Pan seared pork chops. Cucumber and corn salad.

Another one of those recipes that almost got left behind. I took the photos weeks ago and I even uploaded them to my site but never got around to write about it which is weird.. guess was distracted by trying not to destroy my blog while making changes to it. It's happened. I love pork chops but they can go wrong pretty easily. They overcook really quick. And you know what that's like.. yeah... rubber soles. Totally unattractive. If you have the time and the equipment go sous vide. No doubt about that. If you don't then sear them in a really hot pan a couple of minutes per side. Obviously we're dealing with pork and we need to make sure it is safe to eat. Trichinosis is a concern and pork should be cooked throughly. Cooking meat throughly doesn't mean overcooking it though. The parasite in question actually dies at fairly low temperatures which is great news. This excerpt  from a USDA document is interesting:   Cooking - Commercial preparation of pork products by cooking requires that meat be heated to internal temperatures which have been shown to inactivate trichinae. For example, Trichinella spiralis is killed in 47 minutes at 52° C (125.6° F), in 6 minutes at 55° C (131° F), and in < 1 minute at 60° C (140° F). It should be noted that these times and temperatures apply only when the product reaches and maintains temperatures evenly distributed throughout the meat. Alternative methods of heating, particularly the use of microwaves, have been shown to give different results, with parasites not completely inactivated when product was heated to reach a prescribed end-point temperature. The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations for processed pork products reflects experimental data, and requires pork to be cooked for 2 hours at 52.2° C (126° F), for 15 minutes at 55.6° C (132° F), and for 1 minute at 60° C (140° F).     But how can one translate this into a recipe? If you're cooking the meat sous vide... it's a no brainer. Set the water bath to 125.6F and cook the meat until the core has spent 47 minutes at this temperature for example. Of course. bare in mind that depending on the thickness of the chop, the total cooking time will need to be calculated. It's usually a few hours for individual chops just like the paragraph above suggests.  Now, if you're cooking the chops in a skillet... things get a bit trickier and experience plays a big role in getting the meat cooked through but not overcooked.  The thicker the chop, the trickier it gets. The leaner the chop, the quicker it cooks... all these catches. I personally observe a few things while pan searing pork chops at home: Thickness... I stay at about a inch or less other wise, sous vide, grill or roast.  I bring the meat to room temperature.  I salt the meat way ahead of time.  If I have time I brine the chops instead I use a thermometer. I sear the chops in a really hot skillet a couple of minutes per side.  I check internal temperature at various points.  I finish in the oven if needed otherwise... I cover the pan with a lid and remove from the heat until cooked through.  This might take several minutes so I check with a thermometer periodically.        Sounds like a pain in the ass and it is but some repetition helps.  Done a few times it becomes second nature. To my advantage it's really hard not to kill this parasite. If I work above 130F for the internal temperature it's pretty safe and the chop should be pretty juicy still. Anyways, don't take my word for it. I'm not an expert in the field that's the sort of thing I keep in mind when I'm cooking pork. Same with game meats.  So moving on! Here is the recipe:    [yumprint-recipe id='9']  enjoy!     

Another one of those recipes that almost got left behind during my transition to a self -hosted account. I took the photos weeks ago and I even uploaded them to my site but never got around to write about it which is weird.. guess was distracted by trying not to destroy my blog while making changes to it. It’s happened before.

I love pork chops but they can go wrong pretty easily. They overcook really quick. And you know what that’s like.. yeah… rubber soles. Totally unattractive. If you have the time and the equipment go sous vide. No doubt about that. If you don’t, then sear the meat in a really hot pan a couple of minutes per side. Obviously we’re dealing with pork and we need to make sure it is safe to eat. Trichinosis is a concern and pork should be cooked throughly. Cooking meat throughly doesn’t mean overcooking it though. The parasite in question actually dies at fairly low temperatures which is great news. This excerpt  from a USDA document is interesting:

Cooking – Commercial preparation of pork products by cooking requires that meat be heated to internal temperatures which have been shown to inactivate trichinae. For example, Trichinella spiralis is killed in 47 minutes at 52° C (125.6° F), in 6 minutes at 55° C (131° F), and in < 1 minute at 60° C (140° F). It should be noted that these times and temperatures apply only when the product reaches and maintains temperatures evenly distributed throughout the meat. Alternative methods of heating, particularly the use of microwaves, have been shown to give different results, with parasites not completely inactivated when product was heated to reach a prescribed end-point temperature. The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations for processed pork products reflects experimental data, and requires pork to be cooked for 2 hours at 52.2° C (126° F), for 15 minutes at 55.6° C (132° F), and for 1 minute at 60° C (140° F).

Pan seared pork chops. Cucumber and corn relish.

But how can one translate this into a recipe? If you’re cooking the meat sous vide… it’s a no brainer. Set the water bath to 125.6F and cook the meat until the core has spent 47 minutes at this temperature for example. Of course. bear in mind that depending on the thickness of the chop, the total cooking time will need to be calculated. It’s usually a few hours for individual chops just like the paragraph above suggests. Check out my pork chop recipe cooked sous vide with cucumber and pineapple salad.

Now, if you’re cooking the chops on a skillet… things get a bit trickier and experience plays a big role in getting the meat cooked through but not overcooked.  The thicker the chop, the trickier it gets. The leaner the chop, the quicker it overcooks… a total kitchen nightmare. I personally observe a few things while pan searing pork chops at home which has helped me quite a bit:

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Pork Chop Sous Vide 134F 2h : Cucumber and Pineapple Salad : Inspired by The Things We Cook

 

I couldn’t resist the urge to pair a fat juicy pork chop with that beautiful salad from: The Things We Cook. Last week I wrote an article about this cookbook. If you missed it, check it out here!

I love pork. I hated pork chops for the longest time. Dry meat, tough texture, like where the f!@# is the gravy… yeah, I was doing it all wrong for as long as I can remember.

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I’m trying to improve the way I cook things these days. Pork chops might have a mighty appearance but they are very delicate and lean meat, similar to a chicken breast to put it someway. Sous vide gives us the control we need to nail the proper doneness and a good quick sear finishes off the job nicely. I don’t mess much with the seasoning. Salt. Let the salad and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar reduction do the rest.

 

Ingredients:

As many pork chops as you need.
Kosher salt
Balsamic Vinegar Reduction.
The Things We Cook’s Salad Recipe!

For the pork chop(s). Salt generously with kosher salt and allow to rest in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. I like overnighting pretty much any protein with salt. Cures it, dries the outside for better searing, brines the whole cut, etc. And just like chicken, pork needs to be handled with just as much caution. Make sure the meat sits at the bottom of your fridge so no cross contamination can occur.  Cook sous vide @ 134F for 2 hours. That’s medium rare. Sear in a really hot skillet with vegetable oil or avocado oil. Use ghee if you have access to it. If the pork chop has the fat strip attached to it, grab the chop with tongs and sear this fat strip to oblivion or until mega crispy.

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For the non sous vide demons out there. Hot skillet and some vegetable oil. A probe  (instant ready) thermometer is your best friend. Core temperature should be around 130F before you remove the chop form the skillet. Carryover heat will finish the job and get that chop to the proper temperature. If you don’t have a thermometer, Cook on a hot skillet for about 3 mins on each side IF the pork chop is at room temperature. Otherwise, don’t risk it, just let it sit until it gets to room temperature. Do not eat pork raw under any circumstances.

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And that’s that. Have a great weekend. Hope you tell your grill master pork chops are super delicate and need love and lots of attention, that’s just in case you happen to be at some BBQ party and you aren’t driving, because otherwise, fat juice chops it’s what’s for lunch yo. Happy Saturday! Thanks Molly!

 

 

 

The Things We Cook : Pineapple and Cucumber Salad

 

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The Things We Cook. This is the title of the book I’m writing about today on my blog. The things We Cook is a beautiful book about food, about life in the kitchen, family and friends, it’s about cooking with the freshest ingredients, it’s all about farm to table, sustainability and it’s also about the experience of being a farmer. Green Hope Farm. A family owned farm in the state of New Hampshire. In its kitchen, Molly Sheehan, the cook, the author and the farm owner, has concocted countless recipes and this book is a compilation of all that hard work and a recount of the wonderful memories . 

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I met Sarah Porter on Instagram. She is a member of the TheThingsWeCook team and the one that suggested if I’d be interested in writing about the book on my blog and take a few photos to go with the post. A few emails later and after having read a portion of the book I was hooked and wanted to put together a small photo essay and feature it here. We both got pretty excited, and here we are. It’s funny how it works sometimes.

But back to the main story now. New Hampshire offers some of the best farming grounds in the country (I googled it, I’ll admit it)  I don’t know much about farming, actually I know nothing about farming but I’m pretty sure that without the hard work and dedication of the people, a farm just couldn’t be successful. This love a dedication to farming and cooking shows transparently on the pages of this beautiful book. The book is entirely handwritten and beautifully hand illustrated by Alli Howe. It’s definitely one of a kind.

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The recipe I chose it’s simple and beautiful in its simplicity. A sweet and refreshing summer salad featuring cucumber and pineapple. Simple. Good ingredients require little preparation, little manipulation and that’s the case for many other recipes in the book. I love it. Finding good ingredients where I currently live is actually relatively easy. Although I don’t live on a farm …  I daydream about this everyday… I’m really lucky to be able to find fresh organically grown produce where in many markets around the city, and the local butchers and fishmongers in the area are simply great. I’m referring to Vancouver by the way.

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Pineapple and Cucumber Salad. It would have never crossed my mind to put the 2 together. It works great and I will be trying a few thing in the future using this pairing… pork comes to mind!,  so thanks Molly! Below I have added the original page form the book with the recipe to give you an idea of the style and presentation.

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Thanks Sarah, Molly and Alli for sharing your book and your ideas with me and with that other cooking blog as well.  Sleep tight people!  Good night and have a wonderful weekend!