The last three months have not been lost, culinarilly speaking anyway. I’m not sure that’s a word, oh well. Even though the time has flown by in a flash cultivating recipes has evolved into a number of good meals.
Given it has been unusually cold here in the tropics, hearty flavorful dishes consumed my thoughts. Pork chops with Apple, Rye stuffing and melted Vermont cheddar, Crabmeat and Brie fettuccine, and the absolutely to die for spinach enchiladas with avocado and tomatillo green sauce from a little hole in the wall Mexican restaurant that I have finally figured out. I want to tell you which is not so easy and I would necessarily try to crack a Mexican recipe, but holy smokes, this one is so good that it became a necessity if not a personal challenge. I also went to my first Todd English restaurant where I sampled a fig, prosciutto, gorgonzola, flatbread, so flavorful and rich, it just made your taste bud’s dance. I had to come home and make one. I added some green apples for brightness and good crunch, which gave it a freshness, a plus. I think for this entry I will share the pork chop recipe with some sides, Date & Goat Cheese Salad, Roasted asparagus, yellow squash, fingerling potatoes garlic, lemon, and grape tomatoes, and Commander’s Palace Bread pudding with whiskey sauce. Warms the soul, doesn’t it….
Pork chops with Apple, Rye Stuffing topped with Sharp Vermont Cheddar
Olive oil, about 1/4 of a cup
4 thick, boneless pork chops
butter, about 3 tablespoons
1 medium onion chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled, and minced
3 slices of rye bread with the seeds, cubed
2 green apples cored and slices then slice in half
3 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled*
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
salt to taste
pepper to taste
four thick slices of Cabot sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 400
In a sauté pan, preheat with the olive oil. Salt & Pepper the pork chops on both sides and brown. Remove to a buttered baking dish. In the same sauté pan, cook your bacon, remove, when cool crumble then melt the butter in the same pan you add the onions, celery, and garlic until the onions are just translucent. Add the bread cubes and the apples, mix until coated. Sprinkle the thyme and poultry seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, mix well. Let cook 3 minutes more and top the pork chops with all the stuffing. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the chops are just cooked through and then top with the cheddar and broil until the cheddar is all melty, good being careful not to char the stuffing that has fallen down around the bottom of the baking dish….serve
Date, Goat Cheese Salad
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 cups mixed baby greens, about 3/4 pound,
8 dried dates ( 1 cup), pitted and cut lengthwise into thin strips
6 ounces soft goat cheese, cut into pieces at room temperature
Make vinaigrette: In a small bowl whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, pepper, and salt to taste and add oil in a stream, whisking until emulsified. Vinaigrette may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring vinaigrette to room temperature and whisk before proceeding.
In a bowl toss greens with vinaigrette and divide among 8 salad plates. Top salads with dates and goat cheese
Roasted asparagus, fingerling potatoes, yellow squash, garlic lemon, and grape tomatoes
2 pounds pencil asparagus, woody ends trimmed
2 cups small whole fingerling potatoes*, washed
2 cups sliced yellow squash, washed
2 cups grape tomatoes, washed and stemmed
12 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 lemon, sliced in rounds then halfed
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the asparagus, potatoes, squash, tomatoes and garlic. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with the kosher salt and pepper. Toss to coat, then transfer to a large baking sheet with sides. Drizzle the lemon juice over the asparagus, add the lemon half’s to the pan, and place in the oven. Roast until the asparagus are tender and the tomatoes begin to caramelize, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot or at room temperature.
*try to use a fingerling potatoe that is a different color from the rest of your ingredients, like a red or purple.
Commander’s Palace Bread Pudding Recipe
For the Bread Pudding:
1 Cup Sugar
1/4 tsp Freshly grated Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
6 Cups French Bread, cut inot 1 inch cubes (be sure it’s a light bread, meaning not too dense)
1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, softened
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Butter a square cake pan with the butter.
Mix together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a small bowl.
In a large Mixing bowl whisk the eggs, then whisk in the cream and vanilla extract. Fold in the bread cubes being sure to not break them up too much. The trick to this recipe is to make sure all of the bread soaks up the custard, and that you don’t overcook it.
Place the prepared mixture into the cake pan, cover with foil and place the cake pan into a larger pan, sufficient enough to allow for a water bath which will cover the smaller pan by half way.
Place the pans into the oven and bake for 2 hours. Remove the foil and raise the temperature to 300 degrees for 1 hour more or until the top of the pudding is golden brown.
The finished pudding should be slightly firm, while moist, but not runny.
Serve warm with Whiskey sauce, recipe below.
Makes 4 servings.
Whiskey Sauce Recipe
1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
2 tsp Cornstarch
2 Tbsp Water
a few drop of Vanilla extract
1/3 Cup Bourbon
1/3 Cup Sugar
Mix together the water and cornstarch. Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan. While boiling slowly whisk in the cornstarch slurry, when the sauce is thickened remove from the heat and add the vanilla, bourbon and sugar. Set aside to cool to room temperature