Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pork Chops with Leeks in Mustard Sauce

As it usually goes, I asked Hubby what he wanted for dinner, and got no answer. So I looked through my ever-increasing list of bookmarked recipes, and decided on Pork Chops with Leeks in Mustard Sauce from Bon App├ętit from May of 2009.

You start with cooking up a couple slices of bacon, and then searing the rosemary and thyme-seasoned pork chops in the residual bacon fat. I used the big ones that look like ribeyes rather than the rib chops, because that's what I could find.

Then you remove the chops from the skillet, and start sauteing your leeks.

When the leeks are soft, you throw in some garlic. Then brandy and broth. Plus the bacon and some sage. And then those beautiful chops are nestled among the leeks.

The recipe said 3 minutes per side to get to 140, but they must've used some wimpy chops, because these took about 20 minutes total.  You then remove the chops, boil off the liquid, and stir in sour cream and mustard. Serve the chops with the sauce on top or on the side. 

I put my chops back in the skillet to keep them warm because Hubby was running late. It's not very pretty, but one of the best pork dishes I've ever cooked. But with bacon, leeks and mustard, how could it go wrong?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Random Collection of Food

Once again, I bring you a random collection of stuff I've made.

Crab and green onion quiche, courtesy of Kathy from Cooking on the Side.

Some layered potato thing. It wasn't very good, except for the top layer.

Some sort of spiced glazed chicken. Meh.

Spicy tomato and blue cheese soup, from Leite's Culinaria via Desert Candy. Served with a grilled cheese sandwich, of course. I like that you can see the steam.

Macaroni and cheese (blue box) with ground beef, courtesy of my Youngest.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Duck Prosciutto

Yes, duck prosciutto. What could be better? Gamey, salty, ducky, pork-esque cured meat.

I used the salt/sugar/spice ratio from them apples, then wrapped the breasts in a double-layer of cheesecloth, and hung them from a cooling rack for 10 days. I was aiming for 30% weight loss, recommended by Michael Ruhlman. Some recipes said 7 days, and I read one that said 5 weeks. At 10 days, I was at 28-29%, and decided that I was done, because I didn't want the duck to dry out too much around the edges. I started out the hanging in the refrigerator, but then got worried about the low humidity, so decided to move the rack to the kitchen counter during the day, and the fridge at night. I would've loved to hang them outside - the temperature has been perfect, but with all the rain, I was worried about too much humidity. And bugs.

So here are my ducky babies wrapped and hanging after their 3 day cure.

And here's what it looked like, finally unwrapped. Not very attractive, and to be honest, at this point I was slightly wary.

But, sliced, it took on a whole different look. A lot like "normal" prosciutto, actually:

What did it taste like? Kind of like prosciutto, but less salty. And more ducky. And delicious. I've got so many ideas in my head on how to use it - frittata, tortilla, spaghetti carbonara, potato au gratin. Or I'll just continue to shave off slice by slice and eat it unadorned and unadulterated.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pork Posole

After I made pied de cochon for the second time, I had a ton of leftover porky broth. I can't even really call it broth, because it was almost solid at room temperature from all the foot collagen. Delicious foot collagen.

So, what to make? I consulted my Twitter friends, and on Heather's suggestion, made posole, using this recipe from On My Plate. I replaced the called-for chicken broth and half of the water with my porky broth. And I'm not sure my chiles were New Mexico, they might have been guajillo. Once it was done cooking, I asked Hubby if he wanted the pork in chunks or shredded. He said chunks, so that's what I did.

Here's the finished product:

Oh! Wait! I forgot the avocado. Here:

This was absolutely delicious.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Vietnamese Caramelized Chicken - Ga Kho

I came across this recipe for Vietnamese Caramelized Chicken, or Ga Kho, over at Ravenous Couple. It looked scrumptious, and I actually had everything the recipe called for, so I made it.

I was a little worried at first, because of the amount of liquid, and also because said liquid was boiling sugar. Boiling sugar and me do not really get along.

But after a while, the sauce reduced as promised.

And reduced.

Until I was left with this.

Beautiful, shiny, sticky, sweet, sour, spicy. Go make this.