Sunday, October 16, 2005


Adapted from Jacques Pepin's book, Fast-Food My Way

Serves 6-8

2 bags angel hair coleslaw
1 cup freshly grated carrot
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tsp poppy seeds
2 tbs sugar
3/4 tsp table salt
1/2 teaspoon Frank's Red Hot Original, Cayenne Pepper Sauce

Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly in a bowl and refrigerate a minimum of 20 minutes. This coleslaw is best served after one hour of refrigeration but will keep up to two days.

Note: When kept longer, it renders some liquid.

Pan-Seared, Thick-Cut Pork Chops

from Cooks Illustrated Online, September 1999
Serves 4

This is a very similiar cooking technique to AB's Pan-Seared Rib Eye; the result is a crispy, caramelized pork chop that is tender and juicy. Roroc and I like to make these for breakfast and serve them with homemade applesauce on Sunday mornings.

3/4 cup dark brown sugar (lightly packed)
1/4 cup kosher salt
4 bone-in rib loin pork chops (12-ounces each), 1 1/2-inches-thick
2 tablespoons canola oil

In a gallon-sized zipper-lock plastic bag, dissolve sugar and salt in room-temperature water. Add pork chops and then seal bag, pressing out as much air as possible; refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes, but not more than 1 hour. Remove chops from brine, and dry thoroughly with paper towels.

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees.

When oven is hot, heat oil in 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet (I prefer my enameled cast iron Le Creuset) over medium high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Place chops in skillet; cook until well-browned and nice crust has formed on surface, about 3-4 minutes (there is no need to salt and pepper the chops as the brine will sufficiently season the meat). Turn chops over with tongs; cook until well-browned and a nice crust has formed on second side, about 3-4 minutes longer.

Turn the chops over again and transfer the skillet to the preheated oven. Roast 4-5 minutes, and turn the chops. Roast 4-5 more minutes and remove from the oven.

On a platter or a plate with a small plate turned upside down in the center, transfer the chops and lay them at an angle so that the juice will run off; cover loosely with foil (be sure not to wrap foil tightly around meat), and let rest about 5 minutes. (Check internal temperature; it should register at least 145 degrees).

Serve on warmed plates and enjoy!

Note: If the chops aren’t being cooked immediately after brining, simply wipe off the excess brine, place the them on a wire rack set on top of a rimmed sheet pan, and keep them in the refrigerator, uncovered, to air dry for up to 3 hours.

Basic Applesauce

from Everyday Food - October 2005
Delicious when served with Pan-Seared Pork Chops

Makes 4 cups; Prep time: 20 minutes; Total time: 45 minutes

3 pounds apples (try a combination of Gala, Golden Delicious, and McIntosh)
1 cinnamon stick
4 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (optional)

Peel, core, and cut apples into 1/2-inch-thick slices . In a large saucepan (I use my signed Paul La Rocca Fissler saucier), combine apples with cinnamon stick, sugar, and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender, 30 to 35 minutes. (If sauce begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, add 2 to 4 tablespoons more water.)

Remove from heat; discard cinnamon stick. Stir in 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice. If apples are still mostly intact and not yet a sauce, continue to stir and break-up slices with a wooden spoon until the consistency is a chunky sauce.

Note: Because Apples are typically high in pesticides, I would recommend you use organic apples if possible.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Cream Cheese Frittata

Cream Cheese Frittata
from Everyday Food - October 2005

Serves 2-3 people

2 tsp olive oil
2 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 small red bell pepper, ribs and seeds discarded, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
3 large eggs
1/4 cup half-and-half
4 ounces cream cheese (1/2 bar), cubed
2 ounces cheddar cheese (1/2 cup), shredded
2 slices white sandwich bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (1 cup)
coarse salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil ini a small (8 inch) oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Cook mushrooms, bell pepper, onion, and garlic until almost tender, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and let cool slightly (reserve skillet).

To mixture in bowl, add eggs, half-and-half, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, bread, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; stil until combined. (There may be a few chunks of cream cheese remaining).

Pour egg mixture into reserved skillet; bake until set, about 30 minutes. Heat broiler, and broil until top is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving.

Serve this Italian-style baked omelet for breakfast or with a green salad for lunch.

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