I spent the last year working and cooking on a full-diet, draft-powered farm. “Full-diet” essentially means that we produce all of the food you need to eat to stay as healthy and super-strong as I’m sure you are, like vegetables, meat, milk and eggs. “Draft-powered” means that we use 1,800-pound work horses to do the majority of our field work. You know, like the kind in Budweiser commercials.
But now I’ve left the farm for, well, greener pastures. I’ll be focusing exclusively on writing and cooking delicious things, so now we can spend more time together! Aren’t you excited?
There are some things I’ll miss about farming, sure. Like raw milk. We don’t pasteurize or homogenize our milk, and while it’s…pretty much…legal, there is an air of excitement about drinking something that’s potentially contraband. I’ll miss carrying around a Leatherman pocketknife all the time (though on second thought, maybe I don’t actually have to stop that) and peeing outside whenever I want. God, will I miss peeing outside. But there’ll be positive changes as well, too. I will no longer have to scrub cow manure out of my hair, and I definitely don’t plan on starting my days at 5 a.m., picking basil with a headlamp attached to my face.
One thing that won’t change, though, is my dedication to eating seasonally. Being aware of and seeking out which vegetables and meat are sustainably produced when you’re consuming them makes eating so much more delicious — I promise — and it’s actually really easy. Plus, here’s the best news of all: we’re standing smack in the most baller growing time of year. We’re flush with strawberries and peas, carrots, potatoes and sweet corn. And something we have plenty of is scallions and fresh pork.
If you’re like me, those words send an alarm bell of deliciousness straight to your brain. And then your stomach. And then, well, all of those other great places. Lately, I’ve been really into cooking ground pork with some chilies, onion, garlic and ginger, then tossing in a handful of chopped scallions at the last minute. The whole dish cooks up in no time, makes your kitchen smell amazing, and is ten times better than that container of take-out Chinese sitting in your fridge. So go toss that crap out and plan on making this for dinner. Tonight. I’ll be over at 7.
Pork and Scallion Stir-Fry
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus another splash
- 1/2 cup red onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes (Depends on how much heat you can handle…how much can you?)
- 1/2 cup carrot, chopped finely
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 4 large scallions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons roasted sesame oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a wok or large skillet. I like to use cast iron pans for pretty much all cooking endeavors. Once the oil is almost smoking — but not quite! — add in the onion, garlic, ginger and chile. Saute, stirring with a wooden spoon almost constantly, until softened and fragrant.
Add in the carrot and saute for 1-2 minutes more, adjusting the heat if necessary (i.e. if your vegetables are burning. Don’t let them burn.) Pour out all of the veggies into a bowl and add the pork and another splash of oil if necessary. Saute for 2-3 minutes, until pork is totally cooked. Add the vegetables back in, then toss in the scallions.
Turn off the heat, drizzle on the sesame oil, soy sauce and mix one last time. Plate, share with a friend, or enjoy badass leftovers the next day.