Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pork chops I: Sauteed pork chops (p. 504), Pan sauce with leeks, orange, and rosemary (p. 548), and Cooked cucumbers (p. 273)

Mom had pork chops on hand so I thought it would be a good to make a sauce and a vegetable to go with them. I really like gravies and sauces but I never make them--maybe it's time to start!

I also noticed that I had never officially made TJOC's pork chops, so I decided to make Pork chops I: Sauteed pork chops (p. 504).

I melted a combination of vegetable oil and butter in a saute pan:

I added pork chops and browned them for a minute on each side. I reduced the heat, covered the pan, and cooked the chops for another five minutes on each side:

And done!

Incredibly easy. This is pretty much a no-fail pork saute recipe. The chops were perfectly cooked and nice and tender. Don't overcook your pork!

I eyed the sauce recipes and Pan sauce with leeks, orange, and rosemary (p. 548) looked really interesting. I like leeks, orange, and rosemary so how could it go wrong? The recipe said it only made 1/3 cup of sauce which didn't seem like nearly enough. I decided to double it.

I added sliced leek to the fat already in the pan--but there was almost no fat in the pan, so I added a little butter. When you use leeks, make sure to soak them well. They grow in sandy soil and are always dirty.

I added orange juice and loosened up all the browned bits stuck on the bottom of the pan:

I added chicken stock, orange zest, and rosemary (off of mom's plant) and cooked it down until it was reduced by half:

I then added in butter (bit by bit):

And poured the sauce over the meat:

Neither mom or I were particularly impressed by the sauce on the pork. It was good but it didn't seem that special. I only stumbled on the wonder of the sauce when I started mopping it up with bread. It was sooooo good with the bread--buttery, delicate, delicious. It is an incredibly delicate sauce and couldn't stand up to pork--I don't think it could stand up to any red meat, it needs something with less flavor of it's own. Maybe chicken or fish?

I had stumbled upon the mother lode of cucumbers on the grocery store discount cart. I got seven cucumbers for $1! Perfect time to make Cooked cucumbers (p. 273). I've eaten a lot of cucumbers in my life and never had them cooked. Has anyone had cooked cucumbers?

I sliced the cucumbers lengthwise and boiled them for about five minutes:

I then seasoned the cucumbers with parsley, salt, pepper, and butter:

The cucumbers were surprisingly good. They had a nice, crispy flavor. They actually tasted similar to kohlrabi but better. The cucumbers were tender and juicy and the butter nicely complimented them. I think this is a good use for cupcakes if you get totally overran with garden cucumbers in the summer.

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  1. Hi Jessica,

    I've only just found your blog here this week and have been really enjoying reading all about your experiences with the Joy of Cooking.

    To answer your question, I had never heard of cooking cucumbers either until I read about it a couple of years ago in "The Victory Garden Cookbook" by Marian Morash. It sounded odd to me but I made them anyway (I sauteed mine) and they were good!

    Keep up the good work! :-)

  2. I love a good sauteed pork chop & nothing makes it better than a greater than smothering them with a good gravy & sauted onions!


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