These Southern spiced pork steaks are rich, smokey and irresistible as well as very simple to make.
Do you ever feel stuck in a kitchen rut, and want some new ideas and inspiration? According to some recent research 60% of adults eat the same 7 meals each week – this does not overly surprise me – our meals do follow a pattern, and despite everyone’s best intentions it is easy to fall into a rut.
The booming market in recipe boxes confirms my suspicions that people do want to branch out and try something different. We like recipe boxes but they have some drawbacks – you get three meals in one go, there is a lot of food, most people are out or late home many nights, and you still have to do a food shop for all the other bits and bobs you need.
Step in the Inspiration Box – which provides the herbs, spices, sauces and oils along with the recipes to cook 4 new meals a month. Because the ingredients are not perishable it makes meal planning really flexible, at £12 a box it is very affordable. Additionally the boxes are designed to fit through a letter box, so there is no waiting around for deliveries.
My spice shelf is overflowing, and often when I open the cupboard door those pots and packets bought for one recipe, and never used again, fall out, and bounce off the kettle beneath. The Inspiration box offers you the chance to try before you buy, with sachets that provide enough spice for that one recipe – if you love it, then great you can buy a full sized pot the next time you want to cook the recipe, if it is not so much to your taste then you know not to buy it.
The March box contains 14 herbs, spices and sauces needed to cook the 4 recipes in it. The products are smartly wrapped in brown paper packages, the recipe cards are well laid out (with the prep and cooking instructions separately), and clearly printed, with the ingredients you need to buy from the shops clearly highlighted.
I made the Southern Spiced Pork steaks, which would have needed 6 different spices, of which most people would only have one or two in the cupboard. The spices provided would have easily been enough for 6 people – I’ve put the remains of the blend into a small jar to use again.
The recipe was incredibly easy to make, and also delicious and would have been perfect with friends for a mid week supper. Had I seen the recipe in a book or magazine I suspect I, and many people, would have skipped over it due to the number of spices that were needed. Having tried it I’d certainly buy any missing ingredients to make it again, and it has added a quick, easy and delicious dish to my repertoire. I’d say that was a win for the Inspiration Box?
The other three recipes in the box were;
- Chinese 5 spice Duck Tortillas
- Harissa Chicken and Tomato couscous
- Caribbean Red Snapper with Mango Salsa
Three out of the four recipes were classified as easy and only needed 5 other ingredients to prepare, and all had some chef’s tips, suggestions and information about the ingredients.
I am really impressed and I think that all but the keenest, or most experimental of cooks would enjoy a subscription to the Inspiration Box – it allows you to learn new dishes, try new spices you might not have had, or heard of before. The dishes are simple, but big on flavour, are balanced, have a sensible portion size and contain a good quantity of vegetables. I also believe that any initiative to encourage people to cook better from scratch is to be applauded.
- From the shops
- 2 pork loin steaks
- Large handful cherry tomatoes
- 1 small red onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 courgette
- From the Box
- 1/2 tsp chipotle chilli powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp celery salt
- 1 tsp basil
finely chop your garlic and dice the red onion. chop the courgette into larger 2-3cm chunks and cut the cherry tomatoes in half.
Mix the chipotle chilli powder, smoked paprika, black pepper, cinnamon and celery salt into a bowl to make a spice mix. The chipotle chilli powder adds a really warm smokey heat - but you can reduce, or leave this out if you want to turn down the temperature.
With a sharp knife lightly score a diamond pattern on both sides of the pork steaks. Rub the mix evenly over both sides of the pork.
Set a flat griddle pan to a medium / high heat with a little ground nut or sunflower oil. Cook the pork for about 4 minutes on each side, being careful not to overcook.
At the same time and in a separate pan, fry the onion in a good splash of olive oil on a medium heat until it starts to go soft. Add the garlic, courgettes, tomatoes and basil. Cook for another 3-5 minutes - it's ready when the tomatoes have started to wilt, but the courgette is still sturdy.
The Inspiration Box is available for £12 a month, and contains the herbs, spices, sauces and speciality oils you will need to cook 4 meals. Ideal for inexperienced cooks, those in their first home and anyone wanting to widen their culinary horizons and try new ingredients and flavours. I recommend giving The Inspiration Box Facebook page a like too, as it is packed with handy cooking hints and tips.
The Southern Spiced Pork Steaks were recreated, styled and photographed from the Inspiration box as part of a sponsored review. All opinions our own.