Cooking at home can be great, until you run out of ideas on what to make for lunch or dinner. When I’m stuck or pressed for time, I usually end up making the same things, which can get boring over time. I enjoy scouring my cookbooks and the Internet for new recipes or to find inspiration for my next dish. A few weeks ago, we were invited to Langley for a cooking demonstration that featured pork dishes. While I do like pork, I rarely cook with it at home. I was curious to see how much preparation would be needed for cooking with pork.
Angie Quaale, co-owner of Well Seasoned in Langley, offers cooking demonstrations and hands-on classes to those who want to become more proficient in and around the kitchen. The classes are held in the back of the shop, while the front serves as a gourmet food store. In here you will find every kind of spice or dried herb, noodles, oils and vinegars, cooking utensils, and more. They’ve recently moved to their new home over on 64th Avenue in Langley, and classes can seat up to 15-22 people in the two classrooms.
During our 2-hour visit, Angie shared with us the different cuts of pork to cook with, various cooking techniques, and how to recognize quality pork. A representative from Johnston’s Pork was also on-site, and talked about their ethical practices of raising pigs, as well their quality processes and distribution network. You can find their products in many local butcher shops. If you’re not sure where your meats come from, be sure to ask your butcher.
We also got to taste the four dishes that Angie made using Johnston’s Pork products.
Left: Spicy ground pork taco rice. This had a subtle kick and reminded me of tacos. It was delicious and I think I’ll definitely try making this for dinner.; Right: Artichoke garlic sauce gemelli pasta topped with blackened spiced tenderloin medallions. These little medallions were moist and tasty, and had a nice coating of artichoke garlic sauce for some extra flavour.
Above: Pork loin with white wine glaze. Using a simple garlic and rosemary rub, she put it in the oven for about an hour, making sure to check on it every now and then. Because each piece or cut of pork can vary in size and thickness, the only way to tell it is done cooking is when it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F.
Angie’s “world famous” bacon chocolate chip cookies. I wish she made more so we could take some home. Actually, they probably wouldn’t last on the commute home.
It was a good thing we didn’t have dinner plans, because we were stuffed by the end of the demo. We took home the recipe for the bacon chocolate chip cookies, and also new ideas for dinner. If you’re interested in cooking classes or demos in the Fraser Valley, be sure to check out what Angie and her team has to offer. Dennis won a pack of bacon, which he put to good use. Most recently, he made beer can chicken for dinner, and dressed the bird up with a Johnston’s Pork bacon shawl. Baby steps, right?
If you’d like any the recipes for the dishes prepared, head on over to Salina Siu‘s blog to read up on them. You can find more great recipes from our friends at the Village Bakery.