If you stay even marginally aware of news and current events, you’re probably used to getting bad news on a regular basis. Sugar is killing you, salt is killing you, breast cancer rates are spiking among women under 40, and you can’t even take your family on a nice cruise without experiencing something close to the End of Days.
Like everyone, I try not to let too much of this drive me crazy. However, all this stuff hit a little too close to home a few weeks ago, when a friend forwarded me this article, which says that photographing your food might be a sign of mental illness.
Leaving aside the issue of what my friend was trying to tell me by sending me this, the study says that people who like Instagramming their dinners are more likely to have “unhealthy weight disorders” or a “predisposition for weight behaviors.” Which sorta makes sense — if you love food so much that you’re constantly taking pictures of it, there’s a good chance you’re also eating more of it than you should. I’m guessing that having a food blog also probably correlates with this kind of mental illness (and — probably — chubbiness. sigh).
So. Duly noted. This didn’t quite convince me to throw out my camera and end my quest to find the best-lit spot in my apartment for food photography, but I guess it’s a good warning.
And now, please enjoy some pictures of food.
LEMONGRASS BBQ PORK WITH WILD RICE SALAD (adapted from Food & Wine Annual Cookbook 2007)
Ingredients for the pork:
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 large stalks fresh lemongrass, tender inner white bulbs only, thinly sliced
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
1 and 1/2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp fish sauce (found in international aisle)
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 and 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin, sliced 1/4 inch thick
Ingredients for the wild rice:
1 cup (dry) wild rice blend, cooked according to package instructions
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 large jalapeno, roughly chopped (seeds removed if you don’t like heat)
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/2 cup finely chopped mint
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
a few tbsp water (if needed)
2 large cucumbers – peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced
1. For the pork: in food processor, finely chop garlic, lemongrass, and shallots. Add sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, oil, and soy sauce; process to a paste. In a glass dish, coat pork slices with marinade. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
2. For the wild rice: in a mortar, using pestle, pound garlic cloves to paste with the jalapeno and sugar. Stir in fish sauce, cilantro, mint, and lime juice. If sauce is too thick, add a little water until it reaches desired consistency.
3. Add dressing and sliced cucumbers to wild rice and toss well.
4. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Lift pork slices from marinade, leaving some on for flavoring. Cook in skillet until cooked through, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to plates and serve with wild rice salad.
I think this is my new favorite way to cook pork — slice it thin, marinade it in something yummy, and cook it fast in a skillet. It’s like maximum deliciousness for minimum effort. Huzzah!