Key Lime & Coconut

My adventures in the world of food & wine

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Procrastination Cooking

This week I've been swamped with reading for classes. Instead of buckling down and just doing it, I've been procrastinating by cooking. Last night I baked the cookies; tonight I made myself an unnecessarily elaborate dinner just because I didn't want to work. Clearly I may have a problem.

However, my dinner did not have a problem. It was delicious. I made seared pork chops with an acorn squash and apple mash. I'm really embarrassed to say this after my rant a few days ago about a certain you-know-who, but I stole the pork chop idea from part of a Rachael Ray recipe. I know, it hurts. But they really did turn out great. The squash was a recipe from an old Thanksgiving issue of Food & Wine. I used recipes for both of these dishes because I was really in the mood to try something I wouldn't necessarily have thought of on my own.

The pork chops were perfect, especially basted with the tangy dressing. The best part of the meal was the squash, though. It was sweet and a bit salty and came out exactly as I imagined. Sadly, I did not enjoy this meal with wine, because I have more reading to do tonight... but this dish could pair with a number of wines. I would probably recommend a light red like a pinot noir, or a versatile white like a sauvignon blanc, or even a hard cider (for something different).

I forgot to take a picture of the pork chops before eating (sorry, I was hungry) -- but here's some of the squash & apple mash:

Seared Pork Chops with Acorn Squash and Apple Mash
(serves 2)

Pork chops:
  • 2 1-inch-thick pork chops
  • 1 1/2 tbsp red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp raspberry jam (or other similar fruit jam)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp + 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
In a large bowl, dissolve 2 tablespoons salt in 2 cups cold water. Add the pork chops to the brine and soak in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, garlic, jam and mustard. Whisk in 3 tbsp olive oil until smooth. Preheat the broiler and place a large, heavy ovenproof skillet over high heat. Remove the chops from the brine, pat dry and brush with the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil. Sear the chops for 3 minutes on each side, then baste with 1/4 of the dressing. Broil, basting once, for 2 minutes each side.

Acorn squash and apple mash:
  • 2 acorn squash, halved lengthwise, seeds removed
  • 2 apples (Golden Delicious or whatever you have)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 450. Coat a nonstick baking sheet with vegetable oil spray. Season the cut sides of the squash with salt and pepper and set them, cut side down, on baking sheet. Bake for about 1 hour, or until the flesh is tender and caramelized on the bottom. Meanwhile, peel and core the apples and cut them into small pieces. Toss in a bowl with the sugar and cinnamon. Coat another large nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray and spread the apples on it. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until tender and brown. Peel the squash and transfer it to a bowl along with any caramelized bits from the pan. Mash coarsely. Add the apple pieces. In a large saucepan, bring the honey and butter just to a boil. Add the squash, stir well and season with salt and pepper.


Blogger Maureen said...

Hi Becky!

I just found your blog today. I love your writing, as well as your taste in food and wine. I especially appreciate that you include the recipe and often a wine suggestion.

From one avid food and wine fan to another -cheers!

4:28 PM  

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