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Pork Chops with Bourbon-Peach Mostarda Pan Sauce

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Today’s post has been on my mind since I first made the Peach Mostarda┬álast year. The first thing I thought when I tried it was that it would be fabulous on pork chops… but it’s taken me until now to actually do so. The point of today’s post is actually pan sauces, which is a wonderful but basic technique. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I LOVE sauce. I often order extra sauce anywhere from bbq places to chinese, and this recipe is all about the sauce.

First, a little about pan sauces. The basic technique is to take a pan where you cooked meat, and use all the browned bits left (called ‘fond’), sautee some aromatics (garlic, shallots, ginger, onion, etc), then add a liquid (stock, wine, hard liquor, vinegar) and simmer it down for a few minutes while scraping all the fond off of the pan (called ‘deglazing), and finally finish with an accent flavor (such as mustard, jam, herbs, or capers) and some cold butter to enrich and thicken the sauce. You can leave the butter out if you’re trying to be healthier, but a little goes a long way here. The possibilities here are endless. It only takes a few minutes, done while your meat is resting from cooking (an essential step), and really adds an extra layer of flavor to your meal. Plus, sauce! Yum!

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Posted by on April 16, 2013 in Cooking Basics, Entree

 

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Challah

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Another Tuesday, and another essential cooking technique. Today’s post is done with help from my friend Melissa, who bakes amazing bread. So, with her help, we’re going to learn how to make a yeast bread.

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Posted by on April 9, 2013 in Baking, Cooking Basics

 

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Roasted Vegetable Panini

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Today marks the start of a new series of posts on this blog, which I’m calling Technique Tuesdays. Every Tuesday I’ll post a new dish which features a basic cooking technique, and go over that technique in greater than usual detail. Hopefully this will help everyone learn a bit more about the nuts and bolts of cooking.

Today we’re going to be broiling vegetables. Broiling is wonderful for browning, melting crumbs, and cooking thin foods. For example, it’s great for fish, thin vegetables, and garlic bread. It’s not good for thicker foods, such as potatoes, large cuts of meat, or actually baking bread. Generally broiling is done 4-5″ from the heating element of your oven (measured to the top of the food, not the rack), so I usually use the second rack down in my oven. If I’m broiling something very burn-sensitive like a quick brown on a breadcrumb topping, though, the third down might be better for more even browning and less chance of burning. You want to watch the food closely when broiling, since the difference between browned and burnt is less than a minute.

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