Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pork Chops with Negra Modelo Glaze and Pecan Rice

I know I have said that I am a "chef" but I just realized that none of my cooking has made it to this page.  Since I cook most days at the restaurant, most of my "cooking" at the house happens in the wee hours of the morning and involves heating up various microwave options or food I take from the restaurant. But I do love cooking for my friends, family and of course myself. But I also love eating at lots of different restaurants with not having to worry about planning a meal for once. On my recent day off I decided to raid my fridge, which doesn't have much, and make myself some lunch.

I did find a nice hunk of pork loin which I do like having in my fridge because I always like to cut my own loin chops opposed to buying the pre-cut ones in the store. The loin is usually cheaper by the pound, and will last longer in the fridge if it is whole. I also like to be able to control the thickness of my chops. After cutting my chops it was time to figure out how I wanted to cook these bad boys.


After scrimping together a few things I decided to go with what I would consider to be my usual suspects: butter, onion, garlic, Kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper, and beer, usually a darker beer because they give richer flavors. While I like crazy, new flavor combinations, when I am at home simple is key. Butter makes everything better, and onion and garlic are staples in starting most of my dishes.

After a liberal seasoning of salt & pepper on both sides of the chops, I got the skillet as hot as I could. Adding a tablespoon, allowing it to brown a little, the pork chops then join the party to get a nice hard sear on each side. Once the chops get a nice brown crust, they are removed from the pan and allowed to rest while the rest of the flavors are built in the pan.

The minced onions and smashed garlic are next into the brown butter bath. They saute until the softened. One of my favorite smells in a kitchen is that initial hint of sweetness when garlic hits a hot pan. It gets the mouth watering and ready to eat. Once soft, about half the bottle of Negra Modelo is added and begins to reduce with the vegetables.

As the beer reduces, I also add two of my favorite condiments in cooking. Honey is something I almost always use when I want to add sweetness to anything. Crystal is the hot sauce I grew up in my house. My father put this stuff on everything (popcorn is perfect), and I naturally grew a fondness of it through the years. Now for you folks not from Louisiana that may read this, you may be wondering why not Tabasco. This stuff is better. So now this sauce has a nice mix of of spicy, sweet, and a little bitter from the reduced beer.YUM!!

While the sauce is finishing, I found a box of nice aromatic rice. Konriko is a local rice mill, actually the oldest working one in America, that is based out of New Iberia, LA. There line of products are all quite good and are used often in my kitchen. But the one secret ingredient that I like to put in my rice is Zatarain's liquid crab boil. One capful, when you boil almost anything, give the food a nice little hint of heat and flavor.

Right before the sauce is ready to serve, the pork chops are added back to the pan to finish cooking and soak up all the flavors that have been built in the sauce. After being basted for a few minutes in the sauce, the chops are going to be cooked perfectly and ready to serve.

The final product came out quite nice. The chops were moist and cooked to a nice medium. The rice still had a nice texture. The flavors were rich and had just the right amount of heat that I love. A quick 25 minute lunch, I guess Rachel Ray would be proud. Peace and Chicken grease.

3 comments:

  1. Very nice! Why didn't I get to try this!? Happy Thanksgiving!

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