I apologize for being a bit baby crazy lately. Believe me, there are plenty of other things going on.
Most importantly, I have quit my day job and am pursuing journalism full-time. This is going to be my big girl job. I hope.
I really do love journalism. As a freelancer I have to work from home, though, which I don’t love. There are so many distractions. I try to have an outing every day so that I have designated free time and designated work time.
Here’s some of the journalism I’ve done recently:
With a Little Luk (Q&A with Top Chef Canada contestant Curtis Luk)
Chinatown Remixed: local artists take flight at inclusive door-to-door street festival
China Doll Remixed (A photo story of Ottawa drag performer China Doll’s participation in the Chinatown Remixed arts festival. Click through to Flickr for captions.)
Huong’s Vietnamese Bistro: Pho Sure (latest of the semimonthly restaurant reviews that I write for Ottawa XPress)
I swear I didn’t make this recipe when I was supposed to be working.
But I did horrah when I saw it on Saveur magazine’s website because it’s spicy and has no onions in it. That’s great because onions are terrible quality at this time of year. I can’t wait for the new crop so that I can start making curries again.
This dish has an incredibly rich, earthy and smokey flavour to it from the interaction of ground cloves and the ancho chilies that form the base of the sauce.
5 oz. dried ancho chilies, stemmed
2 tbsp. ancho chili powder
2 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Juice of 1 lime
5 tbsp. olive oil
3 lb. pork shoulder, deboned and cut into 1 1/2″ chunks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Warm corn tortillas, for serving
Cover chilies with 8 cups boiling water and let sit for 20 minutes. Drain chilies, reserving 1 1/2 cups soaking liquid and transfer chiles to a blender along with reserved soaking liquid, chili powder, honey, vinegar, cumin, cloves, cayenne and lime juice. Puree until smooth and set sauce aside.
Heat a large dutch oven to medium-high heat and add oil. Season pork with salt and pepper. Working in batches, add pork to pot and cook until browned on all sides, about 12 minutes. Add sauce and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is thickened and pork is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Adjust seasoning.
Serve with warm corn tortillas.