 slices
1/4 tsp kosher salt, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, 1/8 tsp paprika (to season the pork)
3 tsp of cornstarch (to dredge the pork slices)
1+1/2 tsp canola oil (to brown the pork slices)
1/4 cup dry white wine (to deglaze pan)
2 small red potatoes, cut into wedges
55g buna-shimeiji mushrooms, sliced into halves
1/8 tsp kosher salt (to season the potato and mushroom layers)
1/4 cup of light sour cream
Homemade cream of mushroom soup:
(Adapted fromrecipe by Simply Scratch)
2 +1/2 tsp butter, softened
1/4 of a yellow onion, finely chopped
1 mini portobello mushroom, gills removed & stemmed, finely chopped
2 + 1/2 tsp of flour
1/2 cup of homemade chicken stock
1/4 cup of low fat milk
Close to 1/8 tsp of kosher salt
Sprinkles of garlic powder p& ground black pepper
1. Heat the homemade chicken stock on low heat. Add the milk and seasonings and stir around. Continue to heat for say 2 mins then off heat.
2. Season the pork slices with kosher salt, black pepper, paprika. Lay a big plate with a thin layer of cornstarch (use a small metal spoon to tap and spread evenly), place the seasoned meats on 1 side, pat lightly, then flip over to the other side, patting lightly again.
3. Heat the canola oil in a wok or skillet over medium-high heat and brown the pork well (you'll know it's ready when it released easily from the wok). Transfer browned pork to plate.
4. Deglaze the wok with dry white wine. Pour the almost evaporated liquid into the prepared chicken and milk mixture.
5. Melt butter in the wok on moderate heat.
6. Add the onions and saute till just about soft, 2 to 3 mins.
7. Add the chopped Portobello mushrooms and saute for about 2 mins.
8. Sprinkle in flour a bit at a time, stirring around to mix well.
9. Ladle in the chicken and milk mixture.
10. Lower the heat to a simmer and stir the mixture until it thickens, about 3 to 5 mins. Taste and add salt, if necessary.
11. Layer the potato wedges and buna-shimeiji mushrooms, seasoning each layer with kosher salt.
12. Pour about half of the soup over the layers in the slow cooker.
13. Lay the browned pork in a single layer and pour the remaining soup over.
14. Cover and cook on low for about 3.5 hours.
15. Sprinkle with roasted almond slices!
i. I swapped the chicken breast with pork loin and added potato wedges for my two potato fans - Kirin and 小雨.
ii. I cooked on high for the 1st half hour and I thought the pork turned a little tough and dry. So just 3.5 hours totally on low k! (As adviced by chef Daze Zino, see above).
iii. My sour cream-mushroom sauce seemed a little too much (the pork slices couldn't stay afloat for the shot *Frowned*). You may wish to use less than 1/2 cup of homemade chicken stock and adjust the remaining ingredients accordingly. Otherwise, you really could just use lesser from a can of cream of mushroom soup.
O by the way, I added lemon grass to soak and cook the grains today but they didn't lend much of a zesty flavor I was hoping for. Guess I need to do some research on how to add flavor to rice using lemon grass.