Ever-present on my "what's next in food" radar for the last 15 years has been Burmese food, which manages to be everything people look for in a cuisine: different yet familiar and easy to prepare, with no weird ingredients.
A typical Burmese dish layers on lots of flavor using just chilies, onions, garlic, ginger and maybe a whisper of shrimp paste or a dash of coconut milk. There aren't a lot of "doing" steps, just quick skillet treatment or a slow simmer.
Burmese food still hasn't taken over the world, or even Middle Tennessee, but now that Catholic Charities has been resettling Burmese (and Bhutanese) refugees in town, its time may be approaching. Just two weeks ago, two robe-wearing Burmese monks were spotted in the Eighth Avenue Greyhound bus station, so they're official Nashvillians now.
Thumbing through a Burmese cookbook that's been in my collection for 15 years, I found a recipe with my notes all over it, mostly exclamations of how easy and good it is.
With just eight ingredients and absolutely no other steps, it far exceeds expectations. I had a note that it works in a slow cooker, too.
Pork Simmer with Ginger
2 to 3 pounds pork (preferably a skin-on picnic or fresh ham with skin)
1 quart water
1 medium onion, cut into quarters
1 large fresh tomato, cut into quarters
1 inch fresh ginger, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Put everything into a pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours until the meat is tender, adding 1/2 cup more water if needed. Most of the liquid will have boiled away, or should have. Shred or slice the meat and serve with the strained cooking liquid. (Boil it down for a thicker, more sauce-like consistency.) Makes 6 to 8 servings.