Showing posts with label pork chops. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pork chops. Show all posts

Monday, April 11, 2016

Pork Chop with Caramelized Onions and Cinnamon Rice Pilaf

Pork Chop with Caramelized Onions and Cinnamon Rice Pilaf


Last September, I published a pork chops dish for #SundaySupper that was not satisfying from the standpoint of it's plate presentation, so I decided to replicate it again.

Inspiration Behind the Dish

I remember reading in Think Like a Chef by Tom Colicchio with Catherine Young, Lori Silverbush and Sean Fri that Chef Colicchio doesn't change the proteins on his restaurant menus very often, but he will change the vegetable accompaniments depending on what's in season and what is at it's peak. Using this theory, I consulted The Flavor Bible to re-pair pork chops for spring produce. Spring onions are obviously in season around now and onions were strongly suggested as a pairing with pork. I knew caramelized onions were sweet and thought it would be a good substitute to apples that are in season in the autumn.

Dish Details

I prepared my pork chops using a tried and true method from Chef Tyler Florence. In addition, I utilized the guide to making rice pilaf and my love for caramelized onions can be traced back to this recipe on epicurious which I found about six years ago. I'd imagine this dish would be at home on any casual chain restaurant, however I'm unsure if one would go through the trouble of brining their chops.

Ingredients

1 gallon water
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup kosher salt plus more as needed
Thyme sprigs
4 pork rib chops with the bone frenched
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
2 large yellow onions, peeled and cut in half lengthwise, then sliced thin
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 shallot, chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup white rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/4 cup chicken stock
Italian parsley leaves, chopped (for garnish)

Method

1. Prepare the pork chops. Brine the chops by combining the water one cup kosher salt and brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the thyme sprigs and the pork chops, then cover and refrigerate covered for two hours.


Once the two hours have elapsed, drain the brine and discard the brine. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels, then season on both sides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, sear the pork chops in the skillet, approximately three to four minutes per side, then remove and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm while the onions and rice are prepared.


2. Caramelize the onions. In the same skillet used to prepare the pork chops, melt two tablespoons butter in an additional two tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Once melted, add the onions and stir, coating them in the fat. Continue to cook the onions until they reduce, soften and turn a golden brown, stirring occasionally, approximately twenty to thirty minutes. Stir in the granulated sugar, then season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.


3. While the onions are caramelizing, prepare the rice. In a medium saucepan, melt one tablespoon unsalted butter in one tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot to sweat, then season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, approximately two minutes. Perfume the shallots by adding the cinnamon, then the rice. Stir the mixture until the rice is toasted and coated in the oils, approximately 3 minutes. Stir in the wine and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and let it steam until the rice has absorbed, approximately twelve to fifteen minutes. Once the rice is finished, remove from heat and fluff with a fork. To plate, spoon a portion of the rice off center on a warmed plate, then rest the pork chop on the rice so that the frenched bone is raised. Drizzle some caramelized onions over the pork, then garnish with parsley leaves.


Final Thoughts

If you look closely, you'll find that I seared the pork chops in a stainless steel skillet in the picture above yet I instructed to sear them in a non-stick one. I made this change because I thought the onions might be able to pick up some of the pork fond but I found the sear on the pork a little too dark and I didn't want my onions to have a charred taste when they were supposed to be sweet so I switched pans. Additionally, Chef Florence instructs to finish the chops off in the oven and I did in this case but I omitted it from the instructions because I found them to be a little dry, despite the fact that they were brined. If the pork chops are one-inch thick or more, roast them in the oven at 350° Fahrenheit until their internal temperature reaches 140° Fahrenheit, approximately thirty minutes. In the end, I found the onions a very good substitute for apples and am surprised it isn't more common.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Pork Chops with Apple Dijon Sauce and Arugula Salad for a Fall Flavors #SundaySupper

Pork Chops with Apple Dijon Sauce and Arugula Salad for a Fall Flavors #SundaySupper




If memory serves me correctly, the team at #SundaySupper has repeated the theme of autumnal foods from last year. I remember this because I paired chicken with a sauce that utilized grapes which are coming into season about now. The repeated theme is okay with me because I'm always up for seasonal ingredients.

Inspiration Behind the Dish

In what will most likely be my last trip to the Redmond Saturday Market this year, I noticed apples had appeared at many of the farms' stands a couple of weeks ago so I purchased a few ruby jon apples and decided to employ the classic pairing of apples and pork. To affirm, The Flavor Bible noted a flavor affinity of pork, apples and mustard. It separately noted that pork chops pair well with arugula.

Dish Details

For the pork chops, I relied upon my favorite which is taken from Tyler Florence on Food Network. For the sauce, I was inspired by a recipe I found on seattletimes.com but I had to make it over.

Ingredients

For the pork:
4 quarts water
1 cup kosher salt plus more for seasoning, divided
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup apple juice
1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed with the side of a knife
2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme
4 bone-in pork rib chops, approximately 1-inch thick
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

For the sauce:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
1 1/2 cups apple juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:
4 ounces arugula
Juice from 1 lemon
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Method

1. Brine the chops. Stir together the water, 1 cup kosher salt, sugar and apple juice until the sugar and salt has dissolved. Add the peppercorns and thyme into the brine, then the pork chops. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

2. Prepare the chops. Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Remove the chops from the brine and discard the brine. Pat the chops dry with paper towels, then season them with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and sear the chops, two chops at a time if they don't fit, approximately 3 minutes per side. Remove them to an aluminum foil-lined sheet pan, then roast the chops in the oven until their internal temperature reaches 140° Fahrenheit, approximately 30 minutes.


3. Prepare the pan sauce. While the pork chops roast, return the same skillet to the stovetop over medium heat and add the oil. Once it starts to smoke, toss in the onions to sweat, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the apples and brown lightly, approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Deglaze the pan with the apple juice, then stir in the mustard. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Reduce until the sauce is thick enough so that when you slide your finger across a spoon dipped in the sauce, it holds its shape. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the nutter until it melts. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.

4. Prepare the salad and finish the dish. Combine the lemon juice and oil in a small bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Toss the vinaigrette with the arugula. To plate, place a pork chop in the middle off center, spoon some sauce over the chops then garnish with arugula on the side.

Final Thoughts

I must confess that the dish you see above isn't the dish I had originally conceptualized. I wanted to present it with a fourth component of a polenta cake. When I visualized the dish, I imagined the chop to rest against it with the bone raised to give the dish some height. I even had the chops frenched similar to the dish I published about a year ago. That being said, the dish was still very flavorful. The spice of the mustard balanced the sweetness of the apples nicely.

Check out A Guide to Apples plus Best Fall Recipes Ideas for #SundaySupper and this week's recipe collection:

Breakfast
Appetizers and Sides
Main Dishes
Desserts and Cocktails
Plus, A Guide to Apples plus Best Fall Recipes Ideas for #SundaySupper

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It's easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Coffee and Molasses Brined Pork Chop with Roasted Corn Salsa and Watercress Salad

Coffee and Molasses Brined Pork Chop with Roasted Corn Salsa and Watercress Salad




Mrs. Stuntman started with a new employer recently and, while she is getting acquainted with her new colleagues, it presented an opportunity to introduce myself through my food. You see, I'll normally prepare at least one extra serving of whatever we eat for dinner so she can brown bag the leftovers the next day.

Since Seattle is known for coffee, I wanted to feature it in a savory application, especially since the food pairing in The Flavor Bible suggest a dessert. The concept of pairing pork with coffee isn't new to me but I wanted to explore it more, especially since the coffee in the other pork with coffee dish I've prepared had a muted coffee flavor. I knew that pork pairs well with sweet flavors (which is the reason why apples pair so well with pork), so I thought corn might be an interesting substitution in addition to balancing out the flavors with a mild spice and acid. Also, after performing a Google image search for pork chops fine dining, I noticed that nearly all were double cut with the bone frenched, so I wanted to present my dish in a similar manner. While double cut chops would have been too large a portion for my family, I did ask the supermarket where I purchased them to French my chops.

The Challenge

Make Mrs. Stuntman's colleagues envious of her brown bag lunch by elevating it.

The Source

To execute this dish, I compiled from a number of different sources. I adapted the brine from allrecipes.com; the salsa from Eating Well magazine and the salad from Food & Wine magazine.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 cup kosher salt plus more for seasoning, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups strongly brewed coffee
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 cup ice cubes
4 bone-in pork rib chops about 1/2-inch thick, frenched
4 cups corn kernels
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
t tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bunch watercress leaves, stems removed

Method

1. Prepare the salad dressing. Combine the lemon juice, 3 tablespoons olive oil in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. Brine the pork chops. Combine the water, coffee, brown sugar, 1/4 cup kosher salt, molasses in a large bowl and stir until the salt and sugar dissolve. Place the pork chops in a large resealable bag with the ice cubes and pour the brine over the pork. Seal the bag and refrigerate for 3 hours.

3. Prepare the salsa. While the pork is in the brine, place a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the corn and red bell pepper and cook, stirring periodically until browned, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, then stir in the red onion, lime juice, cilantro, basil, and cumin. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.


4. Finish the pork and complete the dish. Remove the pork from the brine and discard the brine. Pat the chops dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat and, once hot, sear the pork chops, in batches if necessary, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove the chops to a plate to allow for carryover cooking. While the pork rests, whisk the salad dressing again, then toss with the watercress. To present, spoon some salsa onto a warmed plate, top on one side with a pork chop and garnish with the watercress. Serve immediately.


Successful?

I'll confess and note here that by the time I got to the pork, it had been sitting in the brine for closer to four hours. I was praying that my protein was not over-brined but my fears were nullified when the first thing Mrs. Stuntman noticed was how juicy the pork was. In addition, the coffee infused into the pork giving it a deep, rich flavor which contrasted well with the corn salsa which was well balanced on its own. I also slightly overdressed the watercress but the lemon in the dressing gave the dish a brightness. Overall, each element complemented the other.

Finally, Mrs. Stuntman reports that her lunch breaks are spent alone because she thinks her colleagues feel inadequate with their sandwiches bought from the delicatessen next door.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Presenting: Thick Pork Chops with Spiced Apples and Raisins

Thick Pork Chops with Spiced Apples and Raisins


A quick side: My toe is much better.

This dish is one of my first successes as a food blogger and originally appeared on my first website in the spring of 2010. At the time, I had very little culinary experience and was just following a recipe but upon further examination, this dish has more technique in it than I first realized. More on that later.

I can't find the first picture I took three years ago but it wasn't very good. I reshot the dish a couple of months later bur still wasn't satisfied. I still am not completely content with the photography, but this is the first time I was happy with the plate presentation. Over the years, I prepared this dish every few months when pork chops went on sale like they were last week.

The Challenge

Improve my presentation skills.

The Source

This is a Tyler Florence recipe that can be found on Food Network's website.

Ingredients

I substituted kosher salt for sea salt and apple juice for apple juice concentrate. Otherwise, ingredients and their quantities remain unchanged.

Method

In summary, the pork chops are brined first, seared on the stovetop, and then roasted in the oven. While the pork is roasting, apple slices are simmered with some spices.

Analysis

I remember how fragrant my kitchen was the first night I cooked this dish. The simmering apples reminded me of potpourri bouquets my mother used to have around the house when I was growing up. From a culinary standpoint, I like this dish because it is so well thought out. Pork chops have a bad reputation of being dry, so this preparation method takes steps to avoid this pitfall. This dish introduced me to the concept of a brine that I use on poultry so often. Secondly, Chef Florence uses an old restaurant trick by just searing the protein on the stovetop just to get the exterior caramelized and then cooking it through in the oven.

In other news, I hadn't commented on the Next Food Network Star recently so I thought I'd do so here. I was surprised to see Stacey leave when she did. I voted for Rodney because culinary skills can be learned but his charisma can't. I don't think Russell presents himself well, and the concept Damaris presented doesn't seem to appeal to Food Network's core audience.

I was able to find the second picture I took of the dish:


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