Wednesday, May 16, 2012

This little piggie went really well with mashed potatoes

This little piggie went to market.
The other little piggies stayed home and watched SportsCenter.
This little piggie had pork chops.
The other little piggies had some, too, because I am a nice person and couldn't eat an entire platter of meat and potatoes by myself. 
But then I made them watch Chopped instead.

The End.

Pork Chops with Apple Cider Pan Glaze
A super easy recipe, courtesy of my talented sister (for the chops), and Bon Appétit (for the cider glaze and salad dressing).  You can go from grocery bag to table in about 30 minutes*

2 lb. boneless pork loin
3 Tbs. butter, divided
1 Tbs. olive oil
 kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c. flour
1/2 c. apple cider
1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar

Trim the pork of all visible fat, then cut into six generous 1 inch thick chops. 

Heat 2 Tbs. butter and the oil over low heat in a large skillet.  While that's heating up, season the pork chops liberally with salt and pepper.   Place flour in a pie plate or shallow dish, then dredge the seasoned chops in the flour.  Set aside.

Turn the heat up to medium high.  When butter has stopped foaming and begins to smell nutty (about 2 minutes), add the chops.  Cook for 3 minutes, then turn and cook an additional 3 minutes on the other side.  Don't overcook, or the chops will get dry!  Remove from heat and allow to rest on a warm platter.

Add apple cider to the pan, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, until cider has been reduced by about 1/3.  Add remaining 1 Tbs. of butter, any juice from the resting chops, and the cider vinegar, and stir until butter has melted and sauce is bubbling.   Transfer to a small serving bowl.

To serve, place a chop on top of a pile of mashed potatoes, and glaze with a generous amount of the sauce.

Click to print this recipe!

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

Rinse and scrub a bunch of Yukon Gold potatoes.  Peel if you like, or not if you don't.  Either way works.  Cut into chunks, and place in a large stockpot.  Cover with water, and add a generous sprinkling of kosher salt.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then allow to cook for 15 minutes or so, until potatoes are fork-tender.   Drain completely, and return the potatoes to the pot.

For each pound of potatoes, add about 2 Tbs. of butter, preferably at room temperature, and 1/4 c. buttermilk.  Using a potato masher, go to town on them for a while, adding more buttermilk as needed to get a nice creamy consistency.  Season to taste with salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.   Feel free to add in a little sour cream, some chopped green onions, etc.    You can also use regular milk, cream or chicken broth if you don't happen to have any buttermilk on hand.

These go with pretty much anything on earth.

Click to print this recipe!

Apple Shallot Vinaigrette

1 Tbs. finely minced tart apple (such as granny smith or pink lady)
1 Tbs. finely minced shallot
2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs. apple cider
3/4 tsp. dry mustard
3 Tbs. olive oil or grapeseed oil
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Combine apple, shallots, vinegar, cider and mustard in a small bowl, and whisk to combine.   Slowly drizzle in the oil, stirring constantly.  Taste, and season with salt and pepper to your liking.

Add shaved apples, and maybe some fennel, basil and mint to your mixed greens with this one!

Click to print this recipe!

* That's why this little piggie said "Whee, whee, whee!" all the way home from Ralph's.

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