Monday, February 20, 2017

Family Day, Children, Brining

Today is Family Day in Canada which means the bowling alley is thick with kids and the noise would be horrendous. The bowling alley cancels our league for the day - I am not quite sure I approve of  that. I guess they make more money from families on that day than they would from our league. Even if we bowled, the kids would still be there in force, downstairs if nowhere else. I was saying to Matt earlier (Saturday) I wish they had introduced Family Day during our working life. Would have been an extra day off during the year. They were certainly talking about it but didn't make it into a stat day until the time we were living in the US. Ah well.

I sell Avon working with another rep who supplies me with my product.  She, poor woman, was involved with her daughter the last few weeks. Her 3 year old daughter who has been pronounced legally blind. What a horror at 3. I am so very sorry for the family.

As you know, I have been having problems with Matt and tough meat. So Saturday night I decided to have pork chops and ended up brining them then doing them in a Korean style way. I have posted the brine. I don't know, but Matt did eat all his pork chop so maybe it worked. I did brine them for 4 hours.

BRINING Pork Chops

3 cups cold water, divided
3 Tbs coarse kosher salt (or 2 1/2 tablespoons table salt)
Optional flavorings: 2 smashed garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, 1 bay leaf

1. If you have time, brining the pork for even a brief period adds flavor and ensures juiciness in the finished chop. Bring 1 cup of the water to a boil, add the salt and optional flavorings, and stir to dissolve the salt. Add 2 more cups of cold water to bring the temperature of the brine down to room temperature. Place the pork chops in a shallow dish and pour the brine over top. The brine should cover the chops — if not, add additional water and salt (1 cup water to 1 tablespoon salt) until the chops are submerged. Cover the dish and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.

Korean Style Pork Chops - a simple recipe for Korean style marinated pork chops, resulting in melt in your mouth, super delicious pork chops. Best ever!

4 pork chops
1 Tbs olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce low sodium
2 Tbs honey
4 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp ginger minced
2 tsp sriracha sauce
black pepper to taste

1. Brine first

2. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.

3. In a medium size bowl whisk together the soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and sriracha sauce. Pour over pork chops and let marinade for about 20 minutes.

4. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet for medium high heat. Add pork chops, without marinade, and cook for about 5 minutes for the first side, or until it gets a nice brownish color. Flip the pork chops and pour the remaining marinade over them. Cook another 5 min on this side.

5. Place the skillet in the oven to finish cooking them. Roast for about 10 minutes, or until pork chops are completely cooked through.

Servings: 4

If your pork chops are not very thick, mine were about 1 inch in thickness, you might not need to finish cooking them in the oven.

Author: Joanna Cismaru

Have a great day

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Saturday Recipe

This is a recipe I have had for a long time but never yet made it. Now I have run into the same story, fairly tasteless shrimp Ah well, for those of you who live near the coast, you can take advantage of the plentiful shrimp there.

Arugula Salad with White Beans Shrimp, with Basil Vinaigrette

Best substitute greens: Romaine lettuce or any of these greens: Watercress, Dandelion greens,
Mizuna, Baby kale, Baby collards, Belgian endive.

For the dressing
1/2 cup olive oil
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 large lemon)
1 Tbs grainy mustard
½ tsp minced garlic
1/8 cup finely chopped fresh basil (or substitute parsley, thyme, or oregano)
½ tsp sugar
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

For the salad
1 cup (about 6 ounces) cannellini or navy beans, soaked overnight in cold water to cover (or substitute a 15-ounce can of beans)
½ lb medium shrimp (8 to 10 shrimp), peeled and deveined
1 bunch arugula, trimmed, washed, and dried
1 red bell pepper, seeded, halved, and diced small
1/4 cup pitted and roughly chopped Kalamata or other briny black olives
1 small red onion, peeled and diced small
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

1. In a small bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients and whisk to combine well. Set aside.

2. Drain the dried beans and place them in a small saucepan with enough cold salted water to cover by about 3 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the beans are tender but not mushy, 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Drain, rinse with cold water, and allow to cool to room temperature. (If using canned beans, drain and rinse well.)

3. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups of salted water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, add the shrimp, and simmer until just tender, about 3 minutes. Check for doneness by cutting one of the shrimp open; it should be opaque throughout. Drain the shrimp, plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking, then drain again.

4. a. To grill shrimp: Prepare shrimp for the grill by rubbing with vegetable oil and threading onto skewers. Grill over a medium-hot fire until the shrimp are opaque throughout. Allow to cool to room temperature.

5. In a large bowl, combine the shrimp and beans with the arugula, bell pepper, olives, onion, and salt and pepper. Stir the dressing well, add just enough to moisten the ingredients toss well, and serve.

Servings: 4

Author Notes
My good friend and teacher, the jolly Bob Kinkead, is the chef/owner of an outstanding restaurant in Washington, D.C., called Kinkead's. His specialty is seafood, and of the many recipes that I've borrowed from him over the years, this is one of the few I'm going to acknowledge. If you have the grilling fire lit for some other purpose, you can grill the shrimp, following the instructions below, instead of poaching it. This basil vinaigrette is really good in potato salad or just drizzled over straight-from-the-garden tomatoes.

Have a great weekend.