July 24, 2009

And Now We Pause From the Renovation To EAT!

Despite being knee deep in painting and stripping (floors, that is) and moving, we still do need to eat. And while most of our meals have been of the throw a sandwich together or cook some pasta and heat up some frozen meatballs variety, I did make an honest to goodness dinner the other night. No baking these days, but with two birthdays coming up in the next few weeks I'm sure that will return soon (I'm thinking something with mint cream and chocolate ganache for mine...ohh the possibilities)

But back to the dinner. Time wise it was one of the quickest dinners I've made in a while. Faster even than pasta and Trader Joe's meatballs, but far more tempting. About two hours before dinner I mixed a cup of milk with a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and set my very thin, bone in pork chops into the liquid. What? You say? Milk and vinegar? Doesn't that curdle? Why yes, yes it does. It makes a buttermilk like substance. In fact, when I make soda bread and I don't have buttermilk on hand (which I usually don't) I mix the milk with a teaspoon of white wine vinegar and it works like a charm.

The theory behind this came from old fashioned fried chicken recipes which call for the meat to be marinated in buttermilk. I though, hey why not give it a try with pork? And since I wanted a stronger flavor, I went with a good balsamic instead of a plainer vinegar. After they rested in the marinade for about an hour and a half I took them out and seasoned them with salt and vinegar.

In a large, non-stick skillet I fried chunks of potato in a tablespoon or so of olive oil until they were crisp and then removed the veg to a bowl and fried the chops in the same pan. Since they were thin they needed only about a minute and a half per side. is it just my grocery store or are they cutting meat thinner these days and then charging the same price. You think you are getting the same meat for the money but in fact you are not! But I digress, back to the pork. I used a high heat to cook them so that the outside would be golden and the inside still just barely pink. The result was very tender and between the two of us (the kids had eaten earlier) we ate the entire plate of six chops. definitely a keeper. The picture doesn't justify the taste, I think meat never photographs well, but you get the idea.