Monday, March 30, 2009

Pigaerator Pork Chops

Pigaerator Pork Chops

Submitted by Sally Williams (South Arlington Buying Club)

This recipe uses a cooking technique called brining. Brining is a process that is similar to marinating but uses a salt and water solution to hydrate and tenderize the meat. This is a great technique for not only pork chops but also boneless skinless chicken breasts. The salt to water ratio is important to stick to but any spice combination can work wonderfully with the brine.


6 tablespoons Kosher salt

6 tablespoons brown sugar

15 (small handful) dried juniper berries

10 fresh sage leaves

2 gloves peeled and crushed garlic

½ cup boiling water

2 quarts cold water

Fresh ground pepper

Pork Chops

1 Tablespoon olive oil

4 1/2lb. pork chops

Place salt, brown sugar, juniper berries, sage leaves and garlic in a large boil and pour ½ cup boiling water over the mixture. Whisk until salt and sugar start to dissolve. Add the 2 quarts of cold water and whisk until all salt and sugar is thoroughly combined.

Submerge the 4 chops into the brine (sometimes, in order to keeps the chops submerged, it is necessary to place a heavy bowl over them), cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

Remove the pork chops from the brine, rinse well under cold water and pat dry. Preheat a heavy skillet or grill to medium high. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and let it get hot. Place the pork chops in skillet and cook for 4 minutes each side (or longer depending on preference).

Remove the chops from the skillet, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes.

Serving Suggestions: Pistachio and onion pilaf and roasted spiced carrots.

Pistachio and Rice Pilaf

¼ cup shelled pistachios

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 chopped onion

1 cup long grain white rice

2 ¼ cups water

Salt to taste

¼ finely chopped parsley

Ground pepper

Preheat a small skillet on medium. Add the shelled pistachios and toast for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Coarsely chop the toasted nuts and reserve.

Preheat a medium sized saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and let it get hot. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent. Add the rice and stir. Add the 2 ¼ cups water and salt and bring to a boil. Stir once and cover with a lid. Cook for 20 minutes (or according to directions on the rice packet). Remove from heat and add the pistachios, parsley and ground pepper. Combine all ingredients well and serve.

Roasted Spiced Carrots

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Pinch of cinnamon

Salt and Pepper to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

8-10 peeled carrots

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, ginger, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and pepper and reserve.

Cut the carrots in to 2 inch long pieces on an angle. Place carrots on a sheet pan and toss with the olive oil and spice mixture. Place in the oven and roast for 20 -25 minutes, shaking the pan once after about 15 minutes. When the carrots are brown and beginning to caramelize remove from the oven and serve.

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