Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Braised Pork Chops, test run of Thanksgiving gluten free Stuffing & THE BEST KALE EVER

This afternoon I began regretting not sticking my meat CSA pork chops in a brine. To be honest, pork chops are not my most favorite cut of meat - can anything compete with pork belly? - but part of the fun of a month bag of meat is the adventure. I also decided that it was due time to spot check my stuffing recipe before next Thursday. Craving something green, kale made it into the shopping basket and away we go!

Gluten Free Stuffing
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced
1 rib of celery, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 tbsp of dried herbs (this looks like a lot, do not panic, I am serious, gluten free bread is boring)
I went with Italian seasonings, but sage or thyme would be lovely
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp butter (or veggie oil if you need it dairy free)
2 1/2 cups cubed, toasted gluten free bread (I used Enjoy Life's white rice bread)
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
salt & pepper to taste

1. Sweat the onion, celery and carrot in 1 tbsp oil in a large pot. (You want room for the stirring)
2. Once the onions become translucent, add in the dried herbs, garlic and a few pinches of salt.
3. After 2 minutes, add in the butter, or extra oil, and toasted bread and stir to coat the bread.
4. Add in the stock - it is going to look like too much liquid - and turn off the heat.
5. Let the mixture rest for at least 5 minutes. Almost all of the liquid should be absorbed, but there might be some slopping around. This is ok. Gluten free bread is dense and needs a bunch of liquid. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Put into a greased baking dish and bake at 350F till golden brown, about 30 minutes. I didn't pack it in, so if you have a lot more stuffing, in a bigger casserole, it will take longer.

Put it in the oven and start on the meat!

Cider braised pork chops
2 pork chops
half of an onion, sliced
1/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup water or chicken stock
1 tsp dried sage
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp potato starch, mixed in water

1. Salt the pork chops and in a really hot heavy bottom skillet (caste iron is great) sear the pork chops.
2. Flip the pork chops over, throw in the sliced onions, sage, cider and stock/water into the skillet.
3. Place the skillet into a 375F oven to braise.
4. When the pork chops are almost cooked through, remove them from the pan.
5. Bring the pan drippings up to a simmer and add in the apple cider vinegar and a bit of the potato starch slurry - while constantly stirring.
6. Continue to simmer until sauce thickens. Serve over rested pork chops.

(I recommend keeping a better eye on them than I did. I over did em)

1 lb. kale, deveined and chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil
half a small onion, sliced
handful of pecans
handful of golden raisins
1/4-1/2 tsp Aleppo chili
salt to taste
1 tbsp water

1. Saute the onion in oil till it begins to brown.
2. Add a few pinches of salt in the pot and throw in the pecans to toast.
3. Add in the Aleppo, raisins and kale. Stir over medium-high heat.
4. Add in water (if necessary) to help cook the kale quickly. Remove from heat before its completely cooked - the goal is to keep the green color, before it starts turning a muddy brown, but not have it raw. If you are worried, err on the side of raw, seriously.

(My stove is dirty because it us used. I see this as a point of pride.)

I think this worked so well because there was the sourness in the pork chop sauce right next to it. So good.

Oh yeah, and then there were baked apples. (In my new yellow pyrex!)

Baked Apples
4 apples cored
ground cinnamon
ground allspice
brown sugar

1. Place the apples in baking dish.
2. Sprinkle with allspice and cinnamon.
3. Fill the center with brown sugar (you are going for 1-2 tbsp an apple).
4. Put a pat of butter (<1 tbsp) on each apple.
5. Sprinkle again with cinnamon.
6. Bake in a 350F oven for 30-45 minutes or until the apples are soft but not mushy, well unless you like mushy.
Let these cook for at least 5 minutes before eating.

Its bubbly and too hot to eat. SERIOUSLY HOLD OFF FOR A FEW MINUTES. But don't forget to spoon some of the butter & sugar sauce over your apple!

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