Thursday, March 30, 2006

Pork Chop Adventures Part II: Top of the Chops

Pork chops are one of my 'happy' foods. If I'm in a bad mood, cooking a pork chop for dinner will make me feel better. Of course, I don't need to be in a bad mood to have an excuse to make pork chops, such as last night.

My first instinct with pork chops is the shake-n-bake approach, but since I had already tried that recently, I thought that I would throw caution to the winds and try something new.

With no real plan in mind, I started grabbing stuff out of the fridge and just started to cook. When I opened the fridge, the first thing I saw was the big pile of fresh rosemary and the balsamic syrup I had left over from the Parmesan Cream recipe. I'd been trying to figure out what to do with the syrup, and this seemed as good an idea as any. Everything else was based around those two things.

After a flurry of chopping, dicing and simmering, this was the result:

CĂ´telette de Porc Gallumphante avec Rotini
(It sounds more impressive than "Gallumphing Porkchop with Rotini")

1 boneless pork chop
1 sprig of fresh rosemary, stem removed & chopped
¼ C fresh parsley, chopped
½ tsp basil
1 C cremini mushrooms, diced
½ C onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
chicken stock
balsamic syrup (find recipe here)
1 plum tomato, chopped
freshly ground black pepper
sesame seeds

* Heat a little oil in a skillet. Add rosemary, parsley, mushrooms, onion & basil. Drizzle a little bit of the balsamic syrup over the top, add some pepper and stir to combine.
* Saute over medium-high heat until onions are slightly translucent.
* Make some space in the middle of the pan, add the pork chop and spoon some of the mixture over the top.
* Reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the pork chop is just about cooked through, turning once.
* Add tomato, garlic and enough chicken stock to just cover the chop. Sprinkle a small handful of sesame seeds over the top.
* Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, occasionally spooning some of the mixture over the top of the chop.
* Meanwhile, put a large pot of salted water on to boil. When water is boiling, add rotini and cook until pasta is al dente.
* To serve, place the pasta and the chop on a plate, and spoon the sauce over both.

The chop turned out pretty well. The fresh herbs added a nice flavour to the meat, and the taste of the sesame seeds was a really nice addition as well. Even if the chop was maybe a little over-cooked, simmering it in the chicken stock kept it tasting moist, and that was good enough for me. The next time I make this, or try something similar, I won't cook the chop for quite as long before adding the stock and simmering.

Stay tuned, more Pork Chop Adventures to come....


evelyn said...

Ian, may I add your site to my list of links at Surfeit of Lampreys? The site's cool, and more importantly, you like Bruce Campbell.

Ian said...

Hi Evelyn,

Absolutely! Your site appeals to my twisted sense of humour. Love that steak soap.

Oh, and Hail to the King, baby!