Posts Tagged With: griddle

Don’t Rush a Pig

 

Pork chops were on sale, so even though I didn’t have meat on my grocery list, I brought a package home with me.  Since there were six huge chops I separated them into zipper-seal bags and put them into the freezer. One morning I left two of the pork chops in the refrigerator so that they would thaw in time for dinner. A few recipes claim that you can prepare tasty pork chops in just ten minutes with only salt and pepper for seasoning, so I decided to see if it would work.

However, when my husband emailed me to see if he could help get anything ready for our evening meal, I googled to see if there were any interesting marinades. Ideas for “Summer pork” included fruity combinations as well as mustard-soy-worchestershire mixtures.  Joel mixed together the ingredients in a list that I emailed to him and when I got home from the office the pork had been absorbing the flavors for about an hour.  All I had to do was heat our stove-top griddle and throw the chops on.

Maybe I wasn’t patient enough. The pork chop did not want to let go of the griddle after cooking for five minutes on one side. I put a cover over the meat to see if capturing some moisture would help it release; no luck.  Eventually, I was able to force the pork chop off and flip it over, but when we cut into our pieces the flavor had not penetrated the meat. Also, it took several days of soaking and scrubbing to get the bits of burnt-on pork off my griddle.

Pork chops take two.

The next weekend, our grocery store’s flyer was advertising their “buy theirs get ours free” offer. One of the items was barbeque sauce. If you purchased a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce they would give you a bottle of the grocery store brand for free. They hoped that you would compare the two and notice that their version was just as good as the “real” name brand product.  Sweet Baby Ray’s has quite a few interesting-sounding flavors to choose from, but I stuck with the classic regular one.

At first, I thought that I would just throw the rest of my frozen pork chops into the crockpot and let them cook until they were tender enough to shred for pulled pork sandwiches. I couldn’t remember if you were supposed to put the barbeque sauce in the whole time you were cooking the meat or if you were to wait and just mix it in at the end. So, I looked it up.

While looking, I ran across a recipe that cooked potatoes along with the meat. Cooking two-thirds of your meal in one slow cooker sounded like a good idea to me. The author(ess) suggested greasing the inside of the crockpot and layering sliced potatoes, sliced onion, pork chops and bacon. Barbecue sauce goes between the layers. You let these ingredients cook on the high setting for 4 hours. Then you are to add cheese for the last 10 minutes. I decided to keep things simple and leave out the bacon and cheese.

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The moisture from the pork drops to the bottom of the slow cooker, mixes with the barbeque sauce, and boils the potatoes. The liquid was a bit runny after the first 4 hours of cooking. But we didn’t eat it until the next day, and when I reheated the mixture it had thickened enough that I didn’t need to add any roux or cornstarch.  A bag of steamed peas added some color to the plate.

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We enjoyed the meal, but next time I might let the meat cook a bit longer, because I like fall-off-the-bone tender pork.

Categories: Food and drink, Pork, Potato, sauces & condiments | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seasonal Cheese

Seasonal items can be frustrating or fun. For a few weeks, Aldi will sell a cheese that you may not have heard of, unless you’re somewhat familiar with the Spanish language. They are selling it along with other items that they categorize as Mexican and that they are marketing as foods for your Cinco de Mayo celebration. For $3.99 you can take 16 oz. of cotija home with you.cotija

This grated white cheese is something that I was introduced to while living in South America.  Cotija can be used to make a griddle-cooked corn meal patty whose name, arepa, sounds much tastier in the native tongue.

You’ll also need arepa harina if you decide to try your hand at making these treats. Don’t get confused and either buy Mexican masa harina used for tamales) or substitute American corn meal.  Some regular grocery stores carry arepa harina in their International aisle.

Tonight, the coolness of the Spring evening convinced me that a steaming mug of hot chocolate and a couple of freshly cooked arepas wouldn’t be a bad idea.

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Categories: Cheese, Colombian, Food and drink, Shopping | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Norwegian for Leftovers?

IMG_2486My mother let me keep this rolling pin when I found it in one of her kitchen drawers. I assumed that it was for making egg noodles.

Julia Child, or rather one of her books tells me that it is actually used for making lefse.

If you haven’t spent time in Norway, you might not be familiar with that term.   Lefse  refers to a thin, slightly sweet, tortilla-like potato flatbread.

Although I’ve never been to any Scananavian country, my husband and I did spend about ten years in the Twin Cities. Minnesota has a great number of Norwegians living in the state and they aren’t shy about sharing their traditions.  One of my favorite things to do during the Christmas season was to attend a special holiday chapel at one of the Lutheran colleges.  Afterwards everyone was invited to taste a variety of treats.

But you didn’t have to attend the Velkommen Jul Celebration in order to enjoy lefse. Finding packets of stacks of lefse in a normal grocery store was not uncommon.

Now that I live in Pennsylvania, it might be easier to make them from scratch. I’ll have to practice my rolling and flouring technique a bit more in order to get the right thickness (thinness?) down.

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Categories: Bread, Breakfast, Food and drink, Potato | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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