Pecan Pork Chops
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon crushed dried tarragon
2 pork chops
1/4 cup chopped pecans
In a bowl combine mustard, honey and tarragon. Coat pork chops with honey mixture and sprinkle with pecans; salt and pepper (to taste).
Place pork chops on a broiler pan and broil 10 minutes per side, or until cooked thoroughly. Place on a warm platter and serve.
NOTES: Fantastically easy and more delicious than it had a right to be.
Chicken with Orange Dijon Pan Sauce
modeled on recipe from How to Cook Without a Book
1 TBSP butter
2 boneless chicken breast halves
salt and pepper
flour (for dredging)
Heat 1 TBSP butter in skillet over low heat. While the pan is heating, sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. Just before sauteing, increase heat to medium high. When butter stops foaming and starts to smell nutty, arrange chicken in skillet. Cook, turning only once, about 7 minutes per side. Remove chicken to 250 degree oven.
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp minced fresh rosemary leaves
2 TBSP butter
Combine juice with mustard and rosemary in same skillet. Reduce liquid to 1/4 cup. Whisk in butter to thicken sauce, and spoon over chicken before serving.
Last week, all the main dishes were repeats of things already blogged hereon (just hit the search function or go read the recipes category if you want to try something out). So, instead, I made an experimental side dish. I'd been saying I wanted to branch out into such things, so perhaps we'll have some more of that at some point... In any case:
Risotto-Style Orzo with Tomatoes and Asiago Cheese
Cook's Magazine (April 1990)
1 1/2 cups orzo
1 1/2 TBSP olive oil
1 medium minced onion
3 large cloves garlic -- minced
3/4 cup chicken stock or canned chicken broth
3 medium tomatoes, peeled -- seeded, diced
1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese
3 TBSP minced fresh parsley
ground black pepper
Bring 3 quarts water to boil in a large saucepan. Add orzo and 1 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook until orzo is just tender, about 12 minutes. Drain and cool orzo slightly.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium skillet. Add onions and garlic; saute until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in orzo, chicken stock, and tomatoes; bring to boil and simmer, stirring often until liquid is absorbed by the orzo, about 5 minutes. Stir in grated cheese and parsley. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper -- or to taste. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.
NOTES: Since I can never leave anything alone these days, it seems.... I made a half recipe of this. Being that I'm not overly fond of onions if their taste is going to be noticeably sharp, I substituted in a couple diced shallots. We also added extra asiago sprinkled on top which really brought out the sharp flavors of it. Really enjoyed this. Will very likely make it or other variants again.
Spice-Rubbed Chicken with Lemon-Shallot Sauce
Bon Appetit (June 2002)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3/8 tsp ground allspice
2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
2 TBSP olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
1 1/2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1 TBSP minced shallots
1/2 tsp ground thyme
Mix salt, pepper, and 1/2 of allspice in small bowl. Rub spice mixture over both sides of chicken. Heat 1 TBSP oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Saute chicken until cooked through, about 6-8 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to work surface. Tent with foil to keep warm. Add 1/4 cup wine and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in broth, 1/2 TBSP lemon juice, and lemon peel. Boil until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Whisk in shallots, thyme, remaining oil, 1 TBSP lemon juice, and remaining allspice; season sauce with salt and pepper.
Notes: Not your ordinary lemony chicken. This had a much more complex melding of flavors. And it was easy to make too. Of course, I made a few adjustments since the original recipe is for a much larger quantity than I was making. Also, I wouldn't add the later bit of oil next time -- the sauce broke far too quickly.
Duck Breast with Orange, Honey and Tea Sauce
Bon Appetit (April 2000)
2 boneless duck breast halves (about 1 lb)
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
3/4 cup orange juice
2 1/4 tsp Earl Grey tea leaves
1/2 TBSP honey
2 TBSP butter, cut into small pieces
Preheat oven to 300°F. Crosshatch skin of duck breasts. Sprinkle duck with salt and pepper. Heat heavy large skillet over high heat. Add duck breasts, skin side down, to skillet. Cook until skin is well browned, about 4 minutes. Turn duck breasts over; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Set rack in roasting pan. Transfer duck breasts to rack (reserve drippings in skillet). Roast duck to desired doneness, about 20 minutes for medium-rare.
Meanwhile, heat drippings in skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Tilt skillet; push shallots to higher end of skillet, allowing drippings to flow to lower end. Spoon off drippings and discard. Add broth, orange juice and tea leaves to skillet. Boil until mixture is reduced to 1/2 cup. Pour mixture through strainer set over bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids in strainer. Return liquid to same skillet. Add honey; bring to simmer. Whisk in butter. Season sauce with salt and pepper.
Notes: I had some trouble getting the sauce as thick as I thought it should be and ended up whisking in a bit of extra butter. Partially this may have been due to adapting the recipe to the smaller portions I have listed above (the original recipe calls for Muscovy which tend to be bigger and more expensive than what I have access to - which means I also reduced the oven heat). However, once things came together, this proved a most marvelous culinary treat.