Archive | October, 2012

Cider Glazed Pork Chop

31 Oct

Somehow I have fallen out of the habit of creating a quick weeknight dinner– but this is just that. Not counting the 30 mins it took to defrost the pork chops in my freezer [remember the defrost trick- put meat in a ziplock and submerge in hot water]- this whole recipe takes maybe 15 minutes. And I always love meals that can be made from things laying around the cupboard. Now perhaps it is the frozen peas/rice/bacon accompaniment I served it with- or the silver US Airways dinner trays I have- but this really reminded me of a retro TV dinner- in the best way possible. Had I had them though- I think some roast brussel sprouts would have been a perfect side dish. And maybe some… dare I say, mashed sweet potatoes? Talk about a fall meal.

Speaking of great seasonal recipes— my deepest apologies for a snafu– i mistype on the measurements for the ginger molasses cookies. it is 1/4 cup of molasses- not 1/2. thanks so much to Jess P. for finding that!

An America’s Test Kitchen/Cook’s Illustrated recipe


½ cup cider vinegar

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1/3 cup apple cider or juice

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon soy sauce

pinch cayenne pepper

4 boneless, center-cut pork loin chops, 5 to 7 oz each, ½ to ¾ in thick

1 tablespoon vegetable oil [I used grapeseed, same difference]

1. Combine all glaze ingredients in medium bowl [or measuring cup]; mix thoroughly and set aside.

Trim the chops by slashing through the fat and silver skin with sharp knife, making 2 cuts about 2 inches apart in each chop (do not cut into meat of chops). Pat chops dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper. [i just lightly scraped them with a knife]

2. Heat oil in heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Add pork to skillet and cook until well browned, 4 to 6 minutes.

Turn chops and cook 1 minute longer; transfer chops to plate and pour off any oil in skillet.

NOTE: If your chops are on the thinner side, check their internal temperature after the initial sear. If they are already at the 140-degree mark, remove them from the skillet and allow them to rest, tented with foil, for 5 minutes, then add the platter juices and glaze ingredients to the skillet and proceed with step. [i didn’t thermometer measure mine- but they were quite thin- so I did only 4 minutes. 1 minute other side. rested for 5. I would say they were perhaps a minute overdone]

3. When chops have rested, add any accumulated juices to skillet and set over medium heat. Add glaze mixture.

Simmer, whisking constantly, until glaze is thick and color of dark caramel (heatproof spatula should leave wide trail when dragged through glaze), 2 to 6 minutes. [surprisingly didn’t take long at all]

Return chops to skillet; turn to coat both sides with glaze. Transfer chops back to platter, browned side up, and spread remaining glaze over chops. Serve immediately.


Confiture d’Oignons (onion jam)

30 Oct

This is a great way to jazz up a cheese board. Perfect for dinner parties because you can make- and it keeps- so you will have on hand for a long time. I also have in my Ireland class notes that it is good with duck, steak and lamb chops. I’ve been eating it with leftover roast chicken etc. Pardon the wonky amounts- that’s conversion for you. The thing about this recipe though- is I took some major liberties- guessing on how many onions- I didn’t have sherry vinegar or cassis. And it really didn’t matter- jam is a pretty loosey goosey thing- I fudged it- and it was all OK.

Works very well w. a nice cheddar. I know you say- cheddar? nice? but there is cheddar and there is cheddar- as I learned from a recent trip to Formaggio. I asked for something that would blow my mind/tastebuds. The guy gave me a cheddar- and i was doubtful. But man, did it.

I made the crackers in this pic too- will have to retry the recipe w. US measurements and post.

A Ballymaloe/Darina Allen recipe

1 1/2 pounds onions

3/4 stick of butter (6 tablespoons)

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

5 oz (150g) ~ 2/3 cup caster sugar (i pulsed regular granulated sugar in a coffee grinder but i think it would be fine without doing that)

8 tablespoons plus 3 teaspoons sherry vinegar (i had no sherry vinegar or red wine- which would have been the first substitute. I used white wine vinegar and then used actual sherry instead of cassis- to get in some sherry flavor)

9 oz (250ml/ 1 1/8 cups) full bodied red wine

2 tablespoons + 2 tsp cassis

Peel and slice the onions thinly (i actually brought my mandolin out- after the gingerale finger slicing incident). Melt the butter in the saucepan on med heat until it becomes a deep nut brown- be careful not to let it burn- but this gives it tons of flavor. Toss in the onions and sugar, add salt and pepper and stir well. Cover the saucepan and cook for 30 minutes over a gentle heat, keeping an eye on the onions and stirring from time to time with a wooden spatula.

Add the sherry vinegar, wine and cassis. Cook for a further 30 minutes, uncovered, stirring regularly. the onion jam must cook gently and don’t let it reduce too much. (i wasn’t sure i used enough onions so kept cooking for an extra 15 mins. still looked pretty thin liquidy in the end- but turns out it doesn’t matter). Put in jar, cover overnight in fridge- and it comes into the right consistency. Skim the butter that collects at top and discard.

Keeps for months. good w. pâtes, terrines of meat, game and poultry.

Photo highlights from Ireland

17 Oct


So I have been admittedly terrible about posting recipes from Ireland. Part of that is due to the fact that the measurements are a little different- and I want to remake recipes before I post them- so I know I am giving them to you right. That said, it will take me forever to do this- so I thought i might as well share a couple pictures from it- and feel free to email me if you are after any particular recipe.

Also please see Inside the Tiny Kitchen for some new purchases I made in Ireland- as well as the many other updates I have made to that page.

Gateau Pitivier (homemade puff pastry w. almond filling)

Grand Marnier Souffle

White Yeast Bread

Brown Soda Bread

Cardamon pudding/yogurt (sweet)

Duck Lentil and Pomegranate Salad

Vietnamese Cucumber Salad

Quiche and Pastry Crust

Dill Mayonaise- from scratch


Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin

Beef w. homemade red curry paste

Sea Salt Crackers

What are these called? Made from puff pastry & pastry cream. Also used leftover homemade puff for Palmier cookies (elephant ears) in background.






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