Saturday, May 31, 2008
Friday Night Swine
I started Panzer Kitchen about two months ago with the goal of expanding my range in the kitchen without hewing too closely to other people's recipes. I wanted to learn to cook, really cook, not just follow instructions. I'm beginning to think this was a good idea.
Last night I made something delicious of my own invention: pan-friend pork chops smothered (marinated?) in crushed almonds, fresh lime juice, olive oil, soy sauce, cilantro, garlic and jalapenos. That's right, I made it up, practically out of thin air. I never used to be able to do that.
I served it with a raspberry yogurt dipping sauce to cut the spice of the jalapeno and to add a touch of sweetness--also because I wanted to enter a monthly food blogging competition called The Royal Foodie Joust, hosted by the Leftover Queen, a real blog with actual ADVERTISEMENTS. The deal is you get three ingredients--in this case, raspberry, lime and almond--to turn into a meal.
I don't love this photo, but I need to prove to the judges that I used the raspberry yogurt. I did use it, I swear, and though not totally necessary, it also wasn't half bad.
Wait a second, I just realized anyone can be a judge! Just click on the link above, go to the June event and vote for me. Go on, vote for me. Do it. Do it.
Anyhoozle, if you want to make this yourself, and I encourage you to do so, just mix up the ingredients above in whichever proportions you prefer. I went light on the soy sauce, heavy on the lime juice and jalapeno, and used a hammer to crush a bag of raw, unsalted almonds. I massaged the mix all over the chops and then fried them up in olive oil. I would have grilled them outside if I hadn't discovered at the last minute that the grill was out of gas.
Word to the wise: the almonds will stick to the pan and they will burn. If you find they're getting too burned, remove them from the pan and set them aside. They'll be fine on the plate while you finish cooking the chops. I threw the extra almond mix into the pan because it was so tasty just cooked on its own.
When the meat was done, I deglazed the pan with soy sauce. I learned something from this, which is that when soy sauce is cooked on the stove and allowed to evaporate, it becomes extremely salty. Duh. Seems obvious now, but it didn't occur to me in that split second when my eyes happened on the bottle of Kikkoman and I thought: Deglaze! Still, a little dollop of this on the pork was a nice final touch.