It’s Wednesday, so What’s Cooking? Pork Chops

March 28, 2012 | Cooking

One thing I’ve always had trouble cooking was pork chops. They usually tasted good, but never failed to be tougher than the soles of my shoes. After years of failed recipes, not to mention embarrassment, I finally took matters in hand and created today’s recipe.

Like all the menus posted here, this has been prepared many times for tough critics and has always been well received. Give it a try and, please, let me know how your critics respond.

Marinated Pork Chops Braised in White Wine
Boiled Potatoes
Steamed Asparagus
White Wine – Soave Bolla

Marinated Pork Chops Braised in White Wine
1 teas dried sage or 4 fresh leaves
1 teas dried rosemary or 5 fresh sprigs
1 teas dried thyme or 5 fresh sprigs
1 teas pressed or finely chopped garlic
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Olive oil
4 pork chops with or without bones 1 inch thick
¾ cup dry white wine
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp chopped parsley fresh or dried – optional

Lay herbs into a glass dish large enough to hold the chops in one layer. Sprinkle garlic over the herbs. Carefully pour about 1 cup olive oil into dish so as not to disturb the herbs, then add the pepper. Lay the chops across the herb mixture. Add more olive oil until the chops are barely covered.

Marinade in the refrigerator for 2-5 hours. Turn the cops once during the time you’ve allowed.

Remove dish from fridge 1 hour or a little less before cooking. The meat cooks better if it’s nearer room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 250 F.

Add a little of the marinade to a medium size frying pan and heat on medium high until the oil shimmers. Add the chops and brown about 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Transfer the meat to an ovenproof plate. Pour off all but a thin film of oil, add ½ cup of the wine and bring to a boil. Return the chops to the pan. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, basting with the pan juices occasionally, until they are tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Return the meat to the ovenproof plate, cover, and set in oven while you finish the potatoes and asparagus.

Prepare the sauce just before serving dinner. Skim as much fat as you can from the braising liquid and pour in the remaining ¼ cup wine. Boil it over high heat, stirring and scraping in any browned bits that cling to the bottom and sides of the pan, until the liquid has reduced to a syrupy glaze.

Off the heat, swirl in the butter and parsley, pour over the pork chops and serve.

Boiled Potatoes
1 Idaho potato per person
1 cup Chicken stock
1 bay leaf or 1 tbsp dried basil
Tap water
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Butter to taste

In a medium size saucepan add chicken stock and the herb you choose. Peel potatoes, rinse, then slice in thirds, place into pot. Add tap water to cover the potatoes by about an inch or so. Too much water and the potatoes will be soggy. Not enough and they’ll be raw on the sections above the water.

Cover the pot and heat on medium until the potatoes come to a boil. Adjust the heat and/or the lid to maintain a decent boil, but not a hard one, until potatoes are fork tender. It takes about 15 minutes after they begin to boil.

Drain and return potatoes to pot. Discard bay leaf. Stir in butter and pepper and serve.

Steamed Asparagus
1 bunch asparagus
½ cup chicken stock
½ cup dry vermouth
Tap water
2 tbsp butter
Metal vegetable steamer

Add chicken stock and dry vermouth to a medium size saucepan. Insert vegetable steamer, then add tap water to just below the bottom holes.

Snap off the ends of the asparagus and trim the spears to fit your saucepan. Add spears and cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat, adjusting the heat to a strong simmer. In 4-5 minutes the asparagus should be crisp tender.

Lay asparagus in a serving bowl, then spread the butter over them and serve.

I’ll be back Friday with another addition to So You Want To Be An Author. Until then…

Happy Cooking!

Sloane Taylor

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