Saturday, May 1, 2010

Celeriac 2 ways, Apple Chop Salad and Fried Pork Chop Dinner

I'm a big fan of sit down Sunday night dinners and I like to make them special. Ian and I usually eat all of our dinners together but during the week I usually make 1 pot 30 minute meals so for the weekends I try to put in a little extra effort.

It all started with this giant celeriac that I bought that was clearly more than what could be consumed by 2 people. So I decided on Celeriac Gratin, which I've already posted the recipe. And I had just read another one of my favourite food bloggers David Lebovitz post for Celeriac Remoulade which I love and used to have to make in vast quantities when I worked at La Baguette and L'Eschalote on Granville Island.

Since both of those dishes are fairly rich with mayo or cheese I had to figure out what would pair well. It just so happened that I these amazing pork chops in the fridge from a recent trip to Organic World in Maple Ridge which is now only place I want to buy meat from. Nicole told me about the place when I was searching for a new raw meat supplier for Boomer as his diet was costing us a fortune in the city. Not only are they inexpensive, they are organic, free range and humane, plus they stock every type of meat you can think of, make their own sausages and sell raw organic dog food for $1.50 per lb. I now have a freezer full of elk, bison, pork, lamb & chicken and Boomer has discovered that he's quite fond of deer liver.

Anyway so I had these gorgeous bone in pork loin chops. What to do, what to do. I started surfing my usual sites and flipping through the Fanny Farmer and I found a couple different recipes for pan fried chops and here's what I did

1/2 cup flour
1⁄4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup canola oil
2 1"-thick pork loin chops (fry with the bone in)
1 tbsp granulated garlic
freshly ground black pepper
kosher salt

Salt & Pepper chops

Mix flour, cornstarch and garlic with a pinch more pepper and salt into a wide shallow dish.

Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge chops in flour mixture, shake off any excess, and fry, turning once, until well browned and cooked through, 5–6 minutes per side. Transfer pork chops to a rack to drain off excess oil, this will keep the coating crisp, don't just drain them directly on paper towel unless would want soggy chops.

Transfer pork chops to a cutting board and cut meat away from bones before plating.

Lastly pork and apple just have to live together, so I made a quick little apple chop salad. I just made this up and it is now a new fave.

1 granny smith apple (buy organic, read about the dirty dozen and you'll know why)
1/2 a lemon juiced
handful fresh chives (I grow my own, they grow like weeds)
1 tbsp Hazelnut oil
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper

dice up the apple, leave the peel on
squeeze lemon over apples
roughly chop chives
toss in oil
salt & pepper lightly

Serve with a healthy dose of Glee or the Fringe and if I wasn't pregnant right now I would recommend a nice cool glass of Riesling.

Two recipes to share

I can't take credit for either of these recipes but I have to share them because they are simply so darn good.

The first one came to me from my friend Nicole who posted it. I tried it and Ian went nuts, literally for them. Now usually I shy away from things that try to be glutton free because I often find the substitute ingredient more offensive than just using flour, but in this case it totally works and makes for an enjoyable cookie experience.

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
(adapted from clean eating magazine)

1 cup almond butter (go to Costco and you can get a giant jar for a very reasonable price)

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds


preheat oven to 350f. line baking sheets with either parchment paper or silpat. racks should be in center of oven.

in medium bowl, stir together the first 5 ingredients until blended. stir in chocolate and almonds.

drop dough by rounded tablespoons, a few inches apart. do not squish these down. they will spread slightly.

bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned.

let them cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet to set up, then transfer to cooling racks.

Now this second recipe is also crazy good, like I mean crazy. I couldn't stop eating it and just thinking about it makes me want to go make more. This is from a blog that I read by Molly Wizenberg who is a Seattle food blogger who just published her first book A Homemade Life and she is co-owner of Delancey which I haven't been to yet but I've heard makes incredible pizza. She has great recipe ideas and I highly recommend reading her blog.

Roasted Rhubarb
Inspired by Canal House Cooking, Volume 3

2 lb. rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 3-inch lengths
½ cup sugar
½ cup crisp white wine
1 vanilla bean, split

Set a rack in the lower third of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350°F.

Put the rhubarb in a Dutch oven or other deep oven-safe pot. Add the sugar, wine, and vanilla bean, and stir to mix. Bake (uncovered) for about 30 minutes, or until very tender, giving the pot a gentle stir about midway through to ensure that the rhubarb cooks evenly.

Note: I like to eat this cold, though I imagine you could also serve it warm.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings, depending on how greedy you are.

I used Red Rooster 2009 Voigner because that's what we had open in the fridge at the time but it worked beautifully. I also didn't have a vanilla bean so I used some vanilla sugar that I had made from another left over vanilla bean and a splash of Watkins Double Strength Vanilla. I also varied the size of the pieces of rhubarb so some of them dissolved into the sauce and others stayed firmer. I started eating it straight out of the pot when it came out of the oven but we had it for dessert with ice cream and ginger snaps that night. I also had it on plain yogurt the next morning with granola. I'm contemplating make more and taking the juice and reducing it down into a syrup. Right now rhubarb is in season and you can likely get a bunch at your local farmers market.

Sorry I didn't take any photos, it was all eaten so quickly :)