Posts Tagged ‘pork’

Maple-Mustard Roast Pork Chops with Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

This recipe is from “Everyday with Rachael Ray.” Sort of. It’s actually taken from the magazine’s “No Recipe Zone” feature, which lists ingredients and outlines a general method, but doesn’t specify quantities or procedure like a regular recipe would. This month’s article is called “Let’s Roast!” and the result is a pork roast flavored with maple syrup, mustard, and fresh herbs with roasted potatoes.

Because it was a weeknight, in real Rachael Ray style, I subbed pork loin chops for the whole pork loin to shorten the cook time. Otherwise, everything was pretty much the same. Both the pork and the potatoes turned out well. The potatoes were very tasty. The pork was good, not great, but I’ll probably give this one another chance. They suggest marinating the pork for at least an hour, but I only had time for half an hour or so. The flavor would’ve been better for sure if the pork had more time to marinate.

Maple-Mustard Roast Pork Chops with Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes
Adapted from Every Day with Rachael Ray (February 2009)

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, plus 6 sprigs
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 pork loin chops, 1 1/2 inch thick (About 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 6 yukon gold potatoes
  • salt and pepper

1. In a ziploc bag, mix together 2 tablespoons olive oil, the mustard, maple syrup, chopped rosemary and garlic. Add the pork and turn in the mixture to coat; refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 375°. Place the rosemary sprigs in the center of a roasting pan. Place the marinated pork chops on top of the rosemary. Cut the bacon slices in half and top each pork chop with two half slices.

3. Scatter the potatoes around the pork and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil; toss to mix. Season the pork and potatoes with salt and pepper. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until pork reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with the roasted potatoes.

Valentine’s Day Pork Chops

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

Last year for Valentine’s Day, David and I stayed in and I cooked for him. We were newly engaged, in the process of planning a wedding, and as a consequence, pretty broke. So we skipped the presents and just spent a quiet night together, but I made David choose the menu. (That sounds like a gift–to let him choose what special dish I would make for him–but if you know us at all, you know that it’s simply not true. We both HATE to pick what’s for dinner!)

David chose this recipe from Bon Apetit magazine: Veal Chops with Roasted Shallots, Arugula, and Soft Polenta.

At first, I thought he was kidding. Veal?! He wants veal? I don’t know how to cook that! Does he even like to eat that? I thought. And really–Shallots? Polenta? It seemed awfully complex, as well as outside of our normal culinary experience.

But then, shouldn’t a special dinner be, well, special? Yes, it should. So I decided to give it a try. I made my grocery list and headed to Dominick’s, where I learned that Veal is expensive! The whole idea of this dinner in was to save money, and by the time I bought polenta, shallots, arugula, grape tomatoes, fresh thyme and everything else I needed, I couldn’t stomach paying $19 for two veal chops, especially when I wasn’t even sure that we liked veal. So instead, I made pork chops.

I’m sure that’s not the same. I’m sure that’s not what the author of this recipe had in mind. But I’m also sure that it was delicious. I’ve made this recipe several times since last Valentine’s Day, with thick, meaty pork chops, and it’s turned out great every time.

Valentine’s Day Pork Chops
Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine

  • 1 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 4 2-inch-thick boneless pork chops (each about 8 ounces)
  • 18 small shallots, peeled, halved
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 12-ounce package grape tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup drained capers plus 1 tablespoon caper brine reserved from jar

1. Whisk 3/4 cup oil and lemon juice in small bowl to blend. Mix thyme, salt, and pepper in another small bowl. Rub thyme mixture all over pork chops; place in glass baking dish. Pour oil-lemon marinade over; let stand 15 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 450°F. Combine shallots, vinegar, and remaining 1/4 cup oil in medium roasting pan; toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until shallots are browned and tender, about 15 minutes. Add tomatoes to shallots and roast until tomatoes are soft and browned, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes longer. Remove pan from oven. Add capers and 1 tablespoon reserved brine and stir to blend.

3. Meanwhile, heat large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Drain veal chops and transfer marinade to heavy small saucepan. Add pork chops to skillet and cook until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer skillet to oven and roast pork to desired doneness, about 10 minutes for medium.

4. Bring reserved oil-lemon marinade to boil; boil 2 minutes. Place 1 veal chop on each of 4 plates. Divide shallot-tomato mixture among plates. Serve Polenta alongside. Drizzle with oil-lemon marinade. Garnish with arugula and serve.

Note: This recipe turned out to be a great go-to for a special dinner. I’ve served this with homemade soft polenta, quick cooking polenta, and most recently, store-bought polenta slices, gently fried in extra virgin olive oil until the edges are crisp. The thyme brings a nice flavor to the chops, for sure, but I’ve also tried it with fresh parsley or fresh rosemary, and both have worked well. Clearly, this is a versatile recipe. Don’t be scared of the capers, either. Even if you think you don’t like them on their own, they go very well with the roasted vegetable mixture here.

Bourbon-Spiked Baby Back Ribs

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Yeah, I know we talk Alton Brown a lot around here. And yeah, I know you look at an Alton Brown recipe and can’t help but wonder: “Is it worth all that work?” The answer here is a definitive ‘Yes!’

I’m not sure I can say enough good things about these ribs. They’re the only ribs I want to eat anymore. They’re rich and meaty…the perfect blend of sweet and salty. The pork is tender , but with just the right amount of structure to it. The sauce makes you want to lick every last drop off of the bone, the fork, the plate, your fingers. I’m not kidding. These ribs are amazing. And I know all of the instructions seem intimidating, but this was actually one of the first things that David really cooked. The only difficult thing about this recipe is hanging out in a house that smells like delicious pork for hours and hours before the ribs are ready to eat.

Bourbon-Spiked Baby Back Ribs
Adapted from Alton Brown’s Who Loves Ya Baby Back? Recipe as seen on Good Eats.

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole slabs pork baby back ribs

Dry Rub:

  • 8 tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon jalapeno seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Braising Liquid:

  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

To Finish:

  • 1 shot of bourbon (We used Maker’s Mark)

Directions

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well. Place each slab of baby back ribs on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, shiny side down. Sprinkle each side generously with the dry rub. Pat the dry rub into the meat. Refrigerate the ribs for a minimum of 1 hour, but up to 12 hours. In a microwavable container, combine all ingredients for the braising liquid. Microwave on high for 1 minute.

Place the ribs on a baking sheet. Open one end of the foil on each slab and pour half of the braising liquid into each foil packet. Tilt the baking sheet in order to equally distribute the braising liquid. Braise the ribs in the oven for 2 1/2 hours.

Transfer the braising liquid into a medium saucepot. Bring the liquid to a simmer and reduce by half or until of a thick syrup consistency. Stir in the shot of bourbon. Brush the glaze onto the ribs. Place under the broiler just until the glaze caramelizes lightly. Slice each slab into 2 rib bone portions. Place the remaining hot glaze into a bowl and toss the rib portions in the glaze.

Note: You will have dry rub leftover. Use it next time–you’ll be making these again.

As I said before, these ribs are absolutely worth the trouble. I served these with scalloped potatoes, but only because I’m side-dish crazy. You’d probably be just as happy to focus on the ribs.