Pork and Piggy

This past week has been crazy, but I'm feeling so energetic. I'm sure it's a "bring it on 2012!" attitude, where I look to conquer everything, but I'm optimistic I'll keep the momentum throughout the year.

I've been playing with a whole bunch of creativity/photography projects, including my 366 days of food and 366 days of activity on Instagram.

Then I saw this Art Journal e-course and am thinking of joining. But trying to fit in activity and food, plus work, plus the everyday usual takes up so much time! Can I fit in another project? I still have to finish renovating my craft room! I actually need a different name for that soon-to-be room, as "craft room" seems so blah.

Anyhow, photo-journaling my eats has motivated me to cook more. Which gets me to the point of this post. Pork! I love it! I bought a whole bunch of boneless spare ribs the other day. (This seems like an oxymoron, as a rib is a bone, so how can you have a boneless bone? I guess technically, it's boneless spare rib meat. So should you just remove the oxymoron and call it spare meat?)

Whoa, where was I? Oh yes, so I had some pork. I also had a lovely little kabocha squash from my grandparent's ranch.

Kabocha squash

My mom makes this wonderful spare rib and squash dish, where she simply marinates the pork in soy sauce and some garlic. I wanted to up the ante a bit, and remembered this recipe for Galbi Jim from spoon fork bacon. And so my Kabocha Squash, Sweet Potatoes and Spare Ribs dish was born.

Kabocha Squash, Sweet Potatoes and Spare Ribs
Serves 6
(Adapted from spoon fork bacon)

4 lbs boneless spare rib meat, cut into bite-sized cubes
1 cup low sodium soy sauce
½ cup sugar
1 apple, peeled and grated
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp mirin (rice wine)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 medium-sized kabocha squash
2 medium-sized sweet potatoes

1. Place spare ribs in a large pot and fill with water until ribs are just covered. Place pot over stove and bring to a boil. Boil ribs for 20 minutes.
2. Once ribs are done, drain water from pot and rinse excess fat.
3. Place ribs back into the pot along with soy sauce, sugar, apple, garlic, mirin, sesame oil, black pepper, and 2 ½ cups water.
4. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Boil for 20 minutes.
5. While meat is cooking, prepare squash and potatoes. Cut squash in half. Scrape out seeds. Peel the squash and cube the flesh.
6. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into bite-sized pieces.

7. Add the squash and sweet potatoes to the ribs. Cook, covered over low heat, for 45 minutes to an hour, when potatoes are fork-tender.

Spare ribs with kabocha squash and sweet potatoes

If you want to serve your dish in the squash, get another guy, lather him up in some oil and roast in the oven for 20 minutes at 375°. Remove from oven and let cool. Then cut a large circle out of the top. Scoop out the seeds. Voila! A serving bowl.

Dinner is served!

On a random side note, I was super excited to happen across a stuffed Pig when I was window shopping in the Mission on New Year's Day. I couldn't resist buying him, since he's my favorite! And just so you know, Pig loves to eat bacon.

Looks like he has a thing for spare ribs too.

Pig likes pork

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