Home Cook: Katie Schlientz, Blogger, IntoxiKate
"My mother never really enjoyed cooking, so when I was in middle school, I took over preparing meals. I experimented with dishes, read every cookbook I could get my hands on, and became an ace in the kitchen. I enjoyed watching my family’s reaction to my final product. I saw the power of food pauses life for a moment, bringing everyone together.
When I moved from Syracuse to Westchester a little over a decade ago, my palate really expanded. A culinary renaissance in our area was just on the cusp and I tried every bit of it. I sought out cuisines I didn’t have access to upstate—Indian, Ethiopian, and Filipino. I visited gourmet shops to pick up new spices to try out in the kitchen. After inviting my friend, Chris, to try one of my latest 'inventions,' he gave me a small packet of Tamarind Soup Mix, traditionally used in a traditional Filipino soup called Sinigang Sa Sampalok. I fell in love with the sweet and sour tang, propelling itself to the top of my go-to comfort food list. It quickly became my friends’ favorite too."
Recipe: Sinigang Sa Sampalok (otherwise known as IntoxiKate Pork Stew)
Ingredients (Serves 8):
- 1 packet of Knorr Tamarind Soup Mix (available at H-Mart)
- 8 cups of water
- 1 lb of pork shoulder
- 1 cup of onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, sliced paper thin
- 2 cups of okra, sliced
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 1 cup of green beans, sliced in 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 cups of spinach (kale also works)
- 1 cup of potato, diced
- 1/2 of a packet of rice noodles
- Pour contents of packet into a large soup pot with 8 cups of water. Stir to dissolve. Add pork shoulder and bring to a boil. Simmer in a covered pot for about 20 minutes.
- Turn stove down to low. Carefully remove pork from the pot, and leave it on a cutting board to cool slightly. Add the onion and garlic to the broth.
- Shred the pork into small pieces (it will fall right off the bone) and add back to the broth. Add all of the vegetables and optional items. Turn the stove to medium heat and simmer covered for an additional 10 minutes.
- Serve in a bowl.
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