Who's That Girl

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WHO'S THAT GIRL: A higher education obsessed foodie who is documenting her life in the kitchen. I love to cook delicious, gourmet-style foods for those I love and always welcome a challenge in the kitchen. With that challenge comes an impromptu nature. I tend to avoid following recipes to the exact, so you are not likely to find very many posted here. Being that I am a Libra and am learning to be free in the kitchen, the story always goes, "A pinch of this and a smattering of that!" Thank you for visiting -- and happy reading!

Friday, October 8, 2010

SAVEUR: Elegant Pork Chops

The October edition of Saveur arrived about a week ago and gracing its cover is what the magazine called "elegant pork chops" -- a conglomeration of brown sugar, soy sauce, molasses, ketchup and dry mustard, among other ingredients.

This is only my second month producing the Saveur cover dish -- and, frankly, I wasn't overly enthusiastic. I wanted something a bit more involved; something that would challenge my culinary skills, requiring at least 15 ingredients, three to five cooking processes and a dozen or so different type of cooking instruments.

Alas, this dish was surprisingly easy to make, yet bold and masterful in its flavor.

But I didn't do it quite right.

First of all, finding thick bone-in pork chops in Tucson had proven to be difficult. In the end, I put in a special order with the butcher at 17th Street Market. He said he would be able to get them in this week, but that he could not guarantee that the bone would be included.

No worries, I figured. And, honestly, the only benefit I could see given the cooking method is that the bone would have been more visually appealing.

I set up my work station with Last.fm playing lounge music. I pretty much followed the recipe's ingredients, but skimmed quite a bit on the ketchup and brown sugar. I cut back on some of the other ingredients because I also was only making two -- not four -- of these hunkin' chops. Honestly, I could not believe the size of these. The specks I gave the butcher were 1.5 inches. I could have gone with less than that.

Ah well -- first try.

Along with it, I made my first risotto! But I think I overcooked the rice to the point that the sugars began turning into starch. It was a beautiful taste, but too sticky for comfort.

For the risotto, I used vegetable broth and also sweet onions, leeks, portobello mushrooms and dried cranberries with a pinch of salt and some feta. Quite simple, really. But the flavor was quite luscious, yet still light. And I did not use Arborio rice, but sweet rice.

Because I did not follow the recipe to the exact, the sauce did not reduce to the point that it was a nice, soft, syrupy coating.

Yes, call me hard-headed.

But there was this wonderful caramelization effect beginning on the edges of each cut. Just amazing, really, to the point where I literally wanted to call home just to say, "Can you believe what I did this time?!"

Because I was expecting this to be somewhat of a heavy meal, I had to do something else. For a palate cleanser, I tossed a bowl of tomatoes with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and cottage cheese. Then Nancy and I set up the meal at the coffee table in the living room and prepped to enjoy a surprisingly flavorful meal.


  1. Beautifully caramelized...looks really good!

  2. Looks like you did good work. As for the risotto, it's supposed to be starchy, although perhaps that's not entirely to your taste.

  3. Oh boy, now you have me wishing I could run off and make these pork chops! Yum!

  4. Awww -- thank you. And I will work to improve the risotto.


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