Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Balsamic Roasted Strawberries

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For me, one of the fun things about cooking is thinking outside of box and combining flavors to create a wholesome yet interesting  dish. Sometimes, you get to combine ingredients and flavors that don’t seem like they should go together. Yes, of course, this  can sound a bit strange, like dill pickles and maple syrup. But let’s consider meat and fruit. You might recall some classic dishes, such as turkey with cranberry sauce, lemon pepper chicken, and more. These familiar meat and fruit pairings are delicious, yet the idea of using both fruit and meal in the same dish is undoubtedly a little controversial. You might know that someone who cannot forgive the crime of putting pineapples and ham on pizza.

However, let’s not worry about that….for now.

Intuitively, there are some meat and fruit combinations that  you might not consider  to be perfect flavor companions, but you will find that their sweet and salty relationship does work: fruit adds a sweetness or even tartness to the salty meat. The main challenge with fruit and meat is finding the right combinations. When the right types of fruit and meat are paired with each other, this extra contrasting dimension enhances the flavor and appeal of the dish.

So that brings us full circle back around to pork and strawberries.

Pork comes in many forms and when paired with fruit, the combinations are endless.Traditionally, pork pairs well with fruits like apples, apricots, cranberries, currants, dried cherries, dried figs, mangoes, oranges, peaches, pears, pineapple, plums,  and even quice. But  very few people will intutively think  of  strawberries being paired with pork. The technique of roasting brings out the sweetness in strawberries, making them a delicious accompaniment to spice-rubbed, pan-seared pork chops.This unusual  combination will not only impress yourself  but your family as well.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Strawberries:
1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved widthwise
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste

For the Pork Chops:
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
¼ tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
Four  1 ½ – 2 pounds bone-in center cut pork chops
¼ cup fresh mint leaves, for garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment. On prepared pan, toss the strawberries with the shallots, brown sugar, and oil. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Roast 10–12 minutes, until strawberries are soft.

Season on both sides of the pork chops  with salt . To  a small bowl, add  the cumin, coriander, and cayenne. Mix to combine. Rub the seasoning all over the pork chops. Make sure to wash your hands. 

In a large cast iron skillet, add the oil and heat on medium high until the oil is shimmering. Add the pork chops to the skillet and cook 5 minutes per side, until cooked through. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.

To serve, arrange the pork chops on a platter and ladle the roasted strawberries on top of the chops. Garnish with the mint and enjoy.

 

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Roasted Turkey Legs with Root Vegetable Mash

Roasted turkey leg recipe

Served up as a large dish to share, this edible mountain made up of turkey legs, pancetta and a root vegetable mash  will bring a sense of adventure to your dinner table. This imaginative recipe makes a delicious centrepiece for a Christmas dinner.

Recipe Adapted from
Lisa Goodwin-Allen

Great British Chefs

November 2019

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
For the Turkey Drumsticks:
3 turkey drumsticks,  1 1/2 pounds (800g) each
1 large onion, large dice
2 carrots, large dice
2 celery stalks, large dice
2 garlic cloves, bruised
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 sprig of rosemary
1 bay leaf
4 1/2 cups (1000ml) chicken stock
2 1/3 cups (500ml)   apple juice
A pinch of salt
A pinch of ground black pepper

For the Root Vegetable Mash:
3 large potatoes, peeled and large dice
4 carrots, peeled and large dice
2 parsnips, peeled and medium dice
2 1/2 tablespoons (30g) of butter
3/4 cups (150ml) of milk
1 tablespoon of whole grain mustard
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of ground black pepper

For Serving:
2-3 cauliflower florets
2 slices of pancetta or bacon

Directions:
Preheat the oven to  300º F (150˚C/Gas Mark 2).

For the turkey, place the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and herbs in a deep roasting tray.

Combine the chicken stock and apple juice in a pan and bring to the boil.

Season the drumsticks with salt and pepper and place them on top of the vegetables and herbs and pour in the hot stock, ensuring half of the turkey drumsticks are submerged and the other half are exposed. Cover with foil and place in the oven for 40 minutes.Remove from the oven, take off the foil and turn the drumsticks over. Return to the oven, uncovered, for 50 minutes to 1 hour – until the meat is cooked and tender and the exposed part of the turkey drumstick is nicely browned

Meanwhile, lay each slice of pancetta down on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Place another piece of baking parchment on top, followed by a tray to press down – this will stay on top during the cooking to prevent the pancetta from curling while cooking. Place in the same oven as the turkey for 20-25 minutes until golden and crispy.

For the root vegetable mash, place the potatoes, carrots and parsnips in a saucepan and cover with cold water

Bring to a gentle boil and cook until tender, approximately 10-15 minutes. Drain in a colander and allow to steam for 5 minutes.

Return to the pan and place over a low heat, adding the butter, milk, mustard, salt and pepper. Once combined, remove from the heat and mash as desired

By this time the turkey should almost be ready. Remove the pan from the oven and take the drumsticks out of the liquid and place on some kitchen towel to absorb excess moisture. Reserve the liquid.

To serve, spoon the mash across the center of a large dish or serving platter.

Using a pair of tongs, arrange the turkey drumsticks onto the mash with the small ends sticking up and meeting in the middle to form the peak of the mountain. Garnish with the crispy pancetta.

Using a fine grater or micro-plane, grate the cauliflower over the final dish to make ‘snow’ and serve with the braising liquid as gravy, on the side in a gravy boat.

 

 

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All photographs and content, excepted where noted, are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

Thank you so much!

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Braised Pork Loin

Pork Loin Braised with Mushrooms and Wine Recipe
Photo Credit: Greg DuPree, Food&Wine Magazine, 2019.
all-you-need-sm-300x225With the growing interest in Corsican wines we’re seeing these days, there’s also been an interest in Corsican food, which  is just as unique as the wines.  Corsica, is also known for some of the best  charcutiers in the world. These culinary artisans make traditional smoked hams with names like PanzettaLonzu, and Figatellu, from a native race of pigs (Nustrale) raised in semi-liberty i-wild n the mountains and eat a steady diet of chestnuts from the forests. The meat is then smoked over chestnut wood and the result is simply outstanding charcuterie with strong flavors and a texture that melts like butter.