Category: featured recipes
Tuesday, May 21
Last Christmas a friend gave us some Brown Butter Cookie Company cookies. Nate and I were both smitten at first bite. Nate is not easily smitten by food. If Nate has a hard time resisting a food, then you know it’s good. The cookies were rich and buttery with a hint of saltiness that was just the right amount. The cookies are also a little expensive and hard to get (they sold out online last Christmas!), so I savored every crumb not knowing when the next box would enter my life.
Have you seen the blog Yummy Mummy Kitchen? It’s beautiful and Marina, the blogger, is lovely. I connected with her when I was editing Daily Buzz Moms. (I also connected with her when I discovered that she is good friends with the Strong family, whom I’ve written about before. These are good people, folks. Salt of the earth.) Marina recently published her first book, The Yummy Mummy Kitchen. Marina kindly sent me a copy. Before we get back to the cookies, the book is beautiful. The day I got it I curled up in bed and looked through every page of the book. It transports you to her life in Santa Barbara and the recipes are inspiring. Bravo, Marina! Job well done!
So, as I was thumbing through the book, I immediately noticed a picture of some brown cookies that looked a lot like the Brown Butter Cookie Company cookies. Sure enough, Marina’s intro was all about how much she loves those cookies and how she had to figure out how to make them. I couldn’t believe that recipe literally fell into my lap. Oh, happy day!
I don’t know how many times I’ve made the brown butter cookies since getting the book. We probably shouldn’t keep track. But they are amazing and completely hit the spot. Buttery with a beautiful crumb, you’re going to become just as addicted as I am. My apologies.
Salted Brown Butter Cookies
From The Yummy Mummy Kitchen with a few of my notes
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter (Jane note: I’ve used salted butter every time and the cookies are still wonderful, not too salty)
- 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Coarse-flake sea salt for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter until it starts to brown. When the butter has browned and is ready, the foam will have subsided and it will have turned a nutty color. Watch closely so as not to burn the butter. (Jane note: Stir regularly throughout the browning process. The butter will start to foam up, back off on the foam a bit, then foam up a lot. Just keep cooking and stirring. After about 10 minutes the foam will start to subside. You’ll still have a bit of foam, but you’ll at least be able to see what color the butter is. It should be browned and you will be able to smell the nuttiness of the butter. At this point remove from the heat.)
Pour the browned butter into a medium bowl and stir in the brown sugar and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder together. With a spoon, stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until combined and uniform in color.
Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto the cookie sheet. Marina’s recipe says it yields 13 cookies. I literally do 1 tablespoon per cookie and end up with 18-20 cookies every time. Sprinkle with sea salt and lightly press it into the top of the cookies. Bake for 12 minutes.
To purchase Marina’s book, click here. There are tons more recipes where this came from!
Posted by Jane Maynard at 1:57 pm 2 Comments
Categories: fab faves, featured recipes, Recipes, sweet things, the goods, Way Gourmet Tags: brown butter cookies, cookbooks, cookie recipe, cookies, yummy mummy kitchen |
Wednesday, May 8
One of the delicious dishes we were treated to at our latest book club was an asparagus and spring onion tart, as made my dear friend Barbara.
LOVED THIS TART. The “shortcrust” was delicious, the top had a pleasant chewiness thanks to a melted Parmesan cheese, and all the flavors blended really nicely together. Of course we all begged for the recipe. Barbara had found the recipe in the latest issue of Vegetarian Times, which she happily shared. She’s not one to keep secrets when it comes to good food!
You all may be wondering (as I am) what the difference between a quiche and a tart is. If anyone has a good answer, please feel free to share! Tarts may be savory or sweet, while quiche are savory, but beyond that their “official” definitions are almost identical. So, I say just call it whatever you want!
Asparagus and Spring Onion Tart
From Vegetarian Times, May 2013 issue
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 6 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes (I just use salted butter)
- 2 large eggs, divided
- 1/2 pound trimmed asparagus spears
- 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. olive oil
- 2 cups spring or green onions
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk or heavy cream
- 1 ounce (1/4 cup) grated fresh parmesan cheese (I might use a bit more myself)
Mix flour and salt in large bowl. Rub in butter with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. (Jane note: I use my pastry blender.) Beat 1 egg and 2 Tbs water in a small bowl. Stir egg mixture into flour mixture just until dough comes together, adding 1 Tbs. more water if needed. Flatten dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour (up to 1 day).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out dough to 12-inch circle on floured surface. Press dough into 9-inch springform pan or fluted tart pan with removable bottom. (Jane note: Barbara baked and served her tart in a pretty fluted dish without a removable bottom. It worked very well.) Trim edges, prick bottom all over with a fork. Line tart shell with parchment paper and fill with dried beans. Bake 25 minutes or until barely golden. Remove beans and paper. Beat remaining egg and brush on bottom of crust. Bake 5 minutes more.
Cook asparagus in large pot of boiling salted water 3 minutes. Drain and cut into 1 1/4-inch lengths. Heat oil in skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions, cook 8-10 minutes until softened. Remove from heat. Whisk together eggs and milk in bowl. Stir in onions and asparagus.
Pour filling into shortcrust and place pan on a baking sheet. (Jane note: line baking sheet with foil for easy clean-up.) Sprinkle tart with parmesan cheese. Bake in the 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes, or until tart is set in the middle and top is browned well. Cover edges of crust with foil if they start to brown too much before the tart is done. Pop out of pan and serve.
Friday, April 26
Last week I decided to make white chicken chili for the first time, which involved using two ingredients I’ve never worked with before: hominy and poblano chili peppers.
Honestly, I was skeptical of the hominy. Like I said, I had never used it before and when I opened the can, the smell was reminiscent of corn nuts. I can’t stand the smell of corn nuts, by the way, so I was really hoping the soup would turn out! I am happy to report that the soup not only turned out but was very delicious and a big hit with every member of the family. In case you are wondering, it tasted nothing like corn nuts. PHEW! Nate came home from work, looked in the pot and declared that he was certain he was going to love this soup, even before he knew what it was. And he did!
I used the white chicken chili recipe from The America’s Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook. So far every recipe I’ve used from that book has been a winner. The recipes have all been delicious and quick! This chicken chili was no exception. This recipe was simple to prepare and was no problem to throw together on a busy weeknight. I will include my various notes on the recipe below!
White Chicken Chili
From The America’s Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook, with my notes
- 1 15-ounce can white or yellow hominy (ATK recommends white because it has a deeper flavor)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed (Jane note: I used two chicken breasts)
- Salt and Pepper
- 3 poblano chili peppers (Jane note: I only used 1) – de-seed and core the pepper, then chop
- 1 onion, chopped fine (Jane note: I only used 1/3 of a large yellow onion)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (Jane note: I used my garlic press)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander (Jane note: I didn’t use coriander b/c I didn’t have it in the cupboard and didn’t feel like buying it)
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (Jane note: I used 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper because I am out of cayenne, which makes me very sad – I need to rectify that!)
- 1/2 cup tomatillo salsa or salsa verde
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro (Jane note: I bought flat leaf parsley instead of cilantro, which I didn’t discover until I took it out to start chopping. I was SO bummed because cilantro would taste wonderfully in this soup, but I just went with the parsley because that’s what I had. I am happy to report that the parsley was also very delicious! So, feel free to choose the herb you like better and go with it!)
Process the hominy with 1 cup broth in blender of food processor until smooth.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Pat chicken dry with paper towels, season with salt & pepper then brown chicken lightly on both sides, about 5 minutes. (If you don’t have a dutch oven, a large pot should work.) Transfer chicken to a plate. Add remaining oil, poblanos and onion to the pot and cook until onions and peppers are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, garlic, cumin, corinader (if using) and cayenne (or pepper) and cook about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in remaining 3 cups broth, deglazing the bottom of the pan. I used a flat whisk here and it worked very well, but a standard whisk will suffice.
Stir in pureed hominy. Add chicken, along with any accumulated juices, and simmer gently over medium-low to medium heat until chicken registers 160 degrees, about 10 minutes. I highly recommend using an instant-read thermometer so that you don’t overcook the chicken – it will be super tender if you cook until 160 degrees. Remove chicken, shred then return to soup. Add salsa, cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook about 1 minute then serve!
Tuesday, April 16
Spaghetti is definitely a go-to meal around here and my kids could eat it every day, much like myself as a kid. Once, when I was in 3rd grade, my dad and I found ourselves home alone for a week. We ate spaghetti every night. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. My dad was lucky I was a clueless 9-year-old.
While I am grateful to know that my kids will always eat spaghetti (it really is a good option on a busy night), I must admit that Nate and I are less enthusiastic about the dish. I don’t know, it’s just kinda boring. The razzle dazzle of spaghetti has finally worn off for me. Sorry, Dad!
Last week, however, I decided to try to make spaghetti more interesting. The result was delicious! I used a recipe for spaghetti carbonara from Christina Ferrare’s Big Bowl of Love cookbook and it came out beautifully. The ingredients are simple, the taste is flavorful, and the sauce is creamy without using actual cream.
Nate and I both really liked this recipe. I actually loved it. The girls stuck with classic boring spaghetti that night, but I don’t think they even tried the carbonara, little stinkers. Owen, however, ate three servings and couldn’t get enough!
Adapted from Big Bowl of Love by Christina Ferrare (I changed a few of the ingredient amounts and also some of the technique based on my experience with the recipe)
- 2 cups peas (original recipe calls for fresh, I used frozen)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces diced pancetta
- 2 tablespoons chopped shallot (or regular onion if you don’t have a shallot on hand)
- 8 ounces spaghetti or linguine (fresh is yummier, dried is fine)
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- 1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus additional for garnish
If using fresh peas, remove the peas from their pods and set aside. For frozen, run warm water over the peas to separate them, drain, then set aside.
In a cold, large, heavy pot, pour the olive oil and swirl to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the pancetta, cook over medium heat until pancetta is crisp. Remove pancetta and set aside. Add shallot to the pan and saute until crispy. Remove from heat, add pancetta back to the pot and set aside. I am lazy, so I cooked the pancetta then just added the shallot/onion to the pan without removing the pancetta. I added the shallot before the pancetta got crispy then cooked until the onions were softened. Once cooked, turn off heat and set pan aside.
Cook pasta to package directions. Be sure to salt the water – 1 tablespoon salt per 3 quarts of water. Three minutes before pasta is ready, add peas. Drain pasta and peas, reserving 3 cups of the pasta water and set aside.
The original recipe tells you to add the pasta to the large pot with the shallots and then mix in the sauce ingredients. I did it this way and found that the cheese was very clumpy. It tasted good, but I didn’t get a smooth sauce. So, I am modifying the directions. Return the pancetta/shallot pan back to the stove and turn the heat on to medium-high. Immediately add 1/2 cup pasta water, 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Whisk well. Add remainder of the parmesan cheese and milk and keep whisking. If the sauce is too thick or gooey, add pasta water 1/4 cup at a time until sauce is creamy. Reduce heat to low then stir in the peas and spaghetti.
Serve topped with additional parmesan cheese and mint leaves if desired.
Friday, April 12
Hey everybody. I’ve been a little MIA this week. Cate has Spring Break so we’ve been partying! The state of my house can attest to this. Anyway, life took priority over cooking and blogging, which is the way it’s supposed to be, right?
In my never-ending quest to find perfect chocolate chip cookie recipes, I discovered a serious gem of a recipe this week. My blogging friend Alice was claiming to have the best chocolate chip cookie recipe EVER. Of course I had to test out the claim. She might be right. For reals. These cookies are unbelievably good and are the exact texture I love in a cookie. You can find Alice’s original recipe here. I also wrote about the recipe on Babble today, with my own notes and tweaks on the recipe, of which there are very few. Make these cookies this weekend. (Yes, I’m getting bossy again. Sometime I have to.)
Wednesday, April 3
The whole reason I was inspired to make homemade cocoa syrup last week was because of my little Anna. Anna is obsessed with the Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino® Blended Crème at Starbucks. Every single time she sees a Starbucks, which in America is about 21 times per day, she asks for one. Needless to say her life is full of disappointment.
Last week she was begging for one and I promised we would go home and try to make it. Which is why I ended up making chocolate syrup, which ended up taking all my energy and we never got around to making the drink! Today Anna and I finally got down to business.
We nailed it. Totally as good as Starbucks. The syrup that Starbucks uses is mocha, so the taste is a tad different, but it’s a very small difference. Anna is in heaven and wants me to make more. I don’t think I’ve eliminated the begging from my life, in fact it may increase! But at least the occasional indulgence won’t cost me 4 bucks a cup.
Add all ingredients to blender and blend well. (If you have a heavy-duty blender like the Blendtec or Vitamix, the texture will be more similar to Starbucks.)
Thursday, March 28
I’m an artist and designer, so I like things to look good. Sadly, though, I am also lazy lazy LAZY. Rarely do I pull out all the stops for cute holiday crafts and treats and such. Once in a while, though, I stumble on an idea that is super cute but also very simple and I actually do get a little holiday pizazz goin’ on.
Bunny Bait is one of those very ideas! My friend Erin wrote about it on Today’s Mama. She got the idea from Sing For Your Supper, who got the idea from Bake at 350, who got the idea from Nest of Posies. Bottom line? Bunny Bait gets around, people.
Here’s the thing. Bunny Bait is perfectly cute for Easter and I love the name. But the beauty of this recipe is it is so easily adaptable to any holiday or event. Just pick up the M&Ms du jour and change up the candy melt color and you have deliciously sweet and salty popcorn goodness for any holiday. In fact, this is what we will be making for our holiday gifts this December. It’s easy to throw together a large batch, the popcorn is super cute, it tastes awesome and you can dress it up with matchy-matchy baggies and bows. Done and done.
Erin mentioned that Bunny Bait may be slightly addictive. She’s right, and here’s why. You inevitable take a bite that has popcorn and an M&M. And it’s delicious, but then you realize that you didn’t get a pretzel in that bite, so you dig back in and get a pretzel-ful bite, only to discover it was missing the popcorn. And the cycle continues until you have eaten the whole bowl. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Probably best to make this with purpose and get it bagged up and given away ASAP.
Also, lest you look at these pictures and think we are a perfect family with a patient mother who cooks with her kids while birds flit about our heads and sing pretty songs…Anna did have a lot of fun making this with me and it was really sweet and cute. But, I must admit, towards the end a few things got me frustrated (that had nothing to do with the recipe or with Anna but everything to do with me and my lack of sleep and patience) and I ended up yelling at her for something stupid and felt terrible as she ran away crying with her blankie. I realized my mistake immediately and was overcome with regret and sadness. I hate these moments as a mom. I ran to my sweet girl and gave her a good, long hug. She quickly forgave (kids are amazing that way) and we finished our Bunny Bait adventures with smiles. But, looking at these photos of the Bunny Bait, I still have a twinge of guilt. But I also have a resolve to do better next time. This parenting gig certainly is salty and sweet, but I suppose the salty just helps me truly appreciate and seek after the sweet.
Sweet & Salty Holiday Popcorn (aka Bunny Bait aka Valentine Confetti aka whatever cute holiday name you come up with!)
From all over the place, original idea from Nest of Posies
- 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn (yields about 24 cups)
- 8 ounces candy melts (you can just use white and let the M&Ms and/or sprinkles add the color, but feel free to use a colored candy melt, too!)
- 1 1/2 cups rod pretzels, broken into smaller pieces
- 1 12-oz package M&Ms (holiday themed)
- Sprinkles to match your color theme (optional)
Pop your popcorn (I used my Whirley Pop). Pour into a giant bowl. Add pretzels and M&Ms, but don’t stir anything yet. Melt the candy melts as per package instructions, then drizzle over the popcorn mixture. Toss and toss and toss to coat. (It takes a lot of tossing!) The pretzels and M&Ms will want to sink to the bottom, so when you serve it or put in bags for gifts, be sure to toss again and then scoop. Also, if you do plan to bag it for gifts, let it sit out for a bit to allow the candy melts to temper.
For the bunny bait, I used pink and green candy melts. I poured the green first, tossed it, then let it sit for a bit before drizzling the pink, so that they didn’t mix together. The result was cute, but next time I’m just going to use one color – it’s just as cute and less effort.
Tuesday, March 26
Friends. I have quite a find for you today. A delicious, chocolatey find that I should have discovered long before now.
Years ago Nate and I were addicted to the show Good Eats, something I believe I have confessed before. One of the episodes I clearly remember was about making your own chocolate syrup. I wasn’t interested. I don’t really like chocolate syrup. I’ve never really liked it in chocolate milk (Nate disagrees with me on this count, for the record). I also had no desire to put it on ice cream. I’m a hot fudge girl! So, yeah, I didn’t think much about the recipe.
But the last few years I’ve been finding that sometimes I do wish I had a bottle of chocolate syrup in the fridge. It just comes in handy sometimes. But I want GOOD chocolate syrup, not the regular stuff you get at the store. I don’t actually hate the regular syrup, but, honestly, I’d just rather go without. To me, the taste isn’t worth the calories.
WELLLLL…Anna wanted me to figure out how to make a Starbucks drink that she’s obsessed with (recipe to come later this week!) and it involves chocolate syrup. So, remembering that Good Eats episode from long ago, I dug up the recipe and gave the syrup a try.
I compared a few recipes and decided Alton’s looked the best, so I just followed it verbatim. Heavens, this stuff is good. And the name cocoa syrup is much more fitting than simply chocolate syrup. It is rich and has a depth of flavor you don’t get with the usual “chocolate flavor” syrups out there. The cocoa syrup also has the exact same texture as a regular syrup, so it can serve all of your ‘syruppy’ needs. I have decided we will always have a bottle or two of this delectable stuff in the fridge. It, quite simply, is worth the calories.
So far we’ve used the syrup in milk and on ice cream. It was delicious both ways. A quick squeeze on the finger ain’t too bad, either.
When you make your chocolate milk, don’t be stingy with the syrup! The more the better. The chocolate milk reminded me a lot of the Cow Girl Creamery chocolate milk in San Francisco. Yep, it’s that good.
A note about the cocoa I use: For the last several years I have been using high-quality cocoa powder for baking. Scharffen Berger and Guittard have both been wonderful. Yes, it costs more. But it is WORTH IT. Trust me. I made the same exact chocolate cake for both Owen’s and Cate’s birthdays. Owen’s cake was made with the expensive cocoa while Cate’s used the regular cocoa you get at the store (I had to use it in a pinch). I kid you not, they tasted like I used a different recipe, and I have witnesses to back me up. Owen’s cake was amazing. Cate’s was good but nothing special. It was all about the cocoa.
Cocoa Syrup (aka Homemade Chocolate Syrup)
From Alton Brown, Good Eats
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups Dutch-processed cocoa
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
In a medium pot, stir together water and sugar and bring to a boil over high heat. Whisk in cocoa, vanilla, salt, and corn syrup. (Jane note: I had everything measured and ready to go so I could whisk it all in at once.) Whisk until all of the solids have dissolved. Reduce heat but make sure it’s still simmering and cook sauce until slightly thickened, 5-10 minutes, stirring regularly.
Cool to room temperature and pour into squeeze bottles. (Jane note: I bought Wilton squeeze bottles at Michaels, which work well. This recipe fills two of those bottles. HOWEVER…the opening is a bit small, so I’m going to be on the lookout for bottles with a larger hole, like you get for ketchup or mustard. I would just cut the ones I have, but then the caps won’t stay on.)
Refrigerate to store. Makes 24 ounces.
Tuesday, March 19
This giveaway is now closed, but there is other good stuff in this post, so keep reading…the glaze on these veggies is yum!
Today’s post is chockfull of great stuff. A recipe, helpful resources AND a giveaway. Are you ready? Let’s go!
I cannot believe that Passover and Easter are NEXT WEEK. Where does the time go? I blame the Daylight Savings Fairy.
Libby’s® Fruits & Vegetables recently contacted me about creating a side dish recipe for Easter and/or Passover that uses carrots, peas and corn. I thought and thought and decided candied vegetables would taste pretty darn good, especially with a little ginger thrown into the mix. So Little Chef Anna and I hit the kitchen and started creating. She looked into the big container of brown sugar and exclaimed in disbelief, “Brown sugar and salt and pepper?!?!” I assured her it would be delicious. Once she took a bite, she agreed!
The glaze for these veggies would be delicious on a host of vegetables, not just carrots, peas and corn, although carrots lend themselves very nicely to this treatment. Feel free to experiment with your veggies! I like the salty sweet flavor and the ginger adds a nice layer of flavor. This side dish would be a nice complement to all kinds of Easter feasts!
Libby’s, the company sponsoring today’s giveaway, has two new fabulous resources for you that help make the meal planning process easier and more inspiring. We wanted to share them with you today!
- Libby’s Digital Recipe Box: The Digital Recipe Box application just launched on Facebook. It houses more than 100 recipes and allows users to share, like and print recipes to their heart’s content. The app also allows you to plan meals by dish, ingredient or type of gathering. You will also find the recipes featured on the…wait for it…
- Libby’s Pinterest Page: The Pinterest page is also brand-spakin’ new, featuring recipes, family activity ideas, nutrition tips and more!
Now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for! Giveaway time! And we have MORE Le Creuset to share with you!
Here’s how to enter! Leave a comment on this post. That’s it! Additional entry: Follow Libby’s on Pinterest Additional entry: Like Libby’s on Facebook Be sure to leave separate comments for each additional entry. All comments must be posted by Midnight PT on Monday, March 25. (Prize must be shipped to a U.S. address.)
Good luck with the giveaway! Big thank to Libby’s! And, without further ado, today’s recipe!
Ginger Candied Vegetables
From Jane Maynard, This Week for Dinner
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 15-ounce cans Libby’s Gourmet Baby Carrots, drained
- 1 15-ounce can Libby’s whole corn, drained
- 1 15-ounce can Libby’s all-natural peas, drained
- (This glaze would be good on other types of veggies, too. Shoot for 3-4 pounds total of vegetables if you mix things up. Blanched or steamed vegetables would work very well.)
Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Once butter is melted, add brown sugar, ginger, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for a few minutes, until sugar crystals are mostly dissolved (about 3 or 4 minutes total). Add veggies, stir and cook until vegetables are heated through. Serve immediately. Makes about 10-15 servings.
This post was sponsored by Libby’s – payment was received for services rendered.
Friday, March 15
Today’s post is fraught with diversions and side notes. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Pork chops. There is such a fine line between good pork chops and terrible pork chops that I just usually avoid cooking them altogether. (On a related note, this recipe for pork loin is the best pork I’ve ever cooked or eaten. The recipe is super reliable and beyond delicious. Side note #1 is now complete.) The other day I was thinking about pork chops and thought to myself that the AMAZING technique I discovered from America’s Test Kitchen for cooking steak could perhaps be applied to pork chops. (Side note #2: If you haven’t yet made the perfect steak, what are you waiting for? Seriously, you’ll never cook a steak on the grill again.) The technique involves baking the meat before searing and using a thermoeter. When you follow this technique, the steak cooks very evenly and comes out perfectly every time.
Okay, so back to pork chops. When I toured America’s Test Kitchen in Boston last summer, I got to meet a few of the chefs. As I was ruminating over pork chops this week, I
pesteredemailed Chef Dan to ask his opinion. He said he thought it would work and gave me some advice, including target temperatures for the pork chops when cooking.
SOOOOO…I tried it last night and…it worked! I used the garden variety 3/4″ – 1″ thick boneless pork chops at the grocery store because that’s all they had that day. The pork chops came out not dry (woohoo!) and had great flavor. It’s still pork, so, you know, it’s no filet mignon. But the pork chops were simple and yummy and Anna and Owen could not stop eating them!
I am going to try the technique again another time with a different kind of chop and see what happens. But for now, here’s what I did if you want to give it a try yourself! The recipe is nice and simple!
Thanks for the advice, Dan of the Test Kitchens! For the record, if anyone cooks this and something goes wrong, blame me and not Dan! Unlike ATK, where they test recipes literally hundreds of times, the recipe below has been tested ONCE by yours truly. That’s what I call thorough recipe development.
Simple Pork Chops
- 3/4″ – 1″ thick pork chops
- Rock salt (or a nice coarse salt if you don’t have the rock salt)
- A bit of olive oil
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
Let pork chops sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Pat dry then sprinkle with rock salt and pepper on both sides, pushing the salt into the surface of the meat with your fingers.
Line a baking sheet with foil then place a wire rack on the lined cookie sheet (I also put a bit of foil over the wire rack for easier clean-up). Place the pork chops on the rack and insert an instant read, oven-proof thermometer into the center of one of the chops. Place in oven and cook until temperature reaches 115 degrees F (this took about 30 minutes).
When the temperature hits 110 degrees, begin preheating a skillet at medium heat. Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of oil on the pan while heating and spread it around by tipping the pan. Sear the pork chops (that have reached 115 degrees), about 5 minutes per side, until they reach 135 degrees. Don’t cook them longer than that! Quickly sear the edges just to brown them up and make them look prettier.
Let meat sit for 5 minutes then serve.