3 Jan 2011, 12:48am

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    Top of the list is: Handmade Goodness Giveaways Project! Please be sure to ENTER. Just click the link (when there is one) at the top of the most recent post! This project is in an effort to promote local and independent artists. Crafters, photographers, designers (of all types) -- man, woman or child all are welcome. Each giveaway will feature a different artist with a different talent, please join, if you will! Contact me: mommyhobbies [at] gmail [dot] com
  • In my napsack stash

  • Elastic can be so sneaky

    Stop in the naammee of health! Beeeforre you split my pannnnts.

    Elastic is just plain mean.  It stretches out making you think you haven’t gained weight and you’re doing just fine.  Naughty.

    So, before you read this post, promise yourself you will do 2 hours worth of vigorous exercise ending in 500 calories burned.  Ok, now, we shall proceed with one of the best Julia recipes to date.

    I love a good cut of meat.  Especially pork.  You know, it’s called “the other white meat”.  It’s easy on the stomach.  So, when I saw a recipe for “Casserole-sauteed Pork Chops” I was sold.

    This recipe calls for 1 inch thick pork chops.  Marinated if you please, for several hours before.  I’ve found that it’s worth the extra couple of minutes to marinate your meat.

    I never knew lemon, olive oil and a few spices could make such a succulent combo.  And trust me when I say it does.

    Now, I didn’t have a bowl large enough for all my chops to fit nicely next to each other but it worked out just fine because you need to flip them several times throughout the marinating time.

    After they’ve marinated for a couple of hours, get your cooking oil going in your fireproof casserole.  (I use my Dutch oven for anything that calls for a “fireproof casserole”.) And once it’s hot(it must be hot) put your meat in to brown and cook it for 3 to 4 minutes each side.  Also, to get a good browning, your meat must be wiped dry.  It’s very important.

    It will turn out looking a little like this.

    This meal just gets better and better.  Nothing like mashed potatoes.  Mashed RED potatoes.

    Once all your meat is browned and you’ve dumped all the fat out, add butter. 2Tbl. And 2 halved cloves of garlic (garlic is optional but I love garlic so in it went!) and cook in a preheated oven at 325 for 25-30 minutes, basting once or twice.
    And then the secret weapon to this whole recipe.  Vermouth.
    I had never heard of it before Julia.  And now I’m in love with this pungent, tangy tasting cooking wine.  The last step to this recipe calls for a 1/2 cup, mixed with 2 Tbl of fat from the perfectly cooked chops…and poured over the top.  Ok, now I’m hungry all over again…
    Garnish, serve and eat!  Please.  Because it’s good.  But don’t let your elastic trick you.  You will need to exercise after this.
    From Julia Child’s Mastering The Art of French Cooking
    Cotes De Porc Poelees
    [Casserole-sauteed Pork Chops]
    For 6 people
    Preheat oven to 325 degrees
    6 pork chops cut 1 inch thick and perviously
    marinated for several hours, of you wish, in salt,
    lemon juice, or wine 
    (I will post the marinade for this at the end of this recipe)
     3 to 4 Tb rendered pork fat, lard, or cooking oil
    A heavy, 10- to 12-inch fireproof casserole
    Dry the pork chops on paper towels.  Heat the fat or oil in the casserole until it is moderately hot, then brown the chops, 2 or 3 at a time, on each side for 3 to 4 minutes.  as they are browned, transfer them to a side dish.
    If the chops have not been marinated, season them with salt, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of thyme or sage.
    2 Tb butter
    Optional: 2 halved cloves garlic
    Pour the fat out of the casserole and add the butter and optional garlic.  Return the chops, overlapping them slightly.  Baste them with the butter.  Cover and heat the casserole until the meat is sizzling, then set in lower third of preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
    Turn and baste the chops once or twice.  They are done when the meat juices run a clear yellow with no trace of rose.  Make a deep cut next to bone if you have any doubts.
    A hot platter
    1/2 cup dry white wine, dry white vermouth, brown stock, canned beef bouillon, or marinade liquid
    Arrange the chops on a hot platter with whatever vegetable garnish you have chosen.  The chops will have rendered about 1/2 cup of juices during their cooking; remove all but 2 tablespoons of fat from them.  Pour in the 1/2 cup of liquid and boil rapidly, scraping up all coagulated cooking juices, until you have about 1/2 cup of concentrated sauce.  Taste for seasoning, and pour it over the chops.
    Now, for the marinade that Julia recommends:
    Marinade Simple
    [Lemon Juice and Herb Marinade]
    Per pound of pork
    1 tsp salt
    1/8 tsp pepper
    3 Tb lemon juice
    3 Tb olive oil
    3 parsley sprigs
    1/4 tsp thyme or sage
    1 bay leaf
    1 clove mashed garlic
    Rub salt and pepper into the meat.  Mix the other ingredients in the a bowl, add the pork and baste it.  Place a lid over the bowl.  Turn and baste the meat 3 or 4 times during its marination period.
    Before cooking, scrape off the marinade, and dry the meat thoroughly with paper towels.
    This recipe is worth the hours it takes to create.  Don’t think of this as difficult, think of this as taking extra steps to make a great meal for your family even better.  Enjoy!  And post a little review of your finished product, I would love to hear.

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