Friday, December 02, 2016

O Christmas Tree: Pork with Apples and Lima Beans

We're big on traditions in our family.  I'm sure part of it is related to my anxiety disorder, but whatever the reason, we've passed this love of repeating the same things every year on to Thatkid.  

The Christmas season officially begins when Santa appears in the Macy's Day Parade.  And so, the weekend after Thanksgiving, we went to pick out our Christmas tree!

This year we went to a new Christmas tree farm.

Thatbaby was only mildly interested in the trees.  Or rather, he was interested....until he saw the tractor.

He has obviously entered the tractor phase of toddler-hood.  I couldn't get him off the thing.  I had to pull him screaming off so Thatkid could take a turn.

But we got our tree, and took it home to decorate.  Our decorating movie, as picked by Thatkid was Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  

And Thatbaby had his first taste of hot chocolate.  Which he loved.  Big surprise.

This year both boys helped decorate the tree,  Thatbaby got the nonbreakables, for the low hanging branches.  Mostly he brought them over and showed me where he wanted them.  Or put them on a branch for me to place.

Thatkid took the higher branches with more breakable ornaments.

And put the star on  the top.

Our finished tree!

And that's where our tree-trimming traditions end.  We don't have a special meal planned after, although that would be fun to incorporate.  Instead we had one of those "odds and ends" kind of dinners. For Christmas this year Thatboy and I are getting each other a new refrigerator, and I'll post more on that another time.  Just know that I'm trying to clear out our freezer now in anticipation for the new arrival.  We had both pork and lima beans in the freezer, which I felt could easily be combined with the overflowing bowl of apples on our counter.  Pork and beans, pork and apples, why not pork, beans AND apples?

This dish finds itself nicely spiced by a combination of sweet cider and some eastern flavors of lemongrass, tumeric, and curry.  It gives it a more exotic feel than your typical roast pork dish.  I especially love the addition of cider, which for me is a quintessential fall flavor.

Pork with Apples and Lima Beans
4 Tbsp canola oil
2lb pork fillets, sliced into thin strips
3 shallots, sliced
1 stalk lemongrass, sliced
2 yellow bell peppers, sliced
1 Tbsp tumeric
1 Tbsp curry powder
2 granny smith apples, cored and quartered
1 1/4 cups apple cider 
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 cups frozen lima beans, thawed
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  1. Heat a wok over high heat.  Add 2 Tbsp canola oil and heat.  Add pork strips and saute until browned.  Remove pork from wok.
  2.  Add remaining oil to the wok and heat.  Add the shallots, lemongrass, and bell peppers and saute for 1 minute.
  3. Stir in the tumeric and curry powder and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the apples and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the cider to the wok and simmer until reduced by half.
  6. Add the chicken broth and again simmer until reduced by half.
  7. Stir in the beans, pork, and cilantro and season to taste.

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