Here in LA, the climate is slowly taking the edge off its "biting" chill. There have been scattered rain showers here and there, but we've also experienced the most welcoming fragrance of spring on sunny days. But what do we know about cold weather anyway? Because as most of you already know, we might have become a bit too spoiled, a bit too complacent in sunny Socal, perhaps.
Just like the not-so-changing seasons in LA, I am always in need of slight variety throughout my day as a (mostly) stay-at-home-mom. Be it a change of pace in my daily devotions, or finding the extraordinary in the ordinary tasks around the house by blasting on some praise music. I tend to wake up expectant of surprises (not talking about baby's crying by the way) and often muse about the whereabouts I will be in and the individuals I'm going to cross paths with.
The same goes for food. I can't imagine enveloping my preference for certain foods into one category; my palate is ever changing and incessantly wandering to find the next most interesting pairing of flavors. As far as I can remember, I have only met two dishes in the world that I didn't enjoy to a certain extent--one of them a dip that I tried during my trip to India and the other, a pasta fusion at an American chain restaurant whose name I won't mention.
Even so, the food critic in me does have a lot to say when it comes to the nuances that make a dish flavorful, interesting, or unique at the very least. After having been introduced to Japanese-Italian fusion dishes like creamy uni udon, I have since tried my hand at making things like uni risotto and now this spicy gochujang and pork carbonara. Dear friends, I can confidently say I've hit the jackpot with this dish. Though fancy it may sound, it is truly an easy and straightforward recipe that can feed as little as two people or as many as ten.
A luscious dish hinted with spicy peppery notes of gochujang that is oddly reminiscent of chicken tikka masala, but with Korean undertones on chewy al dente spaghetti that drips with a creamy sauce in every bite. I think I may have found another easy weeknight meal that comes off as fancy without making too big of a mess in the kitchen. So, I hope you give it a try and please let me know your thoughts!
By the way, if you aren't already, I kindly ask you to follow my new Facebook page and pass on this recipe because it's too good not to share.
Gochujang (고추장) and Pork Carbonara
1 tbsp olive oil
5 strips of bacon, chopped
1/2 lb. pork loin, cubed (or other boneless cut)
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
3/4 cup whipping cream
2-3 tbsp gochujang (depending on spice tolerance)
1 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
3 large eggs
dried cilantro for garnish (optional)
parmesan for garnish
spaghetti cooked al dente, for two
1. Heat a oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat.
2. Cook chopped bacon until it's almost crunchy, but not quite, stirring often with a wooden spoon. Transfer bacon to a plate for now.
3. With the pot over medium heat, cook the cubed meat thoroughly for a few minutes. In a small bowl, mix the cream, gochujang, honey, soy sauce and pour it over the cooked meat until the sauce slightly thickens. Add only half of the bacon into the mix, reserving the other half for garnish.
4. Turn the heat down to a low. Add al dente spaghetti into the mix, crack whole eggs directly into the pot one at a time, gingerly mixing it in so as to cook and incorporate the eggs evenly, but still without mushing the pasta. About 2 minutes over low heat.
5. Transfer to serving plates, garnish with the rest of the bacon, dried cilantro or dried parsley, and parmesan.cheese.