The Bear has returned from a trip to Australia and I have returned from work. We meet upstairs in the kitchen.
I need to cook something and I need to make sure it is not only quick to cook and serve (before he falls asleep from jet lag) but also to get us back on our diet. It will have to be something from the 400 and Under section of my recipe files.
On my way back through town, in the rush hour traffic, I pulled in to the supermarket to see what there was and saw some pork.
I knew there was a recipe that I had cooked before that turned out to be surprisingly tasty. I say surprisingly, because it wouldn’t have been my choice when I spotted it. I said, didn’t I, that I looked through magazines and cook books for recipes that gave us under 400 calories per serving? Well, I always index tab them and show them to the Bear to see if there’s anything he fancies. He picked this one from delicious.magazine (sept 2008). And this one had two things going against it in my eyes… it involved pork (not my favourite meat) and caraway seeds – very definitely not my favourite flavour.
Still, it was his choice and I am, despite appearances to the contrary, quite pleasant at times….
And as it happened, it turned out to be incredibly delicious. And also very quick to cook. Time to do it again, I thought.
So I got 4 boneless pork steaks – not too much fat on them – and not too expensive. I knew I had all the other ingredients that I would need, which is another good reason to read this recipe and keep it in mind.
I needed a tin of tomatoes, a red onion, some smoked sweet paprika, some caraway seeds, a jar of roasted red peppers in oil and some yoghurt.
First of all, while waiting for the kettle to boil so I could make the poor, exhausted Bear a cup of tea, I sliced the red onion and put the frying pan on to heat through.
Not much oil in the pan and get them softening, before adding 1 tablespoon of smoked sweet paprika
and a teaspoon of caraway seeds
Stir it all round and while the flavours are blending, cut the pork into bite sized pieces. Take the rind and any excess fat off (we are on a diet, you know!) and add that
get that meat in and stir it round, letting it brown
I swear, all that took just a few minutes. All I had to do then, once the meat was browned, was to add a tin of chopped plum tomatoes and let it simmer for fifteen minutes.
Now, as I was in late from work and as the Bear was starving, I didn’t want to delay supper. I had some Anya potatoes (those knobbly ones) and I put them on to steam (yes, it really should have been mash but I knew this would work) All I would have to do with them would be to crush them so the gorgeous juices soaked in….
… and some of the juices would be coming from the roasted red peppers. Most of the supermarkets have them and they are a great storecupboard standby. They have a real depth of flavour and a long shelf life so they are perfect to get and keep for moments like this.
Cut them into pieces and then add them to the tomatoey pork after it has had fifteen minutes or so, cooking
… then add a couple of large spoonfuls of yoghurt.
And that’s it. Done and dusted in less than 40 minutes. Squash the potatoes with a fork so they are broken up and then spoon over the delicious (and I say this as a person who doesn’t LIKE caraway) meat and sauce.
The tomato and caraway make a beautiful rich and savoury sauce for the meat, which is still tender…..
A sprinkling of parsley sets it off… all that for less than 400 calories (396 according the the recipe) … maybe 550 if you add the potatoes?
Well… it WOULD have been 550 calories but it was so utterly delicious I did have an extra spoonful. I do my best, you know. It was quick and easy, low calorie…… but I am greedy.
It is supposed to feed 4 so if you are strict and divide it by 4………. or maybe invite two friends round? That should solve things. What can you do, eh? Totally delicious…….