French cooking magazines are my guilty pleasure. It doesn’t matter if you read Saveur or the Food Network magazine, the tone and focus of French food magazines is completely different from what we read in the States. Pumpkin and Camembert Gratin! Cappuccino Mousse! Twenty new foie gras recipes! Different ingredients, different appliances, different techniques. I find it so fun to lose myself in their pages, to read the elegant instructions, to get inspired by a different way of approaching eating, even while chuckling at the French takes on American dishes like salmon cheesecake, which might actually be delicious.
My gift from my mother this Christmas was a generous pile of the latest cooking publications from French newstands. I’ve only just begun to take it all in, but already have added a great dish to our routine: Caramel Pork with Raisins. This Asian style stir fry with plenty of butter and caramel has some distinct French characteristics, putting a welcome novelty in our routine right as we hunker down for the long winter months.
Pinterest is where I often turn for inspiration, but lately it feels like hundreds of different versions of the same two or three recipes. More and more frequently, I find myself going old school, turning to cookbooks and unusual magazines to find fun new ideas. To combat the sameness in my pinterest and instagram feeds, I’ve studded them with new follows: Campagne en Ville, Gnam e Slurp, and Elle.fr. Even far from France, I can still surround myself with its tastes and culture.
I didn’t cook this dish with broccoli, but ended up throwing in some steamed broccoli that we were serving on the side. The crisp green was a great complement to the tender caramelized pork.
- 2 cups of rice
- 1.5 pounds of pork tenderloin
- 1 onion, diced
- ½ cup of raisins
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- ¼ cup of sugar
- 4 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1 cup of water
- Set your rice to cook.
- Slice the pork tenderloin into ½ inch strips.
- Dice the onion into small pieces.
- Cover the raisins with warm water and leave them to soak.
- In a medium dutch oven, melt the butter over low-medium heat. Add the onion and cook over low-medium heat until soft and translucent.
- Add the pork and raise the heat to brown evenly, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the pork onion mixture from the pan. Add the sugar and spread it smoothly on the bottom of the pan. Let it cook over low medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar turns into a light brown caramel. Don't get distracted, sugar turns quickly and can be a mess to clean up!
- Once the caramel is done, add the meat back into the pan and stir well to coat all the caramel onto the meat.
- Add the raisins with their water as well as the soy sauce.
- Dilute 1½ teaspoons of corn starch in a cup of water. Stir to make sure there are no lumps. Add this to the pan. Stir well. Cook for another 5 minutes, bringing to a boil so that the corn starch can thicken the sauce.
- Serve with rice and broccoli.