Life in a Northern Town

A Taste Of Thailand From A Crock Pot

I was in dire need of inspiration for dinner. There were two pieces of frozen pork on the counter and I was fresh out of ideas. My newest cookbook, Hot Sour Salty Sweet, caught my eye. I wasn't in the mood to make a huge effort for dinner, just something simple in the crock pot. I had a lot of gardening to do and knew if I didn't get dinner started early in the day, the combination of hungry kids and a dirty Mom was a recipe for disaster. What if I braised pork in Thai peanut sauce in the crock pot?? Sounded easy and it gave me an excuse to make a Thai cucumber salad, one of my favorites.

Thai Cucumber Salad

2 cucumbers, peeled and diced

1/4 cup mint, chopped

1/4 cup cilantro. chopped

4 green onions, white and light green parts chopped

2 tsp jalapeño, diced

Dressing

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tbsp fish sauce, I prefer Squid brand

2 tbsp white sugar

Whisk lime juice, fish sauce and sugar together. Combine the cucumbers, onion, jalapeño, mint and cilantro in a bowl, add dressing and serve.

Thai Braised Pork

6 pounds of pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 4 - 5 inch pieces

3 tbsp oil

2 yellow onions, rough chopped

2 red peppers, seeded and rough chopped

1 cup natural peanut butter

2/3 cup soy sauce

4 tbsp chile garlic sauce

3 tbsp ginger, minced

2 - 4 tbsp red curry paste (depending on how hot you want the sauce)

3 tbsp rice vinegar

5 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 tbsp fish sauce

3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tbsp toasted sesame oil

6 tbsp water

Season the pork with salt and pepper. Add oil to sauté pan and brown pork on all sides. Remove pork from sauté pan and add to crock pot, along with the onions and red peppers. Combine all other ingredients in a food processor and process until it is a thick paste (add more water if it is too thick). Pour over pork and vegetables in crock pot and cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8 hours. Serve over jasmine rice with minced cilantro and mint, chopped peanuts, lime and green onions.