Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Heavenly Country

So a lot of you have probably been to a Chinese restaurant and seen the word "szechuan" on the menu, and it usually denotes a spicy dish.  I'm not sure how the spelling became "szechuan," since the Province of Sichuan is where those spicy dishes originated.  Apparently Sichuan is called "heavenly country" because of their abundance of food and natural resources.  And apparently people in that province eat a lot of spicy food.

We really enjoy spicy food at our house.  My husband more so than the rest of us.  He also really loves Asian food and pasta, so I came up with the trifecta for him.  These are my Sichuan Pork Noodles.  This dish is really pretty easy, and you can control the heat level yourself and get it as spicy as you want or not so spicy.  This is a quick weeknight meal that is super delicious!  Enjoy!

1 lb linguine
1 lb ground pork
1 head broccoli, cut into florets (roughly 1 1/2 C)
2 T rice wine vinegar
Red chili flakes, to taste
2-3 C chicken stock
3 T oyster sauce
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Chinese leek, sliced (or a plain old onion, chopped)
3 T soy sauce
1/4 C brown sugar
A few drops sesame oil
Olive oil
Sriracha or chili paste

Cook the linguine according to package directions.  

Meanwhile, drizzle some olive oil and a few drops of sesame oil into a large skillet.  Cook the leek (or onion) over medium high heat until almost tender.  Add in the ground pork and garlic and cook until the pork is cooked through.  Add in the rice wine vinegar, red chili flakes, 2 C chicken stock, oyster sauce, ginger, soy sauce, and brown sugar.  Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly and cook covered for about 10 minutes or until thickened.  During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add in the broccoli and continue cooking covered for another 5 minutes or until the broccoli is the desired consistency.  If you want more sauce, add in the extra cup of chicken stock when you add in the broccoli.  

Drain the linguine and stir the cilantro and linguine into the pork mixture.  Serve with Sriracha or chili paste, if desired.