Saturday, December 20, 2008

Pan Sauteed Pork Chops with Braised Fennel and Gorgonzola

Simplicity is the order of the day around here. This time of year and the year that we are having dictates some sort of simplicity would be welcome anywhere.

And that is the beauty of this dish.

This easy method of cooking pork chops on top of the stove presented last year by Terry B of Blue Kitchen makes a flavorful chop.

The addition of braised fennel and salty sweet Gorgonzola run under the broiler at the last minute takes the chop to an elegant finish.





Braised Fennel with Gorgonzola
Adapted from Kitchen Conversations by Joyce Goldstein

A couple of good swirls extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp butter
2 small heads fennel, sliced thinly
1 tbsp garlic confit, smashed
A good splash dry white wine
½ cup homemade chicken stock
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 ounce Gorgonzola, crumbled

Heat a medium saute pan and add the swirls of extra virgin olive oil. And butter. Add the fennel and garlic confit. Cook over medium heat until golden, about 10 minutes. Add the wine and let reduce down, about five minutes. Add the chicken stock and cover the pan. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove top and let simmer until chops are done.

Pan Sautéed Pork Chops
Adapted from Blue Kitchen
1 tsp fennel seed, crushed
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 to 4 bone-in pork chops, about 8 ounces each
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tbsp butter

Heat a large cast iron (or ovenproof) skillet to medium. Add olive oil. Terry says the oil will start to shimmer (and it does!), stir in fennel seed and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pat chops dry and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium-high and add the pork chops , directly on top of herb/garlic mixture. Cover pan and cook chops undisturbed for 5 minutes. Turn chops, cover pan, reduce heat to medium and cook until just cooked through, about 5 minutes for chops 3/4-inch thick.

When chops are done, put braised fennel on top and sprinkle Gorgonzola over the top. Run under the broiler until Gorgonzola melts, no more than five minutes tops.


Serves 2-4 depending on how many chops you cook!

One Year Ago on Feeding Groom

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lamb Curry

I could tell you that I took a grand picture of this divine lamb curry elegantly served on fine china, possibly the best pic I've done yet, but it didn’t turn out and you would believe me.

But I didn’t.

I took pictures all the way up to when I added the stock and whisked in the Greek yogurt.

And it curdled.

Time stopped. Hysteria ensued.

Cats hid under the piano.

But wait, what would any self respecting food blogger do?


Talk about the incredible flavors this lamb curry has.

Cardamon, cinnamon, bay leaf, garam masala, ginger and garlic… spicy cloves, onion, tomato, smoky hot cayenne.

Talk the ease of prep. Slam bam thank you ma’am. Easy peasy. Cooks like a dream.

And vow to make again til the yogurt whisking becomes second nature.

Lamb Curry
Adapted from Sue L.’s 2002 version in Recipezaar

2 lbs boneless lamb, cut into nice chunks
A couple of good swirls extra virgin olive oil
1 large sweet yellow onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 large cinnamon stick
1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
1 tbsp ground cardamom
2 tbsp chopped fresh garlic
1 large spoonful garlic confit or 4 big fat cloves garlic, smashed
1 smallish green chile, seeded and chopped (I used jalapeno)
Splash of water
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp garam masala
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup chopped fresh tomato
½ cup Greek yogurt
3 cups chicken stock (if you have lamb stock or beef stock you could use it or just water)
Chopped fresh cilantro

In a good sized Dutch oven, heat the swirls of extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat and add the bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon stick, cloves and peppercorns. When the bay leaves start to cook and release their aromas, reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and cook for about 15 minutes until the onions are golden. In a blender, put ginger, garlic, green chile, and a splash of water. Grind to make a paste.

Raise heat to medium high, add the lamb and the ginger paste and combine well. Season the lamb with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook for about 20 minutes. If the lamb starts to stick, add a bit of liquid to the pan. In my case it was a bit of Shiraz for lack of anything else nearby.

Add turmeric, garam masala, cayenne, tomatoes and coriander and another splash of nearby liquid (aka Shiraz) to keep from sticking and cook for five minutes. Remove lamb from pan and add the stock, raising the heat to high and reduce sauce down about half. Whisk the yogurt into the sauce, add lamb back into the pan and heat over low til flavors blend and you’ve quit freaking out over the yogurt curdling.

Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.

Serve with jasmine rice, some wondrous homemade mango chutney and candlelight.

Serves 4.

One Year Ago on Feeding Groom

Thursday, December 4, 2008

FG's Chicken Fajita Pasta

Comfort food.

Sometimes you need it because you’ve had a bad day at work.

Sometimes you need it because trying to create something exotic and grand to eat seems positively akin to having a bad day at work.

Then again, sometimes you need it because, well, it’s familiar, tasty, easy, and comforting.

Comforting because you’ll probably have the ingredients in your pantry and freezer.

A little Mexican, a little Italian, a lot of good.

Comfort food.

FG’s Chicken Fajita Pasta

1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp medium chile powder
1 tbsp Spanish hot paprika
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
1-½ tsp garlic powder
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into long strips
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into long strips
1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into long strips
1 medium Spanish onion, cut in half and then cut into strips
A couple of good swirls extra virgin olive oil
5 boneless chicken thighs, cut into strips
1 14 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
Penne for three people, ready to cook
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
An avocado, peeled and cut up (if you like)
A handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
Your favorite salsa
Greek yogurt or sour cream

Combine seasonings in small bowl. Rub into the chicken thigh pieces and let sit while you cook the veggies. Swirl extra virgin olive oil in cast iron pan and when oil is wavy add the onion and peppers and cook until soft. Remove from pan and add a bit more olive oil. Add the chicken pieces and cook on one side til golden and turn and cook on the other side.

Start the pasta water and when boiling add the penne and cook 10 minutes.

When the chicken is done, add the peppers and onions back to the cast iron pan and the black beans. Let simmer until pasta is done.

Drain the pasta, reserving ½ cup of the cooking water. Add pasta to the chicken and veggie mix along with the reserved pasta water. Stir well and cover for five minutes over low heat to allow pasta to absorb the flavors.

Serve with shredded sharp cheddar cheese, avocado, cilantro, chopped tomatoes, your favorite salsa and a blop of Greek yogurt or sour cream.

Serves 3 generously.

One Year Ago on Feeding Groom

Monday, December 1, 2008

Chili Rubbed Short Ribs with Kale

The last weekend of November, cold and damp.

Warm, toasty fire.

Spicy smells in the kitchen for hours.

A good book.

An easy meal with inspiration from Bobby Flay.

Not a turkey in sight.

We’re thankful.

Chile Rubbed Short Ribs with Kale
Adapted from Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill Cookbook

1 Tbsp medium hot chile powder
1 Tbsp ancho chili powder
1 Tbsp chipotle chili powder
Two good pinches coarse salt
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp smoked sweet paprika
2 tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
½ large red onion, coarsely chopped
½ large Vidalia onion, coarsely chopped
3 pounds bone in short ribs
3 large carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup red wine
4 cups chicken stock
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 large spoonful garlic confit
1 bunch kale, chopped

Preheat oven to 325.

Mix together the chile powders, salt, cinnamon, paprika and pepper in bowl. Rub the spice mix into one side of the ribs. Heat a couple of good swirls extra virgin olive oil in Dutch oven until wavy. When wavy, add the short ribs to the pan and cook until a crust forms on all sides. Remove from pan.

Add the onions, garlic confit, carrots, and celery. Cook until golden and add the wine. Bring to a boil and reduce down til wine is almost gone and then add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Add the ribs to pan and cover.

Put in oven and cook until meat is tender and falls off the bone. 2-2-½ hours.

Remove short ribs from pan and defat the sauce. Place over medium high heat and add kale. Cook for 15 minutes. Lower heat to medium and add short ribs back to pan, heat for about 10 minutes and serve. Wonderful with smashed potatoes.

Serves 4 generously.

One Year Ago on Feeding Groom