May 10, 2015

Things To Do With Porkchops When It's Raining

Our meat has tended toward the ground recently. Sausage, ground beef, ground turkey. We had some money, though, and there were four-packs of nice big chops on sale, and I bought them. So we had chops twice last week. I don't generally post recipes here, and my cooking of late has been decidedly dull by my standards, but these were tasty, so I thought I'd mention both preparations. They're not even really recipes, since I'm not giving amounts.

Pomegranate Porkchops

Take some pomegranate molasses, 1-2 tablespoons per chop, and mix it up in a baggie with just a drizzle of good balsalmico. Drop the chops in the bag, coat them thoroughly in the marinade, suck as much air as you can out of the bag, and let them sit for at least an hour and as long as 24 hours.

When ready to cook, oil your favorite frying pan and heat it over a medium-high flame. Salt the chops very lightly and drop them in (careful of grease spatters!), cook until you get some really good caramelization going, flip and repeat. Optionally, crumble a little blue cheese on top of the chops towards the end of cooking and allow to melt.

This also works well with chicken, although I generally leave the blue cheese off.

Honey-Miso Glazed Porkchops

Take 1 tablespoon of red miso paste per chop and dissolve it in a little hot water, just enough to make it liquid. Add about 1/2 a tablespoon of honey per chop. (You want the honey flavor to be present, but don't try to make it taste really sweet. You'd need to add so much honey to get past the umami and salt that it would just go completely out of balance.) Add a splash of rice vinegar and a little toasted sesame oil.

Put your chops in a hot oiled pan and brush or spoon the glaze over them. Get a good hard sear, then flip and glaze the other side. If you have glaze left, it goes nicely on rice for a side.

Om nom nom nom nom.

Because both of these recipes have thick, sugary stuff in a pan over highish heat, the stuff will turn black and stick badly. As soon as you have removed the pork from the pan, put hot water in the still-hot pan, right there on the stove, and let it start to work on that. Don't let it cool, it'll just harden and get worse. Let that sit while you eat, then empty the pan, put some more water in it, and simmer the pan on the stove for a bit. That and a bit of scraping with a wooden spoon (while the water's still in it) will get most of the gunk off easily.

The honey-miso is suitable for grilling, but I don't recommend the pomegranate that way.

The rain doesn't actually have anything to do with it. We just live in Seattle, and it rained both nights I made chops.