Brined Rosemary Pork Chops
For the brine:
3 tablespoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 whole branches fresh rosemary
4 bone-in loin pork chops, about 1 inch thick each
Extra-virgin olive oil
To prepare the brine: In a medium bowl combine the salt and sugar. Pour 1 cup of hot water into the bowl, and whisk to dissolve the salt and sugar. Add 2 cups of cold water along with the remaining brine ingredients.
Place the pork chops in a large, resealable plastic bag and pour in the brine. Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Turn the bag to distribute the brine, place the bag in a bowl, and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours.
Remove the pork chops from the bag and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the brine. Lightly brush or spray both sides of the chops with oil. Allow to stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes before grilling. Sear the pork chops over direct high heat for 6 minutes, turning once halfway through grilling time. Continue grilling over indirect medium heat until the juices run clear, 6 to 8 minutes.
Makes 4 servings.
Notes: Came out *very* tender. I was a little shy with the rosemary (since our hearty plant is getting on the huge size and I wasn't sure how long an average branch tended to be). I might put in a bit more the next time. Also - since the weather was being threatening, I went with the indoor grill pan - medium high heat, about 6 minutes per side (turning it at an angle about halfway through each side to get those lovely looking grill marks *g*).
Ground Lamb with Ginger, Hoisin, and Green Onions
from Jim Barrick's Alcohol-Free Recipes
1 pound ground lamb
1 tablespoon Oriental sesame oil
2 tablespoons minced gingeroot
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced orange peel
1 green onion bunch, chopped
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Saute lamb in Wok (or large skillet) over high heat until cooked through, breaking up with spoon or spatula, about 5 minutes. Pour lamb with its juices into a colander; drain.
Heat sesame oil in same Wok over high heat. Add ginger, garlic and orange peel; stirring 30 seconds. Add green onions and stir-fry 1 minute. Add hoisin sauce and lamb to Wok; stir until blended.
Combine orange juice and cornstarch in small cup. Add orange juice/cornstarch mixture to Wok; stir until thickened, about 1 minute.
Serve with hot rice.
Notes: For some reason in the last few months, my local butcher (where I get the meat if I can afford to because it is really so much better than the stuff at the supermarket) has started carrying ground lamb. So, when the whim strikes me I've been picking up a pound and tossing it in the freezer to give me another choice for meals once in a while. It sure makes for an interesting alternative to ground beef. My previous attempt was Lebanese Baked Kibbeh, so I was looking for something completely different.
As for the website where I got this -- completely an accident of google as I never would have expected to find such an extensive collection of recipes on an insurance company web page. For those of you who keep track of such things, he declares a single serving of the above recipe to be worth 8 points.
In any case, this was relatively simple to make and has a really nice, if not particularly challenging, taste. I have to admit that after a few bites, I began to think it needed something to spice (or herb) it up. Any suggestions? Anything I can get from Penzey's is fair game.
Again with the slacking off on posting. I blame all my travel of late. In any case, last week I was bored, bored, bored and wanted to do something that I hadn't tried before. Here's what I found, and it was good:
Javanese Roasted Salmon and Wilted Spinach
adapted from Bon Appetit (September, 2002)
Spicy sauces with sweet-and-sour flavors are popular in Javanese food and, in this case, pair deliciously with salmon.
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) plus 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 teaspoon water
2 7-ounce salmon fillets
1 6-ounce bag baby spinach
Preheat oven to 400 F. Melt 1/4 cup butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add crushed red pepper and garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add sugar; whisk until mixture is melted and smooth and begins to bubble, about 4 minutes. Whisk in lime juice and soy sauce. Increase heat and boil until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 2 minutes. Add cornstarch mixture and boil until thick, about 3 minutes. Set sauce aside.
Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter in heavy large skillet over high heat. Cook salmon until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to baking sheet. Spoon 1/2 tablespoon sauce over each fillet. Roast until fish is opaque in center, about 5 minutes.
Melt remaining 1 tablespoons butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Add spinach and toss until wilted but still bright green, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Using tongs, divide spinach among plates. Top each with salmon fillet; drizzle with remaining sauce and serve.
I believe this might be my first attempt at cooking a dish from India... I got it off eGullet from a class by Monica Bhide, the author of The Everything Indian Cookbook. She did one dish each from various regions of India. Of the Parsi she said: "Their cuisine is a tantalizing marriage of Persian and Gujarati styles. Flavoring their curries with nuts and apricots, they brought the richness of Persia to the simple Gujarati food. Parsi food is not hot with chilies but has complex flavors and textures."
Parsi Murgh Farcha
6- 7 tender chicken breasts
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
1 tablespoon of minced fresh mint
1 tablespoon coriander powder
½ tablespoon cumin powder
2 Serrano green chilies, minced
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, minced
½ cups dried plain breadcrumbs
Oil to panfry
Make slits in the chicken breast. Marinate it with a mixture of the Garam masala, mint, coriander powder, cumin powder, green chilies, sugar, salt and vegetable oil. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
In a bowl combine the eggs and cilantro leaves. Create an assembly line – marinated chicken, eggs, breadcrumbs (placed on a flat plate). Now first dip the chicken in the breadcrumbs and then the egg wash. Panfry it till done. (The best way to tell if the chicken is cooked is to poke a knife through it. If no water seeps out from the chicken, it is cooked.)
Notes: There wasn't a specification for how much oil to use in the pan, and I think I ended up with about an inch or so. It took roughly 15 minutes for the chicken to cook on medium high heat, and I turned it once about halfway through. It's mentioned in the class that doing the eggwash on the outside seals in flavor and juices, and I can believe it because the chicken sure was tender. Of course, I really wanted to serve this with garlic naan (one of my favorite things) but decided homemade naan would have to wait for another time, so instead we just had a roasted garlic baked bread.
Orange Carrot Cookies
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup of mashed cooked carrots
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Cream sugar and butter. Add egg and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Add mashed carrot. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.
Greek Style Lamb Chops
1 clove garlic, mashed
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp each, pepper and grated lemon peel
2 (5 ounce) lamb shoulder chops
1 small plum tomato, cut into 4 slices
1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled
Mash together garlic and salt to form a paste; add lemon juice, oil, thyme, pepper and lemon peel and continue to mash until well combined; set aside.
On rack in broiling pan broil lamb chops until browned on top, about 5 minutes. Turn chops over and spread each chop with 1/4 of the thyme mixture; broil until browned, 4 to 5 minutes longer. Set 2 tomato slices on each chop, then top each with 1/2 ounce feta cheese and remaining half of the thyme mixture. Broil until cheese softens and is glazed, about 2 minutes.
Notes: This went really well with the olive oil and garlic couscous I served alongside. However, I do think I might reduce the salt the next time I make this one. Also -- discussed the possibility of doubling the liquid/spice ingredients and doing a 15 minutes marinade in them at room temperature before cooking.