Food & Swine

Caprese Skillet and Pigs in the Pool

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By: Cristen

Ground pork has seriously made its way into my kitchen.  We’ve got plenty of it and I’m always trying to use it in different ways. The price is right and it is so compatible with a variety of dishes. Tonight, after a couple of days away for some meetings, with limited ingredients, I whipped this dish up and all 4 of us ate it!  (Picky 2 year old included.)

I’m making a separate post soon that will include more pictures from a chance encounter with our Duroc show gilts and the kiddie swimming pool. This is a highly unlikely situation, but when your life involves pigs on the level that ours does… it is totally possible as you see here.

Spoiler alert: “Cookie Dough” is quite smart.  (Yes the gilt is ‘Cookie Dough’, she used to be ‘Fancy’ which was my ode to Reba and the song but that name lasted about 2 hours.  I got trumped.  Cookie Dough it is…)

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loves to blow bubbles in her water, like her Mama did.

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Movin’ some pigs ‘Ma.  (There’s the #RealPigFarming moment for my post today.)  He’s a helpful guy and is always cooperative at this particular site because there is a Casey’s down the road and he always gets a vanilla cake donut with white glaze and sprinkles after we chore on Saturdays.  Good boy.  (Likes the donuts like his Mama.)

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Now for the recipe.  Super easy, ready in about 15-20 minutes depending on how much you want to multitask. The skillet is ‘caprese’ style because the basic flavors are in the dish.  ie: tomato, basil, balsamic and the addition of small mozzarella pearls (I was OUT) completes the idea!

Note: Simmering lesser quality balsamic vinegar concentrates its flavors.  Don’t forget this step for the final dish… the drizzle of balsamic when you plate the dish sends it over the moon!

Reduce… but be careful not to burn.

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Ground Pork Caprese Skillet

by: Cristen   www.foodandswine.com

1 pound ground pork, cooked with seasoned salt, browned, drained

4 cloves of garlic, peeled, chopped

3 TBSP Olive Oil (I use Tuscan Herb Olive Oil from a nearby specialty olive oil shop)

1/2 C TBSP Balsamic Vinegar, divided

1 tsp dried Italian Seasoning

2 TBSP water

1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1 box of shaped pasta of choice, cooked to al dente according to package instructions, drained

10-15 large basil leaves, julienned

1 6 or 8 oz. package of fresh mozzarella ‘pearls’ or fresh mozzarella cut into small cubes

1 C parmesan cheese, grated

Over medium to medium high heat to the skillet containing (temperature) hot ground pork that has been drained, add garlic, olive oil, 1/4 C of the balsamic vinegar, Italian seasoning and water (trust me on this, the steam helps the herbs revive).  Reduce liquid mixture to 1/2. Toss in tomatoes and stir to warm, do not cook. Add cooked and drained pasta. Stir.  Meanwhile, in a small skillet, add 1/4 C balsamic and simmer until thickened.  Toss julienned basil, mozzarella and parmesan with noodle, meat and tomato mixture. Spoon mixture onto plate or into serving bowls, drizzle with reduce balsamic vinegar. Garnish with additional basil and parmesan.  Serve warm.  makes 6-8 servings.

 

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1 Comment

  • Reply Beth Ann July 2, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    That dish looks delightful!!!! Printing it out right now!! Thanks for sharing yet another great one to try.

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